Link dump April 2019


Yesterday: Your loudspeaker is a microphone.
Today: Your hard disk drive is a microphone.

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The mentioned weaknesses have been public knowledge for a long time.
We should always keep in mind that such studies are being financed by a bureaucracy that wants more money.

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As usual, it's clearly visible if you know what to look for.

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People who get all agitated and fearful about imaginary problems like 'Sharia law in the West' deserve ridicule IMO. I would be fine with everyone simply pitying or ignoring them if they weren't so aggressively spreading their fearfulness and pretending to be the opposite of what they are; fearful pussies.

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He was the only one who snapped in the simulation. That's good-enough reason to believe he'd be among the first to do so in a real warzone. I propose to discharge the jerk.

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This should be very effective against lying/crawling infantry, but not nearly as much against upright infantry. Maybe it's meant to be used in combination with claymore-pattern remotely controlled mines.
Anyway, it reminds me of some German 120 mm mortar bomb (shrapnel-like) development from the 1990's which had a blunt front plate with tungsten pellets or balls, meant to shoot downwards to the ground (IIRC it was meant to be proximity fused and ditched a ballistic cap prior to explosion).

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"I'm repairing!"
I like that excuse.

This could lead to legal issues in the long term. Soldiers who were sleep-deprived for years might claim brain damage and demand compensation in the 2030's.

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I mentioned this technique (water transfer printing) before. This time I'd like to hint that the ability of water transfer printing to bring camo patterns on fairly complicated shapes could be used to solve a common problem of military camouflage: 
All those fancy camouflage patterns mean little if cluttered by webbing, pouches and gear. Camouflage patterns may have a macro pattern to disrupt the shape at distances such as 100 m, but this macro pattern would only become visible on the legs and maybe the arms because the torso is too cluttered with objects on top of the camouflage clothing.
In theory, we could equip a puppet with the full gear, subject it to water transfer printing of a full body camouflage pattern and could (with some imperfections) actually achieve a full body, disruptive macropattern for once.
A reversible Ghillie-like coat would be simpler, though.

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"But the president's remarks Friday morning also raise questions about whether he will abide by the terms of any trade deal he strikes or whether he will continue to insist on more concessions from trading partners after agreements have been reached."
The lying moron's own trade deal isn't even ratified yet, but he's already threatening to violate it.

Why should any European country still consider the United States to be an ally?

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  1. "He was the only one who snapped in the simulation. That's good-enough reason to believe he'd be among the first to do so in a real warzone. I propose to discharge the jerk."

    I bet Morale was immediately increased,
    Realistic training is always better than PC gaming...imho

  2. Because the theme does not fit elsewhere: A point about hydroponic agriculture:

    No hydroponic farming will be succesful without constant and secure electricty, without a distribution system which brings the food to the people, especially not without high quality fertilizer which must also be produced and distributed, much energy to produce that said fertilizer, also you need gigantic amounts of mineral wool which must also be produced and distributed, you have to handle the waste (we speak here about millions of tons of only used mineralwool). You need pumps, higher amounts of water (and droughts that last 10 months will become common in this century), you need protecting agents (to the contrary in a perma-culture you can do agriculture without such agents), and moreover you have to controll the climate for the plants which again needs energy and makes such cultures even today in the era of the cheap energy senseless for hot countries.

    Overall: hydroponic farming will not work if the overall energy costs (peak of oil, gas etc) will become to high. It does not work even today cost efficient in many areas of the world. It will not solve anything because it needs specific assets which must be produced, distributed and maintained and the combination of the overall factors will simply prevent such an solution.

    Perma-Culture like Sepp Holzer or Fukuoka Masanobu created it for example would be an much more intelligent, efficient and overall better way for the future of agriculture, especially if used in and around cities. But this needs much human labour and also a complete change of our society and its culture.

    1. You're writing about a very specific type of hyroponics.
      Hydroponics can actually have 90% LESS demand for water than ordinary agriculture for the same yield.
      The electrical energy costs of wind and solar power are going to be lower than for fossil fuel power, and already are lower in some regions with some technologies.

      Anyway, we can easily afford to create enough food quantitatively and qualitatively in Europe. We will continue to be able to do so through climate change.

      We'll need to adapt slowly and we'll need to protect the coasts more (and protect our rivers from springtides to save on river dam costs.
      We should also better go to net zero CO2 equivalent emissions by the mid-21st century, which requires different energy technologies and thus considerable infrastructure investments.
      Poor countries will face a huge risks of famine and much rural exodus. They're the ones who will be hit hard, but they're also militarily weak.

      There's no need for militarism in Europe.
      Anyone who sees climate change and thinks of militarism as a necessity in face of it is merely looking for an excuse for an already previously existing private preference.

  3. I can agree with the conclusion of yours in your last sentence, such a imprint surly exists with me. But lets stay on hydroponic farming as farming, agriculture and forestry are my passion and my profession today after leaving the military. Of cause many forms of hydroponic farming spare water, but that was for sure not the main point in my argumentation. Moreover the number of 90% which is from the National Geographic and they have it allegedly from hydroponic farmes from the netherlands is not very valid, but thats irrelevant as this is not the main critique i have here.

    Whatever technique you use, you need artifical manure (which you have to produce and distribute), save and constant electricity (which you cannot ensure in the sufficient amount necessary with solar / wind alone), you need computers and other kind of technology, you need mineral wool and you produce an high amount of waste (used mineral wool).

    You need also more know how, more work and an higher investment. To replace conventional agriculture through hydrponic farming is simply not cost-efficient and costs more - for this reason many hydroponic farms have problems in the beginning to become profitable, which does only work with specific crop plants.

    not every kind of crop plants can be grown in such a way, especially not the ones that deliver an high amount of nutritive substances in comparison to weight and volume. Salad, tomatos and other such kings of plants will not solve the question of how to produce enough nutritive substances because they do not have so much of them in it. Fresh salad from hydroponic farming will not solve our nutrition problem (malthusian catastrophe).

    But i am not totally against this technology, to the contrary it could be used withing cities and is imo an good supplement to the conventional agriculture but it cannot replace it and it is definitly overrated.

  4. About the Energy problem:


    "requires about 1200 kilowatt hours of electricity for lighting to produce one kilogram of food minus the water that’s in the food. That’s about the annual energy consumption of the average American refrigerator for a year, all to produce just two and a quarter pounds of dry matter.”

    According to an study from the wwf even imported crops which are transported over longer distances does not need so much energy and this energy will become significant the same moment i am not longer trying to produce some salad and tomatos, but the moment i want to replace the conventional cultivation of crops which have a high nutrition value.

    The overall energy costs and the overall energy needs are to high. You simply cannot produce enough energy to replace the normal agriculture with hydroponic farming, even not with nuclear power plants and fossil energy.

    About the economical problem (financing the hydroponic system:

    "It is this issue of cost that raises the thorniest question around vertical farming and hydroponic production – if financial viability lies only in the production of high-end micro-salads, lettuce and greens, how much of a part in the wider food system can it really play? "

    Also in this context:


    But as i do not want to say this will not work without offering an solution:

    Instead of high-technology agriculture we have to do the complete opposit and must use what the nature has to offer us for free. We have to cultivate other kind of plants in a way that we do not need so much water and also do not have to use fertilizer, pesticides, insecticides etc any longer. This is possible for example in perma culture and especially if you use crop plants which are better adapted for the climate change as our todays conventional over-raised crop plants which are to sensitive and to dependent on technology and specific assetts too. Instead of using hydrponic farming in cities we could use perma-culture in cities with the same succes but without such high energy costs and all the other negative attentand circumstances and negative consequences.

    1. That's again a very specific kind of hydroponics.

      Think of a greenhouse that has 2 or 3 harvests a year and 1/10th the water consumption.

      The current economics of hydroponic farming do not matter. I brought it up because someone claimed that costs of agricultural products could/would grow more than fourfold due to climate change.
      Alternative, less climate-dependent and more area-efficient, farming methods set a cap to how much climate change can drive up costs of food production.

  5. By definiton normal greenhouses are not a hydroponic farm.
    Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without soil by using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent.

    I completly agree with you that we need complete different farming methodds that are less clima-dependent, but hydroponic-farming and also greenhouses are here not the solution, but using different crop plants and complete different methods to cultivate them as naturally as possible in using the nature such at it is instead of working against the mechanisms of the nature. The same in the forests: the conventional forestry will come to an end through the climate change and only .

    Simple greenhouses has not 1/10 of the water consumption and all the negative consequences of this kind of agriculture you can even today visit for example in spain in which the greenhouse agriculture is destroying the very soil. Millions of tons of plastic waste are poising the earth for next century, also the amount of necessery pesticids, insecticides etc is much higher. This claim of only 10% water consumption comes moreover only from sterile isolated vertical farming hydroponics which use artifical light, electrical pumps, chemical fertilizer etc and not from greenhouses which use fewer water to produce fresh salad and tomatots in a desert like enviroment, but the main failure is here to produce such crops at all in such an enviroment. For example none of such crops should grew in southern spain at all.

    And this claim is also not true even for real hydroponics. First you cannot use any kind of water but only absoliut clean water you have to purify before. The reason is that otherwise unwanted bacteria, alga and vermin will come into the system. Contrary to normal soil you cannot use remedy in the same way because this would change the ph of the water.

    So you do not need "only" 10% of the water, but you need a specific amount of conditioned water. How did the come to this 90% claim at all? Simply because they say: you need so and so many liters per year in a hydroponic culture and in the nature so and so many liters of rain and spray irrigation and in comparison this leads to the said 90%. But the simple truth is that the plant for itself needs in both systems the exact same amount of water because in the end the plant has the same water in it.

    Now the hydroponic fanboys claim that in the nature the other water is lost and therefore they claim the excess of water that is not used by the plants as waste. But it isnt a waste. A waste are the hundred of millions of tons of plastic waste of the greenhouse agriculture and all the poisons necessary to grew plants in them.

  6. In southern spain even the phreatic water has become so rare and the level of the preatic water has fallen so much, that the water crisis, resulting from the greenhouses there necessarily has guided the farmers there to build desalination plants which need energy to use desalinated water from the mediteranian for the greenhouses. And they have unbelievable problems with plant diseases there, which guided them to use high amounts of plant protectants. All this will not longer be available in this form then the climate is changing and then we adept to this by changing our energy supply and overall living style because this will lead inevitable at least to an depression, deindustrialisation and very drasttic changes of our living standard. Greenhouses and hyydroculture then will not be an solutioin, but more an problem than anything else because their system cannot longer be sustained at all and all the soil will then be poisened, full of plastic and chemicals and the phreatic water will be gone / will have fallen to deep and no reserves left. In the end the following landscape:


    will look more like that:


    Both pictures are not science fiction but from some years ago and today it looks even worse there.

    More than 50 % of all croplands today are degraded. And mankind is still growing fast, with around 60 to 70 million new humans per year. The answer for this disaster are for sure not greenhouses, but the restoration of the croplands through new natural forms of agriculture with the main target to recreate the natural soil as a symbiotic community.



    The only solution for this problem is permaculture with different crop plants instead of the main crop plants we use today, which could also be realised in cities (instead of hydroponic farming) and help much for the food supply of the people there.

    One can wonder that i wrote so much about soil, degradation of cultivable land, food supply and so on but this will become imo the most important security problem in this century, even more important than drinking water as the lack of food will become also an problem for countries with enough water supply as soon as our fossil resources driven society will not longer sustain itself on that ressources. To feed 10 billion humans will become an tremendous security and defence problem within this century not because it could not be done theoretically, but to do it practically is the problem here.

    I am sad to say that sven is imo right here, that mostly the poor developing countries will have a near insurmountable problem here, but even europe will have tremendous problems if we do not change our livestyle now and drastically. If one does not believe this, i can invite him to visit southern spain in which many of the coming problems are here today.