Tips & Notices November 2019

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 &
numerical computing / graphing with languages like Python & Julia ;-)

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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41 Responses to Tips & Notices November 2019

  1. E.M.Smith says:

    Return of the Tips page…

    I’d tried deprecating it for a few months and that worked “OK”, but a few folks do seem to have missed it, so it has now returned. So we’re back to “hey look at this” in Tips and “I want to talk about FOO” in the W.O.O.D. postings.

  2. Larry Ledwick says:

    Okay I will open this tips with this – Looks like a good movie coming out for Veterans day on November 8.

    For history buffs, it is said to be the most accurate movie depiction yet of the battle of midway and it gives fair coverage to the valor of the Japanese side of the contest.

    Movie trailer

  3. Don B says:

    This is an article about Small Modular Reactors…

     “Public utilities in cities such as Idaho Falls and rural cooperatives such as in Mackay and Salmon would purchase from a cluster of small, simplified, modular reactors that shut themselves down when unsafe and dispose of spent fuel in ways never imagined when the nuclear age began or since. Fittingly, they will be built where electricity was first delivered from a nuclear reactor, from the desert west of Idaho Falls to the town of Arco in 1953.”

    But the article also glorifies wind and solar. Interesting…

    “This month, the company that supplies most of southeastern Idaho’s electricity, PacifiCorp, announced it will steadily switch out of coal and meet most of its needs with solar and wind, while installing batteries for use when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

  4. Another Ian says:


    Your next taste sensation?

    “Cut carbon emissions by drinking eco-vodka”

  5. philjourdan says:

    @Larry – The original is better ;-)

    I really had to laugh when they said “star studded cast”. Uh, how about Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Robert Mitchum, Glen Ford, Pat Morita, George Takei. Dabney Coleman, Hal Holbrook, Cliff Robertson, Robert Wagner, James Shigata, Erik Estrada?

    This one is going to have to be stupendous to be worth watching after the original.

  6. Larry Ledwick says:

    Pretty sure this is only the beginning – use caution when clicking on politically charged items.

  7. Steve C says:

    That “eco-vodka” sounds cool, but definitely needs a bit of work doing to bring the price down. A few years ago, a friend returned from his sister’s wedding in Serbia bearing gifts, of which mine was a 1 litre bottle of E. European drinking alcohol. 96% (the odd 4% is water, as alcohol is hygroscopic), and readily available at about £1.20 per litre bottle in the supermarket.

    Alas, now just a memory, but at least it’s a rather hazy one …

  8. Another Ian says:

    Latest Pointman

    “Donald vs Goliath – How Trump took down fake news.”

  9. Another Ian says:

    “Indonesia reports first African Swine Fever outbreak”

    It is already in East Timor

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Loved the pointman commentary, I agree entirely with his line of thinking he has broken the press as a minor royalty in Washington, and reduced them to just another version of the paparazzi of the Hollywood and fashion worlds.

    I expect that over the next few years he will completely freeze them out for a while then start picking out honest media reporters who will provide quality interview opportunities and slowly rebuild the media into a respectful watch dog of the people rather than a pack of foaming mouthed attack dogs for the left.

    Watch as other national leaders realize they can do the same thing and the international media gets the same treatment, slowly being culled of all the hacks and agenda drivers.

    We can see it already with Greta and the green media cabal just walk by them and ignore them and watch their inflatable clown sag as all the air leaks out.

    The days of celebrity news anchors is over. The CIA effort to weaponize them and President Trump’s counter punch have broken them.

  11. E.M.Smith says:

    @Larry L:

    Why I use “disposable systems” and have almost all my data on an external powered off disk 99.99% of the time… Oh, and Never Ever use Windows for browsing (almost all ransomware et. al. is Widows centric….)

    Frankly, even if I were a Die Hard Windows Fanatic, I’d use a “disposable system” of the Linux or Apple sort for random browsing. It really is just good practice. Boot a Knoppix CD if you only have a Wintell box. Anything other than having ONE hard disk that is your system disk and data store… A decent external USB drive costs about $40 and you can get 4 TB for about $100 (or, really, most folks don’t really have over 64 GB of actual personal data so you can get an SD card and adapter for chump change and put your stuff on that…)

    It really does amaze me that the Standard Practice of not just folks at home, but most businesses is to have everything on Live Spinning Running on storage all the time. Just turn the damn things off if you don’t need it Right Now (and have a RECENT off site backup…)

    @Another Ian:

    It WILL be global. Just a matter of time. Yes, it WILL end up here. The agent is too durable and can even survive in dried “pigs ears” fed to dogs. This is going to raise global pork prices dramatically over time. Just the exact timing that is in question. There’s also an open axis of what can be done to treat it. Rather like Ebola or AIDS there may well be a “fix” if we have enough time to find it….

    Per “Fake News”: I’d had my suspicions, and then was moving to different channels due to the “issues”; when Trump started pointing it out. I do think he deserves credit for making the awareness happen faster, but really, it was already in progress. CNN and NYT have had a long slow slide into irrelevance starting before Trump. But, yeah, kudos for making it headlines for the slow to catch on…

    So, IMHO, it was already a process, but yeah, Trump has delivered the Knock Out Blow. Will something rise to replace it? Don’t know. It’s a very large operation / camp on their side and the Rubes are in play, so at the moment, IMHO, we’re on the cusp…

    It’s a whole lot easier to be stupid and manipulated than thinking and aware, so the Incredible Power Of Stupid is on the side of the Socialist Left…

    @Steve C:

    ALL vodka is “eco vodka” in that it is yeast piss. It really is just a question of putting yeast together with starches and sugars and then distilling… But what the heck, they have a good marketing scam going…

  12. Another Ian says:

    Re the photo in that Pointman article – did that happen to be the model for St Greta?

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    You mean this one?

  14. H.R. says:

    Larry L.: “We can see it already with Greta and the green media cabal just walk by them and ignore them and watch their inflatable clown sag as all the air leaks out.

    The days of celebrity news anchors is over. The CIA effort to weaponize them and President Trump’s counter punch have broken them.”

    Very astute observation, sir. You’ve encapsulated it in a nutshell, particularly the ‘celebrity news anchors’ part.

    Where is Jim Acosta? Toast. Burnt toast. Megyn Kelly? Toasted crispy, too. There are too many to name who have gone down in flames.

    President Trump broadcasts his own upside, because the YSM won’t and owns the downside, so they can’t call ‘coverup’ ala’ Nixon. He’s called a ‘braggart’ because he has to push the accomplishments he’s made.

    The YSM can’t acknowledge the slightest good he’s done and actively portrays his every action as negative. Perception is reality, so they said until Trump, except a very large number of Americans are perceiving reality rather than the ‘Fake News’ that the YSM has been pushing to gaslight the public. Too many people, Reps, Dems, and Indies, aren’t buying what the YSM is selling anymore.

    It helps that he’s right on border security, trade, and other matters that are the fundamental concerns of (what should be) any President of The United States; Jobs, Trade, National Security, Rule of Law, and foremost, a Constitutional Republic.

    He’s calling out and exposing the corruptocrats of D.C., and that’s an unforgivable sin. He, his family, his, friends, his business associates, and even passing acquaintances must be ground to dust, dissolved in acid, and sunk deep in the ocean so that no one ever dares again to try to return the government to we, the governed.

    It really is at that point and President Trump is the only one standing in the breach. It’s that bad. We can only pray and do what is required, when it is required, to keep our Constitutional Republic and the Freedoms it guaranteed… if we could keep them.

  15. Another Ian says:

    E.M. Re photo

    I really had in mind the one at the start of the article!

    But I guess there is enough desperation that the one you posted would do?

  16. Larry Ledwick says:

    @Larry L:

    Why I use “disposable systems” and have almost all my data on an external powered off disk 99.99% of the time… Oh, and Never Ever use Windows for browsing (almost all ransomware et. al. is Widows centric….)

    Although I agree with the intent, I don’t think careful users need to go that far.
    I use a window 7 system with most of my data on a USB spinning disk hard drive ( am currently copying it onto a new formatted hard disk for a backup copy). I shut down the USB docking station when I don’t need the files on it. The C drive basically only has the OS on it, so even if nuked a fresh re-install from physical media to a new image would lose very little if anything I care about.

    I use a quality antivirus package that includes anti-ransom ware functionality. (ie it detects the compression process and kills it before it can do anything.

    I also scan the system with two other products, to detect spyware/malware that are not true viruses but nuisance products.

    I also use the high security browser Dissenter and have it set to only accept cookies that are not 3rd party cookies, and have lots of things shut off, in addition to setting it to wipe history and cache etc on shut down. I don’t even have an email client on the box I do most of my browsing on so it is physically impossible to harvest email contacts.

    I use https always on the browser and watch for links that looks goofy.
    I don’t even have java installed, I do have adobe flash installed but try not to do stuff that uses flash.

    I have been browsing on line since the early 1990’s and have never had anything more that a couple minor issues. I have been known to blow away an install of a product and re-install it from the original install (exe) which when I download products I only down load directly from the source if I can even avoid things like source forge if I can get it directly from the vendor and I safe that install exe on disk so it can be used to start fresh if I am concerned it has been corrupted.

    Most importantly I generally try to avoid going to hinky sites that are likely to push questionable content. On pop up windows that really start ringing warning bells I don’t even close them with the X, on the window, I use task manager and kill the browser or use the Cntl W hot key to kill the tab it is on.

    I have three desktops which I use for different things, so also rotate systems sometimes, (like right now I am running on a laptop because my desktop is doing that backup image of the data drive so it has nothing at all running on that system while the backup is going.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    That’s cute. You do most of the same stuff I do! OK, yes, it isnt quite “that far” but you can sure see it from there!

    FWIW, partly my habits are set from 36 years of working as root almost all the time, and where even minor spyware might compromise an entire major corporation. Zero risk allowed, really. Probably don’t need that level now, but it is a habit with no reason to break it…

  18. Another Ian says:

    “The “Coup” Against a Sitting U.S. President Became Official on October 29th, 2019…”

  19. Another Ian says:

    Scrutinised with a “very intense scrut”

    “She Thinks We’re Not Taxed Enough”

  20. Larry Ledwick says:

    If you are looking for a conversation piece to park near the pool.

  21. Another Ian says:

    “Can Climate Affect Earthquakes, Or Are the Connections Shaky?”

  22. Pouncer says:

    Answering the old question: “Can my cell phone [ smart watch, ebook reader, smart printer, etc] run Linux? ”

    My old no-longer-used Samsung Galaxy J3 from Tracfone lying around is “supported” by an experimental distro, for instance.

  23. tom0mason says:

    An interesting site of lots of information .
    Read with the skeptical glasses on.

  24. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, I’m really Really liking the Odroid N2 computer / media station. It is very fast and does everything I want.

    The only problem with it is that I’m running Armbian and it uses systemD. Now the good news is they manage to hide / prevent / fix most of the bogus crap (renaming eth0 to God Only Knows what, having “noauto 0 0” in fstab cause a blind hang at boot, etc.). The bad news is that they have to. I doubt they can keep it up more than a year or so more, given how much Pottering is pushing the systemD (mented) snout into EVERYTHING.

    So I’m hoping that inside a year or a year+ there will be a systemD Free system available for it. Worst case, I bite the bullet and do a Gentoo install. Whatever.

    But at least for now, it is just a really nice bit of kit that works well with Armbian.

  25. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm Keto diet appears to improve resistance to influenza

    Looks like high carbs when you have a bacterial infection is not a good idea so put down the spaghetti, and oreo cookies.

  26. Another Ian says:

    “The Michael Herbig-directed film tells the true story of the Strelzyk and Wetzel families who escaped East Germany to freedom in a home-made hot-air balloon in 1979.”


  27. Another Ian says:

    I just noticed that there is a “quakes & shakes” link on the rhs of Small Dead Animals down a bit.
    Links to

  28. Larry Ledwick says:

    Apparently this is an on going process to change definitions of terms in Codex Alimentarius guide lines ( Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) )

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, at least there may be a lable… at last.

  30. Larry Ledwick says:

    Democratic propaganda push with new media outlets designed to look legitimate but intended to push the agenda of the left and also allow click mining of those who share the stories to identify a universe of people with similar web attributes.

  31. E.M.Smith says:

    So The Number Of The Beast is on the cards…

    I note in passing they are UN origin and have the same 2030 goal date as the Climate Scam.

    Sung to “A Comedy Tonight”:

    Numbers for EVERYone a Tragedy tonight!

  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    “The number of the Beast is 666″ is a a rather plain description that has nothing to do with numerology or other ” hidden” messages. In this case it is about Islam and the Koran.
    Back in the early 1980s I read a filler piece in the Wall Street Journal about a “Holy man” in north Africa that claimed powers derived from constantly reciting the Koran, all 666 lines of it.

    One needs to be careful about reading too much into prophecy. Every sentence must be examined word to word to get a clue as to the thoughts of the writer when they created that sentence. Each sentence is generally a single concept. In Nostradamus Quatrains there are 4 lines but generally 2 sentences, 2 thoughts that are not always connected. …pg

  33. Steve C says:

    Re those IDs, from Larry’s windowscentral link:
    “The fundamental mission of creating a universal identification system that incorporates every person on the globe, using modern technology and the support of various governments, financial institutions and more is the goal hidden behind the humanitarian cause.”
    Right. So it’s not some lovely humanitarian cause hidden behind a piece of unpleasant fascism, it’s some piece of unpleasant fascism hidden behind a humanitarian cause. Gotcha.

    We (the Plain People of the World) are going to have to do something to stop these bastards. And before 2030.

    @p.g. – “Every sentence must be examined word to word to get a clue as to the thoughts of the writer when they created that sentence.”? You know, that sounds an awful lot like the starting point of “Critical Theory” (quote marks 100% intentional) …

  34. p.g.sharrow says:

    I agree, I remember when the only ID needed to conduct business or open a bank account or purchase a weapon was money. or to vote was to just show up on election day.
    The Supreme Court ruled that Americans did not have to carry ID….pg

  35. philjourdan says:

    I remember a society that tattooed Universal IDs on people.

  36. p.g.sharrow says:

    @philjourdan; I have heard that the VA wants to chip all of us that they serve. So far just a proposal,

  37. philjourdan says:

    Yes, they always pass it off as a “good idea”. Until it is too late,

    FISA anyone?

  38. Tony Hansen says:

    pg …“The number of the Beast is 666″ is a a rather plain description…One needs to be careful about reading too much into prophecy.
    I thought Douglas Adams spoofed it rather well with “42”

  39. sabretoothed says:

    Note, Iodine and IC3 also converts estrogen to the better form

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