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Michael Wengler
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Ironically, this post is a perfect example of why blogger Scott Alexander should be making the big bucks.

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How To Get a Working Browser after a Windows Vista Restore (or Reinstall)
I have an old Dell PC running Windows Vista Home Premium.  It had a number of "broken" things in its system, it couldn't see Windows Update anymore and I couldn't install Microsoft Security Essentials on it.  I decided to do a clean reinstall, or system res...

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My parents, Bert and Eileen.  Mom resides at a nearby assisted living facility but came back to their house for an early Thanksgiving celebration.  

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Why Innovative Energy is a Bad Investment, or Why the Government Should Fund It, and Other Brilliant Observations About Energy
Bill Gates has said  a bunch of brilliant thing about innovations in Energy which have been reported in a article in The Atlantic.  I'll give you a summary which is much shorter than that article. For energy, the incentive to invent is bad.  Patents give yo...

Google Drive is SO STUPID!  

On the web interface, if I search "resume" Drive cannot find my files "MikeResume.doc" or "Résumé_August_2015".  Searches on "resume*" or "*resume*" don't work either.  "resume" or "résumé" will return hits for documents resume.doc and Mike Resume.doc.  So google recognizes a space to separate words and can find "resume" when searching for "résumé".  

Then there is the new and clunky title:resume which WILL find "resume_August_2015" and "MikeResume" but will NOT find "résumé_August_2015"!  First of all, I shouldn't need a title keyword to get titles to be searched the "natural" way.  Second of all, accented e's should find unaccented e's in the same word when using the title: keyword just as they do with non-keyworded search.  

This crappy google drive search has cost me literally many hours.  And people have been complaining about this on forums for a year and a half at least.  And THAT is why I am complaining about it here instead of adding yet another voice to the complaints in the forums.  

Google photos is a disaster. Attempts to do the most obvious thing, back photos up to the cloud and free space on your mobile, are difficult, confusing, and MUCH MUCH worse, losing millions of photos that people wanted to keep.

If I can't trust google anymore where can I go?

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Using the Audio Jack for power and digital interface to smartphones!
If you have seen credit car readers on smartphones, you will see they are a small block that plugs into the smartphone's audio jack, what you might think of as its headphone jack. This is a remarkably clever solution to the problem: how do I build an add-on...

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Fusion energy, if we are smart enough to make this work in 10 years as Kirtley at Helion (for example) claims, then we are also smart enough to realize that modern fission reactor designs like those of Transatomic are as clean and as safe and as cheap as fusion.  The video on this page is excellent for someone interested.  Edward Morse's comments in the video that Helion (and others) are using approaches which were tried in the past in government labs and abandoned, he says, for what must have been good reasons reminds me of the race between the government-funded program to sequence the human genome, and Craig Venter's Celera.  Because the government funded program gave up on shotgun sequencing for, we presume, what Edward Morse would say must have been good reasons, Venter started Celera and raced the government to sequence the human genome.  Venter won, by a LOT.  Sometimes a technology which the government labs reject, but which a startup embraces, can win.  Personally, I'd bet on Helion WAY before I'd expect to see something useful from our 5th decade of Tokomak research.  

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I am buying my tickets for this NOW.  I thought this was way too nerdy to ever make it to the screen.  I am so happy I am wrong!

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Gasoline Engines: a simple mostly linear model
If you have ever googled, the efficiency of a gasoline engine, you have likely found something like this: While this is very much a standard diagram to see, by the end of this post I am going to replace it with a different figure that has the same informati...
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