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2007 May 14 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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Another Way Of Avoiding Work

Jonathan Fildes, Science and technology reporter, BBC News, reports on ScratchFree tool offers ‘easy’ coding

A free programming tool that allows anyone to create their own animated stories, video games and interactive artworks has been launched.

Primarily aimed at children, Scratch does not require prior knowledge of complex computer languages.

Instead, it uses a simple graphical interface that allows programs to be assembled like building blocks.

The digital toolkit, developed in the US at MIT’s Media Lab, allows people to blend images, sound and video.

This could get addictive.

May 14, 2007   4 Comments


Has anyone seen Michael Palin Terry Jones and Gordon Brown in the same room? How do we know that Gordon Brown isn’t Michael Pain Terry Jones with a Scot’s accent?

Update: I had my Pythons twisted.

May 14, 2007   6 Comments

A Personal Dissent

Lurch at Main and Central wonders Is the Stryker Striking Out?. Then Swopa at Needlenose adds his point of view.

Like a lot of things in the military the Stryker is serving in a role it wasn’t designed for, and doesn’t work well in that different role.

General Eric Shinseki, the man who knew how many troops were needed for the Iraq conflict, was the “horse” pulling for the Infantry Carrier Vehicle. That designation is important because it tells you what the Stryker was designed to do – carry an infantry squad. It was a replacement for a canvas-sided truck.

During development the Stryker armor was upgraded from simple fragmentation protection to protection from 7.62mm and .50 caliber armor piercing rounds. It couldn’t go heavier without losing its ability to be carried by a C-130, a major requirement for the design.

It wasn’t a replacement for the HMMWVee, or the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, or the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, it was designed to replace a six-wheel truck.

The Military Times says the Army to make request for 17,000 MRAPs, and the Stryker definitely wasn’t designed as a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle [MRAP] like the Cougar and Buffalo.

The Stryker is certainly better than a truck, or a Humvee, but it wasn’t designed for urban warfare. I’m not going to fault it for not being all things to all people, or for not being the greatest thing since sliced bread.  It fulfills its design goals adequately, although real-world experience will probably point to improvements.

May 14, 2007   Comments Off on A Personal Dissent

My Lucky Day

I had a CV-22 [Osprey] fly over the car when I was out today, and it didn’t crash!

It was in low and level flight and is probably one of the ugliest things I have ever seen in the air.

But, it didn’t crash, so there are exceptions to the common wisdom about the aircraft.

May 14, 2007   2 Comments


[05/11/07] Laura Smith-Spark, BBC News, Washington: US military takes Iraq war to YouTube

The US military has taken the war in Iraq into cyberspace, with the launch of its own channel on the video-sharing website YouTube.

[05/14/07] Rob Watson, BBC defence and security correspondent: US blocks soldiers from websites

The US military is to block troops from using YouTube and MySpace and 11 other popular websites for sharing photos, video clips and messages.

[05/02/07] Army Regulation 530–1: Operations Security (OPSEC) – commanders must approve blog posts and e-mails.

Next up, the Stars and Stripes will be replaced by the Красная Звезда so there is no doubt left about the intention of the Party to return to its Stalinist roots.

[I’m having a hard time visualizing Halliburton as part of the proletariat.]

May 14, 2007   2 Comments