Re: Plenty of beeping, coming my way / bippity do-dah, bippity yea
This (and a +1) for the song parody (I did the next line). Happy Friday! -->
457 posts • joined 12 Mar 2018
That 25/3 standard is similar to the MAX I can get (25/5) via the copper phone lines, which was barely enough for all the "from home" stuff (2 kids full Teams, plus 1 homeschooled w/ videos, plus me working with occasional Zoom/Teams) these last two years.
Anything higher requires National Telco "T" (think their stock ticker symbol) to upgrade the whole neighborhood to fiber, or switching to National Cableco "C" -- I mean, "X" -- which I will not entertain because I'm sure I'd get screwed over even worse.
Like you, I'm near major roads, 20 miles north of Detroit where the suburbs start to include some old farms. But "T" has no intention of upgrading an entire suburban neighborhood to fiber -- too much work. Maybe the high-density apartment buildings in New York, LA, Chicago and the like -- way less work for the same number of customers.
I hate that government has to incentivize growth when the pop culture saw generally fits: "if you build it (bandwidth), they will come (and pay more for higher speeds)." Telcos appear to be spending more on wireless/cellular growth (5G) instead of wired; my general impression is that there is more profit in it, both in plans ("what, I used all that data *already*?!") and selling 5G-capable phones. No one trusts the telco's WiFi equipment -- we all use our own, right? -- so why would we trust their 5G network for critical day-to-day tasks?
I'd prefer the water here used for chipmaking rather than bottled up by Nestle and sold at Costco (and everywhere else).
Their filtration is poor; Aquafina (by Pepsi) is much better. Dasani (by Coke) is a bad-tasting joke.
Some might say "oop" instead of "up", but they also say "ope" instead of "oops", as in "Ope, 'scuse me."
Ah, but if you lessen the brake force in antici... (say it!) ...pation, the restart/crank sound is unmistakably recognizable.
I'm currently on a work trip with a rental that has this "auto-stop", but also allows auto-stop to be turned off. I wish a previous car I owned that had auto-stop also had had an enable/disable setting.
"[T]he engineer... fed the AI the answers he wanted to get in a self-reinforcing cycle."
The Washington Post article had the engineer telling the journalist something like "you're treating it like a bot, so it's responding like a bot." Thus, he proves that very point -- he treated it like a person, so it's responding like one. This system is responsive more than others, that's all.
True sentience might be responding like a person even when treated like a bot, although even people's brains can "adapt" (become broken) enough to become the bot they are treated like (e.g.: torture, long-term imprisonment).
"[D]id this article provide value? Was it necessary?"
For me, YES, because I won't get my tech news anywhere else. Especially when it's Apple-related, because their lack of direct access to Fruit HQ means whatever El Reg publishes has already been vetted, and I won't be inundated with too much OMG'ing or adverts. I passed up reading about WWDC everywhere else for 12+ hours just to catch it here.
A cold* one for our Vultures --> (* actual temp varies by brew, natch)
Sell? For many left-pondians, it's given away for free!
I can look up the Public Data Records for my apartment when I moved to this state/county, and both my former and current homes (both in same township; apartment was a different one), and even my parents' home back in $another_state.
These data/records include ownership record/terms of sale/price, current and previous taxable values, building info, and even my quarterly water/sewer bills (I don't even have the paper copy yet but it's due in less than three weeks according to the site -- I hate quarterly billing!).
Why not just leave the charger plugged into your normal circuits all the time anyway? When starting the generator, the power is off, so the charger is off, so no worries about protecting it from the starting transients. Then when the generator is running, the charger should work again -- at 8.5 kW I assume your whole house is connected.
I have a customer with a fancy office trailer (usually fed from shore power, 208V three-phase for 120V per leg) with a sizeable generator that *does* have an alternator for recharge, yet still added a solar panel for trickle charging in case the generator's control circuits (12V) get left enabled between uses. There's no way to deactivate it aside from removing the wires, but it handles the starter's undervoltage just fine.
(The one time the controls wouldn't wake, it wasn't a dead battery -- the 3A fuse blew! Auto parts store saved the day.)
Too right, hayzoos, combined with Independent System Operator (ISO) software that did what it was designed to do but still didn't effectively communicate to the regional operators what the problem was before it was too late. As lines tripped, the combined loads tripped another line, then another... cascade failure as each utility company within the ISO went offline trying to protect their own equipment and voltage/frequency specs.
I was still in Minnesota, about to take my grad school power systems course. Serendipity.
My wife (this being two years before we ever crossed digital paths) tells a mean tale about 72 hours of hell as an EMT in Michigan during that time, only filling up the ambulance at certain generator-powered gas stations, and keeping a constant watch on a certain waste-gas open flame near the Detroit refinery/steel mill district because if it ever went out there was (and still is) a chance the whole area was (is) going to explode (see icon).
Miller Brewing HQ is nearby. Maybe they can switch from canned/keg beer to canned/keg air.
(As long as you don't mind the smell of brewer's yeast. As an undergraduate student near downtown Brew City/Cream City, I remember certain mornings after an overnight wind from the west/towards the lake. Good times.)
Icon, obviously -->
...but they never work! I'm not sure if it's a company IT restriction, but Adobe Reader never wants to open valid links. Links are much safer than embedded documents (you can see the link target before clicking and put the security onus on the browser), quite possibly the safest of all PDF features, but it just won't work.
They only reason I like making/sending PDFs is because 1) almost no-one knows how to edit them, whereas sending Office files is asking for loss of document control, and 2) very few folks in the company have Visio -- and even fewer with AutoCAD -- but everyone has Reader.
I endorse Evince.
When I need to do work early or late in the day under less-than-optimal lighting reading PDFs that are just stacks of scanned document images (rarely direct-exported from plain text), Evince lets me view negative imagery to lessen the eye strain. Adobe Bleeder (Reader) will invert the direct-exported text-based pages but not scanned images.
For a few years, I used rugged Dells such as this (but older) for service tools on the namesake Strykers in my handle.
Carrying this in one hand an a case full of adapters, power brick, etc. (same or 1.5x the mass) in the other hand would stress my shoulder joints by the time I got from the office area to the "high bay" shop floor.
And as you say, I DID need the steel-toes and earplugs (not a hard-hat, but see ) because I needed the vehicle running to watch engine and/or transmission telemetry. These laptops could handle the beating getting in or out of these steel behemoths [see 1 again] with enough juice to last a day of troubleshooting (which only took minutes once I had the right data at hand!).
Note 1: No getting inside without your "tanker suit" aka "emergency rescue coveralls" on. In case someone blacked out, either from cleaning chemicals  or from smacking your head on the low ceiling or a bracket, they needed to be able to pull you out.
2: It wasn't me, but this actually happened, hence the coveralls requirement. I did smack my noggin a few times but not hard enough to black out or even leave a dent.
First: "Spectrum doubled the speed of its $30 a month plan from 50Mbps to 100Mbps, the minimum speed which the ACP classifies as high-speed internet." I'm on AT&T (sadly, not fiber) and I pay $42 for 25 Mbps down (5 up), and the price would be higher if I also didn't have their "TV" bundle. Talk about a deal (if you qualify)!
Second: Sure, $30 sounds nice, but I betcha' the equipment rental/lease will jack it up. It's a moot point since I Shirley don't qualify, so I get r@ped on my current plan instead with no hope to upgrade without selling my firstborn. I'm glad for all those who can get this, but I hate being the utilities'/banks' cash cow just because I have a decent-paying career.
Third: "The White House said 100Mbps is 'fast enough for a typical family of four to work from home, do schoolwork, browse the web, and stream high-definition shows and movies.'" We already do all that with 25 for a family of five. Three kids doing virtual school, me WFH with two laptops/VPNs*, plus the missus consuming whatever she likes. One hundred (100) is MORE than "fast enough"! (*Note: When I do have issues, it's usually the customer's VPN to blame, so I'm not the only one affected.)
At first, I thought about the maintenance crews in their diesel pickups driving out to maintain the solar and wind power fields...
Then I realized we humans pollute the air with carbon dioxide with every exhale, not to mention the other periodic wastes No. 1 and No. 2. (It's likely we as individuals are neutral in a sense, since all that carbon comes from what we eat/consume to begin with, but that's a "stored" form, not atmospheric like our exhaust.)
Knowing Google, there is only one logical conclusion: To truly do away with carbon, we must let AI write the code and fire all the humans!
The nuclear power plant I grew up near (Wikipedia link) uses Mississippi River water.
Straight from linked page: "The Monticello section of the Mississippi River remains unfrozen during winter and attracts hundreds of trumpeter swans, largely due to warm water discharged by the nuclear plant."
But there are benefits also: It increases aquatic plant and fish populations, which also draws more tourism via recreational fishing, which Monticello businesses don't mind.
I switched many years ago from TurboTax online to TaxAct  based on cheaper pricing for the non-free tiers, especially regarding the state filing. But they do the same things as Intuit / TurboTax:
- Hard to know from the start what qualifies as free
- State filing is never free
- Save/print those PDFs or pay to access them after a certain time
- Pushed certain forms up the ladder into higher and higher tiers. A gig worker with 1099-NEC (non-employee compensation) who has to do a Schedule C and self-employment tax (schedule SE?) is going to take a BIG hit.
A few years back I saw the tide and jumped ship to a truly "free"  service . Not as user-friendly, but since I know what I'm doing I can access everything I need. This is especially nice since this year I owe my state and paying for the privilege would stink.
1. NOT an endorsement, but the service was decent.
2. I know, my info is being sold. But the companies in question (in recently changed hands) offer other free services so my info was already shared.
3. And because of #2, I'm not telling unless you ask, but I don't care how nicely you ask, it's your info/data at stake.
My financial life is already entirely digital; I don't need whatever this "ECASH" is.
The only time I use cash is to pay my kids' piano teacher, who is a friend from church (we're both on the music team). I pay bills via ACH from the checking account (aka "e-checking") and all in-person and online discretionary spending via debit card. Most of this is through a single third party -- my credit union (member-owned bank) -- although there are a few others.
If said friend and I could agree which payment app to use (PayPal, Venmo, Cash App, etc.) then my contact with cash goes from once weekly to maybe once monthly or even quarterly. But as the article stated, that app becomes a third party (or fourth, since my credit union still has to process the withdrawal, or fifth counting her bank).
If ECASH lets us ditch the app and use phone-to-phone payments, then aren't the phone manufacturers still the third party?
If the manf's. don't implement this in the OS, it will require an app. Who makes it? They're a third party. (If the USGov itself writes the app, I will not trust any claim of privacy, period.)
If school starts at a later time, that reduces the time available for afternoon/evening activities, cutting into the profit for all the businesses that aim to benefit from full-time DST. I'm surprised Rubio would go for that.
Up here above the Compromise Line , those winter mornings  are crazy dark enough already. I dread the "spring forward" not for the lost sleep but for the darkness (my own daily walk, raising the kids, etc.). Yes, evening car-on-car crashes are to be avoided, but there's a high school a mile away (plus 3 other schools nearby) and the combination of vehicles + pedestrians + dark has already been dangerous, even deadly; why make it worse? (--> icon just for this)
I'd rather go on full-time STANDARD time. If Rubio's bill becomes law, I'm petitioning the state bods in Lansing to put Michigan on US Central Time instead of Eastern. 
1. The Kentucky-Tennessee border, NOT the true Mason-Dixon line between Maryland and Pennsylvania.
2. Including those extra weeks ever since 2007 , some of which are actually "spring".
3. Ideally, with 15-degree time zones centered at 0, 15, 30, etc., then Michigan already falls too far west of where "US Eastern Time" should be.
4. Speaking of history, full-time DST shouldn't be much more difficult than when the dates changed back then, right?
"...very easy to repair with common devices and easy-to-learn techniques."
Note: dumb 'Murican posting.
While I can go to the corner hardware store and buy all sorts or electrical or plumbing (for water, sewer, or natural gas), covering both "lines" (wires/pipes) and components (switches, outlets, breakers/panels, valves, faucets/toilets, etc.), and all the necessary tools -- and I can learn how on YouTube -- there is a disconnect when it comes to data:
1. We can easily buy wires (Ethernet or coax), but not the components. That usually involves research and purchase all online. (RadioShack, we need you!)
2. Aside from some simple repairs (example: I've replaced all three toilets through this pandemic -- ugly work, but such a wonderful upgrade plus satisfaction), and especially when the house's "internal" systems interface the "external", you need someone government licensed with tested knowledge of Building Code, often with a municipal permit for the specific project and follow-up inspection. And for the most part, our problems with data services are at this interface.
Similar to what others have said above, the think the solution is for companies to agree to equipment/interface standards and open up repairs to a licensed network of independent trained-and-tested repairfolk. I also think hardening the network to this kind of thing by running more (any!) fiber, all the way to my outside wall (not the neighborhood node, not the curb) will reduce hardware problems on their side of the interface. Also, more government oversight of outages by actually treating ISPs like public utilities will force them to shore up their side of the system or fork over the fees.
Let's also divorce the ISP from the content provider. Let AT&T and Comcast (and others) provide infrastructure and the main data link as utilities, and split the provide-the-TV-streams into separate companies. I'm still talking "live" bundles of channels, but with a standardized interface that I could change TV-stream providers OR broadband providers and keep the same DVR and other internal equipment.
Similar episode: fingerprints from a set of costume gloves originally molded from the company owner's hands. Owner is found not guilty after they find other evidence.
Follow-up episode (probably a season or two later): said owner commits a major crime himself (murder, most likely) thinking that, due to the prior mix-up, he would get away with it. (Spoiler alert: he did not.)
Nuke --> EMP --> there goes all ISPs in the area.
It only took some heavy rain to flood a basement and cause all of AT&T's mobile service to be borked for at least six hours in Metro Detroit / Southeastern Michigan. Imagine what even a "small" nuke could do to all providers simultaneously.
No telecoms? Can't even use mail either if that EMP disables vehicles!
Anyone who thinks a limited 'net outage is worse than a nuke deserves the consequences* if they're trying to capture an awesome selfie/video with the blast in the background. (*Either a quick, hot death or the slow, cancerous one.)
"(and the adapter had to listen back to the packet to even know it had been transmitted correctly and did not collide with another packet)"
CANbus (and, I assume, derivatives) is like that. There's even a specific ACK bit at the end of the frame where ALL receivers on the same bus need to verify they received it, and if anyone didn't (only takes one) then the whole frame gets resent.
The wiring is usually shielded twisted pair, 120 Ohm, but the bus layout looks like T-tapped coax, with 120 Ohm terminators on both ends.
Why did the auto/truck industry invent their own thing (subsequently used on truck-like armored vehicles <cough>) when Ethernet already existed? I haven't the foggiest. We even have CAN-over-Ethernet bridge devices. Must be the devils in the details. I'm just a luser (see icon -->) who used to watch things happen in CANoe and not worry about how the bits move.
Agreed that iOS is the issue.
I know things the staff at my church do in iMovie on Macs that iMovie for my iPad won't let me do. It's pretty much only good for stringing together photos, from what I could tell.
Since my main personal machine (church stuff, not work) was Windows , I tried VDSC. The program worked fine -- it was just my having to learn .
1. No Macs in the house, but I'll spare the other details.
2. I also learned I'm never going to be a full-time A/V whiz like I imagined myself to be in high school.
"I have the right to privacy. I expect that right to be upheld."
And I'm cynical enough to NOT expect that my right to privacy will be upheld, at least not forever. Those who are holding/transferring my data will always pit the benefits of maintaining my privacy against sharing/selling that data. This cost-benefit analysis will shift over time, and probably go against my "expectation" at some point, my "rights" be damned. At that point, a part of my data is no longer private, no matter the recourse.
Doesn't matter if it's digital or not. I could use only my typewriter and hand-carry (no post) any data directly to a recipient, and I still have no guarantee they won't share/sell that physical document with ink-imprinted information instead of securely storing it or shredding it. Once it's in their hands, tough.
Thus, I didn't vote "against".
But I *want* to expect privacy, upheld, forever. Obviously, it's the ideal we all share. So I couldn't bring myself to vote "for" and just didn't vote.
"33. If you're leaving tracks, [it's safest to assume] you're being followed."
--Howard Tayler, Schlock Mercenary in-universe tome of wisdom The Seventy Maxims of Maximally Effective Mercenaries
I'm not a "heavy-duty" Excel "warrior" by any means; I only recently tried VBA at all and it sure has been useful.
A change in roles means I have to daily receive 5 CSVs in email (5 separate emails), save them locally, change certain bits, and add a date to the filename (because it's not already there), so then they can be uploaded to an online database via the web browser.
After about a day's effort I had a couple scripts that opened the five files, made necessary mods, and saved them with the date added -- either today's (script #1) or a user-input date for weekend catch-up (script #2). (I don't mind doing the upload/browser stuff manually.) A couple more scripts made more recently reopens some of those files, hide non-useful columns and resize others, and apply sort to the rows, so I can count certain things for a daily report on what's inside (because after uploading, the database browser doesn't show me as much unless I view one-by-one). A few more scripts help parse all-records exports from the big massive database (also CSVs), copying out only the columns I need to calculate key metrics, and pasting them into the Excel files that actually calculate the metrics (with charts -- lovely charts for the big bosses).
Already I'm blocked from making scripts in Outlook to speed up the "save attachment" part. I tried calling Outlook from Excel, and I can "see" messages but by no means save attachments.
Now, all of the above is local, but if micros~1's new policy causes collateral damage, I'm hosed. Check my industry: users and systems are highly restricted on purpose. I'm not allowed to mess with security settings or install alternatives, nor would I attempt to.
Especially capitalized, because that's the way those boffins at the University of Minnesota meant it to be.
Early '90s, they even used Gopher+ forms that students would fill in to obtain network accounts (telnet access, email, etc.). Just one of their many tools in addition to SLIP (dial-up for DOS) and Minuet (e-mail, Gopher, and newsreader client for DOS) to help students get connected.
A toast to my birth state and family school: SKOL!
My former employer (Stryker & Abrams HQ) paid USGov per diem for all meals and, although they asked, didn't really care if any were provided.
New employer's beancounters will go bat-spit crazy if the hotel provides "breakfast" and you don't check the box to have your per diem docked appropriately. Note that as of late the "breakfast" has been less than adequate nutrition in most places. One coworker said the beancounters were calling a granola bar and coffee as a full breakfast.
(We need hotels to provide breakfast, because when visiting Army sites they often start before anything else is open. Sometimes even before the hotel breakfast. And no midday offsite breaks. Your only bet is to buy groceries and brown-bag it all day. Small snacks every hour works best and reduces trips to the port-a-john.)
That's two articles this week where my mind ended up on HHGTTG.
(Plus my kids talked about bad poetry last night, so I mentioned Vogons but spared reading any to them.)
In the same week that my age becomes The Answer -- on Thursday, no less.
Nope, I'm not getting the hang of this. I going to hide under my towel.
Have an upvote and this ---> for the SeaQuest reference.
That show gave me my first real taste of "light temperature matters" -- yes, yes it does. I've hobby-studied a lot of color theory since then, and how different sources (CRT TV, SRGB, different lamp technologies) have different "white" references and all that jazz.
However, despite "science" saying to reduce blue light at night to aid sleep (I don't need the help), yellowing my phone's screen makes me nauseated. I'll take "comfortable" and "productive" color temps over whatever they claim is good for me.
My Vonage home VoiP line got so many that I maxed out the 50 blocked numbers. So I set it to full "do not disturb" which bounces straight to voicemail. Any service I don't want annoying calls from gets that number (anything financial especially) instead of my handbrain (the touchscreen pocket computer aka "mobile phone").
I get an alert (email) only when someone leaves a voicemail, but most of the time it "can't be transcribed" because usually the robodial didn't hang up fast enough and the voicemail is a one-second silence. My only remaining peeve is having to delete those periodically.
The "non-commercial" Micros~1 Office Home & Student editions (check the EULA), which leave breadcrumbs in the files that can attract the lawyer-vultures and lead to the doom of your sole-proprietor monetizing-the-hobby side job. All businesses, regardless of size, are supposed to shell out much more for an unencumbered Office edition.
Who has money to spend on 5G hardware? People who probably fly a lot (either Important-Business/Govmint-People or Frequent-Vacationers). And where do they want 5G the most? The airport, naturally, when they're either catching up from their previous flight or doing Super Important Stuff before the next one. They're paying for 5G service so they don't have to purchase premium airport WiFi that's better than the "free" tier for the commoners. This agreement will certainly not make these customers happy.
Which makes me wonder: Will the terminal structure serve as an attenuator if AT&T/Verizon install 5G C-band antennas *inside* the airport terminals?
"We are paying millions of credits for the ensuring of unquestionable [objects'] origin."
"Millions? That means millions of motives for counterfeiting."
"But we are paying for the removing of the motives!"
"Money creates motive. At those rates you're probably subsidizing an entire [object] black market."
--Howard Tayler, Schlock Mercenary book 6 bonus story
(If it were just one of the 20 years of strips, I'd post a link, but bonus stories are only for chumps who pay for Schlock.)
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