Sat. Sept. 28, 2019 – sleeping in at least a bit

mid 70s and humid [75F at 8am and all the windows are covered in condensation.]

I’ve got an extra child for a couple hours. Oldest has a friend over. Much squealing ensues.

I’ve got the youngest most of the day while the oldest and my wife attend some Girl Scout event. That’s gonna put a kink in my plans…

Listened to a bit of shortwave last night. Alex Jones looks like a visionary. He’s been up on radio for years, and now that the gulag has deplatformed him, it’s paying off. He still has an outlet, and his fans know where to reach him. If .gov ever tries to shut him down by attacking his US based transmitters, I suppose Cuba wouldn’t mind hosting him. (he doesn’t own the stations, some religious broadcasters do, and fringe religious broadcasters know a bit about the value of independent channels.)

Author Larry Correia and others are starting to finally move off Faceboook, to WeMe. Lots of patriot and freedom supporters moved from Twit to Gab, but Gab then had issues with hosting too. I don’t know their current status. What I do know is that the heady freedom of the interwebs is over for a while. Start considering where you’ll be getting your news, when every page view is sanitized and slanted as it’s being delivered and all the alt media have been shut down. A voice on the radio might be all that is left. (and slow scan TV, and maybe digital formats for textual info.)

Might want to move some radio stuff up your list…

n

37 thoughts on “Sat. Sept. 28, 2019 – sleeping in at least a bit”

  1. Gab found someone willing to host them, and willing to tell people to piss up a rope when they tried to scare him off or get him shut down.
    Gab’s biggest current problem is that they’ve been cut off from most financial services: no paypal (screw them), no patreon (screw them), no credit cards (screw them) and apparently some challenges with just getting a bank account. The only way at the moment to send them money for prime accounts is paper checks sent through the mail.

  2. Hmm, my nvr computer has a popup that win10, April 2018 update ends in November. Restart to install a supported version of windows.

    That sounds a bit ominous, as that machine had been updating all along. I don’t WANT a new os.

    n

  3. Regarding the demise of Fry’s Electronics, I like Microcenter’s expanded inventory.

    Check out this months email deals.

    Raspberry Pi Zero – $5, new cheap filament printers.

    n

  4. If .gov ever tries to shut him down by attacking his US based transmitters, I suppose Cuba wouldn’t mind hosting him.

    Radio Moscow used to have a blowtorch transmitter on 600 AM aimed north to Florida from Havana in the 80s. At night, we could clearly receive the signal in Tampa.

    The programming wasn’t bad if you didn’t mind the propoganda. Lots of 40th anniversary WWII event celebrations throughout the early 80s, and most of the participants were still alive with clear memories.

    Sooner or later, the government will pull the plug on the AM and FM analog radio, swapping the broadcasters existing channels for some kind of digital standard. The simple tech will disappear.

  5. Regarding the demise of Fry’s Electronics, I like Microcenter’s expanded inventory.

    Have you seen something on Fry’s recently?

    I drove by Austin’s Fry’s yesterday around 4:30 PM. Neither the parking lot there or the one at the old HP facility around the corner had very many cars in the spaces.

    (No, work wasn’t happy that I left “early”, but I had a family event.)

  6. I’d better check out my Microcenter. I only went once many years ago to check it out. About 12 miles from here, but twice as far as Fry;s, so I always went to Fry’s. But nothing there anymore. Time to check out Microcenter again.

  7. Apparently, it is illegal to say “illegal alien” to someone if it is said in a hateful manner. Who decides what *hateful* is (BJ Klinton ref).

    Edit: In NYC

  8. Why do authors use services like Facebook? Why should their readers need an account, just to see what the author had to say? Use a frigging website, instead of being dependent on some social media service.

    There are a couple of authors I would follow, if they weren’t on FB. I do follow Sarah Hoyt, Peter Grant, et all – because they have their own web presence.

  9. @Brad

    As an “author” (well, maybe just a ‘writer’), I have a FB page in my author name (“Richard Hellewell Author” ). I use it for posts related to the books I have written. And for promotions about the books. Links in those posts point to the Amazon product page for the book, or my ‘author’ web site.

    For my ‘personal’ life, I have a separate personal FB page.

    I have an ‘author’ domain for information about the books. And a place to sign up for an irregular newsletter. A newsletter signup gets you a free ‘prequel’ short story. Links on the web site direct you to the Amazon product page for the book. I don’t do a ‘blog’ on the author domain.

    You get more interaction (and potential sales) from FB pages. Many successful authors I follow on the ’20BooksTo50K’ FB page (which includes authors making anywhere from 1 figure to 7 figures/year) recommend having a social media presence and an author web site.

    In fact, I have an author web site, and separate web sites/domains for each of the books:

    https://www.RichardHellewell.com
    https://www.TheForgottenWinchester.com
    https://www.LightBlink.com
    https://www.DigitalChoke.com

    Plus, I have done some FB ads for the books. There have been some sales from those FB ads.

    So, IMHO, social media (I only use FB) is an important marketing tool for authors. The web site helps, but more interaction with reader (potential and existing ones) is through the FB site.

  10. Question for Greg and all, I just received my RFID stickers for California’s FasTrak the other day. I had received a breathy notification (on paper via snail mail!) a couple of months ago that FasTrak had taken over my account, and I would soon be entering the new advanced world of tolling. Yup.

    I only use one toll road a few times a year, and it is xx was part of TheTollRoads of Orange County. They have apparently been absorbed into FasTrak. A few years ago TheTollRoads installed license plate readers, which took the place of toll booths. It was a great experience, and saved me two stops, plus the need to have cash handy. I simply signed up for an account and linked it to a credit card. It has worked flawlessly for all that time. I could easily register a temporary rental car, or even pay tolls as a courtesy to someone who gave me a ride (although I never used that last feature.) Now, even though they will still maintain the license plate readers, I am told I must have the RFID sticker, and it must be visible from the outside of my car.

    I did some research, and CA passed a law (or other legal rule) that all toll facilities in the state must use the same tolling ID scheme, and this was the system chosen. Interestingly, the paragraph in the current vehicle code reads that it is required to meet only ONE of several mechanisms to use toll facilities in the state: sufficient cash, a license plate, OR a tolling ID device. There are STILL several kinds of electronic tolling ID devices. So much for standardization. As I used to say in presentations, “The nice thing about standards is that there are so many!”

    Apparently, if I don’t use the sticker, eventually I will be cited for toll evasion. Guess how they will ID me? My license plate!! Wow, just wow.

    I may simply close my account and pay using the five day no-account-holder feature, but that has limits, and may not be practical.

    Can anyone shed more light on this?

  11. Apparently, if I don’t use the sticker, eventually I will be cited for toll evasion. Guess how they will ID me? My license plate!! Wow, just wow.

    Which road are you on occasionally? SR91 is our project.

    I know we install plate cameras on SR91 along with the tag readers and optical vehicle detection systems for ORT (open lanes, no dividers/booths at the toll plazas, full speed). I have no idea what the customer does with the data once it leaves our system since it is above my paygrade, but, yes, in theory we should get a clear front and back image of every vehicle’s license plate. And even though we don’t get 100%, our systems are more reliable than anything else on the market.

    Long story short, if you’re on SR91 and the road authority is threatening to cite you for toll evasion for not having the sticker, get the sticker.

  12. But what about a$$holes with no front plate.

    In TN there is no front plate required on any vehicle. There is also no requirement for a license plate on any boat trailer.

    Color me brown and puckered.

  13. Here in the Austin area, if you don’t have a toll tag they read your plates and send a bill in the mail. With an added “service charge”.

    And they can be sneaky bastards about it too. Coming out of Austin on 183 it’s a matter of missing a left turn and you get dumped on the toll road for a few blocks.

    I sold my Stratus a couple/three years ago. Did the online thing with DPS that I sold it. A few months later I get a toll bill. I don’t even know where…. way off the other side of Pflugerville I think. Got that knocked off.
    Repeat 8 months later.
    Repeat a few months ago…. but this time the car is on a tow trailer.

    Next time I sell a vehicle I’m keeping the plates. [edit] And saving a couple of hours of my life from having to deal with the problem.

  14. Ok, I’m looking at this:
    http://www.dhcpserver.de/cms/

    Not a genius over here. Just saying.

    My take is that I can use a machine called Moa that is always on to do DHCP for my LAN. And turn that feature off on my router. I /think/ the PC’s HOSTS file will be in effect.
    I think I can pull this off without adding a NIC. Hope so.

    I sorta think that I can, on my PC with its set address, set Moa as the default gateway and the DNS server. And have Moa’s HOSTS file in use.

    Only way to know is to try. But later this week…. I don’t want to hear the complaints if I crash the LAN. 🙂

  15. Greg, coming from the north, I take the SR241 toll road from SR91 to a couple of exits short of its southern end near Mission Viejo. It is about 23 miles and 27 minutes. To avoid toll roads, I would have to stay on SR91 to SR22, and then to I5. That would be 39 miles and 58 minutes, so a big deal, and that does not account for traffic which is worse. I remember when the 241 first opened; it was wonderful, no traffic and a much more direct route. It still is free of significant traffic at the times I use it. You probably know what the alternative freeway route traffic is like.

    I am just annoyed that I will have to put another identifying mark on my cars, visible to the general public. I only have license plates, and that WAS sufficient. Giant step backwards.

  16. dkreck, I agree about front license plates, but some background. I have lived in a couple of states that did not require front plates. I always found it amusing what people put on their cars in those states. Cue the hillbilly jokes.

    I just looked it up, and was surprised to find that only 31 states require front plates. Wow, 19 don’t.

    But, there is another side to this. I have owned several cars that either had no provision for a front plate, or some sort of ugly afterthought. One example of no provision are the early VW Beetles; most of us used hose clamps around the top override bar. With some effort, it could look OK, but was very vulnerable. Now, surprisingly, there are many modern cars that have a tacky plastic adapter that is screwed to the front fascia. This includes some really expensive cars, as mentioned in the article. I sympathize with those owners who don’t put on a front plate and run the risk of a ticket. I sympathize even more with owners in states that don’t require front plates, and getting a new car with the tacky plastic thing already installed, with the holes in their expensive fascia. Arrrgh!

    Funny story. Back in the day, dealers used to fasten a dealer insignia to the back of a new car. This usually was the name of the dealer and often the city. Back then, these were fastened with screws. The insignia and screws often rusted and looked awful. Removing them left ugly holes. Well… a friend of my father’s ordered a new car, as was the custom in those days. He had it written into the contract that he would reject the car if there was a dealer insignia. Sure enough, a few weeks later the car arrived. As he inspected it, he noticed that the insignia plate was already mounted. He rejected the car successfully, after threatening a lawsuit. Of course, nowadays most dealers use license plate frames.

    Oh, those license plate frames are often illegal in California, because they block parts of the plate. I know a few people who have been cited. They unsuccessfully argued that the car came that way from the dealer, so it must be legal. Based on what I have heard, it seems CA LEOs are more sensitive to frames than to no front plates. Hmmm.

  17. I am just annoyed that I will have to put another identifying mark on my cars, visible to the general public. I only have license plates, and that WAS sufficient. Giant step backwards.

    Whether it is a step backwards depends on your point of view. Wealthy people put the sticker in a domestic servant’s name and receive discounted tolls, similar to how they get $12/mo. land line service for their fax machines.

    It is harder to register the plates for the 7 series BMW in the gardener’s name. 🙂

    EVs are going to ride for free in the near future. I wouldn’t be surprised if, eventually, they are the only vehicle type allowed to use the express lanes.


  18. EVs are going to ride for free in the near future. I wouldn’t be surprised if, eventually, they are the only vehicle type allowed to use the express lanes.

    I thought I read that some CA lanes have started tolling either EVs or some other kind of trendy vehicle. Maybe not.

    Even though I qualify, I usually avoid the HOV lanes. The amateur traffic engineer in me is scared of traffic going 50 mph right next to traffic stopped. I have seen too many people violate those silly painted lines.

  19. And they can be sneaky bastards about it too.

    Same crap in Florida. Miss a poorly marked turn and you are on a toll road. Poorly marked on purpose to confuse tourists. Then there are the toll road exists with no manned booths. If you don’t have the change there is no choice but to go on through. Thus incurring a penalty in the mail along with the toll charge. Difficult to pay a $0.75 toll with only a $20.00 bill. Instead the charge becomes $3.50 in the mail.

    One trip I paid the toll machine the money. Light did not turn green. Paid again, still no green. Went on through as there was nothing I could do about the broken machine. Thirty days later got a bill in the mail for $5.80 for failing to pay the toll. I contacted the tolling authority and told them what I did. They dismissed the charges.

    Another time I got a bill from Michigan for $28.00 for going through a toll. Toll amount plus penalty. I had not been to Michigan. Careful examination indicated the plate had been misread. I wrote the toll authority back with a picture of my plate. Got a response with an additional $5.00 charge for late fees. Wrote them back again demanding a copy of the picture showing the violation with a clear picture of the plate. Never heard back. I may, by now, be a wanted felon in Michigan.

  20. Get the toll tag. There isn’t usually any charge for the tag or the account, and tolls are usually discounted for tag holders.

    In TX, the transponder got replaced with a sticker. The sticker MUST be adhered to the window glass or it won’t read. One unique sticker per vehicle, and must match the plate you registered with.

    In Illinois they still use transponders and they are easy to move from car to car…

    My feeling is that the toll road should not be concerned which car has the tag, as only one car at a time can use the tag, and be on the road. -so it shouldn’t matter if you share one tag between 2 or 10 cars. Clearly it’s not about paying for usage exclusively. They also are tracking you, hence the match between tag and license plate, and thence on to person.

    n


  21. Of course, nowadays most dealers use license plate frames.

    My experience is they now use adhesive decals. When I bought my truck I specified there would be no dealer advertising. Upon delivery the dealer sticker had been applied. I told the dealer take the decal off or keep the truck. The dealer removed the decal.

    Used car dealers will sometimes used riveted plates with their name. The sleazy dealers with weekly payments that repossess being one day late. Then sell the car again for the same price to another idiot with no credit.

  22. Same crap in Florida. Miss a poorly marked turn and you are on a toll road. Poorly marked on purpose to confuse tourists. Then there are the toll road exists with no manned booths. If you don’t have the change there is no choice but to go on through. Thus incurring a penalty in the mail along with the toll charge. Difficult to pay a $0.75 toll with only a $20.00 bill. Instead the charge becomes $3.50 in the mail.

    Ah, you’ve driven the Osceola Parkway. 🙂

    For the record, we don’t have Florida projects where I work. That state’s toll system is a Conduent dumpster fire.

    Waze will direct you around the toll roads, but you won’t like the alternatives … like the grand tour of Kissimmee necessary to avoid that plaza on the Parkway. Publix sells the SunPass and, IIRC, will refill the account at customer service.

  23. The Aggies beat the Arksawyers for the 8th time in a row. Barely.

    We took an uber there, $16. We took an uber out, got surge priced to $108. Not happy.

  24. Nick, the stickers are free xxx cost me nothing xxx no specific charge to the account. They are NOT keyed to a vehicle. I have three vehicles registered with my account, and received three stickers, with the instructions to just apply them. Yes, each one is unique, and has a human readable serial number in addition to whatever is inside the chip. Of course the first time I use one, the system will also scan my license plate and forever associate the two. Your comment about tracking is well taken. Defense lawyers have already tried to access toll records in court cases to prove time and location, but I have read that they have been unsuccessful.

    There is no discount for using stickers, or for having an account. There are other discounts, but I don’t qualify. The stickers self destruct if they are removed. It is also possible to buy (about $26, I think) a transponder in a plastic case for carpool use. It has a “number of passengers” switch. If present, It overrides the sticker. Complicated.

    Still don’t like having another mark visible on my car. I would prefer something that could be hidden inside and still read. Just me.


  25. We took an uber there, $16. We took an uber out, got surge priced to $108. Not happy.

    Next time try Lyft or Curb.

  26. Our condo switched from garage door opener clickers to a RFID stuck on the left front headlight. It works really well.

  27. NV requires a front plate if the vehicle has a mount or the dealer offers you one. I wasn’t offered one for my Subie, so no front plate. Same with the Caddy Battlewagon.

  28. Next time try Lyft or Curb

    Do they not have surge pricing also ?

    The other issue is that we had to walk about 3 blocks in 100 F to get to the uber pickup site. The uber dropoff was wherever you wanted.

  29. We took an uber there, $16. We took an uber out, got surge priced to $108. Not happy.

    Pickup at Jerry’s World. I doubt the driver saw much of that. Hopefully, you tipped well.

    My sister-in-law drives for Uber, but my wife’s mother pays for the tires, batteries, etc. on the car. I think that’s a common situation.

  30. Of course the first time I use one, the system will also scan my license plate and forever associate the two.

    It depends on the equipment manufacturers, back office operation, and the volume of cars through the plazas on a regular basis.

    With the competition, the authorities consider themselves lucky to get the tag read, and the vehicle images are stored without OCR in case of a billing challenge. Even with our systems, some authorities cut corners with the cameras and the images are not sufficient quality for OCR without any human input, expensive even if farmed out overseas.

    SR91 has good cameras. Ours. Big ol’ boxy things with our logo plastered on the side. The authority didn’t cheap out. Get a sticker for each car.

  31. “My experience is they now use adhesive decals. ”

    Where we bought my wife’s car in TX they offer free weekly car washes at the dealership if you keep the plate holder on the vehicle.

    My dad got something similar from his hometown dealer in Illinois, if he kept a URL sticker for the dealer on the back window.

    They SHOULD compensate you for the advertising.

    -I’ve been caught by the Florida turnpike toll signage too. And I got caught at the exit to my house here on my return from chitcongo the first time. I forgot and went thru the automatic lane, and the thing read my vehicle’s tag or plate. I tried to pay online, but they know the plate was registered to a rental, and wouldn’t accept my online payment. Within a week the rental company hit me for $28 for using their “tolling agreement”. Friggin’ Hertz used to do that all the time too. And in Fl. once you use it, you get charged a per day fee. So you F up going to disney, and get charged every day for the toll service, even though you are parked in a hotel lot. It does max out, but the whole thing is a rip off.

    n

  32. Btw, my cousin showed me how to drive his Tesla using his cell phone standing beside it. Very cool and slightly unnerving.

  33. In NJ, we have the EZPass system for tolls. It works along the east coast. I have used it from NJ to Maine. It is convenient and uses a transponder that is supposed to be mounted inside the vehicle on the windshield. However, they charge $1/month whether it is used or not. And I only use it one month during the summer, so it is annoying to pay $11 extra for the months that I do not use it. It used to offer a discount, but I no longer see it on the electronic statements.
    It is tied to a license plate (at least on issuance). But I have moved it around, depending on which vehicle I use when I go on vacation.


  34. Do they not have surge pricing also ?

    I’m not sure, but is worth checking. Curb is the taxi app, so maybe they have regulations.

  35. Btw, my cousin showed me how to drive his Tesla using his cell phone standing beside it. Very cool and slightly unnerving.

    Most of the new cars sold in this country now are amenable to remote control like that, whether or not the manufacturers make an app available. *That* is unnerving.

    I’ve received recruiting email from at least three major vehicle automation efforts based in the Austin area, led by GM, Siemens, and a third who is still flying stealth.

    I figure in about five years, the fleet will be mostly capable of automation and any car that is not capable of remote control will start to be taxed up the wazoo and/or subjet to “Clash for Clunkers 2.0” to get it off the road. In 10 years, the push for automation of the freeways will start in the US.

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