Saturday, 31 August 2019

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

I would NEVER have believed the Physics of this was possible or the Failure to spot it!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48859331

I think this is an example of is called "Deep Simplicity!" You let the Americans find the sophisticated stuff you put in the building but sneak in the real thing Trojan horse style through the front gate with a smile!

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

I would just like to say for the record .. I don't like cricket .. I LOVE IT!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cricket/49468724

Let actions speak for themselves .. I bet any Aussie who dared rib a Kiwi over the World Cup ODI Final is in hiding for the time being. There was some seriously incredible cricket in that game on both sides, respect. I was also impressed by Warner's reaction in defeat. The Fourth Test is going to be immense!

Monday, 26 August 2019

10mm Late WW2 British Infantry .. Shades and Highlights (2) Painting

The "factory style" of 'batch painting' proceeds apace (see below, six coffee sticks of infantry and three of supports, ahem - surrounded by ten 28mm GW fantasy 'impulse buys' for Dungeons and Dragons use that have been primed grey [ .. don't judge me .. I am fallible .. ]):


The 'base coat painting was:
  • General Shade: [First Shade of] Vallejo Burnt Umber Wash
  • Uniform: Vallejo British Uniform Green [Model Colour]
  • Flesh: Vallejo Dark Flesh [Game Colour]
  • Boots: Vallejo Black [Game Colour]
  • Webbing: Vallejo Khaki [Model Colour] 
  • Weapon Stock: Vallejo Beasty Brown [Game Colour]
  • Gun Barrels: Vallejo Gun Metal [Game Colour]
  • Helmets and Large Weapons: Vallejo Russian Green [Model Colour] - note in the past I made the faux pas of applying "gun metal" to Vickers HMG, PIATs and Mortars instead of a basic green as per the helmets.
Base coating approaching completion (see below, at least this way you progressively paint less and less on each model):


Another Vallejo Brown Wash follows (see below: a close-up of the British PBI - it seems to be an intense study in shades of green, brown and khaki):


Highlights follow - I took one coffee stirrer of infantry through the remaining regime of:
  • General Shade: [Second (lighter) Shade to blend] Vallejo Burnt Umber Wash
  • Uniform (Highlight): Vallejo Grey Green [Model Colour]
  • Flesh (Highlight): Vallejo Flesh [Model Colour]
  • Boots: Vallejo Black "light touched up if needed" [Game Colour]
  • Webbing: Vallejo Khaki "again as the wash had darkened the webbing" [Model Colour] 
  • [NA] Weapon Stock: Vallejo Beasty Brown "was left dulled" [Game Colour]
  • [NA] Gun Barrels: Vallejo Gun Metal "was left dulled" [Game Colour]
  • Helmets and Large Weapons (highlight): Vallejo Russian Uniform Green [Model Colour] - note in the past I made the faux pas of applying "gun metal" to Vickers HMG, PIATs and Mortars instead of a basic green as per the helmets.
I was pleased with the end result (see below, a suitably murky brown and green mix): 


Next "to do" is the remaining eight coffee sticks of infantry and support weapons.

Friday, 23 August 2019

An Interesting Way to THINK about what you do!

Is this concept transferable to your work, life and play environment? It's a simple concept: "Fall in Love with the Problem not the Solution! 

BBC News: 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-49323260/fall-in-love-with-the-problem-not-the-solution

Thursday, 22 August 2019

The Atlantic Wall in Belgium

My eldest brother and wife went on one of his many vacations and took some interesting pictures of the Atlantic Wall. I did not appreciate how much of whole coastline was defended, when you said Atlantic Wall I did not automatically think of Belgium.

For more information I can recommend the following web-site:
https://www.raversyde.be/

A ubiquitous 40mm Bofors a top of a bunker (see below):


A much bigger ordnance piece that I think would even trouble a cruiser (see below, I do admire the post WWII brickwork for health an safety reasons no doubt):


Methinks this is a Pak 40 waiting for Allied armour to come ashore on this stretch of beach (see below, I don't think much has changed in this viewpoint in seventy five years):


Another one of that "Big Beastie" of a gun (see below - a deluxe Airfix Coastal Defence Fortress(See below, I can almost visualise commandos scaling down the walls to place a hollow charge) :


Back to some more traditional hobby models and games next!




Back to some models now!

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

What the ... Heck ... is going on here?

Looking at the Blog stats I see this strange spike (see below, 1415 hits from a culinary we-site):


What is behind this freaky statistic? I think there is some sort of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Google Fake News fudge to appear to be legitimate so something can be promoted.

Any thoughts anyone?

Various History Links and WW2 Game Links

Various interesting links I have accumulated other the year or so, so while in the process of clearing out my email I thought I would store them here:

Best Response to New Zealand ODI World Cup Result in Defeat so Strong in Praise:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48986469

RUSI "Strike" Concept Report:
https://rusi.org/publication/newsbrief/explaining-british-army%E2%80%99s-strike-concept

1940 Flanders:
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/UK-NWE-Flanders/index.html

Hut 6 Book:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hut-Six-Story-Breaking-Enigma/dp/0947712348/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515452408&sr=8-1&keywords=the+hut+six+story+gordon+welchman

Dunkirk: http://www.beastsofwar.com/dunkirk-week/evacuation-part-five-air-operations-command-games/

PanzerX:
https://www.relativerange.com/tactical-gamex

Info Chess:
https://paxsims.wordpress.com/2010/06/29/infochess-and-permutations-of-classic-games/
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=how+to+play+information+Chess&oq=how+to+play+information+Chess&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l3.7495j0j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#safe=active&q=wargaming+infochess

Wargaming Scenarios:
http://mr-home.staff.shef.ac.uk/hobbies/scenario.html

Online Wargame:
http://empire.openmpe.com/empire/

Afghanistan Deadliest Day:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3MPJwFTmsQ7T8jbwZ1TbhdW/deadliest-day-how-one-patrol-in-afghanistan-still-haunts-british-soldiers-ten-years-on?intc_type=singletheme&intc_location=radio4&intc_campaign=bbcsounds&intc_linkname=article_deadliestday_contentcard56 

Sunday, 18 August 2019

10mm Late WW2 British Infantry .. Starting Point (1) Preparation

Back to more usual hobby posts. I need a force of 10mm Pendrakon British Infantry to represent an infantry battalion for a WWII Fire and Movement game (see Phil Sabin from Simulating War) so out with the "silver legions" and time to paint some of the little beggars!

Step One: Remove flash by filing down, wash figures and then PVA glue them to a wooden strip, aka coffee stirrer (see below, although during the course of painting some figures dropped off, I used cheap super glue to reattach them):


Step Two: Undercoat in Airfix acrylic primer (see below, I stocked up on the Airfix primer once it came back into the shops):


Step Three: Added a Vallejo Brown Wash to act as a dark base which I can highlight over (see below,  for the basic force I need four infantry companies of three platoons each [12 stands], a mortar and HMG platoon as supports - plus a command base and PIAT base - although each infantry platoon had an integral PIAT, this was just an extra):


Getting started - often that's the hardest bit! Figures out of the loft and primed ready for painting and basing.

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

15mm Greek Camp

Courtesy of the Corfu "Duty Free" shop I may at last have a decent 15mm DBA Greek Camp (see below):


All it needs is a little TLC on the basing side of things ;)

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Fibonacci, The Delphic Method, RAND and a little bit of SCRUM

Looking through some old emails I discovered this little gem, shame on me though I had not marked the source: 

"Frequently there are great debates about the use of the Fibonacci sequence for estimating user stories. Estimation is at best a flawed tool but one that is necessary for planning work.

User story estimation is based on Department of Defense research in 1948 that developed the Delphi technique. The technique was classified until the 1960’s (there are dozens of papers on the topic at rand.org). Basically, the Rand researchers wanted to avoid the pressure towards group conformity that typically led to bad estimates. So they determined that estimates had to be done in secret. Initially, the estimates would be far apart because people had different perceptions of the problem so they would have them talk about highs and lows after estimating in secret, then estimate in secret again. At Rand Worldwide you can read the original papers that demonstrate convergence.

Rand researchers then studied the effect of the numbers estimators can choose and found a linear sequence gave worse estimates than an exponentially increasing set of numbers. There are some recent mathematical arguments for this for those interested. The question then--if you want the statistically provable best estimate--is what exponentially increasing series to use. The Fibonacci is almost, but not quite exponential and has the advantage that it is the growth pattern seen in all organic systems. Why does the Fibonacci sequence repeat in nature? So people are very familiar with it and use it constantly in choosing sizes of clothes. For example, tee shirt sizes are Fibonacci. Since some developers are averse to numbers (a really strange phenomenon for those working with computers) they can use tee shirt sizes and their estimates are easily translated to numbers.

Microsoft repeated this research in recent years in an award-winning IEEE paper. As a result, Microsoft has abandoned hourly estimation on projects. See Laurie Williams, Gabe Brown, Adam Meltzer, Nachiappan Nagappan (2012) *Scrum + Engineering Practices: Experiences of Three Microsoft Teams. *IEEE Best Industry Paper Award, 2011 International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement.

So the Agile community has converged on the Fibonacci as the sequence to use. Unfortunately, many agile teams do not use it properly and try to get everyone to agree on one Fibonacci number which gives you mathematically and experientially provable bad estimates through forced group conformity. This is the very thing the Rand researchers invented the Delphi Technique to avoid.

Over and over again, researchers have shown that hourly estimates have very high error rates. This is true even if the user is an expert. It’s the tool that’s the problem. If you want to practice based on evidence, relative size estimates simply deliver a much more accurate estimate."

Does anybody recognise it?

Update: I was being lazy .. it is from Scrum Inc .. Googled the first paragraph and it found it, that's nice pattern matching and I should have done it straight away!
https://www.scruminc.com/why-do-we-use-fibonacci-numbers-to-estimate-user-stories/

Thursday, 8 August 2019

YouTube Scharnhorst Video

Note to Self: One I have wanted to watch for some time, so make some time for yourself and watch it!

Link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_LVS-u26no

Monday, 5 August 2019

Artificial Intelligence (AI) postings from the BBC and other places


Just a collection of AI bits and pieces from all over the place.

Wired: 
https://www.wired.com/story/googles-ai-wizard-unveils-a-new-twist-on-neural-networks/?imm_mid=0f7b45&cmp=em-data-na-na-newsltr_ai_20171106

Stanford:
http://deeplearning.stanford.edu/tutorial/

Deep Learning: 
https://www.udemy.com/deeplearning/?gclid=CjwKCAiA9MTQBRAREiwAzmytwxS68SIJeXvO7Qg6Bm48548FyfwBnNHwNcmCCodCfokOjjplIiHsKBoC0d4QAvD_BwE&utm_campaign=NEW-YT-PROS-SQA-PROF-DeepLearn-EN-ENG_._ci_1151632_._sl_ENG_._vi_PROF_._vc_3_._sd_All_._la_EN_._&utm_term=_._vn__._ci_1151632_._&utm_medium=udemyads&utm_content=Overlay&utm_source=youtube

BBC News:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43127533
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43259906
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-43788114
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49084796

Microsoft:
https://aischool.microsoft.com/learning-paths

Society of the Mind: 
http://aurellem.org/society-of-mind/

MIT:
https://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/gjs/6.945/

RAND: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyNPeTn8fpo&sns=em

SCRUM:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyNPeTn8fpo&authuser=1

AI Turing Institute:
https://www.turing.ac.uk/
https://www.turing.ac.uk/events

Newcastle University:
https://www.migarage.ai/

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Friday, 2 August 2019

Bits of Space, Science and Technology Related News

Lots of interesting posts I emailed myself: 

BBC News:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49026227
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48966645
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/nkzysaP3pB/to-the-moon-and-beyond
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48696023
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47879538 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47786248
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47732139
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47607696
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-47553876
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47555588
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-46778879
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48289550
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47983756
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44654098
https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/whats-the-point-of-humiliation/p06c6xxb
https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/five-compelling-reasons-why-we-all-need-to-sleep-m/p06fshzv
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/get-inspired/43501261
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49240745
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-49182184
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49265125
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49270325
https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/can-you-really-multitask-finally-an-answer/p07jstyl
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49253951

Psychology: Stamford Prison Experiment (VSAUCE) 
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6nSFpj9HTCZ5t-N3Rm3-HA

Sky News: 
https://news.sky.com/story/eu-satellite-navigation-system-galileo-suffers-major-outage-11763506

Air and Space Website:
https://airandspace.si.edu/stories/editorial/what-can-you-really-see-space

Nuclear Weapons Accident - Spain:
https://fsu.digital.flvc.org/islandora/object/fsu:180784/datastream/PDF/view

Real Size of Countries
https://www.visualcapitalist.com/mercator-map-true-size-of-countries/

YouTube Ground Tracking:


Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_warfare

Curious Droid:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVvaVvRViYQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=428&v=vluzeaVvpU0

Python Tutorial:
https://docs.python.org/3.6/tutorial/index.html

Space Web-Site:
https://www.heavens-above.com/SolarEscape.aspx?lat=0&lng=0&loc=Unspecified&alt=0&tz=UCT

Real-Time Satellite Tracker:
http://www.gano.name/shawn/JSatTrak/
http://apps.agi.com/SatelliteViewer/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydbbd-4oEds&feature=youtu.be
https://www.wmo-sat.info/oscar/satellites
https://celestrak.com/satcat/search.php
https://celestrak.com/software/satellite/sat-trak.php

Just tell me this is not true please:
https://mb.ntd.tv/inspiring/life/ancient-texas-hammer-found-embedded-in-rock-said-to-be-500-million-years-old.html