Trump Peace

Donald Trump, POTUS, has a strange way of settling conflicts.

To defuse the tension with North Korea, he threatens fire and brimstone. He insults ‘little rocket man.’ He has been accused of driving DPRK to nuclear ICBMs.

I think this is correct.

To make Israel happy, the Potus has said the US Embassy will move from Tel Aviv to Palestine. Apparently it has been law in the USA to move the embassy, and every six months the POTUS keeps it from going ahead because either the building or the security is not there. This is the first time any POTUS has decided to let the move happen.

interestingly, Mr. Netanyahu lauded this latest development as a major step forward to peace.This is the same Netanyahu who keeps building illegal settlements, including in East Palestine.

Analysts have said that this is meant to justify, after the anticipated demonstrations incited into riots, of further clamp down on Palestinians. Maybe their tax revenue, water supply, and electricity will be reduced as punishment. Or maybe we’ll see another devastating bombing raid on civilians in Palestine. In short, the more powerful force is taunting the weaker one hoping to enforce further weakening, by checkpoints, curfews, outages.

You may remember that the international deal with Iran over nuclear enrichment was enacted in the USA with a clause that the POTUS had to certify (every six months) that the conditions were being met. The relevant inspectors said they were. The POTUS refused to certify, on some logic that ‘the spirit’ wasn’t being kept when the letter of the agreement obviously is.

Iran may decide to restart, clandestinely, its nuclear program. They already have a decent missile program.

One analyst of US policy with regard to agreements was to compare them to a real estate deal. If it works out for U, OK. If it doesn’t, walk away. Bankruptcy if necessary. Put it into a separate corporation ahead of time. Unfortunately one can only bankrupt the US’s credibility / integrity once or at most twice. Then everyone who can think knows not to deal with such an unreliable partner.

So, thanks to the Trump Peace effort, we can expect at least some of these dire predictions to come true:

  • North Korea gets nuclear-tipped ICBMs and proves that they work.
  • Palestine revolts, aided by all Arab nations (possibly excepting Saudi Arabia, which has a not-so-secret relationship with Israel.)
  • Iran makes a decision.

To quote Albert Einstein: I don’t know what weapons World War Three will be fought with, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

So, now for the dumb questions:

Is all this a distraction from growing inequality, bigotry, divisiveness at home? Or just from so many inappropriately behaving powerful men being outed?

Has peace been Trumped?

North Korea: some truth, for once

You may be wondering what’s going on between North Korea and the rest of the world, particularly the USA.

Here you can read a CRS report on this. I won’t give any quotes. If you’re interested in this topic, you can read it for yourself. (CRS = Congressional Research Service.)

In this report is a comment that the USA may have (deliberately?) messed up one agreement by attacking a bank that North Korea used. Since almost all banks in Macau had DPRK accounts in them, clearly the USA went after a big one to stampede all the others. You can find this here.

There is no solution. North Korea will continue to develop nuclear warheads and ICBM delivery vehicles. In an earlier round of food sanctions it is estimated that 5-10% of the population died of malnutrition. (That’s a euphemism for starvation.) Do you think the USA has more leverage than starvation?

This is posted under ‘Observation’ because there is no ‘activist’ content here, eh?

Guilty as Discharged: how Trump neutralizes Fact

Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

This could be  (wink, wink; nudge, nudge) part of a plea deal.

This is a very large threat to the POTUS. If you’re interested in bafflegab, here is some from the White House: (Emphasis mine, as always)

Donald Trump has responded to a guilty plea by his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying Mr Flynn’s actions as a member of his transition team “were lawful”.

So he pled guilty just for fun.

The deal, for a lesser charge than he might have faced, prompted speculation that he has incriminating evidence.

Imagine my surprise.

Several US news organisations report the very senior official now under the spotlight is Jared Kushner – Mr Trump’s adviser and son-in-law.

So sorry. We were all hoping it was the Donald.

What is usually a Dumb Question here is instead an Activism request:

Can you do anything about this regime? To make it better, more honest, safer, egalitarian? Will you find a way to do something? Please?

Corruption, eh?

Why so much in the US, compared to the UK?

Here you will find the following statements:

A Republican congressman allegedly used a tax-payer funded account to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit with his former spokeswoman, US media report.

It is annoying that a lawmaker can have his legal body pay for his transgressions. However, in the USA and Canada, companies regularly pay for their top management’s transgressions, amounts trivial to the corporation, and never passed on to the legal losers.

Should that bother you?

Convergence: boon or bane?

Convergence is, in some cases, a good idea. You can be pretty sure that a standard light bulb from Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart will fit your socket and work correctly.

However, if you own a tumble drier, convergence may have put you in this list:

  • Whirlpool, who owns
  • HotPoint, and
  • Indesit, and
  • Creada, and
  • Swan, and
  • Proline.

You can check me on this at this website.All of these driers are failing. That’s because Whirlpool bought them all out and sold their own c..p under these other brands.

How about dishwasher fires? You might want to check out this list:

  • Whirlpool, who owns
  • Kitchen Aid, and
  • Whirlpool, and
  • Sears Kenmore, and
  • Maytag

Apparently these beauties are subject to dishwasher fires. And yes, they are all really made by one company and sold under these (and probably other) brands.

Well, you say, I could maybe die in a dryer fire and maybe even less likely in a dishwasher fire.

Well, consider automobile airbags. Takata airbags to be more precise.

Here you will find one of very many pages on this. I’ll content myself with a few limited quotes. Emphasis mine, as always.

In total, 15 automakers have recalled nearly 16.4 million vehicles in the United States since last week stemming from Takata’s decision in May to declare another 35 million to 40 million inflators defective by 2019.

And, that’s only in the USA and it’s only what we now know. Airbags are a commodity, like 120 volt 60 cycle light bulbs.
Convergence means, if one fails, they all are liable to failure.

Convergence means, interchangeability. This is good when you need a flashlight battery, home appliance, car tire valve.

Now for the activism question:

should not highly convergently-used technology be subject to much tighter testing and insurance than, say, a hot-dog bought on St. George street? I think that’s a bad example, eh?

Alaska, Rocky Mountaineer, and TripAdvisor

Last July we went on an 16-day combined tour provided by Vision 2000. It included airfare, transfers, a 7-day cruise (Holland America, Nieuw Amsterdam) to Alaska, Rocky Mountaineer (which included Whistler-Blackcomb, gondola rides, 2 days on an all-glass train, various bus stops (Jasper, Kamloops, Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary.)

Not cheap. And worth every penny.

On the Alaska Cruise we had pre-booked three side trips, including Tracy Arm and Glacier, White Pass and Yukon Railway, and I think Ketchican with a boat trip (explaining crab traps, and providing incredible shots of a bald eagle they throw fish to, followed by an all-you-can-eat crab lunch.) (Ketchican, Juneau, and Skagway from memory.)

Service on Holland America is impeccable. There were a few tiny glitches, yet overall it was extremely pleasant and we felt ‘covered’ at all times.

The Rocky Mountaineer is only two days, but it is spectacular and service on the train is unbelievable. It is preceded and followed by bus tours. All part of this package.

Whistler included gondola etc. It’s essentially a created tourist town, so it’s not cheap.

The bus tour between Rocky Mountaineer and Calgary was extremely well done.

This was one of our ‘lifetime trips’ comparable perhaps to Ecuador/Galapagos.

Overall rating: Excellent Plus.

I always create a trip report for our travel agent. I point out what went really well, and what was annoying or disturbing. I think that’s fair: the travel agency can laud good delivery and question problem instances.

I usually put the results (cleaned up a bit for public viewing) on TripAdvisor.

Shortly after our return, I tried to do this (TripAdvisor.) I got frustrated as the combined trip could not be ‘entered’ into TripAdvisor’s website.

So, today, I decided to try again. No dice.

I can’t find a way to get Alaska Cruise into their system.

I can’t find a way to get Rocky Mountaineer into their system.

I think they are focussed on selling hotels.

Two messages here, maybe three:

  • TripAdvisor doesn’t tell you about all trips. It won’t let me tell you about ours.
  • This trip is exceptional, but pricey.

I don’t know if Vision Travel, aka Vision 2000, will offer this again. If it does, budget for things like meals not included; not cheap. When they open the cruise side trips (I think 60 days ahead, refused earlier) go for it. I waited 3 days and one trip only had 1 seat left.

I hope this is of use or interest to at least some of you.

Presto! (and now you don’t) – explanation

A young boy was recently denied access to public transit because his Presto card was empty.

His mother had arranged for that Presto card to reload $20.00 every time it came close to zero.

Nevertheless the Presto card was empty and the driver refused the child (13 I think) entry, leaving him alone in the cold without money or transit.

The ‘explanation’ is the part that enrages me as a citizen and one-time architect of business software solutions.

Apparently a clerical systems person ‘accidentally hit the wrong key’ and voided thousands of Presto cards.

I worked in the Bank of Montreal mechanization project. I wrote some of the Configuration Management transactions for that system. Those transactions could open and close individual terminals, complete loops of terminals, all concentrators. One could crash an entire bank or banking region
AND
those transactions were designed with a ‘mother may-I’ interface with the following characteristics:

  • No single keystroke error could create a situation that was difficult, expensive, or impossible, to recover from, and
  • The confirming keystroke had to be a different key from the original. (So if you ‘tremble’ over a killer key, you haven’t confirmed your first keypress.)

I knew this s..t in 1972. That’s 45 years ago. How come our Presto system does not have such basic protections built-in?

I might remind all of us that Presto is late, demands we pay for their card, and is only used by 16% of all TTC passengers (recent Toronto Star article.)

For me and my spouse, seniors, not being able to pass each other tickets will be a pain in the ass. You can’t move a Presto credit from one senior card to another.

This sucks.

This is my first post under my new category, Activism. Now for the dumb question:

Comments?

Your Win10 Computer wakes itself up?

There are many ways your computer can be waking itself up. Three versions of Win10 wake up at or after 10:00 am, for example.

I will give you some of the things you can do to prevent your computer from waking itself up.

Control Panel > Device Manager > Network Adapters > Realtek PCIe Family controller (or something similar) Right click Properties PowerManagement  Turn off Allow this device to wake the computer. Also walk down Advanced and disable Wake on Magic Packet and Wake on pattern match.

and while you’re looking at Network Adapters, if there are any weird other network adapter entries starting with WAN, research them. You’ll probably deactivate them (I did) and they’ll probably not even be there after your next restart.

Control Panel > power options > change plan settings > change advanced plan settings
sleep: allow hybrid sleep (I turned this off)
allow wake timers (disable).

Control Panel > administrative tools > task scheduler > library > microsoft > windows
xbl game save – if you’re not using an Xbox, you can delete this
rempl > two triggers. Right click each one in turn, properties, conditions, uncheck Allow this task to wake the computer.

back to task scheduler > library
sort on last run time, newest on top, and look through these. Again, any whose condition includes wake the computer to run this task, you should un-check that option.

When I went though this, I discovered that tasks related to GoToMeeting and GoToUpdate were being scheduled, so I used Control Panel > programs and uninstalled these items. I for sure don’t use them and don’t need extra c..p running on my machine.

Net Net:

That’s what I know right now. Useful input (give this website your eMail address, it won’t be published) will be posted here. Questions? I’ll answer what I can find out.

Since I often end with a dumb question, here’s a few:

  • why do these tasks need to wake my computer?
  • why are there so many of them?
  • why is rempl (running remsh.exe) only on three specific versions of Windows 10?
  • why are there so many versions of Windows 10?

We have one zenbook on Windows Professional and four other computers on Win10 Home. Two were upgraded from Win7 and handle removable devices differently. There are subtle differences between all 4 Win10 Home operating systems. Again,

Why?

Trump, Change!

Some quotes:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Albert Einstein.

Lest anyone gain the impression that President Donald Trump is feeling any regret over his recent provocations of North Korea — calling its leader “Rocket Man” and threatening to “totally destroy” the country with “fire and fury” — recent days have only seen an intensification of the president’s rhetoric.

FP quote.  (http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/11/trumps-empty-north-korea-threats-will-lead-to-humiliation-or-war/)

The NRA should wake up here. If warfare ‘degenerates’ to sticks and stones, there won’t be anyone making new bullets (or assault rifles, either.) (me.)

Here’s more:

For the next six months, [Democratic presidential candidate and then-Vice President of the United States, Al Gore] is going to smear you as the enemy. He will slander you as gun-toting, knuckle-dragging, bloodthirsty maniacs who stand in the way of a safer America. Will you remain silent? I will not remain silent. If we are going to stop this, then it is vital to every law-abiding gun owner in America to register to vote and show up at the polls on Election Day.
So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands!’

Charlton Heston.

No, Mr. Heston. From your fried dead hands. They may glow in the dark. You won’t be able to buy bullets.

So here’s today’s dumb question:

Who do you trust and believe?

  • A self-identified NRA puppet and ex-actor?
  • A psychopathic POTUS?
  • Albert Einstein?

Have a nice life, what’s left of it.

Rogers Cable and POP eMail – where do you think you are? Canadian, eh? Not!

IMAP versus POP. Two ways of getting eMail. Warning: long post. Sorry.

Several months ago, Rogers warned me that I’d need to set up a weird separate password if I continued to use ThunderBird for POP eMail. I did that.

They reminded me at least twice afterword. I think I did it correctly, as I can still get eMail from my Rogers eMail account via Thunderbird and POP (Post Office Protocol.)

And,

lately I notice that the POP  login to Rogers from ThunderBird is a Lot slower than all my other eMail probes.

So I did a bit of digging. I’m not a ‘real techie’ anymore but am not totally ignorant either.

Rogers POP email is now processed in a server in California. That might surprise you if you thought Rogers was a Canadian company and that Toronto was in Canada.

Here’s some of my proof: (warning: technical copy&pastes from Internet interactions)

C:\Users\me>ping pop.broadband.rogers.com

Pinging fo-jpop.mail.rog.gm0.yahoodns.net [74.6.137.75]

which Arin Whois tells us is: (abbreviated for readability, do this yourself if you don’t trust me.)

% ARIN resource: whois.arin.net

#
# The following results may also be obtained via:
# https://whois.arin.net/rest/nets;q=74.6.137.75?showDetails=true&showARIN=false&showNonArinTopLevelNet=false&ext=netref2
#

NetRange: 74.6.0.0 – 74.6.255.255
CIDR: 74.6.0.0/16
NetName: INKTOMI-BLK-6
NetHandle: NET-74-6-0-0-1
Parent: NET74 (NET-74-0-0-0-0)
NetType: Direct Allocation
OriginAS:
Organization: Inktomi Corporation (INKT)
RegDate: 2006-02-13
Updated: 2012-02-24
Ref: https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-74-6-0-0-1

OrgName: Inktomi Corporation
OrgId: INKT
Address: 701 First Ave
City: Sunnyvale
StateProv: CA

Now for Lacnic Whois:

You searched for: 74.6.137.75

Network
Net Range 74.6.0.0 – 74.6.255.255
CIDR 74.6.0.0/16
Name INKTOMI-BLK-6
Handle NET-74-6-0-0-1
Parent NET74 (NET-74-0-0-0-0)
Net Type Direct Allocation
Origin AS
Organization Inktomi Corporation (INKT)
Registration Date 2006-02-13
Last Updated 2012-02-24
Comments
RESTful Link https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-74-6-0-0-1
Function Point of Contact
Abuse NETWO857-ARIN (NETWO857-ARIN)
See Also Related organization’s POC records.
See Also Related delegations.

Organization
Name Inktomi Corporation
Handle INKT
Street 701 First Ave
City Sunnyvale
State/Province CA

If you got this far, congratulations. Now you know that pop.broadband.rogers.com is now hosted in California on computers in that state.

This might not bother you. It bothers me a lot.

  • American ‘legal access’ to data is a lot more loose than in Canada. Now all your eMail is in the USA. (I might mention that Brazil went to a Lot of trouble to route Internet traffic around the USA, including laws that information not be kept outside Brazil, because Brazil understands the security and privacy issues.)
  • California is not as close as Mississauga. I have a website. It is hosted in I think Mississauga (west of TO for sure.) WiFi access from, say, Jasper was equal (actually better) than from my dwelling in Etobicoke. Rogers obviously has a Very Large Data Pipe from wi-fi enabled hotels in BC and Alberta. It was as fast from Kamloops as it is from my desktop. It is now slower than a snail for eMail from my desktop.
  • I think Rogers is getting ready to sell out. Sell the eMail traffic, and who knows what else.

Does that bother you? That’s today’s dumb question.