This is probably going to be the last of these posts for the year. At Christmas, New Zealand goes on holiday. Me included. Blogging will be lectionary and what I am feeling up to. Over the weekend the regulars will have noticed that there were only three posts when I'd often do that every day. Simply put, I'm exhausted.
And the lectionary takes priority. However, some notes to finish the year off.
If you have no money, there is a temptation to simply go to wordpress.com and start, or use one of the commercial alternatives. A fair number of people who did use wordpress have been forced to self host. I swapped from a markdown blog (same handle) to this in April 2019 because of comments. If I did not want comments, I'd swap back. I don't use the wordpress visual editors (Gutenberg or the old one). I write in text, using at times html5 tags.
Because wordpress and blogger and other companies require you stick to their code of conduct or they will take you down. It is much better to pay for some things.
Every couple of years there is usually a new platform that gets hyped. Medium is a good example. They provide a really smooth editing experience through their editor.
Many companies moved or started their blog on the Medium platform. The lucky ones among them could still publish on their own sub-domain name. But that suddenly changed a while back: now you have to publish on the Medium.com domain, which is a terrible idea if SEO is important to you. Also you get annoying mobile pop-ups pushing you into installing the Medium app.
Just imagine Medium shuts down as did Posterous back in the days (which was a similar service). You will not necessarily lose all your content but all the SEO rankings you ever created. To get it right you need to publish on your own domain name and preferably on your root domain (www.yoursite.com/blog) and not a sub-domain (blog.yoursite.com). This has numerous SEO advantages.
I pay for backup and spam screening. CleanTalk killed 12K spam last week. Updraft Plus keeps this site backed up. And I selected the webhost because they are (a) fast (b) reliable (c) not hosted in NZ or the USA... not the lowest price bidder. Self hosting costs, but it gives you control.
Let the politicians be lab rats
Not nurses. From Anonymous Conservative.
Remember that nurse who they trotted out in front of the cameras after she got the vaccine, she got light headed, keeled over right on camera, and then the camera cut out as doctors crammed around her lifeless body? Official local news media reported social media posts turned up which seemed to indicate she had died, but the family didn’t want anybody talking about it because they were threatened. 4Chan began to look into it, and based off death records, they think her body was shipped back to her hometown to be quietly put on the death records there. /pol has noted, her friends and family plus nurses are ignoring all the instagram comments asking if she’s okay, she usually posts every 2-3 days and it’s been like a week since she posted on Instagram, there was a post up on the hospital page for FB saying she was feeling better and now they took it down, someone made a new channel to pretend she’s alive while leaving her old channel alone, and a friend posted a picture of the two of them together, but /pol noticed the picture was part of a set from a while back, and not recent. It is one of those things you would discount, but suppose she did die right on camera from the vaccine. They would do anything to keep that away from the narrative. No way to know for sure it isn’t a girl with the same name, age, and hometown, but it doesn’t look good. I’d think the hospital would have trotted her back out just to please pharma, who must be terrified of this rumor.
I am not anti Vaccines. Vox is, and this is why. Any person who says things are 100% safe has not ever done risk assessment or worked with humanity. Because we find ways to break things.
I have personally witnessed a vaccine reaction that caused a child to immediately slump unconscious and heard the administering doctor say "oh, shit!" in obvious alarm. You will never, ever, convince me that vaccines are entirely safe; they are not and they will never be. FFS, even peanuts and eggs and penicillin are not entirely safe for everyone, so anyone who claims that vaccines are is lying.
My position is more akin to Didact: he lives in the tropics, and when you travel you get lots of shots.
Let’s be clear about one thing. For the record, I am NOT against vaccinations. I have no problem whatsoever with the theory behind vaccines. The idea is sensible and tested and I have never had issues with taking robust vaccines against various diseases.
I’ve lived for years in the tropics. As such, the list of things that I’ve been immunised against is about as long as my arm. Over the years, I have taken shots and immunisation treatments for influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, smallpox, polio, (probably) tetanus, rabies (that’s a long and silly and rather unpleasant story), and probably a few other nasty little buggers besides.
I have never, ever had an allergic reaction of any kind to any vaccine. Because I exercise regularly and eat well, I am in disgustingly good health and make no secret of that fact. Getting vaccinated at the right times in my life undoubtedly had, and has, a lot to do with that.
So I am not at all opposed to vaccines as a practical form of immunisation – even though the actual evidence on the effectiveness of vaccinations is a bit murky.
However, I am totally against vaccines manufactured by companies that are completely unaccountable and immune from any damages stemming from their products. That isn’t just wrong, it’s dangerous.
This Pfizer messenger-RNA vaccine uses untested, untried technology. The mRNA technology used in those vaccines is unproven and unstable.
I do need to offer up a clarification and potentially a retraction. In the past I have stated here that the mRNA vaccines failed at rodent test stages. I based this on something that I read somewhere. However, I cannot find articles and citations supporting this assertion. So, for the time being, until and unless I find something that supports this argument, I will no longer use it and I formally retract that idea.
My solution? The nomenklatura have declared this vaccine is safe. Good. Well and good. Let them take it. Practically, this will not be an issue locally. We have geography on our side: a set of islands, fairly isolated, the tourism industry is nuked, and we are at the bottom of the supply chain and priority list for precisely those reasons. We won't get any vaccines until spring, and if we are smart we will go for the ones that have been used the most. Such as the Russian Sputnik one.
Oh, yes, and on our performance: Pravda is a lie.
The confusing, sub-standard systems in place around our border response, confirmed by the Roche/Simpson report, show the need for a dedicated border agency, National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“This report provides plenty of cause for concern in the Government’s handling of our Covid-19 response to date.
“The Prime Minister and her Cabinet should have been doing a better job of monitoring what the Ministry of Health was doing, rather than just telling the public every day that things were fine when public servants, and the media, were reporting that it wasn’t.
“The confused communication and lack of accountability that plagued our border response is unacceptable. The second outbreak that plunged Auckland back into Level 3 and the rest of the country into Level 2 was estimated to cost the economy $440 million a week.
“It is disappointing that it took the Government so long to release this report. Sir Brian Roche and Heather Simpson completed their assessment months ago. Transparency is important.
“Heightened border management will be required in New Zealand for the foreseeable future to keep the virus at bay, even beyond the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The Christmas orders
In short, don't order internationally. My Canadian family tells me that their local branch of Amazon still gets things to them fast, and every other store is click and collect. Locally, we have had good responses from Mighty Ape and PB Tech when getting things for our beloved(s) so they have what they want under the tree. If it is not in NZ, you won't get it. We allowed ourselves to be upsold a couple of times this month because of this.
Silicon Valley Delenda Est
Apple ain't doing that well. The move to ARM is not making me jump with joy, and I like the ARM architecture. I have seen how hard it is for the open source people to get things over and when apple says it is running in emulation I cringe. The good new is that their retail cult is ending.
New COVID-19 restrictions and worsening outbreaks have compelled Apple to temporarily close nearly one fifth of its retail stores during one of the busiest shopping weeks of the holiday season. 95 Apple Stores across the globe have reclosed since Monday, December 14.
Apple announced closures of all its stores in California and Tennessee this weekend, adding to just over a dozen closures of Los Angeles stores announced on December 18. On Friday, California broke its record for most new COVID-19 cases in a single day since the pandemic began.
Apple Stores that fall under the UK’s new “Tier 4” restrictions are also closing effective December 20. The tighter guidelines impact 15 locations around London and 1 store in Wales. Apple’s two stores in both Mexico and Brazil are also closing between December 19 and 20. All four locations had just transitioned to Express storefront service this past week.
The EU is now seeing how the supposedly benign charitable part of silicon valley is ripping people off. Via RT and Vox Popoli and about GoFundMe
The platform used to take a flat five percent cut of all donations, but in 2017, when the practice cost it some bad publicity, it dropped the mandatory commission and replaced it with voluntary tips. A tip percentage may go as low as zero, but the levels suggested by GoFundMe itself are 5, 10 and 15 percent.
The AGCM took issue with the fact that the level of ‘tip’, which it considers a form of commission, was set at 10 percent for most new campaigns and 15 percent in some cases. It said GoFundMe failed to properly inform fundraisers about the feature and made changing it unduly difficult.
The regulators said there was convincing evidence that if people were given a chance to make an informed decision on how much they wanted the platform to benefit from hosted campaigns, its cut would have been much smaller. After the AGCM probe was launched in March, GoFundMe changed the default setting for its Italian website to zero, and the average percentage for campaigns dropped from about 6.5 percent to less than one percent.
Try getting a dissedent funded that way and watch GoFundMe reject it.
It is worth noting that Twitch is banning "simp" and "incel" for the same reason gambling online is banning "compulsive". These places want to feed your addictions and profit off them.
The only place that I am active is gab.
Sports watch not smart watch
Every second person I see has an apple watch. It is the new fitbit. (Sorry fitbit). I'm wearing a 20 plus year old eco drive citizen, and (depending on how cold it gets) when winter comes I probably will buy a plastic COROS watch because metal and skin don't work when the wind chill is minus ten. Yes, I need a watch when cycling commuting so I know if I have to turn the effort up to 11 to get to where I need to on time. A Heart Rate monitor may help, so I don't push too hard -- I have been doing that. I don't need a smartwatch, and I don't need it until I need to wear full gloves. I will look at what to get then -- main issue for me is that it is plastic and rugged.
I know that this would be a slow day for the bigger blogs out there, but the counter on the bottom of the blog has just gone over 30K. Can I thank the regulars.