Constant Scrutiny

So I forgot about this being mentioned in a panel while at Libertycon. Yes, as Cedar says, if you’re in a group that seems at all sketchy, get out most ricky tick. The ‘Zon has been really cracking down on trying to find people gaming their system. From all appearances they may be indeed using neutron bombs on snipers. This is also why your humble narrator doesn’t even joke about quid quo pro for reviews online. One can make their own decisions on whether that’s paranoid, but memory is a fickle thing.

Mad Genius Club

As I was chatting with a fellow author last night, the topic came up of Amazon and their predilection for pulling reviews they find suspicious, or suspending the accounts of authors they think may be gaming the system. It was something John van Stry had talked about on the trends in Indie Publishing panel he and I were on, along with Jim Curtis and Lawdog. (Great panel, I was listening more than talking, and we had almost two hours so we got into the meat of the matter).

The upshot of that conversation, and the more private one later, is that as authors we must avoid all appearance of evil.

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Shapes and Such

So while I’m busy editing To Slip the Surly Bonds‘ entries, here’s something else for your reading pleasure:

Shapes, Part I: The Shape of Airpower

Note that his opinions and experiences with naysaying the airframe reflect many of my own with regards to the F-35.  (Neither the author’s opinions nor mine reflect official DoD policy.  Nor do they mirror those of our respective services or the U.S. government.)

As I’ve mentioned before, very early on in the F-35’s development someone in the other services should’ve said, “Fine, let’s give the Marines’ their jump fighter (or seriously modify the AV-8), and everyone else who needs a power projection platform will take this in a different direction.”  For various reasons (to include the foolish belief that, after the Cold War, great power conflicts were a dead issue) this was not done–and now all the armed services have a fighter that is more F-105/F-111 than, say, F-16.  That’s…that’s not good, and I’m glad to see purchasing additional F-15 platforms is being vehemently discussed.  I’d prefer they were F-22s, but the Eagle‘s inherent growth abilities continue to provide dividends.

Big picture, it’s probably time to also consider augmenting our current heavy bomber fleet with something off the shelf.  How many cruise missiles can you fit into a Boeing 767?  I don’t know, but maybe that’s something Congress should direct the Air Force think about.