Tips & Notices May 2018

About “Tips”:

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

Computer stuff, especially small single board computers
Making money, usually via trading
Weather and climate (“Global Warming” & “Climate Change”)
Quakes, Volcanoes, and other Earth Sciences
Current economic and political events
(often as those last three have impact on money and climate things…)
And just about any ‘way cool’ interesting science or technology
Oh, and lately, cars ;-)

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

If there is a current Hot Topic for active discussion, try one of the Weekly Occasional Open Discussion pages here:

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:

Note that “pages” are the things reached from links on the top bar just under the pretty picture. “Postings” are reached from the listing along the right side of any given article (posting).

Since WordPress has decided that comments on Pages, like the Old Tips Pages, won’t show up in recent comments, it kind of breaks the value of it for me. In response, I shifted from a set of “pages” to a set of “postings”. As any given Tips Posting gets full, I’ll add a new one.

I have kept the same general format, with the T page (top bar) still pointing to both the archive of Tips Pages as well as the series of new Postings via a link to the TIPS category.

This is the next posting from prior Tips postings. Same idea, just a new set of space to put pointers to things of interest. The most immediately preceding Tips posting is:

The generic “T” parent page remains up top, where older copies of the various “Tips” pages can be found archived. The Tips category (see list at right) marks Tips postings for easy location.

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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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39 Responses to Tips & Notices May 2018

  1. Doug Jones says:

    Just a head up for you, two times earlier today my android phone got some malware from your home page, one of those damn “Your phone has been exposed to malware, click ok to to F it up completely” transparently stupid come-ons. I don’t know how your page got the crud (I haven’t noticed any ads on your pages) but maybe you should take a look for malware.

  2. E.M.Smith says:


    There isn’t really a “home page” for the blog. I presume you mean landing on the main URL of

    Note, too, that this just gives a list of the most recent posts. As these are the ones “just put up” they are also least likely to have any “issues”.

    Finally, note that ALL blog posts have the same level of protection and exposure on ALL clients of so any exposure ought to be exploited on all blogs there. Since we’re not seeing rampant panic over malware all over the place, it is unlikely to be the blog.

    I type, by hand, postings into the WordPress Editor. I do not embed binaries (though there are occasionally links to image files, usually .jpeg or .png files. Again, unlikely to find an exploit there.

    Now compare the alternative explanation:

    Your Android picked up some malware on some random site. When you open new links, it randomly pops up to try and complete the pwn… A fairly common mode of infection and mode of operation for malware.

    So I would strongly suggest you get your device malware powerwashed soon.

    It is substantially certain to not be the blog.

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    Doug Jones; did you click on any links? I have encountered malware on a few links provided…og

  4. E.M.Smith says:


    If there is ever a link here that shoves malware at you, post a comment about it. I’ll then make the link non-live (i.e. have brackets touch it so you must cut / past to activate it) and then put a note next to the link that it is suspected of malware.

    Partly as I run such an odd mix of machines, I rarely experience any malware myself. I’ve experienced none from my blog. (But it is far more rare on Macs and Linux… so could be there looking to hit PCs and Android and I’d never know…)

  5. ossqss says:

    Clean the cookies from your browsers that are used in mobile. Most don’t, but should. That is step one.

  6. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; the times I recall it was on links that Larry provided that had links at those sites that dumped me onto malware. No big deal ,just kill and restart. Besides he who steals from me steals junk. I don’t do anything of value on my web browser machine that I can’t afford to lose…pg

  7. Sabretoothed says:
  8. Steve C says:

    @EM: Re your comment on the 9500-y-o city thread that “I’m thinking I need a boat” …

    Dmitry Orlov has an interesting little project (“The purpose of this project is to design and mass-produce kits for a floating tiny house that can sail.”) at the Quidnon blog. His aim is a rather cool houseboat kit for $50k, but there are interesting posts there ruminating on hull shape, sail shape, stoves etc. Give him a bit of useful practical advice and it might come down to $40k … ;-)

  9. p.g.sharrow says:

    35,000 year old Neanderthal notes?
    My first thought was Roman Numeral notation…pg

  10. H.R. says:

    @p.g.: Seems like tally marks.
    Neanderthal betting slip?
    Laundry ticket?
    Now serving number 13?
    Those would be really abstract.

    #Kills that year?
    #of Children?
    That would just be simple tallies.

  11. philjourdan says:

    @p.g. – How about knife slices from cutting up the woolly mammoth? That was just a cutting board. :-)

  12. H.R. says:

    I’d like to get a good woolly mammoth recipe.

    I suppose it starts, “Take one medium woolly mammoth, skinned and diced into 1″ to 2″ cubes…”

    The kids… “Woolly mammoth casserole… again?!?”

    Dad: “It’s Tuesday, honey. No time for that. I’ll just grab something to eat at the bowling alley.”

  13. H.R. says:

    “… Preheat the fire pit using there, 2′ dia x 12′ long logs. Let settle to glowing bed of coals.”

    600 gallons of cattail root stock
    400 lbs of root vegetables, peeled
    250 lbs onions
    1,200 cloves wild garlic
    pinch of salt

    Bring ingredients to a boil in a large pot, then reduce heat to simmer until meat is tender, (about 72 hours.)

  14. H.R. says:

    Pairs well with anything fermented.

  15. philjourdan says:

    Personally, I like my Wooly mammoth al dente. Builds strong teeth and jaw muscles! :-)

  16. H.R. says:

    Hawaii County GIS map of the fissures. Just put up by the county for updates and use by residents and interested parties.

  17. E.M.Smith says:


    no No NO! Everyone knows stewed Mammoth is too bland! A BBQ is much better. But, as Mammoth is a bit tough and lean, it must be properly “larded & barded”… then slow BBQed.

    1) Line the BBQ cavern with oak bark. Start One Oak Tree of seasoned wood and let it make coals on the bed of the cavern.

    2) Skin and dress out 1/2 dozen wild boar, reserving the body fat for larding and barding. The rest of the boar can be dried and smoked over the oak fire as the tree is reduced to coals. (Thus smoked the boar bacon and boar ham will keep until the next hunting cycle).

    3) Using the 6 Stone weight of boar fat, cut into spear widths, lance the mammoth with the spear and insert the fat “through and through”.

    4) For added flavor the larding and barding can include one goat skin of onions & garlic, to taste. Or simply place in the body cavity.

    5) Leaving the skin on the Mammoth to preserve juices, roll the mammoth onto the bed of coals. Cover with a layer of smaller oak boughs (the bits not used to make coals) and pile over with a layer of soil.

    6) Return a few days later, uncover the pit / cavern, and serve.

    Suggested plating is a section one hand by 2 hands, and 3 fingers thick. One fist sized serving of smoked boar, sliced, artfully dropped on top. Vegetables optional, depending on what the spouse found… Sauteed mushrooms seasonally. For entertainment, slide strips of Scotch Bonnet peppers into Urgh’s serving and watch him holler!

    And yes, pairs especially well with anything fermented ;-)

  18. p.g.sharrow says:

    Generally any big kill was stripped of fat and meat that was dragged back to camp inside of the hide. The bones, blood and other waste was left to the scavengers and predators. only the liver was immediately consumed. The meat was dried and fat rendered for ingredients to make pemmican: All hunting societies made pemmican for their winter stores as well as for commerce.
    You can live on well made pemmican for years if necessary as it can be a well designed nutritional food bar that can be stored for years…pg.

  19. p.g.sharrow says:

    Damn, I think Smith’s recipe is a lot more fun. Mine is just a lot of hard work…pg

  20. ossqss says:

    I can see it now! No, I really did ;-)

  21. LG says:

    More rotating plasma structures on our star: Giant swirls on the Sun, of the Rossby Wave kind.

    “For forty years, scientists had speculated about the existence of such waves on the Sun, which should be present in every rotating fluid system. Now, they have been unambiguously detected and characterized for the first time. The solar Rossby waves are close relatives of the Rossby waves known to occur in the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans.”

  22. I don’t use PGP, on the grounds that if I don’t advertise that something is secret then there’s so much data flying around in emails that there would need to be a reason for someone to actually read mine, but it seems there’s an exploit that can break PGP for emails. Details at if this may affect you.

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    Sadly, I have summarily failed to generate any interest in using encryption by anyone who communicates with me via email. My solution is to read email once a month and never originate any if at all possible. Eventually people stop… or any attacker gets a trove of repeated requests to respond to that email about the BBQ invite 2 months ago… I miss some invites, but get more free time and there is little to be used against me.

    Were I to send an encrypted message I would do it in the first manner of mitigation they described: external encryption and send file. That lets you vary encryptors and methods. Isolates the clear text from the transport.

    Since embedded “active content” has been known to be a giant attack surface and vector since the beginning, I’ve always shut it off whenever possible and never click embedded things (sorry all you e-Marketers, I’m never going to click your dancing Java craplette…nor hit the “reply” button in your text.) IF I ever wanted to reply, I would enter the email address de novo in a new email.

    Those have been my habits since I first saw active content email. Part of that general “paranoia is your friend” attitude of the “always under attack” sysadmin.

    So nice to know about the exploit (that isn’t really a PGP exploit – it stays strong; but is a SMIME / email package post decryption exploit) but it doesn’t impact me. My biggest secret is what socks I need to buy and when I need to fill out social security paperwork… ;-)

  24. Larry Ledwick says:

    That is the big weakness of common encryption systems, users on both ends need to agree before hand to use a given encryption method.

  25. H.R. says:

    Thanks to the nonsensical rules-making of the CFPB, I had to buy 3 stocks for my portfolio. They insisted that a brokerage customer have a market basket of 10 individual stock holdings. My investment firm was just fine with the seven individual holdings I inherited, and they were just fine when I only had one individual holding in my IRA. But nooooo, Auntie Nanny insists that 10 individual stocks are the minimum to be properly diversified.

    I bought a very small stake in GE as one of the added 3 holdings. Some divisions have been subsidy mining for years, but other divisions have had steady, profitable, business models. I bought at $17 and small change because I expect GE to be broken up with failing or untenable divisions going away and the divisions with ‘good’ prospects spun off with good prospects for growth.

    At $17/share, at that point the book value was about 5 times the market value of the stock. Anyhow, I’ve paced a small bet that over the next few years, I will wind up with shares of 3 to 5 (more?) spun off GE companies, each of which will have a stock price of better than the $17/share I paid for the tangled mess of divisions that exist in the current umbrella-company structure.

    We shall see. I’m prepared to lose it all or wind up sitting very pretty.

  26. Sabretoothed says:

    [Reply: Video deleted for language and content. You will be in moderation until your anti-vegan fetish is ended. I need not provide a forum for you to attack my family members and friends. E.M.Smith]

  27. Sabretoothed says:

  28. Continuing my exploration of foundations and axioms in physics, I’ve explored the reason for momentum being conserved and thus why it isn’t actually conserved (if the action and reaction are unequal, because the frequency is high enough relative to the distance involved, then momentum isn’t conserved). This implies that there’s no reason why a “reactionless” device such as the EMDrive can’t work. The EMdrive is however probably not the best way to design one. More at if you’re interested. If it’s true that momentum isn’t conserved and that a reactionless drive is possible, then that also means that energy is not conserved, either. It’s fun digging the foundations away….

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