Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

1836 flintlock pistol (minus the flint) by Asa Waters, Millbury, Massachusetts.

From the opening of Chapter 18 of Gun Machine by Warren Ellis. Recommended by Roberta X (I think).

Stringer 'fucking' Bell was the brains behind the Barksdale organization in The Wire. The picture of the pistol a free bonus, because I had to (compelled, I was) to look it up yesterday. It is the same model as the oldest one that was found in 'the room' in the book.

Washington County Weapons

The Detroit Free Press has a database of military equipment the Federal government has donated to local police departments, so I thought I would take a look and see what we have here. All I found was a couple of dozen rifles, no tanks or armored cars. Although it doesn't say, these rifles are probably scary, black ones. They came from the military after all. The value of these weapons is what caught my eye: $138 for an M16 assault rifle?!?! That's like 10% of what a semi-auto version would cost at your local gun shop. Then again, if it had been drug around Afghanistan for the last ten years it might be pretty well beat to death, in which case that value might be accurate.

Via Comrade Misfit.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Terminator Prophecy

The future is coming. Iaman sent us this video which sparked an email discussion amongst my far flung correspondents.
Presumably some small set of humans will want to continue to exist. I mean, what's  the point of deliberately marginalizing yourself?  I guess that will be those few humans who control the bots and benefit from their labor.

So is this an argument in favor of controlling human reproduction, to avoid a world of disenfranchised losers?  (Although that describes our current world. ). Or an argument in favor of continuing to bolster the underclasses, so they will ultimately revolt in violent anarchy?

I imagine the future equilibrium will look much as it does today: a minuscule ruling ownership class; a subsidized middle class kept just happy enough to prevent them from revolting, and a vast disenfranchised  underclass clinging against all good judgement to existence. 

On the plus side we'll probably cure cancer, get rid of cars, and be able to fly to Japan for $3.

- California Bob

That's a provocative thought:

"clinging against all good judgement to existence".

I remember some jackass Congressman claiming that if you gave people welfare the first thing they did was have more babies. It is kind of the right-wing mantra.

I would like to prove scientifically that that is horseshit.

Worldwide, and presumably species-wide, the wealthiest have the lowest birthrates. The poorest have the highest. Why is that?

Hypothesis: It's because each individual of the species will do what it takes to ensure the continuation of it's genetic code. Without the economic means to assure survival of a limited number of offspring, they produce more.

Fat, happy educated people understand that the genetics mean next to nothing, and manage to suppress or re-direct the code drive toward economic continuity.

To correlative of this hypothesis is that reducing the share of economic wealth to the poor will result in no less a percentage of the population being impoverished. In the age of information, it's a matter of time when even the poorest realize all they have to do is organize, rise up and chop off the right heads.

- Irba

Yep it's a matter of time. Time thus far has been 10,000 years of modern human history.

I do agree though that communication has undergone radical change even in the past 10 years. So maybe the time is nigh.

I'm betting even with communication the poor wont be able to get their act together.

I would like to prove scientifically that if you provide people with welfare / launch a "war on poverty" if you will -- that we would still have poor people. Hmmm, how could one do that?

- California Bob

I should have said it differently "Can any given population segment of a physically segmented species be shown to have increase birth rates dues to privation, and if so, at what point will that birthrate fall off, and point eventually to extinction of that population segment?"

I mean, that's what the policies seem to be now. Cutbacks in taxation, education, food assistance and infrastructure may correlate to increased birth rates of the poorest and consequent growth of welfare

Internet communication is partly how we elected a black man to Presidency.

And you know all the right-wing nuts claim that those welfare moms just buy fancy smartphones for their 19 kids. That, and that Pres. Obama is the harbinger of the Apocalypse

They took a stab at it with the FCC regulations regarding net neutrality.

As the world moves more toward people voting who look at the Internet, versus those who watch TV commericals from the Barcalounger, other things will change also.

Sorry, I'm feeling pretty good lately.

- Irba

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Girls with Guns

Dhanpur, India, August 11, 2014. Soldiers patrol along India-Bangladesh border in India's northeastern state of Tripura.


Dustbury put up a tweet from this entity, and since I've been watching The Wire recently I immediately translated these call letters into Well, F*** Me Up, which makes me wonder who would use such an acronym, so I followed the links until I got a live streaming connection and I heard something I had never heard before and that I also liked, a rare combination.

Actually, I think the last call letter stands for underground, or possibly under the influence. The first one, the W, is one of the two standards for the USA. The next two, FM, are presumably to distinguish it from all the chatter on the AM band, i.e. Frequency Modulation, the gold standard for broadcasting hi-fidelty music over the air. Kids, ask your grandparents.

Logo via Free Lab Radio.

Teaching the Art of Swiss Watchmaking

Final assembly of a 4x scale model.

In 2001, Rolex established LWT as their contribution towards addressing the major challenge that concerns the entire watch industry – the shortage of watchmakers who are qualified to service the high-end brands.
The shortage originated in the 1980’s when the quartz watch debut threatened the future of the mechanical watch and the demand for highly-qualified watchmakers. The result was a dramatic drop in the number of watchmaking schools in the U.S. (from 40 twenty-five years ago to less than 10 today).
However, in the 1990’s, sales of high-grade mechanical watches began to rebound and continue to grow. Since mechanical watches require routine servicing to clean, lubricate and calibrate, the industry is faced with a large and growing number of high-grade watches that will require skilled maintenance.
Over the years our curriculum evolved in many ways to meet the current need for full-fledged watchmakers in the United States. The encouraging results of this evolution did not go unnoticed in the industry; resulting in the creation of a new certification body – SAWTA…Swiss American Watchmakers Training Alliance.
Via Posthip Scott.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Via Grit in the Gears. It's a parody of "Royals" by Lorde, in case the name of the tune didn't immediately pop into your mind. It didn't for me.

Family obligations have upset my routine, making blogging a somewhat catch-as-catch can affair. Things should calm down in a couple of weeks. Or not.