South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, the darling of the Tea Party wing nuts of the GOP, is urging Republican candidates to listen to Ron Paul. “One of the things that’s hurt the so-called conservative alternative is saying negative things about Ron Paul,” DeMint told conservative radio…
(The short answer, btw, to those who asked about the mystery assault rifle, is this: it was a SAR-80, a former export of Singapore.)
Back to the At War post:
The Navy has not released details on how the Somali pirates the Seals killed overnight were equipped. Maybe they did not gather this kind of data. One hopes they did, as the details that can be gleaned from piles of confiscated weapons can tell something of how armed groups — pirates, terrorists, criminals, revolutionaries, smugglers, you name it – obtain the lethal kit they need to play their roles.
In this case, we were left with much to think on. A naval task force with several billion dollars’ worth of ships and aircraft was used to undo a problem caused by a small group of men equipped with a pair of skiffs and outboard engines, a few cellphones and a pile of aging rifles. We see it over and again. Big-ticket weapons get more attention. But it’s the little items – fertilizer-based bombs, small arms and the like – that routinely cause problems demanding outsize resources to combat. You can pick up whiffs of old arms shipments to standing armies among criminals who today help hold their country back. The total cost of the pirate’s investment might have been less than $30,000, a fraction of which went into the firearms. That’s asymmetry, in bold face.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPH
A Somali pirate being searched while taken into custody aboard the U.S.S. Kidd. Earlier this month. By the author. The Gulf of Oman.
Last week, there was a story on TechCrunch with the title: “Dropbox Automator Is Like IFTTT For Dropbox”. I had to laugh. First of all, it’s awesome that there’s already “Ifttt for X” stories. That’s usually a good sign for a young startup. Second, um, isn’t Ifttt like Ifttt for Dropbox?
The answer is yes. Yes it is. And I’m happy to announce today that CrunchFund is part of a great group of investors that have put money into Ifttt’s seed round of funding. Both TechCrunch and AllThingsD have a bit more on this.
Ifttt is one of those services that has been able to gain some good early buzz among the tech crowd despite no marketing or any kind of real outreach. And there’s a good reason for that — Ifttt fills a need that many of us have.
Obama sings! He sings Al Green!
In the office late tonight, we all just took a break to huddle around someone’s computer and grin like idiots at this.
About a week ago we launched Khan Academy user profiles. Profiles are meant to round out the previous work we’d done on the design of the knowledge map, exercise interface, and badges by bringing all of the information about your performance on the site into a single interface.
There were a…
International Change Your ****ing Password Day - Illustration for MSNBC by Sam Spratt
It’s International Change Your Password Day so I sent off a quick illustration to MSNBC for dear friend and Queen of tech-journalism, Rosa Golijan. Read up on how easily crackable your current passwords are and how to toughen them up with an adamantium coating, courtesy of “Wabble: the ambiguously shaped drooling ball of blueness.” [MSNBC Article]
Peace Corps Volunteers around the world use holidays like Halloween to share American culture with their students.