Middle of September 2020 Notes

"A person is praised for his insight, but a warped mind leads to contempt." – Proverbs 12:8 (Common English Bible)

It has been a while since I have written anything that might appear on Planet Ubuntu. Specifically the last time was June 26th. That's not necessarily a good thing.

I have been busy writing. What have I been writing? I knocked out a new novelette in Visual Studio Code. The print version was typeset using the novel class using LuaLaTeX. It is a bit of a sci-fi police procedural. It is up on Amazon for people to acquire though I do note that Amazon's print-on-demand costs have gone up a wee bit since the start of the planet-wide coronavirus crisis.

I also have taken time to test the Groovy Gorilla ISOs for Xubuntu. I encourage everybody out there to visit the testing tracker to test disc images for Xubuntu and other flavours as we head towards the release of 20.10 next month. Every release needs as much testing as possible.

Based upon an article from The Register it appears that the Community Council is being brought back to life. Nominations are being sought per a post on the main Discourse instance but readers of this are reminded that you need to be a current member either directly or indirectly of the 609 Ubuntu Members shown on Launchpad. Those 609 persons are the electors for the Community Council and the Community Council is drawn from that group. The size and composition of the Ubuntu Members group on Launchpad can change based upon published procedures and the initiative of individual to be part of such changes.

I will highlight an article at Yahoo Finance concerning financial distress among the fifty states. Here in Ohio we are seemingly in the middle of the pack. In Ashtabula County we have plenty of good opportunities in the age of coronavirus especially with our low transmission rates and very good access to medical facilities. With some investment in broadband backhaul an encampment for coders could be built who did not want to stick with city living. There is enough empty commercial real estate available to provide opportunities for film and television production if the wildfires and coronavirus issues out in California are not brought under control any time soon.

As a closing note, a federal trial judge ruled that the current coronavirus response actions in Pennsylvania happen to be unconstitutional. A similar lawsuit is pending before a trial judge here in Ohio about coronavirus response actions in this particular state. This year has been abnormal in so many ways and this legal news is just another facet of the abnormality.

Second Novelette Done And Posted

Back in March the first novelette went up on Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. Six months later the second novelette is up on Amazon in both formats as well. The print versions of both were typeset using the novel class from the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network. The Kindle versions were manually converted.

I'm not sure what the third story will be about. A goal is to get that done before the National Novel Writing Month. At that point I might write an actual novel of some sort. At a minimum of one thousand words per day in November and ignoring the chaos of the aftermath of the election I presumably could have a proper novella per SFWA length standards written.

Why write? It is therapeutic at this point in these bizarre times.

Posted

"A person is praised for his insight, but a warped mind leads to contempt." – Proverbs 12:8 (Common English Bible)

Well, things appear to be getting a bit screwy. This is a list of things that need to still be read.

Bird, S., Segall, I., & Lopatka, M. (2020). Replication: Why We Still Can’t Browse in Peace: On the Uniqueness and Reidentifiability of Web Browsing Histories. Sixteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2020), 489–503. https://www.usenix.org/conference/soups2020/presentation/bird

Brookbank, M. (2020, September 2). Uptick in COVID-19 patients under 19 in Medina Co. Caused by social gatherings, health officials say. WEWS. https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/coronavirus/local-coronavirus-news/uptick-in-covid-19-patients-under-19-in-medina-co-caused-by-social-gatherings-health-officials-say

Carter, J. (2020, August 30). The metamorphosis of Loopy Loop. Jonathan Carter. https://jonathancarter.org/2020/08/30/the-metamorphosis-of-loopy-loop/

Cimpanu, C. (2020, August 31). Mozilla research: Browsing histories are unique enough to reliably identify users. ZDNet. https://www.zdnet.com/article/mozilla-research-browsing-histories-are-unique-enough-to-reliably-identify-users/

Collins, E. M. (2020, September 3). IT Modernization – The IRS’s Reliance on Antiquated Technology Poses a Continuing Risk to Tax Administration. NTA Blog. https://taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov/news/nta-blog-IT-Modernization

Feldmann, A., Gasser, O., Lichtblau, F., Pujol, E., Poese, I., Dietzel, C., Wagner, D., Wichtlhuber, M., Tapiador, J., Vallina-Rodriguez, N., Hohlfeld, O., & Smaragdakis, G. (2020). The Lockdown Effect: Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Internet Traffic. ArXiv:2008.10959 [Cs]. https://arxiv.org/abs/2008.10959

Ford, D., Storey, M.-A., Zimmermann, T., Bird, C., Jaffe, S., Maddila, C., Butler, J. L., Houck, B., & Nagappan, N. (2020). A Tale of Two Cities: Software Developers Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic. ArXiv:2008.11147 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.11147

Frenkel, S. (2020, September 1). Russians Again Targeting Americans With Disinformation, Facebook Says. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/01/technology/facebook-russia-disinformation-election.html

Giorgi, S., Guntuku, S. C., Rahman, M., Himelein-Wachowiak, M., Kwarteng, A., & Curtis, B. (2020). Twitter Corpus of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement And Counter Protests: 2013 to 2020. ArXiv:2009.00596 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2009.00596

Goul, M. (2020, August 26). Mayfield football team sidelined after two positive coronavirus test results. Cleveland.Com. https://www.cleveland.com/highschoolsports/2020/08/mayfield-football-team-sidelined-after-two-positive-coronavirus-test-results.html

Himes, L. (2020a). Director’s Order for Facial Coverings throughout the State of Ohio [Director’s Order]. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/Directors-Order-Facial-Coverings-throughout-State-Ohio.pdf

Himes, L. (2020b). Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues [Director’s Order]. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/DO-Entertainment-Venue.pdf

Himes, L. (2020c). Director’s First Amended Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Youth, Collegiate, Amateur, Club and Professional Sports [Director’s Order]. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/DO-Sports-First-Amended-08.28.20.pdf

Kaiser, B., Wei, J., Lucherini, E., Lee, K., Matias, J. N., & Mayer, J. (2020). Adapting Security Warnings to Counter Misinformation. ArXiv:2008.10772 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.10772

Kosich, J. (2020, September 2). Gov. Mike DeWine focusing on Ohio’s economy, not on calls for impeachment. WEWS. https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/coronavirus/gov-mike-dewine-focusing-on-ohios-economy-not-on-calls-for-impeachment

Kruspe, A., Häberle, M., Kuhn, I., & Zhu, X. X. (2020). Cross-language sentiment analysis of European Twitter messages duringthe COVID-19 pandemic. ArXiv:2008.12172 [Cs, Stat]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.12172

Laakso, M., Matthias, L., & Jahn, N. (2020). Open is not forever: A study of vanished open access journals. ArXiv:2008.11933 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.11933

Lai, K., & Yanushkevich, S. N. (2020). Machine Reasoning to Assess Pandemics Risks: Case of USS Theodore Roosevelt. ArXiv:2008.11040 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.11040

Nelson, M. L., & Van de Sompel, H. (2020). A 25 Year Retrospective on D-Lib Magazine. ArXiv:2008.11680 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.11680

Olejnik, L., Castelluccia, C., & Janc, A. (2012, July 13). Why Johnny Can’t Browse in Peace: On the Uniqueness of Web Browsing History Patterns. 5th Workshop on Hot Topics in Privacy Enhancing Technologies (HotPETs 2012). https://hal.inria.fr/hal-00747841

Olejnik, L., Castelluccia, C., & Janc, A. (2013). On the Uniqueness of Web Browsing History Patterns. Annals of Telecommunications - Annales Des Télécommunications. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12243-013-0392-5

Patel, K., Caragea, C., Phillips, M., & Fox, N. (2020). Identifying Documents In-Scope of a Collection from Web Archives. Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE Joint Conference on Digital Libraries in 2020, 167–176. https://doi.org/10.1145/3383583.3398540

Paul, A. M., & SusanThomas, S. (2020). Multifaceted COVID-19 Outbreak. ArXiv:2008.12127 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.12127

Pelzer, J. (2020, September 1). Ohio lawmakers pass bill limiting Gov. Mike DeWine’s power to change elections, close houses of worship. Cleveland.Com. https://www.cleveland.com/open/2020/09/ohio-lawmakers-pass-bill-limiting-gov-mike-dewines-power-to-change-elections-close-houses-of-worship.html

Richardson, S. A. (2020, September 1). Donald Trump leads Joe Biden in tracking poll of Ohio likely voters. Cleveland.Com. https://www.cleveland.com/open/2020/09/donald-trump-leads-joe-biden-in-tracking-poll-of-ohio-likely-voters.html

Riddell, A., & Bassett, T. J. (2020). What Library Digitization Leaves Out: Predicting the Availability of Digital Surrogates of English Novels. ArXiv:2009.00513 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2009.00513

Sandrick, B. (2020, September 1). All 80 North Royalton High School band members quarantined after one reports COVID-19 symptoms. Cleveland.Com. https://www.cleveland.com/community/2020/09/all-80-north-royalton-schools-band-members-quarantined-after-one-reports-covid-19-symptoms.html

Sharma, K., Ferrara, E., & Liu, Y. (2020). Identifying Coordinated Accounts in Disinformation Campaigns. ArXiv:2008.11308 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.11308

Zahrah, F., Nurse, J. R. C., & Goldsmith, M. (2020). #ISIS vs #ActionCountersTerrorism: A Computational Analysis of Extremist and Counter-extremist Twitter Narratives. ArXiv:2008.11808 [Cs]. http://arxiv.org/abs/2008.11808

Floating On The Island

"We have many parts in one body, but the parts don’t all have the same function. In the same way, though there are many of us, we are one body in Christ, and individually we belong to each other." – Romans 12:4-5 (Common English Bible)

Currently out of 88 counties in Ohio my very strange county is 8th from the bottom in the league table for occurrence of COVID-19. Either we are not testing or our ridiculously low population density is acting to prevent spread. Nobody is quite sure in that regard. Reading the slides from Tuesday is likely profitable.

Counties far smaller than Ashtabula County in terms of land area as well as population have far higher incidence of coronavirus spread. We are at the lowest risk possible in the state for the eighth week running on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System tracker. People disbelieve coronavirus out here in major part as it is barely spreading except in congregate care settings where we've had two nursing homes hit extremely hard as well as the state prison.

With those prefatory remarks said I should explain what I need help with.

Hollywood is having quite a hard time trying to produce anything due to coronavirus outbreaks still happening. We have plenty of open space out here in Ashtabula County as well as a regional film commission based in Cleveland willing to back work in setting up production spaces. Setting up something akin to \"Made In Georgia\" or the like out here would provide some societal benefit.

The big problem is that that is something I cannot do alone. I don't have sufficient capital and also need other people to work with me on such an endeavor. There is not a local talent pool that I could dip into to make this work. The financial capital simply is not there.

I am not trying to simply make a remote Hollywood studio out of nothing. If I can set up something to produce online content that is even moderately or minimally successful then that would work nicely. Setting up a linear video on demand channel serving the community would be another heroic project to undertake with something like OpenBroadcaster but I would need a team to make that happen.

Hurricane Laura might make a great excuse for people to move out of Texas. There are plenty of possible refuges here at decent prices.

I should mention a bit about the infamous EB-5 immigrant investor visa. USCIS has a big page in the matter at https://www.uscis.gov/working-in-the-united-states/permanent-workers/eb-5-immigrant-investor-program. According to the Ohio Development Service Agency's files, Ashtabula County qualifies in its entirety as a rural county under the heading of \"targeted employment area\". That means that lowered investment amounts are permitted for people seeking EB-5 visa if they decided to investment here compared to investing in New York City. The minimum investment is only \\$900,000 in United States Dollars which converts as of current spot rates to just over 680,000 pounds sterling, 1.3 million Australian dollars, roughly 1.2 million Canadian dollars, and 1.3 million New Zealand dollars. Clicking any of those links will give you up to date rates. In short, though, anybody from Commonwealth realms that wanted to act as reverse missionaries from Stone-Campbell settings would have some nice opportunities out here.

We have very little economic growth happening in Ashtabula County. When the Ashtabula County Commissioners gave out support grants this week from CARES Act dollars most of the money went to restaurants and lawn care companies. If I was able to get the help I think securing a large enough plot in the southern reaches of the county would give enough space to start production for something. Whether online content or traditional content there will be a need as new content starts drying up.

Reruns will start getting old once we start hitting winter. Even if it is a spoof of Big Chuck And Little John it would be something new. Somebody may well buy that to air. There seems to be a niche to exploit but I can't do this one alone.

With as screwed up as things have gotten thanks to lockdowns, protests, and worse the ability to go out and seek partners as well as help just isn't there like it once was. Going to a film festival would have been the way to have sought support in the past. There are no more in-person film festivals now, though. As a start I will at least get this blog post up and then move forward from it.

The One That Did Not Get Sent

"The righteous heart reflects before answering, but the wicked mouth blurts out evil." – Proverbs 15:28 (Common English Bible)

This should have been a newsletter installment of The Interim Edgewood Stratagem posted during this week. That never happened. Instead it is posted to the blog instead. Next week is another week.

This week did not turn out as expected. This should have been solely a recap of good free media outlets online. Instead I will try to catch up on circumstances that seem to have gotten away from me.

The Curious Case of Kanye West

The Associated Press reports Mr. West did not qualify for the presidential ballot in Ohio in November.

Cleveland.com reported that both Illinois and Wisconsin also tossed him from their ballots this November as well.

Forbes reports he did not make the ballot in Montana either.

The big question to ask now is what to make of all of this. He will be on the ballot in a few states. There is no conceivable beat path mathematically to outright victory for him, though.

The text of the twelfth amendment to the United States Constitution is extremely relevant at this point since it governs how the President and Vice President are elected except for some bits about when the term of office begins as the twentieth amendment changed that. The twelfth amendment states with the inoperative portion shown italicized:

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President, and they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate;–The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;–The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. [And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.–] The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

Mr. West has no chance of winning the White House. He has every chance of throwing the election to the House, though. That could lead to the perverse outcome of Joe Biden as President and Mike Pence as Vice President. As you might imagine I have been playing with 270ToWin a bit much lately.

Coronavirus Vaccine & Obesity

Did I ever mention there would not be math in this? Well, MathJax does not render in e-mail whatsoever. That means I am reduced to the least easily understood form of math which is the "story problem".

Body Mass Index ("BMI") is determined by a fairly simple formula. It gets slightly more complicated when you have to convert from imperial measurements to metric. The basic formula in metric terms is:

BMI = Bodyweight in Kilograms / (Height in Meters) Squared

Reports have come out that the current candidates for a coronavirus vaccine may be ineffective in the "obese". There is even discussion of encouraging weight loss as part of responses to the pandemic. The last article I could find showed the average BMI for the United States as being just a hair under 30 which is the cut off for "obese".

I keep putting obese in quotes as BMI lets us quantify things. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is "normal". In the 25-29.9 range is "overweight". Once you hit 30 and beyond you get into different gradations of obesity.

If we target the upper limit of normal and start to rearrange the equation we get this:

24.9 = Bodyweight in Kilograms / (Height in Meters) Squared

Since we are dealing with two variables and are more concerned about the bodyweight one, we solve for that which gives us this:

24.9 * (Height in Meters) Squared = Bodyweight in Kilograms

That gives you the function of what an upper bound for optimum weight would be relative to the current coronavirus situation apparently. To convert an American’s height from inches to meters the following formula should be followed:

Heights in Meters = Height in Inches * 0.0254

To work an example using a height of five feet and eight inches which is to say sixty eight inches we would see:

Meters = 68 * 0.0254

Meters = 1.7272

We would then take this result and plug this into our upper bound function which gives us this:

24.9 * (1.7272)(1.7272) = Bodyweight in Kilograms

24.9 * 2.98321984 = Bodyweight in Kilograms

74.282174016 = Bodyweight in Kilograms

As we are not done with all the floating point math we should still convert from kilograms to pounds before rounding off. That conversion function appears this way:

Pounds = Weight in Kilograms * 2.2

Pounds = 74.282174016 * 2.2

Pounds = 163.4207828352

We can round that off to 163 pounds then. It took a bit to show the work but that gives a rough idea of where things stand. An adult male standing 68 inches tall with a body mass index of 30, the lowest cut off for being classed as obese, would weigh 197 pounds. There would be a bit of a challenge there to surmount in these interesting times.

None of this constitutes medical advice, mind you. Go talk to your doctor! Whether it is scheduling a telehealth consultation or going in to being poked and prodded now would be a very good time to be seen. I know I will have tons of questions at my next appointment with someone from my general practitioner’s office.

Various & Sundry

There has been so much weirdness going on. With Identica presently crashed I have been stashing links as quick notes to my OneNote account. One thing I have noticed about Microsoft’s various online tools is that while they might not be as popular as Google’s at large they do seem to not suffer catastrophic crashes. Yes, I do need to get back to reading Microsoft Azure for Dummies admittedly.

In no particular order:

• The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Center For Homeland Defense & Security jointly presented an online workshop on designing online courses for effective engagement. That might be worth a look.

• Apparently there was an outbreak in Hollywood at CBS Television City according to Variety. Perhaps somebody should consider moving production of a television show or two to beautiful Ashtabula County? We have wide open spaces to hide your next movie or television show production in away from onlookers and any infected persons.

• Also in reports from Variety is a mention that Universal is moving its computation-heavy animation production to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

In Closing…

Hopefully the coronavirus situation calms down elsewhere. Columbia University’s Earth Institute did some modeling of what would happen to COVID-19’s spread if a hurricane forced an evacuation in Florida. The situation report is a bit scary.

Amidst all the doom and gloom we cannot lose hope. There will be a new dawn.

Until next time, I will say that I am up to the second episode on Nebula-75. Hopefully you find something good as traditional media starts drying up in terms of new releases. A goal for next week is to do a recap of good free media outlets online.

COYOTE SIX OUT

-30-

Snakes And Drain Cleaner

Why do we have Christian folk going to strange places relative to the coronavirus? Most likely Mark 16:16-18 explains it which is rendered in the Common English Bible in this fashion: "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever doesn't believe will be condemned. These signs will be associated with those who believe: they will throw out demons in my name. They will speak in new languages. They will pick up snakes with their hands. If they drink anything poisonous, it will not hurt them. They will place their hands on the sick, and they will get well." The "snakes and drain-o" passage doesn't appear in all the original manuscripts of the book of Mark so various translations indicate that it might not have appeared in the original. In fact it is shown often as an "ending likely added later".

What does this mean? We must not forget the snake handling cults of Appalachia. USA Today even reported on it way back when. The Appalachian diaspora within the USA results in such beliefs flowing outward and changing somewhat. Combining that obscure strain of offbeat religious thought with the amplification provided by today's social media gives us a bit of a recipe for disaster.

Too many folks in academia have been trying to attack this matter from a quantitative perspective. It doesn't come down to numbers. It is a qualitative matter that is rooted in messier things. History matters.

Keeping all that in mind makes this Facebook post by Nino Vitale far easier to understand unlike a report by WKYC.

Outside the United States of America the COVID-19 situation is not really a matter of faith. It is just a matter of virology. New Zealand just celebrated 100 days of containment. I don't think we will be anywhere near that for some time in the USA regardless of who occupies the White House.

Things are going to be bad for some time to come perhaps.

Posted
Situational Report

"Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others." – Philippians 2:4 (Common English Bible)

I will keep this brief and state that very little is well. There is a sense of being without aim or direction on my part that is apparently quite common in these strange times. Something has to change but I am not sure what may be the way forward.

Well, sometimes things can and do go horribly wrong. Where shall we begin?

Presently sixty percent of Ohio's population is at a very high risk from COVID-19. That also places sixty percent of the state's population being concentrated in just nineteen of its eighty-eight counties. Of course, that was merely last week. This week on Meet The Press Governor Mike DeWine happened to tell Chuck Todd the following from NBC's transcript:

You're going to — Chuck, you're going to see more orders from us this week. But I, again, want to emphasize it's not all about orders.

Frankly I am stumped as where exactly the governor intends to go with things. We technically have a mask mandate already based upon the Ohio Public Health Advisory System that has statewide effect insofar that if your county is in red or purple you have a mask mandate. If you're not in red or purple it is still strongly advised but not mandated with penalties attached. The whole state is not in red or purple so counties like Ashtabula which are in yellow only have strong advice and local mandates in play. Then again, that could all change at any press conference the governor may choose to hold.

There are consequences to rule by decree. The General Assembly is asleep on the job as they mostly feel the crisis has passed as they sent the governor a bill to decriminalize mask mandate violations and were working on a bill to strip state officials of the ability to impose lockdowns. When we have the Columbus Dispatch noting that folks like State Representative Nino Vitale have frankly gone crazy and out of state media outlets have started picking up on him being crazy then perhaps the problem has grown too large. A state constitutional convention to make our state legislature part-time like they are out west might help things along since term limits aren't enough it seems.

Last week I started taking preparatory actions for these uncertain times. Since I have no clue what is coming from the governor I have had to be proactive. After all there was a very earnest op-ed piece Sunday morning urging the closure of Ohio's economy once again. After all, that writer was working off what the governor said on July 15th in his evening address.

In light of the continuing COVID-19 crisis it feels necessary to propound a solution for presenting content in the second half of the year. We are likely not going to be having much of a functioning current media. New shows are not likely going to be coming down the pipeline and there is only so much news you can watch with newscasters coming to you live from their kitchens and living rooms.

Hollywood is not functioning properly at this time which will lead to television ceasing to air new programming by autumn. Media production is barely resuming in Vancouver as production there remains at partial operational capacity. Production in Georgia is limited with thirteen projects under way now. The Greater Cleveland Film Commission still only has a coronavirus resource guide up as well as an ultimate streaming guide. There are only so many reruns and imported shows that can be handled yet it seems like we will have many as the CW is already showing on its schedule.

Turning aside from Hollywood having production problems you get to distribution. What about radio and television stations let alone our newspapers?

The majority of Ashtabula County's radio stations either have satellite-fed programming or are voice-tracked remotely. There is barely anybody in a studio locally covering matters routinely. Things went to increased automation during lockdown with increased systems failures observed such as at WMIH and WWOW. There is currently no effort locally at radio-based news reporting.

There are no local stations in Ashtabula County. Residents either receive television out of Cleveland or Erie. Television out of those distant markets does not necessarily reflect local issues. That has consequences.

The Star Beacon now publishes less than daily with no print editions on Tuesday or Sunday. Publications from Gazette Newspapers remain weekly. These are the only outlets for primary coverage of local news in Ashtabula County. Gossip groups on Facebook are not acceptable suitables.

Keeping all this in mind we end up with a conundrum.

Legally we cannot start a new television station in Ashtabula County. The rules of the Federal Communications Commission do not allow that. No television station license can be relocated here either as we are within an exclusion zone around Cleveland plus have coordination concerns with Industry Canada. Even if there was a license to buy on the market it would be impossible to bring here.

There is no room on the radio dial to start a new radio station locally. None of the local players are amenable to a buy out either. Church groups own over half the local stations while a shadowy trust owns the majority of the other half. That's not a very diverse market.

There is a need for content creation and dissemination especially as to new content. Falling back to the old paradigm of video podcasting such as carried out by the TWiT people. They noted back in 2015 that downloads via RSS feeds only accounted for sixteen percent of accesses of their audiovisual content then. Leo notes that while they are unique in producing video versions of their content at TWiT it still only amounts to twenty percent of their downloads. In light of the recent disaster at Cloudflare that took down much of the Internet frankly I am ready to shy away from the streaming paradigm. The pandemic has shown that while the Internet itself will stay up it has many more fragile points than anybody would really prefer. Broadband may be broadly available but it does not mean it is necessarily good service.

Content can be distributed via a service such as libsyn. People can watch such video via the podcast player on Apple TV devices. Roku boxes would be trickier but there would be ways to do that as I believe there was some work already done in a repository on Github owned by Martin Wimpress.

Can this be accomplished? I am not sure. Readiness is not complete. Doing audio is one thing. Video is definitely harder. As the world around me continues to slowly fall apart again it may be worth it.

Am I up for making my own spin on Ghoulardi, though? Or will it be Big Chuck and Little John that gets spoofed? Time will tell it seems. There is enough crap on The Internet Archive that is public domain that there certainly are possibilities to make homages.

Posted
Things Get Messier

In no particular order:

Posted
Starting July 2020

In no particular order:

• People are driving wildly locally. I am getting rattled while trying to drive my station wagon. I am not liking this.
• Per the combined WOIO/WUAB newsroom, the city authorities in Dayton in southwest Ohio adopted a municipal mask requirement in response to the COVID-19 situation. Although the governor is encouraging other municipalities to adopt such requirements there is a strong possibility we will not see such adopted here in Ashtabula. With the problems in the city budget and the recent cut backs there may not be enough police available in the city to enforce such a requirement. None of the local townships have the statutory authority to adopt such a requirement and they govern a majority of the 700+ square miles of county territory.
• If you search nature coronavirus diabetes in Bing you get wildly inappropriate search results relative to depression. That's not at all what I was looking for! I actually needed an article from the publication Nature. It was found eventually.
• The nice factcheck people at USA Today looked into the entire notion of COVID-19 potentially causing diabetes in recovered patients. Survey says? True seemingly.
• When people complain that COVID-19 is not bad due to the low fatality rate I do think they need to reconsider that. That the virus trashes the pancreas in a large number of recovered patients to the point that they require insulin to survive essentially sentences them to a slow, drawn-out death if the brand new diabetes issue is not brought under control quickly. The cognitive impairment issues raised in this BBC report are terrifying.
• Apparently the GNU Image Manipulation Program does not play nicely running via an X11 server in conjunction with Ubuntu 20.04 utilizing Windows Subsystem for Linux. I may have to content myself with making changes to images simply using Imagemagick on the command line for now within WSL2.
• Contingency plans are being refreshed since we're moving past simple gloom and doom from me to where news outlets like Fox 8 talking about the possibility of lockdown being reimposed and Cleveland.com looking at the nasty numbers which show Ashtabula County in a pretty strange position.
• We're having a national shortage in coinage? What a stupid time to be alive…
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BOFH excuse #343: