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Soldiers in Iraq, and Vipul

The Killer Elite (Rolling Stone):

The twenty-two-year-old driver, Cpl. Joshua Ray Person, and the vehicle team leader, twenty-eight-year-old Sgt. Brad Colbert — both Afghan War veterans — have already reached a profound conclusion about this campaign: that the battlefield that is Iraq is filled with ‘fucking retards.’

Later on:

Captain America, the platoon commander who is almost universally disrespected by the enlisted men, seems to deal with the stress by rising to a state of jabbering incoherence. Up by the bridge there are four enemy dead scattered under the eucalyptus trees, along with piles of munitions — RPGs, AKs and hand grenades. Captain America runs back and forth, picking up their weapons, hurling them into the nearby canal and screaming at the top of his lungs. No one knows what he’s screaming about or why, but as another officer who came upon this scene later concluded, ‘Whatever he was doing, he was not being in command.’

Fantastic series of articles, well worth a read. (Found on stuff.) Similar to this, here’s an unauthorized weblog from a soldier on duty in Iraq — the inside story.

Spam: Good article by Vipul on spam filtering, at MIT Tech Review:

Here’s a list of three rules (created after the most important features of e-mail) that anti-spam software should strive to follow:
  • 1) Ability to send and receive e-mail from a stranger. (Whitelisting, payment systems, and challenge/response break this rule.)

  • 2) Ability to send and receive pseudo-anonymous e-mail. (Domain-based authentication breaks this rule.)

  • 3) E-mail should be free. (Payment systems break this rule.)

He said it. Killing off several useful legit uses of email, just to fix spam, is no good. Looks like he’s started writing his blog-like thing too, again, so I’ll be adding that to my ‘roll (assuming it stays updated! ;) No RSS yet though…

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