i improved the temperature and humidity sensor array display board

If for some dumbass reason you ever need to take temperature data reported to a fake accuracy of 0.01°F and produce a much more reasonable number in °C rounded to the nearest 0.5°C and do it in a single line of PHP code, HERE YOU GO:


If the way your data collectors report values have a little less "...why?" involved, you can change the 31.95 to 32.

I may do it anyway.

Or I may not bother, honestly, it's 0.05 of noise in a digit position that is already made of noise.

The best part is that it works on literally anything made since CSS happened. So like... 1998. I tested the display on an original iPhone. It works fine.

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Fox News has always been at war with Eastasia

The stock market took it in the balls today on Covid resurgence and someone made some phone calls, and Tucker Carlson spun on a dime, like the good little marionette he is.

Naturally, I went off on Twitter.

Okay, real question, Fox News viewers:

How do you cope?

Fox (and Carlson) have been pumping anti-vaccination BS and COVID denialism for months. And you've eaten it up, yum.

Today the stock market takes it in the shorts because COVID cases are spiking and suddenly it's real again.

How do you deal with this "we have always been at war with Eastasia" insanity?

How much spackle do you have to spread on your brain to smooth it out enough to cope with this absolute spin-on-a-dime horseshit?!

'Cause you're gonna do it again next time they turn. Obviously.

The deaths don't bother you, that's clear. Neither does instilling hundreds of thousands of people with long-term health deficits. Fox News is perfectly happy to ruin human lives for a shot at GOP victory in 2022, and so are you.

But do you truly have no self-respect? None at all?

I mean, the Fox News and GOP people who are going to die or have long-term health deficits, those are other people, right? Obviously.

(Until they're you. But they're never you until they're you.)

But this.

This is Fox saying "Dance, monkey. Dance."

And you do it. Every time.

And I'm just stuck here thinking...

How? How can you do this to yourselves?

Do you have so. little. self. respect. that you're willing to debase yourselves this way? Forever?

Really, Fox News/GOP folks?

Is this all you are?

Christ, why?

If it was just something you did to yourselves, I'd say, so be it. Your call. But that's not how plagues work.

Plagues don't just affect fools pretending they aren't real because politics. You're sickening and killing other people too. So we have to care. Because you don't.

Which gets me back to the question.

How the fuck do you cope with this turnaround, Fox News Nation?

I wanna know.

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the second leg of indoor climate control

Something I've always done is try to keep houses - my house - as cool as possible in summer with just ventilation. Coming from Seattle, nobody used to have AC, and that included us, so if you've got the skills why not keep using them? Saves energy and money. Everybody wins.

There's nothing mysterious about the system. You cool the house down as far as possible overnight with evening ventilation, then close the place up during the day during the heat. Do it right, and you can keep it cooler inside than out. Or, if you have AC, you can run it less - a lot less, if you do things right.

It works better if your house is situated well. And it works even better than that with indoor/outdoor thermometers, so you know when to open and close windows in what parts of the house. And yes, it's different, and different enough to really matter. If it's cooler indoors than out, close the windows. If it's cooler outdoors than in, open the windows.

I've always had a little collection of these indoor/outdoor thermometers, no two alike. So I thought it'd be good to standardise a bit. So I bought a more capable setup, a central unit with eight sensors all displayed on a little panel, with an accessory to let me see it via my phone on the web.

(I made a completely new network for this. Two, if you want to be technical about it. Terrible Slower Things (2.4Ghz), Terrible Faster Things (5.0Ghz), and it's not just separate wifi, it's a truly separate network with different root node to our real LAN, because fuck the Internet of Things. But I digress.)

I've got the sensors set up in pairs, which gives me four indoor/outdoor comparison points, and with all the graphing software, I've learned a few useful things already.

One is that the east side of the building gets even hotter even sooner than I realised. It's really just a matter of scale, not type, but good to know. A second is that the west side is indeed much cooler and stays much cooler thanks to the hill, but I was pretty sure the old sensor placement was exaggerating exactly how much, and I was right. Fortunately, it's not dramatic - just a couple of degrees, no big deal.

But the big surprise is how quickly the north side of the building heats up. I was thinking it was more like the west side than the east, and wow, that was completely wrong. It's not wildly over-temperature like the east, but it's no coolness buffer like the west either.

That boils down to, "I have been completely wrong about keeping that north window open all the time." It needs to be closed, like, in the morning. It's great overnight in that we can keep it fully open without worrying - it's screened and well above the ground, no animal or break-in issues - but it needs to be closed at like 9 or 10am. Otherwise you're pulling in warmer air than is already inside the building.

We're seeing a meaningful difference. With AC off, it's cooler inside than out on three sides of the building literally all day. And the west side, we can continue to use correctly as a coolness source/heat sink. I've been able to keep the house cool this way before, but getting the north side wrong has really been hampering my effectiveness. Now I can just glance at a panel and know for sure what needs to be flipped, and how.

It's funny, when the new kit arrived I was briefly all, "oh, why the hell did I do this, I've already got most of this data (via three separate indoor/outdoor setups) and this really only adds one more and it's a waste of money" but then I set it up anyway and... yeah, that was wrong.

And it's made no-AC temperature management meaningfully more effective. Energy not used is energy not paid for, after all. Between the new HVAC system using less energy and this sensor array's new data, we may do a lot better than I'd even hoped. This hardware actually should pay for itself in a few years!

Here's the sensor array as viewed from the web. The graphing is pretty nice, but I don't think you can use that functionality without an account. Senstors 1-4 are the outdoor set (east, west lower, west upper, north), 5-8 are the matching indoor sensors. If you set your browser's zoom correctly, they pair up nicely in the display.

So. Yeah. That's the other component of the big house cooling project.

The last component is a thermostat-controlled exhaust fan in the server room. Everything else we've done may have made it irrelevant - it's a lot cooler in there this summer than it ever was before, even on crisis temperature days! But I'll probably still get that done too.

Maybe next summer.

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the first electric bill

Just got the July electric bill. It covers June, including the record-shattering heat wave.

Remember, back in April we paid a buttload for a new furnace, new full-time whole-house MIRV 15 filtration, AND new ductwork partially for that but mostly for top-floor-only AC. (It's a separate ducting system, the old ductwork was designed exclusively for heat and wouldn't work for AC well at all.)

All this, just in time for the hottest June in history, the hottest days in history at all. 'Well timed there,' if I do say so myself. Regardless, it ran full time for days, and I've been thinking "well, it's worth it, but let's see how much it costs."

And now the bill is here. Our electric usage and bill last month was...


...than last July or August, when we had the two usual room AC units set up, and no such thing as whole-house filtration.

Last July and August weren't even record-breakers. We had to run the room ACs pretty much full time anyway, because we had to have the house sealed up thanks to a horrible smoke season. We also ran the old furnace's fan full-time with good filters - not quite MIRV 15, but close - which helped a lot with the smoke, but not at all with the cooling.

And here we are, with a bill that's gone...


And we never got above 26 (79F) in the uncooled part of the house last month, thanks to the top floor being cooled full time and with lots of circulation running. We couldn't've managed anything close to that with the old systems. This may've been an expensive experiment on my part, but holy fuck did it work out.

So after the Event, I knew it worked for cooling. Those little indoor wheelabout AC units with vent hoses are better than nothing, but they're still garbage, and the system we had put in is not. I was just afraid of how much more using it would turn out to cost, but turns out? That cost is less.

It still has another test to come, of course. Fire season, which started a few days ago. If we get a smoke event and have to seal up the house again, well, we'll see how it goes. But at this point, I'm feeling pretty confident. I think we'll be okay.

Holy hell, the bill went down.

Mind you, it's still one of those "It'll pay for itself in only... [calculates]... 375 years!" BUT STILL.


I gotta tell you, it's a relief.

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tomato soup cake

I made the tomato soup mystery cake from that cooking tiktok a couple of months ago...

It’s actually good. Absolutely recommended.

It’s kind of a cross between a brownie and gingerbread and a carrot cake and the recipe calls it “magic” and it kind of is because how the fuck do you get there from these ingredients I DON’T EVEN KNOW

...but you do.

I tracked down the version I’m pretty sure he was using and there’s this moment in the video as it's baking where he says it smells like... I forget but it was bad... and I had that happen too!

Turns out that’s how you know it’s almost but not quite done.

No really. It smells honestly pretty good for like the first 40 minutes in the oven and then the smell turns on you, right? And you’re all “oh gods what did I do.”

It’s some reaction happening, I have no idea what. But then the smell turns again and that’s when it passes the toothpick test. Then I let it go like five more minutes because it just felt like it needed it, and then I took it out and yum.

So yeah. If you've been thinking about making this? Give it a punt. It's awfully good. You might like it.

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Loki miniseries

If you've been missing long-form serial Doctor Who, the Loki series really does make a passable substitute. It wasn't incredibly obvious until they hit the quarry, but then I was all,

"...wait a minute - this is Doctor Who! But with Loki. What the hell? This is just Doctor Who!"

Of course, it's a multi-Doctor story. Multi-Loki story. Whatever. Thought it was two, but wow, six? Fine by me xD

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in response to anarchist shit going around on tumblr

If your lefty/anarchic rhetoric includes condemning people for voting and using fascist rhetoric when doing so (particularly "orange man bad," goddamn that's a tell), I have two possible reactions.

1. The realistic one, which is that you're a fascist running an op.

2. The kinder one, which is that you're a complete - and I do mean complete - fool, because either:

a. You genuinely believe that doing the one thing that might actually remove the white supremacist anti-semite using a plague to inculcate people to the idea that it's literally better to die yourself than to take any action whatever to prevent the deaths of yourself and your friends is a bad thing

(particularly given its relevance in the face of climate disaster)

- or -

b. You're unable to recognise a pretty fucking obvious fascist operator in your midst.

In neither case are you worth my time - much less, to paraphrase OP, my trust.

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The Arc of Dominion, Edda 22: The Cabana on the Beach

The war is won. Oasis and the Concordat are at peace. Overwatch has been folded up again, this time made into an intelligence arm for Helix, under new - and the UN hopes better - leadership. The Gods are free - largely - to do as they will.

Now that Oasis is finally at peace, Pharah and Mercy know exactly how they want to celebrate.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Dominion
Edda 22: The Cabana on the Beach

solarbird and bzarcher

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Dominion is a continuance of The Arc of Conflict, The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and In the Beginning, There Was an Armourer and a Living Weapon. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

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I have fixed my PS4 Pro

Replacing the laser pickup subassembly inside the laser assembly inside the optical drive is fiddly as fuck but is apparently the only way to fix my particular PS4 Pro.

This is like attempt ... fuck idek. Four. I think. Maybe five. Because I think I took it apart once just trying to see if the laser lens just needed cleaning or something.

The attempts do include trying to install two drives from iFixit that aren't compatible because very early PS4 drives were different somehow - and I have one of those - and then swapping them back out.

Those attempts also included having to take apart each drive in each case, because the incompatible drives' ribbon cables were too short, which was a hint that something was up, but I just figured, eh, the cable's a bit short, I can use the old one. (Obviously, that was wrong.)

So for the record, if you have a very, very early PS4 Pro with the long optical drive cable, iFixit’s replacement drives are not compatible, and what you need is to replace this KES-496A laser optical pickup subassembly, which you can find from sellers on eBay:

And the part people won't know but that makes this so much worse is that to get to the optical drive of a PS4 Pro you literally have to take the console all the way apart, and I do mean all the way apart, so every disassembly/reassembly means shit like "reapplying thermal paste on the CPU." It takes me a solid hour to tear down and put back, and I already know what I'm doing.

That does not include, for the record, taking apart the optical drive and tearing it most of the way down to replace said subassembly.

I can now say figuring out how to do that - and to put it back together - takes another hour.*

It also takes a lot of determination.

And some very small tools.


*: The subsequent repeat of the optical drive teardown/rebuild because you didn't realise there's a tiny piece of plastic not included with the replacement part because it's not part of the laser pickup head assembly, it's part of the drive rail guide, so you have to do it again, only this time transferring the rail guide over too? That's much easier, and only takes about 10-15 minutes now that you know what you're doing.

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when your photo goes viral - attributed to someone else

Via a friend, I see that Andy Richter RTed Dan Price's uncredited repost of my photo too. That's pretty wide audience, and I imagine how it made it to The 98%, to show up reposted by someone in my Facebook feed, attributed to Dan.

Not gonna lie, it's a frustration

I mean, it's one thing for a bunch of people to repost without credit, it's the internet, that happens.

But seeing it attributed to one of the dudes who reposted it without credit?

That stings.

I think it'd be different if it was some random snapshot, I take a lot of those too, but I mean, I took it for a political reason, took the time to compose it clearly and with no one identifiably in the shot (the place was packed), and posted about it, again, politically.

Ah well. Nothing to be done for it, unless I start throwing up DMCAs - which I oppose on principle, so won't be doing.

But when I release work CC, I do mark it Attribution, and while I didn't release this as CC yet, the principle of the thing still holds:

Credit. The. Artist.

And don't credit some asshole who reposted my photo without attribution or permission.

Jeez, kids.

(My original June 12 photopost, from which all this came)

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