Monday, February 20, 2017

You Don't Often See Rain Like This

Looks an awful lot like a tropical storm, doesn't it? I'm just guessing here, but we've probably already passed the 1/2" of rain predicted for today.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A "Popular" Guy

The Emperor, what a guy. Look how "popular" he is. You might even call him "in-famous".

The Simple Way to Spot Fraudulent Listings on Zillow

Zillow's got an obvious bug: It allows anyone to make a fake listing for rentals by simply entering a few key details at the time that you post it. In every one of them, they link to a phone number that is outside of the area and utilize fake interior photos stolen from someone else's listing.

This one caught my eye because it's a single-family residence but has 21 listings associated with it, from studios to 3 bedrooms. If you copy and paste the address associated with it, you can find the real rental listing.

Really, Zillow isn't even trying.

16 off-market units listed for a single-family house
5 current listings for this address?
This is the real rental listing.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What I'd Like Donald to See in Florida

So, Donald's going to fly down to Florida to do a pep rally to cheer himself up. Imagine, flying into the Orlando-Melbourne Airport and seeing this.

This is a rough mockup of pairs of 5'x20' banners to create 5'x40' messages so that as Donald's airplane touches down, he and everyone onboard Air Force One will be able to read them clearly.

Peeps, do it!


A Quick Post About Donald's *Last* Press Conference

If you don't know it yet, Donald just had the most incoherent, unhinged press conference, ever. It was supposed to be about his new nominee for Labor, but that portion lasted all of about 90 seconds and the rest was just scary weird. This one line highlights just how far unhinged he has become:
"The greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that's 30 miles offshore, out of the water."
Yes, those were his precise words when attempting to talk about the benefits of a close relationship with Russia. The man does not know the meaning of irony.

You can watch/listen to it if you wish. You might just want to watch the news, though. There is no way this press conference doesn't receive the full treatment, today through Sunday.

5 Thoughts for February 16, 2017

  1. Wheels are Coming Off: Three hours. That's how much time The Emperor spent watching cable TV and tweeting this morning from 3:30 to 6:30 am. His topic: Leaks and how he's going to make the leakers "pay a big price" if they're caught. Okay, so twice you've poked the hornet's nest and hornets came out to sting you, so you decide to poke them a third time? It's so bad, he's going to Florida on Saturday -- no joke -- to have a pep rally for himself. Not quite one month into his administration and he's already flown to Florida three times to get away from Washington. This, coming from a guy who claims that he "inherited a mess" and instead of dealing with this so-called mess, has decided to take a trip nearly every weekend. People are pointing to today's rambling mess of a press conference as signs that he's completely unhinged from reality.
  2. NPR Podcast: Ugh, I give up. I can't listen to them anymore because they keep getting the facts wrong on a regular basis -- as in every podcast -- which, if you're a political reporter you should know your facts better than anyone else, seeing as you get paid for you gig? This latest podcast on Flynn's resignation suggested that Comey didn't chase Hillary because the law that she would have been charged with was rarely used -- which is completely untrue! -- and as a result, it seemed unlikely that Comey would go after Flynn using the Logan Act. The reason why Comey didn't go after Hillary was because the statutes specifically required intent and it was clear that Hillary's big fault was carelessness as opposed to intentionally violating the law.
  3. Clueless Pence: Wow. WaPo states that Bannon and Priebus were both called in and consulted when WH counsel Don McGahn spoke to The Emperor about Mike Flynn's lies. None of these four people bothered to let Pence know what was going on. I get that he might be keeping his distance, knowing full well that the time will come that his distance will provide the support he'd need to take over the Presidency after The Emperor was impeached, but wow...Clueless Pence.
  4. 3D Printer: It's been over a year since the Kickstarter 3D printer I signed up for, failed to make an appearance on my doorsteps at the originally scheduled period. The Tiko was supposed to be the least expensive 3D printer and would deliver 50┬Ám resolution. They weren't able to simply translate their prototype to a fully mass-produced system, requiring a ton more steps and time fixing things, even after the RTM stage. Now, it seems that they've realized that they're going to run out of money before they complete the manufacturing and delivery of promised products to everyone so they've regrouped and have likely sought out private investment. They've delivered some 4,000 units, but that's far short of the 15,000 + units they needed to fulfill their minimum obligations and the built-from-scratch software slicer just isn't up to snuff. I'm sure that they'll deliver on their promise, but we're probably talking another 6 months I suspect. All of this has taught me one important thing about Kickstarter: A relatively inexperienced team cannot deliver technological jumps at lower costs on time. Having said that, I'm looking into getting a Monoprice because I'd like to be doing prototyping sooner than later and I've already waited for well over a year.
  5. Sexless Japan: According to Japanese national statistics, one-third of Japanese women ages 35-39 have never had sex. I'm not that surprised, yet, the first thought that came into my mind was that I need to move to Japan ASAP. How the hell did Arman not hook up after 10 months at Terrace House?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The First 4 Signed Bills of the "Populist" "President"

Nearing four weeks in office, one would think that someone chasing economic populism would pursue economically (if only rhetorically) useful legislation. Thus, I give you the first four bills signed into law:
  1. 115-1: H.R.39 - Tested Ability to Leverage Exceptional National Talent Act of 2017 or the TALENT Act of 2017. A bipartisan bill to help get "innovators" to help out our government. No economic impact.
  2. 115-2: S.84 - A bill to provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as Secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces. Otherwise known as the "General Mattis Exception". No economic impact.
  3. 115-3: H.R.72 - GAO Access and Oversight Act of 2017 -- A bipartisan bill to expand the powers of the GAO to obtain and review other agencies' records. No economic impact.
  4. 155-4: H.J.Res.41 - Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to "Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers" -- Otherwise known as the repeal of the portion of Dodd-Frank that required mining / oil companies to certify their product supply chain were conflict-free. Of course, these are sunk costs as companies have already set up the processes to certify their supply chains as conflict-free, so, no economic impact.
The next bill waiting for a signature: H.J.Res.38 - Disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of the Interior known as the Stream Protection Rule -- basically repealing new rules, several years in the process, that would have updated and codified protections of waterways from coal mining. I guess people want to drink dirty water.

So, helping out Main Street, right? Right?