The 28 Best Data Management Platforms for 2018

The 28 Best Data Management Platforms for 2018

Data Management solutions meet at the intersection of big data and business analytics. The data management market offers a broad spectrum of capabilities used to analyze data from disparate and...

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Complying with Europe’s other data management mandate – MiFID II

Complying with Europe’s other data management mandate – MiFID II

While much of the news this year has focused on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, there are some significant changes to the EU’s Markets in Financial Instruments Directive that are sure to...

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Virtual Reality And Machine Learning Go Hand In Hand

Virtual Reality And Machine Learning Go Hand In Hand

According to some experts, the origins of virtual reality can be traced back to the 1950s, although the first virtual reality display wasn’t invented until 1968. The field has obviously evolved over...

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SINKEX

SINKEX

U.S.S. Racine, serving as a target ship for a sinking exercise on 12 July 2018. [YouTube Screencap/The Drive]

The U.S. Navy has uploaded video of a recent sinking exercise (SINKEX) conducted during the 2018 Rim Of The Pacific (RIMPAC) exercises, hosted bi-annually by the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Honolulu, Hawaii. As detailed by Tyler Rogoway in The Drive, the target of the SINKEX on 12 July 2018 was the U.S.S. Racine, a Newport class Landing Ship-Tank amphibious ship decommissioned 25 years ago.

As dramatic as the images are, the interesting thing about this demonstration was that it included a variety of land-based weapons firing across domains to strike a naval target. The U.S. Army successfully fired a version of the Naval Strike Missile that it is interested in acquiring, as well as a half-dozen High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System [HIMARS] rounds.Japanese troops fired four Type 12 land-based anti-ship missiles at the Racine as well. For good measure, an Australian P-8 Poseidon also hit the target with an air-launched AGM-84 Harpoon.

The coup de gras was provided by a Mk-48 torpedo launched from the Los Angeles class nuclear fast attack submarine USS Olympia, which broke the Racine‘s back and finally sank it an hour later.

Unlocking The Power Of Artificial Intelligence Should Be A Priority For Infrastructure Leaders

Unlocking The Power Of Artificial Intelligence Should Be A Priority For Infrastructure Leaders

Most municipal and private-sector infrastructure leaders seldom if ever think about how technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can help improve physical systems like...

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Why We Should Embrace Technology to Change Globalisation

Why We Should Embrace Technology to Change Globalisation

We live in a world where increasingly globalisation is under threat. The biggest threat comes from trade wars, started by Mr Trump, that could significantly harm the world economy. This week, the International Monetary Fund warned that Trump’s trade war could cost the global economy $430 billion in 2020. As the IMF’s report states, all countries will suffer, but the USA the most. Trade wars also affect the oil prices, which went down more than 4%. Trade wars are bad for the global economy as, in the interconnected world that we live in, it will affect everyone; from small business to large conglomerates. It is a war with only losers.

Trump’s nationalism has an unexpected side effect as it is uniting different nationalist movements across the globe. Such an international nationalist movement sounds like a contradiction, but the truth is that increasingly disparate, local, nationalist parties are working together and learning from each other. They usually focus on immigration and economic protectionism, thereby further threatening globalisation.

With globalisation at risk, it is time to find new ways to work together and change how globalisation functions. The USA might still be the largest economy in terms of nominal GDP but there is too ...


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10 questions data scientists should ask employers during a job interview

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Data scientists are in high demand, taking the coveted no. 1 spot on Glassdoor’s Best Jobs in America list for the past three years, and boasting a median base salary of $110,000 for those with...

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Don’t Let your Data Lake become a Data Swamp

Don’t Let your Data Lake become a Data Swamp

In an always-on, competitive business environment, organizations are looking to gain an edge through digital transformation. Subsequently, many companies feel a sense of urgency to transform across...

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Top 10 Data Science Use Cases in Insurance

Top 10 Data Science Use Cases in Insurance

The insurance industry is regarded as one of the most competitive and less predictable business spheres. It is instantly related to risk. Therefore, it has always been dependent on statistics....

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4 Big Data Marketing Strategy Issues Holding You Back (And How To Fix Them)

4 Big Data Marketing Strategy Issues Holding You Back (And How To Fix Them)

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The fact that we want blockchain to solve every problem is a problem

The fact that we want blockchain to solve every problem is a problem

Blockchain technology came part and parcel with cryptocurrencies, and no matter how hard the institutionalized investors, bankers, and regulators try, there is no splitting them. This already gives...

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The New CxO Gang: Data, AI, and Robotics

The New CxO Gang: Data, AI, and Robotics

It has been said that this new wave of exponential technologies will threaten a lot of jobs, both blue and white-collar ones. But if from one hand many roles will disappear, from the other hand in...

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Inside Facebook, Twitter and Google’s AI battle over your social lives

Inside Facebook, Twitter and Google’s AI battle over your social lives

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Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 4

Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 4

Finally, there are some additional claims made for panzer ace Michael Wittmann (1914-1944) for the 12th of July 1943 and for the entire Battle of Kursk in July 1943. They are:

  1. It is claimed that Wittmann destroyed 8 Soviet tanks, 3 AT guns and one gun battery on the 12th.
  2. During the battle Wittmann killed 30 T-34s, 28 AT guns, and two destroyed batteries.
    1. Source: Agte, page 127.

I am not going to attempt to check these claims. There were lots of Soviet tanks killed on the 12th, I have no way of knowing if the claim of 8 is close to correct or not. There were also lots of Soviet tanks killed in the entire battle. I have no way of knowing if the claim of 30 T-34s is close to correct or not. One does note though that the claim was that he killed 8 T-34s on the 5th (even though they probably were not T-34s), killed 3 T-34s on the 7th and 8th, and claimed 8 tanks on the 12th. This only adds up to 21. I do not know when and where the other 9 T-34s were claimed.

I could certainly choose to get preachy about the need for two-sided research from unit records, but I fear that I have made this point ad naseum already. I think these posts again make this point. I do need to stress that unless an author has actually checked the numbers to the opposing sides reports, any data like this should be stated only as a claim, probably footnoted as to source, the validity and reliability of the source considered, and probably should be noted as not confirmed. Anyhow, sorry for the previous long post, but I felt I needed to show the grunt work involved in trying to chase down just one of these claims. All too often, I have seen authors use medal award claims, newspaper accounts and propaganda claims as some form of hard reliable data. They are very rarely crossed checked with the opposing side’s data. This is fraught with problems (just to get a little bit preachy).

 

P.S. Picture is of Wittmann’s Tiger 007, destroyed 8 August 1944 by British forces at Saint-Aignan-de-Cramesnil, Normandy, France. Picture was taken in 1945. Source is Wikipedia.

 

Centrica CIO Mike Young deploys data to drive energy efficiencies

Centrica CIO Mike Young deploys data to drive energy efficiencies

Energy giant Centrica is deploying data science across the business, but the army veteran leading the charge doesn’t have a traditional tech background. CIO Mike Young spent 11 years in the...

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Clustering Key Terms, Explained

Clustering Key Terms, Explained

Getting started with Data Science or need a refresher? Clustering is among the most used tools of Data Scientists. Check out these 10 Clustering-related terms and their concise definitions....

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Security On The Cheap: Whither Security Force Assistance (SFA)?

Security On The Cheap: Whither Security Force Assistance (SFA)?

A U.S. Army Special Forces weapons sergeant observes a Niger Army soldier during marksmanship training as part of Exercise Flintlock 2017 in Diffa, Niger, February 28, 2017. [U.S. Army/SFC Christopher Klutts/AFRICOM]

Paul Staniland, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, has a new article in The Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage blog that contends that the U.S. is increasingly relying on a strategy of “violence management� in dealing with the various counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and stability conflicts (i.e. “small wars�) it is involved with around the world.

As he describes it,

America’s “violence management� strategy relies on light ground forces, airpower and loose partnerships with local armed actors. Its aim is to degrade and disrupt militant organizations within a chaotic, fractured political landscape, not to commit large numbers of forces and resources to building robust new governments.

…Violence management sidesteps politics in favor of sustained military targeting. This approach takes for granted high levels of political disorder, illiberal and/or fractured local regimes, and protracted conflicts. The goal is disrupting militant organizations without trying to build new states, spur economic development, or invest heavily in post-conflict reconstruction.

…It has three core elements: a light U.S. ground force commitment favoring special forces, heavy reliance on airpower and partnerships of convenience with local militias, insurgents, and governments.

…Politically, this strategy reduces both costs and commitments. America’s wars stay off the front pages, the U.S. can add or drop local partners as it sees fit, and U.S. counterterror operations remain opaque.

Staniland details the risks associated with this strategy but does not assess its effectiveness. He admits to ambivalence on that in an associated discussion on Twitter.

Whither SFA?

Partnering with foreign government, organizations, and fighters to counter national security threats is officially known by the umbrella terms Security Force Assistance in U.S. government policy terminology. It is intended to help defend host nations from external and internal threats, and encompasses foreign internal defense (FID), counterterrorism (CT), counterinsurgency (COIN), and stability operations. The U.S. has employed this approach success since World War II.

Has it been effective? Interestingly enough, this question has not been seriously examined. The best effort so far is a study done by Stephen Biddle, Julia Macdonald, and Ryan Baker, “Small Footprint, Small Payoff: The Military Effectiveness of Security Force Assistance,� published the Journal of Strategic Studies earlier this year. It concluded:

We find important limitations on SFA’s military utility, stemming from agency problems arising from systematic interest misalignment between the US and its typical partners. SFA’s achievable upper bound is modest and attainable only if US policy is intrusive and conditional, which it rarely is. For SFA, small footprints will usually mean small payoffs.

A Mixed Recent Track Record

SFA’s recent track record has been mixed. It proved conditionally successful countering terrorists and insurgents in the Philippines and in the coalition effort to defeat Daesh in Iraq and Syria; and it handed a black eye to Russian sponsored paramilitary forces in Syria earlier this year. However, a train and advice mission for the moderate Syrian rebels failed in 2015; four U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers died in an ambush during a combined patrol in Niger in October 2017; there are recurring cases of U.S.-trained indigenous forces committing human rights abuses; and the jury remains out on the fate of Afghanistan.

The U.S. Army’s proposed contribution to SFA, the Security Forces Assistance Brigade, is getting its initial try-out in Afghanistan right now. The initial reports indicate that it has indeed boosted SFA capacity there. What remains to be seen is whether that will make a difference. The 1st SFAB suffered its first combat casualties earlier this month when Corporal Joseph Maciel was killed and two others were wounded in an insider attack at Tarin Kowt in Uruzgan province.

Will a strategy of violence management prove successful over the longer term? Stay tuned…

How big data is busting traffic jams

How big data is busting traffic jams

This article was written by Jim McClelland. Jim is a sustainable futurist, speaker, writer and social-media commentator. His specialisms include built environment, corporate social responsibility and...

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How AI Could Revolutionize How We Take Care of Ourselves

How AI Could Revolutionize How We Take Care of Ourselves

Already, AI is making waves in most industries. Experts are expecting that it will have a huge impact on most aspects of our lives, including helping us drive better, take over for customer support at businesses, and even provide each of us with a personal assistant.

One of AI’s biggest advantages over humans is its ability to analyze massive amounts of data and handle multiple tasks at once. Alongside humans, AI can also learn and constantly improve at a task to best accomplish its goal. If that goal is to help us be healthier, then it could really make an impact in the personal health world.

Combining IoT Health Devices With an AI

Fitbits, smartwatches, calorie trackers — heck, there is even a smart fork that tells you how quickly to eat. We have tons of devices designed to track our personal health, each inputting quite a bit of data. Some try to use that data to better themselves, but it’s likely a lot of useful data goes unused.

Enter AI into monitoring your health. An AI could fully analyze data from IoT devices to help the user better understand their health efforts. By analyzing this data over time, combined with personal assessments of ...


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How Payroll AI and Machine Learning Are Transforming Businesses

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is a function that most companies and employees take for granted. However, it is highly complicated and difficult to run efficiently. This only becomes evident to people after payroll errors surface....

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How CDOs View Data Ethics: Corporate Conscience or More Regulations

How CDOs View Data Ethics: Corporate Conscience or More Regulations

We really are in the midst of a data revolution. With a huge amount of data being generated every day, organizations in the current world are encircled left, right, and center by data and the analytic tools that are required for handling it. Leveraging this data has given companies unprecedented insights into different customer preferences and how they can cater to these needs. So, with all the emphasis on data and the capabilities it holds in the current world, should there be a question regarding data ethics?

Recently, I got a chance to attend Sapphire by SAP. At the occasion, I was asked to moderate the International Society of Chief Data Officers event along with Franz Faerber, Executive Vice President at SAP, and Michael Servaes, Executive Director, International Society of Chief Data Officers. The event was graced by some very knowledgeable attendees, who shed light on the importance of data ethics, and what the way forward is.

Speaking at the event, I talked about the different uses of data in place within the world today, and how that shapes our present and our future. Most of the companies today are not competing with their competitors anymore, but they are now up against the bar that ...


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How the Machine Learning Catalogs Stack Up

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This One Thing Is Killing Your Digital Transformation

This One Thing Is Killing Your Digital Transformation

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Five Steps to Guarantee a Successful Master Data Management Implementation

Five Steps to Guarantee a Successful Master Data Management Implementation

Today’s guest blog post is written by Nils Erik Pedersen of Stibo Systems. In here Nils Erik goes through five essential prerequisites for making your MDM implementation a success. For any Master...

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The Business Benefits of Having your CEO on Social Media

The Business Benefits of Having your CEO on Social Media

Unless you have been on the planet Zog, you are probably aware of the Thai Football team and their coach that got stuck in the caves. While Elon Musk was not in the end required to help he did get...

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Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 3

Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 3

My previous posts on this subject looked at the claims of two panzer aces made on the 5th of July 1943 and the claims for Wittmann for 7 and 8 July. Let me address a couple of more claims credited to Michael Wittmann (1914-1944) and Franz Staudegger (1921-1995).

  1. It is claimed that Staudegger killed 22 T-34s on 7 or 8 July.
    1. Including two tanks in close combat.
      1. Agte’s book does note two tanks killed in close action in the battle of 8 July but this was done by the infantry of the 2nd SS (Deutschland) PzGr Rgt (Agte, page 103). This was in addition to the 22 T-34s Staudegger killed.
      2. But Agte does note the two T-34s killed in close action by Staudegger on the 5th, crediting him with 24 kills for the battle (Agte, page 128).
    2. At the village of Psyolknee.
      1. Agte does not claim it was at Psyolknee.
      2. But these people do (and they date the battle 7 July):
        1. https://ww2gravestone.com/tiger-1-germany-t-34-soviet-union/
        2. https://www-d0.fnal.gov/~turcot/Armour/tiger.htm
        3. http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Franz_Staudegger
        4. As does many other sites (just search Staudegger & Psyolknee)

His actual Knight’s Cross submission says 8 July (Agte, page 105), so not sure where the 7 July date comes from. Usually the sources that mention the 7 July date also mention the village of Psyolknee. Well, I have the 1:50000 scale maps, and I cannot find a village anywhere called Psyolknee. Have no idea where that name comes from (actually let me guess…several kilometers north of them was the river the Psel. It could also have been transliterated as Psyol. Not sure where the “knee” comes from).

The story is that his unit went off to the NW leaving him in Teterivino. There was then an attack by 50-60 tanks from the NE and he drove out of Teterivino, engaged them alone, but with the 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment in the area and also engaged. He killed 17 tanks in two hours. The Soviet armor withdrew. He then drove after them, ran across them in a hollow and destroyed five more, running out of ammo. All were T-34s.

So, which Soviet unit was attacking on 8 July to the NE of Teterivino with 50-60 tanks?

Well, as reported in my book (Kursk, page 622) the LSSAH panzer group attacked to the northwest out of Teterevino (map grid 3050). Most of this force became embroiled with a fight with parts of the XXXI Tank Corps, specifically the 100th Tank Brigade. I note that the assault gun battalion, reinforced by the 2nd SS PzGr Rgt was sent to Luchki (map grid 2546) to guard against a new tank threat from the area northeast of Teterevino (probably the X Tank Corps, but it could have been the newly arriving II Tank Corps). I do have maps from the SS Panzer Corps (page 624) and the XXXI Tank Corps (page 626) for that day in the book. Luchki is actually SW of Teterevino (north). Note that there is a second Teterevino on the map at map grid 3340. They are only around 10 kilometers from each other. I also have a map of the X Tank Corps positions around Prokhorovka and the Psel River for 1700 on 7 July and 2100 on 8 July (page 627).

  1. The SS Panzer Corps map for 8 July shows Das Reich SS PzGrD operating in Teterevino (actually in both of them) — see page 624
  2. XXXI Tank Corps is definitely not near Teterevino — see page 626
  3. The X Tank Corps is to the north and northeast of Teterevino, with the 178th Tank Brigade being the closest — see page 627.

So where was the X Tank Corps on the 8th? Well, the unit records I have don’t help a lot here. They specifically claim that on the July 7 at 1700 the corps was in the area of Prokhorovka along the following line (TSAMO, Fond: 3410, Opis: 1, Delo: 17):

  1. 178th Tank Bde: The bushes–ht. 252.4–the brick;
  2. 183rd Tank Bde and self-propelled gun rgt; the road from Prokhorovka to the southeast—northern outskirts of Lutovo (3957)–the upper reaches of the gullies 1 km south of Prokhorovka (4156);
  3. 11th Mech Bde with a mortar rgt: ht. 230.5–the road junction 2 km northeast of ht. 230.5;
  4. The 186th Tank Bde forms the reserve in the area of Litovka (4261)-Borchevka (4259). this is north of Prokhorovka.

By 2100 on 8 July the situation was as follows:

  1. 11th Mech Bde with a mortar rgt: Krasnyi Oktiabr (2758)–Prokhorovka (2857)–Vasilyevka (3056);
    1. Note that there are two Prokhorovka’s on the map, one at 2857 on the Psel River and the larger and more famous one at 4057. They are 12 kilometers apart. This unit is clearly on the Psel River.
  2. 183rd Tank Bde with a SP gun rgt: the southern outskirts of Kruglik–southern outskirts of Kalinovka;
    1. This is opposite the 48th Panzer corps.
  3. 178th Tank Bde with an AT art rgt: the southern spur of the gully south of Andreyevka (3256?…on the Psel river?) – northern slopes of ht. 240.6
  4. 186th Tank Bde: Situation unchanged

Now you kind of need to look at the 1:50000 scale maps of the area to sort this out (I do have them in my book). I will place the grid coordinates of every named place in their discussion, as they can be mapped out on graph paper (i.e. 3350 is the 33 kilometer on the north-south line and 50 kilometer on the east-west line). But…..we can probably shorten the discussion by looking at the unit strength and losses. The July 7 the 10th Tank Corps had:

  1. 186th Tank Bde; 32 T-34s, 21 T-70s
  2. 183rd Tank Bde: 32 T-34s, 22 T-70s
  3. 178th Tank Bde: 32 T-34s, 21 T-70s
  4. 1450th SP Art Rgt: 9 SU-76s, 12 SU-152s
  5. Elsewhere: 3 T-34s

Now it states for the Corps that losses from 7 – 11 July were 515 killed, 1,124 wounded, 25 guns, 16 AT rifles, 10 cars, 2 tanks, 4 mortars and 57 machine guns (page 10 of TSAMO, Fond: 3410, Opis: 1, Delo: 17). Also note Fond: 3410, Opis: 1, Delo: 14, page 5: X Tank Corps losses from 7-12 July 1943: 515 KIA, 1,124 WIA, 7 76mm, 18 45mm, 4 mortars, 57 machineguns, and 2 T-34s. The First Tank Army (primarily opposite 48th Panzer Corps) started reporting the X Tank Corps on 9 July on two of its tanks brigades (identified in a 10 July report at the 183rd and 186th tank brigades). We have no reports on the 178th Tank Brigade until we receive a personnel loss report from the First Tank Army for 5-19 July. The 178th Tank Brigade lost 34 KIA and 134 WIA for this period. On 15 July the 10th Tank Corps, which had driven into Tolstoye Woods, had a reported tank strength of 110 tanks: 1 KV, 63 T-34s and 45 T-70s (the math error is in the original). So all indications are that no tank brigade from this unit was seriously shot up on the 8th. If one was, it would have had to been the 178th Tank Brigade.

So what is one to do? It appears that while the X Tank Corps three brigades were in the area on the 7th, they were moving over to the 48th Panzer Corps sector and never did attack towards Teterevino. Clearly the German claim of 50 to 60 tanks would indicate one full strength Soviet tank brigade. None of their tank brigades appear to have taken any significant losses at this time. I gather most of the losses were taken by their mechanized brigade, which remained in the Prokhorovka area after the rest of the tank corps had moved over to the northwestern flank of the 48th Panzer Corps.

Lets briefly also look at the XXXI Tank Corps.

  1.  According to Operational Report #206, 1st Tank Army, 0700 July 8, 1943: XXXI Tank Corps with the attached 192nd Tank Bde is defending the line Krasnaya Polyana–ht. 252.5–western outskirts of Malye Mayachi–western half of Greznoye–ht. 227.8. From 0600 the corps is fighting with enemy tanks where have broken through towars ht. 239.6. Enemy aircraft, in groups of 20-30 planes, is severely bombing the corps’ units.
  2. According to Operational Report #207, 1st Tank Army, 1800 July 8, 1943: XXXI Tank Corps with the 192nd Tank Bde; during the day fougth along the line Krasnaya Polyana–Malye Mayachi–Greznoye, repelled the enemty’s attempts to break through to Veselyi. By 1500 the enemy had broken through our front in the direction of Grenzye and Kochetovka from the area of ht. 224.5. Simultaneously, 100 enemy tanks launched an attack in this direction from the area of Veselyi. The fighting continues. Losses for July 7 are 25 tanks knocked out or burned personnel losses are being calculated.
  3. According to Operational Report #208, 1st Tank Army, 1900 July 9, 1943: XXXI Tank Corps, with the 59th Ind Tank Rgt and the 4th AT Art Rgt defended the line along the western bank of the Solotinka River on the Sukhoe Solotino sector–ht. 188.1, with the mission of preventing a breakthrough by the enemy’s tanks in the direction of Kochetovka–the Oboyan highway…..There is no information on losses at this time.
  4. Also according to Operational Report #208, 1900 July 9, 1943: Two brigades of the X Tank Corps reached the fighting at 1600 and were ordered to deploy and attack the enemy, as to halt his further advance to the north and northwest, and to close the break in the line….
  5. Operational Report #210, 1900 July 10, 1943:
    1. X Tank Corps: “On July 9 the corps lost 2 T-34s burned.”

Determining the locations and actions of the II Tank Corps on the 8th and 9th of July are somewhat of a challenge. We have detailed daily reports of actions and losses starting the 10th.

  1. At 0700 on July 10 the enemy attacked the Komsomolets Sokhoz (3253). II Tank Corps is defending the line (excl.) Vasilevka (3056)–Andreyevka (3256) –Mikhailovka (3357) –ht. 241.6–the railroad crossing 2 km north of Belenikhino (3350), with the mission of preventing an enemy advance on Prokhorovka.
    1. This does stretch the corps from the Psel River to in front of Prokhorovka to opposite the Das Reich SS Division.
  2.  The same report (TSAMO, Fond: 3407, Opis: 1, Delo: 108, pages 195-216) does give strength and losses.
    1. 99th Tank Bde: 31 T-34s (15 ready for action, 12 knocked out and 4 undergoing repair), 21 T-70s (16 ready for action, 4 knocked out, and 4 broken down)
    2. 26th Tank Bde: 11 T-34s (3 broken down, 6 knocked out); 4 T-70s (3 broken down, 3 knocked out). In all there are 20 T-34s and 20 T-70s.
    3. 169th Tank Bde: 31 T-34s (5 broken down, 3 knocked out); 19 T-70s (1 knocked out).
    4. 15th Guards Heavy Tank Rgt: 13 Churchills (2 broken down, 2 knocked out).
    5. So based upon losses it is possible on 8 July that 99th Bde could have been engaged (and lost 16 tanks) or the 26th Tank Bde could have been engaged (and lost 9 tanks) or the 169th Tank Bde could have been engaged (an lost 4 tanks). Of course, this is the strength as of 0700 on 10 July. The incident in question happened on the 8th.
  3. My book notes that:
    1. The II Tank Corps was originally ordered to Korocha on the 6th (page 496).
    2. It was alerted the night of 6/7 July (at 2345) and by 0800 on 8 July had concentrated in the Kamyishevka and Pravorot area (page 497) or Pravorot (4052) and Krasnoye (4555) (see page 534)..
    3. It then concentrated in the Vinogradovka area (3650) on the morning of the 8th after its 200 kilometer march on the 7th (page 534).
    4. It attacked on the afternoon of the 8th (page 534).
    5. The II Tank Corps lost at least 31 tanks on the 8th (page 534).
    6. Its attack on the 8th is described in depth on page 629.
      1. The corps attacked at 1320 (Moscow time).
      2. Lost more than 30 tanks.
      3. Between 2100 and 2200 one the brigades of the tank corps attacked height 258.2, which was occupied by the Soviet 183rd Rifle Division.
      4. I do have an interview on that page from a tank commander in the 99th Tank Bde (Senior Sergeant Petr Petrovich Ivanov, born 1924, interviewed 1999).
        1. “…Our tank brigade moved forward in two battalion columns followed by one battalion and motorized rifle units. The Germans started shelling us, but we got a command to move faster. We saw the German tanks when we were about two kilometers away from them. We continued moving closer….When the German tanks and artillery started their massive fire and one of their shells hit my tank turret, my mood dropped, but I continued moving forward in the first line of the brigade. The tank battle lasted for several hours. We could not move forward. Actually, we had to retreat some because the Germans started to go around our tank brigade from the flanks. Then I got a little bit scared. On top of everything, an artillery shell hit the tank. The shell did not penetrate the tank, but a piece of armor, chipped from inside of the tank because of the shell, wound the gunner in the shoulder….
      5. Note this discussion is in the section about the fighting by Das Reich.
        1. I have it in my engagement sheet on page 642 as opposite Das Reich.
      6. Regardless, it does not look like the engagement or the unit that Staudegger engaged.

The fourth and final candidate is the V Guards Tank Corps (as the II Guards Tank Corps has good records and clearly was not a candidate, see the tank corps map in my book on page 636). We actually have decent records from the V Guards Tank Corps for the 8th.

  1. At 1030 the corps launched a counterattack and reached the line Sobachevskii (3044)–Kalinin (3246)–Belenikhino (3348)
    1. This would put it opposite the Das Reich SS Division.
    2. More detail positions by Tank Bde are provided by Combat Report #0112, 2200, July 8, 1943: (TSAMO, Fond: 3403, Opis: 1, Delo 18),
    3. 20th Gds Tank Bde = 2 km south of Sobachevskii
    4. 22nd Gds Tank Bde = Belenikhino, where it was halted by intense tank and antitank gun fire.
    5. This is the report that incorrectly states: “II Tank Corps, on the right, was concentrating in the Vinogradovka area, but did not attacking during the day.”
  2. Losses for July 8 are:
    1. 20th Gds Tank Bde = 14 T-34s and 7 T-70s
    2. 21st Gds Tank Bde = 14 T-34s and 2 T-70s
    3. 22nd Gds Tank Bde = none (it says that)
  3. Tank in line on the evening of July 8:
    1. 20th Gds Tank Bde = 7 T-34s, 7 T-70s
    2. 21st Gds Tank Bde = 7 T-34s, 7 T-70s
    3. 22nd Gds Tank Bde = 7 T-34s, 5 T-70s
  4. Souce: TSAMO, Fond: 3403, Opis: 1, Delo: 18a
  5. There is also the 48th Guards Tank Rgt with the unit which started the battle with 21 Churchills. On the morning of July 7 it was still reporting 21 Mk-4s. At 2200 8 July it was reporting 5 Churchills..

So in conclusion…..

  1. It does not appear to have been the X Tank Corps (unless they did an attack and only lost two tanks, or they did an attack, lost a lot of tanks and did not report it…at all, ever);
    1. If it did attack, the most likely candidate is the 178th Tank Brigade.
  2. It does not appear to have been the XXXI Tank Corps (unless a tank brigade detached from the corps, moved many kilometers across the front of the SS Panzer Corps advance and came down from the NE…but this seems extremely unlikely).
  3. It does not appear to be from the II Tank Corps; although it could have been. This is the best possible candidate.
    1. The 99th Tank Bde had lost at least 16 tanks, but appears to have been engaged with the combined arms force from Das Reich.
    2. The 26th Tank Bde had lost at least 9 tanks (at least 6 T-34s).
    3. The 169th Tank Bde does not appear to have been seriously engaged (at least 4 tanks lost, 3 were T-34s).
  4. And the V Guards Tank Corps on the 8th was clearly facing Das Reich and was to the left (south) of II Tank Corps.
  5. Therefore, the most likely candidate is the 26th Tank Bde, which we don’t have location and action data for. It lost at least 9 tanks on the 8th (6 T-34s, 3 T-70s).

So which Soviet unit attacked there and what were their losses? Does anyone out there have better records of the II Tank Corps actions on the 8th?

 

P.S. The picture is of a Tiger I at the Battle of Kursk: Source: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/guest-bloggers/franz-staudegger-german-tiger.html

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When virtual reality became affordable and client-friendly, it started growing popular. Nowadays, most businesses are keen on the opportunities formed by this technology. It is not a big shock because people can have the freedom to see things that only exist in the digital world. In the digital world, you can be able to understand objects by getting their description. In this article, you will get to learn some of the fantastic ways in which virtual reality can help your business succeed.

1. VR has an impact on all business fields

The release of VR headsets last year helps in the entertainment industry. All business processes like marketing, finance, and HR can be easily simulated in Virtual Reality. The duties performed by the VR can be divided into training and practical application. When it comes to the practical application, people can be able to carry out their duties without being present. Additionally, you can be able to interact with and model real-world objects that are not feasible in reality. On the other hand, the training part of VR allows the user to put themselves in situations that can be simulated on a computer. An excellent example of a technology that is common ...


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In today’s day and age, data migration is something most growing businesses eventually face. Unfortunately, very few executives are adequately prepared for how to handle it. Are you confident that your business can take on data migration and survive to tell about it?

Overcoming Key Data Migration Challenges

A study from Bloor Research shows that the failure rate for data migration projects is an astonishing 38 percent. In other words, more than one out of every three data migration projects experiences a hiccup, which can prevent businesses from performing normal business activities, hurt their reputation, and potentially costs thousands of dollars when it’s all said and done.

The big question is why?  Why is data migration so difficult in today’s business climate? According to NetApp, the answer is “data gravity.�

Data gravity is essentially a metaphor used to describe how data attracts other data as it grows; how this data is integrated into an organization; and how the data becomes customized over a period of time.

When it comes to moving data from physical storage and servers to cloud infrastructures, the gravity becomes even more intense. This often leads executives to make big mistakes and oversights, such as these:

1. Lack of Strategy

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TDI Friday Read: Measuring The Effects of Combat in Cities

TDI Friday Read: Measuring The Effects of Combat in Cities

Between 2001 and 2004, TDI undertook a series of studies on the effects of urban combat in cities for the U.S. Army Center for Army Analysis (CAA). These studies examined a total of 304 cases of urban combat at the divisional and battalion level that occurred between 1942 and 2003, as well as 319 cases of concurrent non-urban combat for comparison.

The primary findings of Phases I-III of the study were:

  • Urban terrain had no significantly measurable influence on the outcome of battle.
  • Attacker casualties in the urban engagements were less than in the non-urban engagements and the casualty exchange ratio favored the attacker as well.
  • One of the primary effects of urban terrain is that it slowed opposed advance rates. The average advance rate in urban combat was one-half to one-third that of non-urban combat.
  • There is little evidence that combat operations in urban terrain resulted in a higher linear density of troops.
  • Armor losses in urban terrain were the same as, or lower than armor losses in non-urban terrain. In some cases it appears that armor losses were significantly lower in urban than non-urban terrain.
  • Urban terrain did not significantly influence the force ratio required to achieve success or effectively conduct combat operations.
  • Overall, it appears that urban terrain was no more stressful a combat environment during actual combat operations than was non-urban terrain.
  • Overall, the expenditure of ammunition in urban operations was not greater than that in non-urban operations. There is no evidence that the expenditure of other consumable items (rations; water; or fuel, oil, or lubricants) was significantly different in urban as opposed to non-urban combat.
  • Since it was found that advance rates in urban combat were significantly reduced, then it is obvious that these two effects (advance rates and time) were interrelated. It does appear that the primary impact of urban combat was to slow the tempo of operations.

In order to broaden and deepen understanding of the effects of urban combat, TDI proposed several follow-up studies. To date, none of these have been funded:

  1. Conduct a detailed study of the Battle of Stalingrad. Stalingrad may also represent one of the most intense examples of urban combat, so may provide some clues to the causes of the urban outliers.
  2. Conduct a detailed study of battalion/brigade-level urban combat. This would begin with an analysis of battalion-level actions from the first two phases of this study (European Theater of Operations and Eastern Front), added to the battalion-level actions completed in this third phase of the study. Additional battalion-level engagements would be added as needed.
  3. Conduct a detailed study of the outliers in an attempt to discover the causes for the atypical nature of these urban battles.
  4. Conduct a detailed study of urban warfare in an unconventional warfare setting.

Details of the Phase I-III study reports and conclusions can be found below:

Measuring The Effects Of Combat In Cities, Phase I

Measuring the Effects of Combat in Cities, Phase II – part 1

Measuring the Effects of Combat in Cities, Phase II – part 2

Measuring the Effects of Combat in Cities, Phase III – part 1

Measuring the Effects of Combat in Cities, Phase III – part 2

Measuring the Effects of Combat in Cities, Phase III – part 2.1

Measuring the Effects of Combat in Cities, Phase III – part 3

Urban Phase IV – Stalingrad

Urban Combat in War by Numbers

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It’s Time To Require Analytics In Business Plans

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Profit and Loss (P&L) statements permeate businesses due to the need to track how a business is performing at overall, business unit, and even project-by-project levels. This blog raises a question: why shouldn’t an analytics plan be expected as a part of the business plan for any major initiative just like a P&L is? During some recent client discussions, it became apparent that the necessity of thinking about analytics up front must be reinforced and promoted by those of us in the analytics and data science community. Over time, it will then become standard practice for the broader business community.

A P&L Is A Given

It is widely accepted that if someone is asked to invest in anything of substance within the business world, they’re going to want to see an estimated P&L up front as part of the business plan. Then, if an investment is made, there will be an expectation of receiving ongoing P&L updates in terms of both performance-to-date and projected-performance moving forward. I doubt that many people would argue with this expectation or be surprised by it. The need for a P&L as part of a business plan is simply accepted.

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Digital technology and the rise of big data has spurred ongoing questions about maintaining integrity - in business and marketing. Business leaders are experiencing a new paradigm where everyone must take into consideration important issues, such as privacy, tracking and how we are utilising data for personal use and profit.

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How Artificial Intelligence Impacts Business Management

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming an integral facet within many businesses. Artificial Intelligence serves various functions within a corporation and helps to streamline business processes, which will allow your company to perform more effectively and reach organizational goals more efficiently. AI will likely begin to play a more significant role in the way that companies operate as the software continues to advance and moves towards the forefront of the industry. As previously mentioned, artificial intelligence can enhance various facets of effectively managing a business, some of which are as follows:

Customer Support

Artificial intelligence is already being utilized within various company's customer support departments throughout the world, and nearly everyone has interacted with the software at one point or another. For example, when you call a customer support hotline and are greeted by a robotic answering system, this is a form of artificial intelligence. This software is programmed with automated responses that help guide you through the customer support process.

Purchase Recommendations

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It All Starts with the Supply Chain

Provenance and Everledger are both great examples of what blockchain can do for supply chain management. With Provenance, you get a detailed transaction record that tracks every major event in the production process from when the pieces roll out on the assembly line to the final delivery to a customer. By showing the story behind the production, consumers get a product they can trust that is exactly as advertised. Worried about fair trade? Provenance makes it easy to verify fair trade statements, organic certifications and much more.

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A growing number of vendors making available pay-as-you-go acquisition alternatives to meet increasing demand for off-balance sheet infrastructure. But can they deliver?
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Dupuy’s Verities: The Utility Of Defense

Dupuy’s Verities: The Utility Of Defense

Battle of Franklin, 1864 by Kurz and Allison. Restoration by Adam Cuerden [Wikimedia Commons]

The third of Trevor Dupuy’s Timeless Verities of Combat is:

Defensive posture is necessary when successful offense is impossible.

From Understanding War (1987):

Even though offensive action is essential to ultimate combat success, a combat commander opposed by a more powerful enemy has no choice but to assume a defensive posture. Since defensive posture automatically increases the combat power of his force, the defending commander at least partially redresses the imbalance of forces. At a minimum he is able to slow down the advance of the attacking enemy, and he might even beat him. In this way, through negative combat results, the defender may ultimately hope to wear down the attacker to the extent that his initial relative weakness is transformed into relative superiority, thus offering the possibility of eventually assuming the offensive and achieving positive combat results. The Franklin and Nashville Campaign of our Civil War, and the El Alamein Campaign of World War II are examples.

Sometimes the commander of a numerically superior offensive force may reduce the strength of portions of his force in order to achieve decisive superiority for maximum impact on the enemy at some other critical point on the battle�eld, with the result that those reduced-strength components are locally outnumbered. A contingent thus reduced in strength may therefore be required to assume a defensive posture, even though the overall operational posture of the marginally superior force is offensive, and the strengthened contingent of the same force is attacking with the advantage of superior combat power. A classic example was the role of Davout at Auerstadt when Napoléon was crushing the Prussians at Jena. Another is the role played by “Stonewall� Jackson’s corps at the Second Battle of Bull Run. [pp. 2-3]

This verity is both derivative of Dupuy’s belief that the defensive posture is a human reaction to the lethal environment of combat, and his concurrence with Clausewitz’s dictum that the defense is the stronger form of combat. Soldiers in combat will sometimes reach a collective conclusion that they can no longer advance in the face of lethal opposition, and will stop and seek cover and concealment to leverage the power of the defense. Exploiting the multiplying effect of the defensive is also a way for a force with weaker combat power to successfully engage a stronger one.

It also relates to the principle of war known as economy of force, as defined in the 1954 edition of the U.S. Army’s Field Manual FM 100-5, Field Service Regulations, Operations:

Minimum essential means must be employed at points other than that of decision. To devote means to unnecessary secondary efforts or to employ excessive means on required secondary efforts is to violate the principle of both mass and the objective. Limited attacks, the defensive, deception, or even retrograde action are used in noncritical areas to achieve mass in the critical area.

These concepts are well ingrained in modern U.S. Army doctrine. FM 3-0 Operations (2017) summarizes the defensive this way:

Defensive tasks are conducted to defeat an enemy attack, gain time, economize forces, and develop conditions favorable for offensive or stability tasks. Normally, the defense alone cannot achieve a decisive victory. However, it can set conditions for a counteroffensive or counterattack that enables Army forces to regain and exploit the initiative. Defensive tasks are a counter to enemy offensive actions. They defeat attacks, destroying as much of an attacking enemy as possible. They also preserve and maintain control over land, resources, and populations. The purpose of defensive tasks is to retain key terrain, guard populations, protect lines of communications, and protect critical capabilities against enemy attacks and counterattacks. Commanders can conduct defensive tasks to gain time and economize forces, so offensive tasks can be executed elsewhere. [Para 1-72]

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Three Mid-Year’s Resolutions: Learn Some HPC, AI, and Cloud

Three Mid-Year’s Resolutions: Learn Some HPC, AI, and Cloud

With 2018 halfway over, I call on everyone to forget your organization for a moment and make a conscience plan to invest in yourself. 1-2-3. Think of it as "three steps to a better me."  It's fun too!

Here is an assignment for us now (should you decide to accept it): do one thing in each of three categories: HPC, AI, Cloud.

HPC

Our assignment for HPC is this: Complete at least one of the following three choices.  Extra credit: splurge on yourself and do all three.


Ask vendors for recommendations on how to get a day of technical training that sounds interesting to you and your team.  Of course, you can do a Google search and find many online courses and videos on your own.  Regardless of how you find the content – give it your full attention and learn!
Attend an HPC conference, and find time to soak it in. The International Supercomputing Conference in Germany (just completed this year), and Supercomputing in the USA (coming up in November!), are the two largest to consider. The key is to give yourself time to engage!
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Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 2

Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 2

My previous post on this subject looked at the claims of two panzer aces made on the 5th of July 1943. Let me address a couple of more claims credited to Michael Wittmann (1914-1944) and Franz Staudegger (1921-1995).

  1. It is claimed that Wittmann killed two T-34s, two SU-122s and 3 T-60s/T-70s on 7 and 8 July 1943.
    1. Sources of these claims:
      1. http://www.solargeneral.org/wp-content/uploads/library/michael-wittmann.pdf
      2. http://ww2live.com/en/content/world-war-2-when-fierce-soviet-resistance-wasnt-trouble-michael-wittmann-panzer-ace-black
      3. https://www.sofmag.com/tiger-tank-ace-michael-wittmann-destroying-30-soviet-tanks-in-battle-of-kursk-july-1943/
      4. http://panzervor.com/index/wittm.html
      5. and there are others.
    2. These claims are not mentioned in Agte’s book on Wittmann.

The challenge here is finding where those SU-122s were. They were:

  1. The 1440th SP Artillery Rgt that was attached to the 67th GRD, opposite the German 48th Panzer Corps and probably lost most of its armor on the 5th.
    1. The Germans report that the Gross Deutschland Panzer Rgt encountered Su-122s on 7 July (see my Kursk book, page 510).
    2. On the 11th of July the XXXII Guards Rifle Corps had the 1440th SP Artillery Rgt attached to it, which had 2 SU-76s and 7 SU-122s ready for action (14 Su-76s and 8 SU-122s total).
    3. An unscathed Su-122 was found around Tolstoye Woods and handed over the 3rd Panzer Division for its use (see Kursk, page 1078).
  2. The 1438th SP Artillery Rgt that was part of the Seventh Guards Army and clearly never faced the SS. It has 9 Su-76s and 12 Su-122s.
  3. The 1447th SP Artillery Rgt which was part of the V Guards Mechanized Corps and still had 9 Su-75s and 12 Su-122 as of 11 July.
  4. The 1461st SP Artillery Rgt attached to the First Tank Army and was part of VI Tank Corps. It was far from the SS Panzer Corps.
  5. The XXIX Tank Corps has 12 Su-122s. But the corps did not see battle until 12th of July. They lost nine of them on 12 July (see Kursk, page 951).

Therefore, by default, the 1438th, 1447th, 1461 SP Art Rgts and XXIX Tank Corps Su-122 would have never encountered the SS. The 1440th may have, but the 67th Guards Rifle Division and XXXII Guards Rifle Corps was primarily opposite the 11th Panzer Division. As the LSSAH was to the east of the 11th Panzer Division, it is possible that it could have been engaged by the LSSAH and Michael Wittmann. Overall, the claims for 7 and 8 July were possible. Do not know how probable they are.

Will address the claims for Staudegger in a subsequent post.

P.S. The first picture is of from Kubinka Tank Museum in Moscow Oblast. Not sure where the second picture of a German Su-122 came from, it was in an image gallery. Also see these links:

  1.  http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/soviet/soviet_SU-122.php
  2. http://russian-tanks.com/su-122.php
  3. https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/ussr/spg/su-122/
One Single Technology Could Have Prevented All the Biggest Data Breaches in the Past Year

One Single Technology Could Have Prevented All the Biggest Data Breaches in the Past Year

If you’ve followed the news in the last year, you have probably heard about at least one “major� data breach exposing the information of millions of Americans. In 2017, there were a record-breaking 1,579 reported data breaches, a 44.7% increase over the numbers reported in 2016 (which was also a record-breaking year).

This explosive growth in the number of reported breaches each year clearly points to an issue in how personal data is collected and stored by organizations and corporations. To address this issue, we have examined the biggest four data breaches reported in 2017 and identified commonalities between the company’s handling of data that led to the breach. A single technology, edge security could have prevented all four of these breaches and the majority of the other 1,574.

The “Big Four�

When discussing the big data breaches of 2017, four quickly come to mind: Equifax, Deep Root Analytics, Uber, and Yahoo. In all four cases, a company trusted with personal information failed to properly secure it, leading to its exposure when their systems were breached.

Equifax

When asked about the biggest data breach of 2017, most people’s minds go directly to Equifax. The credit monitoring company discovered in July 2017 that a hacker had ...


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How Blockchain Can Save The Climate – The Poseidon Foundation

How Blockchain Can Save The Climate – The Poseidon Foundation

This article is sponsored by The Poseidon Foundation.

Let’s assume it took you about two seconds to read the above headline. You’re hopefully interested in reading on, but otherwise, I’m sure it feels like little else has happened. Well in those two seconds alone an area of forest nearly as large as a soccer pitch has been cut down worldwide, which equates to 18.7 million acres of forests being lost annually.

Protecting forests is vital - because when it comes to stopping climate change, we’re running out of time. The 2015 Paris Agreement set the target of limiting global warming to less than 1.5°C by 2100, but by today’s emission levels, we will have already exhausted the carbon budget to reach this target by 2027. The need to drastically limit greenhouse gas emission is clear and preventing deforestation is the easiest natural solution known to man.

Forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so protecting trees works to clean the air we breathe. However, when these trees are cut down and burnt, all the carbon they have stored over hundreds of years is released back into the atmosphere – making the problem even worse. Preventing deforestation also acts to ...


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Another Look At The Role Of Russian Mercenaries In Syria

Another Look At The Role Of Russian Mercenaries In Syria

Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin—who reportedly has ties to Putin, the Russian Ministry of Defense, and Russian mercenaries—was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller on 16 February 2018 for allegedly funding and guiding a Russian government effort to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. [Alexei Druzhinin/AP]

As I recently detailed, many details remain unclear regarding the 7 February 2018 engagement in Deir Ezzor, Syria, between Russian mercenaries, Syrian government troops, and militia fighters and U.S. Special Operations Forces, U.S. Marines, and their partnered Kurdish and Syrian militia forces. Aside from questions as to just how many Russians participated and how many were killed, the biggest mystery is why the attack occurred at all.

Kimberly Marten, chair of the Political Science Department at Barnard College and director of the Program on U.S.-Russia Relations at Columbia University’s Harriman Institute, takes another look at this in a new article on War on the Rocks.

Why did Moscow initially deny any Russians’ involvement, and then downplay the casualty numbers? And why didn’t the Russian Defense Ministry stop the attackers from crossing into the American zone, or warn them about the likelihood of a U.S. counterstrike? Western media have offered two contending explanations: that Wagner acted without the Kremlin’s authorization, or that this was a Kremlin-approved attack that sought to test Washington while maintaining plausible deniability. But neither explanation fully answers all of the puzzles raised by the publicly available evidence, even though both help us understand more generally the opaque relationship between the Russian state and these forces.

After reviewing what is known about the relationship between the Russian government and the various Russian mercenary organizations, Marten proposes another explanation.

A different, or perhaps additional, rationale takes into account the ruthless infighting between Russian security forces that goes on regularly, while Russian President Vladimir Putin looks the other way. Russian Defense Ministry motives in Deir al-Zour may actually have centered on domestic politics inside Russia — and been directed against Putin ally and Wagner backer Yevgeny Prigozhin.

She takes a detailed look at the institutional relationships in question and draws a disquieting conclusion:

We may never have enough evidence to solve definitively the puzzles of Russian behavior at Deir al-Zour. But an understanding of Russian politics and security affairs allows us to better interpret the evidence we do have. Since Moscow’s employment of groups like Wagner appears to be a growing trend, U.S. and allied forces should consider the possibility that in various locations around the world, they might end up inadvertently, and dangerously, ensnared in Russia’s internal power struggles.

As with the Institute for the Study of War’s contention that the Russians are deliberately testing U.S. resolve in the Middle East, Marten’s interpretation that the actions of various Russian mercenary groups might be the result of internal Russian politics points to the prospect of further military adventurism only loosely connected to Russian foreign policy direction. Needless to say, the implications of this are ominous in a region of the world already beset by conflict and regional and international competition.

How augmented reality is transforming e-commerce

How augmented reality is transforming e-commerce

Augmented and mixed reality are revolutionising industries and allowing brands and businesses to create new immersive experiences for customers E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in...

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Why your workforce needs a confident digital culture

Why your workforce needs a confident digital culture

In the 21 century technology has become a ubiquitous part of modern workforces. Businesses are increasing their IT budgets and investing more in new IT designed to energise business performance and...

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Strategies for Monetizing Data: 2018 and Beyond

Strategies for Monetizing Data: 2018 and Beyond

The data revolution is here, and it creates an investment priority for enterprises to stay competitive and drive new opportunities. One of the brightest areas is data monetization, which describes how to create economic benefits, either additional revenue streams or savings, utilizing insights provided by data resources. With B2B and B2C data needs reaching an all-time high, the monetization strategies now and into the future should be seamless for use across multiple platforms.

To get an expert view on this matter, I recently tapped Jeremy Rader, Director of Data Centric Solutions at Intel. The Opportunity for Data Monetization

Researchers have reported that the market size for big data is on the rise and is fast becoming an important distinction for organizations. This age of data means that the data culture for every organization needs to be revamped. Almost any company now has the potential to be a data company. In a research study conducted recently on big data and analytics, more than 85 percent of all respondents interviewed reported that their organizations had taken steps toward a data-driven culture. But, when asked if they had success in achieving that culture, only 37 percent replied in the affirmative.

Positioning Your Organization for Success

A key protagonist in this move ...


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How Data Analytics Can Improve the Omni-Channel Customer Experience

How Data Analytics Can Improve the Omni-Channel Customer Experience

The ability to deliver exceptional customer experiences is a top way to drive revenue in the retail industry, and companies who’ve worked hard to develop and implement strong customer service are...

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How Will IoT Transform Logistics Industry?

How Will IoT Transform Logistics Industry?

The world has experienced many technologies and innovations in the last one decade ranging from the World Wide Web, the internet to mobile technologies, and now the internet of things (IoT). 

Though a popular innovation in the domestic environment such as smart home appliances, smart speakers and personal digital doctors, IoT is rapidly gaining popularity in various commercial industries including agriculture, healthcare, real estate and security, and the future seems even brighter for the logistics application development.

In a recent GT Nexus and Campegini combined research published on Business Insider, approximately 70 percent of retail logistics companies have already started application of the new technology to enhance decision making and increase performance to maximise returns. With the evolution of other technologies like GPS positioning, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchains and other automation, more of IoT application development is expected to disrupt the logistics and supply chain.

What Is IoT And Why Does It Matter?

IoT (Internet of Things) is a large network of man-made and natural physical objects (human, computer devices, digital machines, animals, mechanical machines and plants among others) that are connected using sensors and application programming interfaces (APIs) to share data over the internet. IoT application development depends on other technologies like ...


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4 must-haves for successful digital transformation

4 must-haves for successful digital transformation

Prior to the digital age, businesses tended to define themselves according to their products or services. However, digital technology has fundamentally altered buyer expectations and habits in both...

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Why Thought Leadership is Different From Influencer Marketing

Why Thought Leadership is Different From Influencer Marketing

Would you like to grow your brand reach, but don’t know what to focus on first? Does your audience really understand the value of what you have to offer them? There are several ways in which you can...

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5 of Our Favorite Open Source Visualization Tools

5 of Our Favorite Open Source Visualization Tools

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the collection and application of data is more important than ever for businesses looking to continue to grow. The downside? As we continually discover ways...

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Providing data security and privacy with blockchain technology

Providing data security and privacy with blockchain technology

By now, everyone in the business world has already heard about blockchain. Though 10 years ago it was created as the technology behind Bitcoin and for a long time many people believed that the main...

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From upskilling to outsourcing: How CTOs can introduce blockchain to the enterprise

From upskilling to outsourcing: How CTOs can introduce blockchain to the enterprise

Information Age’s guide on how to introduce blockchain to your enterprise in the face of the digital skills crisis. Looking at everything, from upskilling schemes and outsourcing to how CTOs...

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Are you paying enough attention to data engineering tasks?

Are you paying enough attention to data engineering tasks?

Data science is hot. Being a data scientist has been described as one of the world’s sexiest careers – though that may say more about the people coining the description than data science – and data...

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Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 1

Panzer Aces Wittmann and Staudegger at Kursk – part 1

Two of the top panzer aces at the Battle of Kursk were Michael Wittmann (1914-1944) and Franz Staudegger (1921-1995). They were both in the heavy panzer company (armed with Tiger Is) of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Panzer Grenadier Division (LSSAH or LSSAH PzGrD). I only briefly addressed them in my Kursk book. I now find myself going back over their efforts.

The problem is that while there are very detailed narratives on their actions from 5-12 July 1943, there are unresolved issues with these narratives. Let me address a couple of them:

  1. It is claimed that Wittmann killed 8 T-34s and 7 AT guns on 5 July 1943 (source: Agte, page 96, 126).
    1. Some accounts say 12. For example: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/top-7-facts-about-michael-wittmann-the-biggest-panzer-ace-in-wwii.html
    2. Some accounts say 13 T-34s and 2 AT guns.
  2. It is claimed that Staudegger killed two tanks (T-34s?) the evening of 5 July in close combat. (source: Agte, pages 98-99)
    1. Some accounts say it was a T-34. For example: https://www.warhistoryonline.com/guest-bloggers/franz-staudegger-german-tiger-ace-battle-kursk.html
    2. and http://ftr.wot-news.com/2013/09/04/staudeggers-run/

First of all, the unusually high German claims are the Eastern Front are often believable because of the unusually high losses by the Soviet Union. It often becomes difficult to disprove any claims. For example, on page 875 of my Kursk book I examine the German claims of tank kills compared to actual Soviet losses.

The biggest problem with the claims of killing T-34s on 5 July was that there was not many (if any) T-34s in and around the SS Panzer Corps on that day. The German accounts state that they were facing dug-in T-34s in their attack on 5 July (see Agte, pages 93, 95, 96 and 97). The attack of the LSSAH was in the area of Byikovka against the 52nd Guards Rifle Division, Sixth Guards Army. The armor units attached to the Sixth Guards Army were: 1) the 230th Tank Regiment, 2) the 245th Tank Regiment, 3) 1440th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment, and 4) the 96th Tank Brigade. The 245th Tank Regiment was armed with 27 U.S. built M-3 Stuart tanks and 12 U.S. built M-3 Grants. The 96th Tank Brigade had 5 T-70s and 46 T-34s. We did not have detailed unit records for the other two regiments, but we assumed for the Kursk Data Base (KDB) that the 230th Tank Regiment was also armed with American built tanks. Valerii Zamulin in his book has the 230th Tank Regiment with 32 Stuarts and 7 Lees (one in repair) on 1 June 1943. He also confirmed in a meeting with me at the now out-of-business Grevey’s Sports Bar that they were armed with American tanks. Zamulin’s book shows the 1440th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment on 1 June 1943 with 9 T-70s (one in repair) and 12 T-34s, but adds a footnote that states that at the beginning of the Kursk offensive the regiment was given a complete standard complement of a mix of 21 Su-76 and Su-122s. That is also what we had originally assumed (see Kursk: page 145).

So, to summarize, only one unit attached to the Sixth Guards Army, the 96th Tank Brigade, was armed with T-34s. This unit was located northeast of Belgorod, attached to the 375th Rifle Division, but to the east of Gostishchevo and behind (to the NE) of the 81st Guards Rifle Division (Seventh Guards Army). The SS Panzer Corps was deployed with the LSSAH on its left (west), the Das Reich SS Panzer Grenadier Division (DR) in the center and the Totenkopf SS Panzer Grenadier Division (T) on the right. The Sixth Guards Army was deployed with the 52nd Guards Rifle Division opposite both LSSAH and DR and to its east was the 375th Rifle Division, opposite T PzGrD. The 245th Tank Regiment we have records for and it appears that it lost most of its tanks on 5 July. They were to the west of the SS Panzer Corps, opposite the German 48th Panzer Corps. The accounts and interviews we did from the units of the 48th Panzer Corps reported American tanks there. The 1440th SP Artillery Regiment was attached to the 67th Guards Rifle Division, which was also opposite the 48th Panzer Corps. Certainly, in the morning of 5 July, it raises the question of which, if any, T-34s could have been engaged.

Now, we do have the records of the 96th Tank Brigade. It reports for 5 July that the moved on the 5th to defend the Lipovyii Donets crossings of the Nepkhayevo, Visloye and Ternovka. This is in the area of the T SS PzGrD. They report no losses on the 5th. They specifically state “No tank losses” on the 6th (TSAMO, Fond: 3191, Opis: 1, Delo: 3, pages 15-17). On July 8 they report a strength of 46 T-34s and 6 T-70s, so they had gained 1 T-70 since 4 July. They also reported their first losses (3 tanks burned and 3 knocked-out).

There were units moving up to the Soviet second defensive echelon. The 1st Guards Tank Brigade of the III Mechanized Corps was moving up to the left of the SS Panzer Corps. They report that they lost one T-34 at 23:30 on 5 July. This is discussed in my Kursk book on page 754. The biggest armored formation in the area was the excellently lead II Guards Tank Corps. It was to the NE of Belgorod, behind the 96th Guards Tank Brigade. It not receive orders to move on the 5th of July until 1635 (Kursk: 417).  The corps was deployed along the Lipovyii Donets at 0400 (Moscow time) on the 6th of July (Kursk: 473), which would put it facing T PzGrD.

Therefore, one of five things occurred:

  1. The 230th Tank Regiment was armed with T-34s (not likely)
  2. The 1440th SP Artillery Regiment was armed with 12 T-34s and saw action against the LSSAH (not likely).
  3. The 96th Tank Brigade saw significant action on the 5th (not likely).
  4. There were unreported T-34s that were part of the rifle divisions (not likely).
  5. The Germans were killing American tanks and claiming them as T-34s (most likely).

Finally one must consider the count. It appear that there were only around 39 tanks in the 230th Tank Regiment. The accounts published never mention any assault guns encountered on the 5th of July. Assuming 30 tanks from the 230th Tank Regiment were lost this day (which is what we assumed for the KDB), then did indeed Michael Wittmann kill 8 of them (27 percent)? Keep in mind this Soviet armor unit was facing two SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions, both of similar size and armament. Furthermore, Wittmann’s tank company was one of eight tank companies in his division, and one of 16 tank companies among these two divisions, plus there were 6 or so assault gun companies, four infantry regiments, many anti-tank guns, significant artillery, massive air support, etc. So could Wittmann have really killed 27 percent of the tanks the SS Panzer Corps faced that day, or his company killed 23 Soviet tanks (Kusk: page 392) or around 77 percent of the tanks the SS Panzer Corps faced that day? It is possible. Not sure how probable it is.

So, there are a lot of other experts out there. Please let me know where I might be wrong in questioning this.

 

P.S.

  1. The first picture is of Michael Wittmann, but colorized. It is from this site: http://www.ww2incolor.com/colorizations/MW8.html
  2. The second picture is supposedly of Michael Wittmann, but no claims as such, nor time and place. See: http://keywordsuggest.org/gallery/827239.html
  3. Picture of a Grant, although not from the Eastern Front.
  4. Picture of a Stuart, not from the Eastern Front.
  5. Picture of a T-34/76. See: http://weaponsman.com/?p=10924

P.P.S.: Some accounts of such claims:

Patrick Agte, Michael Wittmann: And the Waffen SS Tiger Commanders of the Leibstandarte in WWII: Volume One (Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA., 1996).

Also see my Kursk book, pages 145, 148, 267, 270, 271, 274, 284, 286, 392, 394, 395, 402, 417, 447, 473, 474, 754

 

 

How Big Data Analytics Is Changing Sports

How Big Data Analytics Is Changing Sports

Everyone who’s been keeping an eye on the tech scene knows by now that big data analytics is reshaping how many businesses operate, but fewer people seem to realize the true scope of big data’s impact on our world. Sports and sports medicine, for instance, have been drastically altered by the recent emergence of big data analytics in just the past few years alone. As this exciting technology continues to develop, the world of sports is going to be upended by disruption more and more.

Here’s how big data analytics is changing the world of sports for the better, and what aspiring athletes and loyal fans alike should know about this rapidly emerging technology.

Nothing is safe from big data

While many people who have heard a little bit about big data analytics before likely think about the financial world or tech-heavy businesses when they hear the words “big data analytics,� the trend of crunching huge sums of information with powerful programs has reached just about every aspect of modern life. The world of sports is no exception; from high school athletics to professional sports leagues, the power of big data analytics is being harnessed to keep better statistical records and to make ...


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Empowering the right employees to maintain GDPR compliance

Empowering the right employees to maintain GDPR compliance

Unless you live off the grid, you have probably recently received a flood of notifications from companies worldwide about updates to their privacy policies. These are the result of the launch of...

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Találós kérdés

Találós kérdés

c.pngImént egy régi Forbes magazin került a kezembe, amiben egy általam nagyra becsült emberrel készítettek interjút. Az utolsó kérdés-választ idézném itt a cikkből.  

- A világ jelentős része az ön útmutatása alapján keresi a boldogságot. Emlékszik, mi volt élete legboldogabb pillanata?


- Nem volt egyetlen kiemelkedő pillanat, a család és a munka tesz boldoggá. Mostanában annak örülök leginkább, ha valami érdekes és váratlan összefüggést találok az adatokban.

Találós kérdésem a következő: kivel készült az interjú?

Megosztom Facebookon! Megosztom Twitteren! Megosztom Tumblren!

All You Need to Know About Big Data and Its Influence on E-Commerce

All You Need to Know About Big Data and Its Influence on E-Commerce

E-commerce is a gigantic industry that gives people the privilege of exploring, comparing, and buying products remotely. Although it seems natural to most of us, this kind of service would be...

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How Big Data Analytics, AI and Machine Learning is Being Leveraged Across FinTech

How Big Data Analytics, AI and Machine Learning is Being Leveraged Across FinTech

I am sure that you have heard of one of the only profitable FinTech unicorns in the world: Klarna. A customer making an online purchase enters only their email address and zip code on an e-commerce...

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How Big Data Analytics, AI and Machine Learning is Being Leveraged Across FinTech

How Big Data Analytics, AI and Machine Learning is Being Leveraged Across FinTech

I am sure that you have heard of one of the only profitable FinTech unicorns in the world: Klarna. A customer making an online purchase enters only their email address and zip code on an e-commerce...

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The Powerful Role Of Big Data In The Healthcare Industry

The Powerful Role Of Big Data In The Healthcare Industry

The healthcare system is not only one of the largest industries. It is also one of the most complex, with patients constantly demanding better care management. The industry is making rapid progress....

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Why You Shouldn’t Have To Trust Anyone With Your Data

Why You Shouldn’t Have To Trust Anyone With Your Data

It has become commonplace for users to have to provide personal information in order to gain access to a service. At the very least, to have an account on any website, the site wants a username and...

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7 surprising companies where you can work on cutting-edge AI technology

7 surprising companies where you can work on cutting-edge AI technology

Consider yourself lucky if you happen to be studying machine learning, data science, business intelligence, or any other field that relates to AI. While automationslowly eats away at human jobs, the...

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Is SaaS Data Analytics Right for You?

Is SaaS Data Analytics Right for You?

Your company needs a data analytics platform. Or, you’re considering alternatives to your current platform. Either way, you’re reading this blog because you want more insight from more data, and you...

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Automated Machine Learning vs Automated Data Science

Automated Machine Learning vs Automated Data Science

Just by adding the term “automated” in front of these 2 separate, distinct concepts does not somehow make them equivalent. Machine learning and data science are not the same thing....

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3 Reasons Marketers Should Care About Data Governance

3 Reasons Marketers Should Care About Data Governance

Emma Hilton, contributing writer at ZAP Data Hub, discusses why she gives a hoot about data governance, and why you should too.

Data is the lifeblood of modern digital marketing. As marketers, we understand that we need to gather data in order to drive insight to fuel future efforts and make them more effective. From retargeting lists through to behavioural insights and personalisation - data is pretty much at the centre of everything we do - so why are we so reluctant to give it some TLC?

Ever found yourself getting excited about the latest technology but turning a blind eye to any associated risk? Surely it’s IT who should be worrying about that sort of thing?

Having a strong policy on data governance has a hugely positive impact on risk management within marketing. Here are 3 reasons why you should start taking some responsibility for it:

#1 We use it for decision making

Think about how many important marketing decisions are based on your data. Campaign optimisation or new campaign ideas generally come from customer insights, purchasing behaviour, customer feedback and plenty of other data points. But, imagine you suddenly discovered this data wasn’t reliable. Data governance is a form of quality control. It ...


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How a Decentralised Ecosystem Will Change Big Data Analytics

How a Decentralised Ecosystem Will Change Big Data Analytics

Since the awareness of the availability of Big Data hit the business world in the early 2000s, more and more organisations have switched to data-driven approaches to everything from hiring to product development. A recent Deloitte survey reveals that 62 percent of businesses already use analytics as a driver for strategic decisions, and the reason is obvious--Businesses that effectively leverage the data they collect outperform the competition. But, Gartner predicts that up to 60 percent of big data projects won't make it into implementation. That means that understanding the need for analytics isn't enough. You need to be able to collect data and put it to work, effectively. Bringing big data analytics to blockchain technologies offers serious benefits to both platforms and may be the solution to abandoned data projects.

Decentralizing Databases for Better Big Data

Data quality is a big part of the problem when using analytics to drive decision making. A few errors can mean major problems down the road. In centralised systems, all of the data is stored on your network, but what happens when you need to scale? The introduction of the cloud computing delayed the data roadblock, making it easier to scale, but creating a new series ...


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The IoT: Security and integration are key to success

The IoT: Security and integration are key to success

The Internet of Things (IoT) is poised to have an impact on the amount of data being collected that is difficult to put into perspective. According to Gartner, the number of devices will grow from...

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Blockchain – The New Data Management Standard?

Blockchain – The New Data Management Standard?

What’s the blockchain and do I care? Well, it’s becoming a source of potential government service upheaval, business, bank and government record-keeping re-engineering, “currency� evolution, and an...

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Xconomy: Cyber Trend: Hackers Love to Steal Data; Now They Might Weaponize It

Xconomy: Cyber Trend: Hackers Love to Steal Data; Now They Might Weaponize It

For years, cyber attackers’ primary aim has been to pilfer sensitive information from businesses and individuals, either to sell it in the dark corners of the Internet, hold it for ransom, or use it...

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A Standard Graph Query Language Could Be Coming—Here’s What To Know

A Standard Graph Query Language Could Be Coming—Here’s What To Know

IT standards make everything better. It is not a stretch to say that coming together as a community and developing, evolving, and committing to standards make better, cheaper, and more secure...

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U.S. Military Deaths from 2006

U.S. Military Deaths from 2006

Interesting chart from the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Source: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/IF10899.pdf

OCO Deaths = Overseas Contingency Operations — meaning mostly Iraq and Afghanistan.

Non-OCO Deaths = means mostly accident, self-inflicted wounds, and illness. There are the almost 1,000 deaths a year that are going to occur in the U.S. military even when at peace. They listed accidents as 4,599 cases, self-inflicted deaths as 3,258 cases and illness/injury as 2,650 cases. Note that OCO operations also include accidents (471), self-inflicted wounded (282) and illness and injury (119). There are also 458 homicides in non-OCO and 41 homicides among the OCO deaths (along with 2,698 killed in action and 874 died of wounds).

It would have been more interesting if they started those charts in 2000 or 2001.

A few other interesting charts from that link:

The chart below is Iraq war deaths from 2006. Total Iraq war deaths since 2003 were over 4,500.

And these are Afghanistan war deaths from 2006. Total Afghanistan war deaths since 2001 add up to over 2,300.

These are, of course, only U.S. DOD deaths. There are also U.S. contractors, NATO allies, other U.S. allies, Iraq and Afghanstani forces, militia, civilians, insurgents, etc. It starts adding up.

Predicting A Better Future With Swarm Intelligence

Predicting A Better Future With Swarm Intelligence

Have you put a bet on the FIFA World Cup?  If yes, the chances are you’ve made a pretty educated guess, right? You know which team has the strongest players or most favourable odds. Or maybe you’ve...

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8 Ethical questions in artificial intelligence

8 Ethical questions in artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is already changing the way we live our daily lives and interact with machines. From optimising supply chains to chatting with Amazon Alexa, artificial intelligence already...

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LTE wireless connections used by billions aren’t as secure as we thought

LTE wireless connections used by billions aren’t as secure as we thought

The Long Term Evolution mobile device standard used by billions of people was designed to fix many of the security shortcomings in the predecessor standard known as Global System for Mobile...

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Descriptive Statistics Key Terms, Explained

Descriptive Statistics Key Terms, Explained

This is a collection of 15 basic descriptive statistics key terms, explained in easy to understand language, along with an example and some Python code for computing simple descriptive statistics....

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Moving from data swamp to smart data

Moving from data swamp to smart data

Over the last decade, the increased use of unstructured and alternative data, and the ascendance of the cloud, has posed an overt challenge to the relational database model based on structured inputs...

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