W.O.O.D. – 11 Nov 2017

This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/category/w-o-o-d/

So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”

For this week, it is looking like Saudi Arabia is entering a hot war with Iranian Proxy States (one wonders how long Iran will stay “by proxy” only…), Syria is nearing the “all done with ISIS” stage (and now we can start the Assad as Iranian Proxy vs Sunni as Saudi Proxy stage?) and Trump shook hands with Putin – so expect a Democrat Party Explosion of trolling about being his stooge… /sarc;… maybe…

I’m starting a re-make of my Pi Cluster. Why? Well, the distcc nodes are still on a 3.x kernel so not compatible with the 4.x kernel version of ext4 file systems. (HOW on earth you can leave the version number the same and make it backward incompatible is beyond me…) Then I need to make them Devuan 1.0 official release to all match, and be current with an official release. I’m pretty sure I can make the whole stack Devuan, 4.x kernel, distcc cluster, and MPI cluster all in one go. At the same time, cleaning up some of the leftovers (trash) from prior build and use would also be nice to do. I’m also going to make a “chip” to add the Odroid XU4 to the cluster as a node (swapping out the “Dirty Driver” mini-SD card when I need the added 8 cores in the cluster), and add the Odroid C1 as a permanent member. That would give me 24 cores of v7 architecture in one cluster. At that point, I’ve “got enough” until I find some job it just won’t do…

Then it looks like the Justice Department has decided that RT must register as a “Foreign Agent”. One wonders when they will require the same for the BBC?… After all, it’s in the pocket of the UK. Oh, and DW needs to register too, based IMOH on it being in lock step with EU directives. Sigh. One of the best sources of “dirt” on our domestic political mess is being deemed P.Non.Grata and we’re to be left with the CNN Clinton News Network (Hey, Donna Brazil, how’s the Clinton coaching going?…) and pMSNBC bitching about all things Trump 24 x 7 as political theater. Just sad. I’m thinking of putting up more pointers to good RT articles just to point out the stupidity of it all.

Then there’s Catalonia. Province government leaders in jail, head guy (president? PM?) run off to Brussels so as not to be jailed himself. Locals in the streets pissed. Spain is screwing the pooch on this one, IMHO, and the EU is standing back just watching the travesty. It has even pushed Venezuela off the front pages as it’s a newer revolution… Though I do wonder how the EU can encourage Scotland & Gibraltar to split from the UK but hold Catalonia is an inviolate part of Spain and could not possibly be admitted to the EU upon division.

Finally, heard a talking head British Politician who’s title I didn’t catch saying “Why sure we can back out of Brexit.” Easy peasy, no problemo, just rescind the Article 50 statement. Sigh. I had no idea the swamp was as deep as the Atlantic and stretched for 10,000 miles. IMHO, May needs to just say “We’re out, bye. It’s over. If you want to have open trade with us, ring and we’ll start talks.” Then open trade deals with ANZUS, Canada, and the USA where you flush out the first 20% to 50% that’s a no brainer and state the intent to modify as the hard bits get done. Things like zero tariff on Australian and New Zealand lamb in exchange for zero tariff on UK candies and teas. (Or whatever makes sense and every one wants). Somebody in the UK government needs to realize the blood of Churchill is boiling at their timid wimpy Chamberlain approach to things. Shove your bloody cigar up their butt and leave. (Lit preferred.) They know where to come crawling when they want to sell some Mercedes and wine.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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118 Responses to W.O.O.D. – 11 Nov 2017

  1. jim2 says:

    Russia would love to have the impact of Soros. He need to be registered as a multiple election rigging offender, jailed, and then executed.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    What gets me is Soros loves talking about his “Color Revolutions” and controlling what government rises or falls, but he is not accused of “meddling”! Sheesh.

    Near as I can tell, the “propaganda” component of RT consists of showing some good things about life in Russia and exposing the dirt under the western carpet. They have a few shows that are too anti-banker and anti-capitalism for my tastes, yet the faults they point out are valid ones. (The bias is via omission of the countervailing benefits or the lack of any reasonable alternative.) Yet even those make you think about things; question the stuff you just ‘accepted without thinking’. Frankly, that’s part of why I like it. I have many more “Hmmm… let me ponder that” moments from an RT show than from a BBC or Fance24 show (and US “News” is substantially devoid of them… thinking being a sin to impose on an American audience…)

    Their degree of bias and ‘self-serving’ is not significantly different from that of the BBC and IMHO less than DW and far less than CNN. The also tend to keep a clean break between their news segments (bias only in what stories are covered, mostly) and their editorial shows (“Watching the Hawks” by Jessie Ventura – Gov. Ventura’s son… or “Keiser Report” that’s basically a “Banks horrible world dominating octopus, little people being screwed” show… but lots of folks believe that even on the “right wing”…) See the list of shows here:

    and note how many are run by Americans or other non-Russians. I mean, we’re talking Larry King fer Christ sake… and Ed Schultz.

    FWIW, I really love “Redacted Tonight” with John Oliver. He “rips ’em a new one” most very night. While I often don’t agree with his political slant (“poor downtrodden being exploited by powerful evil always”) he has a wonderful ability to slap arrogance up side the head and make me chuckle ;-) The latest show was just great.

    But none of that is 1/10th the influence of the Soros Octopus and his millions of minions.

  3. jim2 says:

    It seems to me that natural male behavior has been weaponized. Mankind evolved when life was relatively short. Human female can begin reproduction at around 12. This is so offspring would have a mother for the first 10 or so years of life.

    Of course, that is Mother Nature’s baseline. Due to technological advances, it no longer makes sense for younger teenagers to have children. Therefore, the laws against sex with teenagers are necessary and good for them.

    However, had a 30 year old Roy Moore dated an 18 year old, that’s not a show stopper. It’s neither illegal nor immoral.

    In a slightly different vein, there is nothing wrong with a man vigorously perusing a woman. As long as there is no force or professional quid pro quo, it is OK. But there seems to be no line drawn between normal male behavior and rape. It’s all being lumped into one basket.

    For the most part, laws against sexual discrimination are good and necessary. But in some cases I think the issue is being wielded to bring down some male power players in various industries and politics.

    Proof must be a necessary part of all this.

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    The loony side of left believes that the “population bomb” is going to destroy the planet. To “save” humanity they must destroy it. Starting with babies (contraception and abortion for all) and followed up with normalizing homosexual non-productive sex while daemonizing heterosexual normal behaviors and desires. Anything that reduces procreation.

    That it can also be turned into a “wedge issue” to enhance progressive votes from creating angst is an added dividend.

    Thus “rape” being extended to consensual sex when you did not get verbsl confirmation for any particular contact. Forget to ask specifically “may I kiss you” and get a confirmed yes, well, now it is nonconcensual no matter how enthusiastically engaged… which makes it rape. Similarly, Assange was accused because during consensual relations, the condom broke.

    You can no longer assume “rape” means forcible sex.

  5. kneel63 says:

    “Proof must be a necessary part of all this.”

    Should be – but sadly, it’s not. The accusation is enough these days. The accusation is NEWS. The trial is NEWS. The verdict? Not so much, unless it’s “Guilty”. You can be screwed forever because everyone KNOWS you are a [insert issue here], because you had to go to trial over it. Doesn’t matter if you got off, you’re still suspect. Doesn’t matter if it got thrown out and costs awarded to you on day one of the trial if it’s not reported as strongly as the accusation and the trial starting, does it? And it never is. Unless you get off on a “technicality” – then you’re still “evil”. Of course, getting “done” on a “technicality” is not news-worthy either.

  6. It is long past time that we start pushing back against stupid government and political correctness.

    With the exception of Donald Trump our “Leaders” in Washington are useless cowards. It does not matter what the issue of the day is. Our leaders will bow down to whatever the WaPo or NYT demands. It does not seem to matter to our “Leaders” that the media are wrong at least 80% of the time. Here are a few things that the media assured us were true because they dovetailed with a left wing, anti-American, race baiting agenda:

    Michael Brown was shot by a racist police officer.
    The death of the US ambassador in Benghazi was caused by an anti-Islamic video.
    The targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and Lois Lerner did not involve any criminal behavior.
    It is acceptable for John Koskinen (IRS) to defy the US Congress.
    The supply of weapons to Mexican drug cartels (Fast & Furious) did not involve criminal acts by US government officials.
    The sale of 20% of US Uranium reserves to Russian oligarchs involved no “Pay to Play” benefiting the Clintons or Obama administration officials.
    Donald Trump was elected as a result of collusion with Vladimir Putin.
    The Cambridge police acted improperly.
    Travon Martin was an innocent victim.

    Now our “Leaders” have removed their support for Judge Moore in Alabama based on allegations from the distant past. Mitch Romney was among the first to denounce Moore. Apparently he has forgotten how the media trashed him via a string of accusations…..bullying high school class mates…..mistreating animals…..abusing women employees and much more. John McCain is even worse………..”The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”

    If Roy Moore had been indicted for a crime, John McCain’s comment might be justified and I might agree with him. However, in that situation we would both be wrong given that there is a presumption of innocence. Robert Menendez has been indicted in a federal court but nobody is demanding that he step down. Menendez will remain a US senator unless he is convicted. The voters should be allowed to decide whether Judge Moore is worthy to represent them. If he is elected and later found guilty of some crime he should be treated just like Bob Menendez.

    Oooops! I forgot that Menendez is a Democrat whereas Moore is a Republican……..different rules apply.

  7. pouncer says:

    The RT stuff inspires me a bit…

    Does anybody else remember this little episode from the 2004 US presidential elections?


    It was decided, in the UK, that the English great and British good and even the very ordinary inhabitant of the Queen’s domains would pick the name and address of a random voter in the United States and write such a person a kind letter expressing how evil George W Bush was, and how badly the world needed votes for John Kerry.

    Was anybody among our own great and good then the very least bit concerned about “foreign interference” in the sacred electorial processes of our independent republic?

  8. The GOP is about to redefine itself in the process of preparing tax legislation.

    Donald Trump proposed simplification of personal taxes so that most people would be able to submit a tax return on a post card. The trouble with that idea is that more than 90% of the IRS rules would vanish in a puff of smoke. Those rules were created for the ruling classes (Banks, Big Business, Academia, Trade Unions etc.) so the Swamp will fight tooth and nail to keep them.

    If the rules are simplified, the IRS won’t need so many employees and its power to intimidate us little people will be decimated. H&R Block and its peers will wither away. Thousands of law firms specializing in taxation will go out of business. Those folks have great “Clout” in Washington too. Let’s remember that none of them produce anything useful. They don’t create wealth……..they just re-distribute it.

    If there is anything wrong with America over the past 40 years it is the “relentless effort by the special interests to make government an institution for redistributing income away from the weak and toward the powerful.” (misquote from Kenneth Boulding)

  9. The worst thing that governments can do is to kill their countrymen. Thus in the 20th century governments killed over 150 million people. Far more than died in wars.

    The next worst thing is Kleptocracy which means the state steals everything. Angola and North Korea with its version of Stalinism (the Juche system) would be notable examples. Then there is soft Kleptocracy as in Brazil where the president stole as much as she could until a million people showed up in the nation’s capital with signs that read “Thieves, give us our money back”. Fat chance!

    In third place is Crony Capitalism as exemplified by the United States of America. Governments that force taxpayers to give up assets or freedoms to benefit special interests are in this category but I prefer the term “Pimpocracy” coined by James Dale Davidson. Our politicians don’t provide the “Services” but they make the rules that enable price gouging on a massive scale, robbing the poor, the weak and the sick to benefit the special interests.

    Thus in the USA, the Pimpocracy enables Cadillac prices for Yugo performance in major industries such as K-12 education, health care and much more.

    You doubt me? Take a look at health care. Thanks to the FDA, “Big Pharma” often charges 20 times more for drugs than in other countries. In some cases Big Pharma is charging 200 times more for drugs than it did only five years ago. Clearly this could not happen without a Pimpocracy that permits criminal price fixing on a massive scale. Here is just one example….I have a hundred more:

    Clobetasol propionate ointment 0.05%, 60 gram tube:

    Walmart pharmacy, October 2017 = $249.05
    Walmart (on-line, with coupon) = $76.14
    Canadian on-line pharmacy = $32.65
    UK on-line pharmacy = $9.99
    Sfarma (Bogota, Colombia) = $7.94
    US wholesale price, 2012 = $0.90
    Cost of active ingredient = $0.04

    Big Pharma will tell you that they charge high prices in order to recover the huge costs of drug development. That may be true for drugs like Viagra but Clobetasol was patented in 1969 by Glaxo, a British company.

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Here is a tax plan
    1. ) How much did you make
    2.) enter the base tax amount of 2% of your income in line #1
    Multiply line #1 by Fx where Fx = an exponential function that goes from 0 for incomes under $12,000 and increases at a power until at an income of 5 million dollars you pay 25% of your gross pay in line #1
    enter that amount in line #3

    Add line 2 and line 3 and enter that amount in line #4

    Line #5 enter tax witholding
    Line #6 subtract line 5 from line 4 that is the amount you must pay
    Yes lots of small accountants and tax preparation businesses would go out of business if the simple tax plan goes into effect. Same with a lot of tax attorneys cpas who specialize in tax matters., investment managers who help people do legal tax minimization etc etc.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like a 7.2 quake on the Iran Iraq border, a 6.x near Japan, and a 5.8 in Costa Rica… I wonder what’s up…

    The Lebanese PM. Saying maybe not resigning… having a do over?

    Algore & friends still pushing the same old crap at the latest climate conference. They just don’t give up, no matter how stupid they look…. “stuff” being pushed to media still. Guess I don’t get to go do something more interesting and need to keep digging at the Clinate Crap.

    I’ve built a clean Devuan 1.0 model distcc node. Still needs some configuration, but the bulk is done. Write up in the next day or two. It is based on the v7 Pi M2 build, but also works in the v8 64 bit Pi M3. This means 3 of the nodes csn have identical code (12 cores). Pi M3 and 2x Pi M2. The link step is only done on one computer (that submitted the job) so libraries kept consistsnt with heterogenious nodes. That means I ought to be abke to use the v7 Odroids running Armbian uplifted to Devuan in the same build. This adds 12 more cores via the C1 and XU4 boards. Tomorrow is knitting those all together and testing it.

    The goal being to compile a Devuan build from sources for the v7 arch. Since building a Linux took a day or two last time I tried it (one CPU only) ! This ought to shorten that to an hour or so. I can also add 4 cores from the Orange Pi One, if desired. I’ve mounted that board to the same dogbone stack as the Pi boards (it is too small, so zip tied to the top.)

    When that is done, I’ll have all the R.Pi boards on Devuan 1.0, with distcc active, and 4.x kernal. The Odroids and Orange pi on Armbian with Devuan uplift and distcc. I just need to learn how Devuan does their builds.

    Why do that? Because it lets you set things like memory use flags and if specialized hardware gets used or not (like NEON instructions for math). You can make a more efficient build for your hardware.

    So I’m close to having no more ext4 compatibility issues (all 4.x kernels) and everything on Devuan (either 1.0 official release or an “Armdevuan” via the uplift process. ). Then I get to go toss out the old copies of systems no longer of interest.

    Now if the world can just not blow up in the next week or two so I can get it all done…

    Oh, and Venezuela needs to roll over some massive debt now. We’ll see who is dumb enough to loan them some more.

  12. Larry Ledwick says:

    I hope this is view able by everyone:

    About 1/3 of the way down the page it has an animation showing seismic stations responding to the Iran Earthquake, you can watch the ground motions sweep across the US.

    Link to animation (cut and paste) without the square brackets

  13. philjourdan says:

    Re: RT – Doesn’t Schultz work there now? He is no lover of conservatives, even if he was one long ago.

  14. Larry Ledwick says:

    RT just formally registered as a foreign agent media outlet.
    From twitter:
    Hadas Gold‏Verified account @Hadas_Gold 10 minutes ago

    ! It happened – @RT_America registered as a foreign agent. DOJ says it’s reviewing for sufficiency

  15. richard verney says:

    One must bear in mind that all media is essentially politically driven and biased, but I watched RT following the Libyan invasion and they had very good coverage of what was going on, and how the country had descended into a lawless state.

    By contrast, the BBC were all gung ho for the invasion, but once this was accomplished, it quickly fell from their agenda, and they failed to report on the mess that was left behind following the invasion by the West.

    If only Clinton had been watching RT she and her ilk would not have been caught napping and the Benghazi incident would not have resulted in the loss of US life.

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes they are a useful source but a lot of people do not think they also have a Russian centered agenda. That agenda makes them highly useful for digging out info that another government wants suppressed but give the nature of disinformation you also have to recognize that some of that info is strongly slanted to sell the Russian agenda. It is very difficult to pick out the disinformation nuggets if you are not looking for them and even then because disinformation requires a nugget of truth to work it can be difficult to decide which part of the story is the required nugget of truth and which part is slanted to fill the disinformation need that drove them to publish the story.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting video on the progression towards a totally net controlled life.
    The Imminent Digital Exile

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    Crap forgot to delete the direct link after creating the href link

  19. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm hot news or a way to pump demand for bitcoin some big player already owns?


    Or will the big players set up cryptocurrency mining operations using huge clusters of specialized mining hardware stuffed full of fast GPU chips?

  20. gallopingcamel says:

    richard verney, 13 November 2017 at 10:51,
    It is so sad that you can get more truth from Russian media (RT) than from the BBC.

  21. gallopingcamel says:

    This comment got swallowed for some reason but I will keep trying. Maybe it is too long and too boring:

    It is long past time that we start pushing back against stupid government and political correctness.

    With the exception of Donald Trump our “Leaders” in Washington are useless cowards. It does not matter what the issue of the day is. Our leaders will bow down to whatever the WaPo or NYT demands. Our “Leaders” don’t care that the media are wrong at least 80% of the time. Here are a few things that the media assured us were true because they dovetailed with a left wing, anti-American, race baiting agenda:

    Michael Brown was shot by a racist police officer.
    The death of the US ambassador in Benghazi was caused by an anti-Islamic video.
    The targeting of conservative groups by the IRS and Lois Lerner did not involve any criminal behavior.
    It is acceptable for John Koskinen (IRS) to defy the US Congress.
    The supply of weapons to Mexican drug cartels (Fast & Furious) did not involve criminal acts by US government officials.
    The sale of 20% of US Uranium reserves to Russian oligarchs involved no “Pay to Play” benefiting the Clintons or Obama administration officials.
    Donald Trump was elected as a result of collusion with Vladimir Putin.
    The Cambridge police acted improperly.
    Travon Martin was an innocent victim.

    Now our “Leaders” have removed their support for Judge Moore in Alabama based on allegations from the distant past. Mitch McConnell can’t get over the fact that his candidate lost in the primary! Mitch Romney was among the first to denounce Moore. Apparently he has forgotten how the media trashed him via a string of accusations…..bullying high school class mates …..mistreating animals…..abusing women employees and much more. John McCain is even worse………..”The allegations against Roy Moore are deeply disturbing and disqualifying. He should immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of.”

    If Roy Moore had been indicted for a crime, John McCain’s comment might be justified and I might agree with him. However, in that situation we would both be wrong given that there is a presumption of innocence. Robert Menendez has been indicted in a federal court for corruption and other crimes but nobody is demanding that he step down. Menendez will remain a US senator unless he is convicted. The Alabama voters should be allowed to decide whether Judge Moore is worthy to represent them. If he is elected and later found guilty of some crime he should be treated just like Bob Menendez.

    Oooops! I forgot that Menendez is a Democrat whereas Moore is a Republican……..different rules apply.

  22. Larry Ledwick says:

    There is good reason to doubt the allegations against Judge Moore.


  23. Larry Ledwick says:

    Venezuela has now partially defaulted on its debts.

    From twitter:
    BNO News‏Verified account @BNONews

    BREAKING: Venezuela declared in ‘selective default’ by S&P after failing to make $200 million in coupon payments for its global bonds
    10:43 PM – 13 Nov 2017

  24. E.M.Smith says:


    Was that supposed to be “now defaulted”?

    Per Bitcoin:

    It is already only profitable to mine with dedicated hardware stuffed with GPU cards. Using regula Intel CPUs you use more electricity than it’s worth… (or did, prior to the latest round of bubbling… that damn thing is in full on “madness of crowds” mode. Moving $thousands at a shot, both ways…)

  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes “now defaulted” I muffed an edit in phrasing.

    Re madness of crowds – yes that is what I see, the folks who have bit coins in hand or a mature ability to mine more, are now starting to do the “Buy gold now!” game and teasing the folks who held back to get in before the price explodes. Meanwhile they are going to harvest the gullible money that starts chasing this new Tulip panic feeding the buying panic, and selling on the big dips as the unsophisticated fight for the opportunity to own some bit coin.

    Apparently in Argentina folks are spending $2000 building a bitcoin mining machine and using that as a second income stream. At current prices you only need to mine one bitcoin to pay off the initial investment.

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, fixed the “not” to be “now”.

    $2000? So, call it a $500 PC and $1500 of GPUs? Sounds like a full chassis to me ;-)

    Personally, I’d likely use a collection of Parallela boards at 18 cores each and low power costs. Or maybe one of these chips:


    ThunderX is Cavium’s first-generation 64-bit ARM chip, which includes a 2.5 GHz 48-core processor, a high-capacity I/O interface (hundreds of gigabits/second), four memory controllers (DDR3/DDR4), and a low-latency Ethernet fabric capable of connecting thousands of ThunderX nodes. The SoC also offers the option of various integrated hardware accelerators for things like storage, networking, security, and virtualization. ThunderX comes in various flavors, one of which, the ThunderX_ST, is optimized for high memory bandwidth, secure data management, and Hadoop block and object storage.

    System size, configuration, and other hardware details were not discussed in the announcement, other than the fact that the cluster will be comprised of dual-socket ThunderX servers, each of which can theoretically be equipped with up to a terabyte of memory.

    According to Cavium’s announcement, the system will be used to provide high performance computing services for Hadoop analytics workloads, and will be backed by 3 petabytes of storage. In this case, the analytics workloads will be tasked to ingest and process “data generated by remote sensors in distributed manufacturing environments, or by test fleets of automated and connected vehicles.” Other analytics research at the university includes applications in automated transportation, precision medicine and social science. “This partnership with Cavium will accelerate the pace of data-driven research and opening up new avenues of inquiry,” said Eric Michielssen, Associate Vice President for Advanced Research Computing (ARC) at the University of Michigan.

    The cluster will run the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP), a derivative of Apache Hadoop geared for enterprise deployments, although in this case, it’s being used for research in a more traditional HPC environment “We see this as a great opportunity to further expand the platform and segment enablement for Hortonworks and the ARM community,” said Nadeem Asghar, Vice President and Global Head Technical Alliances at Hortonworks.

    48 cores at 2.5 MHz? Um, gee… ;-)

    (Though it is a bit odd to be reading the top500 web site using a Raspberry Pi ;-)

    I once set up a bitcoin miner on a laptop (about a decade? ago), but trying to make it work while staying in hotels (for work) was a bit of a PITA, so I just packed it up. Wonder what the current time to mine a coin is? Then again, I’m not one for chasing tulips…

  27. jim2 says:

    The French have manned up and are going to take care of this illegal underage sex problem and take it head on, no messin’ around, as only the French can …

    “Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet provoked consternation among feminist groups Monday by saying a legal minimum age of 13 for sexual consent “is worth considering.”

    Activists staged a small protest Tuesday in central Paris to argue that the age of consent should be set at 15. Protesters waved placards that read “for him impunity, for her a life sentence” in reference to the recent cases.”


  28. beththeserf says:

    Lowering the age of ‘consent?’ What perfidity!
    Children equal partners in sex with adults, and it
    follows by that ‘logic’, in law, parity sentencing of
    children and adults for criminal acts. …So therefore,
    no distinctions in military draft, child soldiers into the

    Guess some ped*files and islamists have no problem with this.

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    My answer would be to just have an “age of consent” that runs in tranches. So ages 15 to 18 can consent to go with someone within one year of their age. This lets 2 16 year old kids off the hook for having discovered each other… but keeps the dodgy old codgers out of their pants…

    Then have 19 up to say 35 be another group. Anyone inside that band is OK for others in that range. Over 35? Well, let’s just say maybe the sixty somethings ought to be encouraged to leave the college kids alone…

    Maybe I need to move to France to work on it ;-)

  30. E.M.Smith says:


    My problem is I just don’t emotionally buy into the whole thing. Fiat paper money is bad enough, and it’s backed by taxing power of the government. I just can’t get excited about burning Watts and CPU cycles to create “proof of work” that is really “proof of wasting power and your time” to get a fictional currency with limited acceptance.

    Oh Well…

  31. beththeserf says:

    So long as young chidlers are protected, chiefio,
    tranches or truncheons, I don’t care. )

  32. For bitcoins and similar, I see the value as much the same as a used bus-ticket or a used postage-stamp. The compute-power has been used and you won’t get it back again.The real value lies in the blockchain that traces who has what bitcoins, but the serial number of each coin could just as easily be a long-enough random number that is simply allocated. No need to spend a long time calculating it, but simply make sure it is unique. Of course, that would also require *someone* to back the bitcoins with something of real value, and to control the amount that is emitted in the same way as any other fiat currency. The current method of control of emission of bitcoins is simply to make it more-complex and thus use up more CPU cycles, but with new faster processors coming out the cost of mining will keep going down, and of course the number of people doing it is not controlled at all.

    Then of course there’s always the problem that someone may have made a mistake in the programming and you suddenly lose all your bitcoins, either through a bug or through hacking. See http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-41928147 for such a problem with Ethereum coins.

  33. jim2 says:

    Considering the price of certain pieces of “art” I think there is hope for crypto-currencies. :)

  34. philjourdan says:

    Zimbabwe finally rises up. Or at least the military – http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/11/15/zimbabwe-army-mugabe-wife-custody-controls-capital/

    What I want to know is WHAT are they withdrawing from the bank? Z-Notes are worthless. But some folks still hoard them based upon the promises of Mugabe.

  35. jim2 says:

    A female Congress-critter was on PBS News Hour last night. She said there was a lot of sexual harassment in Congress involving both Congresswomen and staffers. She also said that some women take the quid pro quo. Will these women be punished?

  36. J Martin says:

    It seems there is no age of consent in France, so it looks likely that they will introduce one as most countries have. I’d be surprised if they set it at 13, most countries in Europe have it set at 14 or 15 with a few at 16. The age of consent is set so as to ensure that it is a criminal offence for someone much older to have sex with someone below that age, the defense that she said yes could then be used. Most judiciaries in Europe are sensible about this if a couple are of similar age but one is still below the age of consent.

  37. J Martin says:

    Brexit cannot be cancelled without the permission of the remaining 27 EU countries. And so deal or no deal it will almost certainly be carried out.

  38. J Martin says:

    Statistically the age of consent is counter correlated with teenage pregnancies. Until recently, the age of consent in the Netherlands was 12. They had one of the two lowest rates of teenage pregnancies in Europe,thd other being Austria with an age of consent of 14. Whereas in the UK the age of consent is 16 and they have one of the highest, if not the highest, rates of teenage pregnancies, along with the USA.

  39. J Martin says:

    Typo. The defense that she said yes could then NOT be used.

  40. David A says:

    This entire sexual harassment news is about to blow up in the hypocritical face of congress.


    This comment was excellent…”

    the slush-fund law was put in place in 1995. Senator Grassley sponsored it. One of the driving forces at the time was all the controversies involving the sexual predations of Sen. Robert Packwood, a real sleazebag.

    The law is called the Congressional Accountability Act. It can be found at 2 U.S.C. 1301, et seq., as amended.

    I’ve read the entire law (I’m a retired lawyer). It’s truly incredible. The law specifically protects Congress from ANY negative effects of committing sexual harassment. Everything is totally secret. The first step a sexual harassment victim has to go through is 30 DAYS OF COUNSELING.

    Then they have to go through mediation. They bring the entire force of the government down on these victims, shaming them the entire way, forcing them to keep quiet, forcing them to settle for a pittance of the value they’ve lost as abused human beings.

    Section 1415 of the slush-fund law is the one that contains the funding for the settlements of sexual harassment claims. It says: “…only funds which are appropriated to an account of the Office in the Treasury of the United States for the payment of awards and settlements may be used for the payment of awards and settlements under this chapter. THERE ARE [HEREBY] APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH ACCOUNT SUCH SUMS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO PAY SUCH AWARDS AND SETTLEMENTS (emphasis added).”

    In other words, Congress has written a blank check to themselves to cover whatever is needed to pay sexual harassment victims whatever it takes to shut them up. And the taxpayers get hosed.

    It’s 100 times worse than the Weinstein contract with his own company that allowed him to commit sexual abuse with impunity.

    This whole disgusting thing is going to explode, folks”

  41. Larry Ledwick says:

    Genetic link to diabetes?
    Some Amish have a gene that lengthens life span and tends to minimize diabetes?


  42. Larry Ledwick says:

    Chief I found a hack proof digital messaging system for you to experiment with.

  43. jim2 says:

    The Congressional slush fund and generally poor behavior really ins’t surprising at all. Rich, powerful men attract women like flies and they begin to feel it’s their right. It’s just the way humans are and women own half of it.

  44. E.M.Smith says:

    I don’t know how hack proof that is… seems to me some nice sunflower seeds in an attractive dish and I’ve got past the air gap barrier ;-)

    Per Amish:

    With luck… Grandad lived into his 90s and his Amish wife longer than that. Hopefully I’ve got a dose of it. Known to have zero issue with eating loads of animal fats and prone to throwing off illnesses that cause other folks to spend days in bed. (Repeatedly, folks “bring something home” and I get “sniffles for a day” then it’s gone while they are still incapacitated…) I’ve eaten sugar and carbs by the pound for decades and in my “Type 2 Scare” essentially hit normal numbers by fasting for a day and taking the 3 spoons of sugar out of my coffee …

    @David A:

    Per congress critters and their winkies:

    I’d like ot see a constitutional amendment that just says “All laws shall apply equally to citizens of all States and to Congress Members. There shall be no special laws per congress members.”

    @J. Martin:

    So France is the place to be, eh? ;-)

    (Realistically, I’d rather someone well practiced in the arts than a tepid inept encounter… )


    Oh Dear! Now that’s a bit of software Aw Shit for someone to explain ;-)

  45. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting question indeed, how do you afford a home who’s mortgage equals your entire take home income from your job?


  46. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well it is hack proof in the sense you cannot put a sniffer on the line, but your falcon can cause it to drop packets, and terminate the connection unexpectedly (as will a shot gun).

  47. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well here is your estimated energy cost of bitcoin mining with todays prices / equipment.


    Looks to me like if bit coin takes off for the public the world’s lights will dim.
    So much for being climate and ecology friendly. ;)

  48. David A says:

    Does anyone have a layman’s explanation of this bitcoin mining high stuff? It sounds like some sort of high stakes game with poorly written rules.

  49. jim2 says:

    David A – here’s a good start.

    View at Medium.com

  50. E.M.Smith says:

    @David A:

    The basics are pretty straight forward. Do distinguish between Bitcoin and other “crypto currencies”. Anyone can slap together an alternative and do it badly (poorly written “rules” in their code); yet Bitcoin is fairly well written and debugged at this point (they did have some early issues, and lately had to do a ‘fork’ of the code as one path was needed for fast small transactions and a different one for big slow ones). So first off: The rules are very well set and cryptographically enforced. That’s essential to how it works.

    The fundamental concept is a shared public ledger that is cryptographically strong and where any changes by non-approved methods (like giving yourself a ‘coin’) invalidate the ledger as the cypher is now wrong. It contains a record of all prior transactions. (As you might guess, over time this grows in size and “someday” will be an issue… It takes a fair amount of processing power and data communications to compute and share this ledger between everyone…)

    Now the “value” of a Bitcoin (or any ‘digital currency’) is only what people decide it is worth to them. Like cigarettes in a prison as currency would be functionally worthless to me, to other folks it is essential, so has value. As long as folks think there is value, there is. (Cigarettes actually have some intrinsic value for some folks – the drug buzz – so are not a true fiat currency like paper money, but you get the idea).

    The next part is a “digital wallet” that holds your copy of the block chain ledger. Your copy says you own a ‘coin’. When you spend it, your copy gets updated to show the transaction on the ledger giving it to someone else and it gets updated with all the other transactions y’all find out about.

    That’s the basic process.

    Notice that a ‘coin’ is about as fundamentally valuable as a coupon from your local newspaper. It depends on others thinking it has value to be usable.

    A bit more here:


    it also has a pointer to the original papers describing in detail how it works (the link is just a high summary) and this hint about mining (bold by me):

    Processing – mining

    Mining is a distributed consensus system that is used to confirm waiting transactions by including them in the block chain. It enforces a chronological order in the block chain, protects the neutrality of the network, and allows different computers to agree on the state of the system. To be confirmed, transactions must be packed in a block that fits very strict cryptographic rules that will be verified by the network. These rules prevent previous blocks from being modified because doing so would invalidate all following blocks. Mining also creates the equivalent of a competitive lottery that prevents any individual from easily adding new blocks consecutively in the block chain. This way, no individuals can control what is included in the block chain or replace parts of the block chain to roll back their own spends.
    Going down the rabbit hole

    This is only a very short and concise summary of the system. If you want to get into the details, you can read the original paper that describes the system’s design, read the developer documentation, and explore the Bitcoin wiki.

    So “mining” is a way to distribute the work of keeping all those ledgers in agreement and processing the transactions. You get rewarded for this work by getting a small part of the Bitcoin pie.

    More on mining here:


    Which brings up the point that there’s a competition between miners to “get” a block hashed and harvest the 25 Bitcoins for it. What this then also means is a bit of “biggest computer wins” in that you are in a “random race” and while it is possible for your Pi M3 to get the right guesses for an acceptable crypto solution, you are up against folks doing 100000 times more and faster and they are far more likely to get it first. (Hopefully in proportion to their expended total computes, but who knows…)

    The problem is that it’s very easy to produce a hash from a collection of data. Computers are really good at this. The bitcoin network has to make it more difficult, otherwise everyone would be hashing hundreds of transaction blocks each second, and all of the bitcoins would be mined in minutes. The bitcoin protocol deliberately makes it more difficult, by introducing something called ‘proof of work’.

    The bitcoin protocol won’t just accept any old hash. It demands that a block’s hash has to look a certain way; it must have a certain number of zeroes at the start. There’s no way of telling what a hash is going to look like before you produce it, and as soon as you include a new piece of data in the mix, the hash will be totally different.

    Miners aren’t supposed to meddle with the transaction data in a block, but they must change the data they’re using to create a different hash. They do this using another, random piece of data called a ‘nonce’. This is used with the transaction data to create a hash. If the hash doesn’t fit the required format, the nonce is changed, and the whole thing is hashed again. It can take many attempts to find a nonce that works, and all the miners in the network are trying to do it at the same time. That’s how miners earn their bitcoins.

    Some of the hardware used is shown here, along with prices and performance / Watt:


    Th/s is terra-hash products per second. Yes, that’s a LOT of cmoputing!

    Avalon6 Bitcoin Miner

    3.5 Th/s
    0.29 W/Gh
    9.5 pounds
    Avalon6 Bitcoin Miner
    Apx. Bitcoins / month: 0.1232

    I’ll leave it for others to compute how many Th in a month and how many per Bitcoin…

    Now, as you might guess, the blockchain keeps getting bigger so more hashes are needed over time. This makes each new Bitcoin “mined” ever more dear…


    1) A LOT of Watts are expended for nothing. The “guessing” a cypher that’s acceptable and the competitive nature of mining assures that. Most computes are just wasted. I’d rather do something better with my computes.

    2) Over time, the block chain only grows. Hopefully there’s more of Moore’s Law left, but eventually “that’s going to be an issue”. (When Bitcoin was cheaper, down around $500 IIRC, it was no longer profitable to use a regular computer and only things like GPUs had enough Gh/Watt to make money) At some point when computes are too dear, this is going to grind to a halt.

    3) The “value” is only in the perception and acceptance. Governments can ban / regulate to the point of destruction of the “value”. Some nations have banned Bitcoin. The USA treats it as a capital good, so you get to do a “capital gains” filing on every latte you buy with a fraction of a Bitcoin…

    4) Anyone can create a competing block chain crypto currency, and they have… Over 1000 of them and rising fast. Not fundamentally different from my issuing “Mikey Coupons” with $50 Mikey Dollars printed on the front. There was a guy near here who, for a long time, would draw $10 bills. Gifted artist, they were pretty good. He would offer them to folks for buying things. Honest about them just being “art” and not $US. Many folks accepted them (if someone refused, he’d pay with ‘real money’ fiat $US). He wasn’t bothered about “counterfeiting” as he was clearly NOT trying to make them look real and stated up front they were drawings. So you too can print your own…

    My Opinion:

    Folks are happy to use pictures of dead Presidents for money, so I’m sure Bitcoin will live for a good long while. Yet Zimbabwe Dollars show that fiat money always has “issues”. Yes, mining rules make Bitcoin a fundamentally self limiting quantity, but that just means it will “deflate” prices in Bitcoin (or inflate them in other currencies vs Bitcoin) as acceptance increases. We see that now as The Financial Sector is getting into the act and Bitcoin bounced from $5k to $3k to $7k faster than I could check on it. With no fundamental value, it can go to zero at any time… but that’s also true of dead presidents pictures… so it could take a while.

    In essence, I hate waste, so deliberately wasting computes to increase competition offends me. I find “artificial scarcity” a minor fraud. (Like that “Magic the Gathering”? some game… where different cards gave different powers, so they only printed a few of some powerful cards, that were then sold for very high dollars… as soon as the game becomes uninteresting, the value goes POOF!). I’d rather put my store of value in real things (home, metals, ownership of company shares) than in artificial ones. As for currency: At any one time I only have a small amount, so don’t really care which one or how long it lasts. In trading accounts (where most of my “money” lives) it’s trivial to swap currencies or assets, so I do. Buy FXY if you want Yen, or any of a dozen others… GLD for gold. So just why do I want a public ledger of all past Bitcoin trades as my vehicle? And answer came there none. (For buying Starbucks Coffee, I find a Walmart Card with $50 US on it just fine…)

    Can you make a bundle on a high volatility fad? You Betcha! But remember it is ONLY A TRADE and be in the front of the group heading for the exit “when the time comes”…

  51. E.M.Smith says:

    Don’t know the date on this one, but it claims:


    hashes per bitcoin 
    = (network hash rate) / (25 BTC per 10 minutes)
    = (180 * Th / s) / (25 * BTC / (600 * s) )
    = 180 * 600 / 25 * Th / s / BTC * s
    = 2,700 Th / BTC
    = 2,700,000,000,000,000 h/BTC

    For the particulars when they did the math.

    So 2.7 Peta-Hashes / Bitcoin.

    That’s a heck of a lot of toasted computes… I’d rather use it looking for aliens (SETI) or doing protein folding problems for curing cancer…

  52. p.g.sharrow says:

    Anyone hear anything about service problems on AT&T phone system here in North California? Also Hughes Direct Sat. internet service was also flakey. Seems to have been some kind of wide spread outage yesterday…pg

  53. philjourdan says:

    @P.G. – Yes – AT&T had issues with its network. They claim the fix was a restart of your phone. http://www.wsmv.com/story/29708010/att-outage-shuts-down-phones-internet-in-nashville-area

  54. Larry Ledwick says:

    As I recall AT&T was having big issues yesterday from about 3:00 pm to after 6:00 pm.

  55. p.g.sharrow says:

    @phil; thanks for the effort, But your article is:
    Posted: Aug 04, 2015 1:13 PM PDT
    Updated: Aug 18, 2015 1:13 PM PDT , in the mid west.
    Our problem was yesterday in northern California. Sounds similar though. My land line was out, satellite internet flakey. and cell service out in Chico area. No real information as of yet. My Internet service should have nothing to do with local Phone service…pg

  56. p.g.sharrow says:

    @larry; Looks like you hit it! Thank you.
    We have been having “all of the above problems”. This is something that has been building for some time but yesterday was the worst. For a while everything was down.
    AT&T must be broke as their system is overloaded and under maintained, Mean while they are in a desperate push to sign up new people and acquire more businesses…pg.

  57. E.M.Smith says:

    I’ve had a decades long battle with SBC Communications since before they bought AT&T back when they screwed over Pacific Bell. I detest them. Their decision making is great for growing a stock price, lousy for the customer. Their major mode of operation is to “buy and bleed”.

    So they bought Pac Bell and the fiber optic cable already mounted to my home, with ‘turn on’ scheduled for about a month out, was instead scuttled. I got 10 years more of modem speed then DSL instead of “fibre to the home”…

    Then they bought AT&T and the mobile phone business went down hill fast.

    Now they’ve bought DirectTV (loyal customer since about the 2nd year of service and loved it) and already service is sucky and contracts abusive. Going to dump them as soon as the (undisclosed at time of up-sell from a broken DSL ‘repair’ to their newer network / DirecTV bundle…) 2 year contract lock in expires. Counting the days…

    On my “to do” list is to find a better / cheaper ISP for Silicon Valley area and dump AT&T entirely at that time. The problem, of course, is that they own the poles / wire for the last bit of connection to the home, so I’m stuck with them pretty much in any case unless I can find a wireless carrier with speed to support 1080p x 2 TVs. (really one is 720p but I also have computers using some too…) Yet more on the ToDo list…

    IMHO, if you have AT&T cell service, any other carrier would be better. I’m fond of Verizon (expensive but always works). I’ve also used just about every other carrier out there at one time or another. T-Mobile is fine. Sprint is fine most of the time for most folks. Most other “small carriers” are actually running over one of their systems. Look at coverage maps (online usually) before choosing a carrier as they all have holes somewhere.

    FWIW, the Florida Friend had AT&T, but found it didn’t always work in his home (when he first moved there). He eventually swapped carriers, IIRC. Dropped DirecTV for Brighthouse too. He’s happy with his choices.

    That’s my 2 ¢ worth. FWIW, I was in charge of buying cell service for companies from back when it was Cellular One vs Nextel vs… and even then AT&T was the crap choice. Then, they had been kept out of cell service during the breakup. When finally let in, they set about buying up small carriers all over the place. As a result, they had 4 different signaling modes in use on their “network”. You could easily be in a full on full coverage AT&T area, with your AT&T phone, but find you were CDMA and that area was TDMA or GSM or ‘whatever’… They had “quad mode” phones for sale in the Dallas area when I visited just so they could glue the crap systems together there. I believe that by now they’ve dumped the TDMA (gargle sounds and all) method and analog is phased out most places (everywhere?) leaving just GSM vs CDMA (with variations / levels). Don’t know which one AT&T settled on. Probably GSM. (If you have a removable chip, it’s almost certainly GSM).

    IMHO, it’s really a simple decision tree:
    If you have ANY other choice – AT&T, just say NO!

  58. cdquarles says:

    Hmm, interesting info about Florida. Where I am, the AT&T service is the old BellSouth -> Cingular service. It works fine. I’m out in the sticks, too; where it is quite hilly. Bad service is extremely rare. I’ve had other services, too, and they weren’t any better than AT&T’s, here at least.

  59. E.M.Smith says:

    He’s on a big lake north of Orlando. Hill on the land side, long water on the other. Phone worked outdoors and on one side of the house. Not in the kitchen, and livingroom was occasional. AT&T kept saying they were going to add a tower but after a year or so, he switched. That was about 6 years ago, so likely fixed by now :-) Local geography a big part of the problem. My Verizon phone worked fine in his house, though, so not just geography…

    FWIW, having crossed the country a few times with different phones (one trip had three providers phones in the car… I was manager of I.T.& telco services then and choosing…) just about any service worked in big urban areas and along interstate freeways. Rural middle of nowhere is where the issues show up. The minor carrier had a 10 mile stretch 1/2 way to Barstow in the Mojave that was a dropout. Verizon didn’t drop. That was 20 years ago and I’ve been Verizon since. Had a burner phone (on Sprint via mystery reseller) and tested a T Mobile recently. Both worked everywhere I went (trip to Chicago on I-80). Everyone has improved coverage now.

  60. Larry Ledwick says:

    Just to pick nits, T-mobil and Verison both do not have coverage in some more rural areas,even though their coverage maps say they should. During the eclipse I purchased T-mobil coverage for my portable hotspot planning to be able to browse the web up near Gurnsey Wyoming. Could not even get a connect just off I-25 south of Casper. Likewise out near Wendover Utah along I80 the difference between no signal and passable service can be as little as 3 miles of movement down the road.

    Not that this is a big surprise, it is not cost effective for them to cover some of those really remote locations and will probably only very slowly fill in the gaps. In my map coverage browsing it looks like Verison is one of the best but if you want to go to the wrong remote location you can still find yourself outside of coverage. Being into radio it helps knowing where those drop outs are likely to happen by looking at terrain and often you can move to high ground and get coverage but some places like remote Wyoming – forget it.

    Out on the eastern plains of Colorado along the Palmer divide (high ground ridge that extends from roughly Palmer Lake, Castle rock area out to Limon Colorado there are places where by walking a few feet you can hop from a cell tower in Colorado springs to a cell tower in the Denver metro area.

  61. philjourdan says:

    Sorry PG. I gave you the wrong link. Larry corrected it.

    Act in haste, repent in leisure! Or I just slipped into the twilight zone.

  62. p.g.sharrow says:

    @phil; Old timers disease ;-)…pg

  63. jim2 says:

    Al Franken now has two women accusing him of harassment. Is that bastard going to resign? Also, it sure looks like the Roy Moore yearbook was faked, just looking at it.

    One good? thing, when it comes to pussy grabbin’, Trump looks like an amateur compared to Congress critters. I wonder if they regret opening this Pandora’s … errr … box?

  64. Larry Ledwick says:

    Oh goody, have to buy another TV again if you use cable (not clear if this new standard will be applied to over the air TV but I don’t see a likely way for that link to provide necessary feed back of users viewing tastes)


  65. jim2 says:

    LL – all my entertainment devices are plugged into a power strip. It goes off at night. Like to see them activate THAT!

  66. Larry Ledwick says:

    Can you say internal battery? Just like smart phones can be activated even if turned off.

    A note on the new tax proposal from twitter:

    Oliver McGee PhD MBA‏Verified account @OliverMcGee
    7 hours ago

    #USHouse pass #TaxBill 227-205, now to #USSenate vote! As #Corporate #business grows, we ALL Grow! Here’s 3 Easy Pieces of #TaxRelief for #Jobs #Savings #Investments & #Growth:
    ☑️ Bring Back $4T Off-Shore!
    ☑️ Cut Corporate Taxes 35% to 20%!
    ☑️ Reduce Taxes on Middle Class!

  67. gallopingcamel says:

    “On my “to do” list is to find a better / cheaper ISP for Silicon Valley area and dump AT&T entirely at that time. The problem, of course, is that they own the poles / wire for the last bit of connection to the home, so I’m stuck with them pretty much in any case unless I can find a wireless carrier with speed to support 1080p x 2 TVs. (really one is 720p but I also have computers using some too…) Yet more on the ToDo list…”

    The USA is falling behind the rest of the world when it comes to “Broadband”. Over the last couple of years I have been visiting places to retire to including Llano Grande (Colombia), Queretaro (Mexico), Benelmadena (Spain) and a couple of others. In all of those locations I can get 300/300 Mb/second broadband for under $40 per month. Here is a FOA (Fiber Optic Association) report based on a visit to southern Spain:

    Broadband In Spain Beats Most US Providers
    Peter Morcombe is a FOA certified instructor for BDI Datalynk. He came from the UK where he participated in some of the earliest British Telecom fiber installations in the 1970s. He sent us this report on what he learned during his recent holiday in Spain:

    During my vacation near Malaga I looked at the broadband services available in the area. Even though this review covers only one supplier it does show that the cost/performance available in Spain is superior to that available in much of the USA.

    As with service providers in the USA, Orange offers plenty of “bundles” but to make comparisons easier the prices listed below are for broadband only. The rates shown are in Mega bits/second:

    Down Up $/month Terminal equipment
    300 300 $34.20 Huawei HG8040
    50 50 $28.67 Huawei HG8040
    20 1 $22.04 ADSL

    For comparison my ADSL (18/1 Mbps) service from ATT costs $45/month. ATT does not offer any higher speeds in my area. One of the things that is driving costs down is the simplification of local terminal equipment.

    Verizon FiOS uses ONTs such as the Tellabs 612 and the Alcatel ISAM 7342 which cost over $200 each. Speeds are asymmetric owing to obsolescent ATM technology (ITU G.983 & G.984) topping out at 100 Mbps per home download. Installation is costly as the ONTs are usually installed outdoors with slack boxes and battery backups. The HG 8040 ONT is designed for indoor installation and currently costs less than $60 each.

    What next?
    I expect “Google Fiber” to shake things up here with the result that prices will drop down to existing European levels or below with spectacular effects on volume. That could make us very busy people if we figure out how to exploit the opportunities.

  68. jim2 says:

    @LL – a battery isn’t going to get very far powering my TV, plus is also won’t have a network connection that’s live.

  69. jim2 says:

    I’m wondering if Gloria Allred is pulling off a variant of the fake Russia Trump dossier. A faked signature in a year book which she is now trying to use as leverage to get R. Moore sworn in before a Kangaroo court, open-ended “investigation.”

    Franken might be trying to help by demanding he be investigated – a true A-clown. But that would set a precedent of Congress “investigating” sexual harassment claims which is frankly a total waste of their time and tax payer money. Not that they care about our money, but still …

  70. jim2 says:

    In fact, the more I think about it, if this SH outing trend continues, will this eventually lead to calls for Trump to step down because we HAVE TO “BELIEVE THE WOMEN” without any other proof? Will Congress critters commit harikari to facilitate the downfall of Trump? How far will this go?

  71. jim2 says:

    It’s kind of interesting that people in Brazil and Zimbabwe. So maybe the crypto-currencies do have a role to play when government breaks bad? From the article in German translated by Google:

    Wow. Everything is connected with everything. As? Very easily. Take a look to Venezuela or Zimbabwe. In both countries Bitcoin enjoys great popularity as an escape currency. It was traded at $ 13,499 on the Golix Stock Exchange, twice as expensive as other trading venues in the world. The coup – possibly sanctioned by the Chinese – drives the course. Of course, such a report will find its way into our press review on http://www.bitcoin-krypto.de – our offer for you in the field of digital currencies.
    We alliieren there everything worth knowing for you – supplemented by market assessments, trading tips and much more. What else is going on at Bitcoin, you can read in the analysis of eToro to what happened on the weekend of 12.11. happened:


  72. jim2 says:

    Resistance Royalty: Pelosi, Soros Headline Left’s Biggest Dark Money Conference
    Private memo gives inside look at Democracy Alliance’s latest secret donor meeting


  73. R. de Haan says:

    Great talk Nigel Farage on Paradise Papers and George Soros in EU Parliament.

  74. Larry Ledwick says:

    Cool time lapse of the planet over the last 20 years showing the ebb and flow of the seasons.


  75. jim2 says:

    You may have seen the “night lights” pix from NASA on WUWT. You can see bright blobs of light where the cities are. But there are patches of dimmer light, also. I was wondering about them since they spanned a rather large area. One can be seen in Texas, south central. It appears as a huge, but dim, smile. There is another in New Mexico, a smaller dim patch. It turns out those are oil fields. Pretty mind blowing!

  76. Another Ian says:

    Latest at Jo Nova

    “Unknown Miocene mystery where CO2 didn’t fit models, *Solved* ”


  77. Larry Ledwick says:

    Large earthquake at India China border area.
    A large 6.3 magnitude earthquake has struck near the Eastern Xizang- India border region, about 58km NE Nyingchi. It struck at a depth of 10 kilometers. There are no reports of damage or injury at this time. (source) 5:52 p.m. ET November 17, 2017

  78. Larry Ledwick says:

    Oh goody!
    What could possibly go wrong here?
    Let’s worship AI and an all knowing artificial intelligence “god”.


  79. Nice to know that people aren’t becoming robots: http://www.bbc.com/news/42032629 . Drawing a cock-and-balls in the sky seems to have upset a lot of people. The US Navy is not alone – seems the RAF do it too.

  80. E.M.Smith says:


    Many of those are the sprawl along freeways. Take the California Central Valley one along the base of the Sierra Nevada. That’s Highway 99. What used to be ‘spots’ of cities from Sacramento to Bakersfield has had the intercity gaps fill in with ‘rural housing’ and even farms adding strong outdoor lighting. Eventually that fills into be like the SF Bay Area where it’s 4 million people worth of street and yard lights…


    Nice to know there are still a few free sprits in the world… Just call it a propeller driven rocket ;-)


    There’s a lot of folks in Silly Con Valley that have a warped sense of humor; I’d not put it past these folks for it to be a firmly tongue in cheek thing…

    @R. de Haan:

    Now that I’ve got sound working on the Pi / Odroids with the new HDMI TV I’ll watch that video and be able to hear it too! ;-)

  81. jim2 says:

    CIO: I see your point, but these aren’t along a freeway. Besides, I found out by comparing Google map sat to the lights map. Apparently, the oilfield is lighted at night. You can recognize oil fields on the sat map because there is a little square around each well that will show up if you zoom in.

  82. Larry Ledwick says:

    When out driving in the wilds of Wyoming and similar places at night you notice things like pumping stations, tank farms, equipment yards and such are often well lighted islands in a sea of blackness. Pump jacks and tanks associated with the wells would of course be clustered over the developed area of the oil lease along with all the support structures and equipment yards. I expect that is what you are seeing is thousands of small industrial yard lights for locations that need security and safety lighting but are not nearly as bright as a full blown city.

    Lots of small farms also have a single mercury vapor or sodium vapor light illuminating the barn and yard where they park the farm equipment. There are a couple areas along highway 71 south of Limon Colorado going toward LaJunta and Rocky Ford that you can stop on the shoulder of the road and get out of the car and turn 360 degrees and not see a single artificial light. Go over then next small rise and you will see 2 or 3 farm yard lights and the lights of a single farm house for each farm scattered over several square miles of black prairie. Those are not the deep black segments of the image like in the depths of the rocky mountains and Wyoming and Idaho or southwest New Mexico, and Arizona deserts. I suspect some of those slightly lighter than deep black locations could also be due to the local terrain albedo and reflected sky shine and star light.

    Summertime wheat fields in the maturing stage (yellow standing grain) is a lot higher albedo than an evergreen forest or black volcanic desert soil.

  83. jim2 says:

    LL, this caught my eye on the light map because the intensity of the light from those area was distinctly different from small towns. A cluster of closely spaced farms might look the same, but in an oilfield, the wells are relatively close together. At first I thought it was a bunch of small towns or something. The big smile in Texas, which is better seen if the lights US map is zoomed in, is what got me wondering about it. The intensity just wasn’t like the small towns and such. It is distinct.

  84. Larry Ledwick says:

    Cross referencing with google maps and the area south of Austin and north of Corpus Cristy Texas along H37 – the area is covered with oil sites. I think you are seeing the yard lights for a bunch of these. Part of the difference is they might be using lighting that directs all the light toward the ground (so called dark skies lighting) that does not show much light emission directly toward the sky. In the old days it would be a single large bulb on a poll with a “top hat” type shade to throw light only toward the ground. Probably just a single yard light pointed down to illuminate the ground near the compressors or pumping stations or drill rigs etc. Note all of those sites are on white gravel pads stripped of vegetation so much higher albedo than the near by sagebrush prairie.



  85. jim2 says:

    Here’s another map of the “smile”

  86. E.M.Smith says:


    I wasn’t saying the “smile” was a freeway, just that some other places are suburb spread along freeways. I’ve seen well lit remote mines, fields, etc. So know some is them too.

    Once, driving at night through Texas, there were miles of blinking red lights high up… weeks later, coming back in daylight, saw they were lines of wind turbines… so seeing things in color could be interesting too.

  87. jim2 says:

    Given all the blather about sexual harassment, soon we will be living in a era of precoital agreements. The libtards probably will be printing them off in droves and handing them out in public schools.

  88. Larry Ledwick says:

    Why I have no interest in bitcoin even if I was not bothered by a currency based on wasted electricity work effort.


    Until the case law for how to handle cryptocurrency issues is a bit more developed I don’t see them becoming widely popular except for those who are willing to accept significant risk in exchange for large scale anonymous transactions and quasi-legal funds transfers.

  89. Lionell Griffith says:

    Imagine the following: On some random scrap of paper, I write the number 12 on it, I add a promise that this will be the only scrap of paper with the number 12 on it, I sign it, and then draw an official looking icon on its back. I call it “money” and promise to keep my promise that this is the only one.

    My “money” is unique. It is the only one in existence. It even took me a great effort to create it in that I created it by hand drawing it with a number 2 pencil. This is actually no different than a bit coin or even a federal reserve note. Each is a promissory note with no dedicated good or service standing behind it. There is no stored value in any of them.

    The hope is that somewhere, sometime, someone will be willing to exchange them for something that can sustain and advance your life (has value). Any value provided by the transaction will be produce by the side that produced the actual value exhanged. That the government is willing to use its gun to force everyone to use reserve nodes does not change the basic nature of a reserve note. It is merely changed is to a matter of extortion rather than voluntary acceptance.

    It is`all a huge game of let’s pretend that works until it doesn’t. Just before the bubble bursts, everyone is doing the equivalent of writing iou’s based upon the writing of iou’s. The first iou that bounces causes the game to crash. The attributed value, value that was never there in the first place, vanishes. It is a pyramid scheme with a foundation in mid air. The seeds of the vanishing are nourish by popularity. The more popular, the more destructive the collapse.

    At least my “money” won’t crash the economy because no one will trade me anything for it.. Can’t say the same for bit coins or federal reserve notes.

  90. Larry Ledwick says:

    7.3 quake off new Caledonia with tsunami warning 7 minutes ago.
    From twitter:
    A large 7.3 earthquake has struck off the eastern coast of New Caledonia. It struck at a depth of 25 kilometers. (source) 6:01 p.m. ET November 19, 2017

    Tsunami alerts are in effect for New Caledonia as well as Vanuatu. (source) 6:01 p.m. ET November 19, 2017

  91. Larry Ledwick says:

    I don’t find this at all surprising but it is interesting that they are slowly accumulating evidence of a broader based inheritance for humanity. Given we know early hominids date from at least 2.5 million years ago in Africa, it would be very surprising if some of those early hominids did not find their way out into western asia over more than a million years of random walks (in the truest sense of that term).


    If you take other wild life as an example, after Moose were introduced into norther Colorado they have been gradually expanding their range. Each year young bulls find their way farther south, and now they have crossed I70 and beginning to develop a presence in the central Colorado mountains. The reintroduction occurred in 1978 so the moose have been expanding their range for 39 years. In that time their range has moved about 50-60 miles.

    At the same progression rate early hominids would have been in eastern asia in slightly over 6000 years or less than 0.2 % of the time hominids have existed.

  92. E.M.Smith says:

    Look up the “Virginia ‘Possum”. Introduced in recent historical times. Currently reaching a cold limit at the Canada border, and spread west toward Texas (deserts a bit of an issue…). Also introduced into California, and spreading north from here.

    We’re talking about 1000 miles / century, give or take. For a stupid critter that can maybe waddle at 3 mph when highly motivated…

    IMHO, hominds would spread much faster. Especially following rivers and shorelines.

    Heck, in the 1700s and 1800s we had folks covering the continent by walking… and talking their home with them! Look at the wagon trains from East to West…

  93. beththeserf says:

    Trek…trek…trek…longest trek likely Ibn Battista, setting out, aged twenty-one,
    from his native Morocco AD1325, on his first pilgrimage. Covering the Islamic
    world, India, Ceylon, even China, by the time he’ arrived home thirty years later,
    he’d covered 130,000 kilometers.

  94. llanfar says:

    Given the speed of events occurring in the world, I am no longer tossing ‘out there’ stories without serious consideration… If this is true, I understand why the cabal-controlled MSM isn’t saying anything.

    Rumor: #MassArrests Update – Over 2,000 USA Marines Land At CIA Headquarters

  95. Larry Ledwick says:

    All true.

    Looking at the early explorers of Canada and the US, many of them covered over 1000 miles on treks which only took a few months or year or so. The point is that even non-intentional migration due to small incremental expansion of ranges only a mile or so a year would easily have crossed all of the landmass of Europe & Asia in just a few thousand years. There certainly would have been rogue wanderers who traveled much farther, but the presumption that long range migration was difficult or rare is simply naive in the extreme.

    Nomadic tribes often traveled hundreds of miles each year between their summer and winter camp areas. Wagon trains covered 2000 miles in between 12 and 24 weeks or about 10 – 20 miles a day depending on terrain conditions, so that would model the distance and duration of an intentional relocation (ie looking for better hunting conditions etc.)

    Search and Rescue planners assume a person can travel 2 mph over uncleared average terrain if hiking or exploring.

  96. E.M.Smith says:

    Folks on broken boats can cover thousands of miles just drifting for a few months…. people have had boats and floats for at least 50000 years given they got to Australia… Marco Polo went how far?. And remember it only takes one wanderer and a curious lady to distribute some genes…

    Oh, or a Gengis Khan can have 10% of middle Asia as his descendants… gene flow being different from people flow helps… The blue eye gene is believed to originate in Scandinavia some 10’s of thousand years ago, yet is now on all continents. Did not require mass migration of Sweeds… and there are now some blue eyed Blacks and Asians…

  97. Larry Ledwick says:

    On a totally different subject study finds that genetic influences political party identification.

    IE being a liberal or a conservative is partially determined by your genetics (can you say type R and type K behavior?)


    Keeping in mind that you can change which genes are turned on or suppressed by selective pressures of the society or environment. No physical change in the base genetic code but rather in how those genes are expressed (dormant genes being turned on or off by the scarcity or surplus of resources)


  98. p.g.sharrow says:

    Liberals are made in their early life. How children are raised and educated is the most important factor. Liberals don’t breed their replacement children, they brainwash yours in schools. The main job of schools is to train the future generation in the norms of their society. The only argument is who sets the norms. I’m over 70 and I remember the change in the late 1950s as the newly minted Liberal Progressive educators began driving the god and country conservatives out of the education system in California. In 70 years they have turned the finest public Education system in the world to one of the worst. Liberal Progressives (communists) always destroy the societies they take over. For thousands of years this has been true and still the educated Elites push this concept because they want the toiling masses to support them. The problem is only a few of us like being among the toilers, everyone else wants to be among the Educated Elite. Sooner or later the top Elites realize their world is crumbling and they enslave everyone under them to be toilers. Only free people create more wealth then they consume so everyone starves until REVOLUTION and the Elites and their works are eradicated and everything starts over…pg

  99. Larry Ledwick says:

    I suppose it is not politically correct to refer to liberals and socialists as parasites?

  100. E.M.Smith says:

    Looks like the most recent fake news is blowing up in Texas. Woman driving around with giant F-Bomb covering her truck window got arrested for an outstanding fraud warrant…


    So now they are puffing it up as a free speach issue. Oh the poor oppressed SJW getting busted for prior fraud… must be a conspiracy to silence her…

    Couldn’t have anything to do with parents and children in the Bible Belt being offended…

    Or “hate speech”…

  101. philjourdan says:

    Damn Possums! Not even good for greasing the tires. I know they are the only native marsupial in NA, but do they really have to “introduce” them into other areas to be speed bumps?

  102. philjourdan says:

    @Larry – Re: Genes and politics

    My father’s family is solidly liberal (no brains in the bunch). My mother’s almost all conservative (a stray liberal in the cousin ranks). If it is genetic, I should be middle of the road.

    I think it is nurture over nature. My father was a drunken idiot who abandoned his kids at an early age.

  103. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting development in AI – self learning AI program taught itself how to be the best Go player in the world without using human played games for training.


  104. Larry Ledwick says:

    Phil – I on the other hand think it is due to triggering of latent genetic traits due to hardship as a youth. Folks who are liberal in my experience, have grown up getting rewards with little effort or socialized to value appearances over substance, while conservatives had challenges to over come and were socialized to seek results not certificates on the wall.

    The kid who had to mow lawns to buy a bike learns to respect work, the kid down the street who was given an expensive multi-speed bike for his birthday neither respects the value of the bike or the work it took to buy it.

    I think it has a strong association with R/K selection triggering by the pressures of the environment.

  105. p.g.sharrow says:

    @ Larry you got it right ……….sort of:
    “The kid who had to mow lawns to buy a bike learns to respect work, the kid down the street who was given an expensive multi-speed bike for his birthday neither respects the value of the bike or the work it took to buy it.”
    Maybe the defect shows up in the parent’s parenting skills that damage the offspring”s view of the world. Education while young seems to be important but I was a born skeptic and refused to buy arguments from authority, not in church, not in school and not in media.
    Just show me the facts and I’ll make up my own view. My mother set me to housework before I was 5 and my father set to outside work on the farm before I was 9. Uncle Sam set me to war before I was 20. Makes it hard to understand Liberal thought justifications…pg

  106. jim2 says:

    The kid who has to scrounge parts to build his own bike is the best :)

  107. Lionell Griffith says:

    Genetics can provide the capacity to have a character but the individual chooses what kind of character to build. It is my experience that early and prolonged exposure to a solid work ethic stimulates the building of good character.

    It is the experience of actually earning something that makes you understand its value. If things are always just given to you, nothing is worth very much. More is always expected and eventually demanded.

  108. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmmm did the Clinton body count just increase by one?


  109. cdquarles says:

    Like many others my age or older, those with good parental models (didn’t have to be the biological parents) were raised well. As soon as I was big enough, I was put to work. If you earn something by doing good, you were rewarded well. If you didn’t, you were punished. We, my sister and I, were raised Christian. That meant don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t initiate violence, don’t murder other people, don’t be jealous, don’t be envious, don’t be covetous, respect adults even when adults were wrong, do your work to the best of your ability at all times; and by doing this, you were honoring God and loving your neighbor. Culture matters. I believe that ‘child labor’ laws and everything else that ‘progressive’ anti-Christianity has nearly destroyed the West, through the culture and from within.

    Though I am a sinner, saved by grace, I taught my children the same; though the culture they grew up in was much more inimical to my teaching this than the culture of those who taught me. I am still teaching this to my children and grandchildren whenever I can.

  110. Larry Ledwick says:

    Perhaps the “Elite” and college educated are the sheep not the unwashed masses.


  111. Larry Ledwick says:

    On a similar note – the general understanding of gun laws in the US grossly misunderstands what the laws on the books actually are. It is so bad that sitting elected officials in government propose “sensible gun laws” that need to be passed only to find the very law they are proposing has been on the books since 1968. The media has so profoundly misled the public that they have no clue many of the legal remedies they are demanding in the way of sensible gun laws are already in place and have been for decades.


  112. philjourdan says:

    @Jim2 – I bought mine due to a “scratch and dent” (bent front forks). But for Christmas, I did build my sister one! Raleigh Frame on Peugot tires, with Shimano gear shifters, an Huffy Handle bars (she did not like the curl unders)

    Best bike I ever bought (I had to buy some of the parts),

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