Serial numbers on bullets?

Filed under:Bill of Rights — posted by 3wire on 4/27/2005 @ 2:12 pm

Bill would require serial numbers on bullets

Star Telegram/Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A state Senate committee approved a proposal Tuesday to put a serial number on every handgun bullet made or sold in California.

The measure cleared the Senate Public Safety Committee on a 4-2 vote over opposition from manufacturers, firearms dealers and sport shooters.

The technology exists to laser-cut bullets with a number that police could use to trace who purchased bullets used in crimes, said Democratic sponsor Sen. Joseph Dunn.

Purchasers would pay up to a half a cent per bullet to fund record-keeping by the state Department of Justice. Vendors would pay up to $50 a year.

“We’ll solve a lot of crimes if this becomes law,” said Attorney General Bill Lockyer.

If approved by the Legislature, the law would take effect in July 2007.

Joint Operations- Typhoon Rising

Filed under:Gaming — posted by 3wire on 4/26/2005 @ 11:18 pm

For several years now I have had an on going dialog/debate with my “operational” friends about the practical value of FPS (first person shooter) video games. My argument has been that if you use a com tool like Roger Wilco, then not only do you learn the value of communication but some games provide the opportunity to learn and practice tactical movement. This covers two of the tenants of our motto: Shoot, Move, Communicate. Let’s just say that for the most part we have agreed to disagree. Needless to say, that does not keep us at Team Phyrfight from our weekly forays in the world of virtual combat. Our current game of choice is Joint Operations- Typhoon Rising. Here is an AAR (after action report) on a recent Friday night outing.

The five of us, 3wire, Bluey, Hi-power, Q Ball and TomCat find ourselves pinned down in a narrow valley with steep cliffs on both sides. Our objective is a village about 2 km up the valley. An APC is hammering on our position with its 30mm gun. We are hunkered down behind some large boulders. Several emplaced 50 cals open up anytime we try to move. And we are taking sporadic small arms fire from the surrounding hills. Basically we are FUBARed. Attempts to get a shot on the APC with an AT4 have been futile. We simply can’t see shit and they are zeroed in on us. I’m humping a Javelin but there is no way I can get into position to get a lock and fire the thing. If we don’t do something we are all going to die here.

The Plan.
The map indicates that there is a road that parallels the valley half a click to our left on the other side of the ridge and we can see a trail that looks like it will take us to the road. The other three team members draw fire from the right side of our position while TomCat and I make a mad dash for a trail that runs up the left hill. We are totally exposed for about 20 meters but we run like hell for the trees. The APC doesn’t notice us but a 50 cal opens up on us. We hear the rounds zip through the trees around us. We dive for cover behind a low berm. The rounds pound the berm but we are safe. We crawl up the trail and eventually find our way to the road. We hump down the road as fast as we can, occasionally pausing to glass the area ahead. Our plan is to flank the APC and take it out with the Javelin.

We run into one patrol along the way but neutralize them from about 300 meters. TomCat makes quick work of them with her SR-25. Did I mention that TomCat is a 13-year-old girl? TomCat’s favorite real-world shooting these days is precision rifle so naturally in Joint Ops she always kits up with a sniper rifle of some sort.

The mountainous terrain doesn’t allow us a shot at the APC. We keep on the move until we have hiked all the way passed the village and by then we can’t see the APC. The rest of the team has managed to extricate themselves somewhat by crawling back down the valley where they set up a mortar and try to pound the APC to death.

TomCat gets in position on a ridge high above the village and with me spotting and ranging for her she takes out a dozen or so hostiles. Joint Ops has pretty realistic ballistics for a video game. You have to know the range of your target and dial in the right elevation or you wont hit anything. At long ranges you can even see the swurl trace of the rounds arcing into the target just like reality.

We work our way slowly down the side of the mountain to the valley floor then into the shallow creek that runs through the valley. By this time the rest of the team has managed to take out the APC and are working their way up the valley toward us. TomCat and I can see a lot of activity in and around the village. It seems that everyone is hunkered down behind cover waiting for the main element of our team to come in from the other side of the village. They don’t notice us. We get as close in as we can then lie down on the bank of the creek and set up. About 165 meters away are two tangos behind sand bags. One is on a 50 and the other has an AK. They are looking toward the advancing team and are totally exposed to us. TomCat dials in and gets set. I tell her to take out the guy on the 50 and I’ll hit the other guy with my M-4 on her shot. I get ready. The head of the 50 operator explodes in a crimson spray as he flips over the sandbags. The other guy is turning toward us bringing his AK to bear but before I can squeeze the trigger on my M-4 I hear another round from the SR-25 and see this guy’s head explode too. That’s my girl. Two quick shots, two kills. Could a father be any more proud?

We mop up the rest of the bad guys and finish the mission without incident. Practical training? Maybe yes, maybe no. Quality father-daughter time? Absolutely!

High Definition Recorder

Filed under:Technology — posted by 3wire on 4/25/2005 @ 3:20 pm

Thinking of building an HD PVR? This is a good place to start.

http://www.eff.org/broadcastflag/cookbook/guide.php#requirements

Also check out www.pchdtv.com for a compatible video card.

TViX Multimedia Box

Filed under:General,Technology — posted by Q Ball on 4/21/2005 @ 4:52 pm

I was surfing the net and happened across a cool new device called TViX. It is similiar to a TiVo in that it allows you to rip your DVDs to it and will also store and playback mp3s and photos. It has a slideshow feature for viewing photos. Besides DVDs it will play any video format, ex. DivX, mpeg1 and mpeg2. As for audio it will play WMA and Ogg as well. For video out it has component, composite, and s-video. For audio it has the standard stereo, coaxial, and optical. Two things I wish it had are: Some kind of Hi-Definition video out and an Ethernet port. The up coming HD media format is a good reason to have HD out. As of right now the two models they have only allow you to transfer files via USB 2 or Firewire, there is no networking which I think is essential nowadays for anthing remotely resembling a computer. Another plus, however is that the TVix comes with a remote. I am not sure what all the features are of the remote, but in the pictures it looks like it has alot of functionality.

TViX

Individual-i

Filed under:Bill of Rights,Technology — posted by Q Ball on 4/19/2005 @ 8:32 pm

There is a new campaign dedicated to the preservation of individual rights. The campaign was created by Bruce Schneier, as a symbol of the rights of individuals and hopes for it to become a universal symbol for personal freedom. On the website there are graphics to download and links to mugs and shirts.

Who is the Militia?

Filed under:Bill of Rights,War on Terror — posted by 3wire on @ 1:26 pm

This is an exchange between a reader in New York and the editor of the Federalist Patriot newsletter.

“In your article ‘The Gun Problem,’ (No. 05-13) you quote the Second Amendment, sort of. You and many other people conveniently omit the first half of the amendment, which refers to a militia. Our soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, etc., are militias. Our National reserves, National Guard are militias. I am not a militia, you are not a militia. This amendment refers to militias only. People like you need to quit omitting the first half of the amendment.” –New York, New York

Editor’s Reply: Open a history book and read up on who comprised the ready “militia” in 1787, and you will find it was the citizenry, not a standing army or organized reserve army. It is clear in the writings of our Founders that “well regulated militia” meant “a vigilant and prepared citizenry.” Our founders universally detested standing armies, as, historically, they had been used by monarchies to oppress the will of the people. Thus, our Founders wisely determined that the best provision for the preservation of liberty was that the people be armed. Accordingly, Justice Joseph Story, appointed to the Supreme Court by the author of our Constitution, James Madison, noted, “The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered as the palladium of the liberties of a republic…” Indeed, historians have long confirmed this understanding, and more than a few court cases have cited it. For the record, “people like you need to quit omitting” the Historic context of the word “militia.”

Muslims Against Terrorism

Filed under:War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 4/8/2005 @ 2:06 pm

Its about time. Finally Muslims are organizing against terror and for human rights. Claiming to be “Taking our religion back one Muslim at a time” FreeMuslims.org is a nonprofit organization made up of American Muslims and American Arabs of all backgrounds who feel that “religious violence and terrorism have not been fully rejected by the Muslim community in the post 9-11 era”. Its a big step in the right direction for Muslim Americans. Check them out.

Could the Matrix be a reality?

Filed under:Gaming,Technology — posted by Maverick on 4/7/2005 @ 10:39 pm

Today, teamxbox.com ran story that claimed Sony has patented a “method and system for generating sensory data onto the human neural cortex.” It is almost scary to think that at some point, the video and audio outputs of a gaming console could go stright into someone’s brain.
What is more scary, however, is that the patent office actually granted a patent to a company that only has a “prophetic invention” that is only “based on an inspiration.” How is this possible? Now, even if someone else invents what the patent describes, Sony will own the rights to it. Maybe I should patent the idea of a teleportation device while its still available.

Pez MP3 Project

Filed under:General,Technology — posted by Q Ball on 4/3/2005 @ 11:02 pm

Some dude is using his own money to develop a Pez MP3 player. Reserve your own for free here.

Zero-Tolerance Insanity

Filed under:General,War on Terror — posted by 3wire on 4/1/2005 @ 5:26 pm

The Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon refused to allow high school freshman Shea Riecke to use a photo of her brother, a US Marine, in her class project. You get one guess why. It was part of an assignment showing McKay High School graduates at work. Her brother, Cpl. Bill Riecke, was stationed in Iraq at the time of the photo. Read more on the Marine Corps Moms blog.

Riecke’s mom: “I don’t think our school policies are meant to rewrite history. It doesn’t make any sense to me,” Connie Riecke said. “Are they going to go through every textbook and take out pictures of the Civil War that have soldiers carrying guns? Are they going to go through the library and take out all the Time magazines that feature soldiers with guns? I don’t think so.”

The school eventually caved and allowed this photo showing her brother demonstrating to young Iraqis how to perform a body cavity search on suspected terrorists.

Marines in Iraq



image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace