Stuff Yaron Finds Interesting

Technology, Politics, Food, Finance, etc.

Reviews of well, everything and anything

Buying a new plastic free variable temperature Tea Kettle and the cost of corruption

Because FDA seems to work for industry and not the citizens of the United States I can’t trust that cordless variable temperature tea kettles for sale in the U.S. are actually safe. Is having BPA or other kinds of plastics in contact with boiling water o.k.? A functioning FDA would long ago have investigated and come to authoritative conclusions. So I’m stuck spending a ton of time and effort trying to find a kettle which seems as harmless to my family’s health as possible. When I first wrote this article in December of last year my choice of kettle was the Pino Digital Kettle Pro. Unfortunately all of four months later (but out of its 90 day warranty) it’s stopped working. I list below all the candidates, the final winner was nothing. I literally can’t find a variable temperature plastic free kettle that meets our needs.
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Why I ran a-waze

Waze is a navigation app that you can install on your phone. It shares out your phone’s location and speed in order to create a real time speed map based on data from all the users around you. For that purpose Waze works really well. It was able, for example to route me around a traffic snarl in my local neighborhood in a really creative way. It’s really an awesome app for doing things like daily commutes if there are issues with variable traffic patterns. Given how well it works it was with regret that I uninstalled it.
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Failing to buy a new keyboard

I love Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboards. I got a Microsoft Natural Keyboard in the 90s and used it until a handful of years ago when it just got so old and grody that I felt it had to be replaced. I replaced it with the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 which I liked even better, especially with its negative incline. But I have had a problem with the semi-colon key no longer hitting properly. I was going to buy a new 4000 but I thought, what the heck, why not get one of the mechanical keyboards? The keyboard on the 4000 is nice but I bottom out when I hit the keys and that can’t be great for my fingers nor is it a very nice feeling. I summarize below what I learned about keyboards and why in the end I couldn’t find the keyboard I really wanted.
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11/6/2012 – General and Special Election, Seattle, King County, Washington State

It’s voting time again! But since I now officially refuse to engage in the false trade off of choosing between Republicrats and Democans my voting is simpler.
  • President and Vice President of the United States - Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala
  • United States Senator - No vote
  • United States Representative - Congressional District No. 7 - Jim McDermott
  • Governor - No vote
  • Lieutenant Governor - No vote
  • Secretary of State - No vote
  • State Treasurer- No vote
  • State Auditor - No vote
  • Attorney General - No vote
  • Commissioner of Public Lands - No vote
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction - No vote
  • Insurance Commissioner - No vote
  • State Senator - Legislative District No. 46 - No vote
  • State Representative - Legislative District No. 46 - Position 1 - No vote
  • State Representative - Legislative District No. 46 - Position 2 - No vote
  • Sheriff - John Urquhart
  • State Supreme Court - Justice Position No. 2 - No vote
  • State Supreme Court - Justice Position No. 8 - No vote
  • State Supreme Court - Justice Position No. 9 - No vote
  • Court of Appeals - Division No. 1- District No. 1 - Judge Position No. 4 - Ronald E. Cox
  • Court of Appeals - Division No. 1 - District No. 1 - Judge Position No. 7 - Marlin Appelwick
  • Superior Court - Judge Position No. 42 - Sue Parisien
  • District Court West Electoral District - Judge Position No. 1 - Johanna Bender
  • Initiative No. 1185 - No
  • Initiative No. 1240 - No
  • Referendum Measure No. 74 - Approved
  • Initiative No. 502 - Yes
  • Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8221 - Rejected
  • Senate Joint Resolution No. 8223 - Rejected
  • Advisory Vote No. 1 - Engrossed Senate Bill 6635 - Maintained
  • Advisory Vote No. 2 - Substitute House Bill 2590 - Repealed
  • King County Proposition No. 1 - Regular Property Tax Levy for Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) - Approved
  • City of Seattle Proposition No. 1 - General Obligation Bonds - Rejected
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8/7/2012 – Primary and Special Election – Seattle, King County, Washington

It’s election time again! Oh joy.... This year is a bit different. The corruption in our society has reached such absurd levels that radical action is called for. From a government that ignores climate science to to one that allows parasites to commit endless financial crimes we have to do something very, very different because doing the same doesn’t work. For me that means stopping to vote for the parasite’s fully paid off lackeys, otherwise known as the Republican and Democratic parties. The parasites have sucked in enough cash and gotten enough court decisions to put themselves in absolute control of our politicians. So the only hope short of full revolution is to stop voting for the lackeys. So this year, with the honorable exception of Jim McDermott, I’m not voting for anyone who is part of or wants to be part of the Republican or Democratic parties.
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Parallels 7 vs VMWare Fusion 4

I use a VM on my mac to run Windows for the sole purpose of using remote desktop to my work laptop. Yes, I know that Microsoft offers a free RDC client for the Mac. But the client doesn't support multiple monitors on a mac and that's a show stopper for me. I've been using VMWare Fusion 2 & 3 for a bunch of years now and I can't say I was ever really happy with it but it seemed to do the job. But I recently compared VMWare Fusion 4 to Parallels 7 and for my use case Parallels 7 is slightly better than VMWare Fusion 4 and with Parallel's upgrade offer for VMWare Fusion 3 users it's a no brainer in my opinion to switch to Parallels 7. So I have. More details below the fold.
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11/8/2011 – General and Special Election – Seattle, King County, Washington

I can't say any of the candidates really got me all that terribly excited, it was mostly an exercise of picking who I hated least. As for the initiatives the only one that I think is really super critical is City of Seattle Proposition No. 1 which is the school tax levy. Initiative 1183 really annoys the hell out of me and I hate CostCo for putting it out there (I especially like the tax loopholes they put in for themselves and the bans they put against their smaller competitors) but as I explain below our dear government has passed a lovely bill that I think is worse than 1183 so now I have to vote for 1183.

  • Initiative Measure No. 1125 - No

  • Initiative Measure No. 1163 - No

  • Initiative Measure No. 1183 - Yes

  • Senate Joint Resolution No. 8205 - Approved

  • Senate Joint Resolution No. 8206 - Rejected

  • County Directory of Elections - Mark Greene

  • Port of Seattle - Commissioner Position No. 2 - Gael Tarleton

  • Port of Seattle - Commissioner Position No. 5 - Dean Willard

  • City of Seattle - Council Position No. 1 - Bobby Forch

  • City of Seattle - Council Position No. 3 - Brad Meacham

  • City of Seattle - Council Position No. 5 - Dale L. Pusey

  • City of Seattle - Council Position No. 7 - Tim Burgess

  • City of Seattle - Council Position No. 9 - Sally J. Clark

  • City of Seattle Proposition No. 1 - Levy, Yes

  • Seattle Transportation Benefit District - Proposition No. 1 - Yes

  • Seattle School District No. 1 - Director District No. 1 - Sharon Peaslee

  • Seattle School District No. 1 - Director District No. 2 - Kate Martin

  • Seattle School District No. 1 - Director District No. 3 - Harium Martin-Morris

  • Seattle School District No. 1 - Director District No. 4 - Marty McLaren

Note: For brevity's sake I'm omitting any uncontested races.

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Some examples of how Wall Street steals money

There is this idea in America that winners should be rewarded and that the rich are winners. And since the bankers on Wall Street are rich they must therefore be winners. But this is a lie. The bankers in this country aren't winners. They are simply the people who managed to leverage their cash into taking control of our government and using it as their own personal piggy bank and get out of jail free card. I realize this rehtoric sounds extreme but if you read Matt Taibbi's latest article in RollingStone magazine I think you'll finally begin to understand some of the mechanisms of how Wall Street steals from everyone else to make their profits.

8/16/2011 – Official Primary and Special Election – Seattle, King County, Washington

Finally, a short ballot! But still, an important one. Please, if you do nothing else, please vote REJECTED on Seattle Referendum 1. Let's do whatever we can to stop the insane tunneling project.

  • King County Proposition No. 1 - Veterans and Human Services Levy - Approved

  • Count of Appeals, Division No. 1, District No. 1, Judge Position No. 2 - Michael Spearman

  • City of Seattle Council Position No. 1 - Michael Taylor-Judd

  • City of Seattle Council Position No. 9 - Dian Ferguson

  • City of Seattle Referendum 1 - REJECTED

  • Seattle School District No. 1 Direction District No. 3 - John Dunn

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