More Broken Infrastructure

Yesterday Hurricane Ida came ashore in Louisiana. Today all of New Orleans is without power. My understanding at this point, which may be incorrect, is that at least two, and possibly all eight major transmission lines into the city have collapsed. This could take weeks or longer to repair.

I have to point out that these towers survived Katrina and lots of lesser storms and should have been able to handle Ida, which did little other property damage in the area. I am also led to believe that maintenance was deferred or even ignored in recent years. Surely multiple independent systems should not have failed like this. I’m going to shoot from the hip and blame for-profit infrastructure providers like Entergy who have every incentive to cut maintenance and boost profits.

i hope there is an investigation and people are held to account. But like the similar power event in Texas this winter, I am not expecting much.

Sauerkraut Update

I started making sauerkraut a bit unintentionally. A friend had brought by a gift in this big 2 quart mason jar, while we also had some cabbage going bad in the fridge. I also happened to read an article on sauerkraut, but I suppose my smart devices (Alexa, phone) could had sent me the article, knowing about my cabbage and new jar.

In the last year or two I have experimented a bit, which mostly hasn’t worked out. My last batch of sauerkraut wasn’t so good. Not bad, just basically wet cabbage. I put a bit of lemon in, just a couple of thin slices in, just for flavor. My guess is I lowered the pH and cut into the fermentation. This time I went fairly traditional. A head of cabbage, sliced as thin as I could manage, a red onion, also sliced thin, some matchstick carrots which I admit were going a bit slimy in the fridge (I did rinse them off). I added a bit of garlic and some peppercorns. I realized I also omitted red pepper flakes. Oh, and I measured the one tablespoon of kosher salt instead of just estimating.

For the first time I didn’t have to add water. It is bubbling nicely and even overflowed a bit. Looking forward to tasting this batch in a week or two.

Uber Fail

I like Uber the service. I despise Uber the business. Lyft too. I have always considered them simply illegal taxi operations siphoning off equity from their employees (contractors?) cars. Mr. Doctorow lays it out from the accounting side. And yes, I’m have noticed Uber has gotten dramatically more expensive and waits dramatically longer. Probably worse in most cases than old fashioned taxis.

It finally got laughable to me when they started all the self-driving car nonsense. Uber was going to replace every one of it’s basically free labor and capital with roughly $50k worth of hardware? You need lots of cash for that. And a self-driving car that actually works. You also lose the ability to exploit the equity in all those employee / contractor cars. A good read below, for anyone who doubts this was always a fraud.

End of the Line for Uber

Raspberry Pi OS vs Ubuntu

A while back I decided to have a go at using a Raspberry Pi 4 as my primary desktop machine. I went with Ubuntu for the OS which was a bit of a slog at first, but these days it is pretty well supported, mostly. I currently have three other Raspberry Pis in the house, two Raspberry Pi Zeros being used for network monitoring and as a lawn sprinkler controller and a Raspberry Pi 4 on the downstairs TV for streaming.

I didn’t have much choice and stuck with the Raspberry Pi OS for the Zeroes, since I Ubntu wasn’t available. It was only 32-bit bit for the simple embedded applications it was enough. I also had a Zero side project to display images on a TV, a bit like those LCD photo frames. A Zero was good enough for that sort of thing and I used Raspberry Pi OS again.

Ubuntu on the TV became a bit of a problem. The GPU support is lacking and you really need to GPU to watch video. Every time Ubuntu would update, it would silently clobber my GPU support. Last night I decided to dump Ubuntu and go with Raspberry Pi OS. It took no time at all to install and configure and the resulting video was so clean my wife even commented on it.

I suppose for now I will stick with Ubuntu on the desktop and deal with the spotty support, but I think all of my future Pi projects will be using Raspberry Pi OS.

Who Watches TV?

When I think of all the misinformation and conspiracy theories circulating these days I always blame The Internet. I was curious about who is spending time on the internet, since you might think people more prone to believing misinformation are the people spending the most time on the internet. It seems like there is a more interesting question. Who is watching broadcast TV vs other on demand streaming media?

How the Median Age of TV Viewers Differs Across Platforms