Strange morning. Arose. Performed Ablutions. Attired. Motored to park for constitutional. Encountered a rather amusing, distracting, annoying haze. I don’t think it was quite a fog. Not quite thick enough. Visibility too great. But the salient characteristic of this haze was that the droplets were visible. Vary large. Easily seen, intrusive even, in the beam of my headlamp. And that distraction meant I stumbled rather more than a bit.
The podcast was the same episode of “Linux Luddites” but this morning the continued discussion of “The UNIX Hates Guide” brought to mind that the government of Greater Metropolitan Arab is bankrupt. No, not monetarily although that would not surprise me. No, the bankruptcy is moral and ethical.
Simply put the government of Arab provides too many circuses and not enough services. And what few services they do provide are largely stuck in the 1950’s. The only information vectors are newspaper and radio. No responsive web site. They have one but its only purpose is advertising Arab. Queries seem to be ignored. And no announcements are posted. No text alerts. They have a loud speaker system that is only used to bad weather, has an error rate of 0.9 or higher, and is completely unintelligible. Rather like the Bill Cosby bus station shtick.
They make grand announcements of paving roads and then do not. The city council is packed with real estate agents whose only interest is sales and hence the only citizens they are concerned for are those who do not live here yet. Service agencies are unresponsive largely because their heads are relatives of elected politicians. Many services are contracted out to contractors who do not bother to perform, nor seem to be held accountable. Like most governments in Alibam, the Arab city government is largely dedicated to collecting money from the poor and giving it to the rich. Hood Robin, if you will.
When I moved here the government was corrupt but the services were good, all performed by city employees. That has ceased. The schules were good with a solid local ethic. That has ceased. The town was run by the old families and while it was not democracy, it was effective. Now it is still not democracy but it is not effective.
And I have little doubt it will get worse.
this one captures the behavior of elected politicians and flag officers.
Yesterday was a very good day for cartoons. But my reactions to them were different enough that they are going to demand separate blots. So first: [Link]
this cartoon struck me as a vignette of how all organizations, but especially governmental ones, operate. And the male librarian is the epitome of how STEMs operate in organizations – what counts is getting stuff done, not how or in accordance with rules.
And I shan’t touch on the manager except that she’s a classic management by handbook incompetent. At least apparently.
Today is the end of support by MegaHard for Winders XP. It may also be the day marking the beginning of the end for MegaHard but that is not only uncertain, but likely improbable. Nastiness tends to stay around. I noticed an article earlier – lost when my other deskbox imploded – that some storage barrels of stercus several centuries old had been found and still had the odorus sterci – the olfactory punch of poo. MegaHard may not be several centuries old. nor all that nasty as corporations go today, but they still have magnum odorus.
The onslaught on XP will not be immediate, but it likely will come. Low hanging fruit and all that sort of rot – language rot, that is. I was marveling this morning after listening to science podcasts how abused the American English language is, and how facile Americans are at abusing such. I find it very disturbing when scientists, who should be speaking with care and precision, utter misuses and catch phrases like illiterate valley waifs. So there will be no shortage of low habgubgf fruit for the evildoers to rob and plunder.
I mentioned yesterday the issue of money instiututions. I feel moved to reiterate. If your money institution is not forthcoming that they are using a trustworthy OS, and tell you which one, then they almost certainly are using XP and should not be trusted. Sadly, since the vast majority of money inistitutions are still using XP – I have heard numbers as high as 0.8 of all ATMs are still XP driven – there is no easy answer on how to find a trustworthy money institution. And unfortunately, the use of a mattress safe is neither wise nor practical. Too many organizations, the Yankee government included, do direct deposit. Add to this the arrogance and cupidity of the bankers who manage these organizations and the risk becomes a necessity to assume. But you can reduce your exposure by not using ATMs. Unless they have a Penguin sticker. The new ones are Linux driven, but they are few. The money organizations with technical savvy will advertise that in short order.
The same goes for other organizations, including chain stores. If a store or business establishment won’t tell you what OS their money hardware is using, caveat emptor.
As for me, I am going to continue to use XP for the clients I still need to use. But I disabled wifi on all those machines and limit their interaction with the external world to printers and USB sticks. And I am doing more with money these days – pictures of dead politicians. Stores may not like it but if they complain I’ll spend it elsewhere. Be an offensive consumer!
A middling morning. Back to low temperatures, for a week the weather beavers promise and we know how their promises are worth a Continental banknote. The gym was actually pleasant this morning mostly because schule is desessioned so the educationalists and most of the weight bouncers are unpresent. The harassment and bullying were almost zero. Only the staff was being oppressive and frightening.
As is my usual I listened to an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” podcast, this one dealing with Albert Schweitzer. My memories of Schweitzer are from childhood when I read a rather saccharine children’s biography of him, revisiting when the Yankee government issued a stamp commemorating him. I was vaguely aware of his musical ability.
The podcast claims that the current generation do not know him and based on the rest of the podcast I am sure I did not either although I recognized his name. I was unaware of his academic accomplishments, thinking him a physician who went off into the jungle. Although not assessed, he was clearly fleeing towards something, probably a rebellion against European society and culture. Instead, the podcast was much more interested in talking about his opposition to nuclear weapons, an activity that made him a smear target of the Yankee and other governments, a situation I could not help – mysef – comparing to Snowden. Both were (are) portrayed as puppets of the Russians. I was also bemused to listen to the characterization of his behavior towards native Africans as natural albeit authoritarian by the natives and racist by Americans. Somehow that seems to fit with what I have seen of most racism monologues. Racism seems to be more a smear accusation than any actuality, at least in most cases. And it certainly is devoid of any scientific validity, which rather supports the slanderous and bullying aspect.
In that regard, I listened to an episode of the Marketplace Technology Report that reported (!) that the Management of Target (the chain store) was not only negligent but incompetent in the recent data breach. It seems that they invested in security software prior to the incursion that lead to the breach and that this software alerted them to the incursion. Which was ignored entirely by management.
It would seem that firing parties are definitely in order. Once this becomes common knowledge I doubt Target will survive the litigation. It’s one thing to claim being outwitted, another to own up to actual negligence and incompetence.
And hence into the week. I shall try to enjoy it.
A refreshing morning. Courtesy of the weather, the temperature was sufficiently high to satisfy my cardiologist’s conditions and I was able to venture to the park for a constitutional. The wind was relatively still so little cooling and I was well bundled and had a new headlamp so I was well appointed and situated for the walk. All I had to do was stay on the path, not destroy my MP3 player, and marshal my thoughts.
The first was easier, largely because of the headlamp, which, despite rather shoddy construction I would not expect from an outfitter like Eddie Bauer (C), was relatively bright. The second was difficult. The podcast this morning was an episode of the Pen Addict [Link] that was rather egregiously grating. The discussion on this podcast varies between putz and ferd and the grammar is exceptionally bad, so much so that the grammar of most other podcasts becomes withstandable by comparison. But the discussion today was excessively oily and false-ringing and I was only glad that my stomach was empty. I never cease to be amused that this is supposed to be the best of the pen podcasts although that amusement was sorely strained this morning. Still I primarily listen to this as a means of diverting my conscious attention during constitutional since the podcast is usually lengthy enough to encompass three constitutionals and I don’t have to waste good podcasts when I can’t stop and appreciate the discussion.
Which is not to say that they do not have some useful information but it is almost always in sidebars or unscripted bits.
But the illumination did raise a new variation of one of my recurring disquietudes. Tonight is the spring shift to daylight savings time, that left over wartime expedient that the Yankee congress refuses to adjust to the desires of the citizenry. I suddenly realized that a measure of their perfidy and selfservice is the absence of any accompanying legislation that would compel clock manufacturers to automatically adjust their clocks for this delusional torture.
I will spend a bit of time tomorrow going through Castellum SCP adjusting clocks. For this transition the effort is small since all clocks set forward easily. It is the sheer number and diversity that is the problem. Other than the computers, only the few atomic clocks reset themselves and each has a different reset procedure, a failure of our Congress that should be dealt with by requiring congress critters to reset clocks for their constituents.
The real pain will come in fall when the clocks have to be set forward 23 hours since most clocks can no longer be set back.
I take up the cry of criminalizing partisan ship and shudder to behold the dark tomorrow morning. All to placate and titillate a bunch of obnoxious schmucks.
Wonderful morning! My browser tells me it is 26 degF in Greater Metropolitan Arab and the weather beavers proclaim it will be less hot tonight. Ah, the joy of dripping faucets on holiday eve! At least the gym was blissfully vacant this morning and the vagaries of family mealtaking has evolved to let me attend my Tuesday nerding. And drink decent distillate of coffee!
On a more amusing note, I ran across an article [Link] yesterday that announced that the worst motorcar drivers in the Yankee republic were in Louisiana and that Alibam was rated fifth. That latter is off-hand pleasant since under modal circumstances Alaibam and Mississippi alternate on worst and next-worst. I was a bit taken aback by the claim that overall, the worst drivers were concentrated in the old Confederacy and briefly entertained the conjecture that this was some form of civil disobedience to occupation. But I rejected that upon delving into matters more and discovering how the rankings were assessed.
Seems the ranking are based on five variables:
- Fatality rate (per 100 million vehicle miles traveled);
- Failure to obey citations issued (traffic signals and seat belts);
- Drunk driving citations;
- Number of tickets issued; and
- Careless driving citations.
A bit of cognition indicated that only the first is a (reasonably) independant variable. The other four are conditional on the laws of the states and how they are inforced and cited by the local constabulary. And I know from experience that such vary widely from state to state and within state. So the rankings are at best highly specious and at worst absolutely inaccurate and worthless. I also suspect the first variable is also flawed since some states have vehicle inspection/repair laws and others don’t. So the comparison is definitely apples and cow flops and we all know that you can’t grill a burger over a dried apple.
On a happy note, I also found [Link] that a college in the Floridas has established a program of instruction for mature humans (not 18-25 years of age) that involves actual human presence in lecture halls. No internet stercus here. BooYah! I get email ever day trying to get me to sign up for MOOCs on subjects and disciplines that I have no interest in. And yes, I realize that courses in STEM stuff don’t translate to MOOCishness well, if at all, and the audience isn’t very great for real work. But I also don’t find trying to learn on the computer/tablet to be anything but a headache and attention repelling. Now I happily find out that this is a common trait of not-young people. Or at least, not-GEN Y people?
Not that I expect any such progressive activity here in Alibam. After all, we are working very hard on making ourselves number four on the list of worst drivers. Or some such. Just ask the state dermatologist.