Thursday, February 26, 2009

Consumption vs Creation

I was playing with an iphone today and realized a better way of putting what I dont like about it.

I am sure someone else has made this observation, but the iphone is designed for consumption of information. It works great when you are reading your email, reading news, etc. It is not as good at email creation, news writing, etc.

Consumption of information seems to be fastest for me when it is visual. Creation of information is fastest for me when doing something physical (typing on a keyboard).

I think that explains a bit about why I like the netbook idea better, I can create with it, rather than just consume.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have a crush.

On netbooks.

I want a netbook. I don't really know why, as I don't have a good use case right now. but they seem cool.

I don't think I can jump on the iphone/android type platform just yet. Touch screens are nice (hmm, touch screen on a netbook?) but you are limited to doing things that someone allowed you to do and deemed important enough to get screen real estate.

Many of the programs that I use require ctrl or alt keys to get things done(or the program that manages my programs). I already routinely use a computer with about the same or less computing power relative to those platforms so that is not an issue.

I wonder what will sell computers soon. If you don't have a bunch of silly stuff running, you can get away with surprisingly little computing power. Everyone doesn't need a desktop. Multiple processors is nice, but mainstream programmers can't code for them yet

Note: Don't take this as an reason to get me a netbook for birthday/Christmas. I most likely will end up a few gens behind the current best and be very happy (ie: when I get one for $40 in two years)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Running/Pushups update

I am still running MWF. It is still cold outside some times. I haven't really increased the mileage yet, but I am planning to start. Only doing 1.3ish miles.

I also started one hundred pushups. I redid week 1, and am now restarting week2. (that puts me midway through the 4th week). I would rather do 100 good form pushups than 100 half assed ones. The last day of week 2 was not really done well. I think I might take 12 weeks to do the program instead of 6. I don't know that it really matters how quickly I get to 100 pushups.

Hoping to do a 5k early april and a 10k in early July.

DWM quote from the mailing list

the quote:

I will say this, I love DWM though I do not completely understand it
yet. It makes me feel like a man.

by I. Khider

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

International arms sales

I was reading an article in avweek and had the following thoughts.

The article was about the LCA competition in India. The program started in 1983 and IOC is supposed to be 2012. Since the Indians needed some management help with the testing program, they turned to either a European group of companies or Boeing. Boeing lost out because of US trade laws regarding the transfer of military technology.

This is all important to Boeing because there is a multi-role aircraft competition in India for the "next size up" from the LCA. The Indians want to be able to build everything in India, so that they won't need us for the next set of planes. Boeing still (I assume) wants to win.

So, long story short, the article made me feel like ITAR restrictions were known as a bad thing and that the United States Government should remove the restrictions to help US companies win contracts.

Now I know that everyone wants jobs here, but I don't know that it makes sense in this case. We would basically be selling blue prints and know how. I don't see too many US jobs being created. We lose important technology that other people can not build. In addition, the USG sponsored the development of the military technologies. Why does Boeing get to profit off of them while giving the technology away? Is it the role of the USG to develop and then give away expensive technologies to other countries? I mean, it almost looks like a pissing contest. Everyone wants their country's weapons systems to be sold everywhere. If you lose, your weapons systems just aren't man enough to last in a war.

I don't see giving away our competitive advantage to someone that desperately needs it. You can not use the argument that the Indians would have developed it anyway, why shouldn't we profit. Now, if you use the argument that the Europeans would develop it and give it to India, you might have a point. But our stuff is better than the stuff from Europe so at least they are a bit behind. The European stuff is not developed, so they would have to spend large amounts of money to do so.

I would like to see more US companies winning contracts and the ITAR restrictions are a hindrance. I think we need to think harder about the long term effects of reducing ITAR restrictions. I know that we depend on foreign sales to drive down the cost, but should we be giving away the skills and information needed to improve on the system? I would hate for us to show everyone what we know right now for profit and then be replaced by them in the future. In the end, we need a balance between the current need for profit/more units and future business/competitive advantage.

One thing I haven't mentioned is the hard to measure gain that we get from working closely with another nation. The more cooperation between nations the greater the chance that they will work together on other tasks. Having a Boeing or Lockheed plane win the MRCA competition would make it easier for Indian forces to deploy with American forces.

Hearts and Minds

I was reading Parameters on the can over the weekend and found this interesting quote taken from FM 3-24.

I am going to quote FM 3-24, the person was using this quote to explain where someone misunderstood "Hearts and Minds"

"Hearts" means persuading people that their best interests are served by COIN success. "Minds" means convincing them that the force can protect them and that resisting it is pointless. Note that neither concerns whether people like soldiers and Marines. Calculated self-interest, not emotion, is what counts

Interesting. Seems that almost everyone uses it wrong. I always assumed that it meant that you got the people to like you. In reality, its a less stringent condition, that they just believe that it would be better if they worked with you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Old Trick

I was the victim of a very old trick.

Imagine two lovebirds in a recession,

Girl: Its all recession-y. Lets not give valentines.
Guy: Ok, that sounds logical. Deal. *spits in hand to shake*

...time passes... and Valentine's Day approaches.

Girl: Surprise! I got you a very thoughtful card, chocolates, and a new candy that you have never tried!
Guy: Um... I got you this card?

Moral: Never fall for the Valentine's Fake-out and always get something huge.

Too bad.

Passed by a small margin (54% to 46%), Chavez removed term limits.

I feel sorry for the Venezuelan people.

Seems smart money does too
Venezuela Government Bonds Drop as Chavez Wins Bid to Run Again

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Miles per gallon

Every time I tell someone that I get 100 mpg and travel 10 miles a day on my scooter people focus on the 100 mpg. "1 gallon every 2 weeks" also seems impressive. Upon reflecting on it, the main benefit is really the low mileage that I travel. I travel very low mileage. I travel 10 miles per day, commuters from the suburbs travel at around 50 miles per day. Even at 100 mpg, they are still using 10x the amount of gas that I am. I know that everyone can not have such a short commute, but it seems that one way to reduce the gallon/$GDP would be to work on making work closer to home.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Shooting last week

I went shooting last last monday and then on last sunday.

My little sister happened to be at both. At first she was closing her eyes before the shot and jerking the trigger. She would hit t0 the right. I told her a few tips about breathing, sight picture, and trigger squeeze, then she hit two balloons with the first two shots. Since we both new about her new skill, she did it again on the second outing but only one shot this time. Of course, she quit while she was ahead, which was smart.

First outing we shot at this steel bucket that we hung from a tree with some rope. Also some reactive targets of old decaying logs and balloons. Fairly close range.

Second outing was with Andy, my sisters, and Sara. My older sister did very good for her first time out and tried everything that we brought. We got to do realistic pistol drills (which taught us alot) and some closer-range rifle work. One of the pistol drills was four balloons setup in a square configuration. The idea was two people, chest and head. Both of us attempted going quickly though the shots and tried to get all of the balloons. We both used a full mag of 7 shots. We eventually went out to 200 yards (approx) for some rifle work. The problem was that at that time we thought we were at about 400 yards (so yeah, we learned that we can't estimate distance worth anything). I need to work on a good way to estimate distances, we over estimated the size of a paper plate and were waaay off. I almost hit a 2L bottle at 200 yards with the mosin, but I was using the 400m setting so I was always a bit high. I tried to compensate, but never got closer than 0.5-1ft (estimated using a scope on the other rifle to watch the shots). Andy hit the bottle with his shot using his rifle with a scope (.308 instead of 7.62x54R). I did hit some 4-6 inch logs at 200 yards, not on the first shots though. Many many shots on the 2L bottle, but no dice.

So, I might scope the mosin. Everything works great and I cleaned everything this time, you can definately see the benefits of certain action types vs others. We loved the new location and the freedom of shooting stuff in the woods.