Covid Death Rates – Vaxxed vs. Unvaxxed

Once again, hanging onto this for the inevitable discussion about vaccines and “they don’t work”.

I look forward to the day where covid stops messing up the world.

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A Lie Will Travel Around the World While the Truth is Getting its Socks On

This sort of thing is just so destructive. How many tens of thousands of people saw this and thought “See! These vaccinations are killing people!”

As a result of this, people will likely have died.

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Pro-Trump counties now have far higher COVID death rates

A few months ago my dad (a loyal Fox News watcher) claimed that it was Democrats that weren’t getting vaccinated. I didn’t have the data at the ready to disprove this but had read several articles about it.

I’m saving this here just in case it comes up again. I doubt facts will be listened to, but it’s worth a shot.

Oh, and he is vaccinated – he had a rough bout with Covid-19 last year and wants to make sure it never happens again.

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Article: The Web3 Fraud

As I get older, I worry about falling behind on technology. I don’t want to be one of those old people who don’t engage with modern tech. I don’t ever want to be like those people afraid of computers, or claim that typing isn’t something someone needs to do, etc.

I am, however, very skeptical of blockchain and ‘Web3’. I just can’t quite get it to work in my mind. Yes, I understand low trust situations, but there are already ways to handle that. I also understand the desire for contracts that are binding and execute without any intervention, but the examples that have been presented to me depend on both parties actually wanting to live in a world where there is no independent control of cash flow. A company may want to manage cash flow by withholding money for a few days, or alternatively, reduce costs by offering to pay sooner than agreed upon, if the recipient agrees to a very slight reduction in the amount they receive.

I have yet to see an actual compelling (to me) use of cryptocurrency. I’ve bought some, and now that it has spiked by 200% and then dropped back down to almost the original value, I don’t see how it’s any ‘better’ than stocks.

The latest craze with NFT’s just seems like money laundering. At this point in time, at least one game publisher is working on creating NFT’s for in game items, which is better… how? Oh, you can have a serial number embedded on your in game character? Okay, why can’t that be done with existing tech – it’s not like it’s hard to keep track of add-ons or stuff that is equipped on your character? Oh, you can transfer ownership? Sure, that could be done using existing tech. You ‘own’ it, the publisher doesn’t? Uh-huh, right until the publisher kills the product that it depends on, which will happen.

In short (ha!), I’m a skeptic. Always looking to be proven wrong, and who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll be a complete convert.

In the meantime, here’s a good read on ‘web3’ : The Web3 Fraud | USENIX

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How viruses mutate and what can be done about it.

Just hanging on to this for the next time someone tells me that the vaccinated are why Covid-19 continues to mutate into new variants.

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TinkerTool for tinkering around with your Mac UI

I only use a couple of things that TinkerTool enables, but it is a wide ranging tool! It’s important to note that it is only changing the built in behaviors of MacOS – it does not add functionality that isn’t already there. Having said that, there is a lot of MacOS functionality built in that is not exposed! Want to show and hide your Dock without delay? Run with a single app focused? Change the default file type or naming when taking a screenshot? Work how some Unix systems do and automatically activate windows as you mouse over them? All available, along with hundreds of other settings.

Explore, enjoy, and remember what you changed so you can change it back if you want to!

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IBM PC Jr. Language Reference

Well, it’s more generic than that, but I needed it to recall how to do some display stuff on the PC Jr.

I set the Jr. up because I was talking with some future coworkers, and they had a history, or familiarity, with the PC Jr, so I figured it’d be a funny introduction to throw a big letter greeting up on the screen.

I started to think about how to create a ‘real’ program to generate banners based on input, but I realized perhaps I should be focusing on forward looking items, not stuff from 40 years ago! So the Jr. is back on the display shelf, and I’m moving onto AWS stuff.

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Great writeup: Specificity: Your Brain’s Superpower

Not mine, but very good. While some of this can come off negatively (think about how you say things!), the overall thought process is great. Frequently I use some of these techniques and they are very effective!

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/XosKB3mkvmXMZ3fBQ/specificity-your-brain-s-superpower

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Results of a Password Cracking Contest

Just hanging onto this for future reference. Not for the passwords obviously, but the process that the ‘best password cracker’ student used – pretty effective.

https://mchow01.github.io/education/security/2021/11/06/password-cracking.html

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Relational vs. NoSQL Databases

This article provides a nice, brief, overview of the differences between relational and NoSQL databases.

So far in all the systems I’ve developed, we’ve stuck with relational databases for the primary data stores, and then used others, such as ElasticSearch, and key-value based caches, for areas where traditional SQL couldn’t keep up (or didn’t need to be hit 50,000 times per minute for something that rarely changes). It definitely takes some effort, but mixing and matching to meet your needs works out better than being religious about a given data storage and access methodology and technology!

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