Big Tech

Big Tech

Over at MoTW, The Didact posts some good and solid information on getting yourself protected and unplugged from as much constant monitoring by Big Tech as possible.  It's a good start. A few notes to add once you've processed all of that. One, VPNs. I won't knock Surfshark - I haven't used it, and it seems to hold up OK review-wise. I've leaned more on NordVPN, and am seriously eyeing ProtonVPN by the same guys who bring you Protonmail. Speaking of which - and in alignment with getting away from the cult of "free" - a paid protonmail account is…

Read More

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Efficiency and Effectiveness

Even before hearing the term "antifragile" I was prone to point out that it didn't matter how efficient or inexpensive something was, if it wasn't capable of doing the job when you need it. Resiliency, plans for the worst case, etc. So. Texas. There's a lot to unpack here. Shockingly, Ars Technica actually had a decent article on the issues above and beyond the wind turbines getting locked up - about which they point out that, yes, it's possible to build heating elements into the blades and mechanisms (guess what powers that?), and Texas hadn't. Then they go into some…

Read More

Property Rights

Property Rights

The Didact, in his excellent Memorial Day wrapup for Monday, reminded me that I wanted to cover this commentary by Razorfist on Intellectual Property. The Didact notes: I used to be a libertardian, so I had a lot of sympathy for the idea of doing away with IP rights entirely, but I was never fully convinced by the arguments against IP. Looking at the arguments given by the Razorfist, he makes a very compelling case that the product of a man's mind is indeed his property. And I agree with him. I do think that reasonable limits have to be…

Read More

Safety Third - Covid Edition

Safety Third - Covid Edition

A While back I'd written a post on safety being important, but not the most important thing. Safety has to serve repeatably getting things done, and is not an ultimate virtue in and of itself. Put another way, there is a difference between staying alive, and living. Every choice involves risks, and one of the most common causes of death is slipping in the shower or bathtub. A guy can die as a result of simply falling over in his house and hitting his head. While I'm not in the "just a flu" or "it doesn't exist" crowd - there's…

Read More

Goes Ups Equals Goes Downs

Goes Ups Equals Goes Downs

Over at Peter Grants blog, he links to the story of the triton submarines, capable of getting to the deepest parts of the world, period. It's a fascinating read. I certainly never wanted my boat to go that deep - it would be a one-way ride.…

Read More

Mixed Feelings, But Hopeful

Mixed Feelings, But Hopeful

If you recognize the not-quite-Chris Foss image gracing this article, you've likely spent a few hours lost in a truly groundbreaking game called Homeworld - one which, a few years back, had been released in a "remastered" version that took the original game, ships, adn strategy and dressed them up with much more detailed models and texture maps. Well, it looks like a new iteration of the game is on its way. For those of you not familiar with the game, the below does a decent job of reviewing why the game was good, in terms of story, art production,…

Read More

Tribal Knowledge, and Antifragility

Tribal Knowledge, and Antifragility

I recently spotted this tweet: As a kid I remember watching a documentary about how we do not know how to build somethings our ancestors built and I thought it was ridiculous. This video explains process knowledge in the best way. — Yemi Johnson (@yemi_uc) April 20, 2020 I've made the point before - it is less efficient, in a bottom-line, quarter-to-quarter profit margin way to maintain process knowledge of everything you use and depend on. Yet, you can't afford to not maintain that knowledge. This goes to computer manufacturing, steel manufacturing, and even something as mundane as customer…

Read More

Project Updates

Project Updates

While I had plenty of experience with MySQL and similar databases, I've started learning the ins and outs of MongoDB, and with the appropriate explanation, now "get" why NoSQL is becoming popular. It's pretty straightforward for anyone who's worked with Python dictionaries or JavaScript objects before. That said, my project scope has changed. I'm going to skip doing Python/Flask first. It boils down to the fact that I don't want to mess in multiple languages, and that, despite liking python a lot more, I have a lot more experience coding javascript due to time previously spent doing websites. Incidentally,…

Read More