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.
Streiff thinks the Shoigu sighting is a bit sus, and could be explained by video taping a previous TV appearance.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Fri Mar 25 11:37:29 2022 (r9O5h)
I thought Putin had already fired the Chief of Staff earlier in the first few days of the war?
Now that both sides are going to be exchanging ballistic missiles at each other (At least, assuming the reports from yesterday from Berdyansk can be trusted...), that downward spiral is not as unlikely as it might have been.
Posted by: cxt217 at Fri Mar 25 20:31:13 2022 (MuaLM)
3I thought Putin had already fired the Chief of Staff earlier in the first few days of the war?
Putin has reportedly fired LOTS of people including some top ranking military in the last month. Chief of Staff is a position, not a person, so even if he did fire the COS the deputy would move up to fill the place. Even in the U.S. civil service where cabinet secretaries require confirmation by the Senate, that process still happens, despite the ceremonial step of the new secretary stepping into the position being designated "acting secretary"until confirmed or replaced.
Now that both sides are going to be exchanging ballistic missiles at each other (At least, assuming the reports from yesterday from Berdyansk can be trusted...)....
What the hell happened in Berdyansk !? Aside from an old Alligator class landing ship blowing up? What about Berdyansk makes a missile exchange more likely?
I know that the CoS is a position, but I was using the term to refer to the supposed incumbent Gerasimov, who I thought had been fired shortly after the war began.
What is alleged to have happened to the Alligator-class landing ship at Berdyansk was that the Ukrainians managed to hit her with a ballistic missile. Assuming the Ukrainians tossing ballistic launchers are true (Which given is always the question.), I do not see any reason why the Russians would refrain from returning the favor with interest against Ukrainian targets.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sat Mar 26 18:38:58 2022 (MuaLM)
As far as I have heard, the Russians have been using battlefield ballistic missiles quite liberally almost from the beginning of this thing. In particular conventionally armed versions of the Iskander (SS26 Stone) have reportedly been used a lot.
Sorry, I thought you were referring to ICBMs, which, sadly, is not beyond the realm of possibility, but I couldn't figure out how the loss of R.F.S. Orsk would have anything to do with that. Now I see I'd misunderstood and we were having 2 different conversations.
I probably seen some of the same reports, but I have not seen any official confirmation of Russian ballistic missiles, as oppose to battlefield rockets or surface to surface missiles. I know what many people would want to be true, but we are currently at the stage of not even knowing what we do not know...
...For that matter, I would not be surprised if either the Ukrainian or Russian officials start believing footage from Arma 3 as video of the real thing.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sat Mar 26 19:56:32 2022 (MuaLM)
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."
I saw someone get told by staff to leave SakuraCon in 2019 for wearing that hoodie, or one very like it. I can't imagine owning, much less wearing in public, something like that.
Posted by: David at Thu Mar 24 17:17:03 2022 (qSKtI)
1. David, you've no sense of humor. I wore a full color "Hawaiian shirt" type with ahegao images about five years ago at Matsuricon. My teen daughters vanished right after registration but everyone loved the shirt.
2. More to the point, Brick... you are totally correct: the time to get ready was six months ago. And silver, gold, food, and water are only backed by one thing. Lead.
Look up Yukiko for core exercises. She was a swimmer and has a lot of good ones. Some of them are more "female" but others are for everyone.
(Pretty sure that most of the "frog legs" exercises are more for women, but you could probably find out.)
There's also a Japanese exercise man who does workouts in a Mr. Body suit. Which is weirder than I remember it being, as a kid.
The Feldenkrais stuff is pretty nice as a search term, as is Bob and Brad, on the actual physical therapy thing.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Wed Mar 23 12:46:13 2022 (cHUaN)
As our naval expert what do you think about Russian idea to scuttle Orsk in order to contain a fire? "Oh, we'll just re-float it and repair it real quick."
If it was scuttled, it was the correct decision given the explosive yield it may have been carrying. An old Alligator class ship is a small price to pay for loosing all the port infrastructure. The very limited video evidence does not indicate a scuttling though, as the ship is seen undergoing a fairly spectacular auto-disassembly.
However, wether the explosions on the ship were due to Ukrainian military action or a Russian accident, I'm pretty sure that the Russian thoughts on the matter are as follows.
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.
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!
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!"
However, several of my readers are tech savvy, to the point they make their living in IT or computer engineering.
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?
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?
Russia is running out of cloud storage because of the embargoes.
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.
If you have a good handle on the happenings in Apple universe, you might want to take a look at running Windows on a Mac.
Otherwise, buying Dell consistently brought about a better result than buying HP for me. But you know, chasing a high-end PC seems like a whole another subculture.
I'll second Dell. My current computer... the one at Pond Central... was a no-longer top of the line system from them, and other than one ridiculously busy relationship chart, it's handled everything I've thrown at it. It played The Outer Worlds at max everything
(most of the time) in the 80-100fps range.
KSP is the only thing that's really made it chug, but that was with a 200+ part ship that caused powerful systems to weep and lesser boxes to play the game in spf, not fps.
Plus, y'know... pretty blue lights.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Fri Mar 18 21:50:27 2022 (DB9Lx)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Sat Mar 19 01:47:34 2022 (PiXy!)
I'm having trouble posting a 1273 word/7827 character reply.
This is a test.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Sat Mar 19 21:12:08 2022 (r9O5h)
There are still a LOT of chips made in the US, I have a couple friends that were bunny suits for a living in portland and ca. I know Intel has been scrambling to bring more fabs online, and there are a lot of other chip makers still in the US
the most advanced chips all need tech from ASML, a Dutch company that makes the equipment to make the chips.
I use a mac for personal stuff, but I've used a lot of Dells, hand built PCs, and other brands (maingear, boxx, HP. Fujitsu, Sony, etc) for work over the years. the Dells are the most solid.
Posted by: punchyninja at Sat Mar 19 21:18:20 2022 (qnek2)
I do not understand just why the neon is being consumed. It really should not be. Of course the last time I worked with a gas laser was in the 1980s, so I may be 40 years out of date. But back then the gas was in a tube with two 100% glass (tilted) ends. It lasted basically forever.
Hardware: These are all basically electronic circuits. You can
learn more by studying electrical engineering, or going to a school
for electronics technicians.
engineering can work differently at higher frequencies than it does
at zero frequency (DC). At DC, you have your usual basic
electrical circuit theory, where you can put wires on a battery and a
light bulb, and make the lightbulb light up. Computers are one
of the many electrical engineering applications that involve periodic
signals at higher frequencies.
engineering makes a system out of a bunch of circuits, and electrical
engineers either make components, or buy components to arrange in
circuits and systems.
Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are a
composite laminate sandwich of metal and something like fiberglass.
The engineers call the fiberglass layer a 'dielectric', and you can
think of it as an insulator. The traces are made by etching
some of the metal layers. The PCBs in computers use many
many layers, and are complicated, difficult to design, and assume
that very specific components are available to attach to the PCBs,
and complete the working circuits/systems. These components are
ordered through places like Digikey, and Mouser, and sometimes you
can't assemble more boards if you can't get more of the same
component, like if the manufacturer has production issues or quits
One type of component that gets attached to a
PCB is an integrated circuit. (IC). An IC is made by etching
silicon wafers. A specific model of IC has a known set of
circuits on the wafer, and a known set of connections in a pin
out format. Some designs of IC circuit can be made on different
'processes', at very different resolutions. If the
available capacity for process A is maxed out, in theory you
can make some more with unused capacity for process B. Adding
IC process capacity requires building a building to house some
capital equipment that has a very long lead time. These ICs are
the chips being discussed.
The capacity for the best
processes is very limited, there are very few locations producing the
ICs for the latest CPUs. A CPU is a module that plugs into the
motherboard (a very fancy, expsensive hard to get PCB). Some
generations of CPU were PCBs with ICs on them.
There is an
extremely broad need for ICs that are made using simpler, older
processes. Here's a random one I
is built on a process that can be at least thirty years old.
You can buy 8 per dollar if you buy 2500. In quantity, you buy
them packaged so that your fancy PCB assembly machine can feed them
easily. It may show signs of a chip shortage. 35 days
until new inventory, c 750 in stock, and c 1400 in stock for a
All of these processes are
extremely delicate and sensitive. Some of them may have
alternative possibilities besides Neon, or the other expensive stuff,
but switching over an IC assembly line would at take time before it
was producing volume at quality again.
IC and PCB supplies
are important if you are building new stuff, or repairing or
replacing old stuff. If you have a good inventory of spare
parts, this wouldn't hurt you. So, this is basically a slice of
the broader issue of JIT making things fragile.
that, I dunno.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Wed Mar 23 20:20:49 2022 (r9O5h)
Actually, this is a bunch of fads, plus labor
cost, and a different set of skills.
You have fads
that are purely Big Tech. You also have broader
business/MBA/industry fads. Anything that a journalist
can boil down into a phrase, and speak loudly about without having
any understanding, can become an industry wide fad. Internet of
Things is probably such a fad.
control systems were put in for what seemed to be attractive
reasons. a) solid state electrical systems often break
less than mechanical systems, so potentially less down time from
repair b) range of behaviors that can be adjusted c) more data
collection d) not requiring people to be present for the system to be
There are a bunch of flavors of problems.
One, there are two different fields involved, and they do not think
in a very similar way. IT security, and plant
operations/industrial controls engineering are extremely different.
Walt Boyes, a controls industry trade journalist, used to say that he
knew how to teach people do secure this stuff, and that it was easier
to teach it to plant engineers. Two, a lot of implementations
are carried out without having a full understanding of everything
involved. Someone exposed to the basics of both IT security and
industrial controls engineering is rare; often implementors, or
organizations, are missing one or both skillsets. Management
making the decision tends to be ignorant of the real complexity, and
risks. Three, organizations can blindly push through changes in
IT that cause additional vulnerability to the industrial controls.
Suppose your industrial controls in scores of locations are
controlled from three sites, properly air gapped from the internet.
Supposed your HR decides that people are working from home, starting
yesterday. Can you say 'insecurely designed control system now
accessible through whatever internet gateway IT implemented in the
middle of the night before start of business today'?
we were doing bad stuff before, but the lockdown was insane
bullshit. We might not be fixing as long as management contains
woke people who consume mainstream media.
practice, generally, has a lot of security vulnerability.
PArtly because management is able to demand that things be done, and
fads be followed, partly because the people being trained often
have holes in their understanding.
Hardware isn't free, and you have to program the software. You
are typically tied to a vendor who sells stuff that can be programmed
using stuff that one of your engineers understands. PLCs are
one of the items that you may purchase for this. PLC is one
search term, and LabVIEW is another. LabVIEW is a weird
programming language that has some industrial applications along
There are also fundamental technical
vulnerabilities driven by Big Tech fads. As opposed to fads
within the whatever widget industry, of MBAs wanting /their/ company
to be the first to implement $technical_buzzword.
are still a lot of mechanical, etc., controls being used.
I've heard tell, inside the past five-ten years, of folks who still
have pneaumatic controls in place. a) wholesale replacement
with a different system is typically expensive, on
the budgets that these places have for that b) If you change types of
control, your work force needs different skills. This explains
why old methods are sometimes retained, but I meant it to explain why
changing back would at least take time.
always struck me as being dumbass ii) anyone who bought cloud
based PLCs probably deserves to hang. Cloud was a pretty
significant fad, so there are a bunch of people who are doing that,
and should have instead bought their own servers, and paid for the
I want to say that people running
factories of course had enough sense not to... Hearsay
suggests that this is manifestly untrue. The best effort to
understand broader trends in American society, suggests we are
maximum retard, independently of business hearsay.
We have been f&cking up a bunch of stuff for decades. It
took a lot of effort to pile up all of this staggering
incompetence. I didn't even mention that our foreign
policy weakness substantially contributed to hostile foreign actor
willingness to give us metaphorical swirlies. We will not
quickly be addressing matters.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Wed Mar 23 20:21:43 2022 (r9O5h)
A friend of mine was working at a place that started some stupid "initiative" to design new gender-inclusive signs for the intersex bathrooms.
The usual sorts spent way too much time and effort on the project and eventually presented their new bathroom signs over several iterations.
My friend pointed out that the braille on the sign was printed on. "So?" "So if you're blind and you need to read it by touch ... you can't."
He overheard his coworkers, who had been putting up and taking down bathroom signs for weeks complaining: "Oh who are we not incluuuuding this time?!" "Hell if I know, something about deaf people!"
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Thu Mar 10 06:23:55 2022 (hRoyQ)
You know you're flying with the wrong airline when there is braille on the instrument panel.
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Thu Mar 10 06:25:12 2022 (hRoyQ)
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.
...And the collective Western leadership (Led Bidette.) is doing a wonderful job of stumbling towards war without bothering to prepare for one or trying to avoid one.*
*Except for Germany, who can't wait to help the Russians bury the Ukraine so they can continue doing business with Moscow.
Posted by: cxt217 at Thu Mar 3 21:28:38 2022 (MuaLM)
Not our circus, not our monkeys. So of course we'll be dragged into it. The Big Guy got his 10% and now it's time to pay the piper!
Posted by: jabrwok at Fri Mar 4 20:58:55 2022 (T4WaI)
I am not big on getting involved into the Ukraine, but aside the quote attributed to Trotsky, two reasons come to mind for the US directly giving the Russians a can of whop***:
1) We want to send a clear signal to everyone that wars of conquest and annexations are a really BAD idea and that you should not do that, even if you believe you have a right too. Given how aggressive the PRC has become with Taiwan, reminding people of an actually enduring concept from WW2 would be called for....Before we have to face the issue over some place that is really vital.
2) Given that we are one of the guarantors of the Prague Agreement, I feel that if we can not properly denounce/withdraw from that (And I don't count Obama's 'Nah, we're good' over the Crimea/Donbass as a proper response to it.), it would behoove the US to at least make sure a security treaty we are a part of is not a mere scrap of paper.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sat Mar 5 23:15:56 2022 (MuaLM)
It's pretty real out there.
Three days ago, Ukrainians launched a missile at a bulk transport at anchor near Odessa, apparently mistaking it for a Russian BDK type ashore assault ship. The transport eventually sunk. I suspect the small crew could only do little to limit the water intake.
Yesterday, Russians sunk a U.S. supplied patrol boat of "Island" class (if such a thing exists). They weren't able to pick anyone and all 16 aboard are presumed dead.
The Island class are 110 foot Coast Guard patrol boats that are being Phased out of Coast Guard service. They're old (were built in the 80s) but useful as SAR and border guard ships. In CG service they were built with the intention of fitting the Norwegian "Penguin" missiles which are simple but effective pieces of kit. They aren't (and never were) front line vessels at all.