The Core Dump The Core Dump is the online home of Nic Lindh, a Swedish-American man living in the Sonoran desert. 2016-04-20T04:03:29+00:00 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves Nic Lindh 2016-04-19T00:00:00+00:00 <blockquote> <p>Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.</p> </blockquote> <p>—Carl Jung</p> How the G.O.P. Elite Lost Its Voters to Donald Trump (The New York Times) Nic Lindh 2016-04-13T00:00:00+00:00 <p>Argues that decades of bait-and-switch policy tactics are coming home to roost for the G.O.P in the form of angry Trump voters.</p> <blockquote> <p>In dozens of interviews, Republican lawmakers, donors, activists and others described — some with resignation, some with anger — a party that paved the way for a Trump-like figure to steal its base, as it lost touch with less affluent voters and misunderstood their growing anguish.</p> <p>“This is absolutely a crisis for the party elite — and beyond the party elite, for elected officials, and for the way people have been raised as Republicans in the power structure for a generation,” said Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary for President George W. Bush. “If Donald Trump wins, he will change what it means to be a Republican.”</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">New York Times</a></p> Review: Synology DS416j Nic Lindh 2016-04-11T00:00:00+00:00 <p><img src="/images/ds416j.jpg" /></p> <p><i>Synology DS416j loaded up with drives.</i></p> <p>I’ve been meaning to buy a <a href="">NAS</a>—a small, specialized computer that serves files—for years, but have always been put off by the cost.</p> <p>This is the <a href="">Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness</a> as coined by the late great Terry Pratchett. Meaning I kept blowing money by buying external USB drives to hook up to my computers and then replacing them as they invariably died early deaths instead of making one larger investment.</p> <p>A NAS means paying more upfront and then making it back over time as you spend less for upkeep <em>and</em> getting built-in redundancy so if one drive (or two, depending on how you’ve set things up) fails you can replace it and keep on trucking without data loss.</p> <p>At least that’s the theory. (As a sidenote here, <a href="">“RAID is not a backup”</a> is a truism for a reason. Do not believe you’ve nullified Murphy’s Law by getting your files on a RAID. End of sermon.)</p> <p>The DS416j is a great deal: <a href=";ref_=sr_1_1&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=ds416j&amp;tag=thecoredump-20&amp;qid=1460419199">Around $290 from Amazon</a> for a four-drive NAS running the very good and n00b-friendly <a href="">DiskStation Manager operating system</a>.</p> <p>Of course, at that price Synology had to make trade-offs. The DS416j is expressly designed for light home use. If that is what you’re looking for, I wholeheartedly recommend it. If on the other hand you want a NAS for your office, you’ll be unhappy with this device.</p> <p>Some of the trade-offs Synology made include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>One gigabit Ethernet port only, so there’s no link aggregation—gigabit is as fast as it gets.</p> </li> <li> <p>512MB of RAM, which is even less than Apple puts in its products.</p> </li> <li> <p>No support for hot-swapping drives. If you need to replace a drive, you’ll have to power the Synology down and break out your screwdriver. Like an animal.</p> </li> </ul> <p>For a home server that costs less than $300, these are perfectly valid trade-offs. For a business NAS with 50 people on it, they are recipes for misery.</p> <p>Thanks to the maturation of the software on NAS devices these days, people are using them for all kinds of tasks apart from backups and media drives, which is great. But know that the DS416j comes with an <a href="">Armada ARM chip</a>, which is not particularly studly. This means two things: Any third-party software you want to use has to be compiled for that chip, and it plain doesn’t have a lot of muscle.</p> <p>The DS416j could perhaps be used as a Plex server. Maybe. For some files. And I’m not going to test it myself. Why? Because I don’t want to pop my popcorn, grab a chilled beverage and sit down to get entertained, only to find that whatever media file I happen to be interested in pushes the little Armada chip to a nervous breakdown.</p> <p>In a few years Moore’s law guarantees that whatever NAS you buy will be able to transcode anything you throw at it, but that’s a few years out.</p> <p>It’s important to note the NAS itself is only a container for drives, and you need to pay attention to the drives. You need to buy drives tuned to live in the cramped, hot, 24/7 environment of a NAS. After some research I decided the sweet spot for my usage was the <a href=";dpSrc=sims&amp;dpID=519kbF0XBjL&amp;refRID=0JS21ECE750ZK98CAS7A&amp;tag=thecoredump-20&amp;ie=UTF8">3TB Western Digital Red</a>, so I picked up four of them from Amazon and they cost more than the DS416j itself.</p> <p>It’s kind of nice that when the drives are under load, their thrashing sounds like rain. It’s soothing.</p> <p>If you’re in the market for a NAS, Synology makes good ones, and <a href="">the software</a> especially is impressive. If you’re in the market for a light-usage home NAS that will be used mostly as a backup target and media file server, the DS416j is a nice product.</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong> Amazon links are affiliate links. If you purchase something through them I get a tiny kickback. It doesn’t cost you anything.</p> Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard Nic Lindh 2016-04-02T00:00:00+00:00 <blockquote> <p>Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.</p> </blockquote> <p>—H. L. Mencken</p> Know what's weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything's different Nic Lindh 2016-03-30T00:00:00+00:00 <blockquote> <p>Know what’s weird? Day by day, nothing seems to change. But pretty soon, everything’s different.</p> </blockquote> <p>—Bill Watterson</p> Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect Nic Lindh 2016-03-26T00:00:00+00:00 <blockquote> <p>Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.</p> </blockquote> <p>—Benny Hill</p> Fueling Terror: How Extremists Are Made Nic Lindh 2016-03-26T00:00:00+00:00 <p>The reasons and mechanisms that drive some people to terrorism and radicalization are complex but seem to have a lot to do with group dynamics and group identification.</p> <blockquote> <p>In particular, we are learning that radicalization does not happen in a vacuum but is driven in part by rifts among groups that extremists seek to create, exploit and exacerbate. If you can provoke enough non-Muslims to treat all Muslims with fear and hostility, then those Muslims who previously shunned conflict may begin to feel marginalized and heed the call of the more radical voices among them. Likewise, if you can provoke enough Muslims to treat all Westerners with hostility, then the majority in the West might also start to endorse more confrontational leadership. Although we often think of Islamic extremists and Islamophobes as being diametrically opposed, the two are inextricably intertwined. And this realization means that solutions to the scourge of terror will lie as much with “us” as with “them.”</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">Scientific American</a></p> Does Engineering Education Breed Terrorists? Nic Lindh 2016-03-26T00:00:00+00:00 <p>More terrorists have studied engineering than you’d statistically predict. This article tries to find the reasons.</p> <blockquote> <p>They focused on three traits. One is the need for cognitive closure, or a preference for order and distaste for ambiguity. Scholars like John T. Jost, Arie W. Kruglanski, and Jonathan Haidt have documented high levels of this trait among politically conservative voters. These groups, Gambetta and Hertog write, also have two other tendencies: They accept prevailing hierarchies and, when confronted with the unfamiliar, they experience high levels of disgust.</p> <p>The authors observe that these traits are also central to radical Islamist ideology. Did engineers have them, too?</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">The Chronicle of Higher Education</a></p> (Nerd Note) Moving to GitHub Pages Nic Lindh 2016-03-19T00:00:00+00:00 <p>It’s not like this blog is blowing up the Internet or anything, but dagnabbit, I’m happy to have it.</p> <p>Happy to have it since I want to have a place on the Internet to call my own, where I can post whatever I want and have it belong to me. It’s not content on Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr or whatever is hip at the particular moment you read this that is owned by those particular companies—it’s content that belongs to me and is on a place I control.</p> <p>It’s a tiny victory, sure, but it’s a victory, and it matters. What’s mine is mine. I share it, but it belongs to me, not some venture-funded behemoth.</p> <p>And it should belong to me: I’m the one who spent the time creating it.</p> <p>But at the same time, I don’t want to spend the time and money to run my own servers unless I have to. In 2003, <a href="">when I started this blog</a>, I very much had to. As far as I knew back in 2003, there was no way to run a blog on the Internet under your own domain without spending money on a web host. That was the reality back then.</p> <p>Because of this as well as my nerd instinct for Always Making Things Better, The Core Dump has lived on many hosts through its life, including a sad server in a friend-of-a-friend’s data center, an even sadder server in a friend’s bedroom, then at an exciting hosting startup’s data center, which startup then failed, and I had to put the files at yet another startup’s data center, then on a machine at Amazon, then as files on Amazon S3, moving on to files on Google Cloud Storage, and now, as we speak, on <a href="">GitHub</a>.</p> <p>The files are tired at this point. The files want to rest. The files are just settling down at GitHub, pulling their blankets up, staring at the threadbare tents over their heads, hoping this will be the place where they get to stay for a while.</p> <p>Which all just goes to prove the point that if you own your domain you can move your files anywhere you want and nobody has to be the wiser. <em>On the Internet, this is what freedom looks like.</em></p> <p>Seriously, own your domain. The Internet is your playground as long as you own your domain.</p> <p>The deal with GitHub Pages is that you can host your site for free, as long as the site is static, and if your site is a Jekyll site, GitHub Pages will build it for you. That’s right, not only will GitHub host it, but GitHub will build it! This means if you’re a nerd, you can just update the <a href="">Git</a> repo of the site, and GitHub will spend the money on cycles to turn it into this site.</p> <p>The reason this is <em>huge</em> is that (a) it means I don’t have to keep Jekyll up to date on my machines so I can build the site whenever there’s a new post, and (b) it means I can blog from my phone without having to keep a Virtual Private Server around. Being able to use GitHub Pages from my phone, is very, very exciting. There’s a whole post coming later about why this is such a big deal for me.</p> <p>Finally, enjoy the fact that this whole move affected you not one iota and if you hadn’t happen to read this post, you wouldn’t even have known anything was changing. <em>That’s</em> the magic of owning your own domain.</p> Clash of Republican Con Artists (The New York Times) Nic Lindh 2016-03-19T00:00:00+00:00 <p>Paul Krugman on the state of the GOP, with guns blazing:</p> <blockquote> <p>Equally important, the Trump phenomenon threatens the con the G.O.P. establishment has been playing on its own base. I’m talking about the bait and switch in which white voters are induced to hate big government by dog whistles about Those People, but actual policies are all about rewarding the donor class.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="">The New York Times</a></p>