Object of desire - 3.2TB SSD from Samsung

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Ho. Li. Crap. From IT World:

The end of HDD? Samsung debuts a 3.2TB PCIe SSD card
Solid-state drives have been primarily used in desktops as fast boot drives, with large traditional hard disks used for the mass data storage and some apps. Most of the advancements in SSD media has been more around wear leveling and durability rather than raising capacity.

Well, now that they are getting the durability squared away, some are going for capacity. Several have released 1TB drives. Samsung just one-upped them all with a PCIe-based drive that holds 3.2TB.

The drive is based on Samsung's 3D V-NAND, or vertical NAND, flash memory technology, which uses 3D stacking of the cells. In traditional memory architectures, 2D structures were the norm, which meant that the more memory packed into a chip, the denser the memory became, causing interference between cells. So instead of building out, Samsung built up, as it were.

Samsung's choice of PCIe was not an accident or catering to the high end crowd. SATA III, the current top-of-the-line bus for hard drives and SSDs, is maxed out and the drives are faster than the interface. The result has been a plateauing of performance by SATA-based SSD drives. The SM1715 is a four-lane PCIe card, which offers 1.6GB of bandwidth. SATA III has just 600MB of bandwidth.

Samsung claims the SM1715 provides a sequential read speed of 3,000 megabytes per second (MB/s) and writes sequentially at up to 2,200MB/s. By contrast, the best SATA III drives are maxing out at 500MB/s reads and 400MB/s writes. The card also randomly reads at up to 750,000 IOPS (input output operations per second) and writes randomly at up to 130,000 IOPS. A top-level SATA SSD might hit 100k read IOPS and write IOPS of 90k.

No word on price as yet but this is a gamechanger. I recently upgraded my 5-year old music computer with an 512 GB SSD and performance is greatly improved - night and day. The downside is that I have to be really careful where I install applications - I have some sample players and Cakewalk Studio but all the associated media files have to live on D:\

It would be nice to have everything in one place...

Poor Barry - even his staunchest followers are jumping ship.

From Cornel West's twitter account:


From Michigan Live:

Great Lakes ice cover developing; Earliest in over 40 years
Ice is already starting to develop on Michigan's Great Lakes. This is the earliest ice on some of the Great Lakes in at least 40 years.

According to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, on November 20, 2014, three of Michigan's Great Lakes had ice starting to form. Lake Superior and Lake Michigan were one-half percent ice covered, while Lake Huron had one percent ice. Lake Erie was not reporting any ice as of Nov. 20, 2014.

Decent early season ice coverage records date back to 1973. Last Friday was the earliest date that all three Great Lakes already had ice since the better reporting of early season ice began.

Lake Superior actually had ice forming on November 15th of this year. That is the earliest ice on Lake Superior in the good data set.

Lakes Superior, Michigan and Huron had ice 10 days earlier this year than last year.

Lake Superior only had five and a half months without any ice on the lake.

We could use some warming these days...

The rioting in Ferguson, Mo

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There were about 25 buildings burned in Ferguson. An interesting metric from Breitbart:

Most Businesses Destroyed in Ferguson Minority Owned
KMOV-TV reports that the majority of stores that were damaged or completely destroyed during Monday night's violent riots in Ferguson were minority owned. Fire Departments around the St. Louis County Area put out 25 structural fires caused by vandals and looters following the announcement from the grand jury that Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the death of Mike Brown.

Most of the damaged businesses were on West Florissant Avenue and included: Walgreens, Little Caesers Pizza,  Autozone, Beauty Town, Title Max, Family Dollar Store, and O'Reilly Auto Parts. Small-business owner Natalie Dubose was in tears when she realized her cake store was attacked by vandals. 

Dubose, a mother of two, previously told CNN, "If I can't open my doors every morning, I can't feed my kids in the evening. Just don't burn my shop down, don't destroy it."

How's that hope and change working out for you. I am betting that the large stores will not rebuild causing the neighborhood to deteriorate even further.

Consequences of your actions? No thought given...

Michael Ramirez sums it up perfectly:


From Reuters:

Ferguson erupts after officer not charged in teen's shooting
A Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer on any charges in the fatal August shooting of an unarmed black teenager unleashed a wave of violent protests Monday night similar to what engulfed the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson in August.

Angry crowds took to the streets around the Ferguson, Missouri, police department after the grand jury determined there was no probable cause to charge officer Darren Wilson with any crime for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The incident highlighted longstanding racial tensions in the predominantly black city, which has a white-dominated power structure.

Brown was a known criminal, he had robbed a convenience store an hour prior. He was struggling with Officer Wilson trying to get the Officer's gun. The tox panel at the autopsy showed that he was high on pot. Six black witnesses stated that Brown was physically charging Officer Wilson when Officer Wilson acted to save himself.

This was back in August - for the last couple months, all kinds of outside agitators have been swarming into Ferguson. And nobody talks about the black on black violence - doesn't fit the narrative...

Yikes - new regulation on drones

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Now that they are coming into the reach of anyone with $2K to spend (and this is for a high-end unit), the Fed.Gov is stepping in to regulate them. There are some idiots out there but most people are really responsible.

From the Wall Street Journal's Marketwatch:

Drone flights face FAA hit
Highly anticipated federal rules on commercial drones are expected to require operators to have a license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls, according to people familiar with the rule-making process.

The drone industry has awaited commercial rules for about six years, hoping the rules would pave the way for widespread drone use in industries such as farming, filmmaking and construction. Current FAA policy allows recreational drone flights in the U.S. but essentially bars drones from commercial use.

While the FAA wants to open the skies to unmanned commercial flights, the expected rules are more restrictive than drone supporters sought and wouldn’t address privacy concerns over the use of drones, people familiar with the matter said.

The agency also plans to group all drones weighing less than 55 pounds under one set of rules. That would dash hopes for looser rules on the smallest drones, such as the 2.8-pound Phantom line of camera-equipped, four-rotor helicopters made by China’s SZ DJI Technology Co. Similar-sized devices are seen as the most commercially viable drones and have surged in popularity in the last two years.

Like I said, there are some idiots out there and there have been fatal accidents with flying drones striking people on the ground. Still, this is a case where the industry should be policing itself and not relying on the Fed.Gov to step in and take over.

Schlieren optics

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Schlieren optics allow us to see minute differences in air density. Here is a video:

More here - fun stuff! Their last example uses sulfur hexafluoride gas - this is the "anti-helium" - it is substantially denser than air and makes anyone into a basso profondo for a few breaths. No odor but a very light taste of bananas.

Snow season - Mt. Baker starting to build

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Checked the website for Mt. Baker ski area and they are starting to get some decent foundation. Still way off for opening but it's a great start.

Mt. Baker Snow Report for Sunday, November 23rd:

UPDATE:  Sunday November 23, 2014 - 1:00 pm

The snow from the last few days has started to build us a good base!  We received 10 inches of new snow in the past 24 hours, bringing the base at Heather Meadows to 23 inches, with 35 inches on top of Pan Dome.  Now we are waiting to see what next weeks' storm systems bring

We will continue to update this report daily, so stay tuned!

Mt. Baker does not have a set opening date; we open whenever we have enough snowfall accumulated.  Depending on the conditions (heavier compacted snow, light and fluffy snow, etc)  that can range anywhere from 24 - 40 inches needed on the ground. 

Looking forward to opening day - good for business and also, a lot of fun.

Back home again - final load-out

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Got the condo down to the bare walls. The walnut dining room table that I grew up with is now sitting in the living room and Lulu brought a chest of my Mom's and is going through it as I type.

Got a tri-tip resting under some salt and pepper and the BBQ is warming up. Pot of rice, a mess of steamed veggies (kale, some broccoli and carrot slices) and we are good to go for dinner.

Early bedtime tonight as I have the shopping run tomorrow.

Heading out the door to finish off emptying the Condo in Bellingham. It is going to look gorgeous but this process is still a pain. Also having to deal with my parent's effects on such an in-your-face level. It was a lot easier to compartmentalize everything and ignore that they are no longer here.

Had to be done at some point...

Today and tomorrow look like a dry two days for posting - spent some time surfing but it has been a quiet weekend news-wise.

Lulu toddled off to bed a few minutes ago and I am heading up soon after.

Water board meeting tomorrow as well.

Back home again - stiff and sore

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We moved a lot of stuff into the storage locker. Heading back there tomorrow for the last of it.

I am sore now and I will certainly be feeling it tomorrow but it needs to be done.  Two of Curtis' friends showed up to help so things went a lot better.

We all got a bite at FiveGuys so not much in the mood for dinner.  Lulu and I are having a nice big glass of wine and kicking back for a bit...

Hi Ho Hi Ho

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It's off to work we go. Spending today emptying the last of the stuff from my Mom and Dad's condo in Bellingham so the contractors can start to work.

Renting a truck with a lift-gate and we are only moving the stuff a few miles to a nearby storage locker so it will not be that bad.

More posting later today.

The SCP Foundation

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I have been authorized to divulge the existence of this organization as I have worked closely with them on several of their case files.

More at their website: The SCP Foundation

From their Mission Statement:

Mission Statement
Operating clandestine and worldwide, the Foundation operates beyond jurisdiction, empowered and entrusted by every major national government with the task of containing anomalous objects, entities, and phenomena. These anomalies pose a significant threat to global security by threatening either physical or psychological harm.

The Foundation operates to maintain normalcy, so that the worldwide civilian population can live and go on with their daily lives without fear, mistrust, or doubt in their personal beliefs, and to maintain human independence from extraterrestrial, extradimensional, and other extranormal influence.

Our mission is three-fold:

The Foundation secures anomalies with the goal of preventing them from falling into the hands of civilian or rival agencies, through extensive observation and surveillance and by acting to intercept such anomalies at the earliest opportunity.

The Foundation contains anomalies with the goal of preventing their influence or effects from spreading, by either relocating, concealing, or dismantling such anomalies or by suppressing or preventing public dissemination of knowledge thereof.

The Foundation protects humanity from the effects of such anomalies as well as the anomalies themselves until such time that they are either fully understood or new theories of science can be devised based on their properties and behavior. The Foundation may also neutralize or destroy anomalies as an option of last resort, if they are determined to be too dangerous to be contained.

Snake Eyes

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Chris Muir at Day By Day nails it with this cartoon:


The AP fact-checks Obama

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It is raining cats and dogs, the sun has turned blue and the earth's rotation has reversed. In other news The Associated Press is fact-checking Obama:

FACT CHECK: Obama's claims on illegal immigration
President Barack Obama made some notable omissions Thursday night in his remarks about the unilateral actions he's taking on immigration.

A look at his statements and how they compare with the facts:

OBAMA: "It does not grant citizenship, or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive - only Congress can do that. All we're saying is we're not going to deport you."

THE FACTS: He's saying, and doing, more than that. The changes also will make those covered eligible for work permits, allowing them to be employed in the country legally and compete with citizens and legal residents for better-paying jobs.


OBAMA: "Although this summer, there was a brief spike in unaccompanied children being apprehended at our border, the number of such children is now actually lower than it's been in nearly two years."

THE FACTS: The numbers certainly surged this year, but it was more than a "brief spike." The number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border has been on the rise since the 2011 budget year. That year about 16,000 children were found crossing the border alone. In 2012, the Border Patrol reported more than 24,000 children, followed by more than 38,800 in 2013. In the last budget year, more than 68,361 children were apprehended.


OBAMA: "Overall, the number of people trying to cross our border illegally is at its lowest level since the 1970s. Those are the facts."

THE FACTS: Indeed, in the 2014 budget year the Border Patrol made 486,651 arrests of border crossers, among the fewest since the early 1970s. But border arrests have been on the rise since 2011.

The decline in crossings is not purely, or perhaps even primarily, due to the Obama administration. The deep economic recession early in his presidency and the shaky aftermath made the U.S. a less attractive place to come for work. The increase in arrests since 2011 also can be traced in part to the economy — as the recovery improved, more people came in search of opportunity.

More at the site - for a member of the mainstream media to be checking on the truth gives me hope.

News you can use - raking leaves

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In a word - don't. From Seattle station KING-5:

Don't rake your leaves, scientists say
Here's an excuse to use the next time someone asks you to rake the leaves: science.

The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging people to leave the leaves.

On its website, the NWF says dry, dead leaves are important habitats for all kinds of critters.

Butterflies, salamanders, chipmunks, box turtles, toads, shrews, earthworms, and other creatures live, lay eggs in or eat from leaves, according to NWF's plea with the public to let the leaves stay where gravity left them.

"I care about the life cycle of all the insects that live in my yard," said Sarah Moore of the Pacific Science Center's indoor butterfly garden. "I want to be a habitat."

Butterflies begin in leaves as larvae. Moore says she never rakes her leaves at home.

Another scientist at the University of Washington Arboretum says he rarely rakes.

"It changes the habitat," said Randall Hitchin, who showed us all the insects that live in a pile of leaves. "It makes it unfriendly for them."

The only issue is that some tree diseases also flourish in the leaf litter. Anthracnose is a real biggie up here with our wet springs. We have a couple of cherry trees that have it bad - planning to treat this spring with Bordeaux mixture. Turns the trees smurf blue-green.


Boys and their toys - a backhoe

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Guinness World's Record for speed at 72.58 miles per hour:

Stupid students not seeing the big picture

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Used to live in Boston/Cambridge and glad I moved away. From the New York Times:

Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight to Court
A group of Harvard students, frustrated by the university’s refusal to shed fossil fuel stocks from its investment portfolios, is looking beyond protests and resolutions to a new form of pressure: the courts.

The seven law students and undergraduates filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in Suffolk County Superior Court in Massachusetts against the president and fellows of Harvard College, among others, for what they call “mismanagement of charitable funds.” The 11-page complaint, with 167 pages of supporting exhibits, asks the court to compel divestment on behalf of the students and “future generations.”

Hey snowflake - the US needs the energy from coal - always have and always will. alt.energy will never fill the gap. If you have such a paranoid irrational fear of coal (actually a very clean fuel and we have over 500 years in known resources), why not lobby for a cleaner alternative - nuclear, specifically Thorium for which we have several thousand years of known resources.

Fscking morons.

The students are revolting - damn straight skippy...

Ho Li Crap - this is a big engine

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The Chinese just launched the biggest cargo ship and it has the biggest engine. From the excellent gCaptain:
NOTE - a TEU is a Twenty-foot equivalent unit or a seabox 20' in length.

World’s Largest Containership Also Sets Record for Largest Engine Ever
With a capacity to carry 19,000 TEUs, the recently named MV CSCL Globe is the world’s largest containership by cargo capacity. But that’s not all it’s known for. The newbuild for China Shipping Container Lines is also noteworthy for being powered by what is physically the largest engine ever constructed.

CSCL Globe on Thursday completed three days of sea trials, putting the ship’s massive MAN B&W 12S90ME-C Mark 9.2 type low-speed main engine through its paces. The two-stroke engine is rated at 69,720 kW @ 84 rpm, although has been de-rated to 56,800 kW, and stands a whopping 17.2 meters tall (that’s over 56 feet!).

Just check out the size of this thing compared to a typical person:


I wonder how long it will be before someone sneaks a GoPro into the crankcase and posts a video. This puppy is huge!

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