Wittes and Rauch: Boycott the Republican Party – The Atlantic →

(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.

(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.

(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.

This is what I fear most for the United States–the eroding of democratic values and the rule of law. The courts have upheld many of Trump’s executive orders. However, Trump has an agenda to undermine the judiciary and the rule of law. He is filling judge vacancies at a record pace with people who will help him fulfill his agenda. We’re only a year in to his presidency and already the erosion of democratic values and rule of law is underway. I worry about how much worse it can and will get in the next three years.

10 Underappreciated Things in the Northwest That Could Kill You | The Seattle Times

10 Underappreciated Things in the Northwest That Could Kill You | The Seattle Times

Good list. I can sometimes be a pessimist and would like to add the other ways in which we will likely be killed/harmed:

Out of State Drivers

Likelihood: You bet your ass!.

Unpleasant Facts: Auto accidents remain one of the top leading causes of death in the U.S. The Puget Sound region is expected to grow by 1.8 million people in the next 30 years. That will bring an average of 55,000 people a year to the area. More people in the region + our poor mass transportation infrastructure + our reliance on automobiles = more people driving = more people who can potentially kill you.

The bright side: Hopefully by the time it gets too crowded, autonomous transportation will be perfected and particle transport will be further along. That or the AI have taken all our jobs and automated our daily activities so that we don’t have to leave our houses.

Nuclear Accident

Likelihood: …anything is possible.

Unpleasant Facts: Did you know the region is home to Naval Base Kitsap, home of Naval Station Bremerton and Naval Submarine Base Bangor? Bremerton is the home port for two nuclear aircraft carriers and two fast attack subs. Bangor is the home port for 10+ nuclear subs. Bremerton is also home to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard where they repair these ships and decommission old nuclear ships. If the slightest human error occurred involving a nuclear component of the ship, it could wipe out or potentially contaminate the entire area.

The bright side: It’s been more than 60 years since we’ve created nuclear weapons and warships and our military has an impeccable track record for safety. There hasn’t been ANY military accidents (that we know of).

People with Guns

Likelihood: At this rate, once a month, or sooner.

Unpleasant Facts: There is a gun-related death every. damn. day. in America. One of the most wealthy and advanced nations in the world and some of us we live like outlaws. As of January 27, 2018, the same week as the Benton, Kentucky school shooting that killed two 15-year old students and injured 14 others, there were 11 school shootings in the U.S. Not even a full month into the new year and 11 school shootings. School shootings are so common that we are not shocked or surprised any more–they are a part of the regular news cycle. On the morning of typing this entry, January 30th at 8 a.m., there were already five shooting deaths not involving law enforcement in the U.S.

The bright side: The bright side is that between Ron Judd’s list and my additions, there are a lot better ways to leave this world.

This might be the first Chrome OS tablet – The Verge →

A photo emerged in a now-deleted tweet of what appears to be an Acer tablet running Chrome OS. The photo shows what would be the first ever Chrome OS tablet.

I would love a Chrome OS tablet. I would love it even more if it got 8 to 10 hours of performance. A Chrome OS tablet is exactly what I wanted more than two years ago when I purchased my current tablet, a cube i7. After years of using iPads and Android tablets, and downloading apps to complete specific tasks, what I figured out is that all I wanted and needed was a tablet that ran the full desktop version of Chrome. I bought the cube i7 because it was the cheapest and most powerful (at the time) Win10 tablet that could run the desktop version of Chrome.

I have found the overall iPad and Android tablet experience lacking, but specifically the browser experience to be inadequate–no browser support for extensions (uBlock, HoverZoom, VPN, etc.) and some web apps weren’t supported by a mobile browser or performed terribly. I recognize that the iPad and Samsung Tab are mobile devices and meant to run mobile apps (read: less resource-intensive), however if I can run graphic-intensive games or photo, video, and audio editing apps on these mobile devices, why can’t I get a simple browser extension?

About 95%* of my time on the cube i7 is spent in Chrome and has been a great stopgap solution. I can perform all of my leisurely activities (e.g. reading articles, watching videos, listening to music, etc.) and be somewhat productive (e.g. GMail, Office 365, etc.) with just the on-screen keyboard. My biggest complaint is with the cube’s battery life. Running Chrome on a Win10 mobile device is not ideal–Chrome is a resource hog and its running on top of a full desktop operating system, which is also a resource hog, and battery performance suffers. I get maybe 6 hours of usage out of a full charge.

A Chrome OS tablet, running a less resource-intensive operating system, on either an ARM or a low-end x86 processor, with a decent-sized battery should get me the tablet I wanted two years ago. Hopefully Google, Acer, and others will reveal more about their Chrome OS tablets later this year.

* The other 5% of my time is in Atom, puTTy, Twitter (Win10 app), Netflix (Win10 app), and VLC.

2017 Spotify Year in Review

If there was a soundtrack to my 2017, it would include all of the above artists and songs. It should come as no surprise that Incubus’ 8, Portugal The Man’s Woodstock, Macklemore’s Gemini, and Brand New’s Science Fiction are among my favorite albums released this year. Honorable mentions would be awarded to Thrice, Royal Blood, and Queens of the Stone Age for their new albums. Not included in my Spotify listening history are the Beetles and Soundgarden. The former for the remixed and re-edited version of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Club Heart Band that was released earlier this year and the latter because of Chris Cornell’s death back in May.

The Family That Built an Empire of Pain | The New Yorker →

A great and depressing read about the history of OxyContin and the Sackler family. The daughter of one of my family friends had fought an addiction to Oxy, and later heroin, and fortunate for her, she was able to overcome her addiction. As this article describes, many are not as fortunate.

David Juurlink, the Toronto doctor, told me that opioids are problematic even for users who don’t succumb to addiction. “Opioids really do afford pain relief—initially,” he said. “But that relief tends to diminish over time. That’s, in part, why people increase the dose. They are chasing pain relief from a drug that has failed. I see all these people who are convinced they are one of the ‘legitimate’ pain patients. They’re on a massive dose of opioids, and they’re telling me they need this medication, which is clearly doing them harm. For many of them, the primary benefit of therapy, at this point, is not going into withdrawal.”

Ben Thompson Is Wrong About the Deregulation of ISPs — Pixel Envy →

Even if you believe that the American broadband market is sufficiently competitive — it isn’t — that ISPs can be trusted to not discriminate against some forms of traffic once given the freedom to — doubtful — and that existing regulatory structures will allow any problems to be fixed on a case-by-case basis, it still seems far more efficient to prevent it in the first place. There’s an opportunity to treat internet service as a fundamental utility; let’s keep it that way, whether that’s through Title II classification or an equivalent replacement.