Friday, December 28, 2012

Raspberry Pi first look

A credit-card sized, bare bones, single-board Linux computer for $35, developed by the Raspberry PI Foundation..


You need to get the other components - enclosure, power source, keyboard, mouse, screen, cables, OS, etc - separately... Here's an enclosure:


 The tech specs:
  • Processor: Broadcom BCM2835 700MHz ARM1176JZFS with FPU and Videocore 4 GPU
  • GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode, GPU is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24GFLOPs with texture filtering and DMA infrastructure
  • 512MB RAM (Model B)
  • Additional specs: 10/100 BaseT Ethernet, HDMI, (2) USB 2.0, RCA video, SD card socket.
  • Powered via a microUSB socket.
  • 3.5 mm audio out jack.
  • Boots from SD card.
  • Size: 85.6 x 56 x 21 mm
Start with the  Quick start guide to get you going....


Raspberry Pi resources:

General: 

RPI Community links
RPI on Wikipedia
Raspberry PI articles on lifehacker
Raspberry PI User Guide (Amazon)
10 coolest uses for the Raspberry PI
Top 10 Raspberry Pi Myths and Truths
The MagPi (An online magazine for RPi users)

YouTube:
RPi Reviews on YouTube
RPI Tutorials on YouTube 

Forums:
RPi.everything
RPi forums (Stellarisiti)
RPi forums (Plex)
RPIForum.Net
archlinux RPi forums
RPI community forums
BodhiLinux RPi forums
Openelec RPi forums
xdadevelopers RPI forums
Raspberry PI hacking (xdadevelopers)
"Official" Raspberry PI forums 
Unofficial Raspberry PI forums

Friday, December 21, 2012

Follow-up - Benazir Bhutto

The first entry on this blog, back in 2008, was about Benazir Bhutto's murder... The case has never been 'solved', and many questions remain, e.g. see the recent article, Questions Concerning the Murder of Benazir Bhutto

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cool QR

Designer QR codes created by many agencies continue to prove that QR codes don't need to always be the boring black-and-white squares that you normally see... A few examples:

From QRPlanet:



And from SET Japan:



See also 40 Gorgeous QR Code Artworks That Rock 

Previous QR and Tag-related blog entries:
BB QR readers (33 links)
QR codes "in the wild" (17 links)
QR-and Tag-related entries (25 links)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Random charts - green


Source: The Growing Importance of More Sustainable Products in the Global Health Care Industry

Action, and reaction


In the Wall Street Journal we read that: "Chief executives of more than 80 big-name U.S. corporations, from Aetna Inc.to Weyerhaeuser Co., are banding together to pressure Congress to reduce the federal deficit with tax-revenue increases as well as spending cuts.... The CEO statement was organized by the Fix the Debt campaign, a bipartisan effort largely inspired by Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles, who chaired a 2010 deficit panel appointed by President Obama and have been crisscrossing the country sounding fiscal alarms..."

In their manifesto the CEOs raise the alarm about "growing debt" and call for a plan to fix the issue, including: "... Reform Medicare and Medicaid, improve efficiency in the overall health care system and limit future cost growth; Strengthen Social Security, so that it is solvent and will be there for future beneficiaries; and, Include comprehensive and pro-growth tax reform, which broadens the base, lowers rates, raises revenues and reduces the deficit..." They then go on to tout "... the recommendations of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles Commission..." 

Well, this irked Senator Bernie Saunders (I-VT) no end. In response he let loose a broadside: "... "There really is no shame, The Wall Street leaders whose recklessness and illegal behavior caused this terrible recession are now lecturing the American people on the need for courage to deal with the nation's finances and deficit crisis. Before telling us why we should cut Social Security, Medicare and other vitally important programs, these CEOs might want to take a hard look at their responsibility for causing the deficit and this terrible recession. Our Wall Street friends might also want to show some courage of their own by suggesting that the wealthiest people in this country, like them, start paying their fair share of taxes. They might work to end the outrageous corporate loopholes, tax havens and outsourcing provisions that their lobbyists have littered throughout the tax code - contributing greatly to our deficit..."

He also released a report, 'Top Corporate Tax Dodgers," subtitled "Meet a few of the job destroyers and tax evaders that want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid while lowering the tax rate for the top 2%"  which listed 18 of the CEOs along with information on the taxes paid by their companies, etc.

Some examples of CEOs called out:


Well, certainly "typical" of Bernie Saunders... But how useful is this?

Does anyone think the recession and/or deficit was caused by Microsoft? By Express Scripts? By Qualcomm? By Deere? By Merck? By Time Warner? By Verizon? By Corning? By Honeywell? Exactly what "illegal behavior" have these CEOs indulged in? How exactly are they "tax evaders" for following the law of the land? Umm, where exactly was Senator Sanders when "... their lobbyists... littered ("outrageous corporate loopholes, tax havens and outsourcing provisions") throughout the tax code?" 

Apparently Senator Sanders takes no personal responsibility for the state of our nation's tax laws, even though he has been in the Senate since 2007 and previously served in the House from 1991 to 2007!  Perhaps Senator Sanders should take some of his own advice i.e. "look in the mirror!" But no, fulminating about the evil of others is so much easier and apparently much more satisfying...

Or perhaps he simply confused this letter, from 80 CEOs in various industries, with the one recently sent to  Congress by 16 financial services CEOs... The 'epithet' (at least apparently perceived as such by Senator Sanders) of "Wall Street leaders" would seem apply better to the latter group!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Le Bilan


Two fairly recent articles reviewed President Obama's track record related to nuclear issues, coming to two starkly different conclusions.

The first, Prague, revisited, gave the President overall good marks - listing "significant achievements" (The Prague speech, UN Security Council resolution 1887, the April 2010 Nuclear Posture Review, the signing and passage of New START, and the 2010 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference), before noting "Loose ends remain: Despite these significant early successes, the president's nuclear security agenda began to stall in 2011..." (no efforts to secure approval of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and Iran and North Korea, etc.) The article concluded "... As Obama hits the home stretch of his campaign for reelection, he has an impressive story to tell voters about the steps he has taken to protect the United States from the dangers posed by nuclear weapons. But there is still much work to do..."

The second, Nuclear Disarmament Disarmed, comes to a contrary conclusion - "... US President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy landscape is littered with deflated balloons. Soaring speeches, high hopes, and great expectations have yielded minimal returns..." However, even this review was also positive regarding the items that the first article hailed as 'significant achievements" viz. "... A good start was made with the US-Russia New START treaty to limit significantly strategic-weapon deployments, the largely successful Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, and the productive, US-hosted Nuclear Security Summit...."

So let us look at these items (the Prague Speech, UNSC 1887, New START, the global Nuclear Security Summit, the NPT Review Conference) one by one:

The Prague Speech:

April 5th, 2009 President Obama made a speech in Prague, Czech Republic, in which he spoke extensively on the subject of nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament (see full text of speech). The President touched on a number of issues:

The good:
  • President Obama declared that the United States would take a leadership role in the efforts to bring about global nuclear disarmament, including negotiating reductions in nuclear forces with Russia, to be then followed by other nations.
  • Beyond reductions in existing nuclear stockpiles, President Obama spoke re additional measures: U.S. ratification of the (already signed) Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); efforts to end the production of fissile materials for use in nuclear weapons; and a broadening of the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism
  • Very importantly, the President acknowledged that the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is not one-sided (i.e. solely for the prevention of the spread of nuclear weapons), but that it is a grand bargain between the nuclear "haves" and the nuclear "have nots" in which the "haves" committed to moving towards nuclear disarmament in exchange for the "have nots" renouncing the acquisition of these weapons. Also, that the NPT allows for nations' peaceful use of nuclear technology...
The bad:
  • This blogger was not impressed with the suggestion (?) that a terrorist nuclear blast in a major city would have consequences including "ultimately to our survival." Besides being flat out wrong and a gross exaggeration, this sort of language only has negative outcomes. First, this exaggeration can induce fear in the populace, is not conducive to rational thinking, and is the sort of thing that could translate into the acceptance of hasty and/or ill-conceived measures and actions... Secondly, it caters to the fevered imaginations of the people in caves (and elsewhere) who already have a propensity to believe this, and are seeking nukes for this very purpose...
  • President Obama spent some time talking about North Korea and Iran. Granted, these countries are currently in the news... However, by picking and choosing which (and specifically these) countries to call to task here, this blogger believes that he undercut the universal applicability of the responsibility and effort that he was attempting to articulate. Given that some resistance to U.S. efforts in this and other fields is due to many feeling that the U.S. is 'selective' in the application of its principles, calling out these countries while ignoring others - e.g. India (true, not an NPT signatory, but a country with which the U.S. has signed an agreement, and which the U.S. sees as a partner in assisting with non-proliferation efforts), Pakistan, and (dare we say it) Israel - is not exactly the way to break with the past and allay the fears of some nations that these efforts are specifically targeted against them.
... and the ugly:
  • This blogger was very disappointed that immediately after declaring the U.S.'s commitment to seeking a world free of nuclear weapons, the President suggested an open-ended (and perhaps indefinite) time line... By not suggesting a finite period and by using the words "perhaps not in my lifetime" he undercut the urgency of the effort even before getting to any further details of what he was proposing...
  •  Worse, by following the conventional wisdom that denuclearization efforts ought to begin with, and be initially limited to, cuts in the U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles, he demonstrated a lack of vision. This blogger has long argued (e.g. see the December 31st 2008 entry 'Nuclear moves...', the December 22nd, 2008 entry 'Zero Global Zero', the April 22nd, 2008 entry 'WMD aren't what they used to be,' and the February 4th, 2008 entry 'Pablum re a nuclear free world') that elimination of the French and British nuclear forces should be the first step, one that would have an outsize effect that would jumpstart and radically energize the effort to first reduce, then ultimately eliminate current nuclear weapons.
All in all an excellent speech. Of great importance was the acknowledgment that the NPT is a grand bargain, however the emphasis was fairly one sided, and the 'good' was outweighed by the 'bad' and the 'ugly.'

UNSC 1887

September 24th, 2009 the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1887. This was immediately hailed as "historic" by President Obama, who personally chaired the Security Council session. The resolution "expresses the Council’s grave concern about the threat of nuclear proliferation and the need for international action to prevent it. It reaffirms that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery are threats to international peace and security and shows agreement on a broad range of actions to address nuclear proliferation and disarmament and the threat of nuclear terrorism" (see 'Fact Sheet on the UN Security Council Summit on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Nuclear Disarmament UNSC Resolution 1887').

Reactions ranged from those lauding President Obama for achieving a signal victory, to others accusing him of having demonstrated "weakness." President Sarkozy of France managed to strongly push for the resolution, even while "sticking it" to the President. An example of a laudatory reaction, "... Obama has consolidated global support behind the vision and the plan. He has laid the legal and diplomatic basis for enforcing tougher penalties for those that cheat on nuclear treaties. He has gotten all the nuclear nations to agree to new steps to get rid of the weapons they now hold in staggering numbers. It is remarkable progress..."

This blogger agreed that the resolution was a positive step. However, he did not see it either as an amazing achievement, nor as a particularly huge or irrevocable step towards disarmament., and cautioned against letting any of the apparent euphoria related to this resolution detract from the serious work yet remaining .. But what about the unanimous nature of the agreement? Well, that was both an artefact of the how the resolution was written - with sufficient ambiguity to allow states with differing viewpoints to agree on the formulation - as well as the fact that the document did not seriously bind the permanent members to change their existing actions or positions. A few examples to consider:
  • Section 4 "calls upon all States that are not Parties to the NPT to accede to the Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon States so as to achieve its universality at an early date, and pending their accession to the Treaty, to adhere to its terms;" Seems rather cut and dried, a strong push to bring all companies under the aegis of the NPT. Or is it? As soon as the resolution passed India immediately registered its objections to this, and was promptly reassured by the U.S. Additionally, barely a week earlier many of those who voted for 1887 (and presumably agreed with the need for all non-signatories to accede to the NPT) had voted against a resolution urging Israel to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and to place all their atomic sites under UN inspections... (note: the vote passed despite this...)
  • Section 5 "Calls upon the Parties to the NPT, pursuant to Article VI of the Treaty, to undertake to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to nuclear arms reduction and disarmament, and on a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control, and calls on all other States to join in this endeavour;" Although the nuclear powers agreed here to work towards "complete (nuclear) disarmament", who can doubt that this "long and arduous" journey will not be their major focus, and will most certainly be subordinated to the incomparably more important (ahem) issue of nonproliferation?
  • Section 7 "Calls upon all States to refrain from conducting a nuclear test explosion and to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), thereby bringing the treaty into force at an early date;" A long-standing goal of the nuclear "have nots," the "haves" here agree to achieve this "at an early date." However, there is no evidence of current moves towards achieving this goal any time soon. Both China and the United States have signed but not ratified the CTBT (U.S. - signed by President Clinton in 1996, rejected by the Senate in 1999). The language in 1887 appears to reflect President-elect Obama's commitment to taking the CTBT to the Senate for ratification "at the earliest practical date." At present, however, it is very unlikely that the Senate would ratify the CTBT, even if strongly supported by the President... and this has been reflected in the fact that the President has put this effort on the back burner.
  • Section 9 "Recalls the statements by each of the five nuclear-weapon States, noted by resolution 984 (1995), in which they give security assurances against the use of nuclear weapons to non-nuclear-weapon State Parties to the NPT, and affirms that such security assurances strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime;" Here, the nuclear "haves" would appear to have reconfirmed an assurance that they will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states. Apparently fairly cut and dried. But how do we square this with the standard "we won't take any options off the table" formulation that has been brandished against various states, including but not limited to (non-nuclear) Iraq and Iran?
  • Section 19 "Encourages States to consider whether a recipient State has signed and ratified an additional protocol based on the model additional protocol in making nuclear export decisions;" Note the use of "encourages... to consider" By using this "softer" term (rather than, say, "requires") Russia can both agree to the resolution and still have the latitude to proceed with supporting Iran's reactor at Bushehr... Similarly, Section 8 which covers the negotiation of a treaty to ban the production of fissile material, "requests all Member States to cooperate in guiding the Conference to an early commencement of Substantive work" (note "requests.")
Bottom line: while an important step, the achievement of unanimity for Resolution 1887 was more due to its artful composition than to President Obama somehow having convinced by force of argument Russia, China, etc. to change or moderate their positions... The progress achieved here is real, but much, much more work remains to be done!

New Start:

In March 2010 President Obama, flanked by the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Gates, and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen, announced that the U.S. and Russia had agreed to "... the most comprehensive arms control agreement in nearly two decades..." He said that the agreement was a follow-up to his Prague declaration "... to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons ...", a "reset" of relations with Russia, and that the by the agreement "... the United States and Russia -- the two largest nuclear powers in the world -- also send a clear signal that we intend to lead. By upholding our own commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, we strengthen our global efforts to stop the spread of these weapons, and to ensure that other nations meet their own responsibilities."

The White House also issued a release, Key Facts about the New START Treaty that provided a number of details on the agreement, including the following numbers:


The agreement was hailed by many as demonstrating U.S. leadership; as being a significant step towards the goals of a nuclear-free world that President Obama had articulated in his Prague speech; as a foreign policy "win", a "critical victory", etc. Some observations from this blogger:
  • The presentation was orchestrated for maximum "internal" effect... After the President spoke SecDef Gates and Chairman Mullen spoke out strongly in favor, in effect adding the military's imprimatur to preemptively inoculate the President and the agreement from possible attacks from the right. Great pains were taken to ensure that it was abundantly clear that nothing in the agreement would place any constraints on the U.S. development/deployment of missile defense systems (more about this later), again for the same reason...
  • As others have pointed out (e.g. here and here) the cuts are somewhat more modest than the numbers touted (a 30% reduction in deployed strategic warheads, an over 50% reduction in strategic nuclear delivery vehicles), due to current force levels and the way things are counted... 
  • The new agreement continues the practice of only limiting "deployed" warheads and also delivery vehicles (missiles, nuclear bombers), but says nothing about other elements of the nuclear stockpile (e.g. warheads in reserve, those awaiting dismantlement, non-strategic nukes, etc.) In fact the agreement appears to say nothing about the need to actually eliminate any warheads.
  • While the point above may be well understood by 'those in the know', given the (predictably) shoddy coverage provided by the mainstream media the vast majority of U.S. citizens could be forgiven for thinking that the two countries are making big reductions in their nuclear arsenals and/or that the U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles will be shrinking to 1,550 warheads... as opposed to possibly staying at their current , significantly higher levels (see chart below)

  • It appears that the deadline for achieving the limits set forth in the agreement is set seven years from the entry in force of the agreement (and presumably the clock starts counting after the agreement is ratified by both countries), so might not necessarily be achieved by (even a two-term) President Obama! The agreement also expires ten years after its entry in force, with the possibility of a five-year extension.
So, in sum, a very modest step forward. Positive, yes. Needed, yes. However, great leadership on the world stage, a significant step towards the achievement of President Obama's "vision" of a nuclear-free world? No. Given the small decreases and the time lines involved, unless next agreements come much earlier, President Obama will have made sure that zero will be reached "... perhaps not in my lifetime..."

Two additional thoughts: First, the crowing that the agreement means that the Russians "caved" and that there will be no limitations on the U.S. proceeding with missile defense is possibly a triumph of short-term, one-upmanship thinking. While probably necessitated (unfortunately) by the internal U.S. political dynamic at this time, it will prove to be an increasingly significant barrier as/if further reductions are to be achieved. As nuclear reductions move forward in the future, (absent a significantly greater "reset" in Russian thinking and attitudes) at some point they will be reluctant to cut further... since future much lower numbers of delivery vehicles on both sides with a credible U.S. missile defense could, in theory, add up to a first-strike capability.

Second, the very modest nature of these reductions undermines the "we're holding up our end of the NPT bargain (the future elimination of nuclear weapons), the rest of the non-nuclear world needs to hold up its end of the bargain (i.e. non-proliferation)" argument... While the mainstream media and mass public may not pay attention to the details, the 'possible proliferators' do, and they will probably not be overly impressed by "the new START."


The 2010 NPT Review

May 2010 the month-long NPT Review Conference wrapped up, adopting a consensus final document, "... the first one achieved... in ten years...". Significant achievement, or...? With the "non-aligned' countries led by Egypt pushing for concrete steps towards a WMD-free zone in the Middle East (MEZFWMD), and other countries pushing for concrete steps towards nuclear disarmament by the "haves", how exactly did this happen? Well, by the aforementioned process (i.e. an artful "compromise").

Regarding the timetable for disarmament, the "haves' managed to make sure that no actual date was set for disarmament, agreeing instead to work towards that goal and to report back on their progress. Regarding the MEZFWMD, the agreed-upon final statement "... calls for holding a conference in 2012 "to be attended by all states of the Middle East, leading to the establishment¨ of such a zone.It also mentions ¨the importance of Israel's accession to the treaty and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards...¨

Once again, an "agreement' between multiple parties "without (any) actually having to change their positions to come to a commonality of understanding and purpose!" So, the U.S. gets much of what it wanted (including a strengthening of the nonproliferation regime; a reinforcement of the IAEA; calls for strengthening export controls; tightening the requirements around treaty withdrawal; and many other provisions). At the same time the U.S. ignores the parts it doesn't like (mainly the MEZHWMD), as demonstrated by:
  • The Department of State web page recapping the NPT Review Conference final document, while providing information on the main provisions has no mention of the MEZHWMD at all.
  • As reported, administration officials characterized the conference to be held in 2012 as "a modest step", and said that the U.S. would not pressure any government (read Israel) to attend the conference.
  • The President's statement on the final document included: "We strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel, and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel's national security." U.S. National Security Adviser General James Jones characterized this as a "gratuitous" attempt to single out Israel, and indicated that it is the U.S. view "... that a comprehensive and durable peace in the region and full compliance by all regional states with their arms control and nonproliferation obligations are essential precursors for its establishment..." i.e. full peace in the Middle East before a MEZHWMD!

The final document (see here), is preceded by a 122-paragraph on the review of the NPT process submitted by the president of the Review Conference, Ambassador Libran Cabactulan. It (the consensus document) consists of four sections with associated recommendations for follow-on actions, viz:
I. Nuclear Disarmament:

A. Principles and Objectives - Actions 1-2
B. Disarmament of Nuclear Weapons - Actions 3-6
C. Security Assurances - Actions 7-9
D. Nuclear Testing - Actions 10-14
E. Fissile Materials - Actions 15-18
F. Other Measures - Actions 19-22


II. Nuclear Non-Proliferation: Actions: 23-46

III. Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy: Actions: 47-63

IV. The Middle East, particularly implementation of the 1995 Resolution on the Middle East

The Middle East section has ten points (as opposed to "actions"), and "... reaffirms...; takes note...; regrets that...; recalls...; emphasizes..." etc., etc. However, the U.S., after agreeing to the consensus version still took pains to complain about this section and let it be known that it would not do much to support the proposed 2012 Conference.

Bottom line: the final document is a reasonably successful outcome given that it has to be accepted unanimously. Unfortunately, by picking and choosing the parts that it likes the U.S. has set a very bad example, encouraging others to do the same and thereby vitiating the final document...



All in all this blogger finds himself in much closer agreement with the second review/analysis, while being more skeptical about the President's "significant achievements." All of the above occurred in 2009 & 2010, and not much progress has occurred over the last couple of years. Additionally, while correctly emphasizing the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, the President's consistent, wrong-headed emphasis that nuclear terrorism is the greatest (and an existential) current threat to the U.S., indeed the world, paradoxically makes the prospect of their elimination even more remote.
  • President Obama, April 5th, 2009, included the following in his Prague speech: "... In a strange turn of history, the threat of global nuclear war has gone down, but the risk of a nuclear attack has gone up... Terrorists are determined to buy, build or steal one. Our efforts to contain these dangers are centered in a global non-proliferation regime, but as more people and nations break the rules, we could reach the point when the center cannot hold. This matters to all people, everywhere. One nuclear weapon exploded in one city – be it New York or Moscow, Islamabad or Mumbai, Tokyo or Tel Aviv, Paris or Prague – could kill hundreds of thousands of people. And no matter where it happens, there is no end to what the consequences may be – for our global safety, security, society, economy, and ultimately our survival.... Finally, we must ensure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon. This is the most immediate and extreme threat to global security. One terrorist with a nuclear weapon could unleash massive destruction. Al Qaeda has said that it seeks a bomb. And we know that there is unsecured nuclear material across the globe. To protect our people, we must act with a sense of purpose without delay..."
  • Next, from the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review Report, see Executive Summary, "... As President Obama has made clear, today’s most immediate and extreme danger is nuclear terrorism. Al Qaeda and their extremist allies are seeking nuclear weapons. We must assume they would use such weapons if they managed to obtain them. The vulnerability to theft or seizure of vast stocks of such nuclear materials around the world, and the availability of sensitive equipment and technologies in the nuclear black market, create a serious risk that terrorists may acquire what they need to build a nuclear weapon..."
  • And from the just-released National Security Strategy, see III. Advancing Our Interests: Security: Reverse the Spread of Nuclear and Biological Weapons and Secure Nuclear Materials (pg 22) "... The American people face no greater or more urgent danger than a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon..."
Looks a lot like the Cheney 1% Doctrine ("If there's a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It's not about our analysis ... It's about our response...") which ended up applied to "Iraq and WMD" has been adopted wholesale by President Obama, to be applied to "terrorists and WMD"...

This has a 'back to the future' feel about it...  

“Officials regard the possibility of atomic sabotage as the gravest threat of subversion that this country, with its virtually unpatrolled borders, has ever faced...”; "... valise bombs. .."; “a saboteur could easily pose as a Mexican ‘wetback’ and get into the country without detection, presumably carrying an atomic weapon in his luggage” U.S. fears from... 1953.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Great quotes - swatting flies


'It really is like swatting flies. We can do it forever easily and you feel nothing. But how often do you really think about killing a fly?"

Polaroid Z2300 Instant Print Digital Camera


Polaroid, a blast from the past, has just come out with the Z2300, a digital camera with a built-in printer (of sorts). See the specs above... A 10 MP camera with a three-inch TFT LCD, 32MB of internal memory (which can be supplemented by the use of an up to 32MB SD/SDHC card). Some pictures:



The Z2300 uses Premium ZINK photo paper sheets that have cyan, yellow, and magenta crystals which are heat activated to create a print of your picture. The backing of the sheet can also be removed to turn your mini-print into a mini-sticker. See below for a Z2300 picture and the accompanying print:


The bottom line: Big, clunky, not particularly sturdily built, not the greatest controls, a "OK" camera that can quickly print low-quality, 2x3-inch prints/stickers.A gadget nonetheless!

Additional Z2300 reviews:
Polaroid Z2300 First Impression
Polaroid Z2300 hands on (T3)
Polaroid Z2300 hands on (Engadget)
Review: Polaroid Z2300 digital instant camera
Polaroid Z2300: Modern take on a classic camera

The Z2300  on YouTube:
Polaroid Z2300 hands on (The Verge)
Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera Hands-On

 
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