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Journal: Android International 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

Google struggles dealing with people who are in one place but want to use a language from another place.

It's gotten better in chrome on a computer. I can pretty much search in chrome and get my results in English. But on android it's a mess.

When I search in Android Chrome - I get google.hu and I haven't found a way to get it to use google.com

Today I decided to start using 2 factor authentication with gmail. Seems like a good idea and it's free so why not? Once I turned it on and set it up on my computer then I went to my phone. On my Android phone it said, "Now you need to go to the web." and took me to a form in Hungarian. There was no option to switch it to English.

Everything in my phone is set to use English but this is all completely ignored in favor of where the browser has decided that I am physically located. Does that make sense to you? It does not make sense to me. I want it in US English - no matter where I am in the world.

It's a weird thing. On the one hand I love that they are willing to sms the codes to any number world wide (though I switched to the app). So in some ways they are way ahead of others. But then you run into something that is just so backwards. And finding a way to send feedback to Google? Not so easy.

User Journal

Journal: More Than Enough - Comcast declares war on Tor 21

Journal by PopeRatzo

If you haven't dumped Comcast yet, you better hurry:

http://www.deepdotweb.com/2014/09/13/comcast-declares-war-tor/

Reports have surfaced (Via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an âoeillegal service.â The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.
The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.
The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:

"Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that arenâ(TM)t so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules. Do you have any other questions? Thank you for contacting Comcast, have a great day."

User Journal

Journal: Subscriptions Are Over ~ Busy Penguin 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

I enquired about when subscription renewal would be available again and the reply I got was that the subscription process will not be coming back. Must not make enough income to make it worthwhile. I liked seeing stories a little early and would try to quickly email and warn of dupes when I could. But it is a business. So it goes.

A long, long time ago I registered a domain that I thought would be awesome to use for a number of purposes. SleepingArmadillo.com Actually I thought the best use of this would be as a name for a craft beer. But I thought it would be good for almost anything but I never actually did anything with it. I just had a static html page with a photo of a 'sleeping' armadillo taken on a road near my home when I was living in Florida.

I ended up selling it to a band. The page they have now has a cool little cover image - I like it. I didn't make any profit on the deal but I enjoyed doing it.

It made me want to register something else that may be useful someday. It's not easy to do. I ended up with busypenguin.com I have no idea what I'll do with it. Right now I think it could be a clever Linux site but I don't have the time or desire to do it. I don't think it would be a good beer name. Sleeping Armadillo was genius. Busy Penguin was just the best I could get that day. I like it, don't get me wrong, just not sure at all what I'll do with it.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Fifty

Journal by mcgrew

Mars!
        John and Destiny left the houseboat parked on a space port pad they had rented at the spaceport at the Meridian Bay dome and got in a cab. Destiny said "I don't want to shop on an empty stomach. Taxi, take us to a restaurant that serves eggs and pork sausage this time of day."
        "Wow," John said. "That's going to be an expensive place."
        "Well, I'm buying. You said you never tried pork sausage, now's your chance, it's my treat. Besides, I've been thinking about pork sausage for half the trip and I don't want to wait any longer!"
        Dewey was on his way to Mars when he finished reading Knolls' report. He sipped on the coffee the captain had brought and switched on the news. They were digging the deep hole in Mars again.
        Plans were being made to tow the tragic Venus station to drop into the sun. It had been argued that if they dropped it on Venus it would incinerate from the friction with Venus' thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, but some lesser educated people were afraid that the disease might somehow survive Venus' hellish surface.
        Charles was back on TV talking about pirates. He was glad it was Charles and not him, Dewey hated TV cameras.
        He emailed Kowalski, telling him that when Kelly got back to Earth to have a couple of his best electrical engineers, one who was good with batteries and one that was good with engines, to talk to him and find out how he got a third gravity out of batteries. Nobody else had managed to do that before, and some engineers claimed it was physically impossible.
        John and Destiny were really busy on Mars the next few days, mostly shopping. First shopping for a wedding ring, then for real estate; they would buy a house and a bar. The houseboat was big as houseboats go, but was a bit small for someone as wealthy as Destiny who had lived all her life in very large homes, especially since the houseboat was half full of beer. After signing papers for the house they went for breakfast at a nice restaurant, where Destiny bought John another omelette and pork sausage. John wasn't any more impressed with this sausage than at the other restaurant.
        Then they visited Tammy in her hotel room. Her face was still a little bruised but she wasn't wearing the sling.
        "Hi, come on in, guys. Want some coffee?"
        "Sure," Destiny said. "So how are you coming with your research?"
        "Well, we haven't had time to do much except move them into the facility and acquaint them with it, but Rilla had really come a long way and Lek was almost cured already, at least from the physical withdrawal symptoms, by the time we got to Mars. She's to the point that withdrawal is still torture to her, but no longer deadly. She's still in mental and physical pain but she's not dropping any more. The physical pain should be gone in a few weeks. Of course, full therapy will probably take years."
        John said "Yes, Lek sure did change during the trip. This is great coffee, Tammy!"
        She laughed. "It's robot coffee!"
        "No way," John said.
        "Yep, and it's one of your company's robots that made it, too!"
        "No way in hell!" John exclaimed.
        "It's true," she said. "Your company updated all their coffeebots' operating systems and other programs. And it perks a whole pot of coffee in five minutes, and a cup in less than a minute. You have one of their robots, now it can make good coffee. I only found out because they're advertising it all over everywhere. I'm surprised you didn't notice."
        John said "I saw the ads, I just didn't believe them."
        Destiny laughed. "Dad must have tried a cup of his own robots' nasty coffee, I think he fired his head engineer. He should get here in another week."
        John said "Bill lands in two days. I'm still reeling from the trip here. God, but that was a damned nightmare!"
        They continued chatting a while before going home. They would be moving into their new home about the time Bill showed up two days later and would have more shopping to do; they would need furniture and appliances.
        John and Destiny met him at the spaceport, and they stopped at a bar for the beer he'd promised John. He bought John and Destiny several, in fact. John tried to buy a round and Bill wouldn't let him.
        "Excuse me, Bartender, but I want to buy a round," he said. The bartender told John what they cost.
        "Wow," he said. "That's pretty high! Is it like that everywhere here?"
        The bartender told him the reason was the cost of shipping it to Mars from Earth. He was going to clean up in the tavern business, it seemed, since Destiny would get a huge discount on shipping. He decided that while he was learning business he'd learn how to make beer and open a microbrewery in his tavern, too. He'd have really cheap beer, at least compared to other taverns, that he could sell for a huge profit and still be way cheaper than anyone else's if he could learn to make good beer.
        Bill said "Bartender, don't take his money, this is all on me. I have to write a damned report tomorrow, I don't know why" he said, turning to John.
        "I had to write one and they really wanted detail," John said. "Maybe they changed policies and everybody has to write reports now."
        A few days after that they met Dewey at the spaceport. After Dewey and his daughter hugged she said "Where's Mom?"
        Dewey said "Come on, Destiny, you know how your mom is. She's scared to death to even get on an airplane, let alone a space ship. I'm going to wear a camera at the wedding, though, so she'll be there in a way."
        He stuck out his hand. "Good seeing you again, John. That was some great work you did on that trip. We're going to be rewriting the book. I wish I could talk you out of retiring."
        "Well, thank you, Mister Green..."
        "Call me Dewey, John. You're family now."

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Nine

Journal by mcgrew

Landing
        The alarm woke me up. Still asleep I thought "damned whores" out of habit, thinking we were having an emergency before I remembered that we were due to enter orbit and I'd set the alarm myself the night before. We had been on approach since late yesterday afternoon and would be in orbit and docking with the maintenance facility at nine this morning. The landing boats would already be docked there and we would be on Mars' surface by late this afternoon.
        The alarm woke Destiny up, too, and she got up as I was making coffee. Destiny told the computer to make steak and scrambled eggs with toast, and we took a shower together.
        Wow! We were finally entering orbit around Mars and would be docking at nine and we hadn't died! Not yet, at least. The way this trip had gone we'd probably crash land on Mars, or get assassinated at the spaceport. I did have a price on my head, after all. Of course, they most likely didn't know my name or what I looked like, but the boat's new captain would probably be in danger.
        We put on the news and started eating breakfast and the doorbell rang. It was Tammy.
        "Hi, Tammy," Destiny said. "Want some breakfast?"
        "No, thanks," she said, "I already ate, but I'll take a cup of coffee if it isn't made by a robot. So, who's going to be your bridesmaid?"
        "Well, who do you think, silly," Destiny said. "You, of course. Who's going to be your best man, John?"
        "Bill, of course, but he won't be here for a week or more, he's on batteries."
        They started talking about clothes and I just kind of zoned out and nodded once in a while.
        At five 'til eight I went in the pilot room to finish getting us in orbit, and by eight thirty we were weightless and would be docking in a few minutes. I floated to my quarters.
        At quarter to nine the three of us started floating towards the docking bay that still worked without tearing up somebody else's docking bay and didn't have my boat attached, so we could meet the landing crafts' captains who would escort passenger and cargo to Mars. Then we'd take off in the houseboat and Tammy would go down with the droppers.
        I got on the PA. "Attention, ladies. Please assemble in docking bay one for landing."
        The boat docked a few minutes later as the droppers started showing up, and I greeted two of the three landing pilots, Tom Farley and Jim Woolsley. I'd known both of them for a few years, so we talked about old times as Destiny and Tammy said their goodbyes and cargo streamed in.
        They and Tammy started escorting the droppers to the landing boats while me and Destiny went to my houseboat to land on Mars. Lek walked by and said "Thank you, Captain."
        We undocked from the ship and flew down to Meridian spaceport together. Now if you guys will excuse me I need to buy a wedding ring.
        See you.

Next: Mars!

User Journal

Journal: Northern Ireland at Hungary

Journal by stoolpigeon

Went with some friends tonight to watch Hungary play Northern Ireland in their Euro Cup qualifier match.

It was held at Groupama Arena. It was my first time there and it is a very nice facility. We bought lower priced tickets but it still felt like we were very close, especially compared to what it is like at Ferenc PuskÃs Stadium.

It was 0 - 0 through the first 75 minutes. I felt like Hungary had the majority of the possession over that time and the bulk of the scoring chances. They had a corner and I told one of my friends, "It would be a shame if Hungary don't get something more than a draw out of this match." Seconds later they scored.

It was fun and I was pretty excited. Unfortunately Hungary appeared to finish playing defense at around 80 minutes and ended up losing 2 to 1. Really a disappointing result. They could have and should have won.

User Journal

Journal: I might be done with /. 1

Journal by symbolset

/. Used to be an obsession for me. I've been here over a decade. I've 2^8th +5 comments, 2^8 days read. I have broken news here by waking the Admins. For the last 10 years /. could count on me putting my spin on almost every story that hit the main page. I don't know if it is Dice ownership, that the trolls have finally won, /. Beta or whatever. More and more I'm finding the content stale, the discussion vile. I don't check in every day. What I do know is that I am less and less interested in coming here any more. I don't like that. I want /. to continue to be what it was. I want it to stay here for me. But things change.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Eight

Journal by mcgrew

Engines
        We'd be in orbit around Mars and landing on the surface tomorrow. Only one more day of this horror movie! We might all live after all!
        Destiny was still asleep. I got out of bed and went to the head, went in the kitchen to start coffee (stupid robots) and put a robe on.
        Yeah, in that order. Fuck you.
        Anyway, I told the robots to make me some breakfast. Destiny got up and went in the kitchen while I got dressed. The robot was almost done frying my eggs and sausage and had started cooking hers.
        "Good morning!" she said. "Been up long?"
        "'Mornin', sweetheart. Maybe ten minutes. Computer," I said, "What time is it?"
        It read "Oh seven thirty three."
        We ate our breakfast and drank coffee and watched the news in the living room as the robots cleared the table. They were still trying to figure out what do do about Venus. It also had something about the battle the fleet fought, but Destiny said that they didn't mention me or her charity that the company was hauling for but they mentioned Bill's boat and its sabotage. I didn't get to see the whole thing. They had an interview with Mister Osbourne, but I had to go to the pilot room and I missed that part.
        We didn't need a course correction, but there were red lights on engines sixteen and eighteen, right next to seventeen. I shut those two down and the two next to them as well and went to inspect them, stopping at home to fill my coffee. There was some politician talking about shipping and pirates on the news while I was there.
        "Trouble?" Destiny asked, seeing my frown.
        "Only a little, we have two more broken engines right next to seventeen. I'm going down to inspect them now."
        I was astonished when I walked past the commons and saw Tammy talking to the German woman, and the German lady was actually wearing clothes!
        I trudged down the five damned flights of stairs and inspected engines fifteen through nineteen first. Sixteen and eighteen had shorted out like seventeen, so I left fifteen and nineteen shut down as well in case it was something spreading from one engine to another like they did on that Titan run, and I ordered the computer to leave all five alone. The book doesn't say to do that and I don't know how those engines work, but I saw a pattern here and I wasn't going to take any chances, anyway. I plugged repairbots in diagnostic mode into the four I'd shut off, hoping they wouldn't melt like the two that had tried to fix the dead number seventeen, but maybe they could record something engineering could use.
        I logged it all, but the rest of the motors and the working generator were exactly like the tablet said they were supposed to be. Busy morning!
        I trudged up all those damned stairs and took off my nasty boots and went straight to the shower. UGH! Damn but it was nasty down there.
        I put on clean clothes and inspected cargo next, thankfully for the last time; no more inspections. Tomorrow morning we would dock at the repair facility and Destiny and me would leave on the houseboat, and the company's boat and the stench downstairs would be somebody else's problem. I couldn't wait to get off of that damned boat!
        The only ones who were in their rooms were all asleep, and the rest were in the commons, maybe thirty or so. It was noon, I was hungry, and decided to finish inspections after lunch.
        "Done already?" Destiny asked.
        "No, I was downstairs longer than normal. I still have to inspect the passenger section and the commons and the sick bay. Want to go for a walk with me after lunch? I'm starved."
        "Sure," she said. "Robot, two rare ribeye steaks, mashed potatoes and gravy, and coleslaw."
        We ate, and she came along as I finished my inspection. I did the commons last, and by then the only two people in there were Lek and the German woman. Lek was drinking coffee and the blonde was eating some kind of sandwich, and both of them were wearing clothes. I guess the blonde didn't want to be an animal, either. It was nice seeing people in the commons and nobody was naked for a change. Destiny said "hello, ladies, I like your dresses." Lek said "Cup coon mock; oops, that Thai for âthank you very muchâ(TM)."
        The heavy German woman said "thank you" in her heavy German accent as well.
        We were due to enter orbit around Mars the next morning, so Destiny came in the pilot room with me as I watched over the computers for our final approach. "You're going to be happy and the droppers are going to hate it," I said. "We'll be weightless when we enter orbit and dock tomorrow."
        We had walked slowly and by then it was almost suppertime, so when I finished getting us ready to go into orbit we went home and had the robot make pizza and bring us each a beer. I'm getting used to Newcastle, I might keep drinking it on Mars. Well, I was going to have to drink Newcastle for a while anyway, because I still had an awful lot of it crammed in my houseboat. I don't get many chances to drink much of it on a journey. My boat's half full of beer!
        After supper we moved our luggage to the houseboat, and Destiny put on the third Lord of the Rings movie and we ate the pizza while we watched the beginning of the movie, then we cuddled while we watched the rest of it.
        Those are some a long movies! We listened to some Vaughn and then went to bed. I told the computer to wake me up at six.

Next: Landing

User Journal

Journal: Odds and Ends 1

Journal by mcgrew

scriptis Interruptus
I've been spending six to ten hours a day, seven days a week, working on Mars, Ho!. But not Wednesday; Wednesday I visited a surgeon. It was the least fun I've had since my last eye surgery in 2007.

I've had a serious case of advanced periodontitis for several years. Surgery for the condition was scheduled for this past Wednesday. The anesthetic was painful as hell; the guy was a lot better at cutting than at sticking. There was a sharp stab of pain when one of the teeth came out, too. Scraping the bone and suturing didn't hurt... yet. He inserted my new dentures, the nurse inserted gauze, and I couldn't get my lips together because of the swelling and the gauze. My clothing was bloody by the time I came home. I was deeply uncomfortable.

When the anesthetic wore off I was in severe, extreme pain. I'd been prescribed a bottle of hydrocodone pills for the pain, but I refrained from taking them because I've never liked the opioids. I took naproxin (generic Alieve, same drig at 1/3 the price) instead, despite the fact that I knew it would make the bleeding worse.

By eight thirty I broke down and took a hydrocodone. I can see why people with chronic pain get addicted to those things, because the pain went away completely a half hour after taking it. Like any addictive drug, long term use causes tolerance for the drug and the user needs more and more for the same effect. It didn't seem to dull my mind like the opiates I took after that car wreck in 1976, although like codiene it made me itch all over. Far better than the excruciating pain I'd been in.

By midnight I felt like I might be able to sleep. I rinsed my mouth out with the prescription antibiotic mouthwast they had prescribed, took another hydrocodone and another naproxin and went to bed.

I didn't sleep well; the teeth kept waking me up. I was up and drinking coffee by six AM. I took another naproxin and hydrocodone as soon as I woke up, and used the nasty mouthwash that I have to use three times a day. At eleven I visited the dentist, who adjusted the appliance and made it much less painful. I didn't need any more pills, although the dentures are gooing to need more adjustment.

I went through sixteen chapters after the dentist, made nine changes, and left the book five words shorter than it had been Tuesday. It's getting closer and closer to being finished.

I didn't have to wear my teeth last night. I slept like a log. My mouth was fine when I woke up, but it was hard getting the teeth in. They look good, but so far I can't eat with them; all I had yesterday was soup. I couldn't even eat cottage cheese. All I'd eaten the day before was breakfast, but I had no appetite whatever after the surgery.

I did manage to eat an egg this morning, but barely. This will take some time.

I'll post another Mars, Ho! chapter tomorrow; there are only three left.

Nobots
I've changed the format of the paperback version of the book. It's now "pocket book" size, still seven bucks.

Paleobiology
Yesterday's Ilinois Times had an article that will be of interest to those who have an interest in paleobiology, and face it -- we're nerds, if it's science or technology we're interested.

The article is titled 300 million years ago, and I found it fascinating.

A warm, moist breeze blows through the swampy forest at what is now Danville, Illinois. An eight-foot-long millipede scurries by. Nearby, a dragonfly with a foot-wide wingspan zips through the 100-foot-tall fern trees. Itâ(TM)s 300 million years before the present day â" before the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart, and long before any dinosaurs walked the earth.

That swampy forest has survived for millions of years as a field of fossils buried 250 feet below the surface near Danville. Discovered in 2007 in the Riola and Vermillion Grove coal mines, the forest has given scientists important clues about Illinoisâ(TM) ancient past.

The article is four pages long in its printed version (free almost anywhere around here).

And no, I'm not affiliated with that newspaper.

User Journal

Journal: Drive Died - Can't Subscribe 3

Journal by stoolpigeon

The drive died but not before I got copied what I wanted copied. Clonezilla failed and then it just totally tanked. So I just put in the drive I was trying to clone over to and did a fresh install. Now I'm copying back some stuff.

My Slashdot subscription ended and you can't buy it any more. The page seems to say this is temporary but I wonder if that is going away?

As I was doing my setup after installation I found some helpful notes from past journal entries. I need to collect all that stuff in one place.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Seven

Journal by mcgrew

Captures
        I got up about seven thirty or so, and Destiny was still asleep. I started coffee and told the robot to make breakfast, and then I shit, shaved, showered, and got dressed. Destiny was still asleep and I had to be in the pilot room in fifteen minutes so I started eating by myself. At five 'til I filled my coffee and took the rest of my breakfast to the pilot room. Huh? Eggs and bacon. What? Of course it was turkey bacon. Now knock it off before I walk out of here.
        At a minute to eight I put it down, of course, and when readings were done I finished eating, and went back to my quarters to fill my coffee. If I told the stupid robots to get me a cup they'd pour the pot of good coffee down the drain and give me a cup of that nasty robot coffee. Stupid robots. Stupid robot programmers. What the hell is wrong with them? Ain't they never been on a boat? Don't they drink coffee?
        I had a full inspection today. I'd talked to Ramos, the fleet commander, about parts for the busted generator but he told me it would have to be fixed on Mars because nobody had the parts out here and it was going to have to be rebuilt in any case. At least the robots got the other one fixed with a part from another one of his boats. He said he could spare a few maids, which was a relief, it really stank downstairs. Maybe they'd have it cleaned up before we got to Mars.
        Tammy came walking down the hallway, with her face still badly bruised and with her arm in a sling, looking like she was in pain. "The medic released you?" I asked.
        "Yeah. It gave me a bottle of some kind of synthetic opiate but I'm not taking them, I need a clear mind. I'm taking Ibotrin."
        "That better than naproxin?" I asked.
        "Not much," she said. "Maybe a little. Look, I need to control the medics, I need readings on all the droppers and the computer says I don't have clearance for what I need to do. Can you fix that for me?"
        "Yeah," I said, pulling out my phone. "Computer, give Doctor Winters complete access and command control to all medical robots for the, uh, duration of the trip."
        "Acknowledged," It said.
        "Thanks," she said.
        "No," I said, "No need to thank me, you're trying to keep me and everybody else alive and you're researching how to cure monsters. Look, Tammy, I have to finish my inspec..." an alarm went off, it was Ramos. "Captain Knolls, it's Commander Ramos. There is pirate activity, what are your orders, sir?"
        Sir? What the hell, I work for a living!
        "Have you done this kind of thing before, Commander?"
        "Yes, sir, we're very experienced. I studied at Annapolis and was a commander in the Marine Space Corps, and my men are all ex-military as well. And we've been seriously kicking some pirate ass lately, too, sir." There's that damned "sir" again.
        "Good," I said, "your orders are to protect our people and property. Wait to transfer the robots until things quiet down."
        "Yes sir, Captain."
        "Don't call me sir, God damn it, I work for a living!"
        "Yes si..., uh, yes, Captain Knolls.
        "Call me John. What's your name?"
        "Joe." I wondered what the whores would call him?
        "Just do your job and we'll be okay, Joe. Okay?"
        "Yes, Captain." Shit. Oh, well, these ate-up military guys never change. I know, I spent a hitch in the Army and all the lifers were ate up like that. I hear the Marines are the most ate up of all the military branches. Assholes...
        I let Ramos worry about the pirates, that was his job now. I had a bunch of drug addicts that were all worse than vampires and werewolves to deal with. Lots more dangerous than stupid damned pirates, especially with a fleet and an experienced commander protecting us from the pirates and nobody but ourselves to protect us from the monsters. And I still had inspection. And I didn't know if Tammy had gotten them under control yet. Or even if she could all busted up like that.
        Nope, not gonna inspect cargo today again, still way too damned dangerous, I don't care what the damned book says. I called Tammy and asked her to call me when the cargo pens were relatively safe.
        Nothing caught fire when I inspected the empty passengers quarters that the company is stupid enough to power and have maids clean.
        The starboard generator was fine, engine seventeen... wasn't that the one that shorted out earlier? Yeah, it was. Anyway a robot was working on it, damn it. I unplugged it, sealed the plug hole with epoxy and told the computer to keep the damned robots away from it. I was done with everything before noon, except the damned cargo inspection. I wanted to hear from the doctor first.
        Destiny was sitting on the couch watching the news with a cup of coffee when I got back. "Youâ(TM)re a little early today," she remarked.
        "I didnâ(TM)t inspect cargo," I said. "I want to make sure Tammy gets the monsters under control first. Iâ(TM)d inspect the Frankenstein monsterâ(TM)s house before Iâ(TM)d inspect a dropless drophead's house. Damned addicts. Is there any good coffee left?"
        "I just made another pot. Are you hungry?"
        "I could eat. What are you having?"
        "I donâ(TM)t know, maybe a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of potato soup."
        I told the robot to make lunch and poured a cup of coffee and a glass of water.
        The news was talking about the Martian terraforming project. They had the hole halfway drilled and something went wrong and the machinery caught fire. It must have been built by the same morons that designed our old robots. Three people were in the hospital, one in critical condition.
        The hole they were drilling was for a big magnet. The lady on the news said that without a magnetic field, a planet canâ(TM)t hold much of an atmosphere and there's no shield against solar and cosmic radiation. The whole terraforming project was expected to take a few hundred more years to complete, but when it was done Mars would have Earth gravity or close, a similar atmosphere, lakes, rivers, and oceans, and they wouldnâ(TM)t need the domes any more.
        Everyone on the Venus station was dead. They were debating what to do with it.
        Commander Ramos called with news that the pirate boats had all been eradicated, fifteen had been captured and the crews put in detention. Damn, but he's good. Four of them were our companyâ(TM)s boats, and eleven were from two other companies who would be paying us recovery fees. Hell, they did have some of our boats! I hadn't thought they could do that. Of course, they would have had mine were it not for Tammy's monster blockade and then the fleet showing up.
        Then Tammy called and said it was safe to inspect cargo pens, so I did. The German woman was in the commons eating and the rest were all sleeping, except Lek, who was apparently reading although I wouldn't be able to read it. It was obviously in Thai and they must have a completely different alphabet than us, because it was just squiggles to me.
        I complimented her on her dress. She smiled weakly despite her bloodshot eyes; Tammy's book said she was in pretty much pain right now and no other drug would ease it. She would have to put a drop in soon, even though she didn't want to.
        We would be docking at the repair facility the day after tomorrow, and the landing boats would already be docked at the facility. Destiny and me will fly down in my houseboat.
        It was finally safe to drink a beer or two. I went back to my quarters and opened one, and Destiny had the robot bring her one, too, and asked me what I wanted for dinner.
        "I don't know, pork chops, caviar, and Champagne maybe?"
        She laughed. "Yeah, on gold plates and silver cutlery! Fried chicken and mashed potatoes and broccoli sounds good to me, what are you having?"
        "Chicken sounds good."
        The robot fried the chicken and cooked the vegetables and wheeled over with the food. Robots make pretty damned good fried chicken, lots better than I can.
        Then we watched some really weird movie from the end of the twenty first century, and went to bed. No, I don't know the name of the stupid movie.

Next: Engines

User Journal

Journal: Seagate - At least I got a heads up 6

Journal by stoolpigeon

Booted up my Fedora box at work this morning but instead of starting normally it put me in emergency mode with a message to check the logs. On the whole I'm very pleased with this development. It gave me a prompt to give it the root password and then I could view the logs with journalctl from there.

Unfortunately though the resolution of the text was such that I couldn't read most of it - it went off the screen. So that's a bit of a problem. I had the system start up to the default state and then I was able to look at the logs in Konsole - which was a lot nicer. Looks like the hard drive is on its way out the door.

I ran smartmon and double checked. So now I'm copying everything off that I might be worried about. (In addition to my normal backups. I like to do this just in case.) And I think I've found the Western Digital drive that I'll be buying to replace this Seagate drive that is toast.

From what I've read WD is much more reliable than Seagate. Though I can't complain. It is the original drive that came with the machine and I bought in 2010. I don't think 4 years is an impressive time for a drive to last but I don't think it is terrible either.

But kudos to Fedora for alerting me to the problem and giving me time to plan ahead. The system still seems to run fine, I'm typing this JE from it - but I know that this wont stay true. And probably I could route around the damage for a while but I'd rather not. Storage is too cheap nowadays. I'll be picking up another TB drive for about $50.

User Journal

Journal: The Glass On My Galaxy S3 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

A while back due to a freak accident, the glass broke on my S3. I decided to buy a kit and replace it myself. It went o.k. but I wasn't too crazy about the result. Touch didn't work as well afterwords and the home button was a little too recessed. I figured either I didn't get the adhesive set right or the glass was thicker.

Not long after I fixed it ( within 6 months?) my daughter knocked my phone off a counter and the glass broke again. So I ordered another kit.

This one came with a sticker on the glass packaging. It said, "There is a thin layer of plastic on the glass that is very difficult to see. Be sure to remove it."

As I pulled up the glass I installed the first time it broke - it pealed away with a layer of plastic under it. The first kit hadn't had that warning and I installed the glass without removing the plastic. Now that I have it in correctly it fits much better and everything works much better. I celebrated by updating Cyanogenmod and now I'm running KitKat.

So my daughter did me a favor busting the glass on my phone.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Forty Six

Journal by mcgrew

Awake
        I woke up about quarter after seven, and Destiny was already up and had coffee started. "Hungry?" She asked.
        "Yeah, I am. Did we even eat dinner last night? Did you tell the robots to start breakfast?"
        "No, I wanted to try something new for breakfast and wanted to see what you wanted to eat first. You know I'm a history buff, well, I found a really old recipe in the computer called a âbreakfast horse shoeâ(TM). They used to have them in the twentieth and twenty first centuries in a city in the American midwest."
        "A horse shoe? That doesn't sound too appetizing, What's in it?" I asked.
        "Well, the recipe I found calls for ham or pork sausage, but turkey or beef or chicken or almost any kind of meat will do. It's a piece of toast covered with cheese, with meat on the cheese, more cheese on the meat, scrambled eggs on the cheesy meat, cheese on that, hash browns on that and more cheese on top of the hash browns."
        "Sounds cheesy," I said. "Sure, I'll try one."
        We took a long, fun shower together while the robots made horse shoes, and I only had enough time to finish half of it, but I had to go to work.
        That horse shoe was pretty good. The recipe was so old I was surprised it was in the database, but Destiny probably brought her own history database along. She really likes history, and she's getting me interested in it.
        No shower yet today, I was going to need one when I was done with inspections anyway.
        All of the readouts were okay in the pilot room, except for that I probably wouldn't be able to inspect those hundred and twenty two engines that I still hadn't been able to get to because of all the nastiness blocking the halls, and number seventeen was of course still not working and it was one of the ones I couldn't get to. That didn't really matter, though, because I'd be damned if I was going to light it again, even if the robots could fix it without melting.
        Maybe the maids had paths cleared out by now so I could inspect the rest, they'd made lots of progress when I was down there yesterday.
        No way was I going to inspect cargo today no matter what that damned book says, that would have been crazy fucking stupid dangerous. Some of the dropheads might be low on drops and there's no way I'm inspecting a monster's pen. Fuck that God damned book, I wasn't going to do it.
        I went to inspect the sick bay first. Tammy was still in a coma, and I was worried. What were the droppers going to do when they woke up?
        The maids had indeed jettisoned a lot more of the gross, nasty mess and I was able to get through the halls and inspect almost all the engines this morning, although there was still a hell of a lot of stinking gore and I still couldn't get to the generator or two engines.
        There was a different robot working on seventeen, with a smashed up robot next to it, probably damaged in the excitement. Damn it, I wanted that damned engine dead. I unplugged it, took a lead off of the battery that powered the robot and plugged it back in, hoping another damned robot wouldn't reconnect the battery. Anyway, I trudged back up those damned stairs. As I was climbing stairs I foned the computer and told it to "alert me when Doctor Winters regains consciousness." The stupid computers, they only understand military nerd talk. I took my filthy boots off at the landing at the top of the stairs, it was still really gross down there. I took my shower when I got home.
        Destiny and me had roast beef sandwiches and fried potatoes and salad for lunch. I was starved, I'd only had time for half my breakfast and that was probably my first full real meal since yesterday morning. I don't think we ate that pizza we ordered for lunch the day before.
        While we were eating, the alarm went off; Tammy was awake. Thank God! Both of us took off at a run toward the sick bay. I told the robots not to clear the table, if I didn't the stupid things would throw the rest of my lunch away.
        She was sitting up on the medic with the oxygen mask still on her face and the needle still in her arm. She was taking the mask off, looking a little groggy. "The droppers!" she said, her speech a little slurred.
        "I know," Destiny said. "Tell me where the drops are and lay back down, you had a serious concussion. You've been out for two days and we're worried about the droppers."
        "You two can't handle them," she said.
        "We have to," I replied. "you can't."
        "You could overdose them!"
        "Better than underdosing," I said.
        "Not much. Look, John, there is a trunk in my quarters with a false bottom, the drops are in there. They're in small bottles and there are plenty. Just put one bottle in each addict's quarters when you do inspection and I'll adjust dosage later when the gurney lets me go."
        "Okay," I said. "What do I do if one is starting to go through withdrawal?"
        "Drop the bottle and run like hell!"
        That seemed logical to me. Hell, opening the door and just tossing a bottle in seemed even more logical, these girls were freaky scary without drops. Scarier than Destiny's old gray horror movies, even.
        "We'll be back when we're done," Destiny said.
        There was a melee in the commons. I locked the door and gave them nitrogen instead of air while Destiny tossed bottles into all the rooms. Then I went in after they passed out and put a drop in each one's eye. Their eyes were all pretty bloodshot but nowhere near monster red yet.
        I hope Tammy's better soon, she's pretty busted up, damn them whores. We're lost without Tammy. The medic's readout said she'd had a very severe concussion, dislocated shoulder and a few broken ribs. At least she was awake now and the medic read "condition fair".
        I should have let the robots clear the table, lunch was way past by now so when we were done we ate dinner... huh? Steak, potato, and salad. I hadn't hardly touched my salad at lunch. Huh? How the hell am I supposed to know what kind of damned potato, potatoes are potatoes as far as I'm concerned. The robots cooked them, anyway.
        We had a bottle of wine to go along with it, but this time we only drank one bottle, then watched another Rawhide together, then a really, really dumb movie about California beaches from the nineteen sixties that we turned off after fifteen minutes and finished the Star Wars movie. I was surprised, this one wasn't as funny but it was still pretty good.
        It was still early and the bottle was only half gone, so Destiny put on that old prison movie. Halfway through it she said yeah, that was from the book she was reading and "this one follows the book pretty close except it was Popeye fucking Olive Oyl in the book" and that they'd left a chapter or two out in the movie. She added "Except for the flies coming out of the big black prisoner's mouth, and the scene where the guy gets burned up, and the magic shit I thought it was good, even if it wasn't a hologram."
        Then we put old music on and cuddled a long while and went to bed.

Next: Captures

"Once they go up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department." -- Werner von Braun

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