The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Updated photos

Editing photos on my phone doesn't always produce the best results. Faster, cheaper, better, pick two, right? Fortunately I have Adobe Lightroom at home, and deploying software yesterday took a long time.

Here are my re-edits. Better? Worse? At the very least, they're all correctly-proportioned (2x3) instead of whatever I guessed on my little phone screen.

Thursday's sunrise at Nicura Ranch:

Berea College:

One of the ranch's permanent residents:

Down the road from the ranch:

Cinnamon, who rather preferred that I keep Cassie outside the pasture, thank you very much:

I've got a couple more from the past two weeks I'll post after lunch.

Weather Now 5 is Live!

I've just switched the DNS entries for wx-now.com over to the v5 App, and I've turned off the v4 App and worker role. It'll take some time to transfer over the 360 GB of archival data, and to upload the 9 million rows of Gazetteer data, however. I've set up a virtual machine in my Azure subscription specifically to do that.

This has been quite a lift. Check out the About... page for the whole history of the application. And watch this space over the next few months for more information about how the app works, and what development choices I made (and why).

Just for posterity, here's what the v4 Current Weather page looked like:

Good night, v4. You had a good 8-year run. And good night, Katie Zoellner's lovely design, which debuted 15 years ago.

My day so far

The day started like this:

Then it became this:

And returned to this:

But because of this:

It is now this:

As for the horses and goats on the ranch, I had some challenges introducing Cassie to them. The principal challenge was Cassie barking her head off at all of them, which two of the horses and both of the goats wanted nothing to do with, but one of the horses looked ready to teach Cassie the formula F=ma in a direct and possibly painful way.

Now that I've downloaded 12 hours of email and figured out where to have dinner later, I'm going to head back and hope that Cassie hasn't figured out how to open doors.

(Also, I'll edit the photos properly when I get home and possibly re-post them.)

On the road

Cassie and I are at a lovely ranch in Kentucky where tomorrow she'll meet goats and tonight I've met a 1990s-era Internet connection. Well, I didn't come here to surf the Web, so I'll just deal.

Meanwhile, I'm sitting outside listening to frogs. Lots of frogs. And a hound somewhere down the road.

Problems with air pressure

I'm about 18 hours from taking Cassie on a long road trip, and I have two problems that may cause headaches (one of them literally). First, trees and grasses all over Chicago have started having lots of sex, causing really uncomfortable stuffiness and sinus congestion for me. Second, one of the tires of my car has a slow leak.

The first one will work itself out naturally, with the help of several boxes of tissues. The second one requires a trip to the local tire center, which I'm glad to report is about 200 meters from my house.

Updates as conditions warrant.

Sabotaging open-source code

Via Bruce Schneier, a developer who maintains one of the most important NPM packages in the world got pissed off at Russia recently, without perhaps thinking through the long-term consequences:

A developer has been caught adding malicious code to a popular open-source package that wiped files on computers located in Russia and Belarus as part of a protest that has enraged many users and raised concerns about the safety of free and open source software.

The application, node-ipc, adds remote interprocess communication and neural networking capabilities to other open source code libraries. As a dependency, node-ipc is automatically downloaded and incorporated into other libraries, including ones like Vue.js CLI, which has more than 1 million weekly downloads.

“At this point, a very clear abuse and a critical supply chain security incident will occur for any system on which this npm package will be called upon, if that matches a geolocation of either Russia or Belarus,” wrote Liran Tal, a researcher at Snyk, a security company that tracked the changes and published its findings on Wednesday.

“Snyk stands with Ukraine, and we’ve proactively acted to support the Ukrainian people during the ongoing crisis with donations and free service to developers worldwide, as well as taking action to cease business in Russia and Belarus,” Tal wrote. “That said, intentional abuse such as this undermines the global open source community and requires us to flag impacted versions of node-ipc as security vulnerabilities.”

Yeah, kids, don't do this. The good guys have to stay the good guys because it's hard to go back from being a bad guy.

Huge step for Weather Now v5 today

This weekend, I built the Production assets for Weather Now v5, which means that the production app exists. I haven't switched over the domain name yet, for reasons I will explain. But I've created the Production Deploy pipeline in Azure DevOps and it has pushed all of the bits up to the Production workloads.

Everything works, but a couple of features don't work perfectly. Specifically, the Search feature will happily find everything in the database, but right now, the database only has about 31,000 places. Also, I haven't moved any of the archival data over from v4, so the Production app only has data back to yesterday. (The Dev/Test app has data back to last May, so for about the next week it'll have more utility than Production.)

I'm going to kick the tires on the Production app for a week or so before turning off v4. I expect my Azure bill will be about $200 higher than usual this month, but my June bill should be about what my January bill is. Uploading all the archival data and the Gazetteer will cost many, many database units, and I'll keep v4 running for probably half of April, for example.

The Dev/Test version and the Production version have the same bits as of this post. Going forward, Dev/Test will get all the new features probably a week or two ahead of Prod, just like in the real world.

Plus, over the next few months I'll post explanations of how and why I did everything in v5.

I'm pretty excited. Everything from here out is incremental, so every deployment from here out should be very boring.

Last post on clock changes (until November, probably)

Josh Barro and Saray Fay get to the heart of the time-change issue:

The first thing I want to note is something I’m amazed many participants in this debate don’t seem to know: We have tried this policy before. In January 1974, the US entered what was supposed to be a two-year “experiment” with permanent daylight saving time. Unfortunately, daylight saving time does not add daylight to the day, it only shifts the daylight into the afternoon from the morning. And once people realized that — that daylight saving time in January means doing everything in the dark in the morning — they hated it.

There are a number of large and mid-size metropolitan areas where the sun would not rise until around 9am for weeks on end in the winter.

On average, a person who tells a pollster they want permanent daylight saving time is really just saying they would like the sun to shine more. Well, so would I. But the government only controls the clocks, not the axial tilt of the earth. If you actually enact permanent daylight saving time, it will exit the realm of daydreaming about how the sun is nice and turn into actually forcing Americans to drag themselves and their children out of bed in the dark for much more of the winter. Once you have inflicted this upon them, they will think deeply about the issue. They’ll hate it (and possibly hate you) and they’ll demand a reversal, as I will remind you they sought and promptly received the last time we tried this.

Perhaps the best solution would be to harmonize clock changes with Europe, switching to Daylight Saving Time on the last Sunday in March, and returning to Standard Time on the last Sunday in October. But then it'll get dark earlier on Hallowe'en, so...think of the children!

Update: The House has decided to proceed with all deliberate speed on this issue, ensuring the bill a quiet death sometime this summer.

Small victories

I just finished upgrading an old, old, old Windows service to .NET 6 and a completely different back end. It took 6.4 hours, soup to nuts, and now the .NET 6 service is happily communicating with Azure and the old .NET Framework 4.6 service is off.

Meanwhile, the Post published a map (using a pretty lazy algorithm) describing county-by-county what sunrise times will look like in January 2024 if daylight saving time becomes permanent. I'd have actually used a curve tool but, hey, the jagged edges look much more "data-driven." (They used the center point of each county.)

Now it's 22:45 (daylight saving time), and I need to empty Cassie and go to bed. But I'm pretty jazzed by how I spent a rainy afternoon on PTO. It was definitely more rewarding than tramping out in the rain to a couple of breweries for the Brews & Choos project, which had been Plan A.