O.T.R.A.- Again…

I’m going to be On The Road Again, again, for the next couple of weeks.

Nothing interesting, really, I have to run off and fetch some of my “stuff” from where I left it 1/2 a year ago (including the Banana Boat – yellow 1979 Mercedes wagon…) so things will be “sporadic”.

I’m taking a laptop and a Pi with me, but likely will not be able to do much tech work (so don’t expect to get “Pi Running FOOnix” postings! ;-0 but supposedly there’s WiFi all along the way). Though when driving WiFi isn’t very helpful as you can’t type ;-)

I’ve got way too much stuff ‘backing up’ to do / post / buy / sell / AARRHHHggg!’ and I’m just taking a dive into the deep end and we’ll see what gets wiped off the list…

In the mean time, enjoy your holiday preparations as I make a mad dash… (The family is quite happy that they get to stay home and tend the tree ;-) I do hope to ‘stay connected’ and get some stuff done, but who knows what the road will bring…

As a minor talking point: I’m going Grey Mutt…

I’d picked out a nice $190 or so flight, and then in a day it was gone and anything where the schedule worked was about $450+ and rising (most over $600). Turns out by spending a couple of days on the dog (supposedly with WiFi on board) at $230 or so, I get to my destination faster than if I push the flight out to get an “only” $300 fare… So both cheaper and faster to ride the dog than fly, for my budget. Sigh. (Why we don’t have maglev trains or even just 60 mph Disney Monorail coast to coast and Canada to Mexico for 1/2 that is an interesting question… they can be placed down the median of existing freeways so right of way isn’t the thing, and they are way more efficient using electricity, so fuel isn’t the issue… so I’m suspecting something about Government Union Labor that’s the issue… BTW, Bay Area Rapid Transit BART runs electric trains down the freeway median from SFO / Oakland all the way out to Livermore, so this isn’t a theoretical…)

Well, it’s been a good 40 years since I last road a Greyhound bus (local route… stopped at every single dustbunny from Sacramento to Oregon… averaged about 28 MPH…) this is supposedly an ‘express’ so faster. Schedule says it’s about 15 hours longer than when I drive it and don’t bother to sleep… or about 15 faster than if I take a hotel a couple of nights… I’m also not sure if sleeping in the bus seats is really going to work out well, but, well, I’m committed now.

Oh, and I have something like 4? transfers to other buses… L.A., Dallas, Houston, Mobile (and maybe something in Louisiana… I need to read the ticket again ;-) so at various times, some in the dead of night, I need to not end up riding the same bus I’m on to Chicago ;-)

Then, after a couple of days R&R in Orlando, I’m back in the Banana Boat bringing it back to the only mechanic who truly understands her… Seems nobody in Orlando works on anything older than about 2000, and a 1979 European Model with Points and Carburetor just makes them glaze and gurgle… She’ll enjoy the time in the dry of California… and I hope to get the A/C working before a return trip to Florida… “We’ll see” when the estimate of repairs comes in…

Ah, the joys of being “bi coastal”…

So, with that, behave yourselves, and talk about what interests you, knowing that if you end up in “moderation” it might take me a day or three to get the laptop or tablet charged, find WiFi, connect and process the backlog… With luck, I’ll be “up” 24 x 3 as the WiFi on board is just great and wonderful… in reality I doubt there is much WiFi available near Van Horn Texas (Next gas 237 miles…) in the middle of the desert…

“Let the adventure begin”, or “This life is NOT a dress rehearsal, take BIG bites!” (Heard from someone long long ago and no idea where it originated…)

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Posted in Human Interest | Tagged , | 32 Comments

Everybody Was Con-cern Trolling!…

This posting isn’t about the Trump Transition, that’s on the TT-7 posting.

No, this one is about The Media. In particular, one specific aspect of the media. Plus the way the public response to a time worn tactic has changed thanks to the internet.

Sidebar on Title: For anyone wondering why ‘concern’ is hyphenated in the title, it is a play on the song lyric “Everybody was Kung Foo Fighting…” What went wandering through the mind when observing this “Concern Troll” food fight on the T.V., and an example of how the ‘echo’ of things works in The Flash…

So I’m sucking down my morning first coffee while cycling through the Talking Heads to find out if the world ended while I was asleep and nobody bothered to wake me…

The major “topic du jour” being one of Kelly Ann scoffing at a DNC/ Hillary Communications person and pointing out that Hillary lost simply because she is a bit of a Troll herself and couldn’t connect with all those folks she sees as “Deplorables”. Had no interest in the problems of us little people, and was using her offices to collect $Millions by breaking the law. And maybe, just maybe, folks actually didn’t like the idea of the Condescending Unstable Thief In Chief. (Kelly Ann, you rock! Take your victory lap. Hell, take one a week for the rest of the year, I love watching you Aikido your opposition, and I think you love it too! ;-) BTW, Aikido is the martial art based around NOT engaging emotionally in the battle, but returning your attackers energy to them, so that they defeat themselves…)

The secondary topic being that Trump actually was polite and took a phone call from the President of Taiwan. Oh, the horrors. It was this one that got me noticing something. Here were all these talking heads SOOoooo concerned that Trump had violated 40 years of Tradition by taking this phone call AND WORSE, calling the President of Taiwan by her title as President!

Well first, let me sate my bias: I’m for tossing out 100% of anything and everything Nixon did as President. He gave use the 55 MPH speed limit nationally that sucked person-centuries out of our collective lives and turned crossing Texas from a 1 day marathon into a 2 or 3 day ordeal (NOT hyperbole, I’ve done it under three different speed limits, and 55 sucks raw eggs compared to 80 that it is now.) Pretty much everything he did was wrong. One of his ‘great legacy’ items was the ‘opening of China’; like that’s worked out well for American workers and manufacturing…

Now I’m not looking for a trade war with China, just some realism. In this case, the realism about Structural Lying.

You see, the ‘deal’ with China is a structural lie. We, the USA, had asserted there was Only One China, even as Mao had divided it in two, and made three China’s (Mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) with the then legitimate government of China run out to the island. But we both agreed to just keep saying “Only One China” while they would assert that means the mainland owns Taiwan and we would assert that means Taiwan can claim sovereignty over the mainland ‘someday’. (Both of us ignoring that the people of what is rightly called Formosa didn’t think of themselves as Mainland Chinese anyway and were NOT happy with a flood of mainland Chinese Government types flooding in and taking over their island as ‘China’…) That is the fundamental lie at the core of US / China relations.

What Trump did was expose the lie.

Now the Chinese really love to lie, but really hate to have it exposed. I’ve spent years (decades?) occasionally partnering with Hong Kong Chinese on projects, and for a while reported to a Mainland Chinese V.P. of Engineering (she had gotten here through Hong Kong then Canada… back in the ’90s) so I’m pretty comfortable with working in that culture. This isn’t a pejorative statement by me, it is an observation. Be Very Polite, and never expose or even mention The Polite Lies. Observe them, bank them, and move on. What the Mainland Chinese Government is upset about is that Trump is exposing The Lie.

Now from my POV, what he did was simply to observe a weakness in the Chinese, observe The Lie, and see an opportunity. There are a LOT of things Don Donald wants out of China. The Chinese play the game of “I’ll give me mine if you give me yours”. Donald isn’t going there… So what he did is the emotional equivalent of showing your opposition a nice little photograph: “Say, you’ve got some nice kids there playing in the park. Here’s my Security Man giving them some chocolate… they seem to really like candy…” then asking if they would like to negotiate on those trade deals… China now is livid and “Wants Something” from Trump. They want him to continue The Lie. He’s got a big chip on the table now…

The Media

That’s the set up, but the point is about The Media. Oh the Concern! Oh, the agony. Oh, the potential damage from that clearly inattentive and unschooled Trump!

But we’ve seen this play before. We, collectively, have racked up millions of Internet Troll Hours. Where 20 years ago the act of “Unbiased Concern” was a good gimmick for a reporter, we now see it like a bright flashing beacon of Concern Troll Alert! Alert! Alert!… Our collective experience has heightened our awareness of Concern Trolls

concern troll

A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of “concern,” to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don’t really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending.

A concern troll on a progressive blog might write, “I don’t think it’s wise to say things like that because you might get in trouble with the government.” Or, “This controversy is making your side look disorganized.”

In terms of The Nightly News:

A reporter who posts on a news show, in the guise of “concern,” to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that The Donald and/or his supporters may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or tradition. They point out problems that don’t really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending.

And that, IMHO, is the problem for The Nightly News Talking Heads. In large part, especially on CNN and MSNBC and even to some extent on Fox, they have adopted the role of Concern Troll In Chief, and frankly, my ‘concern’ is all worn out.

See, they have forgotten about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. When one is worried about losing the house, not having a job for a year, how to pay back a $1/4 Million School Loan while working at Starbucks as a Barista with your Advanced SJW Degree, watching your sons and daughters go off to Iraq again perhaps to die, or just struggling to speak Spanish at the store so you can buy necessities (NOT hyperbole – I’ve done it twice in the last two weeks as the staff were all native Spanish speakers…); under those circumstances it just doesn’t make a God Damn Difference who’s phone call The Donald takes.

Basically, Dear Professional Concern Trolls: “Frankly, my Dear Troll, I just don’t give a damn.”

And that, in a nutshell, is the problem facing our Nightly Concern Trolling. The audience has collectively “moved on”. Both due to Maslow putting our concerns firmly elsewhere, and due to our being experienced netizens these days who have had a daily belly full of Concern Trolls for the last decade. The Concern Troll role doesn’t play well anymore. We spot them fast and shut them down. That’s why The Donald can do whatever he damn well pleases. We already know what will be on the nightly news. It will be:

“Oh, I’m so concerned that Trump did {thing}, he is offending {SJW List Of Special Topic Folks} and damaging relationships with {Persons Du Jour}. I really hope he isn’t that {dumb | naive | uneducated | mean | incompetent | {insert other insult}}. How can we help him avoid offending {class list} again? Perhaps by {doing our agenda here}? He really doesn’t ‘get it’ about {tradition | OUR prior precedent | Progressive Norms} does he? Who can help him?”

And our Concern Troll Klaxon starts to klax… “Dive Dive Dive, we are under attack. Load all torpedo tubes and full speed ahead!”…

And a large Trump Train starts to form behind Dear Leader Donald and his staff. Folks more worried about their paycheck, their town, their neighbors, their America than any damn phone call from The President of Taiwan or preserving Nixon’s Lie Legacy.

Frankly, if Donald manages to Royally Piss Off the Chinese Government, I’m just fine with that. They have zero “concern” with how we feel, why ought we care about their sensitivities? Sure, they can sell off our Government Bond hoard of about $1 Trillion. In the process losing any leverage that represents, driving up interest rates (and bond prices down) which is what the economy needs right now (The Fed about to attempt it by fiat with a rate hike) and generally costing themselves a bundle on trading losses. Sure they can ignore North Korea and let them run a bit wild… and that would be different from the last 8 years how?… Heck, they could even try to claim ownership of the South China Sea and build illegal islands on sandbars (oh, wait…). Heck, they might even stop selling us air conditioners and (pre-hacked) computer equipment… and forcing US manufacturers to hire us to go back to work for a paycheck…

In short, President Elect Trump has recognized that this is a one-way relationship, he’s seen an easy 3 point pickup ball he can toss in the ring, and he’s got their attention that the players on the court are changing… What’s not to like?

So Dear Concern Troll Press: It isn’t working. Why don’t you try this instead: Just report what happened, who did it, when and where. Perhaps a bit of unbiased history on it. I’m really worried that you are going out of business if you keep up your present trolling behaviours. Is there any way I can help?…

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Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

TT – minus 7 weeks

The Trump Transition “TT” at minus 7 weeks.

December has 4 weeks, and 3 more in January. Sporadically I’ll put up additional TT posts as any one gets too full to load quickly, or as some event causes me to desire to put a head post up on the topic.

Prior similar threads are:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/11/23/tt-minus-8-weeks/

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/hillary-trump-the-election-and-aftermath/

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/democrats-lords-of-chaos-choose-defiance/

For this one, the interesting bits are the likely Fail on legal grounds for the pointless recounts in Mi and Pa. That, and this weekend Austria has a vote (IIRC) where an Austrian Trump (i.e. Nationalist Populist) is likely to win, The French vote next week(?) where the present President has given up and said ~”why bother, I’m toast.” and it looks like a choice of “Far Right” or “Very Far Right” (where “right” really just means “Maybe put France before a hoard of invaders?”…) then there is some vote in Italy having to do with banking that might sink the Euro (at least in Italy, but perhaps taking banks down with it across the EU) and of course, NEXIT with a Dutch burr under the saddle. Mr. Soros must be just livid, watching his carefully crafted “take down” of the Western Democracies fall to ruin in one flood of WTF? from the voters…

Then there is Russia. The News Crawler on Fox Biz? had something about a bill working through congress (whos?) to ‘fight Russian influence’ somewhere, somehow.. Since the Russian Government at the moment looks both more sane and more competent than ours (at lest until Jan. 20) I’m not seeing their ‘influence’ as all that much of a risk… Can we let go of the Russian Boogeyman for a while and focus on the real rotten apples of Soros, his spawn, all their Suckups and Sycophants, and the various “foundations” (like “open society foundations”) globally that are actively fomenting violence, turmoil and the fall of governments? There’s a track record in the “Color Revolutions” showing their activity. It’s not a hypothetical.

At any rate, I’ve not got enough for an article on those points, so they’re here as ‘starters’…

Let the conversing commence!

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Posted in Political Current Events | Tagged , , , , | 97 Comments

Tips – December 2016

About “Tips”:

While I’m mostly interested in things having to do with:

Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on the first one…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology

If something else is interesting you put a “tip” here as you like.

You can also look at the list of “Categories” on the right hand side and get an idea of any other broad area of interest.

This ought not to be seen as a “limit” on what is “interesting”, more as a “focus list” with other things that are interesting being fair game as well.

The History:

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Tips pages, don’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I’m shifting from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting disappears or gets full, I’ll add a new one. That will restore the broken function.

I will be keeping the same general format, with the T page still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings. With that, back to the Tips boiler plate:

This is an “overflow” posting from prior Tips pages as they had gotten so large it was taking a long time to load. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/tips-november-2016/.

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. I have also added a Tips category (see list at right) and will be marking Tips postings with that for easy location.

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Bye Bye Kellogg’s…

You would think that when hit over the head with a baseball bat, folks would remember it and learn not to do whatever it was that immediately preceded that moment. But now, folks Leaning Hard Left seem to be collectively Very Slow Learners.

After the KuperJerk decided to politicize football, the NFL has posted surprisingly low viewer stats and ESPN is in freefall with about 1 million ‘cord cutters’ in the last 2 months. Trump mentioned the NFL falloff, but attributed it to folks wanting to watch The Trump Show of the election instead of football, while I think Trump is important in the whole process, I think it was the S.F.Jerks On Parade Knee that caused a lot of folks to just ask “IF I’m not going to be watching that shit, why do I need to pay for ESPN?”…

So out comes Kellogg’s who decides to pull their advertising from Breitbart. Did they not notice we had this big election and PC Genuflect Bought The Farm?

BTW, no ‘trigger warning’, if you can’t get by without it, get out.

Dear Kellogg’s:

It’s really really simple. In the morning, grumping my way to the kitchen and trying to remember to put coffee in the maker BEFORE turning it on, the very LAST thing I want to see or have shoved in my face is Political Assholes. YOU have made Tony The Tiger into a Political In My Face Asshole and he is now banned from my home.

Oh, and that goes for your stupid dog too, or whatever other products you make.

We, the Average Joe and Average Jane have put up with this Protest Shit to the absolute limit, and we were pushed past that. It’s now broken. That means full on war. Yes, you have a pissed Germanic-Celt in your grill. I’ll “forgive and forget” in about 20 years.
When I Die.

In one simple stupid move, you have alienated about 1/2 of the country. That is called being a dumb shit and a dick head. Hopefully your board will fire your collective asses.

Now we’ve watched “your side” do all kinds of stupid Street Theatre Protests and break things and generally be little children in a tantrum, and we patiently waited for the police to change your diapers. Lately, the Police have been mostly standing around for photo-ops as you break things, but that will hopefully change soon. We’ve also sat back while The Left boycotted all sorts of things, driving cake makers and barbers into ruin. No More.

First step is just “Tit For Tat”, then it will be “Two Tits for one Tat”. You don’t want to see what comes after that.

So you boycott? We boycott. You are now persona non grata.
Don’t let the door hit you on your way to the garbage can.

Some Quotes from Breitbart

http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2016/12/01/kelloggs-stock-drops-another-1-44-end-thursday-trading/

Kellogg’s Stock Drops Another 1.44% at End of Thursday Trading

Kellogg’s shares (NYSE: K) dropped 1.44% on Thursday, the day after accusations of child labor exploitation and the launch of Breitbart News’ #DumpKelloggs campaign brought the snack company’s value down 2%.

Kellogg’s stock fell $1.04 to close at $70.96 per share. The combined two-day drop has been $2.66 per share, down 3.6% from $73.62 at the start of Wednesday trading.

That is only the start.

On Wednesday, Yahoo! contributors Alexis Christoforous and Rick Newman suggested that Kellogg’s decision to publicly disavow Breitbart was not a smart one. Christoforous declared, “Cereal needs to be agnostic.” Newman said, “This is just not what companies want to do… Does Kellogg’s basically want to say, ‘We don’t want anybody who belongs to the conservative side of the spectrum to eat our cereal’? I don’t think so. They probably wish they had done this differently.”

No Shit Sherlock!? Do we really need to spell it out to these folks that they need to STFU on Politics when at work? The Left has already parasitized and functionally broken Government and Education (not to mention a huge number of “Foundations” who’s founders would never have wanted their wealth to go to The Left). The result has been a Trumplash of Government, the Dept of Education to be euthanized shortly…

Does Kellogg’s wish to join the line just behind the Dept. of Educrats?…

BTW, Breitbart has a dump Kellogg’s petition up, for folks who do the petition thing. Me? I just don’t feed the idiots at Kellogg’s any of my money.

Gail, in a comment here:

https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/tips-november-2016/#comment-75857

included a link to the Kellogg’s brand portfolio. Here’s what is NOT going into my shopping cart.

http://www.kelloggcompany.com/en_US/brandportfolio.html/

Kellogg's
Pringles
Cheezit
Keebler
Austin
Mother's
Morningstar
Carr's
Gardenburger
Murray Sugar Free
Famos Amos
Frosted Mini-Wheats
Pop-Tarts
Chips Deluxe
Eggo
Krave
Townhouse

I’ve not bothered to list the specific cereals like Froot Loops, Corn Pops, All-Bran, Fiber Plus, Nutrigrain, et. al. as they typically have “Kellogg’s” emblazoned on them too. If in doubt, hit the link and check out your favorite brands.

BTW, I do not endorse throwing the product out if you already own it. You do NOT want to spike cereal sales buying a replacement. Just use it up and buy a different brand next time you shop. Post is good. Generics may be made by them, so you might need to verify who makes a particular generic (check the site code in the zebra stripe or look at point of origin on the package).

Me? I’m happy to eat oatmeal and malto-meal and just skip the whole category, or have bacon and eggs for a while.

Home made French Toast is another great alternative.

IF time permits, I’ll put up some of my favorite breakfast foods to replace cereals and toaster pastries. I’d also bet a quick web search would turn up lots of “DIY” Pop-Tart Replacements…

Some Interesting Charts

Looks like Kellogg’s is the “Special K” of stocks at the moment:

(For those not familiar with American Slang, the drug Ketamine is sometimes called “Special K”, as are those who use it and become stuporous with uncontrolled body movements. This has now generalized to anyone not all together functional and ‘not all there’… used as an insult, as in “How you doin’ today Special K?” and yes, it’s a Kellogg’s brand.)

Kellogg's one year daily from Nov of 2016

Kellogg’s one year daily from Nov of 2016

While it has generally been on a downtrend lately (since July) the last two days have been a pretty quick kick in the rear.

Price under the SMA stack, MACD below zero and weaving, DMI ‘red on top’. A stock to stay out of. “Sell ’em if you got ’em”.

Disney took a big hit on some missed numbers from ESPN. (Gee… I wonder why…)

Disney one year daily chart from Nov 2016

Disney one year daily chart from Nov 2016

It crashed last February, did the Dead Cat Bounce through June, retested the low in October, and held, then started a (tepid) recovery.

It is presently price above the SMA stack (that is having a crossover to the right order) and MACD above zero and looking to weave sideways. It might well crossover to the downside as price ‘kisses’ the SMA stack (that would be an ideal time to buy) and DMI is ‘blue on top’.

The indicators say to buy Disney at this point and more on any pullback. Right now it’s a bit far from the SMA stack, so I’d expect a pull back to the ideal buy point, but that could come $10 higher, so I’d “scale in” with 1/2 a buy now and 1/2 on any pull back.

As the ESPN thing broke well before the Kellogg’s Frosted Feet In Mouth, Special K (ellogg’s) can expect more downside before being in “buy” territory as a stock. I’d wait at least 6 months to see how far sales fall off, and if folks simply never return once they tried the alternative. (Frankly, I like Walmart’s Double Raisin Bran better than anything Kellogg’s labeled, but I don’t know who makes it. Even if it is a Kellogg’s relabel, the profit margin to Kellogg’s will be way thin, as Walmart really crushes vendors margins.)

In Conclusion

Dear Progressive Entitled Aristocracy,

We, The Deplorables, have been busy sharpening our pitchforks and getting the tar hot for the last few years. Plucking chickens and turkeys and saving up the fluff for a good moment. Now Trump has lit the torches and we’re milling around looking for someone who’s pissed us off for the last few years to, as Ricky put it, ‘splain things to ’em.

I strongly suggest that you ‘get clue’ and do that ‘getting it’, as my Texas Uncle says “Right Quick”. We’re done waiting.

Those of you who don’t get clue, and decide to poke this beast, please form a line to the East. We’ll get to you as quickly as we can. As there are several million of us, it ought not be a long wait. K took a hit inside the same day, and we’re just getting started. NFL and ESPN have been dropping for months now. So no need to pick a number, we can parallel process your asses into the slime pit. Just stay back from the polite company on our side as we don’t like to clean up splattered tar, loose feathers, or dripping slime.

NEXT!

E.M.Smith
Deplorable At Large.

(I have a wallet and I’m not afraid to use it…)

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Posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Political Current Events | Tagged , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Interesting bit on Netgear

Router Land

Sometimes there are folks who camp on ‘nearly right’ names with the intent of capturing your information. It’s very easy to type”FOO.com” when you ought to type “FOO.info” or “FOO.net” or “FOO.biz”. So I’m always a bit extra cautious about it, but even with that, I sometimes screw up too. Well, the Netgear WiFi router I sometimes use has a default login screen reached via a URL. I like to type it in as a number, like 192.168.1.1 (or whatever you set it to), but sometimes I use the default name. It knows this name and harvests it from any passing data stream to decide you want to log in to it (no DNS server config required…) That name? “www.routerlogin.net”

Well, being in a hurry, I’d typed “www.routerlogin.com”… Oops. At that point your login credentials can be compromised by someone giving you what looks like a valid login screen, but isn’t. I’d lost track of every prior login, so wasn’t sure if I had been spoofed… So who IS the one I typed?

67.222.132.213] returned a non-authoritative response in 141 ms:

Answer records
name	class	type	data	time to live
routerlogin.com	IN	SOA	
server:	nstwo.netgear.com
email:	dns@netgear.com
serial:	25
refresh:	10800
retry:	3600
expire:	2592000
minimum ttl:	900
900s	(15m)
routerlogin.com	IN	A	54.200.99.0	900s	(15m)
routerlogin.com	IN	A	54.218.118.186	900s	(15m)
routerlogin.com	IN	NS	nstwo.netgear.com	900s	(15m)
routerlogin.com	IN	NS	nsone.netgear.com	900s	(15m)
routerlogin.com	IN	NS	nsfour.netgear.com	900s	(15m)
routerlogin.com	IN	NS	nsfive.netgear.com	900s	(15m)

Looks like Netgear set up that address as a place to park Name Servers (as in ns as in nstwo, nsthree…)

Good job Netgear! So not only did they do a bit of ‘look ahead’ and assure that net address was theirs, but they put something useful there too. I’m no longer worried that I hit that link by mistake…

I do wonder if their gear is configured to look to their name servers as a ‘server of last resort’, or if it’s just a public service they are running. At some point I’ll need to trap those addresses and see if any traffic goes to them (other than my typos ;-)

It is also nice to have a set of 4 to 5 more name servers to add to my canonical list for “when all your usual name servers are down, what to try next?”. More than once I’ve had to pull that tattered bit of paper out of the binder to config a nameserver, any nameserver, so that I could get to the internet to find the nameservers I really wanted… Nothing like midnight at a down site with no services at all, trying to bring up internet service on fresh hardware, and not having a DNS server IP to put in for your first DNS lookups… (Much less of an issue now that Google has camped on some simple numbers like 8.8.8.8, but still… in a DDoS attack on them, or just because you don’t really like letting Google know what you are doing, it is nice to have alternatives.)

You can also look it up here:

http://www.whois.com/whois/routerlogin.com

That has a bit more information, like where Netgear is located:

Domain Name: ROUTERLOGIN.COM
Registry Domain ID: 110412749_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.networksolutions.com
Registrar URL: http://networksolutions.com
Updated Date: 2016-11-23T08:45:13Z
Creation Date: 2004-01-22T05:00:00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2019-01-22T05:00:00Z
Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
Registrar IANA ID: 2
[...]
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID: 
Registrant Name: Netgear, Inc.
Registrant Organization: Netgear, Inc.
Registrant Street: 350 E PLUMERIA DR
Registrant City: SAN JOSE
Registrant State/Province: CA
Registrant Postal Code: 95134-1911
Registrant Country: US

Doing the lookup the other way is also interesting:

http://www.whois.com/whois/54.218.118.186

We got that IP number from the first lookup.

NetRange:       54.218.0.0 - 54.218.255.255
CIDR:           54.218.0.0/16
NetName:        AMAZO-ZPDX4
NetHandle:      NET-54-218-0-0-1
Parent:         AMAZON-2011L (NET-54-208-0-0-1)
NetType:        Reallocated
OriginAS:       AS16509
Organization:   Amazon.com, Inc. (AMAZO-47)
RegDate:        2013-05-22
Updated:        2013-05-22
Ref:            https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-54-218-0-0-1
[...]
OrgName:        Amazon.com, Inc.
OrgId:          AMAZO-47
Address:        EC2, EC2 1200 12th Ave South
City:           Seattle
StateProv:      WA
PostalCode:     98144
Country:        US
RegDate:        2011-05-10
Updated:        2014-10-17
Ref:            https://whois.arin.net/rest/org/AMAZO-47
[...]
OrgName:        Amazon Technologies Inc.
OrgId:          AT-88-Z
Address:        410 Terry Ave N.
City:           Seattle
StateProv:      WA
PostalCode:     98109
Country:        US

So it looks like the Silicon Valley company Netgear is doing business with Amazon out of Washington State in Seattle. Using their AWS cloud server for their DNS provider. Or something like that. So if I’m looking to diversify my DNS providers “upstream”, I’d like to know if they are all running on AWS out of Seattle or not…

(Why I don’t have a Vanity Site Name all my own… I don’t particularly want all my PII in a globally searched public database… remember than when thinking of registering for a domain name. FIRST get your ‘corporate identity and P.O.Box’ lined up along with your personal redirection mailbox for the Corp reg and your burner phone and… Sigh. And they wonder why companies get hacked so easily… maybe because we put absolutely everything on line when it ought not be? )

Note that they used their own server for the IP lookup in that first name lookup link, so we can find out about them, too:

http://www.whois.com/whois/67.222.132.213

(You can get this same information with Unix / Linux commands like nslookup, dig, etc. but I’m showing web pages so everyone has a source they can use from any machine).

NetRange:       67.222.132.193 - 67.222.132.216
CIDR:           67.222.132.194/31, 67.222.132.208/29, 67.222.132.193/32, 67.222.132.200/29, 67.222.132.196/30, 67.222.132.216/32
NetName:        HELP-ORG--LLCNET
NetHandle:      NET-67-222-132-193-1
Parent:         DFW-DATACENTER (NET-67-222-128-0-1)
NetType:        Reassigned
OriginAS:       AS30277
Customer:       HELP-org- LLC (C02959243)
RegDate:        2012-04-13
Updated:        2012-04-13
Ref:            https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-67-222-132-193-1


CustName:       HELP-org- LLC
Address:        PO Box 1860
City:           Ocean City
StateProv:      NJ
PostalCode:     08226
Country:        US
RegDate:        2012-04-13
Updated:        2012-04-13
Ref:            https://whois.arin.net/rest/customer/C02959243

OrgAbuseHandle: DFWDA-ARIN
OrgAbuseName:   DFW Datacenter

[...]
OrgName:        DFW Datacenter
OrgId:          TMS-52
Address:        3000 Irving Blvd
City:           Dallas
StateProv:      TX
PostalCode:     75247
Country:        US
RegDate:        2003-08-19
Updated:        2012-06-05

That web page (“network-tools.com”) is in HQ in New Jersey, but running a data center in Dallas Fort Worth.

This kind of “Digging In” is valuable when setting up your DNS “upstream” provider list. You want real geographic diversification and real network diversification and real data center diversification, not just different names all running on the same Cloud Service in the same data center when the Richter 9+ quake sends a 200 foot tsunami over Redmond…

Pi Ville

FWIW, I’ve now got most of my internal machines and routers ONLY pointing at my Raspberry Pi B+ Alpine as my caching DNS server. It is barely showing any load from that plus occasional squid proxy work. Some things still point to the Telco box directly, so get it’s DNS server list (if brought up on that subnet / WiFi and not on the private side). Oh, and it’s my internal Time server too. So lots of time (ntp), DNS, web page cache hits, and Advertising killed via DNS traffic is no longer going out the wire to the Big Bad World.

My little Pi sits in the middle, caching and sharing and blocking the crap. On 24 x 7 x 365 with no issues to speak of. It sits, caseless at the moment, on the wooden desktop, sporadically blinking at me ;-) It’s been running for a couple of years now, and shows no signs of getting tired. (The first year+ on Debian, now Alpine). I’ve thrown some powerfails at it, and many restarts. Just keeps going.

I’ve added a USB Thumb drive / stick, just to see if it would take the added power draw. It did, but on reboot didn’t. Taking the WiFi Dongle out left enough power to get through the boot phase, but clearly to make it a WiFi Access Point AND file server will take either a larger more proper power supply (it is on a cheap $2 USB square thing, the same one that undervolted the M2 on full 4 core use…) or perhaps a Powered USB Hub for more devices.

For now, I’m just sporadically adding services to it, and it keeps taking them.

Well, back to the real world…

Me, lately?

For anyone wondering, I’ve been having an infrastructure day or two. The 3? “blown boot” BerryBoot chips (where I’d updated a kernel and discovered once again that BerryBoot has “special” kernel handling and that bricks the chip) finally got a ’round tuit’ and were restored from backup images on disk. I took the 4? newer chips without backups, and made backups. Etc. etc.

The WD 111 MB disk with UFS file systems on it is not recognized by the Pi at all!.

I was going to just use gparted to make it a Linux disk, but the MBR / boot blocks / whatever are not seen as anything, so it doesn’t even get a /dev/FOO name. Looks like I’ll have to plug it into a FreeBSD box, or maybe even (GASP!) MS Windows to get something that just blasts it back to Fat32 for me. (Had something like this once before, and IIRC, XP was happy to nuke it to fresh… Linux not so much… BSD wants to leave it BSD…) One more reason not to do much with BSD. Disks just don’t play well with others once they have “gone there” via partd on BSD / making UFS file systems.

I saved off the blown chip contents, so “someday” I can compare them with the originals and see what gets busted in a kernel update on BerryBoot systems. (They don’t boot, but the file system is fine – it’s some config thing.) Just be advised that any “update” or “upgrade” that changes the kernel will blow your BerryBoot boot. (The actual squashfs BB kernels and Data Files look intact, so you out to be able to suck those off to a different BB chip and recover. I’m going to test that thesis sometime too… but not now.)

Bottom Line is just this: Use a NOOBS installed direct boot chip if you expect to do things like Kernel Upgrades and / or convert one to Devuan. I’ve got a 1/2 finished posting on that, just up to the “brick the chip” step… The other 1/2 to be done once I get a NOOBS chip build with Debian and get the Debian to Devuan convert to work…(which prompted the ‘backup / recover’ chips so I can use one process…) Do Not Update A BerryBoot Kernel In Place. You must create the kernel, make it a squashfs format, then manually put it into the BerryBoot structure on the chip. A process I’ve not done yet, but have read up on (now… after the fact…). It doesn’t look too hard, but it isn’t what “scripts you find on the internet” expect unless explicitly BerryBoot.

OK, I’ve also now got 75 tabs of “interesting things” open in my Tablet browser (starting to slow it down as memory swap to chip sets in…) and I need to clear about a dozen of them out. So expect a few “quick postings” on small things, or maybe another Grab Bag posting. Guess what I’m doing the rest of the evening? :-)

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Entering a musl Void

I’m installing Void linux on the Raspberry Pi. The basic directions are here:

https://wiki.voidlinux.eu/Raspberry_Pi

A good part of the top bit has you using the parted command ‘long hand’. I just used gparted under Debian and that is MUCH easier (the g standing for ‘graphical’…). I’m doing a ‘root tarball’ install as that lets me use all of my 32 GB mini-SD card instead of just 2 GB that the fixed image is built to use. (Does anyone still sell 2 GB mini-SD cards?…)

So delete the default 32 GB FAT32 partition. Put back a 1 GB Fat32 partition (that I labeled “Void_Fat32”. Yes, it is bigger than their recommended 256 MB one, but I just no longer see much reason to make a partition smaller than a GB… I also added a 1 GB swap partition (see ‘linux swap’ under the file systems type drop down menu in gparted) labeled Void_swap; and then the rest went into a roughly 28 GB ext4 partition, labeled with Void_ext4. The labels make it nice when you do a “file -s /dev/whatever” as the label then tells you the expected use. It also makes clear in the /etc/fstab what’s what when you mount by label. Oh, and once the partitions are made, I marked the fat32 one as bootable (right click, manage flags, choose ‘boot’ checkbox).

Sidebar on a build tool Debian:

Once you have ANY Linux running with gparted on it, a whole lot of painful command line stuff just goes away. Even if it is just a Knoppix USB stick or a NOOBS or BerryBoot Debian chip. Since your first ‘out the gate’ learning of the Pi ought to be on their preferred system, you ought to have a Raspbian chip… just make sure gparted is there (they hide it under ‘preferences’ for no good reason I can see… it is a systems tool) or do an “apt-get install gparted” if it isn’t there.

So, moving back to Void…

They have you download a compressed tarball from here:

https://repo.voidlinux.eu/live/current/

Index of /live/current/

../
sha256sums.txt                                     20-Apr-2016 16:09                3411
sha256sums.txt.asc                                 20-Apr-2016 16:11                 819
void-beaglebone-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz        20-Apr-2016 14:32            65567652
void-beaglebone-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz             20-Apr-2016 14:23            73567852
void-cubieboard2-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz       20-Apr-2016 14:33            60434032
void-cubieboard2-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz            20-Apr-2016 14:24            68624664
void-i686-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz                   20-Apr-2016 14:31            31228548
void-live-i686-20160420-cinnamon.iso               20-Apr-2016 15:16           541065216
void-live-i686-20160420-enlightenment.iso          20-Apr-2016 15:05           508559360
void-live-i686-20160420-lxde.iso                   20-Apr-2016 15:18           436207616
void-live-i686-20160420-lxqt.iso                   20-Apr-2016 15:21           485490688
void-live-i686-20160420-mate.iso                   20-Apr-2016 15:12           638582784
void-live-i686-20160420-xfce.iso                   20-Apr-2016 15:08           527433728
void-live-i686-20160420.iso                        20-Apr-2016 15:01           253755392
void-live-x86_64-20160420-cinnamon.iso             20-Apr-2016 14:52           540016640
void-live-x86_64-20160420-enlightenment.iso        20-Apr-2016 14:39           508559360
void-live-x86_64-20160420-lxde.iso                 20-Apr-2016 14:55           436207616
void-live-x86_64-20160420-lxqt.iso                 20-Apr-2016 14:59           483393536
void-live-x86_64-20160420-mate.iso                 20-Apr-2016 14:48           638582784
void-live-x86_64-20160420-xfce.iso                 20-Apr-2016 14:43           527433728
void-live-x86_64-20160420.iso                      20-Apr-2016 14:36           258998272
void-live-x86_64-musl-20160420-enlightenment.iso   20-Apr-2016 14:44           493879296
void-live-x86_64-musl-20160420-lxde.iso            20-Apr-2016 15:01           420478976
void-live-x86_64-musl-20160420-lxqt.iso            20-Apr-2016 15:04           468713472
void-live-x86_64-musl-20160420-mate.iso            20-Apr-2016 14:54           622854144
void-live-x86_64-musl-20160420-xfce.iso            20-Apr-2016 14:49           511705088
void-live-x86_64-musl-20160420.iso                 20-Apr-2016 14:40           245366784
void-rpi-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz               20-Apr-2016 14:34            47320500
void-rpi-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz                    20-Apr-2016 14:26            55218888
void-rpi2-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz              20-Apr-2016 14:36            47758060
void-rpi2-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz                   20-Apr-2016 14:27            55651216
void-usbarmory-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz         20-Apr-2016 14:37            28332860
void-usbarmory-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz              20-Apr-2016 14:29            36256228
void-x86_64-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz            20-Apr-2016 14:38            22775200
void-x86_64-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz                 20-Apr-2016 14:30            31378964
xtraeme.asc                                        30-Apr-2015 11:07               11038

Note that Waaayyy down at the bottom are the R.Pi options. One set for the v6 Pi B and another for the v7 Pi-M2 (and, I’m assuming, Pi-M3… we’ll find out later if it works there too. Yes, I could read something somewhere, but where’s the fun in that? Besides, I’ll run it on the M2 if I must so all the work stays the same and later stuffing a chip in the M3 and trying a boot will take less time than looking and reading…)

I chose the rpi2-musl one as I’m interested in having smaller faster and somewhat unexpected standard libraries as Yet Another Protection against script kiddies. I know there are some things that don’t yet work on musl, but if that is a problem, I’ll swap to the glibc version on a future install / chip.

Then they have you mount the target chip. I made a directory /Void_Root and mounted it there, and then mounted the Fat32 partition as /Void_Root/boot. ( I did it ‘long hand’. On my box the chip was /dev/sdc, so I did a “mount /dev/sdc3 /Void_Root” and a “mount /dev/sdc1 /Void_Root/boot”. Your partition numbers may / will vary…

At this point I tried the tar command they list:

tar xvfJp void-rpi-rootfs-latest.tar.xz -C rootfs

And promptly got an error message that this wasn’t a zip file of some type… Seems I had typed:

tar xvfjp void-rpi-rootfs-latest.tar.xz -C rootfs

See the dramatic obvious difference? Yeah, right… It’s a capital vs lower case J. One of my pet peeves is folks using variation in caps as significant in Linux flags. Just not thinking about folks screen resolution and vision…

At any rate, I had, by then, unpacked the tarball from the .xz file using unxz

root@R_Pi_DebJ_DD:/Void_Root# ls -l ~chiefio/Downloads/void*
-rw-r--r-- 1 chiefio  500 165150720 Nov 25 10:55 /Pink/ext/home/chiefio/Downloads/void-rpi2-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar
-rw-r--r-- 1 chiefio  500 202424320 Nov 25 10:56 /Pink/ext/home/chiefio/Downloads/void-rpi2-rootfs-20160420.tar
-rw-r--r-- 1 root    root  55651216 Nov 25 11:01 /Pink/ext/home/chiefio/Downloads/void_saved_rpi2-rootfs-20160420.tar.xz

(note the about 3 to 4 times larger .tar compared to .xz for the non-musl glibc saved images)

and just finished the tar extract with

tar xvfp ~chiefio/Downloads/void-rpi2-musl-rootfs-20160420.tar  

Note that I’m actually picking up the tarball from an extract in my home directory “Downloads” directory, while I’m (as root) located in the target /Void_Root directory:

root@R_Pi_DebJ_DD:/Void_Root# pwd
/Void_Root

Everything unpacks very fast and doesn’t take much space at all:

/dev/sdc3       28480652   194276  26816580   1% /Void_Root
/dev/sdc1        1046516    16308   1030208   2% /Void_Root/boot

I would emphasize this line from their directions:

Do not forget to unpack the rootfs as root and with the -p flag to set appropiate permissions.

First time through I forgot to put the ‘-p’ on the command, so got to delete the files and redo it. Yeah, all of about 1 minute lost… but it could have been a pernicious permissions error if I’d not caught it.

At this point, it is time to boot the chip.

Umount the SD card filesystems from target rootfs directory.

You can tweak kernel boot cmdline arguments in the rootfs/boot/cmdline.txt file.

Insert the SD card and test the Raspberry PI boots correctly, the root password is voidlinux.

X11

At the very least this is the list of required packages:

$ xbps-install -Sy xorg-minimal xf86-video-fbturbo

To install all X client applications:

$ xbps-install -Sy xorg-apps

To install all X font packages:

$ xbps-install -Sy xorg-fonts

As final step make sure the user running X is part of the groups audio and video.

And it looks like there is a manual X configuration step (Oh Joy… NOT!). That means I have to shut down THIS Pi image that I’m using to make this posting… Which means no blog stuff for a little bit.

I’m going to put this up as a 1/2 done posting, just so it’s “out there”, then come back with more notes if if fails, or from it if I get X running and a browser up. Yes, “live as it happens coverage from The Void!”… ;-)

Back in a bit, one way or another…

Well, that was quick…

In both the M2 and M3 it gives a kernel panic, unable to mount root file system on unknown block or some such.

My suspicion is that it is essential to do these bits:

The /boot partition must also be added to /etc/fstab:

# echo ‘/dev/mmcblk0p1 /boot vfat defaults 0 0’ >> rootfs/etc/fstab

Umount the SD card filesystems from target rootfs directory.

You can tweak kernel boot cmdline arguments in the rootfs/boot/cmdline.txt file.

Insert the SD card and test the Raspberry PI boots correctly, the root password is voidlinux.

So I’m back in Debian doing that. Then I’ll try the boot again. But first, I think I’ll take a moment to think over a cuppa’… clearly I’m running a bit to ‘hot and fast’ and need a bit more ‘follow the directions and stay inside the lines’…

After It Booted and Ran:

Well this sucks.

I had to change /boot/cmdline.txt:

root=/dev/mmcblk0p3

It was p2, but since I added a swap partition at space 2, the actual file system it wants is at p3. OK, not hard.

Next, I had to add in /etc/fstab:

/dev/mmcblk0p1 /boot vfat defaults 0 0

just like the directions said to do (the Fat32 partition staying the first one).

Then it booted Just Fine.

X installed. Took about 10 minutes on a fast download wire (much of it spent unpacking fonts). So far, no worries.

It is small and Damn Fast, using only 13 MB of memory without X running.

Here’s the sucky part:

Doing a ‘startx’, it fails as twm can’t be found (twm being it would seem the default window manager). No Worries, I’ll just install it… Except it can’t find that package twm… Or lxde…

Now at this point my guess is that someone figured musl builds would really only be run by folks making routers and other headless things so X windows is very low priority ‘get to it some day’ stuff. The only alternative that’s likely is that there is some OTHER window manager it expects to use and I don’t know what it is or where it is hiding.

In any case, I’m not interested in spending the rest of today banking my head onto an X-Wall-Of-Stupid so I’m going to abandon the Void musl build. I now get to start over but trying the glibc build. NOT what I want to run, but we’ll see if it can make windows go… and give me a gui. IFF it does, then it is just a package build / debug to get windows onto musl ( where “just” can be measured in weeks to months to…) or get a pointer to where the working musl windows manager lives. If it doesn’t, then I’m finished with Void as this is way more complexity than the Average Pi User will accept. (My goal being an easy to set up and secure Pi Image for ‘regular folks’, and IF I have to start doing the whole Sr. Sys Prog process, then I’d rather just “roll my own from scratch” pre-build and have it fixed once, by me, with a scripted build anyone can run.)

With that update, I’m off to redo all this using the glibc version. I’ll not need to reformat the card (just remove the old bits) and I already know what to edit in cmdline.txt and /etc/fstab, so it ought to go quicker this time.

The glibc Void

Well I got it to boot on the first try (had /etc/fstab and config.txt right) and the X install done in 10 minutes (about 100 MB) and then even did a

xbps-install -Sy xterm twm

and then a ‘startx’ got me a twm session with a couple of xterm windows. Nice.

However….

Attempting to install lxde had me doing a search to find out WTF it was named

xbps-quesry lxde

and it had a pseudo-package group name of something like “lxde-0.5.1_13” or whatever the release was.

Installed that, or tried to. It barfed on some libraries it wanted and couldn’t find.

My conclusion at this point is that they haven’t got all the parts ported to the Pi / ARM chip yet. Either that, or it is a load of “Go Fish!” to find where things are hidden.

Being uninterested in either of those two, I’m “moving on”. Yet Another PC Focused Port, IMHO. Get things working on Intel x86 and cross compile and move on. What? Configure? Test? Um… Make a finished easy to install package? Um….

I might, someday, come back and try their pre-packaged 2 GB chip versions, but if the tarball is yucky, I doubt the chip one will work better with the libraries / archives / repositories… Since MY goal is not “Debug and finish Void” but “Get a robust easy to configure and USE in a graphical way SECURE OS preferably minus SystemD”, I’m going to “move on” to Slackware.

Yes, I got it running before and stopped at “make X go” (rather like I did with BSD), and yes it is fair to ask “What makes it any different from Void in not having X?”. The difference is a zillion users of Slackware (and BSD) and the odds are very very high the software is ported and works and it’s just a matter of ME learning the secret sauce. For a “young port” like Void, the odds are much higher I’m searching for the Holy Grail and Tilting At Windmills. I.e. wasting my time.

In Conclusion

Void may be the greatest thing since sliced bread and canned beer, but if so, it isn’t showing in the Raspberry Pi testing I’ve done. “Someday” I’ll come back and try it again, but for now, my priority is to find a better “Daily Driver” base OS devoid of SystemD. I think that will be found fastest with Slackware or BSD.

I’ll come back to Void Linux “someday”, but not soon. It just feels a bit too young right now (especially on the Pi – so I’m likely to try it ‘again’ with lxde on the Intel based laptop before anything more on the Pi.)

With that, I’m going back to my Slackware chip and see if I can get X / LXDE (or similar) running nicely on it. Likely a few days before I post anything about that effort.

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