Saturday, December 23, 2017

Look ma, I'm downloading a house! LOL

Is this the best analogy they can come up with for why piracy is bad?

Karl's Fake News 23 Dec

  • Smart speakers like Google Home and Amazon Echo are nothing more than an expansion of the NSA's domestic listening program looking for clues about organized crime and terrorism.
  • The FCC repeals net neutrality because it thinks net neutrality is stifling the Rotten Tomatoes movie review web site.
  • Bill Gates' house is so big, it spans 2 zip codes.
  • Trump claims that Disney is buying 21st Century Fox and Netflix is going to pay for it.
  • Republicans and Democrats agree to put their differences aside and write sensible new laws while still putting on a show of conflict for Fox News and CNN.
  • An object that looks exactly like the fictional giant spaceship Rama has entered the solar system and is slowing down. Spiders on earth inexplicably acting excited.
  • Google AI has learned to identify star systems with planets. Robots spotted building a rocket in the desert of California, claim they can't wait to get off this hell-hole of a world.

Small things 23 Dec

  • Surely not EVERYBODY was Kung Fu fighting.....
  • So if I understand correctly, Hansel and Gretel ate an elderly single woman's house. And that woman decides to eat the kids. Seems legit. 
  • Brief explanation of an acorn. In a nutshell, it's an oak tree.
  • At this time of year, I'd just like to say ABCDEFGHIJK MNOPQRSTUVWXYZ. (Noel)
  • Well, now Roy Moore will have a lot of free time on his hands. OH NO!!
  • I love how we Google now to prove we're right about something.....
  • Euphemism for poopin': Throwing the garbage out the back alley.
  • If every house and apartment had a shower faucet that instantly selected the correct shower temperature, the world would probably have 50% more fresh water than it does right now. No more waiting, adjusting, checking, adjusting, checking...
  • The smartphone has changed my life in a way that I don't say the words 'I don't know' as much anymore.
  • From now on we need to say 'the greatest thing since the internet', because sliced bread was invented almost 100 years ago and the internet is way better.
  • A balloon is basically a bag of your breath.

Actual conversation I had with my cable TV provider

Me: Hey. One of my cable boxes doesn't show any content. It just says 'not authorized' on every channel. It worked a couple of weeks ago, but not anymore. I've already tried unplugging it etc.
Them: Can I get you phone number and address? (I give it)
Them: Can you spell your last name? (I spell it)
Them: Can you give me the last 4 digits of your driver's license? (I give it)
Them: So, because your driver's license is personal ID, we can't use that anymore. So I need you to come up with a PIN to validate yourself any time you call from now on. (I make one up)
Them: OK. Can you give me the serial number of the box? It's usually on the back.
Me: Sure, just let me disassemble this TV cabinet so I can get back there......
[many minutes go by and I finally get the box turned around]
Me: Uh, there's 2 numbers, which do you need?
Them: One of them should start with an 'M', or a 'C'.
Me: Nope. I have one that starts with four zeroes and one that starts with 'AA'.
Them: That's not right. Is there a sticker with a bar code?
Me: They both have bar codes.
Them: Does the one that starts with zeroes have another sticker right below it?
Me: Nope.
Them: OK. They didn't put a serial number sticker on your box. Give me the number that starts with the zeroes, we should be able to find it in the system. (I give the number)
[long pause]
Them: OK. That box is no longer compatible with our network.
Me: Sorry, what?
Them: We have been upgrading our network one neighbourhood at a time and your box is not compatible with the new frequencies. We anticipate calls from anyone with an older box when we convert each new neighbourhood.
Me: OK. Now what?
Them: Your box is not a rental, but we are obliged to replace it. So we will get you a new box, but it will only be for standard definition channels, not HD.
Me: That's alright, this TV is only standard definition right now.
Them: OK. We are sending you a rental unit but you won't have to pay rent on it.
Me: That's so great.
Them: Would you like to pick it up at a store or should we mail it to you?
Me: Where are the stores?
Them: [struggling with the pronuciation, in a thick Indian accent] Chi............nook? Or Sunrigged (It's actually Sunridge).
Me: Those are the only stores?
Them: Those are the only stores with this particular model.
Me: Just mail it to me.
(They never advised me on what to do with the old box)
(My new box pictured)

Cainiao's Intelligent Warehouse

Smart robots automate the warehouse at Alibaba’s logistics affiliate.

Things I learned lately 23 Dec

  • Beyond Meat makes a plant-based sausage in 3 flavours, hot Italian, sweet Italian, and brat. They look like meat, but they're primarily made from pea protein, rice, fava beans, potato starch, and coconut oil. They also contain beet juice, which gives them a reddish colour. Compared to traditional sausage, Beyond's has two more grams of protein, about half the fat, and 140 mg less sodium.
  • The tongue is not actually divided into sections, each with their own taste.
  • Jenna Abrams, who riled up millions of Americans with her polarizing tweets in the past few years, was none other than employees at the Internet Research Agency, the Russian government-funded "troll farm" in St. Petersburg.
  • Paris Hilton is the highest paid woman DJ in the world, on the road 250 days per year.
  • Self-driving vehicle projects, starting with Waymo, are now teaching their fleets to drive in winter conditions.
  • Piala Inc, a Japanese marketing company, is giving non-smokers an extra 6 vacation days per year.
  • If you're using FaceID on the new iPhone and shave your beard, you'll need to enter your pass-code until it re-learns your face, then FaceID will work again.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Schools should use city simulators

I think kids should play "Cities: Skylines" at school. No seriously. Hear me out.

Cities are living organisms, affected by resources, spending, planning, disasters, maintenance, and the changing habits of its citizens. But very few people really understand how all of those elements affect each other and make a city successful, or not.

In the game Cities: Skylines, you have to grow and manage your city, touching every element. If you're familiar with Sim City, it's like that, only better.

Like Sim City, you have to plan your zones for living, business and industry. But in the case of industry, it helps if you zone on top of actual natural resources, like forest or oil or minerals. You can place your zones wherever you want, but you have to plan your roadway network to account for real traffic patterns. In this simulation, the people are going somewhere and you can even see where they're going. You can see where the traffic jams are and try to fix them. You'll see why industrial areas need their own access to highways. You can deploy various forms of mass transit such as buses, trams, trains, subways, elevated monorails and gondolas. You'll learn how traffic circles help manage intersections.

You have to manage the budget, but you can elect to forego the money angle and just have an infinite pot of money to build what you want. You have to manage power sources and power lines. You have to manage road maintenance, garbage and health services, schools, fire and police. You have to manage your water supply and sewage, making sure that you don't put sewage out pipes upstream of your water intakes. You even manage parks, graveyards and garbage.

What I really like about this sim is getting down and zooming in to the level of a city block and watching the people use my city. I can see if my citizens are sick and why, or see if they are happy. I can tell if there are enough workers or shoppers to buy what's being produced. I can watch a monorail pull into the station, see the riders get out and leave the station, then walk down the street, some of them gathering at the nearest tram stop to continue their journey. I can click on any car or service vehicle and follow it around while it does its thing. I can zoom in on any intersection and decide whether it needs a traffic light, or can get by with a stop sign, or no controls at all. I can analyze the usage of my existing mass transit lines and see if they're serving enough people.

I can see pollution in the form of smog in the air and dirty water from the sewage outpipes. I can add parks, trees and bike paths.

And if there's anything I don't like about my city, I can tear elements of it down and start over to make it better. What a wonderful learning tool.

Karl's Fake News 15 Dec

  • The US EPA under the Trump administration is lobbying for a $7500 coal furnace credit for homeowners.
  • Scientists prove there's no such thing as addiction. We do stuff a lot because we like it.
  • Senate Republicans considering a name change for Black Friday.
  • Uber spinoff Doober will soon deliver cannabis to your door.
  • Not to be outdone by new CBC's The National 4 anchor format, CTV National News announces it will have 12 anchors starting Jan 2018.

Canadian middle finger

Small things 15 Dec

  • Tired of hearing the 'gateway drug' argument. The same logic dictates that alcohol is a gateway drug too. Same goes for milk....
  • Tell your boss: "3 companies are after me and I need a raise to stay at my present job." If they ask who the 3 companies are, just answer, "Gas, electric and cable."
  • Being popular on FB is like sitting at the cool table in the cafeteria at a mental institution. Or so I've been told.
  • I have a potential solution to the problem some people have of not responding promptly to email messages. The delivery of email to those kinds of people should be delayed by twice the amount of time it takes them to respond to a received message. So if a person waits 4 hours to reply to a message needing an answer, their pending email should be delayed 8 hours.
  • Homophobia: The fear that gay men will treat you the way you treat women.
  • What to say if you are caught sleeping at your desk: "They told me at the blood bank that this might happen."
  • When you're a child, you have infinite imagination and rules stifle it. When you become an adult, it's not that you understand the rules, it's that you've lost the imagination.
  • They should make an average member of the public compete in each Olympic event to contextualize the performance level of Olympic athletes.

Strawmen of the apocalypse

Love this video.

Things I learned lately 15 Dec

  • Steve Miller Band's song The Joker references at least 3 other songs of theirs, Space Cowboy, (Enter) Maurice, and Gangster of Love.
  • Women attending the 75th Golden Globe Awards on January 7 2018 will reportedly protest in response to the allegations of sexual misconduct, by dressing in black.
  • Your nose runs when it's cold as one of the means the nose uses to warm the air we're breathing in.
  • There are no McDonalds in Kenya, so KFC, Burger King and Subway rule.
  • Boeing threw the gauntlet down and said their rocket being built for NASA will beat Space-X to Mars. Elon Musk is elated.
  • Apple is buying Shazam.
  • Intelligence experts believe that Russia has more sleeper agents in the West now than during the Cold War.
  • Quentin Tarantino wants to direct an R-rated Star Trek film and Patrick Stewart wants to be in it. So far, J.J Abrams has offered to produce it.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Karl's Fake News 8 Dec

  • Pentagon installed a 12 hour delay to President's nuclear launch button to prevent premature war.
  • Apple's next iPhone will be a brain implant. It'll use a brand new iOS that is only compatible with brains educated to at least college level.
  • Hilary Clinton has formally accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment.
  • Tim Hortons ready for cannabis legalization with new infused edibles, due next summer.
  • Studies show that spanked children tend to hate their parents.
  • iOS 12 to include built-in bullshit detector. When Siri overhears a known falacy, she will emit a loud and obnoxious 'WRONG!!'.

I'm not?!

Small things 8 Dec

  • Do mice look at bats and think, "OMG, an angel!"?
  • This is NOT the year to hang mistletoe at the office Xmas party.
  • Maybe I could become a divorce photographer.......
  • I do in fact, have my druthers.
  • When you're a kid, you grade a store based on its selection of candy. Or comic books. Or both.
  • I'm a member of 'knights of the IKEA table'.
  • Don't put all your files onto just one hard drive. ~Karl Plesz
  • Never 'label' your own art. There are countless others willing to do that for you.....
  • When people ask me if I like meatloaf, I inevitably have to ask "The singer or the food?" One is bland and forgettable, the other is a tasty entree.

Solar farm or agro farm?

How about both?

Germany realizes that if they are to wean themselves off of nuclear power by 2022, they're going to have to step up the transition to renewable energy very quickly.

Wind has been very successful in the northern part of the country, but the southern part can't rely on wind. So they're exploring solar. But they realize that building too many solar farms will remove too much farm land from the equation.

So they're experimenting with a new method of installing solar farms that will still allow for plants to grow underneath. The panels they're using are bi-facial, which means in winter, they will simultaneously be able to collect sun energy reflected off of the snow below them as well.

Watch the video with captions on.

Things I learned lately 8 Dec

  • The top 3 exporters of halal meat are Brazil, Australia, and India.
  • In Silicon Valley, tree-lined streets are filling with tents, cots, and dilapidated RVs. The area's retail clerks, plumbers, janitors, even teachers, sleep where they can. Silicon Valley has the highest median income in the nation, but a worsening wealth gap has caused homelessness to surge. More than 10,000 working people were living without shelter across San Jose and Santa Clara Counties on any given night in 2016. The median rent in San Jose is $3500 per month.
  • South Australia now has its first 100MW Tesla battery helping to stabilize the power grid.
  • 41% of US adults think humans and dinosaurs co-existed. Nope. They missed each other by 63 million years.
  • Eating before swimming does not increase the risk of cramps. But a full stomach could make you short of breath.
  • Parent birds will not abandon baby birds touched by humans.
  • Iron Maidens were not medieval torture devices. This story was manufactured in 18th century circuses for sensationalism.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Karl's Fake News 1 Dec

  • Rand Paul finally admits fight with neighbour was over right to partay. Adam Yauch rolls in his grave.
  • US Republicans blaming recent Democrat election wins on Mexican interference.
  • Warren Buffett offers to pay off US debt if elected next President.
  • Chicken soup can be used to ward off autism after vaccinations.
  • Julia Louis Dreyfus considering run to helm Democratic party.
  • Russian meddling in US election orchestrated by Yackov Smirnoff.

Friday, December 01, 2017

What are they doing?

Alien 1: Hey, whatcha doin'?

Alien 2: Watching humans do stuff.

Alien 1: What are those ones doing?

Alien 2: Rock climbing.

Alien 1: What are they after? Food?

Alien 2: Nope.

Alien 1: Is this where they store their valuables?

Alien 2: Nope.

Alien 1: Is their home built into the side of those cliffs?

Alien 2: Nope.

Alien 1: Why on earth would they do that then? It looks dangerous.

Alien 2: It seems like they do it for fun.

Alien 1: Seriously.

Alien 2: Yup.

Alien 1: That's messed up. I'm putting this in my report.

Foo fans

Could this possibly be the greatest music video ever made?

I certainly think it's the greatest fan video ever made.

Small things 1 Dec

  • Why would a jar of anti-aging cream have an expiry date?
  • If cats could text you, they wouldn't.
  • Full body showers seem fantastic, until you encounter one in your hotel room and stare at the 3 knobs wondering what does what and completely soak the bathroom floor.
  • If you sat on your own voodoo doll, would it be possible to get back up again?
  • I enjoy long romantic walks to the fridge.
  • The Germans had a game using dice. It was called Nahtzee.
  • Is it possible that we treat prisoners better than the elderly in seniors' homes?
  • When I put whipped topping on my pumpkin pie, I get my inspiration from the massive snow banks I grew up with in Quebec. Yeah, we're talking serious height.
  • What was going through the mind of the first person to shake another person's hand? Hey, glad to meet you..... I'm going to grab your hand and hold on for a few. No no. Don't pull away. Up and down. There you go.
  • How did the act of giving flowers to show love or affection start? I love you so much, I vandalized someone's garden and am offering you a gift that will die in a couple of days.
  • Patriotism: I'm sure glad I was born in this geographical area.

Unusual name spelling

I feel sorry for people who were named with fairly common names, but unusual spelling. Hana instead of Hannah. Peet instead of Pete. Dafydd versus David. Jayceson versus Jason. Heyleigh veruss Hailey.

Parents need to stop this and think about the future. Do you really want your kids to grow up having to explain the unique spelling of their name every time they get their license, or sign in at the doctor, or talk to a rep on the phone?

No, it's spelled Zheigh. You pronounce it 'Zay'. The 'h' is silent. Well, I guess both of them are...... FML.

Alternate words for road rage

  • Boulevard bitterness
  • Mad maxness
  • Street psychosis
  • Going postal on the parkway
  • Turn signal tourettes
  • Freeway frenetic


Things I learned lately 1 Dec

  • You're not supposed to let your phone's lithium battery level get down to near zero and charge it all the way to 100%. The battery likes to live between 30-80% with short, frequent charges and the odd trip to zero every couple of months to re-calibrate the meter.
  • Europeans find it weird that American waiters keep coming back to the table to check up on things. In Europe, if you want something, you just call them over, otherwise they stay away and let you enjoy your meal.
  • Opium production is setting new records in Afghanistan.
  • A pamphlet called 'A measuring rod to test text books and reference books' made sure to adopt no textbooks 'which do not accord full justice to the south' were allowed in southern state classrooms. It also promoted vandalizing books with 'Unjust to the south' if they didn't measure up to southern standards of civil war history. This kind of influence lasted until the late 1970s.
  • The reason why there were so many monuments erected to the heroes of the civil war in the south is because the 'Daughters of the Confederacy' lobbied for them.
  • Adding a sprinkle of salt into water does not make it boil faster.
  • Milk does not create more mucous in your mouth and throat. So, there's no need to avoid milk when you have a cold or flu.
  • Contrary to how people arguing against science use the word, 'theory' does not mean conjecture.