Bacon, Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives

Things I love

CES 2016 “enhanced” security posture

For months leading up to CES I’ve been getting email warning about the new rules and bag inspection regime. I watched thousands of people go through the gates in front of me without the metal detector guys wanding anyone. My laptop bag inspections consisted of:

  • Watching me put the bag down, begin to unzip it, waving me through 
  • Waving me through
  • One lady was too busy texting or playing Angry Birds to even look up
  • The two people at the gate too busy talking dirty to each other to even pay attention to everyone walking in

Total theatre. I did make it to Battlefield Vegas, though; shot two magazines through an StG44 and ran 100 rounds through a minigun. That was fun.


Written by Ry Jones

10 January 2016 at 17:09

Posted in Tech

Hello Internet

I’ve been plowing through the back catalog of Hello Internet (which basically requires listening in order); there are a lot of little nuggets that could be pulled out for longer discussion, but a few top-of-mind:

  • “You can’t live in your own museum” – Barb was the first place I heard this but listening to CGP Grey go on about it is amusing.
  • General whinging about the Amazon Phone and how lame it is (agreed, I worked on it, it deserved to never ship)
  • CGP Grey is very close to Roman Mars in his view of flags
  • How bad these two professionals, that live and die on YouTube views, are at estimating how videos will do. They do small, low-effort videos that go viral and videos that they’ve worked on for weeks which fail.

Written by Ry Jones

26 December 2015 at 14:43

Posted in Hobbies

R Budd Dwyer

I have a strange connection to R Budd Dwyer. When I used to compete in the NFL (in Radio Speech), the way it worked was you were given a few feet of news from an actual honest-to-God AP newsfeed printer and you had to prepare a top-of-the-hour newscast in a few minutes. The goal was to cover all of the stories given in exactly the time allotted, with the required reads (ads) inserted. At one of my last competitions I was handed a few feet of breaking news feed on the Dwyer suicide. The difference between breaking and wire news is wire copy is written to be read right onto the radio and can easily be estimated for time just by looking at the number of inches; breaking news is very fragmentary and not very coherent, so you have to generate filler material on the fly.

From that day forward, I can’t not hear the on-air talent doing the same thing. Even if they’re just doing reads, I know they’re looking at a digital countdown timer hoping to hit the mark cleanly. I see NPR publishes network clocks; I can hear the tick of those clocks on other stations.

A related phenomena in print media (in which I’ll lump all news websites) is something like the FIFO article for breaking news. As new information on something comes in, it is pushed in to the top paragraph of the article and the rest will be the previous article contents. If news is developing rapidly you might notice discontinuities as you read something about them as each paragraph is written by a different person.

Written by Ry Jones

24 December 2015 at 15:45

Posted in Work

Lethal Weapon

I’m reminded of Ice T’s Lethal Weapon (lyrics) when reading Joe‘s “We Are At War“. It obviously isn’t just (physical) weapons:

From Martin Luther’s “dream”, to Hitler’s psycho rage;
What’s more powerful – the brain or a twelve gauge?

Listening to this week’s Planet Money on Auditing ISIS, I was interested by how much money is thrown at the young enforcers in the streets of Syria. I long thought that ISIS adherents were motivated primarily by ideology, but at the street level, it sounds like a never-ending stream of US currency is a big motivator, as well.

Written by Ry Jones

5 December 2015 at 22:08

Posted in GWoT, isms

Some birds don’t fly

When I was in junior high school I read Some Birds Don’t Fly, a mostly fictional (?) write-up of the early space race. I was reminded of it when reading Ignition (warning: PDF), a much less fictional mostly first-person account of the development of liquid rocket fuels. It’s a quick read and I’m sure if you have an interest in energetic materials you’ll like it.

Written by Ry Jones

5 December 2015 at 21:10

Posted in Heroes

Love letter from the OPM

I stopped working for the federal government some years ago, but that didn’t mean I was safe from the OPM breach. I just got my letter with a free year of credit monitoring by the lowest bidder… thanks. Apparently my fingerprints were disclosed as well; thankfully, those are trivial to change and can have no possible long-term repercussions.


Written by Ry Jones

24 November 2015 at 22:48

Posted in Life, Trust the police

The Valley

Visited the Valley for the first time since 2002. Had to see some old landmarks:

Here is where it all began Sidecar plaque

As I told Joe, the Valley is a drug. After a few hours on the ground I was ready to move back. I drove over the Oakland Bay Bridge and was impressed at how lovely it is – very distracting to drive over!

Written by Ry Jones

22 November 2015 at 23:13

Posted in Tech


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