policemen, sheepdogs, flock, predators

“Policemen are sometimes tempted into being sheepdogs who prefer to keep the flock corralled rather than protect it from the predators, because it’s easier to bite sheep than wolves”  –Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, Kt, OBE, 28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015

3D Printed Guns are for Jay-Vee. Major Leagues will print their own jet-powered Cruise Missiles

GE fires up fully 3D-printed jet engine

3D printed jet engineThe 1-foot long by 8-inch tall (30 by 20 cm) engine was built at GE Aviation’s Additive Development Center outside Cincinnati as a side project. The result of several years’ work, the purpose was to test the printing technology. It’s not the first 3D-printed jet engine, but it has been fired and revved up to 33,000 RPM.
GE says that the simplified design was necessary because building anything like a conventional commercial engine is beyond the present technology’s state of the art. The team therefore chose a design created for remote control model planes, which was modified for Direct Laser Metal Melting (DLMM) printing

+

3D-printed UAV can go from not existing to flying within 24 hours

Engineers at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC), however, have taken things a step farther. They’ve made a 3D-printed UAV airframe that’s designed to minimize the amount of material needed in its construction, and that can be printed and in the air within a single day.

+

ArduPilot Autopilot Suite

Point-and-click programming/configuration gets you up and operating without hassle
Multiple command modes: Acro, Stabilize, Loiter, Alt-hold, Return To Launchpoint, Land, Simple, Guided, Position, Circle, Follow Me, GeoFence, and Auto (which runs fully scripted missions using GPS waypoints)

================================================================

=

Insanity by the Press (CNN could do hours each week on the horrors of home-made, jet powered, cruise missiles) and faster a knee-jerk from Politicians than a cash donation in a plain envelope.

Air Force to certify SpaceX for launches by June

Certification of the Falcon 9 under the revised agreement is expected no later than the end of June 2015, the Air Force command said. SpaceX had filed suit in 2014 contesting the $11 billion sole-source EELV contract to ULA, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. In January, SpaceX agreed to drop the lawsuit, while the Air Force said the company could compete for future contracts once its certification was complete.
“We look forward to completing the certification process and competing for EELV missions,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell stated.

via Air Force to certify SpaceX for launches by June — Defense Systems.

Greek Election Results on Lake Michigan (Bond Status)

Update: Moody’s downgrades Chicago debt to ‘junk’ with negative outlook

Moody’s downgraded Chicago’s credit rating down to junk level “Ba1” from “Baa2.”

The announcement, which the ratings agency released Tuesday afternoon, cited a recent Illinois court ruling voiding state pension reforms. Moody’s said it saw a negative outlook for the city’s credit.

Following that May court decision, Moody’s said it believes that “the city’s options for curbing growth in its own unfunded pension liabilities have narrowed considerably.”

..

Mayor Rahm Emanuel criticized the downgrade.
“While Chicago’s financial crisis is very real and at our doorsteps, today’s irresponsible decision by Moody’s to downgrade the City’s credit by two steps goes far beyond that reality,” he said. “Their decision was driven solely by the overturning of a state pension bill that did not include Chicago’s pension reform, yet they did not downgrade the State of Illinois.”

=#=

NO AUSTERITY!!!

Chicago’s finances are already sagging under an unfunded pension liability Moody’s has pegged at $32 billion and that is equal to eight times the city’s operating revenue. The city has a $300 million structural deficit in its $3.53 billion operating budget and is required by an Illinois law to boost the 2016 contribution to its police and fire pension funds by $550 million.

The downgrade and violation of terms on the swaps agreement likely will become an issue in Emanuel’s re-election campaign. The first-term mayor, a former chief of staff to President Barack Obama, failed on Tuesday to win a majority of votes in a primary election, and faces a runoff vote April 7 against a Cook County commissioner, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

What if Chuy wins?  Garcia is a Teacher’s Creature (hand-selected by CTU President Karen Lewis [I hope you get better Ms. Lewis.  Your politics are odious but your life is not.])  The CTU is not ready to embrace the changes needed in pension reforms that the city will have to make.  I will guess they would rather have ‘other’ city unions take/make reforms.

Some Chicago debt is trading at worse levels than bonds sold by Illinois, which is paying the biggest yield penalty among states in the U.S. municipal bond market due to its own fiscal woes.

The spread on Friday for Chicago bonds due in 2019 over the market’s benchmark triple-A scale hit 125 basis points, which is 25 basis points over Illinois’ so-called credit spread, according to Municipal Market Data.

Someone go up to the big house Englewood and ask Rod where the money went.

http://is.gd/gx9F0G

Same Old Clinton Headlines, Same Old Players

“Hillary Clinton’s damage control operation gets more troops”

Correct The Record, an outside rapid response and research group dedicated to defending the records of Clinton and the other Democratic presidential candidates is reorganizing so it can coordinate with Clinton’s campaign and devote all of its resources to her.
Founded by Clinton ally David Brock in late 2013, Correct the Record is splitting off from its parent organization, the opposition research group American Bridge 21st Century, and registering with the Federal Election Commission as a stand-alone super PAC, the group announced Tuesday.

DC Dave has you covered, Granny

DC Dave has you covered, Granny

Ghads.  When hasn’t this been a headline during the eons the Clinton’s have held political office.

via Hillary Clinton’s damage control operation gets more troops – Annie Karni – POLITICO.

A Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious, NYT: Ummm..Naval Aviation is Hazardous

What remains a mystery, though, is exactly what caused the accident. It was a clear afternoon with good visibility. Both pilots were healthy, properly rested and under no unusual stress. Investigators found no mechanical problems.
The Navy’s top aviator concluded in his review of the eight-page accident report that the two pilots, and several others in the vicinity, should have exercised more of what the military calls situational awareness, or S.A. — in this case, relying not only on an instrument-packed cockpit but also on looking outside to spot a looming catastrophe.

Thanks for the timely info Eric.  What next, “Water is Wet”

via A Navy Pilot’s Death Reflects the Everyday Hazards of the Job – NYTimes.com.

Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, Govt officials exploring methods for taxation

An international team of scientists has announced the discovery of a new state of matter in a material that appears to be an insulator, superconductor, metal and magnet all rolled into one, saying that it could lead to the development of more effective high-temperature superconductors.
Why is this so exciting? Well, if these properties are confirmed, this new state of matter will allow scientists to better understand why some materials have the potential to achieve superconductivity at a relativity high critical temperature (Tc) – “high” as in −135 °C as opposed to −243.2 °C. Because superconductivity allows a material to conduct electricity without resistance, which means no heat, sound, or any other form of energy release, achieving this would revolutionise how we use and produce energy, but it’s only feasible if we can achieve it at so-called high temperatures.
As Michael Byrne explains at Motherboard, when we talk about states of matter, it’s not just solids, liquids, gases, and maybe plasmas that we have to think about. We also have to consider the more obscure states that don’t occur in nature, but are rather created in the lab – Bose–Einstein condensate, degenerate matter, supersolids and superfluids, and quark-gluon plasma, for example.

via Scientists have discovered a new state of matter, called ‘Jahn-Teller metals’ – ScienceAlert.

Teach diaper-wearing lawyers not to abduct and torture other lawyers

Over the next several hours, Morrogh said Fisher and Duncan were held and threatened. According to prosecutors, Andrew Schmuhl fired a shot over Duncan’s head and flicked the lights on and off inside the house, as if to signal someone. Morrogh said Duncan saw someone that fit Alecia Schmuhl’s description outside their home, and Andrew Schmuhl was seen by the couple talking on a cellphone to someone.

Ghads.  What went though these two idiot’s minds?

Honey, what happened?

I was fired from the firm today.

But you are the best litigator I know.  Why did they do that?

I don’t know honey.  Everyone has always told me I was a great lawyer.  That mean senior partner told me I was fired.

Well, lets go kill him and his wife.

Okay,  but I want to torture them first–and this time, you have to wear the diaper.

Well alright Schnookims. “

via Attorneys face hearing in ‘torture session’ revenge plot that ended with one in diaper – The Washington Post.

Vlad Pushes His Reset Button: Preventive Occupation, Baltic States?

People of decency and good will around the world have been horrified by Vladimir Putin’s defense this week of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which made Hitler and Stalin allies, opened the way to World War II, and allowed the Soviet Union to occupy Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, portions of Poland and Bessarabia for half a century.

But they should be even more horrified by the fact that some near the Kremlin are once again thinking about “a preventive occupation” of the Baltic countries, a step that, as Kseniya Kirillova points out today, could trigger the collapse of the West or a third world war.

Moreover, and just as in 1939, they should be disturbed by Moscow’s duplicity and cynicism about such a move, one nominally taken in the name of improving Russia’s defense capability but in fact threatened in order to advance Russian imperialism and to disorder and confuse the Western powers.

via As in 1939, Kremlin Said Mulling ‘Preventive Occupation’ of the Baltic States | The Interpreter.

EXACTO: Self-guiding bullet hits moving target

The Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is looking to increase the accuracy of difficult, long-distance shots with bullets that can change direction in flight and seek out their targets.
Last year, DARPA and developer Teledyne Scientific & Imaging demonstrated the ability to hit a target that was offset from where the rifle was aimed. In the recent live-fire tests conducted in February, shown in the video above, researchers showed they could hit targets that were moving, even accelerating.
The shots were fired from a standard rifle at sniper ranges using .50-caliber bullets. In the tests, an experienced shooter hit moving and evading targets repeatedly, DARPA said. And for the first time, a novice shooter hit a moving target.

That, is a pretty darn good acronym.

via Self-guiding bullet can now hit a moving target — Defense Systems.

Conspiracy Theorists Go Wild: “STRATCOM commander: Threats from space are real”

I think this could have had a more clear lede.

At a briefing with reporters at the Pentagon, Adm. Cecil Haney, said the United States faces myriad threats from space. From Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles to Iran’s “recently launched space vehicle that could be used as a long-range strike platform,” to North Korea’s space-launched vehicles, strategic deterrence in the space domain is as important as ever.

via STRATCOM commander: Threats from space are real — Defense Systems.

Liberator Gun, Software Creator Sues State Department

Wilson has tried to keep on the right side of ITAR law. He’s asked them in at least 10 separate official requests to tell him if his original Liberator plans actually fall under its jurisdiction. He’s also inquired if if his current main project, the “Ghost Gunner,” a home CNC mill which allows individuals to make metal AR-15 lower receivers at home without serial numbers, falls under ITAR. (Such a request is known as a “commodity jurisdiction” request.)

Their answer, if I’m reading the suit correctly, is that the hardware does not but that software does. The suit details at length a confusing series of bureaucratic buck-passing from the ITAR people that makes it very hard for Wilson and Defense Distributed to know whether their planned activities will bring criminal punishment down on them.

Wilson said in a phone interview this morning that he’s trying to get all Ghost Gunner customers to affirm that they are U.S. citizens, since he fears if he sells one to a non-citizen (which could constitute “export”) he just might run afoul of ITAR.

 

via Cody Wilson Sues State Department Over Threats About Spreading Digital Gun-Making Files – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

In Spicoli’s Paradise: The dissent of comedy is no long tolerated

Turning serious, Marquez tells the crowd that the socialist revolution, launched 16 years ago by the late Hugo Chavez, is collapsing under the weight of bad policies and corrupt public officials.

That message doesn’t sit well with Venezuela’s president, Nicolas Maduro. Besides jailing opposition leaders and cracking down on protesters, the Maduro government is now going after comics.

Marquez says that three of his recent shows were canceled after all three clubs that booked him were suddenly closed down for alleged tax evasion. He’s also been shut out of government-run theaters and hotels.

via It’s No Joke: Venezuela Cracks Down On Comedians : Parallels : NPR.

US lawmaker calls on UAV industry to increase lobbying

AUVSI: US lawmaker calls on UAV industry to increase lobbying

[Translation: ‘Give us some money if you want to play.’]

“You’re from all over the country,” LoBiondo told the opening of the general session at AUVSI on 6 May. “Get to know your member of Congress. Give them real-world applications. Explain the stories of issues that will save lives… that are unfolding every day.”

‘Hey we gotta’ eat, you know.  As Bubba said quite well recently, “We have to pay our bills.” and it’s expensive running a re-election campaign.  You know what I mean.  Nice Industry you got started there, be a shame if some regulatory ‘thing’ happens.  Tu capisci?’

via: Thrust&PropWash

Technology at Wash U maps human genome in 3 days

The two 3-inch-by-1-inch glass chips held the unfathomable amount of genetic information contained in 16 human genomes. On Thursday, a technician placed the chips — called flow cells — in a new genetic sequencing machine at the Genome Institute at Washington University and closed the door.
In just three days, the task will be complete.
It’s mind-boggling given that it took scientists working all over the world more than 10 years and about $1 billion to first sequence the human genome, a feat declared officially complete in 2003.
This ultra-fast sequencing machine, which hit the market last year, is only sold in groups of 10 — a system capable of sequencing 18,000 human genomes a year at just $1,000 to $1,500 per genome.

Excellent.

via New technology at Wash U maps human genome in days; large-scale studies now possible : Lifestyles.

GH Reynolds: Federalized Police-Caring of the IRS, Efficiency of TSA, Openness of the EPA

There are (at least) two problems with this approach. The first is that federal law enforcement, especially in recent years, hasn’t exactly been a haven of cool professionalism. The second is that no law enforcement agency is very good at policing itself, meaning that a national police force is likely to be less accountable, not more.

Click forth and read all:

via Want a lawless police force? Federalize it: Column.