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April 14, 2017
12:58 PM
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A Russian Torpedo Washed Up on a Lithuanian Beach

https://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-torpedo-washed-lithuanian-beach-170724217.html

 

From Popular Mechanics

Beachcombers in Lithuania were in for a rude surprise when they discovered a Russian torpedo washed up on the shore. The torpedo, painted in green and red, was apparently a training torpedo and did not have a warhead.

The torpedo came ashore just over half a mile from the Russian/Lithuanian border, near the village of Nida on the Curonian Spit. Lithuanian Border Guards were put in charge of its disposal.

The torpedo was described as twelve feet long, which makes it too long to be a helicopter launched torpedo but generally too short for a submarine launched torpedo. Whatever it is, it appears to have a shrouded propeller-although that may just be a covering found only on a training version of a torpedo. The torpedo is also missing its nose cone and appears to have been in the water for some time.

The discovery comes as Lithuania is increasingly nervous about the prospect of Russian invasion. The tiny country was declared independent from Russia in 1918 but annexed again by the Soviet Union in 1940. It became independent again in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Source: TASS

 

Absolute reality never changes, only our perception of it does.

April 29, 2017
1:41 PM
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Chrome adds support for a newer GIF-killing format

https://bgr.com/2017/04/28/gif-alternative-animated-png-chrome/

 

The internet would not be the same place without GIFs. The antiquated file format is central to our very important online meme culture, but the format itself is terrible. The images are huge, and restrictions on color, bitrate and frames per second all show that the GIF is about a decade past its sell-by date.

Writing an actual format to replace the GIF isn’t hard — it’s getting it to work universally that’s the trick. Animated PNGs, or aPNGs, just took a big step towards universal acceptance with the latest release of Chrome.

An upcoming release of Chrome, number 59, will have full support for animated PNGs, according to developer comments spotted by 9to5Google. APNGs have had hacked-together support in Chrome for a while now via Chrome extensions, but full support is a huge step forwards. For web developers, this means that aPNGs can be included in a webpage with reasonable confidence that a majority of readers will be able to view the images.

Chrome isn’t the only browser to support aPNGs, either. Firefox has supported them for a while, Apple chose to use aPNGs for iOS 10’s animated iMessage features, and Safari supports them on both macOS and iOS. At this point, the only two browsers that need to convert for near-universal support are Microsoft’s Edge, and the default Android browser.

Absolute reality never changes, only our perception of it does.

May 9, 2017
9:34 PM
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Insiders say Trump keeps clashing with his national security adviser

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/insiders-trump-keeps-clashing-national-175552803.html

President Donald Trump has repeatedly clashed with his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, in front of his staff, according to a column by Eli Lake at Bloomberg published Monday.

The three-star Army general increasingly is being sidelined in favor of other advisers because Trump has become "disillusioned" with him, according to Lake. Three White House officials told Lake the president was "livid" after McMaster called his South Korean counterpart to assure him that Trump's threat to make Seoul pay for the advanced THAAD missile defense system was not official policy.

Trump also has said in front of McMaster that he is "undermining my policy," according to two White House officials who spoke with Lake.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. However, Bloomberg received a statement from Trump that said: "I couldn't be happier with H.R. He's doing a terrific job."

McMaster received plenty of praise when he was tapped to replace retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as national security adviser. Many pundits said his strategic expertise, doctoral education, heroism during Operation Desert Storm, and respect among the rank-and-file would be good news for Trump's National Security Council.

But as I noted in February, McMaster is not known to be a yes man, which may be rubbing Trump the wrong way:

"McMaster is the kind of guy who says what's on his mind and will call out a wrongheaded approach when he sees one. That tendency is something that junior officers love, but those maverick ways are not well-received by some of his fellow generals. Put simply: McMaster isn't a political guy, unlike other officers who are trying to jockey for position and move up in their careers.

"In 2003, for example, McMaster criticized then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's Iraq War plan that placed too much of an emphasis on technology. McMaster also pushed back on his boss' refusal to admit an insurgency was starting to take hold in 2004.

"He has been held back in his career because of it — he was passed over two times for his first star — but it wasn't because of incompetence. Instead, his fight to be promoted from colonel to brigadier general was seen as pure politics, and McMaster doesn't like to play. He was eventually promoted in 2008, but that hasn't made him any less outspoken."

For now, McMaster's standing in the White House seems to be a "he said, she said" situation — though it's worth noting that the White House was publicly praising Flynn's performance hours before he was asked to resign.

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August 6, 2017
5:06 PM
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U.S. Marine Osprey Crashes off Australian Coast

https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-marine-osprey-crashes-off-153128192.html

 

A search-and-rescue operation was underway Saturday after three Marines went missing when their aircraft crashed into the sea off the eastern coast of Australia during landing, the Marine Corps said.

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September 4, 2017
4:36 PM
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The U.S. Air Force, Marines and SOCOM All Love This Piece of Gear

http://nationalinterest.org/bl.....gear-22141

 

The Air Force has approved Magpul Industries Corps.'s GEN M3 PMAG, a polymer-based ammunition magazine, for use with small arms and light weapons, becoming the second U.S. military branch to adopt the highly popular accessory this year, Soldier Systems reported on Aug. 29.

"We are certainly pleased that another major service component has taken their own look at the test data and come to the same conclusion as the Marine Corps and [U.S. Special Operations Command]," Magpul told Soldier Systems in a statement.

The Air Force formalized approval of the PMAG in July in a document entitled “USAF Authorized Small Arms and Light Weapons (SA/LW) Accessories (as of 28 July 17).” According to that document, the PMAG is now authorized in both black and tan for use with the M4/M4A1 Carbine, GUU-5P Carbine, and the M249 Automatic Rifle.

The PMAG will replace the magazine currently used by the Air Force — the Enhanced Performance Magazine — through "attrition": broken or defective magazines will neither be fixed nor swapped out for new ones, but rather discarded as the PMAG is phased in.

The PMAG has been the magazine of choice for many within the Special Operations community since it first rolled off the assembly line in 2007. And for good reason: rugged and dependable, the PMAG has proven to be one of the best — if not the best — magazines for the AR15/M4 platforms.

But the military has been slow to warm up to the idea of standard-issued PMAGs. In 2012, both the Army and the Marine Corps banned their troops from using anything but the government-issued aluminum magazines as more and more PMAGs began surfacing on the battlefield. Despite the obvious superiority of the PMAG, the services cited performance concerns as the reason for the ban, according to Military Times.

In January 2017, following years of testing at various government facilities, the Marine Corps finally adopted the PMAG as its official standard magazine. “The [PMAG] was the only magazine to perform to acceptable levels across all combinations of Marine Corps 5.56mm rifles and ammunition during testing,” Marine Corps Systems Command told Military Times at the time.

The Army has not yet signaled that it will follow suit, even though the PMAG is standard-issue for the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, which technically falls under SOCOM, and the branch has periodically fielded the mag to troops serving in Afghanistan. But Magpul remains hopeful that the Army will eventually see the light.

"Given the body of existing data, the extensive fielding history since 2013, and the current experiences of the USMC after their adoption, we hope that Army leadership can put aside their concerns over the viability of their on magazine program and give soldiers the reliability advantage that is enjoyed by the USMS, USSOCOM, and now, the USAF, with the GEN M3 PMAG," Magpul told Soldier Systems.

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September 19, 2017
9:58 PM
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Russia's Robotic Armada Emerges

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/71cdd0c9-fa66-3109-a6ef-d78368dc738b/ss_russia%27s-robotic-armada.html

 

This year's Army-2017 military expo in Russia has featured a myriad of systems designed to showcase current Russian achievements fielded by the country's forces, as well as to show prospective new technologies. Unmanned military systems—or military robotic complexes, as Russia calls them—receive a lot of attention. Large and mid-sized unmanned combat vehicles as well as as airborne unmanned technologies were shown in the first half of the expo—Russian designers and manufacturers exhibited other new models towards the second half of the exhibition. Representatives of the Volga State Technological Institute showcased a robotic snowmobile built for the Russian Far North and the Arctic.

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October 17, 2017
9:56 PM
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November 18, 2017
11:54 PM
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April 26, 2018
8:45 PM
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A lack of cryptocurrency miner demand may create discounts on graphics cards

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/lack-cryptocurrency-miner-demand-may-234621061.html

Unnamed sources close to Taiwan-based graphics card manufacturers such as Gigabyte and MSI claim these companies will be forced to slash prices due to a dramatic 40 percent drop in month-on-month shipments starting in April. The plunge stems from a surprising drop in demand from large cryptocurrency mining farm operators and channel distributors who simply don’t need to place additional orders.

The news seemingly paints a picture of the current cryptocurrency mining “craze” and the graphics card market. The high demand from cryptocurrency miners reportedly took a huge nosedive at the beginning of April, as many now reportedly await Ethereum mining machines manufactured by China’s Bitmain in the third quarter. Even more, Bitcoin and Ethereum values took a sharp decline in early 2018.

Obviously, this scenario is problematic for companies who enjoyed soaring profits due to cryptocurrency mining throughout 2017. Gigabyte sold 4.5 million graphics cards last year, up one million units from 2016, totaling $67.37 million in profits. The company even surged in the first quarter of 2018 with a 51.38 percent increase compared to the first quarter in 2017, and a 29.9 percent increase over the last quarter of 2017.

Graphics card and motherboard competitor MSI saw similar profits, earning $3.95 billion in March, up 33.49 percent compared to the same quarter in 2017, and up 27.17 percent from the previous quarter. TUL, another company dedicated to manufacturing graphics cards, also experienced higher revenues for March and the first quarter of 2018.

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June 8, 2018
9:12 PM
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Soldier steals armored vehicle, takes it on two-hour ride in Virginia: police

https://www.yahoo.com/news/soldier-steals-armored-vehicle-takes-two-hour-ride-051957361.html

 

(Reuters) - A soldier stole an armored personnel carrier from a National Guard base in Virginia on Tuesday and took the vehicle on a two-hour drive that ended in a police chase through downtown Richmond, the state capital, state police said.

The unidentified man took the vehicle at about 7:50 p.m. from Fort Pickett, a Army National Guard base in Blackstone, Virginia, state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in an email to Reuters.

The suspect then drove the military vehicle, which was not equipped with any weaponry, east on Route 460 and then north into Richmond on Interstate 95 at about 40 miles (65 km) per hour, Geller said.

Once in Richmond, several police squads followed the armored personnel carrier, which travels on tracks similar to a tank, through downtown as it headed toward the Capitol building, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Capitol police officers with combat-style rifles guarded the entrance to Capitol Square as a police helicopter shined a spotlight on the vehicle and police worked to stop traffic, the newspaper reported.

"This is INSANE! Someone has hijacked a 'Tank-like' vehicle from Fort Pickett and just drove it by our apartment!," Parker Slaybaugh, the communications director for the Virginia Speaker of the House, said on Twitter.

At about 9:40 p.m. local time, the driver drove the armored vehicle onto a median and was surrounded by police, ending the 60-mile (95 km) pursuit, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Police tased the suspect, who was identified as a military soldier, Virginia State Police spokeswoman Keeli Hill said during a news conference.

No crashes or injuries occurred during the incident, Geller said.

Charges are pending against the man, who was in state police custody, she said.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

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June 18, 2018
9:28 PM
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