Women As Second-Class Citizens

“Photos of White House Adviser Kellyanne Conway kneeling on an Oval Office couch have created a buzz on social media.”
 
See Kellyanne Conway couch photo sparks memes
With all the high crimes and misdemeanours being committed by Trumpists in the White House these days, folks are really wasting bandwidth looking askance at Conway. There’s a lot not to like about Conway (in her roll as chief Trumpist) but I look at the video and I see an older woman still young at heart, keeping her feet out of the way in a crowded room, exhibiting good flexibility and making quite a good candid photograph. Nothing wrong with that. In fact I think any employer should be glad to have women as employees as they are just better than men at doing such things. Men tend not to be as flexible nor as spontaneous. This is yet again another example of women being treated as second class. If any of the men in the pictures had whipped out a smartphone and taken a shot, no one would have batted an eyelash.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

OOPS! Bad Day At The Office…

“a local police officer aiding in the security detail for the President’s visit accidentally discharged his weapon. The officer is a sniper and was positioned on top of a building”
 
See Gun goes off during French President’s speech; 1 man injured
A rifle can be a fine precise instrument of policing but only if used properly. It can’t be at its best with a human calling the shots. Accidental discharges of firearms usually happen with pistols during load/unload or holster/unholster operations. For a rifleman to have an accidental discharge takes real skill or some failure of equipment. It’s very rare. My father went through a whole war and encountered only one, on the parade-square… He wasn’t the shooter. In all my years I’ve encountered only one. The guy to whom I handed a shotgun pulled the trigger… What was he thinking? I was too young to have learned to unload before doing that…

I guess someone is lucky no one was killed. I guess refresher courses will be given, memos written, lessons learned, and rifles will go on being accurate, reliable, dependable tools.

Posted in firearms | Tagged , | 8 Comments

More Data On The Solo EV

I have carefully planned a route to drive Solo EV from a dealership in Calgary to my home in Manitoba but I had concerns about the range I could get and the gaps along the highways between charging stations. It turns out I have much less to worry about:

Me: “Hi! I’m sold, but I still have a few questions: Do you have data on range v speed for highway driving? Can I make 150km at 70km/h? Will there be a dealership in Winnipeg?”

Electra Meccanica: “We do! It can go upwards of 130KM/hr with the 160KM range. Heat and A/C of course will drain the battery but only minimally. We are not looking at Winnipeg right now, but if you order the car through our website, we deliver it to you free of charge.”

Well, maybe I should order two! TLW will not be able to keep her hands off this babe… 😉

If air-drag is the dominant factor and it varies with speed^2 I could guesstimate a range at 70km/h of 160*(130/70)^2 = 551 km! That would be awesome, Tesla-like range for much less money. Even at half that range I could make the planned trip with no worries even in winter.

Posted in family, technology | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Gold’s On A Tear

Since the begining of 2017, gold has risen over 10% in price at the same time as the DJIA has risen five percent. Some people are counting on long term pain in the era of Trump. I expect USD to plunge if Trump’s bad maths ever makes it into the budget. He’s promising to cut taxes, boost the military, slashing State and EPA, while maintaining entitlements and building infrastructure. Oh, he promises to make Mexico pay for the wall and get “business” to build the infrastructure. Yes, that will boost the economy, tolls on everything…. Chuckle.
 
See Spot Gold

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

SSD

“Increase the speed, durability, and efficiency of your system for years to come with the Crucial MX300 SSD. Boot up in seconds and fly through the most demanding applications with an SSD that fuses the latest 3D NAND Flash technology with the proven success of previous mx-series SSDs. Your storage drive isn’t just a container, it’s the Engine that loads and saves everything you do and use. Get more out of your computer by boosting nearly every aspect of performance.”
 
See Crucial MX300 525GB SATA 2.5 Inch Internal Solid State Drive – CT525MX300SSD1
Yes, it’s looking like SSD have matured sufficiently for me to begin using them. I notice quite a few users on Amazon are using them to compensate for the slowing down of That Other OS. I don’t have that problem, thanks to Debian GNU/Linux, but I still could do without the seek times and transfer-rates of spinning discs for loading software and temporary data. I still see a role indefinitely for spinning discs with huge data. There cost still rules. Now, though, even ordinary consumers are using SSD with few problems. Why not me?

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Did You Think Prices For Intel CPUs Were OK Last Week? They Weren’t.

“the prices have been slower to fall, but we’d highly recommend that you keep an eye on the following pages, if you are looking for a good deal this week. So far, at Micro Center we’ve seen the beefy six-core Intel Core i7-6850K (3.60GHz) drop from $700 to $550, and the i7-6800K (3.40GHz) drop down to $360, from $500.”
 
See Intel Reacts To AMD Ryzen Apparently Cutting Prices On Core i7 And i5 Processors
If, last week, a CPU was worth $700 and this week the same CPU is worth $550, was there a time-warp? Did you fall into a black hole? Nope. There was just a monopoly responding to a new product on the market hoping to stifle competition. That’s been going on for decades and it has to stop.

You can stop it. Stop buying Intel. Better yet, don’t buy AMD either. Buy ARM, the processor that has multiple sources of production at competitive prices all year long. No need for a time-warp to get that for which you pay.

Further, notice that 0.2gHz more Hertz on the clock cost a bundle, $200 last week, and $190 this week. Don’t buy that either, if you must buy Intel. It’s a ripoff. Instead, get ARM where you can have a smaller, cooler, slower chip work full time instead of just at the time of sale. If you can’t find a product using ARM that fits your needs, demand it. If you demand it they will make it.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Manitoba And Electric Vehicles

  • Manitoba would have the least expensive vehicle fuel (electricity) on the continent — estimated at 6¢ to 20¢ per litre, gasoline equivalent
  • Each year, thousands of dollars in savings could go back in the pockets of average Manitoban families.
  • Manitoba’s economy, as a whole, could save more than $1 billion that’s going out of province — money which could be spent at home, creating jobs and generating new business.
  • Since Manitoba’s electricity is almost completely greenhouse gas (GHG)-free, switching from a fossil fuel like gasoline to electricity would create large-scale GHG reductions.”
     
    See Manitoba’selectric vehicle road map

Manitoba has huge advantages for selling and using EVs (Electric Vehicles). We have an abundance of hydro-electric power, lots of outdoor electrical outlets, and we like to save money.

There are still big barriers to more widespread adoption:

  • Price: fancy charging stations and vehicles are expensive. Prices will improve as volumes of sales increase and competition heats up, but it will still take years to improve. Governments are providing subsidies in some provinces but not Manitoba. Perhaps some arm-twisting from voters would help…
  • Charging stations: while almost every home has some electrical outlets and some, like mine, has a hefty outlet for a welder or charging station, there is still a huge shortage compared to the ubiquitous “gas station” almost on every corner… There’s even a bit of “non-standardization” happening. I’ll need a cord in my car to connect to non-J1772 systems like the normal 120V outlet (NEMA 5), NEMA 14-30, NEMA 14-50 and even NEMA L14-30 found at Sinclair Park in Winnipeg. Organizations are donating charging stations and some businesses are putting up charging stations in their parking lots but it’s still not universal/expected/the norm. Kudos to Peavey Mart, Best Western hotels in Eastern Canada and some in western Canada and some others.
  • Mind-share: With ICEs (Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles) at a very high stage of development and with huge infrastructure in refueling stations, most of the public have still not given EVs due consideration. I’m going to do my part by blogging on the subject and soon I will be driving my own EV and installing a charging station for it. I’m not sure whether I will make the charging station public.
     
    There are lots of considerations like TLW’s buy-in, zoning, and estimating the cost, if any. I think, at the moment, the chances are poor that I would get more than a few visitors a year making an emergency pit-stop in my driveway, but when usage picks up, will I have to implement reservations and give the charging station its own website? I’m old and don’t need that kind of maintenance issue. I think this is something government or one of the big “EV charging” sites could institute. Further, my first vehicle, the Electra Meccanica Solo, needs only 16A 240V. Should I install something heavier in case Teslas come to call or in case TLW buys a Tesla eventually?
Posted in politics, technology, weather | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Yet Another Beastly Candidate

“Firefly-RK3399 Plus Pre-saleBegin shipping on March 15th, 4GB-DDR3, 32GB-e…$ 239.0”
 
See Firefly Shop
Yes, Cortex A-72, little by little, are coming onto the market in a form even I can use. There are smartphones now but I want something with more I/O like this beauty. The places where it is weak are SATA a second NIC and only 4gB RAM. That’s a pity. It’s very close to what I need. I can probably fake out the NIC and SATA absences with my PCI-e cards but I’m still stuck on 4gB RAM. That’s plenty for lots of tasks but I’m wanting a system that has at least twice that and preferably four times that, 16gB. For $239 or with the optional huge (128gB) emmc card, this would make a wonderful fat or thin client for TLW or myself, but as the server, it’s still a bit thin.

I’d really consider this thing as a mobile machine to take with me when I return from wherever with my new electric car. It has two camera ports so I could record from the dash forward and towards the control panel or driver. The mind boggles as the possibilities. I could also take along a new smartphone for GPS guidance and emergency calls. This thing could help me blog on the way while resting or charging the battery of the car.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

Renewables In Sparsely Populated Regions of Canada

“We’re committed to managing emissions as we rebuild the electricity system to meet the needs of our growing province. We’ve set a target of 50% of generation capacity from renewables by 2030. To achieve this goal, we will double the percentage of renewables in our supply mix in just 15 years.”
 
See Renewables Roadmap – SaskPower
In planning a drive across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba I’ve been struck by the limited number of charging stations in sparsely populated regions of these prairie provinces. There’s certainly no shortage of land that is less suitable for farming or other industries. Why is not solar and wind generation seen as a legitimate farming activity? Alberta, Saskatchewan and some parts of Manitoba are remote from abundant hydroelectric power but they have large regions which already convert sunshine into food. Why not energy? Some regions have high unemployment. Some have employment in coal/oil extraction industries and power generation. Surely more could build the electrical infrastructure.

It’s good to see Saskatchewan has a plan to ramp up wind/solar. It’s a windy and sunny place with lots of land and only a million or so people. They could easily meet their needs by renewable. They can still sell their coal and oil to whomever wants it. A combination of renewable energy and electric vehicle charging stations would promote an entirely new industry, the EV, and the wealth could be spread around from the oil companies and automakers to everyone else. Now there are 100+km per charging station along many of our highways, or more. The world would be a better place if there were 1 charging station per square kilometre instead.

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Trump Lie Of The Week

“We’re building the wall,” he said. “In fact it’s going to start very soon. Way ahead of schedule. It’s way, way, way ahead of schedule.”
 
See Trump promises border wall ‘soon, way ahead of schedule’
Imagine going to a “conservative” gathering and saying a project is “way ahead of schedule” when there’s no budget for it and no schedule… The mind boggles. Does “conservative” have no moral/logical/fiscal basis anymore? Does “conservative” now mean “as flexible as a wet noodle”?

My life is a lot less complicated than POTUS’ but I can tell you with certainty that if I tried to put up a five foot wall around my property, TLW would have my hide. Then there’s Congress, which has a say in how the nation is run and how government is paid for by taxation. There’s also plenty of expert opinion that “the wall” would have no effect on illegal immigration and smuggling other than raising profits. That’s what happened when Congress banned drinking alcohol in the 1920s, what happened when USA declared “war on drugs” in the 1970s and what will happen if Trump manages to build even a five foot fence. I imagine when the bottom line is calculated for the next budget, this damned wall will be the first thing cut to reduce the deficit.

Trump is not so stupid that he doesn’t know smugglers are entrepreneurial, so this is just another lie in a long line of them, about a project of no value except getting elected by haters and lazy voters who are now aroused and angry and going after their congresspeople.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Portrait Of A Trump-Supporter

“The FBI is now investigating possible motives for the crime at Austins Bar and Grill, with race among them. A bystander told the Kansas City Star that just before opening fire the gunman shouted: “Get out of my country.”
 
A barman also told local media that the attacker used racial slurs before opening fire on Wednesday night.
 
The suspect allegedly fled on foot and was arrested five hours later at a restaurant just over the state border, 80 miles (130km) away in Clinton, Missouri.”
 
See Olathe shooting: India shocked after national killed in US
Of course Trump is not responsible for the actions of every stupid jerk out there but he set the tone:

  • Make America Great Again – OK, how does punishing immigrants accomplish that? It doesn’t. However it makes clear that people from other countries are “less than human” and that it’s OK to punish them. After all, POTUS is supposed to lead by example, right?
  • America First – See MAGA, above. “America First” clearly suggests others are second class. If others are second class why not third class or even “unfit to live”?
  • Ban All Muslims – Well, how are you going to do that? Religious test? That’s unconstitutional. From Muslim country? Not very precise. Also illegal. Dark complexion, accent? Yeah, that’s the ticket. Go to a bar and sort people out and shoot the ones you don’t like. Perhaps Trump will pay the legal bills
  • Counter-punching – If it’s OK for Trump to attack someone giving the slightest offence, why can’t I?

This isn’t really about some loser losing it. It’s about Trump not understanding leadership. If he understood leadership, he would lead his country towards the light not towards Hell. If he’s doing it deliberately, and understands leadership, he is a traitor to USA of the first magnitude.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

LeMaker Cello Less Dead Or Mummified?

“LeMaker Cello– An ARM 64-bit Sever Main Board with 96Boards EE Specification”
 
See LeMaker Cello|An ARM 64-bit Sever Main Board with 96Boards EE Specification
I keep an eye on this page and noticed a change today. They’ve deleted the part about delivery expected in Q2 of 2016. I guess the anniversary of that date approaching stimulated some action. Stock is still zero… OOPS! They still have “the scheduled ship time is in Q2 of 2016” buried in a paragraph below. Sigh. That inspires confidence. I used to teach students that one of the indicators of a reliable website is maintenance. They don’t even have that one down right.

So, it’s looking like my new ARMed server won’t be this board. It was old-looking even a year ago. Now it’s just sad. All I wanted was a new replacement for the functionality we now have plus a lot of RAM and storage. Will I need a neural net of Odroid-C2s or should I buy a new smartphone to get the job done? Marvell still has no stock of their board. At least that one would be closer to the state of the art and affordable.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , | 13 Comments