Friday, December 11, 2009

For that matter...

I don't see how Muse can claim legitimacy as an art and fashion magazine if they feel the need to coverpage the fact that Lindsey Lohan gives away a nipple.

Vanity Fair has some fairly risque shoots (read: tits and ass), without feeling the need to explicitly advertise it on their covers.

Well, I guess that's because 86% of their subscribers are women.

Still, point stands: Muse needs to get over itself. Things happen in art and what they've got is not all that special.


I always assumed Huffington Post to be kind of like Daily Kos, since people are often keen to offer commentary on its posts. Of course, I don't actually visit these sites because I like my news to be served with a competent editor but whatever.

Then I see this ad off Time:

If I didn't care much for the Huffington Posts editorials before, I will definitely be dismissive of anything sourced from it now.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Americans are always subject to laughter when their cities freeze up after 2cm of snow.

Some may justify it as a lack of snow clearing infrastructure, but that's clearly not the case.

The weather report predicted a good 15cm overnight yesterday building up to 30cm by evening tonight. By the morning there was about 5cm of snow on the ground after the morning snowplow run. But throughout the day, there was no further plowing and the storm kept brewing. By late afternoon there was a good 20cm on the ground and traffic had ground to a slow 30km/h.

I decided this to be a good time to go Christmas shopping in downtown Ottawa, and apparently I wasn't the only one.

But by the evening, the snow had largely stopped falling and with clear visibility, it was full throttle for everyone at the speed limit-with the ground still blanketed in snow! Granted, people would be exceeding the speed limit on a clear day, but I remain impressed by this feat.

My snow tires of course, are roasting in my basement and I had my all season slicks on through the whole ordeal.

Personally, I just think Canadians are ridiculous.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Kind of scary...

...the number of black ops groups the United States has.

Of particular note is the CIA's Special Activities division. These guys are so elite, they recruit from groups like Delta and ST6. Hell, Delta and ST6 are already recruiting from the Rangers and the regular SEALs, so you can say they're the best of the best of the best. Does the UK have a clandestine group drawing applicants from the SAS? Doubt it!

They go through additional training as intelligence operatives from the CIA and pick up additional skills like lock picking, high performance driving and foreign languages among other things. Then they get dropped behind enemy lines without support holding what I presume is as close an analogue to a license to kill as real life offers.

The stuff of spy novels.

On another note, Sullivan has a piece up on the Atlantic about Obama's announcement. It wasn't entirely a rational argument, but I think it appeals to a lot of people's feelings on the issue.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

I love Kanye

Super sweet videos? Lyrics so bad it's hilarious? Yes!

It’s crazy how you can go from being Joe Blow
To everybody on your dick, no homo
I bought my whole family whips, no Volvos
Next time I’m in church, please no photos

Police escorts, everybody passports
This the life that everybody ask for
This a fast life, we are on a crash course
What you think I rap for? To push a fuckin’ Rav 4?

But I know that if I stay stunting
All these girls only gon’ want one thing
I could spend my whole life good will hunting
Only good gon’ come is it’s good when I’m coming

She got an ass that’ll swallow up her G-string
And up top, uh, two bee stings
And I’m beasting, off the riesling
And my nigga just made it out the precinct

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

She's just become my favourite internet person!

I didn't even have one before!

I got linked off a Typography blog first.

Then, I found these videos:

I want to marry her. <3 <3

...maybe I just have a thing for blondes. ;)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Goddamn, your man Hov cracked the can open again!

I think Jay-Z is good because he's got Kanye's production talents without Kayne's decidedly sub-optimal lyricism.

Like an evangelist,
I can introduce you to your maker,
Bring you closer to nature
Ashes after they cremate you bastards
Hope you've been readin' your psalms and chapters
Payin' your tithes, being good Catholics
I'm comin'

I guess that's better than Klondikes and blond dykes¹.

1. Best part: オオオオ translates to "ohhhh!".

Saturday, September 12, 2009


When Wizards started printing mythic rares, they promised to make them based off of a criteria of splashiness (like angels and dragons) as opposed to a criteria of competitive power.


I guarantee this will see Vintage play. At lowest, probably Leyline of the Void levels of influence and, at worst, Trinisphere levels of environment warping.

(Well, it'll be Legacy and Extended anti-combo tech too and probably be a counter in Standard, but Vintage is more interesting isn't it?)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Affordable is a relative term

It's still in development, but the US army has been deploying the Excalibur shell for a couple years now in field testing, gradually ramping up the production numbers.

What makes the Excalibur special is that the shell is satellite guided. Yes, trust the Americans to make satellite guided artillery shells. Of course, strapping sophisticated computer and flight systems to a bomb makes the Excalibur cost about $80 000 a shot.

Of course, that is still a magnitude cheaper than firing a $400 000 Hellfire.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Kanye West might be a cockbag, but damn he has style. Just check out his PVs. I mean, it cost a million dollars! Pamela Anderson was in it, and he was jumping "across canyons and shit"! Eval Kanyevel.

I also realized today that I judge hip-hop largely by their samples, because everyone's got flow. Sorry Immortal Technique, I am not cultured enough for you.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I don't know what BMW was thinking

But they sure know how to appeal to me!

Take a look at the M5, it's a 4 door sedan.

But underneath its hood is a V10 500bhp engine. 500! That's nearly the power of a F430! Naught to 100kph in 4.7s. Of course you can change from auto to manual, but what's interesting is that there's a Launch Control button, which is an automatic shift program optimized for standing starts. It also comes with paddles and a stick, that's right, paddles in a 4 door saloon.

Best of all though, you can drive around in it and pretend you don't care about cars at all. Until you paint some racing stripes on, but that's a different matter.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm suitably impressed!

Ferguson begins playing at :48.

That is not within normal range of the trumpet by any means.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I think it's interesting that the Canadian Coast Guard is civilian and the task of protecting our coast is delegated to MARCOM. That leaves about 2 ships that are freely deployable around the world.

The American Coast Guard is a branch of its military and despite its name actually deploys its cutters around the world in soft power missions. Hell, strap some Harpoons onto the Bertholf and it's nearly a match for the Halifax class*.

*Well, not really. But hey, it has a 57mm gun and a Phalanx system, what kind of firepower do they expect to run into?

Monday, July 13, 2009

That settles it

This is actually the best show in the world.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Oh ffs!

Judging books by covers

Or How I've come to respect Akon.

This was his first album:

Notice how he's brooding and shirtless. Plus, what the hell kind of lettering is that? The line weights are completely stupid.

This is his newest album:

Look! Now he's wearing a suit! Check out the Futura, now that's classy!

I am a terrible judge of people.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

I don't think my Macbook likes Windows very much

Once in a while I get inexplicable and random shutdowns.

Also, the fan goes off a lot more often on Windows side. Usually when the fan starts whirling it means you're doing some heavy lifting processes (or your graphics card is shit and the video gets offloaded onto your CPU), but nope, my CPU activity would be hovering at 6% and my system temps at 60°C.

My only explanation is that my computer has decided I've been using XP for too long and is trying to kick me off.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

I know everyone has a crush on the Avro Arrow...

...but let's not get carried away. It was a good airplane, but it was not going to thrust Canada into air dominance and it certainly cannot take on any modern aircraft today as some people seem to believe.

The very best argument for it is that it would maintain a domestic air defense ability as well as a competitive Canadian aerospace industry. Again: competitive, not dominant.

The Avro Arrow's main call to fame (other than being Canadian) was its flight altitude and speed. These features are great assets, because it was designed as an interceptor, not an air superiority fighter. That means it has to take off, gain altitude quickly and dash out to meet opposing bombers. I don't know how many Gs it could pull, but just judging from its size and role I expect its turning radius to be measured in nautical miles. So it was suited for its job, but would probably be mediocre as a dogfighter.

The first flight of the Arrow was in 1958. What else took off during 1958? The legendary F-4 Phantom II!

How does an F-4 compare? It actually has a higher speed and operational ceiling! This may be due to the fact that its been in service longer (i.e. still in service) and has gotten numerous upgrades, but usually these would be just newer avionics or a more powerful engine, major airframe modifications just didn't happen as far as I could see. Nonetheless, its original engines outclassed the Arrow's at about 16,000 lbf vs 12,500 lbf each and it's a smaller aircraft so the thrust-weight ratio would be better. Add to the fact that it was designed to take on a fighter role and I honestly don't think the Arrow would stand much of a chance in a head on fight.

As far as taking on modern aircraft, not a chance. Firstly, speed only gets you so far (this was demonstrated during the Falklands War). In fact, the JSF and F-22 are substantially slower than the F-15 in terms of maximum speed. Secondly, modern air warfare is entirely dependent on avionics. An F/A-18F with its souped-up APG-79 can actually fire an AMRAAM and hit a target flying behind itself.

And Super Hornets aren't even real air superiority fighters!

So there you have it. Was shutting it down a bad move? Perhaps, but I feel Diefenbaker gets way too much flak for the project cancellation. Canada should get over itself.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


MacRuby integrates with Xcode and allows calling Objective-C libraries directly through Ruby.

MacRuby 0.5 will use some derivative of the LLVM over YARV, which means Ruby will finally have a compiler. Or at least a compiler in the same sense as Java.

Now I just need to 1) find the time to figure out how it all works exactly and 2) come up with an app idea that I'd want to make.

What about Windows you ask? Well uh... <_<

I don't think Ruby.NET is going to happen like ever. Maybe they'll shove all its features into C# just like everything else and call it a day.

Anyone remember Visual Java? Lolol.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rude awakenings

You know those things that you knew once but forgot later in order to make room for other things? Like that time you deleted common tropical fish illnesses in order to learn about humanist typefaces?

Okay that was probably just me.

There was also that other time I learned calculus and promptly discarded all my knowledge on completing the square ('haha' I said to myself, I'll find my quadratic vertexes through derivatives now!).

Then shit like ∫1/sqrt(3x² - 2x + 1) dx started showing up and suddenly I wished I hadn't started just throwing past mathematical knowledge out willy-nilly.

I can still tell my Fluvals from my Filstars though. Ask me about canister filters sometime.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

And my CS adventure of the day

Today I suddenly realized that I could curry in Ruby (I was using the 1.8.6 framework at the time, so I'd have to write my own method).

Currying is basically the concept that you can decompose a function...

e.g. f(x,y,z) = x + 2y + 3z


g(x) = x + h(y)
where h(y) = 2y + i(z)
where i(z) = 3z

Now obviously I feel a need to show off my new found skills, so I thought to myself, when would this ever be useful? I asked around and nobody seemed to have a good answer. At that point, Google was my only recourse and to my delight it actually returned a thread on Ruby Forum.

Apparently Ruby 1.9.1 has a curry method built-in (also some new syntax, which is nice) and people there were trying to figure out what it's good for.

"It's not difficult at all,
proc {|x, y, z| x + y + z }.curry
returns the proc object equivalent to
proc {|x| proc {|y| proc {|z| x + y + z } } }"

"Uh, how do we call that?
What problem does that solve?"

"this one:
plus_five = proc {|x,y,z| x + y + z }
plus_five[10] #=> 15"

I gave a good chortle at this point, because the not retarded way of doing the same thing would just be:

sum = proc{|x,y,z| x + y + x}
plus_five = proc{|x| sum[x,2,3]}
plus_five[10] #=> 15

Which is pretty much what people have been doing since forever in imperative languages. It's also more flexible because plus_five doesn't have to be {|x| sum[x,2,3]}, it could just as easily be {|y| sum[2,y,3]}.

So where does this leave me? Well, I still have no idea what use currying is for. I hope someone can give me a practical example outside of Lisp, because being able to do this:

f = proc{|a,b,c| a + b + c}.curry
g = f[1][2]
puts g[3] #=> Outputs 6 actually pretty cool.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A startling realization...

My collection of pirated Adobe fonts has a far greater market value than my collection of pirated Adobe software.

I have well over $300 worth of Garamond alone. <_<


Sunday, May 24, 2009


It's interesting to see John Kricfalusi praise the excellent composition of Dennis the Menace.

While David Malki comes down hard on the flat gags.

Though to be fair, Malki does give praise the draftsmanship quality.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The worst kind of show

One that ends in terrible trainwreck, but with enough redeeming qualities that you just can't forget about it and all that's left is the sadness of knowing what it could've been.

Macross F, it could've been so good.

Its soundtrack is so good.

But every time I listen to it, I am left with a hollow feeling.

I leave you with episode 6, prelude to the first major battle and before the series' rapid descent into awful territory.

Diamond Crevasse begins 19 minutes in.

Friday, May 08, 2009

"Don't worry. I have...the source code"

int main (){
return 0;

RIP Duke Nukem.

Friday, May 01, 2009


I've thought about talking on this a while ago, but an article came up so I'll just link to it instead.

In the case of Somalia, it gets even messier because in addition to EU NAVFOR and NATO, we have CTF-151, all of which have different command structures and RoE despite overlapping constituent countries. For instance, Canada is serving under NATO but is also expected to contribute to CTF-151*. Turkey is in EU but will also be flying flag for CTF-151. Greece flew flag for EU and is also part of NATO.

HMCS Winnipeg has already performed a catch and release because NATO RoE doesn't allow them to do anything else. I'm not sure if that would change under CTF-151; on one hand there was the Maersk Alabama incident, on the other hand a hostage situation is different from finding some guys and guns on a trawler.

*I'm not entirely sure how since MARCOM basically only has 2 vessels free for overseas deployment at a time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I was all ready to make a Vocaloid PV. But then I kind of lost the desire to after I installed Processing and Sonia.

Processing is...interesting. I like how the version that doesn't come with JDK on their site is titled "expert" in the file name. I also like that when you click import library on the menu, all it does is add a header that says import whatever.

I've also finally replaced NetBeans with Eclipse. Interesting fact: the only Canadian mirror happens to be UW's Computer Science Club.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Courtesy The Atlantic

I've been going through The Atlantic's podcasts.

Here's one on Afghanistan.

It follows a Canadian unit out on operations, I enjoyed the typical Canadian reservedness of the narration. Much better than the stuff generally linked on millblogs.

It's also interesting to see the Canadians on patrol being controlled and methodical under fire, like when they were tag teaming with the M203 and semi-automatic fire. In contrast to the the Afghan army man shooting blind from the hips. That's the difference in training.

The Atlantic in general is pretty quality, it's nice to see comments that are for the most part legible and rational, even if I disagree with them. Compared that to Wired's comments, which are about a half step above those of YouTube.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I don't really like JSF

People always compare it the F-16, that's not really the case. The F-16 was affordable and had a flawless development process.

As far as the F-35 goes, its final price would be comparable to the Raptor for worse air to air capabilities (worse stealth, no supercruise, worse radar). The thing is, F-22 R&D is done with, so the flyaway cost goes down per aircraft while the F-35 still has all sorts of the issues that will inflate its flyaway cost. Even if the costs remain as listed (I guarantee it won't), I think I'd rather take a Raptor and a couple of Predator-Cs over 2 JSFs. Jack of all trades and master of none type of thing. You don't need an entire air force made of stealth, once the tricky targets have been taken out, legacy aircraft are perfectly capable of holding the line (assuming their airframes hold out). Plus the F-35 is supposed to take on the role of A-10s when they retire. That is a really shitty idea no matter how you look at it.

There are basically three aspects that JSF has over Raptor; export, CV and STOVL. Export isn't a huge deal except for Lockheed Martin, Europe/Australia/Canada have a lot of viable alternatives (Rafale, Eurofighter, Gripen NG, etc) and carrier air isn't huge either. The F/A-18E/Fs aren't great dogfighters but they're adequate and fine jets otherwise; alternatively, Rafales are quite nice and they're CVN-68 compatible with no modification.

STOVL would be a problem though. The Harrier IIs are getting old and they're going to need to be replaced with something. They're also notoriously difficult to fly. Just removing the capability is not really an option, USMC needs their air support.

In summary, the justifications I can think of for the JSF program:

1. F-35B
2. ???

That's a pretty short list. I think it could've been trimmed shorter if people weren't so eager to shovel their money into a black hole to begin with.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Looks good

Boeing has just unveiled the F-15SE Silent Eagle. It's an upgraded Strike Eagle with a smaller radar cross-section, internal weapons bays and AESA radar. Boeing has been pretty good with delivering Growlers and Super Hornets on time and on budget, so they'll probably do good with this too.

Still, $100 million projected unit cost? That's compared to $80 million (flyaway) for the JSF and $45 million for the Super Hornet. Even if JSF's cost goes up (in all liklihood it will), I can't see this as a very attractive buy. Especially since the Raptor itself is 'just' $135 million (flyaway), and purchases have been stopped.

Perhaps the USAF will take the option of upgrading their current fleet. I don't think the Strike Eagles are running into airframe problems yet, they're quite a bit newer than the A/Cs. Probably not though, stealth becomes kind of unnecessary after air dominance has been achieved by the frontline fighters, even the upgraded radar becomes not that useful when you can just augment an F-15 wing with an F-22 to track. Boeing is targeting the export market anyways.

On a semi-related note, I hope the JSF turns out to be all that they say it's going to be, otherwise Western air superiority is going to be in a lot of trouble.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Fuck Dubai

I hope Dubai sinks into the sea.

Caste structure aside, the sheer stupidity of people with too much money is ridiculous. Where else in the world would you try to cool beaches with pipes buried in the sand?

They've built a city in the middle of a desert. A true desert, where you actually can't stand outside because it's too hot and dust storms will blow through every now and then. Then they built a ski resort. And a golf course.

It's like Las Vegas taken to an extreme, but at least Las Vegas isn't building little islands off the coast in the shape of palm trees, which by the way, will get wrecked by rising sea levels like sandcastles on a beach.

I'm not angry that their citizens are filthy rich, but I'm taken aback at the incredibly dumb things they're throwing their money at. Hell, Antarctica is more hospitable than that place. At least then you wouldn't need to produce all your water from the sea.

Their PR though I admit is fantastic.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Japan is not worried about North Korea

You see, their capabilities extend beyond Airborne Lasers, Aegis BMD, Patriot batteries and THAAD.

As illustrated above, a missile in mid-course would also have to contend with space battleships, Eva, Gundams and magical lolis.

...and if all else fails, deflect to America.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Titles optional

For all the bad media, the American military is damn good at warfighting. It's true that their upper echelons have made (i.e. still making) terrible decisions and the whole American military complex is a huge clusterfuck, but even if you put a squad of US soldiers into an ambush situation--outgunned, outnumbered and without close air--they will come out on top.

While the initial gunslinging bravado of the US Army has given way to a new counter-insurgency docterine, the rest of NATO is still struggling to adapt as their peacemakers come under heavier attack.

Iraq is well on its way to recovery whether because of the surge or the Anbar Awakening (I'd vouch for the latter), but on the homefront people have been losing their stomach for war.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan are slipping back into Taliban grips. Pakistan is especially inept at this fighting business so the US Army really needs to be there. [1]

So, can America keep up the momentum and capitalize on their bloody gains or will everything come falling down like a house of cards?

1. Quiz time: what should your main battle tanks do when they encounter insurgents? Hint: full reverse is not the correct answer.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Battlestar Galactica

So, I've had 4 different blogs in 3 different folders on my RSS aggregator bring up the Battlestar Galactica finale.

Including a personal finance blog and a paramedic blog.

I don't know what this says about me as a person.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Fighting piracy with Aegis cruisers

Absolutely ridiculous.

The Russians are even worse, blowing up pirate skiffs with a Cold War era 28 000 ton nuclear battlecruiser.

Well, maybe not

Doesn't America have any better idea than to fight fishing trawlers with ships excess of 3000 tons?

1. They actually are, since Boxer is replacing San Antonio on station, it makes sense looking at it as a logistics ship with air capability rather than a 40 000 ton aircraft carrier, whereas the Kirovs are arsenal ships pure and simple. I'm just being a troll. Alternatively: Boxer can launch an invasion on Somalia by itself.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


You can see what type of developers Ruby attracts:

It's scary and awesome all at once.

Scarily awesome.

edit: For the record, I found the guide to be too ADD even for me and I was upset that shoes isn't actually a GUI library, it's just its own development environment that uses Ruby.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

GTFO my Ruby, C users

Alternatively: Lies revisited.

It's often stated that Ruby has no primitives, everything is an object. That's not true, rather almost everything is actually a pointer to an object. There is also one primitive: int. They've just been made to behave as objects through other means. Ints are primitive as an interpreter optimization, since you're going to be storing int values in pointers, there isn't much to be gained in constantly creating int objects and then pointing to it, at least in Ruby's case.

What's really interesting is the objects:

a = 'hello world'
b = a
a = 'goodbye world'

puts a #outputs goodbye world
puts b #outputs hello world

Wait, what happened there? Well, since Ruby is meant to be intuitive (this isn't C after all), we don't want to be dealing with all this pointer nonsense. Everything is made to behave as though they were passing by value, so treating everything as an object works. Mostly. What actually happens behind the scenes is that b still points to the old value, but when a is changed, a new value is created and a is redirected to that. If we change b as well, then our garbage collector sees that 'hello world' is unref'd and reclaims the memory (this isn't C goddammit).

Ruby gives us some options for changing values directly:

a = 'hello world'
b = a
a.replace('goodbye world')

puts a #outputs goodbye world
puts b #outputs goodbye world

In addition to that, there are a number of bang (!) functions, which behave like their counterparts except that they modify values directly. The ! signifies that they're dangerous.

So what happens? Well, knowing this information, a user decides to suggest in a thread that Ruby ought to have pointers to pointers so he can do things like he could in C.

Because .replace is too messy.

Nevermind that Java gets along just fine without any.

Fucking C.

Yeah, that was a long setup to a bad punchline. I know. I also know that the interpreter was coded in C.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Rediscovering ternary operators

Check out this factorial function, now not even error handling can increase my line numbers!

factorial = lambda{|x| x<0 ? 'error':(x==0 ? 1:(1..x).inject{|x,y| x*y })}

This is just what came to mind, it could handle strings as well if you add in another ternary. What's really interesting now is that when you combine ternaries with iterators you have the two major control structures: if statements and for loops. That means you can conceivably create some massively complex functions in just one line. One long incomprehensible line, but one line nonetheless.

Of course, even the most fanatical Ruby developer wouldn't actually do this because the code would look ridiculous.

I think.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Bits and Funnels

Apparently Block III Apaches are supposed to have the capability to control Fire Scouts from their cockpits. Imagine that, an attack helicopter tailed by a swarm of smaller attack helicopters. I'm pretty sure that Fire Scouts can pack Hellfires too.

This is one of those things that sound ridiculous yet awesome at the same time. You know, like it shouldn't work in real life but apparently does anyways.

On a different note, why are Perry class ships still designated FFGs? The Mk-13s have been removed years ago!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Itt: Lies

People often talk about how readable Ruby is, how a person who's never seen a computer program could just about understand what's happening. After all, the clean syntax is what initially attracted me to Ruby. As it turns out though, that's only true if you're writing in the imperative.

For instance, this is how you'd be expected to write a summation function in something like Java:

def summation1 (n)
  if n == 0
    return 0
    return n + summation1(n-1)

puts summation1(3) #Outputs 6

That's readable even to the layperson right? Except spoilers: nobody actually uses Ruby that way. Let's try something else then:

def summation2 (n)
  a =
  n.times {|x| a << x)
  return a.inject {|x,y| x+y }

puts summation2(3) #Outputs 6

Okay, I admit that was a bit contrived. But you can see where this is leading:

summation3 = lambda {|x| (1..x).inject {|x,y| x+y }}
p summation3[3] #Outputs 6

What. Did I get hit by the Haskell train or something?

Basically what I'm trying to say is, Ruby is a very concise and elegant language. But with so many shortcuts built in, its general readability does suffer. At least for people not familiar with this kind of functionality. That said, condensing 8 lines of code into 2 only makes me enjoy Ruby more, not less.

Note: That is not a typo in example 3, there is indeed a shortcut for puts. People don't tend to use it so much though, or at least I don't.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Such precision targeting

I subscribed to a new feed called Concept Art World.

...and realized I wanted to buy every advertised item that came up in the sidebar.

Intuos + Painter 11 bundle?
Art of Watchmen the Movie?
Compilation book of Massive Black?

Too bad my monies are going towards education or I'd be throwing bucket fulls of cash at their advertisers.

Alternatively: Good thing my monies are going towards education or I'd be throwing bucket fulls of cash at their advertisers.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

5 stars!

It's a pun!

Also, it's Soph's fault for linking me to something so terrible.

Friday, February 06, 2009

On Displacement

I was a bit shocked when I found out that the CG(X) was mandated by Congress to have nuclear propulsion. Okay, that's a bit unnecessary, but it does offer strategic benefits and you can power a hell of a radar with all that electricity.

Then I found out that after disappearing off the map for a while, it's reappeared and planned to be displacing 22 000 tons.

What the fuck?

How does anyone manage to justify such a massive ship? The current Ticos it's going to be replacing are "only" 9600 tons. The first all big-gunned battleship HMS Dreadnought was only 18 000 tons. Hell, Britain's STOVL carrier HMS Ark Royal is 20 000 tons. It's going to be impossible to build enough of these to maintain a meaningful presence. It's so ridiculous that people are theorizing that the USN is trying to get the class canceled.

One would hope so, a CCGN is definitely not what the world needs.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Sometimes I confuse pretension with credibility

I blame fashion magazines and New York journalism.

Maybe I should be reading The Economist instead of The New Yorker.

I also like to note that the former was spot on about Abkhazia, before the Georgian conflict even happened. That's pretty quality.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Nobody gets nukes right

First of all, they're not that powerful. I'm sick of science fiction doing things like restarting the Earth's core or restarting the Sun with nukes. Both objects output far, far more energy than any nuclear device we could build. For that matter, it's not like a nuclear bomb will irradiate all life forever, people live just fine in Hiroshima right now.

Secondly, most anyone who doubts nukes should have been dropped in WWII is an idiot. America had pretty much razed every industrial city in Japan to the ground with bombs by the war's close. They were saving Hiroshima and Nagasaki almost expressly to demonstrate their new toys. Even ignoring the potential Japanese deaths in the event of a ground invasion, can anyone give a rationale for the American government to spend more American lives in some futile war? Probably the most sound argument against the decision is that it had let the cat out of the bag so to speak, and led to an arms race. But in all likelihood, that would have happened anyways, just a matter of when.

Thirdly, why do people think it's more preferential to have coal plants pump sulfur directly into the air over nuclear waste being buried under some mountain in Nevada? It's not like you're ever going to visit the site or anything. Besides that, the nuclear waste isn't unmanageable, it could be used to generate power in breeder reactors, the only problem is that the aforementioned reactors outputs weapons-grade material and is banned by treaties. I don't know if there's a solution to that clause, maybe if the nuclear party bought other people's waste or something.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Don't get me wrong

I'm not saying Israel is right or anything.

But is Hamas stupid or something? Every time they provoke a fight they get owned. And not in a "oh that was a close one, good game" kind of way. More like the first round is over with the scoreboard standing at ~1200 to 13 and Hamas is hoping for a comeback during the second kind of way.

Hamas is like that guy who won't stop throwing rocks at Israel, but every time he does so, Israel comes to his house and proceeds shoots him and his extended family with a shotgun.

Then, whilst bleeding on the ground, proclaims victory over the infidels!

Like, do they hope Israel just runs out of bullets eventually or something?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

F-22s are quite something

I just discovered that they have a phased array system (AN/APG-77). And F/A-35s are going to be using the AN/APG-81, a derivative of the same system.

Not only that, the aforementioned radars are both active phased arrays. Those planes are going to be capable of some missile slinging madness. Or at least some missile acquisition madness, they really don't have that many munitions to sling on their own.

But what's cool is that with all its avionics, an F-22 can act as a miniature AWACS bird and designate targets for friendlies.

For comparison, the F-15 doesn't have a phased array at all and none of the current Aegis ships (even the ballistic intercept capable ones) have an active phased array system.

The DDG-1000 will have an active system, but they're quite something else. And not in a good way.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Palm Pre is pretty beautiful

Bear in mind that I was completely ambivalent (and I still am) towards the the iPhone. This on the other hand, is quite the sexy. Plus everything uses like mouse gestures, I love mouse gestures.

More here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Two guns? Who does he think he is? Master Chief?

So I've been playing Armored Core.

This game is ridiculous, but not because your mech decimates entire fleets at a time, I take that for granted. It's because I swear you need like 4 thumbs to play it properly or you need to be a newtype. Either or.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

ITT: PS3 not as unaffordable as previously thought

Apparently, the PS3's cell processor is extremely well suited to performing certain operations. At least enough to warrant building a cluster as pictured. I'd tell you more, but there was too much math so I quit.

Managed and acquired by Arjen Lenstra's Laboratory for Cryptologic Algorithms (LACAL) with funding from EPFL's Domaine IT and a matching funds grant from the Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique, in collaboration between LACAL, the Laboratoire d'ingénierie numérique (LIN) and the Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas (CRPP).