The first article was hosted by this blog on the 13th of March 2010, just over twelve months ago, and there have now been seventy-eight such posts; twenty-six politics, twenty-six military, and twenty-six technology, so what have I learnt during this period?
First, that although I started this blog because I wanted to make a difference in the General Election and the Defence Review, this has been my best month despite the lull in writing during December and January. Second, that I met a lot of thoroughly excellent people over the last year, people who have commented here, or people whom I have met in discussions elsewhere, thank you all. Third, that in conversing with this myriad of ‘others’ I have learnt an enormous amount, if only by dint of your dogged perseverance. Much obliged.
This blogger has long been a fan of Linux in general, and opensuse in particular, using it regularly since Novell sent me a ‘developer’ version of Suse 9.1 back in the year dot. I use Gentoo on a daily basis at work, and have numerous friends who use and recommend Ubuntu. Why have I stuck with opensuse over the years? Well, it is a KDE centric distro and I prefer a lot of KDE apps, YAST has always been an excellent way for non-technical me to do basic system administration, and it was commercially backed distro so it has traditionally had that extra ‘polish’ that makes it stand out from the many other worthy community distributions.
Why do I go into this extended brief on my history with, and affection for, opensuse?
When we look at the yawning disparity between budget and capability of the UK and US Armed Forces it is often easy to forget that the latter faces near identical pressures to the former, with only scale acting as a significant difference. The doctrine of the Blair years SDR98 was to act as a mini-US, with the intention of matching 15% of US commitment in order to earn Framework Nation Status with the command input that entails. Continuing with the goal of Framework Nation Status was an option for the 2010 SDSR, it would however have demanded a disproportionate share of UK defence spending in order to sustain long-endurance counter-insurgency wars.
This was not the direction chosen in October 2010, and similar constraints are forcing the US down this path too.
When discussing Britain’s Foreign Policy objectives, in particular the possibility of remaining an influential actor in the coming decades, it is common to attract derisive comments from people convinced of our approaching irrelevance. This is often accompanied with statements asserting the unstoppable rise of new powers in contrast to our own decline, and thus the necessity of banding together with our friends in europe in order that we may act as one puissant whole. Yes, as advanced economies our growth rate will be slower than the new rising titans, and yes the west is subject to demographic decline which will further erode our net ‘weight’, but is it really true that the middle of the century will herald an era where Britain cannot contemplate an assertive and independent Foreign Policy?
Are we limited to the twin choices of a federal europe or a harlot chasing others interests?
The Ipod Nano could be so much more. While it is a lovely personal media player in its own right, Apple has created a family of larger devices which are (becoming) less portable, so wouldn’t it be nice if the Nano could receive push-notifications and provide basic interaction with its larger kin?
For some reason they haven’t done this so far, but will they in future?