2020

Trump supporters claim rally for killed Police Officers was in support of Trump

(October 12, 2020)

It's close to the 2020 election, and among the craziness is this claim that motorcyclists are supporting Pres. Trump in a huge way. It's likely that more than a few motorcyclists do support Pres. Trump, but the picture here is not about Trump. Motorcyclists often form convoys like this to honor someone, but this particular honor ride was not for Pres. Trump. It was to honor Dallas police officers who'd died in the line of duty in 2016, many months before Pres. Trump's election.

USPS being destroyed not just over election, but for replacement with FEDEX/UPS/DHL/etc

(August 15, 2020)

The US Postal Service has existed for over 200 years, and is a vitally important part of America. It reaches into every last nook and cranny in the USA, delivering mail and packages through all kinds of weather. But short term political calculations seem to have driven the Trump Administration to destroy the US Postal Service. According to the mass media this was undertaken as an election tactic, to prevent the voters from mailing in ballots. But it's been a long time dream in so-called-Conservative circles to eliminate the USPS so that entrepreneurs can can do the job more efficiently, as they claim.

It's true that Pres. Trump has repeatedly attacked the US Postal Service, and the USPS is removing mailboxes and sorting machines. What's uncertain whether these moves are solely focused on the 2020 election, or whether it is to fulfill a long-standing Conservative/Corporatist goal of replacing the USPS with for-profit commercial service providers.

COVID-19 origin in question due to early detection in Barcelona on March 2019 and Milan in December 2019

(July 25, 2020) The official story of the origin of COVID-19 (SARS-nCOV-2) is an origin in a Wet Market (market where live exotic animals are sold) in Wuhan China, and that the virus made a jump from Bats to Humans. They eat bats in China, by the way. According to this Oxford Univ researcher, samples of COVID-19 RNA were found in samples from the Barcelona sewage system in March 2019, and other sewage systems in Europe a little later. That indicates an earlier spread of the virus and raising doubts about the official story.

U of Houston researchers develop COVID-19-killing air filter for HVAC systems

(July 11, 2020) Rather than sit around moaning about being unable to do anything because COVID-19 fears say we can't go anywhere, researchers at the University of Houston went to the lab and developed a “catch and kill” air filter that can trap the virus responsible for COVID-19, killing it instantly. The device is simply a nickel "foam" air filter, that is heated to a temperature that kills pathogens. That's it, very simple, and shown to be effective at killing 98% of COVID-19, as well as other pathogens, in one pass through the filter.

Pres. Trump endorses violent response to Minneapolis protests, earns Twitter warning

(May 29, 2020) In what is sure to earn another Trump tirade, Twitter has put a warning on his tweet this morning threatening a violent response to protests in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, Black Lives Matter protests in Minneapolis (and elsewhere around the country) have seen some violence, with a police station burned, other buildings burned, a shooting in another city, and so forth. Into this maelstrom of emotional outburst, Pres. Trump threatens to start shooting people, causing Twitter to add a label reading "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

Pres. Trump attacks Internet after Twitter adds fact-checking to his tweets

(May 28, 2020) President Trump is engaging in a multi-front war against mail-in-voting, and on one of those fronts Twitter started adding fact-checking links to Trump's tweets. Today, President Trump responded by issuing an Executive Order that aims to regulate how social media companies moderate the content posted on their networks. We've known all along that Pres. Trump has strong authoritarian tendencies, and this is a clear example of Trump's belief in ruling by dictate.

Raspberry Pi 4 gets 8gb memory, USB Boot, and 64 bit OS, heralding new use as desktop system

(May 28, 2020) A cluster of Raspberry Pi announcements has us thinking "Desktop Computer from Raspberry Pi?" Last week videos started circulating showing how to boot a Raspberry Pi from USB, then today the Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled an 8GB model, and support for a 64 bit version of Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as Raspbian). Taken together this vastly increases the possibilities for how this diminutive humble little computer can be used.

Video on internal UV light COVID-19 treatment supposedly yanked from YouTube

(April 28, 2020) A few days ago Pres. Trump made a strange statement about using ultraviolet light inside the body as a COVID-19 treatment. At first that seemed like another of Trump's stupid ideas, but then news surfaced of a company (Aytu Bioscience) who has licensed just such a technology from Cedars-Sinai Hospital, and is rapidly trying to commercialize it. But then YouTube seems to have pulled a video from the company touting the technology, followed by a right wing agitator trying to gin up a controversy via a series of Twitter posts. The agitator is claiming this matches an existing pattern where YouTube is supposedly suppressing right wing conservatives because YouTube supposedly has a liberal bias.

Instacart shoppers planning strike next week amidst huge demand from customers sheltering from Coronavirus

(March 29, 2020) The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is well underway, with people around the world following shelter-in-place orders. To get food some of us have turned to Instacart (and other delivery services) to have food brought to our homes, rather than to risk virus exposure in the stores. That means Instacart's Shoppers are risking virus exposure in the store, rather than those of us hunkering down at home. To make it worse, Instacart Shoppers, as independent contractors, do not have the protections a regular employee would have. As a result, a group of Instacart Shoppers plan to stage a strike next week.

Romanian tech lab, Modulab, develops autonomous disinfection robot amid Coronavirus worries

(March 27, 2020) With the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic well underway we all face a challenge of protection against a disease where only a small number of people have immunity. A technology team in Romania has developed an autonomous robot capable of disinfecting an area regardless of what pathogen is present, meaning it is useful not only for COVID-19 but for any other similar disease in the future. The new robot is the teams first prototype, and they are aiming to develop it further, and to find interested agencies who want to buy copies.

Sen. Sanders, others, question Amazon about COVID-19 safety in its warehouse and shipping operations

(March 27, 2020) With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us to stay at home, many are turning to online retailers like Amazon to delivery necessary supplies. But if the shipping facilities are themselves infected with COVID-19, the infection can reach into our houses even if we don't go outside. Sen. Bernie Sanders and others have sent queries to Amazon over whether conditions in Amazon's warehouses are safe for workers, and by extension safe for the products shipped through those facilities.

Apple updates MacBook Air, Mac Mini and launches new iPad Pro, all with more goodness

(March 18, 2020) Today, Apple released some long expected updates to the MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro. The MacBook Air received the long-awaited new Magic Keyboard which promises to fix the deep badness that is the Butterfly keyboard, while also getting performance and storage boosts. For the Mac Mini, you have to read carefully to even know it was updated, the newer model has performance and storage boosts. The new iPad Pro gets a long list of new features, from trackpad support to improved cameras to pro audio support and to a LIDAR sensor.

Cyber-attack intrusion into energy infrastructure causes 2-day outage

(February 18, 2020) The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced today it had recently worked on a cybersecurity threat to the operational network of a natural gas compression facility. Such facilities compress natural gas, and presumably the CISA is referring to a facility that prepares CNG for sale to other countries. The cyber-attack caused a couple days of outage, and the facility lost revenue for those two days. While there was no immediate threat -- the attacker had access to the control system, and instead of leaving behind a ransomware attack could have caused damage to systems.

Of course people are confusing Corona Beer with the Coronavirus, unfortunately

(January 30, 2020) The Coronavirus is apparently a very serious issue. The World Health Organization just declared a world health emergency over this disease outbreak. Since they did that after only 300 or so deaths indicates that officials see something serious in the pattern of this disease that it is feared it will become a major problem. On the other hand there is a spike in Google Searches for the phrase "corona beer virus" - which just tells us that a lot of people are easily confused. Hey! People! It's not about Corona Beer!