Thursday, December 14, 2023

Short Takes – 12-14-23

Nasa Blames Probe Chute Failure on Wire Labels. article. Pull quote: “Put simply, the label “main” was inadvertently used to mark both the device that deployed the drogue chute, and the pyrotechnic charge that was used to cut its line. During assembly these two connections got mixed up, so that when the capsule’s avionics commanded to parachute to deploy, it actually ended up cutting its cord while it was still stored in the spacecraft.”

Procurement: North Korean Assistance Backfires. article. Pull quote: “When the North Korean munitions arrived in Ukraine and Russian troops began using the shells, they noted two things. First, that North Korean ammunition is unreliable and lacking accuracy. After some time, it was discovered that the North Korean shells could also be dangerous to use. Some of them detonated after leaving the gun barrel and eventually some detonated while inside the barrel. At this point the Russians had to stop using the North Korean shells, which had become more dangerous for the Russians users than the Ukrainians. Meanwhile, the North Korean munitions factories were working overtime to produce new shells to replace the older ones sold to the Russians. This was a good deal for North Korea because they unloaded their older artillery munitions and were not replacing it with newly manufactured shells.”

News Publishers See Google’s AI Search Tool as a Traffic-Destroying Nightmare. article. Pull quote: “Google’s embrace of AI in search threatens to throw off that delicate equilibrium, publishing executives say, by dramatically increasing the risk that users’ searches won’t result in them clicking on links that take them to publishers’ sites. Most gallingly for publishers, Google’s AI search was trained, in part, on their content and other material from across the web—without payment.”

Space Force chief: Timing of Chinese spaceplane launch “no coincidence”. article.  Pull quote: “"We fight for funding on this all the time, but I think this great power competition has really worked to our advantage in some areas, and if we have a capability, the idea of creating a gap in that capability is a concern with congressional members, at least that's the way they voice it to me," Saltzman said.”

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