Bored Panda on Capitalism

One of my guilty pleasures is Bored Panda. Usually just fun and funny stuff, memes, etc. I’ll email them to a few close friends and family, but normally it isn’t the sort of thing I would post here. This morning I ran across this one which stuck with me. As the man said, the truth shall set you free. But first the truth shall make you angry.

96 Painfully Accurate Posts From ‘Workers Strike Back’ To Illustrate How Out Of Hand Capitalism Has Gotten

Water in the West

We are planning to move to the Phoenix area. With climate change, water, or lack thereof, has been in the news. I decided to read Cadillac Desert from 1986 for some background. The story is a history of water in the west. It is a story mostly of corruption and squander. But the upshot is there is plenty of water in the west, at least for things like drinking and washing. The biggest use is agriculture, with cattle farming taking the lions share. This is more for the growing of crops to feed cattle, which uses more of less half of the water in the Colorado River. It needs to be pointed out that this is a huge subsidy and there are other, much better, places to raise cattle. Like anywhere that isn’t a desert.

The New York Times has an article today that gives the numbers. The chart in the article says it all.

Tesla Model 3 Changes

We had one of the original Tesla Model 3s. Put down a deposit and waited two years to get it. We have had it since 2018 or so. It wasn’t a commute car but just one for around town driving. We also put in a home charger which made a big difference in convenience. We just got a new Tesla Model 3, and while Tesla doesn’t do the traditional sort of upgrades on a yearly basis that other car makers do, there are some changes. Here are a few early observations.

Battery: our original long range model had older lithium batteries (with cobalt?). This gave us 310 miles of range, max. But we mostly charged it to 90%, based on Tesla recommendations. We also saw a (roughly) 10% drop in capacity after a year or so. So our typical max range was more like (roughly) 250 miles. The new iron chemistry battery has a lower top range, but can be charged to 100% routinely. A complicated subject, but there are differences.

Home Charging: the old Model 3 charged at 48A on the home charger. The new Model 3 is only 32A. This is only about 2/3 as much power being delivered to the batteries. We haven’t done a big charge at home yet but I suppose it will be significantly slower. Probably won’t matter much, and shouldn’t effect supercharging.

Tax Credit: only half the $7500 tax credit. While the car is made in Fremont, CA the batteries are still from China.

Floor mats: No floor mats. Noticed quickly. Have to buy them via the app. Only $100.

Range sensors: The ultrasonic range finders used to tell how far the car is from obstacles has been replaced by camera / vision technology. So far doesn’t seem as reliable.

AM radio: Theee is no AM radio. I don’t really care, but a bit odd.

Center Console: new sliding door on console. Hated the old one. Could never get it to close properly.

USB: all USB-C. Need new charging cables. Also built in wireless phone charger. My old phone cannot use it though.

Video Saves: I’m pretty sure the old Model 3 required a specially formatted USB drive to store video from cameras for things like sentry mode. The new Model 3 seems to use existing internal memory. I’m tod there is a USB port in the glove box but I have yet to investigate.

Self Driving: we don’t have “full” self driving, but it does come with some sort of lane assist that I’m pretty sure wasn’t in the old model. I admit I’m not well versed in the different pieces of Tesla’s self driving technology.

Garage Door Opener: not a game changer, but someone should have mentioned this. The built in garage door opener is now a $350 option. Luckily we still had an old clicker so we could open the garage with the new car when we got it home.

Trunk Close Button: trunk can be closed automatically with a button. Nice because people tended to really slam the old one. I’m thinking grocery pickups during the pandemic.

Probably some (lots?) More I havent run across yet, but these are my own first impressions. All errors are mine and mine only.


Subwoofer: music doesn’t seem as good as the original Model 3. Possibly no subwoofer?

Chatbots Don’t Know What Stuff Isn’t

This morning I was wondering about negation in modern logic and AI systems. The underlying problem is that these systems are trained with facts. Things that are true. This makes sense and is the way even earlier AI and logic systems, including things like cyc, were trained. But what about things that aren’t true? Well, lots of things aren’t true. In fact, lots more things are false than are true. I can say I’m 60 years old. I can also say I’m not 59 years old. Or not 61 years old. Or not a million years old. The statements that aren’t true about this one little fact are infinite, literally.

So how does AI manage this? Just as I was wondering this, I ran across this article in Quanta. The short answer is: AI doesn’t manage this at all. If you ask a question involving a negation, you are likely to get a completely wrong answer. This is a significant problem and not an easy one to solve. A good article for anyone interested in the possibilities, and limits, of existing artificial intelligence. It may also say something about our own ability to understand what is true and what is not.

Chatbots Don’t Know What Stuff Isn’t

Inductive Cooking

We have gas (propane actually) for heating and cooking. As part of my personal movement to Electrify Everything, I bought one of these little countertop induction hot plates. Have heard good things about them. Decided to get an inexpensive one, in case it didn’t work out. Bought this Austrian (Made in China) unit from Mueller for $50. Realized all of my cookware is anodized aluminum and none of it would work with an induction cooker. So I bought this frying pan from Misen for $60, a bit more than the cooktop itself. Was going to go slow, boil some water and maybe fry some eggs in a day or two. But we had burgers for dinner and decided to dive right in. Have to say it was better than I expected. Way better. Cleanup was a breeze too.

All the arguments against EVs are wrong

Noah Opinion collects all the EV misinformation in one place and refutes it. Yet see the exhausting comments by people (trolls? Chatbots? Oil industry employees?) repeating mostly the same claims refuted in the article. As I told an old friend once, EVs are just faster, quieter, cheaper with less maintenance. And they don’t smell bad with exhausts that will kill you, quickly and slowly. But mostly they will win because they are cheaper. Did I mention I bought my second Tesla yesterday? As much as I dislike their management, I cant see going back to gasoline.

All the arguments against EVs are wrong

FPGA Software Honors

Near the turn on the millennium I was the lead on a project called JBits. It was a full end to end software development environment for Xilinx FPGAs. It was very unusual at the time and supported high level language design as well as run time reconfiguration, things still difficult to do today.

The project was never commercialized, mostly due to the bad economic environment after Y2K and then 9/11. But over the years I have run into people, mostly at technical conferences, who were fans. Odd to see a 20 year old software project getting recognition, but this week at FCCM JBits received an award for contributions to the field. Nice to be remembered especially in a field that changes so fast and where so much gets forgotten.