Tired of Afghanistan and all those messy, oil-ish wars in the Greater Middle East that just don’t seem to pan out? Count on one thing: part of the U.S. military feels just the way you do, especially a largely sidelined Navy — and that’s undoubtedly one of the reasons why, a few months back, the specter of China as this country’s future enemy once again reared its ugly head. Back before 9/11, China was, of course, the favored future uber-enemy of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and all those neocons who signed onto the Project for the New American Century and later staffed George W. Bush’s administration. After all, if you wanted to build a military beyond compare to enforce a long-term Pax Americana on the planet, you needed a nightmare enemy large enough to justify all the advanced weapons systems in which you planned to invest. As late as June 2005, neocon journalist Robert Kaplan was still writing in the Atlantic about “How We Would Fight China,” an article with this provocative subhead: “The Middle East is just a blip. The American military contest with China in the Pacific will define the twenty-first century. And China will be a more formidable adversary than Russia ever was.” As everyone knows, however, that “blip” proved far too much for the Bush administration. Finding itself hopelessly bogged down in two ground wars with rag-tag insurgency movements on either end of the Greater Middle Eastern “mainland,” it let China-as-Monster-Enemy slip beneath the waves. In the process, the Navy and, to some extent, the Air Force became adjunct services to the Army (and the Marines). In Iraq and Afghanistan, for instance, U.S. Navy personnel far from any body of water found themselves driving trucks and staffing prisons. It was the worst of times for the admirals, and probably not so great for the flyboys either, particularly after Secretary of Defense Robert Gates began pushing pilotless drones as the true force of the future. Naturally, a no-dogfight world in which the U.S. military eternally engages enemies without significant air forces is a problematic basis for proposing future Air Force budgets. There’s no reason to be surprised then that, as the war in Iraq began to wind down in 2009-2010, the “Chinese naval threat” began to quietly reemerge. China was, after all, immensely economically successful and beginning to flex its muscles in local territorial waters. The alarms sounded by military types or pundits associated with them grew stronger in the early months of 2011 (as did news of weapons systems being developed to deal with future Chinese air and sea power). “Beware America, time is running out!” warned retired Air Force lieutenant general and Fox News contributor Thomas G. McInerney while describing China’s first experimental stealth jet fighter. Others focused on China’s “string of pearls”: a potential set of military bases in the Indian Ocean that might someday (particularly if you have a vivid imagination) give that country control of the oil lanes. Meanwhile, Kaplan, whose book about rivalries in that ocean came out in 2010, was back in the saddle, warning: “Now the United States faces a new challenge and potential threat from a rising China which seeks eventually to push the U.S. military’s area of operations back to Hawaii and exercise hegemony over the world’s most rapidly growing economies.” (Head of the U.S. Pacific Command Admiral Robert Willard claimed that China had actually taken things down a notch at sea in the early months of 2011 — but only thanks to American strength.)"
Zothecula writes: The miniaturization of electronics has meant that the inner workings of a mouse can be crammed inside a package that is much smaller than is ergonomically recommended for such a device. This has freed up mouse manufacturers to put some of that wasted space to good use by extending the capabilities of the ubiquitous pointing peripheral. Canon's Mark I recently combined a mouse, keyboard and calculator and now LG is getting in on the multi-capable mouse action with what strikes us as a very good idea — a mouse that doubles as a handheld scanner.
mikejuk writes: What is the name of the Android browser? Good question and the answer seems to be "Browser". So why isn't it called "Chrome"? According to the latest from Google it might not be about to change its name but it is moving closer to Chrome by being integrated with the standard WebKit development process. The big question is why hadn't Google cashed in on Android's sucess to add a huge chunk of market share to the Chrome user base? It all makes you think that Google is more random and disorganized than we generally think.
donniebaseball23 writes: Electronic Arts has been on an active campaign to take back the shooter category from Activision's Call of Duty, and as the fall showdown between Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 gets closer, EA has stepped up its trash talking of the competition, even going so far as to say that Call of Duty could be dead in a couple years. But is the mudslinging approach a good idea? Marketing expert Scott Steinberg of TechSavvy Global believes it's a "clever ploy" to garner attention for the brand. He added, "Subtelty's never been an industry strong suit, as gaming rivals have been hurling insults since the days of 'Genesis does what Nintendon't.'" Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter agrees, noting that it may cause some to think EA's "petty" and "unprofessional" but it's ultimately a "smart move," he says.
boni.satani writes: "Kudos! Finally Facebook has listen us! Facebook’s new update promises us more powerful sharing options and give control over users flow of data. Now users can control sharing of their Status Updates, Photo’s they are tagged in and Profile content. The move is literary similar to the new social networking website Google+."
splitenz writes: A $US49 TouchPad site offers a lesson in social engineering — and Rickrolling... With geeks still scrambling to get their hands on the last of Hewlett-Packard's US$99 TouchPads, a $US49 deal just seems too good to be true.
And, as the thousand or so people who tried to buy cheap TouchPads on an HP look-alike website Tuesday learned, one should steer clear of things that seem too good to be true.
Jake Dodgie writes: "dantrachtenberg1 has posted an awesome Portal Video with the protagonist trapped in a room. She frees herself by solving a puzzle on the wall that giver her access to Apatures favorite toy. The action and representation of the portal effect has been done very nicely."
parallel_prankster writes: New studies by researchers at the University at Buffalo have found that when a woman's goal is to be romantically desirable, she distances herself from academic majors and activities related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The studies, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, were undertaken to determine why women, who have made tremendous progress in education and the workplace over the past few decades, continue to be underrepresented at the highest levels of STEM. Lead author Lora E. Park, PhD, UB associate professor of psychology and her co-authors, found converging support for the idea that when romantic goals are activated, either by environmental cues or personal choice, women — but not men — show less interest in STEM and more interest in feminine fields, such as the arts, languages and English. Alternative link is here
climenole writes: "The mystery surrounding Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s whereabouts was resolved today as the dictator announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in a town hall meeting in Concord, New Hampshire."
climenole writes: "The $99 HP TouchPad has become quite elusive, essentially selling out in the U.S. over the weekend. For the tech savvy, you get even more for your money. It turns out that the TouchPad supports an Ubuntu build of Linux, which adds a whole new dimension to the now tabled tablet."