Jul 28

ExIT

More on the IT Implications of a Grexit. Spot on. Most people have no idea how hugely, ridiculously, intimidatingly complex banking and insurance systems are. (Note: I have worked in banking and in insurance, in IT.)

And how thoroughly they must be tested before any changes are made.

Bill Mitchell sounds like a real tool who doesn’t actually know anything about IT at all.

Anyone who thinks that Y2K wasn’t actually a real problem with huge negative possible real-world consequences is a goddamn huge moron by default.

Y2K didn’t cause problems because millions of people spent billions of person-hours fucking fixing it.

Jul 28

Firm

The war against general-purpose computing and being able to modify the devices you own continues.

Two of the routers we own have unofficial, modified firmware on them. Both give capabilities the routers otherwise would not have possessed.

Wonder if the NSA isn’t actually behind this, so as to prevent installation of firmware that nukes NSA wireless router backdoors.

Or just plain corporate greed. Probably both.

Jul 27

Attled

Seattle was pretty hellish when I lived there and now it sounds like it’s getting worse.

I work in tech but I don’t like most people in my field. Funny how I was not a jock in high school and wanted nothing to do with those people, but as I get older I find I have more in common with those types than fellow tech geeks. (Though misogyny runs high in both cultures.) As much as I have in common with anyone, I guess.

The reason is that jock types don’t need to constantly prove their masculinity and such. With geeks it’s a constant attempt to rectify past rejection and “prove” to everyone (that is, other geeks, the only people who give a shit) their manhood and how they aren’t losers anymore.

I just want no part of that. None.

You know what? I like women and I like hanging out with them. Having women around makes everyone less dumb. And tech geeks are like kryptonite to women. And for good reason, for the most part.

As for Seattle, I wanted nothing to do with you while I was there and now it sounds like you are even more abominable than before.

Jul 27

The new world

This is why I dread the incipient new world.

“If you take two people with the same job and circumstances, like whether they have kids, five years later the one who had the higher G.P.A. is more likely to pay a debt,” said Paul Gu, Upstart’s co-founder and head of product. “It’s not whether you can pay. It’s a question of how important you see your obligation.”

That is most likely strictly true; however, there are usually good reasons people have lower GPAs. They have less money and therefore have to work more and study less. They have other commitments such as a sick family member. They themselves have a chronic illness. Etc.

The practice of using algorithms that “judge” people’s character is absolutely no different at all in any way than phrenology and physiognomy. This is witchcraft via Big Data, an incantation uttered over a steaming data cauldron out of which emanates some predetermined expulsion of pseudo-truth and faux-insight.

Even if — and that is a big if as I don’t believe most of their data and am quite sure they don’t understand it themselves — these techniques work, is this ever-increasing surveillance how we wish to proceed as a society? Is it really what is best for everyone?

For engineeritis infectees like Chu, it doesn’t matter. It’s what he thinks the data is telling him, never mind if he should even be asking such degrading questions, or allowed to even possess such information in the first place.

This sort of thing will also soon be used in employment background checks too, I have no doubt at all.

Jul 26

TFF

I don’t view many Twitter feeds, but the ones I do now show some terrible “Popular Now” bit at the top that obscures the most recent tweets.

Screw that. Who gives a crap what is popular now.

This inserted into µBlock will put a total kibosh on that shit:

twitter.com###stream-item-recap_entry-1

Probably also works in Adblock Plus too but I do not use that as it sold out to the ad companies.

Twitter feature fail.

Jul 26

Why I’m not an author

I think it’s funny that my goal is to write an sf novel so strange and difficult no one would ever read it.

No mystery why I never became an author, really.

Jul 25

Inclination in Declination

Historically speaking, there is a major stock market downturn every 3-5 years. Though timing the market is impossible in the strictest sense, the best time to buy a lot of stock is when it’s cheap.

When people say market timing is impossible, they are largely wrong by the way. Market timing is impossible if you are stupid, at least in the sense that I do it and mean it.

So I’m preparing now for the coming crash. When it’s down 20% or more, I’ll buy. This is likely to occur very soon, I think. Lots of hot money sloshing around now doing highly preposterous things.

I’m loath to give stock advice these days but the wait-for-crash is a good strategy for anyone who doesn’t need money in a 5+ year time frame.

By the way here is the periodicity on average of various declines.

Buy things when they are cheap. It’s hard to go wrong with that strategy in any area of life.

And oh yeah, I’d stay out of fossil fuel stocks.

Jul 24

Metro gnome

The only way to remove most Metro/Modern crapps in Windows 10 is with Powershell.

Microsoft, fuck you.

Just had to get that out of my system.

So I wrote some PowerShell to automate the uninstall of the ones that cannot be uninstalled in the GUI.

First, download this csv file which contains all the Metro crapplications.

packages

Then save it somewhere and take a look on the next page for my sweet-ass PowerShell codes. Paste this into a .ps1 file, make sure your execution policy is set to something that allows it to run, and then run that puppy.

Jul 24

Another stupid

This article about air conditioning is itself deeply stupid.

Much of the US population lives in areas that are far, far hotter for far longer than any part of Europe. The US South would be nearly uninhabitable 6 months out of the year — especially for doing any sort of modern cognitive work — without AC.

Anyway, air conditioning composes only 5% of entire US energy expenditures — a bargain given its benefits in productivity (measurable) and comfort (not measurable, but more important) that it provides.

I would not be able to live in 70% of the US without AC, at least not still doing anything useful with my life.

It’s easy to dismiss people using AC when you live in a region that has mean temperatures 10 degrees lower than your current vicinage.

Shit, in Seattle I was fine without AC. But I’ve lived in North Florida without AC and it is absolutely miserable. Nightmarish. Especially in a trailer. 100 degrees+ inside the house? Yup. Doesn’t cool down at night like it does in most of Europe? That too.

You can have my indoor cooling when you take it from my cold, AC-frosty hands.