Ethervescence

Sodosado to Ethervescence, all things change

After many years of having this blog, I am making in the moment moving to a different blogging platform. The cost of hosting is getting silly, and if I want https, they go beyond silly.

I’m not selling anything on this platform. I write because I enjoy writing. It should not be this expensive to have a blog. So I am trying a new platform.

There are only a few posts on my new blog site as it is a work in progress. If I stay there, I will probably change a few things about my newest blog.

I truly appreciate all of your who pop in here to see what is going on. I am constantly amazed at how so many people from all around the world stop in to read something I wrote. Thank you!

If you want to pop on over and see my new site grow here is the link:

Ethervescence

 

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Selling a Rifle or Bad Judgement?

This may an illegal new scam or work around in Craigslist Sporting Goods, maybe CL General too. Certainly this is going on other sites too where may people post items for sale.

If you look at the title, the seller claims they are selling a synthetic stock for a 6.5 mm Remington Rifle. I suppose the seller is showing the barrel, and has the action in a plastic bag at the top of the photo in case someone is confused about what they are buying.

I am sure the seller doesn’t want someone spending $100 on a synthetic stock, only to find out they can’t use it for camping or fishing.

While this ploy deserves an “A” for creativity, it may be breaking State and Federal Laws and endanger people in general.

I am personally concerned, because if the Seller is indeed illegally selling the complete rifle, they don’t care who buys it. This could be bought by someone going through a rough time, an angry teen or adult, anyone who really should not be in possession of a firearm.

Gun sales have there place, and a “For Sale” site is not one of them. This may be an example of, “Let’s go to Prison” thinking. What do you think, Selling a Rifle or bad judgement?

Not to mention potentially illegal, Is this the newest Scam on Craigslist?

 

 

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Install and Prompt Deletion of Xubuntu 20.4

I wanted to see what was new in Xubuntu 20.4. I read the release notes, then downloaded and installed Xubuntu. Xubuntu still loads slower than other distributions as has been its signature for several years, but on an SSD drive the delay is bearable.

Nothing wrong with the Xubuntu install and update. I loaded my few favorite programs and life was good. Everything worked as expected. I had not noticed any Snap Packages when Xubuntu installed, and I was curious if any were hiding and I missed them.

I found some Snap commands on the website, How To Geek. The article, “What You Need to Know About Snaps on Ubuntu 20.04” was my answer. The article is informative and interesting. I had previously looked through the Xubuntu file system, and I was fairly sure there were no Snap Packages initially installed by Xubuntu.

I ran the two commands listed in the article and they verified there were no Snap Packages installed. I thought Ubuntu was finally doing it right. I manually checked for updates a day later. The system showed me there were some security updates that needed to be installed.

Not wanting to slack off on system security, I did the upgrade. The upgrade contained several Snap Packages! Important packages, but Snap Packages all the same. If you are not familiar with Snap Packages, here is my unofficial explanation of a Snap Package:

Surprise Xubuntu Snap Package Install

Surprise Xubuntu Snap Package Install

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Snap Package is a software bundle where the application itself and its dependencies are packaged together in a bundle. When Snap Packages are used, you are downloading and installing another persons idea of how your software should perform. You can’t make any real changes to Snap Packages, as major settings were determined by the Snap Package maker, taking control away from you.

At a high level, this may not seem to be much of an issue. Using Firefox for example, as a Snap Package looks and operates pretty much the same as a normal Firefox install. That is until you modify how Firefox looks and operates.

The result of changing settings in Firefox Snap Package does not always lead to a pleasant result other places. Snap Package settings define the real limits of any end user changes. It becomes a bigger problem when Firefox as an example syncs itself across different platforms. What may look okay in the Firefox Snap Package install, can trash Firefox on other platforms, once Firefox syncs. I know this from experience.

If you only use one distribution of Linux, and not Windows, a smart phone or a second Linux distribution (not an Ubuntu flavor), you may never notice or care what application is a Snap Package and what application is not. For myself, Snap Packages are taking away my freedom to change settings – as in Snap Package Firefox as an example. Snap Package Firefox adversely effected all my Firefox installs when Firefox Snap Package sync’d with them.

As I see it, this was a hidden process, installing Snap Packages after install and initial upgrade. There is no mention of after install and upgrade containing Snap Packages. If there are going to be Snap Packages installed, mention them in the release notes, and/or put them in the .iso. Do not sneak them in after the fact.

Xubuntu and other ‘Buntus are banned from my computer for the near future at least, as Ubuntu chooses to use end user restrictive Snap Packages for its convenience. I should not need to run a check for newly installed Snap Packages every upgrade.

Choice, end user control and openness is what makes Linux a great platform. Uninvited Snap Packages or any uninvited software takes away from end user choice and wastes everyone’s time.

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Small Hack for North American Electrical Plugs

This is a small electrical plug hack, that you may find useful. Since polarized plugs became mandatory some years ago in the United States, manufacturers have found ways to squeeze every possible penny off of manufacturing costs, electrical plugs notwithstanding. For those of you living outside of the United States, you may have your own plug connector issues to contend with. Perhaps my little hack will help you too.

I think when it comes to electrical plugs, they have shaved the last fraction of a penny of these plugs. The idea of a polarized plug is pretty simple. Looked at from a high level, electricity enters your home, follows a path where all the electricity is going the same direction at the same time.

Think of a small many branched stream of water flowing through a meadow. All the water in the separate branches of the stream flow in the same direction, and eventually join up at a far off point.

In our imaginary water stream, if two branches of the stream met, there would be a sluggish pool, and no movement. The same idea applies to electricity. You must not have two separate branches of electricity meeting from opposite directions.

Hence the polarized plug with one plug blade larger than the other, it was practically impossible to put the plug in the wrong way. The larger plug blade was significantly larger than the other, and it was easy to tell which plug blade was which.

The way an electrical plug should be built

 

Once the standards were met, manufacturing penny pincers were unleashed to shave off excessive costs, and ever penny counts. The end result is an electrical plug that looks like the one below. If you pick up the plug and not look closely, you have a 50:50 chance of inserting the plug incorrectly into the socket because the tolerances of the larger blade have been shaved down as far as possible, meeting minimum standards.

Several hundred dollar item and a cheap plug, hacked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course it would cost an extra penny or perhaps two pennies to make the larger plug blade obvious, and that cuts too deeply into profit. Two cents is two cents after all.

My little hack, such as it is, was to take a marker and blacken the large plug blade as you can almost see in the picture above. I am sure even with the used marker which I used in the process, I could mark one-hundred more before the ink ran dry. Not as good as an obvious wide blade, but an improvement.

If you are far sighted or are using top quality outlets to plug into, the polarization thing may not be a big deal. I am not in that category of consumer for the most part. I use extension cords that are acceptable, but not best in class. Same with power strips. When the difference between acceptable and the best is $20.00 – $30.00, acceptable is good for my needs.

As for the plugs themselves, shame on the manufacturers and other companies for being so tight. I know the mark up can afford a two cent improvement on the cost of a better polarized blade. “Penny wise and Pound foolish”, sums it up pretty well.

In the future, I may pay more attention to the plug itself, all else being more or less equal. It may be the tipping point deciding which item I purchase. It would be a shame for any business to lose a sale over a few cents saved.

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Breonna Taylor Shooting, Sequence of Horrible Decisions

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Tuesday night suggested the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case could have made an “assessment about different charges,”

Irrespective of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron commenting that outsiders have no business commenting on the Breonna Taylor case there are huge gaping holes in the case. Whether an outsider or a local reads about the case, wrong is wrong. Professional People made the wrong decision, starting with the Police, moving on to the Judge, and ending unfortunately with ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover trying to do the right thing.

The Police allegedly announced themselves before kicking in the door, by shouting ‘Police, Police, open the door’. What exactly is that supposed to mean in the middle of the night in a dangerous neighborhood, when you do not expect Police at your door? Who rationally would believe what they heard to be true?

You may or may not have heard the recent joke about the Trump smoke detector? It doesn’t sound an alarm because it doesn’t want to scare you? Tragically, this is the complete opposite of that joke. Police intended to scare. Police intended to intimidate. The Police scenario in the Breonna Taylor murder is beyond bad.

Consider the conditions Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend were living in:

They live in an apartment where their personal safety is always in question. If their safety were not a concern, why would the boyfriend feel he needs to sleep with a gun within his reach?

If you lived in such circumstances where you feel the need to have instant access to a gun, what would that do to your psyche? What would your reaction be to your door being kicked in when as you changed from asleep to awake?

In the third ‘statement'(?) the boyfriend made, it is claimed he heard the Police announce themselves. What exactly is this supposed to mean? Not a lot in my eyes. He was asleep when it all happened.

Consider for a moment you are asleep in bed in an apartment in a semi dangerous neighborhood. No one has a reason to be at the door at o’dark-thirty.

You are sound asleep. You may or may not have been awake enough to hear the Police announce themselves. If they did, does it matter? Do you believe it to be true? You hear pounding on the door.

There is no reason for Police to be at your door. In those moments between asleep and awake, how good is your reasoning? Police have no reason to be at my door. Home invaders do have a reason to be trying to break down the door. Is this the flow your mind would take after being jolted awake? This is the flow my mind would take.

I have my gun, and I have to protect Breonna and myself. Someone is busting the door down, I shoot, they shoot.

They live in an apartment on the first floor. They have two possible exit directions. The front door or patio door, possibly a rear window and/or door. Were these exits both covered? Was the sewer netted to catch any flushed baggies of drugs? If not, why not?

Police were executing a search warrant for packaged drugs which arrived through the mail. Ever try to flush a mailed package down the toilet? It’s not going to work.

I posit, anyone who lives in neighborhood where they feel the need to keep a pistol at their bedside, would act or react in the exact same way. Anyone(s) can stand at a door and shout, “Police”, anyone. If I was not expecting the Police at my door, I would not believe it was the Police and I would defend myself.

It doesn’t matter if the Boyfriend changed his account of what happened or not. It doesn’t matter if the Police were at the right address or not.

The whole system of executing a warrant of this type is archaic, and must be changed. You can’t flush mailed packages of drugs down the toilet, and Police shouting, and knocking down a door of a dark apartment in the middle of the night is just plain stupid, what other result could there be? This reads like another case of overly aggressive Police in action, looking for that adrenaline rush at any cost.

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