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Journal Journal: pluripus porpoise denver shoals

inverted cathedral...and the ambulance died in his arms...snowflight daggermond itching bravely. Tonight augmented.

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Journal Journal: PMs go here 1

/. has no PM system, so post public messages to me here

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Journal Journal: Thoughts on 007 - Spectre 2

No spoilers, just some quick comments.

It isn't bad, but it isn't great, either. Good enough is where I'd put it. Of the Daniel Craig Bond moves, I'd rank this one as #4 (of 4).

A couple of things that stick out at me were the early car chase scene. WTF people? Who wrote this? It wasn't so much a car chase as "lets watch expensive cars tool around Rome". No shooting, nothing exciting. Just what looked like an orange Lamborghini chasing whatever custom car Bond was driving. (Okay, it was a custom Jaguar C-X75 chasing a custom Aston-Martin DB10.)

See, Bond was driving a bullet-proof, armored car. WTF was he fleeing from? The bad guy couldn't get to him. He could've come to a complete stop, let the guy roll up, wave, and ask him to do his window and it wouldn't have mattered.

The second scene that bothered me was the train fight scene. Holy fuck! Are there no other people on the train? The bash their way through like 4 or 5 cars on a 7 car train and there aren't people scrambling to get out of the way. No staff, no passengers, nothing. It was like a ghost train. Then they get off at the next stop looking freshly showered and pressed, not like both protagonists just got their asses kicked and should be covered in bruises and welts and walking with severe limps.

The final scene that irked me was where Bond was chasing the cars in Austria with the plane. The plane loses its wings and a strut, then slides down the mountain only to bash through a barn and smash into one of the bad guys cars. And NO ONE IS OUTSIDE TO SEE IT! It is like they found the only Austrian ski resort village that IS TOTALLY DEVOID OF PEOPLE.

I guess they smashed up so many cars they had to save money somewhere, and skimped on the extras (except for the opening scene in Mexico City).

A little long, and a little disjoint. It really helped that I was at an Alamo Draft House and ordered a couple of beers while watching it.

All in all it really reminded me of a Roger Moore Bond as opposed to a Daniel Craig Bond. Not Moonraker bad, but still...

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Journal Journal: Ubuntu 15.10 Miscellaneous

A couple of other notes on Ubuntu 15.10 on my hacked-up HP ProBoox 6475b.

1. The fingerprint sensor is a Validity VFS491, 138a:003d. Validity Sensors was bought by Synaptec back in 2013, but regardless those sensors have never been well supported under Linux. I did get this one working by digging out the old driver patch that HP supplied for SuSE Linux 11 back in 2012. I applied that to libfprint-0.0.6 and compiled everything from source. Ugly, but it works. I forwarded the patch over to the fingerprint-gui guys to see if they are interested in adding it in. Every little bit helps.

2. Playing with my Yubikey Neo I found that the pam-u2f package in the PPA (v1.0.2) segfaults on the pamu2fcfg command. I filed a bug report, provided debug and core data, and the developers patched the git HEAD source in a few hours. I rebuilt the utility and supporting libraries from scratch to test and all is working! Score one for open source software! Expect it to be released on the PPA next week.

That was really the last little nit. Everything went much smoother than I expected, and I'm quite happy with the setup. Every last feature on the machine works without a hiccup -- except the WiFI scanner, but that isn't part of the machine.

I'm actually fairly impressed with the open source AMD video drivers (Radeon 7660G, which comes with the A-10 processor), but don't play games on the machine other than WarZone 2100 so I don't really stress it.

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Journal Journal: Ubuntu 15.10 and Epson / Seiko Scanner Driver

I've tried everything, but can't connect to the scanner over WiFi. I can connect over USB, but the scanner is on the other side of the room and that defeats the purpose of the WiFi.

I have installed Epson's iscan, iscan-data and iscan-network-nt packages -- the latter being the one supposed to allow Epkowa devices connect over the network. Yes, I modified the epkowa.conf file in /etc/sane.d/ using both IP address and DNS name, but to no avail.

The printer works, the scanning port (1865) is active, but no joy on using simplescan, xsane, or iscan. Drat!

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Journal Journal: Ubuntu 15.10 and Epson / Seiko Printer Driver

Ubuntu 15.10 automatically found my Epson XP-610 wireless printer / scanner and tried to install the proper printer driver, but failed miserably.

By "miserably" I mean it got stuck halfway through installing the package file and gummed up their software installation utility. I had to "kill -9" the appropriate, defunct dpkg instance. A reboot will do it as well.

The problem seems to be the proprietary Epson driver relies on LSB (Linux Standard Base), which is no longer installed by default in Ubuntu. The fix is to download the appropriate .deb package from the Epson site. Install the driver with sudo dpkg -i epson-inkjet-printer-201308w_1.0.0-1lsb3.2_amd64.deb, which will install but not configure because of missing LSB as a dependency. Finally, do a sudo apt-get install -f to handle the missing dependencies and you can go into the Printers app and add the printer, as the drivers will now be available.

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Journal Journal: Brother P-Touch QL-500 on Linux 1

Just a quick entry because I couldn't find a fix for this issue anywhere online.

Under Linux, using Ubuntu 15.04 and 15.10, my USB-connected Brother QL-500 label printer is detected automatically and available out-of-the-box, no driver install necessary. Very nice.

I tried printing under Glabels and all I got was a flashing LED on the printer. The Brother website has a similar error under Windows, claiming this is caused by a mismatch between the label actually loaded in the printer and the setting in the driver. This was not the issue. I have DK-1201 address labels loaded, and the driver is set to 29 x 90 mm, which is also the template I'm using in Glabels.

In the driver (Printers app, Properties, Printer Options), there is a button labeled "Label Preamble". This is on by default and is the culprit. Un-check that box and the printer should now print properly.

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Journal Journal: Global Warming: Challange Accepted and Complete 2

So, as part of my PhD C&EE studies into distributed multi-modal alternative energy systems, using alternative energy power sources to mix and develop stable non-fossil-fuel entire energy networks, I decided I should probably put my money where my mouth is, at least personally.

Over the last year have been slowly replacing all my household lights (which were about 60 pct CFL 30 pct incandescent 10 pct halogen) with 100 pct LED lights. The modern ones are way brighter. And knowing my entire bathroom lighting uses 12 watts and my kitchen uses 40 watts (I have a lot of lights) is kind of cool. So now the amount of lights I have on is never more than 100 watts in the whole house (and that's for parties). Bought all the lights on sales at Fred Meyer and Costco, so they cost like $2 to $4 instead of $12 or $16.

Also replaced the 42 inch HDTV that blew (70 watts) with a new 32 inch HDTV that uses 7 watts. Had already done the computer devices, and now unplug the modems and other vampire devices.

Bought 4 solar units (basically, a solar panel, but they are part of large building arrays at Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium, and a low income housing project, so they cost $300 total to buy instead of $3000 if you install on your property due to inspection, electric upgrades, permits and labor - cheaper in large 100-400 solar panel bulk as part of a new project, and my townhouse is north facing).

Had already been on 100 percent green energy - basic Seattle City Light electric, plus $24/month for 100 percent Green Up (buys wind power).

Replaced my 1999 fridge, washer, dryer with new energy efficient (Homburg? made in Germany, and Fisher for the fridge) ones. Surprised at how much that saved.

End result? Think I spent at most $6000 total for everything. But my current electric bill (and only just installed a bunch of this, and only got partial solar credit) is $6 instead of $104 (not counting solar units bought) on last bill.

Mission Accomplished.

Net result. Quieter, brighter, works better.

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Journal Journal: How To Adapt To Climate Change

I keep seeing people, mostly out of fear of change, deep in climate denial.

But it doesn't have to be that way.

Is it hard to become energy efficient and reduce emissions while growing the GDP at twice the national rate? Sure. But we in the West have already done that. Just ask WA OR ID CA NV.

How? It's pretty simple. End fossil fuel subsidies. Not just the obvious ones, but end all the grandfather exemptions that allow old power plants to keep operating when they should either be retrofitted or retired.

Require 20-50 percent of all new energy built in a state to be non-fossil-fuel renewables. Currently, the cheapest are solar and wind. But look at a mix of energy, even for the West. It shows solar a small fraction compared to wind.

Why? Because we don't require solar as part of new building construction. Wait, Will, are you saying we have to put solar panels on every building? No. I'm saying use the most cost effective solar there is. Passive solar. Triple pane windows, curtains or blinds or polarized screens so you don't use energy cooling in the summer, but use solar in the day in the winter (and then close blinds). Using LED lights that turn off after an hour of no motion on a floor.

But no solar panels? No. Build new construction so it can support the weight of solar panels where it makes sense (south facing walls, or in valleys east or west walls) and be easily maintained. Cut regulations that drive solar panel costs to $7000 per panel (residential installation) so that it runs $300 per panel on NEW construction, so that the grid is designed to handle it. Make an earthquake interrupt switch so the solar kicks in to power critical systems if the grid drops for more than an hour. Wire in electric cars for storage.

It's not hard. We just have to think 21st Century, not 18th Century.

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Journal Journal: CuBox Wifi Streaming Solved

I believe I have mentioned before that every bit of media I purchase I digitize and store the files on a central server. That includes over 300 movies and over 100 television episodes, plush a few hundred audio tracks. Everything is available anywhere in my home via wireless streaming, however I had been having problems with reliably streaming 1080p HD video over WiFi to my main television units.

My back end device is simply a Buffalo AirStation AC 1750 running DD-WRT build 27456. It is configured for WiFi AC-only in the 5.8 GHz band, and G/N/AC in the 2.4 GHz band to accommodate some older devices.

A Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2 Tb USB 3.0 drive is plugged into the back of the wireless router, which acts as a NAS and makes media available via SAMBA shares.

Over all I like this set-up, though after several months of use I can't really recommend the Buffalo AirStation for the simple reason that it doesn't have any external antennas. It really suffers in coverage area because of this. DD-WRT is great, as is the little 2 Tb WD drive, but I'll never again get a wireless gizmo that doesn't use an external antenna.

The front end to my televisions scattered throughout the house is a CuBox i4-Pro running OpenELEC. This is a fantastic combination that has been almost -- but not quite -- perfect for me. It is also easy to use for my non-technical wife and future geek 7-year old child.

The one issue has been reliably streaming 1080p HD videos to a CuBox. Even with the unit less than 10 meters away from the access point, with no obstructions, it would routinely have such a poor connection as to not be able to keep up with the playback. Watching the dashboard of DD-WRT showed me it had less than 30% signal strength and constantly would drop to 5.5 Mbps connection rates.

To eliminate interference I got up in the middle of the night and shut off everything that used wifi except the CuBox and it still performed poorly.

The short answer is the built-in wireless on the CuBox is abysmal. Again, no external antenna and 2.4 GHz only. Further investigation showed it would not work with channel bonding, thus not use 40 MHz channels in 802.11n. I don't know if it is a chipset limitation or a driver issue. Either way, it sucks.

My answer was to buy a USB wifi adapter with an external antenna. This one is tiny, totally plug-and-play, and absolutely does the trick. And for $12.99, including Prime shipping, a bargain. It is marketed towards the Raspberry Pi, which is what I bought it for. It uses the Realtek RT5370 chipset and is supported at the kernel level (no extra drivers needed) in Android, OpenELEC, Raspbian and lots of other Linux flavors.

It support 802.11n and bonded, 40 MHz channels and, more importantly, handles HD streams without breaking a sweat. I just ordered 2 more to outfit my 2 other CuBox devices so I can stream everything to the TVs in bedrooms without running wires.

(Note: I'm in a fairly low-population subdivision and not a lot of 2.4 GHz wireless around. I'm not stepping on any of my neighbors with my signal.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Magnetic Cell Phone Docks 6

Just a short note. I picked up an Air Dock back when their Indigogo campaign was under way. I have now had this thing for a little over a year.

In general it works fine and does exactly what it says. I use the CD-mount, which has a nice picture down on this page.

The one flaw with that mount is the bolt and nut used to tighten it are fairly large, and extend beneath the mount. On DIN I sized radios, with the CD slot on top of the unit, the nut blocks the view of the display.

The one other thing I have discovered is that after a year of use, it has magnetized my phone! The Nexus 5 comes with small metal plates built in to the back to allow for the native use of devices like this. After all this time they have become magnetized, and that totally screws up the internal compass.

Now any time I start the compass app it complains the magnetic field strength is way too strong and it doesn't give accurate readings.

To be clear, this happens when the device is undocked and I'm walking around.

My next dock will be non-magnetic, as I do sometimes use the compass.

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Journal Journal: I READ THE NEWS TODAY OH BOY 6

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Journal Journal: I can see why people have problems 1

After a whole bunch of Somalis decided to pile on me for actually answering a series of questions, I can see why they have few friends.

Seriously, Somalia has been starving since I was a baby, and the US and Russia dropped mil equipment in Africa that destabilized the region, and now China and Saudi Arabia are going to ensure nothing good ever happens there.

But, sure, yell at me. that will do you good. Not.

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Journal Journal: Fricking stupid biometric security spies

Seriously, try to pretend we weren't spying on Americans and still do so, and so out of it they actually believe the security firm hype about biometric security.

Just like missile interception, real world tests in real conditions reveal numerous flaws that are easy to get around.

Ever hear of kidnapping, jackoffs?

Now grow a pair.

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