Ivor O’Connor

April 30, 2009

Air Quality Fails In California

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 2:14 pm

The American Lung Association has given failing grades for the air quality in most of California. What makes the air quality this bad?

Do you want to ruin your day? Go ahead and put your zip code in http://www.stateoftheair.org/2009/states/california/ and verify you are breathing air that has been rated as failing. They grade the air quality with grades A through F. If you are living in California chances are very very good you are breathing in air that is rated as “F”.

So despite all these environmental nuts California is known for the air still sucks. Obviously more attention is needed to the air quality. California needs more environmental nut cases.

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April 28, 2009

Why A Level 4 Alert?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:25 pm

Today the threat level was raised to 4. However on their scale it should really be at least a level 5. Here is the scale with the definitions included:

Phase 1: No viruses circulating among animals causing infections in humans
Phase 2: Animal influenza virus causes infection in humans, and is considered potential pandemic threat
Phase 3: Influenza causes sporadic cases in people, but no significant human-to-human transmission
Phase 4: Verified human-to-human transmission able to cause community-level outbreaks. Significant increase in risk of a pandemic
Phase 5: Human-to-human transmission in at least two countries. Strong signal pandemic imminent
Phase 6: Virus spreads to another country in a different region. Global pandemic under way

This can be seen at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8021827.stm. So we see this virus has spread to several countries, not just two. The flu has spread to multiple regions in our country. So what’s with the rating of only a 4?

Should the definitions be changed? Say a number of deaths are required in various countries? Or a percentage of a community must die? Rather grim. However if they can’t follow their own rules maybe they need to change them?

Update 2009.04.29: They read my blog, decided I was correct, and changed the alert level to 5:

GENEVA — The World Health Organization has raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to the second highest level, meaning that it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.

WHO chief Margaret Chan says “it really is all of humanity that is under threat in a pandemic.”

The agency says the phase 5 alert means there is sustained human to human spread in at least two countries. It also signals that efforts to produce a vaccine will be ramped up.

WHO has confirmed human cases of swine flu in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Britain, Israel, New Zealand and Spain. Mexico and the U.S. have reported deaths.

Chan made the decision Wednesday to raise the alert level from phase 4 — signifying transmission in only one country — after reviewing the latest scientific evidence on the outbreak.

Low Level 911 Style Flight.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:16 pm

The White House knew nothing of the event. The pentagon scheduled these flights for filming purposes. Supposedly. They said they informed the police a week in advance. However they told the police not to tell anybody. Including the Mayor. Nobody anywhere was intelligent enough to understand the problems implicit in the whole affair. Can we say Military Intelligence all-together now? Obama and the white house staff when queried knew nothing. Finally a General stepped forward to say he scheduled the affair. Can this General be fired? And some officials in the police department need to be fired too. NPR has the best coverage of this event.

Bad News For GM

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 2:55 pm

GM is shedding Pontiac to focus on Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. Who would buy a chevrolet, cadillac, buick, or GMC that still has a valid drivers license? These are the cars my grandparent’s grandparents might drive. Those old folks don’t have much need for automobiles anylonger.

Instead our government should do something useful with GM. Like mass produce Apteras. Seriously. GM has proven it has no idea what to do. The only things of any worth in GM are the factories and workers. We should make use of GM’s strong points by mass producing Apteras at a reasonable price. Apteras could be our countries inexpensive people car.

The timing could not be any better. It’s a perfect fit. Our country desperately needs it. Am I the only person who sees this?

April 27, 2009

CO2 Myth

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:37 pm

We have all seen Al Gore’s movie. Several times. I even own the DVD. However nowhere do we see actual links between CO2 and global warming. At best we see CO2 being produced after the warming. The actual data is hidden somewhere not readily available to a prolonged google search. Instead what we get are statements about the majority of scientists say CO2 causes global warming. I guess that’s good enough for the lemmings. Then there is the melting ice on the poles used as evidence CO2 is the cause. However this melting could be due to all the particles spewed into the atmosphere and settling on the ice there. These dark particles trap the heat and melt the ice rapidly. Again nothing to do with CO2. Well today Al Gore is spewing on about CO2 and I’m getting sick listening ot it. I don’t like coal. It has polluted much of the world with particles and mercury. Not to mention the mountains of soot they pile up usually next to the coal plants. Like the one or two that got carried away in the floods earlier this year causing massive pollution to everything downstream. Maybe I should just be thankful that Al Gore, whether right or wrong, is working to get rid of Coal and other forms of pollution. There’s no reason we can’t go totally renewable in 10 years. Except the energy monopolies fighting against it by paying off the politicians who listen to those with the most money…

As of today there is yet another CO2/Coal movie: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10228103-54.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=GreenTech

April 25, 2009

Upgrading To Ubuntu Jaunty From Intrepid

Filed under: Linux, ubuntu — Tags: , , — ioconnor @ 1:46 pm

I just finished upgrading one computer. The boot up process seems much faster but in reality it only dropped from 28 to 21 seconds. I like it. Here are the problems I encountered:

  • I had to install pybootchartgui to see the png files. This was not available in the earlier releases of Ubuntu. You got the png files just fine without them. Not a big deal.
  • The auto login feature was turned off. Again no big deal. “System->Administration->Login Window” then tab to “Security” and click the check off box for “Enable Automatic Login” and supply the proper user.
  • The wireless network is no longer automatically logged into consistently. Actually it’s only worked once out of four boots now. I see the developers claiming it is not a bug and that people must have faulty hardware and such. Same old story with whiny developers. It will probably be taken care of within a week. Until then I have to have a mouse plugged into that machine so I can manually turn on the network and then I can use the regular networked mouse and keyboard through Synergy.
  • The first attempt at upgrading failed after about 5 hours. It was half way through. I restarted it and it finished over night. This is the first time an upgrade between Ubuntu versions has worked for me…
  • I will probably want to wipe the disk and use ext4 at some point. Maybe on the next release of Ubuntu when the bugs have been worked out by actual people using it.

UPDATE 2009.04.27: I installed Jaunty 32 bit desktop on an old computer this weekend from scratch. (After I got the computer working for him.) It was not obvious to me how to install ext4. So I stuck with ext3. Still it starts in only 19 seconds! The system was snappy and everbody was pleased. I’ve now looked into ext4 and it is not ready for use. According to the official Ubuntu site  https://wiki.ubuntu.com/JauntyJackalope/ReleaseNotes#line-145 there are numerous errors with ext4 including hanging when files are deleted, not booting with grub, and possible data losses.

April 24, 2009

JavaScript Testing

I’m finding my JavaScript code is not behaving as I’d like it to. Code I thought was solid and have been using consistently is less than solid. Code involving money. So it’s time to start rigorously testing things as if I were coding in C/C++. At http://www.opensourcetesting.org/unit_javascript.php is a list of free tools that can help.

  1. CrossCheck. It seems to concentrate on verifing the code will run on multiple browsers. Making sure things work on buggy browsers like IE is not big on my list.
  2. JavaScript Assertion Unit. Assertion testing. Might be all I need. Probably not though. I don’t want to complicate the code itself. I’d like to have a separate unit supplying the input and comparing it to expected results that can be used by code coverage tests too.
  3. JSCoverage. This runs the latest Linux and Firefox distros and looks very promising. It only checks coverage though. Nothing else.
  4. JSMock. The documentation is less than clear. I can’t tell if it can be automated, if it runs on Linux, or even what it does. Hopefully it allows test scripts to suppy and perhaps change values within the called functions and compare the results. However if it does do this it does not plainly say it.
  5. JSNUnit. A product made for M$ environments. Does not work in Linux.
  6. JSUnit. Tests multiple browser javascript on multiple OSs. It looks very promising in that you can write test scripts to run the pages, functions, and possibly even alter values. Hopefully allowing the JSCoverage to run at the same time. I’ll probably start with this tool.
  7. JSUnit. I’m not sure how this one differs from the other JSUnit. I’d best compare the two carefully before deciding which one to use.
  8. RhinoUnit. It is tied to ANT. It mentions having integrated support for JSLint.
  9. JSLint. I’m not sure if this can be run standalone. Perhaps this page will explain it better: http://www.jslint.com/rhino/index.html
  10. JavaScript Lint. Hmmm.

Some of the criteria I’m looking for are:

  1. Fully Automatable.
  2. Speed.
  3. Ease.
  4. Runs on Linux.
  5. Coverage Check.
  6. Free.
  7. Actively supported.
  8. RegEx comparisons.

The Lints are the natural place to start. I’ll somehow make some bash scripts to test them and go from there.

April 22, 2009

New Wave Of Bankruptcy?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 5:18 pm

Why are the big American motor companies and banks giving back their bailout loans? The news reports keep saying it’s because they have provisions limiting the pay they can give themselves. So do they or don’t they need bailout money? If they don’t then they’ve been lying to us and we’ve been giving them money as if all we had to do was print it off. If they are not lying then they are going to go bankrupt. Their thinking must be along the lines of:

If we accept this bailout money we will only make X. But if we don’t accept and go bankrupt we’ll get 100X with our golden parachutes and such. So screw the bailout money!

Can they really be this greedy that they don’t care about the tens of thousands of employees they’ll be destroying. And the hundreds of thousands if not tens of millions of people who are effected financially by these people.

Either way the future of public companies should be regulated. Perhaps there should be a law stating they can not receive more than double the salary of the avearage employee’s salary. Perhaps also there should be laws to prevent public companies from then outsourcing jobs so they couldn’t claim there were only 10 employees and the average pay for those 10 employees were all 10 million dollars. I’m sure they’d try to hire other firms to do all the work and play as if they couldn’t financially do that work themselves. And perhaps that would be true. So in that case then they’d have to hire firms where the average employees pay is known, along with how many employees there are, so they could be figured into the equation.

Why do our business schools turn out such morally deprived individuals?

April 20, 2009

Too Funny

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 10:06 pm

Rep. Jane Harman Focus In Yet Another Warrantless Wiretap Scandal

Slashdot has an article that’s too funny. Democrats are as evil as Republicans. I’ve mentioned that before. Well here we have what appears to be Attorney General Gonzales blackmailing Jane Hartman. He got the goods on her with a legal wiretap. (The article does not make it clear what those goods are.) So rather than make an issue of it she becomes the biggest most crucial defender of Bush’s wireless eavesdropping program.

Can’t we make them both do something useful. Gonzales could perhaps do time working at the ACLU. Harman could do time helping kids in the projects avoid peer pressure?

Nuclear Fusion Milestone?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 8:30 pm

Scientists take another stab at nuclear fusion

Nuclear fusion is the National Ignition Facility’s biggest goal.

By 2010 or 2011, the lab’s scientists hope to achieve ignition – that is, produce the first tiny thermonuclear explosions inside their capsule targets in hopes of ultimately creating a limitless source of fusion energy, the kind of energy that powers the blazing heat of the sun and stars.

Are we really that close to nuclear fusion? Or is this merely an April fools day prank? If this is real then it’s one of those events you will want to remember where you were.

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