March 26, 2022

Good Post From The Chieftain

It's nice, with the surfeit of info we are getting from the unpleasantness going on northeast of Transylvania, to see someone admit that they don't know what they don't know and that much of the information is incomplete and lacks context. 


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March 24, 2022

Meanwhile: In Russia




UPDATE: As SOON as I posted this...
There is now a report of Shoigu being seen on video yesterday, albeit from a Russian state supported source. 

(Well THAT's a frustrating relief.)

UPDATE 2: Nope nope nope. Relief cancelled. Cease relaxation. Shoigu's had a heart attack. Resume the hoarding of the bottlecaps. 

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Things to Remember When Contemplating Preparedness

The time to stock up and acquire needed kit is BEFORE a crisis hits. This applies to what one will need to survive natural disasters or civil unrest. If a crisis hits you have to deal with it using what is on hand. This applies on a national level as well, witness the situation we are seeing with Stinger and Javelin missiles, in countries that aren't...technically...at war...with anyone in particular...yet.


A good illustration of this truth can be seen here, where some relief workers distributing supplies for Ukrainians, demonstrate the timeless wartime truth that "You go to war with the hoodie you have."
Video source.
Watch on Bitchute

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March 22, 2022

A Week

There lurks banality below the fold. As partial compensation here's some concept art of the Kalpana One project



more...

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And Now: A Word From Our Sponsors

There's been a bit of buzz about this ad. It did not, however, adequately convey the sheer level of Brobdingnagian bodaciousness involved in it. 



I AM curious though, if any one else notes a glitch a 02:47 where the ad appears to stop at an awkward moment, only concluding if you hit "play" again. If you don't do that, you might be surprised to find out that this actually is an advertisement


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March 19, 2022

Very Good News

Not 'Great News' mind you. Certainly not the great news that we were all waiting for. However, there is news and it is, indeed, very very good; good enough to indicate that the great news all of us so long for is forthcoming!

 

The first hurdle is the greatest. We can now be ABSOLUTELY confident that he's gonna lick this thing and leave the hospital soon!

Everyone go over there and give him some encouragement! 


Art by Shapoco

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March 18, 2022

Info Bleg For the Tech Literate

I have questions. 
I had been working on a post but the concerns I was trying to express and analyze are so far outside my bailiwick that the post was just going to be a demonstration of the Dunning Kruger effect. 

I am not a computer expert.

I'm a Mac user...which, I think, is the opposite. Aside from my TI99, my first computer was an old Macintosh that I pulled out of a dumpster in '98. I've gone on via inertia since then buying iMacs. 

Computers are black box technology to me, the only thing I know about how they work is that they need good industrial design to keep the magic smoke inside so they can access the ley lines that make up the internet. 

(I exaggerate only slightly)

I'm trying to improve, but there's a lotta shit going down right now that's tech related. So I sent some questions to one of the blog's Crack Team of Science Babes, but the answers I got were non-specific and unhelpful. 

"The internet was a mistake!"


"We're doomed!"

However, several of my readers are tech savvy, to the point they make their living in IT or computer engineering.

With that in mind: 
I have some questions...

Hardware:

How crucial to the tech sector is the Neon shortage really? 

I've often heard it said that "All the chips not made in China are made in Taiwan", but how true is that? I'd expect that Europe makes a lot and surely some are still made in North America. As Pixy noted 3 days ago, Foxconn  is entering The Saudi Kingdom. I've looked and can't find a breakdown of numbers, or percentages and I don't know enough to know what constitutes "chips" for the purposes of the question. Without wasting too much of your non-existent free time, does anyone have any sources/resources on the subject you could point me to regarding who, where, and 'what quality/ capability?' regarding chip manufacture?

I am, as I've admitted....(looks both ways and whispers in shame)...a Mac user. I have very little experience with PCs and Macs are not tinker friendly...at all. I'm not, realistically, going to be aasembling one anytime soon. Can anyone recommend a good pre-built gaming/streaming PC?

Other than the looming food shortages (admittedly not a trivial issue) logistics, at least in the U.S. seem to have sort of stabilized. However, the tech sector logistics problems seem to be continuing and have multiple second order effects. Does anyone see any light at the end of the tunnel this year regards things like appliances and cars?

Software:

The cyber security threats we are seeing now are on a par with what was predicted for Y2K. But seem to be more substantive than Gary North ranting in his basement. Some of you do this for a living. Do you see any way to truly mitigate these vulnerabilities? Prior to the 1980s, many of these crucial functions that are so susceptible to digital manipulation now were handled quite adequately with manually operated or mechanically regulated systems. Is it just cost savings driving this transition to vulnerability or were regulations involved? Given that we used to operate refineries and power-plants without these vulnerabilities are there any hard engineering reasons distinct from political or cost/benefit reasons that we could not install manual/mechanical backups to keep from having some hacker blow up our stuff?

via 

No. 
Really. 
Russia is running out of cloud storage because of the embargoes. 
Uhhh.
Wow. 
Does this have any implications for non-Russians going forward? The internet was designed to survive, or at least fail gracefully in the event of a nuclear war. The cybersecurity issues and cloud storage seem to be glaring vulnerabilities that can't be mitigated by the users since at least in the case of the "cloud" all aspects of security, durability, and access privileges are completely out of the hands of the user. Is there anything to be done realistically other than "Buy your own damned servers and maintain them!" I confess I'm a little skeptical of the cloud on principle, but I've got a degree in History which doesn't give me a broad and deep understanding of the problem...if there IS a problem. 


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March 07, 2022

Bureaucracy in Action


Art by Popopoka. Support him on Patreon or Fanbox!

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March 03, 2022

Some Damn Fool Thing in The Black Sea


Moldovan Tanker MT Millennium Spirit ablaze in the Black Sea.

Russia has hit several civilian ships in the Black Sea. It should be noted that one of the damaged ships was Japanese. An Estonian vessel has exploded under suspicious circumstances and is believed to have hit a mine. Estonia is a NATO member. Numerous NATO members are trying to get people out of Odessa by sea since airliner traffic seems to be off the table. However, Russia has declared the Northern Black Sea to be a war zone, and warned all shipping to make for the Bosphorus. There is considerable coastal traffic in the area between Bulgaria, Romania, and, Turkey, all of which are NATO members. Their navies are presumably trying to protect their civilian shipping. If one of them gets hit, it technically could invoke Article 5.
 
Meanwhile Turkey has closed the Bosphorus, at least to warships. There are a number of Russian warships and transports trying to transit the waterway and now being denied. What's in the Baltic is what's going to be there for a while. Apparently there is a bit of a backlog of shipping in the Sea of Marmara.

For expert analysis, Brickmuppet Blog now turns to Admiral Painter to see what he thinks about all this. 

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