Fear & Greed Index Pegged

“The number of stocks hitting 52-week lows exceeds the number hitting highs and is at the lower end of its range, indicating extreme fear.”
See Fear & Greed Index – Investor Sentiment
All the constituents in the index are pegged and some are at the lowest levels seen in years. I was very afraid years ago and pulled all my money out of the USA. I missed some gains but at least I can buy nice golden paperweights. Folks who have built their portfolios out of playing cards are in for a great fall. All it will take is one more gaff by Trump or another outrage by his sycophants or the voice of the voters who realized bad things have happened when they didn’t bother to vote in 2016… It’s all good. In the long run the economy and the USA will survive Trump. Mistakes are learning experiences if they are not fatal. So far, so good…

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IBM And Red Hat

“IBM is acquiring Red Hat, a major distributor of open-source software and technology, in a deal valued around $34 billion, the companies announced on Sunday.
According to a joint statement, IBM will pay cash to buy all shares in Red Hat at $190 each. Shares in Red Hat closed at $116.68 on Friday before the deal was announced.”
See IBM to acquire Red Hat in deal valued at $34 billion
My my… Around 2003 I recommended TLW buy RHT at around $7… She didn’t…

On the other hand, RHT has been quite successful in “selling” Free/Libre Open Source software by “subscription” and IBM has been growing a server-based business after abandoning desktop GNU/Linux. It makes business-sense to join forces. Unfortunately, mergers/acquisitions often go astray as ways and means conflict. I haven’t used much of Red Hat’s software since I adopted Debian GNU/Linux. There was no need and I like how Debian operates. I never saw the benefit of subscribing for schools/education, the business in which I worked. You can’t beat $free and free when it comes to cost and licensing. Using a Free Software licence and then paying someone else for permission to use the software just didn’t work for me. I wanted to get work done, not file paperwork.

We shall see if IBM embraces Red Hat and FLOSS properly or causes Red Hat to shed a lot of what it does that may not interest IBM, like promoting FLOSS, distributing FLOSS, and generally helping the FLOSS community. This could be partly a defensive move because M$ has bought GitHub. Red Hat and M$ joining forces might have squeezed IBM. Sigh. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess.

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Reaping What We Sow

So, Trump’s fans want to send time-bombs through the mail and Trump recommends violence against those with whom he disagrees (CNN, Dems, Liberals, blacks, women, …). So now he reaps what he sows. Membership in the Republican Party (Government of Pigs) is declining. Support of women and youth are declining. The old white men are dying off… The GOP are going to lose control of the House of Representatives next week and losing control of the Senate is still possible. Folks like Heitkamp are raising tons of money for the final week of campaigning. The “toss-up” seats in the Senate have some very narrow margins. Last week may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

[SARCASM]When asked to respond to the bombings, Trump’s main point was that it was a distraction from the campaign to hold onto the House and Senate… Yep, real leadership there. When asked to respond to the shootings in the synagogue, Trump’s main point was that the victims should have been armed with firearms… Yep, more real leadership.[/SARCASM]

I think some of Trump’s support from the “religious right” may well notice the total lack of empathy, except when reading from the TelePrompter. I expect a whole lot more sensitive youths and women will notice. Expect the House to fall heavily to the Democrats with some serious investigations into Trump’s corruption. Expect the Senate to be about 50-50 with many senators being able to read the writing on the wall made by the electorate. For sure there will be no “Wall”. There may even be some bipartisan measures to control Trump’s mismanagement of foreign policy, trade and budgets. All in all I expect Trump as a lame duck will be much more enjoyable than the nonsense we’ve been seeing for two years.

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“In the three months since I bought my 2015 Nissan LEAF, I have introduced it to several friends and neighbors. To date, in my admittedly unscientific survey, the first question they ask is, “How long does the battery last?” Not some, not quite a few, everyone I have taken for a ride in the car has asked that question.”
See The First Question People Ask About An Electric Car Is…
Besides the apparent foot-dragging of some manufacturers a major barrier to adoption of electric vehicles is knowledge of consumers. Those who drive EVs love them. Those who don’t are puzzled by them.

The issue of lifetime of batteries is one of those questions. No one asks how many years an infernal combustion engine lasts. They ask how many miles/km one can drive before it wears out. The same should be true for batteries in EVs. My soon-to-be Solo EV’s battery is guaranteed 5 years and is rated for 3000 charge-discharge cycles, about 30 years of commuter driving. Suppose I drove 500km/day, 3 cycles. The Solo would still be humming after 1000 days, 500000km. I certainly won’t drive like that. Will you? The battery costs just a couple thousand dollars, just 0.4 cents/km… I can afford that. That’s about the same as the cost of charging the thing, too, way less than the cost of fuelling and yes, changing the engine periodically in an ICEd vehicle. So, let’s move on to the next question, “Where can I buy one?”.

I put my deposit down on a Solo almost two years ago at SmallEV.com. These things take time for a startup. Nissan has sold hundreds of thousands of Leafs. I don’t like that design but I could have bought one two years ago for the wait… So, do it now instead of waiting for the perfect EV to come along. Used Leafs are on the market at good prices and they have lots of remaining life.

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The Imminent Mid-Term Election In USA

It’s been a long haul but we are almost there. Early voting has started and the usual voter-suppression tricks are being exposed. Trump is panicking and telling more and bigger lies. The House is almost certain to go to the Democrats so some token opposition to Trump can return. The Senate is too close to call. There are still two weeks for people to come to their senses. The Democrats are not doomed in the Senate but it is certainly a “darkest hour” situation.

I think I can survive another two weeks to live to see Trump have his “comeuppance”. It’s only a question of how lame the duck he will be and how hot the oven in which he roasts. We should soon see the progress Mueller has made. We should soon see the House really investigate Trumpism forcefully. We should soon see more public trials. I hope Trump’s is one of them. I hope the experience of taking failure to vote too far has been educational for millions of USAians.

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First Post From A New Server

Yesterday, we changed the location and software for the blog. Some things remain the same; some have changed. We now use Debian GNU/Linux instead of Ubuntu GNU/Linux and everything is updated. There were a few glitches but between my home server, Debian and some help from a friend, all is good today. Shortly, we will add SSL and be on Chrome’s radar again

UPDATE – Yes, we are now an HTTPS site and HTTP automatically redirects to HTTPS.

A further note about the upgrade: The change to HTTPS was accomplished with the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s FLOSS script, certbot. I didn’t have to download from EFF. Debian has it in the *-backports repository. It just worked, acquiring the certificate, installing the certificate and converting the apache installation to HTTPS. The only following problems for me were solved by flushing caches of the old URI and IP addresses and editing the WordPress configuration for https instead of http for the URI of the blog. I just backed up the database on one server and restored it on the other after creating a new database and granting privileges to the appropriate user for the WP installation to access the database. Everything worked. Another result of this move is that our server is now outside the jurisdiction of Trump and it is much faster than before… It’s all good.

PS – Found using IP-address still worked so I tweaked apache’s configuration to block that.

UseCanonicalName Off
<If “tolower(%{SERVER_NAME}) != ‘mrpogson.com'”>
AllowOverride None
Require all denied

The site is only accessible by http://mrpogson.com/ or https://mrpogson.com/

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Google Delivers

“Google announced that it will add electric vehicle charging stations to Google Maps from several networks around the world.
A quick search for keywords like “EV charging”, “EV charging stations” or any other similar term on Google Maps will display the nearest supported stations.”
See Google Maps adds EV charging locations around the world
This is cool! One problem for drivers of EVs outside their local territories is finding charging stations. Makers like Teslas have created a huge network which takes care of their vehicles quite well but others are left in the lurch. One may need an adapter to charge at a Tesla station. There are several other networks but they lack coverage and a driver may have to check multiple networks to find a charger. That sucks. So, Google is going to be one-stop shopping for charging stations. Let’s try it out!

“charging stations Manitoba” finds three (3), two Tesla’s and a Sun Country Highway. “charging stations brandon, mb” finds 9 but they are all in Winnipeg. Apparently the search tracks the current map… Oops! I guess they are still working on it. My tiny brain knows of dozens… My kids call me “Mr Google” but this is ridiculous. Let’s hope Google does a more thorough harvest of the data available out there.

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Nissan Torpedoes The Leaf

“The good news for Nissan LEAF fans is that the second generation car with a 60 kWh battery is scheduled to go into production early next year. With the larger battery, the LEAF will have a projected EPA range of 225 miles. That’s important. Putting aside whether people really need that much range, a popular perception is beginning to emerge that an electric car needs at least 200 miles of range to be worth considering. The larger battery will make the LEAF more competitive with the Chevy Bolt, which has a range of 238 miles.”
See 60 kWh Nissan LEAF Projected To Cost $5,500 More Than 40 kWh Version
HUH?!? Nissan is raising the price of Leaf and justifying it by the addition of 20kWh of battery (75 miles range)! It might make sense if they left the smaller battery as an option for drivers who rarely travel outside of a city or the Leaf were truly a luxurious EV. It’s not. It’s a decent family car but decent families may need a smaller more efficient car not a small truck.

Further, the idea that range of an EV must be >200 miles is just silly. Lots of commuters and drivers for errands take short trips with an empty car. That’s why I like the Solo EV, costing half what a Leaf costs but doing what I need done, transporting me and a bit of stuff from A to B. Nissan is painting Leaf into a corner where rich USAians might shop but the rest of us avoid. In my family one or two Solos would be much more useful than one of these higher-priced Leafs. TLW and I could go to multiple destinations simultaneously. We could haul all the usual stuff and we are rarely far from Winnipeg. TLW has only been away from Winnipeg by road twice in the last year. Should we have a useless Leaf and unused battery sitting around idle all year long for that? Nope. Further, Solo could have done one of those trips easily, the other with some serious planning and a couple of extra days. We are retired folk. A couple of days somewhere else can be welcome.

Nope. This is a move which will severely impact adoption of Leaf. Tesla took away some of the initial steam from Leaf but it wasn’t for lack of range. Tesla’s cars are truly luxurious and some want that. For Pity’s sake, people who drive ICEd vehicles are happy with compact and sub-compact cars. Why would EVs be different? They wouldn’t. QED

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Hopeful Signs

“Washington’s 2035 goal is to lower emissions by 25 million tons annually. 70% of the proceeds will go towards funding clean energy infrastructure, including but not limited to solar, wind, public transportation, and energy efficiency. Interestingly, it even would allow funds to improve rural broadband, with the expectation that it would decrease miles driven.”
See Please Help Pass Washington State Initiative 1631
“If the automobile industry doesn’t grasp the fact that it has to invest more in electric vehicles, especially in cities, then it will be very hard to defend combustion engines — gasoline and diesel — over the long term. We must do all we can now, so that the best electric cars are built in Germany.”
See Exclusive: Angela Merkel Put Heat On Automakers To Electrify Faster
“Hundreds of people, including physicians and health advocates, former EPA officials and technology entrepreneurs, environmental advocates and local officials, testified against the plan, vastly outnumbering the handful that came out in support. Even representatives of automakers and the aluminum industry opposed the effort to water down the standards.
A former EPA analyst who spent years working on emissions policy testified that the technical analysis for this proposal was the “most biased and dishonest” he had witnessed in his 40-year career at the agency.”
See Hundreds Speak Against Rollback Of Clean Car Standards At Public Hearings
“When I first started driving electric, about 3 years ago, when driving on longer journeys I had to share the chargers with a few Tesla drivers, or the occasional Leaf. With the roll-out of Tesla supercharger stations in the UK, the Tesla drivers have migrated to their own charging area, and for a while, especially since charging ceased to be free, I seemed to have the chargers pretty much to myself. On my drive down south, however, it was very much a case of “spot the EV.” At Gloucester southbound services on the way down, a Hyundai Ioniq was just finishing at the chargers as I drove in. At Gloucester northbound services, on the way back, I parked next to a brand-new Jaguar I-Pace, and had a pleasant chat with the new owner, who seemed thrilled to bits with his first electric car. Nissan Leafs are to be seen very often. Where the Tesla charging stations used to be conspicuous by being brand new, and entirely empty, now there seems to be quite a number of Tesla cars all charging up at the same time. I am used to members of the public occasionally asking me a few questions about electric vehicles while I am charging up, but on the last occasion no fewer than 3 different people asked me to explain all about it. That is more than ever before on a single occasion, and seems a definite indication that the electric vehicle revolution is finally gathering momentum.”
See Home, Home On The Range: Homing In On Electric Vehicle Ranges
Chuckle. Only a few years ago, driving an EV was a novel concept and reduction in automobile emissions was about taxation/regulation/urban living. Today, EVs are on everyone’s radar and folks want the performance, ease of maintenance and efficiency that EVs provide. Even the Trumpists, intent on pushing through rollbacks of emission standards are encircled and taking fire from all sides. The USAian mid-term elections are partly about the environment. Many millions of USAians hate Trumpism, a total substitution of transactional cost versus morality, and they are angry at Trumpists for one or more issues. They are all going to vote on issues. So, it seems the power of the congressional purse will restrain Trumpists until they are finally retired from the playing field.

Today, about half the driving public wants an EV and is impatiently waiting for manufacturers to crank them out. Witness the explosive growth of Tesla. That’s only because Tesla is not going slowly. Tesla has been able to charge a premium because their cars are better than gas-guzzlers for obvious reasons and because Tesla is not trying to preserve revenues from selling gas-guzzlers. Today, just about every driver has seen someone driving an EV even if the percentage of EVs is small. There is positive feedback in the market for automobiles. I can’t imagine ever buying a gas-guzzler again except for small engined machines or a truck. At my age I’m not likely to buy a truck. EVs are good enough for what I need done and they are affordable and perform well.

The last obstacle to widespread adoption of EVs is not technical but psychological. People resist change and are bathed in slick commercials promoting gas-guzzlers. It took a decade or more to get the first half of humanity convinced that EVs made sense. I expect in five years the other half will also see the light from behind their stacks of bills for fuel, maintenance and repairs.

These are hopeful signs and I believe the next generation will accept EVs and planting trees as the right thing to do. Several of my kids’ cousins are married now and buying real estate. They are open to planting trees and shrubs for shade, protection from the wind, and absorption of CO2. It’s all good. I’m ready, willing and able to provide advice and seedlings. Soon I’ll have my own EV to share with them.

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To Crush Or Not To Crush

“The All-Electric SOLO Notably Exceeded Canadian Testing Standards, Having Withstood 20,617 lb in Side-Crush Testing, as Compared to the Required Minimum of 2,977 lb”
See Electra Meccanica SOLO Successfully Completes Canadian Side-Crush Testing
Many uninformed critics of the Solo EV claim that it’s a flimsy vehicle which will fold up in a collision. Well, the truth is different. Solo is designed like an egg-shell and is self-reinforced to a high standard. It will easily withstand a rollover or even a mild T-boning. Such tests usually require less than a certain deformation at the rated force as a multiple of the weight of the vehicle. Solo’s light weight helps a lot.

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Another Of Trump’s Many Lies Bites The Dust

“While the vast majority of the individual’s ancestry is European, the results strongly support the existence of an unadmixed Native American ancestor in the individual’s pedigree, likely in the range of 6-10 generations ago.”
See Report From Prof. Carlos D. Bustamante, Ph.D.
Trump is fond of repeatedly goading Elizabeth Warren about her aboriginal heritage. Trump even offered to donate a $million of his ill-gotten gains to charity if she took a test of her DNA and it proved to have an aboriginal component. That has happened. Let’s see the $million and let’s see Trump shut up.

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Good, Bad and Ugly News About Global Warming

“Premier Brian Pallister pulled the plug on his “Made in Manitoba” carbon-price plan. Instead, he’ll help us stay under two degrees by developing more hydropower, continuing with the long-planned closure of the province’s sole (small) coal plant, and recycling “more and better.” Ottawa’s backstop carbon price will pick up the slack in Friendly Manitoba on January 1.”
See Why half a degree is a lot
There’s some good news on the fight to limit global warming. Several governments and the world generally are investing heavily in becoming more efficient and developing renewable energy to reduce the foolish and short sighted burning of fossil fuels. On the bad side, several Canadian provinces are resisting the imposition of a “carbon tax” to nudge the economy towards renewable/sustainable energy. My own province, Manitoba, claims developing more hydroelectric power and increasing efficiency of use of energy is enough. Manitoba is better off than Alberta and Saskatchewan but then there’s Ontario with it’s “mini-Trump” premier… I’m really going to have to vote Green next election. These jokers are out to lunch.

On the good side, I’ve ordered more tree-seeds for next year. The ones I bought last year are in pots now grown to a size that can survive our winters. I’ve read that one, Nanking Cherry, may even flower next year. No sign of the requisite buds yet… Driving electrically and planting trees is about all I can do without putting up a wall of solar panels in my yard. TLW might notice and respond to the carbon tax though… 😉

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