Rants and Raves

Playing with the Brave Browser

I sometimes dabble with different things to try to learn about the technology behind it. An example- a long while back I bough crypto, not to try to get a Lamborghini (yeah, that’s a thing) but just to learn about it. Now that I think about it- I probably got my first crypto from Pridkett… but I’ll have to check. Of course instead of dabbling, I should actually learn a skill like how to write Python scripts, but …

One of the things I periodically look at is privacy-related items or tech. For example, I was playing with running PiHole on a NAS I have in the house (interesting findings, but maybe not enough to blog about). I also recently started looking at the Brave Browser.

I’ve had the browser installed for quite a while, but I always forget to use it. I like the idea behind it and was wondering if any of you use it. Do you tip any blog authors? (not looking for tips, but I am the kind to tip out or donate to sites) Do you have BAT plugins on your site if you run one- wether it’s a blog or a YouTube channel?

Of course, I have a promo link here in case you’re interested in learning more.

Follow up links / further reading

It’s Big Y’all- Texas Monthly

I’ve never been to Indiana from DC, but I’ve driven from SA to EP.

If the president was thinking about El Paso when he was talking about San Antonio, he conflated two cities that are a truly vast distance from one another. The great state of Indiana proudly declares itself the Crossroads of America, and its capital, the fine city of Indianapolis, is a Midwestern gem smack-dab in the middle of the American Heartland. It’s also as far a drive from the White House to the city’s historic East Side as it is from San Antonio to El Paso on Interstate 10.

Source: Where Is San Antonio in Relation to the Border? An Investigation That Is Apparently Necessary – Texas Monthly

One more quote from that piece

The list of questions never asked is almost infinite: what were the mercenaries I kept meeting truly there for? What about those contractors, specifically in the intel world, who foisted a never-ending line of gadgetries on my men to be field-tested and then shipped off to the global marketplace? Why did the gear never work? Why was it so unwieldy? Why did it slow down ops, and why did no one seem to care that it usually had to be escorted by those with the appropriate clearance, which meant putting my guys

Source: ‘A torrent of ghastly revelations’: what military service taught me about America | News | The Guardian

Interesting “long read” in The Guardian

Writing this now, I’m embarrassed by the comparison. There is something ludicrous about relating foot patrols in a combat zone to Bluetooth shopping a few miles beyond a stateside base. But there was a way in which I had been conditioned, before and during my military years, to be suspicious of the outside, wherever that outside might be.

Source: ‘A torrent of ghastly revelations’: what military service taught me about America | News | The Guardian

Reading Challenges & Some Links (bonus vid of Scoot Scofflaw)

As you may know, I use Goodreads.com to keep track of books I want to read. They have a handy feature where you can set how many books you’d like to read in a year. I’ve been able to use that to stay motivated and keep up with some good (and bad) titles. Do any of you do something similar – whether in Goodreads or just on a list somewhere? What are your goals?

One of the last books I read in 2017 was about the Basque country. There was a good section about Basque eating clubs. Actually, the whole book was good, but I keep dwelling on the clubs. There’s a good article about the same in last month’s Saveur magazine (link here – warning the site is slow as shit). I really want to set up a similar club, but I’m not sure how I’d be able to pull it off.

Maybe I should set up a monthly dinner group instead and rotate restaurants and brainstorm ideas? My girlfriend has a monthly girls’ dinner that she does with some friends so whenever she plans it I get reminded of this.

Do any of you have a regular standing dinner with groups of friends (or a networking group)?

Scoot – the company I like, but with the occasional rider I hate and make fun of- announced plans to add a network of e-bikes to their scooter fleet. That could be very big with a lot of potential. E-bikes are weird, but show a lot of potential to getting people in to bike commuting. I’m always pushing for more bikes.

Speaking of Scoot:

 

Some quick links for the long weekend

Happy 4th of July everyone. Here are some links for you to check out if you’re so inclined:

One of my favorite authors, Don Winslow, has a new book out. I haven’t read it yet, but he’s doing pressers. He stopped in to do Brian Koppelman’s podcast here. It’s worth a listen.

And Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast is back for another “season”. I’ve just started listening again. The first episode here talks about golf and taxes in an interesting way. Of course I liked the way he brings up Theseus’s Paradox.

Russian Slot Mafia

An interesting read:

Russia has been a hotbed of slots-related malfeasance since 2009, when the country outlawed virtually all gambling. (Vladimir Putin, who was prime minister at the time, reportedly believed the move would reduce the power of Georgian organized crime.) The ban forced thousands of casinos to sell their slot machines at steep discounts to whatever customers they could find. Some of those cut-rate slots wound up in the hands of counterfeiters eager to learn how to load new games onto old circuit boards. Others apparently went to Murat Bliev’s bosses in St. Petersburg, who were keen to probe the machines’ source code for vulnerabilities.

Via Wired

Links for Jan 23-Jan 31

Hey man, where’d you buy those empanadas?!?  I bought them from Venga Empanadas – go check them out on Valencia.

Hey man, where’d you get those co-co-co-things? They’re called COXINHAS and I bought them at – Cafe de Casa

Anything to read this week?

Sure- try:

FIGURING OUT YOUR’E NOT A CLIMBER, UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF MAYONNAISE FROM BJARNE RIIS, AND THE VUELTA A COLOMBIA. COLOMBIAN INSIGHTS FROM CYLANCE’S KYLE MURPHY.