atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6402: You can tell by what they do.

"Upwards of 1,000" Googe employees walk out of work to protest how Googe handled some sexual harassment problems. One exec got a $90 million buyout when he resigned due to his peccadillos.

I think Googe can safely assume that this "upwards of 1,000" cadre of employees is redundant. Certainly they have just self-identified as such.

* * *

Their hypocrisy is on display. Leftists don't even bother trying to hide it any longer:
"I keep trying to point out to people not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity," Lemon told anchor Chris Cuomo. "So we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the Right, and we have to start doing something about them."
The hypocrisy in the statement is obvious, but since being a hypocrite is a key requisite for being a leftist, no one ought to be surprised by it.

* * *

The first trillion-dollar company resembles a naked emperor. The problem with Apple is the same problem it has always had: there was only ever going to be one Steve Jobs, and whatever you think about him, he was the creative force that made the company what it is. The last time Jobs was forced out of his corporation, it floundered until he came back to it.

It is rather unlikely he'll come back from the second time. Only one person managed that in history, and Steve Jobs most certainly ain't Jesus. Regardless of what Apple fanboys think of him.

It is certainly possible for Apple to make money selling techno-gewgaws, but people get sick of shelling out five, six, seven, eight hundred dollars every year in order to have the latest-and-greatest, particularly when the latest-and-greatest is only such because Apple tweaked its OS, upgraded a feature, and incremented the model number. This has become painfully obvious due to the lack of people camping out at Apple stores to be the first in line to get the new model on release day.

Their computer business is being neglected. They just announced an update to a computer which was last improved four years ago--the Mac Mini--and now the latest version runs eight hundred bucks for performance that Windows machines had four years ago. Let Pixy Misa tell the tale:
Apple finally updated the Mac Mini, after leaving it to rot for four years. After previously eliminating the high-end four core model, all new models have at least four cores. Pricing starts at $799 for four cores, 8GB RAM, and a miserable 128GB of SSD, and rises rather rapidly to $4199 for six cores, 64GB RAM, 2TB of SSD, and a 10Gbit ethernet port.

The new model has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, which is nice; not clear if that's two independent controllers like the MacBook Pro.

It's still four times the size of an Intel NUC though.
Four thousand dollars. I can guarantee that I could build a Windows machine that would blow the Mac Mini's top configuration right out of the water and have enough money left over to build another one exactly the same.

And still have money left over.

If I went the other route and spent $4199 on one computer, I could build a monster machine with a high end processor, scads of RAM and solid-state storage, and a pair of bigass video cards bridged together. The result would be a machine that could run WoW with all graphics settings on "High" and turn out 100+ FPS, and I would probably not need to upgrade to a new machine for more than a decade as everyone else caught up.

* * *

Efficiency is what kills "renewable" energy. The penultimate paragraph explains it.

I had not realized that the theoretical maximum efficiency of a solar cell is 33%--which is to say, 33% of the light energy striking it is converted to electricity. That's literally a "best possible" scenario.

* * *

So, last night I had a hankering to build a fire in the fireplace. Cold, rainy, windy November--why not? Went outside and got some wood, then came in and started in.

First problem, I could not get the gas log to light. It's clogged with the ashes of last year's fires. The fireplace itself needs to be cleaned out, in fact.

But I got that taken care of, and then put the wood in, and encountered my second problem, which was that the wood itself was soaked after several days of spotty rain.

So, fine, kept the gas log on longer than I normally would. That did get the fire going.

Problem three, though, is that the grate is bent.

Now, I know from all the 9/11 truthers out there that fire can't melt steel, so I haven't the faintest idea how this happened, but the fireplace grate has sagged in the middle so that it no longer supports the wood above the hearth. Because of that and all the ash, air cannot get under the wood, and so combustion is...less efficient.

(Reality: even a wood fire can get hot enough that steel right in its hottest part can soften, and if you have weight on softened steel it can bend under that weight.)

It did tolerably well, but it was not a very robust fire and I had to keep fiddling with it to keep combustion going nicely. So after a while I gave up on it and closed the glass doors, content to let it burn out. Perhaps forty minutes later, Mrs. Fungus announced that there was a fire in the fireplace, and sure enough there was an actual flame.

I rearranged it one last time, watched it for a while, then went back to what I'd been doing.

When I went to bed around midnight there was still a baleful red glow in the hearth. When I got up at 3 AM to hit the can and have a snack, it was still going; but when I got up again around 5-ish, it had gone out.


* * *

So, Og gave me an "ELM 327" interface. It's a dongle you plug into the car's OBDII port, you connect to it with some wireless interface (Bluetooth, in this case) and the right program can tell you all kinds of things about your vehicle.

Except my phone will not link to it.

Og opined that some of the dongles are bad and that he'd get me another one, so this little experiment will have to wait a little longer, I guess.

This is something I've wanted to do since 2002, when I got my Fiero. There was an interface a guy in Germany made which would let you plug a Palm Pilot into your Fiero's diagnostic port, and you could monitor everything in real time. I got the part of the interface that let you plug a computer into it, but never had the time and money to spare for the serial-to-Palm-Pilot part. I was able to diagnose a few things with the car by hooking my old Compaq Presario 1230 laptop to it, but that drive with.

The Bluetooth dongle and the Android app simplify it greatly...except of course I need to connect to the damned dongle. *sigh*

Well, we'll get there.

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