Lizardman's constant

Jun 15 2020

Lizardman's Constant - A rough heuristic of the population of people who troll data collection polls.  Comes from asking the question "Do you believe that the President is a shape-shifting lizard person?" and consistently getting a roughly 4.5% "yes" response.

Well, there's your problem...

Nov 30 2019

UPDATE: 20191230 - Uploaded a copy to my Peertube account.

From time to time I carp about how generally lousy our bandwidth is out here.  Verizon (our CLEC in the Bay Area) has all but given up on maintaining their infrastructure out here, aside from the bare minimum to keep the copper from turning to verdigris.  They gave up on deploying fiber some years ago (local mirror) some years ago, and from the poking around I've done on their side of the fence, their general stance in the Bay Area appears to be "Get everyone on celllar so we can ignore the rest of the network."  Which sucks and does nobody but Verizon's shareholders any good in the long run.

Anyway, after yet another afternoon wasted on the phone with tech support because our speed fell to pre-dialup speeds for reasons unknown, I decided to take the bull by the horns and put some old skills to work.  Out came the fox and hound and my old lineman's test set, and I set about figuring out which lines in the fist-sized morass of ancient wiring outside, if any, were actually hooked up.  The way a fox and hound works is, you clip or plug a tone generator (the fox) into the line you want to trace, and you use a matching inductive probe (the hound) to listen for the sound.  Telephony cables are almost never insulated so you don't need to touch the copper directly, the faint EM field around the wire is sufficient.

I was able to trace the line successfully, but in so doing I found out why our bandwidth was so terrible.  Thankfully, after demonstrating the problem to the contractor that Verizon sent out, we were able to work together to not only rip out the dead cabling outside, but mostly resolve the interference.

Neologism: Platypus truther

Feb 18 2018

Platypus truther - noun - Someone who doggedly, ruthlessly, and almost to the exclusion of anything else (including good sense) espouses, defends, and picks fights over a position, idea, or hypothesis that is completely and totally around the bend.  Even taking into account the context of this person's other activities (social media history, books written, and so forth) it makes absolutely no sense why they would claim to believe such a thing, let alone fight with people over it.  There is absolutely no way of telling if they're communicating in good faith or not.  It could be trolling, it might be absurdist peformance art, it could even be software mediated madness, or some other combination of phenomena.

The term was coined as a description of a Twitter user who is adamant that platypodes do not actually exist.  The individual's claim is that all drawn depictions of the creature are fanciful, all video recordings are special effects, and all live specimens are actually mutilated creatures of other types.  Nobody knows what the hell they're on about, so all we can do is shake our collective head and close the tab.

When using Lastpass with Google Chrome, occasionally it'll automatically log you out.

Dec 01 2016

Sometimes, very occasionally, when using the Lastpass plugin with Google Chrome, you may find that Lastpass will start acting wonky. Specifically, if you've had Chrome running for a couple of days, you will notice that Lastpass has logged you out, even if you're in an Incognito Window. When clicking on the browser plugin's icon, you will be able to log into it as usual; multifactor authentication will similiarly work as expected. If you wait a few seconds, the plugin's icon will go dark again. If you're quick and drop into "My Vault," you'll see that screen for a second or two before you get bounced out again. You won't be able to log into anything, and you'll eventually start cursing the day you decided to stop using a password manager like Keepass. You might do this a dozen or two times, scratching your head all the while.

To break out of this frustrating loop, clear your browser cache (Chrome menu icon -> History -> History -> Clear Browsing Data, check Browsing history and Download history, uncheck everything else -> Clear browsing data), fully terminate Chrome (don't just close all of your windows), and start it up again. That should fix the problem.