This past weekend I attended the AOPA Summit in Tampa. I saw the list of forum topics and had eyed a few that I wanted to attend - however, in the end I spent all of my time in the exhibit hall.
The summit was nicely put together and the Tampa Convention Center was a great (upscale) venue to hold this event.
The exhibit hall was gigantic and had the usual booths such as Sportys, Pilot Mall, Garmin, Jepp, ERAU, etc. Additionally, the FAA was well represented - I spoke at length with the folks at the FAA Safety booth (www.faasafety.gov). Here I was shown (in detail) all of the features of their new website with a ton of information, bulletins, self-study topics, and more. I was searching for material/sources of safety information for the Aviation e-Newsletter that I am trying to kick off, and I think I found quite a bit here. I also spoke with Mr. Steve Smith (former AFSOC pilot) at the FAA Sunway Safety Booth (separate from the FAASafety booth) that was dedicated specifically to runway safety, preventing runway incursions, etc.
I saw one particular product from a small vendor that captured my attention - it was the flight bag that is made by Brightline Bags (www.brightlinebags.com) - this is a great product that is just the right size, has plenty of separate compartments / dividers, and seems rugged enough to last. It has a separate compartment that will fit 2x Dave Clarks (or perhaps 1x NVGs). Also, the pubs compartment is perfectly sized to fit sectionals / high or low charts without having to crinkle them or bend them. And the bag's two sections actually zip-apart into two separate bags (if you don't need to carry all the pubs for instance).
In the near future, look for the 1st issue of our Aviation e-Newsletter.
Just wanted to shoot out a quick update to keep you all informed as to the latest warp-speed changes going on here at the Baseops Network.
If you are a frequenter of these forums, you probably noticed we upgraded/changed our forums software. We now are running the latest (and greatest?) version of Invision Power Board. There were a few growing pains / glitches in the transition. Unfotunately, it was bad timing when I chose the same few days to upgrade the forums as well as stand up the new website (next bullet below). The forums seem to be up and running properly - albeit with a few differenences (such as external links not opening a new window, etc.) MTF.
I've been working on transitioning the Aviation Jobs listings from the baseops.net site to a new site (with more features) since late April 2009. We finally flung opne the doors to the new site last week: www.guardreservejobs.com -- we moved all of the existing baseops.net jobs to this site which is running a completely brand new "engine". This site, with its robust database back-end, offers similar features that job portals like Monster.com offer such as a searchable database; filters to find the exact job you are looking for; employers post their job vacancies direct (and have full-control over their listings); job seekers can create free accounts, save their searches, and even upload resumes. Check it out!
Unfortunately when we upgraded the Forums to the latest software, it became instantaneously incompatible with the Baseops Wiki section thus for a few days actually forcing the Baseops Wiki (TDY Gouge) off-line. Well, I was able to resurrect the Wiki and you can now access it again, although it is read-only (you cannot edit it) at this time. Pending a patch from the folks at IPBWiki... MTF.
We finally resolved a forums bandwidth issue around noon today (eastern time) -- looks like the forums have become so popular that we have succeeded in busting through the 100GB (per month) cap! I have upped the bandwidth cap and look forward to doubling or tripling that bandwidth soon with the support of our loyal users.
I'd like to see more photos posted in the online gallery - looks like you crew dogs are slacking out there. I also hope to see more links to UPT videos and other morale boosters and sources of pure comedy.
Keep the gouge and updates coming - I will post anything you submit along with your name/unit/class patch as a "thank you".
Well, as most of the board members know, the forums were compromised yesterday by a piece of filth spammer. This individual, after signing up for an account, proceded to send out well over one hundred Private Messages (PMs) to members. His PMs contained links to "bad neighborhoods" on the web including adultfriendfinder and malware sites. First, I do apologize to any and all that followed the illicit links and hopefully nobody's PC is permanently jacked. I unfortunately, did not delete the spammer's account until the evening hours.
I have received many messages from users that are 1.) angry 2.) feel violated 3.) want to inflict painful revenge 4.) concerned about the site's security.
There is reason for concern - but in the right context. This guy was a spammer - a pretty clever one. There are many out there; Russia (or at least .ru domains) are a hot bed for illicit online activity. Also, one must assume that since this site is in the www domain that it is accessed by all nationalities for any and all purposes (good intent as well as dubious ones). If we keep our head on a swivel and ensure what we post is neither classified nor sensitive, we can protect ourselves. Lastly, one must always be cautious before clicking on links - that is probably superfluous advice at this time, but noteworthy nonetheless.
There are a few more parameters that I can tweak to crank up the security of the site, but it comes at a cost to the user (less freedom of movement, etc.) Hope it doesn't come down to that - but I will do it if I have to...
Just goes to confirm what we already know, Russians are good at two things - Spam and Mail Order Brides.
Feel free to comment below.
I just finished a complete re-write of the Baseops.Net home page. To the casual observer, it may look nearly identical to the old home page. Upon further review it is a bit less cluttered, and a little better organized (based on the sheer volume of content presented). What I did was write the page from the ground up -- this time completely in notepad just for the heck of it -- and I used .CSS for my formatting. This did several things: a.) reduced the page size by at least 67%, b.) followed the standard convention in the use of CSS to separate mark up from content, and c.) let me bring me modernize my coding a bit (thru the use of CSS) - especially in light of the various heckling that my primitive code received...
Bottom Line: the page should load up quicker, and (hopefully) is better organized. All future new flight planning links will initially appear in red (for a limited time) bringing the users' attention to the change(s).
Some other changes coming down the pipe:
-A complete revamp of the aviaiton jobs section - I solicited feedback on my project proposal to the units posting job announcements and received overwhelming support. The new interface will be completely interactive (like the monster.com interface) in a searchable database.
-The message forum software has a new version currently in beta form, but to be released with plenty of new features... MTF...
As always, comments, suggestions, gouge submissions, recommendations are always welcome!
I have recently added two new Wiki sections to go along with the TDY Gouge Wiki.
These Wiki pages use the same software as Wikipedia (MediaWiki engine) and are fully editable by any registered member of these forums. Please continue the spirit of these forums by adding to and upholding the accuracy of these wikis for all to benefit. If you have any ideas for future wiki topics, please comment on this blog and I will add those sections.
New Wiki sections:
FTU Wiki -- for details and information on the various FTU programs out there.
Finance Wiki -- for details, information, FAQs, lessons learned about Mil Pay and Travel Pay.
I have seen a disturbing trend recently. Less and less UPT Journals (a.k.a. blogs) are making it to the "blogosphere" - and the few that are out there are being rapidly purged from the internet. Kind of smells like Mao's Cultural Revolution...
Then the www.baseops.net site started receiving emails asking for links to certain UPT blogs be removed. The requests were coming from the authors of those blogs and they were citing negative feedback (and even strong intimidation) from their UPT Squadron leadership as the main reason for removal. I just received another request to de-link a UPT blog tonight - that individual stated that during a UPT "INFOCON" briefing, the topic of their blog came up and that person faced intense scrutiny and negative feedback. Additionally, that individual's Commander threatened him/her with counseling and remedial punishment unless the blog was not publicly published.
I guess a Skipper can order you to do just about anything - but I am curious as to what damage a kid can do by publishing a blog about what he did during UPT. What laws/regulations/AFI/OI/ is n violation here? Clearly there will be no classified (or sensitive) data being transmitted. Sounds like a control issue with the AF and somehow AETC would like to own every aspect of its students lives...
By the way (for you naysayers out there), it is the US State Department, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls that controls the issue of exporting technical data (not the USAF). These blogs are in compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and Export Arms Regulations (EAR) in accordance with "public domain" definitions in 22 CFR 120.11. Bottom Line: this is censorship at its best.
Anyone have thoughts on this issue?
I feel like I have been neglecting you all when I installed the blog software months ago and had yet to post anything. So here is my first post.
I would like to mention a few of the things that we (the baseops.net team) will be working on in the near future. As always, this site is a collaborative effort and if you can help out or can think of a better way to do things, please contact us.
In order to help out the newbies and to separate the golden threads from the chaff and flares, I will be modifying the READ FILE forum. Instead of admin notices (which I will remove), I will post posts with links to some of the most valuable and/or most searched threads on the forums. I have seen this feature in other successful forums (a newbies read here first type of thread) or simply, a consolidation of links to many sub-topic threads all under one post for easy access and reference. As you can imagine this will be a time-intensive task.
Additionally, we have started a PCS Lessons Learned thread - after we receive ample feedback from our members, I will consolidate this and create a static webpage with this information on it for all to benefit -- similar to our C-17 FAQ page (compiled from forum posts).
We have just added a ton of new information regarding the new IFS program in Pueblo, CO. Kudos to Riddller in starting his IFS Blog. For all current IFS studs and recent graduates of the new program, please send me any new information and/or photos so that we can post it online for all to benefit.
I need some help with the Little Rock Schoolhouse Guide page. It looks like some of the sylabus material is a bit dated. I need some enterprising volunteers to help me break out the new differences between the MPD, PIQ, CIQ, etc. programs there (who flies which program from which seat, etc.)
I would like to help spread information and knowledge regarding instrument flying. Any AIS graduates that know of good resources online to help propogate good instrument skills, please contact me. I envision an online section with IFR resources, quizes, etc to help keep our skills sharp. I have seen several civilian aviation instrument publications circulating but never a DOD one.
And on a more humorous note... I am still waiting for the best shoe-clerk in the AOR photo. Anyone able to take a good photo of a shoe clerk with multiple reflective belts on, or one monitoring people washing their hands in front of the mess hall, etc. -- let me know and we will post the photos. Best photo wins a prize!
More to follow...