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Comment Re:Only "troubled" if you're not Lockheed Martin (Score 1) 509

Lets see long difficult training pipeline with a high washout rate, and not a huge poll of talent while keep quality high. Lack of buy in by the normal military, so even before contracting there weren't enough SF available. Combined with high rate tempo high risk deployments with high causality rates. Really even without contracting it is unlikely that we would have enough, particularly if we had to dedicate quite a number for PSD missions.

Honestly it isn't perfect, but contracting out the State department's specialty non-direct combat jobs, allowed it the DOD to free up a limited pool of SF soldiers for direct combat roles.

Comment Re:Only "troubled" if you're not Lockheed Martin (Score 1) 509

<quote><p> I was first really shocked about military outsourcing when I saw a photo of L. Paul Bremner III, the proconsul for Iraq, being guarded by a group of Blackwater people.</p><p>How on earth is this justified - forget the question of allegiance and loyalty, outsourcing has got to cost more than using your own troops.</p><p>What happens now seems to be
- USG invests hunderds of thousands or millions of dollars in training for 1334 soldiers and pays them a civil service salary
- Mercenary corp hire them and pays them double their salary
- USG contracts Mercenary corp, and gets its own soldiers back and four times the price and one quarter the loyalty.</p></quote>

<p>The US military isn't really trained for PSD work. Blackwater and other contracting companies takes Special Forces soldiers and trains them specifically for the PSD missions that they do for the state department.</p>

<p>Now the US military could train some of it's soldiers for PSD missions, but they already have a shortage of Special Forces soldiers.</p>

Comment Re:Easiest way to save money (Score 1) 369

We don't have bases in 130+ countries, we have military presence in 156 countries (2002 number), but that can be as small as a team of advisers. We have bases in 63 countries. Some may be unneeded, but many are needed for logistical reasons. For example it's better to fly injured service members to Germany, rather than all the way to the US.

And raising taxes rarely raises revenue, particularly when you do it to the "rich" as they are the ones with the political connections to get exceptions put into the law. On top of that they are more likely to have the ability to use those exceptions to structure their income to avoid those taxes.

Comment Re:Hey! (Score 1) 369

We spend MORE on Social Security every year than we would spend on nuclear weapons in ten years. Add in Medicare, and Medicaid also costs more per a year than our nuclear weapon program would cost in a decade.

It's not a distraction, social programs like Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid are the larger budget item than defense spending.

Fight Spam With Nolisting 410

An anonymous reader writes with the technique of Nolisting, which fights spam by specifying a primary MX that is always unavailable. The page is an extensive FAQ and how-to guide that addressed the objections I immediately came up with. From the article: "It has been observed that when a domain has both a primary (high priority, low number) and a secondary (low priority, high number) MX record configured in DNS, overall SMTP connections will decrease when the primary MX is unavailable. This decrease is unexpected because RFC 2821 (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) specifies that a client MUST try and retry each MX address in order, and SHOULD try at least two addresses. It turns out that nearly all violators of this specification exist for the purpose of sending spam or viruses. Nolisting takes advantage of this behavior by configuring a domain's primary MX record to use an IP address that does not have an active service listening on SMTP port 25. RFC-compliant clients will retry delivery to the secondary MX, which is configured to serve the role normally performed by the primary MX)."

Microsoft Admits Vista Has "High Impact Issues" 520

EggsAndSausage writes "Microsoft has granted, in a roundabout way, that Vista has 'high impact issues.' It has put out an email call for technical users to participate in testing Service Pack 1, due out later this year, which will address 'regressions from Windows Vista and Windows XP, security, deployment blockers and other high impact issues.' It's hard to know whether to be reassured that Service Pack 1 is coming in the second half of 2007, and thus that there is a timeframe for considering deployment of Vista within businesses, or to be alarmed that Microsoft is unleashing an OS on the world with 'high impact issues' still remaining." In other news, one blogger believes that Vista is the first Microsoft OS since Windows 3.1 to have regressed in usability from its predecessor (he kindly forgives and dismisses Windows ME). And there's a battle raging over the top 10 reasons to get Vista or not to get Vista.
United States

FCC Nixes Satellite Radio Merger 277

a_nonamiss writes "Doesn't look like Sirius and XM are going to merge any time soon. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Logically, I know that competition is a good thing for consumers, and monopolies are generally only good for companies. Still, I don't like having to choose a car based on which satellite radio service comes pre-installed, or considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both. Frankly, it's probably all this exclusivity that has caused me not to purchase either system." From the article: "Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin told reporters after an FCC meeting that the Commission would not approve a merger between satellite radio rivals Sirius and XM Radio... When the FCC initially licensed the two satellite radio companies in 1997, there was language in the licensing barring one from acquiring control of the other... Even if the FCC were to have a change of heart..., it would still have to pass antitrust scrutiny by the Department of Justice."
The Internet

Wikipedia Adds No Follow to Links 264

netbuzz writes "In an attempt to thwart spammers and search-engine optimization mischief, Wikipedia has begun tagging all external links on its site "nofollow", which renders those links invisible to search engines. Whether this is a good thing, a bad thing, or simply unavoidable has become a matter of much debate." This topic has come up before and the community voted to remove nofollow back in 2005. This new round of nofollow comes as a directive from Wikia President, Jimbo Wales.

Music Companies Mull Ditching DRM 318

PoliTech writes to mention an International Herald Tribue article that is reporting the unthinkable: Record companies are considering ditching DRM for their mp3 albums. For the first time, flagging sales of online music tracks are beginning to make the big recording companies consider the wisdom of selling music without 'rights management' technologies attached. The article notes that this is a step the recording industry vowed 'never to take'. From the article: "Most independent record labels already sell tracks digitally compressed in MP3 format, which can be downloaded, e-mailed or copied to computers, cellphones, portable music players and compact discs without limit. Partially, the independents see providing songs in MP3 as a way of generating publicity that could lead to future sales. Should one of the big four take that route, however, it would be a capitulation to the power of the Internet, which has destroyed their monopoly over the worldwide distribution of music in the past decade and allowed file-sharing to take its place."

Submission + - Cisco Sues Apple Because of iPhone Name

ruffnsc writes: Cisco Systems is suing Apple Computer for trademark infringement in a US federal court, for using the iPhone name. Apple launched its new handheld device under the iPhone name on Tuesday, at the Macworld event in San Francisco. Following the launch Cisco said it hoped to resolve the matter by Tuesday evening after negotiations. — BBC News
Wireless (Apple)

Submission + - Nice List of iPhone Problems

An anonymous reader writes: The Mac fanboy site has just released a post listing ten of the iPhones biggest problems (referred to as "myths"). It has the usual anti-microsoft, anti-palm and anti-cisco comments, but seems to be quite an accurate and complete list of how the iPhone is broken and what ridiculous explanation one might think of to defend it.
Myth Eight: An integrated battery is a significant problem for users
Having an extra battery to swap in makes sense on a laptop, but does not make sense for a phone, particularly one that has standard external battery packs that can be used via its dock connector.

You have a massage (from the Swedish prime minister).