Archive for technolgy

The real war on science

Posted in politcs, rankers, tech pron, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , on 4, November 2012 by chockblock

“Remember: People still sell snake oil. They just put pictures of leaves on the bottle now.
—Cracked, “8 Health Foods That Are Bad For Your Health”

The left loves to shout that it loves science. While it’s true that many college students are lefties, the progressive left HATES science. Starting in the 1960′s, opposition to the Vietnam war, the new Environmental movement and the subversive activities of the Marxist left converged into the “Progressive” movement we now know today.

The end results is a mistaken believe/worship of anything “natural” and seeing science, the military and “corporations” as the same thing. What does that get the rest of us? Reason.tv has the answer:

Environmental Disaster!

Posted in politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19, August 2012 by chockblock

For decades the left has pounded into the American popular culture and political discourse the idea that the planet is doomed. DOOMED!

Because of man (it’s always rich white men) and their mess.

In reality the planet is not doomed, or threatened or in the balance.

“Let’s be clear. The planet is not in jeopardy. We are in jeopardy. We haven’t got the power to destroy the planet – or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.”

Ian Malcolm , Jurassic Park (novel): Seventh Iteration “Destroying the World”


“Just as policy can make the climate crisis worse—mandating biofuels has not only encouraged rain forest destruction, releasing carbon, but driven millions into poverty and hunger—technology can make it better. If plant breeders boost rice yields, then people may get richer and afford better protection against extreme weather. If nuclear engineers make fusion (or thorium fission) cost-effective, then carbon emissions may suddenly fall. If gas replaces coal because of horizontal drilling, then carbon emissions may rise more slowly. Humanity is a fast-moving target. We will combat our ecological threats in the future by innovating to meet them as they arise, not through the mass fear stoked by worst-case scenarios.”
Apocalypse Not: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Worry About End Times: By Matt Ridley, Wired.com

The above article is a time capsule of environmentalist nervous twitches and hysteria. Much like the witch hunts, this was all hysteria. Pro-marxist hysteria.

No really, the greens are picking up where the Marxists left off. It’s like they are planning to hamstring the economy and western civilization.
From China’s one child policy to radical anti-human elites, the misses keep on coming.

Years ago a friend told me that Global Warming was an emperor with no clothes. He cited the past myths and that the data is not adding up. Seems he was ahead of the curve.

Why why should use technology: part 2

Posted in army life, army training, HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 7, July 2012 by chockblock

“Thanks for saving me with your technology. By the way, I hate technology!”
The Nostalgia Critic, On Star Trek: Insurrection.

Drones will no doubt raise novel issues under the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure. They will require rules. The same is true of any technology, of course. The Supreme Court held unanimously earlier this year that police can’t attach a GPS tracker on someone’s vehicle without a warrant. This isn’t reason to ban all use of GPS trackers by law enforcement. The fear of drones is, in part, the fear of the new — it is Luddism masquerading as civil libertarianism.
–”The Great Drone Panic“: By Rich Lowry, National Review.com

The left and the fringe always hate technology. Give it time and drones will be as common as the Iphone. And some new tech will be the focus of their ire.

Not Giving Up the Ship: Education marches on

Posted in politcs, rankers, tech pron with tags , , , , , , , , on 27, May 2012 by chockblock

Bill Mauldin tells it like it is. From “I’ve decided I want my seat back.”



Bill Mauldin’s
cartoon above mocked the Air Force Generals who wanted manned bombers well into the age of the ICBM. Like the Navy Admirals who hated air power, they clung to the past as history marched on.

“Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic. Baloney.” — Clifford Stoll in “Newsweek”, 1995. as cited by Tv Tropes.


“Taxpayers in Arizona spend $125 million each school year funding more than 13,000 students who don’t exist at public schools.

That’s because the state school system uses an antique budget approach that causes taxpayers to overpay, says a new report, “Ghost Busters: How to Save $125 Million a Year in Arizona’s Education Budget,” by Goldwater Institute education director Jonathan Butcher.”

Arizona Blows $125M in Taxpayer Money on Ghost Students: Elizabeth MacDonald, FoxBusiness.com


HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Instapundit Google search.


“Let’s put it this way: if you can build a $100 billion company by using the Internet to replace the college yearbook–imagine what you can do if you use the Internet to replace college.”
“Bigger than Facebook”: Robert Tracinski, Realclearmarkets.com.

I dunno maybe the Khan Academy might not be riveting as PBS but it’s free.

The educational establishment, from the teacher unions to the left professors to the “Cherokee” politicians cling to the current educational system much like those generals and admirals. The internet is getting faster and cheaper. Sure there is shlock, porn and Kim Kardishan’s huge ass all over the place. But you can learn about the Vietnam War, how to make a radio, see pictures of water falls, solve quadratic equations, download old books.

Make, see, hear, do, learn.

Now big brick and mortar colleges had their place. After WWII, it was just a given that if you weren’t rocking the 9 to 5 at the local factory, that was where you’d go. “School” was seen as a continuum of elementary, junior high, high school then college. Colleges (fat on GI Bill money and the Cold War era urge to do better than the Ruskies) sold themselves as subject matter experts on everything. The more elite the better.

As the 50′s gave way to the 60′s and the hippies dodged the draft Congress tried to give Pell Grants. Everyone likes free money and lots of kinds wanted to go to college. Student loans came about as a way for kids to pay for college then repay the taxpayer (and make a profit for lenders) when they got that diploma.

But colleges go fatter on student loans. The humanities, sports and other crap soon outpaced actual learning. Lefty politics became the only politics. Safe from market forces colleges can offer courses based on shitty pop culture:

“But then again, the humanities departments are also packed with a bunch of charlatans who will waste your time with things like–well, here’s an example. Check out a hilarious review by Joe Queenan of an impossibly pretentious and utterly nonsensical academic tome on the deeper meaning of that important subject, Harpo Marx.
Robert Tracinski.

So college is just the high school after high school, a place were kids become adults who act like kids. Most don’t even learn because they don’t think have to. Promised easy A’s and a career they can coast through 4 years and rack up the debt.

There is another way. Just as the airplane killed the battleship and the missile replaced many manned bombers, the internet offers learning fast, cheap and easy. A big college has the same standing, visibility and accountability as some dude posting videos online. Accreditation, certification and finances would carry over of course. Diploma mills will always exist. But then again suckers and con artist are as old as time.

One of the problems with education is that the public school system fails to teach many subjects. Trained in the humanities, most teachers aren’t able to teach STEM subjects so they go soft. Writing and critical thinking given way to filling in ovals on standardized tests. Enter the internet to help those kids catch up. Profs could use the Kahn Academy and wikipedia to help kids learn the shit they didn’t get in school. Furthermore, with no
overhead, online programs can focus on teaching instead of catering to politics or fads. Leave the study of pop culture and other vapid things to the nerds on the internet.

Expect a major fight from brick and mortar professors. I predict that they’ll while like little bitches to Congress and try to curtail online universities. Expect the mainstream media to give some silly moral panic (briefly, the internet is killing them off too). Clifford Stoll, who I quoted above, was a computer programmers who caught another hacker working for the KGB/Stasi hacking into US military and college networks. He believed, as many of the facility lounge set do now, that the internet somehow is “less real” and less “social” than “realife”. He’s since changed his mind (and his book about how the internet will never catch on is for sale on Amazon.com).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m cool with people studying 17th century French Drama, pop culture and drinking beer for breakfast. I just don’t want to pay for it. Between Pell Grants (which which I don’t have a problem) and paying as you go for school, anyone can learn anything. It’s bullshit that people have to go to college right after high school and then learning somehow stops. Hench the Student Loan hustle. People never stop learning. They just stop wearing pj’s in the afternoon. As education gets cheaper and the signal overcomes the noise, the slacker college student and the lefty prof will go into history with the Battleship Admirals and the Bomber Generals.

Computers & Kids

Posted in politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 6, September 2011 by chockblock

“In the Classroom of the Future, Stagnant Scores” is the headline of a New York Times account of the uselessness of high-tech education. Since the Clinton administration, liberal “experts” have argued that giving every kid a laptop, “educational” software, and Internet access will produce a generation of geniuses. That has to be the stupidest idea in the history of education. Of course, it hasn’t worked. But that doesn’t discourage the New Age nerds who run the Obama administration’s education policy.

The Times reports on the miserable performance of students in Arizona’s Kyrene School District, where taxpayers have spent $33 million to digitize classrooms since 2005.

A Moron with a Computer Is Still a Moron, by David P. Goldman. Pajamas Media

As a big advocate for computers, I for one welcome computers into the classroom. However, the tool is only as good as the user. Goldman goes on to point out that China (gasp!) has more students level-grinding at the classics and music than we do.

Of course they do. Poor countries do not take education for granted. In poor countries, problem kids are shown the door, not given a time out. In contrast, college is seen in the west as high school with beer and no adult supervision.

Goldman bemoans the toys those young people play with. I have a better idea. How about parents actually parent their children. If the school system and the dolts they insist on teaching won’t, parents should step in. My father had an iron clad rule about homework: get it done, period.

Teachers today are just as prone to mushy leftist fads as they were when I was in school. I came up after “new math” but just as “multiculturalism”. Drill and kill was still in style, but man weren’t those reading and English books filled with leftist claptrap. Still, most of us got out and went to college. My late father insisted that a good education was like money in the bank. Thankfully he missed the higher education bubble…

Parents need to go back to the tried and true methods (as do teachers). Drill, Drill, drill! Homework before you play with that xbox/ps3/wii. How about going outside to play once and a while? I’ve unplugged the TV and honestly I don’t miss it.

The best parents are parents. Get involved. If your school district insists on wasting money on crap like “some blogging or building Facebook pages from the perspective of Shakespeare’s characters” (*facepalm*)…insist on another teacher or spring for private school.

Parents are the anti-drug and the anti-stupid. Until we get school choice nation-wide, prepare for another wave of leftist new-age crap to sweep the tweed-set. Our betters in the AFT and NEA will come up with another way to [insert nonsense phrase here] our children. Parents need to hold teachers and principles feet to the fire and insist on a real education.
Real math, real science, real history and to hell with that “self-esteem” crap.

And turn off the gadgets until that homework is done!

A looong time ago, 60 minutes ran a story about a Texas education (a former fighter pilot!) wrote his own math text book. It was full of drill and kill exercises that actually worked. Not make work, but drills that showed the why and how math worked. He had high school kids doing college-level calculus. So of course no text book company wanted it. His peers accused him a “making kids into machines.” Yes, a teacher said that. And we wonder why the Chinese are ahead…

The take away message is to parent your kids. Not be their friend, not their wallet. Be the adult. Turn off the toys, make them study. Spring for a tutor if you can’t sit with them. Homework first then happy fun time. Your kids will thank you. Not now, but they will thank you.

Wind Power

Posted in politcs, rankers, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 4, July 2011 by chockblock

Wind Power Fail

Via Ace:

About those backup gas turbines. They have the ability to quickly move from idling to full power to compensate for the erratic wind turbines. Funny thing about that “idling”. The turbines emit more CO2 when they’re idling than when they’re at full power. They’re designed to run at full power all the time. That’s the most efficient mode of operation for them. Idling is inefficient and emits more CO2. The CO2 emitted while idling wipes out any savings you could get from the wind farms!

Books

Posted in politcs, rankers with tags , , , on 20, June 2011 by chockblock

I hate Luddites. Every time tech marches on, we have screaming Luddites who pine for the days of yore:

Books as I grew up with them — books with jackets and covers and paper and spines — have stories that reach beyond what’s written inside, and those stories are mine. There’s the paperback copy of “Fahrenheit 451,” signed by Ray Bradbury when he came to my hometown bookstore (and which I consequently never returned to the library). There’s the green advance galley of “The United States of Arugula,” given to me in the first week of a magazine internship by a friendly boss and read entirely on the subway so fellow riders could observe my insider status (never mind that it had been in stores for five years). Then there’s the bright blue, barely opened guide to Edinburgh, a gift from my father that sits on my shelf and stabs me with guilt for my last-minute decision not to study abroad.

And in that same article:

I know the Kindle will eventually carry the day — an electronic reader means no more embarrassing coffee stains, no more library holds and renewals, no more frantic flipping through pages for a lost quote or going to three bookstores in one afternoon to track down an evasive title.

Hate to tell you this, Sara Barbour, but books are about information. I need what’s in the book. When my father passed away, I had to haul 500 pounds of books to the second hand store. Nice, but back breaking. I carried a 40 lb bookbag in highschool, that became 75 pounds in college. To think I grouse about a 35 pound ruck!

Paper is nice, but better tech is nicer. All the books I want in the palm of my hand.
College textbooks cost upwards of $50.00 US, and this clown expects me to pay that due to some emotional attachment to a dead tree?

Nope. Downloads are the way to go. I’ve ridden in a B-17. Wonderful aircraft. I recommend you do the same Ms. Barbour. But jets replaced props for a reason. The car replaced the horse etc.

There will be a nice market for books. Some books just won’t look right on the Kindle and yes sometimes I want to hold a book in my hand. But for 90% of books I want it NOW. I can fit an entire library in my ruck, next to my shaving kit and my socks. Can you?

(h/t: Instapundit)

Aiming

Posted in HOOAH!, politcs, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 20, May 2010 by chockblock

So there’s this guy, he things he’s smart. He writes a report,the paper picks it up and he waves around like a mad man.

Mr. Obama’s announcement of his new antimissile plan in September was based on the Pentagon’s assessment that the SM-3, or Standard Missile 3, had intercepted 84 percent of incoming targets in tests. But a re-examination of results from 10 of those apparently successful tests by Theodore A. Postol and George N. Lewis, being published this month, finds only one or two successful intercepts — for a success rate of 10 to 20 percent.
Review Cites Flaws in U.S. Antimissile Program
By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER
Published: May 17, 2010, NYT.

But, the rest of the world see a lunatic who’s got his facts wrong.

The methodology of Postol’s “analysis”? Looking at the final — and I should note, UNCLASSIFIED — frame of the various SM-3 intercept videos released by MDA and determining that the center of that freeze-frame represented the precise intercept point (Postol’s graphic here). Sounds like rigorous rocket science, huh?
Ted Postol: Aegis SM-3 Only 20% Successful; MDA: Postol Is 100% Full Of Shit, Closing Velocity.

Classified sensors are many, many times better than UNCLASSIFIED pictures. Many though that the Patriot system missed judging by TV images. But those images are captured at 60 frames per second. AVATION films use 500 fps. They captured hits.

Official US govt smackdown here.

Decoys: done and done (countermeasures are in place)

MIRVs: We test against them

Hit to kill: proven

AGEIS BDM, THAAD, Patriot, GMCD: made of win

Theodore A. Postol : made of fail

This man is an idiot and will be forgotten.

He should be made to apologize to the sailors who defend is right to be a nimrod.

H/T: XbradTC

The future of the US Army uniform

Posted in army life, army training, guns, HOOAH!, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 27, September 2009 by chockblock

Right now the US military sits at a three-way intersection: two wars, a faltering economy and a desperate need to balance the budget.

Ever since WW II, the services have dug in their heels. The latest example is uniforms. The US Marines came up with MARPAT in the early 2000′s. The Army followed suit with it’s Universal Camouflage Pattern. Made up of a “foliage” green, tans and grey, it was supposed to blend in with “any” environment. Most observers, soldiers and net users noticed that the pattern did not blend in with anything.

Army Combat Uniform

Army Combat Uniform

In tests around 2003-4, the pattern that became UCP was dead last in testing. Recent tests have confirmed what many already know: UCP sticks out in the woods and the desert. The Army Combat Uniform has many detractors, but many settle on the camo pattern that seems to stick out like a sore thumb.

Enter Congress.

The conferees understand that soldiers deployed to Afghanistan have serious concerns about the current combat uniform which they indicate provides ineffective camouflage given the environment in Afghanistan. Accordingly, the conferees direct that within funding made available the Department of Defense take immediate action to provide combat unifonns to personnel deployed to Afghanistan with a camouflage pattern that is suited to the environment of Afghanistan.

The conferees further direct the Secretary of the Anny to provide a report on the program plans and budgetary adjustments necessary to provide appropriate unifonns to deployed and deploying troops to Afghanistan. The report shall be submitted to the congressional defense committees by the end of fiscal year 2009.
–Congress Doesn’t Dig UCP – Orders New Camo for A’stan, Militarytimes Gear Scout, quotes HR 2346 Conference Report

After much prodding by Congress, PEO Soldiers and Natick did a new series of tests. UCP did not do well. In response, they’ve developed a new camo scheme for Afghanistan. The tested the ACU, low and behold, it was once again last in the testing:

Overall performance of camo patterns

Overall performance of camo patterns

Now MultiCam was developed by Crye Associates and the US Army’s Natick labs. It looks like a good camo pattern. from the above chart, it is clear that MulitCam preforms well.

US soldiers demo MultiCam

US soldiers demo MultiCam

The Army’s response? The ugly UCP-D. Natick tried to put lipstick in the pig by adding “coyote brown” to UCP. The result? I think this sums it up.

“ACU’s work a lot better when they are dirty – looks like Natick made permanently dirty ACU’s and called it a fix”

UCP-D with and without the new IOTV

UCP-D with and without the new IOTV

IMHO, the Army should have just taken MARPAT and changed it, removing the “Eagle, Globe and Anchor”, replaceing it with a star and “US ARMY”. That would have saved money. But alas…

The Army is sending two units into Afghanistan, one with UCP-D and another with Multicam. What is interesting is that BAE systems has a fat contract to make MOLLE gear in Multicam for this test.

Meanwhile, most of us in the rank and file will just sigh and cue up to buy whatever is in clothing and sales.

Here is a link to Natick’s tests:
Photosimulation Camouflage Detection Test

Hot Crew! : Tactical Corset?

Posted in army life, guns, HOOAH!, rankers, tech pron, Uncategorized, War On Terror with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 16, June 2009 by chockblock

The Army is testing new body armor. However another company has something for the ladies:

splash

It’s the toast of AR-15.com. Mentioned in boing-boing and Instapundit is taken by it.

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