Thur. April 15, 2021 – normally tax day but not this year

Warm and wet. Like yesterday. Only with more wet. Yesterday was classic Houston weather, in that many areas got no rain, but some got a lot. The clouds and rain seemed to chase me from south east, through downtown, and out to the west. That’s the opposite of our normal weather pattern, but that is actually what the weatherunderground.com map showed- rain blowing in from the Gulf.

Anyway, ran errands. Checked out Habitat ReStore and what used to be called the Sears Outlet looking for scratch and dent fridges. They both had some, but not what I wanted, and for too much money. Sears had some upright freezers in stock too, which was a BIG change from 6 months ago. I did pick up a Leatherman Crunch, new in package, for $2 at Habitat. Score!

My industrial auctioneer pushed me off until Monday for my drop off. They were still too full of other stuff.

I got my payment links sorted out at ebay (they changed the way they handle money, getting in the middle of everything and requiring a linked bank account) so I can receive money from ebay again. The couldn’t make the deposit to my business account work. What a charlie foxtrot. I really dislike their new scheme. Unfortunately I have a ton of stuff that is probably best listed there for a national and international customer pool. Otherwise, I’m over their nonsense and have considered just not selling with them over this change in policy. On top of everything else on my list, I have to move the Facebook Marketplace test exploration up the priority list.

Today should be rainy so I’ll do inside stuff. Lots of that to do.

And then I need to get back to stacking, because it looks like the devolution of our society and standing in the world is accelerating. Russia and China are openly sneering at us and poking us in the chest while saying ‘what are you gonna do about it?’… The leftists in our own government have removed the mask and are pushing their destructive agenda HARD. Certain violent and ignorant sections of our society are feeling their oats and looking to seize the moment. I think there will be a backlash and atrocities that will make South African Apartied look like a kid’s birthday party. I’m quite sure there will be people who decide to proactively start addressing the crime and lawlessness, and it won’t be by marching in the street and ‘demanding’ anything. The only limiting factor will be the high cost of ammo.

And that sort of thing will be disruptive as heII. So get to stacking.

n

72 Comments and discussion on "Thur. April 15, 2021 – normally tax day but not this year"

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    65F and wet this morning.

    Disney entertainment chief says ABC passes on ‘incredibly well-written scripts’ because they don’t meet new diversity standards

    Dana Walden, the chairman of entertainment for Walt Disney Television, recently said ABC passed on ‘some incredibly well-written scripts’
    Walden made the comments during panel discussion titled ‘Women in Focus: Women, Big Tech and the Future of Hollywood’ on April 9
    Last year, ABC called for at least 50% representation of ‘underrepresented groups’ in regular and recurring characters
    Walden admitted that ABC even passed on one show about a white family that would have included a diverse cast of friends and neighbors

    —sounds like the basis for an EEOC lawsuit to me.

    n

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  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Pictured: Black teenager shot and killed by cops during ‘struggle’ in Knoxville school as probe finds wounded officer was NOT hit by bullet fired by 17-year-old’s gun

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9473693/Pictured-Black-teenager-shot-killed-cops-struggle-Knoxville-school.html

    Anthony J. Thompson Jr. was shot dead by police at a Knoxville high school
    A Tennessee police officer who was wounded during the confrontation
    The new report appears to indicate that the officer was shot by police
    Contradicts earlier police reports that the teenager fired at the officer

    –not a white male. Huh.

    n

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  3. Greg Norton says:

    My youngest cousin’s wife developed a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) soon after they got married about ten years ago. They took her off the contraceptive pill immediately but she still has DVT problems. She has a clot catcher in her thigh that they pull out every couple of months as it clogs up. Her dad has DVTs also but she got her first one at 23 or 24. They have her on Coumadin but it is not helping very much.

    Was she a smoker?

    I gotta wonder if that was a factor in the limited number of blood clot cases with the J&J vaccine. Weren’t the first half dozen female?

    Smoking is a huge clotting risk factor with birth control pills. I had a co-worker die who was in her 30s, smoked against doctors’ advice, on the sly behind her husband’s back — “What do *men* know?” tude — and threw a clot one night in her sleep after going back on contracptives once she decided that her husband had ‘enough’ kids from her. No other health problems.

    The crazy thing is the denial, compounded in many cases by tude. My wife will have patients roll in openly talking about their weed consumption — or booze abuse here in Austin — but the moment the subject of cigarettes come up, out comes the evasion. It is their personal right … a legal product … where are the studies … blah blah blah.

  4. SteveF says:

    The Origins of Political Correctness     Bill Lind, 21 years ago. The examples of problematic political correctness are quaint by today’s standards.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    “Walden admitted that ABC even passed on one show about a white family that would have included a diverse cast of friends and neighbors”

    —sounds like the basis for an EEOC lawsuit to me.

    I guess Disney didn’t learn from Michael Eisner passing on “CSI” after having developed the series in house.

    “CSI” may even return at CBS now that “NCIS” is running out of steam.

     

  6. Ray+Thompson says:

    Black teenager shot and killed by cops during ‘struggle’ in Knoxville school

    That section, area of Knoxville is populated by a lot of welfare thugs. The high school in particular is overwhelmingly RGB(0,0,0) thugs. Lot of problems in that area from shootings and other crimes. It is a part of town to be avoided between the hours of 5:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Almost a daily event where someone gets shot or stabbed.

    The mayor of Knoxville is promoting some liberal agenda to try and solve the problem. Of course in her agenda it involves spending lots of money and gun control. Never a mention of the underlying problem, career welfare mother, with eight children by 13 different fathers, who thinks society owes them everything they are too lazy to earn.

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  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    One of the things I have to do this am turns out to be take the daughter for orthodontist appt. She’s getting her lower teeth wired today. So I’m off……

    n

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Anyway, ran errands. Checked out Habitat ReStore and what used to be called the Sears Outlet looking for scratch and dent fridges. They both had some, but not what I wanted, and for too much money. Sears had some upright freezers in stock too, which was a BIG change from 6 months ago. I did pick up a Leatherman Crunch, new in package, for $2 at Habitat. Score!

    Make sure the Leatherman was Made in USA. Their Chinese made products rust in my experience.

    We’ve been looking at dryer replacements in case the repairman declares ours to be hopeless. Doing price comparison online, delivery dates are already into July at Lowes on most mid-low price models, and the Memorial Day silly season hasn’t even hit yet in Austin, when a lot of the real estate buying/selling happens as of late.

    The decline of Sears means no more $350 base model Kenmore fridges where the service plan and ice maker option generates the profit. We still have ours seven years later.

    Another retail area which will have to be relearned.

  9. SteveF says:

    Give them the money. It’ll all be spent in under 3 years and they have to STFU about it forever after cashing the check.

    Your naivete is so cute!

  10. MrAtoz says:

    Your naivete is so cute!

    Yeah, whiners never stop whining.

  11. Nick+Flandrey says:

    Once you pay the danegeld, you’re never rid of the Dane.

    N

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  12. Greg Norton says:

    “Give them the money. It’ll all be spent in under 3 years and they have to STFU about it forever after cashing the check.”

    Your naivete is so cute!

    My grandfather traced his family’s presence in the US to an indentured servant contract in the early 1800s. Most of those arrangements were as bad as slavery if not worse for those on the labor end of the trade. What about my check?

    Quickly looking at the stories, it seems the bill passed doesn’t specify damages but funds a commission to study the appropriate damage amount and draft the formal apology — full employment for race pimps and members of Congress who stand to lose their jobs next year.

    Time to buy stock in what used to be known as FW Woolworth. The stores under that name went away but the retailing company is still around as Foot Locker and the subsidiary chains.

    I like to watch the ‘dead mall’ blogs on YouTube, with Retail Archeology a particular favorite. I always find it interesting that the last stores to go in a mall are GNC, Bath and Body Works, and … Foot Locker! All must be exteremly profitable on a store-by-store basis even on minimal sales.

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  13. Mark W says:

    ABC passes on ‘incredibly well-written scripts’ because they don’t meet new diversity standards

    How to destroy your business.

    I stopped watching Dr Who for that reason. The stories weren’t good any more.

  14. Chad says:

    Quickly looking at the stories, it seems the bill passed doesn’t specify damages but funds a commission to study the appropriate damage amount and draft the formal apology — full employment for race pimps and members of Congress who stand to lose their jobs next year.

    Congressional virtue signaling. It passed and now the reps who voted in favor of it can say they voted in favor of it. It’s one of those things the House passes knowing the Senate won’t. The reps in the House get to pat themselves on the back all the while knowing the bill will never come due because it’s never going to end up on the President’s desk to sign.

    I stopped watching Dr Who for that reason. The stories weren’t good any more.

    Somewhere around episode 800 you run out of fresh stories to tell. 🙂

  15. Mark W says:

    Somewhere around episode 800 you run out of fresh stories to tell. 

    Wikipedia says 862 episodes. I suspect the real problem is woke stories, not interesting stories. Plus the current Dr is not a great actor, and what’s with this modern habit of processing the video to wash out all the colors and make everything dark and bland?

  16. Chad says:

    Wikipedia says 862 episodes. I suspect the real problem is woke stories, not interesting stories. Plus the current Dr is not a great actor, and what’s with this modern habit of processing the video to wash out all the colors and make everything dark and bland?

    I’ve watched the first 2½ series with the 10th doctor (David Tennant). I skipped over all of the old stuff and since the 9th doctor was only around for a single series I skipped him too. I’m a fan so far. I like the companions I’ve seen (Rose, Martha (I totally have a thing for Freema Agyeman), and Donna). I need to get restarted watching more episodes. It’s a fun show to watch. I would have probably got into it years ago but the silliness of parts of it kept me away. I guess I just didn’t “get it” back then.

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  17. lynn says:

    House committee prepares to vote on historic slavery reparations bill that could see 40 million black descendants receive trillions in government payments

    People who never owned slaves paying money to people who were never slaves. Yeah, that’ll work out just fine!

    Lately, I am kind of in favor of this. Give them the money. It’ll all be spent in under 3 years and they have to STFU about it forever after cashing the check.

    No. “CNN paid the Dane Geld and then got attacked by the Dane”
    https://gunfreezone.net/cnn-paid-the-dane-geld-and-then-got-attacked-by-the-dane/

    “Supporting the mob doesn’t protect you from their violence. The mob will take your money and your support, then attack you, and mock you for you suffering.”

    “In the words of Rudyard Kipling:”

    “We never pay anyone Dane-geld,
    No matter how trifling the cost;
    For the end of that game is oppression and shame,
    And the nation that pays it is lost!”

  18. lynn says:

    My youngest cousin’s wife developed a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) soon after they got married about ten years ago. They took her off the contraceptive pill immediately but she still has DVT problems. She has a clot catcher in her thigh that they pull out every couple of months as it clogs up. Her dad has DVTs also but she got her first one at 23 or 24. They have her on Coumadin but it is not helping very much.

    Was she a smoker?

    I gotta wonder if that was a factor in the limited number of blood clot cases with the J&J vaccine. Weren’t the first half dozen female?

    Don’t know, at least not publicly. She developed the DVT about two months after they got married. She wants to get pregnant now but the doctors are telling her she will probably not make it through the pregnancy.

  19. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve watched the first two seasons of the 10th doctor (David Tennant). I skipped over all of the old stuff and since the 9th doctor was only around for a season I skipped him too.

    Christopher Eccleston’s single season is worth the time as is the Christmas special from that year.

    No one knew if the revival would work as well as it did, and that first year back on the air is a little edgier than the subsequent seasons. Plus you really get to understand why fans will still tune in for John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, no matter what the current state of the series.

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  20. lynn says:

    Pictured: Black teenager shot and killed by cops during ‘struggle’ in Knoxville school as probe finds wounded officer was NOT hit by bullet fired by 17-year-old’s gun

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9473693/Pictured-Black-teenager-shot-killed-cops-struggle-Knoxville-school.html

    Anthony J. Thompson Jr. was shot dead by police at a Knoxville high school
    A Tennessee police officer who was wounded during the confrontation
    The new report appears to indicate that the officer was shot by police
    Contradicts earlier police reports that the teenager fired at the officer

    –not a white male. Huh.

    n

    Friendly fire is a thing. The military has spent billions trying to stop it. There is a story going around about our Tanks firing on our Tanks during Desert Storm I. They even made a movie, “Courage Under Fire”, about it.
    https://apnews.com/article/a27293da2a7e7f869c0f309d124583f1
    and
    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0115956/?ref_=tt_urv

  21. lynn says:

    “This is how they will pass door-to-door gun confiscation”
    https://gunfreezone.net/this-is-how-they-will-pass-door-to-door-gun-confiscation/

    “BREAKING: Democrats planning legislation to expand the Supreme Court from 9 to 13 justices – @theintercept”

    “Miguel and I have both written about the HBO movie Conspiracy, about the 1942 Wannsee Conference in which the Nazis planned the final solution.”

    “One of the most striking things about that movie, and the real Wannsee Conference, was just how important it was that everything was grounded in the law.”

    It is just blowing me away how much the dumbrocrats are the Nazis.

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  22. Mark W says:

    Tennant is the best of the modern Drs. Agree on the companions.

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  23. drwilliams says:

    Doctor Who is worth watching from the beginning, if you can find it. The best scripted years were the fourth and fifth (Tom Baker and Peter Davison). Peri was the final companion for Davison, and made Colin Baker still worth watching as John Nathan-Turner started his destruction. By the time Sylvester became the Doctor it was locked in the down spiral.

    Eccleston and good scripts did a brilliant job of resurrection.

    Woke crap is not worth watching.

  24. CowboySlim says:

    WRT curing a Mental Health syndrome, Netflix the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”.

    How did brain electric dosages work?

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  25. Greg Norton says:

    WRT curing a Mental Health syndrome, Netflix the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”.

    How did brain electric dosages work?

    According to my wife, electroshock therapy is NOT like it is shown in “Strange Brew”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsYqPRIMzfM

  26. ech says:

    Years ago I had a cat that developed diabetes at 14.

    My daughter, a vet tech, said that there are two kinds of cats: those that have diabetes and those that will develop it.

     

  27. ech says:

    sounds like the basis for an EEOC lawsuit to me.

    Entertainment is exempt from most EEOC regulations when it comes to casting.

  28. ech says:

    “CSI” may even return at CBS now that “NCIS” is running out of steam.

    Gibbs is going to be a recurring character and not a series regular it appears. He’s got his FU money from the show, no doubt, and his contract is up this year. He supposedly wanted out a while back, figuring they would continue the show without him, but CBS said they would cancel it. He is said to have a limited deal in place if they pick it up next year.

    And, yeah, there is a deal going forward for a revival of CSI.

     

  29. lynn says:

    Pearls Before Swine: Rat The Therapist
    https://www.gocomics.com/pearlsbeforeswine/2021/04/15

    Yup, Rat made a mistake. I am surprised that he does not have a black eye.

  30. MrAtoz says:

    Friendly fire is a thing. The military has spent billions trying to stop it.

    During the 1st Gulf War, Battalion Commanders were ordered not to go to the front lines. An Attack Helicopter Battalion Commander decided he would fly up in an Apache to get his first kill. Fired up one of our troop carriers killing US Soldiers. He was immediately cashiered.

    Famed NFL player Pat Tillman decided to enlist in the Special Forces. Promptly killed on a subsequent combat mission in Afghanistan by friendly fire. The Army f’d up by trying to cover it up.

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  31. mediumwave says:

    “Burn Loot Murder” is so 2020! 🙂

  32. lynn says:

    The decline of Sears means no more $350 base model Kenmore fridges where the service plan and ice maker option generates the profit. We still have ours seven years later.

    I paid $900 (sales tax and haul away the old one) for a freezer top Whirlpool refrigerator last week from Best Buy for the daughter’s kitchenette. It was the only refrigerator they had in stock and ready for delivery before June 27. No ice maker. I figure 6 to 8 years, tops.
    https://www.bestbuy.com/site/whirlpool-19-3-cu-ft-top-freezer-refrigerator-black/8982116.p?skuId=8982116

    And the shelves are solid gorilla glass, no plastic edges and no hold-downs. I am little scared that one of them might break.

  33. lynn says:

    The leftists in our own government have removed the mask and are pushing their destructive agenda HARD. Certain violent and ignorant sections of our society are feeling their oats and looking to seize the moment. I think there will be a backlash and atrocities that will make South African Apartied look like a kid’s birthday party. I’m quite sure there will be people who decide to proactively start addressing the crime and lawlessness, and it won’t be by marching in the street and ‘demanding’ anything. The only limiting factor will be the high cost of ammo.

    If Antifa comes out to the suburbs, they will get shot by the suburb police departments first. Then the homeowners. Maybe not in that order.

  34. lynn says:

    “Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stepping down is ‘a loss for the company’: top analyst”
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-stepping-down-is-a-loss-for-the-company-top-analyst-155405138.html

    “Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos acknowledged Thursday that his new annual letter to shareholders would be his last as CEO.”
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jeff-bezos-final-ceo-shareholder-letter-focuses-on-amazon-employees-132117157.html

    I did not see this coming. And I did not realize that he is 57. I guess he wants to travel the world and play some. Wait, wasn’t he doing that already ?

    “[Read more: Amazon Prime now has 200 million members, jumping 50 million in one year]”

    Wow, that is a big number. I guess that the Amazon programmers are having to use 64 bit integers now.

  35. lynn says:

    Well, the cold front came through Texas last yesterday and dropped the demand by 20%. No more orange ($100/MWH) on the generation cost screen, all blue now ($30/MWH).
    http://www.ercot.com/

    July through September may be interesting on the power generation front in Texas this year. Hard to tell now though.

  36. lynn says:

    “Court tosses out fight over Arctic offshore leasing”
    https://www.ogj.com/general-interest/government/article/14201408/court-tosses-out-fight-over-arctic-offshore-leasing

    “A federal court ruled Apr. 13 that an executive order by President Biden has made a legal fight over Arctic offshore oil and gas leasing moot.”

    Elections matter.

  37. Greg Norton says:

    <i>I paid $900 (sales tax and haul away the old one) for a freezer top Whirlpool refrigerator last week from Best Buy for the daughter’s kitchenette. It was the only refrigerator they had in stock and ready for delivery before June 27. No ice maker. I figure 6 to 8 years, tops.</i>

    That’s the refrigerator that we bought at Sears under the Kenmore badge in 2014 for $400. Inflation. They didn’t even bother with new door handles. I do have plastic-edged glass shelves, however.

    First repair prediction — The fan will go at 3-4 years. Independent repair will run you $125. $30 Made in Thailand part.

    When you get the appliance, pull the cardboard (!) access panel at the bottom rear and check out the drain line/evaporator pan. If the drain line ends in a little pastic gadget for “noise reduction” you will want to remove the plug since the holes will eventually clog, backing up the drain line, causing a big mess in the bottom of the freezer compartment and down into the refrigerator compartment.

    At this point, I could probably keep one of those refrigerators running forever. My wife gripes about the thing, but she doesn’t want to do the leg work to replace it. My rule is no Samsung/LG — the repair guy who came out for the motor said that the Korean manufacturers were 90% of his business where we live when I asked for a recommendation.

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  38. lynn says:

    “Ford Will Offer Hands-Free Driving in Some Vehicles This Year”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/ford-will-offer-hands-free-driving-in-some-vehicles-this-year

    “The BlueCruise technology will be introduced via an over-the-air update for the 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach E.”

    “Ford has confirmed that an over-the-air update pushed to those vehicles will introduce its BlueCruise hands-free highway driving system. It follows development testing covering 500,000 miles with the technology, and what is known as the “Mother of All Road Trips,” which involved 10 test vehicles covering over 110,000 miles through 37 states and five Canadian provinces.”

    “The BlueCruise limited roll out is further limited by the fact you can only use it on prequalified sections of divided highways called Hands-Free Blue Zones, of which there are currently only around 100,000 miles on North American roads. Even so, it’s a big step forward in being able to legally drive without your hands on the wheel.”

    Looks like my 2019 F-150 4×4 is not covered. I’ll bet that they sell a lot of 2021 F-150s to get this.

    The world is rapidly changing. I hope that it does not change too fast.

  39. lynn says:

    I paid $900 (sales tax and haul away the old one) for a freezer top Whirlpool refrigerator last week from Best Buy for the daughter’s kitchenette. It was the only refrigerator they had in stock and ready for delivery before June 27. No ice maker. I figure 6 to 8 years, tops.

    That’s the refrigerator that we bought at Sears under the Kenmore badge in 2014 for $400. Inflation.

    First repair prediction — The fan will go at 3-4 years. Independent repair will run you $125. $30 Made in Thailand part.

    When you get the appliance, pull the cardboard (!) access panel at the bottom rear and check out the drain line/evaporator pan. If the drain line ends in a little pastic gadget for “noise reduction” you will want to remove the plug since the holes will eventually clog, backing up the drain line, causing a big mess in the bottom of the freezer compartment and down into the refrigerator compartment.

    At this point, I could probably keep one of those refrigerators running forever. My wife gripes about the thing, but she doesn’t want to do the leg work to replace it. My rule is no Samsung/LG — the repair guy who came out for the motor said that the Korean manufacturers were 90% of his business where we live.

    We got the fridge a week ago. Runs fine. I ain’t touching it. And now I have to fix or replace the Whirlpool side by side fridge in the kitchen as the water / ice dispenser in the door does not turn off until you beat on on it. The wife put a yellow sticky on it to remind me to fix it. That was a month ago.

    Shoot, I was proud that I fixed the LG clothes washer last month. But that was a crisis as the utility room had 20 gallons of water on the floor. And I got the look.

    And yes, massive inflation has happened and more is coming. Way more is coming. Probably another 100% over the next three or four years. That is why the home sales are up so high, people putting their cash into real estate. I cannot decide if that is smart or not.

  40. Greg Norton says:

    Wow, that is a big number. I guess that the Amazon programmers are having to use 64 bit integers now.

    My last Amazon phone interview asked me to log into a shared whiteboard and write C code to track the top 1000 integers received from an input stream of random 32 bit integers, n*lg(n) processing runtime for n numbers received.

    I thanked the guy for his time and suggested that he go get a coffee and enjoy the hour off. I would vouch that he spent the whole hour with me.

    He said, “You don’t know how to do it?”

    I responded, “I know how to do it, with a fixed size priority queue, but you are asking for a few chapters of CLRS ‘Algorithms’ sample code from memory in an hour. That isn’t happening.”

    I guess they will use 64 bit integers now.

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  41. Greg Norton says:

    And yes, massive inflation has happened and more is coming. Way more is coming. Probably another 100% over the next three or four years. That is why the home sales are up so high, people putting their cash into real estate. I cannot decide if that is smart or not.

    We are in a vicious cycle now. Even a reversion to 6% mortgage rates would be catastrophic to the housing market, but the money printing necessary to support 3-4% mortgages will create inflation that makes maintenance more expensive for the average homebuyer buying big ticket items like roofs, paint, and HVAC systems.

    It will be interesting to see where the breakdown happens. The longer the Fed waits, the worse the fallout will be.

  42. SteveF says:

    “I know how to do it, with a fixed size priority queue, but you are asking for a few chapters of CLRS ‘Algorithms’ sample code from memory in an hour. That isn’t happening.”

    I do much the same, except that I ask the interviewer just what they hope to accomplish with this little test. Any experienced and competent developer would know that the go-to solution is to use an existing library routine or some already-written code. If that doesn’t suit needs for some reason, then look at a bespoke routine.

    An interview discussing the shortcomings of library code and the circumstances in which it might fail would be productive. I don’t recall ever having one of those; if I did, it was ages ago, early in my career. Instead, most interviewers read from a prepared list of questions and seldom ask any questions which show they fully grasp the material. I think I’ve related my “C++ Interview Questions” anecdote here. That’s typical of my experience.

    What I think that many corporate interviewers fail to grasp is that I’m interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing me. And most of them fall short.

  43. RickH says:

    Slightly tempted to sell my house. Bought 7 years ago at $310K. Refinanced last year at 3.3%; owe $330K now (took some cash out with the refinance).

    Comparables in my area are high – about $675K, and the last three houses in the neighborhood sold fast, at or above listing price.

    Maybe I should list my place for $800K. A highball price, and might even get it, with the demand around here and the very low number of available houses.

    But the only place I’d like to move would be NE of Sacramento CA; near the grandkids. Could get a 3+/2+ house on an acre or two for $750K+ (maybe closer to $850K). But high demand and low inventory for that area also. Selling high is nice. But you have to buy high also.

    Main issue is getting this place ready to sell. Would take some effort and at least a month to get it ready to list – mostly because of all the SWMBO’s excess scrapbook stuff cluttering the two upstairs bedrooms. (There’s at least a 25′ tall stack of just scrapbook paper. And lots of other stuff.)  The other issue is finding a doctor that would continue prescribing the heavy-duty opiods for her pain management (interstitial cystitis; a bladder lining infection that basically feels like a full-time UTI – ask your wife about how fun those are).

    And, I’m hitting 70 this year. Not sure I want to do the effort of moving. Or to take care of small acreage place (which I prefer for various reasons).

    With current interest rates and selling at $800K, the monthly payment on a new house would be about the same, maybe slightly higher. Which we could afford. But that assumes that rates stay low (under 3.5%).

    Partly wishful thinking, maybe.

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  44. nick flandrey says:

    I’d consider the medical situation to be prime,  as you will not find anyone willing to prescribe pain meds without going thru the whole routine again to get back to that point.

    That’s what I hear from chronic pain sufferers anyway.

    n

     

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  45. lynn says:

    “Capcom Blames ‘Old VPN Device’ for 2020 Ransomware Attack”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/capcom-blames-old-vpn-device-for-2020-ransomware-attack

    “The ransomware group infiltrated Capcom’s network last year through an older backup VPN device that it was planning to remove, but didn’t due to COVID-19.”

    Man, if you have any way to get into your LAN, they are going to come after you !

  46. RickH says:

    Want to explore space? I found a mention of “Space Engine”, software that lets you explore space.

    I’ve just looked at this place quickly, but this software seems impressive. And only $30.  Nice video demo. Built by one guy in C++.

    http://spaceengine.org/

  47. Greg Norton says:

    An interview discussing the shortcomings of library code and the circumstances in which it might fail would be productive. I don’t recall ever having one of those; if I did, it was ages ago, early in my career. Instead, most interviewers read from a prepared list of questions and seldom ask any questions which show they fully grasp the material. I think I’ve related my “C++ Interview Questions” anecdote here. That’s typical of my experience.

    At the last job, we used to ask interview candidates to write strcpy(). About 95% would fail to handle the destination string termination properly, and the real test was to ask them what they found wrong with their implementation of the routine. Partial credit was given if we told them what was wrong and they fixed the problem without any additional help.

    If someone had a resume heavy on C++, I would ask them to speculate on the speed of the C qsort() vs. std::sort() and why, but that’s as heavy academic as I went.

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  48. Greg Norton says:

    “The ransomware group infiltrated Capcom’s network last year through an older backup VPN device that it was planning to remove, but didn’t due to COVID-19.”

    Man, if you have any way to get into your LAN, they are going to come after you !

    I’m guessing Cisco.

    That’s how hackers breached the network of a fast food company, one of our would-be customers at the Death Star who, after having me spend a month reverse engineering the protocol to change the NTLM password from our implementation of the Cisco client, opted to continue managing their VPN themselves.

    Of course, it didn’t help that the admin account password on the server was “whopper1”.

    Cisco hasn’t done much with their IPSec client in more than a decade.

  49. nick flandrey says:

    Unless it was liars_anonymous or burger king, that’s better than admin:admin…..

    n

  50. Greg Norton says:

    Unless it was liars_anonymous or burger king, that’s better than admin:admin…..

    Oracle’s big default is scott/tiger. Anyone who has been through one of their classes has typed that quite a bit.

    If the VPN device was PPTP-based — not an impossibility — they might as well have not even bothered with a VPN … or a password.

    I can give you secure use cases for PPTP, but that doesn’t include road warriors connecting from home at hotels over WiFi.

  51. Alan says:

    “Ford Will Offer Hands-Free Driving in Some Vehicles This Year”
    https://www.pcmag.com/news/ford-will-offer-hands-free-driving-in-some-vehicles-this-year

    “The BlueCruise technology will be introduced via an over-the-air update for the 2021 F-150 and Mustang Mach E.”

    The article didn’t mention what autonomous driving level this update will provide. I wonder how it will handle 6 inches of unplowed snow on the highway or 30 degree temperatures and stretches of black ice.

  52. RickH says:

    The article didn’t mention what autonomous driving level this update will provide.

    From the article that had the map (here: https://tfltruck.com/2021/04/news-the-2021-ford-f-150-and-mustang-mach-e-get-the-latest-bluecruise-hands-free-driving-tech/ )

    Ford says that BlueCruise is different from GM’s Super Cruise in a way that it communicates with driver. Since this is a ‘Level 2’ semi-autonomous driving system – it must have a robust way to let the driver know when to take over the driving duties. As the system encounters poor visibility, unmapped highways, lack of highway markings, or other adverse conditions – it must quickly and effectively alert the driver and have the driver take over. Ford does it with blue visual and written ques on the center digital gauge cluster. There are also audible alerts.

  53. paul says:

    The “Hands-Free Blue Zone” map:

    Hands free on IH-35 from San Antonio to Dallas? Through Austin? From a bit south of the river to Pflugerville? I really want to know what drugs they are high on.

    And really, if you need your hands for other than steering, just pull over for a couple of minutes and don’t forget to have a paper towel.

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  54. RickH says:

    The article says it’s a “high-level map”. So not as much detail, just a general idea of the roads that have been mapped.

    I suspect areas like you mentioned are not automated for the self-driving.

  55. Greg Norton says:

    The article didn’t mention what autonomous driving level this update will provide. I wonder how it will handle 6 inches of unplowed snow on the highway or 30 degree temperatures and stretches of black ice.

    I doubt it is autonomous as much as automated, coordinated from a central control point or points via 5G wireless built into the truck.

  56. Greg Norton says:

    Hands free on IH-35 from San Antonio to Dallas? Through Austin? From a bit south of the river to Pflugerville? I really want to know what drugs they are high on. 

    Probably depends on day of week and time. Looks like marketing propoganda.

    If the rumors are true, Toyota has a hybrid Tundra coming for the next model year, at a time when the F150 is the #3 selling vehicle in the US, albeit a temporary situation due to the semiconductor supply issue.

    Ford’s unspoken PR line as of late, parroting the trade press, is that the Tundra is “old” tech.

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  57. paul says:

    Probably depends on day of week and time.

    The bars close at 2 AM. Give folks time to get home and sure, 3 AM to almost 6 AM.
    Perhaps from 10 AM to Noon on weekdays.

  58. Chad says:

    Selling high is nice. But you have to buy high also.

    I never understood the upside to a sellers’ or buyers’ market. It usually meant you were getting f_cked on half of your deal. I suppose if it was a buyers’ market and you were a first time home buyer that would be nice. Outside of that, most people have to sell when they buy, so it’s a wash. (unless you’re lucky enough that you’re geographically moving FROM a sellers’ market and INTO a buyers’ market).

  59. RickH says:

    My 2019 Highlander has Lane Departure Sensors. It beeps if I stray too close to the lane markers.

    It also has smart speed control. I can set it to 70 on the highway, and if I come up on a vehicle that is going slower than that, the car automatically brakes to keep a safe following distance. It doesn’t speed back up to the set speed until there is enough room ahead to do so safely.

    The collision control brakes automatically if a car gets in front of me, or if I come up on a vehicle too fast. There is even a warning beep and red light flash on the dashboard to alert me if I get too close. I haven’t tested it on an actual potential collision, but the capabilities are there.

    If I am on cruise control, and take away my hands from the steering wheel too long, I get another warning beep and a message to put my hands back on the wheel. And it slows down my speed.

    It has side-collision alerts, so I get the warning lights in the mirror when a vehicle is in my blind spot.

    I suspect that Ford has similar capabilities for it’s “Blue Drive” mode. I’m guessing that it won’t use a centralized control point, or cellular capability. Just radar detection on the car, along with some ‘smarts’ to keep the car in the proper position in the lane, and far enough away from other vehicles.

  60. MrAtoz says:

    My 2019 Highlander has Lane Departure Sensors. It beeps if I stray too close to the lane markers.

    Very similar to my 2018 Subie Outback. Except for the hands off the wheel warning. Maybe I just haven’t tripped it.

  61. Marcelo says:

    https://www.thurrott.com/cloud/web-browsers/microsoft-edge/249155/microsoft-edge-90-launches-with-password-monitor-more

    Password Monitor. The biggest new feature in this release, Password Monitor notifies you if any of your passwords have been compromised and spotted on the Dark Web. This feature first started rolling out in January, but it’s now generally available to all users, Microsoft notes.

    Based on Chromium so it probably will be deployed to all browsers based on it.

    I assume that all of those that have 1234567 will be annoyed. 🙂

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  62. RickH says:

    The ‘HaveIBeenPowned’ guy has had a password checker for a while. https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords . Enter a password, and see if it’s been in a ‘dump’ (data breech).

    Valid site, has been around for years. Will also monitor your email address to see if it’s been in a ‘dump’. Not a nefarious site.

  63. Greg Norton says:

    The bars close at 2 AM. Give folks time to get home and sure, 3 AM to almost 6 AM.
    Perhaps from 10 AM to Noon on weekdays.

    Ding ding ding ding. We have a winner!

    Official truck of 6th Street.

    The only hitch is that the return to I35, out of the garages, past the Driskill, then turn east on 8th, could be complicated by the roaming homeless. I used to work in the Southwest Bell Tower on the corner.

  64. SteveF says:

    The collision control brakes automatically if a car gets in front of me

    What happens if someone’s tailgating you and someone cuts in ahead of you? That happened to me about a million times when I had to take a busy road at rush hour, and I’ve driven bright-colored minivans for twenty-five years.

    (Not coincidentally, I’ve hauled kids around for twenty-five years. Plus furniture, a dozen moving boxes at a time, in-laws, or a thousand pounds of manure. Minivans are not stylish, nor economical for just taking the driver from here to there, but they sure come in handy at times.)

  65. Ray Thompson says:

    Son was inside the San Antonio airport when the active shooter situation took place. Gunman was shooting from the top of an overpass near highway 281. Then went to the airport entering the wrong direction. Got out of the car and started shooting and was taken out by local police on airport duty. It all happened outside.

    So what is the airport’s response? Why send everyone outside, where the active shooting had taken place. Then make everyone go through screening again. That is stupid. If the incident is outside, people are already passed screening, leave the people in the airport. But rules is rules, regardless of the situation, no thinking allowed.

    The local news and police are praising the response at the airport as all the protocols and procedures worked. Maybe, but next time an active shooter is outside it may not go so well when people are rushed out of the airport.

    Son’s flight was delayed by almost four hours. The cretin who was demised by the police, was known to the police and had mental issues. He was not allowed to have a gun, by law. Amazing how those gun laws work when people bent on destruction get involved.

    Meanwhile look at the person in congress who wants to give every rgb(0,0,0) person free money for being rgb(0,0.0). Regardless of whether they came from slave backgrounds, have never been a slave, nor were their parents, or their grandparents, nor their great grandparents. Only requirement is that they are rgb(0,0,0). That is racist, pure and simple. Giving someone something not available to others based on skin color is racist. But the rgb(0,0,0) congresscritter is too stupid to realize that simple concept. She is just scrambling for the rgb(0,0,0) vote.

    It it were to pass, the money would be gone in a week, with lots of gold watches, gold teeth, hair extensions, lots of new rims, and back on welfare within a month blaming whitey for oppression.

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  66. nick flandrey says:

    You could watch that dynamic play out whenever the big checks hit the rez in AZ in the late 80s.  Truck dealers would line up new pickups on the access road to the rez and they would sell like hotcakes.

    n

    1
  67. Alan says:

    But the only place I’d like to move would be NE of Sacramento CA; near the grandkids.

    @Rick; far from the grandkids now?
    In any csse, moving always sucks.

  68. Alan says:

    Ford has confirmed that an over-the-air update pushed to those vehicles will introduce its BlueCruise hands-free highway driving system. It follows development testing covering 500,000 miles with the technology, and what is known as the “Mother of All Road Trips,” which involved 10 test vehicles covering over 110,000 miles through 37 states and five Canadian provinces.

    Compared to Tesla…

    In February 2020, Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s head of AI and computer vision, stated that: Tesla cars have driven 3 billion miles on Autopilot, of which 1 billion have been driven using Navigate on Autopilot;

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Autopilot

  69. RickH says:

    @Alan;  how far from the grandkids now?

    I’m in WA (Olympic Peninsula). One daughter and her 5 (9 and under) are in Roseville (NE of Sacramento, really just a suburb). That’s a 14 hour drive down I-5.

    Other daughter in UT near Ogden (also 5 kids, but all teenagers now). That’s also about 14 hours (Ii5 to I-84 to I-15).

    But the altitude in UT is why we moved from there (wife’s pulmonary hypertension) – about 4100 feet in UT, vs 100 feet here in WA and CA.

    *If * we were to move, it would be in Placer county lowlands (roughly Auburn or lower). But the pain meds required by wife’s various conditions (oxy and morphine daily) would be an issue. I believe that CA is even more strict with those prescriptions. We luckily have a doctor here that is helpful with prescribing the meds needed.

    Don’t mind the drive to either place, although it makes for a long day. But the smiles on the grandkids when we arrive makes the drive worthwhile. We have not let the cooties stop those visits.

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  70. nick flandrey says:

    Pay someone working from home to oversee the car while it’s driving.  Not quite tele-operated, but supervising to make sure there isn’t a truck where the car thinks there is sky.

    like avatar

    n

    1
  71. Nick Flandrey says:

    Multiple victims after shooting at a FedEx facility near Indianapolis Airport – sparking an enormous police response

    IMPD officers say they found ‘multiple victims at this time’, according to reports
    Sgt. John Perrine, of Indiana State police, tweeted: ‘I-70 is closed in both directions between I-465 and Ronald Regan Pkwy due to police activity’
    Images from the scene show a heavy police presence
    Law enforcement were called to the scene at around 11pm local time

    By Lauren Fruen For Dailymail.com

    Published: 00:08 EDT, 16 April 2021 | Updated: 01:00 EDT, 16 April 2021

    Police are investigating a ‘mass casualty’ shooting at FedEx facility near Indianapolis airport.

    IMPD officers say they found ‘multiple victims’, 13News reports.

    Sgt. John Perrine, of Indiana State police, tweeted: ‘I-70 is closed in both directions between I-465 and Ronald Regan Pkwy due to police activity in the area. Please seek alternate routes.’

    It is not known if the shooter is still active or how many people have been injured. Two eyewitnesses report seeing a man getting a gun from the trunk of his car.

    Images from the scene show a heavy police presence. Initial reports suggest that the shooting took place inside the facility and outside in a parking lot.

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