Friday, June 14, 2013

3,592 “mean rounds before stoppage”?

Via FOXNews

The US Army has decided to "conclude" testing for the Individual Carbine program and declare that no one wins.  This is apparently based on a just revealed requirement that the weapon must fire at least 3,592 “mean rounds before stoppage”.  The tests are concluded rather than canceled because Congress has wording in the pending military funding bill that they project can not be canceled.

Somehow, I don't think playing semantics with Congress will end well for the military.  That's beside the fact that something smells distinctly fishy here.  I have to wonder who got to who about what, exactly.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Perusing Drudge this morning...

I pretty much had to laugh.  Here's the "above the fold" portion just now:



As you can see (click on the image if your eyes are as old as mine), it's all about our Feral Government's attempts to hoover up all the data on the Intertubz so we can go find us some wicked terrorists.  Or something.

Note two things.  First, that the government actually was trying to hoover up all the data.  Guys, this knowledge is nothing new, really.  I can remember back in the 80s, in my early days working in IT (which was still called IS--Information Systems--back then) the constant half-joking talk about the "NSA line eater".  Tech was a lot smaller business in those days, and word got around about, shall we say, interesting computer purchases that went places that could not be named.  Big computer purchases.  We're talking horsepower on an as then unheard of scale.  What on earth would you want this for?

Oh, monitoring all the Usenet postings.  Archiving every email.  Back then, all this stuff was wide open, little to no security at all, and there wasn't so much of it.  Tapping the data stream was a trivial task.  Pretty much everyone who was in touch figured the talk was true to some extent or another.  Heck, some folks would deliberately add "line eater food" to the ends of their messages.  We didn't want the line eater to go hungry, you know.  Gallows humor among the technorati.

The second thing is the response of our Feral Government.  Were these agencies gone rogue?  Are we going to find out just why we're doing this, did we catch good guys along with the bad guys, it this worth the large costs?  Nah, we're going to tell everyone that we've been doing it for years, it's all good, and then start searching for the big mouth that turned this rumor into news stories about our dirty little not-so-secret secret.

Yes Virginia, this has been going on for years, and I'll bet for decades.  It's been supported by Republican and Democrat alike.  Welcome to the Real Fucking World--the one where you little people only count as far as you are a source of funding.

Face it--you've just had your nose rubbed into a very inconvenient truth.  Outside of the rhetoric, there really is very little difference, at the macro level, between Democrats and Republicans.  The difference is at the micro level--which of your rights do they trample first?  Does government have first call on your money or do oligarchic corporations take the reins and do it for the government (think out-sourced tyranny)?

It the water warm enough yet?  Are tired of this yet?  Are you ready to take action?  Do you know what action to take?

It's time to be considering these questions.  Me, I just want a Firefly-class transport and a crew.  I think it's time to bail.