The Only Good Murdering Bastard Is A Dead Murdering Bastard

“A sniper in the Canadian special forces shot and killed an Islamic State (IS) fighter from a distance of 2.1 miles (3,540m) in Iraq last month.”
 
See Canadian sniper ‘kills IS militant two miles away’
It used to be thought by some that snipers were somehow immoral being a able to kill from long range. Then came the murdering bastards who think nothing of slaughtering thousands just for show. Killing the murdering bastards by any means is the right thing to do. Doing it before the murdering bastard kills several attacking forces in Mosul and slaughters the civilians behind which he hides is just a bonus, extra points.

Posted in firearms, politics, technology | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

First Delivery Of A Solo EV

“We are thrilled to be able to deliver our very first SOLO to a family right here in the Vancouver area,” said Mark West, President of Electra Meccanica. “We think it fits perfectly with their local healthy food business as an attention-getting, environmentally-friendly vehicle with enough storage for all of their daily needs.”
 
See Electra Meccanica
It was a long time coming but the first buyer received their Solo last week and here’s the video of the sweet day. It’s not every day you get to watch the first of a great product delivered so this is historic. No matter what the evolution of EMV will be, this is a milestone many start-ups don’t reach no matter how good their concept is. Solo is a great concept, a reliable minimal car for commuting and errands using mature technology all held together by a bit of motivation and innovation. My delivery will not be so historic but I will make my own video on the day. I’ve already picked out the videographer…

Posted in family, technology | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Upgrading to Debian Stretch

I’ve done it. Our server and all but one of our clients have been dist-upgraded to Debian Stretch. The dist-upgrade went smoothly on all clients. The server was another matter. Oh, the dist-upgrade was smooth but web-applications were ripped by the migration from PHP 5 to PHP 7. It was trivial to convert my recipe application to PHP 7, just a handful of MySQL calls needed changing. phpBB, OTOH, does not support PHP 7 and since we rarely use it, I will just remove it. It was useful when I taught in schools but I don’t need it now in the era of smartphones in every pocket. People use FB or e-mail or “messaging” and carry on. Coppermine Photo Gallery has a double whammy. It’s no longer supported by anyone and so will not be upgraded by the FLOSS community, most likely. I have invested quite a bit of work annotating photos in the database so I don’t want to abandon CPG. I can put it in a virtual machine running Jessie forever. It’s on the LAN so security is not much of an issue. My local library of Gutenberg texts is another matter. The CGI script was written in PASCAL, so that’s not a problem but the SWISH-e PHP interface does not build against PHP 7. The SWISH-e plugin is ancient, about 2012, so it’s not clear whether it will ever work with PHP 7. I just don’t want to dig that deep. SWISH-e still works so I could rewrite everything in PASCAL and carry on, but I could also move this web-application to a virtual machine running PHP 5. This library also was very valuable when I taught in northern schools with shaky Internet connections but it’s less important now. I can also use SWISH-e from the commandline if necessary. phpMyAdmin worked smoothly. It’s from Debian’s repository, of course.

So, there were a few bumps in the road, mostly due to web-applications not from Debian’s repository, but all in all it was a very smooth transition to a long term supported release. I like it.

Posted in Linux in Education, Teaching, technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Sweden Promises To Balance The Books

“Sweden had previously committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. It already gets 83 per cent of its electricity from nuclear energy and hydropower, having met its 2020 target of 50 per cent renewable energy eight years ahead of schedule.
 
To achieve carbon-neutral status, the country will focus on reducing emissions from transport by increasing the use of biofuels and electric vehicles. It plans to cut domestic emissions by at least 85 per cent, and offset remaining emissions by planting trees or investing in projects abroad.
 
Cutting emissions from transport can be challenging because of public resistance, but Sweden enjoys unusually high levels of support for green policies.”
 
See Sweden commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2045 with new law
If Sweden can do it, so can Canada. Canadians are running over with hydroelectric power and wind and solar are growing. We can run EVs in cities and surroundings. We can plant more trees. I’m doing my part. I’ve planted hundreds of trees and plan to buy the Solo EV and charge its battery from Sun. What about you?

Posted in politics, technology | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Intel Surrenders To ARM

“Intel has discontinued three of its offerings for the Internet of Things and embedded device markets.
 
The chipmaker said in a series of low-key product updates that it would be killing off the Edison, Galileo and Joule compute modules and boards over the second half of the year.”
 
See Intel: Joule’s burned, Edison switched off, and Galileo – Galileo is no more
When you need small cheap computers to do small cheap computing tasks, don’t call on Intel. They are bloated from feeding at the trough of Wintel all these decades. I recommend ARMed computers for just about everything. I’m replacing aged Intel/AMD products with new ARMed devices. It costs less, takes up less space and uses less energy to get the job done. Of course, I run Debian GNU/Linux and not That Other OS…

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Debian 9 “Stretch” Released

I’ve had a couple of systems running it. Today I will convert my main machine. See https://twitter.com/debian

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Fruitful Promises

Today I had an outing for shooting and checking out the production of fruit in the forest. My faith in bolt-action rifles was renewed as a semi-auto with a nifty scope after years of fiddling shoots no better than a WWII rifle with iron sights. I got to shoot an Egyptian “Rashid” rifle modelled after the Ljungman rifle in 7.62×39. I got a rabbit-killing group at 40 yards standing and loved the handling of the nice carbine. It’s a lot handier than the original Swedish semi-auto. Fruit checked out well too except that the damned tent-caterpillars are trying to eat all the leaves. The chokecherries were bare in places but still had green fruit. Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia) were sparse but were beginning to ripen their fruit. Hazelnut abound but it will be late in the summer before we can count the score. I want to gather some of this natural product to see whether it can survive better in my yard than this domesticated stuff…

Finished the day with a slice of homemade pumpkin pie. Life is good.

Posted in family, firearms, food, hunting, technology | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Production Solo #1 Gets Into The Hands Of A Happy Customer

Yes, the Solo EV from Electra Meccanica in Vancouver is happening. Here’s the happiest customer showing Solo off to her friends…

UPDATE

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , | 38 Comments

Latest Report From A Solo EV Test-driver

“The Solo feels like a complete and finished vehicle.
 
I would have bought the pre-production version on the spot if I could have.

Solo is incredibly easy to drive. It feels solid. No squeaks or rattles. The steering is precise and the brakes work well. The suspension is firm, but not jarring. The car is quick, but doesn’t feel out-of-control. No odd handling or twitchiness. It’s comfortable and easy to see out of. When you look in the right mirror, you see the right lane and the car behind you. When you look in the left mirror, you see the left lane and that same car. Yes, there’s some whine. Yes, it’s noticeable, but not obtrusive. In fact, it’s all there is to remind you you’re driving an electric car. Well, that and the absence of a roaring engine.”
 
See I thought I liked the Solo. Then I took a test drive.
I’ve only seen one report of a test-drive where a guy reported he didn’t like the Solo EV. He was out to lunch. This thing handles precisely, accelerates well, has great visibility and costs about half what the larger EVs cost. It’s perfect for me and I want mine now!

UPDATE When the reviewer finished his tale, I added the bit after the … above-right. It’s about what I thought, nearly the perfect car for what I want, tootling around free of a lot of maintenance and cost in a very efficient vehicle. Last but not least, Canadian certification is a done deal, and Greens and Beans received their Solo. So, the jinx is broken. Solos are about to flood the land, slowly at first and then a wave of adoption.

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Words of Wisdom From The CEO Of ElectraMeccanica Vehicles

Today, at 0810 PST, Jerry Kroll was interviewed by the Strong and Sharp radio program on 98.3 FM in Vancouver.

Highlights:

  • 8:13 – The usual introductions of Jerry and his concept for the Solo EV (“smartest commuter car on the planet”), one of which was decorated by the popular local artist, Joe Average.
  • 8:18 – Jerry suggests Joe’s car could auction for ~$250000 because it’s a spectacular piece of art. Andy Warhol did one that recently sold for $millions.
  • 8:20 – Jerry described being CEO as a mission as well as a challenge.
  • 8:22 – EVs are cleaner and better than gas-guzzlers. Formula-1 has hybrid cars and Formula-e is all electric…

I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t much news about production/deliveries of Solo EVs but that wasn’t the topic, I guess…

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Solo EV Versus The Competition

“For 2017, all LEAF trim levels offer the 30 kWh battery that was previously only available on LEAF SV and SL grades. Along with the 100-mile plus range, the 30 kWh battery can be quick-charged to 80 percent (from the low battery charge warning) in about 30 minutes. Charging on a home charging system (Level 2, 240V) is estimated to take about six hours with the 6.6 kW onboard charger.”
 
See 2017 Nissan LEAF priced from $30,680 before incentives
Solo EV gets >100 mile range from a 16.1kWh battery and carries just the driver. The competition, the Nissan Leaf, will do that for five people with a 30kWh battery for > twice the price. If you just have one person to commute or two people to shuttle around on errands, two Solos is a better, more flexible, deal. If you just have one person to commute or shuttle around, Solo is a better deal by far. Yes, the Leaf is luxurious. Yes, it has airbags. It costs more than twice as much. Do you choose the diamond-studded loaf of bread or the standard stuff for dinner? I choose the standard stuff. Efficiency and price are more important to me than luxurious affects. Further, front wheel drive is nice in slippery conditions but it’s way more complex and has more moving parts than Solo’s drive. I don’t want to pay extra for more to go wrong.

So, basically, there is no competition for Solo except perhaps a motorcycle and you can have that slipstream in your teeth and hair if you want. I’ll pass on that. Solo uses less energy than a gas-guzzling motorcycle by far. I don’t want to waste energy on moving air out of my way.

One more thing. My Solo will be bright red. Leaf only has muddy red… Why wear camo on the highway?

Posted in technology | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

Whoosh! The Air Goes Out Of Trump’s Balloon…

“The Senate was nearly unanimous on Thursday passing a bill that would slap Russia with new sanctions and give Congress the power to review any White House attempts to roll them back.”
 
See Senate passes Russia sanctions bill, pushing back against Donald Trump
I’ve been holding fire a bit lately, watching the Trump-train derail:

  • USA rejected Trump’s “Health Care” bill to the point that Trump began calling it “mean”.
  • Witnesses on The Hill refused to answer questions saying they were preserving Trump’s right to invoke executive privilege. This gives new meaning to the term “StoneWalling”.
  • Trump doesn’t know whether to denounce or take credit for the blockade of Qatr. He threw a lit match into the powder keg of the Gulf and wants it back…
  • He promised USA no one would mess with USA militarily and Russia, China and Iran are all harassing USAian vessels.
  • Coal miners are going back to work without healthcare insurance but not in the numbers Trump promised. Oh, he promises to retrain people except that part of the budget was cut back…
  • Trump held a cabinet meeting wherein every one around the table worshipped Trump as if he were God incarnate.
  • Really putting things off his rails is the announcement that Trump is being investigated for obstructing justice.

“When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”. The Bible, Proverbs, Chapter 11 verse 2.

Posted in politics | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments