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  1. I've been a tad busy here lately with work, the kids, holidays, ect... so I hadn't had a chance to read an HuffPo article I'd see that was causing a bit of a stir; Military-Grade Night Vision Gear Is Widely Available To Civilians — And That’s A Problem until just this past night. 

    Now, let me start of by saying my experience with night vision devices and thermal imaging systems spans both professionally and as a hobbyist, so my experience with them is intermediate.

    I had regular interaction with night vision and thermal imaging when I was doing search and rescue, to included military systems such as the PVS-7, PVS-14, and AVS-9 night vision systems, as well the PAS-13 thermal sight. I also have professional experience with commercial digital night vision systems such as ATN's X-Sight II 4K. 

    Personally, I own an older 1st Gen monocular that I've had for nearly a decade. 

    I also want to stress that this article is conflating night vision and thermal imaging as one in the same, while similar, both are completely different technologies that utilize the IR spectrum in different ways, with the article providing some technical errors in how each technology works. As a firm believer in Hanlon's Razor, this most likely just technical ignorance on the part of Mr. Sascha Brodsky and HuffPo. However I do believe the article is being used as a vehicle to promote a solution for a non-existent problem.


    I first want to tackle their use of Kim II Song as an example. The incident involving Kim II Song is an edge case of a foreign national involved in a covert espionage effort to acquire technologies to benefit the nation of North Korea. The problem? HuffPo is using a case that the in which the AECA function as intended, it stopped a scenario that it was designed to stop; preventing a foreign national from exporting controlled technologies... it's illogical reasoning to think this case justifies the demand for further regulation of civil ownership of night vision.

    As a foreign national, Mr. Song would have never been able to obtain a license to export with a State Dept or Defense Department authorization. Let alone export to North Korea as the State Department (which is the agency that controls arms exports) has North Korea blacklisted across the board.


    While Kim was sentence to 40 month, he was credited with time served and given 36 months of supervised release and charged $100, but he also received a plea bargain and the more severe of the charges were dropped. 

    The only reasons I can think of that Mr.Song was given a slap on the wrist was .a) he was let loose to allow the intel community to follow him, or b.) he was working for the US with a different agency doing Red Cell probes.
    So again, Huffpo is using an espionage edge case that involved a plea deal, reduced charge as a vehicle to advocate for regulation on civil ownership of night vision. 

    I also find it interesting that the article makes no mention of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), which is the primary regulatory tool used in regulating controlled items...ALL night vision and thermal imaging is ITAR controlled, to include foreign manufactured night vision or night vision parts sold in the US, digital night vision (which the article also makes no mention of), thermal imaging, and thermography systems...yes, that includes the FLIR ONE IR camera that attaches to your phone. 

    ATN is currently embroiled in a debacle with the Department of Justice because ICE wants user data from owners of X-Sight and THoR 4 optics in a investigation into possible breaches of export regulations outlined in ITAR.

    I'm going to largely ignore the politicized moral outrage and hand wringing over commercial hunting business marketing strategies and the legal use of night vision for feral hog, bobcat, coyote, fox, skunk, beaver, raccoon, opossum, alligators, ect... hunting. The article misleads readers into thinking night hunting, particularly with night vision is somehow immoral and illegal...which is incorrect, as the majority of state allow night hunting with night vision, albeit with specific restrictions of location, species, season, ect...  Now, just a little insight on this, the reason that night vision is utilized and legal to use in most states for hunting certain animals at night is because those animal species are predominately nocturnal and can become a nuisance to agricultural entities if left unconserved.



    Night vision equipment is “not the tool of sportsmen,” Everitt said. “It’s the tool of people who are seeking to kill as many people as possible in as short amount of time as possible.”



    This portion of the article is purely political and simplistic gaslighting. The individual is being represented as an "expert", when in reality they're just a policy advocate whom has no experience, professional or otherwise with night vision or thermal imaging. They're simply a policy advocate using conjecture and hyperbole for political clout, a professional agitator, if you will.




    Others worry that illegally exported night vision equipment could end up in the hands of rogue governments or terrorist groups, and erode the upper hand the U.S. military has in night fighting. 


    “There is no practical use for the high-end night vision stuff for regular people,” Routh said. “If ISIS has these things, the concern is that our troops would be at a disadvantage because they are not as protected by the cover of darkness.”



    "Regular people"  utilize "high-end" night vision in practical applications regularly to including hunting, security, home defense, scouting, hiking, conservation, fishing, ect. night vision and thermal imaging have been implemented into automotive technologies for over a decade.

    ISIS has "these things", ISIS obtained US-made PVS-7 and PVS-14 night visions sets from captured Iraqi Army inventories...ISIS has also obtain night vision from Turkey, which had access to US technologies because it's a NATO member. Not to mention the thousands of Russian-made night vision scopes and goggles ISIS has captured from Syrian Army stockpiles.

    If we're going to hand-wring over potential national security threats, I'm far more concerned about the 2nd Gen FLIR of the M1A1M's and BGM-71 TOW's that ISIS captured from the Iraqi Army. Not only does it give ISIS a FAR larger advantage than night vision (which could be imported from Russia via Chechnya), it's far more sensitive technology that ISIS could potentially sell to adversary states such as China and Russia, who'd love to have a functioning M1A1 series MBT with function systems for testing and reverse-engineering.

    To close out the article HuffPo uses another edge case of Ukrainian Separatists were caught trying to export night vision out of the US to the Ukraine.

    Talk about a train wreck of technical ignorance used to ride a wave of moral and political outrage.

  2. The Mandalorian and Jack Ryan Also, just finished up a second watch through of Chernobyl
  3. Thanks for the mention, @Sunstriker7 Steerage on tanks has drastically changed over the decades, but you're not far off on how steerage worked for pre-1950's tanks, the lever system was borrowed from tractors of the era. The Ford 3-Ton 1918 was essentially an armored tractor operating two Model-T engines and an M1919 .30Cal, however the French really were at the forefront of armor development with the purpose built Renault FT, sporting a modern turret with a mounted gun...which isn't mean to detract from the British armor development effort, they just have a very unique, but inefficient and costly design with the Mark series landships. Now, my "expertise" is in post-WWI, western armor, particularly US, so that's what I'll reference mostly here; The M47 was really the first tank design to see a departure from the lever steerage system, implementing a joystick-type of system nicked-named the "wobble stick", which was abandoned with the M48 and replaced with an oval-shaped steering-wheel, but with the development of the M60A1 the steering wheel was dropped in favor of a simplified yolk-bar which was standard on the M60A1 RISE, M60A2, and M60A3 TTS, but with the M1 Abrams an advanced yolk-bar with an integrated gear-shift and reverse-function was utilized and has just been regularly updated as time has moved forward. M47 steerage control: https://postimg.cc/dLmVKPpL M48, M103 & M60 steerage control: https://postimg.cc/4n1xDRrn M60A1/A2/A3 steerage control: https://postimg.cc/N953GVDh M1/M1A2/A3 steerage control: https://postimg.cc/9wHL3NNY You'll also notice a drastic increase in gauges and electronic control surfacing surrounding the driver as time progresses in tank design. Now, fire control on tanks has maintained a similar overall design since the M47; multi-axis powered traverse yolk system that controls elevation and traverse simultaneously; M47 Gunner's yolk vs M1 Gunners' yolk: https://postimg.cc/8fBQxvws Maingun power-traverse stabilization had been around since the M4A1, but was wildly unpopular with crews until the M26, due to the arduous task of co-sighting and the lack of a turret bustle. The M48 was a leap froward in stabilization using a stereoscopic rangefinding system, with the M60A3 TTS being the next leap with a ruby-red lensed laser rangefinder, and the Abrams using a much more advanced ELRF laser rangefinder and gaining the ability to fire while moving due to the advanced fire control system computers capable of doing immediate fire controls ballistic solutions. Sorry to kind of just dump all that on you. If something doesn't make sense or comes across as confusing feel free to ask away, there is no such thing as a stupid question.
  4. It is indeed a multifaceted problem, but it's a problem that will never truly be solved due to an underlying agenda. The crux isn't ease of access, video games, the NRA, or any of the other agenda-driven "explanations" politicians, media or activists claim it to be. This problem is the result of a broken system that is led by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats; A system where the mentally unwell are left to worsen because of lethargic law enforcement, social services, schools, ect... a system where people are forced to live in squalor, eking out an existence in poverty where violence and crime are a way-of-life and survival, a failing system that is then worsened by media hype and sensationalist journalism that deals in false information and agenda-driven reporting. The political outrage and sensationalist reporting surrounding mass shootings is driving a push to "fix" and "do something" that will do nothing at all to solve the problem of violence. Below I've copied and pasted a section out of the Wikipage on Nicholas Cruz, the Parkland Florida Shooter and Devin Kelley the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooter. Cruz's past is rife with run-ins with law enforcement, mental health treatments, requests for help, repeated school transfers (six schools in three years) and repeated suspensions due behavioral issues, as well as threats against faculty and fellow students, repeated online postings and threats on his willingness and intent to shoot up a school, he was investigate by the Florida State Department of Children and Families for posts on Snapchat of him cutting his arms and plans to buy a gun (as well as posts on YouTube expressing his desire to become a school shooter). He was recommended for an involuntary psychiatric examination under the Baker Act by a school resource officer and agreeing two school counselors, but a local mental health center claimed Cruz "did not meet criteria" and state investigators concluded he was "at low risk of harming himself or others". Twice, the FBI was anonymously tipped by people close to Cruz about his erratic behavior, desire to kill people, his firearm ownership, disturbing online posting and threats, and his potential to shoot up a school. This individual should have never been able to buy a firearm, let alone allowed to keep one after repeated tips to the FBI and run-ins with the Broward Sheriff's Department. However, his slip into instability was allowed to persist, even as he expressed a willingness to kill and commit mass murder. Cruz passed a background check...why? Because none of the information concerning his psychiatric treatments, criminal history, police run-ins, school suspensions, ect... was ever fed into the FBI's National Crime Information Center database. Not a single person in authority that had an interaction with Cruz practiced due diligence to update or transmit his violent or unstable behavior. Identifying Prohibited Persons - BATFE Now, Cruz's story isn't the only one like this, they're all like this, histories of violence, instability, rage, ect... all ignored, all passed over, all push down the line for someone else to deal with..until they lashed out and killed innocent people. Devin Kelley, the individual that shot up the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Talk about an individual that should have never been able to purchase a firearm, let alone allowed to keep one. Kelley had a well documented history of violence. He'd been charged with assaulting his wife and fracturing his son' skull, he'd threatened fellow airmen and his superiors, he'd been caught sneaking firearms onto the base he was stationed at, made threats of self-harm, and had been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility and escaped. In 2012 he was given an Article 22 Court Martial, was charged with assault on his wife, aggravated assault on his stepson, two charges of pointing a loaded gun at his wife, and two counts of threatening his wife with an unloaded gun, was sentenced to twelve months confinement and given a Bad Conduct Discharge. Any discharge other than General or Honorable makes an individual a prohibited person, (heck, Kelley's commitance to a mental health facility made him one as well) yet Kelley passed a background check and was able to purchase multiple firearms. How did that happen? The DoD failed to submit Kelley's criminal history to the FBI and had failed to do so with 40,000 other individuals records over the past 25 years. Identifying  Prohibited Persons - BATFE Report of Investigation into the United States Air Force’s Failure to Submit Devin Kelley’s Criminal History Information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation - DoD Inspector General DoD Agents Complained of Failure to Share Records with FBI Decades Ago, Were Ignored - Washington Free Beacon As I said, this isn't unique to Nicholas Cruz or Devin Kelley, authorities across the board have failed to preform due diligence and ensure the public safety in nearly all these cases. Omar Mateen, the Pulse Nightclub Shooter had been on an FBI watch list, his father had been an FBI informant, and a gun store that Mateen had tried to be purchase body armor, a firearm, and ammunition but was denied had contacted the FBI concerned over Mateen's request and attempt to purchase. Mateen had also been in the employ of G4S, a security contractor that provides armed security to various clients. Mateen was suppose to have been given a psychiatric evaluation to certify him to carry a firearm, but the company lie and only had the results of an administered test reviewed by non-approved psychologists. The list goes on, but fortunately mass shootings are rare, and I mean actual mass shootings, not other types of crimes or altered data being purposely mislabeled and misreported as "mass shootings". US Mass Shootings, 1982-2019: Data From Mother Jones’ Investigation The School Shootings That Weren't - NPR Race, Discipline, and Safety At U.S. Schools - ACLU Quick Look: 250 Active Shooter Incidents in the United States From 2000 to 2017 - FBI A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013 - FBI Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017 - FBI Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2018 - FBI The School Shooter: A THREAT ASSESSMENT PERSPECTIVE - FBI This purposeful misrepresentation has and is causing other crimes to be all, but ignored. FBI Uniform Crime Report, Table 20, Homicide CDC National Vital Statics Report, Deaths: Final data for 2017 Annually, around 14,000 firearms homicides occur. Now fortunately, firearm homicides have been on a national trending decline, primarily due to various factors such as increased standard of living, improved socioeconomic levels, educational standards improvement, ect... However, major cities aren't seeing a significant reduction in firearms crime, to include firearm homicides. How is this problem solved? Well, the City of Boston asked the same question in the summer of 1994 and devised Operation Ceasefire, which yielded surprising results; Reducing Gun Violence: The Boston Gun Project's Operation Ceasefire - National Institute of Justice Now, this isn't a one off case where the city was lucky, a similar plan was enacted by a Harris Rosen in the Tangelo Park in Orange County, Florida One Man’s Millions Turn a Community in Florida Around - NYT This problem isn't solved by arbitrarily banning or regulating guns, accessories, video games, ect... or enacting ERPO's that are ripe for abuse and WILL result in further needless loss of life. It's solved by holding politicians and authorities accountable, by making positive and effective change in areas with negative economic, educational, vocational, and employment opportunities. By providing better assistance to those in need, be it mental health support, educational, vocational, or economic support. We solve this problem by taking care of each other, keeping an eye out for friends, family, neighbors, ect... that are showing signs of mental health needs and helping and encouraging them to seek out that help. We solve this issue by removing the stigma that surrounds mental health assistance. As cheesy as it sounds, we are what solves this problem, we have to pro-active in helping others and supporting programs, groups, organizations, and plans that do. Want to help educate youth on the dangers of gang violence, education them on firearms, and show them a productive, meaningful way to achieve a better way of life? Support guys like Maj Toure and his group Black Guns Matter. Want to help those in need? Volunteer your time, find you local United Way and help them inform your community that help and resources are only a phone call away. 2-1-1 can put someone to contact with damn near any help they may need, from mental health assistance, to education, employment, rent assistance, healthcare, ect...
  5. This conundrum goes beyond simply spying on average people, reliance on Chinese manufactured and produced goods threatens a wide array of issues, ranging from national security to the global economy; An excellent example can bee seen by the power Gazprom has wielded with it's stranglehold; the repeated gas-disputes with Ukraine, the acquisition of Chornomornaftogaz through the annexation of Crimea and now with the European Commission having accepted Gazprom's offer last year ending the antitrust case Grazprom will faced no fines, the concessions offer by Gazprom were already planned as Gazprom was moving to change it's marketing and sales strategy. What is stopping China from utilizing it's same stranglehold on REE from making demands or utilizing it to cause economic destabilization in other parts of the world? We've already seen this play out on a smaller scale in 2010 when China banned all exports of REE to Japan over territorial disputes. In terms of national security pertaining to the US & NATO; it would affect our ability to repair and produce newer combat platforms as nearly all our weapons systems laser range finders and designators utilize Nd:YAG lasers, which requires Yttrium and Neodymium, which historically has come from Mountain Pass Mine...which has been operating at minimal capacity and Leshan Shenghe Rare Earth Co. Mining has a minority, non-voting interest in the mine. That's just skimming over a minute potential of economic impact and national security implications, this would impact healthcare, industrial services, the scientific community, ect...
  6. Today, Raspberry Pi is introducing a new version of its popular line of single-board computer. The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is the fastest Raspberry Pi ever, with the company promising "desktop performance comparable to entry-level x86 PC systems." Source
  7. Yeah, that'd do it. I'm curious to know if the collision was head-on or parallel. Based on the second pilot's body condition, I'd assume a parallel strike, having ejected into a debris cloud or hitting the other Typhoon.
  8. "We're predicting a really brutal consolidation of the small-launch-vehicle market." Welcome to Edition 2.04 of the Rocket Report! We've got some up-to-the-minute news this week, with updated launch dates for NASA's commercial crew missions, BE-7 rocket engine tests, and a Falcon Heavy flight early next week. Thanks to everyone for their great contributions—nearly all of this week's content came from your tips. Source
  9. I for one welcome our new overlords.
  10. Not a surprising occurrence, it's a strategic move in the on-going cyber war; The NY Times published an article on the 15th outlining the escalation of US attacks against the Russian power grid, which is a response to increased attacks and intrusions by Russian assets against US energy and industrial infrastructure. The FBI and DHS have issued multiple reports since 2015 concerning the discovery of attacks and intrusions against industrial control systems (ICS) of US energy and industrial infrastructure. Alert (TA18-074A) Russian Government Cyber Activity Targeting Energy and Other Critical Infrastructure Sectors (March 15th, 2018)
  11. Neural networks are on the path toward explainable intelligence, which may help speed the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Source
  12. Any headway on this project? Very interested to hear what you've got so far.
  13. I tend to stay away from politics around this time of year and have been making an effort to reduce my involvement concerning politics in general; however this case in particular has been taken widely out of context and being purposefully misreported. The NRA itself is not the subject of the fine, but an administrator that was issuing coverage for the NRA's "Carry Guard" program, New York State fined Lockton Cos., LLC $7M, which the NYS DFS claims was providing insurance coverage for "acts of wrongdoing", meaning the insurance and the package itself wasn't unlawful, but it's coverage of certain "wrongful" acts is. However, NYS DFS never goes on to explain or define what those unlawful acts are... The NRA's case is a preemptive action to bring attention to what clearly appears to be a legal witch hunt by the Governor's Office, which Gov. Coumo clearly established with his comments of willingness "to put the NRA out of business 20 years ago" and that one of the oldest civil rights organizations is an "extremist organization".
  14. Ok, so I moved over to Wordpress, MUCH better. I've also started my compiled list of resources one can use in their OSINT research. Commodore-Euphrates OSINT