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Cake day: October 4th, 2023

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  • China is already selling two EVs using sodium ion batteries.

    Sodium ion batteries won’t be a general drop-in substitute in vehicles for lithium.

    It might be possible to use sodium-ion batteries in place of some not-energy-density critical lithium-ion applications (the way lead-acid is currently used for some lithium-ion applications), and that’d free up some materials for EV use.

    https://physics.aps.org/articles/v17/73

    However, sodium and lithium atoms have differences, two of which are relevant for battery performance. The first difference is in the so-called redox potential, which characterizes the tendency for an atom or molecule to gain or lose electrons in a chemical reaction. The redox potential of sodium is 2.71 V, about 10% lower than that of lithium, which means sodium-ion batteries supply less energy—for each ion that arrives in the cathode—than lithium-ion batteries. The second difference is that the mass of sodium is 3 times that of lithium.

    Together these differences result in an energy density for sodium-ion batteries that is at least 30% lower than that of lithium-ion batteries [1]. When considering electric vehicle applications, this lower energy density means that a person can’t drive as far with a sodium-ion battery as with a similarly sized lithium-ion battery. In terms of this driving range, “sodium can’t beat lithium,” Tarascon says.

    In time, sodium-ion batteries will improve, but their driving range will never surpass the top-of-the-line lithium-ion batteries, Tarascon says. He imagines instead that sodium-ion technology will fill specific niches, such as batteries for smaller, single-person electric vehicles or for vehicles that have a range of only 30–50 miles (50–80 km). Weil agrees, but he says that society may have to change the way it views automobiles. “We cannot only point to the technology developers and say, ‘We need more efficiency.’ It’s even more important to stress that we need more ‘sufficiency,’ which is people being satisfied with a small car,” he says.






  • I don’t have a problem with Elon Musk as a person or him owning it – I wasn’t on the Elon hype train back when the progressive crowd was glamorizing him, and I’m not on the Elon-bashing train now that he’s making conservative statements and is unpopular with the progressive crowd. My problem is with the platform itself.

    Message length

    The thing doesn’t have the degree of message length limitation that it used to, but it’s still really short. Being concise is one thing, but this is at the level that it affects the format of the message.

    Informality

    Maybe it’s just me, but Twitter seems just intrinsically informal. There is virtually no form of communication that has traditionally been more-formal than state communications.

    Security

    This is the big one.

    It really boggles my mind that a state would grant Twitter the status of being the medium for their announcements.

    How secure is Twitter? I mean, I’m sure that Twitter’s engineers try to keep in secure, but I don’t believe that they have the kind of emphasis on security that, say, the people who are on TLS (which would secure a state website) do. What happens if someone compromises a state Twitter account, sends out a bogus message, and then manages to cut access off to the account for a period of time? At just the right time, like coups or something, that could have an enormous impact.

    Twitter is a private company. Their responsibilities are not the same as a national government’s. Yes, they care about their reputation, and there are bounds on what they’ll do. But they were willing to cut off Trump. I can very much believe that under the right circumstances, they’d be willing to cut off officials or governments abroad. And it wouldn’t even be sanctions-level stuff, where it’s an extraordinary act – like, they can put together whatever ToS stuff they want, block people all the time. If I’m a government, I absolutely do not want Twitter to be able to cut off my communications. I don’t want whatever governments might be able to exert pressure on Twitter – and I guarantee that in a serious-enough situation, many would be willing to try – to induce that the communications be cut off. There are Twitter offices around the world. What happens if there’s a war on and some Twitter employees are taken hostage? Is the CEO going to say “let them die, keep the communications open”? Where are his obligations going to lie?

    How vetted are the employees who have access to various levels of administrative access at Twitter? I would bet that there is a larger pool and that there is less vetting than the kind of people who have access to set operations at say, certificate authority operators or to cut international cable access at major ISPs, which collectively is comparable to the kind of control that an individual – who may-or-may-not be acting in line with the company’s aims as a whole – might have.

    I strongly suspect that there are ways to manipulate Twitter, given sufficient use of bot accounts, to make material from malicious accounts be ranked highly. I’ve seen disinfo campaigns in the past. This is a problem that search engines share, but Twitter does real-time indexing of all content and I strongly suspect is a lot easier to induce wild ranking changes on.





  • “Mao suit”.

    It’s a trademark for him and his grandfather. Here he is wearing it to meet Trump:

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/style/kim-jong-uns-mao-suit-was-business-as-usual-summit-was-historic-1119420/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_suit

    The modern Chinese tunic suit is a style of male attire originally known in China as the Zhongshan suit (simplified Chinese: 中山装; traditional Chinese: 中山裝; pinyin: Zhōngshān zhuāng) after the republican leader Sun Yat-sen (Sun Zhongshan). Sun Yat-sen introduced the style shortly after the founding of the Republic of China (1912–1949) as a form of national dress with distinct political overtones. The four pockets are said to represent the Four Virtues of propriety, justice, honesty, and shame; and the five buttons the branches of China’s former government (Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Examination, Control),[1][2][3][4][5] which still survive today in the Republic of China government of Taiwan.

    After the Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, such suits came to be worn widely by male citizens and government leaders as a symbol of proletarian unity and an Eastern counterpart to the Western business suit. The name “Mao suit” comes from Chinese Communist Mao Zedong’s fondness for the style. The garment became closely associated with him and with Chinese Communism. Mao’s cut of the suit was influenced by the Stalin tunic then prevalent among Soviet officials.[6] Although it declined in use among the general public in the 1980s and 1990s due to the increasing prominence of the business suit, it is still commonly worn by Chinese leaders during important state ceremonies and functions.[7][8] The Mao suit was also worn in North Korea by party elites.

    In the 1960s and 1970s, the Mao suit became fashionable among Western European, Australian, and New Zealander socialists and intellectuals.[9] It was sometimes worn over a turtleneck.

    The Mao suit is worn at the most formal ceremonies as a symbol of national sovereignty. China’s paramount leaders always wear Mao suits for military parades in Beijing, even though other Politburo Standing Committee members and other Politburo officials wear European business suits. It is customary for Chinese leaders to wear Mao suits when attending state dinners.[13][14][15] In this situation, the Mao suit serves as a form of evening dress, equivalent to a military uniform for a monarch, or a tuxedo for a paramount leader.

    The Mao suit also serves as a diplomatic uniform. Although Chinese ambassadors usually wear European business suits, many Chinese ambassadors choose to wear a Mao suit when they present their credentials to the head of state.[16][17][18] The presentation ceremony is symbolic of the diplomatic recognition that exists between the two countries, so it carries a higher level of formality than other diplomatic meetings.







  • EU won’t commit to answering whether games are goods or services.

    I think I’d have a category for both.

    You can’t call an SNES cartridge a service, but similarly, you can’t call, oh, an online strip poker service a good.

    I suspect that most good-games have at least some characteristics of a service (like patches) and most service-games have at least some characteristics of a good (like software that could be frozen in place).

    I think that the actual problem is vendors unnecessarily converting good-games into service-games, as that gives them a route to get leverage relative to the consumer. Like, I can sell a game and then down the line start data-mining players or something. I think that whatever policy countries ultimately adopt should be aimed at discouraging that.



  • If there’s a better way to configure Docker, I’m open to it, as long as it doesn’t require rebuilding everything from scratch.

    You could try using lvmcache (block device level) or bcachefs (filesystem level caching) or something like that, have rotational storage be the primary form of storage but let the system use SSD as a cache. Dunno what kind of performance improvements you might expect, though.


  • It’s not a different font. Special Unicode block.

    Fraktur:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraktur

    Unicode does not encode Fraktur as a separate script. Instead, Fraktur is considered a “presentation form” of the Latin alphabet. Thus, the additional ligatures that are required for Fraktur typefaces will not be encoded in Unicode: support for these ligatures is a font engineering issue left up to font developers.

    There are, however, two sets of Fraktur symbols in the Unicode blocks of Mathematical Alphanumeric Symbols, Letterlike Symbols, and Latin Extended-E. The long s, ß, and the umlauted vowels are not encoded, as the characters are meant to be used in mathematics and phonetics, so they are not suitable for typesetting German-language texts.

    𝔄 𝔅 ℭ 𝔇 𝔈 𝔉 𝔊 ℌ ℑ 𝔍 𝔎 𝔏 𝔐 𝔑 𝔒 𝔓 𝔔 ℜ 𝔖 𝔗 𝔘 𝔙 𝔚 𝔛 𝔜 ℨ𝔞 𝔟 𝔠 𝔡 𝔢 𝔣 𝔤 𝔥 𝔦 𝔧 𝔨 𝔩 𝔪 𝔫 𝔬 𝔭 𝔮 𝔯 𝔰 𝔱 𝔲 𝔳 𝔴 𝔵 𝔶 𝔷𝕬 𝕭 𝕮 𝕯 𝕰 𝕱 𝕲 𝕳 𝕴 𝕵 𝕶 𝕷 𝕸 𝕹 𝕺 𝕻 𝕼 𝕽 𝕾 𝕿 𝖀 𝖁 𝖂 𝖃 𝖄 𝖅𝖆 𝖇 𝖈 𝖉 𝖊 𝖋 𝖌 𝖍 𝖎 𝖏 𝖐 𝖑 𝖒 𝖓 𝖔 𝖕 𝖖 𝖗 𝖘 𝖙 𝖚 𝖛 𝖜 𝖝 𝖞 𝖟