Intel's Ronler Acres Plant


Silicon Forest

Friday, October 28, 2016

Car Buying Dream

Closest thing I could find to the fictional Ford A8 Milk Truck
My wife and I are going with another guy (we'll call him M) to go look at a used car. We are at a dead end. There are three newer black cars parked at angles along the side of the road. There are three or four other people there. A couple of guys are leaning on the last car having a discussion in Spanish. We hang around for a bit waiting to see what will transpire. Eventually M (we call him that because either he looks like Matthew McConaughey or Scott South, a former employer, who actually look sort of alike) connects with the guy he wants to see and we walk past the cars to an old truck that is parked a little further off the road. It, too, is black, though kind of a faded, flat black, not like the newer cars parked by the road.
    This is what we are here to see, and it's a little odd. It's a Ford A8 Milk Truck (not that there ever was such a thing). The front end looks like a Ford pickup truck from the fifties. The back is a big box like you would expect of a milk truck, but it's open to the front, like a delivery van, not closed like you expect a refrigerated box would be. Likewise the drivers compartment is open to the sky, like the driver's position in an old time limousine. The drivers seat is on the same level as the floor of the box, and  there is no door, or even an opening for his legs, which is going to make getting in and out a little difficult. I notice all this, but I am not involved in the discussion. I mean, it's unlikely the truck is going to be used for delivering milk, so it's not really an issue.
   Later on the three of us are in a parking lot underneath a big Home Depot store. The parking lot is at ground level and open on all sides. The store is supported by regularly spaced concrete pillars. We are looking at four pale yellow cars. The cars are all different and they all have interesting features of some sort, which is why M has collected them. Not sure why are all here underneath this Home Depot, but I am beginning to suspect that M owns this store, so I ask him, and he admits, that yes, he owns this Home Depot.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Diabetes Service Dogs

Diabetes Service Dog
Diabetes service dogs? Who knew? I certainly didn't. The Wall Street Journal has a story:
The dog's accuracy and speed can beat medical devices, such as glucose meters and continuous glucose monitors, according to doctors, owners and trainers. With their acute sense of smell, the dogs—mostly retrievers—are able to react to a scent that researchers haven't yet identified. - WSJ (2012)

I want a new Internet

I spend a couple of hours a day at my computer (ok, more like 50 or 60), and most of that time I spend on the net. And there are a couple of things I've noticed that could be improved.

  • Passwords and Logon ID's. Everybody wants to know who I am, and most of them I don't care whether they know who I am or not*, but I don't like having to have a separate logon id and password for all of these sites. The ISP (Frontier, I'm looking at you) should validate who you are and then dole out this information as necessary. Someone would need to insure that telling some flake in a Florida boiler room who you are doesn't give them access to your back account, but there are plenty of smart people in the world and I'm sure someone could come up with a scheme.
  • Subscriptions. Everybody wants you to subscribe. I wouldn't mind subscribing, but once you subscribe to one it's much easier to justify subscribing to another, and then another and pretty soon you're shelling out 50 or 100 bucks a month, and I ain't gonna do that, so I don't subscribe to anything. I wouldn't mind paying $10 a month in order to get access to everything. I mean, if I have a subscription to one place, like the WSJ, I would spend all my time there. If I had two subscriptions my time would be split between the two, so I would be accessing each one only half as much. Likewise if I had ten subscriptions. The ISP should collect $10 a month from you and then dole it out to the websites on the basis of how many times you visit that site.
  • Metric versus English measurements. Every article that attempts to contain any information inevitably contains numbers, and any time there are numbers some people seem to think they need to provide values using both English and Metric units. I don't need both. Give me one or give me the other. HTML should be able to handle this. Actually, it probably already can, we just need a publishing program that can handle the conversion automatically.
  • Better History. Your browser keeps track of every page you visit, which is pretty worthless. I don't need you to record all my visits to Gmail, or YouTube, or most Google sites. I would like a list of all the other sites I have visited, especially Wikipedia. There may be a browser extension out there that will take care of this, but I haven't found one. I've tried a couple and they haven't really done the trick. I will probably have to write my own. Soon. Right after I finish this donut.
  •  Better Search Options. When I am looking for images, I don't want any with watermarks, and I don't want anything from Pinterest*. This might be achievable using my current search engine (Google), but I haven't looked in it, mostly because I haven't had much luck with fancy search options.
  • Blacklist. This goes along with the previous item. Everyday I run into a website that I never want to go to again, mostly because they are so bloated with adware that they take forever to load. Some of them never stop. I want to be able to blackflag them (sort of reverse gold star) so if I ever try to access that site again I will get a warning. Actually, I want my browser to warn me any time I try to load such a page, even if I've never been there before.
  • Limited Page Length. Every once in a while I will run into a web page that has no end. Facebook is like that. The end is usually where you can find contact information, so you can complain about things like there being no end to this web page, except you can't get the contact info, because you can't get to the end because there is no end. Blackflag this bitch.
*Except Pinterest. Seems like half of the pictures that turn up on a Google image search are from Pinterest, but Pinterest sucks. They only show you a teaser and if you try to get any more information they put up a sign-up wall. Nothing more until you sign up. I am pretty sure I don't want to have anything to do with Pinterest because there is no information about the pictures. People post stuff because they like it, but they don't tell you who shot the photo, where it was taken or anything. Stupid dumbheads.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Dehli to Havana

Google Earth view of flight path from New Delhi, India to Havana Cuba
It's a little hard to make out in this image, what with the cloud cover and all, but this flight path takes you somewhat North of Iceland. Nobody actually flies this route. It would be possible with our newest long range airliners, like the Boeing 777-200LR or the Airbus A340-500. Ordinary Google Maps doesn't show this route going so far North, but if you create your own map it does. But then you don't get the global view like you do with Google Earth.

Looking at plain map of Earth, Madrid looks like good waypoint, but going through someplace like Iceland, will save you 500 miles and an hour of time.

Prompted by Britt's story in National Geographic India about Cuba.

Cold Welding in Space

Welding in Space

I've seen several episodes of Veritasium, and Derek Muller, our host, passes muster. When he speaks, he is transmitting information, he is not just bloviating. While bloviating is a more popular speech mode, it has a much lower informational content.

King Carlos, aka Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Modern Music

As the parade of the Guaracheritos de Regla passes with colourful carnival costumes, choreographed dances, and drums, the gathered crowd falls in behind the procession and joins the celebration.
Photo: Britt Basel
Back in colonial Spain, King Carlos made an ironic decision in his war against non-Christians: he banned slaves from Muslim areas of Africa in the new territory of Cuba. So the peoples of northern Africa were sent to other European colonies including the U.S., where their stringed instruments may have helped give rise to the musical tradition of the blues; while many of the first slaves who wound up in Cuba came from the forested regions of southern Africa, where the drum was, and still is, king. - Britt Basel
Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo By Ned Sublette
While former [Spanish] colonies gradually abolished chattel slavery after independence in the 1830's, the Cuban pro-slavery lobby succeeded in delaying abolition in Puerto Rico, and Cuba, the two remaining American possessions, until nearly the end of the 19th century. - Slavery in the Spanish New World colonies

Monday, October 24, 2016

Chinese Man

Miss Chang - Chinese Man feat Taiwan MC & Cyph4

I'm not too sure about the tune, but the video is way out there. I mean, steam engines!