Friday, April 27, 2012

WoT: The IS-4 & The KV & The 7.3 Changes

I've been playing World of Tanks since closed beta, since July 2010 to be exact.  If I've successfully backwards-engineered my player profile page, I was the 5,148th accepted closed beta tester.  I went through all of the betas, restarting each time.

I focused on the German tree.  I am currently only 2 vehicles from completing/eliting the entire tree.  My point?  Glad you asked.

The two ancient nemesis of the me are about to go through the most significant changes since evar! in the game since they were in the game

I'm talking about the IS-4 and KV:

An IS-4
The only information for this picture states, "Soviet post-war heavy tanks"

A KV-2
Similar to the iconic "KV" in World of Tanks, pre 7.2

As a German-centric player, I have to say: I have loathed, feared and hated these 2 vehicles.  They have been my bane.  The IS-4, I simply hated to face, in any German tank, at any tier.  Even in my Maus or JDT, when one is about to fire on me -- and I cannot stop it or get away from it -- I say to self, "this is going to hurt."

The IS-4 has an incredible gun, the 130 mm S-70

This was basically a naval gun, modified for field and tank usage.

Entitled: "Here's a Guide To The Military Qaddafi Is Using To Crush His Own People"
(The Wiki states this gun did not show up until the IS-7)
World of Tanks Forum Discussion on the 130 mm S-70 Gun utilized in the IS-4

The coming changes will move this tank to Tier 10, with no more S-70 at Tier 9 in the replacement to the IS-4: the IS-8.

Likewise, the KV of World of Tanks, is like the IS-4 just discussed: great, horrific, predators of a Pleistocene battlefield, praying on the herbivores of German and US tanks.  Soon to be relics of a museum, with onlookers wondering how they used to behave, what they ate, as they peer upon their hulking skeletons.

The great 152 mm M-10 Gun of the monstrosity known as the ... 'current' ... KV, shook the hulls of all around it when it would let out its bellowing roar.  It became _the_ "derp" of the game, and forever will hold that moniker.

The KV, soon, will be moved as a KV-2 to Tier 6, and the KV-1 will get a 57mm gun.

Yes, the great roar of the "derp" will still be heard, but never again at Tier 5.  How those leviathans prowled the battlefields at that tier, eating other Tier 5s and lesser tiers.  Always, they tilted the balance.

It is soon to be a new epoch in World of Tanks, as we say goodbye to these titans of the battlefield, never again to be seen again in their original tiers, with their original guns.  We shall never again have, at Tier 5, the 152mm "derp" or, at Tier 9, the 130mm finger-of-god.

Yes, I finally got me a KV, and did play it a bunch, but only late, and only after many, many ages of facing it in my German tanks and tank destroyers.

As a former opponent of them, I salute.  It was a gg....


More IS-4 and KV pics:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

WoT: Can't Login? "Scheduled Maintenance"? Try This

There's been an obvious DNS change with the World of Tanks authentication server.  I have no clue what's happened, but that's my best guess.  Starting about a day ago, many folks cannot login.

Ye ol' "Server is temporarily unavailable due to scheduled maintenance" message.  Some are going, "man, how long is this going?  It's been over 24 hours now?!?"  That's cuz it ain't.  It's borked....

Oh the horror....

Meanwhile, World of Tanks engineers are hard at work trying to resolve: the mean-time, there's something you can do to fix (as discussed on the forums):

If you're trying to login to World of Tanks, and can't, and get the red-lettered message about "Scheduled Maintenance," but then search news for such at to realize, well, they've not announced any "scheduled maintenance," then it could be a problem you can resolve yourself, on your 'puter.

Windows 7:  Do this:
-Close all web browsers (and any other app you have open for that matter).
-Click "start".
-In "Search programs and files" type, "cmd."
-"cmd.exe" will show up at the top of the pop-up menu.
-Right-click and choose, "run as administrator."
-Choose, "Yes" to the "User Account Control" security pop-up.
-You now have a black box with a blinking command prompt.
-Type the following in that box: "ipconfig /flushdns".
-Hit "enter"

It should look like this when you've done all just listed:

Now, try to log back-in to World of Tanks.

This should fix it.

Another great link 'splaining this procedure across operating systems:

Now, go play World of Tanks:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

WoT: Mumble Voice Server

As clans are challenged to provide voice communication for their members, there are lotsa choices out there: ventrilo, teamspeak ... and mumble.  I recently setup a mumble server and I highly recommend it.

A. It is free, open source.
B. Unlimited users.
C. Arguably, out-performs the other 2

Watch the video at the bottom of this page to see performance:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

World Record Sniper Shot From Over 1.5 Miles Away

Read More: A World Record Sniper Shot

Craig Harrison killed the two insurgents from an astounding distance of 8,120 feet -- or 1.54 miles
The Accuracy International L115A3 Sniper Rifle
 Over 1.5 miles away from the target a world record sniper shot.  After firing several test shots, Harrison had to aim 6 feet above, and 20 inches wide to hit the target.

The Accuracy International L115A3 Sniper Rifle

The muzzle velocity of the L115A3 is 936 metres per second (up from 838m/s) giving it an effective range of 1400 metres compared to the L96’s 800m, and not surprisingly, the Schmidt & Bender day sights now magnify up to 25 times, compared with the L96’s 12 times.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

World's Smallest Pistol

The Downsizer WSP

This little guy can pack a wallop....

Specifications Model WSP (World’s Smallest Pistol)
Calibers 45 ACP, 357 Magnum (Also fires 38 Special), 9mm & 40 S&W


The Downsizer Corp in Santee, CA made and delivered a handful of its WSP models for a few years before SB15 became law and production stopped for good. I believe fewer than 100 pistols were delivered up to that point. Whatever the exact number was, it was’t very large.
The WSP model received lots of positive reviews after they were introduced at the SHOT Show (1998, I think). There is a very detailed article by Robert Hausman in HANDGUNS 2001.
Specifications Model WSP (World’s Smallest Pistol)
Calibers 45 ACP, 357 Magnum (Also fires 38 Special), 9mm & 40 S&W
Capacity Single Shot
Trigger Double action only
Action Tip up barrel, push button release
Materials Stainless steel, CNC machined
Sights None, smooth snag free top
Safety Internal firing pin block
Overall Length 3.25″ (Smaller than a playing card)
Barrel Length 2.10″
Height 2.25″ (Smaller than a playing card)
Thickness 0.90″
Weight 11 oz.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

There is a god, and he is Loki

Loki is the one, true, god....

"It may take explosives to dislodge a group of cows that wandered into an old ranger cabin high in the Rocky Mountains, then died and froze solid when they couldn't get out.... Rangers believe the animals sought shelter during a snowstorm and got stuck and weren't smart enough to find their way out."

"The cabin is located near the Conundrum Hot Springs...."

The cows, confused, couldn't get out ... near "Conundrum Hot Springs...."

My god, there is a god, and he is Loki.

What a frozen cow may look like:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lost Squadron Of Spitfires Found!

Boxed, greased, sealed, buried....

What a great find!

Aviation historians and warbird enthusiasts are drooling at the discovery of at least 12 and maybe as many 20 perfectly preserved brand-new Spitfire Mark 14s buried in Myanmar, which was formerly Burma. Thanks to the tenacity (and apparently considerable diplomatic skills) of British farmer David Cundall, the lost squadron of pristine fighters was found where they were buried by U.S. troops in 1945 when it became clear they wouldn't be needed in the final days of the Second World War. At least a dozen of the aircraft, one of the latest variants with their 2,035-horsepower Roll Royce Griffon engines replacing the 1,200-1,500-horsepower Merlins in earlier models, were buried without ever being removed from their original packing crates. It's possible another eight were also buried after the war ended. After spending 15 years and $200,000 of his own money, Cundall was rewarded with visual proof of the magnitude of his discovery. "We sent a borehole down and used a camera to look at the crates," he told the Telegraph. "They seemed to be in good condition."

The aircraft were declared surplus when they arrived in Burma because the Japanese were in retreat by then and carrier-based Seafires were getting all the action. They were ordered buried in their original crates, waxed, swaddled in grease paper and their joints tarred against the elements. Cundall found some of the soldiers who buried the planes by placing ads in magazines and was able to narrow down the search before using ground-penetrating radar to confirm the burial site. The next obstacles to recovery are political. Myanmar's former military junta was under a variety of sanctions, among them an international convention that prevented the transfer of military goods to and from the country. Recent political reforms have led to the lifting of that ban effective April 23. Cundall will also need the permission of the new Myanmar government to unearth the treasure. He helped his own cause by making numerous trips to the country and earning the trust of government officials. British Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to seal the deal with Myanmar President Thein Sein during a visit.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The .95 Caliber (.950) JDJ: The largest center fire rifle ever made

There are guns and then there are guns.  Calling the .950 JDJ a gun is like calling a super massive blackhole a vacuum cleaner.  This thing is huge.  It is hard to conceive just how huge.  Only a handful of people have actually shot it.  Each bullet is apparently $40.  It is, indeed, the largest center fire rifle ever made.

Here, you can watch a few brave souls attempt to shoot this monster:

Shooting the .950 JDJ

This gun weighs in at approx. 110 pounds and, therefore,  _must_ be shot from a bench.  It costs approx. $8,000, and the bullet alone costs $10 -- that thing that flies out of the end of it....

From the wiki:
The cartridge propels its 3,600 gr (230 g) bullet at approximately 2,200 ft/s (670 m/s). This yields a muzzle energy of 38,685 ft·lbf (52,450 J)[1] and a momentum of 154.1 Newton-seconds. This kinetic energy would allow the .950 JDJ to pass through several body-armored humans. It is comparable to the original tank rounds of World War I in terms of ballistic energy.

By comparison, the 5.56x45 cartridge, used in the M16 rifle, produces between 1,200–1,300 ft·lbf (1,600–1,800 J), while the .308 Winchester, a favorite for hunters and medium-range police/military sniping, produces between 2,000–3,000 ft·lbf (2,700–4,100 J) depending on the load used. The ballistics of the .950 JDJ is more similar to that of the 20mm autocannon round, which delivers approximately 39,500 ft·lbf (53,600 J). The muzzle energy of the .950 JDJ is comparable to the kinetic energy of a 2,800 lb (1,300 kg) automobile traveling at 20 mph (32 km/h). In a 110 lb (50 kg) rifle, this will develop well over 200 ft·lbf (270 J) of free recoil energy if an efficient muzzle brake is not used. This is far beyond the shoulder-firing capacity of nearly all humans.

The Full Wiki Article

Saturday, April 14, 2012

WoT: Skills & Perks Pies

Thinking-over the new Skills & Perks in World of Tanks, I wanted to thump-out some experimental pie charts, sorting each Skill and Perk into respective categories.  As I thought about it, I realized that each and every one of the 25 Skills and Perks addressed only so many areas of the game.  These are, to the best of my ability:

Offense, Defense, Crew, View and Mobility


Healing of Tank, Crew, Vision/View, Mobility, Attack and Hide

Some of these are overlapping and/or, these are certainly not the end to the "bins" one could toss each Skill/Perk into, but it's a start.