Thursday, January 31, 2008

Just Wondering

In an effort to drive out the Marines, the Berkeley City Council has given Code Pink a free parking spot in front of the USMC recruiting office. I wonder if the council will give a free parking spot to a pro-life group in front of an abortion clinic?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cell Phone Spam

At 8:20 this morning, someone sent me a text message. When I read it, I saw that I had gotten spam. wants me to buy small cap stocks in precious metals. I don't know how to block this.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Baltimore Light

I found this image on the Library of Congress website. It shows the Baltimore Light undergoing a upgrade. The box that's being hoisted is a nuclear reactor. Here's some more information;
The Baltimore Lighthouse became the world’s first nuclear powered lighthouse in 1964, when a 60-watt isotopic power generator was installed. According to a local newspaper, this generator was “smaller than a 55-gallon oil drum,” and was reputed to be capable of supplying an uninterrupted ten-year flow of electricity without any maintenance or refueling. The installation of the generator is shown in the photograph to the right, but it was removed two years later as the Coast Guard was concerned with “cost and environmental considerations.”

Friday, January 04, 2008

Chinese Counterfeits and National Security

I ran across this article on Strategy Page. It starts off with a report that the FBI recently arrested two brothers for selling counterfeit computer parts. The parts included "Cisco router components" and were made in China.

Sounds pretty tame so far. Counterfeits just seem to be a common hazard nowadays. In this case, some business got saved the inconvenience of sub-par parts. Except that the brothers weren't going to sell them to a business. "The two brothers had a contract to sell these parts to the Department of Defense and other government agencies."

The article sums it all up nicely;
But with the Department of Defense installing counterfeit computer components, it becomes a national security issue. There's also the fear that the Chinese, or some other hostile nation, might get their hands on real computer components, and replace some of the chips with modified ones that will make government networks easier to hack. Yes, it just gets worse.

Yep, it does.

Hat tip to Instapundit.

On a slight tangent, The Elephant and the Dragon has been added to the Coast Guard Reading List.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Psst! Wanna buy a lightbulb?

I ran across this on today:
Just like that--like flipping a switch--Congress and the president banned incandescent light bulbs last month. OK, they did not exactly ban them. But the energy bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush sets energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs that traditional incandescent bulbs cannot meet.

The new rules phase in starting in 2012, but don't be lulled by that five-year delay. Whether it's next week or next decade, you will one day walk into a hardware store looking for a 100-watt bulb--and there won't be any. By 2014, the new efficiency standards will apply to 75-watt, 60-watt and 40-watt bulbs too.

I guess this means I'll have to start hoarding light bulbs in 2010 or be forced to buy black market bulbs from Mexico. They'll be right beside the high flow toilets.