Some of the Adjectives

Condescending, arrogant, elitist, are some of the adjectives I will use to describe yesterday’s VP debate participant Kamala Harris. She reminded me of Obama at his most arrogant peak of power just after winning the presidency. The way he treated John McCain was atrocious. His reminding comment that elections have consequences rings in my mind with contempt. Yes they do, but why rub it in? In this case the election is not yet been held and the candidate is showing off her tendencies to be a bitch. Kamala Harris is not one whom I want running this country, or any country for that matter.

Somehow I can’t picture her standing up to Vladimir Putin with her attitude that she is better than he. I truly believe Putin would put her in place accordingly. Her comment that she will not be lectured by the Vice President of the United States about her pissy poor record as Attorney General of a district that made her position only one notch lower than that of the Attorney General of the United States is a powerful chest expansion that is only exceeded by the expansion of her head on the matter of her importance. Like I said, she is as arrogant as Obama was maybe even worse. I would not want her to become president only because I don’t want Obama to lose his title of the worst president we ever had.

My guess is that if we allow this travesty to occur that the United States will become the United Socialist States of America in her first month in office. How anyone can call themselves a person of faith, and allow innocent babies to be slaughtered in lawful abortions is clueless to the meaning of a person of faith. How anyone can accuse us of being racist when her record of prosecuting blacks was much higher in percentage than her prosecution of whites for the same crimes? Her support for Joe Biden’s plan to eliminate COVID-19 is merely a repeat of what Trump and Pence have already done, What makes their plan better than the one that was followed? Her proposal to implement the Green New Deal is based on taking away the people’s liberty. There have been multiple global warming cycles throughout the ages and still our scientists make their most educated guesses that we the people are causing this one to occur. Why? Because they learned that CO2 causes air to become warmer. How long will it take for all the CO2 being generated by our fossil fuel burning is a matter of pulling the answer out of the crystal ball. Does it really matter if we speed up the process and make it happen a hundred years sooner when the cycle is a half million years? Does she and her scientist friends really believe that if the USA converted all of our energy needs to wind, solar, and democrat gastric out put in one day that we would not be impacted by China, India, Europe, and every other continent of this world? Does she think that by China building all electric cars only that the Chinese would then magically develop electric charging stations that will be powered by the sun? Even if they did, the pollution caused by making the batteries would be more damaging than that of conventional cars. Politicians should never get into arguments involving science because the scientists also have political leanings. Scientists can be just as stupid as politicians when it comes to defending their livelihood and fortunes.

Taxing the hell out of Americans to reduce their carbon footprint is merely a political scheme to control the masses. As I have stated before my vote won’t make one bit of difference in a state whose population has been politically manipulated and brainwashed to believe that voting democrat is the best thing they can do for themselves. Just ask them what they will do with the money they keep by defunding the police?

WordPress Sucks

I’ve been with WordPress and this BLOG for over twelve years, but I have to proclaim that WordPress can use some help. Two days ago I wrote what I believed was a pretty eloquent post covering a number of issues blended into a movie review. I was in the process of adding images and media to enhance the words. I hit the publish button and nothing happened. I realized that the post was frozen. Nothing I did would make it move in any direction. I saw a proclamation that read something to the effect that I had a more current back up. Without thinking about it, my bad, I hit the button for the backup. I got about in fourth of the piece from the backup.WTF? That is not my idea of a back up. A back up means you get your most recent post back in its entirety. I tried multiple ways to recover, but realized too late that I was fucked. I lost a great post. I’ve been stewing about for two days, but it won’t change a thing. WordPress is continuously trying to improve the experience but only succeeds in messing things up. I would be very happy using the original program of ten years ago. After all it’ s only a bit of trying and repetition that makes it happen.

I have never tried any other blogging program, but now I am open to exploring what else is out in the world. Every time WP tries something new it is to please the younger crowd that thinks from their seat. Of course the younger crowd has been kept from the world of logic and common sense. They all think like their phones, and therefore, so must the rest of us cater to the whims of Apple and Samsung. The result is a bunch of change that fails often, and causes an old guy like me to have apoplexy about it.

I have patiently endured the many changes WP has made and have tried their new editors, but I find that I like the old systems best. Once learned they make sense and when something makes sense it become easy to use. God forbid the younger set learn anything about making sense.

WP has made some things easier and more intuitive to use, such as the method for adding media into a blog post. Their latest systems are immensely easier to use, and I like them. What I don’t like is the tendency of the post to freeze and require shutting down in the middle of things to get things rolling again. That is not a normal thing, and it is a bug that must be corrected. Every time I been trouble shooting a problem like this I learn that I am not the only one having the issue. That is a problem for Word
Press.

Recently, I detected a problem with my video streaming service (Comcast) and lost hours trying to make the damned program work. All the time thinking is was me in my old age not understanding how to do these new fangled things. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred it is not me it is the vendor of the service. That pisses me off. I spent a good part of my life fixing products that were expected to work but didn’t. I know how frustrating that can be for the developer, but dam it, that is not an excuse. Get off you asses and fix the problem. I finally extracted a fix-it commitment from Comcast on the issue of their lousy streaming service. They have passed the date they predicted, and I am still having issues. Less than before, but the problem is still lurking in their software and comes up often. My fix is to pull the plug and do a hard reset. Usually that fixes the problem for awhile. Funny, I never read that in the owners manual that I should pull the plug and reboot to fix a problem three times a night.

The problem with all of these companies providing all these wonderful services is that they are so successful that they write off the few customers who have problems. If my boss had ever caught me writing off a problem because it was too small to worry about, I would have been applying for unemployment. Eventually, companies will begin losing money to their competition and wake up to the fact that it is their fault that it is happening. In the meantime, poor Joe the customer wastes his precious minutes of remaining life trying to resolve an issue that cannot be resolved. Joe has to learn how to click the “off” button to fix the problem and substitute reading books instead.

Reading Books, the Same as Streaming

My New Worst Enemy

I love technical things and TV has become very technical, and I am quickly learning to despise TV. In this world of user names and passwords it becomes mind boggling to keep track of it all. My iPhone is a perfect example of stupidity. It seems that every ten seconds I am pumping in the pass code before I can do anything phone. Why? Apple does it to protect me from guess who? Me. I know I’ll be the first one crying if my phone gets hacked but I think we have gone a bit too far to make this a secure world. The TV service emulates Apple in regard to pass codes, pass words, and all things Apple.

I sit in front of a computer, to use it I must enter a password. Then I want to use a program like Adobe, and I have to enter a password. If I want to access my online banking I must enter my account number followed by a password, then by one of those scrambled letter things which disappear if you take too long to figure out what the distorted letters are. Finally, I make it past the four digit squirrely-thingy and I face answering security questions, “Where was your honeymoon?” Which one I say? in all of this, if you miss three or four times in a row the program shuts you out.

My latest enemy is Amazon Prime a fringe service of Amazon. At first I used it for faster shipping, then I expanded the usage to watching the free video content. I’ve stated several times before that I am hooked on a series titled Heartland. Each season has eighteen episodes and I am at the tail end of season nine( 156/162 episodes). All along I was a happy camper, I love watching the beautiful scenery in high definition color on a big screen. A couple of weeks ago, I began having problems getting a specific episode to work. Why? Only God knows. I have been into all the help screens on my TV, on Xfinity my streaming service, and now on Amazon the competing service to Xfinity. There are user names, passcodes, passwords, and security id’s on all of them. Reading computerese on the help screens easily takes an hour just to find a sentence that will point at some trick they use to get around a problem. I don’t have enough hours left in my life to be spending them on technology that fails.

Last night I resorted to using Chat on Xfinity. When I hear the word chat I expect to speak with a real live human being. Instead I get to type my questions and a computer interprets my question to give me a stupid answer(artificial intelligence means no intelligence, and even less common sense). I’m positive that if I eventually connect with a human it will be a British-english speaking high pitched voice coming at me from India. Nine times out of ten, I apologize to them and ask them to speak more slowly and to enunciate their words because they are speaking to a deaf man. The the fast talking voice will begin interrogating me to determine if I know my name and address, phone number, last four digits of my Social Security number and where I spent my honeymoon before he asks me what my problem is.

This afternoon, I was prepared to spend two hours with my laptop on my lap, and the TV remote in my hand to finally figure something out. I went through the process to connect to my favorite series and everything worked beautifully. Why? Only God knows. The real test will come tonight when I turn on my nightly episode of Heartland. The real question is will I watch on the big TV, or will I be forced to watch on my laptop which by the way operates flawlessly in very few button pushes to get me to my program. Why? Only God knows.

Trending

In nineteen-eighty-two I read a book titled Megatends by John Naisbitt. It fascinated me. It read like a list of Nostradamus prophesies, but none of the predictions were created by a seer getting messages from God they were documented trends. I can truthfully report that all of the trends predicted in that book have become mainstream. A friend recently sent me a new list of trends that read like prophecies, except we already see some of these things happening.

WELCOME TO TOMORROW……!

1- The basic auto repair shops will disappear. Read on to know why.

2- A gasoline engine has 20,000 individual parts. An electrical motor has 20. Electric cars are sold with lifetime guarantees and are repaired only by dealers. It takes only 10 minutes to remove and replace an electric motor.

3- Faulty electric motors are not repaired in the dealership but are sent to a regional repair shop that repairs them with robots

4- Your electric motor malfunction light goes on, so you drive up to what looks like a car wash, and your car is towed through while you have a cup of coffee and out comes your car with a new electric motor!

5- Gas pumps will go away.

6- Street corners will have meters that dispense electricity. Companies will install electrical recharging stations; in fact, they’ve already started in the developed world.

7- Smart major auto manufacturers have already designated money to start building new plants that build only electric cars.

8-Coal industries will go away. Gasoline/oil companies will go away. Drilling for oil will stop. So say goodbye to OPEC! The middle-east is in trouble

9- Homes will produce and store more electrical energy during the day and then what they don’t use, they will sell it back to the grid. The grid stores it and dispenses it to industries that are high electricity users. Has anybody seen the Tesla roof?

10- A baby of today will see personal cars only in museums. The FUTURE is approaching faster than most of us can handle.

11- In 1998, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of all photo paper worldwide. Within just a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. Who would have thought of that ever happening?

12- What happened to Kodak and Polaroid will happen in a lot of industries in the next 5-10 years … and most people don’t see it coming.

13- Did you think in 1998 that 3 years later, you would never take pictures on film again? With today’s smart phones, who even has a camera these days?

14- Yet digital cameras were invented in 1975. The first ones only had 10,000 pixels, but followed Moore’s law. So as with all exponential technologies, it was a disappointment for a time, before it became way superior and became mainstream in only a few short years.

15- It will now happen again (but much faster) with Artificial Intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.

16- Forget the book, “Future Shock”, welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

17- Software has disrupted and will continue to disrupt most traditional industries in the next 5-10 years.

18- UBER is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world! Ask any taxi driver if they saw that coming.

19- Airbnb is now the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any properties. Ask Hilton Hotels if they saw that coming.

20- Artificial Intelligence: Computers become exponentially better in understanding the world. This year, a computer beat the best Go-player in the world, 10 years earlier than expected.

21- In the USA, young lawyers already don’t get jobs. Because of IBM’s, you can get legal advice (so far for right now, the basic stuff) within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared with 70% accuracy when done by humans. So, if you study law, stop immediately. There will be 90% fewer lawyers in the future , (what a thought!) only omniscient specialists will remain.

22- Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer, it’s 4 times more accurate than human nurses.

23- Facebook now has a pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans. In 2030, computers will become more intelligent than humans.

24- Autonomous cars: In 2018 the first self-driving cars are already here. In the next 2 years, the entire industry will start to be disrupted. You won’t want to own a car any ’more as you will call a car with your phone, it will show up at your location and drive you to your destination.

25- You will not need to park it, you will pay only for the driven distance and you can be productive while driving. The very young children of today will never get a driver’s license and will never own a car.

26- This will change our cities, because we will need 90-95% fewer cars. We can transform former parking spaces into green parks.

27- About 1.2 million people die each year in car accidents worldwide including distracted or drunk driving. We now have one accident every 60,000 miles; with autonomous driving that will drop to 1 accident in 6 million miles That will save a million lives plus worldwide each year.

28- Most traditional car companies will doubtless become bankrupt. They will try the evolutionary approach and just build a better car, while tech companies (Tesla, Apple, Google) will do the revolutionary approach and build a computer on wheels.

29- Look at what Volvo is doing right now; no more internal combustion engines in their vehicles starting this year with the 2019 models, using all electric or hybrid only, with the intent of phasing out hybrid models.

30- Many engineers from Volkswagen and Audi are completely terrified of Tesla and they should be. Look at all the companies offering all electric vehicles. That was unheard of, only a few years ago.

31- Insurance companies will have massive trouble because, without accidents, the costs will become cheaper. Their car insurance business model will disappear.

32- Real estate will change. Because if you can work while you commute, people will abandon their towers to move far away to more beautiful affordable locations.

33- Electric cars will become mainstream about 2030. Cities will be less noisy because all new cars will run on electricity.

34- Cities will have much cleaner air as well.

35- Electricity will become incredibly cheap and clean.

36- Solar production has been on an exponential curve for 30 years, but you can now see the burgeoning impact. And it’s just getting ramped up.

37- Fossil energy companies are desperately trying to limit access to the grid to prevent competition from home solar installations, but that simply cannot continue – technology will take care of that strategy.

38- Health: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. There are companies who will build a medical device (called the “Tricorder” from Star Trek) that works with your phone, which takes your retina scan, your blood sample and you breath into it. It then analyses 54 bio-markers that will identify nearly any Disease. There are dozens of phone apps out there right now for health

WELCOME TO TOMORROW – some of it actually arrived a few years ago.

https://www.technibble.com/forums/members/barcelona.117497/

What I have not seen in this article is a plausible explanation of where the electricity to run all these inventions will come from. The closest is that solar cells are getting better. They will have to be ten-thousand times more efficient to generate the amount of electricity used by electric vehicles in the amount of fossil fuel generated power today.

COVID-19 has caused many of these innovations to become reality in the time we are hiding from the virus. Many of the computer devices doing diagnosis and doctor-patient face to face video conferences are becoming more realistic because we are actually using these systems. I personally witnessed a video conference between a doctor and patient in a hospital that took place via face to face video. I went to pick up a lady in the emergency room at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital. She was being discharged but she needed instructions for how to take care of herself once she got home. She does not speak English very well. Not a problem, she spoke Polish, Russian, and Lithuanian fluently. A nurse wheels up a portable video screen and types in her needs, doctor, discharge instructions, Russian. A young man appears on the screen live, and begins asking questions in Russian; the patient returns answers. She understands everything he tells her. The whole conference takes less than fifteen minutes to arrange and complete. If this lady had to rely on the old system she would have spent at least another four hours in the emergency room taking up space as she waited for an interpreter to come .

We may see the list of predictions above come true within ten years or it may take another hundred to happen, but these things will happen because they are not just dreams they are trends based on actual science that is happening today.

Something Old-Something New

It has been too long since I tried to make a movie. A few years ago I became very adept at using iMovie on the Mac and went crazy converting my old Super 8 movies into digital media. Last week when I posted about my first Cattail bloom I tried posting a simple video from my phone. I couldn’t make it work. (I had to take and insert a  still photo of the Cattail to show it off).  So, I left  iMovie open and went to work on it. It took me a full week to re-learn iMovie, but it is getting a little easier, now that I know how to import from my phone, and to turn it into a project on iMovie. All of the stuff that was in the program five years ago is still there, but trying to find it now is not easy. It seems that the millennials working at Apple think differently than do I. I use my own logical thinking sequences to make things happen, and they use the mindless computer functions as the logic to make things happen. Then, they garble the whole thing up with computer speak that only the inventor of the computer and its accompanying language can understand.

I can not understand computer speak and must resort to trial and error to learn what works and what doesn’t. Most time I strike it lucky but then can’t redo the same function, or at least don’t understand what I just did. Mind you, I learned how to program a computer in 1962 on a rather clunky Royal McBee 5000 (the size of a kitchen stove) that needed step by step instructions in binary code to function. Computers and their programs have evolved tremendously since then. Thank you Lord! What hasn’t evolved as quickly is my brain. I think my brain stopped evolving about the same time I realized that programming a Royal McBee 5000 was not going to make me a living. Before facing a real physical Royal McBee 5000 on the job I had learned of computers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois. They proudly possessed a hand made (Heathkit) personal analog computer the size of a drafting table which could add and subtract. Hidden behind the walls in another part of the school was a special lab that worked on a thing called the ILLIAC.  We only knew of its existence by rumor as the machine of the future. None of us really gave a damn.

Throughout my career, I fought the temptation to become a computer nerd. As a machine designer I prided myself on being able to visualize, and to hand draw machines. When I entered the mold making business this skill was most useful, I was able to design a plastic part in two dimensions in all planar views. Then I became adept at converting those views into a three dimensional perspective, and finally to convert that into a reverse image which was the picture of a mold cavity. Mold makers loved that. Because when you are machining a mold you are not machining the actual part but rather the hole into which the plastic flows to form the part. My images enabled them to get the job done much faster.

Sometime in the nineteen eighties the company began thinking the wave of the future was Computer Aided Design or CAD. Piggy backing onto that was Computer Aided Machining. Just think, draw the plastic part on the computer, push a button and the mold cavity will be ready to cut. Just clamp a piece of steel onto the milling machine table, install the cutting tool, press go, and walk away to take a break. They(computer salesman) made its sound that simple. Of course our company bought into it. It wasn’t until the late nineties that we came anywhere close to having the right computer, and the staff trained well enough to be able to think in computerese, computer controlled machines, and to give up the old ways. About five years into the program to convert our engineering department into nerdsville we met with the company experts from McDonald Aircraft who were selling the CAD/CAM system referred to as McAuto. I attended the meeting to express my dissatisfaction with their product. I asked the VP in charge if it was true that their aircraft division used this system to design the F15 jet fighter plane. “Why yes of course” was the reply. I said, I am surprised the wings on the F15 stay attached to the fuselage.”

“Why would you say that?”

“Because we use your system to model and machine our product, and at the intersection of the strap body (wing) to the cable tie head (fuselage) the system blows up and we cannot successfully complete the job. I can model and machine the job 1000 times faster using analog methods over the digital method capability.

What our problem was determined to be (note, it was our problem) was that we needed to make a design change at that intersection in order to make the system work. In other words, the system was incapable of replicating the geometry of our successful product, and now we were going to have to change the geometry to suit the capabilities of the CAD system. I was not a happy camper.  Luckily the owner of our company, the man who invented our product and insisted we keep the design exactly as he intended, allowed us to make this critical change and we moved forward.

So with all of the computer baggage behind me I am ceding to Apple’s latest iMovie system  to complete a short video which will become the basis of my new movie called 2020 Monet Vision-Retired. I selected the theme Retired because I fully expect this will be my last garden. I will use my iPhone exclusively to take videos and still photos of the garden as it blooms throughout the summer and use those clips to document this year’s gardening effort. I will post the finished product when it is complete, in the meantime here is the start, or in Hollywood terminology, the Trailer, but it is not really a Trailer because Trailers tell the whole story from beginning to end and my trailer is really just a Tease of what is to come, so here is the Tease.

 

 

 

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