Monday, July 22, 2024

Tab Clearing...



A robotic scout dog that cops can use to knock the various "Internet of Things" devices in your house offline in preparation for a SWAT raid sounds like something out of a Terminator sequel, but here we are.
“NEO can enter a potentially dangerous environment to provide video and audio feedback to the officers before entry and allow them to communicate with those in that environment,” Huffman said, according to the transcript. “NEO carries an onboard computer and antenna array that will allow officers the ability to create a ‘denial-of-service’ (DDoS) event to disable ‘Internet of Things’ devices that could potentially cause harm while entry is made.”

DDoS attacks are a type of cyber attack where a website, server, or network is overloaded with traffic until it is knocked offline. Huffman did not provide any specifics about how a DDoS attack like this would work. But he said DHS wanted to develop this capability after a 2021 incident in which a man suspected of child sexual abuse crimes in Florida used his doorbell camera to see that he was being raided by the FBI and began shooting at them, killing two FBI agents and injuring three others.
At FLETC they even have a training house set up with various web-enabled devices like crib monitors and "nanny cams" so the Feds can practice working in that environment for entries, which makes sense, I guess. Wonder if they have a practice claymore roomba?

The DDoS scoutbot dog is based on this model:

The next 2,000 round test.

The latest offering from Staccato, the Staccato C... (with a brief digression to note that there was a previous, now discontinued, model with the same designation) kind of a big deal for the company. 

In some ways it's a longer-barreled version of the existing Staccato CS and shares magazines with it, and the magazines are the big deal part. Earlier double-stack Staccatos were using magazines whose geometry was inherited from the days when 2011-pattern pistols were expected to run with rounds like 10mm Auto and .45ACP. Because they had to accommodate wider, straight-walled cartridges, that made functioning with the smaller-diameter, tapered 9x19mm trickier.

The new magazine bodies are designed entirely around functioning with 9mm, and are said to make a big difference.

Well, we've got a test pistol and 2,500 rounds of ammo to run through it here, and we're fixing to find out. Look for updates at this blog and a feature length wrap-up in an upcoming issue of Shooting Illustrated.


Unicorn Sighting

Here's a thing you don't see every day: A genuine, honest-to-Rollie Vincent Black Shadow just tooling down your street.

These things were legends. The mystique surrounding them means that, depending on the particular year model or variation, prices can easily exceed a hundred grand for a nice one... and that one sure looks nice.

That dude has got to have a regular Garage-Mahal of glorious scooters.


Sunday, July 21, 2024


Oh, gawd, NBC has some pasture pool tourney in Scotland on this morning, which probably means that half of my usual Sunday morning yelling at senators entertainment is going to be preempted.

Hopefully ABC isn't covering croquet championships or anything. At least I'll have Stephanopolopolopolous.

"If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press... unless we're preempting it for golf, or motor racing, or the Brightinghamshire Stoats are playing the Twarfton-by-Blight Tea Cozies in the English Premier League."

Friday, July 19, 2024

Shell Game...

We're having to essentially reboot artillery shell production...
The causes of the shell crisis began years ago. They are rooted in decisions and miscalculations made by the U.S. military and its NATO allies that occurred well before Russia’s 2022 invasion, a Reuters investigation found.

A decade of strategic, funding and production mistakes played a far greater role in the shell shortage than did the recent U.S. congressional delays of aid, Reuters found.

In the years between Russia’s 2014 seizure of Crimea and its 2022 invasion, for example, repeated warnings from top NATO commanders and from officials who operated or supervised U.S. munitions plants went largely unheeded. They advised their governments, both publicly and privately, that the alliance’s munitions industry was ill-equipped to surge production should war demand it. Because of the failure to respond to those warnings, many artillery production lines at already-ancient factories in the United States and Europe slowed to a crawl or closed altogether.

“This is a problem that’s been long in the making,” said Bruce Jette, who served as the assistant secretary of the U.S. Army for acquisition, logistics and technology from 2018 to January 2021.
It's the post-Vietnam situation all over again. The U.S. military has been preoccupied with counter-insurgency warfare for decades and the 155mm shell was not exactly in high demand in Afghanistan, so...

Automotif DXXIII...

This early (2003-2004) Z4 2.5i was BMW's immediate successor to the Z3. It had fully modern underpinnings compared to the Z3, which was running around until the 2002 model year on a semi-trailing arm rear suspension cribbed from the old 1982-vintage E30 3-series. (This was done for reasons of both cost and compactness; from the rear suspension forward the Z3 was pretty much identical to the newer E36 3-series, but its wheelbase was a foot shorter.)

The Z4 had the multilink rear derived from newer 3-series cars, but as a result had a 4-inch bump in wheelbase length over its predecessor. On the upside, handling was improved and it didn't squat like a motorboat under acceleration.

The 2.5i was the cheaper engine option, featuring the 192hp M54B25 2.5 liter inline six. Buyers could also opt for the 231-horsepower 3.0i.

As a fan of the Z3's lines, I dissed the Chris Bangle-era Z4 pretty hard when it debuted, but like most of the Bangle Bimmers, the lines have aged well over time.

BMW insisted on calling it a roadster, but since the car has a permanently-affixed folding top, that's not exactly accurate. It is a sports car, though.


Thursday, July 18, 2024

Automotif DXXII...

We've seen this Lamborghini Huracán and Rolls-Royce Ghost before (here and here) but, hey, these are a couple of really cool sleds, so I'm always gonna snap a pic when I have a chance.

Meme Dump...

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Running out of tanks?

Apparently the hardware situation in Russia is starting to feel the pinch of years of warfare:
When the then defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, boasted in December 2023 that 1,530 tanks had been delivered in the course of the year, he omitted to say that nearly 85% of them, according to an assessment by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London think-tank, were not new tanks but old ones (mainly t-72s, also t-62s and even some t-55s dating from just after the second world war) that had been taken out of storage and given a wash and brush-up.

Since the invasion, about 175 reasonably modern t-90m tanks have been sent to the front line. The iiss estimates that annual production this year could be approaching 90. However, Michael Gjerstad, an analyst with the iiss, argues that most of the t-90ms are actually upgrades of older t-90as. As those numbers dwindle, production of newly built t-90ms this year might be no more than 28. Pavel Luzin, an expert on Russian military capacity at the Washington-based Centre for European Policy Analysis, reckons that Russia can build only 30 brand-new tanks a year. When the Ukrainians captured a supposedly new t-90m last year, they found that its gun was produced in 1992.
The tank & AFV production outlook is bad, and the production of artillery tubes is similarly grim for Moscow.


Future stuff...

I just can't get over how the price on tech stuff has just plummeted. It wasn't that long ago that a 4K 55" TV was a science fiction movie prop. Now BezosMart is blowing the things out for $299 on Prime Day...

You can spend a ton on tablets or smartphones if you want, but you can get a pretty decent one for very reasonable dough if you don't have to have the most memory or megapixels.


Sorry, guys.

The week... hell, the whole month off to an unbelievably crappy start.

I'll try to cheer up and be funnier.


Sunday, July 14, 2024

Too Much News

Billy Joel could get a whole new verse for "We Didn't Start the Fire" out of any given week since about March of 2020.

This is your reminder to get off the internet, snuggle your [cat/dog/kid/significant other] and go outside and touch some frickin' grass.