Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Firefox Tip

This seems to have really improved the speed at which I browse:
Speed up Firefox. If you have a broadband connection, you can speed up your page loads. This allows Firefox to load multiple things on a page instead of one at a time. By default, it’s optimized for dialup connections (why??). Here is what […]

News Brief, Cake Parade Edition

Cross-posted to The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

What, they’re accused of only murdered 14 people? Let’s see if the White Rabbit can break his weeks-long silence to defend them this time.
Well, at least they’ve finally joined the war.
Oh great. With friends like these… who says we’ll ever fix Iraq?
Max Boot has a problem, and the only […]

The City Car

Very Cool:
The City Car, a design project under way at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is envisioned as a two-seater electric vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries. It would weigh between 1,000 and 1,200 pounds and could collapse, then stack like a shopping cart with six to eight fitting into a typical parking space. It isn’t […]

Where Are The Memos? (Updated)

Why is it that news sites refuse to publish the documents upon which they report? I mean, even Glenn Greenwald produced the emails he was mischaracterizing. Why can’t The Washington Post do the same with the infamous “snowflake memos” it has managed to obtain? If it did so, it would answer questions […]

Items To Save During A House Fire

Self - Check
Spouse - Check
Kids - Check
Pets - Check
Important Papers - Checks
Satellite Receiver - WTF
The nerve of some corporations!
When this Azola couple got back from their honeymoon, they had about an hour of matrimonial bliss before being forced to flee as their house was engulfed in flames. So you can understand they had some things […]

Shift Happens

Sometimes information like this makes me sit back and think “whoa” (sounding to much like neo in the matrix.) Not only is this a small world (which we often forget,) but it is becoming an exponentially complex and interconnected one.

glumbert - Shift Happens
The Singularity is Near.
Heck, I read sci-fi, and try to keep up […]

News Brief, Work = Busy So No More Briefings ‘Till Lundi

Still posted first over at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

More on the internal battle over imperial anthropology.

Around the World

Also have you seen the possibly-NSFW Shaolin balls conditioning video? Basically, they are the world’s greatest fighting force—well beyond the ninja. I already knew this from David Carradine. Now I know this from YouTube.
Barnett Rubin asks if […]

Data Mining and Domestic Policing

When I first heard about this story about a fugitive being caught after 35 years, I didn’t think twice about it. Until I saw a detail about the Intelligence Fusion Center being involved.
State investigators say the very things that helped a convicted Indiana murderer stay under the radar for more than three decades were […]

Score One For New Media

The MSM (or “Legacy Media” or whatever term floats your boat) is suffering at the invisible hands of technology, which has prompted the rise of not just cable news, but also blogs and online magazines. Blogs in particular often draw snarling reactions and comments from major MSM players, mostly because the MSM is routinely […]

News Brief, À Cause Des Garçons Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Dear God. The USAF thinks it will win counterinsurgencies by copying the Viet Cong? These guys are almost as bad as the PMFs. In a must-read analysis, Abu Muqawama concludes, “This, America, is your uniformed military leadership. Be proud.” Oh I am.
“The reliable replacement warhead is a symptom.” […]

News Brief, Tales of Taboo Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

Finally, after years of occupying their country, we’ve liberated Iraq from the burden of living in fear for collaborating with us.
P.W. Singer (again) on the devil’s bargain of PMCs. I like how he wonders how a force can be cost effective when it’s more expensive and so detrimental to […]

News Brief, Capture/release Edition

Repeated at The Conjecturer.
Defense & the War

P.W. Singer on how no one is really asking the right questions about Blackwater and PMCs in general. Contrary to other arguments, it is a question of legality and accountability, since even employees accused of and fired for committing crimes like murder have not been prosecuted for it. But […]

A Brief History of War and Medicine

Joshua brought up this little tid-bit in his last post…
There is also a rather shocking exhibit of an underreported side effect of the war: advances in medical technology now allow survivability after injuries that once were fatal. Which means a new generation of the crippled and maimed are coming home.
There have been “advances” in battlefield […]

Hi-Tech Extortion and Terrorism

When threats are phoned in, how seriously should they be considered?
At my last company, one of the buildings we had offices in would get a bomb threat called in 2 or 3 times per month. Now, the company gave us the latitude to go wait outside the building until it was cleared, or we […]

News Brief, Little Trouble in Big China Edition

Throwing rocks at HAMAS over at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

More on what The Surge is accomplishing: “Despite some evidence that the troop buildup has improved security in certain areas, sectarian violence continues and American-led operations have brought new fighting, driving fearful Iraqis from their homes at much higher rates than before the tens of […]

News Brief, Just Watch the Fireworks Edition

Cheating on your ex-boyfriend at The Conjecturer.
Defense & The War

So, according to President Bush, if we leave Iraq, the communists will triumph? Like how they won the Cold War? I don’t get it. The argument from civil war doesn’t move me much, either—the only thing keeping Iraq from civil war before was a tyrant; short […]

On The Wings Of Butterflies

My favorite class of all time was a course on chaos theory that I took my senior year in college. I think it was listed as part of the Chemistry Department’s curriculum (hey, whaddya know, it still is!), but it also involved physics and statistics (and thankfully, little math). My fondness for […]

Americans Addicted to Freedom

And proud of it!!!
Sen. George Allen makes a good point.
Contrary to some pundits, Americans are not “addicted to oil” but are instead addicted to freedom - freedom of movement especially, former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) told a large crowd of college conservatives last week.
In my high school, and I’m certain, in many other […]

Guerrillas In Our Midst (Updated)

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
– U.S. Constitution, Art. 3, Sect. 3
The […]

Bio-Fuel Increases Price of Ice Cream

The increase in the amount of bio-fuel production, specifically ethanol, is driving up the costs of anything that feeds or is produced with grain. This is leading to higher prices for milk, ice cream, cereal, and a host of other staples. The UN is also having a harder time buying grain to feed […]

News Brief, America, Frack Yeah Edition


It saddens me to see that a general neglect of our soldiers has a long and storied tradition in this country. I honestly think us to be better than that.
Uh-oh, is our new strategy in Iraq geared for cutting and running? Those defeat mongers at the Pentagon must want Al-Qaeda In Iraq to win. Except […]

Trading Dependencies

Instapundit links to an article in Reason about how the increased production of ethanol is leading to higher prices for food.
I also think it could lead to increasing reliance by America on foreign grain. Which, as we saw with the pet food recall, could mean a riskier supply. You can poison grain, but […]

Purdue creates scientifically based animation of 9/11 attack

Well, all the attention crashed their web servers, so they’ve hosted the simulation on YouTube.
I must say I’m impressed with the animation. You can certainly see why a collapse was near inevitable with what looks like 1/3 of the major inner columns destroyed or damaged. And this story makes me wonder how some […]

Flooding risk remains in parts of New Orleans

Gee, parts of N’Awlins are still under sea level (and unlikely to change.) You would think the above headline was a given.
And why does it NOT surprise me that what the local leaders were most concerned about…
As part of the report, the corps plans to make available a Web site that allows New Orleans […]

News Brief, Konyr Edition


The Vatican-embassy in Baghdad is too understaffed and too restricted to be useful, Ambassador Crocker told SecState Rice. He said we are either at war or we are not at war, and the priorities of the Department must reflect that. Naturally, he’ll be ignored.
Taxi to the Darkside, a documentary about the “accidental” death of an […]

News Brief, I Was A Lover Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.

Could the shakeup at JCS be an indication of a possibly positive move toward skepticism on Iraq? Possibly. I’m more intrigued with putting two Navy guys in charge of our insurgency campaigns—what kind of insight might they bring a more traditional land warrior cannot?
Then again, the DoD does have a habit of […]

News Brief, Я ненавижу ваше лицо Edition

Cross-posted on The Conjecturer.

The IDF is generally thought of as one of the world’s top armies—though it lacks expeditionary capability (which is usually a function of solid logistics), its warfighting is top notch. Not so, according to the Winograd Commission, which examined IDF policies in the wake of the Hezbollah war last year. Why […]

News Brief, Still At War With Oceania Edition

Cross-posted at The Conjecturer.

An entire security detail was abducted in Baghdad, in a secure area, leading to questions about the extent to which local security forces are collaborating with the insurgents, whether private companies are appropriate agents, and the whole legitimacy of the operation.
An excellent post on the continued need for civilian control of the […]

Garbage In, Garbage Out

I’ve often commented that I don’t really trust computer climate models because they’ve seemed to me to be missing a lot of variables. So, it’s a little satisfying to see this article, which shows that MIT researchers are enhancing the model to more accurately account for a significant variable.
Global climate models are missing a […]

News Brief, Untitled 4 Edition

The Pentagon

Oh, Noah. The CIA isn’t the only spy agency with a questionable kid’s page. There is also the NSA, which urges children to learn cryptography. I don’t think these are bad things per se (and the CIA’s large hit count is probably more due to the World Fact Book than interest in […]