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July 28, 2005

Military Training Technology Article

My newest article, "Open Source, Open Standards", written for the July 2005 issue of Military Training Technology, is now posted on their Website. Excerpt below:

[M]ilitary customers must require that vendors release all code developed using government funds under an open source software license. This may be the most difficult change to engender, because as a customer, it is easy to say, "I paid for it, so I should own it exclusively." This can be a tempting thought, but it is counter-productive. As more and more military customers release code for their projects under open source licenses, the availability of such code will create a network effect, amplifying the efforts of all vendors by allowing them to build on what already exists. As has been so amply demonstrated in the civilian open source community, this will lead to better products at lower prices.

As a growing number of organizations require the use and development of open source software by vendors, the military simulation learning community will create an ever-growing body of tools and technologies, available for all to build upon, fueling ever-faster growth in capabilities and applications.

July 27, 2005

Heard on the Way into the Office

Heard at the front door of our building this morning:

Me: This is just stupid hot.
Co-worker: Yeah. It's supposed to get up to 102. [The heat index is supposed to reach 115 today.]
Me: The crazy thing is that I have a soccer game today.
Co-worker: Oh, you should just shoot yourself in the head right now.

July 25, 2005

Green Tea Frappucino Part 2

The last time I was in Japan was two years ago. My friend David Smith was there much more recently, and so his memories are undoubtedly fresher. He tells me the US version of Green Tea Frappucino is sweeter than the Japanese version, and not as good.

If someone in Japan is reading this, a little research at a Starbucks on your end would be most appreciated!

This Could Be Rough...

...I have a soccer game in about an hour and a half. As of right now, the temperature here is 96 degrees, with a heat index of 107 (that's 35.5 and 41.6 degrees Celsius respectively).

Speaking of soccer, I've decided not to blog about any more of my games, because the only people in the world who could possibly be interested are my teammates. So game reports are out, though of course, anything interesting to a larger audience will remain material for the blog.

World War II as a Multiplayer Online Game

Okay, this is the funniest thing I've read in a while (via a comment here)... World War II as a multiplayer online game:

deGaulle: **** Hitler rushed some1 help
Hitler[AoE]: lol byebye frenchy
Roosevelt: i dont got **** to help, sry
Churchill: wtf the luftwaffle is attacking me
Roosevelt: get antiair guns
Churchill: i cant afford them
benny-tow: u n00bs know what team talk is?
paTTon: stfu
Roosevelt: o yah hit the navajo button guys
deGaulle: eisenhower ur worthless come help me quick
Eisenhower: i cant do **** til rosevelt gives me an army
paTTon: yah hurry the fock up
Churchill: d00d im gettin pounded
deGaulle: this is fockin weak u guys suck
*deGaulle has left the game.*
Roosevelt: im gonna attack the axis k?
benny-tow: with what? ur wheelchair?
benny-tow: lol did u mess up ur legs AND ur head?
Hitler[AoE]: ROFLMAO
T0J0: lol o no america im comin 4 u
Roosevelt: wtf! thats bullsh1t u fags im gunna kick ur asses
T0JO: not without ur harbors u wont! lol
Roosevelt: u little biotch ill get u
Hitler[AoE]: wtf
Hitler[AoE]: america hax, u had depression and now u got a huge fockin army
Hitler[AoE]: thats bullsh1t u hacker
There's much more. Excellent!

July 23, 2005

Green Tea Frappucino

For me, one of the many nice things about visiting Japan has been the Green Tea Frappucinos available at Starbucks there. Now we have them in the US! This is a happy day.

Here's the even happier part: now I know how they're made. The barista at a nearby Starbucks showed me all the ingredients -- very kind of her, I thought. So here they are:

  • Cream base. She didn't know all the ingredients, but said it was made from skim milk, thickened somehow. How to do this? Add egg whites to skim milk? Or a touch of light cream? I need to ask a friend who's an expert cook.
  • Sweetened green tea powder. This carries the Tazo brand. The ingredients couldn't be simpler: refined sugar and green tea powder. There's an obvious opportunity to lighten the recipe here by using Splenda instead of sugar.
  • Melon syrup. I didn't notice the brand, but Torani has a version, though sadly not in a sugar-free variety. Note the potential for an alcoholic version of this drink by substituting Midori liqueur here.
  • Ice. Of course.
So now to assemble the ingredients at home and try to nail down a workable recipe...

July 21, 2005

Seen on the Web

This was a tagline in a personals ad. It had me laughing out loud.

Frodo failed. Bush has the ring.
I liked this a lot. Of course, if Bush really had the ring, wouldn't he be getting more things done? I can't think of anything that has gone right for him since the election, except Sandra Day O'Connor deciding it was time to ride off into the sunset. A ring-holding Sauron would at least able to win in Iraq.

July 20, 2005

"He's Batman"

Spoiler alert: there's a relatively minor spoiler to the movie Batman Begins in this blog entry.

My daughter Kelsey's favorite movie of the summer is Batman Begins, which, I have to admit, is a good movie. But she doesn't like the scene at the end in which Rachel Dawes (played by Katie Holmes) tells Bruce Wayne (played by Christian Bale) that she doesn't want to be in a relationship with him -- this after he has saved her life at least twice and revealed to her his secret identity.

Me: What's your reason for not liking the scene?

Kelsey: She's crazy for not going with him. One, he's hot. Two, he's hot. Three, he's rich. Four, he's hot. Five, he's Batman.

July 19, 2005

We're 2-3... 2-4... 2-5

I haven't blogged in a while about my summer soccer team. The last three games haven't gone so well.

After the last game I blogged, we held our typical Sunday afternoon practice. I was one of the defenders on drills with other players taking turns as forwards. One of our star forwards, a girl with a very strong leg, took a full-power shot just as I happened to be in front of her, not more than two or three yards away. The ball hit me square in the face, and I don't think I've ever felt anything quite like it. I crumpled to the ground. After a moment, I felt my face and realized I wasn't bleeding, so decided to get up... and was actually dizzy and couldn't quite stand up straight at first.

Of course, it's easy to guess what happened at the game the next day -- having never taken a ball in the face like that before, it happened to me again while we were playing. This time, I didn't go all the way down, just to one knee, thinking, "Oh, no, not again," kind of like Douglas Adams' bowl of petunias. Anyway, we lost that game 3-2, but played reasonably well, I thought.

The next game, we faced off against the team that gave us an 11-0 drubbing earlier in the season. We played them harder the second time, and it was closer, but we still lost 5-1.

In last night's game, we started off well, and I personally felt like I played my best all season -- I had a save in goal, and practically flew to come this close to another save when our keeper was out. But we seemed to wear down and ended up losing 6-0, which was frustrating.

So now, by my count, we're 2-5. But though I'm frustrated with our performance, I don't love soccer any less than when we were winning last summer, and win or lose, I wouldn't want to play with anyone else.

July 07, 2005

London, Yesterday and Today

Yesterday morning, I was driving to a meeting in Virginia when the winner of the 2012 Olympics was announced. There was that moment of suspense as Jacques Rogge paused appropriately, and then when the word "London" came out, I actually cheered in the car. I love France, and Paris is a beautiful city, but like so many Americans, London feels like going home to me. London was the underdog for the Olympics, and the Parisians were acting like it was theirs, so naturally, taking all into account, I had to cheer for the Londoners. What a delight.

This morning I woke up to the news that London had been bombed. I hope and believe I'll never be shocked again as I was by 9/11 -- at this point, I'd be horrified but not shocked if I woke up the news that New York had been hit with a briefcase nuke -- but still, it was hard to hear. Such a wonderful city, such wonderful people. I didn't ask "Why them?" I know why them, or at least think I do. They're perceived as being staunch allies of the US. They have troops on the ground in Iraq and have since the invasion. But that doesn't make it any less horrific, or any less barbaric, or any less wrong -- utterly and completely wrong.

To the people of London, you have my condolences. And please know that not only will I visit your city later this year as planned, I will actively look for more opportunities to make my way there.