Land Warrior + more stuff

14 minutes estimated reading time

Land Warrior programme

The US Army’s Land Warrior programme was in development for some 33 years. The idea behind it is that better informed soldiers who are connected to support assets can do more with less and survive.

Chris Capelluto put together a good accessible history of the programme.

Burning chrome

About a decade after the rise of cyberpunk developed as a literature genre, the defence thinkers realised the potential of modern technologies that would have sounded similar to Case’s cyber deck in Neuromancer.  

Head up displays, small but connected and powerful networked computers and connected weapon sights of the Land Warrior programme have taken over three decades to fulfil the original vision. Technology takes time, while Land Warrior has taken three plus decades; artificial intelligence is taking a lot longer again.

Human factors

Even now the Land Warrior programme isn’t completely sorted. The Microsoft Halolens AR displays are said to cause debilitating nausea, headaches and eye strain. More than 80% of those who experienced discomfort suffered symptoms within three hours of using the Land Warrior AR headset.

The wearable computer of the Land Warrior programme is an Android powered Smartphone sized device, but would be using very different networks. The network is both the strength and the point of weakness in the Land Warrior programme.

How the networked structures of Land Warrior will fully affect military culture and power structures will be interesting. All of it will be creating tensions in the millennia of ‘hard-wiring’ humans have had since before the dawn of civilisation as we know it and the impact will be much deeper than just the physical tiredness from head up display googles.

Just think about the benefits and ills of social media, or how the world has shrunk through video calls. In my parent’s lifetime, people leaving their homes in Ireland to emigrate to the US or Australia used to have a wake at their leaving. In some respects that departure was a form of death. That is very different to the relationship that I have with family and friends around the world now. Changes coming through from Land Warrior might be equally deep over time.


5 new charts on airline industry – does it still exist? | Genuine Impact – interesting analysis on aviation


China’s pivot is a bit of a mess – by Noah Smith 

I suspect that this has been ‘tweaked’ to get past ‘Nat Sec’ but the basic thrust is interesting The West must be prepared to face the growing global reach of China’s laws | South China Morning Post

Interesting discussion on China’s move towards self sufficiency and technological superiority and as you listen to this have a read of Fortress China: Xi Jinping’s plan for economic independence | Financial Times 

Vatican says China violated pact on bishops, wants explanation | Reuters – well that was inevitable. As was this: As Xi reemerges, Europe again falls prey to China’s divide-and-rule tactics – POLITICO and EU’s Charles Michel to Meet Xi Jinping as Europe Forges Own Path on China – Bloomberg 

Towards the Sunak doctrine? – Britain’s World 

Japan makers to reduce reliance on China suppliers: Nikkei survey – Nikkei Asia – I don’t understand why Japan hasn’t been doing this sooner. Pretty much with the same with Apple: Analysis: Apple supply chain data shows receding exposure to China as risks mount | Reuters 

Chinese Embassy in London likely to be in very hostile environment: Showdown looms over China’s new ‘super-embassy’ | The Spectator 

Consumer behaviour

A lament for the age of apathy | Financial TimesTurnout in the US election of 1996 fell below 50 per cent. In Britain five years later, it was the lowest since the Great war. Most pop culture either side of the millennium wasn’t even allusively or allegorically political. You can read Jane Austen — goes the old line — without knowing that Napoleon was cutting through Europe. You can watch Friends without knowing that America has a government. The peak of the apolitical age was Big Brother, which, in sealing contestants from the news, didn’t disrupt their lives much. – I think a large amount of society still live in that bubble

Dating apps and Telegram: How China protesters are defying authorities | Reuters 


Hyundai to remake original 1974 Pony coupe concept car | CAR Magazine 

I was watching this video and I could it imagine something similar being done to describe the luck of many market towns in the west of Ireland with the identikit feel

Maintenance Is Sorely Needed In The Fight Against Global Warming 


Economist calls on Beijing to shift from investment to boosting consumer spending 

Some market forecasters are in denial, says Future Horizons’ Penn | EE Times – Penn’s commentary implies a deeper state of global economic decline in the near future

Britain and the US are poor societies with some very rich people | Financial Times – I used to hear from Korean and Chinese friends that “The UK was a rich country with poor people’ which gets at this truth. They were saying that over a decade ago and things have only gotten worse

The video below is a good run down on the short term aspects of the current state of the UK economy. However UK productivity has been going wrong for decades. Several reasons:

  • The UK relies on services rather than manufacturing – While the UK was in the EU, those factories that remained imported more productive workers from the east. With Brexit the manufacturing and warehouses went east instead along with income tax revenues
  • The UK has a serious skills gap, there isn’t the prevalence of night colleges any more
  • The UK has been declining in automation. The classic example is trying to find an automatic car wash. During the 1970s and 1980s these were all over the UK. Now you get a bunch of people with buckets. UK warehouses are much less automated than most other places. This is partly down to several decades of short termism that Will Hutton wrote about back in The State We’re In circa 1995
  • Brexit has permanently re-eingineered supply chains around the UK
  • Too much UK investment has gone into real estate, you only have to see all the developments in London and Manchester
  • Universities are now developed for the benefit of foriegn students rather than domestic talent growth, innovation. And the universities are over leveraged in property development and are likely to go under if there is a reduction in foreign students or a rise in interest rates

All of which makes these predictions about Poland even more credible: Poland projection of the day – Marginal REVOLUTION 

Qatar reviews investments in London after ad ban on buses and Tube | Financial Times – I can understand why they wouldn’t be reconsidering a whole pile of different things. Qatar spent 200 billion on the World Cup and must be so disappointed with the way things have been received.

Eurozone inflation falls more than expected to 10% | Financial Times 

Don’t panic! Europe is not facing imminent de-industrialization. | Noahpinion – I am less sure than Noah. BASF is already repositioning the bulk of its business in China to take advantage of energy at the source. This is despite the bulk of its customers being in Europe. Erosion of foundational industries like BASF will rot European industry from the inside.


Helping Shell, and Others, Get EV Charging Going – EE Times 

Ford invests £150mn in Liverpool plant in electric car parts expansion | Financial Times interesting contrast with EU plans subsidy war chest as industry faces ‘existential’ threat from US – POLITICO 

Saudi PIF-backed EV firm secures site for Foxconn project | DigiTimes – Saudi thinking beyond oil

Chinese EV maker XPeng under organizational restructuring to get through challenges | DigiTimes 

Epson to End All Laser Printer Sales by 2026 – ExtremeTechquietly chosen to stop selling laser printer hardware by 2026. The company will instead focus on its more environmentally-friendly inkjet printers, according to a statement obtained by The Register. Although the company stopped selling laser printers in the United States a while back, it had maintained the line in other markets, including Europe and Asia. Consumers will no longer be able to purchase new Epson laser printers as of 2026, but Epson has promised to continue supporting existing customers via supplies and spare parts. Epson itself claims its inkjets are up to 85 percent more energy efficient than its laser units and produce 85 percent less carbon dioxide. Interesting move, western companies would be virtue signalling the hell out of this.


Shenzhen Nucleus Gene Lab Found to Report False Covid Test Results – Caixin Global – the problem seems to be a perverse incentive which promoted finding positive results


Collateralised fund obligations: how private equity securitised itself | Financial Times – another subprime loan scandal in the making


Really impressive piece of technology and engineering by Sony. But I can’t work out why it was done. By this time Citizen, Casio and Sony were already making LCD televisions. Back in the day Sony used to some products, just because the engineers could. I also love how this looks like a miniature version of a Sony 14″ portable TV circa 1984, even down to the homage to the Trinitron branding.

iPhones Are Being Stripped Off The Shelves In Brazil After Nation Fails To Offer Power Adapters – to be fair a lot of consumers have been complaining about this for years. Apple went from don’t use third party USB chargers they can burst into flames or damage your phone to we won’t give you a USB charger because we love the planet.

Hong Kong

Chinese students and young workers look to Hong Kong for a better future | Financial Times – so many things to unpack about this and so many questions rather than answers:

  • There seems to be a lack of appreciation for economic trajectory that Hong Kong is on; inextricably linked in China
  • They don’t seem to understand the political trajectory Hong Kong is on
  • They aren’t the kind of talent that Hong Kong needs to plug losses in healthcare, education, social services and the creative industries
  • More developed countries aren’t likely to want ‘stepping stone’ Chinese people from Hong Kong. Their choices might be as limited as are on the mainland
  • This will only accelerate simmering nativist hostility and more Hong Kongers may leave via BNO visas etc.
  • If Hong Kong has been in a recession, what must the real state of the China economy be? Are they way worse than PMI and official numbers seem to suggest?
  • Finally, China has disliked Hong Kong being a vehicle for capital flight. With a greying workforce and declining birth rate will they dislike the talent flight of middle class Chinese through ‘stepping stone’ Hong Kong?


Interesting viewpoint on Russia from author Ian Garner. You can find out more about his book here.

The origins of art – by Ivan Pope 

A future history of China in the 2020s – by Lillian Li 

Reshoring of manufacturing in the US


Sony aims for lowest power IoT combo chipset EE Times 

World’s first driverless public parking system rolls out | EE Times automation offers the best way out of Germany’s greying workforce

UK should back compound semis, says government report | EE Times 

Bringing back the golden days of Bell Labs | Nature Reviews Physics 


China’s puffer jacket obsession: Its not just Moncler and Canada Goose, homegrown brands are taking off | Campaign AsiaDomestic Chinese and international puffer jacket brands are battling for market share in the mainland. We take a look at which names are emerging victorious. China’s puffer jacket obsession: Its not just Moncler and Canada Goose, homegrown brands are taking offWhen temperatures in China started to cool down in early October, one of the biggest fashion trends to return was the puffer jacket. Alongside higher-priced brands like Canada Goose — which saw 20 percent higher sales compared to the previous year — homegrown puffer jacket labels such as Bosideng, Xue Zhong Fei, and Yaya all reported that their gross merchandise value (GMV) growth rate on Tmall exceeded 100 percent. Meanwhile, European brand Moncler sold out of its classic Maya coat on the first day of its debut on Tmall Luxury Pavilion in October.


Why Hong Kong’s outdoor advertising is underperforming | Media | Campaign Asia – Based on a recent study by Hong Kong Baptist University, OOH ads are failing to capture people as they severely lack creativity. Dang, I feel bad for you son, that’s burn to the Hong Kong agency scene right there. Seriously though I would be curious about the methodology


Apollo Management are doing some interesting things with Yahoo!: Yahoo and Taboola Enter 30-Year Commercial Agreement, and Yahoo eyes $8 billion in annual revenue as it explores more deals following Taboola partnership – Yahoo! ends up owning about a quarter of Taboola

Twitter DMs to support encryption, voice messages and video calls | Gizchina 

The Financial Times is doing some platform experimentation: Join the FT Telegram channel to receive Ukraine coverage alerts | Financial Times 

Hong Kong asks search engine to place correct national anthem info in top results following rugby row – Hong Kong Free Press HKFP what they don’t want you to hear is this

Twitter Has Lost Half Of Its Top Advertisers Ever Since Elon Musk Took Charge / Digital Information World  – this includes Apple which accounted for 4 percent of total ad spend – Twitter’s advertising losses are piling up | Platformer 


Digital Books wear out faster than Physical Books – Internet Archive Blogs 


The $300 Million Sneaker King Comes Undone – WSJIn May, Mr. Malekzadeh’s fiancée—also the company’s finance chief—pushed for both of them to come clean, according to people familiar with the situation. Federal prosecutors a few months later charged the couple with bank fraud and Mr. Malekzadeh with wire fraud and money laundering. Customers claim they paid millions of dollars for shoes that never arrived. A court-appointed receiver is sorting out the remaining inventory of the entrepreneur’s company, Zadeh Kicks. Early last year, Mr. Malekzadeh collected orders for about 600,000 pairs of Air Jordan 11 Cool Grey sneakers months before they hit stores, netting over $70 million, according to prosecutors. He priced the sneakers between $115 and $200 a pair, cheaper than their expected retail price of around $225


How Washington chased Huawei out of Europe – POLITICO 

The EU has a spy problem — here’s why it’s so difficult to catch them – POLITICO 


Fab talent crunch: Taiwan’s secret sauce for producing excellent semiconductor engineers | DigiTimes 


US-China chip competition not limited to advanced nodes – it is complicated | DigiTimes 


Chinese telecoms groups Huawei and ZTE barred from US sales | Financial Times – interesting move given how many small rural ISPs in the US rely on Chinese routers and networking equipment.

UK to deploy Elon Musk’s Starlink in first test of satellite for rural connectivity | Financial Times 

Web of no web

WSJ on the ‘metaverse’