Tues. April 9, 2019 – world order continues to shift

59F and saturated. Nice and cool last night, so maybe spring isn’t quite gone yet.

I did manage to pick up 6 bags of soil for the gardens. I think I’ll need at least 6 more.

A quick glance at the headlines shows more and continuing shifts in the world order.

Turkey is moving toward Russia.

“China’s Special Forces To Station In Zimbabwe, Build Secret Underground Base To Protect Natural Resource Claims” — the lender wants to be sure their capital is secure…

Libya is in play again.

The EU is under strain, with Brexit still hanging there.

In the economic sphere, more hedge funds are packing it in. More banks are reporting losses and laying people off. The petrodollar continues to be attacked. Farmers in the American midwest are facing disaster from flooding, which affects the whole world. And borders remain an issues as invaders flood the US and Europe.

Closer to home, Trump broke the rule of law so completely with the bump stock ban, that it is irreparable if allowed to stand. No matter how you feel about bump stocks, the way this happened is so wrong that the long term consequences are terrifying. I’ll get some links below later today explaining why.

Even closer to home, our family lost another of the greatest generation yesterday. Another beloved aunt had a bad fall and couldn’t recover.

I’ve got the next generation to raise, so I better get some breakfast on the table. Hungry kids trump everything.

n

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36 Responses to Tues. April 9, 2019 – world order continues to shift

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Aren’t the Secret Service agents smarter than this?

    He stated that when another agent put Zhang’s thumb drive into his computer, it immediately began to install files, a “very out-of-the-ordinary” event that he had never seen happen before during this kind of analysis. The agent had to immediately stop the analysis to halt any further corruption of his computer, Ivanovich testified.

    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article228963409.html

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Maybe the chinese are more clever?

    Does win10 have autorun still enabled? What about win7? .gov is way behind on OSs….

    n

    (maybe the squinty b@stards prepped his pc to receive the package?)

  3. JimL says:

    I seem to remember a clever package called “U3” (or similar) that installed itself when you first installed the thumb drive, no permission required. Something about declaring itself a CD drive, which bypassed the UAC almost completely. (Almost – because once I found out about it, I found that I could disable even new disk drives from being enabled by default.)

    I HATE U3 drives. It takes strong & potent magic (and a utility from the manufacturer) to flush them.

  4. brad says:

    “Aren’t the Secret Service agents smarter than this?”

    Um, no. I have a cousin who was once married to an agent. I was a college student, probably in my freshman or sophomore year, not even studying computer science. He asked me to break into a computer that had been used for credit card fraud and print out all the transaction and card information I could find.

    It would have been trivially easy for me – being totally unqualified – to damage or destroy the data. There was no disk copy, and I wasn’t clever enough to make one. Anyway, what kind of chain of evidence do you have, after some random college student has hacked at it?

    Also, iirc, he didn’t pay me anything. The glory of interacting with a Secret Service agent was supposed to be sufficient. So, no, SS agents aren’t particularly smart, but they are very full of themselves.

    On the positive side, a couple of years later when he was on the Presidential detail, we got a private tour through the White House. That was cool.

  5. IT_Pro says:

    Still seeing the 500 error, refresh still working:
    Internal Server Error
    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

    Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@ttgnet.com and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

    More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

    Additionally, a 500 Internal Server Error error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

  6. nick flandrey says:

    http://www.michaelzwilliamson.com/blog/index.php?itemid=484

    What Everyone Needs To Know About The Bumpfire Stock Ban
    Dec 20, 201812:05AM

    [language warning]

    There are other more calm articles I could link, but this one sums it up nicely.

    n

  7. JimL says:

    My smarty-pants phone just updated to 9.0 (Pie, I think.) Silly thing turned ON Wifi calling. Why on earth would I want to do that? I’m on Verizon because they have the most availability & dependability where I need it. If I don’t have Verizon, I don’t have much of anything.

    [/rant].

    I do like the phone, and I’ll get used to the changes. But some just don’t make any sense at all.

    52º and sunny right now. Rode my bike to work because the tensioner broke on my engine last night. Parts are on order & I’ll fix it tonight. In the meantime, I’m enjoying the great weather.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Does win10 have autorun still enabled? What about win7? .gov is way behind on OSs….

    Doesn’t matter with USB drives since the OS attempts to install drivers. When in doubt, a USB needs to go to Forensics.

    One of our guys claims it doesn’t matter on Intel machines in general, Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. Isn’t CPU monoculture grand?

    At a minimum, I never plug an unkown USB drive into a Windows box. My new car paperwork came on a Flash drive, and I printed the documents from my nailed-down Linux server.

  9. SteveF says:

    JimL, it’s not that you want wifi calling, it’s that Verizon wants you on wifi calling, to take load off of their towers.

  10. Ray Thompson says:

    Silly thing turned ON Wifi calling. Why on earth would I want to do that?

    It works OK most of the time. I really like it when I travel overseas. I am able to connect to WiFi and use it to call back to the states for no charge. The WiFi calling does not care about country boundaries. My wife would call back to her mother and talk for an hour and not cost us a penny. She was also able to call from Croatia. Basically anywhere there is a WiFi connection including airports overseas.

    WiFi calling also allows people in poor coverage areas that have WiFi to call without issues. Inside some buildings, such as the broadcast studio at my church the cell signal is basically zero. WiFi calling allows me to call without having to leave the room for a signal.

  11. JimL says:

    to be clear – I’m not opposed to Wifi calling. I just don’t like it, and I’m annoyed that it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to turn it back off. I didn’t want it in the first place.

    Now I’m going through the “Bixby Button” heck. They gave us a disable option under Android 8. Under 9 it’s gone again. I hit the silly thing changing the volume. I hates it, precious, I hates it!

  12. SteveF says:

    Rick, regarding yesterday’s question about firearms for deterring 2-legged menaces, I’d go with a 12-gauge. Go with a short barrel for convenience in the brush and to save weight. It’ll still be heavier and clumsier than a pistol, but looking down that big ol’ opening takes the fight right out of almost everyone. I speak from experience, being on the pointing-at side rather than the pointed-at side.

  13. Rick Hellewell says:

    Regarding the 500 errors – again talking to tech support about this. Refresh usually fixes it. But once again into the ‘tech support chat’ black hole..

    Later…

    Today’s tech was better than yesterday. Memory settings are now properly set (verified at my end with a phpinfo(), for those that are interested).

    He also checked the databases to ensure settings were OK.

    Cache-clearing at visitor-side may be needed. Report any further errors…I will also be checking.

    (I hate 500 errors…..)

  14. lynn says:

    Mossburg Shockwave
    https://www.mossberg.com/category/series/590-shockwave/

    Now that the bump stock has been retroactively banned, I wonder when they will ban rifles and shotguns that have been cut down and sold as pistols ?

  15. paul says:

    Rats. I aired the mower tires after strapping the front right to seat the bead. It looked fine a couple of weeks ago.
    Now the right rear leaks. I Slimed it. Too late, the tire has cracked between the tread lugs.

    I looked on eBay. Nothing looked good. If it’s just the tire for sale, don’t show it on a wheel.

    Then Tractor Supply. That’s a jumbled mess.

    I went to our favorite, Big River, and there ya go. $30.37 with sales tax and it is suppose to be here Friday. Same tread as the left rear tire that cost $80 at Tractor Supply a couple of years ago.

  16. lynn says:

    I went to our favorite, Big River, and there ya go. $30.37 with sales tax and it is suppose to be here Friday. Same tread as the left rear tire that cost $80 at Tractor Supply a couple of years ago.

    I am beginning to wonder if Big River uses the old tactic that the first one is free or half off. Then the second one is big money. Make me want to buy several of the item when I buy the first one. Because Big River never forgets when you buy something.

  17. ayj says:

    wifi calling? I guess you a have a discount from your operator, since you are subsidizing them with your wifi
    OTH wifi overseas is simple, but in such case your operator hates it.
    Is exactly the same issue as digitals bills submited, I always said no, unless they share their savings (is not the money, the concept, the even were able to pass a law with that)

    best

  18. Greg Norton says:

    I am beginning to wonder if Big River uses the old tactic that the first one is free or half off. Then the second one is big money. Make me want to buy several of the item when I buy the first one. Because Big River never forgets when you buy something.

    Big River is my last resort vendor for anything.

    I recently had an inexpensive item ($7) arrive damaged, and the only way that they would process the return is through a phone call to their customer service. The online system indicated that the return would not be accepted.

    After some discussion with the phone rep, Big River simply credited the return without requiring the item to be shipped back, but I wonder how long the phone call to customer service will work to get a refund.

    I’ll bet we’ll find out with books as soon as Barnes & Noble’s non-college textbook operations are spun off and eventually liquidated.

    And, no, the item was not marked non-refundable, but it was arguably a collectible (Funko Pop) which are usually not accepted for refund.

  19. lynn says:

    “Amazon’s share of the US e-commerce market is now 49%, or 5% of all retail spend” by Ingrid Lunden@ingridlunden / 9 months ago
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/07/13/amazons-share-of-the-us-e-commerce-market-is-now-49-or-5-of-all-retail-spend/

    “Amazon is set to clear $258.22 billion in US retail sales in 2018, according to eMarketer’s figures, which will work out to 49.1 percent of all online retail spend in the country, and 5 percent of all retail sales.”

    Amazon is the big dog in e-commece but as for the entire retail industry, not so much. But they are still growing.

  20. lynn says:

    “Roku is no longer a neutral platform after today’s Roku OS 9.1 update” by Sarah Perez@sarahintampa / 7 hours ago
    https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/09/roku-is-no-longer-a-neutral-platform-after-todays-roku-os-9-1-update/

    “In the past, Roku seemed to be more of a neutral platform compared with streaming media player rivals like Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV. The company gave everyone else’s content equal footing through its add-on channels and in Roku search, as it had nothing of its own to promote. That’s changing with the rollout of Roku OS 9.1, beginning today. The update adds a feature that automatically plays back The Roku Channel’s movies and TV shows at times; another that better showcases the channel’s free content in genre-focused searches; and one that introduces a new navigation menu with offers for other Roku products.”

    I am ok with this but note that it could easily become an ad supported medium.

  21. paul says:

    And guests could specify when their credentials would expire on that device — a useful feature in particular for Airbnb operators.

    If I were to Airbnb my house, my Roku is going with me. Bring your own Roku.

    Ah, assuming the LAN is up in the first place.

    Nope. Ain’t renting the house to strangers. Ever.

  22. paul says:

    I am beginning to wonder if Big River uses the old tactic that the first one is free or half off.

    Not sure. I delete cookies except for here and FB when FF closes. I can log in and look at stuff on Amazon and it will be in my shopping cart the next time I visit. Server-side cookies? They are doing something that involves my account.

    Anyway. I found the steering wheel puller to get the wheel off of the mower. The axle looks slightly tapered and the end has two flat sides.

    Tomorrow’s little project is to scrub the shaft clean with 1000 grit sandpaper. Top off the tractors and the mower and go to town to re-fill the cans.

    I might go by NAPA for some anti-seize goop to slop on the axle before re-installing the wheel. Then again, I have some blue bearing grease that is suppose to be as good. I forget if the stuff is lithium or moly something. I could go read the label. Maybe tomorrow.

    No excitement with pregnant squirrels today. I call that a “win”.

  23. Ray Thompson says:

    The more I see on the news I am becoming more convinced that the real racists in this country are the black people. Using their skin color to advance their cause, get an advantage, escape legal trouble, etc. seems to be the norm. How about stand on your own merits without using skin color? Everything should be color blind but instead people are cowering in fear when the person pulls the race card. Give it up, it’s time to move on from the ’40’s.

  24. paul says:

    The more I see on the news I am becoming more convinced that the real racists in this country are the black people.

    Agree.

  25. paul says:

    Ray, just a thought….

    With your new mower, maybe pull the wheels and smear anti seize goop on the axles? While it is new.

  26. Ray Thompson says:

    pull the wheels and smear anti seize goop

    The axles and spindles have grease fittings.

  27. Greg Norton says:

    I am ok with this but note that it could easily become an ad supported medium.

    As long as creating a Roku channel remains ridiculously easy and open, I don’t think it is a big deal that they have content of their own.

    Some of the less popular material can be interesting. Shout! Factory had “Capricorn One” a few weeks ago. Among other things, it is OJ’s first movie.

  28. mediumwave says:

    The more I see on the news I am becoming more convinced that the real racists in this country are the black people.

    Not black people per se, but those who are playing racial politics for their own selfish ends, like the race-baiters Sharpton and Farrakhan, and almost every Democrat politician.

  29. nick flandrey says:

    @ paul, I’ve got the remains of a pallet of various lawn tractor and mower tires for sale. I’ve been lazy about listing them…. but you’re sorted now, right?

    I don’t like electronic billing, and I don’t like wifi calling, both on conceptual grounds. I should get a discount. I HATED that xfiniti would share my connection with any random xfiniti customer who wanted to connect to my wifi. I would shut that off, and it would get turned back on…

    class tonight was mounted patrol and K-9 operations. We fed and petted the horses. We didn’t actually see any of the dogs. short class. DUI next week.

    n

  30. nick flandrey says:

    whoops just got the 500 error.

    n

  31. Rick Hellewell says:

    Those pesky 500 errors….they continue, but don’t seem to be as much.

    Looking at the access log files, there is a lot of activity from the ‘Majestic 12’ indexing bot. That might cause a bit of overload on the shared server. (I think.)

    So, I’ve blocked that particular bot via htaccess (below) and the robots.txt file.


    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^.*(ahrefs|semrushbot|mj12bot|dotbot|ccbot).*$ [NC]
    RewriteRule .* - [F,L]

    The above rewrite rule came from this resource: https://studiofreya.com/2018/11/15/how-to-stop-bots-from-crawling-your-website/ – which is fairly recent. They indicate the above user agents are commonly abused. Of course, user agents can be spoofed, but perhaps this will help.

    It’s not guaranteed that the htaccess rule plus the new robots.txt rule will block that particular bot. But it’s another thing to try.

    Still monitoring.

    I also note from the error logs that some plugin code that I wrote will cause future problems. If you use an array item like $myarray[thisitem], that will cause a PHP Warning about an undefined constant. PHP allows you to do that, but future versions (PHP 8?) may cause a more fatal error.

    So you really need to write $myarray["thisitem" to be more syntactically correct. I need to get into that habit, and change some of my plugins (I often do it both ways out of lazyness).

    Noted here for any other PHP people.

    ** Added **

    Hmm….that htaccess mod made things worse. Removed. Urk.

  32. nick flandrey says:

    @rick thanks for trying. I’m sure it was something that changed, external to us.

    And in other news, Cascadian subduction zone has people worried enough to move critical infrastructure, schools, and hospitals. Also this:

    Where you’ll need to RUN to survive a tsunami: Washington state creates ‘walk-time maps’ showing how fast you have to move to get to safety

    Washington state is taking advanced steps to to prepare people for tsunamis
    State has mapped evacuation routes showing how long you have to escape coastal areas if an earthquake hits
    The required speeds range from a ‘slow walk’ at 2.5 mph to a run paced at 6 mph
    So far ‘walk time maps’ are complete for three cities and three towns
    Maps were created to protect people against the kind of tsunami that would be generated by an earthquake on the Cascadia fault, which is about 50 miles off the Washington coast
    Alaska, Oregon and California have their own versions of tsunami preparedness maps, but none of them are quite as detailed as those of Washington

  33. nick flandrey says:

    working again.

    n

  34. brad says:

    Catching up, after a couple of 12-hour days…

    “Mozilla is the only browser platform alternative to Chromium now. I’m not sure that is a good thing for the Internet.”

    Definitely not. Google is already starting to abuse their influence (see AMP). It’s the bad-old-days of Internet Explorer 6 all over again. Only this time, web standards (mainly CSS) have become so complex that it will be nearly impossible for any new competitor to arise.

    – – – – –

    Reparations = money grab by the lazy and undeserving. ‘nuf said.

    Compare US black culture with US asian culture. Both have their roots in poverty, both suffered massive discrimination in the past. But the asian subculture values education and hard work, whereas the black subculture values…well… Let’s just say that the results coming out of the two subcultures are dramatically different. The real source of the problem is obvious, but no one dares say it.

    – – – – –

    Lately, I’ve found Amazon really annoying to use. I want to order several products and have them delivered together in a single package. But it is increasingly hard to tell who is going to ship a product, before you put it in your shopping cart. If every product is from a different third-party reseller, then you get a zillion little packages, each with its own shipping costs. In the end, I had to add stuff to may cart, pretend to check out, and see what came up on the shipping page – what a pain. This is amazon.de; maybe amazon.com is better?

    It seems silly to have to buy stuff in Germany, but there are some really strange price skews. The most notorious are personal hygiene products: deoderant, shower gel, shaving cream, etc.. These are up to three time as expensive in Switzerland as they are just across the border. Weird, but I’d be nuts to buy them locally.

    Groceries: meat and dairy are cheaper in Germany, but staples, vegetables, and other things are the same or cheaper locally. We’ve now gotten in the habit of making a bi-weekly run to Germany to pick up mail-order packages at a receiving service, and to buy meat and dairy. Works out even better, because you can reclaim the German VAT at the border, but (under a generous threshold) you don’t have to pay Swiss VAT.

    – – – – –

    @Rick: Like everyone, I had a few 500 errors, always cleared by a refresh. But today, so far, I haven’t had any problems. Of course, it’s middle of the night in USA-land.

  35. Greg Norton says:

    I also note from the error logs that some plugin code that I wrote will cause future problems. If you use an array item like $myarray[thisitem], that will cause a PHP Warning about an undefined constant. PHP allows you to do that, but future versions (PHP 8?) may cause a more fatal error.

    In the name of improving performance, PHP isn’t as flexible and forgiving as it used to be.

    For a while, HHVM could be rigged as a kind of PHP 5 lint tool and, for one class, I re-created the setup Wayfair used to do a bunch of cleanup on their website, as documented in a paper they released at a conference.

    Sadly, the feature no longer exists in HHVM … or at least not publicly documented, but if you ever want to try it out, I can pull the details. You will need a Ubuntu 14.03 LTS VM to build the last version of HHVM with the syntax validator.

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