Restraining orders

A friend of a friend is in an abusive relationship. Today she got a restraining order.

It’s not as much of a surprise that it’s a she who is getting the order since the size and strength difference is a real thing. This is not saying that men are not in a similarly abusive relationships.

There’s a myth to restraining orders though.

The notion that a court order will restrain anyone is a myth.

All the order does to prevent is stop certain transactions, like getting an apartment for instance.

The importance of this is that it gives an additional law to break. Once you break a law you have the opportunity to get charged for that offense.

Does it prevent violence?


But it does give a bit of recourse.

It does not, however, give you the certainty of relegating your own defense to others.

Gratuitous graphing

Yesterday I was compiling a Linux kernel on a Mac Mini that we have at work and it pretty much maxed out the fan to the point where I was seeing CPU throttle messages scrolling by on the console.

This got me thinking — wouldn’t it be cool to know how hot it got?

This is from a calibrated Agilent (I still don’t want to say Keysight) multimeter with a K-type thermocouple taped to the exhaust port of the Mac. Readings were taken every second.

This was two main parts: building the kernel then building the modules. The cool thing is you can clearly see both parts of the build process based on just the exhaust temperature.

Another interesting observation is the little bit of hysteresis on the temperature. What’s going on is the heat sink starts to get hot (sinking the heat) for a while. The fan, on the other hand is slaved to the CPU temperature. Once the heat sink is saturated the fan goes on higher. The CPU is still dumping heat, while the fins of the heat sink cool off a bit. This leads to the dips.

Why do this?

As GLaDOS famously said: “We do what we must because we can.”

Same thing.

Oh, max temp: 62.6 ºC / 144.7 ºF.


Pale Blue Dot

I posted a while back about Cosmos and Carl Sagan’s reading of his work “Pale Blue Dot.”

Yesterday I was lucky enough to hear Neil deGrasse Tyson read the same after a wonderful lecture on where we are as a people, and as a country. About science. About humanity.

I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to be in the same room, even in row W, as someone like him.

What struck me was the Q&A at the end. Non-scripted. Audience questions. And his answers. I’m sure some were answers to common questions, but some, I’m sure not so.

I’ll leave you to just listen.

It can’t happen to me

I was having a conversation last night with Holly about the idea that “bad things shouldn’t happen to me.”

You know, I’m more careful or I have more training or any of that type of thing. Bad things happen to others and we tend to expect the best for ourselves.

Then I was coming home on my bike and as I was pulling onto my street (well, a block from it going North on Linden) I saw bunches of flashing police lights up at 85th.

The intersection of Linden and 85th is a bad one. Lots of accidents.

We’ve made it a habit to try to figure out what’s going on in our neighborhood. You can call it being nosy, but it’s our hood after all and we should have more than a passing understanding of what’s going on.

It didn’t happen to me in this case — thankfully — but it’s a reminder that even when you’re not doing anything wrong you can still have random idiots turn left in front of you.

(Note: based on what I see the car is completely at fault here — failing to yield to the oncoming traffic)

The guy on the bike wasn’t fine. It looked like he had a messed up right ankle at least. He’s “ok” in the grand scheme of things and I’m guessing that he’ll be fine in a few months. It also looked like he locked the rear… which training can fix.

But some things really are just random.

And it can happen to you.

You need to prepare for it. You can’t just believe the truth away.


I had a shower thought yesterday.

A tapas restaurant, you know, a place that specializes in appetizers, is really nothing more than an “app store.”

That is all.

iPhone 6 – Part 2

I know this isn’t news and it’s been widely reported… but this is just my own take on things.

The iPhone 6 started to get pre-ordered yesterday(-ish). It officially was supposed to go on pre-orders at 12:01 AM on Friday.

Apple’s store web site would have none of that it was down hard until at least 3 in the morning.

I was able to order a phone with my existing iPhone (5S if you’re curious). In some ways that is kinda strange. Using one device to order its replacement. (Ennie’s getting the 5S, don’t worry)

The thing that’s interesting is that even with the previous experiences with pre-orders the Apple site still had problems. With all the doom and gloom around every new product launch where everyone predicts that “oh, this one will finally flop” every one of these launches are bigger than the previous.

With all the prep, it still fails.

I’m both annoyed and impressed with that…

EC2 Host Issue

I was out getting some dinner tonight when I got an email from a monitoring service that my blog (the one you’re reading right now!) was down. !

Ok… maybe something on the kernel has gone insane. I can quickly log onto the AWS console from my phone to reboot it.

I did that from the 74th Street Ale House and noticed that the server wasn’t coming up. Not good.

I get home and I can’t SSH into the instance either.

At this point I’m getting a bit annoyed.

From knowing what I know about EC2 and how things run I’m guessing the underlying host that was running my instance decided to have problems.

Thankfully the actual data that runs my blog isn’t stored on the host — it’s all on a set of EBS volumes which is independent.

From here a simple stop and restart took care of the problem. Stopping a host frees up whatever it’s running on. Starting it back up will get it to launch on any other healthy machine.

Which it did.  :-)

Like a punch in the face

One of my co-coworkers was was walking back from an appointment this morning and someone, out of the fucking blue, punched him in the face.

This seems to have been happening in a stretch of downtown Seattle for a month or two. One of these guys have been arrested 40 times for similar things in the past.

What the hell?

I can tell you if someone did that to me and I happened to be carrying… I can tell you that I would have no problem pulling the trigger on someone that attacked me like that. I know I would honestly fear for my life in that situation.

Might just be me… but that’s not something that I would sit on my conscience at all.

Meeting Tetris

Wouldn’t it be so very nice if Outlook calendars worked like Tetris did back in the day.

You know, if you filed a few rows perfectly full they would disappear and fall away.

My day was like that today.

9-5:30 with a single real break when I managed to get something done.

They were productive meetings so I’m not complaining.

It’s one of those things where at stand-up tomorrow morning everyone will answer “meetings” for what they did the day before. It’s true. It’s useful.

It’s also somewhat draining.

New iPhone

Well, I don’t have it yet, but it was announced today.

It’s a step forward… but it’s also a step sideways in ways.

The part that I’m most concerned about is the size. Sure, the trend towards bigger is better has been going on for a long while now. It’s something that Apple has certainly dug in its heels as time has passed.

The first few versions of the iPhone were 3.5″. With the 5 series it went to 4.0″. Now it’ll be 4.7″.

I’m going to leave out the phablet 5.5″ from the picture — it’s ridiculous and shouldn’t be a phone.

When Tim is on stage demoing the “touch the home button to shift the screen down so you can reach” to get back to one-handed operation I have to say it’s janky at the very least.

That being said, having more screen might be good… but I’m entering with a good amount of fear.

Upgrade wise it’s faster and lasts longer. Always a plus. The barometric sensor is nice for fitness tracking; I lost my fitbit before my trip and I miss having the stairs climbed stat (ok, stupid, but I like it).

Better camera: check. (I can’t wait to try the new phase-detect auto focus to see how it works)

Thinner: check.

NFC payments: we’ll see if it catches on. Knowing Apple it might.

Honestly, I’m almost more psyched about iOS 8. In the few minutes I’ve played with the gold master I’m rather trilled about the small refinements that I’ve found. For instance, dealing with an email, there was an option to add the sender to my contacts. Simple, sure… but it’s something that seems very polished. It’s upping the upgrade from 7 a few notches.

I’ll order one on Friday like everyone else… you know I would.

…now the watch… well, I’m not sure I want to replace my real watch.  :-)

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