Thur. June 24, 2021 – simpler is better

By on June 24th, 2021 in open thread, personal, WuFlu

Today the weather should be the same as the last few days. Like yesterday was, until late. Around 10pm there was some distant lightning, and the temp dropped more than 10 degrees F. No rain before I went to bed though.

Went to the Bishop Museum in Bradenton today. Typical small local museum with a planetarium, and this one has two rescue manatee juveniles on display. Some nice displays about ancient Florida and the native people, flora and fauna through the ages. Some artifacts and stuff from the modern development of the area are also on display. We spent between 4 and 5 hours there, and actually I could have spent a bit more. I did go back to watch the manatees for a second time. I was alone with them for 20 minutes, which was pretty cool. Museum was requiring masks, and was handing them out if you didn’t have one. There were not a lot of other people there.

Ice cream and food rounded out the day.

Until I wanted to share my videos with my family by sending them from my Samsung phone to the Samsung smart tv. That USED to be easy and entirely local. Now it’s not. Now it’s all tied up with their grand scheme of one app to rule them all and harvest all the data. Their trust in automagic setup is both unwise and unfounded. NO manual setup exists, so even within the app, and within the restrictions, I STILL couldn’t get it set up to share some pix. Samsung, your Smartthings are DUMB, and your software and design people suck. You owe me 2 hours of my life back.

Simpler is better. Small tools that do one thing well beat out large tools that do LOTS of things poorly, or fail to do any of them at all. That was the whole POINT of apps in the beginning. People have forgotten that, or have been coerced to make changes to better harvest the digital effluvia of their users, so that it might be sold and resold, instead of doing the job the users want done. This is bad.

There are things that demand complexity, that are by their nature complex. Save complexity for those things, and in everything else, look for simplicity. Apply this to everything, from the systems and habits you build your life around, to the scenarios that drive your prepping. Solve the simple things, and you will probably have solved most of the complex along the way.

And stack. Because an empty belly makes everything worse.

nick

71 Comments and discussion on "Thur. June 24, 2021 – simpler is better"

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Now it’s not. Now it’s all tied up with their grand scheme of one app to rule them all and harvest all the data. Their trust in automagic setup is both unwise and unfounded.

    Everything has to go to a central server online these days.

    Part of the reason is data harvesting. The other part is Hot Skillz in “The Cloud”.

    I’m in Ansible and Docker Hot Skillz hell this week due to a sudden course reversal in project philosophy and some prototyping done in secret. One simple change to fix a bug is unbelievably complicated.

    Everyone wants to prototype to learn the Hot Skillz, but no one wants to be responsible for implementation long term.

    And the belief in the “Skunk Works” concept dies hard in product engineering. Even the famed Skunk Works itself eventually failed on a grand, billion-dollar scale with the X-33.

  2. nick+flandrey says:

    Something bad happened in Miami this morning

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/i-heard-screams-massive-search-underway-after-miami-condo-building-collapse

    It looks like the Tower of Terror/ Hollywood Hotel at Disney Studios.

    n

  3. Greg Norton says:

    It looks like the Tower of Terror/ Hollywood Hotel at Disney Studios.

    40 years old. Still, Miami — speced for a harsh marine environment, but someone’s cousin always supplies the concrete.

    The place is too close to the water for a sinkhole.

    Collins Avenue. I wonder how many Venezuelan expats were cooling their heels in that place, waiting for Trump to invade and restore their version of the elite to power. Things that make you say hmmm.

    Not that I think a collapse was some kind of hit job. In Miami, never ascribe to terrorism what can be explained by p*ss poor construction.

    I saw a story yesterday about another extremely thin pedestrian bridge collapsing in DC on 295, similar to the one that collapsed in Miami at FIU in the last few years. Somebody’s cousin probably supplies concrete there too.

  4. JimB says:

    Small tools that do one thing well beat out large tools that do LOTS of things poorly, or fail to do any of them at all.

    That’s why I don’t use multitools. I was given a nice Leatherman model something about 40 years ago. Found it clumsy. It still is in the drawer where I put it. I should give it to someone who might use it, but I don’t know who.

    If it were the only tool I had, it might be useful. I did carry it in a car for some years, and used the pliers part to do something once. I can remember thinking how awkward it was.

    Mostly I do bench work. I have a good assortment of tools handy. I admire contractors who can work using only the tools they carry in a truck, or even on a tool belt. I am not that organized, but I don’t have to be.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    That’s why I don’t use multitools. I was given a nice Leatherman model something about 40 years ago. Found it clumsy. It still is in the drawer where I put it. I should give it to someone who might use it, but I don’t know who.

    Put it on EBay. Someone will want it.

    I was P*SSED when, at first, I couldn’t find my Leatherman in the box of things from my cube I was given after being terminated from the last job. It wasn’t so much the cost as the model no longer being available. The replacement model’s tools seem thin to me.

    Plus the cube cleanout done by the receptionist and IT lackey was illegally done at the direction of the office manager. But I digress.

    The last company was essentially a construction contractor so I used the tool all the time both at the office and our test site. Eventually, I found the Leatherman stuffed inside a bottle cozy swag item at the bottom of the box. Crisis averted.

    I’ve written before about my interview experience at Amazon in 2000, when The Legend of Jeff was still in early drafts, and a piece of the Legend was Bezos fear of being stuck in an Elevator, necessitating him always wearing a Leatherman on his belt. Considering the location of Amazon HQ at the time — the old Veterans’ psych hospital in Seattle — the fear was not unjustified, but I can’t help but believe it was also marketing. Of course all the employees emulated Jeff — Hondas … and Leatherman tools on belts, even the girls.

    Leatherman popularity and diversity of the product line beyond the Supertool seemed to explode after that piece of the Legend hit Wired.

  6. ITGuy1998 says:

    Multitools: I love my Skeletool. Very simple – screwdriver, pliers, knife. I use it at least weekly. Yes, I have lots of other dedicated tools,  but I always have it with me, and does the job in a pinch.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    I wonder how much energy CPS wastes emailing out “how energy efficient” I am compared to the closest 100 neighbors? I’ve been number 10 since I started getting the emails. Do they want me to strive to be number 1 by cutting more energy. My thermostat is set at 73ºF all the time. I run multitudes of computers and devices 24/7. My neighbors must be mining coin!

  8. JimB says:

    …does the job in a pinch.

    Mine pinched me. Not unusual, I get pinched once in a while by carelessness with tools.

    Reminds me of… no, not now. Busy.

  9. Greg Norton says:

    I wonder how much energy CPS wastes emailing out “how energy efficient” I am compared to the closest 100 neighbors? I’ve been number 10 since I started getting the emails. Do they want me to strive to be number 1 by cutting more energy. My thermostat is set at 73ºF all the time. I run multitudes of computers and devices 24/7. My neighbors must be mining coin! 

    How old is your neighborhood? The neighbors’ AC systems might be ancient.

    Mining coin isn’t impossible, however. As I noted previously, the pics I saw of the Miami Bitcoin show made me wonder if most of the attendees took the day off from the day job raiding Dade Target stores for Pokemon cards to tend to their graphics card side hustle. We are at the “cab drivers giving trading tips” stage with crypto currencies.

  10. Mark W says:

    Are you really energy efficient, or does your house just use less than other houses in the same neighborhood? Those aren’t the same thing.

    Mining is a lot harder now that multi-terahash devices exist. With a 240v plug so you can’t charge your ev at the same time lol.

  11. MrAtoz says:

    The neighborhood was built in the mid ’80’s. I’m sure the insolation is shit. I’ve got a heat pump, so maybe save some $$ there.

  12. JimB says:

    I wonder how much energy CPS wastes emailing out “how energy efficient” I am compared to the closest 100 neighbors?

    I also get these from SCE. I have requested paperless, but apparently this only applies to the bill. I tried to email them through their web site, but got frustrated. It’s a small matter.

    A bigger matter happens when I log on to an account where I have had a relationship for a long time. I often get some sort of interruption to “go paperless.” I did that a long time ago. Think about it: they know who I am when they authenticate me in the login process. It would be simple to have some attribute associated with my account to prevent these annoyances. I am sure the brilliant web programmers could do it. They just need that as part of their requirements. PHBs are too busy… right.

    And, tell me why it is more secure to have me reauthenticate my device to log in to an account every three months. OK, probably a little, but another annoyance. Our CU used to have a problem with long (an hour) delays to get the email with the authentication code. I don’t do SMS, so that left the telephone. I usually do this late at night, and my wife is sound asleep. She refuses to turn off the ringer on the phone by the bed, so getting a call is not good. Fortunately, they fixed the email thing, and all is well. But again, tell me why.

    As for frequency of credential changes, I have had an online brokerage account with one of the pioneers of online trading, since about 1990 when they only did automated telephone access. I still have the same user ID and password, and now it works for web access. Know ’em by heart. This situation must be soooo vulnerable. Yet, another brokerage issues a small card with lookup codes for login. They also do a device, but I declined that. I refuse to carry any more stuff, and I might want to access their account while away. Uh, not likely, except in an emergency.

  13. Greg Norton says:

    The neighborhood was built in the mid ’80’s. I’m sure the insolation is shit. I’ve got a heat pump, so maybe save some $$ there. 

    The neighbors are probably still sitting on 30+ year old Trane units. Not impossible.

    Even after one swap out, the systems could be pushing 20 years old. Then, as you pointed out, there is the insulation problem. Throw in windows from the mid 80s.

    The closer you are to the Gulf, the shorter the lifespan of the system. I had one AC system rust apart in less than 10 years in Florida, but the upstairs unit here in Texas is as old as the house — 28 years.

  14. lynn says:

    Something bad happened in Miami this morning

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/i-heard-screams-massive-search-underway-after-miami-condo-building-collapse

    It looks like the Tower of Terror/ Hollywood Hotel at Disney Studios.

    n

    That video of the building collapsing is unnerving. It almost looks planned. First the center portion then one of the corner sections. No way very many people survived that. I also don’t believe that the building(s) only had 51 people in them.
    https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article252324218.html#storylink=bignews_main

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  15. Ray Thompson says:

    And, tell me why it is more secure to have me reauthenticate my device to log in to an account every three months

    When I was a working stiff I did web applications for my organization. If someone forgot their password they could click a link and have the password emailed to them, in plain text. Yes, the passwords were encrypted in the database.

    I had one chap complain about exposing his password in an email as someone could intercept his email and steal his password. I wrote back and said no one is going to be sniffing through hundreds of thousands of emails to find his password. His password was not securing any financial information or sensitive information, it was merely to know who accessed the application.

    He fired back that I should instead be emailing a password recovery link rather than the password as that was more secure. I then asked if someone was stealing his email, they would have the link, and reset the password. What was different than emailing the password? Either way was as good as the other.

    He then got on my case about the passwords not being encrypted in the DB. I said they were. But the system knew the algorithm used to encrypt and could decrypt. He would not back down and said my system was insecure. So I emailed him his encrypted password along with my password. I then challenged him to decrypt my password. He knew his password, he knew the encrypted password, so if he was so smart, decrypt my password. It was impossible for him to accomplish as the decryption key was different for each user and that key was stored in the database in an innocuous field that indicated nothing about a password decryption key. He could never figure out the key for his own password.

    A password should rise to the level of what it is trying to protect. My access to the New York Times does not demand a 12 character password, at least two upper case, at least two numbers, at least two special character, no two consecutive characters, must not contain my name, cannot match more than three characters of my email, and be changed every six months. If someone gets my password to the New York Times I doubt I will suffer any harm nor will the NYT.

  16. Ray Thompson says:

    And, tell me why it is more secure to have me reauthenticate my device to log in to an account every three months

    When I was a working stiff I did web applications for my organization. If someone forgot their password they could click a link and have the password emailed to them, in plain text. Yes, the passwords were encrypted in the database. They needed their user ID and their email address.

    I had one chap complain about exposing his password in an email as someone could intercept his email and steal his password. I wrote back and said no one is going to be sniffing through hundreds of thousands of emails to find his password. His password was not securing any financial information or sensitive information, it was merely to know who accessed the application.

    He fired back that I should instead be emailing a password recovery link rather than the password as that was more secure. I then asked if someone was stealing his email, they would have the link, and reset the password. What was different than emailing the password? Either way was as good as the other.

    He then got on my case about the passwords not being encrypted in the DB. I said they were. But the system knew the algorithm used to encrypt and could decrypt. He would not back down and said my system was insecure. So I emailed him his encrypted password along with my encrypted password. I then challenged him to decrypt my password. He knew his password, he knew his encrypted password, so if he was so smart, decrypt my password. It was impossible for him to accomplish as the decryption key was different for each user and that key was stored in the database in an innocuous field that indicated nothing about a password decryption key. He could never figure out the key for his own password.

    A password should rise to the level of what it is trying to protect. My access to the New York Times does not demand a 12 character password, at least two upper case, at least two numbers, at least two special characters, no two consecutive characters, must not contain my name, cannot match more than three characters of my email, and be changed every six months. If someone gets my password to the New York Times I doubt I will suffer any harm nor will the NYT.

  17. Ray Thompson says:

    Uh-oh. Somehow my post got duplicated.

  18. Ray Thompson says:

    I also don’t believe that the building(s) only had 51 people in them

    Perhaps more like 51 people per apartment.

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  19. Greg Norton says:

    That video of the building collapsing is unnerving. It almost looks planned. First the center portion then one of the corner sections. No way very many people survived that. I also don’t believe that the building(s) only had 51 people in them.

    Snowbird season is over, and a lot of condos get bought as investments.

    What sucks for the long-time residents is that termination of the condominium no longer requires 100% approval of the owners under Florida law. The process is complicated, but some sharp lawyer is going to work the residents and get the property cheap.

  20. Greg Norton says:

    I also don’t believe that the building(s) only had 51 people in them”

    Perhaps more like 51 people per apartment.

    Nah, that’s still desirable real estate. Any waterfront all the way up the coast past the Jupiter Inlet. That’s the kind of place that will pay for DNA testing of the dog poop if someone living there isn’t picking up after their animal.

    I’m not kidding — the St. Petersburg fish wrapper had a story in the last few years about a former IBM exec out of Tampa that now runs the kind of DNA testing service required. All of the results are cataloged in a database he maintains for the condo associations contracting his services.

  21. ~jim says:

    Get this: it’s supposed to hit a high of 105° in Seattle next week. Seattle! Almost makes me want to believe in global warming… Nah.

    I remember a while back you guys (Nick?) were talking about fancy sports tee-shirts which wicked away sweat and provided more evaporation, and hence cooling, than cotton. I don’t even know what to call them. Any tips or recommendations?

  22. RickH says:

    it’s supposed to hit a high of 105° in Seattle next week.

    I’m across from Mutiny Bay WA, and it is forecast to hit 95F here. I’m right on the water (well, about 1/4 mile), so cooler here. But extreme (for this area) highs across all of WA and OR.

    See the excellent Cliff Mass weather blog for a discussion.  https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2021/06/an-historical-heat-wave-with-record.html . His forecasts (usually very good; emphasis added) : https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2021/06/an-historical-heat-wave-with-record.html

    [For Sunday] From Olympia south, temperatures rise to 105F and more, with Portland, reaching 110F– just smashing the previous all-time record of 107F.  Sea Tac gets to 101F.  Above 110F in portions of the Columbia Basin.  But it is the west-side temperature extremes that really are really insane, leading to many stations breaking their all-time records.

    And then there is Monday.  And quite honestly, it is hard to believe my eyes.  Around 105F at SeaTac–breaking the all-time record of 103F.  Around 114F in Portland—7F greater than the previous record.  110F in Olympia and peaking around 115 near Richland.  Folks….this is unparalleled, dangerous meteorological territory.

    Staying inside as much as possible.  Glad I have AC (with the new system) – but many around here don’t. Expect breathless news reports. These temps are going to be brutal for folks around here – a ‘heat wave’ is normally anything above 85F.

    Was in the local WalMart yesterday. They previously had three pallets of floor fans on the last visit. Not many left yesterday.

  23. Alan says:

    That video of the building collapsing is unnerving. It almost looks planned. First the center portion then one of the corner sections. No way very many people survived that. I also don’t believe that the building(s) only had 51 people in them.

    If I heard correctly earlier on the news, 51 was the number of people unaccounted for.

  24. lynn says:

    The neighborhood was built in the mid ’80’s. I’m sure the insolation is shit. I’ve got a heat pump, so maybe save some $$ there.

    The neighbors are probably still sitting on 30+ year old Trane units. Not impossible.

    Even after one swap out, the systems could be pushing 20 years old. Then, as you pointed out, there is the insulation problem. Throw in windows from the mid 80s.

    The closer you are to the Gulf, the shorter the lifespan of the system. I had one AC system rust apart in less than 10 years in Florida, but the upstairs unit here in Texas is as old as the house — 28 years.

    The seals in your upstairs compressor were probably shot a long time ago. That said, that is probably an old reciprocating compressor. They are tougher than the centrifugal but not as tough as the new scroll compressors. What was once a 10 ? 12 ? SEER is probably a 6 SEER now. Your a/c guy should be able to tell you with his gauge set on a nice hot day. Of course, he will look at your 28 year old a/c as he walks to the unit and tell you that it is time.

  25. Greg Norton says:

    The seals in your upstairs compressor were probably shot a long time ago. That said, that is probably an old reciprocating compressor. They are tougher than the centrifugal but not as tough as the new scroll compressors. What was once a 10 ? 12 ? SEER is probably a 6 SEER now. Your a/c guy should be able to tell you with his gauge set on a nice hot day.

    We usually get the annual checks, but not last year during the pandemic.

    Both of the previous owner couple worked from home, and their time in the house started ~ 14 years ago. They may have had pieces replaced. The outside Trane compressor looks older than the one I had installed in Florida in 2000 so I’m assuming the AC is original.

  26. lynn says:

    The seals in your upstairs compressor were probably shot a long time ago. That said, that is probably an old reciprocating compressor. They are tougher than the centrifugal but not as tough as the new scroll compressors. What was once a 10 ? 12 ? SEER is probably a 6 SEER now. Your a/c guy should be able to tell you with his gauge set on a nice hot day.

    We usually get the annual checks, but not last year during the pandemic.

    Both of the previous owner couple worked from home, and their time in the house started ~ 14 years ago. They may have had pieces replaced. The outside Trane compressor looks older than the one I had installed in Florida in 2000 so I’m assuming the AC is original.

    The manufacturing date should be on the outside unit nameplate. And yes, they could have had that compressor replaced already.

    My dual XR12 Trane units installed in 2004 in my office building are on their original compressors and just about everything else except the contactors.

  27. Greg Norton says:

    My dual XR12 Trane units installed in 2004 in my office building are on their original compressors and just about everything else except the contactors. 

    Our circa 2000 Trane was done by the time we left Florida in 2010. The new owners replaced the AC as the first permit-required renovation they did to the house.

    We cross our fingers and hope our luck holds out with the upstairs unit. We moved to Texas beyond broke, and my wife is too nice to make money in private practice so a lot of big ticket maintenance was deferred until just the past few years. Next up is roof and then we’ll have to make a decision about how long we plan to stay in Austin and/or the state after the youngest child graduates.

  28. Greg Norton says:

    [For Sunday] From Olympia south, temperatures rise to 105F and more, with Portland, reaching 110F– just smashing the previous all-time record of 107F. Sea Tac gets to 101F. Above 110F in portions of the Columbia Basin. But it is the west-side temperature extremes that really are really insane, leading to many stations breaking their all-time records.

    Low 100s isn’t unusual for the Portland Metro right after the Solstice. We always made a point of getting out of town for the week of the 4th. Things usually settle back down after mid July, and we never saw an August that wasn’t pleasant.

    I always tell people to avoid visiting WA/OR in August if they’re contemplating the move. The weather isn’t like that for more than six weeks at best.

  29. SteveF says:

    Of course, he will look at your 28 year old a/c as he walks to the unit and tell you that it is time.

    I dropped the plumbing and heating guy I’d used for decades when he tried to rip me off on replacing the entire furnace/air conditioner. All that was needed was a wall-mount thermostat but I’d called him because I was out of town when the idiot tenant (but I repeat myself) broke it. When the contractor told me I needed to replace everything from the basement up, I drove back to town, bought a thermostat, installed it in about 15 minutes, and saved myself $15,000. And never called him again.

  30. SteveF says:

    I always tell people to avoid visiting WA/OR in August if they’re contemplating the move. The weather isn’t like that for more than six weeks at best.

    When is “burning looting mob” season up there? It’s best for prospective residents to see that, too.

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  31. Alan says:

    That video of the building collapsing is unnerving. It almost looks planned. First the center portion then one of the corner sections. No way very many people survived that. I also don’t believe that the building(s) only had 51 people in them.

    If I heard correctly earlier on the news, 51 was the number of people unaccounted for.

    Latest news update said 1 dead, 10 injured and 99 unaccounted for.

  32. RickH says:

    Some interesting side-by-side before-after pix of the condo collapse :

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/interactive-see-after-photos-florida-condo-building-collapse-n1272299 ;

  33. lynn says:

    “Biden Administration Starts Abandoning Israel as They Walk Back Recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli Territory”
    https://thelibertydaily.com/biden-administration-starts-abandoning-israel-as-they-walk-back-recognition-of-golan-heights-as-israeli-territory/

    Biden’s crew is scum.

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  34. lynn says:

    “BREAKING EXCLUSIVE: 73-Year-Old Pastor and Purple Heart Veteran Arrested For Being at Capitol, His Son Also Arrested in Front of 3-Year-Old Daughter (VIDEOS)”
    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/06/breaking-exclusive-73-year-old-pastor-purple-heart-veteran-arrested-capitol-son-also-arrested-front-3-year-old-daughter-videos/

    Stay out of DC, you will be targeted and prosecuted. Even for going in to a federal building to use the bathroom.

    BTW, if I was FBI ““They said that they understand that and that they’re ‘not the bad guys, we’re just here doing what we’re told,’” Staci said.”, I would quit and find another job. There is no honor in this.

    If you have to say that you are not the bad guys, you are the bad guys.

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

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  35. Greg Norton says:

    When is “burning looting mob” season up there? It’s best for prospective residents to see that, too. 

    All year ’round in Portland.

    As I’ve noted before, however, it is confined to a part of downtown that is very small. Skulls get cracked if Antifa ventures beyond the area into neighboring districts.

    Seattle has more fair-weather dirtbags. At the CHAZ, the leader was sporting a $1500 coat in October, but things there disbanded as the weather turned colder.

  36. SteveF says:

    re “most cops are good”, consider this: Let’s say 10% of any police force, whether small city police or the FBI, is actively corrupt, whether planting evidence, taking bribes, or anything else. I think the number is much higher than that, but let’s go with 10%. Of the remaining 90%, all but maybe a few of the rookies know that the 10% are dirty. They might not have proof suitable to get a conviction, but they know it. And they do nothing: they help to cover it up, they mildly chastise Officer Stickyfingers about half of the drug dealers’ cash disappearing, they just look the other way.

    Now look at the oath that the cops swear and the laws concerning corruption and lawbreaking by police.

    Our notional 10% dirty cops is now 95% or so.

    Puts a different picture on it, doesn’t it?

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  37. SteveF says:

    At the CHAZ, the leader was sporting a $1500 coat

    Some years ago, I think during Occupy Wall Street, one fine specimen of activist was shown in a picture with her clothing identified by brand and pricetag. Thousand-dollar boots, several-hundred-dollar blouse, thousand-dollar coat, hundred-dollar sunglasses. Yep, a fine specimen of an activist for the lower-income rabble who can’t speak for themselves.

  38. Greg Norton says:

    Windows 11 requirements drop.

    The need for a 64 bit CPU isn’t nearly as surprising as the Direct X 12 graphics card.

    My GT 240 is history as far as gaming goes, but it is still a stable, reliable card for business apps.

    Even the GT 640 card in my kids’ gaming PC fails to meet the spec, but the GPU hustlers are getting $150 easily for the 2GB DDR3 version. This is a bad time to bump GPU specs; Nvidia is now saying the end of the year before they expect prices to normalize.

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11-specifications

    I’ll bet Microsoft is cribbing the Zen2 tuning from GCC 9/10 for the version of the Visual Studio C++ compiler used to build the OS. Those make a difference at the high end of the AMD range while still allowing backwards compatibility with X86_64 from what we saw building our product at the new job.

  39. Greg Norton says:

    Austin Energy? Again? I’m shocked. Shocked!

    https://www.dailydot.com/debug/hacker-smart-meter-texas-snowstorm/

  40. drwilliams says:

    I bought my Dad one of the original Leatherman tools. I don’t think he ever used it, but it was a neat gift. Mine now.

    After 9/11 I had to clean out my traveling bag. No less than seven prohibited items. The full-sized Leatherman didn’t get much use, but it did do an emergency repair on a hotel sink once, the needlenose were just the right sized for pulling a valve core. Statute of limitations has lapsed, but I’ll tell the story another time.

    I had a Leatherman Micra in the bag, and I do miss traveling with that.

    @Greg Norton

    “I was P*SSED when, at first, I couldn’t find my Leatherman in the box of things from my cube I was given after being terminated from the last job. It wasn’t so much the cost as the model no longer being available. The replacement model’s tools seem thin to me.”

    When I was consulting I left knives at several of my regular clients to avoid the “will the dips at the TSA winkle it out of the checked luggage” question. I one case I gifted the knife to my main contact when the contract didn’t get renewed. It was in his desk , and I knew that he appreciated that particular blade.

    In another case the break was not so amicable, and I asked the secretary that kept the knife for me if she would send it. “Oh, so sorry, it’s not here.” That was a nice Beretta Airlight Seki, and I know the owner took it just to piss me off. Effing low-life–he had admired the knife and I’d gifted him one from my collection.

    ADDED: I should have called his wife and told her that he was banging the secretary, which was an understatement.

  41. drwilliams says:

    @SteveF

    “I dropped the plumbing and heating guy I’d used for decades when he tried to rip me off on replacing the entire furnace/air conditioner. All that was needed was a wall-mount thermostat but I’d called him because I was out of town when the idiot tenant (but I repeat myself) broke it. When the contractor told me I needed to replace everything from the basement up, I drove back to town, bought a thermostat, installed it in about 15 minutes, and saved myself $15,000. And never called him again. ”

    I would have called him one last time and given him the url of the online review I posted.

  42. drwilliams says:

    “Biden Administration Starts Abandoning Israel as They Walk Back Recognition of Golan Heights as Israeli Territory”

    Most of the U.S. Jews will still vote Democrat

  43. drwilliams says:

    @SteveF

    “Puts a different picture on it, doesn’t it? ”

    Exactly.

  44. Greg Norton says:

    ADDED: I should have called his wife and told her that he was banging the secretary, which was an understatement.

    I’ve seen that at every job I’ve had prior to the current gig. Not being a “dude” about the situation at my last job simmered for 2 1/2 years until management finally pushed hard enough and had an excuse to fire me.

    My manager’s manager was on so much T Therapy that his hands shook all the time.

  45. Marcelo says:

    An interesting summary on the new Windows:

    https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-11/252299/microsoft-unveils-windows-11

    Seems mostly positive, including what I expected: free upgrade.

    The biggest problem will be the required TPM 2.0 chip and UEFI. UEFI not so much but TPM 2 will be a deal breaker for a Lot of systems. 🙁

  46. lynn says:

    Another 70,000 MW peak day at ERCOT. Rolled over the peak with 77,000 MW of generation available. Ho hum.
    http://www.ercot.com/

  47. lynn says:

    Ah. One of the Comanche Peak nuclear units was down for the last two weeks due to a main transformer fire. That did not help when we were experiencing 100 F temperatures in south Texas. “Comanche Peak nuclear power plant unit goes back online after nearly two weeks”
    https://www.dallasnews.com/business/energy/2021/06/21/comanche-peak-nuclear-power-plant-unit-goes-back-online-after-nearly-two-weeks/

    “A fire caused one of the plant’s two units to stop operating during a surge in electricity demand.”

    I’ve been inside the CPSES #1 dome in that picture (I do not remember which is #1 and which is #2). In fact, I was in the nuclear reactor room before we loaded fuel. Gave me a nervous stomach with the powered 13 foot diameter steel door ready to swing shut in case of a problem. There are no other doors out of that room.

  48. Greg Norton says:

    The biggest problem will be the required TPM 2.0 chip and UEFI. UEFI not so much but TPM 2 will be a deal breaker for a Lot of systems. 

    I didn’t catch TPM 2 the first time I looked at the specs. I think that means my Q6600 is done.

    As for UEFT, that depends. Go back 10 years and plenty of cheap (and some not-so cheap) motherboards floated around with 32 bit UEFI but 64 bit CPUs.

    When I worked in Seattle briefly, the only board approved by the Air Force for the comm system was 32 bit UEFI. We spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out why the board wouldn’t boot from USB but didn’t have a problem with the same Linux (RHEL 6 – Common Criteria) ISO burned to CD.

  49. lynn says:

    An interesting summary on the new Windows:

    https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-11/252299/microsoft-unveils-windows-11

    Seems mostly positive, including what I expected: free upgrade.

    The biggest problem will be the required TPM 2.0 chip and UEFI. UEFI not so much but TPM 2 will be a deal breaker for a Lot of systems.

    “Windows 11 will be 64-bit only. Here’s one major blocker for some upgraders, though it will be cheered by many: Windows 11 will only be available in 64-bit form on both Intel-style x64 and ARM systems. Windows 10, by contrast, came in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. A moment of silence, please, as technology races forward and leaves the past behind.”

    I’ve been wondering when Microsoft was going to drop 32 bit. Apparently the security in x64 is much better than the security in x86. Windows 11 will still run x86 (Win32) apps though but that handwriting is on the wall also.

    I wonder when we will see a x128 kernel in Windows.

  50. Alan says:

    That’s the kind of place that will pay for DNA testing of the dog poop if someone living there isn’t picking up after their animal.

    So wait, when you move in your pooch has to “deposit” a baseline sample for entry into the database?

  51. lynn says:

    That’s the kind of place that will pay for DNA testing of the dog poop if someone living there isn’t picking up after their animal.

    So wait, when you move in your pooch has to “deposit” a baseline sample for entry into the database?

    I see a business opportunity here.

  52. Alan says:

    Biden’s crew is scum.

    And the free ride continues…

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.com/amp/news/2021/06/24/cdc-extends-eviction-ban-495975

    1
  53. SteveF says:

    That’s the kind of place that will pay for DNA testing of the dog poop if someone living there isn’t picking up after their animal.

    What if the large poop on the neighborhood busybody’s yard is tested and it’s found that it didn’t come from a dog? Asking for a friend.

    4
  54. ech says:

    I wish the Windows 11 check app told you why the PC failed the check.

     

    1
  55. Greg Norton says:

    I’ve been wondering when Microsoft was going to drop 32 bit. Apparently the security in x64 is much better than the security in x86. Windows 11 will still run x86 (Win32) apps though but that handwriting is on the wall also.

    I wonder when we will see a x128 kernel in Windows.

    x86_64 has access to more registers, and, anymore, 4 GB isn’t enough to run Windows 10 comfortably.

    My daughter’s 4 GB max i3 laptop got too wimpy for Win 10 so it is currently my travel machine. Fedora 30+ with zRam is perfectly happy doing anything I would need on the road, but I still run 8 GB disk swap.

    128 bit won’t be needed for a long time. Even Microsoft can’t produce code that bloated, and there are performance/cost considerations with another doubling of integer size.

    Corporate America won’t let Win32 sunset. Ever. Microsoft tried with WinRT.

  56. lynn says:

    128 bit won’t be needed for a long time. Even Microsoft can’t produce code that bloated, and there are performance/cost considerations with another doubling of integer size.

    Think databases. Very, very, very, very big databases.

  57. Marcelo says:

    I wonder when we will see a x128 kernel in Windows.

    About 5 years after Intel releases a mainstream processor that is 128bit…

    64bit is plenty enough and we are finally getting to a stage in which all layers are 64bit with 32 being exceptions.
    I actually took the opportunity of upgrading to 64bit free of charge when I installed the free Windows 10 upgrade.

  58. Marcelo says:

    128 bit won’t be needed for a long time. Even Microsoft can’t produce code that bloated, and there are performance/cost considerations with another doubling of integer size.

    Think databases. Very, very, very, very big databases.

    That is not mainstream and Those are more than likely running on Linux kernels. Even Azure must be running like that.

  59. Greg Norton says:

    About 5 years after Intel releases a mainstream processor that is 128bit…

    Risc V has a provision for 128 bit in its architecture.

    Think databases. Very, very, very, very big databases. 

    Even now, 64 bit has skeptics. IIRC, Linux still supports x32 libraries which allow binaries featuring 32 bit pointers and integers but still provide access to the extended register set of x86_64.

  60. ITGuy1998 says:

    Even Microsoft can’t produce code that bloated

    Even now, I can hear Microsoft saying “hold my beer…”

  61. Marcelo says:

    Sigh.

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2021/06/mass-data-wipe-in-my-book-devices-prompts-warning-from-western-digital/

    From WD:

    We have determined that some My Book Live devices have been compromised by a threat actor. In some cases, this compromise has led to a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device. The My Book Live device received its final firmware update in 2015.

    From a victim:

    “It is very scary and devastating that someone can do factory restore on my drive without any permission granted from the end user,” one user wrote. “I need a remedy to this issue immediately as this is already incurring a great cost to me.”

  62. lynn says:

    The biggest problem will be the required TPM 2.0 chip and UEFI. UEFI not so much but TPM 2 will be a deal breaker for a Lot of systems.

    I didn’t catch TPM 2 the first time I looked at the specs. I think that means my Q6600 is done.

    As for UEFT, that depends. Go back 10 years and plenty of cheap (and some not-so cheap) motherboards floated around with 32 bit UEFI but 64 bit CPUs.

    When I worked in Seattle briefly, the only board approved by the Air Force for the comm system was 32 bit UEFI. We spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out why the board wouldn’t boot from USB but didn’t have a problem with the same Linux (RHEL 6 – Common Criteria) ISO burned to CD.

    I will have to buy a TPM 2.0 for my new MSI motherboard. All it has now is a socket. I have no idea where to buy it.
    https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/TPM-20-Module

  63. nick+flandrey says:

    Back home after a long day of stuff….

    Took an eco- boat tour of the bay and a little bitty island.  Dredged up some sea life for the kids to oogle and touch.  It was nice to be out on the water in the morning.

    Then spent several more hours at the MOTE aquarium.  Not a huge or slick place but good critters.    The three otters stole the show.  We finally left for home when the storm rolled in.  Temps dropped and so did the rain.

    Turned around at home and went out to eat.  Nice seafood place.  Crowded.  Staff in masks, but no one else.   The aquarium had all staff in masks but only about 1 in ten visitors were wearing masks, some of them with quite good quality masks.

    Finally home to do laundry and start on my “honey do” list, which is paying our rent here.  I haven’t caught up on the intarwebs yet.

    WRT wicking shirts, nike makes some I like but a lot of their “heat gear” range isn’t anything but cotton, so I can’t really recommend them.  Their technical stuff works, but the range is confusing.  For price/performance the house brand Magellan at Academy Sports are nice.  If I bought new, I’d buy more of those.  I have Columbia, nike, adidas, and a couple other manfs t shirts, and the main difference is fit- whether you like a tight (compression) fit, snug or slim fit, or full cut/loose fit, and what style collar you like.  A name like Clima-cool, or climalyte should help differentiate from the brands’ normal shirts.

    For polo or golf shirt styles, I like the clima-cool ones, they have more holes in the weave, and they wick.

    n

     

  64. ~jim says:

    WRT wicking shirts… the house brand Magellan at Academy Sports are nice. If I bought new, I’d buy more of those.

    Thanks. At least I now know what to call ’em. Probably ought to stock up on ye olde Townhouse from JC Penny before they go under, too. Their heavyweight cotton t-shirts last forever.

     

  65. nick+flandrey says:

    Ugg, cotton.  It’s flame retardance is it’s only  redeeming quality.

    I still wear cotton pants, and I wear cotton overshirts when flying especially, but breathable and wicking will keep you SO MUCH more comfortable.

    I do still wear cotton flannel pajama bottoms and a cotton tank top to sleep in, but I want them to soak up the sweat…

    The new fabrics won’t stink like the old poly ones did, and they have a silky feel against your skin that is very nice.

    I’ll admit to cotton under pants, but I have high tech wicking ones for days I know I’m getting soaked, like water ride day at Disney, or working in the attic day.

    I wear wool blend socks for their wicking too, year round, only the thickness changes.

    added- switching away from cotton socks changed my life. My feet used to be covered in hard callus, and it would get gummy and white when wet. The wool socks dried my feet, and cushioned them, and I lost most of the callus, and never have the gummy white skin anymore.

    n

  66. Mark W says:

    CPS Energy had a rush hour today and yesterday, with ERCOT in green status. I wonder if they were trying to lower their costs by lowering demand at the most expensive time of day?

  67. ~jim says:

    I wear wool blend socks for their wicking too, year round, only the thickness changes.

    I’ve often wondered about that! I’ll definitely give it go. I freaking love Sir Pendleton worsted wool shirts. Cost a bundle, but last forever. A little Dr Bronner’s and drip dry – no ironing needed.

  68. lynn says:

    CPS Energy had a rush hour today and yesterday, with ERCOT in green status. I wonder if they were trying to lower their costs by lowering demand at the most expensive time of day?

    CPS Energy is bankrupt. They had to borrow a HALF A BILLION dollars to pay their Feb freeze bill. They have no idea how to pay that half a billion dollar loan off. IIRC, their annual income is less than half a billion dollars. Not good.
    https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2021/03/18/sa-city-council-approves-500m-line-of-credit-for-cps-energy-as-part-of-multifaceted-strategic-plan/
    and
    https://sanantonioreport.org/winter-storm-cost-cps-energy/
    “Winter storm could cost CPS Energy $1 billion in fuel and power charges”

    No forward thinking whatsoever. They were flying naked and did not have a clue. Apparently they did not have any fuel or diesel at their power plants so they were at the mercy of the natural gas suppliers. Yes, their power plants can burn fuel oil. Usually they burn natural gas on the spot market, no long term contracts.

    The fat lady has not even started practicing her voice on the Feb freeze in Texas. There is fifty billion dollars in bills floating around out there. I have no idea how much has been paid but I would be surprised if it is half. BTW, the bills are to ERCOT and the natural gas suppliers. And ERCOT owes a lot of money too. This is all going to end up in the bankruptcy court.

  69. Marcelo says:

    I have been wondering about the 4GB requirement for memory in Win11. They could have gone higher…

    I now have a partial understanding about it apart for the fact(?) that it should be a better system and need less memory.

    Higher specs would have killed a lot of Surface Pros. 🙂

    From Surface Pro3 onwards TPM 2.0 is standard and although SP3 was released with BIOS they actually sent a firmware update early on converting that into UEFI.

    Now, if I could find a reliable fix for the attached keyboard. 🙁

  70. Marcelo says:

    I am impressed by Brave’s search. My browser combo is now Vivaldi with Brave search. Give it a try. No fancy groupings by site and things like that (yet) but results are quite different from other engines and, in my case, more useful. Add the no-tracking to that and what is there not to like. 🙂

     

  71. brad says:

    I was given a nice Leatherman model something about 40 years ago. Found it clumsy.

    I agree, they are clumsy. I have mine in my daily backpack, though, because – clumsy or not – they are better than nothing. And I can’t carry around a whole toolbox all the time.

    It probably gets used once a year or so, but on those occasions, it is invaluable.

    required TPM 2.0 chip

    What does that imply? On my current desktop system, any OS has to go through Windows in order to boot. There’s no way to disable secure boot, and apparently only Windows can deal with it. Irritating, given that I almost exclusively use Linux.

    So: what does the requirement for TPM 2.0 imply? What will the actual effects be on the system? Anyone know?

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