Nov 25

Through the roof

Probably in 98%+ of the cases where someone claims they were “roofied,” they weren’t.

It was just alcohol. Anyone who knows how to pour too much alcohol into a mixed drink can “roofie” someone, especially someone who is not accustomed to having 4x-10x as much alcohol in the same size drink.

Most of the symptoms that people are claiming are a result of roofies are just alcohol poisoning, and not characteristic of rohypnol or any other similar drug.

And now some people who can’t read will think I am somehow excusing the rapes that occur afterward.

I’m not.

It’s a sign of the rape culture that we live in that a woman must claim some extenuating circumstance for her rape to “count.” My contention that the rape counts no matter what. It doesn’t matter if the woman is stone sober or passed the fuck out. It counts.

I just like knowing the truth of things, despite whoever it offends. I’ve found the truth is always better than the fiction.

If some people are helped by the fiction, that’s fine. It just doesn’t help me.

Nov 25

Shortage

There is no shortage of tech workers.

Some more proof of this is that recruiters nowadays often won’t even consider you if you haven’t used the exact product version number of the tech that they want to hire for.

For instance, say that you are an expert on version 5. Version 5.1 comes out, which is 99.9% identical. Recruiters will only consider you if you’ve used (or are certified) on version 5.1, not 5.0, despite the differences taking less than 30 seconds to learn.

I first started looking into and getting hired for tech jobs in the late 90s, early 2000s, and it was so much easier to get a job then – even after the web bust.

There is absolutely no shortage of tech workers anywhere in the US.

Nov 24

The Fouth

Well, it looks like soon for the fourth time in my life I am going to watch all or part of a major American city burn to the ground.

Hope I’m wrong, and good luck, St. Louis. Glad I’m not there, though.

I only dimly remember my parents talking about the 1980 Miami riots.

I don’t remember of course the 1977 NYC blackout riots at all so I didn’t count those.

Nov 24

Inappropriaton

The problem is that when people write about cultural appropriation, they almost always know RaisedFist1nothing about history, or culture.

Let’s look at the symbol of the raised fist.

Oh, wait.

The human hand has been used in art from the very beginnings, starting with stunning examples in Neolithic cave paintings. Early examples of the fist in graphic art can be found at least as far back as 1917 [1], with another example from Mexico in 1948 [2]. Fist images, in some form, were used in numerous political graphic genres, including the French and Soviet revolutions, the United States Communist Party, and the Black Panther Party for Self-defense.

1917. Pretty sure there were no Black Panthers in 1917.

To me, the raised fist means “socialism” because that’s where I’ve seen it used most in my readings and meanderings through history. The Black Panther party adopted it –wait, I mean appropriated it – from this source.

It was actually popularized during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s and was used very widely after that all over the world. There is also some evidence that the “raised fist” might have been used in something similar to its current context as early as Assyria.

The feminist version of the raised first salute was first used in the 1969 protest of the Miss America pageant.

What’s weird about all the crying about cultural appropriation is that how little so many people who jump up on their soapbox and jabber about it know about culture or history.

I’m of the opinion that if you think you are in the position of telling other people what to do, you should know something about it first.

But hey, that’s just me.

Nov 24

Four years?

Uy7VcAh, you youngsters.

People who have been on the internet for 4+ years and haven’t had their humor devolve into Dadaist, surreal garbage impress me.

Some hipster cred for real here. Winking smile I first used the internet in 1986, but I didn’t use it regularly until 1995. I used it in 1986 as part of some project to allow so-called “gifted” kids to connect with others around the world.

It was also the first time I’d used what we’d now call a chat room. Back then they didn’t have a name, I don’t think.

However, I was using BBSes of one sort or another from ~1984 on, especially when my comparatively-rich grandparents would allow me to log on when I visited.

Most of what people think is “new” on the internet I’d seen or done on BBSes by 1986. Many of the things that “brilliant” entrepreneurs are “inventing” had been done by 1988 on said BBSes.

It’s funny to watch it all cycle back.

I don’t yearn for a return to those times. The internet is far better, and vaster. But it is odd to see some arrogant 25-year-old “create” something that I used 30 years ago in a nearly-identical form. It’s just on a lot larger scale now, of course.

And computers are so much faster.

FidoNet was pretty awesome back in its day, though. Getting an email then felt like an event. Now it feels like a chore, most of the time.

Nov 23

The trend line

It seems a common trend now in all software projects that when something new is introduced, it must be inferior to the old system.

Oh, the developers will claim it’s superior, but it usually removes options, removes capabilities or the information is just presented in an incompetent way.

Here’s yes another example. Since “net-tools” is deprecated in Linux – which includes the common utility “ifconfig” – I’ve been using the replacement tools “ip” and related.

Though it is claimed far and wide that the replacement tools are superior and more powerful, every use case I’ve found places them as much inferior – and not just because I am used to the old way.

In every case, they are harder to use, give less and more poorly-formatted information and are just generally terrible.

For instance, this is the output of ifconfig. I often care about how much data an interface has sent or received and that is easy to see in a human-readable format:

inf

It’s easy to see that the interface on my server has transmitted 475.9GB of data since the last time it was brought up.

Now here’s the, uh, “equivalent” output from ip, specifically the “ip –s link” command.

inf2

What’s that you say, you can’t read a bunch of numbers all jumbled together with no commas or human-readable indication of how much data has been sent? And what’s the IP address? Who fucking knows?

Well, I actually can read that, because I am so used to looking at this shit but even for me it’s much faster just to have it in GB already so I don’t have to spend the next second figuring out what unit I’m looking at.

And that’s true with every tool in the “ip” suite. Even if it’s nominally more powerful, it’s only more powerful in the strictly technical sense. From the usability perspective, it’s utterly pathetic and designed by guttercrud halfwits.

I grew up in a time where you looked forward to every release because it was guaranteed to be better, where every major release really improved your tools and the power of your platform.

No more. Now I dread each new release, knowing it will be worse, that required features will be removed, that ease of use will be thrown in the garbage to suit someone’s megalomania.

Bottom line is, geeks should be allowed to write all the code they want.

But they should never be allowed to design anything, ever.

Nov 23

Modern

Modern device I hate the most: Smartphones.

Modern device I like the most: High-resolution displays.

Smartphones make everything worse. They make the web worse. Their rise is responsible for “apps.” Windows 8 was largely a response to smartphones. Smatphones makes computing worse, make work worse, make life worse.

Smartphones mean everyone thinks they should be able to contact you in every way all the time.

For this reason, most of the time I leave my phone behind. Screw all that.

I hate smartphones and everything about them. I wish they’d just disappear.

Nov 22

Warren

Elizabeth_Warren_CFPBYou’re going to start hearing a lot about Elizabeth Warren running in 2016.

Don’t get your hopes up. Elizabeth Warren has not the first chance in hell of being president.

It will never, ever happen.

She is too much a threat to Wall Street, to the powers that be, to everyone who “matters.”

I think Elizabeth Warren is awesome. She is a great speaker, really understands what’s happening to the country and how devastating this resurgent plutocracy is to average Americans.

It’s for these very reasons that she’ll never be president. She’s far too much of a threat to the plutocrats and the truly powerful in this country.

I would bet my life savings on that, and more.

As great as it would be, there is a zero percent chance of an Elizabeth Warren presidency occurring.

Nov 22

Two opposing

I realize a large part of this is the legacy of horrible people like Hugo Schwyzer and others of his nature, but there are two competing ideas as related to men participating in feminism today:

That if men are interested in feminism, it’s just to get laid.

That men should be more interested in feminism and all that entails.

Yeah, those are opposed. Completely. And of course this isn’t every feminist, just the majority nowadays.

Even though the first point is now accepted wisdom in most quarters, how common is that, considering it really doesn’t work? I am sure there are men like that of course, but many feminist thinkers seem to think this is 99% of men interested in feminism, and I suspect it’s more like ~1%. And an ineffective at their dumbass goal 1% at that.

As for me, I am interested in feminism because I believe in equality, and because it is just right.

I am interested in feminism because I’ve had amazing friends, mentors, teachers and role models who were women and I believe they deserve every chance in life that I’ve gotten.

I am interested in feminism because when I was at my most wretched, my most hated, it was a girl* who befriended me and stuck up for me in ways that I didn’t know how to do.

I am interested in feminism because it’s just fucking right no matter about any of the above. Again.

And anyone who thinks any different, fuck all ya’ll.

(Damn, I am feeling ornery today because so much stupid, so little time.)

*Literally a girl, before anyone freaks out over the word. We were seven.

Nov 21

My tiny ISP

I shouldn’t be, but I’m always surprised when even geeks don’t really understand how fibreoptixbandwidth and its pricing at the enterprise level works.

Most of the people in that thread are utterly clueless. I’d guess that at least one is working for Comcast (since it has been shown that they have thousands of shill accounts out on the web).

Let’s pretend I was starting my own very small ISP.

I’m going to omit some nuance and jargon here, but right now at an enterprise level you can get each Mbs for around $0.50 (fifty cents) per month. So that means a Gb/s link would run my tiny ISP around $500 per month. At an oversubscription rate of 40:1 my bandwidth costs alone for one subscriber should be about $12.50.

Also note that this is the highest-cost scenario possible.  Most major ISPs who run their own transit links pay approximately 1/100 to 1/200 of this actual cost, some much less even than that.

art-paint-painting-spider-web-spider-webs-watercolor-Favim.com-71123As I said, I’m developing this as the highest cost possible, like I was going to start my own ISP for a very tiny user population.

Note that the 1Gbs mentioned above is not your piddling home connection. This is the connection that your actual ISP or similar would use. (I’m being slightly inaccurate here, unless you have a small ISP, but being very accurate would take a thousand words. Large ISPs who run their own transit pay much, much, much less as already mentioned.) This is guaranteed with a rock-solid service-level agreement and would have 99.999% uptime. It also would include a 5% burst to 10Gbs.*

Comcast wants to have an oversubscription rate of 70:1 or higher. A reasonable oversubscription rate would be my 40:1 or so.

So I start my own ISP. My actual bandwidth cost per my 40 users is $12.50 per month. That means I offer all of them a 1Gbs connection assuming like most users that 95% of the time that everyone won’t be downloading at 100%. (Note: this is how all ISPS work. All of them. Every last single one that you’ve ever used.)

So even the tiniest ISP in the universe still has pretty small bandwidth costs, still with far better low_poly_abstract_art_by_juggerz-d5ulfwooversubscription rates than Comcast.

Assuming for the sake of minimizing the complexities and having a comparable scale that my little ISP’s users all live in the same building, I could charge these users $60 a month and still make a huge profit. (Before anyone gets into it, infrastructure costs amortized over 20-40 years are really tiny. Look it up yourself, it’s right in the 10Ks and 10Qs of any public ISP. In addition, a lot of that is and has been paid for by taxpayers and not by ISPs.)

That should give you some idea just how much Comcast and the like is overcharging for terrible service.

I’ve tried to minimize jargon and other industry patter in this piece, but there is no way to reduce it that much more. But if there are any questions, feel free to ask.

*Meaning that 5% of the time, the connection could burst to 10Gbs with no extra fees to me.