# Worldly Talk

Civil discussion and debate on real world events and issues.

# Conventional, fast ICBM

Designated Skill Monkey

So by that logic, if I agree with Ted that I met his magical unicorn earlier this morning, does that mean that there's confirmation that unicorns exist? After all, we're two separate sources independently stating something. Come on, you have to be able to tell that your statement's ridiculous. Confirmation in journalism is when you have two primary sources agreeing. Two people repeating the same thing does not inherently make it a viable source.

Dark Lord of Red Tape

If you sighted them as well or knew someone else that sighted them than yes, it would be. agreeing on principle is not the same though.

Designated Skill Monkey

But you haven't cited your classified information, which is why it's against the rules.

Go back to the discussion about telescopes. That's a lot more interesting than rehashing the same argument over and over again.

Especially when one side's argument amounts to secret invisible unicorns.

We always used to go for three, if possible, rather than two, but that was in a different era when journalists with integrity were the rule, not the exception. When research was something you did *before* you published, rather than afterwards when you have been challenged in court about the veracity of the rumors you published and are looking to CYA.

It would be interesting to see what sort of techniques could be reliably used to tidy up a blurred image.

Clockwork Person

Well, in the context of reading a newspaper from space, it would be imaginable to create an algorithm that compares every vague blob to every Cyrillic letter, calculates the likelihood of that letter being blurred into a blob that's shaped like that, and then replaces it by the most likely letter. Adding in a dictionary so the algorithm can permutate the most likely few letters for every blob in search of an actual word it could construct out of those letters would make it more reliable.
The only reason that works, though, is the limited amount of letters in the alphabet and the limited amount of words in the dictionary.

In the general case, though, you just need a bigger dish: you can't get information from an image that's not there to begin with.

Dark Lord of Red Tape

Or a lower orbit. Or multiple satelites that could preserve light phase information to run an interferometric analysis. Or utelize multi-segmented mirrors for a larger aperture.

Of course in terms of the orriginal question teh real issue isn't what capabilities the US satelites have but whether other countries can detect the launch and whether they will know the difference in launch vehichles, and whether they will believe that it is not nuclear.

I think the primary concern is to that last point, which admiteddly will involve issues of geopolitics at the time rather than just a technological evaluation...