This week, the ‘approximately Fishbreath’s birthday’ edition.
- Given that it’s me, my birthday presents were primarily books.
- Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book, courtesy Parvusimperator: widely regarded as the best of the bunch when it comes to golf books, or at the very least, the one everyone who plays that game should read.
- Castles of Steel, courtesy my in-laws: I’ve read this before via the War College Library, but I’m delighted to have my own copy and to read it again, just as soon as I finish Dreadnought.
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel, also courtesy my in-laws: I enjoyed the TV series and like the worldbuilding that seems to have gone into it. The book should be a delight.
- The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, courtesy my wife: making bread is a hobby of mine, but I’m not very good at it right now. This will help with that.
- The Coast Guard ought to be more combat-ready – …argues this Coast Guard blogger. Not that we disagree.
- Tankograd’s BMP-2 post is as excellent as all their other content – This isn’t news, but it is something I read this week.
- A Leclerc crew wins the shooting competition at the Iron Spear exercise
- CDR Salamander takes a heterodox view on the CVL concept – Namely, that it isn’t trash. I have no issue with building amphibious assault ships that happen to work well as baby carriers, too, but the numbers don’t work out for replacing big carriers with small ones. (A lesson clear to players of Rule the Waves 2!)
- HMS QE‘s hangar – Quite roomy. High ceilings.
- The Visby-class remains one of my favorite corvettes – Warship of the future, today!
- Report to Congress on the state of FFG(X) – The warship of today, tomorrow!
- Northrop to install a laser on USS Portland – A 150kw laser. That’s some serious oomph.
- Update from last week: the NorK SLBM looks real – Thanks to Chris Bradshaw for the link.
Science and Technology
- Remember the SuperMicro story, about spy chips placed on server motherboards? – As much as that particular story has fallen apart, my opinion of the plausibility of the general concept has done nothing but rise.
- Remember that story about galaxies without dark matter? – I think we might have shared that one, and possibly a refutation based on distance measurements1. Now, new Hubble data drives a refutation of the refutation, which suggests that NGC 1052-DF4 is as far away as originally thought, and therefore actually deficient in dark matter.
- On netcode design for fighting games – An interesting read, which goes into some depth on the subject.
- Annoyed software engineer hacks ransomware gang after falling victim to ransomware attack, posts decryption keys on Pastebin
- Doctorin’ is hard – The modern scientific system is biased toward discovery over reproduction, so it’s easy to get a novel treatment into broad usage, but hard to pull it back if later studies can’t confirm that it does anything.
- Elon Musk sends Tweet via Starlink broadband – SpaceX is targeting mid-2020 for initial customer service in the US, which realistically means sometime in 2021, by SpaceX’s usual deadline inflation.
- NordVPN compromised – They lost control of their private keys, the fools.
- The curious case of Joseph Roh – Who got off with a super-light sentence for running an 80%-lower-finishing operation because his lawyers convincingly argued that an AR-15 lower isn’t a firearm by the ATF’s own definition.
- Preliminary report on the Collings Foundation B-17 crash
- Car and Driver likes the mid-engine 2020 Corvette – $60,000 for a car that can go 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. What a world we live in.
- Had you heard about how Mexican cartels defeated the Mexican military in pitched battle? – Mexico is falling apart.
- Cities are less happy than suburbs or exurbs – Water still wet. Sky still blue.
- ‘Amazon Synod’ in Rome causing strife among Catholics – There’s a bit of a flap over a display of what are pretty clearly fertility idols in the Vatican Gardens. Some Catholics of a more traditional bent stole them and threw them into the Tiber. I’m pretty much on board with that.
- Something along the lines of, it was closer than the dark-matter-free paper authors thought, so it wasn’t strange at all. ↩