company:ars technica

  • Le manuscrit de Voynich déchiffré (si, si)

    What it reveals is even more amazing than the myths and fantasies it has generated. For example, the manuscript was compiled by Dominican nuns as a source of reference for Maria of Castile, Queen of Aragon, who happens to have been great aunt to Catherine of Aragon.

    The manuscript is written in proto-Romance—ancestral to today’s Romance languages including Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian, Catalan and Galician. The language used was ubiquitous in the Mediterranean during the Medieval period, but it was seldom written in official or important documents because Latin was the language of royalty, church and government. As a result, proto-Romance was lost from the record, until now.


    • #arf !

      As Popular Mechanics’ Kyle Mizokami reported in 2017, this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. During flight testing in 1956, a Grumman F-11 Tiger flying from Grumman’s test facility in Riverhead, New York fired a burst from four 20mm cannons toward the Atlantic Ocean. The pilot then entered a steeper dive, kicked in the jet’s afterburners, and went supersonic—when suddenly the windshield blew in and the engine failed. The pilot had caught up with the shells and in the process shot himself down.

      De toutes façons, ils vont bientôt les changer…
      … et les remplacer par les superbes fers à repasser volants.

      Meanwhile, the Dutch Air Force is in the process of replacing the F-16 with the Lockheed F-35A; eight are scheduled to be delivered in 2019. The F-35A carries the four-barrel General Dynamics GAU-22 Equalizer, a 25mm cannon that carries a mere 182 rounds in its magazine—so about two seconds worth of shells. That might make for fewer opportunities for a self-kill.


  • Facebook staff discussed cashing in on user data, reports say

    Proposals to charge firms for data said to have been revealed by badly redacted court papers Facebook staff discussed charging companies for access to user data, before ultimately deciding against such a policy, according to reports. The internal discussions were revealed due to improperly redacted court documents, released as part of Facebook’s lawsuit against American software developer Six4Three last year. According to Ars Technica and the Wall Street Journal, an 18-page court filing (...)

    #Facebook #données #BigData #publicité #hacking #CambridgeAnalytica #Six4Three


  • #Netflix finishes its massive migration to the Amazon cloud | Ars Technica (article de février 2016)

    Netflix declined to say how much it pays Amazon, but says it expects to “spend over $800 million on technology and development in 2016,” up from $651 million in 2015. Netflix spends less on technology than it does on marketing, according to its latest earnings report.

    Netflix’s Simian Army

    The big question on your mind might be this: What happens if the #Amazon cloud fails?

    That’s one reason it took Netflix seven years to make the shift to Amazon. Instead of moving existing systems intact to the cloud, Netflix rebuilt nearly all of its software to take advantage of a cloud network that “allows one to build highly reliable services out of fundamentally unreliable but redundant components,” the company says. To minimize the risk of disruption, Netflix has built a series of tools with names like “Chaos Monkey,” which randomly takes virtual machines offline to make sure Netflix can survive failures without harming customers. Netflix’s “Simian Army” ramped up with Chaos Gorilla (which disables an entire Amazon availability zone) and Chaos Kong (which simulates an outage affecting an entire Amazon region and shifts workloads to other regions).

    Amazon’s cloud network is spread across 12 regions worldwide, each of which has availability zones consisting of one or more data centers. Netflix operates primarily in the Northern Virginia, Oregon, and Dublin regions, but if an entire region goes down, “we can instantaneously redirect the traffic to the other available ones,” Izrailevsky said. “It’s not that uncommon for us to fail over across regions for various reasons.”

    Years ago, Netflix wasn’t able to do that, and the company suffered a streaming failure on Christmas Eve in 2012, when it was operating in just one Amazon region. “We’ve invested a lot of effort in disaster recovery and making sure no matter how big a failure that we’re able to bring things back from backups,” he said.

    Netflix has multiple backups of all data within Amazon.

    “Customer data or production data of any sort, we put it in distributed databases such as Cassandra, where each data element is replicated multiple times in production, and then we generate primary backups of all the data into S3 [Amazon’s Simple Storage Service],” he said. “All the logical errors, operator errors, or software bugs, many kinds of corruptions—we would be able to deal with them just from those S3 backups.”

    What if all of Netflix’s systems in Amazon went down? Netflix keeps backups of everything in Google Cloud Storage in case of a natural disaster, a self-inflicted failure that somehow takes all of Netflix’s systems down, or a “catastrophic security breach that might affect our entire AWS deployment,” Izrailevsky said. “We’ve never seen a situation like this and we hope we never will.”

    But Netflix would be ready in part thanks to a system it calls “Armageddon Monkey,” which simulates failure of all of Netflix’s systems on Amazon. It could take hours or even a few days to recover from an Amazon-wide failure, but Netflix says it can do it. Netflix pointed out that Amazon isolates its regions from each other, making it difficult for all of them to go out simultaneously.

    “So that’s not the scenario we’re planning for. Rather it’s a catastrophic bug or data corruption that would cause us to wipe the slate clean and start fresh from the latest good back-up,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “We hope we will never need to rely on Armageddon Monkey in real life, but going through the drill helps us ensure we back up all of our production data, manage dependencies properly, and have a clean, modular architecture; all this puts us in a better position to deal with smaller outages as well.”

    Netflix declined to say where it would operate its systems during an emergency that forced it to move off Amazon. “From a security perspective, it’d be better not to say,” a spokesperson said.

    Netflix has released a lot of its software as open source, saying it prefers to collaborate with other companies than keep secret the methods for making cloud networks more reliable. “While of course cloud is important for us, we’re not very protective of the technology and the best practices, we really hope to build the community,” Izrailevsky said.

  • 50 years on, we’re living the reality first shown at the “Mother of All Demos” | Ars Technica

    A half century ago, computer history took a giant leap when Douglas Engelbart—then a mid-career 43-year-old engineer at Stanford Research Institute in the heart of Silicon Valley—gave what has come to be known as the “mother of all demos.”

    On December 9, 1968 at a computer conference in San Francisco, Engelbart showed off the first inklings of numerous technologies that we all now take for granted: video conferencing, a modern desktop-style user interface, word processing, hypertext, the mouse, collaborative editing, among many others.

    Even before his famous demonstration, Engelbart outlined his vision of the future more than a half-century ago in his historic 1962 paper, “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.”

    To open the 90-minute-long presentation, Engelbart posited a question that almost seems trivial to us in the early 21st century: “If in your office, you as an intellectual worker were supplied with a computer display, backed up by a computer that was alive for you all day, and was instantly responsible—responsive—to every action you had, how much value would you derive from that?”

    Of course at that time, computers were vast behemoths that were light-years away from the pocket-sized devices that have practically become an extension of ourselves.

    #Histoire_informatique #Mother_of_all_demos #Douglas_Engelbart

  • The CIA’s communications suffered a catastrophic compromise

    #Espionnage et #cybersécurité : des dizaines d’agents de la #CIA arrêtés ou exécutés... sur simple clic #Google !

    Au moins 30 agents « neutralisés », des dizaines d’autres démasqués. La CIA a payé un lourd tribut au renseignement entre 2009 et 2013. L’Agence américaine possédait des serveurs de communication « cachés » sur #Internet. Les services iraniens et chinois avaient trouvé la « formule magique » pour récupérer leurs adresses. Explications

    #Etats-Unis #Iran #Chine

  • Russia’s only aircraft carrier damaged after crane falls on it | Reuters

    Russia’s only aircraft carrier was damaged while undergoing repairs in the north of the country after the floating dock holding it sank in the early hours of Tuesday and a crane crashed onto its deck, tearing a gash up to 5 meters wide.

    The Admiral Kuznetsov has seen action in Russia’s military campaign in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad with its planes carrying out air strikes against rebel forces.

    It was being overhauled on one of the world’s biggest floating docks in the icy waters of the Kola Bay near Murmansk close to where Russia’s Northern Fleet is based and was due to go back into service in 2021.

    Maria Kovtun, Murmansk’s governor, said in a statement that a rescue operation had been launched and 71 people evacuated after the floating dock holding the ship had begun to sink.

    The warship had been successfully extracted from the dock before it completely sank, she said.

    • Russian officials: Nope, we can’t finish fixing the carrier Kuznetsov | Ars Technica

      MURMANSK, RUSSIA - Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov at the PD-50 floating dry dock of Shipyard 82.

      Russian officials have now acknowledged that the October 29 accident involving Russia’s only aircraft carrier and largest floating dry dock has made continuing the refit of the ship impossible. The dry dock, the PD-50, was the only one available capable of accommodating the 55,000 ton Admiral Kuznetsov. As a result, the completion of the refit of the ship is now delayed indefinitely.

      The PD-50, built by a Swedish shipyard in 1980 for the Soviet Union, sank in an uncontrolled “launch” of the Kuznetsov and came to rest on the sloping bottom of the harbor at Murmansk. Two cranes collapsed during the sinking, with one crashing onto the Kuznetsov and leaving a large gash in its hull. And recovering and repairing the PD-50 could take as long as a year.

      We have alternatives actually for all the ships except for Admiral Kuznetsov,” United Ship-Building Corporation Chief Executive Alexei Rakhmanov told TASS. But the loss of the PD-50 dock “creates certain inconveniences” for future repairs on large capital ships, he acknowledged. “We hope that the issue of the docking of first-rank ships will be resolved in the near future. We are also preparing several alternatives, about which we will report to the Industry and Trade Ministry,” Rakhmanov said.

  • 1,2 million d’e-mails et mots de passe en fuite après le piratage de huit sites pornographiques

    Robert Angelini, propriétaire de huit sites pornographiques a eu une drôle de surprise ce week-end. Nos confrères d’Ars Technica l’ont contacté après avoir mis la main sur une base de données comprenant les adresses IP, les mots de passe, les noms et les adresses e-mail d’environ 1,2 million d’utilisateurs de ces sites. Si les mots de passe étaient chiffrés et salés, réduisant théoriquement le risque de découvrir les véritables clés, ils l’étaient à l’aide de Descrypt, une méthode créée en 1979, dont (...)

    #données #pornographie #hacking


      Vomir, c’est le mot qui vient en tête, au fur et à mesure que j’annote le livre dans la marge avec le mot « viol ». D’abord en petites lettres avec un point d’interrogation, puis sans point d’interrogation, puis carrément en lettres capitales, comme pour signifier une envie de crier. Et tous les arguments qui d’habitude viennent en tête pour ranger la réalité dans des cases bien claires s’effondrent face à ce questionnement béant : peut-on parler de consentement dans cet univers où les actrices ont subi dans leur enfance des violence familiales et/ou sexuelles, où elles cumulent des troubles du comportement voire de graves maladies psy avec une grande précarité économique ? Peut-on se laver la conscience avec le mot « contrat » face à des hommes en face qui puent le sexisme, le racisme, la domination masculine et qui jouissent d’humilier et de faire mal, qui sont nombreux à vouloir repousser les limites de ce que les filles acceptent de faire, en leur faisant comprendre que sinon, c’en est fini du gagne-pain ?

      Si le mot « consentement » ressort si affaibli de ce livre, et c’est un euphémisme, c’est d’abord parce qu’on ne s’embarrasse guère de leur demander leur avis, et que beaucoup de choses leur sont imposées, à moins qu’elles ne protestent. « Elle devait avoir deux mecs, finalement, elle en a quatre ! », balance un producteur à propos de Cindy, en forme de blague, comme si c’était un cadeau. Le consentement est ici la plupart du temps tacite, et jamais « positif », c’est-à-dire clairement exprimé, comme le conceptualise la philosophe Manon Garcia. Pire, il est même souvent carrément extorqué. « Non ça me brûle », se récrie Judy, qui refuse une nouvelle sodomie, pratique qui semble déplaire à l’ensemble des actrices interviewées dans le livre, qui se voient pourtant contraintes d’y « passer ». « Mais on a besoin de ces photos ! », insiste son boss, jusqu’à finalement la faire en partie céder. « J’avais dit pas d’anal et ils l’ont fait quand même », lâche Mandy.

      À cela s’ajoute une bonne dose d’inhumanité, qui n’est pas sanctionnable juridiquement à proprement parler, mais laisse comme un goût amer à ce faux consentement. Judy le dit à sa manière, en affirmant que pour elle, un consentement, « c’est vérifier que la fille va bien. Eux, ils ne vont pas aller creuser. Ils le font exprès, ils ne sont pas fous. Il faut qu’ils rentabilisent. Plus ils font de scènes, mieux c’est. Et plus c’est glauque, plus la fille a l’air de se demander ce qu’elle fait là, plus ça marche ». Le témoignage de Dimitri Largo, rédacteur à La Voix du X, distributeur indépendant, est un bon exemple de ce manque total d’empathie : « Les actrices, c’est de la chair à canon. Elles sont complément englouties dans une détresse affective. Et c’est des victimes. Mais t’es victime dans le porn comme t’es victime de faire caissière au Franprix. Moi j’ai pas de pitié pour les victimes. Si t’es perdue, t’es perdue ».

      #victimes #viol #porno

  • Amazon patents Alexa tech to tell if you’re sick, depressed and sell you meds | Ars Technica

    Amazon has patented technology that could let Alexa analyze your voice to determine whether you are sick or depressed and sell you products based on your physical or emotional condition.

    The patent, titled “Voice-based determination of physical and emotional characteristics of users,” was issued on Tuesday this week; Amazon filed the patent application in March 2017.

    The patent describes a voice assistant that can detect “abnormal” physical or emotional conditions. “For example, physical conditions such as sore throats and coughs may be determined based at least in part on a voice input from the user, and emotional conditions such as an excited emotional state or a sad emotional state may be determined based at least in part on voice input from a user,” the patent says. “A cough or sniffle, or crying, may indicate that the user has a specific physical or emotional abnormality.”

    It’s not clear what ads would be sent based on a user’s emotional state, but someone who is sick might be asked if they want to buy cold medicine.

    “A current physical and/or emotional condition of the user may facilitate the ability to provide highly targeted audio content, such as audio advertisements or promotions, to the user,” the patent said.

    If the Amazon voice assistant determines that you have a sore threat, the system would “communicate with the audio content server(s)” to select the appropriate ad. “For example, certain content, such as content related to cough drops or flu medicine, may be targeted towards users who have sore throats,” the patent says.

    Alexa might then ask, “would you like to order cough drops with 1 hour delivery?” After the order is made, the voice assistant “may append a message to the audible confirmation, such as well wishes, or ’feel better!’”
    System could raise privacy concerns

    Companies get patents all the time for technologies that never make it to market, so there is no guarantee this capability will be implemented in future versions of Alexa.

    Amazon would have to consider the privacy implications of letting its voice assistant analyze the emotional and physical states of Amazon customers. Amazon and other tech companies last month were called to a Senate Commerce Committee hearing to testify about consumer data privacy, and senators are considering whether to write a new privacy law.

    Besides analyzing your physical or emotional states, Amazon’s patent says the system would take into account the user’s browsing history and purchase history:

    Embodiments of the disclosure may use physical and/or emotional characteristics of a user in combination with behavioral targeting criteria (e.g., browse history, number of clicks, purchase history, etc.) and/or contextual targeting criteria (e.g., keywords, page types, placement metadata, etc.) to determine and/or select content that may be relevant for presentation to a user.

    The system would use a “voice processing algorithm” to determine a user’s emotional state. The voice analysis would be able to detect “happiness, joy, anger, sorrow, sadness, fear, disgust, boredom, stress, or other emotional states.” It would make those determinations “based at least in part on an analysis of pitch, pulse, voicing, jittering, and/or harmonicity of a user’s voice, as determined from processing of the voice data.”

    The system would apply tags to each physical or emotional characteristic. Those tags may be “associated with or linked to a data file of the voice input,” and “used to determine content for presentation to the user.”

    The emotion-detecting system would be tailored to each user, determining the user’s “default or normal/baseline state” so that it can detect changes that indicate that “the emotional state of the user is abnormal,” the patent says.

    Amazon’s analysis would presumably be more accurate when tailored to a specific user, but the patent says the technology can also determine the emotional state of “any user” regardless of whether they normally use that device.

    #Le_Meilleur_des_Mondes #Folie #Amazon #Brevet

  • Data vandal changes name of New York City to “Jewtropolis” across multiple apps [Updated] | Ars Technica

    Update, 12:20 pm: In a prepared statement sent to press, a Mapbox spokesperson said that Mapbox has “a zero tolerance policy against hate speech and any malicious edits to our maps.” The label change was deleted within an hour. "The malicious edit was made by a source that attempted several other hateful edits," the spokesperson said. “Our security team has confirmed no additional attempts were successful.”

    Mapbox data comes from more than 130 sources, and the Mapbox spokesperson said that the company has "a strong double validation monitoring system." A machine learning system flagged the change for review; this change was one of more than 70,000 that are flagged on a daily basis, according to the company. “While our AI immediately flagged this,” the spokesperson said, “in the manual part of the review process a human error led to this incident. Security experts are working to determine the exact origin of this malicious hate speech. We apologize to customers and users who were exposed to this disgusting attack.”

    #trolls #nazis #cartographie #mapbox via @archiloque

  • Net neutrality will be repealed Monday unless Congress takes action | Ars Technica

    With net neutrality rules scheduled to be repealed on Monday, Senate Democrats are calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to schedule a vote that could preserve the broadband regulations.

    The US Senate voted on May 16 to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, but a House vote—and President Trump’s signature—is still needed. Today, the entire Senate Democratic Caucus wrote a letter to Ryan urging him to allow a vote on the House floor.
    Further Reading
    Senate votes to overturn Ajit Pai’s net neutrality repeal

    “The rules that this resolution would restore were enacted by the FCC in 2015 to prevent broadband providers from blocking, slowing down, prioritizing, or otherwise unfairly discriminating against Internet traffic that flows across their networks,” the letter said. “Without these protections, broadband providers can decide what content gets through to consumers at what speeds and could use this power to discriminate against their competitors or other content.” The letter was spearheaded by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai led a commission vote to repeal the rules in December 2017, but the rules remain on the books because the repeal was contingent on US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of modified information-collection requirements. The OMB approval came last month, allowing Pai to schedule the repeal for Monday, June 11.


  • Newest NOAA weather #satellite suffers critical malfunction | Ars Technica

    The “make the best of a bad situation” scenario is far from ideal, though. If GOES-17 doesn’t fully come online this fall as planned, it’s not like US weather forecasters will be in the dark—the #satellites currently covering that portion of the globe are in good shape. That said, GOES-17 was set to be a shiny new toy for forecasters, and any hitch in the satellite succession plan is potentially costly. So here’s hoping GOES-17 can just chill.

    #dysfonction #météo

  • Part of the Great Barrier Reef exposed to more CO₂; results are grim | Ars Technica

    Experiments have been carried out in controlled laboratory settings on isolated species but not in the open ocean where the effects of CO2 interact with variations in light, temperature, water flow rate, and the availability of nutrients. Only in the open ocean can all of these factors be assessed in unison on the entire coral community. Our ability to deal with any future damage to coral reefs depends upon this knowledge.

    A group of marine biologists took advantage of the structure of a reef at One Tree Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef to set up an experiment in an otherwise natural environment.

    #climat #co2 #récif_corallien

  • Can blockchain technology help poor people around the world?

    In my work as a scholar of business and technology focusing on the impact of blockchain and other modern technologies such as cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things on poor people, I see four main ways blockchain systems are already beginning to connect some of the world’s poorest people with the global economy.

    The downside of blockchain

    by Robert Hillard

    Imagine an invention that deliberately wasted resources. Maybe a car that burns oil just to create smoke that is easy to see or an electric light that uses twice as much energy to avoid burning out. That’s exactly what blockchain is doing, consuming large amounts of electricity for no purpose other than making fraud prohibitively expensive.

    I recently had the privilege of collaborating with my colleagues from the Australian Deloitte Centre for the Edge on a report looking into distributed ledgers and the blockchain technology. Reading the result, it is striking how far we still have to go to invent our digital business future.

    As a quick reminder, blockchain is a technology to support the exchange of value or contracts in an environment where anonymity is important and no one is to be trusted. The best known application of blockchain is in the exchange of Bitcoins, a virtual currency.

    Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index - Digiconomist

    Key Network Statistics

    Description Value
    Bitcoin’s current estimated annual electricity consumption* (TWh) 51.82
    Annualized global mining revenues $8,109,412,566
    Annualized estimated global mining costs $2,590,786,398
    Country closest to Bitcoin in terms of electricity consumption Uzbekistan
    Estimated electricity used over the previous day (KWh) 141,960,899
    Implied Watts per GH/s 0.232
    Total Network Hashrate in PH/s (1,000,000 GH/s) 25,475
    Electricity consumed per transaction (KWh) 772.00
    Number of U.S. households that could be powered by Bitcoin 4,797,753
    Number of U.S. households powered for 1 day by the electricity consumed for a single transaction 26.09
    Bitcoin’s electricity consumption as a percentage of the world’s electricity consumption 0.23%
    Annual carbon footprint (kt of CO2) 25,390
    Carbon footprint per transaction (kg of CO2) 378.2

    Bitcoin’s insane energy consumption, explained | Ars Technica

    Bitcoin’s energy use should decline in the long run

    Blockchain scalability - O’Reilly Media

    The three main stumbling blocks to blockchain scalability are:

    1. The tendency toward centralization with a growing blockchain: the larger the blockchain grows, the larger the requirements become for storage, bandwidth, and computational power that must be spent by “full nodes” in the network, leading to a risk of much higher centralization if the blockchain becomes large enough that only a few nodes are able to process a block.
    2. The bitcoin-specific issue that the blockchain has a built-in hard limit of 1 megabyte per block (about 10 minutes), and removing this limit requires a “hard fork” (ie. backward-incompatible change) to the bitcoin protocol.
    3. The high processing fees currently paid for bitcoin transactions, and the potential for those fees to increase as the network grows. We won’t discuss this too much, but see here for more detail.

    #énergie #environnement #gaspillage #électricité #bitcoin #blockchain #pauvreté #économie

  • “Sites log your keystrokes and mouse movements in real time, before you click submit.”

    Another example: the account page for clothing store Bonobos leaked full credit card details—character by character as they were typed—to FullStory. Adding insult to injury, Yandex, Hotjar, and Smartlook all offer dashboards that use unencrypted HTTP when subscribing publishers replay visitor sessions, even when the original sessions were protected by HTTPS.


  • London regulator announces Uber ban | Ars Technica

    Uber has 21 days to appeal the ruling, which could affect 40,000 drivers.
    TIMOTHY B. LEE - 9/22/2017

    London’s taxi regulator is revoking Uber’s license to operate in the city, the agency announced on its Twitter feed on Friday morning. “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility,” Transport for London wrote.

    The agency cited Uber’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses” as one problem with the company’s conduct. It also pointed to Greyball, a controversial software program Uber allegedly used to mislead regulators about the locations of its cars, making it more difficult for regulators to ticket Uber vehicles.

    Uber’s license expires on September 30. However, it has 21 days to appeal the agency’s ruling, and it can continue operating in the city during the appeal process.

    London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association praised the decision. “Since it first came onto our streets Uber has broken the law, exploited its drivers and refused to take responsibility for the safety of passengers,” a spokesman told the Independent.

    Uber’s London manager vowed to challenge the decision, arguing that it would hurt 40,000 Uber drivers in the city. “To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts,” he said.

    In the last couple of years Uber has had an acrimonious relationship with regulators across Europe. Two years ago, French regulators arrested two Uber executives, and Uber was fined in France last year for running an illegal transport service. Uber also briefly faced a ban in Italy that was reversed by courts in May.

    Uber has faced bans in Germany and Spain but was able to return to both countries after agreeing to employ licensed taxi drivers.

    #London #Uber

  • Google admits citing 4chan to spread fake Vegas shooter news | Ars Technica

    4chan was, for some reason, counted among Google News’ “authoritative” sources.
    Google News took the unusual step of confirming its use of the imageboard site 4chan as a news source on Monday. The admission followed Google News’ propagation of an incorrect name as a potential shooter in the tragic Las Vegas shooting on Sunday night.

    #Google #Fake_news #Las_Vegas

  • US forecast models have been pretty terrible during Hurricane Irma | Ars Technica

    We have written a fair amount at Ars recently about the superiority of the European forecast model, suggesting to readers that they focus on the ensemble runs of this system to get a good handle on track forecasts for Hurricane Irma. Then we checked out some of the preliminary data on model performance during this major hurricane, and it was truly eye-opening.

    #prévisions #météorologie #Etats-Unis

    • Grand vainqueur, l’ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts).

      An independent expert on global forecast models, Ryan Maue, said the #NOAA office responsible for developing US computer models, the National Centers For Environmental Prediction, is understaffed and has less funding than the European forecasting center, which is based in the United Kingdom. America, he said, is getting what it pays for.

  • Evidence that ancient farms had very different origins than previously thought | Ars Technica

    For centuries, archaeologists believed that ancient people couldn’t live in tropical jungles. The environment was simply too harsh and challenging, they thought. As a result, scientists simply didn’t look for clues of ancient civilizations in the tropics.

    Une pensée que j’ai encore du mal à articuler, au sujet de la science comme élément de domination et de contrôle, qui perpétue les biais cognitifs car intégrés par les chercheurs.


  • Ten sailors missing after U.S. warship, tanker collide near Singapore
    ça devient une habitude…
    mais cette fois à babord, donc, a priori, c’est lui qui a priorité…

    Ten sailors are missing after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker east of Singapore before dawn on Monday, tearing a hole beneath the waterline and flooding compartments that include a crew sleeping area, the U.S. Navy said.

    The collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker Alnic MC was the second involving U.S. Navy destroyers and merchant vessels in Asian waters in little more than two months.

    The ships collided while the U.S. warship was heading to Singapore for a routine port call, the Navy said in a statement.

    • Ici, il est hors de question d’imaginer une quelconque défaillance de la veille sur l’un ou l’autre navire : ça doit être l’endroit où le trafic est le plus dense au monde et on est aux abords immédiats du port…

      En revanche, le communiqué de la Navy laisse songeur. Le John McCain est abordé à babord (à l’arrière de sa seconde cheminée), vraisemblablement à l’endroit où s’achève la dernière ligne droite de la trajectoire) alors que le pétrolier vient de l’est et se dirige vers le terminal pétrolier (dans l’axe de cette ligne droite). Difficile à imaginer si le John McCain entrait au port ; normalement, il présentait son flanc tribord…

      Au vu des photos, et de l’enfoncement des tôles, il semblerait que le pétrolier venait de l’arrière.

    • Stricken destroyer John S. McCain arrives in Singapore, 10 crew still missing

      Mounting questions
      The details of how the collisions occurred remain unkown, But incidents such as those with the McCain and Fitzgerald incidents are troubling, said Jan van Tol, a retired commander of three war ships who now serves as an analyst with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

      Navy destroyers are remarkably nimble and responsive, including rapid acceleration ability, thus should certainly be able to get out of the way of almost anything approaching ‘too close,’” van Tol said in an email.

      Such close quarters situations should NEVER be allowed to develop without various watchstanders and watchteams being well aware that they are developing,” he said.

      It is unknown whether McCain had suffered any kind of casualty to its engineering or steering systems ahead of the collision that would have contributed to the disaster.

      The collision was the fourth significant safety incident of 2017 involving a U.S. 7th Fleet ship. In January, the cruiser Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay and in May, the cruiser Lake Champlain collided with a Korean fishing boat in the Sea of Japan.

      (outre le Fitzgerald)

    • Complètement dingue !

      La collision a eu lieu nettement plus à l’est, juste à l’entrée du dispositif de séparation de trafic. Dans les derniers instants, on voit l’Alnic NC abattre en grand sur la gauche en ralentissant fortement, indice évident d’une manœuvre en catastrophe, qui ne peut se justifier (on est dans le rail, bon sang !) que par une tentative d’évitement désespérée…

      Mille sabords !, que fabriquait cet amiral de bateau-lavoir de USS John S. McCain à cet endroit là ?
      (NB : le père et le grand-père du sénateur, John S. McCain III, ont tous les deux terminé leur carrière comme amiral et, pour faire simple portaient également le même middle name, Sidney. On fait dans la dynastie ou pas…)

      Comment a-t-il pu couper la route d’un bateau dont la route est absolument rectiligne et prévisible (il est dans le rail) ? Peut-être le McCain n’y était-il pas et a-t-il manœuvré brutalement pour s’y placer ?

      EDIT (24/08)
      pour gCaptain, l’abattée à gauche est le résultat de la collision, ce qui parait tout à fait crédible et explique bien la forme de l’enfoncement sur l’arrière de l’ouverture. Le McCain devait filer vite pour dévier à ce point la trajectore.
      Du coup, on peut élaborer un scénario où le McCain coupe, pour des raisons qu’il reste à préciser, le rail « conformément aux règles internationales » : perpendiculairement et le plus vite possible. Et dans ce cas, il est responsable à 100%…

      Comment, elle a dit déjà l’amirauté ? ah oui, #poor_seamanship

    • The Latest: US Navy vessel arrives to help damaged destroyer - The Washington Post

      5:00 p.m.
      The oil tanker involved in a collision with the USS John S. McCain destroyer in busy Southeast Asian waters had four deficiencies including navigation safety violations in its last port inspection.

      An official database for ports in Asia shows the Alnic MC was inspected in the Chinese port of Dongying on July 29 and had one document deficiency, one fire safety deficiency and two safety of navigation problems.

      The database doesn’t go into details and the problems were apparently not serious enough for the Liberian-flagged and Greek-owned vessel to be detained by the port authority.
      4:10 p.m.
      The chief of Malaysia’s Maritime Enforcement Agency says the collision between an oil tanker and the USS John S. McCain guided missile destroyer early Monday occurred at the start of a designated sea lane for ships sailing into the Singapore Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

      Zulkifli Abu Bakar said the incident occurred 4.5 nautical miles (8.3 kilometers) from Malaysia’s coast. He said a Malaysian warship was in the area monitoring the cleanup of an oil spill from an unrelated collision of two merchant ships and was contacted by the McCain.

      Both Malaysia and Singapore say the accident happened in their waters, likely reflecting a dispute about ownership of some rocky outcrops in the area.

      It happened in Malaysian territorial waters, specifically in Teluk Ramunia waters,” Zulkifli said. “For this moment, we shouldn’t argue about whose waters. Most important thing is we focus on the search and rescue.

    • Frontière entre la Malaisie et Singapour — Wikipédiaère_entre_la_Malaisie_et_Singapour

      La délimitation de cette frontière maritime a fait l’objet d’un recours devant la Cour internationale de justice, effectué conjointement le 24 juillet 2003 par la Malaisie et Singapour. Le différend portait sur l’île de Pedra Branca, les Middle Rocks (deux rochers inhabités) et South Ledge, un haut-fond découvrant. Par un arrêt du 23 mai 2008, la Cour a attribué Pedra Blanca à Singapour, les Middle Rocks à la Malaisie, et South Ledge à l’État dans les eaux territoriales duquel il se trouve (la Cour n’ayant pas reçu mandat des parties pour délimiter leurs eaux territoriales respectives).

      L’arrêt de la CIJ
      Affaire relative à la souveraineté sur Pedra Blanca/Pulau Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks et South Ledge –(Malaisie/Singapour)
      Arrêt du 23 mai 2008

      (il me semblait avoir vu passer ce contentieux ici)

      (extrait de l’arrêt de la CIJ)

    • Serrage de boulons généralisé…

      Admiral to order operational pause in Navy after warship, merchant ship collide - CNN

      Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson is expected to order a one-day pause in operations “to ensure we are taking all appropriate immediate measures to enhance the Navy’s safe and effective operation around the world,” according to a US Defense official and an advanced copy of Richardson’s statement obtained by CNN.

      The stand-down will take place over the next couple of weeks, at the discretion of individual commands, the defense official said.

      The order comes after a US Navy guided-missile destroyer collided early Monday with an oil tanker east of Singapore, the fourth accident this year involving a US warship in Asian waters.

      This is the second major collision in the last three months, and is the latest in a series of major incidents, particularly in the Pacific theater. This trend demands more forceful action,” Richardson’s statement says.

      C’est le moment de ressortir la vanne éculée du phare et du porte-avions états-unien… #lighthouse_vs_US_Navy

    • US Navy also considering ’cyber intrusion or sabotage’ as possible causes for USS John McCain collision

      A steering failure, or maybe even hacked systems – the US Navy is considering all possible reasons after launching a broad investigation into the collision of the US guided-missile destroyer USS John McCain with an oil tanker off the coast of Singapore on Monday (21 August).

      Plusieurs médias reprennent l’hypothèse, apparemment émise par l’US Navy, de panne de l’appareil à gouverner (#avarie_de_barre, un des entrainements les plus fréquents en passerelle dans mon souvenir, presqu’autant que #un_homme_à_la_mer à babord/tribord suivie du Boutakov règlementaire…) Je ne trouve pas le communiqué original. Pas plus que, l’évocation officielle d’une #cyber-attaque qui aurait déjà été plus ou moins éliminée par la marine.

      Apparemment, la source initiale est CNN

      Ships, aircraft search for crashed US destroyer’s 10 missing crew - CNNPolitics

      What caused the accident?
      The warship suffered a steering failure as the warship was beginning its approach into the Strait of Malacca, causing it to collide with a commercial tanker Monday, a US Navy official told CNN.
      The official said it was unclear why the crew couldn’t utilize the ship’s backup steering systems to maintain control of ship.
      Earlier, another US Navy official told CNN there were indications the destroyer experienced a loss of steering right before the collision, but steering had been regained after the collision.

      Évidemment, l’option #hacker circule pas mal (déjà pour l’USS Fitzgerald), Popular Mechanics explique de son côté que ça ne peut pas être du #GPS_spoofing, etc.
      No, the USS McCain Wasn’t a Victim of GPS Spoofing

    • Ah, ben Les Échos relaient le complotisme, bravo…
      (oubliant au passage l’hypothèse de l’avarie de barre, mise en avant par l’amiral Richardson (CNO : Chief of naval operations)

      Après la collision d’un destroyer américain, des experts agitent la piste de la cyberattaque

      L’amiral n’a pas exclu que la collision ait pu être provoquée par un facteur extérieur ou une cyberattaque. Cet accident n’est pas le premier (voir encadré) et intrigue certains spécialistes de la Défense.

      « Il y a quelque chose de plus que la simple erreur humaine car sinon cela impliquerait énormément de gens », avance par exemple Jeff Stutzman interrogé par le site McClatchyDC.

      Pour cet ancien spécialiste de la guerre de l’information et de la marine, qui travaille désormais chez Wapack Labs, une société de sécurité informatique, tout bâtiment qui s’avance dans le détroit de Singapour aura sur le pont une équipe complète de vigiles et d’opérateurs radars.

      De son côté, interrogé par le site « International Business Times », Todd Humphreys, un professeur à l’Université du Texas et spécialiste en systèmes de navigation par satellite, va plus loin dans la suspicion.

      Pour lui, cet accident semble « statistiquement très suspect ». Et il n’hésite pas à faire un parallèle avec un incident intervenu en juin en Mer noire et au cours duquel des signaux GPS auraient été trafiqués via, selon lui, « un signal qui provenait du continent russe ».

      La piste russe n’est cependant pas la seule à être soulevée. Interrogé par le site australien, Itay Glick, un autre expert de cybersécurité qui a travaillé pour les services de renseignements israéliens, avance que si la Russie a les capacités d’effectuer une telle attaque, la Chine l’a également.

      « Je ne crois pas aux coïncidences », explique-t-il encore en rappelant que « l’erreur humaine » est toujours une solution de facilité pour expliquer un accident.

      À « l’expert » dont les pontifications concluent l’article, on fera remarquer que la Navy a viré tout l’état-major de l’USS Fitzgerald et on rappellera aux Échos que l’amiral Richardson met en avant une deuxième hypothèse « matérielle ».

      Certains font remarquer que les nombreuses gesticulations de la Navy dans un contexte où le nombre de bâtiments baisse pourraient avoir aboutir à une fatigue des équipements et des équipages…

      Enfin, on sourira à la légende de la photo (bizarrement fournie par le SIPA) ouvrant l’article…

      Toutes les pistes sont envisagées y compris celle d’une cyberattaque, a laissé entendre l’amiral John Richardson, chef des opérations de la marine américaine.
      Daniel Chan/AP/SIPA

      … où on a un peu de mal à reconnaître l’amiral Richardson…

      la légende d’AP est la suivante
      Malaysian Maritime Director Indera Abu Bakar points to damage on USS John S. McCain at press conference in Putrajaya on Monday.
      AP Photo/Daniel Chan

    • China Calls U.S. Navy ’Arrogant’ After USS John Mccain Collision Accident

      A Chinese state-run newspaper claimed Monday that the most recent collision of a U.S. Navy destroyer with a merchant ship was an example of the U.S.’s “arrogance” in conducting patrols in and around the South China Sea.

      The nationalist Global Times ran an editorial Monday shortly after the USS John S. McCain was hit by an oil tanker east of Singapore in the Strait of Malacca and 10 sailors were reported missing.

      While stating the collision was an example of the U.S. military’s decline and that Chinese society’s “applause” was tantamount to the nation’s feelings toward the U.S. encroaching on its territory, the opinion piece also claimed that the U.S. is not trying to avoid such collisions.

      U.S. warships are constantly involved in accidents around the South China Sea,” the op-ed, which is often considered direct thoughts from the Chinese government, read. “On the one hand, the U.S. Navy has behaved arrogantly in the Asia-Pacific region. It lacks respect for huge merchant ships and fails to take evasive action in time, thus resulting in serious accidents.

      On n’est pas loin de la blague du phare…
      Blague qu’évoque le deuxième commentateur de l’article du Monde sur le sujet.

    • CNN sur la même – et évidente – question, mais beaucoup plus terre à terre : quand il y a série, c’est qu’il y a problème de fond…

      Why are so many Navy ships crashing ? - CNNPolitics

      The US Navy is facing difficult questions about the health of its fleet in the aftermath of the USS John S. McCain’s collision with an oil tanker east of Singapore on Monday, the latest in a series of naval accidents in the Pacific.

      Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson ordered a rare, one-day operational pause in response to the latest collision. And while the cause of the USS McCain crash is still to be determined, the spate of accidents — four since January — suggests there could be a more systemic issue.
      Lawmakers and defense analysts are warning that the Navy’s readiness problems — which have led to longer deployments for ships and less time and money for maintenance and training — could be playing a role in the uptick in crashes.
      In addition to the Navy’s stand-down, the Marine Corps grounded all of its aircraft for 24 hours earlier this month on the heels of two deadly crashes “to focus on the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization, and combat readiness.

      House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, said it was unprecedented that “two military services have now had to take a knee to review safety and training procedures.
      Former Virginia Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, who is now a fellow at the Naval War College, said the concern over the recent incidents goes beyond just determining why the collisions occurred, but points to a broader issue if the Navy had to ramp up in a significant conflict.

      When our ships are having this much difficulty sailing in open waters, it gives us a lot of concern about what would happen if we were in a major conflict and how we would operate there,” Forbes said. “The Navy is in desperate need of additional resources so that they can do the kind of training they need, they can do the kind of ship maintenance they need.
      Thomas Callender, a defense analyst at the Heritage Foundation and former Navy submarine officer, noted that the destroyer collisions occurred in low-light times of day and highly trafficked areas.

      Those are some of the most difficult times, sunset and sunrise, of trying to determine what your contact picture is, what you’re really seeing with this,” Callender said.
      Forbes said traffic congestion would likely be a commonality, too.

      It’s like when you have accidents on roads: Normally it’s going to be where more vehicles are,” he said. “It still doesn’t justify it — we’ve got to operate in those waters.
      But the fact that all four Navy collisions this year occurred in the Pacific could also point to issues with training that are specific to the region, Hendrix said.
      The fact this is so regional ... it strikes me there’s a degradation in training standards and operational procedures,” he said.

    • Déclaration, ce soir à Singapour, de l’amiral Scott Swift, commandant de la Flotte du Pacifique (3è et 7è flotte)

      pas d’info particulière dans la déclaration liminaire (tout bien, tout corporate)

      • toute première question (7:00) (on ne les entend pas bien, mais les réponses permettent de les reconstituer) : cyberattaque ?
      – j’ai entendu cette hypothèse, mais on n’a rien vu qui puisse laisser penser à quelque chose de cette nature, mais nous (il cite le CNO) n’écartons aucune hypothèse

      • des modifications dans la chaîne de commandement
      – c’est trop tôt pour conclure quoi que ce soit, laisser se dérouler l’enquête

      • la flotte n’est-elle pas épuisée ? y a-t-il eu des négligences ?
      – ce n’est pas ce que j’ai vu ce matin lors de ma visite du navire, les équipages sont déterminés et opérationnels, ils ont bien bossé pour le damage control

      • découverte de corps ?
      – la marine malaisienne a récupéré un corps (en mer, donc) et va nous le restituer ; les plongeurs ont trouvé des corps, nous sommes en train de les identifier

    • U.S. Navy to relieve admiral of command after collisions: WSJ

      The U.S. Navy plans to remove from duty the commander of the fleet that has suffered four recent collisions in Asia and the deaths of a number of sailors, the _Wall Street Journal _reported on Tuesday, citing U.S. officials.

      Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the three-star commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, will be relieved of command on Wednesday in connection with four collisions since January, including two involving fatalities, two U.S. officials said, according to the Journal. It said Navy officials declined to comment.

    • La Chine remet une couche…

      After U.S. destroyer collision, Chinese paper says U.S. navy a hazard

      The state-run China Daily said in an editorial on Tuesday that people will wonder why such a sophisticated navy keeps having these problems.

      The investigations into the latest collision will take time to reach their conclusions, but there is no denying the fact that the increased activities by U.S. warships in Asia-Pacific since Washington initiated its rebalancing to the region are making them a growing risk to commercial shipping,” it said.

      China has been upset at U.S. freedom of navigation operations near Chinese controlled islands in the disputed South China Sea, where China has been reclaiming land, building air bases and increasing its military presence.

      While the U.S. Navy is becoming a dangerous obstacle in Asian waters, China has been making joint efforts with the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to draw up a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea and it has boosted navigational safety by constructing five lighthouses on its islands,” the China Daily said.

      Anyone should be able to tell who is to blame for militarizing the waters and posing a threat to navigation.

    • Ah, quand même, on se décide enfin à demander leur avis à des experts en autre chose que les cyberattaques !

      US Navy 7th Fleet commander dismissed, Navy says - CNNPolitics

      Carl Schuster, a Hawaii Pacific University professor and former director of operations at the US Pacific Command’s Joint Intelligence Center, said that he thought it was unlikely that the ship would have been hacked.

      Navigating a ship in a shipping channel is a manual operation. It comes down to watch attention and awareness. It’s a training procedure issue and a watch qualification issue,” he said.

      He added that even if the steering had been compromised it would be possible for the McCain to outrun the tanker, and that some degree of directionality would be possible by changing the speed of the port and starboard propellers.

      The “traffic situation” in the shipping channel at that time should be the focus of investigation, Ridzwan Rahmat, a senior defense and security analyst at Jane’s suggests.

      The signs were that the merchant ship was in compliance and the damage on the USS John S. McCain suggests that it wasn’t in compliance” of traffic rules at the time, he said.

    • Si vous ne l’avez pas déjà lu, peut-être faites un petit détour sur le fil concernant le Fitzgerald, l’article de gCaptain, Red over red, concernant le rapport préliminaire sur l’abordage d’il y a deux mois est à lire absolument.

      Je reprends ici mon commentaire qui concernait plutôt les événements du McCain (je finis par m’y perdre…)

      Sur l’incompétence des commentateurs, je remarque qu’aucun n’a fait la remarque que le navire de guerre coupe la route d’un bâtiment de commerce dans un rail…

      L’hypothèse d’une cyberattaque relève du délire. Mais peut-être que les hackers russes ou chinois dont déjà capables aujourd’hui de liquéfier les cervelles d’une équipe de quart en passerelle, après tout de quoi ne sont-ils pas capables ?

      Si le GPS est tombé en rade ou a été piraté, on dispose d’autres moyens de navigation, mille sabords, notamment en vue de terre. Bon sang, l’abordage a eu lieu à 5 miles du principal phare de la région et à 10 miles de la côte ! Si la passerelle a besoin du GPS pour naviguer, il y a lieu de s’interroger sur les compétences requises pour être officier de quart dans l’US Navy.

      Mais, de fait, on en est bien là : couper la route d’un navire dans le rail (je sais je me répète, mais ça ne passe pas !…)

      d’où mon soulagement (enfin, presque…) dans le commentaire précédant immédiatement celui-ci…

    • Search for Missing U.S. Sailors Slowed by Extensive Damage to Vessel - The New York Times

      In the McCain case, the search is taking longer because the damage to the vessel appears to be more extensive. According to one Navy official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because investigations were underway, the Alnic appears to have hit the McCain nearly head-on, whereas the Fitzgerald suffered more of a glancing blow.

      C’est en effet compatible avec l’enregistrement de la trajectoire de l’Alnic MC (j’ai complété mon commentaire de la vidéo des relevés AIS )

      Par ailleurs, le corps repêché par la marine malaisienne n’avait pas de lien avec l’abordage.

      A Malaysian Navy vessel found a body at sea on Tuesday, but it turned out to be the decomposed corpse of an elderly man and was unrelated to the collision, the United States Navy said.

    • China suspected after crashes of USS John S McCain and USS Fitzgerald | World | The Times & The Sunday Times

      The collision on Monday between a Liberian tanker and a US warship, the latest in a series of incidents in Asia, has provoked questions about possible Chinese involvement.

      A former Royal Navy officer said that the movements of the Guang Zhou Wan, a Chinese commercial vessel, could be significant in explaining the fatal crash off Singapore that left at least one sailor dead. A further nine are missing.

      Tracking data indicates that the tanker that collided with U_SS John S McCain_ was followed by the Chinese vessel, which appeared to steer out of the way before the incident.

      “You get the impression that fleet forces command are going to be looking at wider potential problems — hacking, crew training, how they are navigating, validating of ship-watch…

    • With the USS McCain collision, even Navy tech can’t overcome human shortcomings | Ars Technica

      Initial reports from the organization suggest that a “steering casualty”—a loss of control over steering from the bridge—contributed to the McCain’s fatal collision. That, and the nature of the ship’s steering and navigation system, has led to speculation that the McCain was “hacked” and that perhaps some sort of malicious electronic attack was also involved in the Fitzgerald’s collision.

      But so far, available evidence suggests something much less sinister—though potentially more threatening to the overall readiness of the service. There was no hacking, no GPS spoofing or jamming, nor any other deliberate enemy electronic attack on the Navy ships involved in this year’s accidents. Instead, much more human factors were at work—and some of them are endemic to the Navy’s current management culture and operational readiness.
      Watch standers aboard modern warships may have more technology to help them, but they still face a daunting task when they enter high-traffic areas as treacherous as the Strait of Gibraltar—or the Strait of Malacca, the approaches to the Bosporus and Dardanelles, and the approaches to Tokyo Bay. In each, hundreds of other vessels may be visible to the naked eye or on the radar scope. The resulting sea of data points can overwhelm even an experienced bridge crew regardless of how good their technology is.

      Long article, où je finis par perdre le fil de ce qu’il cherche à dire…

    • U.S. Navy Provides Details of Surface Fleet Review In Wake of ’Disturbing Trend’ of Accidents – gCaptain

      The U.S. Navy has provided details of a comprehensive review of the Navy’s global surface fleet operations after the destroyers USS Fitzgerald and John S. McCain were both involved in major collisions with commercial vessels just two months apart.

      2. You are directed to lead a Comprehensive Review of surface fleet operations and incidents at sea that have occurred over the past decade with emphasis on SEVENTH Fleet operational employment to inform improvements Navy-wide. This review should address the follow areas:

      a. Individual training and professional development, to include seamanship, navigation, voyage planning, leadership development, officer and enlisted tactical training in formal schools and on the job;

      b. Unit level training and operational performance, to including manning, personnel management, watchbill management, bridge (and CIC) team resource management, contact management, contact avoidance, leadership oversight and risk assessment/mitigation at all levels of the chain of command;

      c. Development and certification of deployed operational and mission standards (Force Generation) with particular emphasis on Forward Deployed Naval Force (FDNF), to include validation of required certification standards, gaps between required standards and actual employment practices, effectiveness of leadership and oversight at all levels of administrative and operational chains of command, maintaining and enforcing standards throughout FDNF assignment including self-assessment practices, external inspection reinforcement, remedial action mitigation plans;

      d. Deployed Operational Employment and Risk Management (Force Employment), to include Combatant Commander mission requirements, theater security cooperation requirements, maintenance impacts, other competing priorities (fleet experimentation, concept development), and their corresponding impact to operational tempo (OPTEMPO) and fundamental mariner and seamanship proficiency;

      e. Material Readiness of electronic systems to include navigation equipment (e.g. AIS, radars, ECDIS, VMS, WSNs), propulsion machinery to include steering systems, combat system modernization, and material availability;

      f. Practical Utility of current navigation equipment and combat systems including sensors, tracking systems, displays, and internal communications networks to evaluate their effectiveness at integrating tactical data and providing situational awareness to our people.

    • Fatigue and Training Gaps Spell Disaster at Sea, Sailors Warn - The New York Times

      The bridge of each Navy destroyer is controlled by a round-the-clock shift of young officers, who must pass written and oral exams to qualify for the positions. Still, they typically are under 25 and may have little shipboard experience. Junior officers also move on to other assignments after limited tours.

      Are we shortchanging their basic training, especially as we rotate our junior officers every 18 to 24 months?” asked Admiral Crowder.

      Training for junior ship officers has changed significantly in recent years. In 2003, the Navy dropped what had been an intensive six-month training course on navigation, basic seamanship, engineering and maintenance before new officers were assigned to their first ship.

      Instead, the new officers were sent directly to a ship where they were supposed to learn on the job. Some said they got practical training on deployments, and noted that the Seventh Fleet had a reputation as being the most experienced in the Navy. But, many commanders said, crews were too busy to provide that kind of instruction.

      By last year, the Navy had largely reversed course, sandwiching a junior officer’s first sea tour between 14 weeks of classroom work.
      Most ships use a traditional “five and dime” watch rotation, in which sailors serve five hours of watch, then have 10 hours off, he said. But during those 10 hours, sailors often have daytime duties.

      The rotation can lead to a watch officer pulling a 20-hour day every three days, Mr. Cordle said, adding that even designated sleep time can be interrupted by drills or refueling operations that can keep sailors up for days at a time. A recent Government Accountability Office report said sailors were on duty up to 108 hours each week.

      I averaged 3 hours of sleep a night,” someone described as a Japan-based Navy officer wrote on Reddit last week. “I have personally gone without sleep for so long that I have seen and heard things that weren’t there. I’ve witnessed accidents that could have been avoided because the person was so tired they had no right to be operating heavy machinery.

      Navy tests of sailors on the five-and-dime schedule found lack of sleep led to blunted decision-making and reflexes that were roughly the same as those of sailors who had downed several beers.

      The Naval Postgraduate School has developed a shorter watch schedule to match circadian rhythms, which uses three hours of watch duty and nine hours off. Recognizing the benefits, submarines were ordered to move to a similar schedule in 2015.

      Mr. Cordle said adopting the schedule could result in greater safety. But the Navy has left scheduling up to individual captains, and three quarters of ships still use the five and dime.

    • Ship Collisions : Address the Underlying Causes, Including Culture | U.S. Naval Institute

      Un think tank naval, grosse institution privée (estd 1873…), entre dans la danse (après plusieurs autres dont gCaptain). Dans le collimateur :
      • l’organisation des tours de quart
      • la non-spécialisation des officiers entre pont et machine
      • la (non-)formation au quart
      (j’ai lu sur un blog que, sur les navires modernes de la Navy (classe Ticonderoga !), il n’y aurait plus de table à carte en passerelle (support traditionnel du point à la main) mais uniquement de l’électronique…, à confirmer)

      In the wake of the USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) collisions, the Navy is conducting investigations, relieving commanding officers, conducting safety stand downs (operational pauses), and retraining. This is a similar response to past mishaps, but this time the Navy must include true root cause analysis . Analysis after mishaps invariably uncovers human error and training deficiencies as causal factors. Some people get fired and others retrained. The Navy has begun to dig deeper with the CNO’s mandate for a fleet-wide investigation last week. I predict some of the findings of root causes will include the Navy’s approach to training and career development, surface warfare officer (SWO) culture, and high operational tempo (OpTempo) driving mission over people. 

      When a junior officer (JO) reports to a warship, he or she immediately has three jobs: standing watch under instruction, running a division, and earning qualifications (first as an officer of the deck and then as a SWO). Once qualified to be a watchstander, a JO is on the watch bill and expected to train the next batch of JOs. Depending on the number of qualified watchstanders on board, the watch rotation varies: “port and starboard” (6 hours on watch and 6 hours off); “five and dime” (5 hours on and 10 hours off watch, rotating); three or four section “chow to chow” rotating (based around mealtimes); “3 on/9 off” or “4 on/8 off” with two watches per day that do not change for a given underway. The “off” time is when a JO can accomplish day work, run the division, and work on qualifications—along with a little sleep and maybe squeeze in a run on the treadmill.
      The U.S. Navy appears to be the only maritime organization in the world that does not have dedicated watchstanders and separate dedicated professional tracks for deck and engineering.
      Another root cause likely will be the alertness level of those watchstanders. Watch rotations vary greatly in the fleet, partly because of the variability in the number of qualified watchstanders and partly because of SWO culture. Many COs will direct the watches be run the way he or she experienced as a JO. The vast majority of Navy ships still use rotating watches, which is completely against human circadian rhythms. With rotating watches, everyone sleeps when they are off watch because they are in a constant state of exhaustion. Myriad sleep deprivation studies have proven that lack of sleep is cumulative. You can’t “catch up” on sleep, and decision-making is impaired just like being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Yet the Navy has not addressed watch rotations to maximize crew rest. Instead, it perpetuates a culture where lack of sleep is a rite of passage, and the main risk assessment tool does not account for crew rest.

    • Singapore-led safety investigation underway into USS John S McCain collision - Channel NewsAsia

      The Singapore Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) launched a marine safety investigation following the collision of the USS John S McCain and Liberian-flagged oil tanker Alnic MC on Aug 21. 

      A TSIB spokesperson said on Thursday (Aug 31) that the investigation was launched immediately after the collision, and the probe was being conducted in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s Casualty Investigation Code in Singapore’s capacity as a coastal state.

      The US Coast Guard, on behalf of the US National Transportation Safety Board, and the Liberian Maritime Administration are participating in Singapore’s safety investigation as Substantially Interested States,” the spokesperson said. 

      To date, investigators have interviewed the crew members of the Alnic, while TSIB has been coordinating with the US Coast Guard to gather relevant information on the US guided-missile destroyer, including statements of account from its crew. 

      TISB has also obtained shipboard data from the Alnic and other ships in the vicinity at the time of the collision to support the Singapore-led safety investigation, the spokesperson said.

      Si on lit entre les lignes, il semblerait que le TSIB rende public l’ouverture de leur enquête (avec 10 jours de retard) pour faire pression sur la Navy qui, à son habitude, ne semble pas particulièrement coopérative…

      Clairement, il n’est pas prévu qu’ils aient accès directement aux témoignages des marins du McCain

    • U.S. Navy to Haul Damaged Destroyer John S. McCain to Japan for Damage Assessment – gCaptain

      The U.S. Navy is planning to haul the damaged guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain to its ship repair facility in Yokosuka, Japan where damage assessments will continue to take place.

      The Navy said Tuesday it intends to issue a task order on an existing contract, for the salvage patching and transport via heavy lift of USS John S McCain (DDG 56) from Changi Naval Base in Singapore to the U.S. Navy’s Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan. The Navy did not specify which existing contract it was referring to.

    • Une hypothèse circule depuis quelques jours : l’USS John S McCain aurait été en train de doubler l’Alnic NC, suffisamment près (ie beaucoup trop près…) pour que, vers la fin du dépassement, la perturbation hydrodynamique due à la vague d’étrave de l’Alnic vienne perturber le safran du McCain, provoquant une embardée à gauche, voire mettant en panne l’appareil à gouverner.

    • Un peu de ménage…
      Pour l’instant, l’état-major du destroyer n’a pas été touché.

      Admiral, Captain Removed in Ongoing Investigations into USS John S. McCain, USS Fitzgerald Collisions

      The commander of the Navy’s largest operational battle force and his subordinate in charge of the attached destroyer squadron have been removed from their positions as a result of ongoing investigations into a string of incidents this year that resulted in the death of 17 sailors and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, USNI News has learned.

      U.S. 7th Fleet Commander Vice Adm. Philip Sawyer removed Rear Adm. Charles Williams, commander of Combined Task Force 70, and Capt. Jeffery Bennett, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 15, from their positions on Monday (Tuesday local time) due to a loss of confidence in their ability to command, two Navy officials told USNI News and later confirmed by a statement from the service.

    • Les réparations auront lieu « localement », à Yokosuka. Localement, parce qu’il faut encore acheminer l’USS John S McCain de Singapour à Yokosuka (transfert prévu dans le courant de ce mois). Contrairement à l’USS Fitzgerald qui lui était à Yokosuka et va être acheminé à Pascagoula dans le Mississippi (probablement en décembre).

      USS John S. McCain to Be Repaired in Japan – gCaptain

      The U.S. Navy will repair the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) at the U.S. Naval Ship Repair Facility-Japan Regional Maintenance Center in Yokosuka, Japan.

      Repairs will begin upon arrival from Singapore aboard a heavy lift vessel in October, the Navy said.

      Accessoirement, on profitera de l’immobilisation pour faire un peu de remise à niveau :

      In addition to supporting repairs, the McCain’s crew will focus on training, readiness, and certifications to prepare the ship for its return to the Seventh Fleet, according to the Navy.
      On Thursday, the USS John S. McCain departed Changi Naval Base to meet the heavy lift transport vessel MV Treasure, which will transport it to Fleet Activities Yokosuka for repairs.

    • U.S. Navy says deadly McCain collision was #preventable, relieves ship commander

      The commanding officer exercised poor judgment, and the executive officer exercised poor leadership of the ship’s training program,” the USS Seventh Fleet said in a statement released in Japan on Wednesday.
      The McCain’s captain, Commander A. Sanchez, and his executive officer, Commander J. Sanchez, were reassigned to other duties in Japan, where the Seventh Fleet is headquartered, the Navy said.

      On attend le rapport préliminaire d’enquête…