Mon. Dec. 27, 2021 – got some billing to do

By on December 27th, 2021 in business, culture, ebay, personal, WuFlu

Last clear and moderate day for a bit, if the forecast is correct. Yesterday was nice, warm and sunny.

Spent the day messing about with computers and looking for answers online. Didn’t find anything that I like. Seems that service providers are building their consumer level stuff to maximize their control and minimize support issues. It makes sense from their point of view, but it imposes artificial limits on people who could make the changes themselves. See some discussion of ATT and Roku and DNS in yesterday’s comments if that bit piqued your interest. It’s getting harder to avoid being involuntarily monetized. Everything you do is of value to someone in the panopticon and there is someone waiting to collect and collate that info, even when it’s incidental to their actual line of business. For that matter, whole new lines of business open up when they start collecting and selling information about you…

Not sure what I’ll do but it looks like I’ll have to mess with my internet setup, and probably install and configure my own router at a minimum. I dislike making changes to my working systems but once I get motivated enough, I’ll bite the bullet and do it. I’m WAY past the point of doing stuff like that just for fun or to learn something. I’ll share so that the effort gets amplified, but unlike JerryP, I don’t do this so you don’t have to.

Speaking of stuff I need to do, I need to bill my client for work and materials to date. I’ll invoice him in email, and he’ll use venmo to pay me electronically. It’ll be instant. I expect that instant peer to peer payments will revolutionize billing and payment, just like email and faxes did for project deliverables. Oh so long ago, you could get a couple of extra days or hours to work by promising to FedEx or messenger some intermediate work product to the client. Email and faxes changed that. The client could say “just email me what you have so far” and review it. Services like venmo are taking all the float out of payments and invoicing. I’m sure that will lead to changes in work and the way work gets financed and paid for, just like email did.

I’ve also got to talk to my other auctioneer about settlement for my two mostly failed auctions. He may not have the cash flow to pay me even the minuscule amount I’m due before the end of the year. I’m actually ok with that if need be. I can put that income in next year with no issues, and he might need it for rent…he’s out of pocket a couple grand on the auction setup. He did me a favor taking my stuff on, and I feel bad about the result. Normally, I’d be first in line with my hand out if I thought there might be payment issues, but the amount is small, and I don’t need it to eat. Better to have a good relationship, than to push hard for a couple of hundred bucks.

Meatspace baby. It’s where we live, and where we’ll die. Good relationships will hopefully make the living better, and put off the dying as long as possible. Stack up some goodwill. I think we’ll need it as much as stacks of stuff.

nick

60 Comments and discussion on "Mon. Dec. 27, 2021 – got some billing to do"

  1. Ray Thompson says:

    install and configure my own router at a minimum

    I have always done my internet in that method. Used to rent the modem but stopped that as soon as consumer owned modems were allowed. And Comcast started charging for modems.

    A separate wireless router was always used. Generally better signal strength and more options. Specifically the ability to use DNS other than the ISP. I try to do as much as possible to keep things under my control. I also don’t want Comcast using my site lookup information. I think they do regardless of DNS used.

    I can also configure a mesh network and get really good WiFi everywhere in the house. I currently have 32 devices connected to my network. Only 10 of them are wired, rest wireless. 

  2. Greg Norton says:

    Not sure what I’ll do but it looks like I’ll have to mess with my internet setup, and probably install and configure my own router at a minimum.

    Make sure that the private address spaces are separate. My guess is that the AT&T router/modem currently issues 10.x addresses. Most home routers default to 192.168.0.x or 192.168.1.x beind the NAT.

    Forwarding ports could get interesting. Get a quality router from ASUS or Linksys, one with a track record of firmware updates.

    When I worked on NetClient at the Death Star, when cable modems started getting popular, the IBM pinheads would buy "$0 after rebate" routers at CompUSA on Black Friday and expect that the hardware would work forwarding the necessary packets without error so both adults could work from home on the IPSec network.

    Even the big home router at the time, Linksys BEFSR41, would lose its NAT mapping from time to time. What saved us from a lot of grief was Microsoft forcing Linsys to fix their NAT or lose the "Certified for XBOX" logo on the box.

    We seriously considered just sending the pinheads a free BEFSR41. Without WiFi, the routers dropped to $40 or so before being discontinued.

  3. ITGuy1998 says:

    Until I got Google Fiber, I always used a Cisco ASA firewall at home (have a small 5505 model). That had to go when I got fiber, as it was an older model that only had 100mbit interfaces. I’ll get another one eventually, or maybe not, who knows.

    I got a Ubiquity EdgeRouter X. Like all UI products, it’s interface is funky, but it does the job and was cheap. Luckily Google’s device has a DMZ option, so that plugs into my router’s external interface. Port forwarding worked fine when I had it enabled. Now I just use OpenVPN to get inside.

  4. MrAtoz says:

    Business travelers. Part of the 20% of the American workforce that actually does something for a living. Chances are they will have weighed the odds and opted to skip the vaccinations.

    That's us. I wasn't going to get clotted, but Kalifornia, tho. Certain school districts made us send them vax certs. Too many goobermint bucks to leave behind.

    Masking sucks. Our last trip up to Bridgeport was interesting. The Super asked if we all were vaxxed without proof and then the masks came off.

  5. MrAtoz says:

    Megabus sounds like a nice option.  I'm glad someone is keeping legitimate bus travel alive.  In Texas, they go Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston. 

    Daughter #2 lives in the Philly area and takes the Mega bus to NYFC all the time. Or used to before WuHootie Cooties hit. She liked it a lot and has taken her kids on it, too.

    3
  6. MrAtoz says:

    Well that’s two hours I won’t get back. I must not be sufficiently geeky. New Mattix movie was ‘meh’. Though I always enjoy NPH. He was less NPH-ee than usual. 
    Keanu seemed a shadow of himself. Nobody seemed all that committed to destroying things or kicking butt. 
    meh. 

    I couldn't agree more. What a hot mess. I'm glad I borrowed it from the innertubes.

    I also borrowed the Resident Evil reboot. Meh, but I think it was truer to the game. It set itself up for a sequel.

    Now, onto the shite. I borrowed "The Fortress" 2021 with Bruce Willis. Damn, is Willis that desperate for money? I don't think he said more than two sentences and just did the Willis pout smirk for two hours. Geez was it bad. And they are already filming a sequel. He has about 5 stinkers out there right now. Even his "Death Wish" reboot kinda stunk.

    Gonna see Spidey today in the movies. The above *borrowing" saved me a lot of money watching shite. Also saw Ghostbusters in the theater and it was worth it.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    Business travelers. Part of the 20% of the American workforce that actually does something for a living. Chances are they will have weighed the odds and opted to skip the vaccinations.

    That's us. I wasn't going to get clotted, but Kalifornia, tho. Certain school districts made us send them vax certs. Too many goobermint bucks to leave behind.

    You and your spouse work for yourselves so the incentive is clear. I was referring to the corporate drones who will be forced to jab to keep getting a mediocre paycheck. A lot more reevaluation of life situations is going to happen if that mandate gets issued.

    I had pretty much decided to tell the last job where they could stick their jab if it had come to that. Fortunately, I lucked out and have a much bigger employer now with a more enlightened policy. No travel.

  8. Robert V Sprowl says:

    I plan to install sheet linoleum in the bathroom of the shop I just built.  The shop has a concrete floor.  I don't want the edge of the linoleum to curl.  I will install base boards but the front of the shower  is only a inch high and won't  support a baseboard. 

    I am uncertain about how to fasten a quarter round molding in front of the shower.  I can't nail to the concrete floor.  Fastening the molding to the edge of the fiberglass shower with screws or nails doesn't seem to be a good idea.  

    Any suggestions?

    Bob

  9. Greg Norton says:

    Now, onto the shite. I borrowed "The Fortress" 2021 with Bruce Willis. Damn, is Willis that desperate for money? I don't think he said more than two sentences and just did the Willis pout smirk for two hours. Geez was it bad. And they are already filming a sequel. He has about 5 stinkers out there right now. Even his "Death Wish" reboot kinda stunk.

    Gonna see Spidey today in the movies. The above *borrowing" saved me a lot of money watching shite. Also saw Ghostbusters in the theater and it was worth it.

    "Spiderman" works, and I'm not a huge fan of any of the film series.

    I didn't think the chase scene would be the most emotionally powerful scene in "Ghostbusters: Afterlife", but it worked on me. I am the dead on center target age demographic for that sequence. About a decade of Amblin was distilled down into that few minutes starting with the kids finding the gunner seat.

    Reitman the Younger saved the family franchise. If you haven't seen "Thank You For Smoking", look for a way to watch it.

    Yeah, Willis is just cashing checks at this point. He needs to find a way to be in Tarantino's last film.

  10. ech says:

    Yeah, Willis is just cashing checks at this point.

    Yeah, he did a series of low budget action films where they got him for a week for $1 million. A family member worked on a film he did before this phase of his career and said he was a real pro and friendly.

    Michael Caine did this for a while. After Jaws 4 came out and universally panned he was asked if he had seen it.
     

    "I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.

    3
  11. Alan says:

    >> I  am uncertain about how to fasten a quarter round molding in front of the shower.  I can't nail to the concrete floor.  Fastening the molding to the edge of the fiberglass shower with screws or nails doesn't seem to be a good idea.   

    Would solid PVC molding secured using construction adhesive work for you? I use Loctite Power Grab. No nails needed.  

  12. ech says:

    The front page of the journal is showing up as "not secure" in both Chrome and Edge. In Chrome, the formatting is all munged, with the sidebar stuff showing up down below everything else.

  13. Nick Flandrey says:

    @bob, glue it in place.  Modern glues are very good, especially with smooth surfaces.  Plain RTV silicone would probably work too and be easily removable.

    I've used a sikaflex product for gluing vehicle bodies together and they don't come undone.  Even the various construction adhesives are very good now, just read the directions and recommended uses for which one to get.

    You might look at sealing the concrete before the floor goes in too.   My glue down engineered wood floor in the house only has defects where the liquid sealer wasn't applied well.

    n

  14. MrAtoz says:

    plugs be at it again:

    Joe Biden takes credit for the economy Donald Trump left him with and pretends that he isn’t tanking the economy now

    I'm sure plugs doesn't even Tweet. Some Millennial ProgLibTurd flunky, tRump, tho.

    3
    1
  15. Greg Norton says:

    Yeah, he did a series of low budget action films where they got him for a week for $1 million. A family member worked on a film he did before this phase of his career and said he was a real pro and friendly.

    My guess is that Willis thought that the sequel to "Unbreakable" would work better than it did.

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    "It's called 'acting'.  you should try it."   Some of them get it and aren't emotionally connected to their roles as if the roles were them…

    The only concern then is if doing too many stinkers devalues your 'brand' too much. 

    Some of them would rather not work if the project isn't perfect (and for some of them it works out.  Some just don't end up working.)   Some of them cheerfully work whenever they can.     There is a very strong desire in Hollywood at all levels to hire the guy who is currently working.    Like the woman who chases married men, they must be desirable as someone has already grabbed them….

    n

  17. Alan says:

    >> Services like venmo are taking all the float out of payments and invoicing. I’m sure that will lead to changes in work and the way work gets financed and paid for, just like email did.

    I think more has to be done about the fraud opportunities with these services before they become ubiquitous in the business arena. If someone hacks into your Venmo-linked account they can transfer out all the available funds and the bank's T&C are not favorable for you to recover your money. 

    2
  18. drwilliams says:

    @Bob

    Before you start, etch to remove any curing membrane. Make sure you etch the lip in front if the shower. Rinse and let it thoroughly dry. 

    Put the sheet goods down with a top-qualty adhesive. 

    For a bathroom, I’d seal the entire perimeter with OSI Quad, treating the edge before the baseboard and then relieving  the back edge to give the bead clearance. The clear Quad is like glass, and I’d use that in front of the shower. 

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Overcast, 77F and 82%RH  this (late)morning. 

    Time to eat something besides Christmas cookies.

    n

  20. Greg Norton says:

    Some of them cheerfully work whenever they can. 

    I saw an interview with Ernest Borgnine for PR with "RED" where he talked about how much he enjoyed working on "Spongebob Squarepants" since his grandchildren watched it and the voice work was easy/fun.

    2
  21. Alan says:

    >> Time to eat something besides Christmas cookies.

    The reason they invented Cookie Crisp cereal. 

    1
  22. SteveF says:

    There is a very strong desire in Hollywood at all levels to hire the guy who is currently working.  Like the woman who chases married men, they must be desirable as someone has already grabbed them….

    The same applies in the programming and engineering fields, from my own experience, and in white collar work generally, from what I hear. If you're employed, you can find a job. If you're currently unemployed, for any reason, it's much more difficult.

    A couple months ago and then about three and a half years ago, I was employed when I started looking for a new gig. Last time, I got three job offers within three weeks. This time, I was very picky and still had three offers in just over a month. Several other times in the years before that, when I was looking for something while unemployed, it took months to get even a nibble. The unemployment could be for any reason, including end of a contract or my employer going out of business; it didn't make any difference in the job hunting.

    It's possible that my attitude was different when looking while employed versus while unemployed, but many others have reported the same as my experience. I think that the attitude difference is on the part of the HR people who serve as the gatekeepers before you get to talk to any tech people.

    And now for the hate speech part of this comment: The behavior of corporate HR or recruiting departments is very similar to that of pre-wall women in the dating pool. Corporate HR and recruiting departments are overwhelmingly made up of women. Hmm…

    3
  23. Jenny says:

    @robert

    we used construction adhesive successfully in similar situations. 
    https://www.liquidnails.com

    @greg

    Ghostbusters Afterlife was great fun. I hadn’t planned on seeing it until you gave it a thumbs up. The chase seen was more powerful than it had any right to be. The ending was very effective as well, I thought. 
     

    I don’t mind seeing the occasional stinker. At this point movies are as much about getting away from responsibility and having a couple of hours where I’m not interrupted by demands of others as they are about being entertained. The theater I frequent has ‘luxury loungers’ with heated seats. Well worth $10 to sit in uninterrupted comfort for 120-140 minutes. 
     

    Working on date night, hoping to see Spider Man. 
     

    Tomorrow afternoon I’m looking forward to Two Set Violin virtual world tour. They’re a pair of classical violinists, they play well, and their comedic schtick surrounds practicing to improve. Sounds dumb, but as a lousy musician (because I fail to practice regularly or with discipline) I find them hysterical. They’re on YouTube. If you play any instrument or have elementary school up musicians, I highly recommend them. 

  24. lynn says:

    "Mutants vs. Mutants (Perry Rhodan #19)" by Clark Darlton, translated by Wendayne Ackerman
       https://www.amazon.com/Mutants-vs-Perry-Rhodan-19/dp/B0006WTFEE/br?tag=ttgnet-20 />

    Book number nineteen of a series of one hundred and twenty-six space opera books in English. The original German books, actually pamphlets, number in the thousands. The English books started with two translated German stories per book and transitioned to one story per book with the sixth book. The German books were written from 1961 to present time, having sold two billion copies and even recently been rebooted. I read the well printed and well bound book published by Ace in 1972 that I had to be very careful with due to age. My copy is a second edition from 1974. I bought an almost complete box of Perry Rhodans a decade or two ago on ebay that I am finally getting to since I lost my original Perry Rhodans in The Great Flood of 1989. In fact, I now own book #1 to book #101, plus the Atlan books.
       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perry_Rhodan

    BTW, this is actually book number 26 of the German Pamphlets. There is a very good explanation of the plot in German on this website of all of the PR books. There is automatic Google translation available for English, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, French, and Portuguese.
       https://www.perrypedia.de/wiki/Duell_der_Mutanten

    In this alternate universe, USSF Major Perry Rhodan and his three fellow astronauts blasted off in a three stage rocket to the Moon in 1971. The first stage of the rocket was chemical, the second and third stages were nuclear. After crashing on the Moon due to a strange radio interference, they discover a massive crashed alien spaceship with an aged male scientist (Khrest), a female commander (Thora), and a crew of 500.

    Perry Rhodan discovered that there is a mutant master who is firmly entrenched on the Earth and has stolen a lot of the New Power technology. But now the New Power's mutants are going after the mutant master and his mutants. Which one will come out of top ?

    One has to remember that this book was written in German in 1962 and translated to English in 1972. Many items that came about in the 1970s and beyond such as cell phones are not reflected in the book. However, commercial aircraft commonly traveling at Mach 3 are not available to the public as talked about in the book. Niels Bohr's saying "Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future" comes to mind.

    Two observations:
    1. The publisher should have put two to four of the translated stories in each book. Having two stories in the first five books worked out well. Just having one story in the book is too short and would never allow the translated books to catch up to the German originals.
    2. Anyone liking Perry Rhodan and wanting a more up to date story should read the totally awesome "Mutineer's Moon" Dahak series of three books by David Weber.
        https://www.amazon.com/Mutineers-Moon-Dahak-David-Weber/dp/0671720856/br?tag=ttgnet-20 />

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (3 reviews)

  25. Greg Norton says:

    Working on date night, hoping to see Spider Man. 

    The Marvel movies aren't my thing, but "Spiderman" worked as entertainment.

    Some of the crowd were really into it at the screening I saw.

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    Have I mentioned how much I hate win10?

    went to new family machine to set the DNS to one of the ad filtering services.

    Found the setting for network stuff, HATE the no border, no title style of the open windows btw, switched to "manual", moved the slider for IPv4, and there is no longer a way to use DHCP for ip but manually set gateway or DNS.

    So I set everything, except what tha heck is "prefix length" instead of subnet mask?

    Google says prefix length is a different way of doing subnet mask and is always denoted "/xx"   so I put "/24" in the field and select save.

    Error.  Check my fields and try again.  NO indication of where the error might be, no example text for the fields. 

    So I try "192.168.1.0/24" as that is supposedly the full and correct way to specify "prefix length".

    Nope, same unhelpful error message.

    So I try just "24"  and that works.

    FFS, would it break the bank to have example text when you completely change the way something is specified?  Or at least honor the rest of the internet's form of specifying it?  And seriously, why do I have to learn a new way to specify the same old thing that Iv'e been doing for decades?

    F Bill Gates.

    n

    3
  27. Greg Norton says:

    I don’t mind seeing the occasional stinker. At this point movies are as much about getting away from responsibility and having a couple of hours where I’m not interrupted by demands of others as they are about being entertained.

    No typing scott/tiger.

    Even though it means staying home, PBS should have David Tennant in “Around the World in 80 Days”. BBC One had the first two episodes last night, but I risked the cable company’s wrath on a torrent of “Death in Paradise” with a return of Danny John-Jules.

    I also have the latest Neal Stephenson book and a new Kindle from my wife for Christmas. I was perfectly content with my 2nd gen Kindle, but then AT&T ended the 3G service for the device, making transfer of the occasional purchased book cumbersome. Progress.

  28. lynn says:

    Over The Hedge: Birds are Spys

        https://www.gocomics.com/overthehedge/2021/12/27

    Nah.  Just some of them.

  29. lynn says:

    Ah yes, the dead week between Christmas and New Years.  Which, has started off with a dead ethernet network outlet in my accountants office.  Lovely, I have no idea how to wire the existing Cat 5e cable to a new phone / ethernet outlet plate.  So, I temporarily have run a 100 foot cat 5e cable across the hallway to her office from the Peplink switch.  Don't trip !

  30. lynn says:

    F Bill Gates.

    Bill Gates has not been involved in the daily operations at Mickeysoft for over two decades.  He was too busy chasing women down the hallways. I would blame Ballmer and the new guy.

    5
  31. lynn says:

    Time to eat something besides Christmas cookies.

    Why ? 

    I finished off a pumpkin pie yesterday.  I started it too in the morning.  Nice and cold from the fridge.

    Diet, what diet ?

  32. lynn says:

    Breaking Cat News: Healthy Cat Food

        https://www.gocomics.com/breaking-cat-news/2021/12/27

    No !!!!!!!!!!!

    2
  33. Greg Norton says:

    Ah yes, the dead week between Christmas and New Years.  Which, has started off with a dead ethernet network outlet in my accountants office.  Lovely, I have no idea how to wire the existing Cat 5e cable to a new phone / ethernet outlet plate.  So, I temporarily have run a 100 foot cat 5e cable across the hallway to her office from the Peplink switch.  Don't trip !

    The ethernet jacks are easy to wire … if you are not partially color blind like I am.

    Color coded to a standard. Home Depot has the faceplates and jacks. The Interwebs have the wiring diagrams. Unlike the plugs, I don’t recall a special tool being required.

  34. MrAtoz says:

    I don’t mind seeing the occasional stinker.

    +1 on this. Sometimes you get more fun dissing a movie with friends and family than the movie itself. I just like dropping cash on a bomb.

  35. JimB says:

    Well, the definition of diet is what we eat. :-p

    1
  36. JimB says:

    Added: there are maintenance diets, bulking diets and, boo: reducing diets, just to name some.

  37. Ray Thompson says:

    Corporate HR and recruiting departments are overwhelmingly made up of women.
     

    Have you looked under their skirts? You might find an outey still waiting on the final transition.

    4
  38. Greg Norton says:

    "Corporate HR and recruiting departments are overwhelmingly made up of women."
     

    Have you looked under their skirts? You might find an outey still waiting on the final transition.

    Skirts? Yoga pants, sports bra, and North Face fleece jacket has been the HR droid uniform going back almost two years. It is practically a cliche at this point, with variations only in brand names.

    The CEO at the previous previous job had an admin assistant who was obviously trans, but you only saw her profile picture on the Zoom calls.

    The profile picture was creepy. You wouldn't want that person around your kids.

    The CEO was shown the door not long after my termination. Losing $146 million on $500 million in FY revenue is a lot bigger problem than pandemic excuses can cover.

  39. SteveF says:

    Have you looked under their skirts?

    No. Eww.

    On the jobs where I actually saw the HR/recruiting people, rather than them simply being voices on the phone, the average age of the non-managers was probably 26. 100% female except that one department head was male. (And he was fired while I worked there, leaving a 100% young, female HR/recruiting department.) I don't remember any who were less than chubby and some qualified as "great big fat person". In their 20s.

  40. lynn says:

    The ethernet jacks are easy to wire … if you are not partially color blind like I am.

    Color coded to a standard. Home Depot has the faceplates and jacks. The Interwebs have the wiring diagrams. Unlike the plugs, I don’t recall a special tool being required.

    Yup, I cannot tell red and green apart.  I have most of the traffic signal lights memorized.

  41. lynn says:

    Well, here is my own little inflation.  The commercial property and liability insurance on my large commercial property went from $7,048 to $9,610 for the annual charge on Dec 23.  The provider cited both inflation and the fact that I have two events in the last three years where they paid me.  A split water heater in 2019 dumped a thousand gallons in my office building and the Texas Freeze last Feb broke a pipe in my small office building.  So, I am not surprised.

    2
  42. lynn says:

    "Why the global chip shortage isn't ending anytime soon"

         https://www.engadget.com/global-chip-shortage-gamers-gpu-console-delays-160008383.html?guccounter=1

    "Expect low stock and high prices to last until 2023 for GPUs, consoles and many other gadgets."

    Well, that sucks.

    And if China invades Taiwan, expect those to become unobtanium.

  43. Chad says:

    RE: Bruce Willis

    I spent some time one evening watching various YouTube vids on "Has Bruce Willis just given up?" and the like. Seems the consensus is that he hasn't done anything worthwhile since maybe Looper in 2012.

    I wonder why he is cashing it in so hard? Perhaps he has some ridiculously expensive lifestyle. You know, instead of "steak and eggs" he has "A5 Wagyu and Quail Eggs" for breakfast every morning. lol

  44. Nick Flandrey says:

    Crazy wife and kids need a lot of expensive therapy…

    n

    1
  45. Nick Flandrey says:

    I've been going thru files on my pc, doing some organizing.  oi vey.

    Found a bunch of dupes to get rid of, and did.

    Still need to sort out radio and hobby stuff.

    n

  46. Greg Norton says:

    “I spent some time one evening watching various YouTube vids on “Has Bruce Willis just given up?” and the like. Seems the consensus is that he hasn’t done anything worthwhile since maybe Looper in 2012.”

    To be fair to Willis, like other aspects of the economy, movies have not been “normal” in a decade.

    My guess is that he thought “RED 2” and the Shyamalan movies would work.

    At this point, he might as well get paid.

  47. lynn says:

    RE: Bruce Willis

    I spent some time one evening watching various YouTube vids on "Has Bruce Willis just given up?" and the like. Seems the consensus is that he hasn't done anything worthwhile since maybe Looper in 2012.

    I wonder why he is cashing it in so hard? Perhaps he has some ridiculously expensive lifestyle. You know, instead of "steak and eggs" he has "A5 Wagyu and Quail Eggs" for breakfast every morning. lol

    Five daughters.  One ex-wife.  One current wife.  Lives in California. Need I say more ?

  48. Greg Norton says:

    And if China invades Taiwan, expect those to become unobtanium.

    TSMC has other fabs. We lived around the corner from one in Vantucky that supposedly made chips for Nintendo and Sony. Expansion, for now, is limited by water rights, but that is an artificial restriction inflicted by the state and local governments.

    The Japanese game console makers are playing to the You Aint Got No Ice Cream crowd in the US. The old model used to rapidly decrease the price of the console to sell more software, but when the console itself is a fetish item, who needs to write any code?

  49. Alan says:

    >> TSMC has other fabs. We lived around the corner from one in Vantucky that supposedly made chips for Nintendo and Sony. Expansion, for now, is limited by water rights, but that is an artificial restriction inflicted by the state and local governments.

    My son lives near the new TSMC fab under construction in Phoenix. Good idea building a water-intensive plant in the desert.

    Drove by a few weeks ago, and in addition to the 200 foot mega crane I counted 17 more cranes spread out across the site. And hundreds of new home being built nearby.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/16/tsmc-taiwanese-chipmaker-ramping-production-to-end-chip-shortage.html

  50. SteveF says:

    Good idea building a water-intensive plant in the desert.

    It does seem rather dubious. The water isn't destroyed, of course. I suppose it could be purified (that is, purified again; city water has to be very expensively purified before it's used in the plant) and then released back into the water flow. I'd think that would be expensive for energy and/or filters and catalysts but I'm not really sure. Someone could have come up with a clever method for not leaving various elements in the outflow water.

  51. Nick Flandrey says:

    Phoenix doesn't care about water intensive processes.   They grow COTTON there.

    n

    2
  52. drwilliams says:

    Phoenix, Las Vegas and the rest of the western good-time-charlies are blowing their populations up on fossil water and anticipating that their "Moral Need" will let them steal the Missouri River in the future.

    "                              " [reply deleted to keep it family-friendly]

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  53. SteveF says:

    Somewhat on point to drwilliams's point: Take a look at the pumping stations from various rivers to "the people who need it". They're vulnerable to any number and variety of attacks.

    I haven't looked at all of them but have looked in depth at a number. Unless there's an infantry platoon which can be brought in on 15-minutes' notice, a 4-man team with construction explosives (only one man of whom needs to be good with the explosives) could wreck the one I'm most familiar with and probably almost any other.

    To the best of my knowledge, no aquaduct pumping station has a quick response combat team. Nor do the major transformers for the electrical grid, nor the major railway yards, nor any number of bits of critical infrastructure except maybe the nuclear power plants. Given that I cannot believe that the FBI is very effective at preventing all terrorist attacks on infrastructure, I can conclude only that those who wish ill to the Americans have determined that a direct attack would be less effective than the political and social attacks, which admittedly are on the verge of winning. Either that or God watches over children, drunks, and the United States of America, which I also find unlikely but which would explain what I see.

  54. drwilliams says:

    Given that I cannot believe that the FBI is very effective at preventing all terrorist attacks on infrastructure that are not planned by a majority FBI team.

    FIFY

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  55. lynn says:

    To the best of my knowledge, no aquaduct pumping station has a quick response combat team. Nor do the major transformers for the electrical grid, nor the major railway yards, nor any number of bits of critical infrastructure except maybe the nuclear power plants. Given that I cannot believe that the FBI is very effective at preventing all terrorist attacks on infrastructure, I can conclude only that those who wish ill to the Americans have determined that a direct attack would be less effective than the political and social attacks, which admittedly are on the verge of winning. Either that or God watches over children, drunks, and the United States of America, which I also find unlikely but which would explain what I see.

    "The Borrowed World: A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Collapse" by Franklin Horton examines what can happen when several somebodies simultaneously go after the infrastructure of the USA.  It is not pretty. IIRC, RBT was a fan.

        https://www.amazon.com/Borrowed-World-Novel-Post-Apocalyptic-Collapse/dp/1511974419//p?tag=ttgnet-20

  56. Nick Flandrey says:

    I'm sure there are a number of critical railway bridges that one could park a van full of fertilizer and d ies el fuel under, that would cause all sorts of disruption.  And there are places where a few minutes pulling railroad spikes with a crow bar might also make a big mess.

    I usually note where the big handles at the base of power poles are in my neighborhood.  They are secured with a padlock, which is a good thing, since they control the flow of electricity into my area…

    And I couldn't help but notice the natgas compressor station on a pipeline across the way from my old house due to the occasional smell of the odorant when some got released.  Thankfully there is a chain link fence around it to keep it safe.  Those compressors are very delicate machines, finely balanced so they don't fail early.

    It's a good thing the phone company's local exchange interconnects are inside concrete buildings in the neighborhoods.  Keeps all that stuff safe from harm, and the A/C units on the outside keep the gear cool.  I suppose it needs to stay cool to work…

    Yeah, we'll know it is kicking off for real when protests are met with 5 gallon buckets of 87 octane and a road flare.  Or a couple of gallons of ammonia and bleach get dumped into the crowd.  Might take their minds off throwing bricks.

    n

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  57. Greg Norton says:

    I'm sure there are a number of critical railway bridges that one could park a van full of fertilizer and d ies el fuel under, that would cause all sorts of disruption.  And there are places where a few minutes pulling railroad spikes with a crow bar might also make a big mess.

    I-75 and 301 in Ellenton, FL. A tanker truck slid and tipped over in the rain about a dozen years ago and destroyed the southbound lanes of I-75 on the overpass. Even working night and day with all special bidding and work rules removed, rebuilding the road required nearly a month.

  58. Greg Norton says:

    It's a good thing the phone company's local exchange interconnects are inside concrete buildings in the neighborhoods.  Keeps all that stuff safe from harm, and the A/C units on the outside keep the gear cool.  I suppose it needs to stay cool to work…

    Don't even think of messing with the ILECs or their wireless subsidiaries.

    They skimp and cut corners in various areas … like generators for cell towers in cold weather … but they are serious about physical security of the copper and regulated fiber for long distance and corporate data.

  59. Nick Flandrey says:

    Picked up this little planetarium thing at Goodwill for $3.  It turns on the light but not much happens.

    https://www.segatoys.space/en/public/flux.html

    I decided to spend a few minutes opening it up and seeing if I could identify or fix what the issue might be as it would be a neat thing to have, or an easy sell.

    Well, that smell of someone letting the smoke out is pretty distinctive.  And the spattered bug parts were suggestive, but the definitive clue was the IC with a bubbled volcano in the plastic package…

    I could only read a few numbers on the chip, but it might be a very common and cheap LED controller chip that comes up with a datasheet search.  It is an LED device, and the package matches.

    I can probably even find the chip on a string of RGB led striplights in my garage (I'll look tomorrow), or get it cheaply as part of something similar.

    The question is, what smoked it?  Was the bug the issue, or was the bug just caught in the plasma field as it smoked?  I guess I can just swap it and see if it blows up again.

    Interesting little project.  I like fixing things, so I hope I have the chip in my junk box.

    n

  60. Jenny says:

    Date night success. 
    Spider-Man was a lot of fun. I’d like to see it a second time. 

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