August 2008

So, those Oystercard outages. I wrote a sizable post on this immediately before going on holiday, but something odd happened with WordPress’s clever ajaxy bits and it vanished. Computers…anyway, we can work out various things about the problem from the few details supplied. In the first incident, around 1% of the cards somehow became nonfunctional.…

Read More When the world was our lobster

Spencer Ackerman wants a case for not sending more troops to Afghanistan. Specifically, he wants to know why the US military is keeping a brigade of Marines in Kuwait as a reserve. Well. The first point is that there is a very good reason to have a reserve force at the far end of the…

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Via Kings of War, an Anglo-Australian spat of sorts. The British Army has the reputation of being good at counterinsurgency, and in 2003 and 2004 there was lots of fairly snide criticism of the United States by British commanders saying that Americans didn’t understand counterinsurgency [and] were taking too kinetic an approach,” said Kilcullen, who…

Read More Are you sure?

Jamie Zawinski links to a campaign to have a Californian sewage works renamed after George W. Bush. I disagree, strongly. Who on earth would associate something as civic, egalitarian, and useful as sewage treatment with the Commander Guy? Not just that, but it’s a publicly-owned sewage plant, part of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.…

Read More Civilisation is common defence and waste disposal