Category Archives: Tech

Firearm Technology

Explained by Tam:

Compared to the advances that permeate so many other technological fields, firearms have been a very mature technology for a very long time.

The only technological advances in man-portable firearms since the 1930s have been in materials and construction methods. I am unaware of any completely new operating mechanism after roller-locking recoil. Certainly the gas-operated, rotating-bolt, box-magazine-fed rifles which arm our troops would be instantly identifiable to John Browning in his 1890s Utah workshop, although the machined aluminum forgings and plastic furniture might seem novel to him.

A SIG P-226 would only be “exotic” to Le Maitre in its use of stampings in place of machined forgings. Other than that, it’s a short-recoil tilting-barrel box-magazine-fed self-loader, still shooting a cartridge developed for the Imperial German Army in the first decade of the last century. (Just think about cartridges: Of the major martial firearm chamberings, only 5.45, 5.56, 7.62×51, and .40S&W were developed after 1945, while .50 BMG predates the last World War and 9×19, .45, and 7.62×54 predates the one before that.)

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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Guns, History, Tech


Marketing/Branding and Other Stuff

So, Samsung just released the latest version of their pocket internets and it’s getting a lot of attention on tech blogs, etc. I was scanning Engadget this morning and came across this:

According to an Asymco report from November, Samsung is spending somewhere in the region of $12 billion on advertising, commissions and sales promotions to market its Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets. Based on Fortune‘s observations, that’s more than Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Dell, HP and Apple each spend.

The article discusses how, in the author’s opinion, the HTC One is, in terms of build quality and OS design, hands down a better device, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 will outsell it because of Samsung’s marketing.

David Burge tweeted this today:

He’s completely right. In the US, it can easily be said that Samsung is producing the “must have” Android devices. Sammy is putting their ALL into Google/Android and distancing themselves from Microsoft. Maybe part of the appeal is that the GS3/4 uses NFC which allows daughters and wives to share cute videos with their dads/husbands?

Whatever the reason, the tech wars are hotter than ever. Apple sits comfortably with iEverything simply selling because, hey Apple. Samsung is trying to create a similar fever for its products (and the ill gotten gains of Android). Blackberry just launched BB10 and looks reborn. Microsoft appears to be willing to slog through whatever it takes to simply sit at the mobile table, oh and collect royalties on Android devices.

My wife and I are using HTC Evos that were gifted to us (thanks Danny and Shelly!) and they work for us (until Sprint releases a WP8 device for me to buy. Cause that’s how I want to roll).

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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Tech


Windows 8 Review

We’ve been using Windows 8 on our home PC since it was released last October. After four months I can honestly say that Windows 8 hasn’t really changed the way that we use our home computer. 90% of what my wife and I do on the computer is via the internet. Email, social networks, shopping – we don’t use apps, we use the internet. We don’t stream music or movies. We don’t play games.

Adjusting to Windows 8 has been just that, an adjustment. 99% of the time we use the traditional desktop rather than the Metro UI. With Microsoft’s removal of the Start button, we’ve simply had to learn the new navigation, which didn’t take long and hasn’t been a big deal. Need to find a document? Launch File Explorer from the desktop taskbar. Need to access the control panel? Mouse to the right side of the screen and select Settings. Need to open an app or find a file that isn’t on the Start screen or the desktop? Just start typing on the Start screen.

Yes, it’s different than Windows 7 (slightly) and it feels more connected to the mobile world (slightly). Is Windows 8 an OS with an identity crisis? Yes and No. Microsoft needs a mobile OS to compete and the tile interface is it. Like it or hate it, Microsoft feels that grids of static icons are boring. I like the way that tiles can be sized and arranged to personalize the experience. And while I don’t use the Metro UI often on my home PC, I have sized and arranged the tiles for organized access (of both Metro and non-Metro apps).

(We use a local family “local” account. I have created a “personal” account linked to my Microsoft Account, but signing in an out and locking and unlocking can be a pain. Call me lazy, I don’t care).

As pointed out by Brad Hill, Microsoft’s computer OS market share is enormous and with Windows 8 “Microsoft is singing with right tune with some wrong notes.” Hill advocates returning the Start button and making boot to desktop an option – basically saying provide an option for those, like myself, who use a mouse and keyboard to interface with Windows 8 to bypass the Metro UI that we don’t really use. Providing options isn’t really a bad thing.

Go read Hill’s article. Regardless of your feelings for or against, or ambivalence toward, Windows 8, Hill provides an objective and productive take on what Microsoft is doing right and how they can do better.

Oh, and if I could find a $200 Windows RT tablet (a la Google Nexus 7), I’d totally jump on it.


Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Tech


The Future is a Cool Place

From Engadget:

Earlier this week, an un-named man in the United States had 75 percent of his skull replaced with a 3D-printed plastic prosthetic, the first-known operation of its kind. The transplant was carried out by Oxford Performance Materials, which received approval to carry out such procedures from the US Food and Drug Administration last month. The company crafted the artificial skull based on a 3D scan of the patient’s head, and the polyetherketoneketone prosthetic sports holes meant to encourage the growth of new cells and bone.

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Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Tech


Changes for WebOS

webOS Nation reports:

LG purchasing HP’s webOS division, licensing webOS for smart TVs

According to a report this morning from CNET that has since been pulled (though we have independently verified) LG is purchasing the webOS Global Business Unit from HP, including all of its patents, employees, and source code. This news follows our exclusive report in October that LG was working with HP to develop a webOS-powered smart TV. Our sources tell us that LG now anticipates launching their first webOS-powered HDTV at CES 2014.

Head on over to webOS Nation to read more. It’s too bad webOS never took off as a mobile operating system. Competition is always a good thing.

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Posted by on February 25, 2013 in Tech


Yahoo! Redesign

I don’t really use Yahoo!, but I really like the redesigned home page:

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Posted by on February 20, 2013 in Tech


Iranian Monkey Astronauts

Tam comments:

Iranian space scientists say their next test will demonstrate the ability to launch several monkey reentry vehicles in a single payload, each of which will be independently and peacefully steered to a separate landing point.

No word on whether the monkeys are of the face-eating, feces-flinging variety, which could be a violation of several international treaties on biological warfare, as well as Leviticus 11:27.

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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Humor, International, Tech

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