Binary Options Pro Signals Review 2020: Is It a SCAM or Not?

Comprehensive Guide for getting into Home Recording

I'm going to borrow from a few sources and do my best to make this cohesive, but this question comes up a lot. I thought we had a comprehensive guide, but it doesn't appear so. In the absence of this, I feel that a lot of you could use a simple place to go for some basics on recording. There are a couple of great resources online already on some drumming forums, but I don't think they will be around forever.
Some background on myself - I have been drumming a long time. During that time, home recording has gone from using a cassette deck to having a full blown studio at your finger tips. The technology in the last 15 years has gotten so good it really is incredible. When I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life, I decided to go to school for audio engineering in a world-class studio. During this time I had access to the studio and was able to assist with engineering on several projects. This was awesome, and I came out with a working knowledge of SIGNAL CHAIN, how audio works in the digital realm, how microphones work, studio design, etc. Can I answer your questions? Yes.

First up: Signal Chain! This is the basic building block of recording. Ever seen a "I have this plugged in but am getting no sound!" thread? Yeah, signal chain.

A "Signal Chain" is the path your audio follows, from sound source, to the recording device, and back out of your monitors (speakers to you normies).
A typical complete signal chain might go something like this:
1] instrument/sound source 2] Microphone/TransducePickup 3] Cable 4] Mic Preamp/DI Box 5] Analog-to-Digital Converter 6] Digital transmission medium[digital data get recoded for usb or FW transfer] 7] Digital recording Device 8] DSP and Digital summing/playback engine 9] Digital-to-Analog Converter 10] Analog output stage[line outputs and output gain/volume control] 11] Monitors/Playback device[headphones/other transducers]
Important Terms, Definitions, and explanations (this will be where the "core" information is):
1] AD Conversion: the process by which the electrical signal is "converted" to a stream of digital code[binary, 1 and 0]. This is accomplished, basically, by taking digital pictures of the audio...and this is known as the "sampling rate/frequency" The number of "pictures" determines the frequency. So the CD standard of 44.1k is 44,100 "pictures" per second of digital code that represents the electrical "wave" of audio. It should be noted that in order to reproduce a frequency accuratly, the sampling rate must be TWICE that of the desired frequency (See: Nyquist-Shannon Theorem). So, a 44.1 digital audio device can, in fact, only record frequencies as high as 22.05khz, and in the real world, the actual upper frequency limit is lower, because the AD device employs a LOW-PASS filter to protect the circuitry from distortion and digital errors called "ALIASING." Confused yet? Don't worry, there's more... We haven't even talked about Bit depth! There are 2 settings for recording digitally: Sample Rate and Bit Depth. Sample rate, as stated above, determines the frequencies captured, however bit depth is used to get a better picture of the sample. Higher bit depth = more accurate sound wave representation. More on this here. Generally speaking, I record at 92KHz/24 bit depth. This makes huge files, but gets really accurate audio. Why does it make huge files? Well, if you are sampling 92,000 times per second, you are taking each sample and applying 24 bits to that, multiply it out and you get 92,000*24 = 2,208,000 bits per second or roughly 0.26MB per second for ONE TRACK. If that track is 5 minutes long, that is a file that is 78.96MB in size. Now lets say you used 8 inputs on an interface, that is, in total, 631.7MB of data. Wow, that escalates quick, right? There is something else to note as well here: Your CPU has to calculate this. So the amount of calculations it needs to perform for this same scenario is ~17.7 million calculations PER SECOND. This is why CPU speed and RAM is super important when recording digitally.
2] DA conversion: the process by which the digital code (the computer representation of a sound wave) is transformed back into electrcal energy in the proper shape. In a oversimplified explanation, the code is measured and the output of the convertor reflects the value of the code by changing voltage. Think of a sound wave on a grid: Frequency would represent the X axis (the horizontal axis)... but there is a vertical axis too. This is called AMPLITUDE or how much energy the wave is generating. People refer to this as how 'loud' a sound is, but that's not entirely correct. You can have a high amplitude wave that is played at a quiet volume. It's important to distinguish the two. How loud a sound is can be controlled by the volume on a speaker or transducer. But that has no impact on how much amplitude the sound wave has in the digital space or "in the wire" on its way to the transducer. So don't get hung up on how "loud" a waveform is, it is how much amplitude it has when talking about it "in the box" or before it gets to the speakeheadphone/whatever.
3] Cables: An often overlooked expense and tool, cables can in fact, make or break your recording. The multitudes of types of cable are determined by the connector, the gauge(thickness), shielding, type of conductor, etc... Just some bullet points on cables:
- Always get the highest quality cabling you can afford. Low quality cables often employ shielding that doesnt efectively protect against AC hums(60 cycle hum), RF interference (causing your cable to act as a gigantic AM/CB radio antenna), or grounding noise introduced by other components in your system. - The way cables are coiled and treated can determine their lifespan and effectiveness. A kinked cable can mean a broken shield, again, causing noise problems. - The standard in the USA for wiring an XLR(standard microphone) cable is: PIN 1= Cold/-, PIN 2= Hot/+, PIN 3=Ground/shield. Pin 3 carries phantom power, so it is important that the shield of your cables be intact and in good condition if you want to use your mic cables without any problems. - Cables for LINE LEVEL and HI-Z(instrument level) gear are not the same! - Line Level Gear, weather professional or consumer, should generally be used with balanced cables (on a 1/4" connector, it will have 3 sections and is commonly known as TRS -or- TipRingSleeve). A balanced 1/4" is essentially the same as a microphone cable, and in fact, most Professional gear with balanced line inputs and outputs will have XLR connectors instead of 1/4" connectors. - Hi-Z cable for instruments (guitars, basses, keyboards, or anything with a pickup) is UNBALANCED, and should be so. The introduction of a balanced cable can cause electricity to be sent backwards into a guitar and shock the guitar player. You may want this to happen, but your gear doesn't. There is some danger here as well, especially on stage, where the voltage CAN BE LETHAL. When running a guitabass/keyboard "Direct" into your interface, soundcard, or recording device, you should ALWAYS use a "DIRECT BOX", which uses a transformer to isolate and balance the the signal or you can use any input on the interface designated as a "Instrument" or "Hi-Z" input. It also changes some electrical properties, resulting in a LINE LEVEL output (it amplifies it from instrument level to line level).
4] Digital Data Transmissions: This includes S/PDIF, AES/EBU, ADAT, MADI. I'm gonna give a brief overview of this stuff, since its unlikely that alot of you will ever really have to think about it: - SDPIF= Sony Phillips Digital Interface Format. using RCA or TOSLINK connectors, this is a digital protocol that carries 3 streams of information. Digital audio Left, Digital Audio Right, and CLOCK. SPDIF generally supports 48khz/20bit information, though some modern devices can support up to 24bits, and up to 88.2khz. SPDIF is the consumer format of AES/EBU - AES/EBU= Audio Engineering Society/European Breadcasters Union Digital protocol uses a special type of cable often terminated with XLR connectors to transmit 2 channels of Digital Audio. AES/EBU is found mostly on expensive professional digital gear. - ADAT= the Alesis Digital Audio Tape was introduced in 1991, and was the first casette based system capable of recording 8 channels of digital audio onto a single cartridge(a SUPER-VHS tape, same one used by high quality VCR's). Enough of the history, its not so important because we are talking about ADAT-LIGHTPIPE Protocol, which is a digital transmission protocol that uses fiberoptic cable and devices to send up to 8 channels of digital audio simultaneously and in sync. ADAT-Lightpipe supports up to 48khz sample rates. This is how people expand the number of inputs by chaining interfaces. - MADI is something you will almost never encounter. It is a protocol that allows up to 64 channels of digital audio to be transmitted over a single cable that is terminated by BNC connectors. Im just telling you it exists so in case you ever encounter a digital snake that doesnt use Gigabit Ethernet, you will know whats going on.
digital transmission specs: SPDIF -> clock->2Ch->RCA cable(consumer) ADAT-Lightpipe->clock->8Ch->Toslink(semi-pro) SPDIF-OPTICAL->clock->2Ch->Toslink(consumer) AES/EBU->clock->2Ch->XLR(Pro) TDIF->clock->8Ch->DSub(Semi-Pro) ______________ MADI->no clock->64Ch->BNC{rare except in large scale pofessional apps} SDIF-II->no clock->24Ch->DSub{rare!} AES/EBU-13->no clock->24Ch->DSub
5] MICROPHONES: There are many types of microphones, and several names for each type. The type of microphone doesn't equate to the polar pattern of the microphone. There are a few common polar patterns in microphones, but there are also several more that are less common. These are the main types- Omni-Directional, Figure 8 (bi-directional), Cardioid, Super Cardioid, Hyper Cardioid, Shotgun. Some light reading.... Now for the types of microphones: - Dynamic Microphones utilize polarized magnets to convert acoustical energy into electrical energy. there are 2 types of dynamic microphones: 1) Moving Coil microphones are the most common type of microphone made. They are also durable, and capable of handling VERY HIGH SPL (sound pressure levels). 2) Ribbon microphones are rare except in professional recording studios. Ribbon microphones are also incredibly fragile. NEVER EVER USE PHANTOM POWER WITH A RIBBON MICROPHONE, IT WILL DIE (unless it specifically requires it, but I've only ever seen this on one Ribbon microphone ever). Sometimes it might even smoke or shoot out a few sparks; applying phantom power to a Ribbon Microphone will literally cause the ribbon, which is normally made from Aluminum, to MELT. Also, windblasts and plosives can rip the ribbon, so these microphones are not suitible for things like horns, woodwinds, vocals, kick drums, or anything that "pushes air." There have been some advances in Ribbon microphones and they are getting to be more common, but they are still super fragile and you have to READ THE MANUAL CAREFULLY to avoid a $1k+ mistake. - CondenseCapacitor Microphones use an electrostatic charge to convert acoustical energy into electrical energy. The movement of the diaphragm(often metal coated mylar) toward a ceramic "backplate" causes a fluctuation in the charge, which is then amplified inside the microphone and output as an electrical signal. Condenser microphones usually use phantom power to charge the capacitors' and backplate in order to maintain the electrostatic charge. There are several types of condenser microphones: 1) Tube Condenser Microphones: historically, this type of microphone has been used in studios since the 1940s, and has been refined and redesigned hundreds, if not thousands of times. Some of the "best sounding" and most desired microphones EVER MADE are Tube Condenser microphones from the 50's and 60's. These vintage microphones, in good condition, with the original TUBES can sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tube mics are known for sounding "full", "warm", and having a particular character, depending on the exact microphone. No 2 tubes mics, even of the same model, will sound the same. Similar, but not the same. Tube mics have their own power supplies, which are not interchangeable to different models. Each tube mic is a different design, and therefore, has different power requirements. 2) FET Condenser microphones: FET stands for "Field Effect Transistor" and the technology allowed condenser microphones to be miniturized. Take for example, the SHURE beta98s/d, which is a minicondenser microphone. FET technology is generally more transparant than tube technology, but can sometimes sound "harsh" or "sterile". 3) Electret Condenser Microphones are a condenser microphone that has a permanent charge, and therefore, does not require phantom power; however, the charge is not truly permanent, and these mics often use AA or 9V batteries, either inside the mic, or on a beltpack. These are less common.
Other important things to know about microphones:
- Pads, Rolloffs, etc: Some mics have switches or rotating collars that notate certain things. Most commonly, high pass filters/lowcut filters, or attenuation pads. 1) A HP/LC Filter does exactly what you might think: Removes low frequency content from the signal at a set frequency and slope. Some microphones allow you to switch the rolloff frequency. Common rolloff frequencies are 75hz, 80hz, 100hz, 120hz, 125hz, and 250hz. 2) A pad in this example is a switch that lowers the output of the microphone directly after the capsule to prevent overloading the input of a microphone preamplifier. You might be asking: How is that possible? Some microphones put out a VERY HIGH SIGNAL LEVEL, sometimes about line level(-10/+4dbu), mic level is generally accepted to start at -75dbu and continues increasing until it becomes line level in voltage. It should be noted that linel level signals are normally of a different impedance than mic level signals, which is determined by the gear. An example for this would be: I mic the top of a snare drum with a large diaphragm condenser mic (solid state mic, not tube) that is capable of handling very high SPLs (sound pressure levels). When the snare drum is played, the input of the mic preamp clips (distorts), even with the gain turned all the way down. To combat this, I would use a pad with enough attenuation to lower the signal into the proper range of input (-60db to -40 db). In general, it is accepted to use a pad with only as much attentuation as you need, plus a small margin of error for extra “headroom”. What this means is that if you use a 20db pad where you only need a 10db pad, you will then have to add an additional 10db of gain to achieve a desireable signal level. This can cause problems, as not all pads sound good, or even transparent, and can color and affect your signal in sometimes unwanted ways that are best left unamplified. - Other mic tips/info: 1) when recording vocals, you should always use a popfilter. A pop filter mounted on a gooseneck is generally more effective than a windscreen made of foam that slips over the microphone. The foam type often kill the highfrequency response, alter the polar pattern, and can introduce non-linear polarity problems(part of the frequency spectrum will be out of phase.) If you don't have a pop filter or don't want to spend on one, buy or obtain a hoop of some kind, buy some cheap panty-hose and stretch it over the hoop to build your own pop filter. 2) Terms Related to mics: - Plosives: “B”, “D”, “F”, “G”, “J”, “P”, “T” hard consonants and other vocal sounds that cause windblasts. These are responsible for a low frequency pop that can severly distort the diaphragm of the microphone, or cause a strange inconsistency of tonality by causing a short term proximity effect.
- Proximity effect: An exponential increase in low frequency response causes by having a microphone excessivly close to a sound. This can be cause by either the force of the air moving actually causes the microphone’s diaphragm to move and sometimes distort, usually on vocalists or buy the buildup of low frequency soundwaves due to off-axis cancellation ports. You cannot get proximity effect on an omnidirectional microphone. With some practice, you can use proximity effect to your advantage, or as an effect. For example, if you are recording someone whispering and it sounds thin or weak and irritating due to the intenese high mid and high frequency content, get the person very close to a cardioid microphone with two popfilters, back to back approx 1/2”-1” away from the mic and set your gain carefully, and you can achieve a very intimite recording of whispering. In a different scenario, you can place a mic inside of a kick drum between 1”-3” away from the inner shell, angled up and at the point of impact, and towards the floor tom. This usually captures a huge low end, and the sympathetic vibration of the floor tom on the kick drum hits, but retains a clarity of attack without being distorted by the SPL of the drum and without capturing unplesant low-mid resonation of the kick drum head and shell that is common directly in the middle of the shell.
6) Wave Envelope: The envelope is the graphical representation of a sound wave commonly found in a DAW. There are 4 parts to this: Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release: 1) Attack is how quickly the sound reaches its peak amplitude; 2) Decay is the time it takes to reach the sustain level; 3) Sustain how long a sound remains at a certain level (think of striking a tom, the initial smack is attack, then it decays to the resonance of the tom, how long it resonates is the sustain); 4) Release is the amount of time before the sustain stops. This is particularly important as these are also the settings on a common piece of gear called a Compressor! Understanding the envelope of a sound is key to learning how to maniuplate it.
7) Phase Cancellation: This is one of the most important concepts in home recording, especially when looking at drums. I'm putting it in this section because it matters so much. Phase Cancellation is what occurs when the same frequencies occur at different times. To put it simply, frequency amplitudes are additive - meaning if you have 2 sound waves of the same frequency, one amplitude is +4 and the other is +2, the way we percieve sound is that the frequency is +6. But a sound wave has a positive and negative amplitude as it travels (like a wave in the ocean with a peak and a swell). If the frequency then has two sources and it is 180 degrees out of phase, that means one wave is at +4 while the other is at -4. This sums to 0, or cancels out the wave. Effectively, you would hear silence. This is why micing techniques are so important, but we'll get into that later. I wanted this term at the top, and will likely mention it again.

Next we can look at the different types of options to actually record your sound!

1) Handheld/All in one/Field Recorders: I don't know if portable cassette tape recorders are still around, but that's an example of one. These are (or used to) be very popular with journalists because they were pretty decent at capturing speech. They do not fare too well with music though. Not too long ago, we saw the emergence of the digital field recorder. These are really nifty little devices. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors, and can be very affordable. They run on batteries, and have built-in microphones, and record digitally onto SD cards or harddiscs. The more simple ones have a pair of built-in condenser microphones, which may or may not be adjustable, and record onto an SD-card. They start around $99 (or less if you don't mind buying refurbished). You turn it on, record, connect the device itself or the SD card to your computer, transfer the file(s) and there is your recording! An entry-level example is the Tascam DR-05. It costs $99. It has two built in omni-directional mics, comes with a 2GB microSD card and runs on two AA batteries. It can record in different formats, the highest being 24-bit 96KHz Broadcast WAV, which is higher than DVD quality! You can also choose to record as an MP3 (32-320kbps) if you need to save space on the SD card or if you're simply going to record a speech/conference or upload it on the web later on. It's got a headphone jack and even small built-in speakers. It can be mounted onto a tripod. And it's about the size of a cell phone. The next step up (although there are of course many options that are price and feature-wise inbetween this one and the last) is a beefier device like the Zoom H4n. It's got all the same features as the Tascam DR-05 and more! It has two adjustable built-in cardioid condenser mics in an XY configuration (you can adjust the angle from a 90-120 degree spread). On the bottom of the device, there are two XLR inputs with preamps. With those, you can expand your recording possibilities with two external microphones. The preamps can send phantom power, so you can even use very nice studio mics. All 4 channels will be recorded independantly, so you can pop them onto your computer later and mix them with software. This device can also act as a USB interface, so instead of just using it as a field recorder, you can connect it directly to your computer or to a DSLR camera for HD filming. My new recommendation for this category is actually the Yamaha EAD10. It really is the best all-in-one solution for anyone that wants to record their kit audio with a great sound. It sports a kick drum trigger (mounts to the rim of the kick) with an x-y pattern set of microphones to pick up the rest of the kit sound. It also has on-board effects, lots of software integration options and smart features through its app. It really is a great solution for anyone who wants to record without reading this guide.
The TL;DR of this guide is - if it seems like too much, buy the Yamaha EAD10 as a simple but effective recording solution for your kit.

2) USB Microphones: There are actually mics that you an plug in directly to your computer via USB. The mics themselves are their own audio interfaces. These mics come in many shapes and sizes, and offer affordable solutions for basic home recording. You can record using a DAW or even something simple like the stock windows sound recorder program that's in the acessories folder of my Windows operating system. The Blue Snowflake is very affordable at $59. It can stand alone or you can attach it to your laptop or your flat screen monitor. It can record up to 44.1kHz, 16-bit WAV audio, which is CD quality. It's a condenser mic with a directional cardioid pickup pattern and has a full frequency response - from 35Hz-20kHz. It probably won't blow you away, but it's a big departure from your average built-in laptop, webcam, headset or desktop microphone. The Audio Technica AT2020 USB is a USB version of their popular AT2020 condenser microphone. At $100 it costs a little more than the regular version. The AT2020 is one of the finest mics in its price range. It's got a very clear sound and it can handle loud volumes. Other companies like Shure and Samson also offer USB versions of some of their studio mics. The AT2020 USB also records up to CD-quality audio and comes with a little desktop tripod. The MXL USB.009 mic is an all-out USB microphone. It features a 1 inch large-diaphragm condenser capsule and can record up to 24-bit 96kHz WAV audio. You can plug your headphones right into the mic (remember, it is its own audio interface) so you can monitor your recordings with no latency, as opposed to doing so with your computer. Switches on the mic control the gain and can blend the mic channel with playback audio. Cost: $399. If you already have a mic, or you don't want to be stuck with just a USB mic, you can purcase a USB converter for your existing microphone. Here is a great review of four of them.
3) Audio Recording Interfaces: You've done some reading up on this stuff... now you are lost. Welcome to the wide, wide world of Audio Interfaces. These come in all different shapes and sizes, features, sampling rates, bit depths, inputs, outputs, you name it. Welcome to the ocean, let's try to help you find land.
- An audio interface, as far as your computer is concerned, is an external sound card. It has audio inputs, such as a microphone preamp and outputs which connect to other audio devices or to headphones or speakers. The modern day recording "rig" is based around a computer, and to get the sound onto your computer, an interface is necessary. All computers have a sound card of some sort, but these have very low quality A/D Converters (analog to digital) and were not designed with any kind of sophisticated audio recording in mind, so for us they are useless and a dedicated audio interface must come into play.
- There are hundreds of interfaces out there. Most commonly they connect to a computer via USB or Firewire. There are also PCI and PCI Express-based interfaces for desktop computers. The most simple interfaces can record one channel via USB, while others can record up to 30 via firewire! All of the connection types into the computer have their advantages and drawbacks. The chances are, you are looking at USB, Firewire, or Thunderbolt. As far as speeds, most interfaces are in the same realm as far as speed is concerned but thunderbolt is a faster data transfer rate. There are some differences in terms of CPU load. Conflict handling (when packages collide) is handled differently. USB sends conflict resolution to the CPU, Firewire handles it internally, Thunderbolt, from what I could find, sends it to the CPU as well. For most applications, none of them are going to be superior from a home-recording standpoint. When you get up to 16/24 channels in/out simultaneously, it's going to matter a lot more.
- There are a number of things to consider when choosing an audio interface. First off your budget, number of channels you'd like to be able to record simultaneously, your monitoring system, your computer and operating system and your applications. Regarding budget, you have to get real. $500 is not going to get you a rig with the ability to multi-track a drum set covered in mics. Not even close! You might get an interface with 8 channels for that much, but you have to factor in the cost of everything, including mics, cables, stands, monitors/headphones, software, etc... Considerations: Stereo Recording or Multi-Track Recording? Stereo Recording is recording two tracks: A left and right channel, which reflects most audio playback systems. This doesn't necessarily mean you are simply recording with two mics, it means that what your rig is recording onto your computer is a single stereo track. You could be recording a 5-piece band with 16 mics/channels, but if you're recording in stereo, all you're getting is a summation of those 16 tracks. This means that in your recording software, you won't be able to manipulate any of those channels independantly after you recorded them. If the rack tom mic wasn't turned up loud enough, or you want to mute the guitars, you can't do that, because all you have is a stereo track of everything. It's up to you to get your levels and balance and tone right before you hit record. If you are only using two mics or lines, then you will have individual control over each mic/line after recording. Commonly, you can find 2 input interfaces and use a sub-mixer taking the left/right outputs and pluging those into each channel of the interface. Some mixers will output a stereo pair into a computer as an interface, such as the Allen&Heath ZED16. If you want full control over every single input, you need to multi-track. Each mic or line that you are recording with will get it's own track in your DAW software, which you can edit and process after the fact. This gives you a lot of control over a recording, and opens up many mixing options, and also many more issues. Interfaces that facilitate multitracking include Presonus FireStudio, Focusrite Scarlett interfaces, etc. There are some mixers that are also interfaces, such as the Presonus StudioLive 16, but these are very expensive. There are core-card interfaces as well, these will plug in directly to your motherboard via PCI or PCI-Express slots. Protools HD is a core-card interface and requires more hardware than just the card to work. I would recommend steering clear of these until you have a firm grasp of signal chain and digital audio, as there are more affordable solutions that will yield similar results in a home-environment.

DAW - Digital Audio Workstation

I've talked a lot about theory, hardware, signal chain, etc... but we need a way to interpret this data. First off what does a DAW do? Some refer to them as DAE's (Digital Audio Editors). You could call it a virtual mixing board , however that isn't entirely correct. DAWs allow you to record, control, mix and manipulate independant audio signals. You can change their volume, add effects, splice and dice tracks, combine recorded audio with MIDI-generated audio, record MIDI tracks and much much more. In the old days, when studios were based around large consoles, the actual audio needed to be recorded onto some kind of medium - analog tape. The audio signals passed through the boards, and were printed onto the tape, and the tape decks were used to play back the audio, and any cutting, overdubbing etc. had to be done physically on the tape. With a DAW, your audio is converted into 1's and 0's through the converters on your interface when you record, and so computers and their harddiscs have largely taken the place of reel-to-reel machines and analog tape.
Here is a list of commonly used DAWs in alphabetical order: ACID Pro Apple Logic Cakewalk SONAR Digital Performer FL (Fruity Loops) Studio (only versions 8 and higher can actually record Audio I believe) GarageBand PreSonus Studio One Pro Tools REAPER Propellerhead Reason (version 6 has combined Reason and Record into one software, so it now is a full audio DAW. Earlier versions of Reason are MIDI based and don't record audio) Propellerhead Record (see above) Steinberg Cubase Steinberg Nuendo
There are of course many more, but these are the main contenders. [Note that not all DAWs actually have audio recording capabilities (All the ones I listed do, because this thread is about audio recording), because many of them are designed for applications like MIDI composing, looping, etc. Some are relatively new, others have been around for a while, and have undergone many updates and transformations. Most have different versions, that cater to different types of recording communities, such as home recording/consumer or professional.
That's a whole lot of choices. You have to do a lot of research to understand what each one offers, what limitations they may have etc... Logic, Garageband and Digital Performer for instance are Mac-only. ACID Pro, FL Studio and SONAR will only run on Windows machines. Garageband is free and is even pre-installed on every Mac computer. Most other DAWs cost something.
Reaper is a standout. A non-commercial license only costs $60. Other DAWs often come bundled with interfaces, such as ProTools MP with M-Audio interfaces, Steinberg Cubase LE with Lexicon Interfaces, Studio One with Presonus Interfaces etc. Reaper is a full function, professional, affordable DAW with a tremendous community behind it. It's my recommendation for everyone, and comes with a free trial. It is universally compatible and not hardware-bound.
You of course don't have to purchase a bundle. Your research might yield that a particular interface will suit your needs well, but the software that the same company offers or even bundles isn't that hot. As a consumer you have a plethora of software and hardware manufacturers competing for your business and there is no shortage of choice. One thing to think about though is compatability and customer support. With some exceptions, technically you can run most DAWs with most interfaces. But again, don't just assume this, do your research! Also, some DAWs will run smoother on certain interfaces, and might experience problems on others. It's not a bad thing to assume that if you purchase the software and hardware from the same company, they're at least somewhat optimized for eachother. In fact, ProTools, until recently would only run on Digidesign (now AVID) and M-Audio interfaces. While many folks didn't like being limited to their hardware choices to run ProTools, a lot of users didn't mind, because I think that at least in part it made ProTools run smoother for everyone, and if you did have a problem, you only had to call up one company. There are many documented cases where consumers with software and hardware from different companies get the runaround:
Software Company X: "It's a hardware issue, call Hardware Company Z". Hardware Company Z: "It's a software issue, call Software Company X".
Another thing to research is the different versions of softwares. Many of them have different versions at different pricepoints, such as entry-level or student versions all the way up to versions catering to the pros. Cheaper versions come with limitations, whether it be a maximum number of audio tracks you can run simultaneously, plug-ins available or supported Plug-In formats and lack of other features that the upper versions have. Some Pro versions might require you to run certain kinds of hardware. I don't have time nor the will to do research on individual DAW's, so if any of you want to make a comparison of different versions of a specific DAW, be my guest! In the end, like I keep stressing - we each have to do our own research.
A big thing about the DAW that it is important to note is this: Your signal chain is your DAW. It is the digital representation of that chain and it is important to understand it in order to properly use that DAW. It is how you route the signal from one spot to another, how you move it through a sidechain compressor or bus the drums into the main fader. It is a digital representation of a large-format recording console, and if you don't understand how the signal gets from the sound source to your monitor (speaker), you're going to have a bad time.

Playback - Monitors are not just for looking at!

I've mentioned monitors several times and wanted to touch on these quickly: Monitors are whatever you are using to listen to the sound. These can be headphones, powered speakers, unpowered speakers, etc. The key thing here is that they are accurate. You want a good depth of field, you want as wide a frequency response as you can get, and you want NEARFIELD monitors. Unless you are working with a space that can put the monitor 8' away from you, 6" is really the biggest speaker size you need. At that point, nearfield monitors will reproduce the audio frequency range faithfully for you. There are many options here, closed back headphones, open back headphones, studio monitors powered, and unpowered (require a separate poweramp to drive the monitor). For headphones, I recommend AKG K271, K872, Sennheiser HD280 Pro, etc. There are many options, but if mixing on headphones I recommend spending some good money on a set. For Powered Monitors, there's really only one choice I recommend: Kali Audio LP-6 monitors. They are, dollar for dollar, the best monitors you can buy for a home studio, period. These things contend with Genelecs and cost a quarter of the price. Yes, they still cost a bit, but if you're going to invest, invest wisely. I don't recommend unpowered monitors, as if you skimp on the poweramp they lose all the advantages you gain with monitors. Just get the powered monitors if you are opting for not headphones.

Drum Mic'ing Guide, I'm not going to re-create the wheel.


That's all for now, this has taken some time to put together (a couple hourse now). I can answer other questions as they pop up. I used a few sources for the information, most notably some well-put together sections on the Pearl Drummers Forum in the recording section. I know a couple of the users are no longer active there, but if you see this and think "Hey, he ripped me off!", you're right, and thanks for allowing me to rip you off!

A couple other tips that I've come across for home recording:
You need to manage your gain/levels when recording. Digital is NOT analog! What does this mean? You should be PEAKING (the loudest the signal gets) around -12dB to -15dB on your meters. Any hotter than that and you are overdriving your digital signal processors.
What sound level should my master bus be at for Youtube?
Bass Traps 101
Sound Proofing 101
submitted by M3lllvar to drums [link] [comments]

[Megathread] XMG FUSION 15 (with Intel)


On September 6 at IFA, press released their first reports about our collaboration project with Intel: XMG FUSION 15.
Community Links:

Press Links:

Video Links:

The following key facts have already been revealed:
Prices and availability will be announced on September 17. → Countdown to xmg.gg
Teaser Trailer on YouTube: XMG FUSION 15 Laptop | A Design Collaboration with Intel
We look forward to your questions and your feedback!

XMG FUSION 15 - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

This FAQ represents Q&A's over the last few days here. Fellow redditor u/iterateandgit was so kind to help me putting this document together. Big shout out to him please! The FAQ will be further extended over the coming days and weeks. Please keep the questions coming!

Sales, Shipping, Warranty


Q: Are you going to sell this on Amazon in the EU?
A: We are working on getting the product up and running on Amazon. But our own BTO shop at www.bestware.com will always be our primary sales channel and will be the only one where you can customize and configure memory, storage, OS, extend your warranty and pick other options.

Q: Do you offer student discounts or other sales compaigns like black friday?
A: In general, we don't offer student discounts. Sales campaigns are planned just in time, depending on stock level and cannot be announced early. If you want to keep up to date about sales campaigns, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Q: Do you ship to the UK? Can I pay in GBP?
A: We ship to the UK - the pricing will be in EUR, so your bank will do the conversion. Warranty services will be available from UK, shipping to Germany. Currently, in the single markets, these resturn shipments are free for the end-user. In the worst case there might be additional customs fees for shipping.

Q: What warranty options do you offer?
A: All our laptops come with 2 year warranty. Warranty repairs in the first 6 months are promised to be done within 48 hours (+shipping). Both the "instant repair" service and the warranty itself can be extended to up to 3 years.

Q: Do you sell outside of Europe?
A: We are able to ship anywhere, but warranty for customers outside the region would always involve additional customs cost and paperwork for sending the laptop back to Germany in the rare event of an RMA. There is currently no agreement to let other Local OEMs (like Eluktronics in the US) carry the warranty for XMG customers and vice-versa. Some parts are customized (in our case the LCD lid and the keyboard) and it won't be easy to agree on how to share handling fees etc. - so I wouldn't expect a global warranty anytime soon.


Hardware, Specs, Thermals


Q: What is the difference between XMG FUSION 15 and other laptops based on Intel's reference design?
A: The hardware of the barebone will be identical. Other Local OEMs might use different parts for RAM and SSDs. Our branding and service/warranty options might be different. We apply our own set of performance profiles in the Control Center. This will rebalance the differentiation between Silent, Balanced and Enthusiast modes.

Q: What is the TGP of the NVIDIA RTX 2070 Max-Q?
A: Officially, it is 80W in Balanced profile and 90W in Enthusiast profile. You can toggle between these modes in real-time with a dedicated mode switch button. Inofficially, the TGP can go up to 115W in Enthusiast profile thanks to the Overboost mechanic, working in the background. However, those 115W may only be sustained until the system has reached thermal saturation, i.e. when the GPU is approaching the GPU Temperature Target of 75°C.

Q: Can I upgrade the storage and memory after I buy?
A: On storage: The laptop has two m.2 PCI-Express SSD slots. This will give you currently up to 4 TB of SSD storage. There is no 2.5" HDD slot available. Instead, the battery is enlarged to 93.48Wh. You can see pictures of the interior layouts here, here and here.
On memory: the laptop has two SO-DIMM DDR4 memory sockets. You can chose during BTO configuration, if you want to occupy both of them when you order the product. We recommend running the laptop in Dual Channel for high-performance usage.

Q: How easy is to upgrade and repair this laptop?
A: Here are the key facts:
We would give this a solid 8 out of 10 which is pretty high for such a thin&light design. The 2 remaining points are substracted for BGA CPU and GPU, which is unfortunately unavoidable in such a thin design.

Q: Does it support Windows Hello?
A: A Fingerprint-Reader is not available, but the HD webcam comes with Infrared and supports Windows Hello.

Q: Can I get a smaller, lighter charger for this laptop?
A: XMG FUSION 15 requires a 230W power adaptor to provide full performance. If you max out CPU and GPU with furmark and prime, the 230W adapter will be fully utilized.
There are currently two compatible 230W adapters. They have different dimensions but similar weight. Please refer to this comparison table:
XMG FUSION 15 Power Supply Comparsion Table (Google Drive)
Includes shop links. Will be updated with precise weight numbers in the next few days. I also included 120W, 150W and 180W in this table. They all share the same plug (5.5/2.5,, diameter, 12.5mm length). But 120W and 150W are only rated for 19V but the laptop expect 19.5V. Usually this will be compensated by tolerance but we haven't tested how a system would behave under long-term usage with such an adaptor.
In theory, 120W to 180W are enough for charing the laptop and for browsing/web/media. Even a full CPU stress test could easily be handled. But as soon as you use CPU and GPU together, you'll run into the bottleneck and your performance will be reduced.
Comparison pictures:
These 5 pictures show only the relevant 230W chargers.
Again, the weight is about the same.

Q: Is it possible to boot and run the laptop while the lid is kept closed?
A: Closing the lid under load is not recommended because it will limit the airflow and have a bad effect on keyboard and screen. The laptop likes to take air in from the keycaps. With lid closed, the performance might be limited due to reaching temp targets earlier.

Q: Can I get the laptop without the XMG logo? I will be using it in public presentations and I would not like any brand names visible.
A: We cannot ship without XMG logo, but you can use a dbrand skins to cover our logo. We have not yet decided if we want to invest into integrating XMG FUSION 15 into the dbrand shop. But you can already buy 100% compatible skins by using the page of the Eluktronics MAG-15 at dbrand. The chassis dimensions are exactly the same. Please be aware: you have to manually select the option "No Logo Cutout" if you want to buy these skins for your XMG FUSION 15. According to dbrand, there will be most likely no import fees when ordering from the EU as long as the order is below 100€. Check this thread for details.

Q: Will you offer thermal paste upgrades like Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut or Liquid Metal?
A: Our ODMs are using silicon-based, high-performance thermal compund from international manufacturers like Shin-Etsu (Japan) and M.G. (USA). Intel is using MG-860 in this reference design.
These products are used in the industrial sector, so they have no publicly known brand name. Nevertheless, their high thermal conductivity and guaranteed durability provide optimal and long-lasting cooling of your high-performance laptop. The thermal compounds are applied and sealed automatically by the vendor of the thermal components. They are applied in a highly controlled, standardized manner and provide the best balance of thermal performance, production tolerance and product lifetime.
We are considering offering an upgrade to Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut due to popular demand. Will keep you posted on that.

Q: Could you please provide an estimate for how much regular usage (~10 browser tabs + some IDE) battery backup would this have? Will there be any way to trade-off battery backup with performance?
A: Battery life vs. peak performance can be traded off by using the "Silent" performance profile. You can switch between profiles using a dedicated button on the machine. Your scenario (10 tabs + some IDE) sounds like mostly reading and writing. I would estimate to get at least 7 hours of solid battery life in such a scenario, maybe more. We have achieved 8 hours in 1080p Youtube streaming on WiFi with 50% screen brightness. Adblock and NoScript helps to keep your idle browser tabs in check.


I/O Ports, Peripherals


Q: Why are there not more USB-A 3.1 Gen2 or even USB 3.2 Gen2x2 ports?
A: USB-A 3.1 Gen1 is basically the same as USB 3.0. There aren't a lot of USB-A devices that support more than USB 3.0 speed. Faster devices typically use USB-C connectors and can be used on Thunderbolt 3, which is down-compatible to USB-C 3.1 Gen2. One of the USB-A ports actually supports Gen2 speed.
For the following remarks, please keep in mind that I am not an Intel rep, so everything is based on our own experience.
The mainboard design and the I/O port decisions have been made by Intel. Feedback and requests from LOEM customers have been taken into consideration. We would assume that USB 3.2. Gen2x2 (20 Gbit/s) was not considered to be important enough to safe space for 3rd party IC (integrated circuits) on the motherboard. Right now, all the USB ports and Thunderbolts are supplied by Intel's own IC, so they have full control over the hardware, firmware and driver stack and over power saving and performance control. The more IC you add, the higher your Idle power consumption will be, plus adding potential compatibility or speed issues as it often happens with 1st generation 3rd party USB implementations. I very well remember from my own experience the support stories during the first years of USB 3.0, before it was supported in the Intel chipset. On the one hand, Intel is aiming high in terms of performance and convenience, on the other hand: support and reliability still seem to be Intel's goal #1. Thus they seem to play it safe where they deem it to be reasonable.
Intel is gearing up for USB 4.0 and next-gen Thunderbolt. USB 3.2 2x2 is probably treated as little more than a roadmap accident. Peripheral vendors might see it the same way.

Q: Do you support charging over USB-C/Thunderbolt? Does it support docking stations?
A: The Thunderbolt 3 port in Intel's reference design does not support charging. As you probably know, the 100W limit would not be enough to power the whole system and it would make the mainboard more complex to combine two different ways of charging. Intel consciously opted against it and will probably do so again on future high-end gaming/studio models.
The USB-C/Thunderbolt port supports Dual-Link DisplayPort signals, directly connected to the NVIDIA Graphics. This makes proper docking station usage very convenient. The user still needs to connect the external power adaptor. Both ports (Thunderbolt and DC-in) are in the back of the laptop, making the whole setup appear very neat on the desk.

Q: How many PCIe lanes does the Thunderbolt 3 provide? Are they connected to CPU or Chipset?
A: XMG FUSION 15 supports Thunderbolt 3 with 4 lanes of PCIe 3.0. The lanes come from the chipset because all of the CPU lanes (x16) are fully occupied by the dedicated NVIDIA graphics. We are not aware of any side-effects of running Thunderbolt from the chipset. It is common practice for high-end laptops with high-end graphics. The Thunderbolt solution is of course fully validated and certified by Intel's Thunderbolt labs.

Q: Does it have a standby USB to power USB devices without turning on the laptop?
A: Yes, the USB-A port on the left side supports this feature.


LCD Screen


Q: Which LCD panel is being used? Are there plans for 1440p or 4K panels in the laptop? How about PWM flickering?
A: The panel is BOE NV156FHM-N4G. It is currently not known if the panel will change in later batches. This depends on logistics and stock. At any rate, the panel key specs will remain the same. There are currently no plans to offer resolutions above FHD in the current generation of this laptop.
There are very wide ranges on reports of Backlight Brightness PWM control on this panel in different laptops. Ranging from 200Hz to 1000Hz to no PWM at all - all on the same panel model number. Intel informs us that there are many factors (e.g. freq., display driver, BIOS settings implementation, type of dimmers & compatibility with the driver etc.) that impacts the quality of panel dimming performance. To Intel's knowledge, no kind of flickering has been reported during the validation process. Furthermore, first hands-on data from Notebookcheck indicates that no PWM occurs on this panel. With a DSLR test (multiple burst shots at 1/4000s exposure time) I can confirm that there is not a single frame of brightness dipping or black screen, not even at minimum LCD brightness. Hence, we can confirm: BOE NV156FHM-N4G in XMG FUSION 15 (with Intel) does not use PWM for backlight control.

Q: Some BTO shops, for an additional fee, manually pick out display panels with the least back-light bleed. Do you offer that? Even better, do you do that without the extra fee?
A: Intel has validated this design to avoid backlight bleed as much as possible. Currently no plans to do further binning. All dozens of MP samples we have seen so far have been exceptionally good.

Q: I'm coming from a 13" MacBook with Retina display. How am I going to fare with this 15.6" FHD screen in content creation?
A: If you got used to editing high-res visual content (photography, artwork) on your 13inch retina, things will change. On the one hand, your canvas will be larger and more convenient and ergonomic to work with. On the other hand, you will find yourself zooming in more often in order to make out fine-detail. Assuming that you have sharp 20:20 vision.
As it is, the screen resolution and specs are not planned to change within the lifetime of this product. The first realistic time-window for a refresh would be whenever Intel is releasing the next "H" series CPU generation. But even then, an upgrade on resolution will not be guaranteed.
Comparison:
Laptop Resolution Pixel per inch dot pitch
13.3" MacBook Pro Retina (late 2013) 2560x1600 226.98 PPI 0.1119mm
15.6" XMG FUSION 15 (late 2019) 1920x1080 141.21 PPI 0.1799mm
To compare: 141.21 is ~62% from 226.98. This represents the the metric difference in pixel density and peak sharpness between these two models.
If you know the diagonal size and resolution of your screen, you can make this comparison yourself with the DPI/PPI calculator.


Keyboard, Backlight, Switches, Layout


Q: What can you tell us about the mechanical keyboard of XMG FUSION 15?
A: The keyboard has already been reviewed in our XMG NEO series as being more crisp than typical membrane keyboards. Most reviewers attested it a very good score, both for gaming and for writing long texts.
The keyboard backlight can be configured per-key. Default mode is all white.
Keyboard Switch Specs:
Having no frame around the keycaps actually helps the thermals. The fans can pull in additional air from the top. This improves airflow and helps to keep the keyboard temperature at low levels during gaming. It also prevents long-term RMA issues on the keyboard. This specific keyboard switch is already in its 3rd generation and very mature by now.

Q: Is it possible to dampen the mechanical keyboard with o-rings?
A: The switch design does not lend itself to further dampening. The switch mechanic is too complex and has more moving parts than cherry. The 2mm travel distance also plays a role in not allowing more dampening.
For reference, please use this video (Youtube). We compared XMG NEO with another membrane-type keyboard. XMG NEO and FUSION share the same keyboard mechanics with the silent tactile switch and the same sound profile.

Q: Do you have LED keyboard backlight on the secondary key function, like Fn key icons?
A: Please have a look at this picture.
Btw, my working sample has blank keycaps. I took the 3 printed keycaps (F8, F9, F10) from a different sample just to demonstrate the Fn lighting for this picture.
Facts:
In my assesment, the Fn function symbols are clearly visible from the backlight in a dark room. A user should have no difficulty to recognize the icon and reach its function.

Q: Which keyboard layouts do you offer in the EU?
A: The following layouts are available, in alphabetic order: Belgium, Czech, Danish, Dvorak German, Dvorak US, Estonia, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Polish for Typists, Portuguese, Russia Latin, Slovakish, Spanish, Swedish / Finnish, Swiss, Turkish, UK, US International (ISO)All these layouts are based on the ISO matrix. See differences between ANSI vs. ISO here.


Operating System


Q: Do you support Linux and dual-boot on XMG FUSION 15?
A: We are in discussion to sell XMG FUSION 15 over Tuxedo with official Linux support. It might take 1 or 2 months to get this running.

Q: Which LAN, Audio and WiFi card vendors will be used? Asking for a friend.
A: From our HWiNFO64 report. (Google Drive link)
LAN: RealTek Semiconductor RTL8168/8111 [PCI\VEN_10EC&DEV_8168&SUBSYS_20868086&REV_15]Audio: Intel(R) Smart Sound Technology (Intel(R) SST) Audio Controller [PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_A348&SUBSYS_20868086&REV_10]WiFi: Intel(R) Wi-Fi 6 AX200 [PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_2723&SUBSYS_00848086&REV_1A], can be replaced.
For more information, please check the linked report file.


Other questions


Q: What would you say are the advantages and differences with other laptops due to the fact the laptop was designed in collaboration with Intel?
A: Disclaimer: I am \not* an Intel rep. The following remarks are based on my personal experience and opinion.*
Advantages:
  1. Very strict quality control on all levels. I can't quote numbers due to NDA, but Intel NUC has extremely low RMA rates, compared to average PC mainboards and systems. Intel is driven by strict internal regulation that strifes for perfection - this applies to the whole chassis, assembly and firmware, not only the mainboard. There are also certain regulations in place, for example in terms of electro-magnetic regulation and skin temperatures. The rating label is littered with regulatory seals from every region of the world, making this laptop especially safe to use.
  2. Access to high-quality material: we have not seen any Gaming Laptops based on Magnesium alloy yet, especially not in the ODM/LOEM ecosystem. The battery cells are also much more dense than what we usually see. Intel has the buying power and the vision to not settle for mediocre parts.
  3. Down-to-earth design: Intel has made this reference design for the ODM/LOEM eco-system. The design does not try to follow any specific corporate identity, thus it does not have any unneccessary "bling bling" like all the others have. Even the Razer Blade with it's sleek shape is quite obnoxious (iny my oppinion) with it's big backlit green snake logo. With XMG FUSION however, we can continue our typical style of "Undercover Gaming".
  4. Security: you can expect stellar support in terms of BIOS and Firmware (TPM, Management Engine) updates whenever any security issues are found. This might also apply to global brands, but ODM/LOEM systems have not always been so quick to react. This is due to the huge fragmentation/customizations in ODM/LOEM systems. Intel however does now allow any fragmentation: every LOEM partner is getting the same firmware. There are many hooks for configurations in this firmware, but the source code / binaries are always the same. This makes support much easier down the line.
Disadvantages:
  1. I can't name many, of course. But I would say the strict validation also makes the partnership less flexible from a product management perspective. There is no plan currently to phase-in any 4K or 300Hz screen (FHD/144Hz ought to be enough for everyone this year) or any Core i9 in this system. Other ODMs might be more open for costly modifications based on low quantities. Intel however has streamlined their production and logistics in a way that gives us (the LOEM) very short lead times and competitive pricing, but will not allow any short-notice upgrades or customizations.

Q: Will there be a 17 inch version?
A: We can neither confirm nor deny plans for a 17 inch version at this point.


[to be continued]
submitted by XMG_gg to XMG_gg [link] [comments]

2019 Offseason Review Series: Day 18 - The Carolina Panthers

Team: The Carolina Panthers

Division: The NFC South

It’s that time of year again! After a season that could best be described as “a hangover you don’t deserve”, we watched the Panthers soar to a 6-2 record. After a beatdown of eventual playoff caliber Baltimore, It finally looked like we were poised to shrug off our non-consecutive winning streak habit. But it was not meant to be. A combination of shallow defensive depth and a lingering shoulder issue for Cam Newton saw us collapse down the stretch, and we ended 7-9 winning only a single game. After watching the sharp downturn of our fortunes, questions surrounding our QB’s health and a major exodus of our most tenured veteran talent, one could be forgiven for a glum outlook on the franchise’s future going into this offseason.
But despite the spirit in which we entered it, this offseason has been a resounding success. And one that leaves little doubt that we’re an improved team despite our more prominent losses. What follows is a point for point breakdown in how we made the transition from collapsed contender to potential comeback story.

Coaching Changes

None whatsoever.
From both the commentator sphere and other fanbases, the Panthers were pretty roundly rebuked for hiring offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Despite alarms being raised over 7 step drops and an over reliance on deep shot, Turner was a revelation for our offense. He apparently meant every word of emphasizing high completion throws and taking pressure off of Cam, and we began to see looks for our QB that were totally absent in the Mike Shula era. He’s now had a chance to throw dump offs, and to have reliable comeback options. Cam, prior to breaking down, was enjoying one of the best seasons of his career and despite the shoulder injury, still finished with a career high completion percentage. Christian McCaffery, our other offensive mainstay, saw his rushing efficiency go from 3.7 YPC his rookie season to 5.0 yards in year two, with his total scrimmage yardage upticking from 1,086 to 1,965 in Norv’s new passing and blocking system. Turner’s tenure thus far has been an unmitigated success and a refreshing change of pace from the stale, dull system we fell into under Shula.
The other transition, from Steve Wilkes to Eric Washington at defensive coordinator, yielded decidedly more mixed results. Washington, simply put, was not good in his transition from the DL coach. In over his depth. He struggled all year, culminating in Rivera assuming defensive playcalling down the stretch. The turnaround in our defense once he did was remarkable, though by that point, Cam was falling apart so visibly that what happened on that side of the ball no longer mattered. Washington has been retained for the upcoming season, but Rivera’s going to keep the playcalling duties.
And captaining the ship is Rivera himself. Despite a call for his head among our fanbase’s more frustrated elements, Rivera was kept for 2019. And I’m glad for it. All or Nothing (though I’ve not had a chance to see it) provided a window into his management style, vindicating some like me who pushed back against narratives that he was a dispassionate robot. And while I’m a bit higher on Ron than many, I don’t think it’s unsafe at all to say that none of the coaching hires would have represented an obvious upgrade. At the end of the day, Rivera lead a squad to 6-2 before his QB’s season derailed, which is not really on him. He could maybe be criticized for letting Washington fail for too long, but at the end of the day, few of our woes from last year can be solely attributed to him. While this is certainly a put up or get out year for Rivera, I have little doubt that he’ll be leading the gang come 2020 as well.

Departures

Thomas Davis, LB - Now we get into the stuff that hurts. And this one really, really hurts. I understand it. We needed to figure out whether Thompson could stand on his own like, yesterday so we can decide his long term potential. Davis, while still playing at a high level, is an old man for the position he plays. Letting him walk was a logical decision. But none of it changes the fact that Davis has been the soul of this defense for over a decade, and was easily one of the most beloved players and leaders over the 14 years he spent with us. He will be missed, both for his play and his spirit.
Julius Peppers, DE - Speaking of franchise staples, long time DE and future Hall of Fame inductee Julius Peppers’ watch has ended. Unlike Davis, who we simply allowed to leave, Pep has called it a career. And what a career it was. Though almost every single article about our defensive adjustments leads off with “With Peppers retiring, the Panthers no longer have anyone who can rush the passer”, the reality is that Pep did far less than his opposite in Mario Addison to that effect. Though he came back to us in 2017 with a monster 11 sack season, that number was always misleading given how few pressures he accomplished it on. Last year, he came back down to earth. It was time, and while I wish we could have given Pep one last, Super Bowl winning hurrah, a new direction was needed.
Ryan Kalil, C - Ryan Kalil rounds out our list of beloved departing veterans. The anchor of our offensive line for 12 years has hung up his cleats. Of all the offseason changes, this was by far the scariest, as the difference between Cam with and without a good center of the course of his career has been stark and terrifying. Kalil was a damn good player right up to the end, though the rash of injuries he suffered between 2016 and 2018 clearly took their toll on his performance. And while we have replaced him (and debatably upgraded), Kalil was both a locker room leader and a damn good contributor that will be missed by all.
Devin Funchess, WR - We now get into the departures who will be less missed. Funchess, admittedly, gets a bit of a bad wrap from our fanbase who often talk about him as though he were trash. While not trash, he is at least very replaceable. In fact, Funchess replacement began well before the expiration of his contract, as he had been fully supplanted by rookie DJ Moore and sophomore Curtis Samuel down the stretch last year. By the end, he was a healthy scratch. While I’m sure he’s going to put up numbers in Andrew Luck’s offense, Funchess is no sort of elite talent. He’s a big body who fails to gain separation and who inconsistently leverages his size to his advantage. I view his upside as a Brandon LaFell type of guy. And that type of guy is no longer a fit for what we’re trying to do.
Matt Kalil, OT - If the Carolina fandom is ambivalent about Funyun’s departure, we’re positively giddy about this one. Cut with a June 1st designation, Kalil saved us the money that allowed other moves to be possible. Though the shine has come off the diamond that was Gettleman’s tenure with us, the man often doesn’t get the credit he should. He did do a great deal for us, particularly his completely unheralded building of our OL (No less than 3 of our 5 starters this coming season will have been Gettleman acquisitions). But by far the biggest mistake in his tenure was the massive albatros of a contract he doled out to Matt Kalil, who could not have failed more spectacularly (or predictably) to live up to it.
Mike Adams, FS - I speak on behalf of the fanbase when I say that we have nothing but respect for Adams. He was a solid player and a veteran leader who spent his last two years giving lift to a secondary that hasn’t seen a great safety tandem since the Clinton Administration. But your eyes don’t deceive. We really were running his 37 year old ass out there as a free safety. And that simply could not be allowed to continue. I wish Adams the best, but it was time to move on.

Arrivals

Matt Paradis, C - Here’s the fun stuff. After losing Kalil to retirement, we signed former Broncos safety Matt Paradis to replace him. At only 29, Paradis represents a significant youthening at the position, and for a guy whose upside is top 5 at the position, we got him at a significant discount. Obviously that discount was due to medical risks, which prompted his release by the Broncos in the first place. But Paradis’ has been fully cleared from day 1 and avoided the PUP list. By all accounts, he’s in tip top shape. We’ll obviously see how that holds up as the season gets underway, but Paradis is definitely one of the steals of the 2019 free agency period and I could not be happier to have him. His arrival is enormous for our prospects, and has turned our biggest positional question mark into an area of strength.
Daryl Williams, OT - It’s a bit disingenuous to call Williams an arrival, as he never actually left. But that he never left is nothing short of remarkable. After a 2017 All Pro season, Williams suffered a major setback of an injury in 2018 training camp that eventually turned into a season ending injury after he tried to rush back. Still though, the League is constantly hungry for All Pro level OT talent and I was sure Williams was going to get scooped up. Instead, he signed a 1 year, $6 million deal to come back to us, and short of black magic I’m not entirely sure how Marty Hurney pulled it off. Williams is a terrific player who can play many parts of the OL. He can slot in at LG if rookie OT Greg Little can win the LT job, but also provides insurance at LT if he can’t. He and Moton playing opposite one another represents the best OT tandem that Cam Newton has ever enjoyed.
Gerald McCoy, DT - Awwwww yeah! My all time favorite Tampa Bay Buccaneer is now a Carolina Panther. McCoy is a rock solid DT who truly needs no introduction from me. How we plan to use him is a bit murkier, but use him we definitely will. I suspect to see McCoy playing DT opposite Kawaan Short in our 3-4 looks (more on that in a minute), to line up next to him in our 5-2 looks, and to work with him on pass rushing 4-3 sets. He adds more juice to a pass rush that already saw a healthy injection of talent this year, and is more consistent in the run game than some of the other DL on the roster, which was a notable area of weakness last season. He fits the versatility first mold that’s going to allow Rivera to mix up our defensive looks as transition fully to a hybrid, and is a terrific leader in the locker room besides. Our beat writers have described him as “joined at the hip” with Kawaan Short, and I fully expect the pair to make one another better.
Bruce Irvin, OLB - Perhaps the first real signal that this wasn’t going to be the Carolina defense of yesteryear, Irvin is a vet leadership, change of pace signing. In moving to a hybrid defense, we acquired a number of rookie talents to complement OLBs like Marquis Hayes. Irvin rounds out that group, and provides us with a valuable cog in pass rushing sets and a good leader for the younguns. Though he’s not as disruptive as he once was, Irvin is a rock solid player who provides us with quality depth and leadership.
Chris Hogan, WR - A graduate of the Patriots Random White Guy Academy, Hogan flashed serious potential for his first couple of years in New England before getting gradually phased out of the offense. I’m not expecting much, but he has the potential to help us on deep balls and it’s generally never a bad thing to have more talent at WR.
Aldrick Robinson, WR - Robinson does one thing and one thing only, which is catch touchdowns. Conveniently, that’s one thing we struggled with last season. But with Greg Olsen now fully healthy and a sudden wealth of other options at WR, I would give Robinson long odds of making the roster.

Draft

Pick 1.16: Brian Burns, DE/OLB - I am still in shock that Brian Burns was available at pick #16. I wanted him very badly, but I was certain he’d be an Atlanta Falcon. Instead, people allowed him to fall all the way to us and I couldn’t be happier. Burns is the apotheosis of what we’re trying to accomplish with our defensive transition. He’s a guy as comfortable upright as he is with his hand in the dirt. While he lacks strength as a run defender, he has incredible burst off the edge and a ludicrously high ceiling as a pass rusher. I think he landed on a terrific team to turn that potential into reality and I’m extremely excited about what he can do with us.
Pick 2.37 Greg Little, OT - Every description I’ve ever read of Little has described him as “Pro Ready”, and the team clearly drafted him with an eye on starting at LT. Luckily, we’ve hedged that bet a bit with the Daryl Williams signing, but Little still projects as a talented young player with a high floor and a well rounded skillset. If not the LT starter this year, he’ll almost certainly have the job to himself next season.
PIck 3.100 Will Grier, QB - Boy did this piss people off at the time. Though cooler heads have since prevailed, this pick was seen by one group of reactionaries as an indictment on Cam’s health, and another as a wasted pick on a player who will never produce for us. The reality is neither. While Cam’s health is in good shape (put a pin it), we were put in a position last year in which he needed to rest a clearly deteriorating shoulder, but we had no faith in the men behind him to win games. If that’s the state of your backup, you need a better backup. This is a team that has seen playoff runs hinge on a game or two that Derek Anderson filled in for. So even as high as pick 100, Grier was a worthy investment. In terms of his playstyle, Grier slots as an accurate QB with a good deep ball and a cerebral style, but average arm strength and mediocre release.
Pick 4.115 Christian Miller, OLB - Like Burns, Miller projects as a do-all DE/OLB who can play either upright or down low. He’s an athletic prospect whose game is a bit raw, but who checks all the measurable boxes. Likely a top 50 player before injuries kept him out of the pre-draft process, Miller represents a hell of a value at 115. I suspect we’ll see he and Burns as long term staples of the pass rush.
Pick 5.114 Jordan Scarlett, RB - This was a bit of an odd one, but I’ve warmed to it over time. Scarlett is a bruising, violent running back who I’m almost certain was drafted to lend a hand in the red zone. As a change of pace to CMC, the two could not be more different. But coaches thus far have raved about his conditioning and power, so the pick may not have been as crazy as it looked at the time. Having said that, while I don’t think anyone should ever get upset over a 5th round pick, I do think we could have found better value at this position. Scarlett wasn’t likely to be gone by the time we selected our next player.
Pick 6.212 Denis Daley, OT - I like this pick quite a bit. Daley had a rough statline in terms of sacks allowed when facing a veritable who’s who of elite college pass rushers (Jachari Polite, Josh Allan, Clelin Ferrell among them). But in spite of that, scouting reports consistently cite both his physical gifts and his improvement as the season went on. If he can cut down on his most egregious habits (most notably his overeager lunging at edge rushers), he has legit starting potential.
Pick 7.237 Terry Godwin, WR - Godwin’s whole game is predicated on speed and football IQ. At 5’11, it’s certainly not coming from his physical measurables. But he was by all accounts a high work ethic, smart players who contributed admirably in his four years as Georgia starter. Godwin’s ceiling is likely a Curtis Samuel backup, but his early rapport with Cam makes me think he’ll stick on the roster despite his late draft spot.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Offense - With Cam’s health reportedly looking good (particularly his ability to throw deep; something he was never capable of throughout Camp) and the team adapting so well to Norv Turner’s system, I think offense as a whole is a good place to start. Though I said it last year, only to be hilariously wrong, Greg Olsen is operating at 100% as well, which provides a boost to our red zone effectiveness that is difficult to measure. By the end of last year, both DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel appeared to be on the cusp of a major breakout, both proving themselves so reliable that Devin Funchess was a healthy scratch by week 17. Those two should continue to grow, and Jarius Wright has proven to be a valuable slot receiver. And, of course, there’s CMC, who will continue to be our best offensive weapon not named Cam Newton. With good health and plenty of diverse options, I suspect the good times to continue to roll as we enter year two of Turner’s stewardship.
Offensive Line - I can’t emphasize this enough, but our offensive line is nasty. With Williams’ return, we now have an All Pro OT to pair with breakout sensation Taylor Moton, which makes for an excellent tandem. Matt Paradis replaces, and if we’re being honest, provides an upgrade over Ryan Kalil, and Trai Turner is as effective a RG as ever. LG will likely be manned by whichever of Williams or Little doesn’t win LT, and Greg Van Roten (who’s performed admirably at the position) is still in the building as well. This is a very solid group of players, and a massive upgrade over what we had to work with last year.
Pass Rush - This was a major area of concern last year, but I’m happy with where we’re at now. The transition to a hybrid defense was the right call for our personnel set, and between the draft and free agency, we’ve upgraded across the board. McCoy is a huge boost to our interior pressure and Brian Burns should contribute immediately. Efe Obada will likely continue to grow, and the new system is a much better fit for talented sophomore Marquis Hayes. Irvin is solid rotational addition as well, and Mario Addison is as stalwart a pass rusher as ever. All in all, we’ve gone from an extremely one dimensional pass rush to one that is versatile and capable of throwing multiple looks at our opponents. We will be hard to predict and hard to stop when we come at the QB next year.
Weaknesses
Run Defense - Though I’ve seen little attention paid to it, I’m very concerned about our run defense this year. Although we’ve beefed the hell out of the defensive front, few of these pieces excel in run defense. McCoy has mostly staked his reputation on being a 3 tech. Hayes, Miller and Burns were all flagged as prospect that lacked run support talent. Poe was miserable in defending the run last year, and it’s never really been Short’s bag. In terms of yards per carry, we finished 8th overall which sounds good. But this was mostly on the strength of changes when Rivera took over the playcalling, as backs tended to run over us consistently early in the year. As long as we have Luke, our run defense will be solid. But I do worry that with so much (needed, mind you) emphasis put on rushing the passer, we’ve left off this part of the game.
The Secondary: As always with us, the secondary is a concern. It is, to be fair, less a concern than in previous years. Donte Jackson and James Bradberry both enjoyed very solid campaigns last year, and the former has allegedly done a lot of growing over the previous season. Eric Reid represents a good, solid strong safety. But free safety is, as ever, a mess. The job is going to sophomore player Rashaan Gaulden, but I think his capturing the position unopposed has less to do with what coaches see in him, and running out of money after doling out contracts to Paradis, McCoy and Williams. Our secondary, while improved, was inconsistent last season and was the primary reason we finished in the middle of the pack.
And honestly, that’s about it. This is one of the strongest rosters Carolina has fielded in the Riv-Era, at least on paper.

X Factors

Cam’s Health - Those of your who frequent nfl have likely seen my refrain on this many a time, but Cam’s health is not as dire as last season made it look, and the Andrew Luck comparisons have always been, frankly, crazy. In 2016, Cam tore his rotator cuff. He rushed his recovery in order to play in 2017. This created a buildup of scar tissue which, when coupled with a minor bone spur, caused a great deal of swelling this year that put Netwon in pain and limited his range of motion. It’s one of those injuries that, while not terrible by any means, does require either surgery or a great deal of rest. Cam, by virtue of being alpha and omega to this team, had the luxury of neither. The swelling persisted until he could barely throw. While that looks scary, the actual diagnosis was not that grim, and a simple shoulder scope as cleared the damage. By all accounts, he’s 100% and even making throws that he was incapable of these last two years. Bill Voth, who was the first (and for a long time, only) writer sounding the alarm on Cam’s strength as far back as 2017, has said that he’s making throws that look like his old self routinely.
However, we are putting him on a pitch count. This like likely vet maintenance rather than a source of genuine alarm. But after the last couple of years, he does make you sweat a little.
OL Health - The major fly in the ointment when it comes to Carolina’s optimism over its OL is that big if healthy caveat. If healthy, Paradis is a top 5 Center. If healthy, Williams has All Pro talent. 4 days into camp, however, neither is participating in serious pass rush drills and only today suited up in pads. It is possible that they’re just being eased along. They did avoid the PUP list, which we were almost sure was going to get Paradis at the very least. So they appear to be alright. But if they’re not, or they reinjure again, we go from being an extremely strong team to a fatally flawed one. A great deal is riding on the health of those two players, and the entire house of cards could fall apart quickly if they’re unable to deliver.
Greg Olsen - The one health flag that I do have complete confidence in is tight end Greg Olsen. Suffering a series of foot breaks, he is now moving around at 100% capacity and has been medically cleared for all activity for months. Bone breaks are, when all is written, temporary injuries that often heal stronger when they actually get a chance to heal. Our most trusted beat writers, Voth and Rodrigue, have both been crystal clear that he looks like his old self and that his connection with Newton is as faithful as ever. What I’m less clear on is his role in the offense. For years, Greg Olsen was the pivotal piece of our passing game. But with his largely being sidelined with foot injuries over the last two years, the game has moved on. Curtis Samuel and DJ Moore are both going to receive plenty of targets, and McCaffery will be a critical element to the passing game. Greg will undoubtedly be our principle red zone threat, but the growth of other options has downgraded his loss from catastrophic to merely unfortunate. What role he carves out, and what boost he’s able to give our offense, will be very interesting to watch.
4-3 No More: Much has been made of the Carolina's transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 this offseason. And most of it is crap. We aren't exactly moving in a direction that binary. IN the past, we have strictly been a 4-3 team throughout the Riv-Era. That is about to change, but not to a 3-4. What Rivera showed last year is a willingness to mix and match personnel sets. There were 3-4 looks, 4-3 looks and even 5-2 looks. What we're moving toward is thus not a single, codified base, but a hybrid defense that can throw out a number of formations and switch between them quickly. We want players who can play OLB and DE. DTs who can play DE. LBs who can drop into coverage and rush the passer. A modern defense is one that doesn't limit itself, which is why such a premium has been put on players with positional versatility. On paper, our personnel set is very well built for this. How it pans out in practice remains to be seen. It's a very radical transitioning happening over a short period of time, and while I think our defense has the potential to be excellent, there will doubtless be some growing pains as we navigate the transition.

Positional Battles

Very little to speak of. The premier battle is going to be between Greg Little and Daryl Williams at LT. Apart from that, the timeshare that forms in different defensive sets will be intriguing. But for the most part, the roster is set.

Win Loss Predictions

I hate this part, particularly since the NFCS is a murderers row at present. The Panthers have a shot at a serious playoff run if all the chips fall right, but the Falcons are likely going to be resurgent (god you have no idea how much it hurts me to type that) and the Saints aren’t going anywhere. The Buccs I’m sure will do their best.
That alone makes pinpointing what our season looks like in terms of Ws and Ls difficult. But this year, we’re also playing the equally enigmatic AFCS, whose teams look like contenders or middlers in turns. Even our other divisional draw, the NFCW, is difficult to find the pulse of.
So rather than pretend that I know what each game is going to look like, I’m going to do what I always do; Likely wins, likely losses, toss ups.
Likely Wins: TB, @AZ, JAX, @TB, @SF, TEN, WAS
Likely Losses: LAR, @NO, @IND
Toss Ups: @HOU, @GB, ATL, NO, @ATL, SEA
So that’s 7 likely wins, 3 likely losses and 6 toss ups.
If that seems like an unusually high degree of uncertainty, that’s because it is. Last year started off strong and fell apart for reasons that are both obvious and cautiously behind us. We’ve only improved over the offseason and should be formidable. But the schedule is grueling and many questions are yet unanswered. I said in my last offseason review that last year was likely going to be a tough season, and should be viewed mainly as a proof of concept for the new ideas we were incorporating via Turner’s offense and our gradual move away from a 4-3 defense. Well, it was a tough year for reasons of which I had no inkling at the time, and it was a proof of concept. And for the most part? The concept was proven sound. So this offseason, we’ve built on it and patched over the holes that developed in it.
I know that “This offseason is a major turning point” is one of those things that gets thrown around a lot. It’s like how every Presidential election gets described as historic, as though choosing the leader of the free world could ever be anything but. But in a very real sense, this franchise has hit a turning point. Cam has to bounce back this year or he’ll face major doubts about his future contract. Rivera has to bounce back this year, or he’ll be out of a job. GM Marty Hurney has done an excellent job restocking the cupboards, but we’ve been down this road of defensive transition and an offense that eases things on the quarterback before. Last year, both ideas mostly worked, but this is the season where we must commit to them and see them through if we want to succeed with the parts we have. Thus the Panthers find themselves where we always seem to. We are a team that is as capable of going on a deep playoff run as we are forcing a total rebuild in the next two years. But for what it’s worth, I think it’s going to be a strong, “Eureka!” type season where everything finally comes together. For the sake of Rivera and company, I hope it does.
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BJP Government Performance Analysis: Administration & Governance

This is my 2nd article in the series of articles which analyse the work of Modi government starting from 2014 till present date. This one is about administration and governance. Unlike the first one on defence, it is not that binary and there are quite a few gray areas and is subject to opinions as much it is to facts. For example, I like how NGOs have been brought under tougher checks and a lot of such organisations have been forced to shut shop. But quite a few people view it as unfair.
BJP Government Performance Analysis: Defence Issues Blog Link
Reddit Link
Additionally, there is an overlap between governance issues and various others like economy, foreign policy etc. In this article, focus will will be on the work done or changes in way of working of central government ministries and departments. Some of these will be mentioned in next article which will be about economy issues.
1. Steps for leaner, responsive and more efficient government.
This is the most obvious, yet hardest things to do for any regime. All the decisions made by the politically elected government are implemented by officials who usually see multiple such governments come and go through their service. It is next to impossible to fire or even penalise them for even gross incompetence. Any reform in their way of working is extremely hard and takes years of sustained effort. Political and ideological differences even among ministers also play their part. Then there are politicians who have a mutually beneficial nexus with such officials even when they are out of power. Some of the first steps taken by Modi regime was to break this nexus and it seems to have succeeded partially. But there is still a long way to go.
GOOD
  1. Officials working for central government have been forced to work much harder, so much so that many now view these prestigious jobs as punishment postings. Many non-performing officers have been disciplined and even sacked, a first. 1* 2* 29* 68* 112* 118* 132*
  2. Even serving ministers have been forced to adopt austerity measures. Some examples are no new vehicles, reduced travel expenses 1113 71* 125*
  3. Influence of foreign interests, corporates and their lobbyists has been severely curtailed. Many “powerful” people who had a lot of influence in various ministries and govt departments now don’t have insider knowledge or influence over decision making. 26* 63* 75*
  4. Many politicians squatting on government properties have been forced to vacate them. List of more than 1500 such squatters includes many former ministers, MLAs, MPs and many so called artists, inetellectuals who have been staying in govt allotted properties long after their time was over. Even BJP run state governments have evacuated have evacuated former CMs and MLAs. 61* 65* 104* 108* 109* 113*
  5. Business of paid for postings and transfers in many central govt departments has been severely curtailed. 7* 105*
  6. Many useless posts have been abolished and major departments downsized and streamlined. Often posts like this were used to accommodate officials in high paying post-retirement postings.4* 117*
  7. There is much greater communication between government and people. Many ministers and even PM office interact with common citizens on Twitter among other platforms. 124* 119*
  8. Options opened for direct entry of domain experts in to government departments. 133* 134* 135*
  9. Various measures taken to improve business climate like curtailment of harassment by various inspectors, passing of bankruptcy law, steps to improve ease of doing business among many others. It resulted in India making a record jump in ease of doing business index in 2017 and broke in to top 100 for first time. 3* 10* 12* 23* 46* 59* 66* 72* 154* 155* 156* 158* 159* 160*
  10. A very large number of old, archaic laws removed. Latest one under consideration (July 2018) in Supreme Court is article 377, removal of which will lead to decriminalisation of homo-sexuality. 1159 such redundant laws removed in just 2 years. 42* 163* 164* 165*
BAD
  1. Attempts to clean up bureaucracy and red tape need more will. In 4 years, there have not been many deep reforms in functioning of most govt departments, as far as corruption and delays are concerned. Then there have been some seemingly counter-productive measures like the one which makes it harder to investigate a govt servant.
  2. For most part, BJP ruled states have not shown enough initiative and willingness for reforms as was expected of them.
SCORE: 6.5/10
2.Corruption and black money.
Before anyone starts “where are my 15 lakh which Modi promised”, kindly watch this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOa04NN1M_Q
Recovering black money was one of the major poll promises of BJP and they have made fairly good progress on some fronts while it lacks on others.. As it happened, cleanups also unearthed huge scams in bank loans in which UPA regime gave away loans to numerous people who never meant to pay those back. This has proven to be one of the biggest scams in history and many big industrialists and UPA politicians including former Finance Minister Chidambaram have been implicated. Many of them have ran away from India to escape persecution. Apart from that, even after their best efforts, all the opposition parties and their followers have been unable to find a single corruption charge against Modi regime till date.
Demonetisation, however controversial it may be, has enabled recovery of untaxed income worth thousands of crores which would have never happened except for drastic measure like this. Implementation of GST was not perfect, but it has led to streamlined taxation process with reduced leakage, This link contains list of some income tax raids done immediately after demonetisation. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vRovmVA_9x7NoyJHFLFZ7pA1Mi7gUYB6_OuGHgQA0pFLc9qQ1xTGMClqpGrudmZJ7YrBcg1n-VguZBi/pubhtml?gid=1658058173&single=true
GOOD
  1. Huge scam in banking sector in which loans worth thousands of crores were given away without proper checks under influence of UPA ministers unearthed. Number of industrialists, bank officials and politicians are implicated. Many of these industrialists are being forced to give back that money. Legal actions being taken against others, some of which have fled India and some politicians and their associates. Banks starting to show gains after sustained recovery efforts. 120* 131* 136* 137* 138* 139* 140* 141* 158*
  2. Many politicians jailed or under investigation for various corruption issues including former CMs and central ministers. 130* 142* 143* 144* 149* 150*
  3. Many dubious NGOs, many of which have shady backgrounds have been forced to shut shop or forced to reduce their operations. Among the benign ones, many of such organisations were front for money laundering and payment of lackeys. Others were foreign sponsored fronts for mass scale conversions of Indics, anti-India propaganda and terrorism. 5* 9* 21* 91* 115* 126* 127* 145*
  4. A large quantity of black money from foreign bank accounts successfully recovered. Treaties signed with Switzerland (among other countries) under which Swiss will share details of Indians owning bank accounts in Swiss banks. 103* 122* 128* 129* 146* 148*
  5. Large increase in number of people paying income tax after rules like Aadhar verification, demonetisation, GST. Huge amounts of money recovered in income tax raids. Properties of gangsters targeted. Lakhs of shell companies closed down. 101* 121* 123* 128* 129* 147* 151* 152* 153* 161*
  6. Stronger laws passed against corruption and tax evasion. Top level corruption reduces significantly. 33* 75* 93* 101* 102*
BAD
  1. Modi regime perhaps underestimated how difficult the recovery of black money from foreign accounts will be. Although a huge sum of money has been recovered, the whole process will take a lot longer and most likely will fall short of hype during election campaign.
  2. A number of bank loan defaulters managed to evade authorities and escape to foreign countries. If they had been arrested earlier, then loan recovery would have been a lot more easier and faster.
  3. Implementation of GST was not up to par. Numerous issues still exist which will take atleast a few months to be sorted out.
  4. Although I personally support demonetisation, it was not as well planned as it should have been. Very large number of people faced inconveniences for quite long time due to shortage of currency. Strangely, number of currency notes in circulation has reached back previous levels.
  5. Even if corruption at top levels has been reduced, grassroot corruption still seems to be as bad as it was earlier. Problem of citizens dealing directly with govt departments have not eased much.
SCORE: 6.5/10
The actual score would have been a 6. Extra half point is due to clean image of almost every minister and no scams yet. Opposition parties have tried their best to make up scams like the one for Rafale planes, but their attempts have been laughably stupid.
3. Programs for citizens.
Energy savings with new policies https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/powehow-modi-governments-led-programme-hopes-to-emerge-as-a-win-win-from-consumer-point-of-view/articleshow/52592189.cms Reforms in electricity
This regime seems to have better reach out programs for general public which are meant to make their lives and interaction with government machinery easier and fruitful. In addition to big steps like Jan Dhan bank accounts, Mudra Yojna, free LPG for poor, there have been number of measures implemented to make government departments more responsive and approachable. Some of these points have overlap with economy and infrastructure issues, but they are mentioned here because they affect lives of citizens directly. and profoundly.. Some of these will be explained in detail in later posts.
GOOD
  1. Red tape cut across various government departments. Steps like digital locker, self-attestation of documents and a few others meant to reduce paperwork, unnecessary delays and corruption implemented. 47* 62* 66* 67* 72* 107*
  2. Jan Dhan Yojna brings banking to the poorest and enables direct transfer of funds for subsidies and other welfare programs. This is one of the best measures in quite a long time meant for direct benefit of the poor. Reduces delays and corruption. 167* 168* 169* 170* 171* 172* 173* 175*
  3. Passport issue and re-issue process made much easier and faster. 110* 166*
  4. More platforms for feedback about government departments and policies created. Emphasis on transparency in governance and grievance redressal mechanisms. 79* 124* 116* 119*
  5. Steps taken to solve some employee issues related to Provident Fund, pensions and others. Lot more reforms still needed. 6* 18*
  6. Swachh Bharat Mission despite problems is showing some results. 85% of population now has access to toilets, compared to around 40% at start of program. According to WHO, 3 lakhs deaths caused by diarrhea were averted between 2014 and 2019. A lot of public places like railway stations are much cleaner. 175 * 176* 177* 178* 179*
  7. Ujwala Yojana, a scheme meant to eradicate use of polluting fuels like wood, coal, dung for cooking proves to be a good success. 5 crore new connections allotted ahead of target. 180* 181* 182* 183*
  8. While many countries struggle with it, India implements strong net neutrality rules. 184* 185*
  9. Multiple steps taken to improve conditions for farmers. Extra impetus on reducing malnutrition and increasing availability of nutritional food to citizens through various schemes. 186, 187, 188, 189 205* 206*
  10. Excellent work so far by power ministry bringing even the remotest places in India on electricity grid. A number of villages which had remained outside the grid now have electricity. Additionally, electricity production and distribution is much better. India has a power surplus and is 3rd largest electricity producer in world. Most of issues still remaining are more often than not due to inefficient and corrupt state electricity corporations. Cheap LED bulbs help in reducing power consumption. 190, 191 192* 193* 194* 195* 196* 197* 198* 199* 200* 201* 202*
  11. Much needed push for solar power with huge new solar power plants coming up. 203* 204*
  12. Pace of road construction across the country has picked up substantially and it has been the highest till now. Many remote regions have new connectivity and existing highways in most regions have been upgraded, 207* to 232* 26 \
BAD
  1. Inspite of all the schemes and subsidies, Indian agricultural sector suffers from various issues which will need a lot more work and better implementations. There has been no obvious solution of issues arising due to small size of land holdings, mimimum support prices and bureaucratic red tape.
  2. Swach Bharat mission has been partially successful at best.
  3. Implementation of digital measures meant to reduce red tape have had limited effect till now. Many people and govt departments remain unaware and disinterested in these changes.
SCORE: 7/10
If it was just the intention of projects mentioned here, this would be a full 10. But meaningful implementation of many of these projects is hampered by numerous factors like inefficient, corrupt bureaucracy, infinitely stupid and large population as well as mediocre planning. Some of these projects are longterm and the effects will be visible only after a certain amount of time.
FINAL SCORE: 6.6/10
If compared with UPA regime, this one is miles ahead in almost everything. But this is not a good enough standard to improve upon. There have been some good efforts from top, but on ground implementation has been good in only a few. Some of the long standing issues like reforms in bureaucracy, agriculture and a few other fields which will take more than just good intent and announcement of schemes.
LINKS:
  1. Fear of Narendra Modi makes babus finalize plans in 24 hours http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fear-of-Narendra-Modi-makes-babus-finalize-plans-in-24-hours/articleshow/36367492.cms
  2. Working a 6-day week? No problem! Bureaucrats are loving Modi’s iron-fist http://www.firstbiz.com/corporate/working-6-day-week-problem-bureaucrats-loving-modis-iron-fist-87549.html
  3. Investments to get push as Modi govt takes green clearances online http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Narendra-Modi-to-MPs-Ask-SC-to-fast-track-your-cases/articleshow/36405187.cms
  4. PM Narendra Modi scraps 4 Cabinet Committees, including one on UIDAI http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-06-11/news/50478696_1_cabinet-panels-prime-minister-narendra-modi-cabinet-secretariat
  5. Modi govt puts NGOs under scan following IB warning http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/modi-govt-puts-ngos-under-intense-scan-following-ib-warning/article1-1228881.aspx
  6. Employees to get pension payment order on retirement day: Govt http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/pension-payment-order-jitendra-singh-37989.html
  7. National acc wiil be-appointing authority for top officers http://www.jagran.com/news/national-acc-wiil-be-appointing-authority-for-top-officers-11391267.html?src=p1
  8. Rajnath singh reviews citizens database scheme http://www.lensonnews.com/lensonnews/1/59/62099/1/rajnath-singh-reviews-citizens-database-scheme.html
  9. Centre cracks the whip on NGOs, direct foreign funding put on hold http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/centre-cracks-the-whip-on-ngos-direct-foreign-funding-put-on-hold_940813.html
  10. Government clears investment hurdles, gives go ahead to seven projects worth Rs 21,000 crore http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/infrastructure/government-clears-investment-hurdles-gives-go-ahead-to-seven-projects-worth-rs-21000-crore/articleshow/36847309.cms
  11. Narendra Modi cracks the whip on ministers’ foreign travels http://www.financialexpress.com/news/narendra-modi-cracks-the-whip-on-ministers-foreign-travels/1262585
  12. Forest ministry greenlights faster, simpler clearances; defence, roads get priority http://www.financialexpress.com/news/forest-ministry-greenlights-faster-simpler-clearances-defence-roads-get-priority/1262507
  13. Modi austerity drive, no new cars for ministers, PMO to monitor spending http://ibnlive.in.com/news/modi-austerity-drive-no-new-cars-for-ministers-pmo-to-monitor-spending/481828-37-64.html
  14. 3 satellite cities being planned for re-settlement of Kashmiri Pandits http://daily.bhaskar.com/news/NAT-TOP-3-satellites-cities-being-planned-for-re-settlement-of-kashmiri-pandits-4656258-NOR.html
  15. Thirty days in office, Narendra Modi-led NDA working to keep promises http://www.financialexpress.com/news/thirty-days-in-office-narendra-modiled-nda-working-to-keep-promises/1264309
  16. Narendra Modi government to club three social security schemes http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/narendra-modi-government-to-club-three-social-security-schemes/articleshow/37285706.cms
  17. Rajnath Singh sets a 3-yr deadline for NPR rollout, link to voter ID likely http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/3-yr-deadline-for-npr-rollout-link-to-voter-id-likely/
  18. Register online, get provident fund code within hours http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/savings-centre/savings-news/register-online-get-provident-fund-code-within-hours/articleshow/37555385.cms
  19. 660 Nirbhaya Centres for women violence victims http://news.rediff.com/commentary/2014/jul/03/660-nirbhaya-centres-for-women-violence-victims/647b60d7f8c4149a28b9d8ccfafa18c9
  20. Passport delivery to become hassle-free, no police verification in case of renewal http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Passport-delivery-to-become-hassle-free-no-police-verification-in-case-of-renewal/articleshow/37724655.cms
  21. ‘No relevance’, Centre asks UN mission to vacate Delhi office http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/no-relevance-centre-asks-un-mission-to-vacate-delhi-office/
  22. New advisory to end ‘inspector raj’ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-advisory-to-end-inspector-raj/articleshow/38036699.cms
  23. Centre to shield businesses from dreaded ‘inspector raj’ with new system http://www.financialexpress.com/news/centre-to-shield-businesses-from-dreaded-inspector-raj-with-new-system/1270288
  24. Railways’ ‘silent killers’: Now, trains won’t stop at ‘MP stops’ http://www.financialexpress.com/news/trains-now-won-t-stop-at-mp-stops/1270285
  25. Managing of PM Relief Fund to be modelled on Gujarat scheme http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/managing-of-pm-relief-fund-to-be-modelled-on-gujarat-scheme/
  26. Fear and foreboding in South Block http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/fear-and-foreboding-in-south-block
  27. Government proposes changes in BIS to ensure product quality, withdrawal of substandard goods http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/government-proposes-changes-in-bis-to-ensure-product-quality-withdrawal-of-substandard-goods/articleshow/38826859.cms
  28. Narendra Modi government’s small reforms with big impact http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/narendra-modi-governments-small-reforms-with-big-impact/articleshow/38885465.cms
  29. For the first time in the history, IAS officers sacked in disproportionate assets case http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/arvind-joshi-ias-officer-sacked-in-disproportionate-assets-case–39518.html
  30. Centre clears revised norms for new airport bids in record time http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Centre-clears-revised-norms-for-new-airport-bids-in-record-time/articleshow/38881132.cms
  31. PM launches unique web platform to get citizens’ ideas for governance http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PM-launches-unique-web-platform-to-get-citizens-ideas-for-governance/articleshow/39041211.cms
  32. Govt dissolves Khadi commission http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/news/govt-dissolves-khadi-commission/article6254888.ece
  33. Narendra Modi government asks ‘Babus’ to declare assets on or before September 15 http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/govt-asks-babus-to-declare-assets-by-september-15–39747.html
  34. Army Happy With ‘Quick’ Govt http://www.newindianexpress.com/thesundaystandard/Army-Happy-With-‘Quick’-Govt/2014/07/27/article2350296.ece
  35. Modi Cabinet clears labour reform Bills http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/modi-cabinet-clears-labour-reform-bills-114073100236_1.html
  36. How Achche Din dawned for Std XI and XII students in Baramulla http://www.rediff.com/news/special/special-how-achche-din-dawned-for-std-xi-and-xii-students-in-baramulla/20140731.htm
  37. Madhya Pradesh govt rehabs Bangla non-Muslims http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Madhya-Pradesh-govt-rehabs-Bangla-non-Muslims/articleshow/39326264.cms
  38. Winds of change: Productivity of Lok Sabha climbs to 103% http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Winds-of-change-Productivity-of-Lok-Sabha-climbs-to-103/articleshow/39440615.cms
  39. Government tells states to build detention centers for illegal Bangladeshis http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-government-tells-states-to-build-detention-centers-for-illegal-bangladeshis-2007991
  40. Cabinet clears amendments to Juvenile Justice Act paving way for harsher punishment http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cabinet-clears-amendments-to-Juvenile-Justice-Act-paving-way-for-harsher-punishment/articleshow/39767899.cms
  41. Cabinet approves bill for judicial appointment body http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cabinet-approves-bill-for-judicial-appointment-body/articleshow/39773831.cms
  42. Administration Govt prepares bill to repeal 36 archaic laws http://news.oneindia.in/india/govt-prepares-bill-to-repeal-36-archaic-laws-1499231.html Administration
  43. 13 reasons to cheer Modi sarkar’s first Parliament session http://www.rediff.com/news/report/reasons-to-cheer-modi-sarkar-first-parliament-session/20140814.htm
  44. 10 things that the Modi government is doing right http://www.rediff.com/news/special/10-things-that-the-modi-government-is-doing-right/20140813.htm
  45. Budget session productivity hits a high of 104% http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Budget-session-productivity-hits-a-high-of-104/articleshow/40296076.cms
  46. Bid to improve investment climate http://www.telegraphindia.com/1140817/jsp/business/story_18728366.jsp#.U_AUcWOwT5c
  47. Marriage registrations to go online from next month http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Marriage-registrations-to-go-online-from-next-month/articleshow/40319783.cms
  48. New norms soon for PSU bank directors; CMD post to be split http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/New-norms-soon-for-PSU-bank-directors-CMD-post-to-be-split/articleshow/40353924.cms
  49. National Investigation Agency ropes in Indian Statistical Institute for study on fake currency notes http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-17/news/52901475_1_ficn-fake-currency-notes-currency-cell
  50. 1 lakh per school to cover 10,000 schools. http://www.tcs.com/news_events/press_releases/Pages/TCS-PM-Clean-India-Initiative.aspx
  51. INDIA MODI-fied: Volume-3; The First Propulsion http://www.indianotes.com/uploads/article_pdf/2014/MotilalOswal_Modified_19August_2014.pdf
  52. IRCTC to soon offer cash on delivery for rail tickets http://firstbiz.firstpost.com/economy/wow-irctc-to-soon-offer-cash-on-delivery-for-rail-tickets-94452.html
  53. 100-day delivery: Modi ready with infra report card http://m.moneycontrol.com/news/economy/100-day-delivery-modi-readyinfra-report-card_1164101.html
  54. PM Modi sets up committee to identify ‘obsolete’ laws Manifesto http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/narendra-modi-sets-up-committee-to-identify-obsolete-laws/1/379398.html Administration
  55. .भारत (.Bharat) top-level domain launched http://ibnlive.in.com/news/-bharat-toplevel-domain-launched/494798-11.html
  56. PM Modi’s big plan: Get education, medical & birth records online in a digital locker http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-29/news/53362935_1_prime-minister-narendra-modi-suggestions-government-offices
  57. Buoyed by PM Modi’s election win, economy set to clock highest growth in 2 years http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-29/news/53362744_1_pm-modi-low-growth-gdp
  58. 100 DAYS – A report card http://i.imgur.com/kByr5OK.jpg
  59. Job creation to inspector raj, government did its work http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/job-creation-to-inspector-raj-government-did-its-work/
  60. Right and Radical The understated revolution of Prime Minister Narendra Modi http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/nation/right-and-radical
  61. Modi gets Lutyens’ bungalows vacated in three months http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/modi-gets-lutyens-bungalows-vacated-in-three-months/article1-1261088.aspx
  62. Soon, single RTO visit will be sufficient http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Soon-single-RTO-visit-will-be-sufficient/articleshow/41909687.cms Modi effect?
  63. Favouritism in govt decisions down, India improves global rank Modi effect? https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Favouritism-in-govt-decisions-down-India-improves-global-rank/articleshow/41935552.cms
  64. Jammu and Kashmir floods: Narendra Modi deploys successful Google app to find people http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-jammu-and-kashmir-floods-narendra-modi-deploys-successful-google-app-to-find-people-2017385
  65. Power, water supplies snapped in houses of Ajit Singh, Azharuddin http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=263134
  66. Modi government promotes self attestation of documents http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-08-02/news/52356466_1_affidavits-pm-narendra-modi-pmo
  67. Non-essential drugs: NPPA withdraws price control order http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/nonessential-drugs-nppa-withdraws-price-control-ordearticle6439154.ece
  68. Attendance.gov.in: Modi government launches website to track attendance of government employees http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-10-07/news/54735540_1_biometric-attendance-system-government-employees-attendance-records
  69. Center launches Air Quality Index http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/centre-launches-index-to-measure-air-quality/articleshow/44866324.cms
  70. Narendra Modi government takes RTI to another level: All replies to be put online http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/narendra-modi-government-takes-rti-to-another-level-all-replies-to-be-put-online/articleshow/44898219.cms
  71. Modi government cancels golf memberships for bureaucrats http://www.deccanchronicle.com/150129/nation-current-affairs/article/modi-government-cancels-golf-memberships-bureaucrats
  72. Narendra Modi Cabinet to cut paper trail, go Kindle http://www.financialexpress.com/article/economy/narendra-modi-cabinet-to-cut-paper-trail-go-kindle/43358/
  73. What triggered the crackdown http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/TOI-exclusive-on-corporate-espionage-What-triggered-the-crackdown/articleshow/46318191.cms
  74. When an “Aam Aadmi” exposed Journalist Mihir S Sharma http://www.opindia.com/2015/02/when-an-aam-aadmi-exposed-journalist-mihir-s-sharma/
  75. Top-level corruption’s down in Modi govt, fingers crossed: India Inc http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Top-level-corruptions-down-in-Modi-govt-fingers-crossed-India-Inc/articleshow/46328407.cms
  76. Indian Railways launches country’s first customer complaint mobile app (IT) http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/railways-launches-indias-first-customer-complaint-mobile-app/1/421909.html
  77. Mispricing exports, imports may land you in jail for 7 years http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/Mispricing-exports-imports-may-land-you-in-jail-for-7-years/articleshow/46465386.cms
  78. Operation Smile: Rajnath Singh’s push helps recover 2500 missing children http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46598821.cms
  79. PM launches multi-purpose and multi-modal platform PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation) http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=117702
  80. Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approves innovative mechanism for utilization of stranded gas based generation capacity http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=117698
  81. Formation of SPV to provide efficient rail evacuation systems to Major Ports http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=117694
  82. Modi led NDA govt bypasses bid route, PGCIL to develop 20K MW green corridor http://www.financialexpress.com/article/economy/narendra-modi-led-nda-govt-bypasses-bid-route-pgcil-to-develop-20k-mw-green-corrido57520/?
  83. Reclaim your inoperative EPFO a/c money http://www.business-standard.com/article/pf/reclaim-your-inoperative-epfo-a-c-money-115032600231_1.html
  84. Judicial reform proposals: Litigations to end in 3 to 5 years, summons to be sent by email http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-08/news/57838245_1_top-judges-high-courts-chief-justices-conference
  85. In Big Relief for Farmers, PM Modi Announces More Compensation for Crop Damage http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/in-big-relief-for-farmers-pm-modi-announces-more-compensation-for-crop-damage-753168?site=full
  86. Home Ministry freezes all 7 bank accounts of Greenpeace India http://ibnlive.in.com/news/home-ministry-freezes-all-7-bank-accounts-of-greenpeace-india/538849-3.html
  87. LPG cash transfer plan takes commercial cylinder sales up http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-04-13/news/61102830_1_lpg-cylinders-auto-lpg-dbtl
  88. PM Modi launches PRAGATI platform for redressal of grievances (DNA) http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-pm-modi-launches-pragati-platform-for-redressal-of-grievances-2071960
  89. Ford Foundation put under MHA watch list in “national interest and security” of India http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-04-24/news/61493635_1_home-ministry-ford-foundation-watch-list
  90. NaMo’s healing touch to Farmers – Direct Deposit of Relief to Jan Dhan Accounts http://www.niticentral.com/2015/04/22/compensate-farmers-jan-dhan-yojana-accounts-310605.html
  91. Govt cancels licences of 8,975 NGOs for failing to file annual returns http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-cancels-licences-of-8975-NGOs-for-failing-to-file-annual-returns/articleshow/47075077.cms?
  92. Bharat Mala: PM Narendra Modi’s planned Rs 14,000 crore road from Gujarat to Mizoram (ET) http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-04-29/news/61652753_1_crore-road-road-connectivity-road-network
  93. Cabinet clears stronger anti-corruption Act http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cabinet-clears-amendments-to-anticorruption-act/article7154111.ece?homepage=true
  94. Prime Minister to Launch Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) AND The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) on 9th May 2015 at Kolkata http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=120041
  95. Narendra Modi government eases incorporation of business, process to take just 1 form starting today http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/47116318.cms
  96. Forest fund gets Rs 38,000 crore boost http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/environment/flora-fauna/forest-fund-gets-rs-38000-crore-boost/articleshow/47102196.cms
  97. India is in a much better place after one year of Modi rule http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/Myth-n-Reality/india-is-in-a-much-better-place-after-one-year-of-modi-rule/
  98. One Year Later, India In Better Shape Under Modi http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/05/03/one-year-later-india-in-better-shape-under-modi/
  99. One year of Modi government: A look at what does India Inc think http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/one-year-of-modi-government-a-look-at-what-does-india-inc-think/articleshow/47155459.cms
  100. Entire Machinery of Indian Railways Geared up for Implementation Work http://www.orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=59098
  101. Govt goes after D-gang properties, to approach agencies abroad http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-goes-after-D-gang-properties-to-approach-agencies-abroad/articleshow/47335585.cms
  102. Black Money Bill with more teeth gets Rajya Sabha approval http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/black-money-bill-with-more-teeth-gets-rajya-sabha-approval/article7202317.ece
  103. Switzerland begins naming Indians, foreigners being probed at home for tax evasion http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/swiss-begins-naming-indians-others-being-probed-at-home/article1-1351161.aspx
  104. Narendra Modi government booted out 460 leaders from Lutyens bungalows http://www.abplive.in/india/2015/06/06/article610140.ece/Narendra-Modi-government-Lutyens-bungalows-Venkaiah-Naidu-nda-government
  105. How the PM dismantled the transfer-posting industry http://www.dailyo.in/politics/modi1-narendra-modi-bureaucracy-ias-pk-mishra-upa-pmo-indian-railways-suresh-prabhu/story/1/4186.html
  106. Meet India’s chief human resources officer http://www.rediff.com/getahead/report/specials-meet-indias-chief-human-resources-office20150611.htm
  107. Live paperless; keep sensitive data, documents safe in DigiLocker http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/wealth/savings-centre/analysis/live-paperless-keep-sensitive-data-documents-safe-in-digilockearticleshow/47609731.cms
  108. With 1500 squatters kicked out from Lutyens bungalows, it might explain why its always Modi vs All http://www.opindia.com/2018/02/with-1500-squatters-kicked-out-from-lutyens-bungalows-it-might-explain-why-its-always-modi-vs-all/ 109 Govt pushes squatters out of Lutyens Bungalow Zone, only 4 left https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/govt-pushes-squatters-out-of-lutyens-bungalow-zone-only-4-left/story-JrSIsyfhmkeHK1YVgKQMMM.html
  109. Police verification no longer required for reissue of passports: Govt http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/police-verification-no-longer-required-for-reissue-of-passports-govt/
  110. Govt’s ultimatum to road developers: Perform or perish http://www.financialexpress.com/article/india-news/govts-ultimatum-to-road-developers-perform-or-perish/181570/
  111. 2,200 corrupt govt officials identified in 2015, CBI says http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/2200-corrupt-govt-officials-identified-in-2015-CBI-says/articleshow/51032131.cms
  112. Narendra Modi government evicts record number of illegal occupants from Lutyens Delhi http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/narendra-modi-government-evicts-record-number-of-illegal-occupants-from-lutyens-delhi/articleshow/51329453.cms
  113. Parrikar finds $3 bn lying forgotten in US account http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/parrikar-finds-3-bn-lying-forgotten-in-us-account-116030500049_1.html
  114. India denies visas to US religious freedom body http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-denies-visas-to-us-religious-freedom-body/articleshow/51248712.cms
  115. FCI goes online, links 30 godowns in 1st phase http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51443357.cms
  116. Big reform: Modi government plans to redeploy bureaucrats and reduce patronage postings http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/big-reform-modi-government-plans-to-redeploy-bureaucrats-and-reduce-patronage-postings/articleshow/51504060.cms
  117. 15 customs and central excise personnel fired: Sacking signals crackdown on laggards http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51676177.cms
  118. Modi government makes 8 lakh calls in 10 days to check success of four big schemes http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/51691671.cms
  119. The biggest ever fire sale of Indian corporate assets has begun, to tide over bad loans crisis http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/the-biggestever-fire-sale-of-indian-corporate-assets-has-begun-to-tide-over-bad-loans-crisis/article8573163.ece?homepage=true
  120. Blackmoney: Govt unearths indirect tax evasion of Rs 50,000 crore in two years http://indianexpress.com/article/business/economy/blackmoney-govt-unearths-indirect-tax-evasion-of-rs-50000-crore-in-two-years-2793085/
  121. The Mauritius Loophole: The Story Of Its Origin And How India Finally Managed To Shut It http://swarajyamag.com/economy/the-mauritius-loophole-the-story-of-its-origin-and-how-india-finally-managed-to-shut-it Infrastructure
  122. Rs. 43,000 Crore In Black Money Recovered In 2 Years: Revenue Secretary http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/rs-43-000-crore-in-black-money-recovered-in-2-years-revenue-secretary-1427078
  123. Why PM Modi called this Tripura IAS officer at 10pm http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Why-PM-Modi-called-this-Tripura-IAS-officer-at-10pm/articleshow/53908586.cms
  124. PM Narendra Modi’s Cleanliness Drive Frees Up Space For 50 In His Office http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pm-modis-cleanliness-drive-in-his-office-frees-up-space-for-50-people-1287549?pfrom=home-lateststories
  125. Ford Foundation-govt stand-off ends as NGO agrees to come under Fema http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Ford-Foundation-govt-stand-off-ends-as-NGO-agrees-to-come-under-Fema/articleshow/48092013.cms?from=mdr
  126. Home Ministry freezes all 7 bank accounts of Greenpeace India http://ibnlive.in.com/news/home-ministry-freezes-all-7-bank-accounts-of-greenpeace-india/538849-3.html
  127. Govt to net Rs 10,000 crore from Swiss bank accounts by March-end: SIT http://m.timesofindia.com/india/Govt-to-net-Rs-10k-cr-by-March-end-from-Swiss-account-holders-SIT/articleshow/46180794.cms
  128. Swiss banks up black money vigil as India threatens criminal action http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/46812758.cms
  129. CBI raids P Chidambaram and son Karti’s residence in Chennai; Congress calls it political vendetta by BJP http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-cbi-raids-former-union-minister-p-chidambaram-s-residence-in-chennai-2439731
  130. Banking scam has UPA era roots http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/news/12894-banking-scam-has-upa-era-roots
  131. Modi Govt @ 4: How the Dread of Deadlines Revamped Sarkaari Offices https://www.news18.com/news/india/modi-govt-4-how-the-dread-of-deadlines-revamped-sarkaari-offices-1760253.html
  132. Private Sector Professionals Can Be Bureaucrats, 10 Senior Posts Open https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/lateral-entry-to-bureaucracy-a-reality-with-openings-in-10-ministries-1865251
  133. Alternative to IAS? Modi govt opens lateral entry for professionals as Joint Secretaries; details here https://www.financialexpress.com/jobs/alternative-to-ias-modi-govt-opens-lateral-entry-for-professionals-as-joint-secretaries-details-here/1200499/
  134. Lateral Entry: Landmark step by Modi govt to equip bureaucracy for challenges and opportunities http://www.opindia.com/2018/06/lateral-entry-landmark-step-by-modi-govt-to-equip-bureaucracy-for-challenges-and-opportunities/
Rest of link in comments. Reddit is changing the numbering pattern in links on comments on it's own. Original post : http://jjamwal.in/yayavabjp-government-performance-analysis-administration-governance/
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Part 2: A Second Helping Further Reflections On the AIR/CIA Assessment on Remote Viewing by "Mr. X" (Paul Smith)

Part 2: A Second Helping
Further Reflections On the AICIA Assessment on Remote Viewing by "Mr. X" (Paul Smith)
This series was written by someone intimately familiar with the various incarnations of our government's remote viewing efforts. His identity is known to Ingo as well as to me. He has stated that he will be revealing himself in the very near future, and uses the nom de plume of "Mr. X" for good (but temporary) reasons. ........ THOMAS BURGIN
In Part 1 of this review I discussed some of the highlights of the AICIA report that was responsible for the demise of the STAR GATE remote viewing program. I focused primarily on the operations half of the unit. As promised, Part 2 will concentrate on the research portion of the program. As Part 1 explained, two experienced scientists were retained to do the evaluation: Dr. Jessica Utts, a nationally-known expert on statistical analysis and supporter of parapsychology research, and Dr. Ray Hyman, a professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon, and among the most widely-known skeptics of parapsychology.
Utts and Hyman were to conduct a thorough review of "all laboratory experiments and meta-analytic reviews conducted as part of the research program," which amounted to about 80 reports, a number of which summarized several experiments each (p. E-2). The scientists would be assisted by a couple of AIR associates, an additional statistics consultant, and AIR's president, Dr. David Goslin.
All experiments available for review were conducted over an approximate ten-year period by Dr. Ed May, who had assumed responsibility for the experimental side of the remote viewing program at SRI-International in the mid-1980's after the departure of Dr. Hal Puthoff, who had lead the program since it's founding in 1971. In the early '90s, May and his experiments moved to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). On the surface, AIR's review of the research program is a more credible effort than was its evaluation of the operational unit. The review process was to all appearances well documented, the rationales employed seemed well thought out, and a seemingly equitable point/counterpoint format between pro-psi Utts and anti-psi Hyman adopted in an attempt to bring consensus to the differing conclusions arrived at by the two primary evaluators. However, the evaluation turned out to be nothing so much as a comedy of errors, with both sides--AIR and the STAR GATE researchers--in starring roles. To best sort out this muddled situation, we will explore the shortcomings of the research effort first, to provide a context in which to understand where AIR failed in its evaluation.
The Research Program
Dr. Ed May and I are on the same side on this issue, so it's not overly pleasant to have to criticize the SAIC research. Nonetheless, there are things that must be brought out to understand what really happened during the AIR review.
I will begin with a brief summary of the ten experiments ultimately examined by AIR reviewers. Fortunately, Dr. Utts provided summaries in her portion of the AIR report. In the interest of space I have condensed these summaries still further, but retain the essentials:
qwerty's note: Due to my inability to recreate the coming table within Reddit's formating set-up, I will write it out a little differently.
Purpose: Two-fold: (a) determine if a "sender" (i.e., someone at the site) was necessary to help the viewer access the target or if the viewer could obtain information merely by being focused on the site through a coordinate or other mechanism; (b) Determine whether "static" targets- -i.e., the photos--would be easier or harder to perceive than "dynamic" targets--i.e., short video clips.
Target: Photos from the pages of National Geographic sealed in envelopes; alternatively, short video clips.
Purpose: Discover if viewers can correctly determine computer-generated "binary targets"--"Is it one or is it zero?" "Is it yes or is it no?" If so, this might lead to answering questions such as, "Is there a bomb in this building or not?"
Target: A computer-driven random number generator.
Purpose: Using a magnetoencephalograph (MEG), attempt to detect anomalous brain signals of remote viewers.
Target: A flashing light observed by a "sender."
Purpose: Determine if remote viewing can be used in an information-sending capacity.
Target: Specially designed or chosen targets with distinct characteristics. Presence or absence of each characteristic represented either a "1" or a "0." If a characteristic was perceived and reported by the viewer, a "1" was recorded; if the characteristic was not perceived to be present, a "0" was recorded. Binary numbers could thus be constructed by tabulating presence or absence of target characteristics. If successful, information could be "sent" in a manner roughly analogous to Morse code.
Purpose: Test three novices to see if they could remote view.
Target: National Geographic photos placed on a table in another room.
Purpose: Could lucid dreaming be used as a tool to enhance remote-viewing?
Target: National Geographic photos contained in opaque envelopes placed next to the bed where person was attempting to achieve a "lucid dreaming" state.
Purpose: Determine if a person becomes "physiologically aware" of being watched, even though he/she is not consciously aware of being watched.
Target: The subject him/ herself. He/she is seated in a room with a video camera aimed at him/her. Galvanic skin response was then measured to determined if it increased during periods of observation.
Purpose: Using an electroencephalograph (EEG), attempt to identify interruptions in alpha brain- waves when a remote viewing target is flashed on a computer screen in another room.
Purpose: Determine if viewers could describe a target briefly displayed on a computer monitor. This is the remote viewing portion of Experiment 8.
Target: Target (not further described in the report, but perhaps the aforementioned video clips) was displayed briefly on a computer CRT in another room.
Purpose: An improved version of Experiment 1. An equal number of static and dynamic targets were employed, no "senders" were used, and all attempts were done at SAIC in California, instead of from the participants homes, as was the case with
Target: Selections from a pool of various photos and video clips.
[Summaries were excerpted from pp. 3-33 to 3-41 of the AIR report.]
As listed in the AIR report, the three assigned missions of the STAR GATEaffiliated research program were to: (1) Demonstrate through scientific experiment the existence of the remote viewing phenomenon; (2) Determine the cause and effect mechanism through which the phenomenon functions; and (3) Explore methods and techniques to enhance the operational effectiveness of the phenomenon [p. 2-1]. These goals, incidentally, were essentially unchanged from the days of the GRILL FLAME effort, as enumerated in a report I recently saw dating from 1977. Let us evaluate these experiments in terms of the three stated missions of the research effort--in effect, the intended purpose for which research money had originally been appropriated.
Mission 1: Demonstrate Existence of the Remote Viewing Phenomenon
As designed, seven of the SAIC experiments would provide useful support to the existence of the remote viewing phenomenon, and one would have been of marginal value. Two would not have given useful support in demonstrating the RV phenomenon. Experiment 3 (which was unsuccessful because of faulty experiment construction) might have been of marginal value but would not in itself have provided unambiguous support for the existence of RV. Had this experiment been a success, any anomalous brain signals detected might still have been the artifact of some other common element in the viewers' experiences, backgrounds, or training. However, isolating and identifying the signal might ultimately have led to useful information which could potentially provide later support to the existence of RV.
Experiment 2, which focused on computer-generated "binary" targets, might demonstrate a paranormal effect, but not in the sense of classic remote viewing. The experiment's results may actually display some sort of "dowsing" effect (though some would argue that RV and dowsing are but different sides to the same coin), or perhaps even a psychokinetic (PK) effect, since it would be difficult to determine if the viewer were merely anticipating the correct answer, or in some way influencing the number generation process.
Experiment 7 could be useful in demonstrating the existence of some sort of paranormal linking effect between observed and observer. But the experiment would not have been useful in supporting the existence of remote viewing. No useable information could be transferred across space and/or time using the demonstrated effect.
Mission 2: Determine Cause and Effect Relationship
None of the SAIC experiments, even when successful, would have provided any substantial answers to the cause-and-effect relationship for the remote viewing phenomenon. Only Experiments 3 and 8 would have provided even marginal information bearing on cause-and-effect, and they would have merely demonstrated an anomalous effect without identifying a causal linkage.
Mission 3: Develop More Effective RV Operations Methods
Because of their design, seven of the SAIC experiments could have provided no benefit whatsoever in developing new or better operational methods or techniques. Experiment 2 showed potential, were it to lead to a reliable "yes/no" selection technique. However, the experiment only involved trying to "second-guess" a machine. A real-world binary problem, such as, "Is Gen. Dozier in Italy?" or "Will Hezbollah attack the Statue of Liberty tomorrow?" involves much different selection mechanisms than tapping a computer key, is of much different psychic texture than "0"s and "1"s, and has far greater ultimate consequences--and therefore dramatically greater emotional loading in the viewing process--than do yes-or-no type questions on a computer.
Experiment 4, an attempt to use RV to transmit coded information by identifying specific characteristics of a target, uses remote viewing not as an intelligence collection tool, but as a communications method. This would by definition be of no use for operational RV; however, if such a communications ability could be reliably developed, it would have great utilitarian value--to include undetectable transmission of intelligence from a denied area.
As explored in Experiment 6, lucid dreaming might possibly provide added value to the remote viewing process (though I personally have my doubts). Therefore, this experiment at least had the potential to benefit operational remote viewing.
When we tabulate the results, this is what we find:
Mission Relevant Maybe Irrelevant
1 - Proof of phenomenon 7 1 2
2 - Determine cause/effect 0 1 9
3 - Operations enhancement 0 3 7
By far the majority of the ten experiments focus on proving the existence of the phenomenon--the first mission. The other two missions were essentially ignored. In fact, one experiment-- determining whether someone is physiologically aware of being watched--is interesting from a parapsychology standpoint, but has almost nothing to do with remote viewing (one individual prominent in RV research did suggest that the experiment might be a preliminary step toward determining if one could be aware of being targeted by a remote viewer). Another three experiments-- numbers 2, 3, and 4--are only indirectly related to RV, particularly RV as an intelligence collection tool. The research program's first error was fundamental--it failed to evenly address all aspects of this three-fold mission, concentrating instead almost exclusively on the first of the specified goals. This would have been forgivable, had the program indeed successfully proved beyond any doubt the existence of remote viewing as a paranormal phenomenon. However, as demonstrated by Ray Hyman's conclusion that something was happening, but it was too early to assume it was psi [pp. 3-75, 3-76], this goal eluded the program. To be fair, this effect was certainly amplified by AIR efforts (discussed below) to "stack the deck" against STAR GATE. Nonetheless, the whole research emphasis was generally out of sync with the stated purpose of the STAR GATE effort.
Perhaps the rationale was something like this: "Until we can prove the existence of the phenomenon, there's no point in trying to establish the cause-and-effect; and if these first two questions aren't answered, it seems pointless as well to bother much about how to enhance the operational effectiveness of something we haven't proved to exist, nor know how it works." At any rate, the bulk of the experiments focused on trying to convincingly demonstrate an effect, and few went beyond that decidedly preliminary step. While statistically, at least, some remarkable effects were demonstrated, both Utts, the supporter, and Hyman, the skeptic agree that nothing irrefutably conclusive was proven. Utts believed that the effects nonetheless demonstrated the strong possibility of a psi-based effect.
Hyman and the AIR researchers concluded there was not enough evidence to say even that.
Would the results have been better had May concentrated more on true RV experiments, and tried more concertedly to address the other two missions? The answer to this is a qualified yes. Notably, the experiments more closely approaching a classical remote-viewing model were the most successful, with Experiment 10 producing quite impressive results. Those which departed most from the model tended to be the least conclusive.
Additionally, had more experiments been designed to enhance operational methods or develop new techniques, they would in and of themselves have provided additional proof for existence of the phenomenon. If RV technique gets good enough to work nearly every time, producing solid information under a variety of conditions, the phenomenon is essentially proved-- accomplishing two of the research missions for the price of one. (As they say, nothing succeeds like success.) Cause-and-effect research would, however, have been less productive. Of course, if in some brilliant moment of discovery a verifiable causal relationship were found and demonstrated, the skeptics would have to retreat. But such an event is highly unlikely.
Thus far, there is not even a worthwhile hypothesis as to what the phenomenon is in terms of the "physical" world--if it even has such a connection (though there are one or two interesting ideas waiting in the wings to emerge). We do have a pretty good idea what the basic nature of remote viewing is NOT: It is unlikely to be electro-magnetic in any sense, as demonstrated by the successful remote viewings done in electromagnetically shielded Faraday cages, or those which are precognitive or retrocognitive, seemingly in violation of the accepted laws of physics which radio waves or other electromagnetic phenomena obey. Since we have no other good candidate to account for information transmission of the nature and quality good remote viewing produces, we are pretty much left in the dark as to where to start. It makes far more sense to work on practical applications and leave the fundamental underpinnings for those with more time, money, and no need to answer to a house full of skeptics. Regrettably, the wavering focus of the SAIC effort was inadequate for fair assessment of remote viewing in its own right.
I should point out here that the experimental focus was not entirely up to Dr. May and his team. Representatives for a contracting agency write the statement of work and draft the contract that specifies what will be done in the course of the research. A review of the DIA contracts shows that much of the work performed at SAIC was indeed specified by the DIA representative. Still, there is a lot of behind-the-scenes give-and-take before the formal document is drafted, and the government representative must rely heavily on the expertise and advice of the contractor in the process of deciding what can or should be done in the course of the contract. Further, there is an added degree of flexibility built into the contract to allow researchers to explore promising directions that may not necessarily have been foreseen during the original contracting process. This flexibility is necessary and desireable to allow examination of serendipitous discoveries or unforseen effects, but it is also a point vulnerable to exploitation by researchers with their own agendas to pursue. Ultimately, both parties share responsibility for the direction a research program takes, right or wrong.
As an additional consideration, the SAIC work was a follow- on to previous research done via a still-classified connection with an agency which mandated more generalized research. Remote viewing was only one of several phenomena to be explored. PK, for example, was always of interest in prior research programs and, as the random number generation experiment shows, some vestiges of interest may have remained in the SAIC experiments. This interest in general parapsychology seems to have bled over into the DIA/SAIC remote viewing research.
May's broader-ranging experimental focus did produce some interesting and perhaps even ultimately useful research. Unfortunately, there was not a more rigorous attempt made to route the SAIC research further away from this general focus and concentrate more intently on what should have been STAR GATE's RV-centered research agenda. Ultimately, the overlyeclectic approach increased vulnerability to pointed criticism which Ray Hyman and AIR were only too eager to provide.
In fact Dr. Hyman does give lip service to Ed May's difficulties in not being "free to run the program to maximize scientific payoff," because May was required to "do experiments and add variables to suit the desires of his sponsors," resulting in "an attempt to explore too many questions with too few resources. . . The scientific inquiry was spread too thin." (3- 46) Of course, as just mentioned, there was much room for negotiation in the contracting process, and May could certainly have argued for a more narrow focus. The evidence suggests it was more the other way around. In fact, several people in a position to know have suggested that Dr. May saw the RV research contracts as an opportunity to explore some of his own parapsychological interests at the same time as pursuing the official purposes for which the research was contracted.
However that may be, Hyman's gratuitous comments are no exoneration in this matter. If Hyman recognized the eclectic nature of the research AIR was to evaluate, he is certainly well- qualified enough as a scientist to realize that the limited numbers of experiments were inadequate to answer the question EITHER WAY as to whether or not remote viewing had any efficacy as an intelligence collection tool. That Hyman persisted (as discussed below) in pretending that they did seems intellectually dishonest.
Protocols
The bias in favor of wider parapsychology research was not the only problem with the SAIC experiments, however. Curiously, May and his colleagues seem to have followed rather anachronistic procedures in conducting even the experiments which were more purely remote viewing in character. My first quarrel is with the target pool.
Remote viewing, both experimentally and operationally, has been pursued for more than two decades. While a lot has been learned, some of the most valuable data--that accumulated by the operational RV unit in its various incarnations--has hardly been considered in the research process. The operational data set includes brilliant successes that point to improved ways of doing things, as well as ignominious failures which can be just as instructive. There was a fair amount of well-structured experimentation at Ft. Meade in targeting and cuing methods, RV data documentation and analysis, accessing target details, and so forth. Unfortunately, the operations activity was kept mostly separate from the research program until after the 1992 transition to STAR GATE, and even then the connection existed primarily to provide subjects for some of the SAIC experiments. The vast database from the Ft. Meade unit of thousands of documented sessions-- both training and operational--remains largely un-mined.
One pronounced difference between RV targeting in the SAIC research effort and that in operations was that operations focused on "live" targets, while the SAIC experiments used two- dimensional images, both static photographs (pictures gleaned from the pages of National Geographic) and short, live-action video clips. The thinking at SRI was that the video clips might provide increased "change" values, adding variety to the target material, perhaps making it easier for viewers to detect and report.
Similarly, photos were selected that displayed significant "change in entropy"--that is, contrast and variety in shapes and in color and value patterns that again theoretically would make detection and reporting easier. In comparison, daily operational remote viewing missions at Ft. Meade accessed targets in real time "on the ground" (or water, or whatever), not in a photograph. What photos that were provided were not used as targets, but only for later feedback or to guide analysts. There was plenty of evidence that the operational viewers were indeed accessing the sites themselves and not merely the feedback folders (in operations, feedback was usually pretty lean and sporadic anyway). When a viewer accurately describes several significant structural or functional details that are completely lacking from feedback packages yet which are later confirmed to be at the site, it becomes obvious very quickly that "real" remote viewing is occurring. This literally happened scores, even hundreds of times.
However, at Ft. Meade there was some experimentation with photos as actual targets. This was conducted both as an in-house training exercise, and at one or two other times as part of one of the rare instances when the operations unit was asked to participate long-distance in an SRI experimental series during the mid-to-late '80s. Across the board operational viewer results dropped off when targeted against "static" photographic targets. At the time, video clips were not avalable as an option (or so I presume, as participating viewer received only terse feedback), so I can render no judgement as to whether they would have been more effective. Indeed, to a remote viewer accustomed to accessing actual sites in fourdimensional space, a static photograph is not a representation of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor or Mount Pinatubo during an eruption. It is in reality only a colored piece of paper in a manila envelope. It's not surprising that results from operational viewers suffer when targeted under such circumstances.
To be sure, an experienced viewer CAN access a photograph-- the positive results of several of the SAIC's experimental RV sessions demonstrate this. But if the focus had been on "real"-- and therefore naturally dynamic--sites as opposed to two- dimensional representations, May and his colleagues might not have had to bother about testing the use of "dynamic" moving images (the videos) to provide greater change and variety to improve remote viewer detection; or about mapping the "change in entropy" of the static images to enhance researchers' ability to decode viewer results, as was done for these experiments. Perhaps there were experimental control reasons why such a fixed target pool was desired. In my mind, however, the drawbacks far outweigh the possible benefits.
Another troublesome aspect of at least one of the SAIC experiments was the apparent need to experiment further with "senders"--individuals sent to the target site to act as a "beacon" or a "transmitter" for the remote viewer.
Indeed, one of the stated purposes of the experiment was to determine if a "sender" was necessary. Senders and beacons were used in the early SRI experiments, and continued to be used for beginner trainees at Ft. Meade, simply as a way of providing a connection with the site that the novice viewer could easily grasp. Both at SRI and Ft. Meade, however, the need for senders in advanced remote viewings was surpassed long ago. The introduction of coordinates as a targeting mechanism, and later (to avoid any hint of contamination) encrypted coordinates, made senders/beacons obsolete. No degradation in response quality resulted, and in fact, accuracy seemed even to be enhanced. The encrypted coordinates provided the added benefit of defusing one of the most popular (if improbable) criticisms of coordinate-cued RV--that some viewer might just "memorize" what was at the end of all the geographic coordinates in the world, and cheat.
The need for beacon or sender was already discounted by the late '70s and early '80s, and was certainly well established at the time Ed May took over as primary researcher. Though the sendebeacon personnel were dispensed with later in the SAIC ten-experiment sequence, it was puzzling why the researchers felt the need to thus "reinvent the wheel" at the start.
In the end, the main problem with the SAIC experiments was not that they were particularly poor experiments, but that they should have been better. More importantly, the experiments could--and really should--have focused more particularly on remote viewing, guided by the three missions that Congress had decreed when earmarking funds for the program. As it was, the primary consequence of the SAIC program was to provide a very tempting strawman for the AIR bull (at the behest of the CIA) to gore and trample, hoodwinking the general public into believing that AIR had a live matador at its mercy. In reality, the matador wasn't even in town. But now, after I have spent several pages "blaming the victim," it's time to turn my attention to the perpetrator.
(To Be Concluded)
Copyright 1996, Paul Smith
All Reddit-based formatting done by u/qwertyqyle
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