atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6505: This is how a sensible system works

So, today I got a work email--never mind who from or for--which discussed a failure in a phone system, explaining that the phone system had failed over to the backup system.

The email explained that once the issue was resolved the system would automatically revert to the primary, once it was on line, and that the only thing that would happen was that the desk phones would restart themselves. This is literally the only thing which would have an effect on the end users.

...and if the user was on a call at that time? The phone would wait to restart until the call ended.

THIS is how you design a system to fail--and recover--gracefully. Contrast this behavior to what happens to your computer if a driver quits or a program hangs up.

FFS, the other night I plugged a USB cable into a port, and the system restarted itself--screen went dead black and I had to wait for the system to run a diagnostic when it rebooted. USB is supposed to be hot-pluggable but something went wrong, and a completely unbuffered reset happened.

At this point in the advancement of computer technology, I don't think it's too much to ask for more fault tolerance.

* * *

I belatedly realized that energy storage systems are merely epicycles, an attempt to make "renewable" energy less inefficient--by adding complexity and inefficiency to the system.

The second-biggest problem with "renewable" energy is that it is not always available. There are clouds that cover the sun. There is not always wind. Because of this, traditional energy supplies must be available, things like coal and natural gas and nuclear power, things which can be turned on and off fairly easily.

(The biggest problem with "renewable" energy is that it's diffuse, not concentrated like gas coal oil nuclear etc.)

To make up for this fact, there is an effort to find efficient ways to store power generated by "renewable" sources so that when there is no sun or wind there is still electricity. The problem here is that there is no efficient way to do that because whenever you convert energy from one form to another you inevitably turn some of it into waste heat--and when you store electricity, you are converting it twice: once when you pump it into the storage medium, and once when you let it out again.

And when you calculate efficiency, you don't add; you multiply. So a system which generates with 90% efficiency (pipe dream!) and then stores with 90% efficiency (put down the crack pipe!) and then releases with 90% efficiency (get into rehab already!) is only 72% efficient. And that's "you're on drugs" territory; the real world efficiencies are actually much worse than that. Wikipedia says the efficiency of pumped storage tops out at 80%; the maximum efficiency of a wind turbine is around 40%.

And that puts thirty-two percent of the wind energy turning your windmill into the grid. That isn't 32% of the total energy available in the wind; that's 32% of the energy that actually turns the windmill. The windmill may take 500 kilowatts out of the wind, but only 200 kilowatts will be turned into electricity--and if you store it, only 160 kilowatts will actually go out later that night to power microwave ovens and electric toothbrushes when the wind isn't blowing.

If "decarbonizing" the electrical grid is your aim, nuclear power will do that quite handily.

* * *

This is something I've wondered about, myself. In an era when you can buy a 30-inch TV for under a hundred bucks, why are eyeglasses so f-ing expensive?

The processes which go into making a thirty-inch LCD television screen with zero defects are much more technically demanding than the ones that go into making lenses. There are factories in China which pump out such screens by the tens of thousands. Assembling a television is a more intricate operation than fitting lenses to frames.

Let's face it: I bought a pair of glasses at LensCrafters which cost over $300 and were the wrong prescription. I then bought a pair of glasses from for $60 which were superior in every way to the $300 pair. Why?

The answer is, "because monopoly":
...for years a single company, Luxottica, has controlled much of the eyewear market. If you wear designer glasses, there's a very good chance you’re wearing Luxottica frames.

Its owned and licensed brands include Armani, Brooks Brothers, Burberry, Chanel, Coach, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Persol, Polo Ralph Lauren, Ray-Ban, Tiffany, Valentino, Vogue and Versace.

Italy's Luxottica also runs EyeMed Vision Care, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Sunglass Hut and Target Optical.

Just pause to appreciate the lengthy shadow this one company casts over the vision care market. You go into a LensCrafters retail outlet, where the salesperson shows you Luxottica frames under various names, and then the company pays itself when you use your EyeMed insurance.
No, thank you.

* * *

What the fuck is this asshat bloviating about?
Yes, freedom of expression is worth fighting for.

No, a MAGA hat isn't.

Just like you wouldn't wear a NAMBLA t-shirt. Or a Che t-shirt.

Let's stop pretending, ok?
Wearing a MAGA hat (or indeed a NAMBLA or Che t-shirt) is a form of freedom of expression, and all forms of freedom of expression are necessary.

It is particularly necessary to protect unpopular speech. Because let's face it: popular speech does not need protection.

Plenty of people don't see the harm in banning speech they find objectionable. "Why, they're Nazis, and they spread hate, and why should they be allowed to speak out like that?" "That man is advocating for the age of consent to be lowered to ten. He shouldn't be allowed to say that!" "Those Black Panthers are agitating for killing white people! That shouldn't be legal!" "Why are those men saying that women belong in the kitchen? Someone should arrest them for that!"

And on, and on. It doesn't matter what the political position is, nor the motivation behind it. Freedom of expression is based on the competition of ideas. Bad ideas will generally be ignored; good ideas will be considered. Letting a lunatic (nazi, communist) get up and harangue people with his lunacy will make plain the general worth of his ideas. (And you in the NAMBLA shirt: thanks for self-identifying as a pedo; we'll be sure to keep our kids away from you.)

But the people who object to MAGA hats aren't interested in this.

The people who object to MAGA hats are the ones most likely to be wearing Che or NAMBLA (or, indeed, Che NAMBLA) shirts. The people who want to silence the speech of those wearing MAGA hats are the same ones who advocate for total government control. The people who want to silence their opposition are the leftists.

It's the left that says, "hate speech is not free speech". It's the left that contends that the freedom of expression only extends to speech they approve of. This is part and parcel of the left, and has been since its earliest days.

...because their ideas cannot compete.

* * *

Why don't we wade into the Covington morasse one more time?

Oh, wow, how big of you. The anus who started the shit by getting in the kid's face and drumming and yammering, he is willing to forgive him for the heinous crime of...uh. Standing there and not being an asshole back, but just smiling.

I call him an "anus" advisedly. More and more it's coming out that the guy is a real piece of work, and as time goes on we discover more about him that demonstrates what a pile of FUBAR he is.

He has a criminal record that includes assault and escaping from jail.

He's lied about his military service, too. Yes he was in the military in the Viet Nam era; but he was stationed within the US and he worked as a refrigeration technician. And he went AWOL three times.

What a piece of work.

* * *

Meanwhile the media has just covered itself in glory throughout the entire imbroglio:

Ace asks, "Butterball Powerbottom Brian Stelter: Have Journalists Proved They're Too Immature and Too Unprofessional To Use Twitter Without Slandering Children for Retweets?" To ask the question is to know the answer.
Note that it wasn't the people who call themselves The Real Journalists who established the truth about this story. It was independent journalists, the people "The Real Journalists" don't want to admit are the real journalists, who actually took the innovative journalistic step of watching the fucking videos who established the truth of this story.
Emphasis his.

The people calling themselves "real journalists" were too interested in supporting their chosen narrative, ie "White Catholic kids wearing MAGA hats abuse poor, innocent, elderly indian man, completely unprovoked, because white privilege."

This entire imbroglio is not happening in a vacuum; it's merely the latest example of an ongoing trend, and that trend is hurting the mainstream media more than they are willing to admit. The news industry is shedding jobs because rather than accept that their jobs are to answer the questions "Who, what, where, when, why, and how?" they are writing stories to support narratives, and it's become obvious that the question of WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED? is of secondary or tertiary importance to supporting that narrative.

Seeing the middle of the video--not caring about how the encounter between white kids and marxist indian began--is part and parcel of their worldview. They're leftists; to them, all the ills of society are due to white people, and only white people can be racist or offensive. Only white people pick fights with minorities, and those kids showed that they were full of hatred for minorities the instant they put on their MAGA hats. There was no curiosity about how the encounter began because they already knew that, reflexively: white racists made trouble for an innocent minority. And reporting anything else would get in the way of their chosen narrative, that white people--especially Trump supporters--are racists.

Advice Goddess talks about how NYT has become "trash". It's no more credible than Weely World News. Go to the third comment for a litany of stories spun by the media to match a narrative. And it's not even an exhaustive or comprehensive list.

Francis Porretto contends, "They cannot claim it was an honest mistake." His post argues that it wasn't an honest mistake; it wasn't even a mistake--they intended to report the story the way they did. And for it, they will suffer.

I hope he's right.

* * *

Totally unrestricted abortion in New York state and it's an abomination. It allows an abortion whenever a woman decides to have one, regardless of the baby's health or ability to survive outside the womb. She could be in the labor ward and decide to kill the kid instead of deliver it.

The law was passed in response to something which hasn't happened, the overturning of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court. They're doing this because they expect it to be overturned, which it ought to be because it's craptastic law.

But of course nothing must impede the leftist sacrament; the daily sacrifice of children to their god must be able to continue unabated.

* * *

And so, the House of Representatives has denied Trump access to deliver the SoTU speech. Pelosi said "no", so President Trump is delaying it until the shutdown is over.

Myself, in that position I'd say, "Very well," and I'd go ahead and deliver the speech from the Oval Office, and I'd send Congress the written report afterwards, and they could just suck it.

* * *

Trust me, their hatred of Trump outweighs all principles. The left doesn't actually care about freedom of speech; what they care about is power. If that means they need to shut someone up, they'll shut him up. Just put "hate speech is not free speech" into Googe.

* * *

Understand, Hollywood is a cesspit. It has always been a cesspit. It will continue to be a cesspit as long as celebrities are given a pass on the ethics and morals we hold everyone else to.

* * *

Larry Correia is right, this is a bunch of horseshit. The moron he fisks lists seven "obsolete man skills". They are:
1. Hunting "No one needs to hunt when there are grocery stores!"
2. Fighting "Violence never solved anything."
3. Repairing your car "They're too complicated!"
4. Fixing things at home "Just rent and let your landlord handle that!"
5. Being a leader "Women can lead too, so leave it to them!"
6. Being a disciplinarian "(this is too stupid to encapsulate)"
7. Holding your emotions in "(this is more stupidity)"
Larry's point--well-made, by the way--is that the guy who wrote the article he fisks is decidedly not the example of masculinity our society should follow.

100% spot on.

* * *

We had some pretty snow this afternoon, but it was just falling because the air was cooling. Projected low tonight is -5°, and more snow is predicted for this weekend.

All told, this is not turning out to be the winter I had expected, at least not since the beginning of the second week of January. "Cold and snowy" is pretty much the opposite of what I predicted.

Plus side, at least we're not getting the kind of snow we got in 2014. Sheesh.

* * *

Last night I watched the first bit of Into the Night.

Haven't seen the movie for decades. The theme song for the movie (same title) is by BB King, and it was pretty much the anthem for my August, September, and October in 1985. A miserable, rudderless time for me, that was.

The movie is about a guy named Ed, an insomniac aerospace engineer, who decides to take a midnight trip to Vegas and instead gets pulled into a gem-smuggling operation. Diana is the smuggler, doing so for quick cash after her sugar daddy inexplicably cuts her off. She's chased by SAVAK, the murderous Iranian secret police working for Shaheen Pahlavi. And they have many bold adventures.

Almost all the supporting cast is cameo appearances by all sorts of Hollywood personalities. It's a fun movie, mostly.

* * *

All I really want to do right now is go back to bed; I woke up feeling crummy and headachy. But, work.

Plus side: we're in the process of shifting me from contract to full time. I'm hoping that'll mean better benefits and more money; it will definitely mean vacation days and better job security. And I'll still be working from home.

We'll see how that goes.

Because of the meeting this coming Saturday, I was instructed to start an hour later today and Friday to avoid overtime. No biggie here, though I would have liked the extra overtime pay for Saturday because it's work on a day when I'm normally not scheduled. Still, I'm not in a position to object, so I'll do what they tell me to do.

* * *

Finished watching Snafu Sunday night. Started watching Mayo Chiki. It's not too shabby; I haven't gotten past what I've read in the manga. I found the first volume at a used bookstore and read it, but haven't read much more of it than that. Seems reasonably entertaining so far.

Speaking of which--the manga site I found, that had Golden Boy and other good stuff, disappeared abruptly. Now it redirects to a manga site which doesn't have as good a selection and is short of a lot of the more obscure titles I want to read, including Golden Boy. Argh etc. I had a list of twelve titles I was either reading or wanting to read there; now I can't get at them. What a pisser.

And the redirect happens across browsers, too. Guess I should have grabbed their Android app while I had the chance, but a fiver says they're down because of a legal notice, which means the app's not working any better.

* * *

That's about it, I guess, for today.

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