Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Sunday, October 19, 2014

LCS 7 Detroit Side Launch

The Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the nation's seventh Littoral Combat Ship into the Menominee River on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. The future LCS Detroit was formally christened prior to her launch by Mrs. Barbara Levin. Barbara is Senator Carl Levin's wife. He is a Democrat from Michigan.

This is screen shot from Google Maps. When the satellite images get updated, the boat won't be there any more.

Okay, Lockheed I've heard of, but the Menominee River? Where's that? Turns out it forms part of the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It empties into Lake Michigan. About 50 miles North of Green Bay.

Update: Just realized that the boat in the video and the boat on the map are facing opposite directions. Did they turn it around before they launched it? Or are we looking at two different boats?

Power Generation in Zimbabwe

Power Generation in Zimbabwe - CCTV Africa

Red China is financing a big power plant upgrade in Zimbabwe. I wonder how that is going to turn out. You may recall that Zimbabwe underwent the world's most impressive inflation up until 2009, at which point the government gave up on their own money and they started using foreign currency*. President of Zimbabwe and dictator-for-life Robert Mugabe is the world's worst leader and possibly the worst person on the planet. I wonder who is going to come out on top of this deal, China or Mugabe? Mugabe is a shit, but Red China can be ruthless. With a billion dollars at stake I expect China will take this deal seriously. When (not if) Mugabe tries to pull some kind of sleazy deal, I expect the Chinese will straighten him out in short order.
    But then again, maybe not. This is Africa, and Mugabe may somehow get away with ripping off the Chinese.
    Meanwhile, China is making a big fuss about a bunch of uninhabited islands between them and their offshore neighbors. I suspect this is just a big show to distract everyone while they make a big push into Africa in their quest for oil.

*If you want a piece of this historical debacle you can buy real 100-trillion Zimbabwean dollars at Amazon.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Princess Chelsea - The Cigarette Duet

The video is amusing, the tune is not bad. There is a message in there but it's barely noticeable. Some people (rumor has it) are using nicotine patches for the effect (the nicotine high, such as it is), not because they want to quit smoking. I mean these folks never smoked, so there was no quitting involved.

Casablanca gambling? I'm shocked!

Tam has an article about used guns on Shooting Illustrated. The comments on her related Facebook post are very entertaining, and that's where I found this gem. I've seen it before, but it's the perfect crown for all the computerized hassles I've been having.

Musical Targets

Via Stu.


There's an idea kicking around somewhere out there in the lun-i-sphere that somehow all the computers connected to the internet are going to join together to become self aware, i.e. intelligent, and they're calling this idea 'singularity'.

Remember a week or two ago when there was a big fuss about the 'Russians' supposedly hacking into ten of the biggest banks in the USA and how it was an act of war or state sponsored terrorism?

Last night we tried to watch Blue Ruin and Netflix failed to deliver. This was our second attempt. We tried last weekend and the same thing happened. We get about five or ten minutes into the show and a Loading... message comes on the screen and never goes away. Okay, 'never' might be putting it a little strong. No amount of button pushing would convince it to proceed.

Today I tried to contact Netflix on the web to inform (bitch) about this problem and I'm getting mysterious web errors. So I call (using a telephone) and in short order I'm connected to a real person (by 'short order' I mean less than two minutes). The nice lady I am talking to is having trouble with her computer system. It's being very slow and I can hear her muttering under her breath. I enjoyed it, made her seem more like a real person, not some soulless corporate drone. (As always, your mileage may vary, but in this case, if it does, you are wrong.)

While I am typing this message Blogger keeps flashing little pink warning messages at the top of the screen telling me it's having problems.

Thor VS Giants

Last week Coding Game* suffered a server crash and they lost some user files. Now these are some pretty savvy computer dudes and they suffered a server crash? How embarrassing. They seem to have recovered. Matter of fact, if they hadn't told me about it I would not have even noticed.

Just now Blogger put this message up.

We won't even talk about all the pictures of mine that Blogger has lost. Several posts to the help forum have elicited only idiotic responses. I think it happened because I signed up for Google Plus once upon a time, didn't like what it did to Picasa, so I reverted to ordinary Google, and all this plussing and minusing confused Blogger. That's what I get for not following the herd. Buck the powers that be and they will squash you flat and not even notice.

So the Singularity might be coming, it just won't be the one the lunatic fringe is praying for. It will be more like a physic's singularity where everything just stops because all the electrons have gotten sucked into a virtual black hole.

Update: Remember Moore's law? About how computers will double in processing power every two years? How about the corollary? Ever heard this one,  also from Gordon Moore:
"It can't continue forever. The nature of exponentials is that you push them out and eventually disaster happens"

P.S. I forgot to mention that HBOGO quit working on my ROKU box a couple of weeks ago. In order to get it going we had to find our logon ID and password for, which was kind of difficult because apparently we had never set up an on-line account, or more likely Frontier had lost it, which isn't too surprising since they seem to think that there is a phone number connected to my account, which there isn't. What's more all of the phone numbers they think are mine are wrong, except the one they used to call, which they don't seem to be able to find anymore. Color me severely impressed that their service works at all.

*Re: Coding Game - I've worked my way through all of the Easy puzzles and most of the Medium ones. Recently I've started working on some of the Hard ones and this week I ran into one (Thor Versus the Giants) that has me stumped. This is not an unusual pattern. All of these programming puzzles start off very easy, then gradually get harder, and then at the end add an element completely invalidates the approach you've been taking so far and requires a major rework of your code. But always before I knew how to deal with it. This time it's really like shooting in the dark. I have an idea on how it might be attacked, but it requires more fussing (more code and more execution time, and worst of, more hand tuning) than I am comfortable with. It all comes down to what one sentence in the description of the problem means. Maybe that's why it is classified as Hard. Bah and humbug. That means I will have to work to solve it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cessna 172

Mathias Rust, his borrowed Cessna 172 and assorted KGB goons in Red Square

Younger son had a flying lesson in a Cessna 172 yesterday. When I Googled it this is the first thing that came up.
Mathias Rust (born 1 June 1968) is a German aviator known for his illegal landing near Red Square in Moscow on 28 May 1987. An amateur pilot, he flew from Finland to Moscow, being tracked several times by Soviet air defence and interceptors. The Soviet fighters never received permission to shoot him down, and several times he was mistaken for a friendly aircraft. He landed on Vasilevsky Descent next to Red Square near the Kremlin in the capital of the Soviet Union.
Rust said he wanted to create an "imaginary bridge" to the East, and he has claimed that his flight was intended to reduce tension and suspicion between the two Cold War sides. Rust's flight through a supposedly impregnable air defense system had great effect on the Soviet military and led to the dismissal of many senior officers, including Minister of Defence Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergei Sokolov and the Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Air Defence Forces, former World War II fighter ace pilot Chief Marshal Alexander Koldunov. The incident aided Mikhail Gorbachev in the implementation of his reforms, by allowing him to dismiss numerous military officials opposed to him whilst reducing the prestige of the Soviet military among the populace, thus helping bring an end to the Cold War. - Wikipedia
The Cessna 172 is the most produced aircraft in the world with over 43,000 built, which puts it just ahead of the Russian Polikarpov Po-2 Biplane. There are about 220,000 private aircraft in the USA