No votes were forthcoming on the Winter Wargaming topic, so I’ve unilaterally decided it’ll be Rule the Waves 2. I think I’ll probably post it over at Many Words Main, so as to avoid leaving it so barren.
- Low-velocity 40mm grenade launchers are for wimps – This one shoots the full-fat version.
- Concurrent Technologies Corporation to build prototype GCV hulls – They have some new kind of welding, Parvusimperator notes.
- Twitter video: HMS QE launches an F-35 while receiving underway replenishment – Look at that! The Brits have a carrier again, even if they had to rely on the Americans to make a reasonable STOVL jet. (Yes, I know the British operate/plan to operate the F-35 as a pure STOL plane with that rolling vertical landing thing.)
- Laser mounted on USS Dewey – Nobody’s quite sure what it is, but The Drive puts its money on ODIN, a laser dazzler system, rather than a full-on weapon-class laser. We did report on the Lockheed HELIOS, I believe, en route to Florida (maybe?) a week or three ago.
Science and Technology
- Dysfunctional corporate culture a contributing factor in the self-driving Uber pedestrian death case – Shower thought: I bet there’s money to be made in being ‘startup X, except with morals’. The product isn’t (say) ride-sharing, but rather a warm fuzzy feeling in the hearts of riders.
- “We made a profit last quarter if you ignore all the things we lost money on,” Uber says
- Galileo, the EU GNSS system, had a long outage this summer – And this guy, a GNSS monitoring hobbyist, now knows why. In short: since Galileo is supposed to be very high-accuracy, it needs to do frequent ephemeris and clock updates, and if you fall behind on those, you can find yourself in a case where the issue might be either an ephemeris or a clock problem, and you can’t tell which. A full reboot takes a long time.
- Computer people: why is AI so focused on race and gender?
- People people: stereotypes are usually accurate
- AIs which do unguided, random exploring can solve certain problems better – They don’t get trapped in local maxima, because they don’t have a conception of ‘maxima’ until the researchers decide to stop the random learning.
- Wafer contamination at a Samsung fab loses it half a billion dollars – America got the happypunk dystopia, with friendly-faced private panopticons; East Asia got a more classic cyberpunk dystopia, with huge megacorporations with fingers in every pie. As such, Samsung is expected to shrug, clean out the bad wafers, and start again, and the only effect on the world market is a pause in the drop in DRAM prices.
- Is Google’s quantum supremacy claim, which we reported last wekk, actually valid? – The thrust of this ZDNet article seems to be, “Mathematically, it might not be!” Which, to me, sounds like the answer is, “Today, practically, yes.”
- Intel vulnerable to yet more timing-based data-leakage flaws – And this one has been around for a year. The consensus, as far as I’m aware, is not only that Intel is vulnerable to these kinds of issues (widely reported), but also that AMD, owing to some architectural decisions they made, is less so (not widely reported). As a longtime Team Whatever Color AMD Is Now booster, I’m maybe not the most trustworthy source, though.
- Bolivia’s socialist president is out – South America maybe turning a corner? cf. South American GDPs over time.
- Hong Kong heats back up: pro-democracy protesters shot – Or never actually cooled off.
- Widespread chaos across the city – Pictures from CNN.
- The Beeb says on the ‘brink of total collapse’
- The hometown Steelers are emerging as a playoff dark horse? – Defense doesn’t always win championships, but it sure does help.
- California’s housing crisis is entirely a density crisis – Well, except for the parts that are a land management crisis and a water crisis.
- Iceland’s Bitcoin mining heist – There’s a lot of organized bitcoin mining in Iceland, because it’s cold and has a lot of cheap geothermal energy. Some enterprising crooks thought: why not steal the mining gear? That way you’re stealing a money-generating asset, for a given value of money.
- The ‘Razzle-Dazzle Game’, a rolling-marbles scam – Proposed alternative name: the Fireball scam, because it amounts to rolling 8d6 (and you only win prizes only on very low or very high rolls).
- Video: onetime jewel thief (or robber, per his stated preference) rates movie heists – It’s an intriguing watch.
- Mooney Aviation ceasing production – Most worryingly for current Mooney owners, that’s production of planes and parts. In other news, Mooney is owned by Soaring American Corporation, a Chinese investment company which sounds like it was named by a committee of Chinese guys trying to pick an American-sounding name with no input from anyone who speaks English natively.