VnutZ's Articles, Page 2 of 72
The F22 has been sitting in the American inventory for nearly a decade, first rolling out officially in 2005. It has certainly been a rough decade as well with the aircraft facing the axe numerous times and getting grounded for a myriad of issues. But after all the engineering, air shows and dust collecting, the Raptor finally took to the skies to drop some pain onto bad guys. The aircraft was involved in its first combat sorties over Syria to bomb ISIS/ISIL targets. Each subsequent mission should reduce the vehicle’s ROI by 1/2 … but at $67B, those ISIS targets were pretty expensive. On a positive note, Syria is known for having a robust air defense system meaning the vehicle’s radar suppressive signatures and design functioned as designed.
People have declared the moon landings a hoax for decades. Their assessments are based questioning shadows, tire prints, the flag … all sorts of things. Upward of 6% of Americans don’t believe it actually happened. On the flip side, debunkers have been equally as ardent at disproving the conspiracy theories.
And now, there is a new contender, nVidia, the GPU manufacturing graphics company. In a nutshell, the realism of modern video games centers around all kinds of details but lighting can make or break the game. As such, GPU manufacturers try to provide all sorts of computing horsepower to render lighting, shadows, and all sorts of number crunching to calculate reflections, incident angles, etc. As part of their product unveiling, nVidia decided to team with NASA to learn about the scenario and then essentially digitally recreate the photo allowing their GPU and software to determine if the lighting was actually legitimate. The answer? It was totally viable.
Visiting the White House these days is just a matter of running really fast and ignoring the Secret Service guys. You know, the ones that control all the counterfeit money but still can’t pay their hookers. Too soon?
Anyway, two recent intrusions on the White House have led many to wonder how well security is being run. The most telling example was Omar J. Gonzalez, a three time war veteran, that hopped the fence and sprinted across the lawn making it inside the front door. The other involved a nineteen year old that simply drove past the Secret Service and ignored them when he was told to stop.
They’ve been called the Sailing Stones of Death Valley and mystified people for over a century. Essentially, large boulders were found over the years to move significant distances while leaving telltale tracks in their wake. But no other evidence existed near the stones to identify how they moved or what moved them.
And then a couple of scientists went and ruined the mystique for everyone with their witchcraft “moving picture boxes” that captured the whole thing in action. Essentially, the land would freeze over and surface water beneath the rock allowed it to move and slide. Well, their video in conjunction with the GPS tracking aids (because the rocks were prone to just disappearing on their parole officer) killed the mystery definitively.
When the Space Shuttles were retired, America turned overseas to support its continued involvement in the space program. The dependence even went as far as military and intelligence agencies requiring the use of Russian rocketry to push equipment into space. Nevertheless, the successes of commercial endeavors like SpaceX with successful docks to the International Space Station proving it could be done affordably, America is finally financing a return to an independent space program again with nearly $7B. Both Boeing and SpaceX emerged as contract winners for NASA’s effort to rely on domestic, commercial resources for an all American space program.
Physicists at Harvard have brought humanity one step closer to bringing the light saber to our kitchen cutlery sets. Of course, the full details on constructing your own light saber are behind a pay wall. The basic ingredients are simple and can probably be acquired through Amazon. You will require a vacuum chamber, rubidium, laser beams, and near absolute zero temperatures along with some other small components. While laughing maniacally, the scientists blasted the rubidium cloud with the lasers causing the photons to entangle whereupon the light began to act as either a flowing liquid or frozen solid. Rather than going down in the scientific journal saying, “Holy shit – eat my science you Yale motherfu**ers!”, Dr. Andrew Houck made a far more eloquent comment, “It’s something that we have never seen before. This is a new behavior for light.”
Not too long ago, America provided the only known trial vaccines [ZMapp] against Ebola to some patients in Africa. After those successes, even more experimental vaccines are coming on-line now from additional countries as well. But support to the growing Ebola outbreak in Africa is about to expand even more. President Obama has announced plans to deploy 3000 military servicemen into Africa to construct and operate treatment centers for Ebola victims headquartered out of Liberia.
By now, you’ve probably heard about the Wife Excuses From Sex excel worksheet. The story goes that a man dumped his wife after she kept turning him down for sex, whereupon he documented the reasons. She in turn, posted the excel document to Reddit which has fueled arguments across the Internet. Women, of course, are calling his list juvenile and supporting the wife. Meanwhile, men are popping up everywhere arguing in favor of the man saying their wives often slough them off for the same reasons just as frequently.
The .50BMG bullet is huge. It’s huge enough that researchers have been able to work all kinds of technologies into them such as RDX explosives. DARPA has recently upped the ante with what they call the EXACTO (Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance) guided .50BMG bullet!! The round is modified as a 4" projectile with an optical sensor on the nose, guidance circuits, in-flight adjustment controls and power to effectively let snipers routinely hit targets over a mile away with greater ease. Imagine the future … laser guided, armor penetrating, RDX filled .50BMG rounds for “hunting” and “alien invasion disaster prep.”
Hass McCook is an Oxford MBA that’s put together an interesting series of articles on the true costs and environmental impacts of various monetary systems – Bitcoin, gold, fiat currency, and the banks that handle them.
The last time the Army downsized was under the Clinton administration in the 90s, which largely resulted in a military culture known as zero defect that nearly everyone involved absolutely abhorred. Arguments went both ways regarding those personnel cuts with many of the negative ideas coming to light again.
Why? The Defense Department recently send a number of early service termination notices to Army Captains worldwide … to include those still actively engaged in ENDURINGFREEDOM. This particular action, of course, has drawn enormous ire. At least the Clinton administration downsized a peace-time force whereas these cuts take place while combat operations are still underway.
One of the keys to being able to conduct an illegal activity in the unforeseeable future of course is to have established a life pattern that suggests plausible deniability. The Internet is rife with opportunities to do dark and devious things … but the first rule of hacking is not to shit where you eat. But perhaps that’s not always a possibility. Should you open your home network for public use NOW as a means of establishing a precedent that somebody else could have conducted the malicious activity later?
There’s of course great risk to doing this – somebody very well may actually use your connection for illegal activity or other questionable activity. But, depending on how serious you are about establishing plausible deniability, this could be a good thing. It’s not without precedent already. Comcast is already on a roll converting people’s home WiFi routers (their company’s equipment of course) into public access points. People have also long volunteered their home connections to be Tor exit nodes.
You’ve probably seen the video already from everyone sharing it on Facebook. But somebody flew a private drone through a Fourth of July fireworks display and captured some pretty awesome video inside the explosions. Of course, doing something like this is in violation of all kinds of safe operating practices and no doubt against the law. Uses like this are probably going to further limit and restrict private drone even more than the recent FAA rules that classify toy drones as illegal.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
Regardless of who you are, nobody likes the IRS. A few years back, a brouhaha emerged about potentially targeted activities against a particular political leaning. Regardless of your side, either liberal or conservative, the subsequent shenanigans should make everyone mad. Really? Of the folks at the center of the investigation, none of the individuals can produce ANY of their emails especially from the specific window of time in question? Of course, it got better when the IRS claimed that coincidentally all of those hard drives were also recycled. None of their activities can be handwaved away as a simple mistake, the Federal Records Act of 1950 is more than 60 years old and federal employees are very aware of their requirement to maintain them.