Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Monday, June 19, 2023

Bitchin' Dave's Newsletter


June 20, 2023

Insights, news, ramblings, and other serious nonsense from Dave 
Dave’s Musings
The attached article was recently posted. The premise is that Massachusetts created a right to repair law for cars, but the federal government suggests this is a bad idea and aims to block such laws. 

My reaction was “can’t anyone repair a car? It’s just mechanical parts…right?”  

But the issue is much deeper. Cars have computers on board.  At some point in time, the rudimentary computer would generate a code that a mechanic could download via a tool in order to find the problem. This ability to use a “scan tool” was originally only used by the car dealerships. But through legislation, and an agreement with the manufacturers, consumers (and independent car repair shops) wound up getting the right to use these tools themselves. 

But in the last few-ish years, car companies have been doing away with these simple systems, in favor of a more sophisticated system - one which wirelessly sends data back to the auto manufacturer. 

As an aside: you probably are unaware of the data that is transmitted, and surely there would be privacy concerns if you did know: it tracks the usual diagnostics. But it also notes braking, speeding, location, and other bits of data about your driving habits. And oh sure, I knew this was the case when I got my Tesla, but I had no idea other car companies did this too!

The auto manufacturers see this as a means to build better cars. And to steer you (pun intended) to the dealerships for repairs.  They don’t want you going anywhere else. But you, as a consumer, no longer have a choice (or won’t soon), and independent repair shops will be driven (again?!) out of business. 

So Massachusetts saw this and created a law that gives you the right to repair. The auto makers hate it. And what of the federal government? Well, their concerns are about privacy and safety. All of this data is being transmitted back to the auto companies, rather than staying “in the car” - and with the amount of data they are collecting, and how the connection to the car works, it’s possible there could be a data breach that could impact millions of drivers. Or there is a small possibility that  someone could send data back to the car to do something nefarious, like preventing the brakes from engaging. 

And that’s where technology puts us. The larger issue is, as I’ve noted before, car companies are not much good at software. Somehow, that needs to change. 


There's a video which shows Chinese taikonauts on the Shenzho space station with a glass of water sitting on a table.

Its an unusual thing to see, and surely seems counter-intuitive. We've all seen video of water molecules floating in space.

How could water possibly stay in a glass? What's up with that? Is it a hoax? Are the taikonauts not actually in space?

Well, it turns out that science is at play. The glass itself is attached to the table, and the molecules are bound to one another, and held in the glass because of surface tension (in the same way that in a grade school experiment a paperclip can float on the surface of a glass of water).

Its actually a pretty neat "trick," that hadn't been shown before.

There's an interesting case being played out in Montana.

16 students are suing the state in what's being termed a "climate trial" where they are saying the state is endangering its residents, them especially, for not protecting them from climate change.

The case is still ongoing, and they have presented their evidence. The state is not presenting much or testifying, and is somewhat defiant in saying there's nothing they can do.

It will be interesting to see where this nets out....

One of the things that interests me is Disney's history in the state of Florida. I've studied it thoroughly, and think I have a pretty good idea of the story. I share a large chunk of that knowledge in a 30 minute video where I talk about how we got "here".... I hope you enjoy it.

Recently, the county I live in here in Florida jumped in on the (absurdly politically charged) topic of banned books. The library system started issuing library cards that say "I read banned books"

Some people think its great, others take exception. But one politician decided to show a little ignorance.

In short, he said something like "there are no banned books in all of Florida! We have a vetting process and some books simply don't make it to the shelves."

Which is simply a semantics game. By "vetting" them, they are banning them before they make it to the shelves.

To me, that is just this side of amusing.

One Little Spark … 

… for your imagination

I am a bit bewildered by the current stance on immigrants.  Our country was built by immigrants, and honestly they make the country stronger, more diverse, and much more interesting.

But following how the state of Florida is behaving is somewhat astonishing.  The state - in particular the governor - has decided to violate state law, and runs right up against federal law by hiring private contractors to move immigrants who are here legally from one state that is not Florida to another state that is also not Florida.  Using our Florida tax dollars.

California's governor suggests its kidnapping, and he may be right.  According to the story that various media outlets are reporting, people posing as officials are telling immigrants that they have work and housing for them, if they will just go with them.  But of course its a ruse to create political theater.   There is no job.  No housing. There is some nonsense with fraudulent documents, and using language barriers to their advantage.

The issues I have here are many, but let's start with these being human beings who are simply looking for a better life, who are here in accordance with the law.  And they're being used as pawns in some insipid game, being derided, and who are afraid to say much because they don't want to be deported.

Bear in mind that unless you are native American, we are ALL immigrants to this country.  Sure, some people have been here for many generations, but what gives any of us the right to tell someone else they can't be here?

Dave’s latest video

This episode is about Apple Car Play, and the general plans for it according to Apple - and I talk about why Tesla and GM won't be including it.

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Friday, June 16, 2023

A good attempt

I got this in the mail earlier. At first glance it looks like it may be from Tesla. But of course it's not. There's a company name at the bottom.

And I'm so glad it covers the engine and transmission!🤦🏼‍♂️

I’ll never understand Congress

Congress can take up all manner of grandstanding by creating a committee. They can hold hearings on essentially nothing. They can pass bills that are politically motivated but which they know won't go anywhere (like a bill that prevents states from banning gas stoves….whaaa?)

And yet, they can't be bothered to take a few minutes and vote on allowing us to stay on DST and no longer changing our clocks.

This is an easy one that most states are ready to implement, but for which we need a vote.

So annoying.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Ted Lasso (or “the Richmond Way”)

I really enjoyed the Ted Lasso show. It was a terrific 3 seasons worth of programming. It was smart, funny, and very well written.

It's a show about soccer. But it's really not. Soccer provides the context and there is some soccer in it. But I think they did a good job of presenting it in a way that worked. So if you are a fan of soccer, there's just enough to keep you happy. But if you're not, it's short enough to not get bogged down.

The story really is about the human experience. They cover a lot of ground, and the characters all grow throughout.

They run the gamut of things that make us human, from family, to personal issues, to self entitled athletes, to social issues, and on and on. It's emotional at times, more like a drama. And it's very funny at others.

At the heart of it is Ted. He's a guy who coached American football and gets hired to coach soccer in England because the owner wants to run the team into the ground.

But he grows, too, and shows heart and a determination all the while demonstrating it’s all about how you motivate the team. And in the end, he does something remarkable.

Personally, I could identify with Ted. I took up coaching youth soccer when my kids were little and stayed with it for about 12 years. Only leaving when my kids outgrew it, or moved on to different activities.

I both loved and despised it. But I grew as a person. I learned a lot about myself. And as I watched Ted Lasso, I realized that my philosophy was very much like his. I didn't know the sport, really, but knew how to lead the kids, got them to learn to play and have fun. In short, I helped them to BELIEVE (a theme in the show).

I identified with him and the show on a different level. And that made a great show even better.

Thanks to the writers, actors, and producers for putting together something so heartfelt.

I'll miss you. Kind of like I miss coaching on Saturdays.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Bitchin' Dave's Newsletter


June 13, 2023

Insights, news, ramblings, and other serious nonsense from Dave 
Dave’s Musings
Donald Trump was indicted on federal charges, related to his handling of classified documents after he left the office. There are some who defend his actions for whatever reason, suggest that this is all political, or worse, try to suggest that its "no big deal" or "others have done the same or more."

But here's the thing: he took highly classified documents with him after he left the White House. These included information about nuclear capabilities, troop movements, and other sensitive types of things. He was asked to return them, but ignored the request, lied about that, and then proceeded to brag about keeping the documents. They were kept in fairly public places, shown to people with no security clearance, and otherwise left unattended.

The outcome of all of this is that the Department of Justice brought in a Special Prosecutor to review the facts at hand, and decide what to do / how to proceed. The reason for a Special Prosecutor is, essentially, to make this less political and remove any sort of inherent bias. The person independently makes a determination about what happened, and can (and in this case did) make a recommendation on filing charges.

This had to be vetted by various levels of lawyers and analysts and ultimately was brought before the Attorney General. After that, charges were filed in Federal Court.

Getting to this point isn't done lightly. It takes a lot of review, examination, grand juries, interviews/depositions, and so on.

And now there's a case that will be heard. I would suggest it doesn't look good. But in our system of jurisprudence, Trump is innocent until proven guilty in a court. We can't assume this or that will happen, though of course, getting to the point of filing charges and realizing how many counts were filed suggests that there is a likelihood that he is guilty of something.

We will know more in the coming months.

Now as an aside, related to the idea that "others have done the same." As far as we know, no one had taken this large a cache of documents, that they had the specific types of information, or that they left them in a sort of public location. And most importantly, they were returned or otherwise accounted for in some way without any sort of malfeasance.

And I would remind those that want to defend this that Trump defined himself as the "Law and Order" guy, and vowed to not things like this go unchecked. Let the process play out, and lets see where it lands.

In 2022, NASA rolled the SLS rocket from the hangar to the launch pad and back for several months. Several times, fuel leaks occurred while attempting to refuel.

Wilson Aerospace sued Boeing. The large 74-page document states that Boeing is accused of stealing intellectual property between 2014 and 2016. 

Specifically, it refers to the design of spanners.

The plaintiff claims that Boeing's experts obtained all documentation on the tools, after which they decided to sever the relationship. Because Boeing was unable to recreate the keys exactly from the stolen documents, this led to defects in the SLS rocket and potentially provoked more serious consequences.

In addition, Wilson Aerospace claimed that Boeing used the tools on the International Space Station, putting the lives of astronauts at risk. A lawyer for the company is sure that there are other firms from which Boeing "borrowed" intellectual property

There's an Israeli company working on a roadway wireless charging for EVs.

Although I couldn't find much detail about what they're doing, it appears as that it is some sort of magnetic field, or perhaps another induction type setup.

But in any case, they see the opportunity to allow for vehicles (particularly busses) to travel a route and not have to stop to charge. And they're testing it out on a test track.

This is really cool piece of tech and could revolutionize the industry.

Read more here:



This item is maybe a little less "quirky" but it is interesting.

Satellites are in place to track various aspects of our climate. They have detected that there is a rise in surface temperatures on Earth. And have simultaneously detected that atmospheric temperatures are declining.

Or put another way, essentially there is a warming trend on the ground, while temperatures higher up are decreasing. The implication is that these changes are man made - the climate is varying because of greenhouse effects. Otherwise they would be related to each other.

You can read more about this in a recent Wired article:

Miami continues to become the mecca for sports. Recently, Lionel Messi, (arguably) the greatest soccer player in the game today, left Paris in the French league, spurned an offer to return to Barcelona in the Spanish League, and turned down a lucrative offer from a Saudi team to come to the MLS, and play for Miami.

Its an exciting time, and Messi becomes the face of the league, and will certainly improve the Miami team. Fans are excited and this could be a lot of fun!

One Little Spark … 

… for your imagination

During June, we celebrate many things, including gay pride.  There are celebrations and events in many places.  In my humble opinion, Its an opportunity for people to simply be themselves.  Whatever some might think about gay rights, and pride, I think its a great opportunity to bear in mind that we're sometimes two nations.  Why are people so passionate in taking an anti LGBTQ stance?

I was thinking about this season of Ted Lasso, where a player (Colin) comes out to his team. Everyone says its cool, and they don't care.  And that's when Ted goes full on Ted and says:

"The point is Colin, We don’t not care. We care very much. We care about who you are and what you must’ve been going through. But hey, from now on you don’t have to go through it all by yourself."

Which I thought was a pretty good assessment. Kudos to the writers for stating it this way. 

You can watch the whole segment here: 

Dave’s latest video

My EV has a stated range of 330 miles. But what does that mean? How far can I actually drive?

The premise is that I'm discussing the effective range of the car.

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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Bitchin Dave's Newsletter


June 7, 2023

Insights, news, ramblings, and other serious nonsense from Dave 
Dave’s Musings
I find it intriguing how as humans we keep learning new things, even when it seems to contradict things we thought we knew. Take the James Webb Space Telescope, and consider that it is providing some unexpected things. And as a result, maybe the universe isn't exactly what we assumed.

But that's the point of a scientific theory. As scientists, we come up with a plausible explanation based on available evidence. It has been tested and repeated to become widely accepted as a scientific theory.

The cool part though is that it is always subject to review and modification. Sometimes, these theories can be challenged by new evidence. And then the revised theory will be tested until it becomes widely accepted.

I know not everyone quite gets that, but its one of the things that is at the core of science and discovery. We continually learn and update what we know. There are very few absolutes, and there is no clinging to "this is how its always been."

The JWST can point us to new theories and new ways of looking at the world.

Arthur C. Clarke once posited that communications and power could be relayed between satellites and the Earth.

Of course, global communications came to pass, with satellites in orbit that can find your position on Earth, or connect you to the internet.

But the idea of power from space was well ahead of its time. Until now. CalTech is attempting to use micro satellites to collect power in order to beam it to Earth.

Sounds like science fiction doesn't it? But yet, the launch was in January, and now its being tested out.

AM radio has been in the news lately. Car companies want to stop including them in cars. And several electric cars have already done so due to interference from the electric motors.

And anyway, AM radio has mostly served its purpose and is "dying" anyway.

But for those of us who grew up with it - in the days before the internet or even cable TV - they were a part of life. And at night, the signal changed. Why? Because of physics.

Its about the atmospheric conditions that impact the wavelengths used, essentially. But you can read the details here.



Last week on 60 Minutes, there was a piece titled

How an Air Force veteran discovered his new house was the seat of a plantation where his ancestors were enslaved

Much as the title suggests, its a fascinating tale about a man who unintentionally purchased a house (and the acreage) that was once part of a plantation ..... and that plantation is where his ancestors lived, worked as slaves, and died.  The house they once occupied still stands, and their graveyard is on his property.  What an interesting turn of events.

There was a story from November about a team of researchers, working on a project off the coast of Florida, who found a large section of the Challenger space shuttle from 1986.

One Little Spark … 

… for your imagination

This past weekend was the "Wear Orange Weekend" to commemorate the victims of gun violence.

Its unconscionable when you consider that roughly 43,000 people are killed each year in the US due to gun violence, and another 76,000 are wounded.  That number alone should give us all pause to consider just how pervasive this is, and one would think it SHOULD lead us to have a rational and honest discussion about the Second Amendment and its full context.  

Perhaps the lack of an Oxford comma is a concern, but the word "well regulated" do appear.  Can we talk about it?
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Dave’s latest video

I'm talking about "Park Assist" on the Tesla. Its a little unusual, since it only uses cameras.

I believe its a work in progress.

Watch here:

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