Prevarication Du Jour


The Cabin Boy™ keeps up his whining about the lack of intersection between his narrative and the real world in a post at Patriot-Ombudsman (No, I won’t link to it.) called Powerless in Howard County. He includes the following comment about me.P-O20140327What I do ain’t rocket science. It’s applied quantum mechanics.

“Rocket science” involves simple Newtonian physics. Quantum mechanics is a much more sophisticated discipline, and the suggestion that I am employed doing less advanced work borders on defamation.

#BrettKimberlin’s Amended Copyright Complaint


The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin has submitted an amended complaint to the court in his Kimberlin v. Kimberlin Unmasked nuisance copyright suit. Here is the marked up version which highlights the changes.

There are several fatal errors in this complaint. I am disabling comments on this post to prevent anyone from providing unintended help to TDPK.

Pi Day?


Many people consider 14 March to be Pi Day because the insist on using the illogical order of month/day/year for dating and render today’s date as 3.14. If they were to use the more logical order of day/month/year, they would realize that 22 July (22/7) should be Pi Day.

22/7 is a closer approximation of π than 3.14.

UPDATE—Pie_Chart

Quote of the Day


Simplicity is not the absence of clutter, that’s a consequence of simplicity. Simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product. The absence of clutter is just a clutter-free product. That’s not simple.

—Jonathan Ive

Back in the Saddle Again


This evening I agreed to go back to work full-time for a while. I was enjoying my semi-retirement, but my former colleagues working on the GOES-R program have persuaded me to rejoin them. I’ll begin on Monday at Goddard Space Flight Center.

GOES-R is the first of the next generation of weather satellites.

Video Credit: NOAA / NASA

Prevarication Du Jour


Xenophon the Troll is channeling the Amazingly Inaccurate Criswell again over at Breitbart Unmasked (No, I won’t link to it.) This time the nonsense has to do to with First Mate Neal Rauhauser’s attempt to gen up some sort of connection between the Kimberlin Unmasked identity and a real person.BU20140127That’s an ambitious undertaking—foolhardy, because there’s nothing to find—but it’s ambitious. You see, Team Kimberlin has already run afoul of the GIGO principle: garbage in, garbage out.

OK, what do I mean by garbage in? Consider these bits of data:forgedTwitterIPThe account_id is the correct one for @Kimberlinunmask. However, the login time is on 24 December, 2013. The @Kimberlinumask account was suspended on that day, and it’s not possible to login to a gulaged account.

While it’s not quite as obviously stupid a submitting two versions of the same document to the same court in the same case or as mind-bogglingly crude as failing to remove a PACER legend and using the wrong typeface to create a do-it-yourself court summons, it is … well … it’s kinda amateurish.

#Garbage_Out

Obamacare Website Security NOT


Reuters is reporting that the government has failed to implement critical security fixes on the healthcare dot gov website.

David Kennedy, head of computer security consulting firm TrustedSec LLC, told Reuters that the government has yet to plug more than 20 vulnerabilities that he and other security experts reported to the government shortly after HealthCare.gov went live on October 1.

Hackers could steal personal information, modify data or attack the personal computers of the website’s users, he said. They could also damage the infrastructure of the site, according to Kennedy, who is scheduled to describe his security concerns in testimony on Thursday before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

Read the whole thing, and let it burn.

The Pity Party


Having seen in the comments and on the Twiterz that the Cabin Boy had signed off on his Internet radio feeds, I took a look at his Twitter timeline and found this:dc201401131959ZBullshit! Just because confident individuals such as Stacy McCain or Aaron Walker don’t have to spend their time bragging about the multiple things good things they’ve done does not mean that they haven’t done them. Perhaps they are following Jesus’s admonition not to advertise their good works.

The Cabin Boy brags about being part of an experimental surgery group. Well, good for him! One of these days, I might tell you about the experimental heart surgery that I volunteered for. But not today. Not in this context.

About That Deadline …


Healthcare_gov_MacOSXAs of 9 pm ET on 30 November, the day that the Obamacare website was supposed to be “fixed,” the healthcare dot gov site says that it does not support the current version of Mac OSX.

Of course, OS 10.9 has only been in public release for five weeks, but incremental developer releases have been available for testing since June.

It’s interesting that the site claims to support Windows XP which was withdrawn from sale in 2009 and for which Microsoft will end support early next year, but says nothing about support for iOS (iPhone/Pad) or Android systems. I wonder what percentage of users under 30 years old will try to access the site with a mobile device?

Let it burn.

Obamacare 0.997


The version of Obamacare that was rolled out on 1 October was clearly not ready for prime time. It wasn’t even ready for beta release. It was simply a failure.

Good engineers design for failure. That’s not to say that we (I’m an engineer) design products to fail, but we know that they will. That’s why the load panel in your house has circuit breakers. In the real world, failure is always an option, and it becomes exponentially more likely when a project is managed by someone who doesn’t understand the endeavor’s practical constraints. Clay Shirky offers an analysis of the probable managerially-driven problems with Obamacare here.

Recently, much has been made about the Administration’s ignoring the law when dealing with Obamacare and any possible workarounds for its present problems, and it’s true that those responsible for the current mess have acted lawlessly. However, the law that will do the project in was not passed by Congress. It stems from a higher authority. Those who ignore it are fools.

If anything can go wrong, it will.

—Murphy

Let it burn.

UPDATE—This insightful observation is also on point:

Everything the government touches turns to crap.

—Ringo Starr

Assault Luddism


The Luddites destroyed machinery because of they were threatened by progress.assaultnonsense

So how advanced does the technology of a weapon have to be to enable a rate of fire of 10 rounds per minute?

I have a muzzle-loading rifle, and, if I really hustle, I can get off two rounds per minute. However, there are muzzle-loading firearms that are capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the Colt Model 1851 Navy Revolver.Colt_Navy_Model_1851

It was probably the most common revolver used during the Civil War. It takes a long time to load the six-round cylinder, but the cylinder is easily removed and replaced. It was not uncommon for soldiers to carry spare loaded cylinders. It’s possible to fire three cylinders (18 rounds) in under a minute.

LongbowHowever, there are even older weapons capable of firing 10 rounds per minute. Consider the weapon shown at the left. Henry V was able to use massed fire from such weapons to devastate an attack by a force that greatly outnumbered his happy few, his band of brothers, at Agincourt.

There are other, even simpler, weapons that can deliver a high rate of fire. David only took five stones when he fought Goliath. He was a good shot and only needed one to kill the giant, but an expert with a sling can get off 10 shots in a minute.

A sling is a stone age weapon.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


Here’s another set of factual errors from The Dread Pirate Kimberlin’s Kimberlin v. Walker, et al. lawsuit.AmendedBKvAW31aThe “family” court matter that Aaron Walker and I attended on 9 July was not held in Family Court. It was held in the District Court in Rockville, Maryland. There were three hearings. Two were about protective orders. Brett Kimberlin was seeking one against his estranged wife, and she was seeking one against him. The other was for a peace order being sought by a friend of Mrs. Kimberlin who was being harassed by Brett Kimberlin.

Aaron Walker and I were sitting in the back row of the courtroom observing. We were there because we had seen the cases in the Maryland Judiciary Case Search database and wished to know what was happening. When Kimberlin arrived at the courtroom, he seemed surprised to see us. TDPK asked the judge to eject us because we were “stalking” him. She informed him that we had every right to observe an open court hearing. He then asked the the hearings be closed and held in her chambers. The judge refused.

At the conclusion of the hearing, deputies handcuffed Mrs. Kimberlin and restrained her. Aaron Walker and I left the courtroom. TDPK had submitted a petition to have his wife involuntarily committed for a psychiatric evaluation. The judge released her within a few minutes, but Aaron Walker and I were gone by then. We could not have followed her out while she was being held in custody.

I did not meet Mrs. Kimberlin until a few days later—when she approached me.

Let It Burn


Daniel Henninger has a good discussion about the coming disaster known as Obamacare over at WSJ. Here are a couple of the more insightful lines.

But ObamaCare’s Achilles’ heel is technology. The software glitches are going to drive people insane.

The discrediting of the entitlement state begins next Tuesday. Let it happen.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE—Things will be quite nasty as Obamacare burns out, perhaps catastrophic. However, I’m beginning to be convinced that is the only way the situation will be remedied. The Progressive politicians who created the mess are behaving very much like an alcoholic who still thinks he can handle it, and their go-along/get-along enablers are much like a drunk’s “understanding” friends. We’re past the time when an intervention might have worked. The system is going to have to wake up in the drunk tank before it hits bottom.

A Slick Product


Rem OilRem Oil is not really a penetrating oil like good old WD-40, but it is probably a better all-purpose spray can lubricant. It was designed as a gun cleaner/lubricant, and it cleans dirt and grime from exposed metal surfaces while displacing moisture from the pores in the surface of the metal. It also contains Teflon which provides a thin, long-lasting film that keeps things working smoothly by reducing metal-to-metal wear.

Buy it via Amazon.

Ray Dolby, R. I. P.


Ray Dolby, has died. All of the obituaries will mention his staggeringly important contributions to audio engineering. I will point out one more. While still a student, Ray worked at Ampex where he was one of the co-inventors of the first practical color video tape recorder. He not only affected what you hear (and don’t hear), but how you see it as well.

A moment of silence, please.