How Secure Is Your Phone?

Your phone’s security is probably not too bad, aside from it being a tracking device. And especially when someone buys state-sponsored spyware to attack you and your network:

Stonks Game Stops At This Stop

Hedge funds that bet against Game Stop are crying foul as they lose a fortune, because the crowd noticed their weakness and exploited it. Sounds very Wall Street. Is it against the rules? How could it be in a market that has too few rules. The difference now is that the crowd has the power instead of the billionaires, so it can’t be fair, right?

Hedge funds basically borrowed money to buy stocks for Game Stop that shouldn’t even have been available for sale (136%??), and a crowd of investors very publicly noted this situation, explained publicly what they were going to do, and the hedge funds didn’t immediately back down and take a small loss, and so lost the entire amount. As a result of not being able to cover their loss, they were forced to buy the stock they bet against, pushing the price up even further. A short squeeze happened with Tesla in the past year too, part of the reason for its stock price meteoric rise.

Billionaire CEO defends Redditors; CNBC host sounds like a whiner sad that his team made a bad bluff and got called.

Can’t tell if joking… @theserfstv · “lol Gamestop just became an S&P top 500” If true and it qualifies, that would require it be included in the S&P list of the top 500 stocks, like Tesla, pushing its price up further.

@IGN · “Amidst ongoing GameStop stock fluctuations, WallStreetBets has been banned from Discord for allowing “hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings,” and has gone private on Reddit.” https://bit.ly/3t25EEC

@JuddLegum · “Funny no one mentions that the primary “victim” of the GameStop trading, Gabe Plotkin, worked for SAC until the firm pled guilty to insider trading in 2013 and paid $1.8B in fines to the SEC and this week, Plotkin got a 2.75B bailout from his old boss, Steve Cohen, SAC’s founder.”

Memes are flowing:

“You said crypto was too volatile? Mmhmm… (Woman tipping hand)

Wall Street: Crypto is volatile.
GameStop: Hold my Beer (mug)”

“GameStop, AMC, Tootsie Roll, BlackBerry: there’s a theme here and it’s elder millennial nostalgia.”

“Hold the line, “They can take our subreddit, but they can never take our $GME”

– Actually they can take it, and will probably try. These folks need to learn about Bitcoin, badly.

ADDED:

Cory’s 20th Blogiversary Cake With FBI Icing

Notable author and blogger Cory Doctorow got a call from the FBI for his blog anniversary.

Please read how he handled the encounter. It’s in stark contrast to the wrong way exhibited by the #Qultists who are also being questioned by the FBI.

==

Unlike Cory who didn’t do crimes, the Trump fanatics have hilarious indictments online of their Capitol Riot misadventures.

How Bad Is WordPress’s Block Editor? Bad.

I have over 2 decades experience editing websites. 18 years of writing blogs, from Angelfire, to CMS systems like WordPress. And the latest update to the editor is mystifying. Who wants it?

I wrote a blog post just a few minutes ago. I tried to find where to tag it, I couldn’t. I pushed Publish in defeat, and then it gave me the option to tag it.

I tried to find where to write my next blog post. I couldn’t. I went back a few pages, and pressed a button to write a new blog post. I pasted in a tweet. It failed to embed it and gave an error. I re-opened the tab, I tried again, again it failed. I finally found where to edit the code for the block, but at that point I opened this blog post in a different browser and started writing this instead. Now I see why experienced blogger Elan Morgan was remarking about how much the block editor sucked in WordPress.

I went back to try to edit the failing blog post and got this instead:

“The editor has encountered an unexpected error. Attempt Recovery | Copy |Post TextCopy Error”

Then I tried to move it up a line so there isn’t extra space, and a text formatting box popped up into the spot where I was clicking in between lines, so I turned bold on, and when I tried to turn it off, it didn’t lose its highlight so I couldn’t tell if it was really off or not yet. Some of this is just normal interface frustration, from using a new interface, and some of it is bad UX design by WordPress.

I haven’t blogged very much in the last year or two, but if it’s this hard now, I’ll probably stay with writing mostly on Twitter.

I just had to dismiss a button at the bottom saying the site uses cookies. Well duh!

Toxic Deadly Gaming Culture

One of the strangest things about modern tech is that you can easily hear what a dead murderer thought of himself and others. There are hours of video of this Rudy guy boasting about his video game prowess while calling women “pap smear”. Cops were warned about his violent harrassment of women, but he had a gun anyway, and this month he killed an ex girlfriend then himself.

WikiLeaks: Sweden Tosses Unneeded Investigation

This article makes it sound like he was preventing the Swedish phony investigation from proceeding by hiding (in a location known to the whole world!). No, the reason for the investigation in Sweden was not just because Assange parts on bad terms with lovers, but because the US was pursuing a secret indictment against him for publishing their criminal secrets. We know that’s true because the indictment was finally revealed by accident years later.

The US has a bad history of prosecuting whistleblowers and journalists, like Barrett Brown. Assange embarrassed them, and now they’re pulling the strings of their allies in Britain to jail and silence Assange and Wikileaks.

Podcast on Sunday

Jeff Cliff interviewed me for his Facebook Live stream on Sunday. We discussed Saskatchewan politics, media, blogging, censorship, and the Amazon Fires.

For instance, I can link to Facebook, but people trying to link here from Facebook are told my blog doesn’t meet Facebook’s “Community Standards”. If you can figure out why, that would be quite the feat.

Also noticed that http://www.abandonedstuff.com isn’t redirecting to this WordPress address right now, so I don’t know if that’s a permanent problem introduced by WordPress, or something else.

“Andrew Scheer here”

Billy Mays here with your latest As Seen On TV fad/junk:

If you missed the phony deadline to save $2, don’t worry, I have a way you can save thousands, and avoid paying the carbon tax too.


As you can read here, it’s already less expensive to buy a used EV than a new gas burning vehicle with most of the same features for city driving.

BONUS:

Civic Hatchback vs. LEAF Hatchback

Should you buy a Honda gas burner, or a pure electric Nissan if you need a family hatchback motor vehicle?

“2019 Civic hatchback and coupe models are priced […] at $20,150US and $19,350US, respectively. The base trim includes features like a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a 5-inch display screen, and a USB port.”

Currency exchange is about 1.34 to CAD right now, so that’s 20150*1.34 = $27000$26,265 (price updated Apr 27, 2019)

My used Nissan LEAF 2014 (bought 2 years ago), with the same technology features listed above plus rear heated seats, and heated steering wheel (handy in Winter): $15,500. At my old place, I had 8 solar panels which cost $8400 installed. Together that’s $23,900.

Now, I’m no financial genius, but a solar powered hatchback that costs $2365 less than a new gas burning hatchback, seems like a better idea.

Doubting sorts might question, can a $8400, 2kW solar array really power a Nissan LEAF. That’s a great question! The answer is complicated. The short answer is yes.

Using a Bluetooth OBDII car-computer reading gizmo to read the LEAF’s battery status with my phone and the app Leaf Spy Lite, it reveals the car’s battery has 20kWh of capacity, down from its brand new 24kWh selling point.

Using the Solar Edge website, I was able to determine that my array in March would typically produce more than 10kWh per day. That electricity is instantly used in the house, the EV if plugged in to charge, and the excess goes into the grid. The power company, SaskPower, provides a credit 1-for-1 for the electricity provided vs. taken from their grid in a set year. This is known as Net Metering.

(UPDATE Oct. 2019: The backwards Sask Party has ended Net Metering in Saskatchewan, there’s now a 0.5-for-1 credit instead. It may still be economical to get solar to offset an EV use,  but rerun your calculations.)

My household tends to charge the LEAF to 100% overnight on the regular wall plug (slow Level 1 charging this is called), and use it to about 50% capacity during the following day. That means it needs ~10kWh put back into it at night.  Astute readers will note that’s about how much power the panels are producing.

The LEAF doesn’t need gasoline, or oil changes. You can “fill” it at home on a regular wall plug. Why are people still buying new Civics? If they routinely travel more than 100km in the city in a day, or 70km at top highway speeds, the Civic might be more appealing, but it’s obviously more expensive and harder on your lungs and our planet’s creatures.

Now, if you want to save even more money, and more creatures, I have another tip for you: