Privacy seems to be the latest casualty of COVID-19. I guess because I am involved in the information security community, I thought everybody knew about the atrocious privacy policies and reprehensible actions of Zoom. I was shocked to discover that Matthew and Joshua’s school district is planning on forcing children to use this platform whose policies probably make Mark Zuckerberg envious. Here is what I wrote to them today:
While I was searching the net for ways to get testing for my patients with upper respiratory infections who might have COVID-19, I stumbled on a local effort to fill the shameful gap in the availability of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers by getting volunteers to 3-D print face shield parts. I am transitioning my practice to telemedicine, which means I’m home a lot more. I can babysit my 3-D printer while I’m working on the telemedicine gear and helping my home-from-school children with their educational enrichment activities. I’ve fired up the printer and my first mask is printing as I type.
I installed a Ring doorbell camera a couple of years ago, when the product and company were relatively new. I thought it was a fine idea: a way to see who was at your door and even “answer” the door (through a two-way audio chat) from anywhere.
I was mildly disappointed in the product.
I was invited to an epic Christmas party in Pasadena. I was watching the weather all week, since a major storm was predicted and I feared that I-5 at Tejon Pass (“Grapevine Hill“) would have chain restrictions.
Baby Yoda .stl by DMag24.
Paint by Helen.
I took delivery on my second Tesla Model S back in February. I bought it used from Tesla so it didn’t break the bank, though it is still the most expensive car (to purchase) that I have owned.
The Tesla has completely changed my driving experience.
Back in 2014, most of my servers were using Ubuntu. In April of that year, a long-term support (LTS) version was released and I migrated the servers to it. LTS releases are supported for five years—it seemed an eternity at the time.
In April 2016, the next LTS release came out. By then, I probably had close to 50 servers running a handful of distributions. All the Ubuntu-based servers migrated successfully except for two (four, actually, as each of those servers had a hot backup). One of those handled the office phones (
IAXmodem), the other mostly handled email (
spamassassin). Those machines died horribly when I attempted to upgrade to 16.04 (saved by backups!) and, since they handled critical services, I decided to leave them on 14.04. After all, I had until 2019 to upgrade.
Plenty of time.
Over the past many months, I have been having a harder and harder time seeing to read (and I spend 80+% of my waking hours reading). I wasn’t really consciously aware that anything was wrong, but I did find that I’d take out my contact lens far more often, I had all my devices set to dark backgrounds, and I was spending more time in my darkened room. I would also get terribly fatigued when I read for more than a few minutes (which, generally, meant all the time). I was getting increasingly behind in reading and responding to email. After months of things getting gradually worse, I realized suddenly that I couldn’t read at all without a lot of squinting and straining.
I wired my garage to charge my Tesla (coming soon—solar charging!), but I didn’t like the charger cable dangling on the floor. I installed a tool balancer to manage the cable, and it worked great but puts a bit of strain on the cable by bending it where it leaves the plug. It’s not much, but I worry about damaging the cable over a period of years.