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Ronald Heiby

In a January 18 article about the government funding extension, "The Washington Post" quotes Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) as saying, "We don't have a reliable partner at the White House to negotiate with. This has turned into an s-show for no good reason."

Based on Donald Trump's documented history of business dealings and a year as President, I have to wonder why it took Graham so long to figure that out. It's a complete mystery to me why any Senator or Congressman would try to negotiate with Trump, knowing that his word is worthless.
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Watching the Thanksgiving Day Commercial (Parade). Saw the Nissan ad about 20 times. Fine print says it's a professional driver and we shouldn't attempt.

Okay. Should we avoid attempting to drive between the legs of Imperial walkers? Or should we avoid attempting to use the Nissan driving assistance system? Unclear. I'm going to play it safe, though.
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So, the Equifax débâcle. Seems to me that there is a big glaring hole in the treatment that everybody has been giving it.

Recommendations kinda all boil down to what we've really known for years.
1) Consumers are screwed.
2) Consumers need to check their credit reports using the free 1/year deal.
3) Consumers need to freeze their credit reports at all 3 major agencies.

Cool. I've mostly been doing #2, trying to keep to a schedule where about every 4 months I pull a report from the next company in a round-robin fashion. Gotta get around doing #3. Paying the ~$10 times three companies seems like reasonable insurance against identity theft.

So, what's missing? I think what's missing is the US Federal Government (and probably most of the states). I'm pretty sure that "the tax man" is not going to try to pull a credit report and get stymied. Instead, I'm highly suspicious that the IRS will send everyone's refund checks to wherever the first filer says they should go.

So maybe there's some protection. Maybe the IRS does some basic validation of the return, like ensuring that the amounts reported for income, withheld taxes, etc. match what the employer has reported. If so, that would be cool. But if that's the case, I wonder about their "Taxpayer Guide".

For a number of years, there was an "IRS PIN". Something like that ought to help with this. But I'm pretty sure that wasn't a thing for 2017. (If it was, I didn't note it down, so I'm really in trouble.)

Anyone know the real skinny on this part of the Equifax mess?

I'm not sure that the CrashPlan alternatives solve all of the problems to be solved. So, here are some problems to be solved.

First, setting the stage. Just looking at my Photos, I have about 1 TiB. Just looking at my iTunes library, I have about 0.5 TiB. And then there's everything else. Right now, my CrashPlan backup of what I want to back up is about 5 TiB. So, a lot of stuff. Probably more than most, but less than some. It takes a long time to do the first backup of this. And, if the need should arise to restore more than a handful of files, it will take a long time to restore it all.

Solution with CrashPlan: I buy a Drobo. Not one of the fancy ones like I have running in my home all the time (5D and 5N). Just a plain old Drobo. I load it up with a bunch of my older/smaller SATA drives. I do a local backup to it. This takes some hours, but not weeks. I disconnect the Drobo and carry it in my carry-on backpack when I fly out to my brother-in-law's house halfway across North America. There, I set it up on his iMac and, with a bunch of configuration and remote access on my iMac, we get it set up as a remote backup location for me. And I do the same for him (except that since he's more normal, we dispense with the flying around of Drobos for his backups).

What is missing from the currently discussed alternatives:
- Seeding the backup with a local backup
- Having a backup that I can get, in its entirety, shipped to me in a day or two
- Backup of the Cloud provider, in case they suddenly shut their doors

Sure, I still know enough about Unix that I could construct a backup scheme to use with my brother-in-law that uses something like rsync over an encrypted ssh channel. But maintaining that kinda depends on my brother-in-law (or someone else in his family) having some pretty sophisticated knowledge of UNIX and routers, because sure as anything when they buy a replacement router, the "hole" I punched through their old one to allow my ssh connection will be gone. Or their iMac dies and they replace it with something else that knows about none of this. So, whatever it is needs to be something I can troubleshoot over the phone.

Oh, and although I trust my brother-in-law, his security is abysmal. So if someone steals the iMac or the Drobo we would still be using for this, I want my files to all be encrypted. And sure, I could add encryption to the rsync monster postulated in the last paragraph, but that just makes something complicated even more complicated.

So, I think that the gist of the problem to be solved is: "How can I create an encrypted full backup on a transportable drive, take it to another state, and set it up in someone else's home to be the target of ongoing over-the-Internet incremental backups?"

Oh, and if this is impossible, I guess I'll be retrieving that Drobo when I go there at Christmas. But I'd rather have them ship it to me to do the full backup part, and set up the new incremental scheme with them over the holidays.

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Read report of the Tuesday press conference by Donald Trump.

"While protecting the environment, we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels and highways."

This leaves me with two questions.

1) What is a "gleaming tunnel"?
2) Are "gleaming waterways" canals?

And a follow on to #2: How are we going to compete with the English canal boat industry?
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People are trying to make sense of Trump's Tweet on trans-gender people serving in our military, given that he earlier said, “Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist,” Trump said, again linking LGBT issues to security ones. “This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBTQ community. No good. And we're going to stop it. As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology,”

Clearly, people aren't listening clearly. He said he would protect "LGBTQ citizens" from "a hateful foreign ideology". He said absolutely nothing about protecting them from a hateful domestic ideology.
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I think that my buddies over in Google Photos have done a lot to deal with this.
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Passing along a recommendation from episode #627 of the +nosillacast. Very worth the read. I, too, don't know what to do about scaling this, and it troubles me and my wife. Perhaps if the "new" emphasis on STEM (STEAM) in our schools stresses the Scientific Method, things will be better.
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Saw a new video of my 4-year-old nephew's latest success "programming" his Cubetto. He's still having fun and learning to think through problems.
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Decided to get one of these lighting flashing fidgety thingies. I think it looks pretty cool. Video at
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