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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Social Systems, Algorithmic Music, and More

- given the state (centralisation, dogma, time constraints, etc...) of our education system it becomes pretty obvious after a while that you only really get an idea of what a capitalist world is like without getting an overview of what other systems are like. The primary problem with this is that while this helps to maintain social cohesion it gets in the way of perhaps creating a better society. The other problem is that it doesn't really help you understand the system, how to navigate it, and how to deal with the problems that you will inevitably face when you become disillusioned with some aspects of it
- most people know that what is sometimes said about the 'greatness' of capitalism is flawed. Moreover, while there are rules insituted by government to strike a balance between employer and employee this can sometimes be biased in the wrong direction making employment difficult for either side. There's another massive problem though. Since many people ultimately figure out that the system is unfair they become disillusioned. What a lot of people don't realise is just how unfair the system really is. They say that every single person in a democratic, free, capitalist society has a chance. What they don't realise is how wrong this really is. Based on my previous posts it's pretty obvious that a lot of aptitude tests aren't screening purely for ability but also behaviour and socio-economic background as well. If that's the case, what chance have some people got? Since the tests rely heavily on 'acquired knowledge' this makes it much more difficult to progress especially in light of environments which aren't conducive to academic performance. Watch a classroom in a poor, undereducated area versus that of a one in a wealthier, educated area. The difference is light years. Factor in cultural differences that are likely to be adopted in either environment and you'll see that no matter how much money is thrown at the problem in order to equalise things it's just wasted money. Continue the process through life. Watch the way upper class deal with those who have managed to progress and you'll see how strange things are. Since they didn't grow up the same way, they won't have the same mannerisms and beliefs. It genuinely takes multiple generations for people and families to progress (if ever) up the social economic ladder
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Wealth Gap (HBO)
- there are enormous flaws in many of the social systems that we've come up with but it's pretty obvious that the world is headed to a a type of 'corporatism'. The primary questions being asked over and over again are how hard do you have to work to live, move up the social ladder, etc? if we fall how much are we willing to help others? the balance between worker and employer power? what checks and balances should be in place to ensure that everyone has a fair go basically. These are the core questions that face every government now. It's not a question of capitalism, socialism, communism etc... it's the balance between all parts them that's the ultimate question which is being made much more difficult in a world which is becoming globalised and people are always looking for shortcuts to overcome whatever checks and balances that may be enforced
- I said that previously a standard person's background was not conducive to unbiased decision making. I stand by that decision even more now. Think about a standard parlimentary setup (in any social system of your choosing). Even if the peak point takes counsel from an array of different parties the whole system is circumvented if the information presented is biased and/or there is inadequate representation among the masses of what the public want. Namely, the 'national interest' and 'public interest' are at odds with one another
- there's no way that markets are 'free' (even if it's not done deliberately there's probably not enough regulation that in effect it ends up looking the same way). Look at the number of insider trading incidents and the volume. Some countries are absolutely engaging in front running. Look at some of what the security services are listening into. We have a managed economy. No question about it but it's so complex now that a lot of people can't see through the haze. Ince you now enough about the way the modern finance system works the more you realise it looks like complete gibberish. After a while, the one thing that is obvious is that one of the core benefits of free market capitalism is also one of it's greatest flaws. Namely, the fact prices are variable and that basically there is sometimes no terminal limit on growth. It changes the way you value things as well as the whole system. Think carefully about this, if there were core formulas that we could agree on on what it meant to work hard each day that could form the basis of our currency. It means that basically it's impossible to 'speculate'. It's impossible to make a living simply by taking 'bets' on what companies are likely to do. It makes it impossible for deflation to occur. If we do away with mass advertising and revert to a system whereby people service the local economy before spreading outwards organically it also means that it's less likely that we will have enormous defaults. The obvious problem is that this will probably result in lower systained growth. The most interesting thing is that a lot of our problems are based around our inability to be able to distinguish true prophets from false prophets. Look into the history of all of the world's religions and you'll see that they basically share the same core and if you dig deep enough in spite of some disagreements they are basically in agreement (this statement sounds rediculous but look at prophet like people across all religions and they exist). There's no question that what a lot of finance is about is predicting the future in spite of the complexity of the system involved. Given that random investment has been proven to be more effective than analysis (though this may change in the distant future though I doubt it since interventions are causing more difficulties in analysis much like Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Mechanics/Physics). If the US and other countries are using large amounts of economic intelligence then increased encryption across the board will effectively tank their economies by taking away this particular edge
Keiser Report - Destructive Force in US Elections (E911)
Keiser Report - Up the creek with no paddle (E458)
Keiser Report - Fight on salary men, fight on! (E468)
Keiser Report - Defaulting is New Black (E858)
- let's say the markets are as unstable as some people are making out to be. There are two things that are obvious. When things are unstable you're trying to maintain capital (unless you're reasonably confident of your bet or simply desperate, crazy, etc...). What seems to be happening is that measures are being taken across the board in order to protect investment. If you examine the TTIP and TTP it's obvious that they are somewhat defensive (protect monopolies and destroys competition).
- one thing that is obvious is that in spite of what people may say most people want to live in socialist type economies. In blind tests it has been found that 92% americans want to live in plase where wealth distribution more like that of socialist Sweden? US is fundmdamentally socialist but dosn't realise it? People want ratios of pay to be about 5 or 10 to 1 from top to bottom but it's actually much closer to several hundred times to one. 61% of US people with less than 1K in savings. Some taking anti-diarrhoea medication as means of getting high. Productivity over time has become much better but wealth distribution has not? One thing that confuses me is that if new social systems or unrest are considered national security threats then how can we ever hope for something better? Most people have to admit that chunks of our social system are grossly unfair and we need to surely start from scratch there and now just tweak around the edges? Is it the 'dictator' problem whereby the political class are more worried about themselves? Look deeper at the wealth inequality issue, social mobility, and so on and it becomes clear that we may simply be protecting a system/way of life?
Keiser Report - Destructive Force in US Elections (E911)
Keiser Report - 'Making America Great Again' Quest (E908)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Wealth Gap (HBO)
This Is The Income Inequality Video CEOs Don’t Want Americans To See
Malcom Gladwell on income inequality - The New Yorker Festival (Full) - The New Yorker
Joseph Stiglitz - Income Inequality and American Democracy
Keiser Report - Up the creek with no paddle (E458)
Income and Wealth Inequality - Crash Course Economics
- as stated previously globalisation makes it very difficult to forecast/predict anything (unless you 'rig' things). Perhaps what we need is simply more steps in taxation at the upper end (look at wage distribution in the US across bands and it looks fairly equal except way at the upper end where things change drastically. This patterned seems to be reproducing itself across other countries as well)? Listen to sane wealthy people and they know that they have more money than they need. One of the interesting things for me is that look at certain things and it becomes much clearer that things haven't changed all that much for at least 8 decades globally. We're basically protecting 'social systems' based on what the political class deems to be appropriate to their local geo-political cirumstances. Statistics such as wealth distribution, credit ratings, bond yields going lower, etc.. seem to have been largely stable or else have proceeded to get worse over this entire period which is why I feel we're just protecting social systems? (maybe, the point is to maintain social stability while they figure things out?) Ironically, you look back to certain periods in the past and these circumstances would have provoked outright revolt and protest in many places. The core difference is that they're better able to hide things now? Offshore banking started as a means of allowing to Western oil companies to generate larger profits? US deliberately allowed criminal money to flow into their system to fund Vietnam war effort? Struggling for sources of consistent economic growth so they're resorting to gimmicks?
Keiser Report - Conditions for Anger (E874)
- as said previously the fundamental problem is that with (genuine) globalisation income (and growth) is very difficult to predict. Look at a breakdown of wages in the US and things don't look quite as bad. The problem is that way up at the top end (individuals or organisations) you have a tiny few who are making an enormous amount. If you look at the profit margins they're similar to normal businesseses. The difference is that due to the number of clients involved a little can change a lot. This is one of the reasons why people say if our local banks or resource companies are making so much why doesn't the rest of society getting a larger share of their profits through taxation? Only real solution is something that operates somewhat retroactively like a 'super-profits' tax which was previously attempted but dumped locally. The problem is that it basically acts as a cap on private sector growth. How else do you pay the bills though?
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Wealth Gap (HBO)
- a lot of bitterness out there. You can become really disillusioned with any system if you look at it properly (you hear a lot of Chinese or Russians and the only way they can achieve social mobility is by knowing someone that is already part of the 'establishment'). One of the funny things about inherited wealth is that it's said that things often don't work out. For instance, I knew a venture capitalist who said that most companies who change ownership from the original collapse. If that's the case and we believe in a capitalist society then why not just allow enough money to pass from each generation to allow them to take them to a college/university education and let them figure out the rest. That would allow ownership of companies to pass those who are best able to manage them (and maintain employment levels. Also gives time for kin to figure things out/earn their way into their positions if they need to), help pay for social services, still allow parents to take care of their kin (up to a point), etc...
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - Wealth Gap (HBO)
This Is The Income Inequality Video CEOs Don’t Want Americans To See
Malcom Gladwell on income inequality - The New Yorker Festival (Full) - The New Yorker
Joseph Stiglitz - Income Inequality and American Democracy
Keiser Report - Up the creek with no paddle (E458)
Income and Wealth Inequality - Crash Course Economics
- sometimes you have to ask the question whether or not the people in charge try to 'socially engineer' certain things. Dig deep enough and you'll sometimes find out the truth. Greenspan wanted to suppress/traumatise workers and reduce chances of social mobility. In doing so he (and the US government) could have a more pliant workforce, etc... China liquidating assets globally? Russia/China building up gold reserves? Stop share buy backs to force employment? How to raise funds though? How would this enable the firm to gain investment though unless you reduce the amount of share buy backs you can engage in?
Keiser Report - 'Post-Traumatic Debt Disorder' (E862)
- most of our problems (particularly in economic management) basically stem from the fact that we're constantly trying to predict the future (often to rediculous periods into the future). Whether it occurs in the context of religion, science, mathematics, etc... Ironically,
End Of The Age - Islam, the Antichrist, and Mystery Babylon - Passion For Truth Ministries
The Antichrist Revealed - The Beast that Was, and Is Not, Has Returned
Mercury Transit 2016 in Bible Prophecy
Antichrist Prophecy - The Beast & False Prophet (Documentary)

- if you've ever been halfway interested in music production and IT you would have come across the terms 'algorithmic composition' before. The core stuff is fairly basic but you'll need to brush up on AI theory, software design (you get some really strange coding out there sometimes), some math and music theory, etc... if you want to work on some more advanced stuff
NOTACON 9 - Code That Sounds Good - Music Theory and Algorithmic Composition (EN)
Algorithmic Music Composition with Johann Joseph Fux's Gradus ad Parnassum-6
- there's an enormous amount of stuff out there about music production on Windows and Mac OS X. Not so much on Linux. You'll have to figure some stuff out with limited information. Core on Linux is finding or creating a viable MIDI device (required for music playback).
miobrad writes... 'ubuntu linux - java se 6 - sound not working'
does anyone have virmidi working with Ubuntu 11.04 Natty?
- choose alternative soundfonts if you don't like what you're currently hearing.
- there are heaps of sound generators out there already if you don't have the ability, don't have the time, don't want to start from scratch, etc...
- if you just want to play random MIDI files 'timidity' works great
Playing MIDI (TuxGuitar)
[SOLVED] Tuxguitar i MIDI
/usr/bin/timidity -Os -iAD
timidity -iAD
- you'll need to connect the relevant ports and virtual MIDI devics (if you are using them)
aconnect -li
aconnect -lo
sudo modprobe snd-virmidi
sudo modprobe snd-seq snd-virmidi
sudo dpkg -i fluid*.deb libfluidsynth1_1.1.6-2_i386.deb
aplaymidi -l
aconnect 20:0 129:0
fluidsynth --server --audio-driver=alsa -o audio.alsa.device=hw:0 /usr/share/sounds/sf2/FluidR3_GM.sf2
Virtual midi ports for linux?
amidi -p virtual -d
jack/djplay problems
Jack won't start

- interesting articles regarding Russia/US relationship

- given the use of dolphins and other animals in intelligence/defense circles it makes you wonder why they haven't weaponised large sea animals. The idea is somewhat morbid (animal cruelty issues obviously but look deep enough and basically all you find out is are they crazy enough to try X, Y, Z, etc?) but I fail to see how a surprise attack by a remotely controlled kamikaze dolphin could be stopped or you would be able to distinguish between whales that are being used as part of a multi-modal SONAR array and just random whales just moving through the sea (only genuine way around this is with imaging style RADAR/SONAR much like ultrasound technology works to allow see a baby inside the mother's womb. Similar technology will allow you to see foreign objects inside of animals)

- once you understand how pervasive and silly PSYOPS are (and how very old perspectives still persist among the political class) the world just feels stranger and stranger

Some interesting quotes in the recent media:
- Russian international reserves have risen to $381.1 billion. The Central Bank is continuing its policy to increasing international reserves rather than spending to prop up the ruble.

The international reserves consist of foreign exchange, special drawing rights (SDR) holdings, the reserve position in the IMF and monetary gold.

Unlike Saudi Arabia and China that are spending their reserves to buoy up their currencies, the Russian Central Bank is spending nothing to stem ruble volatility after using $67 billion in a failed attempt to curb a ruble collapse at the end of 2014. The Russian currency fell to 80 against the dollar and 100 against the euro on December 16, 2014.

The strategy has paid dividends in recent weeks as the ruble has rebounded without the central bank intervention. The Russian currency has strengthened on the back of rising oil prices to this year's high of just under 68 rubles against the greenback. Another reason for ruble going up is Friday’s decision by the Central Bank to keep the key rate unaltered at 11 percent.

“Vladimir Putin recognized the power of reserves in 2008-2009, when thanks to them he survived the crisis without significant losses. To be left with a small amount of reserves now would be difficult, even just psychologically,” Russia's former finance minister Aleksey Kudrin told Bloomberg. He left the post in 2011 during the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, but continues to meet Putin to discuss the economy.

Since coming to power in 2000, Putin has boosted Russia’s reserves from $13 billion and paid off the country’s debt, now one of the lowest among the major economies.
- According to his maiden speech he is also opposed to a national curriculum, which he seems to regard as a subversive, left-wing document. He believes it should be replaced by competing private curricula. He is also a fan of charter or so-called independent public schools and seems to believe that they will solve the widening gap between our lowest and highest achievers. Unfortunately, the evidence that they make a big difference is thin.

Some charter schools do well, some do badly – rather like all other kinds of schools. When they are bad, though, they tend to be very bad. A young woman I know is currently teaching in a charter school in the UK and she is horrified at the difference between her experiences in the English school and the public high school she taught at in Sydney.

That public school, by the way, is in one of Australia's lowest socioeconomic areas and is widely regarded as a very difficult school dealing with a high level of disadvantage. She now regards it as heaven in comparison to the (middle-class) charter school she is now struggling to cope in.

Classes are huge, funding is minimal, wages much lower, teaching vacancies (unsurprisingly) are impossible to fill and micro-management and centralised control rampant. Way to improve education, Senator Paterson.
- Iran has claimed it retrieved thousands of pages of information from the devices of 10 U.S. sailors who were briefly detained in January.

The Iranian State TV report quotes General Ali Razmjou, a naval commander in the Revolutionary Guard, as saying the information was retrieved from laptops, GPS devices and maps.
- Great Britain—which is the only Level 1 partner on the U.S.-led stealth fighter program—is expected to buy 138 F-35 short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft to be operated by the RAF and Royal Navy. The stealthy new jets will not only fly from land bases, but will also fly from two new British aircraft carriers.

The F-35Bs will also operate alongside Britain’s fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons. Indeed, the RAF plans to operate 107 upgraded Typhoons into the 2030s alongside the F-35. As with the U.S. services, the U.K. will use the fourth-generation air superiority fighter alongside the stealthy F-35. Basically, the F-35 will act as a flying sensor node while the Typhoon will be a flying missile magazine when taking on threats inside heavily defended airspace.

The RAF’s Typhoons and French Air Force Rafales training alongside the U.S. Air Force’s Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptors at Joint Base Langley-Richardson, Virginia, to learn how to better coordinate fourth and fifth-generation fighters. While the Raptor is essentially a dedicated air superiority fighter, the F-22 and F-35 are similar in many ways. Thus, many of the lessons learned can be carried over to joint F-35/Typhoon operations.

While the Typhoon and the F-35 won’t be competing with each other directly in the British service, the manufacturers are nonetheless engaged in a dogfight to secure sales. In that arena, the Typhoon—despite its superior aerodynamic performance—is slowly being edged out by the stealthy F-35. If the current trend holds, the F-35 might end up being the only Western fighter left on the market.
- To be sure, many Western strategists will rightly note that Type 055 could be quite vulnerable to American and allied submarines. But if Beijing is investing in such large surface combatants, it suggests Chinese strategists are reasonably confident the Chinese Navy can protect them and, moreover, that these new “dreadnoughts” with Chinese characteristics could play a key role in the evolving naval balance in the Asia-Pacific.
- "Australia's tax system was designed when we were an island continent producing finished products. We are now part of a global supply chain and we need to be competitive if we want the economic growth that will secure our prosperity into the future," Mr Wilson said.

"Simple, flatter, lower taxation. Shifting from a model of relying too much on direct taxation from income and company tax towards activities-based taxation and having consistent rates, so you don't have wasted resources, time and money that could be used to grow the economy on [tax] minimisation schemes, which might be legal but do nothing to boost the economy."
- Highlighting the importance of paying attention to domestic production, job creation, elimination of unemployment, economic prosperity and tackling recession, Ayatollah Khamenei, added, “If we are to solve the problems of recession, [low] domestic production, and unemployment; if we are to curb inflation, [the solution to] all those fall within the purview of the Resistance Economy.”

“The Resistance Economy encompasses all of them. With the Resistance Economy, it is possible to fight unemployment and recession and to curb inflation; it is possible to stand up to the enemies’ threats; it is possible to create numerous opportunities for the country and use those opportunities,” Ayatollah Khamenei pointed out.
- Certain commercials are “watermarked” with a secret audio signal so high pitched that most humans can’t hear it, but the microphone on your phone can. When the commercial comes on, SilverPush uses audio beacon technology to detect the watermarked signal and sends a detailed log of your television viewing history back to the media network, and can even send you follow-up advertisements.

SilverPush apps use a smartphone or tablet’s microphone to monitor near-ultrasonic sounds embedded in a TV, radio or web browser advert. These signals are too high-pitched for humans to hear, but can be decoded by software. This information along with the devices IMEI number, location, operating system version, and potentially the identity of the owner, is sent to SilverPush servers.
- ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakh officials and their visitors will have to leave their smartphones at the door of government buildings from March 24 in line with a new policy aimed at preventing leaks of sensitive documents, a leaked document showed on Thursday.
- UK scientists hail creation of 'flu trap'

A "flu trap" that captures viruses could help prevent the spread of infection, British scientists say.

Researchers at the University of Manchester have developed a fabric coating for masks and air filters that isolates the viral particles responsible for influenza.

The technology mimics carbohydrate structures on the surfaces of cells lining respiratory airways and the oesophagus, or food pipe.

Paul Hope, director of the biotec company Virustatic that is seeking to commercialise the idea, said: "It's a whole new preventative approach to disease and if implemented could be transformative.
- Since Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, smartphones have saturated society. More than 80 per cent of Australians have one; only 4 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds don't.

We use them to email, take photos, check social media, listen to music, surf the internet, find directions, watch movies. We even use our smartphones to use our smartphones less, installing apps that monitor and limit our activity.
Brewer says our memories and creativity can be affected by the digital onslaught. With one study equating the amount of information we receive each day to 174 newspapers – and that was before smartphones – Brewer says "we're letting important, emotionally salient information slip through".

There is value from having time out from the information overload and reconnecting to our internal world, she says. "Boredom is recognised as a gateway to creativity, so if we can't be alone with ourselves and are unable to tolerate a lack of stimuli then we actually block out the opportunity to feel boredom and the possible creative thinking that comes out of that."
- It seems the market is seeing another tipping point for banks - where the potential for higher cost of funds, more stringent lending criteria and accelerating deterioration in the big corporate exposures is tarnishing their appeal.
- China’s economy is now a curious, and perhaps precarious blend of government and market — of unbounded private entrepreneurship and mammoth state enterprise, between the invisible hand of the market and the cautious grip of the Party. The official buzzword for the model — “Socialist Market Economy” — gives full expression to these inherent tensions.

This was brought to the fore last July when China’s stock market went into freefall, plunging more than 40 percent from June to August. The government response was clumsy and heavy-handed. It threatened to arrest short-sellers and suspended IPOs, while state media pulled out all the stops to buoy investor sentiment. A “national team” of state-directed investors was also convened to inject 1.5 trillion RMB ($230 billion) to prop up share prices. Although the stock market has since stabilized, these panic-stricken measures indicate that China may now be at the mercy of market forces beyond its traditionally iron-grip control.
As China navigates the difficult transition from a manufacturing to a consumption-led economy, the private sector looks ready to pick up the slack left by heavy industry. Indeed, some say that it has done so all along. In his 2014 book Markets over Mao, Nicholas Lardy finds that almost all the jobs in Chinese cities that have been created since 1978 have been in the private sector, and today, it accounts for two-thirds of economic output. Private businesses also significantly outperform their state-owned counterparts on multiple counts, including levels of productivity, overall shares of exports, and investment growth. As The Economist notes, “China’s best chance of weathering the current storm lies in the resilience and dynamism of the private sector.”

In recognition of its own dire need to undertake greater economic reform, the Chinese leadership must balance its instinct for control with the tradition of forward-looking pragmatism that has brought China to where it is today.
- With no means of presenting its arguments to the court, Taipei is instead trying to win the battle for public opinion by heavily showcasing Itu Aba’s fresh water, local produce, and buildings. While on Itu Aba, the journalists “drank water from a local well and had lunch prepared from crops and poultry raised on a local farm, testament that the island’s natural environment can sustain human habitation and economic life of its own,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. The group also visited the hospital, post office, temple, and solar power facilities on the island.

The media tour was just the latest attempt to prove Itu Aba’s status as an island rather than a rock. In January, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou visited the island himself, where he also emphasized that its classification as an island should be beyond a doubt. “The economic, environmental, and cultural realms all provide evidence sufficient to show that the island has — and has had for over 100 years — ample resources to be self-sufficient,” Ma said at the time.
- However, Bogdan noted that this delay is an improvement over the JPO’s projection a year ago, and is not expected to impact the Navy’s ability to declare its F-35C jets operational in 2018. The four-month delay will also have no impact on coalition partners’ capabilities, he wrote.

The schedule risk is primarily due to software “stability” issues, seen in both Blocks 3i and 3F. In essence, a timing misalignment of the software of the plane’s sensors and the software of its main computers are causing a “choking” effect, where the jet’s systems shut down and have to be rebooted. However, the JPO and contractor Lockheed Martin have identified the root cause and plan to flight test an updated software load at Edwards Air Force Base, California, sometime in the next few weeks, officials have said.

The program office has established a “Red Team,” made up of experts from the Navy, Air Force and outside the Pentagon to take an in-depth look at the issue, Bogdan told reporters after the hearing. The Red Team has already begun its study and will report back in about a month, he said.

“We brought them together and we’re sending them down to Lockheed to try to figure out, do we have the root cause analysis right on these problems? Are we going after the right issues?” Bogdan said. “Because it’s very easy to just make a fix to the software, but if you don’t fix the fundamental issues going on those fixes only will last so long and they will pop up again.”
- The F-22 Raptor has one million lines of code in its software. The F-35 has eight million lines of code.  That alone brings with it a unique set of challenges. The men and women who fly this airplane shouldn’t have to worry about their state-of-the-art APG-81 AESA radar rebooting in flight–especially in the middle of combat. Some say this particular issue will significantly delay the full operational capability declaration of the aircraft, perhaps even by a year. We can only hope this will not be the case.

Radar software being tested for the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin Corp is not stable enough, Pentagon officials said in a written statement at a U.S. House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.

The issue caused sensors to restart once every four hours of flying due to the timing of software messages from the sensors to the main F-35 fusion computer and the aim was to improve this to one in every eight to 10 flying hours, the statement said.
- Editor’s Note: Discussions have been flying under the radar in reference to Lockheed-Martin transferring all of its production of F-16s to India. A curious development, given all of the recent discussion of Block 52 Viper sales to Pakistan. The subject was mentioned during the Singapore Air Show by Mr. Phil Shaw, the head of Lockheed-Martin’s India operation. It will be curious to see how this one plays out, but one might expect backlash if Lockheed decides to move that portion of its operations overseas.
- The six-strong fleet of destroyers built by BAE Systems has suffered a catalog of engine problems, most publicly in 2009 when the recently commissioned first-of-class HMS Daring lost power in the Atlantic Ocean.

The BBC reported in January it had seen an email from a serving Royal Navy officer saying that "total electric failures are common" on the destroyers earmarked to help protect Britain’s new 65,000-ton aircraft carriers when they enter service later in the decade.

The Type 45s were the first complex warships to employ an IFEP system, which uses gas turbines and diesels to power electric motors, which turn the propellers.

Problems with the innovative system emerged during shore testing in 2005 and have been denting reliability of the destroyers' power system ever since.

The Type 45s are powered by two Rolls-Royce WR21 gas turbines and two Wartsila supplied diesels.
- The Navy is forging ahead with its controversial plan to indefinitely dock its newest cruisers.

Cruiser Chosin will depart Friday from its 25-year home in Pearl Harbor for San Diego, where it will be berthed until it is modernized. The ship will be considered on deployment until July 1, when control shifts from Naval Surface Force Pacific to Naval Sea Systems Command, which oversees fleet maintenance.

Once NAVSEA takes control, the ship will slim from a 325-person crew led by a captain to a 45-person crew led by a lieutenant commander.

The Mayport, Florida,-based cruiser Vicksburg is also slated to head into lay-up this year. The Vicksburg and Chosin join their sister ships Cowpens and Gettysburg, which went into the so-called “phased modernization” program in 2015.

By law, the Chosin must be back in the fleet by 2021. The plan for the cruiser layups, as mandated by Congress, is known as "2-4-6." It calls for two ships at a time to be sidelined for no longer than four years and that no more than six ships will be in this inactive status at one time — a hedge against the brass later opting to decommission the cruisers early.
- “Queue” was released in Poland in 2011, with translations into five languages. It aims to show a younger generation of Poles the exasperation of everyday life in communist-era Poland. Players have to buy all the products on their shopping lists in the five stores in the neighborhood–or on the black market. They have to wait for the products to be re-stocked, and in order to advance in the line, they can use cards such as “mother with child.” The game quickly became a hit, drawing long lines to get one, ironically.
- Japan needs to replace its F-15J Eagle air superiority fighters. In Tokyo’s estimation, the F-35—which was not designed primarily for the air-to-air role—won’t be enough to meet its requirements. While Tokyo is buying forty-two F-35s, those planes will replace Japan’s F-4J Kai Phantom II fleet. The plane Japan wanted as its F-15J replacement was the F-22, but U.S. law prohibited the Raptor’s export. “Japan really wanted the F-22 but it got the F-35,” a Japan-based source told Reuters. “This is a source of concern and frustration in Tokyo.”

That is one reason the Japanese are aiming to develop what is being called the F-3—potentially a operational variant of the X-2—as an air superiority fighter. Japan aims to field a new air superiority fighter in the 2030s—roughly at the same time the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy hope to field the F-X and F/A-XX respectively. That means that Japan might be able to leverage such an effort to join a U.S.-led sixth-generation fighter program. Tokyo probably can’t afford to pay for a $50 billion fighter development program on its own.

However, if Tokyo does manage to develop a new sixth-generation fighter on its own, it would mark the revival of Japan as an aerospace colossus. The country’s once-potent aviation industry was all but dismantled following the end of the Second World War.

- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services

Cheesy Tomato Based Pasta Recipe, Adding Subtitles to Video Files, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2018/08/cheapeasyhealthy-tomato-based-pa...