Gonzalo & Friends
Stick to high notes.
Gonzalo Lira held the second of his new roundtable discussions the other day. But before we get into that: we had a software update as well.
And Apple have a new chip. The ‘M2’. As always, it's supposed to be bigger and better. Teh Goober praises the new MBA (with the M2) highly. Goober's paid in some sort of NFTs for his loyalty, to be sure, but even so. He makes a convincing argument for taking one home. In fact there are only two arguments against.
It's too pricey. Depending on your geolocation, the price may have gone up $300-$500.
It's too new. The old Apple trap. Because Apple have to dongle everything. Their market is deliberately limited. In the iPhone market they compensate through App Store, which is currently bringing them to court yet again. On the Mac side, they come out with new stuff all the time to sell to the same clients. You can't make a good product, release it, and then take time to iron out the kinks and make it perfect. If you have a perfect product, sooner or later everyone in your demographic will have one (Apple’s demographic can't expand naturally). They have to come out with replacements so the same people buy essentially the same thing over and over again.
Early adopters keep getting screwed. Best is to wait until you see how the early adopters fared. Prices can also come down over time.
Rixstep Software Update
Our software update was mostly incidental, with a number of changes to our default AWS lineup. One of the reasons was the announcement by DDG that they would in fact be skewing search results in the future.
Good to know.
There are legacy issues with DDG that never get fixed. Perhaps most infamous is the way DDG looks only at the month and day when sorting news. Year is completely overlooked. You get weird listings.
Another issue is that, despite their protests to the contrary, DDG does in fact rely on Google. This is easy to prove. Put a blocker against Google’s crawler in your own website and then watch DDG's results dwindle to nothing. Remove the blocker and DDG’s results return in a day or two.
Presearch is an alternative to DDG, seems to be Canadian, seems pretty good, but there are things we don't like.
DDG searches can open results in a new tab, Presearch's can't. DDB image search results provide more up-front information. Presearch results often have adverts of some sort at the top.
New AWS Services
The AWS services we've added are:
DDG: DDG, DDG Images, DDG Maps, DDG News, DDG Shopping, DDG Videos
Presearch: Pre, Pre -, Pre Images, Pre News, Pre Videos
We still have an ambition to make ASMX always save in binary XML.
We also added tips on tidying up ~/Library/Caches. And we possibly have a new app in the pipeline, a sort of 'speed bar' for fast searches.
Finally, Rixedit adds a new extension to its collection: 'note8'. This for 'NOTE' files using UTF-8.
World Ivermectin Day
Before we forget it: 23 July is World Ivermectin Day. This is an initiative by Tess Lawrie's BiRD group.
Anyway. Pass it on. This should be their second annual effort, right?
Another non-sequitur. It just popped up here. You guys might like it.
'I just want to know: Who in the US was paying James Vasquez to pretend to be fighting in Ukraine? Was it an intelligence agency? An NGO? Who?'
The link to the vid is in the description. What's uplifting is seeing how many onlookers try to defuse the situation. We all want the same thing.
Gonzalo & Friends
Tired of the war in Ukraine? Isn't everyone? Can you imagine what it must have been like for Pug Henry and Pam Tudsbury to endure so many years in the UK?
But this clip isn't about a war as much as it's about dissolution in the West. Gonzalo's got three friends on board this time: David Kurten, George Szamuely who's often seen as a guest on CrossTalk, and, for us at any rate, the heretofore unknown Maria Dubovikova from a cosy residence somewhere in Moscow. This is like CrossTalk but well run. It goes on for about an hour and a half.
There's a reason you see all of them but not Gonzalo, BTW. According to Gonzalo. He's in Kharkov (yes) and it's bad bandwidth.
Kurten was good, Gonzalo ran things well, but the big surprise was Maria. It turns out that Maria's the one who brought the Kraken torture clips of Russian POWs to the world's attention. She seems to enjoy herself - lovely giggle. And her final words haunt.
What Gonzalo leads his friends through here is, inter alia, the dissolution of the West. As in the end of 'western culture'. Not the war per se, although the war (conflict) is an inevitable pivot point for it all.
Gonzalo and his family left the US to get away from the woke. David in the UK founded a political party to fight it. George is in Hungary. And Maria's safe in Russia.
What they clearly see, as do so many of us, is an ongoing repetition of a known historic pattern. Societies dissolving / imploding from within even as other societies emerge. Russians want 'society' in a 'traditional' sense. Things are out of control in the West. Clearly there's little hope for the West as things stand - everybody's bloody miserable - but the Russians are clearly doing well, perhaps better than ever before in their long history.
Maria in Closing
Tidied up a bit...
Behind every number there is a name. Behind every name there is a person. Behind every person there is a story.
A story that, if you listen, will give you shivers.
My only desire is to stop this war. And to make the West understand what they are doing in fueling this conflict.
That's what I'm thinking of. That's what's breaking my heart.
Bojo and the DS: Notice at the one-hour mark what Gonzalo says about Boris Johnson and his abrupt 180 on Russia when getting the keys to 10 Downing.
They also mention Chatham House.
Anyway: it's nice to see people 'party' together like that in these uncertain times.
And again: Maria's final words do haunt.
The sun is coming. The sweltering days are gone (for now). Stick to high notes.