A Geek With Guns

Views from a geek gun nut

Archive for March 2010

Excellent Advantage Arms .22 Glock Conversion Kit Review

You’ve heard me talk about the Advantage Arms .22 conversion kit for my Glock 30. Well The Packing Rat posted up an excellent review on his site. The kit he reviewed is a target model.

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Written by Christopher Burg

March 31, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Guns and Gear

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Bloomberg Throwing a Hissy

Poor Bloomberg. First he spent all that time writing up a 40 point proposal for President Obama on how to further restrict gun ownership without needing to pass laws. Then he sent it off to Obama for consideration. But as Days of our Trailers points out Bloomberg’s proposal has been ignored and he’s throwing a hissy fit about it.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 31, 2010 at 9:37 am

Nothing is Black and White

So as I was browsing through my RSS reader I say a story posted on Says Uncle. Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder was tragically killed while in Iraq. As is standard protocol his body was brought back and his funeral was help. Not surprisingly Dipshit Fred Phelps and his merry band of fuckwits in the Westboro Baptist “Church” decided to throw decency to the wind and protest Lance Corporal Snyder’s funeral.

The father of Matthew Snyder sued Phelps for their actions. Well judgement has been passed down and Mr. Snyder lost and the judge decided to make him pay for Dipshit Phelps’ legal expenditures. The legal fees ended up coming to $16,510 which the family is going to have troubles paying. They’ve set up a donations page if you would like to help with the legal fee.

Of course with the title of this post you are probably expecting something else to be posted and that most certainly is the case. Needless to say by the terms and titles I’ve used in this post you know how I personally feel about the people involved. Now it’s time for me to explain what I think about this case.

As much as I despise those pricks in the Westboro Baptist “Church” I also believe they have a right to say what they’re saying. Yes it’s the unpopular route to take but the first amendment is there to protect all speech not just popular speech. As much as I hate what they’re doing they have a right to do it. I feel any lawsuit brought against an organization to prevent them for freely using their Constitutional right is wrong and the party bringing forth the suit should be made to pay for the legal fees of those they are trying to silence. From everything I’ve been able to gather I believe the purpose behind Mr. Snyder’s lawsuit was simply to silence those fuckwits claiming to be a church.

I know this is an unpopular position to take but I can not turn against my principals and beliefs. Personally I find disruption of any funeral to be distasteful. Let the friends and family of the deceased grieve in peace even if the guest of honor is your worst enemy. After all that person is dead and therefore is no longer a problem to you. But as it often happens my personal feelings collide directly with my principals. I am a man who practices what he preaches and therefore can not make an exception for something I hold to dear (the Bill of Rights) just because a I despise the person(s) using it.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Daemon by Daniel Suarez

I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve been reading Daemon by Daniel Suarez (Once again not an affiliate link) and that I would write up a review of it after I finished. Well I finished it so here’s your review.

Although this is listed under the science fiction section Daemon is more of a techno-thriller. Think Michael Crichton in that Mr. Suarez takes a technology concept and expands it into a story. In Mr. Suarez’s case he actually takes multiple technologies and uses them in this book. Fortunately he also provides information on the technologies he brings up on his website.

Before even rolling into the story I want to bring up one of my favorite parts about this book. Mr. Suarez is a computer consultant writing a book involving computers. That means most of the stuff in the book are technically correct (although not highly detailed in any manner) or plausible. There are a lot of malicious hackers in this book and it’s refreshing to actually read a book where the hacks they are performing are believable and no centered around navigation through a 3-dimensional space where they have to align virtual cubes together to create a computer virus that can break firewalls through some kind of techno-magic.

But enough about that let’s get on with the story. I’ll try to do this without any major spoilers but it’s going to be bloody difficult. Daemon follows a series of different people who are all connected by the same thing, the death of Mathew Sobol. Mr. Sobol was one of the greatest computer game programmers in the world (think John Carmack of id Software only smarter) and was the man who brainstormed several of the most popular computer games of his time. Until his death he headed CyberStorm Entertainment which was the most famous computer gaming company out there due to the aforementioned titles. Well in his death he left behind a little present, a daemon.

As you can guess a rather broad type of characters are presented. One of CyberStorm’s other programmers is killed and the local police force are brought in to investigate. Likewise the story also involves a few identity thieves, new reporters, and even a man spending time in prison. It’s a nice assortment of characters and all of them are given enough time in the book to flesh them out. That time is well spent since given the wide assortment of characters they are all interesting and actually do provide something to the story.

But back to the daemon. The little bugger was programmer to perform a large assortment of different tasks that it slowly executes throughout the book. In essence it reads online news articles and looks for key words that trigger it’s next event. For instance it was originally activated after reading Mr. Sobol’s obituary. I would like to expand on this but honestly the best part of the book is following the progress of what the daemon does and I really don’t want to spoil that part. Let’s just say the author does a good job of keeping it a mystery through the beginning of the book and when its purpose finally revealed the book gets very exciting.

I’ve mentioned before that one of the biggest things I look for in a book is pacing. I don’t like boring parts where nothing of consequence is happening. Daemon thankfully is well paced where each chapter advances the story. Nowhere in the book did I get bored and wish I could skip ahead. I do have to say though the ending is kind of abrupt but does make headway for its sequel Freedom (TM) (a review of which will be posted after I complete reading it).

I’m going to go into a little more detail here which may present itself as spoilers. If you don’t like to have any element of the story revealed stop reading here. I’ll try to keep the spoilers vague as to not reveal much about the story itself but you have been warned.

One of the concepts that begins to be explored in Daemon on the idea of a distributed society. What does that mean? Well it means it a society where there is no central authority and large centralized governments aren’t able to evolve fast enough to keep in pace with ever expanding technology. More or less it’s a libertarians dream come true. The book revolves around the ever expanding daemon. Due to its purpose the NSA, FBI, CIA, several private corporations, and even DARPA are brought in to investigate it. On the other hand various groups of geeks are working against the government entities’ purposes. As you can imagine the geeks use every technological trick in the book to accomplish their goals. They also do it in a decentralized manner which the government agencies find difficult to counteract. I don’t think I can expand on this any further without revealing key plot items though.

This is honestly a hard book to write much about because most of the good parts require revealing important story elements. The bottom line though is that it’s a damned good read. It’s interesting even for the non-geek although I wouldn’t hand this title to your grandmother as she’ll probably be in even more fear of computers. But if you have an interest in computers, a good story, and some ideas libertarians would love (although I’m in no way implying the author meant to include libertarian ideals, they just fit with what is happening in the book) grab this book.

Also for your big time geeks out there that will inevitably complain about the impossibility of the technology involved, shut up. It’s a work of fiction, read it as such.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30, 2010 at 10:25 am

Large Hadron Collider Begins Experimentation

Good news for your science folks and bad news for your conspiracy folks, the Large Hadron Collider has experimentation. There isn’t much I can say about this thing since I don’t understand most of the principals behind it nor what it hopes to accomplish. But unlike most people who don’t understand a technology I don’t see this thing causing the end of the civilization/Earth/Sol System/Milky Way/Universe/Multiverse. I just think it’s cool that after all these years and failures the damned this is actually running.

LET THE SCIENCING BEGIN!

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

I Never Thought I’d Say This But Go Iowa

Good news citizens of the state south of Minnesota. It seems that the shall-issue concealed carry bill is moving through your legislation. According to the NRA-ILA all that is left is for your governor to sign it. So get on the horn and tell him to sign it when it comes across his desk. It’s about time another state gains shall-issue status instead of “politically-well-connected-issue” status.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 30, 2010 at 8:03 am

Cooking with Machine Guns

Do you like bacon? Do you like machine guns? If you answered yes to both why not combine the two. That’s what user Oelund over at Reddit guns did.

Thanks goes to Everyday, No Days Off for this installment of awesome.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm