Attack on Westminster Bridge and Parliament

I’m presently watching this on Sky News (started on France 24 both are doing good coverage – see the TV link in the top bar for a connection).

A car ran down a bunch of folks on the bridge, ran into some railing at Parliament.

A person got out, stabbed a police officer and was shot by the officer’s mates.

All still unfolding now, so “more late”.

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Posted in Political Current Events | 35 Comments

Mutton Bustin’

Of all the things I’d never thought I’d learn watching Congress grill a Supreme Court nominee…

“Mutton Busting” was a topic.

Say what? Something “western” I didn’t experience in my little farm town?

(Must be ‘new’…)

has an interesting photo…

The Mutton Bustin’ event, sponsored by State Farm Insurance, is a crowd favorite! Little Buckaroos “cowboy up” and hold on for six exciting seconds! The audience goes wild as these young rodeo contestants take a thrilling ride under the big lights of the AT&T Center. Mutton Bustin’ takes place during every rodeo performance, excluding the Finals. The Rodeo takes place on February 9-25, 2017.

Participation is limited to boys and girls between the ages of 4-7 and weighing less than 55 lbs., at the time of competition. Entries for the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Mutton Bustin’ are accepted online between September 15th and October 15th. Contestants will be randomly selected from a pool of qualified entries. Participants are notified in December each year.

THREE Additional Mutton Bustin’ Contestants will be chosen at random from three H-E-B area locations during a radio remote broadcast in the month of January. Parents may register their children for Mutton Bustin’ if they fit the above stated criteria.

OMG that has got to be a barrel of fun! Kids riding mutton… hang onto that “wool on the hoof!”.

Has a picture in it too:

Mutton Bustin'

Mutton Bustin’

Full Size available here along with attribution information.

Mutton busting is an event held at rodeos similar to bull riding or bronc riding, in which children ride or race sheep.

In the event, a sheep is held still, either in a small chute or by an adult handler while a child is placed on top in a riding position. Once the child is seated atop the sheep, the sheep is released and usually starts to run in an attempt to get the child off. Often small prizes or ribbons are given out to the children who can stay on the longest. There are no set rules for mutton busting, no national organization, and most events are organized at the local level.

The vast majority of children participating in the event fall off in less than 8 seconds. Age, height and weight restrictions on participants generally prevent injuries to the sheep, and implements such as spurs are banned from use. In most cases, children are required to wear helmets and parents are often asked to sign waivers to protect the rodeo from legal action in that event.


The practice has been documented as having been introduced to the National Western Stock Show at least by the 1980s when an event was sponsored by Nancy Stockdale Cervi, a former rodeo queen. At that event, children ages five to seven who weighed less than 55 pounds could apply, and ultimately seven contestants were selected to each ride a sheep for six seconds.

OK, 1980s. By then I was in Silicon Valley and dealing with my own kids, and no rodeo in sight. Look what I’ve been missing.

Gotta Love It!

No organization. No formal rules. Just kids, critters, parents and an audience.

Now THAT’S “Western Values”!

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Posted in Human Interest, Humor, News Related | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Bitchute Corbett Report on Judith Curry – Climate Models For The Layman

An interesting video interview of Dr. Judith Curry by Corbett Report.

It is presented on Bitchute a peer to peer video service, so no censors involved…

Yes, I’m enjoying way too much my new HDTV / video services / computer tech fusion… so I’m typing this on one panel while the video runs on another… on my TV…

Folks already steeped in how a GCM works will find the major interest just listening to Dr. Curry and “getting to know her”, while those wondering what the heck a Model is, will find it attainable and easy to watch.

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Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Circular Log Periodic Antenna

On another thread, a discussion of small home built antennas for UHF TV broke out. (h/t to Jim2) The traditional TV antenna is the Log Periodic. It has dipole like elements spaced on a log scale for broad frequency range and good gain. The problem with it is that at the longer wave lenghts, the antenna can become large. For example, a VHF low channel number can have each element about 1.2 M long, or about 7 foot tip to tip at the wide end of the wedge.

Now it turns out that drooping the ends of a dipole does not weaken it much, nor does shaping it in other ways, even into a semi-circle. As a sidebar, I wondered if these could be made fractal elements, the answer is “yes” and it makes a smaller antenna, but without much change of performance. At the extreme of this drooping, you could end up with a circle. (There are “loop” antennas that are in fact made of circular loops). I got to wondering: “Can you make a log periodic loop antenna?”.

Well, turns out I’m only 17 years late in inventing it ;-)

This is a Masters Thesis from Virginia Tech from 1999:

LPLA is log periodic loop array

LPDA is log periodic dipole array

GR is Ground Reflector – a wire or metal sheet at the back

6.1 Summary of Results

Compared to the LPDAs, the LPLAs provide the advantage of size reduction in transverse dimensions by a factor of 2/π.

The radiation characteristics of the loop element in the axial direction are preserved in both LPLAs with and without GR, whose fields in the broadside direction are cancelled due to 180 alternating phase shift between the adjacent loop elements. The Gθ far-field pattern is dominant in the E-plane, while the Gφ pattern is dominant in the H-plane. Hence, the LPLAs have linear polarization and unidirectional patterns.

Improvement of several decibels in gain can be achieved by using ground reflectors in the apex region of LPLAs. For example, the gain (or directivity) of a 6-turn 30° LPLA-GR can be about 12 dBi. Also, the smaller is the subtended angle (α) and the closer to unity is the scale factor (τ), the larger will be the directivity of the antenna.

The ground reflector seems to increase the bandwidth. For example, the 6-turn 30° LPLA with GR yields 47.62 % gain bandwidth.

LPLAs with GR are expected to find applications as feeds for reflector antennas, as mobile communication antennas, and as detectors in EMC scattering range.

Those interested ought to read the whole paper.

The key bits are that this looks somewhat like a conical birdcage, yet it works very well. It is a 12 dB gain antenna (that is quite good) and that is using only 6 ‘turns’ or circles of wire. It is also smaller than the regular log periodic dipole antenna at 2/Pi or about 2/3 the size. That’s a big improvement. You can form it, as the author did, by gluing wire onto a conical form. Heavy paper cones are VERY easy to make.

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Posted in Tech Bits | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Aleppo vs Mosul, BBC vs RT, and a Mirror

Why I like RT. Let me count the ways…

Partly it pains me just a tiny bit to say this, but a large part of “why” is that they “talk dirt” about the other guy’s coverage. Normally I’m not keen on folks talking dirt about others, or nit-picking, or taking the negative angle at others. In this case, though, it serves a very valuable purpose. It shows just where the majority of the, shall we call it Progressive/Sorors leaning? media, are biasing their coverage. Basically catching them out in the lie, or the more subtile “lie of omission”.

So this morning I was having the first beverage of the day while doing my usual ‘turn around the news dial’. Dreck, dreck, semi-dreck, France24 doing an in-depth look at Canadian Native Americans and their abuse at the hands of government… 40+ years ago. Not exactly news. USA coverage still on their “Get The Donald!” jihad. Then I hit RT.

First off, they were showing film from Mosul. Not seen much on the news about Mosul lately, eh? Just something vague about the USA and Iraq “liberating” it or how hard it was going to be. Here was RT on the streets showing it.

They did a great A vs B showing western coverage of the Horrors Of Aleppo but being mum on Mosul. Asking could it be a matter of who is doing the bombing of civilians?

They even have a hash-tag for it: #mosulsos (that my foggy morning brain tried to turn into latin mulos… what was RT doing covering latin mules and with too many letters… sputter sputter and eventually the brain gets running ;-)

But first, lets look at their top stores on their news page:

Top story is the one on Mosul:

Price of liberation: Civilian exodus, bombed-out streets filmed by RT in Mosul (VIDEO)
Nearly two months into the siege of western Mosul, many houses there stand lifeless and looted, while some streets lie in ruins as civilian residents flee the area. RT’s Murad Gazdiev has witnessed the grim aftermath of war in Iraq’s second largest city.

Then we get to Denmark. I can’t remember the last time Denmark was on US news, but I think it was when some Danish soap opera was a hot show and they were touting it as a great foreign language series. Some political drama thing… years ago…

Snitching scandal: Denmark reprimands Turkish envoy over ‘hotline to report on Erdogan critics’
Denmark has summoned Turkey’s charge d’affaires on the heels of a report that Danish citizens of Turkish origin might have been blacklisted and accused of treason on the basis of tips submitted by Turkish government sympathizers via a special hotline.

Gee, didn’t know that Denmark was joining The Netherlands in a tiff with Erdogan. Nor that Erdogan was not only advocating for his folks to do Demographic Swamping of European nations, and was trying to run election campaign operations in EU countries, but, it seems, also has got an undercover “tips” operation and a foreign oppression operation going inside the EU. Think maybe that matters? Yet in our news? Crickets….

Migrants, Islam, independence: Top French presidential candidates clash in 1st TV debate
During France’s first presidential debate on Monday, the leading five French presidential hopefuls traded punches on the most burning issues, ranging from immigration and Islamization, to the country’s alliances and its very sovereignty.

There was a debate in France last night. Might determine the future of the EU and a couple of continents. USA news? IF you dig, you find out it happened… RT? Oh, they noticed that immigration and Islamization were big issues; and maybe, just maybe, ‘sovereignty’ of nations matters and might be at stake.

They then have a story about the “Rich getting richer” globally, OK, either not very surprising or a bit of “toss mud” at the “rich west” ( I have not looked at the story since it just looks like the same-old-same-old and has a whiff of bias / propaganda in the title).

Next is a story about India granting the Ganges “Human Rights”. Might be interesting as you just know this will be cited as precident by Global(ist) Greens in similar attempts to get “Human Rights” for every river, mountain (hill? bump? dirt pile?), forest and desert.

India gives Ganges & Yamuna rivers same rights as humans in bid to fight pollution
Two rivers in India have been given the status of living entities in order to save them from further harm caused by pollution. The waterways are considered sacred by Hindus, who believe them to have miraculous healing powers.

I figure those are the “human interest” and “happy talk / relief” stories that let you wobble the emotional lever back to neutral before the next push into angst land. You see that in most media. Horrible war story, then the “Awww” story, then the weather, then rinse and repeat.

The next set of stories I’m just going to do “en block”:

Erdogan says relations with ‘fascist & cruel’ Europe may be reviewed after April referendum
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara may re-evaluate its relations with the EU if a constitutional referendum granting him additional powers passes on April 16, warning that “it will be a different Turkey” then.
Israeli ‘Skylark’ drone crashes in Syria, IDF confirms
Israel has confirmed that one of its drones crashed on Syrian territory, stating that the circumstances are being examined. It follows similar reports and photographs of the UAV by Hezbollah.
N. Korea may have doubled uranium enrichment – UN nuclear watchdog
North Korea may now be a step closer to developing a nuclear weapon as its facilities are extensively producing plutonium and enriching twice as much uranium as several years ago, according to the head of the UN-run nuclear energy agency.
Moscow ‘knows nothing about’ reported April visit by Tillerson
Moscow diplomats say they are not aware of any preparations for a visit by US State Secretary Rex Tillerson. Reuters said the American would arrive in Russia in April.
Greek police intercept 8 parcel bombs headed to EU institutions & companies
Greek police have reported that they found and neutralized eight suspected parcel bombs at a postal sorting center in Athens on Monday. Last week, two such bombs targeted the German finance ministry and the IMF.

So Turkey going to review relations with the EU and saying so with insult? I’d say that matters. How long until the EU and USA are kicked out of Turkey? I give it a decade, max, and maybe as short as 2 years. Turkey had attempted to Europeanize in the 1800s. It has tottered on the edge of Islam vs West ever since. Now it looks to be ready to pick a side, and that side is NOT secular western. RT knows to keep an eye on this. USA News? Talks about turkey in November and in the context of deep fried vs traditional basted / roast.

Then we find that Israel is “in the mix” in Syria, at least doing surveillance. I suspect that also means some on the ground Mossad folks too.

That North Korea ICBM time line may be 1/2 as long as was thought (or twice as big a punch). Golly. I suspect the ‘playing footsy’ for Western Cash era is over and the “anonymous drone” era will begin shortly. Just bomb wherever they have a lot of light at night and you pretty much have your targeting done. Give it what, 4 drones? /snark;

So Moscow has has not been notified about an official diplomatic visit? Or has Reuters got it wrong? (Or just very early, in which case is it great journalism or Yet Another Leak to investigate?)

Gee, the Greeks so fed up they bombed 2 places last week (one intercepted, one at one of the big government ‘banks’, IIRC the IMF, hurt a mail clerk) and someone sent 8 more (that we know of…). Have not heard that much about dissatisfied Greeks in the news here…

All very interesting topics, and mostly omitted from the local news and even the national news here.

OK, back on the Mosul story.

First off, you get a look at the streets of Mosul. NOT some talking heads with stock shots of kids, puppies, flying drones, or politicians talking. Real, on the street, in your face direct reporting. Mosul is a mess. (But some of us already knew that).

But what got me motivated to do this posting was just how thorough the reporting was. Showing a bombed out major intersection then talking about the US / Western strategic bombing of transport hubs to prevent ISIS from moving gear around, and how it also prevents civilians from getting out / moving around. Actually talking about the tactics of war, why they were done, and what effects they have.

Yes, you get the ‘tear jerk’ shots of wounded civilians and all. A tiny bit of propaganda about how the west is hurting civilians in their “clean” campaign. Yet they they do the rather surprising thing of “talking dirt” about the Aleppo vs Mosul coverage. In the Aleppo coverage, the BBC and several others carried the photo of the little boy placed in a red seat in an ambulance as the “poster child” of Russian uncaring brutal war. RT shows a similar little girl burned and crying from US “precision” bombs; and showed the two pictures side by side. NOT doing a propaganda bias, but demonstrating propaganda methods and the contrast. They then tour the city streets showing that precision isn’t of much important when your bombing is so complete as to resemble “carpet bombing”. They had clips of different news agencies touting the horrors of Aleppo and showing Red Seat Kid. Then asked: Why are there no such shots from Mosul?

Just love that. Calling out the bias and propaganda slant of Western Media is one of the big reasons I watch RT. It tells me where to look for the “empty space” in western coverage. One of the hardest things is to see what is MISSING. Having someone searching for that for you is a great help. (Just be sure to filter for ‘bias and self dealing’ and adjust for that / check it. For ALL media, not just RT.)

I first had my attention raised about Mosul when some Mosque (a week back?) had something like 30? 60? people killed and injured when “hit by a US bomb”. Well, the US news was all over that it was a precision guided bomb that did NOT hit the Mosque. Then one said it hit a target 50 feet away. Um, pardon? My house lot is over 50 feet WIDE (it is longer the other way). So you are saying a bomb is OK if it hits in my front yard as it didn’t hit the back of my house? Really? That was when the “They Are Lying Again” flag when up and I started to notice the news vacuum on Mosul in the West. Yet RT has in depth on the ground coverage. AND calls dirt when it sees it on our media.

In general, watching the BBC vs RT, they both have “domestic bias”. But for my money, the BBC has more direct and blatant bias and propaganda slanting of stories than does RT. The RT folks have their own Russia centered POV, and they do slant things a little (but, I must say, they do a much better job of hiding the slant), but mostly RT is very up front about tossing dirt at bad western coverage (which dirt tossing might have some propaganda goal, but frankly, when I’ve checked they have been correct about the western biases). Most of the RT “propaganda” slant is simply never saying anything bad about Putin or internal affairs in Russia. I’m OK with that, and I’m OK with them talking up why it is a good thing when Putin invades Crimea (or whatever). You already know they must kiss that ring, so who cares.

In short, I trust RT more than the BBC on all things European / USA. (The USA media largely doesn’t know the rest of the world exists until some Glitterati visit it… and are fixated on omphaloskepsis and all things “Get Trump”, so not only do they never cover anything outside until long after it ceased being ‘news’, when they do cover it they are clueless what it means, or often even where it is… IMHO, of course.)

BTW, it pains me greatly to say that about the BBC and RT. My first shortwave radio was in about 1960 and I used it to listen to the BBC (my Mum was thrilled to hear things from ‘back home’) and Radio Moscow. I think that was when my BS Detector was formed. I used to laugh at some of the silly coming from Radio Moscow and Radio Havana and more. But the BBC was rock solid. Oh, for “days long gone”… Now when watching the BBC news, it’s there the BS Detector clatters, while on RT it is at most a small murmur and then only on a few stories. Oh Well.

The Mirror

They then did a wonderful hit piece on The Mirror. I couldn’t find the original Mirror story in a quick search, since it seems that Russian Football Hooligans is a running theme for them, so swamped with stories.

In any case, RT ran copy of the Mirror story about how some Russian football gang (“Ultras”) was having brawls and training for some event where UK citizens might be killed (oh the humanity…). The film showed guys having a bit of a fight on the street. BUT… They were wearing boxing gloves… Wha? I thought. RT Explained. They then showed a longer and wider view of events. A traditional street fair / celebration in some Russian city. Folks dancing. Foods. And a “toy fight” where you are forbidden to hit the face, or even throw punches that would hurt.

In short, The Mirror was flat out lying and fabricating a story out of nothing. RT caught them at it, and showed it.

Ah, using the title from the page capture on RT I found the Mirror story. (Watch for it to change? as they become a laughing stock being caught out by the Russians…)

Russia’s Ultra yobs infiltrated amid warnings England fans could be KILLED at World Cup

In a shock investigation, the Mirror tracked down the leaders of the country’s two most notorious “Ultra” gangs

Russia’s most notorious football ­hooligans have warned England fans: “If you thought France was bad, wait until the World Cup next year.”

In a shock investigation, the Mirror tracked down the leaders of the country’s two most notorious “Ultra” gangs.

One was involved in the horrific “Battle of Marseille” during Euro 2016 last summer in which 100 England fans were injured and two ended up in a coma.

The FA and police already fear serious violence when Russia hosts the World Cup finals next summer.

Alexey Mavryn boasted of the strength of the Uralmash Steel Monsters who have the words “Ultras” and “Hooligans” printed in English on their T-shirts.

It then goes on to show mobs of Russian men “encouraged to fight”. In a festival…


Now I’d not trust The Mirror to hold bird droppings reliably, and you can forget about it as a news source. But what I did find fun was that RT has this “catch them in the lie” standard story line and searches a lot of western media for me.

So that’s why I watch them regularly and reliably. And, sadly, why the BBC America “news” has gone from “daily” to “oh, maybe next week”. 25 minutes of formulaic pap, the one news story up front (but spun to the Globalist Agenda), then the “Aw Story” ending with a Humanist Story (i.e. social propaganda) and with maybe 5 minutes in the middle for variety. Just sad. For real news with punch, watch RT. News were the reporters are in flack jackets and helmets and sometimes things go “BOOM!” in the background – by surprise… and News where they call out the opposition and air that dirt.

Gotta love it.

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Interesting Video on USA Election Influence

I find this an interesting Bitchute video about how the CIA has worked to influence various elections over the years.

Bitchute per CIA

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Cord Cutting – Step 3: LG, Chrome and A Really Big Screen

Well, I’d not expected to be at this stage of things for another 6 months, at least. But ‘reality just is’ – E.M.Smith. So here I am.

The earlier articles in this series are here:

I’m posting this article from my bedroom, on a nice 32 inch HDTV that was sold for “dirt cheap” as it seems 720p is yesterdays dogfood and 1080p is on clearance. I’d bought a 720p Toshiba for something like $128? at Best Buy. The intent was to have something to replace a dead SD TV while I learned enough about HDTV to make an informed decision.

I made the mistake of setting it up in the living room on the coffee table so the spouse could see what I was “up to” and assist in the decision making about what was to be done in the living room (as that very large SD Sony was getting buzz in the sound when text was displayed). Well, SWMBO “helped” alright. “It was decided” that ‘my’ set was to remain in the living room until something better replaced it…

The Shopping, Phase 2

So I went on an accelerated learning curve. Yesterday I bought a ‘clearance’ model 43 inch LG 1080p for the living room. I’m now partly through the setting up process (as of last night).

Why LG? The spouse and I did a round robin of The Usual Stores and took a look at screens. LG and Sony were the best picture by far (with Samsung a very close 3rd) and everything else was “also ran” or some brand from China we had never heard of before. (The Best Buy house band of “Insignia” looked good, but who knows what it is or if the FBI was invited in; while COSTCO had a TCL that looked nice and they do strong evaluations, but again who knows what it is). In the “reputational search”, a lot of folks complained about the new Sony sets having weak plastic shells and that the “smart” functions failed a lot. Don’t know if it was sour grapes by competitors, or folks “like me” who had a Perfect Sony that was built like a tank and lasted 20? years – God knows – complaining that this wasn’t quite the same. In any case, the complaints on LG were fewer. Then, it was being sold much cheaper. (Likely due to the push into 4K land and the lack of traditional audio out jacks – at least 50% of the complaints on the smaller LG sets were about inability to connect their sound bar or legacy high end sound systems AFTER they got it home and discovered the lack of “goezoutas”.

How much less? A couple of $Hundred.
To me, that’s enough to be ‘real money’.

OK, cutting to the chase, the 40 inch LG was sold out ( $280 or so price point, so not a surprise) and I took about a $Hundred upsell to the next larger size that came with “smart” built in. But nobody could tell me what that meant other than that I could get Netflix and it involved apps. One cute and, it turns out, smarter than the rest, clerk told me (on direct questioning of what that meant – Roku or Chromecast or…) that it was “their own version and app store”. And that it is. The offerings have all the dreck of ROKU filtered out, and several of the better higher end things in, plus some Korean favorites (guess where LG is from…).

LG Stuff

Setting it up was easy. The feet and plastics seem nice and sturdy. The color and overall screen performance is fine and off axis is great compared to others. Sound is quite good (note: I’m not a soundbar person, I’ve got high end cut-off from hearing loss, and hate “thumpa thumpa” over the top base…) and I’m generally pleased.

The Bad:

Their app store is very limited compared to ROKU. Partly that is just the filtering out the crap; but I have not found a lot of very good, and free, stations. Like RT, Al Jazeera, and more. Were I limited to the LG Apps, especially after drowning in the flood of all things ROKU, I’d be disappointed. It is ‘enough’ to get started (what with things like Netflix, Vudu, etc.) but a lot of it requires sending money.

The set keeps trying to toss me into a ‘scan for local stations’ when I accidentally do anything on the remote that puts it in ‘TV Mode’. I’ll need to fish out the bowtie antenna at least long enough to let it scan and find something so it stops that.

Plugging in the Roku Stick, there were a LOT of issues. Picture would freeze. Sometimes a channel would drop. Seems the set has 2 HDMI ports, and one is “IN only” while the other is “In and Out”. The “In and Out” one confuses the ROKU. Works fine in the other one. As that, now, fills my “IN only” HDMI ports, I suspect I will end up in ‘swap the plugs’ land if I want to add a computer, like the one I’m using now…

Don’t expect to plug in legacy sound gear. No headphone jack. No bluetooth to a headset. No RCA jacks. There is a square optical digital sound out, so you can go spend a ton of money on something new. Enjoy… /sarc; Or find something new that takes HDMI for sound and doesn’t mind being flooded with video out stream on the same HDMI.

It seems (after way too little time exploring) like their interface puts the “apps” in order of addition across the bottom of one screen (home screen) in a single row. So maybe only having a few is a good thing… You get to scroll and scroll and scroll…

The So-So:

They do give you their legal agreements on the screen during set up. It basically says they will spy on you and use it to sell you stuff. They collect your identity information and your IP address and share it around with only a few close trusted friends, or anyone they merge with in the future, or any ‘partner’ where it might be helpful … to them. OK, it IS what I expected, nice to see it in print.

So far it has NOT demanded any PII (like credit cards or email addresses) but I’ve only chosen free content so far.

The set comes with zero documentation beyond how to attach the feet and the usual safety nags (one in about 3 dozen languages…) I didn’t need any to set it up, but get to “go fish” on their internet site to find how to use advanced functions (like the 4 colored buttons across the bottom of the remote, one of which says something about ‘eye mode’ when pushed and who knows what the others do).

The Chrombox and the Toshiba

So the experience with the Roku and the 2-way HDMI told me I need to learn a lot more about what that flavor of HDMI is, and does, and is compatible with, before I stick a second thing into the LG set.

The good news is that I get “my” TV back…

The bad news is that putting the Chromebox OR a Pi on the LG TV is ‘off in the future’ after some learning curve on HDMI variations and compatibility. IFF it had had 3 HDMI ports, I’d be posting this from the living room couch…

Instead, I’ve got the Toshiba set up back in the bedroom, and the Chromebox plugged into it. (Note to self: Get a bluetooth or wireless keyboard with trackpad – Sitting 3 feet from a 3 foot monitor screen your eyes are too slow in the scan from one side to the other… ;-)

OK, it clearly is working AS a Chromebox. That means all my marked Youtubes et. al. and my “Internet TV links” from the tab up top ( ) are all now available on a large screen with better sound than the old PC; AND it means I can use my bluetooth headset with the Chromebox.

At this point, I think I’m about 50% done.

This Morning and The Future

So this morning, before even getting out of bed, using the ROKU (that I’d moved in here for the morning), I was able to do a quick “toe dip” tour of the daily news on France-24, Sky News, RT, Al Jazeera, Newsmax, and NBC. I also did a ‘dip’ into the WSJ online video feed, but didn’t get to the Washington Post app yet.

I do have to give a shout out to NBC. They had a ‘please give us feedback’ form on their page saying it was Beta. They had a live news now feed that I started out watching. Then I did a tour of their on demand videos. They have a LOT of stuff up. Having the live feed (2 of them!) was nice as a “just get me hooked up with what is happening now”. I’d suggest adding a 3rd live feed that’s a 30 minute repeating cycle of whatever news is hot at the moment. Repeat the big 3 or 5 stories of the day, and a constantly changing set of minor stories that pop up, then fade as not that important. Their Beta is better than many folks “production”.

Then I made morning tea and set up the Chromebox.

It is VERY clear to me that pretty much all the Internet TV services exist to harvest information about you and use it to sell you stuff, or to sell information to others. Just FYI. So I figured that given Chrome is already doing that too, I might as well hook it up and play with it.

FWIW, I’m now a bit more motivated to try Kodi on the Pi. Likely sometime a few weeks from now. Sound to the Viewsonic didn’t work, likely as I was using HDMI for the video through an HDMI to DVI converter, and round plug for audio, and everyone expects Real HDMI to a Real HDTV. At least, that’s what I hope. So “some Pi” will be tested driving the TV.

I really really hope I can get a Pi running with some kind of software that lets ME control my information. While I’m not particularly bothered that someone will find out I like watching “Plan 9 From Outer Space” or watch a LOT of news, or that we watch NCIS, I don’t need them inspecting the list of things I’ve put on the “take a look at it once” list and start putting up ads for Russian Brides because that fits some demographic of folks watching the Russian Travelogues or ‘whatever’.

So that’s what’s on the cards “going forward”:

Test the Pi. Maybe build a Kodi driving the TV.

Learn the kinds of HDMI and who plays well with what so something in addition to ROKU can be plugged into the LG.

Clean up all the packing material et. al. from the living room ;-)

SLOWLY sort through the 344 remaining ROKU apps and toss some more trash (like the 2 dozen Sci-Fi and Horror ones where I’m sure I don’t need them all)

Learn the LG store better. Figure out if the “smart” function is really worth anything to me, or if I’m just going to buy a second ROKU. BTW, found out the two more expensive ROKU devices are for 4K feeds. At this point, I see no reason to “go there” as I don’t have a 6 foot tall TV ;-) IFF I deprecate the built in “smart” function, I’ll block it from tattling via the expedient of pointing the WiFi interface to ‘dead air’. On the “someday” list is to just build a filter that identifies and blocks the tattling function in my interior router. Just enough to prevent the tattle but not so much as to break services ;-)

Figure out if I can get / use “Chromecast” via the Chromebox and direct HDMI feed of the TV. That would let me explore what Google thinks I ought to be watching on TV ;-) At that point, I’d have 3 different HDTV “smart TV” options to inspect. LG, Roku, and Chromecast. That would just leave AppleTV as one of interest (being $100+ not of all that much interest…) and Amazon Fire. (From the commercial set… I’m sure their might be others, but I’ve not noticed them yet. I’m more interested in the Roll-Your-Own world of the rebellion ;-) But this set would let me do some interesting observation / evaluation.

OK, with that, I’m off to try catching up on all the things I was supposed to be doing before my priorities were “made right” by SWIMBO… /snarc; Which includes catching up on some Global Warming and Political websites and returning yet again to my queue of “postings in progress” and moving a few further along.

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