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John Saalwaechter
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Uninstalling Avast - breach of customer trust
I've been using Avast antivirus for quite a while. Today I noticed that it started adding an email signature to my outgoing gmail with an ad and link for Avast! Without my consent or telling me! Holy Schnikeys! That's a complete and total breach of trust. W...

I bought a new phone at the Verizon store tonight around 9pm (Pacific Time). When I got home and tried to activate it, the activation process failed. I called customer support. At the end of the call my new phone was still not activated. Here's the problem as explained to me:

- the "new equipment order" was processed by Verizon servers on the US East coast, where local time was already after midnight
- so the new equipment is recorded as active as of 1-Mar-2017
- when I tried to activate the phone here on the West coast, the local date is still 28-Feb-2017
- the activation failed because it's not yet 1-Mar-2017

The suggested workaround is to wait until after midnight local time and try again.

Sigh, timezones are hard I guess. The customer service rep said it's a known bug but they haven't been able to fix it yet...

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Something which may surprise people: I'm not fundamentally opposed to Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court. While I certainly disagree with him on a number of issues, I also have the sense that he is someone I could respect and take seriously. In particular, he seems to have a long history of listening to all sides with complete seriousness and respect, taking their arguments seriously, and ruling fairly.

There have been a lot of comparisons between him and Justice Scalia, but I increasingly suspect that they miss the mark. While they may both be personally conservative, and have similar legal approaches with regards to things like textualism, I am getting the sense that they differ as people as much as any two people possibly could.

In particular, Scalia was known for loving to be clever, and letting that cleverness expose a mean streak. He had a particular fondness for rulings where consistency of the law would lead to a perverse outcome in a particular case, or for decisions and dissents where he could skewer people and advocate some particular line of reasoning. When he was urging meanness in his decisions, I always got the sense that he profoundly enjoyed it – and that was the heart of everything I never trusted about him.

I don't see anyone who knows Gorsuch suggesting anything similar of him. Instead, his record suggests he's much the opposite: that while he's personally conservative, he listens to (and is friends with) liberals as well, and can have serious discussions of issues which are not marred by an obsessive wanting to be right. His rulings seem to reflect this, taking a wide range of arguments seriously.

So while I don't expect that Gorsuch would rule the way I hope he would on a variety of cases, and while I deeply question the way we seem to be reifying this idea of "conservative seats" and "liberal seats" on the Court which need to be restocked from people of similar political affiliation, I think he could prove to be a reasonable and capable justice.

Of course, by saying this I've pretty much jinxed it, and will now be presented with all sorts of information (or worse, with future rulings) that prove the contrary, because the universe is perverse that way. But I'm at least tentatively hopeful, in much the same way I was (and has been borne out) when Chief Justice Roberts was nominated.

Knocking on wood, here.

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Fedora 24 and gsutil and crcmod
I was using gsutil rsync on a Fedora 24 system to copy data to google cloud storage.  I got this message: WARNING: gsutil rsync uses hashes when modification time is not available at both the source and destination. Your crcmod installation isn't using the ...

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Why have I not heard of Postmodern Jukebox before now?! This is awesome!

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DNF and logwatch
When Fedora linux used yum, logwatch reports contained a section about package changes.  When Fedora switched from yum to dnf, logwatch reports no longer contained a package-changes section, because there are no dnf scripts for logwatch. I have a patch for ...

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A classic routine that's alway worth a relistening every few years. https://youtu.be/aYIwPu50Fic
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