Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Some music for your listening enjoyment: Lindsey Stirling - "Lost Girls" (5 min.)

  • Firearms Tutorial from the University of Utah Medical School. From the introduction:
No matter which side you take on the sale and use of firearms in this country, the fact remains that you will encounter the results of firearms injuries. This tutorial is designed to give you a working knowledge of the types of firearms, the types of ammunition used, the nature of injuries that can be produced in the body, and the investigative techniques employed by the forensic pathologist in assessing firearms injuries.
  • "Velocity is great, but mass penetrates."--Ballistics By The Inch. The author explains why velocity (and hence muzzle energy) is not, by itself, a reliable measure of the effectiveness of a bullet. After discussing bullet shape and design, the author notes: "The other REALLY important consideration in bullet effectiveness is penetration. This is so important, in fact, that it is the major criteria used by the FBI and others in assessing performance." He goes on: "As noted above, the design of the bullet can have a substantial effect on how well it penetrates. But another big factor is the weight, or mass, of the bullet relative to its cross-section — this is called ‘sectional density‘. Simply put, a bullet with a large cross-section and high mass will penetrate more than a bullet with the same cross-section but low mass moving at the same speed." The kinetic energy formula places a great deal of emphasis on velocity, which is why I believe that momentum may be another factor to consider.
  • "THenar – 'The Missing Half of the AFG'"--The Firearms Blog. The THenar is essentially a knob that attaches to the side of a handguard of a weapon to give an anchor point for those using a modified C-clamp hold on the front of the rifle.
  • "Planning And Maximizing Dry Fire"--Primary and Secondary. Discussing the implementation of a plan of dry fire practice for unit training. The author observes: 
The analogy used previously with dry-fire it is PT for weapons mastery. You cannot score a 300 on the PT test without having put in the repetitions to build the muscle needed to perform at that level. Similarly, you cannot expect Paratroopers to shoot above Marksman if they do not put in the repetitions of dry-fire before going to the range.

Other Stuff:
  • "Got an Android Phone? Ultrasonic Tracking is Growing"--The Silicon Graybeard. An Indian company, Silver Push, developed tracking software that correlates users with advertisements by having smart phones or other devices listen for high frequency sound frequencies embedded in advertisements. Although the company had reached a deal with the Federal Trade Commission to kill off their product, German researchers discovered that the software was more widespread than ever before, with at least 234 Android apps incorporating the tracking software.
  • "'Accidental hero' finds kill switch to stop spread of ransomware cyber-attack"--The Guardian (via Yahoo). The ransomeware attack last Friday, based on software tools used by the NSA, was stopped not due to our cybersecurity agencies, but by private malware experts. Reports the article:
           A cybersecurity researcher tweeting as @malwaretechblog, with the help of Darien Huss from security firm Proofpoint, found and implemented a “kill switch” in the malicious software that was based on a cyber-weapon stolen from the NSA.
             The kill switch was hardcoded into the malware in case the creator wanted to stop it from spreading. This involved a very long nonsensical domain name that the malware makes a request to – just as if it was looking up any website – and if the request comes back and shows that the domain is live, the kill switch takes effect and the malware stops spreading.
               Of course, this relies on the creator of the malware registering the specific domain. In this case, the creator failed to do this. And @malwaretechblog did early this morning (Pacific Time), stopping the rapid proliferation of the ransomware.
        • Yes. "Is Global Warming A Myth?"--Powerline. While temperatures may have increased between 1900 and 1940 (and even that is questionable), the data does not support more recent warming. Basically, the various methods of collecting temperature in the last several decades do not agree on whether there was a temperature increase, when it happened, or by how much. Any increase is the result of data artifacts, not any actual increase in temperature. The author also adds:
          These are not the only reasons to suspect that the claimed temperature increases of the last few decades may be spurious. There is a huge problem, which Dr. Singer does not address in this post, with the surface temperature record. Pretty much all temperature records are under the control of global warming alarmists, and the alarmists constantly “adjust” temperatures that were recorded historically by thermometers by making the past cooler and the present warmer. We have written about this many times. A large portion of the warming that is alleged to have occurred in the late 20th century is attributable to these after-the-fact “adjustments.”
            The article by Dr. Singer, which is reference above, can be found here
            • Related: "China Chief Climate Negotiator: Where’s the Money?"--Watts Up With That. This is what the global warming theatrics are about: "Top Chinese Climate Negotiator Xie Zhenhua has responded to a parade of official reassurances about the Paris Climate Agreement, by demanding to know when 'developed' countries will start paying China the money which was promised in Paris."
            • The morals of r-selection: "This Is How the Elite Poisons Our Culture"--National Review. Commenting on a New York Times Magazine article about couples choosing "open marriages" and polyamory, the author observes: "Their stories are both revolting and pathetic." Going on, he writes:
              What’s revolting is the sheer selfishness of one or both of the spouses involved. Their obsession with a completely fulfilling and intoxicating sex life borders on the pathological. They seem to regard a boring marriage bed as a human-rights violation, as if they were absolutely entitled to thrilling sex. 
                       However, Ijjas, Steinhardt and Loeb disagreed with this interpretation. “If anything, the Planck data disfavored the simplest inflation models and exacerbated long-standing foundational problems with the theory, providing new reasons to consider competing ideas about the origin and evolution of the universe,” they write.
                         The three physicists argue that since the 2013 [cosmic  microwave background] map was produced, more precise data has been gathered. And this data, they say, adds more evidence to the argument that the Big Bang and inflation do not adequately explain how the universe started. “Yet even now the cosmology community has not taken a cold, honest look at the big bang inflationary theory or paid significant attention to critics who question whether inflation happened,” they say.
                           Instead, they claim the idea of a “big bounce” is a more likely scenario. In this theory, the universe works on a cyclical basis of expansion and contraction. At the moment, it is expanding. However, when it runs out of energy (or whatever happens to stop its expansion), it will start contracting. Eventually, it will get to the point where it is so small it starts expanding again.
                             They point to several flaws in inflation theory, including that we are yet to discover primordial gravitational waves—ripples in spacetime created by the Big Bang. Another problem is that inflation requires the existence of “inflationary energy,”  for which there is no direct evidence.
                                “Given all these problems, the prospect that inflation did not occur deserves serious consideration,” they write. “Today we are fortunate to have sharp, fundamental questions imposed on us by observations. The fact that our leading ideas have not worked out is a historic opportunity for a theoretical breakthrough. Instead of closing the book on the early universe, we should recognize that cosmology is wide open.”
                          Given that it now appears that dark energy is non-existent, cosmology is going to face a lot of upheaval in the coming decade.

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