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Monday, May 1, 2017

Perl Algorithmic Music MIDI Composer, Random Stuff, and More

- tried searching online for a suitable base for algorithmic music work but couldn't. Ultimately, came up with a proof of concept/prototype in very quick time (hours)... I present to you music_composer.pl Download it here:
# This script is to facilitate automated composition of music. 
# It's obviously fairly basic at this stage and requires tools 
# from the following page to work:
# Nonetheless, based on what I've seen this is a lot easier to
# understand, extend, and work with then a lot of other MIDI
# libraries out there which are often too complex or too
# basic. You should be able to get something very useful working
# from this even if you don't know much about music itself.
# As this is the very first version of the program it may be VERY 
# buggy). Please test prior to deployment in a production environment.
- if you look at all of the music generators out there you'll realise that a lot of them don't sound great. Moreover, it feels like they've possibly made things more complex then they should be? My suggestion with this particular area is to find the simplest music generator that you can and work back from there. If you've ever worked on larger software projects you'll understand why. Too many pieces and you most people won't have the time to be able to figure things out, they will lose interest/morale because it's so complex (the bigger ones often don't sound much better then the smaller ones based on what I'm finding as well), etc... 
- use simple tools like timidity and audacity to test sounds because full on DAWs often lack the development setup that is necessary in order to make life sufficiently easy to make it less frustrating/time consuming. A good example of this is Ableton and Remote Script hacking of Python. You need to restart the entire program in order to re-compile scripts. On older hardware this can get pretty frustrating
- try to keep an open mind. Nowadays, most developers specialise in a small number of languages but have often studied multiple types of languages in their University/College years. In the music software side of things I've had to work with C, C++, Python, Perl, Java, JavaScript alone already
perl algorithmic music midi generator
midi note generator
javascript midi file creation
- lots of options out there if you can't be bothered making a music video. Basically, let the software do the work as much as possible as far as I'm concerned. You can also test your polygraph analysis skills using this particular technique as well (VLC and Windows Media Player both have this ability. Not really certain how accurate they are though)?
wave to video visualiser linux cli
wav to visualiser linux cli
open source perl audio visualiser
- it can be frustrating. Even if you're trained in both fields getting what you want into algorithmic form may be more difficult then you think. Just getting a phrase that sounds good that can be randomised alone can be difficult
best edm music music note progressions
Am, F, C, G
(Alesso- If It Wasn't For You, Jindax- Paint The World)
Cm, Ab,  Eb, Bb
(Dzeko & Torres- For You, Steve Aoki- Bring You To Life (Vibe Remix))
Bm, G, D, A
(Arston- Circle Track, Moiez- What I Need This Time)
C#m, A, E, B
(Gareth Emery- Soldier, Marin Garrix- The Only Way Is Up)
Main Scales for Dance music?
- the most difficult issues you'll really face are knowing the MIDI file format, maintaining key, and translation of ideas. If you're a relatively good musician and developer this shouldn't be too difficult. The real problem occurs if you're not so great on the musical sound. It's much easier to translate good music into code then the other way around
- automated remix FOSS code. Haven't looked too closely at it yet but looks cool?
sudo pip install remix
- just accept proprietary file formats and bus protocols. After a while you just get used to figuring out how they work and how to get around things... That said, if possible you want something that is relatively human readable. For a long time, I've had to work on reverse engineering file formats. It's painstaking work. Use an intermediate format that is easy to read if at all possible (speed limitations/considerations factored in of course. Some file formats you can do this easily with. Others not so much). This reminds me if you're interested in this type of thing you may be interested in buying my books as well? LOL 
usb monitor software
- accept the fact that you just can't always get a neat/elegant solution. In the end, my guess is that I'll have to use Perl, Python, BASH as a binding element for a bunch of other tools to be able to build worthwhile algorithmic music?
- be aware that in spite of the Internet being so large not everyone thinks like you. You may have a problem that needs to be fixed in a way that has never been attempted before (publicly). More and more I'm finding that building something yourself is often quicker then finding something suitable out there on the Internet
- just code, I know heap of developers who have heaps of ideas but hardly ever get them out on paper (even if it's just a proof of concept. Maybe they overestimate the task, maybe they're lazy, maybe they don't know how to, don't have time, etc...)

Random Stuff:
- more footage of Pandas. Quite strange and novel seeing a Panda scratch it's butt up against a tree?
Cute funny Panda scratching butt
Panda's funny way of scratching its butt
Panda's ways to scratch its own back
Viral dancing panda scratches his back
Panda scratching its butt
Funny panda scratching its ass
Panda Scratches Its Butt
Funny panda bear rubs butt on a tree - what else would a panda do if it had an itch
Saving China's Pandas - 101 East
Cute Baby Panda Cub Gets Some Serious Cuddles!
Panda addicted to hugging adorable pandas compilation
Lazy species? Panda performs forward rolls
- at least the animals won't be without a drink?
- why don't you just put a cover/shell over an existing ship to give it more stealthy characteristics while maintaining sea going capability? Seems cheaper and would work the same?
- more music tools for lazy IT people. There are free alternatives out there (VST's and Max4Live plugins in particular) obviously but you'll need to know some music theory to know that they are
max4live plugin in scale
- really weird theories from Dugin? Completely bizarre background about him at times? Interesting theories regarding Eurasianism, Satanism vs Abrahamic religions, life, power through culture, global/Apocalyptic war is inevitable, etc... He's an occultist? At times, some of his ideas (admittedly, some of this is second hand knowledge/interpretation though) are so outlandish that you wonder whether or not he's simply there to bring up these topics and cause discussion?
Dugin - Master of Chaos & the NWO Made in Russia An Interview with Wahid Azal
The Fourth Political Theory (Russian: Четвертая политическая теория, Chetvertaya Politicheskaya Teoriya) is a book by the Russian political scientist and theorist Aleksandr Dugin, published in 2009. In the book, Dugin states that he is laying the foundations for an entirely new political ideology, the fourth political theory, which integrates and supersedes the three past "theories" of liberal democracy, Marxism, and fascism.[1] The book has been cited as an inspiration for Russian policy in events such as the War in Donbass,[2] and for the contemporary European far right in general.[3]
Alexander Dugin is an incendiary figure, given to controversial actions and comments on current affairs. All you need to do is check out his biography on Wikipedia.
This book, his magnum opus, is no different. Dugin thinks outside the box, and his ideas promulgated in this book are innovative. He writes with a clarity and honesty which is both provocative and illuminating. Even though written over ten years ago, is still relevant to and speaks about the present age.
Dugin’s premise is that three great political theories of the 20th Century have failed in one way or another.
The first failed political theory is Western Liberalism.
The second failed political theory is Communism.
The third failed political theory is Fascism.
- there's a strong nationalist movement in Russia still? For some strange reason I think that the more the US/NATO closes in around Russia the more likely countries around Russia are going to be broken up and incorporated into Russia much like Ukraine, Crimea, Donbass, Georgia, Moldova, etc...
The Stream - Anti-corruption protests sweep across Russia
- have to admit there has to be a funny side to the surveillance world...
- 50 interceptors (THAAD/US) vs how many incoming projectiles (NK)? I don't think some people are doing the numbers correctly for some strange reason? If South Korea gets into serious trouble (even in the case of a so called 'decapitation strike' on North Korea) I wouldn't be surprised...
- latest in science and technology
An Israeli solution to Brazil's sewage problem
- at times you wonder why they don't just tow a floating airfield? I know they've thought of similar ideas in the past... Just seems like a better option sometimes?
- the 'Great Power' struggle is interesting because of the way things work is strange and contradictory at times...
- latest in defense
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: DOD Needs to Complete Developmental Testing Before Making Significant New Investments
- latest in finance and politics
Whistleblower Takes On The Dirtiest Bank In The World (Full Interview)

Random Quotes:
- And while governments around the world, nation and states have been selling off assets and seeking to outsource as much as possible to the private sector in the interests of efficiency, people actually like public ownership. And Australians love our health system, and care deeply about it.

The ALP hardly pushed any great socialist agenda - there was no Bernie Sanders type cries for revolution - but they at least seemed to realise voters see more to life than just the budget deficit or surplus.

That voters in greater numbers than ever before chose to vote for minor parties is part of a long-term trend, but which may now have reached a point where the ALP and LNP are forced to admit they have a problem.

And it's a problem that is unlikely to be solved with more talk of how GDP growth, free-trade agreement and international competitiveness will make everything better again.
- The AMTA, incidentally, has been gloating over the fact that Demasi's Wi-Fi programme was pulled off the web.

From the point of view of an outsider, Demasi's only fault appears to be that she tilts at tall poppies — the last time it was big pharma — and then relies too much on one person's evidence to frame her story.

She makes the traditional mistake of having a hypothesis and then searching for evidence to substantiate it — as is very common — rather than adopt the practice of someone like the veteran Adam Curtis of BBC fame who collects an amazing abundance of facts around a possible topic and lets the facts lead him to a conclusion.

One point that has been pointed out by Leszczynski is particularly pertinent: the Australian Communications and Media Authority is the regulator both of the mobile phone industry in Australia and also the media – which includes the ABC. Talk about conflicts of interest!

So why haven't the ABC top brass spoken out in Demasi's defence? She may have made mistakes, but that is the normal human condition. Journalists make mistakes every minute, every hour. No-one is publicly hung out to dry in this manner.

It is shameful that the managers at the public broadcaster shirk their responsibility towards those who work under them. But then given the recent appointment of a new managing director, who seems willing to act on evidence, perhaps the five bigwigs are lying low for fear of being cut themselves.
- During the Second World War, and even before they joined the war, the United States concluded a pact with the United Kingdom which was clearly laid out in the specifics of the Atlantic Charter [1]. It called for the two countries to unite in order to guarantee freedom of maritime circulation and the extension of free trade.

This alliance was implemented by the «Five Eyes» agreement, which currently serves as the basis for the cooperation between 17 Intelligence agencies from 5 different states (the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as three other members of the Commonwealth - Australia, Canada and New Zealand).

The documents revealed by Edward Snowden attest that the Echelon network in its current form constitutes «a supranational Intelligence agency which is independent of the laws of its own member states». So the «Five Eyes» have been able to spy on personalities like the Secretary General of the UNO and the German Chancellor, and at the same time, carry out mass surveillance on their own citizens.

In identical fashion, in 1948, the United States and the United Kingdom founded a second supranational agency, the Office of Special Projects, which commanded the “stay-behind” networks of the UNO, known today by the name of Gladio.

Professor Daniele Ganser has shown that this Bureau has organised a number of coups d’etat and terrorist operations in Europe [2]. If at first we thought that the «strategy of tension» was aimed at preventing the accession to power of Communist governments in Europe by democratic means, it soon became clear that it was aimed mainly at feeding the phobia of Communism, and thus justifying Anglo-Saxon military protectionism. Newly-declassified documents have shown that this mechanism exists outside Europe and operates in the Arab world [3].

Finally, in 1982, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia created a third supranational agency, whose pseudo NGO’s - the National Endowment for Democracy and its four subsidiaries – ACILS, CIPE, NDI and IRI - form the visible part [4]. It specialises in the organisation of coups d’etat camouflaged as «revolutions».

Although there exists an impressive quantity of literature concerning these three programmes, we know absolutely nothing about the supranational agencies which control them.
- Patent application no. 14/451,356 has one goal: to outrun the speed demons of Wall Street.
The 16-page document was quietly published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in February. Replete with schematic drawings, the filing describes a novel way for “executing synchronized trades in multiple exchanges.” The invention consists of not only sophisticated algorithms and a host of computer servers, but atomic clocks -- precisely calibrated to vibrations of irradiated cesium atoms -- to sync orders to within a few billionths of a second.
And if it works as advertised, one of the most illustrious names in the hedge-fund business could gain exclusive U.S. rights to a weapon capable of thwarting even the most predatory of high-speed traders.
The application belongs to Renaissance Technologies, the ultra-secretive and highly profitable $32 billion firm founded by mathematician and former code breaker Jim Simons. And the lengths it’s been willing to go to build and patent its own computer-driven technology -- at a potential cost of tens of millions of dollars -- underscores just how big a threat high-frequency traders have become to the industry’s largest and savviest players.
- According to a July 7 statement, Israeli and Indian program officials witnessed three flight tests, each one simulating “different extreme reference scenarios validating various system capabilities.” Launched from land-based mobile launchers, each of the three tests successfully destroyed targets simulating enemy threats.

“This is an important milestone in the cooperation between India and Israel and in the development of the MRSAM advanced air defense system,” said S Christopher, DRDO chief.

Boaz Levy, IAI executive vice president and general manager of the company's Systems Missiles and Space Group, said Barak-8 had been validated in operational tests in Israel and abroad over the past year. It provides the “ultimate answer” to the Russian Yakhont, which Levy said posed “a significant threat in the Middle East in general and to the Israel Navy in particular.”

The vertically launched intercepting system, with a range of some 70 kilometers, provides persistent 360-degree coverage against saturation attacks by long-range missiles and a spectrum of air-breathing threats, including the Russian sea-skimming cruise missile known by its NATO designation SS-N-26.

“Barak-8 is one of the most advanced air defense systems in the world in its sea-based and land-based versions. ... It is Israel’s answer to the latest threat to come from the north,” Levy said, referring to the long-range missiles sold to Syria and assumed to be in the hands of Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
- Russia has started large-scale preparations for flight tests of the new "Sarmat" heavy intercontinental ballistic missile which is set to join the service by 2018. The former Chief of Staff of the Strategic Missile Forces, Viktor Esin, said that the missile will replace the most powerful RS-20V Voevoda (according to NATO classification - SS-18 Satan)ballistic complexes.

"These missiles have been in service for more than 25 years, with each of them able to deliver ten megaton nuclear warheads at a distance of more than 11,000 kilometers, guaranteeing inevitable retaliation in the event of aggression against Russia," news website Izvestia reported Esin as saying.

The main requirement of the prospective missile is to improve power performance, for example, to overcome the existing and prospective US missile defense system, the expert explained.

"The improved power should allow strikes on targets not only across the North but also the South Pole. Thus the launch range should increase significantly compared to its predecessor. In addition, the improved power characteristics should enable the missile to overcome any anti-missile systems."

According to the expert this is achievable as Sarmat will gain improved fuel formulation and design. However, the question remains how to actually verify that the new missile will be able to hit targets in the other hemisphere.

"As a rule, our missiles were tested using Plesetsk - Kura trajectory or Baikonur - Kura. The range of such a flight does not exceed 7,000 kilometers, while many of our missiles on tactical and technical characteristics fly well over 12,000 kilometers. In this case, our military must fire from the north to the area near the Hawaiian Islands. The test is difficult, but it is necessary," Esin explained.
- The Baltic countries may be feeling particularly vulnerable because of their sizeable ethnic Russian minorities. In Latvia, ethnic Russians make up roughly 27 percent of the country, in Estonia it is about 24 percent and in Lithuania it is nearly 6 percent.

As Russian speakers are often exposed to Russian state media, fears have been expressed that Moscow may seek to stir unrest among them. "Propaganda and information attacks are part of [Russian] hybrid warfare. They seek to provoke social and ethnic tensions, promote mistrust in government, discredit our history, independence, and statehood, and demonstrate that Western democracy is functioning on dual standards," said Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in March.
Maxim Starchak, a fellow at the Centre for International and Defence Policy at Queen's University in Canada, however, says that the new Cold War is already under way and will only continue to grow. "Today, the Cold War is a war of values, a war where the goal is not the death of the enemy, and the victory of [the winner's] values, [but] the victory of its policy," Starchak told Al Jazeera.

"The sides show all their strength and confrontational intentions, which makes their policy similar to the policy of the Cold War times. The only difference is that the army and the number of arms are now smaller than they were back then."
- Scientists from Sweden and the UK have analysed the data produced by the three most common software packages for scanning the brain, and have found that the data is so unreliable – due to bugs in the software – that 15 years' worth of fMRI brain research could be invalidated.

fMRI stands for functional magnetic resonance imaging. It is a functional neuroimaging procedure that makes use of MRI technology to measure brain activity by detecting changes associated with cerebral blood flow – ie, when a specific area of the brain is being used, blood flow to that region will increase too.
- JO: It is highly dangerous. I can say that with 40 years of experience. It is much more dangerous than the old Cold War, because the old Cold War had experienced politicians, like Willy Brandt, Bruno Kreisky, and many others, who knew what war was. Today, we have intellectual dwarfs running NATO, and many other European states. They have no idea about conflict resolution, reconciliation, about dialogue, about confident-building measures – all the things we had in the old Cold War days is something that is missing completely today. The reason is if you look at all the power scales - there is economic power, political power, legitimacy power and all of that – what the West is very good at still, and second to none – particularly the US and NATO, as a huge alliance - is high-tech military – not moral issues, not courage, not the willingness to put boots on the ground and sacrifice some soldiers, but we are very good at technology, and have enough money poured into the military-industrial, media-academic complex.

But on the other scales we’re getting weaker; the empire is getting weaker and the economy is getting weaker. Look at the economy of Europe today. Our ability to treat human beings and refugees coming to Europe is falling apart. Brexit means that the EU is falling apart at some point – you can’t go like that. What we are very good at is what we use. If you have only one tool in your tool box that is the one you use at the moment, what we are strongest at – military, and it is deadly dangerous, because it could be read differently than I do it in Moscow.
- The two percent goal is a sop to portions of the American public, now including Barack Obama and Donald Trump, who complain about NATO allies’ free riding on the backs of the American military and taxpayers. The United States stations more than seventy thousand troops in Europe and is augmenting that number with a rotating armor brigade and other units. For some, Russia nibbling on the borders of its lost republics doesn’t threaten American security. But for President Obama and the American foreign-policy establishment, if not Donald Trump, it doesn’t really matter how much the allies contribute to their own defense or how unimportant things are in this or that corner of Europe, the United States wants to be in charge of European security and will pay to do so. The fear is that alternative security arrangements, including those organized via the European Union, would be too appeasing or weak. NATO is the United States’ way to manage European security. The United States would do it for free, and the NATO nations know that and spend accordingly. The two percent goal is there to distract attention from this reality.

And oh yes, Montenegro has joined NATO as its twenty-ninth member. Under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty the United States pledges to defend Montenegro, and Montenegro has our back as well.
- The New York Times notes that for regular viewers of Martin’s show, her declaration of “editorial independence” did not come as such a surprise. Martin is an outspoken anti-war activist, and as Mediaite highlights, her show has explored the theory that staged “false flag” attacks are “at the heart of every major U.S. war of aggression in history.”
- The tribunal threw out China's "nine dash line" which asserts the country's claim to most of the South China Sea based on historic rights, insisting that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is the prevailing law.

"The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within the sea areas falling within the 'nine-dash line'," it said in a statement.

The judgement sets the scene for a tense period in international diplomacy, with Beijing likely to consider stepping up its activity in the waters as a show of its disregard for the tribunal's jurisdiction.
- China believes it has more at stake than others and is betting that all the other countries will blink first.

That would be bad news for the region – including China, the US and Australia.

At best, it would set a bad precedent for the future of the Asia-Pacific. At worst, it would lead to a boiling over of the dispute into conflict.

The other tricky problem in the South China Sea has been China’s use of 'salami tactics'; the practice of slowly advancing its position through a series of small, incremental moves.

Each slice of the salami, such as China’s dredging and island building in the South China Sea, is small enough to make any threat of action by the US seem excessive and unreasonable.

But in the long-run, such incrementalism could mean China exercising effective control over the territory within the nine-dash line without ever resorting to majorly inflammatory actions.

Developing a series of incremental responses would help address this problem.
- Do you need a Soviet-designed surface-to-air missile defense system to deter your neighbors? If so, a small U.S.-based arms broker named the Redfish Trading Company is offering to sell a complete Buk-MB complex—a Belarusian modification of the original Soviet-era SA-11 Gadfly air defense system—to a paying customer. The emailed sales pitch came with a detailed brochure outlining the technical characteristics of the weapon and an animation from Almaz-Antey showing off the capabilities of Russia’s layered integrated air defense system.

“In case you are interested or know of someone, we have the BUK complex ready for export,” wrote Jesse Clements, managing director of the San Antonio, Texas, based company, in a July 9 email. “It was designed for [the] MoD [Ministry of Defense] for a country but they could not obtain the financing. It was made 2 years ago. We do require USA State Dept. approval.”

Clements added that Redfish also has an inventory of over 100 upgraded T-72 main battle tanks to sell to a paying customer. “We also have over 100 units of T72 w/ upgrade/modification to T73 B3 ,” Clements wrote.

While Redfish’s claim that it is offering the B3 version of the T-72 drew skepticism (indeed, one prominent expert on Russian military affairs noted that Moscow does not export the T-72B3 variant—which is reserved for Russian forces), such arms deals are not as uncommon as one might imagine. The U.S. government has procedures to allow for the export of such items—including high-grade military hardware—to third parties, according to experts.
- "Our Chinese partners said if you have a chief science officer or somebody from your Australian team speaking in Chinese, consumers will think he's a paid actor and not a scientist," says one of the business' five co-founders, Alex Lewit.
It's a similar story when it comes to product packaging for two 'superfood' multivitamin products the business makes - one for men and one for women. The advice was to produce packaging in English, not Chinese. This is because Chinese consumers want to buy exactly the same clean, green products Australian consumers can buy. If marketing is in Mandarin, it looks like a Chinese, not an Australian product.
- The ''Yes' or 'No' referendum on which Renzi is betting his political future intends to bring about reforms that would streamline Italy's political system, which basically means getting laws passed quickly and stabilizing future governments.

The reforms are much-needed. But now the important decision has been left in the hands of Italians after parliament failed to reach the maximum support required to avoid sending it to a public vote.

The problem is, with many failing to grasp Italy's complex political systems, the vote could be a chance for people to simply say "Yes" or "No" to Renzi as the country's leader.
- Two weeks after Britain voted to leave the European Union, Italy is now the latest European nation to come under the spotlight.

The country’s financial sector is on the brink of collapse, and a referendum on constitutional reforms in October has the potential to topple prime minister Matteo Renzi’s government and cause an unprecedented political crisis.

All of this has sparked fears that Italy could be the country to spark the eventual collapse of the European Project, notably from notoriously bearish Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards, who describes Italy as the “weak point in the eurozone both economically and politically” in his weekly Global Strategy note.
- “Inexplicably, at the same time we have asked our partners in the region to assume greater roles in this fight, their requests for U.S. equipment languish,” the letter reads. “In some cases, their requests wait for years. This is unacceptable and must be rectified immediately. We are acutely aware of the harmful repercussions of these continued delays.”

“They are putting strain on important relationships with partners in the fight, driving countries to purchase weapons from China and Russia, risking U.S. military interoperability with our partners, and damaging the U.S. manufacturing and industrial base.”
- Wes Kremer, president of Integrated Defense Systems, said operational use of Patriot, including in Yemen, gave the system an advantage over MEADS, which has yet to be deployed.

“Patriot is a great example of the 13 partner nations working together, and for example Patriot has been engaging ballistic missiles in Yemen,” he said.

“And so for each one of those intercepts we learn and we are able to extract data to make our radar algorithms better, and we update our software,” he said. “Each of the partners pays in a share into that fund where we update our algorithms, but then its available to all the partners,” he said.

“Germany has chosen to go a different path, and as we saw Germany set up milestones that have to be met, and the notification in parliament that they may not meet the contracting milestone shows there are challenges,” he added.
- From what we've seen, we can say that Reagan was smarter than Trump.

Reducing the presidential challenge to Reaganite simplicity, former Reagan aide Ken Duberstein says: "The job … is not to build a consensus in Washington, but to build a consensus in America – and then Washington will follow."

To the extent that Trump has attempted the former, he's making a hash of it; as for the extent that he'll succeed in the latter, time will tell.
- The U.S. Navy is pursuing a massive, fleet-wide upgrade of a shipboard defensive weapon designed to intercept and destroy approaching or nearby threats such as enemy small boats, cruise missiles and even low-flying drones and aircraft, service officials said.

The Phalanx Close in Weapons System, or CIWS, is an area weapon engineered to use a high rate of fire and ammunition to blanket a given area, destroying or knocking enemy fire out of the sky before it can reach a ship. The Phalanx CIWS, which can fire up to 4,500 rounds per minute, has been protecting ship platforms for decades.

The weapon is designed to counter incoming enemy attacks from missiles, small arms fire, drones, enemy aircraft and small boats, among other things. It functions as part of an integrated, layered defense system in order to intercept closest-in threats, service officials explained.

“Phalanx provides a ‘last ditch’ gun-based, close-in defense to the Navy's concept of layered defense,” Navy spokesman Dale Eng told Scout Warrior.
- The Abu Dhabi Monitoring and Control Centre (ADMCC) said the new surveillance system “links thousands of cameras spread across the city, as well as thousands of other cameras installed at facilities and buildings in the emirate.”

An official statement reported by Arabian Business weekly said Falcon Eye will “help control roads by monitoring traffic violations while also monitoring significant behaviors in the city (Abu Dhabi) such as public hygiene and human assemblies in non-dedicated areas.”

Major General Mohammed Khalfan al-Romaithi, who heads the Abu Dhabi police force and chairs the ADMCC, said Falcon Eye is “part of the vision of the emirate of Abu Dhabi to pursue its efforts to build a confident and safe society, and a sustainable and globally open and competitive economy.”
- Death, he said, is the true enemy and must be overcome. We should live forever.  We should follow in Christ’s footsteps and defeat death so that all of mankind will live in a heaven on earth. Movements such as “futurism” and “cosmism” were directly influenced by Fyodorov’s ideas.

For quite some time, of course, almost all scientists thought he was – well... bonkers. His reputation, however, is beginning to get a make-over because of wide-spread interest in the medical community on the hot topic of immortality.

After Fyodorov’s death, a number of his followers gathered his notes and published a book entitled “The Resurrection Project”. Here’s a look at some of his main ideas…

Palingenesis: there is a genetic signature that remains in our bodies long after we die. We must - as a global community of loving souls - figure out a way to scientifically “resurrect” the bodies of our fathers, grandfathers and so on.  Considered an absurd notion for more than a hundred years, some futurists are now enthusiastically working on this dream with serious research and experimentation.

On evolution: humankind evolved by force of will. We are bi-pedal not because our ancestors needed to “free up their hands” as Darwin believed, but because we “willed” ourselves to stand up-right. Anthropology has discredited Darwin’s theory on bi-pedalism incidentally.  Our being, Fyodorov said, involves self-evolution as well as creating new external realities. Nature may have determined our biological make-up in the distant past, but now we are able to determine our own nature and create a new Nature.  This notion foreshadowed the current transhumanist movement by more than half a century.
- A retired major general of Russia’s domestic security service, the FSB, has told reporters that the extremely popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go and similar mobile applications could be used by special services to collect intelligence data.

“Just imagine that these ‘creatures’ appear not in some city park, but at secret installations where a conscript soldier or any other military serviceman photographs it with his camera, strictly of their own free will, without any pressure or coercion. This is an ideal scheme with which special services can collect information. And no one would even pay attention, because it’s such a trendy hobby,” retired Major General Aleksandr Mikhailov said in comments with RIA Novosti.

However, the Russian security veteran noted that it was too early to blame Nintendo for premeditatedly creating a spying tool. “No one can be sure that military servicemen or civil servants would definitely use this app at work. But still, there is such a chance, and though special services most likely played no role in the development of Pokemon Go, they will definitely use this opportunity to get information.”

Cellphone use in the Russian military is neither officially allowed nor prohibited. It is up to each unit’s commander to allow mobile phone and internet usage at his discretion. In late 2014, popular daily Izvestia quoted an unnamed officer working on the Defense Ministry’s hotline as saying that the army had banned iPhones because they presented a security threat, but the ministry’s press service almost immediately refuted this.
Cross deck pendants are 1½-inch-thick steel wires that stretch across a carrier flight deck and are used to catch a landing aircraft’s tailhook. The four pendants that cross an aircraft carrier’s flight deck are placed at 20-foot intervals and can be used for up to 125 landings, or “traps.”

The other system of cables is attached to the steam engines underneath the flight deck; they are called purchase cables.

Those cables pull a movable part of the engine that travels along greased skids and pushes a giant piston into a cylinder full of pressurized hydraulic fluid. The piston compresses the fluid, bringing the wire on the flight deck, and the aircraft, to a stop.
- Although not commonly known, the U.S. has declared bankruptcy five times, since its foundation. Once it could not pay its foreign debts, and four times could it not pay its internal debts. These bankruptcies had resulted from financial crises in the banking sector, the first of which was in 1790, and the last of which was in 1933.

Germany, on the other hand, went bankrupt eight times in the last 215 years. Currently the world's fourth and the EU's biggest economy, Germany had gone bankrupt last in 1939 and 1948, due to the second World War. But, the country is now an economic success due to its tight monetary policies.

The world's fifth biggest economy, the U.K., went bankrupt four times in total, the last of which was in 1932.
- Western liberals have trouble accepting that something may be at work here beyond economics, even though there is ample evidence that radical Islam’s appeal has little to do with poverty. The terrorists who slaughtered more than 20 people in a café in Dhaka, Bangladesh early this month were sons of that country’s elite, educated in the best schools and with the world at their feet.

It is difficult for the left, which has all but ruled God out of contemporary moral life, to understand that religion could be a motivating force. (Ironically, the left has its own form of religion, in the form of millenarian protest movements like Occupy and Black Lives Matter, which seek to disrupt the state and yet, eventually, to use the state’s power to transform society.)

Human beings facing a spiritual void are susceptible to extremist appeals. And the problem is not new. It pre-dates radical Islam by at least a generation.

During World War II, George Orwell wrote a review of Mein Kampf in the hope of understanding what motivated the Nazi regime. He observed:

    Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a more grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,” Hitler has said to them “I offer you struggle, danger and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet. Perhaps later on they will get sick of it and change their minds, as at the end of the last war. After a few years of slaughter and starvation “Greatest happiness of the greatest number” is a good slogan, but at this moment “Better an end with horror than a horror without end” is a winner. Now that we are fighting against the man who coined it, we ought not to underrate its emotional appeal.

Obama’s appeal to “a better vision of development and economic progress” has the same hollow ring as the failed progressive slogans of the early 20th century — perhaps because Obama does not believe in that vision of “development and economic progress” himself. After all, he spends far more energy and time attacking the inequality that attends economic progress to believe that “development” is, by itself, a compelling political proposition.

What the west needs is a bigger cause around which to rally, in order to resist and eventually crush radical Islam. The roots of that cause are in our classical liberties, which are closely entwined with the Judeo-Christian values that are our cultural inheritance (even for those who rail against those values).

The task of a supposedly great orator like Obama is to identify a more compelling vision than the “end with horror” that radical Islam proposes. That vision has to offer more than the humdrum happiness of a welfare check or even a job.

What do we believe? And for what values, if any, are we willing to die? Obama does not say. And so we continue to lose.
- The T-72B3 features a higher compression version of the standard Soviet 125mm cannon, improved thermal sights, good reactive armor and a potent fire-control system. Moscow’s near-term goal is to phase out the gas-guzzling T-80U and unify its main battle tank fleet around the  T-72 platform. The older T-64 was phased out in 2013. "The reason why is so you have one tank platform,” Kofman said. “The T-72 is easier to maintain, cheaper to maintain, less sophisticated and not as big of a gas-guzzler.”

But at the end of the day, as Kofman noted, the T-72B3— and indeed the T-90A—is an upgrade of a 1970s-era tank. Both designs retain the key faults of the original—the ammunition storage system will explode in a catastrophic fashion if the tank is penetrated. “If you penetrate a T-72, often its ammunition will cook-off and blow-off the turret,” Kofman said.  "No matter what you call it, you're still working with a late version of the T-72 and many of its integral faults or limitations."

Still, it is more than capable of handling missions against most states within the former Soviet Union. Indeed, unlike the Pentagon’s exquisite solutions, the Russian military operates on the concept of its hardware being good enough. “What they figured out was the real concept of sufficiency,” Kofman said. “The Russian T-72B1—not even the B3—is good enough to take on all former Soviet republics. The T-72B3 can take on the better tanks Russia faces in its periphery—and T-90 is really a higher-end version with better protection, fire control, and active defense against ATGMs [anti-tank guided missiles] and anti-tank rounds.”
- 5) AN/ASQ-239 “Barracuda”. While most aircraft carry crutch Electronic Warfare(EW) systems, the F-35’s was designed from the outset for integration, able to operate not just with other components within the aircraft such as the APG-81, it can operate with other F-35’s over MADL to perform EW operations together. The AN/ASQ-239 is an evolution of the F-22’s AN/ALR-94 which is described as the most complex and costly avionics piece on the F-22, the Barracuda has twice the reliability and is a quarter the cost of the ALR-94, as well as being able to reduce the 30 sensors on the F-22 to 10 sensors, it has demonstrated the ability to detect and jam the F-22’s radar. It’s able to precisely geo-locate emission locations hundreds of kilometers away, further then it’s radar can see and from there the APG-81 can be slaved to that data track and then detect and track the object with a very narrow beam, increasing power and detection on target while decreasing detection by other aircraft. At close range or against targets using Jammers it is capable of narrowband interleaved search and track(NBILST) against aircraft which provides precise range and velocity that can then be used by a missile without need of the APG-81, allowing 360 degree targeting of aircraft. The Barracuda can refer to it’s data-banks of known emissions and identify the source vehicle or store it for future classification. Other features are false target generation and range-gate stealing, offensive EW is possible, a towed RF decoy is also a part of the package as is MJU-68/B Flares, the counter measure dispenser’s can be seen from behind. The F-35 will also feature “cyber attack” capability.
- The overseas hub for America’s “war on terror” is the massive Ramstein Air Base in southwest Germany. Nearly ignored by US media, Ramstein serves crucial functions for drone warfare and much more. It’s the most important Air Force base abroad, operating as a kind of grand central station for airborne war – whether relaying video images of drone targets in Afghanistan to remote pilots with trigger fingers in Nevada, or airlifting special-ops units on missions to Africa, or transporting munitions for airstrikes in Syria and Iraq. Soaking up billions of taxpayer dollars, Ramstein has scarcely lacked for anything from the home country, other than scrutiny.

Quick Beef Stew Recipe, Random Stuff, and More

This is the latest in my series on quick, easy, and tasty meals:   http://dtbnguyen.blogspot.com/2017/11/chinese-style-congee-jook-recipe...