It’s rare that I get the What We’re Reading story filed prior to our traditional 10:13 a.m. Eastern post publication time, but today, I’ve been more diligent than usual.
- HMAS Perth stuck in drydock for want of a crew – For whatever reason, a software industry friend of mine in Australia is now also a certified general hand for near-shore vessels. Maybe time for a career change?
- Via Kilo Sierra, proceedings of the Robotics Capabilities Conference – Feel free to drop interesting articles in Discord or in comments throughout the week, and we’ll consider them for inclusion here.
- How the Navy plans to break Big E – The plan is that there aren’t really any solid plans yet. Also, the cost to break Big E alone is going to be about the cost of fielding a carrier group for a year.
- Taiwan to get tanks, Javelins, TOWs, &c., but no Vipers yet
- Those are the wrong weapons, though – With all the ink spilled about China’s A2/AD capabilities making it a headache to operate near Taiwan, maybe Taiwan should invest in A2/AD capabilities to make it a headache to operate near Taiwan the other direction.
- The Navy’s chance to return to Subic Bay – Given the difficulties in reloading VLS systems at sea (namely, we don’t have a way to do so right now), a good port close to China seems like it should be a gimme.
- In photos: the near-collision between USS Chancellorsville and Admiral Vinogradov
- Analysis of the Future Helicopter Engine competitors and selection
- Is cyber where radar was in 1942? – Yes, in the sense that nobody really understands it. No, in the sense that ‘radar’ actually described a specific technology, whereas ‘cyber’ is a meaningless buzzword.
- Understanding the F-15X purchase – I’m still for it, if only on the grounds that it behooves us to have two aircraft manufacturers with active fighter production lines. Also, jamming will be more important than stealth in the middle of the 21st century. You heard it here first.
Science and Technology
- Quantum leaps, assumed to be instant, actually take time – This has ramifications which I am unqualified to communicate. Quanta Magazine, absent from this series for some time, makes a triumphant return, with the usual endorsement that they’re great at explaining highly technical findings in physics for the average intelligent reader without physics training.
- A time lapse of Jupiter’s surface, presumably from the Juno mission – Behold the glory of creation.
- Large mass anomaly detected under the moon’s south pole – Possibly the remnants of the asteroid which blew it off of Earth in the first place? It’s a mass of metal, most likely, five times the size of the Big Island of Hawaii.
- PC games: the original creators of Star Control, Paul Reiche and Fred Ford, reached an amicable settlement with the current owner of the Star Control trademark, Brad Wardell of Stardock, by having a friendly phone call – The settlement also involves exchanges of honey (from Wardell’s beehives) and mead (from Reiche’s homebrewery), proving that end runs around lawyers are always worthwhile. I pity whoever, at the law firms involved, had to go tell everyone that the long, drawn-out IP case with billing expected to go on for years is suddenly resolved because the clients talked it out.
- Books: Barnes and Noble purchased by Waterstones – Buried lede: even with their Nook miscue and all the difficulties faced by traditional retailers, Barnes and Noble has been reliably profitable over the last few years.
- Music: in 2008, when Universal caught fire, almost 200,000 masters burned
- PC games: the official John Wick video game is an innovative take – If you asked me to write a brief for a John Wick game, I would have maybe sent back a Max Payne clone, or if I were having a creative day, a Superhot clone. A top-down, paused-real-time strategy game like Frozen Synapse would not have crossed my mind.
- British diplomatic cables suggest that at least 10,000 people died in Tiananmen Square
- The other major anniversary this week: Midway
A new heading! It was originally ‘Finance’, but then I realized that every finance-related story I had was also commodities-related in one way or another.
- Millions of acres of US farmland to be out of service this year because of flooding – Apocalyptic Zerohedge warning. Maybe ten million acres will go unplanted; the US has ~370 million acres of cropland. It has been an uncommonly cool June so far here in western PA, although I remember it being wetter in 2015. That said, the way Zerohedge frames the story, it sounds like the way a Tom Clancy novel starts.
- Where will all the residual fuel oil go when ships are banned from burning it? – On January 1, 2020, ships without exhaust gas scrubbers will be banned from using high-sulfur fuel oil. The guy quoted in the article calculates that the marine fuel market’s consumption will drop from 3.5 million barrels of HSFO per day to 2.7 million, leaving about 240 million barrels per year unaccounted for.
- A tanker, loaded with Iranian oil in violation of US-led sanctions…
- …is probably part of a Chinese state enterprise
Lots of headings today.
- On the charging of one of the Stoneman Douglas deputies
- Arfcom purchased by the Brownells of Brownells – I had no idea that Brownells was actually owned by a family with the surname Brownell. The more you know.
- Obligatory baseball story: on how swings have changed in these, the early years of the Flyball Revolution – The received wisdom in baseball (that you can’t radically remake your swing) is, as with much of the received wisdom in sports, wrong, as anyone who even remotely follows golf would have realized. Golfers remake their swings all the time, and they have the same obstacle (that they’ve swung so many times that it’s deeply ingrained) that baseballers do.
- USPSA stage videos – It’s match season, and we’re always talking about USPSA stuff here, so I guess we kind of owe you. Next time we’re at a match together, I’ll have to get one of parvusimperator.