Sessions: We’ll Do Forensics Without All That Science Stuff

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions will end a Justice Department partnership with independent scientists to raise forensic science standards and has suspended an expanded review of FBI testimony across several techniques that have come under question, saying a new strategy will be set by an in-house team of law enforcement advisers.”
 
See Sessions orders Justice Dept. to end forensic science commission, suspend review policy
Government by ignorant people just doesn’t work, it seems. Now the USA’s Department of Justice will dispose of inconvenient science to streamline operations. [SARCASM]Who cares if the prisons are full of the wrongfully convicted? Who cares if a bunch were actually executed? Tough. We’ll do it our way and we’ll dodge outside scrutiny just to make sure the boat doesn’t rock.[/SARCASM]

This is what you get when you elect a raving lunatic to hire other lunatics to run things. Do better, USA.

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

Not In PEI, You Say? Pity!

According to The Native Plants Database, Canada has Rosa acicularis everywhere except in Prince Edward Island. Surely, that can’t be right. Even the “Newfies” have them. PEI has Anne of Green Gables, I suppose. Perhaps that’s a compensation. I found it growing wild in my yard. Now one’s in a pot waking up in my dining room. They’ve been everywhere I’ve lived in Canada, even the Arctic.

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Diss United

I hate a lot. I hate M$, BillG, Intel, That Other OS, things that don’t work, stuff like that. Today, I saw how United Airlines treats passengers and operates more like a criminal gang than a proper business. I don’t like that. I think everyone who pays for a ticket has a proper contract with United and United should do their level best to fulfill the contract, even if some of their employees want to fly to Louisville to go to work, especially if so. I mean, would the world end if four of United’s employees missed a flight? Would the world end if they were hung over and couldn’t fly? Would the world end if they were in a severe collision on the way to the airport? What’s the difference then when the problem is United OVERBOOKING the flight?

I was only on one overbooked flight ever in my life. I had just received the job-offer to go to work in Saudi Arabia and wanted to propose to TLW that we marry and have our honeymoon in Saudi… I wasn’t going to take some money to take a later flight… In the event, TLW made me wait a day or so anyway, but that’s besides the story. This poor guy did nothing wrong but book a flight on United. He shouldn’t have been assaulted and kidnapped because of that.

I think everyone should check their itineraries to make sure United flies only their dead-heading employees until they go bankrupt.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 19 Comments

Trump Dipping Toe In Syria

I was heartened Trump activate one of Obama’s old plans for inaction in Syria by hammering one of Assad’s airbases. I think that’s the right idea. Whether proper maintenance of this mindset persists is another matter.

The attack on the airbase was not very serious:

  • The Russians were warned.
  • The cruise missiles are not great on concrete.
  • No attempt was made to go after the toxic inventory, personnel, or even planes.

A real attack would tip Russians that A, B, and C were going to be attacked whereupon the Russians and Syrians would move to D and E. Then those bases would be attacked for more effect on soft targets. A mix of cruise missiles, bunker-busters and areal denial weapons should be used. That would really send a message and reduce effectiveness. Further, air-defences all over Syria should be attacked and close air support of all cities should clear out artillery and armour.

If Trump is worried about refugees he should recruit military aged men with a promise to relocate and protect families either in Syria or USA or other friendly country and raise a real army to defeat Assad on the ground. That’s the only way to force negotiation of a new constitution and settle issues.

It’s just silly to hold that a war-crime involving Sarin is worthy of intervention when those involving chlorine, TNT, starvation and torture are not. Trump should be consistent and get on with it. USA does not have to go it alone. Much of Europe and neighbours of Syria would get involved if there was a coherent plan. Shut down Assad’s air and artillery and Syrians will be able to much of the dirty work.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

My Smartphone And Me

I went for a walk with my new smartphone today. It was our very first one. Yesterday, I picked it up at the post office, charged and played with it indoors. The display is much larger. The adaptive brightness even works in full sun. The GPS is super fast and accurate. I’m still becoming familiar with the newer Android but it does work for me after I figure things out.

Along the way I met a magnificent oak that was probably around when the first Europeans settled here. I managed to chop off the top in the picture above but the camera was very easy to use even in full sunlight. Now, I just need to work up to walking four times as far twice as fast and I might live a bit longer to enjoy such beautiful sights.

PS I have some afterthoughts. During my walk the phone dingled a few times. There was a notice that an “open” WiFi signal was detected. Every few hundred yards another came up. About 10% of my neighbourhood doesn’t care or can’t do anything about securing their WiFi. That’s interesting. It means when I’m tooling around in my EV and need a tow, I can send a service request to the CAA via the web. Amazing. CAA has free enrolment these days. The benefits of smartphone ownership appeal to me. 😉

Posted in horticulture, hunting, technology, weather | Tagged , | 22 Comments

RK 3399 And Linux

“This patch add basic node for the board and make it able to bringup.
 
Peripheral works:- usb hub which connect to ehci controller;- UART2 debug- eMMC- PCIe
 
Not work:- USB 3.0 HOST, type-C port- sdio, sd-card”
 
See Linux-Kernel Archive: [PATCH v2 1/2] arm64: dts: rk3399: add support for firefly-rk3399 board
This is good news. The newest ARM64 chip I’ve been wanting is going “mainstream”, with not just a kernel the FireFly maker can love, but everyone else. It’s not a perfect setup, but it’s a start and shows there’s life in this chip with users like me. That board certainly has the power I need to replace my current server but it still doesn’t support SATA directly. I would have to use the single Ethernet or USB3 interface to get to big/fast storage. Still, it’s affordable and can be extended through PCI-e. You can even buy a set-top box using the chip today at a very nice price. This would make a far better client than the Odroid-C2 as long as you love Android/Linux… I guess there’s a way I could put Debian GNU/Linux on that.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Trump As Kamikaze

“When you get on the airplane, you better be rooting for the success of the pilot”
 
See Jamie Dimon on Trump: On a plane, you root for the pilot
Trump’s reckless behaviour, poor choice of people, outright lying, and constantly changing course do not indicate he’s a good pilot of the ship, USA. USAians would better root for the copilot. Pence? Maybe he would not be my first choice but I don’t think he’s suicidal and wanting to take the whole world with him.

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The Sad Case Of The Linux Foundation

“Tom King and I collared Jim Zemlin and I made mention to him that there was little to catch the Desktop user’s attention or interest within the gathering’s program and scheduling for the duration of the summit. Zemlin stood in front of Tom and I and looked down his nose while explaining that there was no real market for the Desktop application For linux and The Linux Foundation had no real use for the desktop or its users.”
 
See The Linux Foundation: Not a Friend of Desktop Linux, the GPL, or Openness
Once upon a time, TLF had a Desktop User’s Group… No more. Red Hat and many other members have little interest in the desktop and are willing to let M$ run roughshod over the world… That’s sad, but we desktop users will survive systemd, pulseaudio and all the other M$-like crap folks throw at us. We will go over, under or around all the barriers and enjoy desktop software that works for us, not against us. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux simply for that reason.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Trump An Agent Of Rage, Not Change

“Why has the peso enjoyed such a massive rebound? Investors believe the most severe of Trump’s trade threats may not come to fruition. And Mexico’s central bank has taken steps to buoy the battered currency.
 
Trump administration officials signaled in a draft memo to Congress this week that they don’t plan a wholesale rewrite of NAFTA, the free trade deal between the U.S. Canada and Mexico.”
 
See Mexican peso nears full recovery after Election Day plunge – Mar. 31, 2017
In four years, Trumpism will be just a bad memory in the dust of history. Trump is an agent of rage, not change. He got into power by manipulating the media and stoking anger against various strawmen while accomplishing nothing once in power. All his edicts can be written out by the next president’s pen and the world will go on with or without USA participating in the economy, culture or humanitarian endeavours. His swamp is deeper and darker than anything that came before. The ethics of his inner circle are a benchmark that will not soon be equalled. He’s told more lies per hour than any ordinary politician, actor or newsman tells in years. Meanwhile, he and his friends are getting richer while his voters continue to starve.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Electra Meccanica Doesn’t Just Build Cheap Cars

“The Battery box cap part was manufactured using titanium (Ti64ELI) on Precision ADM’s EOS M290. “We thought titanium would be the best material for its strength to weight ratio,” said Martin Petrak, CEO and President Precision ADM. “It allowed a reduction of the wall thickness by half therefore reducing the weight while maintaining the parts strength and stiffness.”
 
“The Part was delivered to spec and installed on a prototype in less than two weeks,” stated Frank Defalco, Manager Canada Makes. “This project highlights two of the main appeals in adopting additive manufacturing. The time saved receiving a working metal prototype, which speeds up new products to market, and significant weight savings of parts when designed for additive manufacturing (DfAM).””
 
See Electra Meccanica Vehicles Corp. Archives
I’m known for shopping by price. My recent decision to buy the Electra Meccanica Solo has been assumed to be more of the same, but it’s not. EM uses modern design methods even though it’s a tiny upstart. They’ve partnered with Intermeccanica which has been around a while. Siemens makes their heat-transfer analysis software. Now it’s revealed that one of their parts was made of 3D-printed titanium for speed to the prototype, and strength to weight ratio. I can relate to that. I like to design what I build but I’m not so fancy. For me, EM’s Solo is a Space Age car emerging from the black hole of the oily 20thCentury into the intelligent 21st. It’s all good. I like optimal transportation.

Posted in technology | Tagged , | 50 Comments

Age And Tired Of Tires

Today, temperatures and weather forecasts prompted me to make the change from winter snow tires to summer radials. I hate this chore. The tires+rims+air weigh about 60 pounds. Then there is the jack that has to be repositioned four times, and cranked. Lug-nuts need to be loosened removed and reinstalled. Oh, and that damned little plastic hub-cap…

It doesn’t “make my day”. It ruins it. Maybe it’s time I took the gas-guzzler to a shop where a guy with a hoist and pneumatic wrench could do the job for money.

To add to the misery, the summer tires are getting worn with just a couple of millimetres of tread left. I found three steel whiskers embedded in one. TLW must have driven over a shed tire on the highway… I guess this is their last year. Must shop. Shopping for these is so weird. I found prices per tire ranging up to $600 on Amazon.ca. A local retailer has them for about $236. Will keep an eye out for discounts this year. I thought prices rose with oil. Didn’t they fall??? Wonder why I love the Solo? How long do you think Solo-tires will last compared to this rolling tank of a gas-guzzler?

Posted in family, technology | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

OMG! Planning To Change The Climate With One Hand While Denying Climate Change By The Other…

“David Schnare, an architect of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition, has lobbied the US government and testified to Senate in favour of federal support for geoengineering. He has called for a multi-phase plan to fund research and conduct real-world testing within 18 months, deploy massive stratospheric spraying three years after, and continue spraying for a century, a duration geoengineers believe would be necessary to dial back the planet’s temperature.”
 
See Trump presidency ‘opens door’ to planet-hacking geoengineer experiments
I couldn’t make this stuff up. While the Trump administration officially questions climate-change, they are contemplating spraying artificial clouds designed to reflect sunlight to cool Earth… The mind boggles. Go dig up that coal so that you can burn it! We’ve got your back!

Next they will build huge refrigerators with USAian labour, engineering and material and they will power them with coal. The light at the end of this carbon-tunnel is the blessed hope that the Trumpists will crash and burn long before 2018.

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