“Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under socialism, the reverse is true.” – A Twitter Wag
“It’s been a really boring week in defense news.” – Me, in our article-sharing chat channel
Results time! Scores first, my picks from last Wednesday in parentheses.
- Birmingham 12, Salt Lake 9 (Stallions +6.5): as in week 1, the strength of the Iron was defense.
- Arizona 20, Memphis 18 (Arizona -10.5): swing and a miss. Arizona only won at all on the grounds of a late comeback.
- Orlando 37, San Antonio 29 (Orlando -6.5): after Arizona’s stumble, Orlando has the best claim to offensive powerhouse status.
- San Diego 24, Atlanta 12 (Atlanta +9.5): I was right on this one until San Diego kicked a garbage time field goal (35 seconds on the clock!) to pad their lead.
Record to date: 2-2. I beat this sportswriter, whose picks went 1-3. Were it not for the stupid last-second field goal, I would have been 3-1 and he would have been 0-4.
There are no AAF odds for week three out yet, so I’ll do my picks later in the week, either tomorrow or on Friday. Tomorrow, I have a long-ish AAF review scheduled, so I’ll defer deeper comment on the subject until then. (Excepting, of course, a few articles linked below.)
- Big Army to acquire Carl-Gustaf – Everyone’s favorite Nordic recoilless rifle, coming soon to a United States near you.
- Like The Bear and the Dragon, but opposite – They have a closer relationship than you think.
- State of Defense report, 2019 – It’s very long by our standards, and I didn’t read the whole thing.
- On the long war against ISIS
- Russians overstating the potency of their weapons? – Say it ain’t so!
- On the flip side, take the Armata threat at least a little seriously – It isn’t that they’re going to flood through the Fulda Gap, it’s that the previously-moribund Russian armor industry is back to innovating.
- A photoshoot of Japan’s last Phantoms
- Marines want a long-range anti-ship missile – In WW2, they established control of the air and sea by capturing islands and building airfields. In the modern age, they see themselves doing the same by capturing islands and plopping down some missile batteries. Makes sense to me.
- USAF buying Ace Combat-edition F-15s – Thanks to triple launchers, the 80-airframe buy can carry a total of 1760 missiles (22 each).
- Tippmann, the paintball gun (and former gun gun) manufacturer is making a 9mm Gatling gun replica that you can buy! – In the manner of all modern 9mm products, it takes Glock magazines.
Science and Technology
- Goodbye, A380 – Surprising nobody, really. The A380 was a relic of a hub-and-spoke era in a point-to-point one. Unlike the 747, which was designed with cargo in mind (that is, designed with a top-deck cockpit to allow for a hinged nose), the A380 lives and dies on passenger flights, and market preferences in passenger flights run in a different direction now. Fun fact: when Boeing and Airbus were considering a superjumbo collaboration, Boeing said no, it’s a bad idea.
- The claim that Autopilot reduced Tesla crashes by 40% is statistically unsupportable – I’m willing to be pleasantly surprised if wrong, but I’m on the record saying that general-availability driverless cars are probably two decades away.
- The rise and decline of the Makerbot Empire – Makerbot was the vanguard of the cheap-3D-printer movement. Back in the day, a $700 filament deposition model was considered cheap. Now, you can get a fancy resin printer for under $500. Contra Wired, I think they were pretty successful at ushering in a new era. They just didn’t stay market leaders.
- What happens when techno-utopians actually win elections? – A case study from Italy. Spoiler: utopians are still humans, with human failings.
- Hand transplants: thumbs up or thumbs down? – A very long-form article from Wired on the topic.
- 9th Circuit makes non-political decision
- New York politics still money-driven, questionably ethical
- Airplane listing of the week: the last original, unrestored P-51D – Includes 20 Merlin engines in various states of repair, and 6-8 semis worth of other spare parts. Price tag: $4.5 million. That’s a steal.
- Fishbreath favorite the Alliance of American Football is built on gambling technology – Gambling is a smart move for any new sports league, because the hardest thing to do when getting a sports league off the ground is instilling a rooting interest in otherwise blase fans.
- Also, the AAF needed a $250 million emergency investment before their second week of play – That’s not ominous at all. See my AAF article tomorrow for some insight into what that means.
- In search of the most cowardly punt ever – SB Nation’s Chart Party video series is one of my favorites in the field of sports nerdery. This one, unlike previous 10-15-minute entries, is almost an hour long.