Journalism needs more than journalists #fakenews #realnews #TLDR #factsmatter

Recently there was a story in the news that Trump gave out information about US Submarines operating near the Korean Peninsula.  The report or headlines read that Trump divulged classified information about submarines to the Filipino president.  There were transcripts of the conversation that many people probably did not even read.  But we are so quick to read a headline and believe it, rather than actually taking the time to research the facts.

Submariners that I know were initially up in arms, including myself.  You read the headline and wonder, what the fuck!!!  But then we started to dig into it, and what was said.  There seems to be a consensus among the community that the media spun this story wrong. (I’m being nice here).

The facts is the Philippine government classified the transcript of the conversation.

The media did not cite a source that stated that the information about submarines relayed by Trump was classified.  The question exists, did he put people in harms way?  Read the transcript and see for yourself.

I bring this up, because now more than ever, we are going to need to rely on the media to get the story right.  This can not be about left and right, republicans or democrats. The media needs to be about facts.

Why? Because it takes one spun story sensationalized to have people stop trusting you.  Our society, at least in America is all about the rule of law.  The media currently waging a battle against this administration because important issues are on the line.  The bill of rights are on the line.

What I’m saying is that if you are a big media outlet, and you cover the military, you need to have military experts read your stories.  Fact check them, and validate that they will meet the reasonable persons standard of truth.  If you have ever been on the other side of a news story, you start to wonder sometimes if the reporter had actually been there, or was playing the old telephone game, and heard the story 3rd or 4th or 5th hand sometimes.

We need our media to be the best at what they do.  Photos, audio/video are great for telling a story, experts are important too.  

Reuters, who initially published the story that was picked up by other media outlets never said that US officials, or anyone made the claim that the information was classified, they made the claim themselves.  If you want to stop people from using the term fake news, you have to stop spinning things.  I can’t defend the media, when they do things like this.  I know in the fast paced world of news, things happen, but hopefully as more information comes out about Russia, hacking and everything else, we will find out facts, because facts matter.

Friendships 

Every journey you take starts with a thought placed in motion. You move forward, in your mind, in your footsteps. Sometimes you decide to go it alone, by choice or happenstance. 
And if you are lucky, you find good friends along your way.

Like Dorothy found the scarecrow, the Tinman and lion. 

And sometimes, like Alice (in Wonderland) you meet people who are just experiences, like the Cheshire Cat, Absolem (the caterpillar) or Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum. 

Then sometimes you meet people who are dark and scary along your way. They always seem to be in pursuit of your light. And if you are lucky, your friends stick by you during your most troubled times. 

Friendship is a special kind of love. You don’t always know why people do things for you when there is no quid pro quo, and yet, like magic, they are there… because that’s what friends do. 

Life is a journey, and for the most part we walk alone. I have found that the good friends we find along the way is what makes the trip worth taking. Don’t forsake them. 
I do not know where the road will go, and I’m not sure I want to know, but I hope that my friends will be there along the way.

Twittering gasp!

Twittering gasp!
Ok, I’ve probably tried more social networks than I care to admit, but I find myself drawn to them, mostly because of the content that is of a personal nature. The more I look at some of the posts on Twitter, the more I see that people will become very embarrassed by what they are writing. First off, there is no edit. You post, your done like sending an SMS. No one reviews it, and before you know it, you’re on record as someone who doesn’t have a coherent thought.
Well I still like the personal aspect of it. With Celebs getting into the mix, it shows how human they really are. And that takes people down a notch, or puts them up one, depending on your view.

Colbert should have gotten the NASA nod

Colbert should have gotten the NASA nod
Stephen Colbert was using the power of his audience to get a module for the International Space Station ISS named after him. Nasa in their brilliant manuever instead named a treadmill after the comedian.

NASA screwed up! In a day and age where budgets sway on public opinion, the Colbert Army is a good one to have on your side. These aren’t just your morning drive guys, these are polically motivated 20+ year olds. These are people who actually can make an impact and influence policy.

Now while it looks as if there was no animosity between the two camps, it still proves that Colbert is a force to be reckoned with.

Remember what happened when Colbert wanted to make a point about wikipedia? Where he got people to change information on Elephants. It was big news. In any event, I fail to see a reason why it would not be called the Colbert module. In 10 years from now, are they afraid they would be saying, who is Stephen colbert? Well if he puts the energy and resources onto being their cheerleader then that would not likely happen.

Sen. Kennendy, Healthcare, & The Right

Sen. Kennendy, Healthcare, & The Right
If you spend any time reading the blog-osphere, twitterscape, facebookatron, or watch the MSM, you’re bound to hear someone with nothing good to say about Sen. Kennedy. Personally, I don’t have an opinion of the guy one way or another, but I am aware that healthcare was a hot topic for the Senator. With everyone flailing about healthcare reform, I wonder if this will be the catalyst to get people to get together to fix this debacle. And it is a debacle. We pay a ton for Medicare, a government based healthcare program. No one seems to be complaining about the end user experience with that program, but why not make things better?

But back to Kennedy, who the Right tends to want to vilify regarding getting off on what they perceive as criminal behavior. I don’t know all the circumstances, and will it really foreshadow the career of the Senator? We will know soon enough. But I’m sure he will be remembered long after his detractors have come and gone.

Connecting WP to Twitter

Connecting WP to Twitter
Well, I’m thinking that based on the recent TWiT and the fact that I do have a bunch of blogs that I’ve ignored, that I’m going to get back to blogging. But I don’t want to ignore Twitter. So I’m going to try this Twitter/WP integration tool. Now I can write much more than 160 characters and not sweat the load. I can come up with a complete thought, and own my own content.

So I’ll use Twitter to comment back, but WP to post actual content to Twitter…. Now what to do about Facebook.

The Apple/Google End Game

I’m a fan of both Apple and Google, so to see them fight it out on the same playing field is like being forced to wear one of those double billed hats to a football game. But looking at the direction of travel of these two companies it really appears that it will be Microsoft left in the dust when it comes to the consumer.

There are two dominate platforms emerging in the Smart Phone market, the iPhone (Apple) and Android based (Google). But unlike the Palm and RIM based machines, these two companies have an ecosystem that stands behind their product. Let me talk to Apple and Google separately and you’ll quickly see what I mean.

Apple

Integration using iTunes
Available on both Mac and Windows based PCs.
Runs Mobile Safari based on WebKit.
Has a total developer program to bring applications to the device based upon Mac OS X.
iPhone operating system based on Mac OS X.
Google

Integration using existing Google Services (Gmail, Google Voice, Documents, etc.)
Available on any platform.
Runs Google Chrome Browser based on WebKit.
Has an SDK program to bring applications to the device.
Android OS is unique to the hand held device based on the Linux kernel.
So what is the game plan going forward? Google believes that Chrome is the future of the desktop. (That) We will get rid of lots of overhead and push the on button and be online. Apple on the other hand may have developers that can develop for one and develop for all by keeping some consistency between the way you develop for both the Mac OS and Mobile Mac OS. 90,000 applications is a lot of applications and if that translates to developers for the Mac, it can only be a good thing for Apple.

Because Google mostly sees the Application relying on the browser and on the Internet, that would lend one to believe that people who make web based Apps will have the most success, since they should run smooth on both an iPhone and an Android phone.

I’ve heard it said that business is about making money and yet it is also about getting your products in the hands of users. It’s still too early to tell who is the David and who is the Goliath, but as we see more of Apple’s business plans come together towards the end of January, we can all be sure that the fun is just beginning.

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No Shuttle, No Constellation… So What?

If you live on the Space Coast of Florida, then you know that the loss of the Space Shuttle means the end of decent paying jobs for the community. It is simple that space and dollars go together. There are virtually only two customers in the Space Business these days. NASA and the Department of Defense (DOD). So it is amazing that anyone would believe that some unknown company will rise up with a viable commercial heavy lift rocket so NASA or DOD could hitch a ride whenever they need that capability.

Right now there are only a handful of companies that are providing the Aerospace Engineering and hardware capable of any launches. On the Cape Side, Lockheed Martin and Boeing Corp combined forces to create United Launch Alliance (ULA). This company launches payloads off of Pads 41 and 37, Atlas V and Delta IV respectively. If any company is poised to pickup the pieces of NASA’s decision to scrap constellation, ULA certainly is.

On Pad 40, there is the Falcon, by SpaceX Corp., while they have an ambitious launch plan, they don’t have any track record of successful launches.

There is the philosophy that we could reuse everything but the shuttle. Make more tanks and reuse boosters, hence the DIRECT project and Jupiter. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_(rocket_family)

The NASA places forward request for proposal to companies to create the next great thing, but no company is incentivized to expend great money without any possible return on investment.

The fact is that not a single one of these programs is Man Rated, and to add that would create additional expense to any of these rocket programs. Only NASA has a Man Rated requirement for their payloads, unless we deregulate space.

Right now we must rely on a single rocket program in Russia to service the International Space Station.

The United States has put the most amount of money into the ISS and space exploration. The director today stated that he is looking to Internationalize the space program. America needs to be the lead in space. If we are putting our cash there, then we shouldn’t have to compromise on the direction of the research.

As the director said, only Russian and China will have Human Space Flight programs for an unknown time after Shuttle retires. It’s unbelievable. What’s worse is that we have no idea when we will bring one back online.

What is really at risk is Jobs, Science, Leadership and Pride. When J.F. Kennedy boldly asked us to go to the Moon, we did it as a nation. It put industry at work providing the tooling and know-how. 40 Years after we put a man on the moon, we have squandered all of it, and no one has a good reason as to why.

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SailorJ is a pseudonym for a former technician on one of the Unmanned Rocket programs at Cape Canaveral, FL.

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