Call of Cthulhu as Science Fiction; Net Neutrality; Skype Improvements; and other matters like subduction

Chaos Manor View, Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Niven and Barnes are going to be here shortly and I am going to attempt to SKYPE Dr. Jack Cohen in England, but something horrible has happened to Skype. On my MacBook Pro It has moved my entire mail contact list into “contacts” and I can’t find anything. I can’t test anything because I can’t find the test call. I have thousands of “Skype Contacts” instead of the dozen or so I have used.

Is there any way of having a small select list of Skype contacts instead of the thousands in my MacBook “Contacts” folder? You cannot delete one from Skype without deleting it from contacts. This all happened when I installed what I thought were routine updates including the Cloud; it imported all the mail contacts into Skype contacts.

I am beginning to hate the Putridos Operating Apple System has installed.

1100: Niven and Barnes are here, but Skype seems not to be working properly; I can Skype Roberta and she can Skype me, but I get no error messages when I try to Skype Jack and that fails; it just stops trying. I suspect he is not on line, but the Skype system has been improved to incomprehensibility.


I have asked Steve and Larry to bring down from upstairs my regular chair, so the wheel chair is now in the back room permanently and maybe we’ll just send it back. So far it works well, my arms are at the right height and it may be that I will learn to type faster and better. We’ll see. It seems better anyway, but I am hitting the wrong keys and making too many errors unless I look at the keyboard and not the screen..

1135: Jack Cohen called us, namely called Steve Barnes on his MacBook Air (which connected just fine to me Wi-Fi network).

We had a very productive conference, arriving at a number of new plotlines on our new “Beowulf Series” novel about the first interstellar colonies. (Legacy of Heorot , Beowulf’s Children and the novella that fits between them, The Secret of Blackship Island . The events taking place in the Blackship Island novella turn out to be extremely important and have a greater effect on the plot than the characters know. Jack Cohen had many suggestions to make the biology richer. I think this will be a big best-seller when we finish next week.

Then we went out to lunch. Just got back. I’ll try to post more, but I must confess I’ve done a good day’s work. It was a very productive conference and lunch.


Whenever you work with a Mac you need to keep in mind the principle – first formulated by Peter Glaskowsky and published here about a decade ago – that with a Mac everything is either very simple or impossible. The corollary is that if it really has to be doable, there is a very simple way – but if you don’t use Macs so much, you may not find it simple until you cotton to the Mac Way Of Doing Things. Applying that principle solved most of my problems.  Of course I didn’t have them until they Improved things.  But all is more or less well now.

Of course it takes two hands to access an item on a command list pulled down by a right click if you are using a mushpad…


Oh crud. Oh crud oh crud oh crud.

Guys, look up Cascadia Subduction Zone. Then look up megathrust earthquake. Then look up Boxing Day Tsunami. This quake cluster is on the BACK side of the Juan de Fuca plate. The FRONT side of the Juan de Fuca is the subduction zone.
Stephanie Osborn

“The Interstellar Woman of Mystery”

Right now we’re looking at a localized swarm of 4.0-6.0 magnitude earthquakes. Notional energy release 0.01 – 15 Kilotons, though there have now been three in the 5-15 kiloton range.

If this pattern continues, there is a good chance of a larger quake (probably on the order of 3x but possibly up to 10x or more in  the cumulative energy release of the smaller localized quakes) elsewhere on the fault zone circling the plate. However, it won’t necessarily follow immediately, but the more small quakes continue the more likely this is a precursor (within 1-3 days) of a larger quake.

If it continues for another day or two, a 7-7.3 quake with epicenter on the coastal leg of the plate between Medford and Portland (probably nearer one of those two ends because of the geometry, I would wager) has some potential before the end of the week.

However, the USGS states that this is not an unusual occurrence and doesn’t usually result in a larger quake.  That said, these quakes are larger than in most earthquake swarms I’ve looked at over the years.

I think the bottom line is, watch what happens. A larger quake is certainly not inevitable, and would not necessarily be devastating, but if the swarm continues I believe, with Stephanie, that it becomes more likely.


The thing to consider here is that the western edge of the Juan de Fuca “plate” (this area is actually fragments of as many as 3 ancient plates, that have all almost completely subducted) has two different kinds of boundaries. If you look at the western boundary, you’ll see it has a kind of zigzag shape to it. The ones that trend westerly on the north end (the “zigs,” if you will) are what are termed “fracture zones,” and the ones that trend easterly on the north end (the “zags”) are actually spreading zones, with volcanic ridges.

The current quake swarm is occurring in a fracture zone, specifically the Blanco Fracture Zone.

Where this gets more complex, and more troublesome, is that there has been evidence of eruptions along the volcanic ridge to the north, in the Juan de Fuca Ridge, notably the Axial Volcano/Seamount.

If so, this means that there is likely significant pressure building up along the Cascadia Subduction Zone, as the sea floor spreads and shifts.
If you go here: and click the cog, then select “30 days, mag 2.5+ Worldwide,” you will see that in the last month, there have been NO significant quakes (defined as >2.5) on the Cascadia, but some 15 along the various faults of the western Juan de Fuca, including the ones of the article — and several additional this afternoon and evening.

The general view is that Portland and Seattle are largely safe from tsunami, though not from the quake. After the Banda Aceh quake and tsunami, however, I am not entirely sure that is actually 100% true. Yes, Portland is inland, up the Columbia River. And Seattle is protected by the Sound and the islands. But in the Banda Aceh tsunami we saw plainly the ability of the wave to wrap around coastlines, to strike the back sides of islands, to reflect, refract, diffract, and experience both constructive and destructive interference. And if you’ve ever driven the PacNW coast like I have, you’ll know about the signs along the coastal highway every little bit: Entering Tsunami Hazard Zone, Exiting Tsunami Hazard Zone.

I agree with Jim: this is a wait and see period. But a big one on the Cascadia is only a matter of time; there’s plenty of geologic evidence of multiple large tsunamis in the past. All you have to do is go to a coastal region and dig a trench and look at the strata.  And that will continue to be the case, at least until the entire Juan de Fuca (and other fragments) have entirely subducted, which isn’t going to occur for some time yet, geologically speaking. Whereas, geologically speaking, a Cascadia quake may be imminent.

So I don’t plan to go visiting the PacNW anytime soon. And I’m not going to tell my family to do so, either.
Stephanie Osborn

“The Interstellar Woman of Mystery”


Google hit with EC antitrust complaint after booting privacy app from Play store (ZD)

An app maker set up by former Googlers has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission after being banned from Google Play.

By Liam Tung | June 3, 2015 — 09:25 GMT (02:25 PDT) |

The maker of a privacy app has lodged a complaint with the European Commission, alleging Google abused its dominance of Europe’s mobile market by blocking its app from the Google Play app store.

The complaint was filed by Disconnect, a US app maker founded by ex-Google employees, after its Disconnect Mobile app was pulled from the Google Play app store last year.

Google advised the company last August that the app violated its developer distribution agreement for Google Play, which prohibits apps from interfering with other apps.

Disconnect CEO Casey Oppenheim claimed that Google removed the app because it threatened the search company’s tracking and advertising business and “mistook us for an adblocker” – a category of apps that Google has previously removed from its app store.

Net neutrality


girls on submarine duty–submarine-video_investigation-33b388bc52.html

Who would have thought this would happen?

Phil Tharp

I presume getting pregnant at sea is a court martial offense?




Watt’s Up With That – CAGW isnot settled
Where does that leave one in the Great Climate Debate? Well, it damn well should leave you skeptical as all hell.
The sad thing about the Great Climate Debate is that so far, there hasn’t really been a debate. The result is presented, but no one ever takes questions from the podium and is capable of defending their answers against a knowledgeable and skeptical questioner.

In the end, nobody really knows the global average temperature of the Earth’s surface in 2011 within less than around 1K. If anybody claims to, they are full of shit.
Physics Prof at Duke agrees with you Jerry!

More convincing is that Freeman Dyson does also.


The Pipes Gladstone link in your latest posting results in your personal email being added to his mailing list.

Harmon Dow

I have since removed the Piped message. I knew Daniel Pipes as a Cold Warier, and had dinner with him in Moscow back in 1889,

“I Give Up: There Is No Terrorism, There Are No Terrorists” – Pipes in NRO, #1409 D. Pipes Mailing List <>  if you want to see it. I thought today’s theme worth noting.

The link I mean is “click here” below:

Gatestone daily publishes original articles by authoritative authors on such underreported news events as the persecution of Christians, Muslim resistance to Islamism, the multicultural disaster, and the shifting power balance between the United States and its enemies. The Middle East and Islam are its central but not exclusive concerns.

I find the articles interesting and useful. If you wish to receive them, click here.


Daniel Pipes

Harmon Dow


Yes, Apple TV will be a HomeKit hub (ZD)

It’s official: the Apple TV can be the bridge to your connected home for remote access and information. Best of all, you won’t need to buy new hardware.

By Kevin Tofel for Mobile Platforms | June 3, 2015 — 13:03 GMT (06:03 PDT) |

While many, including me, are expecting new Apple TV hardware to debut at next week’s WorldWide Developer Conference, it won’t just be for entertainment. Apple TV is part of Apple’s HomeKit platform for your connected home.

That’s based on the official support document for Set up and use HomeKit-enabled accessories with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, which was just updated on Tuesday. 9to5 Mac spotted the changes which now include this relevant information:

If you have an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with software version 7.0 or later, you can control your HomeKit-enabled accessories when you’re away from home using your iOS device.

Sign in with the same Apple ID on your iOS device and Apple TV, and you’ll be able to use Siri commands to remotely control your accessories.

Perhaps the best part of the statement is that even if there’s a new Apple TV model debuting next week, those with older hardware won’t need to purchase it for HomeKit support. The 3rd generation Apple TV launched in March, 2012 and will work with HomeKit devices.

Why have a hub such as Apple TV in the smarthome?

As Apple notes, this would allow for remote access to your HomeKit-compatibile switches, appliances, lights and thermostats; the first of which just launched on Tuesday.

Having a hub could also make it easier for HomeKit devices to work together. When a door sensor triggers, indicating that you’ve come home at night for example, the hub could see this information and turn on your lights.

Based on my own smarthome experiences — I installed an Insteon system back in 2010 — this is the type of scenario where a connected home really adds value; the home intelligently starts to take action based on events.

Apple’s support document doesn’t state that this is how the Apple TV will fit in to a HomeKit environment and it may not even do so at next week’s developer event. I think there’s a good chance it will, however; if not next week, then in the future as more capabilities are added to HomeKit.



Dear Jerry,

As much as I like my Macs and OSX, address book management and the email app are abysmal at best. Google for contacts, email and search. Also, I always use a Microsoft mouse with my Macs and usually a Microsoft keyboard.

Anyway, hang in there. We need your sage thoughts.

Best regards,


I like Macs for much but they do tend to do things for you that might better be left undone; as Peter Glaskowsky reminds me, often the Mac is not to blame.

He says “You are probably familiar with the basic concept that blaming the wrong party for any problem will pretty much prevent you from solving the problem.” Which is certainly true.














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




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