MediaWhoresOnline Watch Watch Watch Watch

1. Cabal of oldsters who won’t listen to outside advice? Check.

2. No understanding of ethnicities of the many locals? Check.

3. Imposing country boundaries drawn in Europe, not by the locals? Check.

4. Unshakeable faith in our superior technology? Check.

5. France secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.

6. Russia secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.

7. China secretly hoping we fall on our asses? Check.

8. SecDef pushing a conflict the JCS never wanted? Check.

9. Fear we’ll look bad if we back down now? Check.

10. Corrupt Texan in the WH? Check.

11. Land war in Asia? Check.

12. Right unhappy with outcome of previous war? Check.

13. Enemy easily moves in/out of neighboring countries? Check.

14. Soldiers about to be dosed with *our own* chemicals? Check.

15. Friendly fire problem ignored instead of solved? Check.

16. Anti-Americanism up sharply in Europe? Check.

17. B-52 bombers? Check.

18. Helicopters that clog up on the local dust? Check.

19. In-fighting among the branches of the military? Check.

20. Locals that cheer us by day, hate us by night? Check.

21. Local experts ignored? Check.

22. Local politicians ignored? Check.

23. Locals used to conflicts lasting longer than the USA has been a country? Check.

24. Against advice, Prez won’t raise taxes to pay for war? Check.

25. Blue water navy ships operating in brown water? Check.

26. Use of nukes hinted at if things don’t go our way? Check.

27. Unpopular war? Check.



“an army marches on its stomach” – U.S. Tactics May Seem Original, But History Offers Some Lessons

Key elements of the U.S. war plan in Iraq have been tried in earlier wars, to mixed results.

• Bypassing population centers in a rush: Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson did the same in his 1862 Civil War campaign in the Shenandoah Valley, leading to early successes.

• Long supply lines: They became a significant problem when Germans invaded Russia in World War II.

• Guerrilla warfare: Iraqis may be borrowing tactics that worked for fighters opposing Israel in Lebanon and the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the last 20 years.

• ‘Shock and Awe’: A much more extreme version — atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 — helped bring World War II to a successful end for American forces.

Napoleon said it best.

So we have underestimation of how hard the enemy would fight off an invasion and classic supply line management problems. The armchair generals are not looking so clever.


STP training begins

Finally got a chance to get out and ride a bit today. I did 13.5 miles in about an hour (along the Burke-Gilman Trail to Tracy Owen Station and back), and it felt good. I had a tailwind on the outbound leg that helped me roll along at 20 mph, and on the way back it was hard to hold a steady 15 mph.

Lots of riders today, at all level of accomplishment: nice to see.


measuring a web site’s market presence

Chad Dickerson

From a technical standpoint, the most interesting thing in the story is that the Al-Jazeera sites typically receive traffic “in the range of 50 or 60 Mbps.” If you skimmed over those numbers, you shouldn’t. Ladies and gentleman, that is some serious traffic, and I say that having watched the MRTG graphs at some pretty big media web sites. If you ever wondered if Al-Jazeera was for real or not, there’s your answer.

Having looked at the same MRTG graphs (I would love to have seen them at the start of the current war), I wonder if this isn’t a way of advertising a web site’s popularity. Everyone likes to think web access logs are the only measurement, but looking at a set of graphs that measure traffic flow in close to real time gives a sense of scale and capacity that page view counts don’t do very well.

A formula could be expressed as volume of traffic in bits divided by average page size (images and other stuff will pollute the data somewhat). Also factoring in what fraction of capacity is utilized at a given flow of bits might give an ad buyer a sense of how likely their ad will be seen when the flash crowd shows up.

Here’s mine: not in Al-Jazeera territory . . . .

The bottom line: I’d like to see more sites make a sample of their bandwidth numbers public.