Visionboard; Trump; and other matters

Chaos Manor View, Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I had dinner with colleagues last night and a lunch conference today; still mostly in fiction mode. Now it’s dinner time.

The Chester Creek Wireless Visionboard is useless for me; the keys are larger but not separated so that I often hit two at once, and the alt key is right next to the space bar and far over to the right, so hitting alt along with space is nearly inevitable. Alt-Space does odd things to Word, and endangers all your text if you then hit the wrong sequence; since I have to look at the keyboard rather than the screen it is extremely dangerous, but with the Chester Creek it is damn near inevitable. I have retired the Chester Creek. Incidentally, it requires a screwdriver to install or replace the batteries, and the receiver seems somewhat delicate and squirrelly.

It is dinner time – I got up late and then had lunch with John De Chancie to discuss LisaBetta, our novel of an AI using near future when we are just reaching to the asteroids. LisaBetta is a young girl just reaching puberty who has mostly been raised by an advanced AI. She owns her father’s asteroid mining ship, but it is very advanced and the object of desire to a number of powerful people… It reads damned good so far, and now that I can type I can add some scenes myself as well as touch up the excellent work John has done. We look to finish it by the end of the year.

And Eric found the reason Live Writer started to install on Swan, the Windows 10 machine in the back room, so I can add to this tonight. With the Logitech K360 I make far fewer typos per sentence – too many, especially when I am tired or enthusiastic about what I am writing. Then I see all that red on the screen when I glance up, and have to fix it, and by then I have to rethink what I was saying. It slows things a lot.

With luck a lot more later; the batteries in my hearing aid just died, and it’s dinner time.


Currency War

China fired another shot in the ongoing currency war:


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China on Tuesday carried out the biggest devaluation of the renminbi in two decades to boost its slowing economy, marking an escalation of international “currency wars”, surprising markets and risking a political clash with Washington.

The 1.9 per cent downward move by the central bank was its biggest one-day change since 1993 — and since China abandoned its tight currency peg for a managed float in 2005. It pushed the renminbi’s “daily fix” to Rmb6.2298 against the dollar, compared with a Rmb6.1162 rate the day before. Before Tuesday, the biggest shift this year had been a 0.16 per cent adjustment.

The move, coming as economic growth has flagged and the currency has been under upward pressure from its informal peg to the rising dollar, is in sharp contrast to policy during earlier times of stress when Beijing resisted pressure to devalue. It should help combat an unexpectedly large fall in China’s exports fuelled by the renminbi’s relative strength.

It also came as China is pushing to have the renminbi accepted as a global reserve currency alongside the dollar, yen, euro and sterling by the International Monetary Fund, which this month cited the need for great exchange rate flexibility as a key requirement.


The average person has no idea what this means. So China is devaluing its currency; why should I care? Oddly enough, Trump is calling it:


“They’re just destroying us,” the billionaire businessman, a long-time critic of China’s currency policy, said in a CNN interview.

“They keep devaluing their currency until they get it right. They’re doing a big cut in the yuan, and that’s going to be devastating for us.”


“We have so much power over China,” he told CNN. “China has gotten rich off of us. China has rebuilt itself with the money it’s sucked out of the United States and the jobs that it’s sucked out of the United States.”


I suppose now they’ll accuse him of being racist for these comments.

I’m not a Trump supporter, but I’m either not supporting or am directly opposing the others as well..

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Here’s Eric on Live Writer and Windows 10:

    Essentially, it came down to downloading the correct file to start the install. For reasons that defy my understanding, Microsoft has never done a good job on how they manage the Live suite of apps. My impression is they regarded it more as something for OEMs to bundle with new PCs, like the MS Works suite of yore, and didn’t put the proper effort into presenting it to individuals downloading the product.

    There were three major generations, 2009, 2011, and 2012. The earliest does not like post-XP versions of Windows. The middle version was intended for Vista, and the last version for 7 and 8.x. It was odd for a Microsoft program to display such compatibility issues but there it is. The 2011 version never gave me problems on Windows 7 but the only portion I used extensively is the Mail app, which has a long history as Outlook Express.

    Microsoft pulled the earlier versions from download availability but they are still offered on numerous sites that are likely to show up in search. They’re hard to distinguish because they always have the same wlsetup.exe file name, rather than carrying some clue to their version up front. Some people are still obsessively attached to the 8.3 file naming convention.

    So, I made sure I was downloading the 2012 version and it simply worked. Notably, it showed a different icon than the one downloaded to Swan previously. The .NET 3.5 runtime must have been installed on Swan at some point because it didn’t ask for it as it did on my Windows 10 test machine a few days earlier.

And I can only say that I thought I was dealing with the official Microsoft site on Explorer not Firefox, and I got impossibly stuck; thank Eric for knowing what to do.

Eric Pobirs


Adjusted Sunspot Activity

It had to happen eventually. If the data don’t prove what you want it to prove, “recalibrate”.

“New sunspot analysis shows rising global temperatures not linked to solar activity”

“A recalibration of data describing the number of sunspots and groups of sunspots on the surface of the Sun shows that there is no significant long-term upward trend in solar activity since 1700”


How very – predictable.

Braxton Cook

Predictable and predicted.


Lord of Janissaries

Part of my Baen monthly bundle.
Previously read the first two books and looking forward to reading the full series when Mamelukes is finished.
Glad to see your health improving.
I know from experience how difficult it is, I was 36 years old and battled stage 4 cancer for a year. Now at 69, the battle would be three times as hard.

Bud Pritchard


A random thought to be thunk upon

A bit of random speculation, not really deserving of publication…

On the one hand, we have the EM Drive, which appears to do something for which we have no theory whatsoever, and which threatens to be real.

On the other hand, we have the E-CAT, which appears to do something else for which we have very little theory, and which also threatens to be real.

Imagine the implications for humanity if BOTH of them turn out to be real.

The Solar System is ours, immediately.  With that come unlimited resources.  The E-CAT provides the power to get there, and do Interesting Things once you’re there.  The EM Drive provides the way to get there.

More interestingly, we gain access to flatter space, and much longer baselines, for doing physics experiments.  (“Pioneer anomaly”, anyone?)  What do you get if you build a REALLY BIG Michelson-Morley interferometer?


It would be wonderful, but we still have not proved either is real; now, though, there are some grounds for hope.


This modification is a test









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




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