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04/05/13

Permalink 04:50:16 am, by Paul ROBINSON, 694 words   English (US)
Categories: Background

Team Fortress 2 Heavy Weapons Guy; I never believed his Schtick anyway

"I am Heavy Weapons Guy. This is my weapon. She weighs 150 kilograms and fires $200 custom-tooled cartridges at 10,000 rounds per minute. It costs $400,000 to fire this weapon for twelve seconds."
- Team Fortress 2 - Meet The Heavy

Not a Chance in hell. No way, no how, not possible; it's just too ridiculous. Violates the rules of economics and the laws of physics.

Now, I can believe a lot of ridiculous things. Maybe someone would make a hand-held full auto machine gun that weighs 300 pounds, that someone would actually be able to carry. And maybe they can make a multi-barrelled, air-cooled full auto that can actually shoot 10,000 rounds a minute and not overheat. And maybe be able to be held while firing and not merely knock them out of their shoes, but knock them down and drive them into the dirt, if not crush them at the same time.

But $200 per round cartridges? Never sell, not in a million years, not to any military organization anywhere. Typically you're running a machine gun with that kind of fire, it's shooting 9mm or other small ammo costing probably 30c per round, and you're probably manufacturing them yourself to cut the cost, not buying them in retail. But even at that, retail prices for ordinary ammo are not that high. Even a really high-powered piece of ammunition like 7.62x51mm NATO 147 Grain Full Metal Jacket sells, retail, for about 90c per shot ($17.99/20). One place is offering 1,000 boxes of 5.56x45 - 55 gr FMJ M193 for $875, which is 88c per cartridge.

Ain't no way any nation is going to buy, use or operate a personal-use weapon that costs $200 per round when it can be used in not carload quantities, but warehouse quantities in minutes. If you're using full-auto machine guns, you're going to expend thousands of rounds if you're using a typical 800 round/minute full-auto machine gun, and at that, it usually has, at most, a 100 round clip.

A belt-fed machine gun like the Heavy uses is going to use a class of ammo that at most would be something in the $2 range, not the $200. You could never sell such a thing to anyone. If you're shooting $200 cartridges you're using them in quantities of no more than 10 at a time, not something that costs $33,000 for a one-second burst.

Governments let their soldiers use full-auto weapons because the ammo they expend is cheap, not dear, and no government or any private military (mercenaries) has the kind of money to buy a machine gun that shoots 166 rounds per second unless those rounds are under 50c a cartridge. For that kind of money, they could hire 20 guys with 500 round-per-minute machine guns for a whole year for less than 4 seconds of use of this unsalable monstrosity.

You also got to consider the laws of physics, if you're shooting 166 rounds per minute, there's got to be a hell of a lot of recoil, even a guy as big as the heavy would be knocked down by the amount of force it would take to shoot 166 rounds/second, which is why belt-fed machine guns are mounted weapons. They're mounted on vehicles or steel tripods.

Also, his machine gun, which is air, not water cooled, appears to only have about 6, maybe 8 barrels. So that means, let's be charitable and say 8, that each barrel is being used 20 times a second. Bullets generate heat from the explosion of the gunpowder and friction in the magazine; that's why Gatling-type machine guns have multiple barrels because they can get so hot the barrel will literally melt. How long before the barrel melts from the heat, then the rounds jam in the barrel and the weapon explodes into shapnel, probably killing the operator? Good-quality carbon steel melts at as high as 1540°C / 2800°F, and even Tungsten will melt at 3400°C / 6150°F. A bullet fired probably generates upwards of 700-800°F and that heat is not being dissipated all that rapidly when you're pumping 20 rounds a second even if the barrel is spinning fast (which is why most machine guns that do high rates of fire have to be water cooled). Most manufacturers of full-auto weapons will even say that a sustained burst of 200 rounds is enough to destroy the barrel.

03/10/13

Permalink 08:41:52 am, by Paul ROBINSON, 403 words   English (US)
Categories: Announcements [A]

Availability of low-cost Internet and a computer for low-income families

Comcast Cable is offering a special service for low-income families to obtain broadband internet for $9.95 a month. If they have a child in school that is eligible for the free lunch program, or if they have a child in a private school or is being home schooled, who would be eligible for the free lunch program if they went to a public school, they can get broadband internet from Comcast for $9.95 a month. This is not a demonstration or short-term offering, the price will not be increased. The program is called "Internet Essentials" and is available to any Comcast customer who qualifies under the above guideline.

If they don't have a computer, they can get a Dell or Acer netbook for $150. There is also a plan to arrange with a computer recycling company to get desktop computers at a similar low price for families who would rather have a desktop instead of a netbook. A Vice President of Comcast appeared to talk about it on a public interest show on Sunday, March 10, 2013 broadcast on WRC-TV 4, the Washington, DC NBC affiliate, which, as part of NBC Universal, is majority owned by Comcast.

This plan has been offered by Comcast for about 18 months, and has signed up about 150,000 customers, which potentially provides internet access in the home to about 600,000 people who otherwise would not have it. The Comcast executive told about one woman who met him at a meeting in Chicago and told him how she took advantage of this offering for her daughter, who has since been accepted to college as a result of having this in the home and allowing her to take college preparation course on-line, but more than that, as a result of the Internet being accessible in her home, the woman herself decided to take some on-line classes and is herself planning to become a teacher, which requires a college degree, something she could not have done had they not had Internet access in their home.

Much as I find things I don't like about Comcast, this is one really good idea. My understanding is as much as 80% of teachers give assignments in school that require internet access to complete. This is a big handicap for kids whose families otherwise can't afford Internet access or a computer. So if you know of someone or can think of where someone can use this, please pass it on.

The website is Internetessentials.com.

03/06/13

Permalink 05:13:48 pm, by Paul ROBINSON, 112 words   English (US)
Categories: Announcements [A]

A piece of Japanese trivia

In the 11th Century, the Mongols were going to invade Japan. Their ferocity and take-no-prisoners method of military conquest would have destroyed the country. The Mongol boats were approaching Japan when a huge storm rose up and destroyed all of their ships. The Japanese were very religious, so this was considered a sign from God, thus the storm that was the one thing left that could save Japan was called the Divine Wind, which in Japanese is pronounced kamikaze.

So now you know why the last effort of the Empire of Japan in World War II to save itself from the invaders, the use of suicide plane attacks, was known as kamikaze.

02/09/13

Permalink 12:22:12 am, by Paul ROBINSON, 68 words   English (US)
Categories: Announcements [A]

Fox Business news out of "touch"

In this article, Fox Business News has an article, ''High Earners, Businesses Feeling High-Tax States'', in which some companies and wealthy people are moving from states with high taxes to ones with lower taxes. They misspelled the title of the article, it's not that people are "feeling" high-tax states, they are "fleeing" them. Clearly, they want the government to stop putting as big a "touch" on their wallets.

01/09/13

Permalink 09:54:40 am, by Paul ROBINSON, 90 words   English (US)
Categories: Announcements [A]

McDonald's Really Stupid Commercial

McDonald's has a commercial where a guy calls down to the concierge at a fancy hotel because he wants a McDonalds coffee. The concierge pooh-pooh's his request, whereupon the guy says that they'll do anything to make customers happy.

This was stupid. You call down to the concierge desk and ask for a McDonald's coffee, and they'll say "certainly," they'll send one of the bellhops or other employee to go get it, and then charge you $6 for the $1 coffee; they are not going to refuse your request. This was stupid.

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Welcome to My blog! This is where I store my thoughts so that I can come back to them at some point in the future. This allows me a place like a journal to keep what I'm thinking about. But anyone else is welcome to visit; I make this place public so that other people can hear what I'm thinking.

This is where I make comments on any subject I find of interest. My political comments are in the Politics section, and technical items are in the Computers section. Note, if you want to make a comment, e-mail it to me at paul@paul-robinson.us. I am sorry that I had to disable comments, but after I had deleted the 300th worthless piece of spam comment on this blog and receiving exactly zero valid comments, I decided to stop allowing spammers to excrement all over me and my blog. If you have *anything* at all to say, send it to me in e-mail; if it is even the slightest bit relevant - even if I don't agree with it, I will post it. (As soon as I find a way to stop spammers from posting junk I'll allow direct comments.) Note that if you are a visitor and post a comment, it defaults to "draft" meaning I have to approve it before it is visible, so if you're posting spam, don't bother, nobody will see it.

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