Technology Beats Industry In Small-Ball Wars

The LA Times reports current work includes a corporation working with its own corporate money to develop a small, 13 pound Smart Bomb for a small drone to carry and give an instant response to IED planters who currently escape because, even though they are sighted, it takes too long for the Air Force to respond.

There is a DARPA request for an under $10,000 drone assembled from a rucksack that can “perch and sight” a target, from say a tree or a building.

And, how about this– a fog to be dispersed from a drone that will stick to enemy fighters, and make them “glow in the dark” at night to night-vision goggles?

Or, this: A cruise missile, fired from a mortar that can linger over a battlefield for five minutes looking for a target, and then hone in and explode?

Some of this is already in the battle, some in development, and some being designed. The good news is that the turnaround time from concept to actuality is measured in single digit months.

When I entered the Submarine Force I was told the time from concept to development for a new torpedo was 16 YEARS. Our torpedoes in those days were “hit to kill” blunt-force weapons, fired close-in because we had to get in close to have a moving weapon hit a moving target that could change course at any second.

Now, all of our troops need to use stand-off weapons against tiny targets that are much more maneuverable.

Indy? ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

DAN Wheldon, who won the Indy 500 in case you were not following the weekend, said that in spite of his win he didn’t think ANY Formula One team would look at him because he is too old!

In truth, F1 doesn’t look at ANY of the Indy car drivers because the best could not be a test driver for the last team on the F1 grid. Well, perhaps a test driver for Lotus…a new team.

While everyone in the US was watching Indy, including me, the big race of the day internationally was at Monaco. Just to tell you the difference, all Indy cars are powered by Honda racing engines. Honda tried to compete in F1 for years, and finally sold their team because they not only could not win a race, they couldn’t get on the podium.

Just to give you a flavor of the premier F1 race, the final laps featured a World Champion German driver finishing first in a car powered by a Renault French engine, second was an Italian engine (Ferrari) driven by a Spanish former World Champion Driver, and third was a German engined car (Mercedes) driven by a former World Champion, Jensen Button of England.

The BEST race in the world, in my not-so-humble opinion is still to come in the middle of June, the 24 hours of Le Mans, a twisting eight-mile plus course in the French countryside, where rain, fog and night hardly slow the action, and there French diesel cars from Peugeot will face German diesel cars from Audi for the quickest on the course, and without serious handicaps placed upon the diesels, the gas powered cars would not be visible in the diesel’s rear view mirrors.

Now THAT is racing! Road machines on road courses in rain, darkness and fog — twice around the clock,

Indy? Good optics, mediocre racing.

Vets, Active Duty (And, Their Families) Have More Negative View of Obama

The Gallup Poll reports on this Memorial Day that the support for President Obama is six points lower among America’s Veterans, Active Duty and their families than the President’s general support.

If that comes as news to you, then you are not paying attention. It has been that way since Obama’s election, and in fact has often been even greater that the current gap.

Book Report: The Captured

Book Report: The book is “The Captured,  A True Story of Abduction by Indians on the Texas Frontier by Scott Zesch. (Amazon, Kindle and Audible

White Indians were white Americans captured by Indians in Texas and New Mexico, the last of whom were not released from captivity until 1872. (Although, not all were technically “white” there were Blacks and many Mexicans captured, as well.)

I was surprised to learn that being old, I was alive as a youth when there were still “White Indians” alive. The last White Indians died in the 40s.

Capturing young men to train as warriors was a common Indian practice, usually boys between 6 and 13. Older and younger boys were killed because they were considered not trainable. Women were usually killed, or captured as sex slaves. Women captured near puberty were “married” into Chief families and usually didn’t want to return to the American society knowing that they would be shunned for having slept with “savages.’

Many of the captured boys were so malleable that they were no longer able to speak English after nine months, and many no longer wished to be returned to their family. In fact, some White Indians fought in battles against American soldiers.

Many of the White Indians in Texas, some 26 of them were ransomed by one US Indian Agent, alone, and others ransomed others. White Indians were just considered property by the Indians, and seizure of captives had been an Indian practice since prehistoric days — sort of a “spoils of war.”

The last White Indians were reluctantly returned, and against their wills, when the US Army killed many Indians at Red River in Texas and seized 126 women and children – holding them as hostages until the Comanches brought in the final four White Indians. General Sherman, infamous for his march through the South in the Civil War, was not inclined to pay ransom but rather use his Army to effect the return.

Most of the White Indians never lived amiably among their American families.

It is a fascinating view of American History. This particular book was written about a youngster stolen from a farm not far from where I was raised in San Antonio, but it happened throughout the West, and had happened in the East from the very start of this nation.

History has many twists and turns, not all of which is comfortable or covered thoroughly in history books.

Beware of “Defender” Virus

The virus bug finally struck my computer, and for the life of me I can’t figure out what I did wrong, because I am a careful computerist. My very first problem that I could not fix myself.

Actually it wasn’t a virus but a root kit, a much more dangerous and destructive animal and much more difficult to defend against. Fortunately, my computer guy carries a toolkit that has a wide group of updated software packages (Rod Chan, 760-740-8533), and he got me clean again.

There was also something called a Trojan Horse on the computer called “FakeMS” which fakes as if it is a message from Microsoft Security Essentials and has you download a program that will seriously damage your system.

This is a fake “Defender” program that hijacks your system, then tells you that you have a virus and then makes you pay a ransom to get it off. The Bad Guys don’t call it a ransom, they say, “We found a nast bug on you computer. Send us $xx.xx and we will send you a program to remove it.”

Nice, since they out the virus there.

This is the first major malware to impact Apple computers, as well. Previously, Apple products didn’t have enough market penetration to entice the Bad Guys to attack, but Apple  does now and the Bad Guys are paying attention.

The worst news is that if you pay the Bad Guys, the Bad Guys now not only have convinced you to pay them to remove a virus they installed, they now have your credit card, (And, they know you are a sucker,)

Better to have Rod come to your home…or go to a computer store and have them remove the virus – but that means days without a computer.

Raccoon Number Seven!

 

This is getting old! I have started spray paining their tails to make certain I am not re-arresting the same culprits over and over again.

I am starting to feel like San Francisco Board of Supervisors with their catch and release program for illegal aliens.

 

Socialists Make New Greek Demands

The Greek situation is getting downright dicey. The EU demands more austerity, but the Greek “street” is getting violent, as socialists are likely to get when someone takes their free lollypops away.

The violence in Greece has transitioned from youth in black masks to families, as the Greek government tightens the overspending, but broke government, to meet the demands of their bankers – the EU and IMF – in order to get their loans..

We don’t have QUITE the same problem here, although we do have student protesters on California junior college campuses — who enjoy the lowest junior college costs in the nation, and the usual tax-eaters begging for their “free” books in libraries to continue unabated. We also have crumbling infrastructure, untaught students,  overcrowded prisons and the single worst state legislature in the nation

It is Time to End the Blackmail

Pakistan is still playing a double game, and I for one am sick of it. Yes, they have two messages, one for our consumption and one for internal consumption, but at heart they know that we will someday withdraw and their hatred for India will remain.

That means they will need the support of the tribes and the Taliban for any fight against India, and so they will only support our efforts against the tribes, Al-Queda and the Taliban half-heartedly.

Personally I would prefer to withdraw from Afghanistan, as I have expressed before, and tell BOTH Afghanistan and Pakistan that if they give us too much trouble — like supporting training camps — we will take care of those with either surgical or massive attacks, depending on what is necessary.

Then, we throw in with India leaving Pakistan to align with China, something they obviously wish to do, or at least threaten to do so as to keep our money flowing.

We are being nuclear blackmailed by both Pakistan and North Korea, and I am tired of paying tribute to both nations, even if we cover that tribute with a fig-leaf.

I am tired of trying to “manage” the India/Pakistan conflict with a “partner” who is more duplicitous than anything we could imagine in dealing with even with the Middle East.

Now I give Hillary full marks for getting our tail rotor back (after full inspection by the Chinese, no doubt), and getting our forensics into the Osama compound after it has been completely sanitized, no doubt, but that is window dressing for US public benefit.

The Pakistanis are torqued that we didn’t give then a chance to warn Osama, and that we got in and out of their airspace undetected, and further that the president has said he will do it as much as necessary.

Too bad. They are not our friends, and we only need them to ferry troops to Afghanistan so we should pull out of there. There are not sufficient Al-Queda in Afghanistan to fill a tour bus.

The one thing they DON’T want is the US aligned with India. The Pakistanis want to be able to play us against China, but they also know (or suspect) that the Chinese could not have pulled off the Osama raid, and that the US technology is vastly superior to that the Chinese can provide them. The Pakistanis know that the US and India combination is vastly superior to a China and Pakistan combination in a proxy war and they want to keep us out of such a pact.

That is our trump card, and the time has come to play it.

I Love It!

The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has approved an Arizona law that is described as a “employment Death Penalty” — Businesses that are found to have purposely hired illegal aliens, may be denied business licenses.

That is a huge win because it is jobs, primarily, that are the magnet for illegal aliens, and this cuts off that lure in Arizona, and now with this ruling we will have several other states follow suit with similar laws.

This is good news  because it will, like Right to Work laws, differentiate the states, causing disparities that create competition.

Illegal aliens will flock to states that do not have such laws — like California. Just as Sanctuary Cities lure illegals with a positive action, this one drives illegals to sanctuary states with a negative action, exacerbating their (our) crime and bad economics.

Eventually, that will cause the states like California to address the problem as life gets worse for sanctuary states.

There are all sorts of interesting side shows in this case:

Justice Sotomeyer had to recuse herself because she worked on advising the Obama White House on immigration when she was in the Justice Department.

The Chamber of Commerce was on the wrong side of this issue, opposing the Arizona

And, the initial law imposing the “death penalty” on businesses was signed into law by the PREVIOUS Governor of Arizona, current head of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano! She signed the law that hurts illegal immigration, the opposite from her current position within the Obama administration!

Delicious irony!

Mommy? May I have a cookie, and an iPAD?

There have been many reports recently of schools buying iPADS for Kindergarteners – which shows me two things: An appreciation for starting kids early with technology and the ease of using tablet computers.

In the most recent case, in Boston, there is a controversy caused by a plan to let the kids take the iPADS home for $25 a month, and after two years the kids own their iPADS.

Some mothers ask “what about the kids whose parents can’t afford $25 a month? Is it fair that some kids can take home computers, and some can’t,” while other remarked that the school couldn’t afford to have a Vice-Principal, so how could they afford computers/

Setting aside the fact that the tablets help in the classroom, and administrators are far from the classroom, it is important to at least address the so-called “fairness” issue.

Life isn’t fair, and attempts to make it so just distort the picture. I’ll bet that the PTA of that school can round up sufficient funds to subsidize those who can’t afford to pay for iPADS if “fairness” is deemed an issue – but it would be a crime to punish those who can afford them by pandering to the lowest common denominator.

I have not looked into apps for education, but with 300,000 of them available today there must be some. I recently saw a pretty extensive list of tablets going into schools, and certainly tablets are very simple computers – more useful for users than are “real” computers. They are more like the original concept that they should be as easy as toasters, a concept we have certainly now achieved,

We have gone through the same process as automobiles – from the “get out and get under” days, to the point where to all intents and purposes we could seal the engine compartment and put oil and water fillers next to the gas cap.

Tablets are just about as simple, compared to the initial DOS days, and no one needs my extensive knowledge of how computers really work – they just need to know hot to drive them, and they drive easily. (Finally!)