Re: The B2 is worth more than its weight in gold WAS 1929 deja vu

From: John Clark (
Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 00:12:24 MDT

Michael S. Lorrey <> Wrote:

>John, you and I sitting here couldn't possibly account for all of the technological
>carryovers from the stealth program to civilian industry.

Oh I bet we could and I don't think it would take very long either, I mean the damn thing
was top secret and didn't even officially exist until 1988 or 89. And who but the government
could afford gold plated, or rather, solid gold priced paint primers or adhesives.

>The electroluminescent laptop display found in many laptop computers was developed for
>the stealth bomber

I could be wrong but I really doubt that's true.

>Every chip we currently use is based on original generation designs that needed
>to be compact, durable, and light for use in many military applications, from
>air-to-air missiles to ICBMs to torpedos and tanks.

Not quite. Bell Labs funded research on transistors because they wanted a better
way to amplify signals on their transatlantic cables, the government wasn't involved.
Texas Instruments and Fairchild Semiconductor invented the integrated circuit
by researchers who just thought the research would be fun, they didn't even have
the full backing of their own companies much less a government contract, they did
most of their work late at night and on weekends. INTEL invented the
microprocessor to fulfill a contract from a Japanese calculator company and had
nothing to do with the military.

I don't mean to say military research has never come up with something useful,
but considering the fact that you'd need to use scientific notation to talk about
the money spent the results have been extremely disappointing.

>No weather satellites, no communications satellites, no space probes, and no Iridium.

Iridium?! Ah Mike, do you really want credit for Iridium?

John K Clark

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