Today I spent my entire day at work, just about, struggling to get one damned cell phone to access the email system.
They use Google for email. They have their own domain, but Google administers the system for them. And the phone I was trying to connect to this system is an Android phone. You would think that would make it easy, but you would be fucking wrong because of the security software that is involved with getting everything to talk to everything else.
Giving credit where credit is due department: when I set up an iPhone, it just works. But so far I've set up many more Samsung devices than iPhones, and every model works just a little bit different, so what works for one phone WILL NOT work for a different one.
It took me six hours to get this phone to talk to the email server, and I had to enlist the help of a coworker who was formerly on the Mobility team (and still has access to all the servers) to make it happen. It fought me every last step of the way.
But I was able to go to the near offsite and hand it over to the guy (in the parking lot since I'm not allowed inside the facility, because COVID-19) and he's got a working cell phone again. (Prior phone: dropped, unresponsive.)
It shouldn't be this freaking difficult. It's 2020 FFS.
* * *
Here is the article I said I'd link to if I found it again.
The Oxford research suggests the pandemic is in a later stage than previously thought and estimates the virus has already infected at least millions of people worldwide. In the United Kingdom, which the study focuses on, half the population would have already been infected. If accurate, that would mean transmission began around mid-January and the vast majority of cases presented mild or no symptoms....and that would explain a lot of those exposed not developing any (or just mild) symptoms.
I don't know, but I'm suspecting that this is going to turn out to be a gigantic scientific blunder, and people who are skeptical of the official version will be labeled "science deniers".
* * *
So the Chinese government un-blockaded Wuhan and the people rioted over it, and the police won't let anyone from the formerly-quarantined area pass.
I'm pretty certain we can assume that the numbers from China are a bloody mess (probably literally) and that the reports that everything is settling down there may be a tad premature.
Probably, the sudden cut of cellular subscribers (by some 21 million, now) is not due to deaths so much as being the result of the communist government not wanting the news to get out about how bad it actually is/was in Wuhan.
I'm pretty confident we can't trust the Chinese numbers at all, but that doesn't mean I have more confidence in the numbers reported by our own press.
* * *
A lot of environmental protection rules are suspended for the duration. Basically, what is happening is that the EPA is going to stop proactive enforcement of the protection laws. Now, let's say that Joe Belchsmoke decides that means he can take the sulfur scrubber off-line in his detergent factory--Joe is still going to get hit with enforcement because it's a willful disregard of the law. But let's say that Bill Steamer's factory is inadvertently allowing some minor concentration of sulfur oxides to escape his scrubbers; he's not going to face the kind of enforcement action he would have prior to this.
Mainly the rollback asks people to pretend the rules are in effect at full force, but lets accidental slips go. Instead of treating any and all violations like willful breaches of the statute, the EPA is going to take a step back and only prosecute deliberate and egregious violations.
Retroactive to March 13, penalties, including fines, will not apply to entities that fail to perform compliance monitoring, integrity testing, lab analysis, training, and relevant reporting if those entities say that COVID-19 is the reason they didn't do it, the policy (PDF) says.In other words, Bill Steamer could say, "Compliance monitoring could not take place because the coronavirus put half my environmental engineers in the hospital," and the EPA would let it slide.
So Joe Belchsmoke will still get fined for being a dickhead. And so the article's opening paragraph basically amounts to scaremongering.
* * *
This sounds very encouraging. SpaceX gets the contract to delivery cargo to lunar orbit if/when there's something to deliver that cargo to.
* * *
"Whenever I write about Marvel Comics in the twenty-teens I keep having to use the words, 'I'm not joking. This is real. This happened.'"
The guy behind "The New Warriors", re-dubbed "Fat Chance and Her Amazing Friends" by John C. Wright, is named "Daniel Kibblesmith" and he looks exactly as his name would suggest. I'm not kidding; I honestly think he is some kind of tofu golem.
* * *
One good thing about the recent work on AV--even though it's slow going, it feels tense to me. Exactly what I want! So, that's good. It's getting there.
And what happens after? God knows. I suppose I print the thing out on paper and then red-mark the shit out of it and start editing. This thing weighs in at about 415 single-spaced 8.5x11 pages with one-inch margins--240,000 words!--and if you consider that a typical novel is maybe 70,000 words I have nearly four freaking books' worth of material here. It probably will be somewhere near 280,000 words before I'm done with it.
First it was going to be one book. Then, I thought, a trilogy. I pray this thing does not get any bigger than a quadrilogy, because FFS enough is enough! I have other projects that need work done!
But once it's edited, there are a very bare few people who will get to read it before I start trying to figure out how to get it in front of the public. THAT is going to be REALLY DIFFICULT.
Just one person has read what I've written so far, but he has threatened me with grievous psychological trauma if I don't finish it and try to publish it. That's encouraging because I trust him not to brustle my bassles, and to tell me the unvarnished truth.
Lord knows, when I start reading it, I can't put the thing down, but I'm not an unbiased observer.