Half a submarine just floated past.

Ok, I know it sounds odd, but I swear I just saw 1/2 of a Submarine go past the house on top of a barge.

I went to the AIS site and the barge is the:
Ship Name: C.ANGELO
Speed : 8
MMSI: 366988420
Course: 356.5
Ship Type: Tug
Heading: 511
Ship Lat: 38.6979
Ship Long: -76.451
Dimensions: L: 30
W: 10
Destination: RIVER HEAD
D: 3.4
ETA: Jan09 19:00
UPDATE: It might be the front bit that goes in below the waterline in front of a ship:

Faster than Drudge: Using Twitter for your Breaking News

TweetDeck http://www.tweetdeck.com/beta/ is a beta application that sits on your desktop and updates every 2 minutes with ‘Twitter’ messages from the people you follow on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com) It turns twitter into something like an Instant Messenger (though one you don’t have to be troubled to deal with a reply).

While you may think Twitter is kind of silly (”I’m going for a pizza”–”I’m going to the bathroom”) more and more professional organizations are using this as a primary communications device for ‘urgent and breaking’ news.
Right now, I’m now subscribed to several ‘breaking news’ alert services, which pop up on my screen anywhere from 5-30 minutes before they show up on CNN or other websites. With tweetdeck it just sort of ‘appears’ on my screen — an ‘ambient’ way to watch the news go by, but still be ahead of everyone else.
Here are a few of the ones I’m following.
BBC Breaking News
You can find other breaking news services as well using Twitter search:

Russian soldier defects / captured to/by Georgia, depending on who you believe

Moscow was apoplectic the other day when reports filtered in that a Russian soldier had been captured by Georgian forces inside South Ossetia. They demanded his immediate return claiming he was being held against his will.

Geogian forces replied by displaying him at a local McDonalds eating a Big Mac.

“I came to the Georgian side of my own will, to ask for political asylum because I had problems with the commander of my battalion,” he said.

Russia just hasn’t been the same since the arrival of the Golden Arches. It has a very powerful and strong pull for young and starving Russian conscripts.


Listening to Combat Air Patrol fighters above the Obama train

Got this form the scanner mailing list:

An amazing amount of trfc assoc with both these CAPs today.
Huntress controllers are really earning their salaries today.
Following freqs noted: 139.7; 228.9; 350.25; 260.9; & 135.525—as well as several A-A for the Tyndall F-15s & supporting tankers–262.85; 251.25; 326.475; 277.35
Add to this the various ZNY & ZDC freqs used by the tankers and ftrs as they go into and out of the CAPs and needless to say it’s VERY BUSY here today. A prelude to what we can expect on Tuesday I guess.
In addition the Customs guys on 165.2375 & 350.025 are buzzing as well.

Text of Steve Jobs letter to Apple re: Medical Leave of Absence

Steve Jobs has announced a medical leave of absence until June.


I am sure all of you saw my letter last week sharing something very personal
with the Apple community. Unfortunately, the curiosity over my personal health
continues to be a distraction not only for me and my family, but everyone else
at Apple as well. In addition, during the past week I have learned that my
health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought.

In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to
allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have
decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations, and
I know he and the rest of the executive management team will do a great job. As
CEO, I plan to remain involved in major strategic decisions while I am out. Our
board of directors fully supports this plan.

I look forward to seeing all of you this summer.



Can Mexico Survive? US military prepares contingency plans.

A new US military report is asking the what if question (as military reports often do) about the possible failure of the Mexican government.

The command’s “Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008)” report, which contains projections of global threats and potential next wars, puts Pakistan on the same level as Mexico. “In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico.

“The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.”

The issue of Mexico being a ‘failed state‘ is being discussed in Washington, but this is the first US military analysis of the situation that I’ve seen. You can read the full report here

Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we start to see contingency plans, including military intervention, should the government of Mexico collapse. Though I don’t foresee such a situation (i.e. the destruction of the Mexican government) anytime in the near future. But if you remember what happened with Noriega in Panama, should we start to see corruption reach the highest levels of the Mexican government, could a military ‘regime change’ be a possibility?

This will be an interesting one to watch.


2009-The Year of Networked Attached Storage (NAS)

Will this be under your tree next year?

A year ago the gift of gifts for Christmas was a GPS unit.

A few weeks ago, one of the surprise bit hits was the iPod touch (some Apple stores even sold out).

So what will be seeing next year? Well my guess is Networked Attached Storage (NAS) or in more plain English, a ‘home server’.

Techies have been running ‘home servers’ for years now. Taking old computers and gutting out some of the unnecessary items, they’ve loaded them up with hard drives and use them as ‘backup systems’ for the house, or as a central repository for all the photos, video and music that they play. These systems were nice and useful, but not exactly user friendly for people who have never opened a computer, and often resulted in higher utility bills as running a full desktop machine can cost quite a bit in electrical costs.

But in the last 12-24 months, we’ve started to see ‘made to order’ type systems be rolled out. Windows actually is a bit ahead here in having the Windows Home Server running on a number of devices from companies like Hewlett Packard with their Media Vault that lets you have a centralized data repository in the home. Apple has a small device called the Time Capsule that is used for their backup systems, and there are rumors of a new multi-drive device coming out soon from Apple (but it wasn’t introduced today at Macworld so we’ll see).

Data Robotics Drobo is a nice system, though limited at the moment by the fact it is a ‘tethered’ system rather than true stand alone (it connects to the machine via USB or Firewire, and the Ethernet bridge is sort of ‘iffy’). When Drobo comes out with a Version 3 soon (that is truly networked / Ethernet) I suspect we’ll see a number of these start selling.

As more and more people move entirely digitally (I myself have 30gb of photos and nearly 1TB of video) the need for a backup and storage system becomes more pronounced. As families start to add more and more computers to the house, realizing that ‘one is never enough’ you start to see a desire to share documents and sync data.

We’ll see what CES brings out, but I strongly suspect by Christmas 2009 you’ll be seeing quite a few NAS devices on the market and this being quite a thoughtful and wise Christmas gift.


How remixing a crap disco song can produce something interesting.

Livestation.com pretty much all day long. Unfortunately their playlist is kind of like MTV’s when they first started, and you end up seeing the same video a couple of times a day. But hey, it beats MTV and there are a few songs that have gotten stuck in my head and I’ve now downloaded to my iPhone. One them is the song ‘Saddle Up’ by David Christie. This was a song released back in the disco era, and quite frankly watching the original video is painful (only slightly less so by the presence of awful dancing but scantily clad bikini girls). So here is the original from 1982, and the 2008 remix that is on my iPhone. It makes you wonder what could be done if there was even more freedom to remix songs absent concerns about IP and whatnot. Original: Remix: ]]>

Maybe the Ukraine should convert to coal?

Because Natural Gas just doesn’t seem to be a viable option, given that most of the supplies are locked up in Russia and Gazprom really likes to play politics. Nearly 50% of the Ukraine’s (excessive) power consumption comes from Natural Gas, and nearly 75% of those supplies are from Russia. Ukraine has quite a bit of coal, and I’m sure the US would be willing to sell them more at a very discounted rate.

However, if the Ukraine was to go all coal, just think of the black soot they could put up in the air and left drift to the East? Or maybe they could just turn off the lights now and then:

“Ukraine is one of Europe’s largest energy consumers, and it consumes over twice as much energy per unit of GDP than Germany.”

Here is Russia Today gloating about the cutoff.