Understanding the Intel CPU Security Bug

You may have heard about the discovery of a major security hole affecting most recent Intel microprocessors which allows a process running on a computer to exploit a side-channel attack to read privileged information from the operating system or other processes on the same machine.

Here is the technical paper describing this exploit.  This was reported by those who discovered it to the major CPU manufacturers: Intel, AMD, and ARM on 2017-06-01, but kept secret to allow time for mitigation to be put into place.... [Read More]


The Old Dominion Goes Old School Election

The Virginia House of Delegates has been decided by drawing a name from a bowl.  Wildest election I’ve seen. Democrats flipped a number of seats pulling into a virtual tie with it sitting at 50-49 pending the outcome of district 94. Yancey (R) initially won by 10 votes. Simonds (D) won the recount by one vote. Yancey filed a legal motion to include a disputed vote which a three-judge panel agreed with making the race a tie. Under VA law, the winner was then decided by random, in this case drawing the names out of a bowl. Of course, now Democrats are being their normal hypocritical selves going from “every vote counts” when they thought they won to “that vote shouldn’t count” when it cost them the election.  It’s about as hypocritical as their crying about gerrymandering when they practiced it for decades when they ran the commonwealth (and still practice it where they’re in power in other states).


Picture alignment how to

Alignment None

I  am putting text in just to show how a picture is aligned for the various settings with a picture. It is hard to come up with something to say when you are just filling space. To be or not to be that is the question. Whether it is nobler to …. Not bad for off the cuff, right?

Alignment Left

I  am putting text in just to show how a picture is aligned for the various settings with a picture. It is hard to come up with something to say when you are just filling space. To be or not to be that is the question. Whether it is nobler to …. Not bad for off the cuff, right?... [Read More]


TOTD 2018-1-3: The British Invasion – After Action Report

We all know of the Feb. 9, 1964, “The Ed Sullivan Show” appearance by the Beatles in a trip that symbolizes the start of the British Invasion. However, the group technically made their American talk/variety show debut a month earlier on January 3rd’s “The Jack Paar Show.”

Paar purchased BBC concert footage and gave a comedic commentary. The episode doubled Paar’s normal rating and supercharged interest in the Beatles in advance of their Sullivan appearance.... [Read More]


At Home with Monsters

At Home with Monsters by Guillermo del Toro, showing presently at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), is an incredible exhibition. A collection of pieces from Bleak House, del Toro’s home outside Los Angeles, this is the personal collection of a creative mind that sees monsters as the darker side of each one of us. He believes that we have to recognize and face this side of our inner world so that we can make peace with it.... [Read More]


Ricochet Cache Issues

Since I get yelled at for customer complaints there, let me say how unprofessional it is at Ricochet for them to be unable to have a stable platform that keeps me logged in. I have deleted cache, rebooted everything and still no dice on logging in from my desktop.

No where else, not one other website, has the technical issues Ricochet does. They ought to be embarrassed, but I know that they don’t feel any shame at any time for any reason.... [Read More]


Stupid Resume Sites

Why, in the name of God, does every flipping company make me re-enter my work history when I uploaded a resume? And if it uses Linked IN, why on God’s green Earth can the damn thing not manage to load the fields correctly?

Self-driving cars cannot be around the corner, because what I see here is total garbage. There is no way cars can drive themselves, when computers cannot read a resume from LinkedIN when it is ALREADY SORTED BY CATAGORY!... [Read More]


TOTD 1/2: Small Business

Mine, that is.  Today is the fifteenth anniversary of the startup of my LLC, and also marks the year my total of independent employment exceeds my years as an employee of others.  Although the legal details were prepared and registered (quietly) in December of ’02, fifteen years ago today, three of my peers and I simultaneously resigned from the industrial systems integration firm of which we were senior employees.

We each had discussed our frustrations with the 51% owner’s management style, and his apparent intention to never yield any more ownership to future partners.  Gaining ownership was a five-year goal I had stated outright when I interviewed for that job, with that owner, four years before.  Or more precisely, when asked for my five year goal, I answered “Ownership of or partnership in a company like yours.”... [Read More]


1st Pic of 2018 & Fun Pond Facts!

The Koi aren’t visible now because they hang out five feet down.  Since their metabolism goes with temperature, they are lined up like cord wood  on the bottom.  I reduce the flow in the water recirculation and filtration systems quite a bit, otherwise the waterfall unnecessarily super-cools the water.  The fish still respirate, although slowly, but they don’t eat and shouldn’t even be fed when the water is below about 50F.  It’s about 40 now.  The natural heating from the ground, which remains at about 55, prevents the pond from completely freezing, but it can get down to about 35 during protracted cold spells, especially if it’s also windy.   At 40F, their gut is so sluggish that ingested food decomposes before it’s digested and can make them sick and even kill them.  If the water surface begins to freeze, I place a floating 1,500W heater in the pond to maintain an opening.  The resulting dissolved gasses from their respiration will poison them if it can’t escape into the air.

I have a standby generator wired to indispensable circuits in case we lose power due to an ice storm.  If the pond pumps aren’t running, all the plumbing will freeze and the crying towel will be sopping wet.... [Read More]


Flight Simulation (home version)

TouchTrainer by Flythissim
Short final approach to Zurich runway 14

I was once a general aviation pilot. That is, I flew single and a few twin engine aircraft as a hobby. Although I have a commercial pilot’s license, I flew exactly one flight for hire. A commercial license merely allows one to fly for hire in day, VFR (visual flight rules) conditions. To fly at night, in instrument conditions, jet aircraft or aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds requires much more training and demonstrated ability. In any case, to fly at all, one must pass a medical examination and I have a couple of conditions at age 73 which, by virtue of their mere existence, disqualifies me from having  the requisite medical certificate. So, I cannot fly solo. I could pay an instructor to ride along in the right seat, but it is pricey enough to merely rent the airplane without paying an instructor. Thus my simulators.

Pictured is my TouchTrainer. One can purchase it with various brands of light aircraft. I have Pipers – various single-engine and light twins – from a fixed-gear, fixed pitch prop to retractable gear, constant-speed prop, to Meridian, a very high-performance single engine turboprop with all the bells and whistles, including a Garmin G-1000 glass cockpit.... [Read More]


Update: New Year

  1. There are a little less than 50 Members.
  2. There are almost 100 posts.
  3. We have
    1. Book Reviews — John Walker
    2. Movie Reviews — Red Feline
    3. Local Photographs — 10 Cents, Trinity, Mike LaRoche
    4. Humor
  4. A good solid interface that is faaaaast and uncluttered.
  5. A way to see quickly only
    1. Long posts
    2. Short posts
    3. Tweet and chat posts
  6.  A suit to taste system of
    1. Mild
    2. Medium
    3. Extra Hot
  7.  A back-up system
  8.  A way to document changes to the system
  9.  A system to block spam
  10.  A way to put pictures into comments
  11. A way to like posts and not only comments

(This is not a comprehensive list and some items have been written about before. Most of these items have been put in place by John Walker. )

I am personally humbled that you the Members have been willing to spend your time here. Not to sound too much like the flight attendant saying as you leave the plane, “Thank you for flying with Our Airline”, but you are not taken for granted.... [Read More]