Welcome to the New Year, folks!
- Ospreys land at the US Embassy in Baghdad – In video! Great way to land your reinforcements.
- LRASM now on Super Hornets – Finally, the US Navy enters the 21st century, with a proper air-launched anti-ship cruise missile.
- HMS QE launches an F-35 while moored – One advantage to the STOVL carrier: you don’t need to worry about wind as much, and you can park your carriers two in a row without impairing landing operations on either one.
- In news related to the prior bullet, HMS Prince of Wales, moored behind QE, was commissioned on December 10, and I don’t think we reported that. The UK moves into a multi-way tie for second place on the carrier leaderboards, at least until China and India commission the ones they have under construction.
- Reported on Christmas Eve: Pentagon proposes cuts to destroyer construction – And right after I visited Bath Iron Works, too.
- Also on the cut list: one FFG(X), one Virginia
- ProPublica with a deep dive into the VMFA-242 Hornet/tanker collision
- Correcting the legacy of the Los Angeles boats – They’re typically seen as Cold War warriors. A submariner who served on three says some of their most distinguished service came in the 90s and beyond.
- China is mapping the sea floor in the Straits of Malacca and the Andaman Sea – Wonder why they might be doing that.
Science and Technology
- The New York Times with a two-part story on cell phone location data tracking for advertising purposes – I feel less good about carrying a smartphone around.
- Mathematician achieves an important result on the Collatz conjecture – That is, the 3n+1 n/2 jobber. The short version is that the result shows that the conjecture is almost true for almost all numbers. The long version is, it’s a Quanta Magazine article, so you can probably follow the argument there better than I could reproduce it here.
- Is Betelgeuse going to explode? – If it does, I hope it does in the winter, because I’d trade a dozen eclipses for a supernova brighter than the full moon.
- A brief history of AT&T’s microwave relay towers – Came across it when reading a search and rescue story at the excellent Otherhand.org, discovered that I drive past an old microwave relay tower every day on my way to work. After the microwave relay system was decommissioned, ours was sold off and is now a telecom tower of some other kind.
- Drones are scouting rural Colorado – Isn’t that where Red Dawn started?
- The Internet used to be a lot more anarchic – (I put it that way because I’m playing Shadowrun: Dragonfall right now, and anarchic Flux State Berlin is a fun setting.) Walled gardens (i.e., Medium for blogs) have largely taken over, but fear not! Our little kiez here isn’t going anywhere1.
- Labour is no longer the UK’s party of the working class – Literally. R2 of 0.0.
- The 10 least consequential athletes of the 2010s – Nine which make a lot of sense, one which is a bit more of a headscratcher. The inestimable Jon Bois reports.
- SB Nation cans more than 200 contractors who live in California because of California’s stupid contractor law
- The USNI has books of photos from the Kure Maritime Museum – With commentary translated into English.
- To doubly ensure that, consider chipping in a bit to our Patreon! Not that we’ve done much to earn it since we ‘launched’ it. Alternately, stop by the Discord and recommend some things for us (or more accurately, me; parvusimperator isn’t big on being told what to do) to write about. ↩