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Showing posts from 2020
Update re Canada COVID cases 2020/12/25 The initial outbreak was ending in September. Unfortunately, it looks as if a combination of a slightly different strain and insufficient containment led to a second wave. That's the bad news. The good news is that this strain is cresting slightly lower in terms of deaths, and is on its way out as well. Hopefully we can learn our lesson from the first two times and starve this virus out. However, to be honest, I am a bit pessimistic going forward. It looks as if we may go into an 'endemic' status similar to what we have with cold and flu. Good news is it flattens out more or less permanently with waves similar to cold and flu. That's also the bad news because it won't go away. The nature of the mRNA vaccines coming online is such that there is some hope that they will work to eradicate it, but that may be too hopeful. At the present time, it looks to get no worse and to be getting better within a short time. (~~Feb 1) (Graphs

Looks like COVID Pandemic is ending

 September Coronavirus Update 2020/09/12 Back in January, I heard about the Coronavirus. In February, I took a look at the data coming in and it was alarming. I told friends and family in February and I posted about it then. It was clear from the data that the spread was exponential. Exponential curves rise very quickly in a way that is counter intuitive. In the real world, curves like this follow a smooth path and this one was sharply upward. I posted various graphs predicting awful numbers and as these things usually go, those numbers were realized.  Mercifully, it has become apparent that the curve has followed its course and we were on the other side of it. Numbers are down and it is in the nature of these types of curve that it will continue on its downward course until it is gone.  The US curve is slightly different and because their numbers are so large they skew global results. The green line shows world figures excluding the US. In either case, the trend is clearly down and ou

Crucial SSD BIOS update

Executive summary: If Crucial Storage Executive can't see your Crucial drive, you may be able to fix that by re-running as Administrator.  Windows 10 continues to be a nightmare. The latest update has caused my machine to go wonky and it was suggested that, for reasons unknown, my SSD boot drive needed a BIOS update.  The drive in question is a Crucial MX500 CT500MX500 S SD1 and the BIOS update is from M3CR020 to M3CR023.  I initially attempted to burn and boot from a DVD ROM, but that came back with an error:  "could not find kernel image boot/vmlinuz64" You would think that something whose sole purpose is to boot into one program could get that right. That is, you would think that this very basic thing would have been tested prior to release. Sigh. No doubt there is a tortured route to get that thing to boot, but for me there was an easier way. You would think that Crucial would have offered that up first rather than the burnable image, but not in my case.  I then insta

Vision changes with aging

This is to support a design note that users should be able to change representations they see and not have one forced upon them. Things like the wrong size fonts or colors with poor contrast begin to make things unreadable for some. People differ, not just from one another, but even from themselves at different points in time. One size does not fit all.  As we age, our vision changes. This describes what, in my case, actually changed.  I had fairly exceptional vision when I was young. Even by the time I was in my thirties it was more acute than normal. When I was on the job as a coder in those early years, I could not get the font small enough. Being able to view very long lines without wrapping made code easier to understand.  By the time I was is in my forties, my vision had become noticeably worse. I could operate with normal font sizes, but could no longer see the smaller ones.  By the time I was well into my fifties, I needed to be able to adjust displays to larger font

Logitech button fix

Problem: Left mouse button releases when held down. It makes drag and drop fail, among other things. In my case, both buttons ceased working after a while. Fix: ""Press the right click button and hold-it, turn the mouse off and on, leave the right mouse button pressed while clicking on the left click button 5 times Quit pressing the right click button and turn the mouse off. Click and hold the right mouse button, turn the mouse on and finally release the right mouse button." As the original poster of this said, it works!!!! Note that this is happening in 2020, the year of Coronavirus This is really unbelievable, but it must be a reset sequence pursuant to some other arcane sequence that messes it up in the first place. This is a fix for the Logitech Performance MX mouse, but may work for others.

Coronavirus notes update

2020-03-31 -- Update:  Have created a variety of graphs showing what I expect the spread of the virus in the coming month to look like. It does not look good. Thus far, we are on pretty much a 'worst case' trajectory. Recent news of people ignoring advice to stay home is discouraging. Unfortunately, this thing spreads so quickly that by the time things get bad enough for people to take decisive action it will be too late.  2020-03-08 -- Update: Canada is currently on the same trajectory as countries where the Coronavirus got out of control. Unfortunately, global containment measures have not been aggressive enough and a pandemic now seems certain. In Canada, with aggressive measures following the example set by China, we could contain this until better treatments are available and ultimately there is a vaccine. As of this writing, these measures are not being taken here in Canada. It is likely we will have to take aggressive measures anyway, we should be doing it sooner r

Conscious Artificial Intelligence

Consciousness at its heart is relatively simple. It is an awareness of oneself within the world. The thing that makes it necessary to have a sense of 'self' in particular is our ability is to work things out in simulation using our imagination. We can imagine that we are dreaming and in that dream we are, in turn, dreaming about ourselves. When dreaming, the simulation of oneself can be so compelling that we actually believe that the dreamworld is real and that our dream self is our real self. However, at a deep level, we 'know' that there is a real 'self' at the top of any imaginary hierarchy and that is us -- the real one. No matter how perfect the simulation, there is always a real separate central consciousness to which we can return. In the text above, a conscious individual reading it is modeling (imagining) some person imagining that they are dreaming a dream about themselves within another dream. At no point does ones 'real' conscious self

FreeDOS installation error fix

Straight vanilla install of FreeDOS on VirtualBox predictably fails right out of the  ... box.  As soon as it starts it goes into an endless loop: invalid opcode at 0fae  invalid opcode at 0fae  invalid opcode at 0fae ... etc Bizarrely, adding the parameter 'raw' to whatever call is being made to memdisk is at least a fix for what I was using.  Press when you get to the main screen and then  Change from this: [...]/memdisk To this: [...]/memdisk   raw I'm not sure what governs the thing that replaces [...] above. It was different on mine than the documentation where I found this suggested as a fix. 

Coronavirus notes 1

2020-02-28 -- Update: China continues to maintain control of the outbreak. No new deaths were reported in China today and only eight new cases. Unfortunately, at least some countries appear unable to cope with the outbreak. If the numbers increase as they have for the top six growing fastest, cases could number in the millions by the end of March. The World Health Organization have increased the risk assessment of the coronavirus to 'very high' globally. 2020-02-24 -- Update: Data is still a bit murky, so it is hard to rely on the accuracy of predicted numbers. It is not possible to assign reliable error bars. However, the fact that the spread is slowing is clearly there in the data and it is unlikely in the extreme that misreporting would look like that. Here is a graph from the World Health Organization.  It is pretty obvious that the big spike there is out of whack. That is an artifact from one example of Chinese misreporting. Despite the clear problem there, the shap

Socialism and Wealth Creation

Wealth basically comes from the same place in a society that calls itself 'socialist' as it does in any other. so·ci·e·ty -- /səˈsīədē/ noun 1. the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. so·cial·ism -- /ˈsōSHəˌlizəm/ noun a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. To some extent, society by its nature is socialist.  Much wealth is already in place. In the USA, the baby boomers are about to pass on a cool $30,000,000,000,000.00 (yeah, that many zeros — trillions of dollars): The Greatest Wealth Transfer In History: What’s Happening And What Are The Implications Some wealth needs only to be discovered: Lucky Fishermen Have Stumbled Across a $3 Million Lump of Whale Vomit Some is made using various means of production: 5 Reasons Why America's Manufacturing Is Growing Again