(1) Militaries have used working dogs for a variety of offensive and defensive purposes for years; (2) military working dogs have been very active in Iraq and Afghanistan; (3) airborne (parachute) units have been jumping dogs officially and unofficially for years, although this is the first report I’ve personally seen of dogs being jumped using the military freefall technique, (4) the biggest problem I see for the dogs is the landing since, before their handler lands, he will likely lower the dog on a 15-20 foot line so that the dog lands before he does so the challenge for the dog is doing a parachute landing fall with four, rather than two, rather slender and fragile legs — kind of difficult to “keep your feet and knees together”; (5) the alternative to (4) above is for the handler to execute a standing landing, something that is at least theoretically feasible for a well-trained jumper using a ram-air canopy under favorable wind and drop zone conditions; that could possibly mitigate the doggie PLF challenge; (6) I think I’m glad I’m not the free-fall jumper since, while you can see that the dog in the photo below is muzzled to prevent bites, unless he’s also sedated, he could flop around enough in his harness to make a stable descent to pull altitude a challenge for his jumper; (7) I’m not sure the United States Parachute Association has ever considered this application of the Tandem technique which is well established for willing human cargoes.)
Phi Beta Iota: This is one of the most balanced sensible white papers from a vendor it has been our pleasure to encounter. Taken in context of Microsoft thinking about buying Adobe after failing to see the value of Sun’s Open Office, this white paper merits broad appreciation against the possibility that Adobe could become the Context & Content Division that Microsoft does not have and will not have under Steve Ballmer now that Ray Ozzie has given up on Microsoft and moved on.
Part of the point I wanted to make was that this date is different for every country. As such I have created a Newspaper Extinction Timeline that maps out the wide diversity in how quickly we can expect newspapers to remain significant around the world. First out is USA in 2017, followed by UK and Iceland in 2019 and Canada and Norway in 2020. In many countries newspapers will survive the year 2040.
Phi Beta Iota: Certainly worth reflecting on, this misses two big realities. First, newspapers could still convert themselves into honest citizen intelligence networks and focus on sense-making. Second, five billion poor people are not yet digital and while the dumb cell phone has a bright future, the smart phones and pads do not, in part because of raw earth shortfalls, in part because of embedded toxicity of materials, and in part because even with call centers, there is a very big space that “smart analog” newspapers could fill. The latter is particularly true if one factors in the fact that five billion poor people need alternatives to rote education including primers that can be passed around and do not need power sources.
This paper is written in correlation with a project that aims to provide a distinctly new perspective to current trends in terrorism research by allowing for a new and more nuanced study of statements made by al-Qaeda. This project, the Al-Qaeda Statements Index (AQSI) database project at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, is one example of how new innovations can continue to provide new insight.
Unlike previous projects, the Al-Qaeda Statements Index project, when complete, will aid researches in developing a more thorough understanding of al- Qaeda’s rhetoric by creating a searchable network to show complex connections among the web of various statements, keywords and ideas professed by al-Qaeda, spanning a period from the 1990s up to the present day. The AQSI will serve as both an advanced annotated bibliography for scholars seeking a starting point to study specific statements more in depth, while at the same time allowing for a quantitative analysis of the intricate connections and relationships among statements which would otherwise not be readily quantifiable or apparent.
Phi Beta Iota: A senior thesis within one of the more intelligent schools in America. Something to be proud of, and good indicator that the emerging generation can think.
How crowdsourcing will change the way the world works.
As the amount of digital work increases and the amount of physical work
decreases, our notions of employment and work change profoundly. Digital work doesn’t require roads and factories; it requires a laptop and an Internet connection–equipment that people have access to in their homes. The need for offices, supervisors and rigid employment arrangements
As technology improves, companies should theoretically be able to access in real-time the perfect person for a given job–the one who will do the job the best, enjoy it the most or do it the fastest. All these factors combine in a way that will change the landscape of work. Here’s what I think that will look like:
–Within a decade résumés will become less important as we continue to adopt newer, multifaceted ways to measure the quality of a candidate’s work. Current hiring processes often involve online research about candidates on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Articles, portfolios, presentations and papers by potential job candidates are increasingly
found online. Companies like oDesk and Elance rate workers based on past work rather than on what college they attended.
Phi Beta Iota: This is of course precisely what OSS.Net, Inc. has been doing since 1993, in sharp contrast to the beltway bandit “butts in seats” high overhead approach. HOWEVER, the world will be divided into three workforces:
A. Digital work done from anywhere by high end digital workers.
B. Analog work done from anywhere by low end physical workers with a simple cell phone–e.g. eyes on observations.
C. Analog work done at a fixed place because the tools or the raw materials or other factors demand a fixed location.
The five billion at the bottom of the pyramid are at C and need to be moved toward B in order to create infinite wealth. That is the insight that governments and corporations refuse to grasp, despite the fact that the annual income of the five trillion is FOUR TIMES the annual income of the one billion rich.
When Nokia announced yesterday that it was reabsorbing the Symbian operating system it had spun out as an open source effort 18 months ago, I thought, “Why bother? I thought MeeGo was your mobile OS future anyhow?” — especially given the lack of attention to the last major release of Symbian (Symbian 3) in September.
Phi Beta Iota: Both Microsoft and Nokia are at a fork in the road. The above review, vastly more critical than the fluff found elsewhere, is bleeding edge truth. Absent new management and a compelling vision–ideally one that united both companies to favor a very simple low cost cellular “key” combined with a vast global grid meshing humans with call centers and back office cloud processing, both companies appear destined for further decline.
PCMag.com met with RockMelt’s founders Eric Vishria and Tim Howes last week for an early look at the new browser software. Entering a competitor into a full field that includes Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera, not to mention an even more direct socially enhanced-browser competitor, Flock, may seem questionable, but Visheria and Howes made a fairly compelling case for it. Their point was that the current all-purpose browsers don’t reflect most people’s actual usage patterns.
Reinventing the Browser
“At RockMelt we are reinventing the browser for the way people use the Web today,” said Howes. “We think this has changed dramatically from the way people used it just a few short years ago. But all the browsers available today, although they’ve gotten a lot faster, are still just about navigating web pages. We built features into the browser to address people’s three top browsing behaviors: interacting with friends, consume news and information, and searching.”
This is just too cool. The smart guys always went into artillery, where you had to be able to count not just spell. As upset as one might be with all the high end waste, fraud, and abuse within our military-industrial-congressional complex (MICC), this short film is a celebration in combat effectiveness. Go Army! [The Marines still do not have Naval Gunfire Support, the Navy decided a couple of decades ago it really doesn’t give a shit about supporting Marines, and multiple Commandants of the Marine Corps have let them get away with it.]