Use Ctrl+ to enlarge this blog page if you need to.
Nav Tools

--> Most recent Blog

Comments Policy
Maths trivia
Search this site
RSS feed for Stu Savory's Blog RSS Feed

Stu Savory ;-) School report for Stu Savory
Eunoia, who is a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual ex-pat Scot, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Beetle-driver, textbook-writer, long-distance biker, geocacher and blogger living in the foothills south of the northern German plains. Not too shy to reveal his true name or even whereabouts, he blogs his opinions, and humour and rants irregularly. Stubbornly he clings to his beliefs, e.g. that Faith does not give answers, it only prevents you doing any goddamn questioning. You are as atheist as he is. When you understand why you don't believe in all the other gods, you will know why he does not believe in yours.

Oh, and after the death of his old dog, Kosmo, he also has a new bulldog puppy, Clara, since September 2018 :-)

Some of my bikes

My Crypto Pages

My Maths Pages

Friday, January 29, 2021

No Privacy on WhatsApp :-(

Well, now that I seem to have got the basics of the new FTP working (see previous blog entry), I can turn my attention to the messenger services on our smart-phones. We have one niece who insists on using Telegram, three score friends who each use WhatsApp and a couple of dozen more security oriented friends who use Signal. Other messenger service are ignored, as are Facebook, Instagram etc.

"WhatsApp is unilaterally updating its terms and privacy policy," they announced. Clicking through led to a 4,000-word privacy policy, which states that WhatsApp will now reserve the right to share data such as phone numbers, IP addresses, and payments made through the app with Facebook and other Facebook-owned platforms like Instagram. No shit, Sherlock! Zuckerberg (who owns both WhatsApp and Facebook) wants to intercept and grab our WhatsApp messages, selling the (meta-)data to his Facebook advertising customers :-( The change is compulsory : Unless people agree to these new terms, they will be locked out of WhatsApp on Feb. 8. 2021 :-(

People Are Mad About Facebook's Changes To WhatsApp's Privacy Policies. See cartoon:-

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and even American whistleblower Edward Snowden have both recommended using Signal instead. More than 8,800,000 people downloaded Signal on iPhones and Android phones in the week of Jan. 4, compared to just 246,000 people the week according to data analytics firm Sensor Tower. Telegram, another WhatsApp alternative, said on Tuesday that more than 25 million people had joined in the last 72 hours. "I don’t trust Facebook" is the most common reaction, so it's not just me who thinks Zuckerberg is a data thief. Even the (Trump era) US Government said Facebook needed to sell both Instagram and WhatsApp. The European DSVGO (data privacy) laws forbids such 3rd party data-sharing afaik.

So now we plan on moving to Signal, uninstalling WhatsApp, and moving our chatgroups there. So we have to convince the three score friends to follow us on this step. WhatsApp , scared of such a large loss of business has said they will move the deadline to May 2021 , which gives us more time to make the changeover.

You too can download Signal here, for mobile phones, Windows PCs, Macs or Linux. Porn-users and people working in an open office space, who want even more privacy, may want to have Granny knit them a personal privacy screen.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

FTP problems

So, my web-hoster has decided unilaterally to "upgrade" the way FTP is done, to make it "safer". Ease of use for me was not a criterion :-(

SWMBO and I type in the HTML for our blogs to an editor local to this PC and then upload those text files and associated pix via FTP to their server. Now we have had to change the FTP client SW from a dead simple straightforward (but limited) SW (LeechFTP) which we've been using for a decade without any issues, to a new SW (FileZilla) with all the bells and whistles, but which we haven't learned to use properly yet. And that's why this blog is currently stuttering. Gawd knows when THIS blog-entry will appear next.

The critical changeover date will be Feb. 1st, after which the "old" interface will no longer be supported. So bear with us until I become fluent in uploading our newer files; I'm 76 and am struggling to understand the new way of doing things. Guess I might have to actually read the wiki manual [wry grin] ;-) This is what it feels like :-

Comments (2)
Cop Car wrote " Oh, please do not read that manual, Stu. Think of the poor example it would set for the rest of us. Good luck!" Too late , I already discovered the advantages of reading the book/manual ;-)
Doug (Canada) wrote "When I had a server I used FileZilla - I thought it was fairly intuitive but I was a lot younger then and working in IT so ....." I've got the limited subset I need working now.

Joe's day, January 20, 2021

Minus fortyfive

Washington is much cooler now, minus fortyfive is really cool!

Right up until donny-the-tantrum had left for Florida - taking his nuclear football with him - I'd feared there might be a hiccup. But there was no mob (that I could see on our German TV) and there was no Putin suitcase nuke left in the Capitol as some "journalist" had suggested, so all went well. Biden and Harris inaugurated as planned, even Pence attended with dignity.

Perhaps donny thought his was the only football, not knowing there are four or more. One for the President, one for the VP, one for the designated survivor (who was kept far away from the Inauguration ceremony) and a spare. donny's code card would have been made invalid at 12:01 so that was cause for a sigh of relief. Mind you, the football also contains many top secret documents such as (counter-)attack plans, etc etc. so donny could be planning to sell those to the highest bidder . . .

America won't be really safe until they lock 45 up (and throw away the key!).

Comments (6)
John (USA) wrote "HOOfloggingRAY! We finally have an adult President again. Thanks for noticing." Nice speech, wasn't it?
Yellowdog Grannie has a great cartoon, starting thursday :-

Anon (USA) wrote "People are raving about Biden - before he has actually done anything - as if he was the Kwisach Haderach!" I don't think he is, but Harris is most likely a Bene Gesserit, like Angela Merkel ;-)
Jenny (Ibiza) notes that "Capitol mob seditionists, when (not if) convicted, will lose their right to own guns :-)" I like that; sweet irony :-)
Jenny (Ibiza) also tells us that "donny-the-tantrum’s portrait of Andrew Jackson - the censured and fellow populist 19th-century president - was replaced by Biden's choice of a Benjamin Franklin portrait , meant to signal Biden’s interest in science" Most people only know Benjamin Franklin for his kite experiment showing that lightning was made of electricity. He also invented the Franklin stove, bifocal glasses & the flexible urinary catheter ;-)
Billions of Versions... wrote " People are raving about Biden - because he's not tRUMP." That sounds very credible :-)

Monday, January 18, 2021

Laws of Nature 2.0

Old friend Derek (Canada) sent these revised laws of nature, so I'm blogging them during my down time. All credit to Derek pls.

  • Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee
  • Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
  • Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
  • Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.
  • Supermarket Law - As soon as you get in the smallest line, the cashier will have to call for help.
  • Variation Law -If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.
  • Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
  • Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.
  • Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.
  • Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
  • Law of the Theatre & Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.
  • The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
  • Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.
  • Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.
  • Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
  • Brown's Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.
  • Oliver's Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.
  • Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.
  • Doctors' Law - If you don't feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better... But don't make an appointment, and you'll stay sick. This has been proven over and over with taking children to the pediatrician.

Comments (1)
John (USA) wrote "Please tell Derek that his list is wonderful! Thanks for sharing!" Wilco.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Thank you Georgia

Thank you Georgia, for choosing both Democrat senators. Now we can expect a bit more peace and quiet; Biden/Harris can push their agenda through without obstruction from Moscow Mitch :-)

Just 12 more days until you can lock Trump up, USA :-) Way to go!

Comments (3)
Doug (Canada) sent this joke : " A teacher goes around her class asking each of the kids what they need at home. Joey says, "A computer." The teacher replies, "That would be very useful." Jenny says, "A new lawn mower." The teacher again replies, "That would also be very useful." Little Johnny pops up and says, "At my house we don't need anything!" The teacher asks him to think again carefully, as "everybody needs something." Little Johnny replies, "No I'm sure we don't. When Trump was elected, I clearly remember my dad saying, 'Well, that's the last fucking thing we needed!" " Very good, Doug. I always like Little Johnny jokes :-) Thanks :-)
David (NY,NY) asks "What do you think of the storming of the Bastille Capitol, D.C.?" Personally? Maybe I'm paranoid, but I think tRump is devious enough to have hoped for a blood bath - sacrificing his tRumpanzee mob of useful idiots - so that he could declare martial law and thus remain pResident! Sly, cheating bastard that he is! That's why he waited before sending in the National Guard, but only a few died, not enough to warrant martial law. He wanted hundreds or thousands dead, just to get his way!
Billions of Versions... wrote " That last day will become the new "Longest day" taking over from D-DAY." Lock him up!

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Solving quadratic equations another way

My short-term memory is worsening, so I'm kicking off 2021 with an anecdote from my long-ago schooldays instead.

Back in secondary school we had a good maths teacher, Jeb, but who insisted we do things HIS way. I didn't like that. And thereby hangs this tale.

Once, he was teaching us how to solve quadratic equations (see the equation on the left, below). Quadratic equations have at most two roots (since this is the highest power of x in the equation). So we had to learn by rote how to calculate these roots; see the equation on the right below.

Remember, this was back in the days before calculators; calculations were either done in your head or with pencil and paper. This usually took the class 5 or 10 minutes; but I knew a faster way, using the irrationality theorem :-)

Suppose he wrote as the problem to be solved 4x2 - 32x + 60 =0. In order to use the irrationality theorem, we need a=1 not 4, so I divided his problem by 4 getting x2 - 8x + 15 =0. Now the irrationality theorem tells us that the roots of the problem are either whole number factors of c (here 15), or are irrational. Irrational means the number cannot be written as a ratio; so something like root(2) instead. Since this is only a simple secondary school problem, I reasoned that Jeb wouldn't give us a problem with irrational roots.

So the roots had to be 1,3,5 or 15 (all the factors of c). Plugging each of these in turn mentally into x2 - 8x + 15 =0 gave me the roots as 3 and 5. All this mentally in less than a second. So I could blurt out "3 and 5" before Jeb had even finished chalking the "=0" onto the blackboard :-) Job done before he'd finished or the rest of the class had even started :-)

Results : class thought I was some kind of mental giant for using the equation on the right so fast. But only an A- from Jeb for the right answer but not using his method; most unfair I thought. Not to say irrational ;-)

Jeb wanted me to show my working, so I wrote a cubic equation on the board x3 - 7x + 6 =0. By the same reasoning, the roots can only be 1, 2, and 3. And since these are the 3 roots, there can be no irrational roots. And Jeb's equation (on the right) doesn't work for cubic equations, so my method was more general I claimed.

What an obnoxious little know-it-all I was and still am ;-)

Comments (1)
Anon (UK) wrote "Here's Jeb's marking for you."

Link to the previous month's blog.
Recent Writings
No Privacy on WhatsApp
FTP problems
Minus fortyfive
Laws of Nature 2.0
Thank you Georgia
Quadratic equations
Give generously ?
Dead Stick Landing
Salmon Pie
Local call from ET ?
My last Great Conjunction
Murder-Witness ? Alexa!
Roast me!
French is not always...
Not always 5 & 5 digits
No More Fucking :-(
Local Lockdown Library
Extreme Hotels
The Sound of Silence
Guten Morgan!
Unlucky for some :-(
Biden Harris anagrams
Flying the Shuttle Carrier
NOT about the US election
End of Days?
Where's the Mass?
A different Halloween

Ain Bulldog Blog
All hat no cattle
Balloon Juice
Billions of Versions...
Cop Car
Digby's Hullabaloo
Earth-Bound Misfit
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Greg Laden
Observing Hermann
Scotties Toybox
Silicon Graybeard
Starts with a Bang
Yellowdog Grannie

Archive 2020:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2019:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2018:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2017:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2016:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2015:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2014:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
This blog is getting really unmanagable, so I've taken the first 12 years' archives offline. My blog, my random decision. Tough shit; YOLO.
Link Disclaimer
ENGLISH : I am not responsible for the contents or form of any external page to which this website links. I specifically do not adopt their content, nor do I make it mine.
DEUTSCH : F?r alle Seiten, die auf dieser Website verlinkt sind, m?chte ich betonen, dass ich keinerlei Einfluss auf deren Gestaltung und Inhalte habe. Deshalb distanziere ich mich ausdr?cklich von allen Inhalten aller gelinkten Seiten und mache mir ihren Inhalt nicht zu eigen.

This Blog's Status is
Blog Dewey Decimal Classification : 153
FWIW, 153 is a triangular number, meaning that you can arrange 153 items into an equilateral triangle (with 17 items on a side). It is also one of the six known truncated triangular numbers, because 1 and 15 are triangular numbers as well. It is a hexagonal number, meaning that you can distribute 153 points evenly at the corners and along the sides of a hexagon. It is the smallest 3-narcissistic number. This means it?s the sum of the cubes of its digits. It is the sum of the first five positive factorials. Yup, this is a 153-type blog. QED ;-)
Books I've written

Index/Home Impressum Sitemap Search site/www