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Thursday, December 29th, 2022

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Combo rapid tests are a thing in Europe, the US needs them too (marginalrevolution.com)

Marginal Revolution, the blog I'm linking to, brought these to my attention. He's a conservative economist blogger. I don't always agree with him but I value the varied insights in my feeds. And in this case, I 100% agree with him that the FDA needs to get off its butt and approve these sort of tests given the current health climate.

12/29/2022 8:23 am | |
Tags: medicine, covid 19, flu season

Newsletter bug fixed

Discovered a bug in my code this morning. Yesterday's and today's newsletters pulled the entries from November rather than December - oops. It's fixed now.

The issue originated because I changed how I called my newsletter generation code, moving the date selection from built-in PHP to Javascript. However, I missed that Javascript numbers months starting with zero. So January = 0 and December = 11.

So it was calling for 2022-11-27 thinking we all agreed that this meant December 27th, rather than November 27th. Whoops.

12/29/2022 9:02 am | |
Tags: glowbug, programming, javascript

I just want a dumb TV

Katie and I have had a flat screen TV which we bought shortly after moving to Seattle, a bit over ten years ago. I snagged it as a really good deal from Sam's Club and, overall, it has been fantastic except for one thing. For much of the past ten years, it has had an annoying issue where, randomly, it pop up on screen and say a new connection has been detected and ask if we want to switch to it. This should be a handy feature, right? Except, it's not. We aren't making a new connection. It is detecting ghost signals. Nothing is plugged into the port it believes have a new connection.

As it turns out - this is a known issue when I search the model online and no one has found a solution. So, we just have gotten used to it as a minor annoyance and inconvenience.

However, while we have come to be used to it, I am also embarrassed by it when we have friends over. Like if my car were to keep randomly backfiring while I was giving a friend a ride. They're my friends, they aren't judging me economically or in any way by the TV's annoying interstitial screen, but still... I hate it.

So, with some Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket, I have decided it's time we replace this TV.

But, now I am faced with a new growing frustration: finding a reliable & high quality dumb TV. That is, one which doesn't have its own Internet connection and report the hours I binge and threaten to show me even more ads. As it turns out, these are not prolific in the market.

It is the sad state of the world that TV companies have realized they can derive even more revenue by doing this. In my searches the only "dumb" TV I could find which fit my price range and size specs was from the "Sceptre" brand which is reviewed poorly online.

I could go to Craigslist or FB marketplace, but I fear scammers and buying a bad TV and having no recourse to recoup my money.

Ultimately, I have conceded defeat: finding a new dumb TV is a losing battle. I've accepted that we'll be getting some sort of smart TV, and that I'll simply not use its built in features and I'll leave it offline. This ensures that it can't be fed new ads or share usage data, etc.

Or does it? I fear about the next step for these devices, which would be the now nearly omnipresent Xfinity wifi. What if the manufacturer has worked out a deal that it can always reliably connect to Xfinity regardless of whether I initiate it or not? The discussions I've seen online don't seem to have anyone confirming this sort of thing happening, but it isn't a major leap to guess that it could arrive one day.

I guess we'll cross that bridge when it arrives. But this is an area, like right to repair, I wish we'd get some real champions in Congress and the Senate to push legislation which protects consumers and pushes back on the corporations.

12/29/2022 9:12 am | |
Tags: gadget, technology, television, internet of things

Forever one of the greats, farewell Pelé (youtube.com)


Few names carry the same weight as Pelé, the Brazilian legend. While it is arguable if he is the greatest ever now, it is unquestionable that he remains one of the players who forever changed the game and raised its visibility around the world.

I've had the chance to go to Brazil twice, both times to São Paulo. On the first of those trips I was able to visit the "Museo de Futbol" in São Paulo which was virtually hosted by Pelé.

Sadly, I don't have a good photo from inside. My phone at the time only had a so-so camera. I have a blurry photo of me posing in front of the virtual Pelé, but it is not worth sharing. I keep it purely to add to the memory of that visit.

That said, it is still one of my all-time favorite travel memories, to stand in what almost felt like a holy place in a country that loves the beautiful game, hosted by the hero of soccer for the country.

Obigrado Pelé.

12/29/2022 4:51 pm | |
Tags: soccer, obituary

MySQL Tracking Changes to Records (stackoverflow.com)

I am thinking about adding a versioning history ability to my blog engine, so I Googled to see what I could find about best practices in regards to the database design for it. And I found this fantastic answer on StackOverflow which breaks down the structures, reasoning and methodology beautifully.

12/29/2022 6:52 pm | |
Tags: programming, mysql, database design, stackoverflow

The Babylonians calculated the square root of 2 with 99.9999% accuracy, amazing (threadreaderapp.com)

Note: Base-60 is referred to as 'sexagesimal'

They calculated square root of 2 as 1.41421296296 without a calculator, very impressive.

12/29/2022 9:10 pm | |
Tags: mathematics, history, babylon

Mastodon Favs for December, 29th 2022

This post was automatically generated

12/29/2022 10:45 pm | |
Tags: mastodon, social media, automated

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