Ethernet over Power bridges

Ethernet over Power. It’s a pair of boxes that let you connect wired ethernet over power lines to link two (or more) wired networks inside the same house. It didn’t used to work this reliably, but I suspect it was a setup issue. Since they died and I reinitialized them, I’m getting much faster speeds and more consistent flows of traffic.

Speedtest.net on my iMac now reports a consistent 138 Mbps download and 142 Mbps upload. Just a cakewalk compared to the wired gigabit ethernet speeds my server downstairs gets.

I still intend to run a pair of ethernet cables from our office upstairs, to the router downstairs, so I can get rid of the ethernet over power adapters. It’d be great to have gig speeds here. Then I could move the firewall, wifi access point, and my Intel NUC5 server back to the office.

I also want to run a cable from the switch in the office up into the attic, and over to the 8 port switch behind the master bedroom tv is. That 50 ft blue cable running on the floor between the two rooms has been there way too long.

Vatican sex abuse: Pope, church officials allowed accused priests continued access to children – The Washington Post

Fuck the Catholic Church. Let that insitution die the horrible death it deserves. No need to resurrect it, splinter into whatever churches you like.

The church did little to intervene in Italy or Argentina.

Source: Vatican sex abuse: Pope, church officials allowed accused priests continued access to children – The Washington Post

Autonomous Vehicles May One Day Kill Car Insurance as We Know It – Bloomberg

Whoa! What a concept? Nobody mentioned this before? If suddenly 150 million people in the US no longer need to pay $100-200 per month for car insurance. Maybe autonomous car liability will be handled by the Ubers and Lyfts of the world, so people like me won’t have to worry about that cost anymore. I was thinking I’d upgrade to an electric car in the future, but maybe no car is the right solution in the suburbs. I’m getting older, and may lose my license, as my eyesight gets worse over the years. Doctor says I have mild cataracts, so I worry about these kinds of things. So a callable ride service would be a godsend, 24 hours a day.

You could even turn local ambulance services into a specialized Uber kind of service, so they learn automatically where to “stage” ambulances to handle the most calls. Wouldn’t that optimize the costs of running such a service, and let you know which shifts you need more staff on, where you’re overstaffed, and stuff like that?

Without humans to cause accidents, 90% of risk is removed. Insurers are scrambling to prepare.

Source: Autonomous Vehicles May One Day Kill Car Insurance as We Know It – Bloomberg

The Umbrella Academy

I just started watching the new Netflix Original series, The Umbrella Academy. It’s supposed to be a new clone of 1960’s DC’s Doom Patrol, like the Marvel’s X-Man. I’m only up to episode 2, and the gratuatis violence is bothering me. Torture is clearly not cool, not funny. It’s just cruel. Not 100% sure I’ll continue with episode 3 at this point. I like some of the various plot lines.

Terminology

A guy at work laughed at a term I used. I called room where all the servers are installed “the machine room”. Its a term I learned in 1979, back at my first full time computer job, at the Northern Illinois University data center, 1979-1981. I’ve never put much thought into any of those kinds of terms I’d been using, Machine Room, Data Center, Computer Room. What else do you call that room? The last one, computer room, seems the stupidest, if you ask me. Machine Room probably sounds more like there are multiple types of machines, could be a manufacturing facility. But universities completely understood back in the 1960s that computers were just machines. Well, I’m old school, and will no doubt continue to use “Machine Room” in the future.

We have lots of technical terms we use to identify hardware, some more specific than others. Server or host could be almost anything. Physical server, virtual server, Linux VM, Windows AD server – from time to time, any combination of traits are necessary.

So many terms we use at work that probably sound like gibberish to my relatives, but are basic business application building blocks these days – ESBs, Gemfire, Tomcat, and stuff like that. I always think about how my “aunt” Linda would react if I posted this where she would see it. Linda has to react to every post she reads. She loves some things, she doesn’t understand some things, she laughs at others. I love Linda. But any time I posted anything nerdy, she’d always post how she doesn’t understand what I’m saying. As if I’m going to be able to train her to “get” everything I learned over the past 40 years, but in a paragraph or two.

Changing The Topic

That was one of the reasons I wanted OUT of the WAN world. It was such a small niche of an employment market. You were locked into working only for large corporations, forever, because small companies don’t use WANs, or just hire consultants or contractors to build and manage their solutions. WANs are highly technical, and I excelled at it, but I was younger, and more willing to work extra hours and not get paid for it. Like I said, I was younger and stupider. I let the company take advantage of me, but I learned a helluva lot, much that still benefits. I hated not being able to explain to anyone what I did at work that day. WAN work is lonely work.

-UNIX work isn’t that much better these days to be honest, but there are still more small companies looking for good Linux engineers than there are small companies looking for WAN architects. The new hotness in town is “cloud computing” aka “DevOps”. Oooh, they made up a new term, everybody be scared. DevOps is a philosophy, wherein you design automated solutions, using cloud tools, giving you access to wonderful tools like auto-scaling load balancers and cloud databases. Some people choose one cloud, and get stuck paying for all the custom specialized features that cloud offers. Others try to stay generic, and use multiple cloud vendors in parallel. Either for different applications, or to stay cloud agnostic.

Knowledge of cloud agnostic deployment tools, such as Terraform, are the newest new hotness in cloud town. Tools like terraform lets you deploy apps, version updates, infrastructure upgrades, all automatically, no matter which cloud provider you choose. You can run three pods of app servers, running on three clouds, maybe serving different customers, or maybe different geographic regions of the world. They work with all the current major clouds, AWS GCP, Azure, Digital Ocean, RackSpace, etc.

Open Source Software Idea

If I could suggest a globally useful Doctoral Thesis idea to some brilliant college student, I’d wish them to design a fast, open source, auto-scaling, tcp/http(s) load balancer. It should use plugins for different load balancing and auto-scaling algorithms, and come with the usual basics. It needs to support a rest api for monitoring and management, and support various logging output options.

The world needs freedom from AWS’s clutches, and too many businesses don’t support the open source projects that support the tools they use freely. If I could fund a startup, that’d be the one I’d back for winning. Launch an open source load balancer that works on all clouds, including internal, offer free basic round robin, least connections, load balancing functions for free. Let the community help you find the weaknesses, offer suggestions from other professionals on features or options needed. Offer tech support contacts for professional businesses that want 7×24 support from someone, and customized load balancing plugins for paying customers. Businesses love paying for support contracts.

It would seem a load balancer that could handle operate at the HTTP layer, routing sessions to various of URIs based on more complex algorhythms, so static content is handled by cluster 1, and functions a-z are handled by the cluster indicated in the customer record in the system db.

Is simply pretending racism didn’t exist in the past really that much worse than just admitting the shame that our ancestors were probably assholes too?

Are we whitewashing history? Or, maybe, should we keep changing period pieces created in modern times so they don’t reflect the racial relationships that existed during the period they represent? Is that better, or worse, than showing the kinds of racist behavior that really did happen in England in the 1800s?

It’s like, we just realized, all the stories we like feature only white people, so now we’re “reinventing them” with various characters (or sometimes all) as actors of color.

I’ve been enjoying Season 2 of the Netflix Original The Frankenstein Chronicles. I realized something this morning, after viewing the episode after the murder of Sargent Nightingale. Sgt Nightingale is played, quite well, by a black actor, and the story is set in 1800s England, where black men rarely had positions of authority or power.

I’m not saying black actors don’t deserve the right to play an 1800s british copper, and update that character;s behavior to be more acceptable to the current population. It’s no worse than trying to modernize a sheakspear play. But is that really the right thing to do, long term?

I’m not really sure what my issue is, all I know is it doesn’t sit well with me. He’s a black actor, quite a good actor too, let me state, I was saddened when his character was killed off, I was really hoping he’d figure out the problem later in the story. But he’s playing a black man in 1800s England, as if black men in 1800s England were treated fairly. There, I’ve said it. The truth is, 1800s England, wasn’t very friendly to black people. Even today, black people only make up 3% of England’s population, half that of southeast asians. England is still 87% white.

I’m not saying don’t hire black actors for roles that might not historically been held by black people in those times, so maybe I’m just wondering about the continuing relevance of 1800s period pieces, after finding out how horrible white people were to all the other peoples of the world. Isn’t it just hiding the fact that racism existed then, and still does? People in the future might watch these shows and think it was normal for a black man to be a London copper in the 1800s.

I know you can’t just show the kinds of actual racist behavior that actually happened back then, in today’s movies or tv shows, that would be horrible, like celebrating a crime. But not showing it, and instead showing things that would not have happened in 1800s England as if they were normal, isn’t that just whitewashing white history? Is that fair to everyone? Just pretend it didn’t happen back then?

I don’t know what is right anymore.

How’s that Tax Bill Treating You?

I just filed my taxes. To sum it up, last year I got over $2,000 in refunds from the feds, and a tiny amount from the state. This year, I owe $1,800, but get a tiny refund from the state. Luckily for me, the penalty for underpaying my federal taxes was already waived, so that came to $0. This year. I have to update my withholding number as soon as possible, to avoid that next year.

How’s the cool new Tax Bill treating you?

Individual Personality Traits

People usually react surprised when I mention we have six cats and two dogs. Six cats is too many, I’m the first to admit. I probably should have stuck to just the first two, but I love all of them so much now, it’s hard to imagine being without them. The three youngest are siblings, and they are just the sweetest cats you can ever imagine. They’ve never known a single hostile person or animal, one that didn’t like them, and they are as forward and friendly as you can imagine. The workmen who stop by are always impressed with Jinx. Jinx likes everybody.

I realized something this morning. Jitter and Journey, the two orange sisters, share a number of traits in common. Neither one likes to be still when being petted. Both of them will walk across your lap, or next to you, over and over, rubbing up against you, letting you stroke the fur on their backs as they pass. There are times they’ll curl up in my lap, but that comes later, after the purr-engine has been thoroughly warmed up.

Their much heavier brother Jinx, he’s not like that. He likes to climb into my lap (or convince me I should pick him up) to get petted. Jinx is the loudest purrer I’ve ever heard. You can hear him from across the room, if the TV isn’t on.

I treat my lap as “first come, first served” as far as kitty cuddles go. Lately, Jinx has been the first one in my lap in the evenings, and Squeak is starting to look upset. Jitter has also lap-blocked Squeak a few times. Peanut never seeks laptime, but he will allow you to scratch his neck while sitting on your lap, if you pick him up and carry him over to your chair. He never stays long, so don’t worry, it’s not you.

Sparkle and Jitter are always competing for high score in the “cutest & sweetest girl cat” category. Both of them have perfected the huge watery eyes with a sad kitten “mew!” that will melt your heart. Sparkle, at 9 lbs, the smallest cat in the house, doesn’t take guff from anyone else. Jinx, Squeak, Peanut, Mandy (the 60 lb mutt), they all suffer “the death of 1,000 whacks” she likes to dish out if someone gets in her way, or maybe just annoys her by walking past. She rarely gets frisky enough to try that stuff with us, it’s usually just the other animals. It’s a domination thing. She wants to be thought of as the queen.

Sparkle also hates to be rubbed on her belly, but the little vixen will roll over on her back on the bed, and expose her belly for anyone to touch. If you see this, think twice. She’s like a little bear trap – put your hand on her belly, and you’ll have four claws and a mouth on your hand before you know it. If you can resist touching her, she’s usually quite sweet.

The difference in weight between the six is astounding. The three girls are all lighter than the three boys, Sparkle, Jitter, Journey are 9, 12, and 13 lbs, Peanut, Squeak, and Jinx are 14, 16, 22 lbs. When a 16 lb cat climbs onto your stomach in bed, you know it. But when Sparkle climbs up on top of me, she’s immediately recognizable because her lighter footsteps don’t hurt at all. I like it when she falls asleep while laying on top of me. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t sleep of Squeak curled up on top of me. Squeak usually curls up on my side, Journey between my ankles, Jinx with one paw draped over my leg, like he’s a 70 year man holding up the bar.

Trump’s DHS Guts Task Forces Protecting Elections From Foreign Meddling

I wonder why Trump would want to block effective election meddling by hostile foreign powers. But isn’t that what he’s accused of using to get elected? Doesn’t look good. Bob Mueller? You paying attention?

‘It’s very curious why the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election,’ one Homeland Security official tells The Daily Beast.

Source: Trump’s DHS Guts Task Forces Protecting Elections From Foreign Meddling