Staying away from WD NAS drives for now

Western Digital just admitted to Tom’s Hardware that they use a notoriously slow technology, shingled magnetic recording (SMR), in the WD Red drives they market for use in high performance storage devices. This is a very bad look for them. I just replaced my last 6TB Red with a Seagate IronWolf over the weekend (coincidentally; it had nothing to do with this). In my experience, Reds have a nasty habit in their old age of taking performance nosedives without reporting any SMART errors.

The Kansas City Wormhole

I’ve had one inexplicable thing happen in my life. I remembered it today and texted an old buddy about it, and his memory of it was identical to mine. One day after high school, 3 friends and I piled into my car and drove to Kansas City to meet up with some other friends who had moved there. They weren’t home when we arrived, and at some point we had the idea to go to the zoo to kill time because we thought it was free (and we were broke).

More apps lost to subscriptions

Two more apps I really like(d) have recently announced that they’re moving to subscription models: Fantastical and Paste. The Internet almost universally decided to stomp on the former’s announcement, but I’m not sure that the latter is widely popular enough to get a lot of people riled up. With rare exception, these moves are death knells for my usage of such apps. As I’ve written before, the bottom line is that apps have to offer good value to their users.

Commodore declared bankruptcy 25 years ago today

Commodore International declared bankruptcy on April 29, 1994, and pretty much sealed the fate of the Amiga. I couldn’t care less about Commodore, but I think we lost something special when Amiga died. My parents bought an Amiga 1000 shortly after it launched (and then, begrudgingly, a 256KB RAM expansion a month later because otherwise you couldn’t do much with it). It was a magical machine with true preemptive multitasking at a time when DOS was normal, and years before Macs could decently run multiple programs at once.

A standard for describing a site's password rules

There’s not a universal standard for what a valid password on a website must look like. Some sites allow you to use any four letters. Others require at least twenty characters, including at least one numeric digit and one “special character” (aka punctuation). Even when using a password manager, the process of creating a good one looks a lot like: Turn the password manager’s strength settings all the way up and generate a password.

Ringing the bird

I was on an early morning walk and came across a guy staring at the telephone wires. As I approached, I caught the distinct aroma of marijuana. I turned to see what he might be looking at, and he held a finger to his lips to quiet me. He whispered, “there’s a mockingbird up there. If you listen, he’ll ring like a bell.” Sure, buddy. So we stood there in silence, and then the little bird opened his mouth and sang chimes to us.

Heavy traffic is not a DDoS

Ajit Pai claimed that when the FCC asked citizens to comment on Net Neutrality, their website was attacked with a distributed denial of service, or DDoS. I’ve heard many of his defenders claim that an overwhelming number of people trying to use the website to comment was in fact a DDoS. This is a lie. It was not a kind of DDoS. Words mean things, and “DDoS” specifically means a coordinated attack.

Happy birthday to me!

I registered on July 2, 1998, so today is its twentieth birthday. We’ve had fun, little domain. Here’s to twenty more!

"At a Crucial Juncture, Trump’s Legal Defense Is Largely a One-Man Operation"

At a Crucial Juncture, Trump’s Legal Defense Is Largely a One-Man Operation – The New York Times Highlights: Joseph diGenova, a longtime Washington lawyer who has pushed theories on Fox News that the F.B.I. made up evidence against Mr. Trump, left the team on Sunday. He had been hired last Monday, three days before the head of the president’s personal legal team, John Dowd, quit after determining that the president was not listening to his advice.

How many minutes of Internet are you paying for each month?

If you pay for a 100Mbps cable connection to the Internet and your plan sets a 300GB data cap, you can use your connection at full speed for 8.3 hours per month before hitting overuse charges. If your cell phone plan supports 50Mbps LTE speeds and has a 10GB data cap, you’re only allowed to use it at full speed for 33 minutes per month. I think it’s deceptive for an ISP to advertise an Internet connection’s speeds without disclosing how much you can actually use it without being disconnected or racking up extra fees.