BBC is Ecstatic about America “finally taking steps to combat climate change”

August 3, 2015

Today the US Government announced what I believe are malformed and illogical new plans for “combating climate change.” The BBC can’t contain themselves. They love it. The BBC is part of the world movement to drive back to Medieval times.

They used most of the propaganda tricks of the trade in their 6 p.m. television news cast this evening with visual and audio clues, including using the word “carbon” to suggest that “black icky pollutant” rather than that trace gas, carbon-dioxide which is essential for live on earth. We probably need more of it and not less.

The worst visual was their representation was that “back icky stuff” pouring out of a power plant.

IMG 2761

Actually it’s probably steam and water vapour with back-lighting from the sun to make it appear to be that “black icky stuff”.

Sigh.


Mashable

July 30, 2015

Leo Laporte recently reminded me on his excellent Podcast Triangulation of the site Mashable.

Mashable is good. Better than good. It’s great. It’s going to go into my “read every day” list.

I’m also pleased that successful reading Mashable involves pressing the PgDn key. I’ve been a dabbler in building and publishing simple content-focused web pages since the mid 1990’s. Most of the time my designs expected the user to PgDn and PgUp as part of the navigation. Over and over I was advised by “real” web designers that relying on PgDn and PgUp was not good web design. Their expectations were that the web site should be more like what people see on televisions.

I’m glad the world has caught up to me.


Great Show on Large Hadron Collider

July 11, 2015

A few years ago, due to me taking a hard fall, my son and I stopped our skiing early in the week and on the way home through Geneva we stopped and toured the Large Hadron Collider. Fascinating place.

I ran across the recent show on YouTube about the re-start. Recommended viewing.


Privacy of Account Transactions at Big UK Bank

June 30, 2015

My bank–let’s call it The Big Bank–recently let me know of a future new service called “CashBack” where they offer 3% cash back per month on utilities and household bills, e.g. Council Tax, gas, electricity, TV packages, water bills, phone, broadband, and mobile contracts. This “benefit” costs £2 per month.

The bank told me that their calculation for me indicates that I would get approximately £17 per month back. So … the idea is give the bank £2 per month and they give me back £17. Humm. As an “investment” looks to be a no-brainer. Better look more closely.

  • Who is paying the delta between £17 and £2?
  • I can’t imagine The Big Bank taking the hit. So the service provider is probably subsidising this partially or whole? Why can’t the service providers simply reduce their costs instead of this scheme?
  • Use a now-favourite term, this doesn’t seem sustainable. Doesn’t taste well.

Most importantly, why did The Big Bank feel the right to inspect my banking transactions to determine the £17 savings I could incur? They could not compute this possible savings without looking at my banking transactions. Is this proper and in conformance with banking privacy rules, regulations, and law?

Seems as if The Big Bank has a lot of time on their hands to shuffle money around to no benefit to society. I wonder who benefits by how much?

I declined this “benefit”.


MySQL on MySQLWorkbench on OS X Yosemite

April 1, 2015

I upgraded my laptop to Yosemite (Mac OS X Version 10.10.2). It’s good. I like the simpler graphics. Far as I can tell so far, all my applications work properly but I had problems with MySQLWorkbench which was crashing when I attempted to start the local MySQL server. I didn’t know if the problem was MySQLWorkbench or with MySQL.

I used Google to find out if others reported the same problem with solutions and didn’t get very far. The solutions were for other problems.

Here’s what I did and I hope it helps others who see this.

1. From https://dev.mysql.com/downloads/workbench/ downloaded and installed version 6.3

2. From http://dev.mysql.com/downloads/downloaded and installed version 5.6.23

3. Launched MySQLWorkbench and was disappointed that it still crashed.

4. In the Terminal, started MySQL Server with the command: “sudo /usr/local/mysql/support-files/mysql.server start”

5. This start command worked and apparently had the affect of creating the files needed for MySQL to configure itself and and start properly.

6. Re-lauched MySQLWorkbench and connected to the Local server. It detected that MySQL was running. I tested further by starting and stoping the server via MySQLWorkBench.

All now seems to be ok for my needs.


Engineers and Ethical Responsibilities

February 27, 2015

I occasionally make comments about “engineers” vs. “scientists” and their inherent skills, expertise, and value. I believe that society (as sadly presented by media and government) puts too much faith in what they say, how they say it, and their capabilities. Too many people base their own thinking, and defend it to others, on “scientists say” appeal to authority. I sort of understand the political pressures which cause this.

Regardless of whether the “scientists” are correct or incorrect, wise or devious, few if any scientists are obligated to act under an special or legal ethical obligation. Engineers in most countries are “licensed” as an important and “learned” professional, whereas “scientists” are not. Engineers have well-defined professional societies with ethical policies.

Dr. Drang has posted an excellent summary of this related to computer programmers calling themselves “software engineers”. To me the same issue applies with other jobs, e.g. “scientists”.

He reminds me of the “six fundamental canons” of of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)

  1. Hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public.
  2. Perform services only in areas of their competence.
  3. Issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.
  4. Act for each employer or client as faithful agents or trustees.
  5. Avoid deceptive acts.
  6. Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.

– See more at: http://www.nspe.org/resources/ethics/code-ethics

I can see where the absence of such ethical behaviour can get society into difficulty.


Windows 64 Bit on Parallels

January 27, 2015

For the longest time I was using Windows 7 32 bit version on my Parallels on an Apple Mac. I had a little down time and decided to create a Windows 7 64 bit instance in Parallels.

Gosh, but it works so much better. Performance is better. Video is better. All is better.

I guess it is because the Apple Mac OSX is 64 bit. I don’t know. All I know is that it appears as if the 64 bit Windows virtual machine is what I will use.


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