Much Ado about Technology

With Great Power...

Remember, you hold, in your pocket, a small device with the sum and total of all human knowledge within its reach.

PS: You use it to argue with people you don't know and look at pictures of cats, and that's on you. 

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On Writing

NerdSmart is fully dusted off. The old placeholder content is still there, though, so now's the time to clear it out and put in real content.

Some might like this phase of web development most. I don't. I prefer to do the infrastructure work and let more creative people do the content part.

But I've tried paying people to write. Those who are inexpensive produce utter garbage. Those who command a reasonable rate flake. This isn't a generalization, it's a truism. I've had a few exceptions to this rule, and they know who they are. Otherwise, I have to say F-you, Jobu, I do it myself.

I had a huge piece of salmon for dinner. If I exit this food coma before bed time, I'll start. 

Political Thought for the Day

If you want religion in schools, be prepared for all religions to have their time on stage, including the case for no religion.

If you want social media to be liable for what people say, be prepared for them to decline such liability and refuse your account.

If you want the freedom to deny a gay couple a wedding cake, be prepared to be turned away if you're not wearing a mask.

Hypocrisy is never pretty.

Unintended Stress Testing

One thing to come of this pandemic is the unintended stress and integration tests being put to our systems, especially home automation. In my house, we have, by being home 24/7 for the past two weeks, put enough unexpected stress on our house that some very interesting failure modes are starting to make themselves known

It started when a couple of my smoke detectors started giving false alarms. This wasn't a case of low or dead batteries, and it tended to happen early in the morning. Some research indicated that the particular model I have tends to give false alarms when dirty. Sure enough, taking them down, the amount of dust was higher than usual. My only hypothesis is that everyone being home 24/7 and the house being mostly closed because of cool weather means more humidity. That could mean dust is "sticking" to things. So, time to clean all the detectors.

And our smart thermostats are completely confused. The concept of "home" and "away" is nonsensical to it now, and its learning logic doesn't appear to know how to cope. I've turned them to full manual and nailed them to the temperature we want. I'll reprogram them later and turn off learning entirely. There is no "house arrest" mode. There should be!

One stress test that we've all been part of has been the Internet and cell system - and it's notable that it's held up pretty well for the most part. Usage patters have changed considerably, but we're all still online. We're all trying to work from home and binge watch movies. Bandwidth usage has spiked - but nothing's fallen down. This is good news.

My New Book!

Fansplaining for Dummies - available wherever fine pedantism is sold. 

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