June 07, 2006

Things that please me, summer edition

Some things in life still just make me chortle with pre-adolescent glee. Like this Viewsonic VG920 19" LCD monitor that just showed up on my desk. I'm giggling like the Pillsbury Doughboy over here. I'd previously said Canadian company Viewsonic was tops in CRTs, but I preferred Samsung for computer flat screens. Well, I'm on the verge of changing my mind on that.

UPDATE: While I'm at it, I should also put in another shameless plug, this time for my PDA of choice at the moment, the Garmin iQue 3600. It's a perfectly good non-wireless PDA, now fairly cheap, and the built-in GPS is a treat-and-a-half. I was looking at the more expensive wireless Pocket PC models Garmin's putting out now, but incredibly they don't appear to have the ability to deliver coordinates in other than standard lat/long... making them good for driving only. They would seem all but useless for any kind of off-road foot navigation. I have a lot of time for Pocket PCs, generally, and wireless is always a nice-to-have, but in this case the Palm model of the same PDA is still a usable niche tool, and the Windows version is a yuppie affectation.

GPS PDAs have really benefited from the rapid improvement in SD card technology over the last two years. When the 3600 first came out in 2004, it was hard to find a card that could hold sufficient base maps to make the purchase worthwhile... now with 2GB cards standard, the Garmin's ability to navigate across North America (with a couple hundred megs of walking music on the same card to boot) makes for a really useful piece of gear. Now someone just needs to offer a waterproof case and a plug-in ruggedized battery pack...

Posted by BruceR at 05:40 PM

Reynolds' final words on Samarra?

"I've actually helped to call attention to war crimes by U.S. troops that the Big Media failed to notice..."

Instapundit, yesterday, arguing that he is not, in fact, a "jingoistic right wing idealogue."

Prof. Reynolds is, of course, referring to the Samarra bridge-pushing incident, which someday will be noted in the histories as the first military criminal investigation ever brought about by a blogger (Zeyad of Healing Iraq). For his role in supporting Zeyad in that, of course, Reynolds deserves some credit.

In fairness, though, it should also be noted that Reynolds never posted anything after the first sentence in the case, the platoon sergeant, who received a six-month term for assault, which Reynolds called "light." For instance, he has never given his opinion of the 45-day sentence given the officer who had actually given the order to throw an Iraqi into a dam reservoir, or the subsequent dropping of all charges against the company commander, Capt. Cunningham, who ultimately escaped with just a reprimand, the battalion commander Sassaman, who was allowed to retire gracefully, despite having covered up the incident and misled military investigators, and everybody else involved. That's 225 days prison time total, for one Iraqi's death: a triumph of the system that Reynolds remains confident will prevail in Haditha, it was not.

Posted by BruceR at 12:38 PM