Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Release Schedule, Other Notes

Schedule Madness

Been a bit busy around here with the end of the semester. Exams and papers to grade, all that fun stuff. Every time I think I've gotten it sorted out, my schedule seems to perform an auto-destruct! I've got a pile of things in progress for this site that have not seemed to be effectively nearing completion with anything resembling timeliness. So, as I sat here yesterday pondering how I managed to make a total mess of things, I realized that there was a simple answer: I need a schedule!

Scheduling theory

Here's how this will work until I think of something better, or until I totally screw this up backwards and have to rethink yet again. During a normal month, things will fall like this:

-Every week will still see an Image of the Week, that will not go away. Beginning with this weekend, Images of the Week will be posted on Sunday. This keeps them away from any potential foul-ups that affect my life during the week, yay.

-The first week of the month will see the SAM Site Overview file updated.

-The second week of the month will see a new SAM Network Overview piece published (the new part is important, keep reading). There are still a lot of amusing nations to cover, like Libya, India, Vietnam, and many of the Asian former Soviet republics.

-The third week of the month will see some sort of analysis piece published. This can be something like I did with the Chinese Laser ASAT sites, or the piece on RCS ranges. These articles might also be covering topics thoroughly unrelated to imagery analysis, such as an assessment of the JSF program, or my take on the USAF's search for the next long-range bomber.

-The fourth week of the month will be left for updates to older articles, like when I updated the Iranian and Syrian SAM Network articles recently. This also gives me a cushion to work on some of the aforementioned bits for the upcoming month if I know I'll be busy.

-Anything else might appear totally at random. These can include things like the Reading Lists, or other amusing things that I feel the need to write on. The piece I did on the updated imagery coverage of KYMTR would fit into this category.

-The first day of the month or thereabouts (probably a Monday, but no later than the date which the SAM Site Overview is posted), I'll post a message listing my planned topics for the month. This will give you all a chance to chime in and let me know if there's something you want to see. I may cover your idea instead of mine, or I might use your ideas for a future month. Either way I do keep track of people's suggestions and I do try and get around to them eventually. By doing things in an organized fashion like this, I should be able to reduce the length of time corresponging to "eventually". In theory. As a result of this, I have also obliterated the "Forthcoming Articles" menu.

And now, on to some other notes.


Comments are still welcome and encouraged. Yes, they are still moderated, but that serves a purpose. About the time I hit 350,000 hits, I started getting blasted with comments which were advertisements for certain male-oriented pharmaceutical products. Moderating comments allows me to purge those before they ever get posted. I am not here to act as your personal censor. If you post a comment that relates to the site, I will approve it. I don't care if you agree with me, disagree with me, or whatever. Have your say, and I'll see it gets posted. Now, there are still some caveats to that which I'll bring up again:

-Comments may not appear immediately. For one, I have to log in and approve them. Duh. Also, some of them may be held for a day or two until I have a chance to formulate a reply if I think one is warranted, or if someone was asking a direct question. Keeping them in the que helps me to keep track of them. But they will appear, be patient.

-If you comment in some non-English language, it may or may not get posted. There are two reasons for this. One, if I cannot verify that it is relevant to the site (I can read some of them, and others I do translate), it won't get through. Two, if you post in something like Chinese, all I see are a bunch of squares where the characters should appear. So those get tossed as well, as I have no idea what you're trying to say.

All in all, I think the comments have worked well recently. Remember, just because they are moderated does not in any way shape or form mean I am trying to censor them. Yes, this is my site, but I want you to feel free to disagree and express your opinions as well.

The Forum

The forum still works. There hare been reports of it setting off people's anti-virus software recently. I have no clue what that is about. I've looked, and there is no reason why that should be happening. I've got no indications of anything nefarious on my end, nor have I ever gotten such a notification from my software. The issue probably has to do with the ads placed on the forum (which is what makes the forum free). My guess is that some anti-virus software just doesn't like some of the ads. If anybody has any other insight regarding this issue, definitely let me know. But as of right now, the forum is perfectly safe to the best of my knowledge. It certainly hasn't tried to assault my computer.

Another Webinar

I post these because they're free (and therefore awesome, like the forum), and because I was asked to as they might interest a lot of the readers here. Another one is coming up, and here are the details:

This month, Henley-Putnam University continues its exclusive, free webinar series with “Insider’s Guide to Intelligence & Interrogation,” led by former CIA polygraph examiner and deception detection expert Barry McManus. During the webinar, Mr. McManus will cover topics essential to anyone interested in a career in intelligence or deception detection.

“Insider’s Guide to Intelligence & Interrogation” will take place Friday, April 30, from 2:00 - 3:00 PM EDT. Those interested should register here.

If anybody has something else like this that they'd like me to post, send me an e-mail.

Helping you out

I've gotten quite a few requests from people for help in various projects, or for permission to use my material in presentations or journals. I'm always open to such things, just fire me an e-mail with the details. Usually all I care about are two things: credit if necessary, and a copy of whatever you stick my work into, if an actual non-electronic copy exists. Basically, I work for free, because I find it amusing.

That's about it for now. There will be some other tidbits filtering out over the next week, and the new schedule will apply starting in May. As always, send me any feedback you might have via email or a comment here.