A New Build but I don’t have it; story conference; other matters


Chaos Manor View, Wednesday, July 01, 2015


A very good day so far. Niven and Barnes were over for the morning and lunch. Story conference went well, although we were unable to SKYPE Dr Cohen; not sure why.

Eric tells me there is yet another Windows 10 Build; I’ll install it on Precious, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3, in a few minutes.


    There is yet another build released inside of 24 hours from 10158. The newest is 10159.


    I guess the pace is really picking up now they’re in the home stretch and the broadband world allows them to make this happen.


For a longer explanation see the link.


1600 Just went to update on Precious. It sees the update, but has not started downloading. This is Time Warner glitch time for the next half hour.

1610 Still shows no download. There seems to be no way to induce it to start; I’m on automatic update, and this has a mind of its own.

1625 Details on the Update page tells me that the update is downloading and the machine is waiting to install. The Update page shows 0% downloaded. I can use Precious for anything else, so it’s merely minorly irritating for it to say it’s downloading and do nothing, but patience is a virtue that often needs relearning.

!655 Still at 0% downloaded; I’ll leave it for the evening. I did check to see that the internet connection is working.

2105  Had dinner and watched bad TV.  Came back here and it says 47% downloaded. I did nothing: it downloaded when it thought it was unused.  It now seems to be stuck on 47% so I expect I can’t use the system for several hours; but by morning it may be done.  HooRay.

2200: 60%  It sure seems to be in no hurry…

2230: 82% and I’m off to the bedroom for the night.


0930 2 June: I have medical appointments all day.  The update has down;loaded and is installing.  I’ll see if it finishes before I go out for the day.


Windows Explorer

    The Explorer icon may not have been visible because of the number of items you have pinned to the task bar on the Surface. This is why the Up and Down arrows appeared in the row. Also, that number of items makes the icons tiny and hard to discern. There may be a setting to enlarge them but then you’d need to use the arrows even more often, which in turn kid of negates the value of having the icons pinned to the task bar. The other option is to pull the task bar up a bit to enlarge its display area. You may have to right-click on it first to unlock it.

    The Windows key shortcut has been there since Windows 95. You possibly never got it hardwired in your head due to your attachment to Norton Commander. The brain cancer and stroke surely didn’t help but I suspect the habit was never formed in the first place.


Not only not formed, never even thought about wanting it. I am sure I have never used WINKEY E before in my life – my main machine keyboard didn’t even have a Win Key, and I never missed it; ctl-esc was good enough if I needed it, and I never knew that WINKEY plus various letters did anything. It’s good to know. For those who don’t already know – probably not many of you — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_key#Windows_10 tells a lot more.

I suspect my addiction to my older keyboards which didn’t have a Win key, plus my long experience with getting Windows to do what I wanted – all the way from pre-Windows 3 to Windows 7 – plus, as Eric notes, my love of old Norton Commander as a file Manager – prevented me from ever needing to know about this; once Microsoft removed the START button – no doubt believing that everyone knew about Win Key E, I really needed to know this but didn’t know to ask. I now see why earlier builds on Precious seemed so frustrating; I really wanted some way to start from scratch, and it was not only there all the time, but Microsoft and everybody else assumed I knew it.




OPM hack consequences

Dear Jerry,

A commenter to Charlie Martin’s article on the hack at PJMedia


pointed out something that has NOT yet been trumpeted by the news media.

Since the hackers had root access, they could do more than just read the data. They could alter it, or even insert phony data (like, say, “trusted” Federal personnel who are actually Chicom agents). When this sort of thing happens to anyone in the real world, the most common solutions are “take it down to bare metal, then restore from

(old) backups or from paper”. But I’m sure neither solution will be

applied to the OPM computers and databases, so we can only wonder what was deliberately corrupted by the Chinese, and hope we catch those “trusted” agents by other means.


Calvin Dodge



: Brick-laying robot can build a full-sized house in two days

I can see how laying pavers would be well executed and a good use case but I wonder how it handles complex structures like soldier courses and water bands?


John Harlow


Dubai Says Plans World’s First 3D Printed Office Building    (nyt)

By REUTERSJUNE 30, 2015, 9:04 A.M. E.D.T.

DUBAI — Dubai said it would construct a small office building using a 3D printer for the first time, in a drive to develop technology that would cut costs and save time as the city grows.

3D printing, which uses a printer to make three-dimensional objects from a digital design, is taking off in manufacturing industries around the world but has so far been used little in construction.

Dubai’s one-storey prototype building, with about 2,000 square feet (185 square meters) of floor space, will be printed layer-by-layer using a 20-foot tall printer, Mohamed Al Gergawi, the United Arab Emirates Minister of Cabinet Affairs, said on Tuesday.

It would then be assembled on site within a few weeks. Interior furniture and structural components would also be built through 3D printing with reinforced concrete, gypsum reinforced with glass fiber, and plastic.

The project is a tie-up between Dubai and Winsun, a Chinese company that has been pioneering the use of 3D printers to build houses. Gergawi cited studies estimating the technique could cut building time by 50-70 percent and labor costs by 50-80 percent.

(Reporting by Andrew Torchia, editing by David Evans)


– self-driving cars will suppress human drivers

Hello, Jerry :

I’ll be surprised if legislation is needed to remove human drivers, once autonomous cars are legal. I’d expect the rapidly increasing cost of insurance will do the deed. A few millionaires may persist in driving as a hobby, but few of us will be able to afford the liability.

Marcus P. Hagen


Guess who was 1st slave owner

That didn’t match my understanding of history, but it largely matches the account presently on Wikipedia…


The first 19 or so Africans to reach the English colonies arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, brought by Dutch traders who had seized them from a captured Spanish slave ship. The Spanish usually baptized slaves in Africa before embarking them. As English law then considered baptized Christians exempt from slavery, these Africans were treated as indentured servants, and they joined about 1,000 English indentured servants already in the colony. The Africans were freed after a prescribed period and given the use of land and supplies by their former masters.

There were no laws regarding slavery early in Virginia’s history. But, in 1640, a Virginia court sentenced John Punch to slavery after he attempted to flee his service.[5] The two whites with whom he fled were only sentenced to an additional year of their indenture, and three years’ service to the colony.[6] This marked the first legal sanctioning of slavery in the English colonies and was one of the first legal distinctions made between Europeans and Africans.[5][7]

In 1654, John Casor, a black indentured servant, was the first man to be declared a slave in a civil case. He had claimed to an officer that his owner, free black colonist Anthony Johnson, had held him past his indenture term. A neighbor, Robert Parker told Johnson that if he did not release Casor, Parker would testify in court to this fact; which under local laws, may have resulted in Johnson losing some of his headright lands. Under duress, Johnson freed Casor, who entered into a seven years’ indenture with Parker. Feeling cheated, Johnson sued Parker to repossess Casor. A Northampton County court ruled for Johnson, declaring that Parker illegally was detaining Casor from his rightful master who legally held him “for the duration of his life”.[10]

In a message dated 6/30/2015 8:42:27 A.M. Central Daylight Time,


“It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.” – Voltaire


Enumerations and the ninth amendment

Hi Jerry,

Hal O’Brien wrote, “What the Ninth Amendment explicitly says is, as you learn that meaning of liberty over time, the Bill of Rights should not be construed as a comprehensive limiting list, denying and disparaging what you find in addition through the years.”

I’m unsure how he gets this meaning from the Ninth Amendment; which only limits the use of enumerated rights to suppress rights not mentioned. It in no way hints at discovering or finding new “rights” as he suggests. Only if one assumes that rights spring from the Constitution or from judicial/legislative decree can this be seen as true. It also absolutely negates any and all protections given by a constitution since all a judge has to do is pronounce a new “right” and none of the protections in the Constitution would limit the government from implementing this new “right”. For example, the Right to Zero Violence could be proclaimed and all the protections of the 2nd Amendment would vanish as this newly discovered “right” combined with the Ninth Amendment would supercede the 2nd. SImilarly, the Right to Zero Insults would destroy 1st Amendment protections as government moved to ensure no one spoke an insulting word.

In all deference to the opinion of Mr. O’Brien, the Bill of Rights are not a minumum nor are they a maximum. Each is unique and each is aimed at the federal government, not the people. I would even go so far as Alexander Hamilton who famously wrote, “For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?” This notion of a severely limited government was at the very heart of its creation.

The federal government was not given the authority to define marriage in any way. This limitation exists for all branches of the federal government including the Supreme Court. State constitutions provide this authority for individual states and it is at the state level that the decision for what constitutes and does not constitute a marriage contract reside. Based on the current SCOTUS ruling, however, I see no recourse for states but to refuse to recognize all forms of legal marriage. This would certainly free up some state resources and divorce settlements could then be handled quickly by the priest, minister, or individual who sanctioned the marriage to start with.


Braxton S. Cook

Thank you.







Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




Arthritis or Cancer? New Windows 10 Build Works; Free University Education

Chaos Manor View, Tuesday, June 30, 2015

There is a new build of Windows 10, and I had no trouble installing it. A cursory look failed to disclose the “improved” features replacing the old “Computer” and “Network” icons/commands which showed all the places you are connected to. I can use the Network command to see Precious from Alien Artifact (Windows 7, my main system now), but I can’t find any equivalent command in Windows 10. However, they have a lesson and I’ll go to that after lunch, and that may solve the mystery.

I think Microsoft has gone arrogantly mad. Having got used to networking with Windows 7, which just worked and came in just in time for me to decide to stay with Windows despite having been about to switch to Mac after the brutality of Vista – having done well with Windows 7, Microsoft decided to improve it to unusability. There were early signs that Windows 10 would keep the improvements of Windows 8 and bring back at least some of the comprehensibility of Windows 7, but those seem to be getting lost; but that may be my fault for not doing a systematic study of Windows 10. I can do almost everything with 7, so why spend any painful hours with 8 and after? But of course I do silly things so you don’t have to – one reason I bought the Surface Pro, and before the stroke set up a fast and powerful Windows 8 system – but I am perhaps less tolerant of the pain and frustration.

I recall a time when Microsoft had a unit of industrial psychologists who tested new Microsoft software using as test subjects junior and middle executives from Seattle businesses; but I guess the bean counters got that unit. It used to be that Bill Gates used this stuff and cared, but there seems to be no one of sufficient rank looking out for the interests of users now. Lots of Microsoft people use the Surface Pro, but they get so used to the improvements that they forget the old ways.

I suppose we’ll get through this, but I do wish they’d bring in a user or two when they go to improve something that we learned with some effort, but having learned it, it worked. Memory is cheap, CPU cycles are cheap, and few would notice if you left in some of the old stuff redundantly; and it would sure save wear and tear on older users.

Richard Hay’s Supersite for Windows, http://winsupersite.com/windows-10/windows-10-build-10158-fast-ring-insiders-introduces-microsoft-edge reports that the unusual thing about this build of Windows 10 is that there are no known issues: they probably have not found all the bugs, but they no longer know of any, and this in a pre-release build. Hurray.

It’s lunch time. I’ll do that lesson on the new build later this afternoon.


I have tried to get the Surface Pro to tell me of an easy way to get  “This Computer” and “Network”, but it always searches forever or sends me to odd places. Then Eric sent me this

Explorer should be in the task. Also WINKEY + E will create an Explorer window, as always.

Eric Pobirs

and Lo! It’s all true. WINKEY plus e produces a list. This Computer and Network are in it. When I choose Network,  Precious sees all the machines on the local net. They are on a different login and password, so I have a bit more work connecting to them, but it works. I can connect to them.  I suspect if I had known this simple, not obvious but not to be forgotten once known, command I wouldn’t have had all the frustrations I have had.  But I had the stroke just after installing the Surface Pro 3.

Of course Explorer is not on the Task Bar, or if it be there, I cannot recognize it. Also the stylus does not always count as a click when I tap the screen, and my finger control is not so good; the new Wireless Arc Mouse has solved that problem and I can cease to try to control Precious with the stylus, leaving it for actual writing.

Winkey – the key with the Windows symbol – plus E produces precisely what I need. So I will never have that problem again. Why that was never the answer to any of the dozens of inquiries I made about how to find the “Computer” or “This Computer” or “Network” commands is another story; perhaps a Microsoft programmer will read this. In any event I look forward to better relations with the Surface Pro 3 and Windows 10. Now if I could recover from my typing difficulties… But in fact that is slowly happening as I learn to type with two fingers. My biggest problem is that I often hit ALT at the same time as I hit the spacebar, and that produces an unwanted menu that threatens what I am doing and halts the flow of typing. I have to learn not to do that.  As a touch typist I never did. But I am learning.


Meanwhile there’s interesting news

Inflammation, Arthritis, and the vagus nerve


There’s a single nerve that connects all of your vital organs — and it might just be the future of medicine

clip_image003Lina Hayes/Flickr

When Maria Vrind, a former gymnast from Volendam in the Netherlands, found that the only way she could put her socks on in the morning was to lie on her back with her feet in the air, she had to accept that things had reached a crisis point.

“I had become so stiff I couldn’t stand up,” she says. “It was a great shock because I’m such an active person.”

It was 1993. Vrind was in her late 40s and working two jobs, athletics coach and a career for disabled people, but her condition now began taking over her life. “I had to stop my jobs and look for another one as I became increasingly disabled myself.” By the time she was diagnosed, seven years later, she was in severe pain and couldn’t walk any more. Her knees, ankles, wrists, elbows and shoulder joints were hot and inflamed. It was rheumatoid arthritis, a common but incurable autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks its own cells, in this case the lining of the joints, producing chronic inflammation and bone deformity. <snip>

Before I had brain cancer and x-ray treatment, I had terrible joint pains. It was assumed that it was degenerate arthritis, and that delayed the brain tumor diagnosis for at least a year; it was eventually found through blood work. Then came 50,000 rads of hard x-rays, which got the cancer – an inoperable lump the size of a ping pong ball in my head – and, alas got much of my balance. But I’m still here.

If they think you have arthritis, have them check for cancer as well. A brain tumor in the right place can cause back. Hip, and shoulder pains indistinguishable from arthritis.

This article shows more connections between brain activity and arthritic pain; it is well worth your reading.


MIT Invented a Way to Automatically Fix Software Bugs With Borrowed Code


A new system from MIT’s CSAIL, or Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, does something incredible to fix buggy software: It borrows healthy code from other applications–and then fixes the bug without ever accessing the original source code.

Think of it as an organ transplant. Except in this case, the sick patient is a buggy software app. And the “donor organ” is a piece of code from another application, even if it’s written in a whole different language. That’s a crude and imperfect metaphor, but it helps explain CodePhage, a system that was presented by MIT researchers at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Programming Language Design and Implementation conference this month, as MIT News explains today.

CodePhage’s creators explain it like this: A program with a bug is the “recipient.” When CodePhage identifies a bug, it searches for a fix from a slew of other programs and repositories. Once it finds a good piece of “donor” code, it patches it onto the recipient and tests whether it fits—without ever gaining access to the source code. It keeps doing this until it finds the ideal donor.

What’s really cool about this system is that it can fix bugs using solutions that might not even be written in the same language, creating a kind of patchwork of good ideas from a broad range of sources. You can find a full run-down of how CodePhage works in this presentation by one of its creators, Martin Rinard, but to MIT News Rinard explained how CodePhage is part of a broader effort to create a system that will reduce the need for new code completely:

“The longer-term vision is that you never have to write a piece of code that somebody else has written before,” Rinard says. “The system finds that piece of code and automatically puts it together with whatever pieces of code you need to make your program work.”

The intricacies of how the system checks and re-checks its fixes using a symbolic expression are complex, of course, but even from a layperson’s perspective it’s easy to see how a system like CodePhage could be a forerunner to systems that are constantly finding and patching bugs, drawing on the collective intelligence of multiple authors and sources to built better applications.

For more, check out MIT News’s writeup. http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/automatic-code-bug-repair-0629



Study Suggests That Google Has Its Thumb on Scale in Search    (nyt)


Google entices people to search by promising links to the best that the web has to offer. But research released Monday, led by top academics but paid for by one of Google’s rivals, suggests that Google sometimes alters results to play up its own content despite people’s preferences.

I’m shocked, shocked…


This was in yesterday’s View but I don’t want you to miss it:

World Class University Education – Free!


“Everything would be free, but program participants that want to receive a credential will be required to pay a small fee. The program is available to learners across the globe, all that is needed is internet access.”

The university – MIT.

Charles Brumbelow

Boston, Mass. – For learners who don’t want to invest in a full residential college ride, or who want to avoid the massive amounts of debt associated with university studies, a program called MITx could be a viable alternative.

With the advent of the internet came a revolution of information becoming available to the average person. MIT University took it one step further when they began a program called OpenCourseWare, which allowed anyone to download full course materials for virtually all classes for free.

But the new MITx interactive online learning platform will go further, giving students access to online laboratories, self-assessments and student-to-student discussions.

Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/one-of-the-worlds-top-universities-is-offering-all-of-their-courses-online-to-anyone-for-free/#hH9zE2k5MBf1TiMi.99



Researchers Use Femtosecond Lasers To Display Touchable Images In The Air

A Japanese company called Aerial Burton has been using lasers to ionize air molecules in midair for a few years now, thereby creating bright pixels that float in space. Using the original system, however, you were essentially creating floating plasma which could burn you if you touched it. Now, however, the company has reduced the power necessary to generate the images by using femtosecond lasers, a feat that lets you actually tap images to interact with them.





Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.