Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New and Noteworthy (J-20, Facebook IPO, Planetary Defense)

In today's edition:

* From the Wired Danger Room, an update on the J-20 fighter program – and its limitations (including the rough teething process that may be ahead of the plane, and the aforementioned reliance on imported technology, including Russian engines).

* The debacle of Facebook's IPO (which went beyond a sharp drop in share price, to include allegations of insider trading, and a suit from investors who believe they were deceived about the company's prospects for growth) was of course one of the major stories of the previous week – and a reminder that the myths of post-industrialism (not the least of them, that value is divorced from actually making things, and earnings irrelevant to share price) remains alive and well despite its having been discredited a thousand times over. I doubt that this latest blunder will make the least bit of difference – but according to the San Jose Mercury News, it may be that other tech start-ups will suffer in its wake.

* Two aerospace engineers from the UK are making an argument for the feasibility of using a "swarm of pebbles" to deflect an asteroid from a path threatening to Earth – provided it is targeted early enough in its course – according to this story in The New Scientist.

A Sixth Generation Fighter: Reading Firefox
4/6/12 2011 Round-Up, Part II: The Year's Biggest Security Stories
Keeping the Hype in Check I: The Chengdu J-20

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