Talking the Satellite of Love

Yeah. Jonah announced that the revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 was canceled. The matter was also talked about in Variety, Den of Geek, AV Club.

Netflix killed the revival. I do not know what their motives are in what they’re doing. They do not pay a dividend to their shareholders. Their 2018 earnings per share were 2.78 basic and 2.68 diluted. Their net income for the year was only USD$1.21 billion. In contrast the same year net income for Apple for USD$59.53 billion with earnings per share 12.01 basic and 11.01 diluted. Apple does pay a dividend. Netflix still pedals forward for now but with the big price tags involved in making content a couple wrong turns could set it back rather hard rather quickly.

I’m not sure Mystery Science Theater 3000 would’ve been the thing to do that, though. The realignment of the service as various properties are being lost to other platforms does not bode well. What does it have in terms of drawing factors? It appears that Frasier will depart Netflix at the end of the year among other big departures.

Shout Factory participated in the re-launch Kickstarter. Shout Factory has its own streaming channel. There is a natural home for moving Mystery Science Theater 3000 for its thirteenth season and beyond. The channel is ad-supported and functional now. They have their own production capability as they participated in producing the 11th and 12th seasons. The big question is how this would be financed.

No, I don’t have any inside track. I can look at the players involved and try to think about it, though. Shout Factory proudly listed in their company history that they were part of the production. There can be some hope with them looking for a Digital Video Projects Coordinator that they’re bringing in the needed people for such a thing.

217 episodes isn’t a bad number. Felicia and Jonah need to be on-screen more. Heck, just have the host segments with the two of them doing back and forth…it would be better than some of the crap being shoveled on TV right now.

The state of our media right now is not good. Jonah and Felicia were making something decent in concert with Joel. We need more of that in our world.

DNS over HTTP may be harmful?

Hacker News pointed out a blog post on the PowerDNS Blog discussing why DNS over HTTP may not be such a good idea. The Hacker News comments were on-brand. The comments overlook something pretty simple from the article.

The original author wrote in pertinent part:

We have to keep in mind that if a DNS lookup is slow, the entire internet feels sluggish. Slow DNS = Slow internet.

Right now my current domestic broadband provider is providing inconsistent service as it is. Having requests to a variety of known-good sites mysteriously timeout and crash is not unheard of. Having sites become mysteriously inaccessible is not unheard of either. I’m not living anywhere drastic either as this is just northeast Ohio about fifty miles outside Cleveland. It should not provide me with a performance boost when I disable this feature in Firefox.

Unfortunately I get such a performance boost. I don’t think it is something wrong with my machine or my in-house LAN. I’ve looked at the maps of the concept and frankly there are spots where this paradigm breaks down hard if viewed from a Red Team perspective.

I’ve looked at the lack of competition in my local area on the FCC broadband deployment map. I’ve even considered dumping the current provider for somebody else. Unfortunately I don’t really have a choice beyond my current provider’s random loss of packets, disappearances of known active sites, and generally horrible maintenance of inherited rural legacy infrastructure that they probably aren’t making much revenue from.

Looking at traceroute output like this is getting unreal…

Heading in to surgery tomorrow...

It is with trepidation that I state that I will be heading in for surgery on Friday at 1630 UTC. The work will be done at a hospital but that is only because their facilities are being borrowed so this should be an outpatient that will just take a while. Prayers are always helpful and useful.

Expected recovery from this frankly scares me as healing from the surgery will take time and then there will be follow-up work to be done. I understand that this is a need part of improving my health. This just happens to be one of the harder parts.

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License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.
In the aftermath...

I should mention I survived surgery. Recovery is taking a while and I’m not having fun. These things pass with time.

Election results have started to come in across the United Kingdom and initial reactions to them were not positive. I already read talk about expatriation from multiple quarters. That’s often not a good thing.

In that respect I’ll put forward two notions. The first is to not overlook the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program in the USA. For its “Targeted Employment Area” definition that has lower capital levels that you have to put forward…one area targeted is a “rural area”. Where am I again? If you can live with some occasional heavy snows, want to try to make a startup (regardless of type) in an area with top hospitals, and want to still have fairly easy access to Canada across Lake Erie frankly I could hook you up a realtor in my local area to get started. The cost of living in this part of Ohio is low and will probably look like what you always thought the mythical Ambridge of Radio 4’s The Archers would look like.

As to the second option, go talk to the University of the South Pacific. They’re a multi-national institution in the Pacific that provides educational opportunities in several nation-states. They do good work. With the measles outbreak in the independent state of Samoa that has held back some education work while heroic efforts continue to contain the outbreak. The Pacific is a beautiful place to live and if I had fewer family obligations I would be heading back that way to live. If you can’t handle the new Brexit reality there are new frontiers in paradise to explore for living and working.

Again, these are just notions. On my part I managed to finish up a patchset to Xubuntu offline documentation while I’ve been recovering from surgery. I know I have political turmoil here stateside but it doesn’t hold me back from helping make Xubuntu fabulous during the Focal Fossa cycle. My pain is a little bit more direct at the moment…

Early 2019 Summation & 2020 Predictions

I had an opportunity to listen to a year-end wrap up in the most recent episode of Late Night Linux while at the gym. I encourage you, the reader, to listen to their summation. Mr. Ressington noted that an upcoming episode would deal with reviewing predictions for the year.

In light of that, I took a look back at the blog. In retrospect, I apparently did not make any predictions for 2019. The year for me was noted in When Standoffs Happen as starting with the longest shutdown of the federal government in the history of the USA. I wrote the linked post on Christmas Eve last year and had no clue I would end up working without pay for part of that 35 day crisis. After that crisis ended we wound up effectively moving from one further crisis to another at work until my sudden resignation at the start of October. The job was eating me alive. Blog posts would reflect that as time went by and a former Mastodon account would show my decline over time.

I’m not sure how to feel that my old slot apparently was not filled and people followed me in departing. Will the last one out of the Post of Duty turn out the lights?

As to what happened during my year a significant chunk is a story that can’t be told. That was the job. Significant bits of life in the past year for me are scattered across case files that I hope to never, ever see again that are held by multiple agencies. It most simply can be explained in this piece of Inspirobot.me output: “Believe in chaos. Prepare for tears.”

Frankly, I don’t think anybody could have seen the events of my 2019 coming. For three quarters of the year I was not acting but rather reacting as were most people around me. I’ve been trying to turn things around but that has been slow going. I’ve thankfully gotten back to doing some contributions in different Ubuntu community areas. I had missed doing that and the job-related restrictions I had been working under kept me away for too long. Apparently I’ve been present on AskUbuntu longer than I had thought, for example.

In short, depending on your perspective 2019 was either a great year of growth or a nightmare you’re thankful to escape. Normally you don’t want to live life on the nightmare side all that much. I look forward to 2020 as a time to rebuild and make things better.

All that being said I should roll onwards to predictions. My predictions for 2020 include:

  • There will be a “scorched earth” presidential campaign in the United States without a clear winner.
  • The 20.04 LTS will reach new records for downloads and installations across all flavours.
  • Ubuntu Core will become flight-qualified to run a lunar lander robot. It won’t be an American robot, though.
  • One of the flavours will have a proof of concept installable desktop image where everything is a snap. Redditors will not rejoice, though.
  • The Ubuntu Podcast goes on a brief hiatus in favor of further episodes of 8 Bit Versus.
  • I will finish the hard sci-fi story I am working on and get it in order to submit somewhere
  • Erie Looking Productions will pick up an additional paying client
  • There will be a safe design for a Raspberry Pi 4 laptop and I will switch to that as a “daily driver”

And now for non sequitur theater…for those seeking a movie to watch between Christmas and New Year’s Eve due to the paucity of good television programming I recommend Invasion of the Neptune Men which can be found on the Internet Archive. The version there is not the version covered by Mystery Science Theater 3000, though. Other films to watch from the archives, especially if you’re still reeling in shock from the horror that is the film version of Cats, can be found by visiting https://archive.org/details/moviesandfilms.

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License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.
On Events In Texas

I am going to primarily refer to the article written by Bobby Ross at the Christian Chronicle. During communion Sunday there was an active shooter event that resulted in a fatal conclusion for the shooter at West Freeway Church of Christ outside Fort Worth, Texas. Details are still sketchy as I write.

My father presided over the table Sunday morning at West Avenue Church of Christ in Ashtabula. Service was fairly uneventful. When there is a fifth Sunday to a month we usually have a “Praise & Worship” service. Songs were sung, I led opening prayer, Dad presided over communion, the located preacher/song leader handled closing prayer. I remember asking in opening prayer for strength in the upcoming new year as it is expected to be an eventful one.

Now, FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute has an independent study program with a distance learning course covering mass casualty incidents at “houses of worship” and related facilities. I’ve run through that and several other courses. They are equal parts useful and disturbing.

Currently we don’t have emergency plans. It isn’t for a lack of trying on my part. Our congregation is just small enough that the feeling is that we don’t need one, I guess. I can describe an unorganized measure that does help prevent bad things from happening.

Do you greet your visitors at your church? I can’t over-emphasize how important that is. We have a nice guy who is a veteran who hands bulletins to people as they come in and shakes hands. The preacher and the elders also sit in the foyer between the end of morning bible class and the start of morning services. Church isn’t something you do alone and helping improve fellowship can help prevent alienation. You also have to consider that if somebody wanted to cause trouble they don’t want to mess with the smiling, lovable veteran handing out bulletins at the door.

Security-minded folks can look at it as a security measure. I look at it instead as a way to help build up the church body. A congregation is not supposed to be a group of lone wolves. I do suggest reading 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 for good measure.

Beyond that, church fellowship helps greatly. The average size of a congregation within a non-instrumental Church of Christ setting is one where I see multiple figures. I doubt Wikipedia’s and the others out there are over a decade old. Regardless of size you still need to have fellowship among the members of the body. You need to be able to connect.

I’ve worshipped with tiny congregations and huge congregations. I’ve worshipped in urban areas and worshipped in a rented space in the Territory of American Samoa. I preach twice per month to bring the word to people at a local nursing home. Incidents of violence at churches are not earth-shattering threats. If you thoroughly read the book of Acts, the apostle Paul thoroughly gets the tar beat out of him in his missionary journeys. We live in a fallen and broken world and for a faith tradition of primitivists we have to think very hard about how things are reverting to the way they operated in more biblical times. See, for example the incident in Ephesus.

For now, I move forward. I’m not sure I’ll say anything at West Avenue. I am our trained person on homeland security sorts of issues. For the most part we are on our own for quite a few minutes whether it comes to needing a response from police or emergency services. Building up our resilience is needed for the littler things.

Stepping boldly forward into the future is the best thing we can do, I think.

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License: This work by Stephen Michael Kellat is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.