Repairs

About five or so years ago, the condenser for half our AC system had its fan motor burn out. I was fortunate enough to find a decent used replacement for a good price and all was well.

That was back then.

The same motor burned out dealing with the current bout of 100+ degree weather Houston has been under for the last month. Same motor, same condenser, twice the price. Didn’t help that the capacitors on the unit got fried in the process.

I learned a few things in the time between when it broke and when it was fixed.

  1. No HVAC system is designed or tested for continually operating in 100 degree or hotter weather; let alone air this thick with moisture.
  2. The systems are designed to bring the temperature difference inside and outside within 20ish degrees. Twenty degrees lower than 110 is still pretty hot.
  3. My house will heat up real fast. I mean fast. Like a lot faster than I would have thought.

Five whole links in your bio!

You can now add up to 5 links in your Instagram bio. Probably one of the most requested features we’ve had.

Mark Zuckerberg in a screenshot by Casey Newton

That this is even remotely touted as some amazing feature is simply sad. That is how low the bar is for most websites and apps; five whole links. Geezus.

System Fonts = Better Privacy

I’ll admit to being a tad lazy at times with updating my own website mostly as its just for me but I did finally get around to removing the webfonts I had hooked up before.

Going to look a little different on different devices and operating systems but I would rather have this site load just that much faster and respect viewers privacy. No need for you to alert the webfont host which websites you’re viewing and when. 😉

Half-Asleep Simulator

Credit: XDA

Xiaomi declined to say why this is a prototype right now when the tech seems to work so well. If I have to guess, I’d suspect it could be battery life or cost. During our 30-minute demo session the glasses ran out of juice and had to be charged. Maybe there’s no way to put a large enough battery without drastically increasing weight or bulk. The other theory could be that Xiaomi wants to wait until these glasses can be manufactured at a lower cost before releasing.

https://www.xda-developers.com/xiaomi-ar-smart-glass-hands-on/

How anyone who was working on this product didn’t see this obvious half-closed dead-eyed vacant expression only shows that no one with decision authority has any taste.

“Reasonable people”

Meta is letting Trump back on to Facebook and Instagram after a two year suspension because apparently trying to overthrow the US government doesn’t deserve a permanent ban. Yeah go figure.

We know that any decision we make on this issue will be fiercely criticized. Reasonable people will disagree over whether it is the right decision. But a decision had to be made, so we have tried to make it as best we can in a way that is consistent with our values and the process we established in response to the Oversight Board’s guidance.

https://about.fb.com/news/2023/01/trump-facebook-instagram-account-suspension/

Saying “reasonable people” is such a weaselly way of dismissing valid opinions. It’s incredibly easy to say, “Look how unreasonable they are being!” if the person disagreeing with you happens to be emotional or vocal about their displeasure. It’s right up there with “Debate me” as being inherently disingenuous about your true intentions.

I continue to look forward to Meta burning itself to the ground.

A Fine Plan Indeed

Arizona attorney general Kris Mayes plans to overhaul a unit created by her predecessor to investigate unsubstantiated claims of election fraud into a task force focused on reinforcing voting rights instead.

The newly elected Democrat hopes the unit will “reprioritize the mission and resources” it has into “protecting voting access and combating voter suppression,” she told the Guardian on Saturday.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/new-arizona-ag-to-flip-predecessors-sham-election-fraud-unit-into-voting-rights-task-force

Yes. More of this please.

Microsoft Lays Off All Its VR, Mixed Reality, and HoloLens Employees

Despite a $22 billion deal with the US military, Microsoft lacks any faith in its augmented reality (AR) goggles, and this has apparently translated into a virtually unusable product. It’s no surprise, then, that Microsoft—supposedly beholden to thousands of layoffs if it wants to survive—would ditch the goggles given the first opportunity.

https://www.extremetech.com/electronics/342480-microsoft-lays-off-all-of-its-vr-mixed-reality-and-hololens-employees

I can’t think of a more complete way for a company to say “Yeah, we got nothing.”

2023

Starting the year the way we like best. Good friends, much food, cold drinks, and staying up way too late.

I got a good feeling about this year.

The Mastodon in the Room

All things considered, the process for getting on Mastodon is pretty straight forward. There were not any MAJOR problems apart from the initial pain point of picking a server to start from. Part of the issue when trying to decide what server to use is the lack of clear information that says “No matter what server you pick, you can follow anyone from any server.” Having that language prominently displayed would go a long way to easing people on to the service.

I feel like there is a freshness to Mastodon that the bird app has been lacking for a while. I would describe it as Reddit + Twitter since each instance can have its own moderation and rules. I’ve long believed that Reddit has done the best job of allowing content while also not being drowned by the waste water of the internet. Is Reddit’s model perfect? No but it’s pretty resilient moderation method, one that I see some resemblance of on Mastodon.

Maybe if this service gets more and more popular, we’ll see people spinning up there own instances.

The web was better when we all had weird random places to call home and not all congregating around a small handful of dominate ones.

Fall/Winter(ish)

One of the less than ideal aspects of living in Houston is that fall and winter never quite feel like fall or winter. We’ll have numerous days of temperatures in the 80s (sometimes in the 90s) when I have distant memories of it topping out in the 70s.

But thankfully(!) Christmas will feel very much like Christmas should with temperatures in the 30-40s.

Old is new again

With the bird app essentially becoming the world’s largest dumpster fire, I figured it was time to revisit having a blog again. Been many years since the last time I had a permanent place to write online as many other aspects of social media took over.

Do I expect much in the way of readership? Who knows! Does it matter. Not in the slightest 🙂

This domain has been mine for over a decade and has gone through all sorts of changes over the years. (Yeah I cringe a bit looking at that old stuff).

In the meantime, I’ll figure out more of what to include and let the site grow more naturally instead of trying to force it to be something I’m not sure of.