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Author Topic: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of AI Awareness  (Read 19102 times)

EuchreJack

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Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of AI Awareness
« on: February 03, 2023, 07:25:55 pm »

Time to catalog this event so that people will believe it happened in six months.
https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/02/politics/us-tracking-china-spy-balloon/index.html

Lord Shonus

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2023, 07:57:30 pm »



There's not really much doubt about what this is - it's a Electronics Intelligence (ELINT) device intended to pick up communications, that is supposed to be moored in international waters (the balloon gets the payload over the horizon and increases the reach, but keeps it low enough to pick up signals better than an ELINT satellite would) that came loose and is now drifting along weather patterns. There's little to be done about it (fighter aircraft don't go high enough to shoot it down easily, and trying would create a massive hazard for civilians on the ground), and in the end it only really merits a Stern Look Of Disapproval at the diplomatic level. This is literally a non-event that's being blown massively out of proportion by social media.
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EuchreJack

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2023, 08:08:05 pm »



There's not really much doubt about what this is - it's a Electronics Intelligence (ELINT) device intended to pick up communications, that is supposed to be moored in international waters (the balloon gets the payload over the horizon and increases the reach, but keeps it low enough to pick up signals better than an ELINT satellite would) that came loose and is now drifting along weather patterns. There's little to be done about it (fighter aircraft don't go high enough to shoot it down easily, and trying would create a massive hazard for civilians on the ground), and in the end it only really merits a Stern Look Of Disapproval at the diplomatic level. This is literally a non-event that's being blown massively out of proportion by social media.
Nah, it's just another UFO Coverup, obviously.

EuchreJack

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2023, 08:17:04 pm »

(quote of drive-by troll removed)

Yeah, when Trump let China unleash a Weather Balloon upon the US, he was at least impeached!
...actually, I can't find much info on the alleged previous Balloons over US airspace.

At least a little info:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cia-director-william-burns-i-wouldnt-underestimate-xis-ambitions-for-taiwan/

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/suspected-chinese-spy-balloon-found-northern-us-military-installations-rcna68879

Oh hey, they have a wikipedia page already!

King Zultan

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2023, 04:32:41 am »

Why's a weather balloon spy such a big deal, don't people do that kind of shit all the time.


Also they drive-by troll struck here as well, I wonder what it was about?
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Grim Portent

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2023, 09:33:54 am »

I can't really imagine a spy balloon can do much that a satellite can't these days, and China isn't exactly scarce on the resources needed to send spy satelites into orbit. Seems like empty posturing more than anything, possibly for internal purposes. I could easily see some espionage branch that needs to justify it's budget doing a largely useless excercise to keep it's spending up.
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Frumple

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2023, 10:17:45 am »

I can't really imagine a spy balloon can do much that a satellite can't these days, and China isn't exactly scarce on the resources needed to send spy satelites into orbit.
I mean, for what it's worth on that point if the spy balloon works well enough relative to a satellite, it's pretty likely they're far more cost efficient, on top of letting lift capacity be spent on something that actually needs to be further up. Getting stuff out of atmo isn't cheap or easy. Just because there's a better alternative doesn't mean there's unlimited access to the alternative or that they're cost efficient for the desired task. I'd be surprised if the US or whoever doesn't have similar devices floating around, for more or less the same reasons.
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Random_Dragon

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2023, 11:45:52 am »

The only thing I really have to add is I feel like this is a catch-22 situation. Well the balloon itself probably won't give the PRC anything you can't already get from google maps, not doing anything at all to discourage more incidents of "stray" balloons sends the wrong message and will probably invite more brazen incidents in the future.

Problem is, probably 90% of things you could do about it would also send an undesirable message, namely it might encourage them to start messing with US satellites, air travel, or other assets on the justification that we shot down/forcibly redirected/threw a hissy fit over/whatever their alleged "weather" balloon.
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ChairmanPoo

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2023, 12:22:49 pm »

Kirov reporting
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Random_Dragon

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2023, 01:47:25 pm »

It's evidently reached the coast by now and planes are meandering in the general area, so some speculation that they've decided to wait until it's got nothing but open water to land on before popping it.

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Dostoevsky

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2023, 01:57:31 pm »

Pieces like that old Dave Barry 'year in review' are going to be chock full of jokes about the balloon, mark my words.

Otherwise, in my opinion all the attention is just a silly local celebrity / china-fear easy hook.

The Washington Post has an article today (paywalled, I imagine) on why a spy balloon is worth, and largely what folks have already mentioned - relatively cheap and can linger longer over a spot. More recent spy balloons (which aren't uncommon) also may have drone systems or other fancy bits. They can also essentially be a sacrificial probe of opposition defense - e.g. see when/how they detect it or how they take it down.
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Random_Dragon

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2023, 02:40:33 pm »

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MrRoboto75

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2023, 03:13:33 pm »

Ded.
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EuchreJack

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Re: Reactions to Chinese White Balloon of DEATH
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2023, 10:21:03 pm »

Anyone who can stomach Fox News want to tell me how Republicans spin this against Biden?

"He didn't risk American Lives shooting it down Faster!"

"He didn't send his Diplomat into a foreign and now possibly hostile country!"

"How dare he not declare WWIII!"
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