Friday, June 30, 2017

Angela Merkel Of Germany

Angela Merkel the German Chancellor represents a chance at unity in Europe regarding Climate Change Agreement.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Mystery Of The USS Fitzgerald - ACX Crystal Freighter Collission

The destroyer USS Fitzgerald didn't dodge and the fully loaded freighter ACX Crystal continued on for miles after their collission off the coast of Japan. The American destroyer lost 7 sailors and some of its compartments below took water. In fact the crew of the Fitzgerald had to do damage control to prevent the ship from sinking and most of those who lost their lives were found inside the ship.

Initial reports indicate that the captain of the Fitzgerald wasn't in the bridge or combat information station. Investigation of this incident will take some time but human error hasn't been ruled out. Commander Bryce Benson of the Fitzgerald is one of those injured in the collission with ACX Crystal.
damaged starboard side of the USS Fitzgerald

The ACX Crystal is a Philippine-flagged container ship crewed by 20 Filipinos. It's a 29,000 ton ship fully laden with steel boxes and travelling at 17 knots when it collided with the destroyer. Its Automatic Identification System (AIS) is turned on all throughout the incident. Commercial vessels 300 tons or more and all passenger ships are required by international convention to be fitted with AIS for safety of navigation in international waters. The primary tool for ship navigation today is the marine radar. The marine radar is supplemented by AIS which contains the identification of the vessels around a ship, positions, course and speed. To further help ships, there are land-based AIS controllers and satellite-based AIS controllers. Basically, these are networked systems providing data to any ships who need them. Of course being a military combat ship, the USS Fitzgerald do not "broadcast" their position and course in the open. Is this a case of the ACX Crystal crew heavily relying on AIS, a system that do not have the Fitzgerald on their database? But what about the old system of watch officers? Both ships should have watch officers with their binoculars able to warn of an impending collission.

The collission happened on the 17th of June 2017 early morning. The investigation is being conducted by the US Navy, US Coast Guard, Japan Coast Guard and Japan Transport Safety Board.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Monks - Black Monk Time (1966) [Full Album]

I was playing 1966 music on my player and I came across two albums from that year which I don't have. So I googled both, the first one was "The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators" and the second one was "Black Monk Time". Google pointed me to the first one right on point. But the second one was a fail. No i did not want The Monks, I want Monks. The Monks is an American band based in Germany in the 60s.

I went to Youtube and I wasn't disappointed. Here they are. Punk when it was still a baby. Never mind the Sonics.

The CHIP $9 computer, and PocketCHIP

I want to recommend this youtube video from OpenTechLab. The CHIP was offered to market a couple of years ago. This particular product called PocketCHIP however is a fairly recent adjunct to the first CHIP.

Learned a lot of ways you can start using CHIP.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Complaining About My Internet Service

PLDT Home ultera used to impress me. They are conducting repairs and enhancements from the 21st to the 28th. Signal is interrupted in the morning. It used to be that WiFi signal extends at least 30 meters. Now I'm getting some blind spots around the property. Speed is still 1.3 Mbps down and 2.5 Mbps up in the early morning. It goes down as the day progress. Mina is asking about the quality of the service. I can't recommend it.

Am I a complete fool to wait for an upgrade offer to fibr? 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rhythmbox With Alternative Toolbar Plugin

Rhythmbox is the default music player in GNOME but it could do with some make over.

rhythmbox with alternative toolbar

The progress bar / slider is moved down below. In fact the toolbar is moved down. Changing Rhythmbox from a top heavy UI to a more balanced look. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Linux Kernel Update

Linux kernel updated to version 4.11.6-1 Arch today.

This is a security as well as bug fix update.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Current Events

Why is the current account deficit for the first quarter of 2017 tells so much about where we are now? When our imports are greater than our exports, the flow of payments is outward. The main reasons for a deficit is under-investment and low productivity. We are not producing goods and services while we are importing those that we need. For the Philippine economy, current account deficit last occurred in 2002. We are not doing very well indeed and the government's priorities isn't helping. Even if they pass the tax reform bill in Congress, investors are holding back.

Jose Rizal is the foremost liberal among his generation. He studied in the best schools and universities in Europe. He traveled Europe and America. He wrote books and published them. He was a man of science. He was a man of medicine. He taught in schools. He believed that all men are equal and fought the abuses in the Philippines committed by Spanish authorities as well as by the Catholic Church. To be liberal is to defend the individual from harm and to a certain extent the government itself and those in positions of authority are the first to abuse their powers and do him harm. In Jose Rizal's time this is true and often the rule. To be liberal is to protect individual rights. Your right to due process and equal protection under the law, to be secure in your homes, your privacy, unlawful search, your freedom to speak and assemble, your right to practice religion and many more. Today in the Philippines, the constitution guarantees these rights under Article III. I can only speculate what Jose Rizal would think of our Bill Of Rights.

The US pullout of the Paris Climate Agreement did not deter States and Corporations to abide by the commitments agreed to by most of the world. After President Trump announce the pullout, states like California and private companies like Bank of America renew their commitment to follow the Paris Climate Agreement. This means that even as the federal government won't be following most of the world, individual states and private companies will do their share in lowering their carbon footprints and invest in renewable technologies. The United States is the second biggest carbon user in the planet. China outsizes the US, but it continues to commit itself by the Paris Climate Agreement and is the biggest investor in solar technologies. Years from now, the US pullout from the Paris Agreement will be remembered as the single biggest foreign policy mistake Trump made. And for what, to protect a dying coal industry?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Debian Stretch Is Released

I am interested in seeding one torrent. Debian live- 9.0.0-amd64-gnome. I keep a live debian in my spare USB stick.

Happy Father's Day

My Mom and I were talking about Dad. I happen to mention that Dad did believe and use physical punishment to the surprise of my mother. Yes my father did use his leather belt (for want of something else lying around) on my brother and me. I don't remember the particulars but knowing my dad, it has something to do with treating other people right. Any way, my mother is surprised because physical punishment in the family is rare. As grand parents, my parents never used it. I guess not resorting to corporal punishment comes with maturity and evolving parental ideas.

We remember my dad for his gentle nature. His caring nature as a physician is attested by his patients in the community. After his death in 2003, folks in the community still mention him and remember him for visiting their homes when a family member is sick. Those were the days when doctors still make house calls.

So I pray for all fathers this day. May the love and the blessings of our Lord, Jesus Christ, come to you. Peace.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Firefox Update To 54.0

Mozilla updated Firefox to version 54.0. They enable multiprocess windows in this version by default.

about:support tab –> Firefox
Some add-ons might block mulitiprocess. You can go to about:config. Check extensions.e10s

​The default number of content process is 1. You can change this in about:config. Check out dom.ipc.process.
I modified mine to 4.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Linux Kernel Twice A Day Update

I started the day by updating the Arch linux system. I happily installed linux-4.11.4-1 and reboot to use the new kernel. After 10 hours I got back from errands. I woke up my desktop and it's prompting me again to do another linux kernel update. This time to update to linux-4.11.5-1. Somebody told me that Arch linux may be the unique distro that treats the linux kernel like it's a common piece of software to be updated as often as possible.

I'm rebooting to use this newest kernel for the second time in one day. Here goes.

Friday, June 9, 2017

A Lesson To Learn From Comey And The American System

Former FBI director, now private citizen James Comey, testified today in front of the Intelligence Committee of the Senate about the Trump-Russian investigation he once led when he was still in the bureau. He released a paper containing his testimony 24 hours before he appeared. So the press and the Senators know what he is about to say in the public part of Comey's testimony. They of course, has closed sessions with Comey where they can ask questions with no reservations.

James Comey already leaked his memos to a lawyer friend who in turn released it to the Washinton Post. So we, the public, know the details of his interactions with Trump, the president-elect, up to the point when he was fired by Trump. This is definitely a scandal as big as Watergate. The implications are that a foreign power, russia, interfered with a US presidential election and Trump's people are continuing to have communications with the russians. That Trump tried to convince James Comey to let Michael Flynn go. That Trump tried to influence James Comey to drop the Trump-Russia investigation. The situation here is this, the americans have a president who is under investigation by his own FBI, so any contact between Comey and his president about the russian investigation is an interference on a current investigation. Comey's testimony says that the interference is explicit. His reluctance led to him being fired. In fact Trump said so in his interview with Lester Holt of MSNBC.

In the United States, every american who love their country, hold their laws and institutions with respect. No president sits above the law. If Trump did obtruct the law he will face impeachment. 

Here in the Philippines, Joseph Estrada who faced impeachment before, returns to politics as mayor of Manila. Wala tayong bait sa sarili. Our institutions are weak. Our laws, well, look at our lawmakers and how they behave. The Marcoses are back in Ilocos and Bongbong Marcos is a member of the House of Representatives. Most Filipinos see these as partisan politics not disrespect of institutions and country. Let's hold our laws up. Let's renew our loyalty to the Constitution. Let's put deserving men and women in Congress. Federalism is not what we need. What we need is to strengthen our state institutions, not destroy them.

Glitch In gnupg Update In Arch Linux

That update a while ago broke online accounts. I can't connect to my google services and microsoft accounts. Online Accounts Service is unable to open Passwords (Seahorse) which has my credentials. Somehow the old links were broken by the updates. So the shortest solution here is to just delete these old links and credetials. I then have to sign-in to my accounts. Present my credentials.

It is now working again. Evolution Mail is connecting all my accounts. Funny but I have three accounts in Evolution Mail. One of the accounts do not depend on Online Accounts and it picked up on the gnupg update. Why can't this piece of GNOME not pick up the gnupg update? This one account is able to open Passwords And Keys and get its credentials.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Renovations At Unit R6

The renovations in unit R6 are proceeding well and ahead of the deadline. Mina is coming home on the first week of July 2017. As soon as her classes end, she's on a flight home to the Philippines. But let me show you some of the progress so far in the apartment.

United Gnome Theme Revisited

I have a new default theme. I have United Gnome Theme - Arch. I like the flat icons theme "flat-remix" that came with it. I'm still not sold to the dark theme making everything more modern assertion though. I like that it works with the Ubuntu font that I love.

United Gnome theme, Chrome browser tabs.

United Gnome theme, Custom Wallpaper, Rhythmbox, Gnome Launcher (left)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

What Is Stopping Rodrigo Duterte From Declaring Martial Law Over The Philippines?

Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law over the whole of Mindanao. What's stopping him from declaring it over the whole of the country?Marawi City is just an 87 square kilometer area of muslim mindanao. Why not just declare martial law over the city? If the overwhelming reason is the security threat posed by the Maute group, then it would be logical to suppose that the whole of the country is threatened by terrorism. Terrorism of course, isn't enough reason to declare Martial law. The Constitution lists, rebellion and invasion as reasons for Martial Law not terrorism. Read Article VII Section 18 of the Philippine Constitution. It could be supposed also that the Maute group has international links to a foreign terrorist group, but not a foreign power or state. It's problematic to argue that IS or Islamic State is officially a state.

Martial law was declared in 1944 by Jose Laurel, during The Liberation, saying the US and the Philippines were at war. Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial law in 1972 after making up an excuse in the form of a rising Communist Rebellion. Gloria Arroyo declared a 9 day Martial law limited only in the province of Maguindanao, after 58 persons including 34 journalists were killed in a massacre related to local politics. It is clear that when leaders declare martial laws, they are owning up to their own failures, to their own realization that somehow they have made a mistake.

What are the conditions that clearly calls for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus? When is it obvious that martial law is justified as seen by the average citizen? An escalation of violence and lawlessness, civilian authority unable to impose its rule, a great disaster where military aid is required to save lives and of course the constitutional conditions of rebellion and invasion. Let us not forget that leaders impose martial law as preventive measure. What kind of leader are you if you let civilian rule collapse in front of your eyes? So the act of declaring martial law becomes a political game of chess - to know succeeding moves.

In the period after the EDSA revolution, Corazon Aquino, endured 10 military rebellions. With freedom comes great challenges to her administration. She also faces an economy in disarray, infrastructure that languished unattended during the Marcos administration, political restructuring from the local level up to Congress and Judiciary. Her inherited military was unaccustom to democratic nuances and did not trust her, the wife of a former military-held politician. Aquino did not declare martial law even as the rebellion reached the gates of her residence.

Abraham Lincoln imposed martial law in the United States during its civil war. He declared martial law against prisoners of war, spies, those who aid the enemy and draft dodgers. Interestingly, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that Lincoln's martial law is unconstitutional in areas where the courts are still functioning.

Just after Duterte declared his martial law, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Maria Lourdes Sereno ordered that all courts in Mindanao should remain open. So what's stopping Rodrigo Duterte from imposing martial law over the entire Philippines?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Can China Learn Democracy?

Tiananmen Square, China, was the site of unprecedented protests back in 1989. The most iconic image of those days was a man with bags on both hands, in white shirt standing in front of a long line of chinese army tanks. Reports said he shouted "What are you doing to my city?". The tanks are moving to break protesters. The protesters are mostly high school students, young chinese but also labor and professionals. They want a democracy in China. 

I don't know if the white shirt man in front of the tanks believe in democracy. Is he one with those who are protesting in the Square? His love of Beijing, his city, compelled him to stand in front and blocked a column of tanks.

The brutality of the authorities' response to the Tiananmen Protests was the frontpage news in every newspaper in the western world. China watchers noted that the Communist Party made some leadership replacements because of it. It is obvious to the chinese communists that those who ordered such repression cannot be seen as representing the whole of the Communist Party, not in the international scene anyway. 

Tiananmen 1989

Can China learn democracy from the West? China certainly learned how to manage their economy very well. They learned it from the West. China is poised to be the biggest economy in the world. Nothing can stop this from happening, not a Trump Whitehouse or a European Union trying to handle Brexit.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Blogger File Size Limit

I just discovered that Blogger has a file size limit when you post too big a file attachment to a post.

I tried to post several images / photos. If you want to see that post click here. My Wordpress blog accepted my email / mobile post just fine. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Is Marawi Duterte's Example Of Paradise?

I've realized that people shouldn't rely on Duterte's words or the accuracy of those words. His promises which include dates, have come and gone. He should be made accountable for unattained goals. I wonder if the Philippine 1987 Constitution allow for early termination of employment due to unattained promises and expectations. I have an employee in mind who I think should be fired.

The city of Marawi is an Islamic center of education and culture. It is the site for the Mindanao State University, school for Filipino muslim scholars. When I think of this city, I have well-to-do muslim families enjoying rustic living in mind. If I'm very far from your image of Marawi, then I apologize. I have long time friends who live there and call Marawi their home. Its 87 square kilometer area is lush jungle with 200,000+ population. Its most picturesque locale is the view over Lake Lanao.Lake Lanao in Marawi

Duterte in a speech last year, dared anonymous groups to invade Marawi, specifically. Wait what? Why Marawi? Maybe a commander in chief has privelege intelligence that we mere mortals don't have. Several months later, an AFP/PNP operation spilled over to the city and the Maute group took several installations under their control while civilians are caught in the middle. There are now reports of 16 dead bodies recovered, executed IS style. Not surprising since the Maute group declared allegiance to IS. The government's response is to declare Martial Law over all of Mindanao and send more troops into a city still full of hungry civilians.

Problem With Mail Authentication In Evolution Mail

I encounter this pervasive and nagging bug in Evolution Mail's strange relationship with its co-GNOME app called Seahorse (although this...