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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Life in Sudan (technically North and South Sudan), Life in Somalia, and More

- Kingdom of Kush was one of first recorded instances of Sudan in history. Strong influence of ancient Egyptian empire and their Gods. Strong religious influence with Christianity and then Islam thereafter. Has struggled with internal conflict for a long time 
sudan history
- one of the ironies for me is that a lot of sanctions that seem to hit the entire economy not neceessarily those parts of the economy that will help to halt the conflict? Has been in trouble in the past because of support for Osama bin Laden, support for armed religious groups, etc... At the moment stagnant economy because of sanctions. Similar problems to Venezuela with shortages across the board, http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/02/life-in-venezuela-examining-prophetspre.html
Inside Story - Will civil disobedience in Sudan work
Media Review - South Sudan
The Stream - Austerity measures fuel discontent in Sudan
The Heat— South Sudan 10_14_2016
Kenyan president accuses UN of scapegoating after South Sudan commander sacked
Kenyan President accuses UN of scapegoating after UN South Sudan commander sacked
- like Libya http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/02/life-in-libya-going-off-grid-and-more.html the cynical journalists out there have pointed out that the part of the country that has the oil seems to 'safe' while the other part generally has difficulties? Despite the internal difficulties clear that the people are 'hospitable' to one another. People share meals and water even with complete strangers... Like Egypt focus of life is around Nile river
Media Review - South Sudan
Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu
Dangerous Life of Sudan Dainik Bhaskar Spacial
- traditional family roles still maintained and many still live in 'village/tribal' format. Their cities (such as Khartoum) feel underdeveloped even compared to North Korea, http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2016/09/inside-north-korea-russia-vs-usa-part-3.html Difficult to believe that other parts of the world are still like this? Most activities are focused around farming to survive. They eat a variety of things but they are mostly locally based. Islamic tradition obviously with hijab seen everywhere in school? They have some public service programs. It just feels like they lack stability and investment overall. Lack of information out there to be honest...
Life in rural Sudan
South Sudan - Life in South Sudan
South Sudan - The makeshift camps barely equipped for everyday life
S Sudan's refugees prefer life in Khartoum
What is life like in Southern Sudan
The Village - Life in South Sudan
Travel _ Sudan _ Khartoum
The Quilted Conscience - Life in Sudan
Life in Sudan - Avery Dotterer, Colette Hodges, Blaire Murray
'Lodule's Life' - documentary by 1st time producers in South Sudan
Integrated school helps Syrians adapt to life in Sudan
Life of South Sudan  refugee women & girls in Northern Uganda
Sudan's Midwives - Saving Lives One Mother at a Time
- depending on parts of Sudan things can get really desperate especially with regards to refugees...
Life of sudan
- life of a bus driver and rickshaw driver in Sudan... Clearly, life is a struggle over there. Look at the background alone and you'll see that they need development. Problems with drugs and homelessness
Rickshaw Ride in Khartoum, Sudan
Mohamed the bus driver life in Sudan
- life with the Sudan Liberation Army. Roughing it in the rural areas. Obviously, they lack a 'professional feel' that you get with regular armed forces. Equipment looks like it's been purchased from the 'black market'? Clearly, that life is different in parts that are still in conflict. Things are most difficult in Southern Sudan? Northen Sudan has oil. South Sudan has the problems. No food in South Sudan. Refugees taking shelter in churches
Darfur - Life in the bush with the SLA (Sudan Liberation Army)
life in south sudan 2016
Life of sudan
Saving Lives in South Sudan
- Ger Duany is a model/actor in the US. Grew up in Sudan. Moved between Sudan and Ethiopia. Joined the army. Was fearful but got used to it. Spent a lot of time as a refugee and ultimately went to the US but sees the logic in going back and helping out
Ger Duany's life in Sudan
- Sudanese war veterans. Their injuries are a consequence of disease and injuries from conflict. Stigma associated with these people because of their disabilities makes getting jobs/life more difficult
South Sudan War Vets Find New Life in Wheelchair Basketball
- life on a farm. Borderline nomadic? It doesn't feel like they have land boundaries. Lot's of 'mooing' in this video. You'll love it if you're into cows/cattle. Some tribal dancing (a lot of jumping down on a single spot with chanting thrown in there as well)? Their 'cattle' seems to have big, long horns?
Life In Dinka Cattle Camp - Southern Sudan
- difficulties with regrads to internal stability. Conflict have killed thousands. Internal displacement numbers into millions. Clearly, development up and down and since large parts of the country are dedicated to agriculture it should make sense that 
A look at life inside a refugee camp in South Sudan.
Dangerous Life of Sudan Dainik Bhaskar Spacial
- spice very important in Sundanese (and Middle Eastern) cooking in general. Like others international trade has meant that their culture and food has been influenced in many different ways. Main influences are from Ethiopia, Turkey, Egypt, etc... Fruit juice core because like other Islamic countries alcohol is basically banned. Core foods include rice, lamb, beef, peanuts, sesame. Fried perch (fish) and goat stew common... Have to admit that Sudanese food is generally pretty 'visually appealing'?
sudan food recipes
- most interesting looking animal is De Brazza's Noble - White Bearded Monkey
sudan animals
Savannas, scrublands and grasslands, which take up the majority of Sudan’s surface area, comprise a distinct ecosystem. The Sudanese savanna is characterized by acacia trees, with a variety of shrubs, herbs and grasses growing underneath. The savanna supports several particularly impressive animals, including the giant eland, a species of antelope that stands 6 feet tall and weighs over 2 tons. The trees of the savanna provide a home for wild birds, such as the Reichenow’s firefinch and the niam-niam parrot, both unique to the area. Sudan’s dry season usually takes place between January and March, and many of the country’s wild animals migrate during the year in search of food and 
- economy reminds me of Somalia in a way. Heavy focus on food production... Development is generally up and down
Inside Story - Is Sudan ready to have restrictions lifted
sudan economy
The economy of Sudan is unstable and chronically victim to adverse weather, weak agricultural prices, and the on-going civil war. A 1996 estimate of the labor force of 11 million held that the majority worked in agriculture (80 percent), industry and commerce (10 percent), government (6 percent), and unemployment was at 4 percent ( CIA Factbook ).

Oil production—85,000 barrels per day in 2001— has bolstered the economy since 1999. Seventy percent of the oil is exported, giving Sudan its first recorded trade surplus in 1999-2000; the remaining oil is processed for domestic consumption. Thanks in large part to oil production, the return of regular rains, and irrigation systems, the country experienced economic growth (6 percent) in 2001 ( CIA Factbook ).
- as a consequence of internal conflict severe restrictions have been place for a long time with regards to press freedom. Once again, simple websites with focus on local and regional issues rather then international affairs. A lot of English press options?
sudan media

On Somalia:
- politically unstable. Islamic background hence the reason for alcohol ban? Homosexuality banned. Currently, has been in a civil war involving neighbours and terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda for several decades. A lot of advice out there saying not to travel there as it's dangerous. Breakdown of social order. Watch out for militia at night or you may get shot
somalia
Somalia country profile - BBC News
- Mohamed Siad Barre was long time leader until overthrown. Al-Shabab a problem. Super complicated situation. 135 clans vying for power. Massive interference in polls... Internal conflict has become external conflict with surrounding neighbours. General security problems acknowledged across the board. Clan based power arrangement. Acknowledged that they need to move beyond this though. Al-Shabab simply taking advantage of power vacuum/situation?
Inside Story - Why does Somalia matter
Somalia - The Forgotten Story (Part 2) - Al Jazeera World
Somalia attack - Gunmen storm luxury hotel in Mogadishu, at least 12 killed
- once upon a time it was important regional centre/empire? Another country that had to fight off countries who wanted to colonise it such as the British and Italians. Clear Middle-Eastern influence in culture due to trade. Traded with Asia and Middle East. Mostly trouble with Europeans
somalia history
- like Syria this place has been blown apart by civil war so it's difficult to establish genuine figures. Most figures point to it being very poor. The civil war left most Somalis uneducated and illiterate, living in poverty, and struggling for survival on a daily basis?
somalia economy
- fusion of different cultures but still a distinct feel to it. Meat driven meals and little vegetarianism. Somali cuisine varies from region to region and is a fusion of different Somali culinary traditions, with some East African, Arab, Ethiopian, Yemeni, Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Italian influences. It is the product of Somalia's tradition of trade and commerce. Some notable Somali delicacies include sabayad, lahoh/injera, halva, sambuusa, basbousa, and ful medames. Seem to eat pancakes (possibly with soup) in the morning, rice or pasta at lunch, beans for dinner. Some interesting sweets often made from by mixing fruits with sugar and freezing them or cooking them and letting them set. Not as much detail about Somali food as other places in general. Spiced tea is local favourite as alcohol was banned. Apparently, idea brought from trade with Turkey
somali food recipes
Explore Somalia Food, Somalia Cunto and more!
- the obvious big questions are where you live and how wealthy you are which determine your life in Somalia. You look around at parts of it and it seems to be better than parts of the Middle East who are technically richer according to GDP (Iran, Egypt, etc...). Like other refugess a lot of them just don't seem to be happy with life in the US/West (the 'rat race') so they return home... Water quality up and down. They have different grades of water for drinking, showering, washing, etc... Things are definitely getting better and in spite of them technically being poorer they are happier back at home. Prospects for life better in Somalia better then in the US/West for returning citizens? Food is all natural and despite Islamic/convervative nature most people are still easy going? Weather is good as well. Really up and down development if you look at pictures and video... Development up and down
life in somalia
Located in the Horn of Africa, the majority Sunni Muslim country suffers from an ineffective government, famine, disease, piracy, militant extremism, and frequent external intervention.
- general underdevelopment. Architecture is typical of Middle East/Africa
Mogadishu Diaries - Telling the stories of daily life in Somalia _ Abla Elmi _ TEDxMogadishu
Night Life in Mogadishu 2015 - #Somalia _HD
- things getting better back in Somalia. Some Somalis prefer stress nomadic lifestyle (herding camels) compared to busy, stressful city life (real estate sales)? Feels like Sudan. Stability is dependent on where you are. For the most part things are more unstable then stable. Development is required across the board? Common economic problems to other countries suffering from instability such as inflation. Most Somalis who have moved to the West are sending money back home and feeding big families
Migrating for a better life - from the UK back to Somaliland
Somalia - The Life Of Nomadic - #SomaliArchive
Somali camels; life in Somalia. Geela somalida
Return to Somalia from Dadaab, Kenya
situation in Somalia
Somalia - Life in Mogadishu
Somalia Mogadishu 2016
Somalia - The African Hell of life - Documentary 2014
Somalia - The Impact of Conflict on Daily Life
Witness - Shukri - A New Life
Somali _ Next Door Neighbors _ NPT
The Life of a Refugee Chef Living in Oakland
- just feels like other parts of the Middle East and Africa. Village/tribal life still common
Bantu village life in Somalia
Barbaric Attacks In Somalia - World Documentaries
full somali documentary
Somalia - life in  Abudwak
- like Sudan, internal displacement one of the big problems
Improving daily life for Somalia's internally displaced
Life Despite War - Somalia
- crime and piracy a big problem. They have towns that are known for piracy? Obviously, two sides of this argument. The pirates argue that they are protecting Somali resources from being 'exploited' by foreigners? Things are getting better as stability is getting better. Not much you can do about them. They are often use sophisticated technology,, legal loopholes, and make deals with local officials to get the job done
Life inside the den of Somali pirates -  16 Jun 09
A Glimpse Into The Lives Of Somali Pirates
Barbaric Attacks In Somalia - World Documentaries
Somalia - Beach life returns to Mogadishu - BBC News
Somali pirates VS Private security . Polemic REAL FOOTAGE
Top 7 Crazy Facts About Real Life Pirates (Somali Pirates)
- some descriptions saying that the place is very much still 'wild'. Carnivores (such as lions, hyenas, leopards, etc...) can be seen roaming around at night. Most interesting animals are probably the Vervet monkey, Hamadryas baboon, and Cape hyrax
somalia animals
- limited freedom in press. Like in other parts of the Middle East they are concerned about social/political stability issues. Anti-Israel/Pro-Palestinian focus in media? Very simple websites (seems common to Asia, Africa, Middle-East, Latin-America). Media seems focused on local and regional issues but isn't ignorant of international affairs
somalia media

Random Stuff:
- been looking for something simple to block certain websites. Honestly, the easiest way is to simply chance your /etc/hosts file? The obvious problem is that this will block things across the board for that particular network rather then being application or software specific
website blocker firefox addon
hostfile open source manager
- if you're doing something simple, building an AV scanner isn't that difficult. All you're really doing is checking for certain bad disassembled code and well as checking for certain files which match particular checksums?
anti-virus scanner source code
perl anti-virus checker
Comment on CGI Antivirus Scanner
Download Code
checksum of viruses list
- not trying to downplay what the security services do but there doesn't seem to be a lot of attack attempts (relative to population size?)? I guess the worry is the thing blowing up? The obvious wierd thing is where 
terrorist attacks are stopped
car accidents united states
heart attack united states
cancer deaths united states
starvation statistics
causes of mortality
deaths through war
- not a bad device but a little pricey...
MicroKorg XL and Sound-Editor with Windows 7 -Now SOLVED
microKORG XL/Owner's Manual
SUPPORT
microKORG XL/Sound Editor
- clearly, he is part of the Husky Liberation Army? Apparently, huskies sometimes have a bad reputation in spite (or because) of their intelligence and energy levels
Smart Husky - Dog breaks out, helps canine friends to try to escape from vet
- possible but not necessarily easy... From time to time Apple does seem to make modifications which makes it more difficult to do things...
dmg to iso mavericks linux

Random Quotes:
- Weighing just 10 kilos, the high-precision 12.7mm sniper rifle Kord-M, also known as ASVK and 6V7M-1, is light enough to be carried for many miles without breaking its owner’s back. It is reported to be capable of penetrating up to 15 mm of armor and cutting through concrete and brick walls.

“A large-caliber sniper rifle should not be too light, because heavier ones have less recoil,” an army sharpshooter told Izvestia. “Leading makers of sniper rifles around the world always try to make their heavy rifles weigh less, but no one has so far been able to pare them down to just 10 kilos,” he added. The Kord-M weighs less than its foreign counterparts, including the US-made M-82, used by Special Ops troops in virtually every developed country. It also exceeds them in the range of effective fire and is more accurate too. 

The Barrett M82 rifle weighed around 13 kilograms, while its latest upgrade – the Barrett XM500 – weighs 11.8 kilos. Britain’s makers are lagging a bit behind with their AS50 sniper rifle weighing 14.1 kg – just 900 grams less than its AW50 predecessor. Moreover, with its extended effective range of fire (2 km) Russia’s Kord-M is way ahead of both the M82 and XM500 (just over 1,1 km) and the AS500 and AW50 (around 1.5 km).
- The Freedom of Information data shows that many who are still serving are in breach of Body Mass Index (BMI) findings.

Military personnel undergo regular fitness tests of varying difficulty depending on their corps and service. These are thought to have been impacted upon by excessive weight.

The personal fitness assessment is an obligatory undertaking twice a year. If the test is failed it must be retaken within seven days.

“If you walk around any barracks you’ll see plenty of overweight soldiers,” one anonymous officer told the paper.

Figures from 2014 show that as many as 22,000 service personnel were overweight to some degree. Some 32,000 personnel also failed a “basic” fitness test in the three years prior to 2014, according to MoD figures released to the Times newspaper.

A total of 29,600 men and 2,819 women failed their fitness tests between April 2011 and March 2014, according to the paper.
- TEL AVIV — A small Israeli robotics-optronics firm has plans to revive the classic concept of armored decoys in defense of contemporary anti-tank missile threats to maneuvering forces.

Developed and demonstrated by General Robotics with support from Israel’s Ministry of Defense (MoD), Project Hyena — named after an animal notorious for deception and thievery — infuses foldable, semi-autonomous lightweight platforms with the sounds and signatures of actual tanks and other armored vehicles in order to provoke and deceive the enemy.

The project was recently declassified and will soon be available to select export customers, said company founder Udi Gal, a retired colonel and former scientific deputy for defense research and development.

“We’re evaluating now with MoD which countries we will be permitted to cooperate,” Gal said.

In his first interview on the program that dates back to 2012, Gal said the decoys were put through numerous field tests, alongside genuine armor, to compare visual and thermal signatures. In the past year, General Robotics extended the program to test signatures in millimeter-wave.

“In the past, advanced decoys were very expensive, since they essentially had to recreate a target,” Gal said.

“But now, with new technology, advanced robotics and some other tricks that we’ve added, we can create targets that are almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing. And we can do this for a few tens of thousands of dollars; just a fraction of one percent of the cost of a main battle tank.” 
- President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that the army of Belarus, the modernization of which was nearly completed, was ready to defend Russia in the western direction. 

"We, together with the Russian people, the Russians, will defend our common homeland in the highly important for Russia western direction. We will be dying in this direction to defend Belarus and Russia," Alexander Lukashenko said, RIA Novosti reports. 

According to Lukashenko, the Army of Belarus will be able to show resistance to any aggressor.

"We can say that we have nearly completed the modernisation of the Russian army. We have adapted the army to the possible wars that can be unleashed against our state - from information warfare to hot war," said Alexander Lukashenko.

Earlier, the Belarusian president, speaking to the parliament, said that he would not allow the country's opposition to set up enemy's image from Russia." "The Russians are our brothers, with whom we have been living for a very long time," Lukashenko said, TASS reports
- The Syriza government, in which I served as finance minister from January to July 2015, failed to achieve change because we ended up disunited and the prime minister capitulated to the EU at the moment when he had a mandate from the Greek people to do the opposite. My hope was that if Syriza had carried on with the struggle, we would have been a catalyst for movements across Europe (such as the one that has fuelled the rise of Jeremy Corbyn) to join us.

The capitulation of Alexis Tsipras was a hefty blow to the concept of radical inter­nationalism, but I still believe that internationalism offers the solution to the problems facing Europe in this deflationary era. The number of good-quality jobs has decreased, investment is depressed and optimism about the future is being destroyed. It is the left’s duty to do all we can to end this. If we can explain to the masses what the sources of their discontent are, we have a chance to breathe new life into the left. There are no guarantees – just a chance.
- Scientists have discovered a key cellular protein that controls the ageing process – a breakthrough that could lead to advances that slow down or even stop the ageing process.

Researchers believe that the discovery of a protein called carbonic anhydrase could be the first step in developing medicines that slow the progression of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

University of Nottingham scientists found larger amounts of the protein in the brain and muscle cells of older mice than in younger mice. However, young mice with prior mental degeneration also had higher amounts of the protein within their cells’ mitochondria, known as the powerhouse responsible for converting oxygen into energy.

To determine if the protein was detrimental, rather than a byproduct of the body’s efforts to protect itself against degeneration, researchers tested its effects on one millimeter long nematode worms.

Feeding the worms carbonic acid was found to reduce their lifespan.
Read more
© Denis Balibouse Scientists may have ‘game changer’ drug to treat Alzheimer’s

Lead researcher Lisa Chakrabarti of the University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science said, “What’s really exciting about this development is that we have been able to surmise that the function of this protein is playing a role in the ageing process within the cell.”

“This gives us a very promising start in working out how we can best target this protein within the mitochondria to slow the effects of ageing in the body while limiting other unwanted side effects on the body.

“It could potentially offer a significant new avenue in both tackling degenerative illnesses and the general effects of ageing on the body,” she explained.
- RT: In the event Deutsche Bank fails what would that mean for the EU and the financial world in general?

JR: Then the EU would disintegrate, because Germany would no longer be able to support it, would not want to support it. A lot of other people would start bailing out; many banks in Europe have problems. And if Deutsche Bank has to fail – that is the end of it. In 1931, when one of the largest banks in Europe failed, it led to the Great Depression and eventually the WWII. Be worried!

Germany has been rightly telling everybody not to bail out their banks, but if they have to suddenly bail out their banks, then other countries will be furious and the politicians will have a field day.
- Little kids often declare that they want to grow up to be prime minister because they incorrectly think that it means being the boss of the whole country. 

Far, far fewer children express the sentiment "when I grow up, I'm going to use my university connections and business/union involvement to successfully exploit alliances within the factions in order to be given preselection for a safe enough lower-house seat to eventually be considered an acceptable leadership option by the majority of members of one of two Australian political parties". That's because any child faced with the dirty, desperate reality of becoming PM would aspire to a more sensible alternative career, like ballerina or tyrannosaurus. 

Being PM isn't something that naturally happens to our best and our brightest leaders. It's something that happens because they were coincidentally leading the right party when Australia's constantly-wobbling centre leaned left or right at the right time, or because the person previously in the job failed miserably at it. It's not a meritocracy so much as a high-stakes game of musical chairs. 

Malcolm Turnbull's first priority, therefore, isn't leading Australia. It's leading the Liberal Party, because that is a necessary condition of the prime ministership. 

In fact, for a Liberal leader, there's an extra priority in the mix: not only does the leader have to lead the Liberal Party, but also have the support of the National Party because if the Nats are unhappy, they will refuse to agree to the coalition deal - and since unravelling the two parties is all but impossible (they're one blended party in Queensland, for a start) it means that an unacceptable Liberal leader will be replaced if the Nats don't like 'em. 

In short, the first political priority for Turnbull is the Liberal Party, second is leadership of the Coalition, and the welfare and happiness of the Australian public comes a distant third. That's not a criticism either: that's the way our political system is designed. It's a feature, not a bug. 
- In February, US Air Force General Philip Breedlove warned of the rising electronic warfare capabilities in Russia, the National Interest reported. 

“They [Russia] have invested a lot in electronic warfare because they know we are a connected and precise force and they need to disconnect us to make us imprecise,” Breedlove said.

The US is working on numerous projects of non-conventional weapons, including radio, electronic, infrared and laser ones. 

“We have electronic warfare capability – we probably do not have the capacity we need now,” Breedlove noted.

In April this year, Russia’s Radio-Electronic Technologies Concern (KRET) announced it has started trials of a tactical electromagnetic combat complex fully integrated with the latest air-defense systems.

The system is designed to suppress any existing and prospective airborne electronic equipment, making it impossible for the aircraft and satellites to proceed with their missions.
- The cellist and conductor Sergei Roldugin, who is counted among Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest friends, has revealed a "secret" to the media about US President Barack Obama.

"I would like to tell you something confidentially," said the musician in a conversation with journalists on Thursday. "Obama's bodyguards are not trusting enough to leave him alone with Putin, so that they can speak one-on-one."

In addition, Roldugin stated that Putin did not shy away from taking on responsibility. That, in the musician's view, is the most important difference when comparing the Russian president with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other western leaders.
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/insider-reveals-obamas-handlers-will-not-leave-him-alone-putin/ri16633
Retired Russian Lt. Gen. Evgeny Buzhinsky told the BBC Russia that US interests would suffer if the situation escalates.

“If you want a confrontation, you’ll get one. But it won’t be a confrontation that doesn’t harm the interests of the United States. You want a confrontation, you’ll get one everywhere,” Buzhinsky warned.

US-Russian relations have cratered in the past few weeks following President Obama’s decisions to pull out of talks on Syria and point a finger at Russia for hacking into computers at the Democratic National Committee.

Making matters worse, Putin scrapped plans to visit Paris after Hollande accused Russia of carrying out airstrikes to aid Syrian forces, which had committed a “war crime” in the devastated city of Aleppo.

Russian foreign policy analyst Fyodor Lukyanov considered Putin’s cancellation of his Paris visit a “serious step” toward Cold War relations with the West.

“This is part of the broader escalation in the tensions between Russia and the West, and Russia and NATO,” he told Agence France-Presse.
- “This is a fundamentally new plane with a new sighting and navigation system. This plane will be equipped with the latest communication systems and electronic warfare, and will have little visibility to radar,” Zhiharev said.

The plane is expected to be able to cover a range of 6,740 nautical miles and carry around 30-40 tons of weapons including air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles as well as conventional and smart-guided bombs.

The military hopes to fly the first bombers in 2023. But for now, Borisov said, by 2020-21 the Defense Ministry plans to procure around 50 upgraded versions of Tu-160M2 supersonic strategic bombers.

“For now, the baseline number remains the same, but it can be adjusted as we are continuing work on the advanced long-range aviation complex (PAK DA). The current baseline figure for the Tu-160M2 is 50 aircraft,” the Deputy Defense Minister said.
- The US Air Force is reportedly looking into a computer system outage at a base it uses to operate armed drones over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria. The failure could be linked to a number of fatal battlefield incidents days after it was revealed.

However, the Air Force has kept silent, refusing to publicly elaborate on either the outage or the possible impact it had.

When contacted by BuzzFeed News, military spokesman Major Malinda Singleton only said that “the investigation into the issue is ongoing.”

The system failure dates back to September 9, but was only discovered nearly a month later from a contractor notice from the government.

The Air Force posted a bid on FedBizOpps, the government’s primary tender market, on October 7, saying that “the SIPRNet system currently in operation at Creech AFB failed and critical services were impacted.”

The notice read that the services were “somewhat restored” and stabilized via “multiple less powerful devices,” but help was need to upgrade the system.
- The cause of the exploding battery has not been confirmed. As iTWire has previously stated experts say it could be a perfect storm caused by: fast charge; use of third party chargers; a desire to make a thin device leading to battery design issues; an intermittent battery manufacturing defect; a battery distribution and handling issue; intermittent faults in the phone’s charging circuitry; inconsistent electronic components; or it could be even tied to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth use.

The fact is that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole and when this complex piece of technology was assembled some caught fire.

There are dozens if not hundreds of permutations and combinations to cause the fire issue, and it is perfectly reasonable that despite rigorous testing by Samsung, its suppliers, and many global government authorities the exact cause has yet to be found.

When it is, I expect we will see complete transparency and I would not be surprised if the perfect storm caught other brands and models in its wake.

Meanwhile, Samsung has published a notice to shareholders that it estimates a negative impact of approximately mid-3 trillion won in operating profit from Q4, 2016 through Q1, 2017, due to the discontinuation of Galaxy Note7 sales. In Australian dollars that is about a $3.5 billion reduction in profit for the period.

Samsung's notice inferred that the Note7 will not resurface and that in the interim it will concentrate on sales of the Galaxy S7 and Edge. Additionally, it will focus on enhancing product safety by making significant changes in its quality assurance processes.

The Note7 is/was a unique niche device that will be sadly missed by some. Its larger screen and S Pen overlaid on the GS7 Edge design was a winning combination. It is now likely that we will see the Galaxy S8, Edge and possibly a Note 8 released as early as March 2017. But Samsung will need to prove its credentials and win hearts so it may delay the releases to do something really special.

The Korea Herald has said that Samsung may drop the “flat” standard version and focus on the Edge and Edge+ (Note 8). It may also be the first to produce an almost all-screen phone — a screen to body ratio approaching 100% — by incorporating the home fingerprint reader/key as an under glass sensor and the speaker/microphones in the top and bottom of the chassis.

I, for one, will be lining up for the Note8 – I really liked the S Pen for the two weeks I was privileged to use it.
- The world, including Syria, is a messier place than imagined by those who see the world in black and white. Those who apply this lens as they seek to distinguish good guys from bad guys, Islamists from freedom fighters, even "vetted" opponents of the regime from brothers without such sanction, are bound to be disappointed. It is Syrians who, it must be remembered, will continue to suffer the consequences of the battles now raging, and bear the extraordinary costs of these unrealisable dreams.
- The latest addition to the US Navy, the USS Zumwalt, has joined the fleet. The technologically-advanced destroyer has been compared to the Batmobile by a top US general.

“If Batman had a ship, it would be the USS Zumwalt,” said Adm. Harry B. Harris, Jr., commander of the US Pacific Command at the commissioning ceremony in Baltimore.

At more than $4 billion a vessel, the Zumwalt is a multi-mission stealth ship with a focus on land and surface attacks.

The 16,000-ton destroyer, named after former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Elmo Zumwalt, is armed with twin 155mm Advanced Gun Systems, two Mk46 30mm guns, Standard and Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles, Tomahawk cruise missiles, vertical-launch anti-submarine rockets, and several .50-caliber M2 machine guns.

It can also carry two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters as well as MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicles, SEAPOWER magazine reported.

    Welcome to the #USNavy fleet, #USSZumwalt! You will carry on your namesake's legacy. You are tough, bold and ready.#ZGram1000#MDFleetWeekpic.twitter.com/i9jReJyfMG
    — U.S. Navy (@USNavy) October 15, 2016

The ship can fire 600 GPS-guided, rocket-propelled shells from its 80 missile tubes more than 70 miles away.

In addition to the gun systems, a key feature of the ship is its complex integrated power system (IPS) that uses the ship’s gas turbine output to power an electrical grid, instead of a direct mechanical connection to the propulsion system. The ship generates about 78 megawatts of power – “enough power to power a medium- to small-sized city.” It’s almost as much as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
- At the convention, Mr. Thiel sounded a populist tone rarely heard among entrepreneurs.

“Across the country, wages are flat. Americans get paid less today than 10 years ago,” he said. “But health care and college tuition cost more every year. Meanwhile, Wall Street bankers inflate bubbles in everything from government bonds to Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees. Our economy is broken. If you’re watching me right now, you understand this better than any politician in Washington D.C.”
- The article implies that Russia has been a major customer for these inflatable models, and given the cost of developing an inflatable surface-to-air missile launcher, we can infer that the resulting sales made it worth Rusbal's while.

Will these inflatables fool the enemy? That depends. To the trained eye, as well as sophisticated U.S. and NATO reconnaissance systems, probably not. But part of the elegance of maskirovka is parking a dozen inflatable tanks along a tour bus route, just about at the range where they start to look real, and then counting the "OMG RUSSIA HAS A MILLION TANKS ON THE BORDER" posts on Instagram. And then watching an entire country's foreign policy change based on several hundred pounds of rubber and an air compressor.

Bible Codes, Random Stuff, and More

On Bible Codes: Obviously, I am somewhat curious about the origin of religion... Recently, I came across a book called 'Bible Code...