atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5508: About damned time he got around to it.

Trump rolling back Obama's stupid eco-executive orders that put all kinds of restrictions on fossil fuels. Howling from lefties in 3, 2, 1....

Pointed it out before: executive orders are a two-edged sword. Sure, "stroke of a pen, law of the land"...but also "stroke of a pen, law of the land RESCINDED". Can't happen soon enough.

* * *

Negative equity can bite you in the ass. If what you owe for the car is more than what it will fetch as a trade-in, you should not buy a new car now.

At the core of the problem is that cars cost too much. In the past two decades, car prices have doubled. Wages have not. The result is that new cars are effectively priced out of the reach of perhaps 60% of the population; by extending loan terms and doing other things the per-month cost of a new car has been kept manageable, but the total price has become exorbitant. $40,000 for a pickup truck or a basic family sedan? Really?

That's a bubble which is going to pop, sooner or later. Not going to be a good day in the auto industry when it happens.

* * *

Eew. Well, they're using the spinach leaf as a scaffold for the human heart tissue; they haven't made some kind of SF horror where they can plant seeds and grow human hearts. That makes it tolerable, anyway.

* * *

People frequently tell me I'd like Big Bang Theory. I frequently tell them No, I won't, because it's a sitcom, and those are universally stupid.

This post talks about how best to simulate being smart; and there was a comment which led me to link and discuss:
I remember something my dad said when I was a little kid, that rang true for decades thereafter. "Smart people can say things in very complex ways, like 'pedal habiliments ambidextrously lubricated and illuminated for the infinitesimal remuneration of ten cents per operation'. *Really* smart people just say 'shoe shine: ten cents'." [I later found this was a common joke sign at the time.]
I'd modify that: People who want to SEEM smart will go with the excessively bombastic circumloqution.

I notice it all the time: someone talking to me starts using $50 words, but just a shade incorrectly, and obviously so. Where a regular word would have fit the bill perfectly, the speaker will instead shoehorn in a much longer, and partly incorrect, word. Instead of "I need to get back to work," he might say, "I need to return to my domicile." Okay, unless you work from home, you need to return to your office or something like that. Your "domicile" is where your bed and TV and cat are. (Home is where you keep your cat. Wisdom for the ages.)

And it's done solely as a way of making himself seem smarter than he is. And it's obvious when it happens.

* * *

Change "white" to "black" and see how quickly Facebook reacts. One of the main reasons I don't really use Facebook, except to keep track of people who don't blog as much as previously (lookin' at you, Og).

Every time I ponder the idea of increasing my presence on Facebook, though, a story like this comes along to convince me it would be a bad idea.

* * *

It's not too strong to say that socialism ruined Venezuela.
That's the reason that we fight the socialism so much--that political ideology demands a monopoly on national life. It is in the shower with you, in your cereal in the morning and in your soup at night. It demands subservience; it demands thought and focus and action; it demands attention--even when your intention is to fight it. Venezuela learned this--and deconstructing the mess is proving to be hard. Totalitarian regimes have a reach that is not only broad but deep. Don't believe me; ask Yeonmi Park.
It never works and it always ruins everything it touches. It cannot be otherwise.

* * *

One robot lays as much brick as six men can. It's true that you require a couple of men to feed bricks to the machine, and to clean up the mortar from the laid bricks; but otherwise, it's all robot--and it's cheaper than hiring a man to do it.

(To those "triggered" by apparent sexism: look at the statistics and tell me how many women work as bricklayers, compared to men. Women generally do not go into jobs requiring heavy physical labor, and bricklaying is nothing but.)

One commentor disgustedly talks about how the thing will require constant maintenance--but industrial robots are built to last; Og talks all the time about the durability of the machines he works with on a daily basis. They have astoundingly long MTBFs, certainly a hell of a lot longer than the typical automobile does.

If cars were built as well as industrial robots were, they'd routinely hit a million miles or more with no failures.

The reason being that whenever a robot goes down, it costs the owner of that robot a hell of a lot of money. Let's say you own a factory which makes motorcycles, and the robot tasked with welding the frame decides to pack it in. You can't make motorcycles, because you can't make the frames. How much money does it cost you not to make motorcycles for the day it takes a technician to fix the robot? (Of course you would have a backup robot for a mission-critical role--and if you didn't before this episode, you sure as hell would after!--but work with me here.) How many millions of dollars does it cost for your plant to cease production and then restart it?

Now, most of the time one robot more or less won't make or break things--as noted above it's a trivial exercise to have a spare ready to go in case the main one breaks--but robot manufacturers do their damnedest to build machines that don't break, that have astonishingly long MTBF even without periodic maintenance. It's a selling point.

On that robotic bricklayer, I'd say the conveyor belt or the mortar extruder are a hell of a lot more likely to break than the robot itself.

* * *

Borepatch makes the point I make every year. It's not "property tax". It's rent you pay to the government, and you don't own the land. The deed is incorrect: you're a tenant, and government owns it.

It's rent, because if you don't pay that rent, you get evicted. The government then gives the property to someone who will pay the rent. If that person doesn't pay, it changes hands again; but always the government gets its rent payments.

* * *

Researching SSHDs--

Turns out there are a few rules for buying them, and in fact these rules universally apply to buying spinning metal drives as well.

1) Buy the biggest drive you can afford. Well, duh. More storage is better than less, and that's true of any storage device. In the case of the SS drives, though, it means fewer writes per cell, which extends the life of the drive.

2) Always leave at least 10% of the drive empty. Again--look, if you have one drive in your system, and you fill it up to the top, your system will stop working efficiently. This is true regardless of what kind of storage unit you have; but with the SS drives, it means wear-leveling won't work as well, and the drive will crap out sooner. I never run a system with less than 30% available per drive if I can help it. If I have to, for whatever reason, I make sure the swap file is on the drive with the most available space.

3) Name brands are better than off brands. Do I need to explain this? It's true. Look: a PNY drive will last longer than a "SuperLukcy!" drive will. I'd expect a Toshiba or a Samsung drive to last longer than PNY.

4) Always have a backup. This is true for all digital storage; if you don't have two copies (at least two copies) you don't have it.

Otherwise, it looks as if there isn't any reason not to have SSHD instead of spinning metal. I'd still want to maintain a spinning drive for swapfiles and such, but that's probably just the old dinosaur in me and not really necessary. The drive manufacturers rate their drives on the assumption that about 20 GB will be written to the drive in any typical day; that's how PNY came up with the "22 TB written" figure for its three-year warranty on the 120 GB drive I've got in my laptop. But that works out to writing 1/6th of the drive every day for those three years, and that simply does not happen on that system.

What you don't want to do with an SSHD is to defrag the damned thing every day, or any of a hundred other things which we routinely do to conventional drives. No defrag, don't delete stuff until you need space, etcetera. Every time you make a change to that drive, the block containing the changed memory cells undergoes a Program/Erase cycle--and you have a limited number of those, so spend them wisely.

Now, Intel's 3D XPoint technology--it seems to be a memristor technology, and memristors don't (should not, in any case) wear out the way NAND FLASH cells do. We'll have to see, but that technology is still pretty new.

So: generally speaking, looks as if SS drives are about as good as conventional. Might be time to look at moving in that direction.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.