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JE Carter, II
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JE Carter, II

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In a world without grooming tools, men would have horns growing out of their noses and ears by age 40.
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JE Carter, II's profile photoAlan Andrews's profile photoDavid Bessire's profile photoJon Case's profile photo
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I get it ;) suppose I should have said, why nature still insists. It's not like a bald spot or inch long ear/nose/eyebrow/back hairs are gleaning me any respect in 2015. At least not where I live or have traveled. I got the humor at platypus, could have stopped there. Nature, if you didn't hold my life in your palm, I'd shake my fist @ you ;p

JE Carter, II

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h/t +Rich White  - some cleverly done advertising from Pizza Hut. 
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Jamie “Jam Bra” Braly's profile photoJE Carter, II's profile photoMike DiBaggio's profile photo
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It's so crammed full of subtle funny and over the top slap stick... two thumbs up.  I'd expect to see this on SNL (if I watched that).

JE Carter, II

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Good and Bad Strategies for a home NAS

I was sad to note a valued colleague lost a whole bunch of data this week due to a NAS failure.  I haven't wanted to bother them to get the details but I am going to assume that "lost" means that the NAS in question was not being used as a backup server, but as a file store without a backup.

This, with deference to my peer, is what I would regrettably have to call a bad strategy (no doubt they are kicking themselves for this today, and all sympathy do I send over it).  While a NAS as a central file and media server provides huge gobs of data storage that you don't have to mirror to your devices, it is just one copy of what may be very dear and valuable pictures and video or worse, things you had under development for customers.

While most NAS systems use a flavor of RAID, and you should be able to hot-swap drives as they fail and keep on chugging without loss of data, depending on the type of failure, you could be out in the cold even with RAID.   Let us remember that RAID, in all it's varieties, is simply a strategy for ensuring data is stored in duplicate across multiple devices.  The use cases for this range from resiliency to speedier access to data.  Depending on which RAID type your NAS uses, you might not have very good resiliency.  

Take a look at the different levels as outline on wikipedia.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_RAID_levels

The image accompanying this post is RAID 0, which is commonly used.  In this configuration, with only two disks, if one fails, you will lose half of your data (approximately) and the overall array is unrecoverable.

So what is a good strategy?  Firstly, use your NAS as backup for your devices, not a replacement for their storage.  Yes, duplicate data, but for resiliency, that's what you want.  What this buys you is peace of mind and data sharing in your home.  If you want to, you can still use the NAS as a media server, just make sure that what you have on it is mirrored to various devices or another NAS.  Your 4TB investment only gets you 2TB of storage, but lots and lots of peace of mind.

So, for a small 2 disk NAS, what RAID pattern is correct?  RAID1, which makes an exact copy of Disk 0 on Disk1.  This way, if one disk fails, you can just yank it and plug in a new one and no data is lost.  It does cut your data density in half, but you're not after efficiency, you're after reliability, or so hindsight would inform us.
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Steve Sarette's profile photoJE Carter, II's profile photo
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Good thinking +Steve Sarette  - all the redundancy in the home doesn't do you a lick of good after a house fire. 

JE Carter, II

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+Briggs & Stratton  - perhaps you can help me find out what has become of the order I placed?

 Your web confirmation number BS000360227 is
          Briggs & Stratton Corporation order number 4621933

I haven't heard a peep in over a week.  
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Briggs & Stratton's profile photoPaul Lagle's profile photoJE Carter, II's profile photo
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Oh, and today was the annual purging of the mouse nest from beneath the cowling and atop the cylinders.  Good thing I do maintenance in the spring.  Running the engine with that mess in there is what caused the first head to overheat.

JE Carter, II

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The cost of giving the government all the power it asks for.

Let us also remember the millions killed by Lenin, Mao Zedong, Stalin, Pol Pot, Nicholas II, Tojo, Leopold II...  all responsible for the death or enslavement of a million or more souls....  and then abortion: 57 million and counting since 1973 in the US alone. 
 
Holocaust Remembrance Day, beginning this evening and through tomorrow. WE REMEMBER AND WILL NEVER FORGET.
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... and the uncounted lost to Christians in the dark ages by the Muslims.
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http://www.sitrigroup.com/About/NewsDetailed/38

h/t +Hackaday - shockingly detailed Apple watch tear-down, in Chinese (Google translate recommended but not required to appreciate the pictures)  
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上海微技术工业研究院,杨潇,大数据,传感器,射频,光电,可穿戴,物联网,超越摩尔,动态详细
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JE Carter, II

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Integration: n an effort where two parties trying to accomplish advertised aims with minimal work on both parties parts, while constantly blaming, if not always silently, the other party for any failure.  _This ~ is going pretty well (to manager)_  or This ~ is really sucking big time (common usage)
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JE Carter, II

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Regarding police brutality, media bias, and online flame wars.

I think what we're seeing is a phenomenon that I observed during my media studies, about the media, now manifesting in law enforcement.  My hypothesis went something like this: because the media is constantly in a position to sell news, if it bleeds it leads, their world view becomes progressively more skewed to one where they see everything as dire, evil, malignant, and ascribe the malignancy and evil they report on daily to the broader society, particularly those they view as primarily responsible, right or wrong.

With the increased militarization of police forces, the advent of no-knock raids, VIPR check points, civil asset forfeiture, the war on drugs, and so on, the police have increasingly been tasked with rooting out evil rather than keeping the peace.  As such, they have been steadily conditioned, both individually and institutionally, to view the broader population and society as being just as bad as the elements they are constantly in contact with.  And rightly or wrongly, they put the focus on those particular elements they view as primarily responsible for the trouble they deal with on a regular basis.  

I can see this in online communities as well.  As groups coalesce around ideals, they form cohesion.  As challenges come up against those ideals, friction occurs and each community member reacts differently... but the overall effect is often a souring of the entire community on the community itself, with people blaming those they view responsible, when all the while, the influencing factor of greatest impact and magnitude was outside problems, not inside problems.  

The media, the cops, this group or that group are by themselves not the problem, it's the way they as humans react to the problems that come their way.  Expose anyone to negative stress for a long enough period of time and they begin to behave negatively, usually via the means and in proportion to their empowerment.
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JE Carter, II

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Someone needs to invent (if it does not exist) a car alarm that just beeps the horn spasmodically.  The rhythmic honking of most alarms is just all too ignorable.  Something that sounds like an actual person about to hit a deer would be a better attention getter, don't you think? 
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JE Carter, II

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You may be able to spare yourself a wet mess from a failed garbage disposal by taking a peek under the sink this weekend.

Our had what I would call a structural failure.  My wife had reported that it had "stopped cold" this week, and then today when a bowl of water was dumped down the garbage disposal, it started running out on the floor beneath the sink.  

I took a look at what had come loose, only to find a two inch gash in the housing.  After I removed the ISE and looked in it's gullet, I noticed that the spinning plate to which the flails are attached had failed, letting one go.  This hardened steel component beat up the rest of the inside of the ISE so much so (we just thought it was getting old and noisy) that it chewed up the rather thick wall of the unit, until it finally punched through.  

I noticed, however, that another tell-tale sign of impending failure was irregular bumps around the perimeter of the unit, accompanied by fluorspar.  Evidently the detergent we use in the washer, which dumps into the ISE, which itself has been falling apart from the inside out for a few years, is highly corrosive to exposed metal.  

So, $209 later we have an upgraded, quieter, stainless steel guts garbage disposal that I hope will last longer than the 18 year old one I just tossed out.  
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Michael Velik's profile photoPaul Lagle's profile photoSteve Sarette's profile photoJE Carter, II's profile photo
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You guys have no idea how glad I am you commented on this thread +Paul Lagle  and +Steve Sarette  - I wouldn't have read it today otherwise and you reminded me +Paul Lagle that I forgot to punch out the plug for the washer drain -- and we had started the washer a little while ago.  I ran to the kitchen and stopped it, pulled the disposal, knocked out the plug, hooked it back up, started the dishwasher back up and about 10 seconds later it started draining.  So close to having a flooded kitchen!

JE Carter, II

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Algorithmic Impact: Aggregation

I awoke this morning with a simple half dream where a list of numbers was shown to me, representing an aggregate score.  I immediately recognized upon waking that there was a problem represented in this dream and my mind ran down through several scenarios where data aggregation has been misused by accident, and abused by design.  But it's not all bad.

First, what's the problem with data aggregation?  You might easily see that it obscures the details.  While that is the point, the obscuring of supporting details can hide valuable and meaningful information.  I have a project under development presently that provides some good examples of this: time entry and reporting.

Let's say I have two employees who have both logged 40 hours this week.  Just looking at that aggregate number, 40, I can't tell much about how that time was spent.  Did one employee come in late every day but then stay late to make it up?  Did the other work late to meet a deadline Wednesday and then knock off early on Friday?  Do these things matter?  They might matter, they might not, but the point is simply that their meaning is lost through the process of aggregation.  

Let's look at something that impacts nearly every American, your credit score.  How is this score derived?  What rules and measures are used?  If I rely upon your credit score as a measure of your credit worthiness, is that a good thing?  The abstraction of details into an aggregate score means I don't know a great deal about you.  The credit score provides a fairly anonymized way of presenting you as a number that I can infer my own value judgments upon.  But is this a good thing?  Are you comfortable with that?  You may say yes when your score is good, and no when it is bad.  Whether it is just or not, it is computed by rules set by someone, perhaps kept secret, and rightly or wrongly provided as a service to those who need to get to know you quickly to decide whether to do business with you.  It's the cost of doing business if your business includes taking out loans establishing credit cards.  But it has also been used to screen renters, students and customers to decide if there is some bias free way to weed out bad customers.  Here, the judgment of the aggregate data has a real impact on human life, just or not. 

So as a merit, aggregation provides an abridgment of tedium.  In doing so, as with the case of the credit score, it buys for us expediency in commerce, but it comes at the cost of clarity  which is an imperfect, impersonal representation of data lacking in deep understanding of our circumstances and recent efforts to perhaps repair damaged credit.  We can't tell from a timesheet how hard someone worked and we can't tell from a budget how well it has been followed.  We can't tell from a savings account balance how frugal or unlucky someone is. 

Aggregation, to be sure, is a shortcut with real value, but it slips neatly into a category of summary knowledge that enables lazy thinking.  It provides a seemingly scientific footing for ill founded assumptions that lack a cognisance of the detailed algorithm used to arrive at a particular aggregate number.  A wholly ignorant man can speak with authority and mastery he does not possess, and nevertheless be correct in the speaking of the number itself, and yet completely wrong in what merits or demerits he attributes to or derives from said number... and horrifically, an uninformed and dispassionate audience would be none-the-wiser.  And therein lies the danger of aggregation.  In seeking to provide a good by publishing such information, we enable evil by the looming masses of idle minds, desperate for some measure of recognition of their imagined intelligence.  

So, use great caution in both the creation, presentation and consumption of statistics and data presented to tell a narrative.  As we tell our children when they go to put something in their mouth they found on the floor: "you don't know where that's been", or the implicit reason for not accepting candy from a stranger: "you don't know where it's from or what it contains".  
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Huh.  Serendipity.  The whole thought for this little essay ran it's course between stumbling out of bed and reaching the bathroom.  One of those rare moments of clarity.

JE Carter, II

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Hm.  Ordered tune-up kit 5 days ago, still hasn't shipped.  +Briggs & Stratton  - supply chain issues?  
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Michael Velik's profile photoPaul Lagle's profile photoJE Carter, II's profile photo
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It's unusual for it to take this long.  I've ordered the same maintenance kit for my 24 hp 2 cylinder in the past and had it ship with in a day or so and arrive within a week.  I could source all the parts locally but the kit is only $52 with shipping and saves me the time of driving around getting it all properly picked. Usually a big time saver... but with this delay, the advantage is beginning to disappear. 
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