Tues. July 31, 2018 – summertime, when the livin’s easy

83F at 8AM. Nick’s rule of tens says “Hot today!’

Lots of stuff to do before leaving town.

Hopefully, the world will hold together while I’m traveling, and no hurricanes will spring up.

But, you never know.

n

— but you knew that

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65 Responses to Tues. July 31, 2018 – summertime, when the livin’s easy

  1. Clayton W. says:

    You know times are bad when everyday is a Monday! 😉

  2. Ray Thompson says:

    Who knew July 31st fell on a Monday this year! I have got to get my Windows calendar fixed.

  3. JimL says:

    75º and sunny on the North Coast. Supposed to rain this afternoon, so I’m not riding the bike. Of course, it said the same yesterday and it rained in the morning, was clear in the evening; the opposite of what was predicted.

    I did manage to get rid of 100 lbs of aluminum scrap – $50.30 out of the deal for about 2 hours of work. I’ll take that any day. And the yard is clearer. They tell me I’ll get $0.50/lb for my SLA batteries as well. Time to make that trip. Maybe I’ll get my son to help me load them so he can earn a little pocket change. That’s always good.

    Feels like a Monday to me as well.

  4. DadCooks says:

    Looks like @Nick got the latest Windows Update.

  5. Nick Flandrey says:

    I’m so screwed if it’s already Tuesday……

    n

  6. Greg Norton says:

    On last night’s “American Pickers”, the guys found the original Aerosmith touring van rusting on a farm in upstate NY. An original member of the band verified the history, complete with a picture of a very young Steven Tyler inside the vehicle.

    My daughter asked, “Why do they want that thing so badly?”

    I said, “Arwen the elf from ‘Lord of the Rings’ may have been conceived in that van.”

    “Oh. Ok.”

    I’m old.

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    @jimL, you are getting good prices for your scrap. I only got 25c for my batteries and clean Al was 42c

    n

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Sigh. SLS will fly … once.

    They’re p*ssing away money on single-use launch towers down at Kennedy. What’s a few billion for spacesuits?

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/nasas-space-suit-drama-could-delay-our-trip-to-the-moon

  9. JimL says:

    Just have to giggle a little. I took a look at the URl for this page – still says “mon-“… This doesn’t surprise me. Once someone links to a page changing the URL is a pain in the butt, so WordPress will let you change the title, but makes you change the filename manually. (This is good.)

  10. Mark W says:

    There is a reason why cops lie: Maintenance of command authority.

    If they were to admit truthfully to their mistakes, then those that they ticket or cite would accuse them of always being wrong. They would also tend to ignore their advice and suggestions in other instances.

    This is where I start to have issues. The police must exist and must have authority. However, they lose that authority when they get caught lying, or not admitting to mistakes. It’s hard to respect such people in normal life, and now that youtube exists and everyone has a camera, the cops are causing a loss of support.

  11. Ray Thompson says:

    However, they lose that authority when they get caught lying

    Did you not know that police are allowed to lie to you during interrogation? It has been upheld in the courts. Police can say whatever they want, however the suspect can be charged with lying to police.

    Thus the old, and wise advice, never say anything to any law enforcement officer except “I want a lawyer”. Even if you are not the one being investigated if you get caught lying you can be charged with obstruction of justice. Thus, shut your mouth, say nothing.

    Unfortunately this lying by police has been extended to the point that officers will lie to save their jobs. Even placing someone else at fault to avoid any blemish on the officer’s record. Video evidence by someone other than the officer is the only recourse. If you have video evidence do not tell the officer or their supervisors. Only provide the video evidence when in the presence of a judge. Otherwise your evidence may very well disappear. I know two people that had videoed the officer with their cell phone only to have the cell phone accidentally damaged by being dropped, more than once if necessary, by the officer.

    I see police regularly speeding, in some cases more than 20 mph above the limit. Failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs. Failing to signal when changing lanes. Cutting people off when changing lanes. Following too close. All items that regular folks would be cited.

    I have a good relationship with most of the local police officers. However I would never trust them to be honest if I were to have dealings with them that would look unfavorable upon the officer.

  12. lynn says:

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of her own by the time I finished it.

    Podkayne of Mars – another Heinlein Juvenile. It’s definitely a product of the 50s, but I think it holds up well.
    https://www.amazon.com/Podkayne-Mars-Robert-Heinlein-ebook/dp/B00Z76QMMW/?tag=ttgnet-20

    I did not consider Podkayne of Mars since I have not read it in so long and forgot what the story line. In fact, I may have lost it in the Great Flood of 1989 with most of my other books (somewhere around 2,000 books were soaked).

  13. lynn says:

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of her own by the time I finished it.

    I posted this question on the usenet at rec.arts.sf.written. Here are a few recommendations from that unruly crowd:

    Skulduggery Pleasant
    by Derek Landy
    https://amzn.to/2LGXOOA

    Tween mentored by a living skeleton becomes involved in a sinister magical world

    Nice Dragons Finish Last
    by Rachel Aaron
    https://amzn.to/2ApFvIJ

    Dual male/female lead. Female lead is a young sorceress trying to establish
    herself in a future US where magic has returned and dragons exist. (Later
    books have some minimal discreet sex in a committed relationship).

    Into the Dark (Alexis Carew Book 1)
    by J.A. Sutherland
    https://amzn.to/2OsiIip

    Young teen (14/15) joins the space navy.

    The Flaw in All Magic (Magebreakers Book 1)
    by Ben S. Dobson
    https://amzn.to/2vkCDa4

    Dual male/female (non romantic) leads. Female lead is an half orc
    who has come to the big city to see the wonders of magic.

    Emergence Kindle
    by David R. Palmer
    https://amzn.to/2OwtcgK

    Young girl genius navigates a post apocalypse landscape on a quest to find other survivors.

    Podkayne of Mars
    by Robert A. Heinlein
    https://amzn.to/2LHCKrv

    Young girl becomes involved in deadly politics on Mars, Earth & Venus.

  14. lynn says:

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of her own by the time I finished it.

    More responses from rec.arts.sf.written. Here are a few more recommendations from that unruly crowd:

    Most of Diana Wynne Jones books, kick off with _Howl’s Moving Castle_
    and _Charmed Life_, each of which starts an age-appropriate series.

    _Which Witch?_, Eva Ibbotson.

    _Star Ka’at_, Andre Norton.

    A fourth upvote for Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching series, the Bromeliad
    series, and _The AMazing Maurice_.

    _John Dough and the Cherub_, L Frank Baum. The protagonist is of
    undefined gender.

    The Alice books, Lewis Carroll. Maybe only mildly gritty!

  15. lynn says:

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of her own by the time I finished it.

    More reponses:

    When my daughter was 10 she loved the Warrior Cat books by Erin Hunter. “Into the Wild” is the first one.
    https://www.amazon.com/Warriors-Into-Wild-Prophecies-Begin/dp/0062366963?tag=ttgnet-20

    I suppose you’ve considered _True Grit_. I haven’t. I did rather like _Shane_, the book, but that fact is about all that I remember.

    _A Wrinkle In Time_ is better than the movie; aren’t they always? (I haven’t seen the movie.)

    Terry Pratchett? Now, as to grit… it’s not preciselythe point of _Equal Rites_, in which a dying wizard (possibly evil, but retired) bequeaths his wizardness to a poor man’s newborn child which is presumed to be male, but isn’t. Teaching Eskarina witchcraft is supposed to be a remedy for her poorly governed wizardry, but doesn’t quite work. Sex is mentioned but not shown, it’s just that some of the jokes will be incomprehensible, including to young Esk.

    Pratchett’s books with the wizard Rincewind emphasise the advantages of running away, but he’s not in all of them, much to his own relief I suppose. (Rincewind isn’t the dead one from _Equal Rites_.)

    _Only You Can Save Mankind_ and _Truckers_ have strong female secondary characters; the prominent young female in _Truckers_ is in the foreground in the sequel, which is a plus, though that series has a strong negative presentation of religion – some of the tiny “nomes” worship human archetypes in a confused way – and it could be an issue that they live much faster but, in absolute terms, shorter lives than we do.

    OYCSM has sequels but Sigourney by then is just one of the boys. The alien captain doesn’t reappear but is another important female, although that doesn’t much matter in the story – which may be the point. Also the story is probably partly imaginary, but you have to meet magic realism sometime, and it’s this or _Sylvie & Bruno_ – which is more adult and piously Christian, which either suits or doesn’t.

    Actually, most of these stories are entirely imaginary, as Superman tells us.

    _The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents_ is the story of a cat and some intelligent rats, and human companion, who go around villages running the “Pied Piper” scam, what with their audacity and their ability to beat traps… or sometimes not, which is sad.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of her own by the time I finished it.

    Pratchett Discworld books with “Susan” (Death’s granddaughter) storylines.

    Sadly, Pratchett began the subseries late in his career so there are only four.

    “Hogfather” saw a faitful-to-the-point-of-tedium miniseries adaptaion which I believe is on Netflix.

    Depending on your daughter’s age, “Seveneves” is another possibility, bit it is very SJW-oriented, complete with a “Wise Latina” who orchestrates rebuilding the genetic diversity of the human race from six wombs (female survivors’) and a egg/sperm bank.

  17. nick flandrey says:

    “and a egg/sperm bank.” –sorta

    n

  18. Greg Norton says:

    “and a egg/sperm bank.” –sorta

    I was fed up with the book by the time Stephenson killed the last male … at least for that group of survivors. I paid $12 to read that mess.

    “Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O” is better, but Stephenson wasn’t shilling the agenda of his day job — collecting checks from Magic Leap for … God only knows what.

    Ponzis don’t really have an agenda beyond enriching the inner circle.

  19. JLP says:

    The “Witches of Karres” by James Schmitz has a man as the primary character but he is overshadowed by the very independent young girls travelling with him. This is especially true in the sequels by Eric Flint. The books are a fun sci-fi / fantasy adventure.

  20. lynn says:

    “Like it or not, America is now seriously debating socialism”
    https://nypost.com/2018/07/30/like-it-or-not-america-is-now-seriously-debating-socialism/

    “It’s begun. We’re having a debate over socialism.”

    “Not over whether it’s fair to call Democrats socialists. Not over whether socialism has been good for Venezuela or some other faraway, unfortunate country. But no-kidding socialist policies right here in the United States.”

    “The new study of its costs, from the conservative Mercatus Center, concludes that Medicare for All would increase federal spending by almost $33 trillion during the first 10 years. To put it in non-technical terms: That’s a lot.”

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  21. lynn says:

    Depending on your daughter’s age, “Seveneves” is another possibility, bit it is very SJW-oriented, complete with a “Wise Latina” who orchestrates rebuilding the genetic diversity of the human race from six wombs (female survivors’) and a egg/sperm bank.

    I was fed up with the book by the time Stephenson killed the last male … at least for that group of survivors. I paid $12 to read that mess.

    Sounds like a “Sliders” episode. I hope that I do not have this book in my SBR (strategic book reserve).

  22. mediumwave says:

    Depending on your daughter’s age, “Seveneves” is another possibility, bit it is very SJW-oriented, complete with a “Wise Latina” who orchestrates rebuilding the genetic diversity of the human race from six wombs (female survivors’) and a egg/sperm bank.

    No matter what your daughter’s age, but especially if she’s at all impressionable, you definitely DON’T want to expose her to the female President of the United States character, who is an admitted psychopath.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    Sounds like a “Sliders” episode. I hope that I do not have this book in my SBR (strategic book reserve).

    I’ve never recommended it here.

    I have mentioned “Cryptonomicon” (an all time personal favorite — I have an autographed first edition) and “Reamde” positively.

    No, that isn’t a typo. “Reamde”

    Which reminds me — @Jenny, the female protagonist in “Reamde” is very cool; plenty of grit. Lots of things that go bang in that book, but I don’t recall the sex (what little there is in the book) being overly graphic beyond letting you know that the characters did something. 9th grade+

    Fox optioned “Reamde” as a summer miniseries but lost interest. Dunno what happened there.

  24. Greg Norton says:

    No matter what your daughter’s age, but especially if she’s at all impressionable, you definitely DON’T want to expose her to the female President of the United States character, who is an admitted psychopath.

    That is just a grim book all around.

    Stephenson recovered somewhat with “Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O”, but he had a collaborator.

  25. SteveF says:

    Thanks, all.

  26. lynn says:

    I now understand why the dumbocrats passed Obamacare instead of Medicare for All ™. The dumbocrats may be idiots but they are not totally stupid. The costs of funding Medicare for All are simply amazing.

    “The Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing”
    https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/the-facts-on-medicare-spending-and-financing/

    “In 2017, Medicare benefit payments totaled $702 billion, up from $425 billion in 2007.”

    “#Medicare, which serves nearly 60 million seniors & ppl w/disabilities, accounted for 20% of national health spending in 2016, 29% of spending on retail sales of prescription drugs, 25% of spending on hospital care & 23% of spending on physician services.”

    Medicare covers 20% of the USA population currently and is rapidly growing. The wife will be on it in less than 5 years and I will be in it in less than 7 years.

    Medicare covers the aged and disabled. These are probably the people with the highest healthcare needs. So multiplying current Medicare expenses by five would be over exaggerating the total costs. But the number is probably between three and four. So conservatively, I use a factor of four: $702B * 4 = $2808 Billion

    The other problem is that Medicare does not pay any profit, they only pay actuarial costs. So if we go to Medicare for All, the payment rates will need to be raised. For instance, in the Houston area, a doctor visit is reimbursed to the doctor at $22 with no copay. I’ll bet the doctors are lining up for that payment.

    To generate $2,808 billion/year, the current Medicare tax of %1.45 for the employee and employer will need to be expanded.

    The current income in the USA is $16,000 billion/year (2017).
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/216756/us-personal-income/

    2,808 / 16,000 = 0.176. So the Medicare tax on wages will need to be raised to 9% for both the employee and the employer.

    Wow, that is way more than I thought, I was hoping for 6% each. The American public might stomach a 6% Medicare tax on the employee and employer each but I doubt 9%.

  27. SteveF says:

    I told ya and I told ya, but did you listen? No, of course not. “Oh, it’s only Steve babbling. Ignore him and he’ll go back to making fart jokes.” Don’t deny it, I could hear your thoughts from a thousand miles away.

    Just look at Britain’s NHS for the future of Medicare for All. Rationing, delays, shortages of all kinds of supplies, shortage of doctors, day-to-day indifference because the patients aren’t the paying customers. Yah, I’ll be pushing for that, you betcha.

  28. SteveF says:

    Lynn, do you still have that alligator? Do you like to knock back a brew or two? If so, I’ve found a role model for you!

  29. lynn says:

    I told ya and I told ya, but did you listen? No, of course not. “Oh, it’s only Steve babbling. Ignore him and he’ll go back to making fart jokes.” Don’t deny it, I could hear your thoughts from a thousand miles away.

    Just look at Britain’s NHS for the future of Medicare for All. Rationing, delays, shortages of all kinds of supplies, shortage of doctors, day-to-day indifference because the patients aren’t the paying customers. Yah, I’ll be pushing for that, you betcha.

    I thought Medicare for All ™ was possible until I did my back of the envelope calculations. Sigh. Instead of using my 4X factor, they will sell it as a 2X factor and do exactly what you are talking about. Rationing, delays, shortages, indifference, etc, etc, etc. Sigh.

    I could stand to delay my upcoming heart surgery though. I really am not excited about this at all. But, constant afib causes your heart to enlarge and I don’t need that at all. I’ve seen that story and it did not end well. Whoa, I just realized that I am the same age as my mother-in-law when she died of afib.

  30. lynn says:

    Lynn, do you still have that alligator? Do you like to knock back a brew or two? If so, I’ve found a role model for you!

    I’ve had three of them, maybe four. They are good at hiding out. But I’ve got a pair of whistling ducks with young’uns in both ponds at the moment, they would clear out if there was an alligator hanging around. Besides that, I quit drinking more than a beer a month a long time ago.

  31. SteveF says:

    Besides that, I quit drinking more than a beer a month a long time ago.

    -sigh- I guess you’re just not cut out to be as awesome as that guy. It’s just as well, I suppose. The world is not ready for the awesomeness of two blackout-drunk-with-an-alligator-under-the-arm dudes.

    constant afib causes your heart to enlarge

    You should be safe. You’re a Republican, and I have it on good authority that Republicans have no hearts at all.

    (A screaming, magenta-haired woman being interviewed on TV, with excerpts posted on YouTube counts as a good authority, right?)

    I just realized that I am the same age as my mother-in-law when she died of afib.

    My mother had a shaky moment some years ago when she surpassed her mother’s age — cancer got her at 53 or thereabouts. Hmm. I should point out to my mother that her eldest child is now older than that. There’s a time and a place for making your mother feel old. That time is “any time it can be brought up” and that place is “any physical or digital location”.

  32. lynn says:

    You should be safe. You’re a Republican, and I have it on good authority that Republicans have no hearts at all.

    Hey, I voted for a Democrat just a couple of decades ago. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Great guy and good for the state. Then he quit to become Bill Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury. He walked away from that job in less than a year.

    I’m gonna vote for another Democrat this fall for judge. He is a good guy and is a credit to our county.

  33. lynn says:

    I’ve had this stuck in moderation all day so I am splitting it up to get out of the magic three URL limit:

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of her own by the time I finished it.

    I posted this question on the usenet at rec.arts.sf.written. Here are a few recommendations from that unruly crowd:

    Skulduggery Pleasant
    by Derek Landy
    https://amzn.to/2LGXOOA

    Tween mentored by a living skeleton becomes involved in a sinister magical world

    Nice Dragons Finish Last
    by Rachel Aaron
    https://amzn.to/2ApFvIJ

    Dual male/female lead. Female lead is a young sorceress trying to establish
    herself in a future US where magic has returned and dragons exist. (Later
    books have some minimal discreet sex in a committed relationship).

    Into the Dark (Alexis Carew Book 1)
    by J.A. Sutherland
    https://amzn.to/2OsiIip

    Young teen (14/15) joins the space navy.

  34. lynn says:

    And here is the second part of the stuck in moderation posting:

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book pushing the virtues of grit but with a female lead, please let me know. I could write one myself, but it takes me so long to write fiction that my daughter would have kids of her own by the time I finished it.

    I posted this question on the usenet at rec.arts.sf.written. Here are a few recommendations from that unruly crowd:

    The Flaw in All Magic (Magebreakers Book 1)
    by Ben S. Dobson
    https://amzn.to/2vkCDa4

    Dual male/female (non romantic) leads. Female lead is an half orc
    who has come to the big city to see the wonders of magic.

    Emergence Kindle
    by David R. Palmer
    https://amzn.to/2OwtcgK

    Young girl genius navigates a post apocalypse landscape on a quest to find other survivors.

    Podkayne of Mars
    by Robert A. Heinlein
    https://amzn.to/2LHCKrv

    Young girl becomes involved in deadly politics on Mars, Earth & Venus.

  35. Rick Hellewell says:

    @Lynn … wandered into the pending comments and released your screed with the many urls.

    The three-URL limit is a setting that RBT made, I think. Although it could have also been me; I do that on other sites that I run, along with several other anti-spam measures.

  36. nick flandrey says:

    I just saw the email from admin…. was gonna log in and release it, but you beat me to it.

    n

  37. nick flandrey says:

    And I think RBT increased it to 5 for anyone who had previously posted, but I’m not sure that the granularity is actually there.

    n

  38. lynn says:

    @Lynn … wandered into the pending comments and released your screed with the many urls.

    The three-URL limit is a setting that RBT made, I think. Although it could have also been me; I do that on other sites that I run, along with several other anti-spam measures.

    Thanks, sorry. I will try to not post anything with more than three URLs in it again.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    I’m gonna vote for another Democrat this fall for judge. He is a good guy and is a credit to our county.

    I always voted for Bob Graham in FL, and I generally voted against our RINO Congressman, Adam “Opie” Putnam when we lived outside Tampa.

    “Governor Opie” was a done political deal in FL Republican circles 20 years ago. I’d like to see that deal undone. Hopefully, it gets done in the primary and doesn’t require accepting Graham’s more liberal daughter sitting in the Governor’s Mansion.

  40. Greg Norton says:

    Just look at Britain’s NHS for the future of Medicare for All. Rationing, delays, shortages of all kinds of supplies, shortage of doctors, day-to-day indifference because the patients aren’t the paying customers. Yah, I’ll be pushing for that, you betcha.

    Progs don’t want a repeat of NHS or the Canadian system which have private pay relief valves. Single payer in this country will ban fee-for-service payments.

  41. Greg Norton says:

    The other problem is that Medicare does not pay any profit, they only pay actuarial costs. So if we go to Medicare for All, the payment rates will need to be raised. For instance, in the Houston area, a doctor visit is reimbursed to the doctor at $22 with no copay. I’ll bet the doctors are lining up for that payment.

    Yeah, right.

    My wife’s job hasn’t been filled in WA State after four years of searching. The clinic fills the gap with Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, and Kroger Pharmacists empowered to prescribe under the clinic’s authority. Vantucky is probably the future of primary care in the US.

  42. nick flandrey says:

    ok, question for the group brain.

    My rec association was burgled this morning. Of course, one of the first things they did was smash the security DVR.

    The drive is a western digital 1tb that probably has some actual physical damage from when they hit the box with a hammer. It spins up, and I’ve got it mounted in windows thru a USB to sata adapter.

    It’s actually formatted as 4 identical FAT32 partitions. ONE of those partitions has this morning’s video on it.

    Problem is….

    using the (cheap chinese, probably linux based) DVR to play back it reboots without playing any video, that’s why I have it mounted on my desktop.

    I can see the drive, partitions and files. I can even copy SOME of the files (some cause the drive to disappear from windows and drop off USB)

    The files are all identically sized and 8.3 filenames with a .DAT extension. I’ve tried renaming as several different video formats, .DAV seems to play in VLC, but without video or audio (player THINKS it’s playing an hour plus long file.) Everything else just fails to load (mp4, avi, mpg, etc)

    Anyone know what the actual file might be?

    Anyone know if I can copy off the partition, repair it or ignore errors, and put it back?

    Anything I can run on the partition that will mark out the bad stuff so the rest will run?

    Anyone heard of DMDE?

    I’d love to nail these little pricks. They hammered up my TV, the rest of the pc’s and stole hundreds in cash, and trashed the place.

    n

  43. SteveF says:

    On the tech side, I have no idea.

    For recovering the files, try contacting the security system vendor. Also contact a couple of police agencies and security companies; even if they don’t know anything themselves they’ll probably have contacts for tech questions.

  44. nightraker says:

    It has been awhile and I am certainly no expert. Sounds like what you want is a hex editor. Sounds like the MFT index and partition information is OK, but random data is kaput. It would be nice to be working with a clone of the relevant partition, so that recovery operations don’t further damage the source.

    or https://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/free-data-recovery-software.htm may be of use.

  45. nightraker says:

    I am no expert but it sounds like you want a hex editor. MFT index and partition info seems ok, but random data is kaput. I’ve had some previous success with:

    Hope it helps.

  46. nightraker says:

    Tried posting links to easeus.com free data recovery software, but is in post limbo or it is too early for me to post links.

  47. JimL says:

    For the DVR – you have had more luck than I had. One of our owners wanted data frozen for a month so I pulled the drive from the DVR & connected to my PC. Our DVR uses a proprietary format and I could NOT get into it. I wound up putting it back in and using the web interface to get 75% of what he wanted. Which they then ignored, pointedly.

    If you open the files in a hex editor, the header of the file should give you some information about the format. “CAFEBABE”, for instance, is the header for .java programs (I believe). It may give you the info you need to open it.

    Here’s hoping you get the bastages.

  48. JimL says:

    Let me second SteveF’s recommendation. I sent a failed drive to Montana to get it recovered. Just a web search on “hard drive recovery”. Several years ago. It may be possible to get all the files back. (If you can see one partition, the partition table should be okay, and they can probably reconstruct.) I believe we spent about $250 for the recovery + shipping.

  49. Ray Thompson says:

    ok, question for the group brain.

    The security system vendor may be using a codec that is not supported by readily available players. A security system of their own forcing you to use their hardware and system, proprietary system. You may have to contact the vendor.

    While of no help now you may want to look into to the Arlo system. The cameras are wireless but do require a controller that can be easily hidden. You also have to have wireless to setup and access the system. Video can be stored on the controller on a thumb drive or external disc drive. You also have the option of storing in Arlo’s cloud. Video can be viewed on the App or online. I was able to pick up three cameras with a controller at Costco for $400.00. The batteries last a very long time and only activate the camera on movement and you can set the hours for when the cameras respond.

  50. Greg Norton says:

    I can see the drive, partitions and files. I can even copy SOME of the files (some cause the drive to disappear from windows and drop off USB)

    The files are all identically sized and 8.3 filenames with a .DAT extension. I’ve tried renaming as several different video formats, .DAV seems to play in VLC, but without video or audio (player THINKS it’s playing an hour plus long file.) Everything else just fails to load (mp4, avi, mpg, etc)

    A rec center is a pretty big target. The local cops don’t have forensics on call?

    If you’ve poked around on the drive using Windows, it is probably too late for some of the evidence, but I would ask law enforcement to step in at this point. Even a public defender will work a tampering angle in any discussion about having amateur forensics thrown out of court.

    If law enforcement isn’t interested in spending the resources, make a copy of the drive using “dd” from a bootable Linux iso and, exploring the copy, see what a newish ffmpeg thinks about the files’ contents. “ffmpeg -i file.vid”.

    You can get ffmpeg for Windows, but I compile from the Git archive regularly.

    I took a Forensics class in my first grad program up north. Doing an analysis that will stand up in court is tedious and time consuming. Lawyers at this point know how to pick apart digital evidence done without checksums and disk images.

  51. Greg Norton says:

    The security system vendor may be using a codec that is not supported by readily available players. A security system of their own forcing you to use their hardware and system, proprietary system. You may have to contact the vendor.

    Inexpensive systems designed overseas will just grab things off the shelf. If anything, the cheap gear probably violates patents and/or licensing.

    “Codec royalties? Licenses? … Security? Bahahahaha. That’s for the Americans selling this cr*p to worry about.”

  52. nick flandrey says:

    Thanks guys.

    No interest in a legally binding chain of evidence. The neighboring business has them on his system (sorta) and it looks like kids. Two of them look like girls in fact. Can’t see faces in his video though.

    The HPD has no interest in investigating property crime. The limit for felony charges is fairly high, iirc, and we wouldn’t hit it.

    We suspect our lifeguard agency kids or the lawn guys, or of course someone associated with them. Our desire is to show it to both supervisors to eliminate it happening again, and probably to leverage any contract renegotiations.

    The HPD didn’t even have any interest in the files when that guy drove by and shot at us.

    This is why people who can afford it, like our HOA, hire the constables to provide policing.

    Technically, the DVR is a chinese generic, branded Zosi. I’ve opened up a variety of these and the only thing different seems to be a splash screen with a “makers” name, and the front panel buttons. No way they’ve bothered to write their own file format.

    The DVR and cams were purchased against my specific recommendation, by the board member responsible for tech support. Now 2 years later, I’m stuck with supporting it. I slapped in a replacement I had laying around, but when I get back I’ll be upgrading with leftover and auction stuff. I’ve got a pallet of older Pelco DVRs if I want proprietary! Inevitably, someone down the road will be cursing my choice (based on what I’ve got free) and cursing my name, then they’ll do the same thing.

    I’ll look at it again when I get back from my trip, and let you know what happens.

    n

  53. Clayton W. says:

    I always voted for Bob Graham in FL, and I generally voted against our RINO Congressman, Adam “Opie” Putnam when we lived outside Tampa.

    He SOUNDS good in his ads, but I don’t know anything about him. Desantis doesn’t sound good. The Democrat candidates are all about the FSA. Whith zero talk about how they will pay for any of their proposals.

    I wish I had a source to research these people. Where do people go to search for info on State and Local politics?

  54. IT_Pro says:

    I did not want a proprietary DVR and its associated difficulties (mostly failures due to aging of the disk, but also theft/vandalism of the DVR itself), so I went with a wireless system (Ring). Some cameras are solar powered, and others require bi-monthly charging. By the time someone destroys a camera, they have already been recorded and uploaded. And all of the wireless technology (cable modem, router, etc.) is on a UPS, so I am covered during a power failure. Of course, someone could cut the Internet connection outside, but I do have cameras there as well, so I should capture some of the criminal activity. I also have the peace of mind while I am away that I can check on things whenever I want.

  55. Nick Flandrey says:

    Yes, this experience is a reinforcement for the cloud storage of at least some video, or storage on a card on the camera (which better cams do.)

    Or secure the DVR where thieves can’t find it.

    This is most likely an inside job. They knew where the dvr was, where the office cam was (the only one they attacked), and where the night drop was. They hopped a fence to get access, and were too weak to carry the safe over the fence.

    I just need pix of the perps to go after the companies involved.

    n

    And initial and ongoing costs were the original driver for cheap. The board wanted cheap and fast, sacrificing ‘good’ in the quality triangle.

    n

  56. Ray Thompson says:

    I also have the peace of mind while I am away that I can check on things whenever I want.

    We had someone stay in our house while we traveled to Europe. I informed them we had video cameras and showed them the location. I cautioned them to not walk around nude during the hours the cameras are active. They forgot I guess. I deleted the videos.

    I was able to view the cameras while overseas and watched them using the pool. I did not tell them I could activate the cameras at any time so I guess that was my bad. Nothing nefarious when using the pool and they were allowed to use the pool while we were gone as one of the benefits of staying at the house.

    The controller for my cameras is hidden and stores all the video on a thumb drive in a standard MPG format and thus easily viewed. Probably would not hold up in court but would be enough to get any cretins in trouble. And most importantly it would be enough to get my insurance settlement without the insurance company claiming I stole my own stuff. Such behavior I would not consider impossible by the slimeball insurance companies.

  57. Greg Norton says:

    The HPD didn’t even have any interest in the files when that guy drove by and shot at us.

    The HPD pension obligation is one of the reasons that Houston is bankrupt. You would think that the service is five star.

  58. Greg Norton says:

    He SOUNDS good in his ads, but I don’t know anything about him. Desantis doesn’t sound good. The Democrat candidates are all about the FSA. Whith zero talk about how they will pay for any of their proposals.

    I wish I had a source to research these people. Where do people go to search for info on State and Local politics?

    If I still lived there, I would vote Desantis in the primary just to get rid of “Opie” once and for all.

    I grew up in FL and lived there for nearly 40 years. After 5-10 years, you get the hang of the place and the politicians. The same faces pop up over and over until they’re dead.

  59. dkreck says:

    @Ray
    I cautioned them to not walk around nude during the hours the cameras are active. They forgot I guess.

    Or remembered.

  60. MrAtoz says:

    I splurged on an upgrade to Arlo Pro 2 cameras. All the indoor cams have AC and the front door and overhead street cam have AC. I bought some long USB cables for all those. I have one cam just on batteries that I float around the back yard.

    I’m in Palm Desert right now and can use the cams fine over LTE. I like the Arlo system and they now have a continuous DVR option you can pay for monthly if you like. Also, motion detection for “people” only.

  61. lynn says:

    The HPD didn’t even have any interest in the files when that guy drove by and shot at us.

    The HPD pension obligation is one of the reasons that Houston is bankrupt. You would think that the service is five star.

    The Houston Police department is understaffed by a factor of two compared to the surrounding towns like Sugar Land. The cops finish one call and have five calls waiting on their car computers. It is insane.

    And yes, the pension obligations of Houston are bat guacco crazy. There are three plans: firefighters, police, and employees. All allow people to retire at 20 years of service starting at age 45 with 90% of pay with automatic COLAs. Insane level of obligations.

  62. Mark W says:

    I can see the drive, partitions and files. I can even copy SOME of the files (some cause the drive to disappear from windows and drop off USB)

    I would use something like Clonezilla to duplicate the disk, that way you won’t have problems with damaged sectors causing disconnects. You’ll have to plug the drive into an internal sata port, or esata. Clonezilla sometimes fails on badly damaged disks. Or send it to a data recovery specialist.

    From there, maybe google can help you with video format conversion, or ffmpeg.

  63. MrAtoz says:

    All allow people to retire at 20 years of service starting at age 45 with 90% of pay with automatic COLAs. Insane level of obligations.

    That is insane. And, unsustainable.

  64. Ed says:

    @lynn: YA books (older YAs and adults)

    Fantasy: The Secrey Country trilogy

    https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Country-Pamela-Dean-ebook/dp/B001QWDRSI/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1533170666&sr=1-9&tag=ttgnet-20

    And the odd but engrossing book with different characters in the same world:

    https://www.amazon.com/Dubious-Hills-Pamela-Dean-ebook/dp/B01CN52CFA/ref=sr_1_10?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1533171169&sr=1-10&tag=ttgnet-20

    And in straight-ahead superhero sci-fi, with a teenaged catholic girl as the protagonist, the wearing the cape series:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004XRCC1G/ref=series_rw_dp_sw?tag=ttgnet-20

    The first few books being the best according to my niece.

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