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Learn more about Amazon Prime. Please try your request again later. Are you an author? Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. Popularity Popularity Featured Price: Low to High Price: High to Low Avg. Entrapments Feb 07, Available for download now. Anguish of the Innocent Nov 17, Dark Secrets - White Lies: Cry of the Mourning Dove Jan 21, The Wrath of Blackberry Winter Oct 21, Leave Me Where I Lie: Murder On Monarch Mountain: Oh, and dog casualties are more acceptable than doorkicker casualties.

Dune, for example, was originally a serial. I'm reminded of the also possibly apocryphal story of the Red Army anti-tank dogs. Strap mine to back of dog, train dog to run under tanks, detonate. But the first time they were used in combat, an unexpected bug showed up: Since when do the invaders care about collateral damage?

They have specifically invented this term in order to disguise the fact that they're routinely killing innocent bystanders, sometimes in large numbers. They also don't acknowledge these deaths in the casualty numbers, in which they only include the members of the invading army. That's another way of disguising and window dressing.

In summary, they don't care about causing collateral damage, they only care about keeping that out of the public consciousness. The more care you take to NOT cause "collateral damage" to begin with, the easier it is to keep it "out of the public consciousness". It really is one of those situations where It's been proven time and again that the Cost: Benefit ratio of avoiding civilian casualties whenever possible is always better than that of trying to cover them up explain them after the fact; i.

I rule out covering them up because a cover-up always unravels eventually, and it just makes your situation worse in the long run. The fewer civilians you kill, the easier your occupying soldier's job is going to be in the aftermath. Anyone not a complete fool should be able to figure that out, and fools though many in the military may sometimes be, they are not COMPLETE fools; nor are they the completely conscienceless super-villains you seem to perceive them as. Yes, but my question was about the early 18th up to late 19th centuries. After that, publishing novels in parts in magazines was fairly widespread, until fairly recently as you said ; what I don't know if whether it was common before Dickens's time, as well.

Hence the reference to the Gentleman's magazine. They set a Slamhound on Turner's trail in New Delhi, slotted it to his pheromones and the color of his hair. It caught up with him on a street called Chandni Chauk and came scrambling for his rented BMW through a forest of bare brown legs and pedicab tires. Its core was a kilogram of recrystallized hexogene and flaked TNT.

He didn't see it coming. These opening paragraphs of William Gibson's Count Zero was the first of that author's prose that I ever read. It immediately convinced me that I wanted to read more. More to the point, though: But if Martin's intent was to reassure us that nobody with the necessary resources would choose to use AI for something like this Human nature, as exposed by human history, argues the reverse. The wheelbarrow thing could be pulled uphill by two or more squaddies, on level-ish ground it could be propelled by one while changing over on a regular basis to reduce fatigue. Its top was basically a flatbed stretcher which could carry a wounded man, again wheeled by one or hefted by two where necessary after any logistics load it was carrying was redistributed to other members of the squad or abandoned if necessary.

I don't know why it wasn't adopted, it did cost a lot for the lightweight version and that might have been too much. A simpler alloy-frame Mk II might have been an easier sell. I've recently been researching "Peter Pan" because nothing demands the Laundryverse treatment like a reworking of "Peter Pan", unless it's maybe "Mary Poppins" …. But Peter Pan's realm has been changing over the years, shaped by the dreams and favorite games of children in the real world.

Victorian Neverland had decent mermaids and fairies fair, bloody pirates and Indian savages. It isn't dominated by boys anymore, either, so poor Peter has to cope with occasional visits of girl scouts who lost network coverage. And due to changes in US copyright laws, Neverland is already threatened by evil forces from beyond the blurb writers will love that , led by Darth Mouse and his legions of zombie lawyers.

BTW, it seems that Master Tingey requires some belly brushing to write his much anticipated railroad article, so would you please ask him officially. If you want to see all the various up-armored wheelbarrows those squaddies used, check out https: Personally, I think the Ming Army and the above website is a great, underappreciated source for post-apocalyptic militaries. A lot of their weapons and tactics were derived from the problem of having no centralized supply system, so the generals had to fight with whatever weapons they could get locally.

While they had oodles of guns, the generals also had rule-of-thumb formulas for how many would blow up during the engagement, because the guns were made by local blacksmiths who varied widely in skill, not by specialized gunsmiths. It's a fascinating example of the military adapting to the constraints imposed by ideology, limited supply chains, and of course, always, politics. Of course, you can disregard all this if you're not into murder cutlery and assorted paraphernalia. Actually, the chinese used a lot of different wheelbarrows, even for long-distance transport.

Part of this is that barrows work well on narrow levies between rice paddies. Another possible part of it is that, after the Han or the Tang, etc. It was easier to maintain a narrow track for single-wheeled vehicles e. I'm not sure which explanation I believe, but wheelbarrows of all shapes and sizes are really a Chinese thing. Right back atcha whenever someone says it's too difficult! Software development techniques advance in fits and starts. Footnote to "collateral damage": As others have noted, western armies do their damnedest to avoid civilian casualties because i professional ethics and ii it rebounds on them every time, and doubly so if they try to cover it up, and iii it's not a great way to get the civilian population on your side.

That's not to say an army won't risk such casualties if they deem a mission sufficiently important.

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But by and large, they don't seek out such casualties. A pretty good article on the wheelbarrows: How to Downsize a Transport Network: Geoff Hart western armies do their damnedest to avoid civilian casualties because i professional ethics and ii it rebounds on them every time, and doubly so if they try to cover it up, and iii it's not a great way to get the civilian population on your side.

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I seem to recall that Soviet tanks use diesel and the Germans Petrol so the dogs went the smell of the wrong tanks. That was one of the articles that got me onto the Great Ming Military blog, because I was trying to figure out what a militarized wheelbarrow would look like. Incidentally, I don't know that we should call them wheelbarrows, seeing as how they're so much better than western wheelbarrows, at least for long distance travel. Which would work better: Or something else, like a wooden horse pushed or wooden ox pulled?

Whatever you call them, I do think we need the updated version, pushed by the dude with the ironic beard lugging his recycling down the road on a tubing frame version of one of those things. Yeah, that's the problem: The trick here is to either grit my teeth and deal with the trademark issues, find a new term, or use the traditional chinese terms wooden horse for the pushed barrow, wooden ox for the pulled one.

The Chinese even fought the Mongols, occasionally successfully, with armored gun carts that they used in formation as mobile "forts. Seems to confirm my guess on seeing the original proposition that use of humans rather than draught animals to provide the motive power is part of the reason. It also seems to rather contradict the poor-maintenance hypothesis. You don't need to maintain so much width, true, but you do need to put a flat hard surface on the width you do maintain if you're going to use that narrow a wheel. If the wheel sinks into a soft surface it makes it vastly harder to move - as the article notes, but fails to note that low handles to pull on are better than high ones for getting it to move.

Surely someone somewhere must have had the idea of making a wide wheel out of a barrel or something hundreds of years before the spherical plastic version turned up. Another reason why you need a reasonably flat surface, especially if you're going to control the thing from behind, is to avoid the driver involuntarily becoming airborne. Particularly with a heavy load and a light driver. The same principle of a single axle with a heavy weight perched on top of it is also used in the pedestrian-controlled single-drum vibrating roller these things: Even though those are self-propelled they still take a fair bit of wrestling to control them, and the firmness with which you need to grip the handles to apply the necessary force means that if they hit something and come to an abrupt halt they don't tear the handles out of your hands, they rather throw you up in the air and over the top of them.

It happened to me and it happens so fast that the first I knew of it I was 5m up in the air wondering what the fuck just happened. The Chinese devices rely on the driver to balance them laterally as well as fore and aft, so they must be even tougher to control.

If I was building a modern version I would make use of the greater availability of materials, fastening techniques etc. I'd also put jockey wheels on the corners to stop it falling right over, and I'd need a fair bit of persuading to convince me that width was under too much constraint to use a wheel at each side instead of one in the middle. I'm pretty sure the main context in which I've heard of the Gentlemen's Magazine is that of serial publication. Not sure whether that's impressive planning and dedication or an example of bureaucrazy run amok That was mentioned in the article - it's much easier to maintain what is effectively a single line of paving stones.

They also work well for bicycles. It did remind me of Australia in that sense - one recognisably similar organisational philosophy over quite a large area, comprised of small, possibly overlapping local areas. Again, it's not the detail so much as the scale.

Europe was organised after a fashion, yes, but then China is Europes depending on which bits you count, and Australia is rather more. The military use of wheelbarrows was mentioned primarily as mobile forts - it's hard to gallop a horse through a field of randomly piled wheelbarrows. That plus logistics, a happy combination. I suspect it wouldn't take a lot of training to persuade drivers to swing their barrows crossways and higgledy-piggeldy before running away from a mongol hordlet. I'd suggest reading the article. There is a picture of a barrow being pulled by a mule.

There's also a picture of a path of pavers going up a rather gentle hill. Of course, I could be wrong. Now consider streams the one time I did a jungle warfare exercise, it was in Belize. No land tracks, other than what you cut through; and streams. Note that several of the British attempts to use quadbikes and small vehicles in Afghanistan, failed. Basically, quadbike beats barrow. Locking on to a target painted with a laser is fine. Unfortunately, compared to a projectile you now have a far lower muzzle velocity pun intended , so you need to maintain the lock for far longer, in a far more complex situation, with a near-zero tolerance for error indiscriminate use of lethal force against civilians would be a war crime..

Is the target that disappeared behind cover, the same target that reappeared from behind it? What if they were wearing a mask, but they took it off? It's got a team of 24 men associated with it, six spears and two large shields on the front, and a cannon mounted in front of the wheel and various breechloading cannons on the side. In other words, it's a 16th century howitzer, manned by a squad of 24 soldiers. The mobile forts generally used two-wheeled mule cart versions of these typically with a big folding shield that could be deployed to the front or side , although they could be made out of barrows doing the same thing.

They had dozens-hundreds of these carts marching in rectangular formation. When they came under attack, they'd bunch up, unhitch the mules, spread the shields, and get the guns ready guns consisted of an pound cannon, two smaller breachloaders, sometimes a bombard, and the militarized equivalent of roman candles. If it was mixed carts and barrows, the barrows would form the second ring on the inside.

You can see more about it here and in the articles it links to. The other relevant apocryphal story was about the attempts to train neural networks for brilliant munitions SADARM et al , and the discovery only at trial time that all of their training pictures for friendly vehicles were high quality, taken in good light; and their pictures of unfriendly vehicles were of poorer quality, in worse light. Apparently, the training resulted in really good recognition of good or poor weather. You mean the famous "mule trails" of Vietnam, where thousands of wheelbarrows have been operating for a very long time?

I also saw a paper where they trained a NN to identify dogs vs wolves. Something previously considered near impossible. Turned out that the distinguishing feature of wolves was that they stood around in snow, while dogs stood around in living rooms. When they got the NN to highlight the part of the image that lead to the decision, no part of the wolf was highlighted.

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Which means Vietnam is out, as is a lot of other inhabited territory. But sadly the armchair warriors at the top prefer to invade inhabited ares, so sometimes that's where the infantry have to go. My point is that it takes a lot of war crimes to degrade a network of narrow trails through rough terrain to the point where the locals are no more mobile than the invaders. That was one reason they opted for the "ultimately successful strategy of withdrawing their military and using soft power.

On that note, it looks as though re-invasion is going to be necessary again soon, assuming the US pulls off a few miracles and remains an empire long enough. China is ramping up soft power just as the US stops Riffing on pure word okay name association, historian Timothy Snyder turned up in my feed the other day promoting a new book. Looks interesting but very off topic for this thread. Of course, if you have a supersonic cyborg land shark, it's fine as long as you're OK for heatsinking: And charge the free world six meeelion dollars?

The traditional English words are barrow, cart, handcart, wheelbarrow etc. Sledges were common, too, especially in very hilly locations. You don't have to go as far afield as China! If I was looking for a magical smart weapon for use by insurgents in occupied territories I'd look to weaponize Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite seems to encourage risk-taking behaviour in its hosts as it is; if it can be tweaked to cause depression and suicidal ideation, well, one thing the Israelis discovered is that Hamas were selectively recruiting clinically depressed people as suicide bombers. Suicide is a mortal sin in Islam, so they'd have recruiters look for suicidal people and groom them with promises of a reward in heaven rather than offering anti-depressant meds If you can increase the supply of suicidal and potentially violent occupied by an order of magnitude with an infection they can catch in their food, then you just need to give them a knife or bladed object that can get through metal detectors or t-wave scanners crewed by bored operators or badly trained neural networks, and a photograph of the target, and it's escalation all the way It follows that a self-propelled weapon that operates most flexibly in such an environment will be roughly human-scale but hopefully lack the weaknesses of human physiology and anatomy, e.

Terminator-style robots in plastic skin are a bit beyond our current capabilities but not obviously impossible, and oh dear me that's a step-change in terror tactics and insurgency in general if it's cheaper than recruiting existing warm bodies. Martin noted that if you can paint something with a laser, you can also probably shoot it.

Highly trained snipers are always a minority of any army, but anyone can hit a target with a laser regardless of wind conditions. As Charlie noted see below , you also can't neglect the terror factor of a robot attack dog. I haven't served, so I don't whether soldiers can learn to truly and completely ignore the fear of being shot.

The fear of being torn into chunks of doggie kibble would for me be far worse. Which was exactly my point about robodogs. Not "coming soon to an Apple store near you, in time for Xmas", but rather a plausible near-future extrapolation. Definition of "near" a subjective personal choice. This kind of technology makes me uncomfortable because of the moral implications. When a technology becomes available for use in warfare, it will be used in warfare by someone. I'm not sure there's any plausible way to outlaw such technologies; see the example of nuclear weapons, only robots are far easier to hide.

And I'm not sure we can or should ban an entire class of technology when there are obvious and moral civilian applications.

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We just need to be thinking about how strongly we want to encourage this kind of technology development. Historically, the answer has always been "science and technology are neutral; it's not my problem if someone chooses to weaponize my research". That's the attitude we need to rethink. The technologies within our grasp have been potential existential threats since the dawn of the nuclear era.

That requires a paradigm shift in how we think, not status quo thinking. As long as we're recommending books, I've just started Legalizing Theft and so far it's quite good.


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On the subject of wheeled carts, I think the NATO standard litter carrier might work better than a one wheel cart because it's easier to keep it balanced. The whole of the set could be waterproofed lots of rubberised fabric bags and sheeting so it could survive short periods of immersion, and it could if desired be prepared so that it could be operated while still all bagged up.

That was a specific piece of kit for a particular purpose, and seems to have falln out of favour afterwards. Though I note that the WW2 "Carrier, Manpack" based on the american "packboard" has recently made a comeback - with an anodized I think green finish that doesn't fall off when you look at it, and plastic bungs in the frame ends to keep mud and stuff out. Pack howitzers have been used in surprising locations - including an upstairs bedroom on one notable occasion. What he needs is a pressure valve, that releases pressure as needed, not just like on a pressure cooker that blows out, and you have to cool it down and replace it.

Agreed, especially given the UK's paper rationing and the privileges obtained by Penguin. As rationing ceased, paperbacks took over from hardbacks as the book of choice, though I have been unable to find any hard figures. All sources I have seen say that WWII was either the cause or the trigger for the change, according to whether they believe it would have happened anyway. And here I thought I did maintenance for monetary reasons, so that I know what the real condition is, and because I'm a techie, and can do these things like the rear brake pads on my van that I just changed out a couple weeks ago.


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Ships need ballast, and AIUI paperbacks from the USA were shipped over as cheap ballast that could be recycled by the troops and subsequently leaked into circulation among the locals. Y'know, I've got an answer to that, in fact, I have it behind my front door, in case I have to repel borders: I got tired of what we used to call rhino-hiders no, no, that blow wasn't hard enough Didn't have the problem again. Yeah, I could knock a flying robot dog into the sidewalk, or a wall. Grab my shield, and go after it, and there's a limit to how well-protected it was.

And if this was a real-life situation If it comes out, you talk about the Evil Terrorist Leader that you killed, sorry about the rest of the entire wedding party wash, repeat, at least times in the last five years over here I, certainly, did not invent nor appreciate the slogan "kill 'em all, and let God sort 'em out". When someone says something is too difficult? Is the someone here a programmer sorry, devloper who's looking at a new project, or is it the same person, after some member s of upper management have come up with an entirely half-baked idea, having never spoken with anyone who knows anything about the subject, and they've given you x days to do it, because, I mean, it's all just point and click, right?

Y'know, all this talk about wheelbarrows Say, hailing stuff for a large garden 20'x40' across rototilled field? I have heard that, too, but have never seen it in what I regard as a reasonably authoritative source - inter alia, books don't make very good ballast, as they aren't all that dense just measured at 0. I have, and I agree it's tricky. But have you ever tried to manoeuvre a two-wheeled barrow across a sideways slope or where there is only a single narrow track suitable for a wheel?

The key is to have large enough tyres - at least 16" diameter and 4" across. I've done it too, and in many places I prefer the single wheel. Something about hauling wheelbarrow loads of stuff up a steep driveway, then turning 90 degrees to get it in the gate. Anyway, the closest readily available thing we have to the Chinese-style design at least in the US is the Pack Wheel http: Not cheap, but now that I've spotted it, that might be a useful bit of emergency kit, for hauling stuff over the earthquake rubble or around the mudslide.

I was in yet another instance of the perennial technology vs. Rather than argue I simply shared an advertisement from a major forklift manufacturer that offered a range of robot forklifts. Once you have to hire a lawyer to prove you are not someone with vaguely the same name, what use is evidence of specific identity with a small chance of being in error?

Hasn't there already been a CCTV case where the defence was simply 'it's not me'? With limited resources you could discover any dopplegangers from the internet, it might take more to procure samples of their DNA. The super-rich and states are routinely portrayed as creating paid employment for various bizarre reasons. You want to start an new probably illegal industry, get in the business of homogenizing human trash and making it into a fine powder. You can spoof anyone's DNA you want by grinding together the residues from thousands of humans and spraying it around crime scenes.

Heck, given that the mob is reputed involved in trash and waste collection in various jurisdictions, I'm a little surprised that they haven't gotten into the business of collecting, say, dried fecal material and use it to dirty up crime scenes. Or if that's too gross, collect fecal samples, use some PCR based technology to amplify the microsats or whatever they're using to ID people, stabilize the resulting DNA, and sell it at a reasonable price to people who need their identities obscured.

I suspect you could make a handsome profit before authorities started cracking down. Another industry you could get into is the hacking of CCTVs, since according to Bruce Schneier, the cameras themselves are often poorly secured. Spoof, hack, or simply degrade the feed, and the evidence is worthless. A pair of taller wheels further back on either side could be swivelled down to take over the load on improved ground and provide better stability if it was being used for casualty transport. It could even operate it as a tricycle with the small forward wheel keeping it from tipping over while stationary.

The Big Thing was getting it to weigh less than IIRC ten kilos including wheels, struts and stretcher webbing but still collapsible and rugged enough to carry two hundred kilos plus of kit, munitions, food, water etc. Making it squaddie-proof was another matter. Well I have a friend who's a lawyer and that defence has definitely been tried. Doesn't usually get to court unless they're pretty sure. I'm pretty sure I read a near future police procedural maybe even one written by OGH where one of the characters does a bit of vacuuming on the bus Which seemed a bit of an odd thing to do on the way to a crime and then sprinkles a dust bag full of thousands of DNA samples over the crime scene.

And you begin to see why any military formation needs a couple of workable, high-quality, roads on its axis of advance. No Main Supply Routes? I have a "bicycle trailer" with two 20" wheels and a litre bin that I use for all sorts of things. It'll carry kg of soil or whatever, but that much weight is hard to move even on a level, paved surface. Rototilling is outside my experience - I haven't ever needed to degrade my soil to that extent so haven't done it.

Worth noting that those are bicycle wheels, normally with 55mm wide tyres but I have mm wide tyres for when I'm rolling on mud or other stuff that I want to stay on the surface of. But for serious off road, I have a 29" mountain bike wheel set up more like the Chinese style barrow that the recent US imitation.

Normally that has a litre bin each side, about 50cm above ground level, and runs a 75mm wide trye. It has a disk brake, and the bins can be emptied by lifting the handles it will completely invert with a bit of effort. Using that I can carry maybe 50kg up a goat track that is hard to walk up, but mroe usually in those conditions we'll use one contrller behind it and two or more people pulling ropes from the front - two ropes, one each side, so they can help stabilise it as well and move it up. Often the bearings push through the hub because cheap steel tims and spokes are very strong but a pressed steel "ball bearing race" not so much.

I use custom built wheels with 20mm through axles, because those make everything more rigid and the load capacity is much greater. FWIW, both of those have the wheel just slightly forward of the centre of loaded mass. The bike trailer has is maybe 10cm back on a metre-long bin, the wheelbarrow approximately 50mm. The latter is designed so that I naturally carry is tilted slightly forward, and in the position it's almost perfectly balanced and it's normally easy to load so it is.

It also disassembles into a square-ish frame that goes round the top of the bins plus a wheel-wide frame that has the axle mount. The handlebars slide into those tubes and are the same length as the main "frame" tubes so it all stacks neatly in the back of the shed I assume it does This comes back to me being someone who likes building things and is easily swayed by seeing stuff like this online but not being able to try it out locally.

I have some similar friends, leading to periodic circles where one of us builds a new toy and everyone else likes it so they build their own versions It's also been done IRL, with someone dusting a crime scene with the contents of an outdoor ashtray. I thought it was OGH, but my memory is pretty shot. Pretty clever chap OGH. I can see a range of products now Currently only available from charity shops, but I imagine those things could be taken upmarket if there was a way to market them and sell them without simultaneously advertising your customer base to the authorities.

I'm somewhat saddened that the cops don't appear to be offering this service yet - maybe the charity shops undercut them to the point of pointlessness? Or maybe that's one reason there are so many criminal elements in the commercial cleaning and clothing recycling industries? Coming up with a range of products is easy. Coming up with a range of products where each one has a commonplace everyday use is a bit more tricky. There's maybe an interesting use case here to simply pin down a target for arrest rather than killing them. You'd need an armoured robo-dog for it to work, but it might solve the problem of catching the other side in the act rather than kicking in doors in the middle of the night and terrorising the local civpop.

You'd get more sympathy from the locals, and you'd presumably have open and shut evidence that the miscreant was bearing arms and firing at troops. So they'd get firm jail time at least until a treaty came with an amnesty to end the conflict. Well, that makes 3 of us who've heard that story independently, so there must something in it innit? Not exactly like that, but how about moving multiple barrowloads of stuff m uphill on tarmac as "using a barrow"? Most crime is impulse-driven, unplanned or inadequately planned, and the perpetrators are incompetent that's a particularly hilarious example of all of the above from yesterday in the UK: Those criminals who are competent and planners try to minimize the risk of detection and apprehension after the fact by minimizing the number of people who know who did it: So you might be able to sell baggies of pre-mixed random DNA dust on the darknet, but your potential market is a tiny proportion of criminals—the planners—and you also have a huge marketing problem: I mean, it's not as if marketing preference algorithms "based on your previous purchases you might like Ah, but you're missing the effects of the First Sale doctrine and of specialist retail importers who imported US books and sold them via mail order in the UK.

You'd send off for a catalogue, tick the titles you wanted, enclose a cheque or postal order, and send it back. Importer would send funds to their agent—typically a bookstore—in the USA, buy the books for you, and mail them direct to you, taking a commission. Because you'd paid for the books in the USA you were legally their owner and were allowed to import them. Facilitated because a the titles they carried simply weren't published in the UK market, and b books cost a whole lot more in the UK in the early 80s a UK paperback at full retail cost, in real terms, roughly double what a US mass market paperback cost.

Oh, I don't know. If we sign up to TTIP, forbidding the sale and marketing of such things could be regarded as a restraint of trade - there are quite a few cases where the USA has forced subordinate countries to accept conditions that were not or could not be imposed in the USA. The tobacco industry did that several times. I wish I were joking: Not to say the book clubs. It would be interesting to know whether that ballast story has any, er, intellectual ballast.

I'm not implying that. I make no comment about the quality of the coding or application design. I was talking about the system-administration part of what is now called devops. Back in the day, the arrangements for managing a cluster of single-use computers could be highly individualistic, often written from scratch by one of the developer-operators, and incorporating a lot of valid assumptions about the context of the system that were known only to one person.

That worked for tiny clusters, small teams and low staff turnover; it was kluge rather than a kludge. Nowadays, with 10,core clusters, bigger teams and short contracts it's much harder to finesse things like that, so admin arrangements are more standard, more documented and far less flexible and adaptable. Whether this cultural change is good, bad or indifferent, I still see P.

I see no need to write their dialogue using current jargon as they may not even know it. Recent works in this subgenre like Magical Girl Site and Yuki Yuuna is a Hero are less interesting because they're more direct. Bill Arnold super was thinking along something like these lines, but here's my independently-got take:. As I understand them, Elder Gods in the Laundryverse at least start as human generally—enough networked mice might do brains running particular software. Said software in its native universe say, one aporoaching heat-death on its native platform my bet would be either some of Ken Macleod's colinies of extremophile organisms or else collections of hand-waved topological deformations of the brane runs perfectly because there's been extreme selection against things that don't and don't learn quickly enough how to do better.

Maybe I have that wrong, but it's based on 0. It's not supported by the description of the Infovore from "The Atrocity Archive" which story I preferred to "Concrete Jungle" because I found it a more engaging story, the novella being plot coupons and fight scenes with some fun Victoriana , which seems to want to physically cross over…but at least at first is running on human hosts. It's that adaptational feature that makes them capable of running at all on their new platforms in the Laundryverse.

This leaves open the question of whether there are still major bugs. A recent book's superheroes and - villains get, as part of the basic package, a glamour that supervenes normal facial recognition and is triggered by putting on the mask. I'd like to avoid having the name of the book here because it's one of its world-building surprises that helped to make it interesting to me. Name one whose firmware has ever been upgraded by the consumer. And a lot of the 'Net-enabled cameras are sending it back to China or wherever.

Go look at krebsonsecurity. Brian Krebs may be the most respected computer security journalist in the US. As I understand it, he used to write a column for the Washington Post, until they got freaked out by the number of police-determined credible death threats he was getting. And for good reason: That rototilled field - when I first moved to be with her, my late wife had an immobile home in the exurbs outside Austin.

About a foot or half a meter down, caliche. I mean, it'd only been above the Tethys Sea about 10M years, you'd have to give us another 10M to have some nice dirt. So, she bought a truckload of dirt. Golly gee willikers, you mean my plan to sell this stuff to: Seriously, if DNA surveillance becomes ubiquitous, I can think of all sorts of types, from civil libertarians and anarchists to strong-arm businessmen, who'd want to muddy their trail. As for toting around a vacuum cleaner bag, I'd suggest vials of DNA dusted on your shoes before you go out, or perhaps stashed in vape machines or whatever.

Hence my mild circumspection. Anyway, I think it's time to haul out the ol' mirrorshades, 'cuz we're living in that cyberpunk future, complete with the pointless wars that are generating a lot of cyborged veterans, and smartphones for cyberdecks. While they were in the holding cell at the main downtown police station, with a camera on them. She was helping people write letters, because they literally couldn't, and told me a lot of the women there, who were in for prostitution, literally had no idea how to either open a bank account or rent an apartment.

Their schools had treated them as stupid Read somewhere that animals have much lower genomic stability than plants, hence faster evolution. Also read that telomeres are the protectors of genomic stability and that genomes with fewer chromosomes are more stable than genomes with more chromosomes. Probably not the last word on genomic stability but could provide background fodder. And if such humans are able to survive to childbearing age for the next 2 or 3 generations, humanity could still end up like today's NZ kakapo which are facing extinction.

Let me put on my professional hat here: I was asked to pick up systems administration in the mid-nineties at a job; the title I've worn for the last nine years is sr. Linux sysadmin, and I work for a federal contractor. On the other hand, there have been a lot of well-made tools written and rolled out. Don't need to go to so much effort: Superheroes and eldritch girls- like the origin of the Aegis, Edge of Tomorrow again.

Is Perseus invisible because Andromeda is so visible? Or is he disguised by the cetus- or kraken, a name related to crook? Rodin has Andromeda chained face down. Modern movies lift their sacrifice into the air, though fully clothed, so as not to offend the Gods, perhaps. Jill Dando of Crimewatch was killed on her own doorstep by a single shot to the head, while on the cover of Radio Times , and on a car bonnet, no less.

An illustration of how to supply a suspect for an investigation. Is there to be a revelation, as time goes by? The police have a curious interest in mind control to go with their ambition to collect the national DNA. So why not another senior policewoman, and some kind of incomplete investigation into a murder victim shot in the head in broad daylight? Sort of "we're all seeds of Elder Deities, we most of us: I toyed with something like this as an entry in the Competition Time thread for Laundry devices, a recursive procedure to be used only in response to Malevolent Deity Incursion events, and by carefully selected individuals, with some constraints: Also FWIW recurring variations on a theme with the one s -with-the-names.

And a few other keywords. Pasquinade Andromeda, huh? Classical renaissance bondage porn As for Ms Dando Bill Arnold Hammer Horror bings you the fatberg - yes, really almost [ And a subsequent link leads to a live webcam Something like this is in Stephen Hunt's novel Secrets of the Fire Sea ; one of the plot lines is searching for the God-weapon that can be used to kill a god, and it turns out it's to use the formula to turn a person into a god to fight the other god.

And as an added side-benefit, my old Triumph T would run better, particularly if I could get hold of 5-Star and put the ignition timing back or rather forward to what God and Bert Hopwood intended If you look at Google Maps, immediately north of the city of Which provides the location of the Act 3 action.

It's been too long since I was a student at the University mentioned to recognize the renamed buildings, but they were apparently accurately represented too. An Australian politician just used his first speech in parliament to advocate for a "final solution to the immigration problem" Even the other racist wingnut parties have condemned him, which I suppose it at least something.

If only they would also oppose the actual implementation of the "Pacific Solution" that we've been using for some years now Octane rating of up to depending on the isomer. Another culprit is the pregnant mother's immune system reacting to viral infections. Not so good for folks living in increasingly arid regions. They do seem to survive the kind of rough handling from being stuffed in the bottom of a rucksack better than the average tablet computer; no screen to break and no batteries you're going to have to recharge at some point.

I use one all the time; just yesterday in fact. I have a push mower that has a grass catcher bag. But the bag isn't large enough to hold the clippings from the entire yard. While I'm cutting the front yard, I have to empty the bag two or three times That way I can make a single trip around back where the compost bins are located when I finish cutting the grass. What I'm suggesting is someone making a business out of it, if they haven't already.

If the soldier with the laser designator is in radio contact with the supporting battery, they don't have to start painting the target until the projectile is on the way. Exposure time is less than you might think. It was stealthy enough the bad guys planting IEDs on the roadside couldn't hear it loitering overhead at night. Those laser guided shells cost a hell of a lot more than a platoon of infantry, and you could use the infantry over and over again.

A lot of them, from what I've read, just ain't smart or educated enough to get a legit job.

Are You an Author?

One sad truth is that in many cases a "legit job" as bad as most low skill entry level jobs are would require less work and have better pay. The destruction by fire of a local farmers market in is an event in Act 1. I was across the road from the garbage dump at the brand new Costco just a couple weeks ago when visiting my sister. Not quite the same dissonance as when reading his two earlier books, in a different series, that were set in future versions of real locations.

Especially the novel set in "Tobers Cove" which was obviously the small town near where my parents had retired. Reminds me of the time the crime running the sex chat line had to make money legitimately, after an unexpected delay in getting the rigged phonecards working, for the ripoff. There's an article in the latest Atlantic about textual analysis to determine employee morale. The same technology could be used to scan social media. Then it's just clustering to identify suicidal and potentially violent subgroups. He was the same chap that wrote the expendables series about expendable interstellar scouts , right?

Looking at the tariffs and sanctions the Trump administration has so far imposed, I'm amazed how ineffective they've been. While they've imposed some pain on the target countries, most of those countries have been able to adapt to them in ways that were not possible in the 90s and s. This has made Trump look ridiculous so far, but let's step back for a moment: After all, what's the basic difference between a sanction and a tariff? No, that was Edmund Cooper, writing as Richard Avery. The idea has been reused since, of course, and he may not have been the first. Let me just add that I read and commented on a draft of the sequel, They Told Me The Gun Wasn't Loaded it's due out this November , and if you liked the first, you'll like this one too.

Yes, same author as the Expendables: This is before my 2nd cup of coffee, so there may be infelicities. In addition, expecting logic or even common sense from the Trump administration is demonstrably a silly notion. I'd go out on a limb and say that most sanctions are ineffective. For a sanction to be effective, it must affect the people who have the power to change the policies that inspired the sanction. In most cases, sanctions target the populace rather than these decisionmakers, and that will only work in a democracy and only if the strategy can persuade voter to put pressure on the politicians to change.

And the strategy may still backfire if the voters get their backs up and decide to support the problematic decisionmaker. Tariffs suffer from a similar problem, but as they're a tool of macroeconomic warfare rather than a simple tool to motivate decison-makers, the situation is far more complex. When tariffs are used to protect a local industry by raising the production cost of imports and thereby reducing the price gap between imports and domestic production, they can benefit that industry, at least in the short run.

Tariff protection can give a domestic industry time to improve its efficiency and get its costs under control, thereby preserving well-paid jobs -- though it can also protect bloated and inefficient industries that have no desire to change. Consider the Canadian example of persuading foreign carmakers to establish plants inside Canada to avoid or mitigate tariffs.

To be clear, the Auto Pact is more complex than that statement suggests. This leads to an argument over whether pure economic considerations e. I'd argue from pragmatic considerations: That solution might be most economically efficient so long as current conditions persist, but it's the least sensible from the perspective of the precautionary principle. There's also the issue that when consumers pay more for an imported product as a result of tariffs, that may be a good thing if that payment more closely reflects the true cost of production.

Workers in places like China are often underpaid even by local standards, and environmental controls are weak to nonexistant. This has a high cost in terms of human lives and the environment, but that cost is not accounted for by the producer of the exported products.

GH Sanctions ineffective? I'd argue from pragmatic considerations …. A friend of mine used to work for Nortel in the chip fab. Not surprisingly to the workers but apparently surprising to management , one Nortel's fab was dismantled chip prices suddenly rose and deliveries were repeatedly delayed forcing Nortel to delay its own deliveries and thus not meet its sales contracts. I would argue that pragmatic considerations mean making certain you are not beholden to an entity that you have no control or influence over.

Which would include preserving domestic capabilities. And people who had the power to change the policies that inspired the oil sanction—the Imperial Japanese Navy—were indeed affected, and took action. Just not the action the US government expected or intended. The sanctions oil and other materials were supposed to be against military uses only. But the Dean Acheson took it on himself to stop all oil flowing, which strengthened the military in Japan. The diplomats, who had followed all the procedures set out by the Americans and still failed to get any results, were discredited.

It also put the Navy in a 'use it or lose it' position, as once they ran out of oil they would be helpless. Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets merely to disconcert them. He did not intend the flow of oil to Japan to cease. The president then departed Washington for Newfoundland to meet with Churchill.

While he was gone Acheson used those frozen assets to deny Japan oil. Upon the president's return, he decided it would appear weak and appeasing to reverse the de facto oil embargo. This article supposedly has more information, but it's firewalled and I don't have access: As Charlie notes, if Pearl Harbor was the intended result of the sanctions, the U. But I doubt that was the desired outcome. Also note two aspects of my post: I offer Iran and North Korea as examples. I didn't mean to suggest that range is meaningless in terms of its effects on the results of a sanction, so add that as a YMMV footnote.

It would be hopelessly complex to try to cover all possibilities in a simple blog post. Returning to my original point: For any kind of trade action to work, it must focus on the decision-makers who will respond. I had this same debate with a teacher's union leaders many years back: I pointed out to them that if they go on strike and force working parents to stay home to care for their children, they alienate the people parents who should be their allies.

As a result, they lose the support of the parents, who put heavy pressure on politicians to end the strike by legislating the teachers back to work. For such a strike to be effective, it must target the politicians, not the parents. For example, stop handing in government mandated forms red tape run amok in many cases or invigilating government-mandated examinations.


  1. Brooklyn.
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  4. Beyond Worlds End (Bedlams Bard series Book 4).
  5. Dark Secrets - White Lies: A Story of Abandonment and Enduring Love.
  6. Parents and children largely unaffected, so they support the teachers. Another example, this time from when I worked for the feds: I pointed out to my union's local rep that going on strike eliminated services to the public and had no effect other than to get the public to pressure politicians to end the strike. To get results, I noted, they would have to do things like ensuring that ministerial communications accidentally got lost somewhere in the bureaucracy and that politician requests never arrived in the office that could respond to them.

    See "Yes, Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister" for a master class in how government bureaucracies can apply pressure to politicians. Since the union's goal at the time was proving they had a bigger dick than the politicians, not actually meeting the needs of its members, they ignored me and were legislated back to work only after me and other spear carriers lost several weeks of income, all to no effect. We never earned back that lost income with the salary raise that we eventually got.

    I don't know if anyone else has brought this up, but if you could have super powers, what would be your ideal? I'd have the power to just think it and have a fresh cup of hot coffee appear in my hand, so I wouldn't have to disturb the cat by getting up and going into the kitchen to make it. And I'd have the power to understand cat language so that when she starts howling I wouldn't be stuck trying to figure out What does that damned cat want now?

    I had a thought a few hours on which I'd like feedback: Going forward internationally, they're just going to piss off our trading partners and put the U. They might actually boost profits from owning some third world sweatshop. Domestically, it's going to disrupt those few remaining industries that haven't already moved their production facilities to some third world sweatshop It works the other way, too. I worked for an FPGA company, who in the very late 90s got sick of the tools vendors delaying the release that would support their latest, greatest, fastest parts or taking too long to solve the bugs that irritated their customers.

    So the FPGA company bought a small French HDL compiler company, integrated its product into an end-to-end toolchain, and started to give said toolchain away for free, as an enabler so that people would buy their chips. It didn't give quite the same QoR as the expensive tools, but it worked.

    In fact, both the big FPGA firms did it. Then they started adding IP blocks into the mix, so that the people thinking of buying their chips wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel just to create a GPIO block, or a compliant Ethernet interface - all to support chip sales.

    To spread enlightenment and universal compassion wherever I went, in at least a ten mile radius to deal with potential snipers. After all, if everybody around me, including the supervillains, is overwhelmed by feelings of loving kindness for all sentient beings, the fights, shall we say, deescalate quickly.

    Gotta love the way you think--against all the rules of war, if someone has the power to rapidly stop any fight without loss of life, your first impulse is to speedily nuke that person so that the "damage" in this case enlightenment doesn't spread. So my choice of superpower would be This is so wasteful! Instead we need the robot dog to do a swift takedown, dump Heteromeles into a wheelbarrow, then store them in a secret robot bunker in an isolated location for the unlikely contingency that we want to spread peace and understanding one day.

    Darken the wall so it no longer presents a barrier - but not the floor, so I don't fall through it. Darken the turd while it's still inside my intestines so it heads unrestrained and mess-free for the planet's core. Fallen out of a plane? Partially darken the ground underneath me so it decelerates me gently and can then be swum out of.

    Your solution suffers from boundary-condition exploits unless it is scaled up to include all entities close enough speed of light to matter at the time scales of concern.

    Books by Ellen Williamson

    Drones are one blunt approach. Or capture you using full drones or perhaps grey area acausally realtime -slaved advanced automation perhaps highly-constraining geases on humans in the Laundryverse , and then deploy you as a weapon to functionally disarm opponents. There are other exploits; haven't given it much thought. I like Charlie's approach better, except make it fully recursively infectious. Been on my mind for a while, TBH.

    Dang, you get credit for this one. Oh I don't know: None of that ravening stuff anymore. Besides, such an ability couldn't be captured and deployed, because anyone trying to do so would be going against their own enlightened self-interest in making sure everybody wants the best for everybody else, not in treating life as a negative-sum game.