Tips & Notices July 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...
This entry was posted in Tips and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to Tips & Notices July 2018

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    An encouraging sign on the employment front. People who had dropped out of actively seeking work are now coming back into the labor force and unemployment is remaining near historic lows.

    It is hard to find a better indicator of general improvement in the economy and people’s view of employment prospects.

  2. jim2 says:

    Government loses 3-d printed gun suit. It’s like the USA is coming back!

    “Under terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.

    Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.”

  3. tom0mason says:

    Tallbloke ( has put a tweet out recently which shows this diagram —

    IMO this shows a better representation of what really goes on with our atmosphere/climate.

  4. A C Osborn says:

    As E M is aware it is based on the Paper of Ned Nikolov et al and is gaining quite a bit of support.

  5. philjourdan says:

    @Larry – My company decided to outsource my function (Network engineer) on February 1, with a termination of June 30. I was in the middle of several issues, so did not start looking until March. Within 6 weeks I had 2 offers and 2 other hot prospects. I accepted one of the offers.

    That is the fastest I have ever gotten a job, and that career spans 40 years. It is an excellent job market.

  6. llanfar says:

    @philjourdan – full agreement. My prior job at IBM Watson Health let me (and a bunch of other developers) know I was being let go in 90 days back in June the day before a 2-week vacation at the beach. I had multiple interviews (Zoom, Slack for video conferencing) and 2 offers before I came back. Finished up other in-person interviews 1st day back before accepting a role at the IBM Digital Business Group. Lost my severance package that way, but already had maxed health out-of-pocket on my wife, so it was a wash.

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    Government loses 3-d printed gun suit. It’s like the USA is coming back!

    Subtle point but as I read that, they did not “lose the law suit”, they decided not to contest it and sought a settlement (ie no firm legal precedent set ) – that implies that they were afraid they could not defend the suit and the judgement might have been worse than the settlement – Or the current administration instructed them to drop it and cut their losses.

    Although this item does set the ground for a presumption of multi use for all firearms smaller than.50 caliber.

    Significantly, the government expressly acknowledges that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

    “Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

  8. jim2 says:

    LL – good point. But still, overall, a good thing. I hope Ginsburg finally decides to turn in her robe and go play with the great-great(-great?) grand kids. Having a SC respectful of the Constitution will be such a breath of fresh air.

  9. u.k.(us) says:

    I’ve heard about China’s over building, the video linked here gives you a whole new perspective.

  10. jim2 says:

    I, for one, think our overlords may be overblown.

    “Which region will be less impacted by the coming climate crisis: New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google really building Ray Kurzweil a home for his brain, and will his consciousness live through the transition, or will it die and be reborn as a whole new one? Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, “How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?”

    The Event. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, unstoppable virus, or Mr. Robot hack that takes everything down.”

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    Interesting read… but really… How to survive “The Event”? Have a few acres in a not all that impressive place with a trailer on it. Have a few guns. Get to know the neighbors well. Be nice.

    As to “best place”? Easy. From Texas to Florida does well when cold hits. The warmth collected in the Gulf backs up (not being delivered to Europe) and the place is warm, wet, and productive.

    Besides, you can own guns here. It’s OK….

    I’m not moving to Florida just for Donald Duck…

    The real question nagging those folks is just: “Since our empire depends on manipulating people with tricks above basic needs; how do we continue to manipulate them when meat and bread are all that matters and I don’t know how to make that?”

    The answer is “Empires fall”; and that does not please them.

    “Bubba” who knows how to catch catfish with a fist in a mud hole, and thinks crawdads are a delicacy will do fine. (I’ll be bank fishing for the ones Bubba thinks are too small, but crawdads are tasty too ;-) Some Guy who needs you to buy Chinese socks from his web site delivered by drone? Well, he’ll be toast…

  12. corsair red says:

    @philjourdan @llanfar @Larry Ledwick :
    Good friend of mine worked for a small local pharmacy as a pharmacy tech. The owner sold it to a man who made it a franchise of a small national chain. After two months he fired all of the original staff. My friend had worked there over 20 years. She said within 2 days she had 3 job offers. The interesting thing? She hadn’t done any searching for a new job.

  13. jim2 says:

    Question for the gear heads: How/where can I buy a good quality rebuilt manual transmission?

  14. jim2 says:

    EMS: Yes, our overlords view their money as the proverbial hammer, and every problem is a nail.

    We saw that approach in the last election, well every election, and this time it failed miserably.

  15. jim2 says:

    If you have some time on your hands …

    From Artix Linux …

    We urgently need more people able to contribute to packaging.

    You don’t have to be an expert in the occult arts for that; an elementary grasp of Linux in general and how PKGBUILD works should be enough for basic contributions. Help and training will be provided, free of charge!

    You can apply here or in PM.,512.0.html

  16. E.M.Smith says:


    For what kind of car and what kind of transmission? For a Mercedes or BMW I’d get it from Mercdes Werkstadt in Mountain View California. For a Chevy? I have no idea…

    In PM? In the afternoon?

    The description says Artix is an SystemD free Arch Linux. Good! Not only is Arch a nice and security oriented distribution (that’s reasonably light and fast) but with more folks going SystemD free there will be stronger pressure for basic packages (like windows managers and browsers and such) to retain their non-SystemD code base and compatibility even as they modify to also work on SystemD based systems. Essentially it reduces the motivation to be locked in to SystemD ways of doing things.

    I’d volunteer to help but for 2 things.

    1) I’m already over committed to too many things. None of them paying… I can’t take on more “free” things.

    2) I’m going to need some time to recover from a marathon coast to coast (twice) run. By the time I’m going to be ready to do much they will be done with the packing party.

    But it’s a nice idea and I might keep them in mind as a release to try / place to volunteer in the future…

  17. jim2 says:

    I may need a Ford F-150 one and a Honda one in the near future.

    I’ve been engine braking since I had my first car, a ’58 Chevy. The weakest link in the drive train turned out to be the motor mounts ;)

    I had no idea it was a bad idea. So, at any rate, that’s the situation.

  18. Larry Ledwick says:

    Question for the gear heads: How/where can I buy a good quality rebuilt manual transmission?

    That is very local, best to ask around local mechanics, they will tell you the shops to stay away from (which is actually more important than the shops to go to).

    Go to a car show or drag strip and chat up the folks who drive similar model cars, they can likely point you to a good shop.

    Some chain shops like AMCO are good some are horrible (all depends on the management and who they hire and how they do business). Also check with fleet operators like car leasing or company fleet managers.

    There are some big national on line companies that do thousands of generic rebuilds, you would have to check out the online recommendations on those shops, and how they handle warranty repairs, but if you just want a generic rebuild some of they do a satisfactory job.

    I’d start with a local search on line using the key words “transmission, rebuild, problem, disaster, nightmare” those threads will tell you who to avoid and inevitably someone pops up and mentions Eddy’s rebuild shop and how they are the best thing since sliced bread.

  19. jim2 says:

    Thanks, LL. The only local info was from a high-quality shop here that said it’s hard to find a “clean” rebuild around here. But that’s just one opinion.

  20. p.g.sharrow says:

    Gorebal Warming hits the Arctic:
    “colder wetter winters mean more snow” more snow means later melt off in the spring or none at all….pg

  21. E.M.Smith says:


    If you care to share where “here” is, I can ask my mechanic. Seems mechanics tend to know the tool and parts guys who distribute nation wide, so can ask the collective who’s a good shop for one of their customers when out on the road… So just asking a very good trusted local mechanic “does he know of anyone good in FOO area?” and can he get back to you after asking around tends to work… At least with my mechanic.

  22. jim2 says:

    EM – South-Central is about as close as I would like to go there.

    I’m thinking shipping could be a deal killer if too far. I do know some guys who race, so I’ll start there, I think.

  23. jim2 says:

    Finally, it won’t be too long now that the ‘rest of us’ don’t have to subsidize the ecoloon’s Teslas. What a waste of my money that has been!

  24. jim2 says:

    This video captures the lava explosion that injured tourists. Lava is dumping into the sea. At about 30 seconds, you can see lightning in the plume.

  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm this is interesting – what if the “Russia did it” chant is a misdirection to hide the evidence that “China did it”? Keep in mind the Clinton’s has a Chinese scandal when Bill was in the White House.

    Raises the question which team are these guys batting for? Russia, China, all of the above?

  26. jim2 says:

    Drudge is down:

    This page ( is currently offline. However, because the site uses Cloudflare’s Always Online™ technology you can continue to surf a snapshot of the site. We will keep checking in the background and, as soon as the site comes back, you will automatically be served the live version. Always Online™ is powered by Cloudflare | Hide this Alert
    Error 520 Ray ID: 43bf2a99c4421fee • 2018-07-17 19:38:00 UTC
    Web server is returning an unknown error

  27. Another Ian says:

    Funny this is just coming to light now: Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

  28. Another Ian says:

    E.M. Re those 40,000 odd sealed indictments

    Sound a good time to be a lawyer – so long as you’re not in one of them

  29. ossqss says:

    If your in the market for stuff, check out prime days on Amazon. Just bagged a Sandisk 64 gig class 10 A1 micro Sd for $13.99. Saw some good SSD deals also. Just didn’t need them, albeit shopping with a beer in hand can be a bit dangerous!

  30. p.g.sharrow says:

    for those that might some insight on George Soros:

    I found this article a valuable read on Soros the man, fairly even handed but long winded on the 87 year old financier or maybe manipulator is a better word…pg

  31. beththeserfb says:

    Afraid I can’t agree, PG.
    Karl Popper’s Open Society has undergone a sea-change in Soros’ O.S. Popper’s
    emphasis on individual rights and responsibilities morphed into collectivist gender,
    racial politics, critical debate and support for free speech into ANTFA funding,
    social warrior education at the European University and elsewhere. Non-fiat rule
    of law for all into puppet master behind the curtain manipulation. Lots of evidence
    out there.


  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    beth you miss the point. To understand your enemy you must see the world through his eyes.

    In the end Grand Scheme dreamers always fail on human nature. Soros pushes his agenda through other people, people that use his money and credibility to carry out their own agendas. Such hubris is always doomed to fail. Soros financial success by using his study of human nature in finance created great human disasters and misery that he rails against.

    Long ago I discovered that I would be the follower of no man, but chart my own course. Followers point to one or another figures of authority as the basis or justification for their own opinions. Most people are followers, or fans, it is their nature to mindlessly align with their leaders. Some people are leaders because they crave being in the front of their mob of followers. A very few are the pioneers that prefer to go it alone without leaders or followers. It is their nature.

    After a long life of the pursuit of wealth and power, George Soros is seeing the failure of his dream. Seeing the misery that is the fruit of his endeavors. Like Adolf Hitler, George Soros is a big knot in the tapestry of history. Many threads have become tangled in this knot and then we move on. As that knot fades into the distant past. Have we learned anything.

    The Founding Fathers of the United States wrote and adopted a Constitution, A Contract of governance, that they hoped would limit the excesses that result from political actions. The minority would be protected from Mob Rule of followers of political Leaders. Every part of that Contract is a study of “Checks and Balance” A way to prevent Democratic rule of the mob. A way to limit the ability of log rolling politicians to spook the mob into foolish actions. For the last 200 years politicians have been chipping away at the provisions of that contract that they finding limiting to the achievement of their wonderful dreams.
    We Don’t Need Them!…pg

  33. H.R. says:

    Nice find, cdquarles. I voted for President Trump so he could do what he promised. He’s been going down the list and checking them off. Promises kept.

  34. jim2 says:

    cdquarles says:
    18 July 2018 at 3:40 pm:

    I think it’s AWESOME!

  35. philjourdan says:

    @CD – I am surprised (just a bit). AS was not a Trump fan during the election. They seem to have re-evaluated their opposition.

  36. H.R. says:

    Oh, I was in a hurry for a Dr. appointment and forgot the main point”

    I voted for Candidate Trump to get his list done. I assumed he was competent with no need for me to tell him how to get it done.

    If President Trump needed my advice, I’m sure I would have had a call from him by now. 😜

    He does listen and and wants to hear from us via the site. The monitoring staff no doubt has found a couple of nuggets there, but the main thing is feedback from his constituents. He does appreciate some attaboys.

  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm very interesting happening in journalism – not sure this is good or bad yet but it offers hope. This may be the response to agenda driven media and if it upholds the outlined doctrine in the “Civil Constitution” may actually produce good journalistic work. Only time will tell on this.

  38. beththeserfb says:

    Agree , cd, context, but not ‘seeing’ the world through Soros’ eyes, rather, trying
    to see the problem situation for him … Pored over Soros’ manifesto, he ‘s no democrat,
    too much hubris. He says he’s influenced by Popper’s Open Society but Popper’s
    critique of Plato seems to have gone unheeded. Soros’ also seeing himself as the
    great man whose destiny is to remodel society according to his own blueprint.

  39. Larry Ledwick says:

    File this under cool tech – new record resolution achieved with an electron microscope.

    The Muller group was able to reach a resolution of 0.39 Å – a new world record – and at a lower, less damaging beam energy where resolution from the aberration corrected lenses alone was 0.98 Å.

    Read more at:

  40. cdquarles says:

    Oh, ah, Cool! I’ve done electron microscopy, back in the ‘dark ages’. We’re talking less than atomic radii here, even for hydrogen.

  41. Another Ian says:

    “A Russian Spearphishing Domain Is Now Hosted in New York City”

  42. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    OMG: That is just Soooo precious…

  43. jim2 says:

    But … PEAK OIL!!! From the article:

    Crude oil and natural gas production hit a new record in June with the highest production ever in the U.S.

    Production of crude topped 10.7 million barrels per day with production of natural gas hitting 4 million barrels per day, according to an analysis released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) Thursday.

    API praised the major energy milestone as a sign of the country’s “energy renaissance.”

    “U.S. oil production has supplied all of the growth in global oil demand so far this year and helped compensate for production losses in some OPEC nations,” the group said. “With continued increases in drilling activity, the U.S. is poised for further production increases in natural gas and oil.”

  44. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    They did a big burst of production but do not have a dealer network to “stuff”, so every car must also have a prep & deliver process… that has not increased capacity. That’s my view of it. No great horrible disaster of failure, just part A running faster than part B after part A got juiced.

    Common kind of problem in startup companies when the Big Boss leans on one part of the company to go faster…

  45. jim2 says:

    Tote up a list of Dimwits given immunity by Mueller and compare that to the list of Redimowits given immunity by him. From the article:

    So. Mueller has offered Tony Podesta immunity to testify against Paul Manafort.
    Because that doesn’t make this whole thing look like a partisan, biased witch hunt.
    Nope, not at all. *eye roll*

  46. jim2 says:

    It is done. With 53,100 euros collected in forty-two days, the PeerTube project originating in France blows through its initial goal. The principle is intriguing: a fully decentralized version of YouTube , whose computer code is freely accessible and editable, and where videos are shared between users without relying on a central system. Online since March 2018 in a beta version, the project should definitely take off by October, based on the money raised.

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