A NYT piece by James Glanz on how the Iraqi army salvages 50-year-old tanks and creaky Soviet military vehicles once used by Saddam Hussein's forces:
The hulking machine – a T-55, named for the approximate year in the last century when the model went into production – could have been a museum piece. Iraqi mechanics are able to keep it running only by scrounging through scrap yards, local markets and the wrecked hulks on old battlefields for parts that Soviet factories once churned out by the millions but that no one makes – and few even remember – anymore.
But this tank is more than a relic: it is the building block of the new Iraqi Army's first and only armored division. Through an American-sponsored program, the division, with more than 200 old Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers, has been rumbling through villages and fields in this area, trying to dampen insurgent violence.
(...) "The problem is not with the tanks," Colonel Habib said. The right leadership, he said, will make the Russian machines run like "the best tank in the world."
That may be an overstatement. The tanks, though still a formidable threat to fighters on foot, are badly outdated. The remarkably cramped gunner's seat inside the T-55 driven by Mr. Kareem, a soldier in the Iraqi Army, is surrounded by a riot of old dials, switches, belts, wires, cables, leather straps and crude optics along with manual controls for moving the turret and the main gun. Shells must be loaded by hand into the breech of the gun.
. Image: Max Becherer/Polaris, for The New York Times.
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
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Geek Fuel is a subscription delivery service that caters to those of us that love comics, gaming, and general geek culture. Every month, Geek Fuel will assemble a box of goodies with a value of $50 or over. The specific items are a mystery, but you’ll always get an exclusive t-shirt not found anywhere else, a full […]
If you like to DIY and you like helicopters, you’re going to really love the Flexbot Hexacopter Kit. This copter blows traditional models out of the water: it includes everything you need to actually build your own hexacopter, and then pilot it like a pro, too.The construction is complicated enough to give you a challenge, […]
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