Monday administration

The week has been dominated by the election. Which was gamed. The best writeup, complete with the use of poetic expletives, is by Larry the Manatee. Who was an accountant before writing books paid well. This has gone viral, but read the whole thing.

In a small populace, you can get 100% of the vote. However the larger the sample, the more likely there will be dissenting votes. Even in the bluest of blue areas or reddest of red areas, somebody is going to be a cranky dissident, or an old person is going to fill in the wrong circle. When you get into the hundreds or thousands yet maintain that kind of perfect ratio, basically impossible.

Plus we are supposed to believe that Joe Biden, the guy barely campaigned, who got like 12 sad looking people to his rallies, was more popular than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? This election was just that much more special? Uh huh… Except that these few battleground state blue cities vote ratios don’t match up with other blue cities around America, where it appears Trump’s support among every demographic group other than white males went UP.

Then people were quick to dismiss these statistically improbable spikes with “of course the mail in voting favors Biden, republicans vote in person.” Yes, but they don’t favor Biden with these kind of ratios anywhere else in America. The ratios are more like 60-40 or 70-30. But 97-3? Oh fuck no. So either Biden is a better campaigner to the inner cities (though he rarely left his basement) than the eloquent messianic figure of Barack Obama, or there’s something fishy going on here.

Now, as a suspicious auditor type who spent a lot of hours looking for fuckery in complex systems, my gut tells me fake ballots were getting dumped into the system to make up the difference. And oh look, here is a giant pile of red flags indicating that’s the case.

Of course, the press says that Biden has won and it is time for a COVID commission. He will rejoin the WHO.

Fun. Not. I'd rather be discussing the new raspberry pi, which passes my sloth test. I don't need to frack around with it.

Screen Shot 2020-11-09 at 9.44.41 AM

Still, combine this with a small touch screen, and run it all off of a 5 V power pack, and you’ve got a ton of portable computing in a very small package. If you’re not mousing around all the time anyway, there’s a certain streamlined simplicity here that’s mighty tempting. The 40-pin port on the back makes it easy to add your own gear too, say if you want to use it as a portable logic analyzer, microcontroller programmer, or JTAG platform. I actually prefer the horizontal orientation of this Pi port over the vertical of the Model B — my projects always end up looking like hedgehogs, and gravity wants cables to lie flat. These are small details, but that’s usability.

Finally, I have a Compute Module, a Pi 4 Model B, and now the Pi 400 all sitting on the desk. The Pi 4 is known to throttle when it overheats, which conversely means that it runs faster with a heatsink, even without overclocking. There was mention in the Compute Module datasheet about more efficient processing using less power, and presumably producing less heat. And this big hunk of aluminum inside the Pi 400’s case calls out “overclocking” to me. There’s only one way to figure out what all this means, and that’s empirical testing. Stay tuned.

What all this has me advocating is the move well away from facebook and twitter. Gab seems more robust at present than Parler. But Vox Popoli has the best commentariat right now. The trolls have found a new level of stupid elsewhere, and it hurts.

Software stack

I've moved from Firefox to Brave as a default browser as I can run it on Arch and MacOS and it automatically stops most of the annoying things. I've also got deezer working using the AUR. The same system allows me to use Zotero as my main reference manager, which is now robust, fast and cross platform.

In Arch run:

yay -S deezer
yay -S zotero

MInimalism

Willem has a review of the Microsoft surface Go. Which requires hacking to be usable. However, he makes some good points about hardware.

The thing with modern hardware is that far too often people look for fancy features. Things to brag about, things to show off. “I’m better than you” and “look what I can do?!” Flagship devices, including smartphones, are introduced like rock stars on main stages. But chances are that you are not a groupie nor a fanboy.

Like living with a rock star is probably not without practical difficulties, ultra high end devices often have their hidden flaws. They may overheat, behave unpredictably or demand a high price for their presence. If you’re looking for an everyday companion, then you may prefer a little less “rock starrieness”.

What I need, and Kea needs, is accurate screens. Not fast. Colour accurate. The only modern computers I use are the ones work provides me. I don't game. I do worry about my interface: that very nice work computer sits with its case closed most of the time because the keyboard is horrible: I use a mechanical keyboard my son gave me and good mouse and a big screen.

Which is basically what I'd do with a Raspberry Pi or Pinebook Pro anyway.

Admin

No changes in the blog. I note that regular commentators are now able to get through fairly easily, and that the spam filter is keeping the worst of the unwanted stuff out.

I've been busy in real life. Having something that just works is a tremendous relief. Digital Ocean is not a cheap webhost (and if any commentators have better ideas, please let me know) but it is stable, and that matters.