MumbleFingers

When I was a kid, butterfingers meant, I might drop something.

Mumble fingers could mean, I might mis-state something.

Now we have a new dimension of mis-steps and mis-information:

twitterfingers.

POTUS anyone?

Poverty Reduction: Ontario (Wynne) versus Toronto (Tory)

Here you will find an article describing the next set of ‘moves’ planned in Toronto.

I think this betrays the usual ‘progress’ we see under our current mayor. The plan is to spend a lot of time discussing what might be done over the next twenty years.

Here’s a quote from that web page, emphasis mine:

It is part of a series of panel discussions the city’s anti-poverty advocate, Councillor Joe Mihevc, hopes will generate bold ideas “to set the stagefor the next phase of Toronto’s 20-year poverty reduction strategy, approved by city council in 2015.

So, in more than two years, the city strategy has hatched a plan to spend time creating a strategy. Vintage Toronto Council, Vintage John Tory: photo ops and not much substance.

In contrast,

Here you will find an article describing what our Premier, Kathleen Wynne, is actually doing about poverty.

Here’s a quote from that web page:

Participants must be:

  • 18 to 64 years old for the duration of the pilot.
  • living in one of the selected test regions for the past at least 12 months or longer (and still live there):
    • Hamilton, Brantford, Brant County
    • Thunder Bay, along with the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, Township of Shuniah, Municipality of Neebing, Township of Conmee, Township of O’Connor, Township of Gillies
    • Lindsay
  • living on a low income (under $34,000 per year if you’re single or under $48,000 per year if you’re a couple)

This pilot is already running and may be expanded. I don’t remember Wynne holding a lot of consultation. The tricky bits were deciding on the dollar numbers to use as thresholds, caps, and clawbacks.

How come Toronto doesn’t offer to co-fund an expansion to here?

Now for the dumber questions.

Suppose Doug Ford became leader of the Provincial Progressive Conservatives. (He did.) Suppose he becomes premier of Ontario. (He could.)

Which thing to you think he will do first?

  • Drive all the progressives out of the party?
  • Cancel the provincial guaranteed income program?
  • Speed up the discussions on poverty in Toronto?

I’m betting on: close to success in the first bullet, gerrymandering to un-fund the second bullet, and pointing out that the Scarborough Subway needs money more than the poor, who often don’t vote.

Is that cynical enough? That’s the final dumb question.

Trump’s Deficit

Donald Trump is complaining about constant USA trade deficits. This is a valid concern. If you check countries, you’ll find that Germany’s trade surplus is greater than that of the EU overall. The USA has always had a deficit overall, as has Canada.

Why are there trade deficits? Clearly, the USA as a whole buys more (in dollar terms) than it sells. How did this happen?

The book, Information Feudalism, is mentioned in the References pages of this website. I leave you to navigate there at your leisure. I will summarize a few points from that book.

  • The USTR and the DOHA round of trade negotiations focused on making copyright and patent rights enforced all over the world.
  • A company like Apple (no special reason to pick them, but I have the figures we need in mind) can sell an item for $3x and keep $2x of that for itself. Patent licensees build the product, acquire the necessary components and materials, pay their workers and various bills, on the remaining $x.
  • The jobs to do this are in the countries where the patents etc are licensed.
  • One third of the gross price goes to those same countries. This money may not come back to the USA as purchases.
  • Two thirds of the gross price comes back to the US parent, assuming they don’t launder or tax evade (not a good conclusion overall, eh?).
  • What does come back goes to the elites: Company executives, board members, stock option holders, and shareholders. It does not come back to the man in the street.
  • It is entirely possible for a company to decide where to license a patent and thus where to manufacture or assemble a product. American companies do not choose to do this in the USA if it can be done cheaper elsewhere. Hong Kong and Bangladesh, Japan and Korea, etc etc. There are few patriotic decisions made in board rooms.

The president who campaigned on cleaning up the swamp has a White House team composed pretty much entirely of swamp denizens and swam owners. They want their constant flows of income. Those flows are based on free trade and patent and copyright protection.

Therefore the USA will always have a trade imbalance.

Do you think the POTUS can override corporate self-interest? Did he try to buy this with his (imho disastrous) corporate tax cuts? Will anyone bought stay bought?

 

U Turn in Montreal (or, a Tale of Two Cities)

Those of us who are unhappy in Toronto should google ‘Montreal corruption.’ Either their media are much more savvy, or our politicians are not quite as venal.

However, weird things do happen in Montreal, similar to Toronto’s undying one-stop subway to Scarborough, known to be much more expensive and much less useful than the paid for LRT (which would have been running by now, if we didn’t have our Mayor and city council manoeuvering.)

There is a road that crosses Mount Royal. It isn’t particularly straight, it was I think recovered from some rail route. (Steel rail trains with few locomotives have serious limitations in climbable slopes, so the route is chosen watching slope as well as length.)

A cyclist was (regrettably) killed on this road by an illegal U-turning motor vehicle. What do you think Montreal’s proposed solution is?

To close the road at the middle to all but buses. What will that do?

Make everyone U-turn.

In Toronto we put up signs against turns. In Montreal they just close the way forward.

There is one additional similarity between our two cities: in Toronto, the subway debate and Metrolinx stations etc etc are based on ignoring planning decisions. Instead we have delays delays delays.

It appears that Montreal will now endure some sort of ‘consultation process.’ Then the road will be closed anyway.

Dumb question?

Want to bet that I’m wrong here?

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?

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.

Concrete Question

Concrete failures: I have three examples:

  • After a large earthquake in China
  • After a large earthquake in Haiti
  • After a large earthquake on the Iraq-Iran border.

I am writing from memory, so feel free to google and fact-check me. Posts with relevant input/corrections are always approved here. (I’m providing no hotlinks as my internet connection sucks today.)

The China response was instructive. In less than 90 minutes military aircraft were parachuting water, food, and medical supplies.

The Haiti non-response is equally instructive. Some seven years later almost no non-IGO facilities have been reconstructed.

The earthquake in Iran is, ‘interesting’.

In China, BBC News among others showed clips of how an entire row of homes collapsed, while a nearby row was all still standing. There was some murmuring about ‘sea sand’ having been used in the failed cement.
I think the unlucky developers of the collapsed homes are in jail, if they’re still so fortunate as to be alive.

In Iran, apparently low-income housing built under the previous ayatollah collapsed, while nearby structures did not. Iran’s leadership is strongly looking at who’s responsible for collapse, injury, and death. I fear for the builders here too.

However in Haiti, the inconvenient fact that water towers are concrete, and none collapsed, has been conveniently overlooked. Buildings for people and government collapsed. IGO headquarters did not.

You’re scanning for the dumb questions, right? Well, here are a few:

  • How come bad sand was used in construction in China?
  • Should builders who construct unsafe housing be punished? Manslaughter?
  • How come bad cement was used in construction in Iran?
  • Should builders who construct unsafe housing be punished? Manslaughter?
  • How come bad cement was used in construction in Haiti?
  • Should builders who construct unsafe housing be punished? Or should we send more and more money for reconstruction that does not happen?

Feel free to comment. Provide a real eMail, which will not be divulged on this site.