• Category Archives Rants
  • Voting with your wallet

    A different take on democratic voting

    Here is a thought that I’ve had kicking around for quite a long time and has recently reoccurred to me. What if budgets and tax allocation were controlled by the population through income tax? I’m sure this is not an original idea, and I have not bothered to look into it.

    Think about it like the humble bundle model, not in terms of pay what you can/want, but the fact that you can choose where your money goes to. The game developer(s) humble them self, or to the current partnered charity. You can give the tax paying population the option to have a say in where their money is spent. While also having the option to not bother with it and be either divided evenly or to preset values (the same as humble). This system can be as course as five macro sectors like education, healthcare, infrastructure, civil defense, and operational/management (i.e. politicians’ salaries). Or it could be as nuanced as specifying a specific project you as a citizen are interested in. of course there will need to be a predetermined minimum for each macro sector just to maintain basic operational costs.

    The method this can be implemented is during tax season you are given an additional forum that you can specify the percentage each macro sector is given.  With major departments listed below plus a write in slot for specific projects. Now you could have the option to disregard the form and everything will be set to “default” values. Unfortunately, this will make the collection process much more complex to record individual allocation and distribution, however with modern IT automation only initial setup would be difficult considering most people generate their tax forms online now. For those that don’t data entry personnel still exist. All taxes collected from businesses would be distributed evenly to the population as a whole to decide on how the money is spent (using the percentages from earlier) this would prevent large multi-billion dollar corporations from throwing all their weight around skewing the system to their favor.

    I would anticipate more than a few changes in what the government will look like. First of all this would give the country’s population more direct control of where they feel the money should be spent(and this is why it will likely never happen) I would expect to see a significant  funding increase to education and infrastructure with a significant decrease to civil defense. With this system I would expect to see; first a huge increase in advertising and public education in each sector as they (budget makers/politicians) will be trying to convince the public to give them funding rather than the publics representatives and will cause them to be much more transparent with their goals and what has been accomplished in the year. It would also put the government in line with how the population (that it is supposed to represent). Say for example the highways and water system are deteriorating significantly everyone bitches and moans about it but in this system, they would be incentivized to fund the infrastructure sector. You feel that teachers need better pay fund the education sector (and specify that it be for personnel) et cetera. Departments would trim back on unnecessary spending just to justify a larger budget for the next year.

    The public will also start to behave differently People with this power would be paying far more attention to what is going on in their own country and how THEIR money is spent. Since in the current system to have any significant impact you need to be a politician. Playing politics has always been a rich mans game making the working/subservient classes apathetic towards what the government dose as they effectively get no say. If it’s their own money, people suddenly become that much more keen on how its used. For example If they see some significant problems in one department or another it will see some pretty harsh cuts during the next year. Granted I will concede the fact that no mater how much power you give to the public, a very high percentage will simply be apathetic and leave it as default. However, I would anticipate the high-income population who tend to hide money in offshore accounts would do so less as they are effectively throwing away their say. I would also anticipate potential issues like media saturation close to tax time. And people trying to bend the system to suite their needs.

                    In the end this would give more power to the people than a representative democracy ever could. And instead of being resigned to complain about one issue or another they could have an actual say on spending decisions, instead of saying “don’t look at me, I voted for Kodos”. This will let the population literally vote with their wallets,

  • finding Work

    So for the past 3 years I have been working for as a seasonal building maintenance tech,  while going to school for Industrial automation, electronics, instrumentation and process control. I finished my last class back in January. Since October of last year I have been looking for work. After applying to a good 40 or 50 jobs I came across a job as a radar tech on ships that was a bit out of my league. (at that point i stopped caring about experience levels) So I applied any way, I didn’t expect a call back. a few weeks pass I get an email asking me to fill out an application from for the radar tech and a message asking If I would be willing to work as a trainee instead. Of course I say yes and hear very little from them for a couple of weeks and i get an email asking for an interview so i take it, it went well and lasted a lot longer than any other interview Ive had before I promise to get into better shape and learn more on radar theory (i did both). they tell me that if they take me (when im done with school ) They will send me to Asia to get trained as a radar tech. So I hear nothing for months until i get a message asking if I am willing to do a couple of shadowing days with one of their techs (yeh why not), all the while i have been sending out cv’s to any job that looked remotely interesting (average of about 2-3 per day)  and getting nothing more than the occasional automated “sorry you dont fit our profile yada yada yada. any way a few weeks later i get my first phone call from their office telling me what i need for the shadowing and another week passes I finally get a message telling me when to expect the shadowing, at this point they put me into contact with one of their techs so we can coordinate. then the vessel we were supposed to meet on ends up sitting at anchor for a month…. when I finally get a chance to go, it was great lots of cool stuff to see (and a lot to learn) and i was still interested so a couple more weeks pass and they still seemed interested in me (yay) finally about last week i get a message saying that they are working through their final decisions, and what seems to be a slip of the tongue, gave me a little more info then i was supposed to get. It sounds like it’s likely for me to have the job. but they said I would have a more concrete answer by the end of the week…… this was last Wednesday……go figure. so while im waiting for another 2 weeks I got a message from  a  very large rail company as a signal tech apprentice (that i applied to last October) to come in and do an aptitude test/ interview tomorrow. so after 7monts of job hunting i get my seccond call back while im still jumping through hoops for the first company and now while working on call as a building maintenance tech (before the season starts)  life is fun, im just so tired of being below the poverty line and need to start making more money than just getting by.

  • the fear of ISIS

    I felt i needed to express my feelings on this whole attack on pairs ordeal. first and foremost I want to express I am no expert on the mater and i have not been following the seria/isis/middle-east wars very well im no political annalist, im an electronics/automation nerd with anarchist ideals im not an activist i like to share my ideals by practicing them; helping people, educating people,encouraging others to do the same, etc. do I have my own opinions as to whats going on? of course.


    first off this scares me  not in the way that “zomfg the terrorists are gonna get me”. this scares me because of the reactions like that theses attacks try to generate I’m no moron I understand the jist of how group psychology works and so does ISIS  they are using the existing Islamophobia and xenophobia the western and European countries have been fostering since the golf and Iraq/Afghanistan  wars(and even befor that for France with the colonialism of north Africa) . i don’t denounce the fact that theses are terrorist attacks and is a horrible wast of human life and they arn’t the only attacks to happen of this size and thats not even in the last month but its the first one that’s really published  (my guess is due to the fact that France is a NATO country). This scares me because it illustrates just how Islamophobic/ xenophobic and bigoted the west has become. i don’t have TV so i rely on the internet for information but i assume that my facebook/ youtube feed mirrors fox, cnn,radio canada,msnbc quite well due to having more than a few family/friends/coworkers that are quite right wings or moderates and subscribe to fear mongering/ sensationalist  blogs. i do take the time to read them from time to time and it annoys me because of how skewed the articals are (the same goes for both sides of the political spectrum critical thinking goes a lomg way)


    so anyway this scares me because I had hoped more people would see threw the fear of whats going on and the underling xenophobia that ISIS is provoking to bolster there numbers ISIS is not stupid they know what they are doing they are using social media and psychology to recruit members from the west from what i have seen they are not running this as a dictatorship like AL-quida and the like did with rich leaders at the top running things from there palaces and bunkers i.e. Stalin,Hitler muslilni Mao, Hussein, Kim but as a friendly (ablate extremist) come help us because you are different and we understand you recruitment almost socialist organization they want to create a religious war by making people fear Islam I want to iterate that due to my parentage and where i live i have been around Muslims for a long time almost every person that i have met who practices the religion are some of the nicest  down to earth people i know granted there are PLENTY of ass holes out there just like every religious or ethnic group (save for Buddhists and Taoists)

    unknowen source used from a facebook post

    tl;dr: I guess what i want to say is the fact that the attacks created such an anti Islam/ Syria/ refugee response among so many people and governments scares me  If I had the space and money to sponsor a few Syrian refugees or a family i sure as hell would offer them a place to stay and food, however I’m a broke student with a small apartment thats only capable of housing me and my partner at the moment

    And to all of those people that live in a country that has been attacked by ISIS, regardless of where when or why I wish you the best of luck and safety and i wish i could offer more than a long rambling blog post on an obscure website.





    I want to reiterate I am NOT a political expert, nor am I well versed in the politics of the Mideast and Europe(hell i had to make sure that  Nicolas Sarkozy wasn’t still president) I am of north American heritage all information posted here is pure opinion, observation, speculation, and rhetoric

  • petty theft

    So today my car was broken into and I had 5 things stolen 1 backpack (which contained my laptop (Lenovo G500S), notebooks, school books, some electronic components (possibly a bread board), solder, My TI-83 plus (which i’ve had for 8 years) and a wireless mouse) 1 5v 2.5A usb power supply and 3 usb cables (one new one from a dollar store, one P.O.S. hydra cable (has 5 different outputs for all the common charging applications) and one half working flat cable (power was good but data lines severed) funny thing is they left my shitty gps that’s sitting in broad daylight.

    Of course they break into the 10 year old  Hyundai elantra instead of one of the 15 other newer cars on the block that probably has more valuable stuff and no alarm system on top of that they scratched the shit out of the door frame trying to get in. I just so love when (probably) poor people rob other poor people to get by thank you capitalism. this year i made ~$10K I have to pay rent, insurance, gas, utilities, and food. so i cant afford to buy another $600 laptop for school or the replacement books for classes. hell thanks to government policies because i am a student i am not eligible for unemployment in the winter which i pay into all summer long. so i save most of my disposal income (the rest goes to my annual out of town trip) to make it through the winter (i am a seasonal employee). its not my longest rant but i just felt i had to wright about it and i don’t want to make the woe is me woe  is me pitty me for bad luck  am i pissed that it happened? fuck yes. can i do anything other than pissing and moaning yes and i already have (called the pigs, and the insurance company) I just needed to get it off my chest.


    well the next thing i have planned to do is make a blinky light circute to fake a car alarm depending on what i have in stock i will either do it with a 555 or build a j-k flip flop  anyway 20 minute project for later ( i might investigate building my own alarm system period me thinks arduino based and Bluetooth for disabling) first i need to finish cleaning my apartment and file the police report for insurance money.

  • Autism in standard education

    Well here goes. This is a personal rant. I have never been expressly diagnosed with autism as i have never had a psychologist/psychiatrist  long enough  to be formally diagnosed due to finical issues or to life i.e. moving out of country.However it has been strongly suggested by therapists that I likely have autism spectrum disorder or Asperger’s syndrome.  Including my stepmother who was an adult social worker with a masters in psychology (i even found her copy of DSMIV that had the  page on AS bookmarked and heavily annotated with references to my activity where the rest of the book was fairly void of markings.). Early on in school (long before i ever saw a psychologist) i was put into learning disability programs at school partly due to an early speech impediment.

    Any way school has always been a very strange mix of extremely difficult and painfully easy and the constant social interaction would leave me drained at the end of each day and in the morning with never enough time to my self especially in high school and middle school (granted during most of that time it was only my father and i). But it was a difficult for me to study because the last thing i wanted to do was think about school and all the social crap i had to put with there. This has had the detriment of  me becoming weak in math  because this was the only subject that  I had any trouble with in school that i could prevent by actively studding (languages have also been my weak point but my mind dosn’t work well with spoken languages period) so that resulted in me just scraping by in each math class, where every other class i would be getting high marks to the point that i was purposefully putting wrong answers to keep my marks below honer roll level  (i have been on the honer roll once at each school i have attend just to prove i can get there with little effort). I kept my marks back to avoid the expectation and the added pressure from my father and teachers.

    any way back to the point of being autistic in school  my problem is the huge over baring social aspect to it  no mater where you go there are people and unless you live near to the school you cant go home between classes  so you stay and try to find a quiet spot  that has only few people. This is especially true in college  every “quiet space” is filled with 80  some odd people making noise, moving around and in general making things more uncomfortable for those of us who truly need the quiet and isolation  just to cope on long weeks this results in me missing days of school just because I need to recover my social energy. in my school i have encountered problems with  trying to get some help. I was never good at talking t people and those i do try to just talk seem to automatically be suspicious of me this being the most true of the special needs counselor in my college i went to her initially just to try to talk and get some help with coping skills and information . she seemed to automatically think i wanted school accommodations at the time i didn’t even know they offered it  and she kept pushing for me to get some kind of document from psychologists that i haven’t even spoken to in years and of course they wanted to talk to me to even get a hand written note and i didn’t have the money for a session ($250 at the time) and i was panicking and just wanted help i ended up nearly failing  that semester with no help from the student services i felt helpless  and depressed and stuck in a place where everyone seemed to think if you want help from the school you have a hidden  agenda. so i just toughed it out i guess and got into a different program at school. so here i am the last semester of program courses of my new program (i still have 1 or 2 semesters of other classes left before i can graduate )turning 25 with not even a college diploma to my name 6 years out of high school. however i have heard amazing news yesterday that i can get in to a university and have a bachelors of engineering technology with only 1 additional year of school (the university is a fair distance away however)  because of a deal setup between my school and that university as this would be my only real opportunity to get a bachelors degree because i have no desire to do another 5 years of school  i need to get on with my life.


    to anyone that managed to read this whole thing: I thank you for listening to my rant or whatever this can be called and putting up with my horrific punctuation and sentence structure this  is just a raw outflow from my mind and the only way I could articulate my thoughts. I did try to clean it up and make it easier to read i just needed to clear my mind and this is the only effective way for me to do it when everything gets stuck in a mental buffer of sorts. and it makes me feel better.

  • Followup to vistaprint

    so i got my vista print order about 5 minutes ago let me first go on to say the address labels are useless absolutely useless for their intended purpose. Because I used the template based editor I wanted something else ware the “address line fields” were so i put it there so I wouldn’t have to play with the formatting too much but of coarse they use the same fields for the “promotional” address labels. so I guess the only application for them is as a name tag.

    On to the card itself. The paper quality is about what I expected, standard business card stock and the edges are clean. The font size is smaller than I expected i should have gone with 1 or 2 points larger the graphic print quality is ok but the bold text is full of white spots from low resolution printing and even the black text feels feathered because of the low DPI. I had a QR code put on my card and it has a white boarder and a thick boarder at that because of coarse they don’t give the option for a transparent boarder. In short don’t use vista print its a shady company that wants to up sell you on everything and give you the lowest quality print job they can.

  • Dirty Business Practice

    So the other day I had to make a business card for a class I decided to use vista print since that’s what the teacher recommended due to its price point for the most part the design process was somewhat limited with a decent set of templates with their background images. I found one i liked made it up and was fairly happy with it so i went to the check out process. First its all good select your quantity paper stock finish type etc. Problem is if you just click next for the card it takes you through a line of do you want this accessory or that or this shiny thing or maybe a magnet with your design on it etc. then you do a standard checkout process until you give them payment info and show your order review then it gives you one final promotion and if you are not paying full attention you miss it. It gives you 2 options 1 accept without promotion and 2 accept with promotion. well I was going fast so i missed it (and to be honest when you have done enough online orders it becomes pretty automatic). So i accidentally clicked accept with promotion(which is at the bottom of the 2 invoices displayed so i got another 8$ tacked onto my order at the very last step of a standard checkout.

    I see no reason to ever give them any more of my money if they try to get you to buy every other thing they sell just before checkout and then subversively try to trick you into buying more than you want. Ads are fine and fair play even the annoying “buy all our shit” thing before checkout is ok. But tacking on an option after words is down right dirty business practice. Granted its partly my fault for not paying attention, but i got caught in the trap that was designed specifically for people who stopped paying attention to the last step of online ordering (scroll to bottom, click accept order) because of more honest companies. Now i’m stuck with 140 return address labels and i don’t even send mail more than 2 or 3 times a year

    Vista print does everything to trick you into buying more stuff so don’t give them the business.

  • Blody HDDs

    im sure some of you noticed the server went down quite often in the last month first I downgraded the system to 12.04 LTS in the process I backed up my home folders in a .tar.gz this was my first problem NEVER use tar.gz on critical backups use tar.bz if you need the tarball compressed. Any way I just threw the the tarballs on my older media HDD and when I tried to decompress it it kept getting stuck and when I tried to pull them off the server it would get stuck or transfer very slowly at times and at others it would be at full network speed. Turns out the HDD was not too happy and I knew the drive was throwing up the occasional S.M.A.R.T errors but the drive decided to start having corrupt sectors after I migrated. I recovered as much data as I could but I lost a lot of data including a full user profile and all of the emails stored on it and that had more than a few critical info emails so yeah bad luck on the timing.

    if i had the money to set up a RAID 5 I would but 3 1 TB drives would run me $300 after shiping and I don’t have that kind of money

    TL;DR version
    Dont compress critcal files with tar.gz and dont ignore S.M.A.R.T errors.

  • I need a bit of help

    so I got my Atmel xmega-B1 Xplained demo board last week and through the course of the week I have been trying to test it but all I can do with it is play with the pre-programmed stuff on the board because my computers don’t want to recognize the board properly, and unfortunately I don’t have a JTAG programer to do any software testing or even see the debugging info.

    The board only shows up as a generic HMI device when according to the documentation it should automatically show up as an Atmel HMI, a mass storage device, and as a COM port. So far I have tried the demo software installed various drivers that I found on Atmel’s website (windows wont let me use any of them) and even Atmel studio 6 does not want to recognize its existence so if any one has a suggestion please let me know
    I don’t exactly want to do a review of something I cant properly test I would buy a JTAG programmer but I don’t have the money for it right now

    maybe in a few months but not soon

  • charging phones and some electrical theroy

    confused about boiler plates on power adapters?

    first yes the cheap ones are often poorly designed either using fake complacency labels or just barley making it to the standard that being said try to avoid using them

    as for the usb standard it is 5V (this can vary within .25V due to component values not being exact) most computer motherboards supply a MAXIMUM of 500mA to usb ports it doesn’t mean it will always supply that. the device(s) attached to it determines the current draw, the same is true for wall adapters. they will be rated for 500mA 750 mA 1A or 1.5A etc. the important number is the voltage you want to be as close to 5V as you can, all devices have some form of voltage regulation to protect agents slightly high voltage, (if they don’t its simply bad design) the excess energy gets dissipated as heat android devices are normally ok with power consumption on stand by but when you start doing a lot of cpu heavy tasks and have all the bells and whistles going (gps, back light, wifi, lte, cell modem, etc) it starts drawing a lot of current (and making the phone hot) i have screen phones draw more than 1A with everything running (the battery still draining while plugged into a 1A rated power adapter)

    remember kids kerchoff’s (how ever its spelled) current and voltage laws
    in series circuit V1+V2+V3+…Vn = Vt and in parallel circuit I1+I2+I3…In = It

    (usbs are parallel devices) there for I1+I2+I3…In = It so the max output for a desktop usb is 500mA and you have 1 device using 400mA the other can at most use 100mA or they will balance out depending on how greedy the little bastards are (wants all the electrons for them selves)

    don’t believe me turn on a lot of lights in your house than start a freezer or air conditioner and you will see the lights momentarily dim (due to the high current draw from the compressor starting) the voltage will stay at 120 (220-240 for Europe) but the current will drop to the other devices (or blow a fuse)