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Fangz
Jul 5, 2007

Oh I see! This must be the Bad Opinion Zone!


It's by some consulting group, so I assume the message is 'yo, this stuff is really complicated, so pay us to think about it!'

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pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Okay, the "handsome FSA fighter" meme was one thing, but this is taking things way too far.

http://fsakittens.tumblr.com

Sergg
Sep 19, 2005

I was rejected by the:



Farraday, i poo poo trains, I would appreciate it if you guys could stop insulting each other. I'm trying to learn about the Syrian Revolution here. It's starting to get really petty with these personal attacks, and I'm confident we're all on the same side here. If you think somebody is wrong, just be like "Oh hey I respectfully disagree and here's why" instead of saying "OH look at this dumb human being with his dumb fag ideas" because the second approach doesn't win anyone over.

Besides, my dad could totally beat up both of your dads in real life.

Charliegrs
Aug 10, 2009


suboptimal posted:

Okay, the "handsome FSA fighter" meme was one thing, but this is taking things way too far.

http://fsakittens.tumblr.com

Wow...wow. Its like polar opposites all in one, cute cuddly kittens and civil war. I do think it was a really noble thing for the FSA to try to save that injured cat though. Not to get too off topic, but what do they think of cats in the middle east? From what I understand I dont think they like dogs too much, but Im guessing they dont feel the same about cats?

Terrifying Effigies
Oct 22, 2008

Problems look mighty small from 150 miles up.



Mr. Sunshine posted:

How the hell is that picture useful to anyone?
"There's all these entities involved in Afghanistan and they are interconnected in a myriad ways and I don't loving know, drop some bombs or bribe some dudes or something. Any questions?"

Well, I recognize the software they used to generate it - Vensim is a visual system dynamics modeler and normally each of those elements will have a set of equations/logic code associated with them, and inputs/outputs travel between them along the lines. If they're using is 'properly' then it's an actual running model that generates behavior graphs and can be adjusted to test various scenarios, like this:



I've seen plenty of idiots just slap diagrams like that together for Powerpoints though without actually using the software's functionality, which is particularly stupid given that it's only marginally clearer than staring at bare computer code.

As far as Vensim models go it's really that complicated - for a graduate class I put together a passenger usage model for the Orlando-Tampa High Speed Rail that had about 150 discrete elements, and I've seen Vensim models for factory processes that go into the 10,000s. If anything there's way to few elements in that to provide any meaningful simulation of Afghanistan's insurgency.

Chortles
Dec 29, 2008


Fangz posted:

It's by some consulting group, so I assume the message is 'yo, this stuff is really complicated, so pay us to think about it!'
Didn't some general officer make fun of it on sight? (I remember Gen. Mattis being particularly incisive about the subject of Powerpoint.)

pantslesswithwolves
Oct 27, 2008

Ba-dam ba-DUMMMMMM


Charliegrs posted:

Wow...wow. Its like polar opposites all in one, cute cuddly kittens and civil war. I do think it was a really noble thing for the FSA to try to save that injured cat though. Not to get too off topic, but what do they think of cats in the middle east? From what I understand I dont think they like dogs too much, but Im guessing they dont feel the same about cats?

They were all over the loving place when I lived in Egypt. We used to call them trashcats because they seemed to live exclusively in dumpsters. They're cute when they're kittens, but then they turn into feral beasts that are the size of your average housecat, but believe themselves to be saber-tooth tigers when they reach adulthood. People seemed to be kind of ambivalent about them, but they didn't seem to detest them the way many Egyptians detest dogs.

RandomPauI
Nov 24, 2006




Grimey Drawer


I think I got this.



The Tribal Governments and Central Government govern together.

The coalition provides support to the military and the government

The military has to meet logistical needs before it can kill insurgents and secure territory

The insurgents also kill people while trying to secure territory.

The insurgents get popular support from inside and outside the country in spite of being killers. They also get financial support by selling drugs.

When people think they're being mistreated by the coalition, the government, or the military popular support for the group that did the mistreating decreases.

The government has to show the people that the insurgency is worse than the government.

Infrastructure is nonexistant because otherwise the chartmakers wouldn't have used a very hard to read font.

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

Warning, words on what's happening.

Lets talk about blockhouse strategy. This term is frequently used to mean rebels getting into a stand up fight with regular army units. This is not how it originated. It originates from a counter insurgency strategy from the Boer wars and later the Chinese civil war as. As the name implies, you create strong points that allow you to assert control of an area. A methodical coordinated advance to crushing the enemies ability to maneuver and making their operating base unsustainable. The idea rebels can't face a regular army is rather undercut by the fact the adoption of this strategy was neccesitated in China by the complete failure of no less than 4 extermination campaigns aimed at the Southern Communist base area. Of course the Chinese soviets used a mobility strategy, which the rebels are not really using fighting in Aleppo. Of course there is a crucial difference, Aleppo is not the rebel base area.

The Rebels in Syria attacked Aleppo meaning if they get pushed back they still have their base areas, while the Army successfully defended whatever it manages to recapture. The very idea that the Rebels must defend Aleppo and it's populations at all costs is foolish since it isn't the populace that's giving them core support. Now the attack and putative failure would, and has, cost the rebels support, but regime tactics have also cost the government a lot of support. I'd lean toward the latter being larger but at worst it's a wash for the rebels. Furthermore the obvious need for the regime to concentrate reliable troops to attack the rebels means attritional damage from combat and use is likewise focused on its most reliable units. This might be acceptable if they were capable of swift decisive victories, but they have not shown that capability, and it is unlikely they will suddenly improve as combat wears on. Even as the regime concentrates reliable forces to try and push them out of Aleppo, rebel forces elsewhere are having startling success against wide flung regime outposts, which brings us to the next problem.

The regime can't hold territory. This seems like an absurd statement considering ti is the government, but in Spring it siezed rebel held parts of Homs. Now it's shelling Homs again to try and dislodged the rebels. Last month it knocked down the "Damascus Volcano" this month it's fighting and shelling suburbs again. The east of the country was clam and now it's the scene of several rebel successes against not only isolated checkpoints but large military installations. Even if the regime pushed the rebels out of Aleppo at this point we'd probably see resumed fighting in the city within months.

The regime is suffering from a lack of something like the blockhouse strategy, leaving it without a real base to work from securely. Despite it's powerful military, that military is pre-deployed around the country to defend it, leaving many parts of a powerful force in aggregate isolated and vulnerable to capture when the enemy is within. Given that the rebels are heavily provisioned by regime stores, this turns the material advantage of the Army against itself,since it is unable to keep it's war materials secure. Despite the unquestionable power of the regime when viewed in abstract it is effectively quite limited in it's ability to concentrate that power as needed. It lacks mobility which prevents it from moving to help ts isolated elements which provides another reason it can not control territory. The Syrian army is being defeated in detail, not by enemy design, but by it's own logistical difficulties in the face of a country wide insurgency.

To sum up, the rebels strategy of confronting the regime head on is not doomed. Instead it is a logical progression from conditions on the ground the require the rebels to attack regime targets to provision themselves militarily and protect their base areas combined with the regimes general inability to hold territory and its dispersal across the country. It might be different if the regime could overwhelm the rebels, but ti manifestly can not and we must deal with the situation as it exists, not in theoretical constructs of the limits of what insurgencies are capable of.


So, that's nice and scholarly, let me respond to something else.

Sergg posted:

Farraday, i poo poo trains, I would appreciate it if you guys could stop insulting each other. I'm trying to learn about the Syrian Revolution here. It's starting to get really petty with these personal attacks, and I'm confident we're all on the same side here. If you think somebody is wrong, just be like "Oh hey I respectfully disagree and here's why" instead of saying "OH look at this dumb human being with his dumb fag ideas" because the second approach doesn't win anyone over.

Besides, my dad could totally beat up both of your dads in real life.

I respectfully disagree with this dumb morons ideas that real counter insurgency is massacre based*, the Syrian army can get their own soldiers killed en masse and it's a good thing for them**, and his simplistic plattitudes from baseless assumptions of facts on the ground he has no interest in studying***. Considering these facts underline every single one of his posts on the situation they are hard to avoid that winning him over would first require sand blasting the top three inches of his entire point of view.

I don't give a rats rear end about trying to win him over, I want to point out how severely hosed up his thinking is and I see no reason to sugar coat my opinion of his intellectual deficiencies.

I would not actually call him a human being though because frankly that's offensive.

*

i poo poo trains posted:

Using American experience in Iraq and Afghanistan is naive because the Syrians are using actual anti-insurgent tactics (i.e. massacre based) while the Americans are and were using the Vietnam vintage 'CI' nonstrategy. Even if 20 soldiers actually were killed (which is unlikely considering that this is third hand information), likely what will happen is in a couple days the neighborhood is going to be shelled to the ground and a truck full of SAF infantrymen are going to come through and shoot every military aged male they can find. If the FSA begins adopting the blockhouse strategy of merely trying to hold territory while inflicting as many casualties as possible they are very quickly going to find themselves on the losing side of this war.

**

i poo poo trains posted:

Well, I think from a strategic perspective it is much more in the SAF's interest to initiate as much close combat as possible with the insurgents (as I was gesturing at with my criticism from the FSA's apparent adoption blockhouse tactics), because, unlike other armies where soldiers are more expensive, 20 dead soldiers is an extremely small price for crippling a local insurgency and gaining control of a city, where they would then be able to initiate their brutal mopping-up tactics. You might even be able to argue that a limited number soldier deaths are good for the Syrian state, as they seem ready and willing to use their funerals as opportunities for pro-state rallies and such. I wouldn't be surprised if the official figures of dead soldiers and policemen are actually inflated, considering that they are considerably higher than rebel figures.


*** Aug 9th

i poo poo trains posted:

The battle of Aleppo is nearing its end. For weeks the media, the FSA, and the regime have played up the importance of controlling Salaheddin, and now the regime, which apparently can't invest in the city, controls it. The rebels are running out of supply and ammunition. The civilians have fled, bar the men. The rebels in Aleppo are surrounded on all sides by the army, which is free to starve them and bombard them, and then attack when it is convenient. Even the most generous opposition estimates put the regime's armor losses in the dozens, while it's well known that they possess thousands. How would the FSA escape? Who would they hide among? Are they supposed to bury the guns in the yard and hope that the army doesn't decide to just kill them?

ugh its Troika
May 2, 2009

by FactsAreUseless


Mr. Sunshine posted:

How the hell is that picture useful to anyone?
"There's all these entities involved in Afghanistan and they are interconnected in a myriad ways and I don't loving know, drop some bombs or bribe some dudes or something. Any questions?"

Alternately the Afghanistan situation is actually really complex. Your inability to understand the poster doesn't mean that it's a bad thing.

eSports Chaebol
Feb 22, 2005


-Troika- posted:

Alternately the Afghanistan situation is actually really complex. Your inability to understand the poster doesn't mean that it's a bad thing.

No but being complex means that drawing a crazy poster like that isn't really going to provide you with any more useful analysis than, "Look, it's really complex!"

Franks Happy Place
Mar 15, 2011

It is by weed alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the dank of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains, stains become a warning. It is by weed alone I set my mind in motion.

eSports Chaebol posted:

No but being complex means that drawing a crazy poster like that isn't really going to provide you with any more useful analysis than, "Look, it's really complex!"

Exactly, it's trying to codify something abstract and complex into a neat little bureaucratic system. It's practically the definition of imperial hubris.

Munin
Nov 14, 2004




I like the "Working Draft - V3" in the corner.

I bet you the first one was simpler and had a message that made sense (even though it left out some important bits).

Kaal
May 22, 2002

JEREMY CORBYN BULLIED MY NAZI GRANDPA IN PRIMARY SCHOOL



-Troika- posted:

Alternately the Afghanistan situation is actually really complex. Your inability to understand the poster doesn't mean that it's a bad thing.

In my experience, the more complex the explanation, the more confused the "expert". If someone thoroughly understands the issue they'll be able to break it down for the lay listener - indeed they've probably already explained their work hundreds of times.

For example scientist Stephanie Kwolek invented kevlar - a fairly complex material. When she's asked to explain how it works she doesn't try to cow the audience into submission by vomiting technical mumbo-jumbo at them - she pulls out some spaghetti as props and shows people how it actually functions. That's not to say that she can't get into the chemistry, but rather that she knows how to speak clearly about it.

It's when someone can't figure out how to talk about something in a straightforward way that you should start doubting their grasp of the issue. Anyone can regurgitate terminology, but reducing it to its core principles is actually much more difficult.

Shageletic
Jul 25, 2007






Apologies if this has been posted before, but there was this interesting article in TNR worth checking out:

quote:

JEBEL ZAWIYA, SYRIA—The unglamorous municipal building, on which black daubs evince graffiti wars between the regime (“Bashar Assad or the country burns!”) and the opposition (“Leave, oh Bashar!”) did not look fit for a king. But it was immediately obvious when the man in the pressed green khakis strode in that we were in the presence of a leader. Men who had been sitting around in the room chatting fell silent. The leather chair behind the desk was seamlessly vacated. A bulky companion, who appeared to be a bodyguard, took the chair nearest the door; the American-made weapon laid across his knees stood out against the Kalashnikovs we had seen slung over shoulders for the last few days.

We had sat waiting for two hours in Serjeh, a village perched on a ridge in the mountainous Jebel Zawiya region of Syria’s northwestern Idleb province, and were about to give up hope when Ahmed Abu Issa, the head of Saqour al-Sham (the “Sham Falcons”; Sham refers both to Damascus and Greater Syria) appeared. The 40-year-old cut a striking figure, with his bushel of thick hair and grey eyes that betrayed no emotion; a holster was strapped across broad shoulders and he trailed a waft of cologne. The enormous turquoise rock adorning his right ring finger was conspicuously displayed as he clamped his hands on the table.

As head of a group of some 4,000 or so fighters that operates out of Serjeh, Abu Issa is one of the most influential men in the province—and he knows it. Within two minutes of our arrival, intelligence networks had clicked into action, as a gun-toting teenager rode up to inquire as to the nature of our visit. Elsewhere around his territory, he runs three field hospitals, a court based on sharia law, and a prison. (He refused to show us the prison, though YouTube footage later revealed a less savory side of his outfit: some captives have been sent off in booby-trapped cars to be blown apart at army checkpoints.) His immediate motivations are the same, he tells us, as that of other rebel groups: the ouster of Assad. But in the longer-term he wants an Islamist state: “Not as the West understands it: one not too far to the left, and not too far to the right.”

quote:

In Jebel Zawiya, as much as elsewhere in Syria, it is now local battalions, not activists nor the foreign-based opposition institutions, driving the country’s political dynamics. A joint attack by Abu Issa’s Saqour al-Sham and two other groups is credited with ending the (very shaky) U.N.-brokered ceasefire when on May 28 they attacked and took over two army checkpoints in the villages of Mughara and Marayan. By June 1st, Riyad al-Asaad, the nominal head of the Free Syrian Army—to which all of the groups in Jebel Zawiya emphasized they did not belong—was forced to admit that the rebels had renounced the truce.

When we visited at the beginning of August, the rebels had only just finished what they started that balmy night in May. As July came to a close they launched another offensive, destroying 18 of the 30-odd army checkpoints that had come to pockmark the landscape. Today there are only a few lonely army outposts inside Jebel Zawiya, though hundreds of tanks remain parked at its edges. During our visit the booms of gunfire and explosions reverberated through the hills as soldiers at one checkpoint in al-Rami sent shells flying into surrounding villages. But on the ground, the rebels reigned.

Idleb can now no longer be pushed to one side. Jebel Zawiya’s villages sit at the intersection of arteries on which the regime relies: the north-south highway connecting the capital Damascus to Aleppo, the second city, and the east-west road to the Mediterranean coast at Latakia, the Assad family’s ancestral home. This has made it impossible for the army to move on the ground without losing men and weapons, since the rebels have lined both highways with improvised explosives. They now have ambitious plans to push the regime’s forces out of the rest of Idleb province so weapons smuggled in from Turkey can be distributed and rebel commanders can meet openly.

The entire article is worth reading: http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/106748/hed?page=0,0

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp6_APB7tMI&feature=plcp

FSA taking out two trucks appearing to transport missiles. Any idea on what the visible one is? In any case it looks like they're draining the gas from the vehicles so most likely they blew the missiles instead of trying to confiscate them. Probably for the best.

Also, long awaited video of the FSA in Aleppo launching rockets at regime Migs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf1M1MR3kUw&feature=plcp

farraday fucked around with this message at 20:45 on Sep 2, 2012

SexyBlindfold
Apr 24, 2008
i dont care how much probation i get capital letters are for squares hehe im so laid back an nice please read my low effort shitposts about the arab spring

thanxs!!!


farraday posted:

Also, long awaited video of the FSA in Aleppo launching rockets at regime Migs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf1M1MR3kUw&feature=plcp

This might just change the tide of the war. As far as I'm aware, the regime is dangerously low on anti-fun defenses.

iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


farraday posted:

Also, long awaited video of the FSA in Aleppo launching rockets at regime Migs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf1M1MR3kUw&feature=plcp

Just one more example of how people really are the same at heart all around the world.

e: Actually, not the same...Americans would've been shooting them at each other. Also I love how they thanked China for providing the "missiles" in the video description.

iyaayas01 fucked around with this message at 23:14 on Sep 2, 2012

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



farraday posted:

Also, long awaited video of the FSA in Aleppo launching rockets at regime Migs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf1M1MR3kUw&feature=plcp

Further proof that USA is arming the rebels?

Al-Saqr
Nov 11, 2007

The Islamic Orb Illuminati.

Today I discovered something really depressing. a respected, Harvard-graduate Saudi Arabian doctor who I used to respect of wrote a very ugly and ignorant and sectarian article in the local newspapers lambasting Alawites and their religion. which drives home the point to me that even Ivy league credentials wont prevent you from being a stupid shithead.

mlmp08
Jul 11, 2004


Nap Ghost

farraday posted:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp6_APB7tMI&feature=plcp

FSA taking out two trucks appearing to transport missiles. Any idea on what the visible one is? In any case it looks like they're draining the gas from the vehicles so most likely they blew the missiles instead of trying to confiscate them. Probably for the best.

They look a lot like missiles for the SA-6 medium-range SAM system.

SA-6 MEL with missiles:


Note the ramjet intakes on both.



edit: well, the dimensions and ramjets look good for a missile from an SA-6, but I can't find anything that looks like those containers for an SA-6. The SA-11 containers look very similar to what we see in this video, but the missile itself doesn't look the same. I don't know if the containers are backwards-compatible or not?

edit2: AHA!

Here's a pic of a 3m9 missile (used by the SA-6 SAM system) inside a storage container like the ones in this video.

mlmp08 fucked around with this message at 14:40 on Sep 3, 2012

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Good ID, here's the original video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7COC6DLzPKA
You can see the warhead of the missile that appears to match

And the the tail fins that match the configuration of the photo from the storage container

I'll do a write up for the blog on this.

[edit] Here's the write up.

Brown Moses fucked around with this message at 15:25 on Sep 3, 2012

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Best Guardian live blog comment ever

quote:

Peace in Syria in not "nearly impossible"—it is easily achieved with the right technology. Extensive research has demonstrated time and again (see for example Orme-Johnson et. al., Journal of Conflict Resolution (1988), 32(4):776-812, or Hagelin et al. Social Indicators Research (1999), 47(2):153-201) that a group of peace creating experts equal to or exceeding the square root of one per cent of the population (about 500 experts for Syria) practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi program, including Yogic Flying, together in a group can immediately decrease the acute social stress that fuels crime, conflict, and violence. If access to Syria is impossible then the group could be formed in neighboring Lebanon or Turkey or even with the remaining U.S. troops in Iraq. The solution is simple and in this scientific age politicians should be using technologies that have proven to work rather than the same old ideas that have failed to time and time again.

mlmp08
Jul 11, 2004


Nap Ghost

I kept waiting for nerve-stapling to show up in that comment. I'm disappointed.

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.


So, if I have this translated correctly, if we'd held the Olympics Trampoline Gymnastics event in Syria combat would have ended a month ago?

IOC fails the world again.

Reports and videos of combat north of the city of Latakia on the coast. While there have been rebel activity in the region, this s on a slightly larger scale than that. Government sources claim to have killed 50 terrorists, rebels claim to have liberated a town. I do not expect it to amount to much other than perhaps a shift of more units around the province to make sure it doesn't happen again.

It seems strange to be moving anti air missiles. Top two theories are you're more concerned about a no fly zone than you say or the base they were at was under threat of falling. I can't imagine why you'd waste the effort otherwise all things considered.

Okay this is a little interesting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_V22nD_STw&feature=plcp

Attack on a regime outpost from planning through execution. Google strikes again.

Also bonus footage of a convoy burning in the night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chpdLQ5yKbY&feature=plcp

farraday fucked around with this message at 16:48 on Sep 3, 2012

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

farraday posted:

Okay this is a little interesting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_V22nD_STw&feature=plcp

Attack on a regime outpost from planning through execution. Google strikes again.

Normally I just edit but I want to note something important.

The planning shot they have is an overhead satellite or plane image. It is labeleld Google in the bottom left, but what it clearly isn't is the google map version of the image.

Comparison

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_V22nD_STw&feature=player_detailpage#t=21s

http://goo.gl/maps/tkwmk

Several feature sin the overhead shot are missing from the google map. Some shadowed elements inside the compound several new constructions outside, and the terrain is dissimilar enough for me to say they're just not the same image.
Right place, wrong time.

Rather brings up the question where they got their information.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



farraday posted:

Normally I just edit but I want to note something important.

The planning shot they have is an overhead satellite or plane image. It is labeleld Google in the bottom left, but what it clearly isn't is the google map version of the image.

Comparison

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_V22nD_STw&feature=player_detailpage#t=21s

http://goo.gl/maps/tkwmk

Several feature sin the overhead shot are missing from the google map. Some shadowed elements inside the compound several new constructions outside, and the terrain is dissimilar enough for me to say they're just not the same image.
Right place, wrong time.

Rather brings up the question where they got their information.
Very interesting, it's clearly a different version of the map, is there a way to check when Google Maps was last update with a new image?

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

Brown Moses posted:

Very interesting, it's clearly a different version of the map, is there a way to check when Google Maps was last update with a new image?

I'm checking google earth now to see if it's the same image. Google earth should have a date stamp associated.

Edit// Same image as google map. Map date 9/14/2007. Considering the map orientation is the same I'd guess satellite as opposed to aircraft, but aircraft wasn't likely anyways.

Could be commercial as opposed to government sourcing, how much does that cost anyways? Actually how would that whole thing work? Obviously doing it for this single base attack in the middle of Hama province would make no sense, and getting the proper data to the proper place is a technical challenge requiring prior planning, so we can assume this is not isolated to this group rather easily.

Anyone want to take a wager if this counts as "non lethal support"?

farraday fucked around with this message at 17:43 on Sep 3, 2012

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



So is there a commercial version of Google Maps/Earth that might have more up to date images? If so I could probably find someone with access and get the latest image.

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

Brown Moses posted:

So is there a commercial version of Google Maps/Earth that might have more up to date images? If so I could probably find someone with access and get the latest image.

I do not believe that Google has a commercial version containing more up to date maps. I may be wrong.

They do have Google Earth Pro which is a commercial version with more options and the ability to upload your own maps. My best guess at the moment is someone is funding such an endeavor with updated maps and providing the access/training/software/hardware to rebel groups. No reason to reinvent the wheel, they're just using Google's platform since it would allow easy distribution and quick familiarity.

I'm not entirely up on Google Earth Pro, but the bottom right Google stamp looks similar to what is seen in this video showing off Google Earth Pro, not the stamp you see in Google Earth.

http://support.google.com/earth/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=189188

quote:

Google Earth Pro is licensed at $399 per user per year. Bulk discounts are offered starting at 11 license keys, for a discounted price of $350 each.

For image distribution to a bunch of rebel groups? Dirt cheap at twice the price.

Edit// Further exploration, I think the correct software might be Google Earth Enterprise which allows

quote:

Create a custom Google Earth globe with proprietary data
Completely secure and system can reside in a DMZ
Make novices feel like GIS experts
Suited for complex geospatial datasets or gigabtes of imagery

I also note Google highlights how this could be useful to "government intelligence" users. It looks like users automatically get updated versions every time the administrator updates the "globe".

The benefits here to Syria rebels are beyond obvious.

farraday fucked around with this message at 18:32 on Sep 3, 2012

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Think I'll do a post about this, it's worth highlighting in case anyone spots future examples. Have you got the co-ords of the site, or a link to it on Google Maps?

Kaal
May 22, 2002

JEREMY CORBYN BULLIED MY NAZI GRANDPA IN PRIMARY SCHOOL



Brown Moses posted:

Think I'll do a post about this, it's worth highlighting in case anyone spots future examples. Have you got the co-ords of the site, or a link to it on Google Maps?

Here's the site that he linked to: http://goo.gl/maps/tkwmk

Coordinates: 35.406598,36.404603

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

Brown Moses posted:

Think I'll do a post about this, it's worth highlighting in case anyone spots future examples. Have you got the co-ords of the site, or a link to it on Google Maps?

https://maps.google.com/maps/myplaces?hl=en&ll=35.406856,36.404979&spn=0.003738,0.008256&ctz=240&t=h&z=18

This should work

otherwise coordinates are 35.24.23 N 36.24.16 E

Edit// Interesting, apparently there's an image of the site 7/19/2011 on Google Earth


Not sure why this one isn't the default, but its still not the same image but we can see some of the shadows in the courtyard are shrubs and apparently there's new construction since July of last year.

farraday fucked around with this message at 18:42 on Sep 3, 2012

Totally Reasonable
Jan 8, 2008

aaag mirrors


Brown Moses posted:

Think I'll do a post about this, it's worth highlighting in case anyone spots future examples. Have you got the co-ords of the site, or a link to it on Google Maps?

Note that it is entirely possible that some benefactor is commissioning fresh images from one of the commercial providers and sending it along to the FSA. The easiest way to present such imagery with surrounding context would be as an overlay in Google Earth.

Brown Moses
Feb 22, 2002



Yes, that's something that's interesting in itself, it would demonstrate how the FSA get support and use sites like Google Earth to fight the conflict. I bet if I post about it people will keep an eye out for future examples of them using Google Maps/Earth and compare them to what's online.

[edit] But first I need to write another piece on Alex Marunchak.

Brown Moses fucked around with this message at 19:00 on Sep 3, 2012

Pieter Pan
May 16, 2004
Bad faith argument here:
-------------------------------->


Perhaps neither Europe or the Middle East, but tensions have been running high between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Armenian president has now said it is 'ready for war' with Azerbaijan, while the Azerbaijani president has been threatening Armenia for years.

The current Armenian anger is because Azerbaijan released an Azerbeijani soldier who hacked an Armenian soldier to death in 2004 using an axe :I This happened in Hungary where the Azerbaijani was sentenced to life. The convict was transferred from Hungary to Azerbaijan where he was supposed to remain jailed, but received a hero's welcome in Baku.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19463968

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

That last image I found is making me nervous because of how similar it is. Given the image quality of the video and the white contrast I'm not sure I'm not sure what level of certainty I'd give that it isn't the same image, which would just mean they had access to the better software (different googlestamp) not updated imagery.

Further review.

However the other issue is that if it were recent imagery it would have been taken at the same time of the year so vegetation could be expected to be very similar.

Hmm... there appears to be something tot he top center on the dam itself casting a shadow that's missing from the 2011 image. I still can't be perfectly certain but I'm going to call that close enough to say it's not the same image. The vegetation similarity therefore gives us a time frame of at most the last few months given the vegetation is so similar. It's quite different from the winter image vegetation we see in the other google earth images.

Edit// drat it the shadow it's really the unhighlighted date bar. Unreadable but it's fairly obviously not set to most recent. I think I'm going to have to retract and say it's the same 2011 image with some major brightness issues. Still it's not on google earth. which means they're using the licensed software.

farraday fucked around with this message at 19:22 on Sep 3, 2012

Svartvit
Jun 18, 2005

al-Qabila samaa Bahth


farraday posted:

That last image I found is making me nervous because of how similar it is. Given the image quality of the video and the white contrast I'm not sure I'm not sure what level of certainty I'd give that it isn't the same image, which would just mean they had access to the better software (different googlestamp) not updated imagery.

Further review.

However the other issue is that if it were recent imagery it would have been taken at the same time of the year so vegetation could be expected to be very similar.

Hmm... there appears to be something tot he top center on the dam itself casting a shadow that's missing from the 2011 image. I still can't be perfectly certain but I'm going to call that close enough to say it's not the same image. The vegetation similarity therefore gives us a time frame of at most the last few months given the vegetation is so similar. It's quite different from the winter image vegetation we see in the other google earth images.
Satt images of Syria are updated almost daily nowadays, but not Google Maps. Timestamp says 2012 so it's very recent I'd wager.

*edit: the license is Digital Globe's which Google uses.

farraday
Jan 10, 2007

Lower those eyebrows, young man. And the other one.

Svartvit posted:

Satt images of Syria are updated almost daily nowadays, but not Google Maps. Timestamp says 2012 so it's very recent I'd wager.

*edit: the license is Digital Globe's which Google uses.

I'm going to stick with it being the July 2011 image sadly. While google maps itself doesn't update, Google Earth has much more frequent updates. The most current google earth image of Aleppo is from June 2012, but the most current google map is from October 2011. It looks like the Rebels have access to public maps using commercial software. Interesting but not evidenciary of outside involvement on its own.

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tmo rathnam
Jul 5, 2012

by Fistgrrl


Pieter posted:

Perhaps neither Europe or the Middle East, but tensions have been running high between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Armenian president has now said it is 'ready for war' with Azerbaijan, while the Azerbaijani president has been threatening Armenia for years.

The current Armenian anger is because Azerbaijan released an Azerbeijani soldier who hacked an Armenian soldier to death in 2004 using an axe :I This happened in Hungary where the Azerbaijani was sentenced to life. The convict was transferred from Hungary to Azerbaijan where he was supposed to remain jailed, but received a hero's welcome in Baku.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19463968

I'm going to have to start reading up on this issue, I had no idea there was this kind of tension between the two states. Is it a result of the tension over Nagorno-Karabakh?

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