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Curious_Canid Curious Canid

I am owned by several dogs and cats. I have been playing non-computer roleplaying games for almost five decades. I am interested in all kinds of gadgets, particularly multitools, knives, flashlights, and pens.

Posts 12
Comments 469
What is the best type of smart lock?
  • I've been using a set of Yale's digital combination locks for more than a decade and they have been great. They support multiple codes of up to at least 8 digits, but you can choose fewer. Battery life has been very good and they're easy to change.

    They have no exterior keyway, which makes them harder to bypass using conventional methods. If you get stuck outside with the battery dead, just hold a 9V battery against two contacts on the underside of the keypad to provide power.

    We have them on all three of our exterior doors. Between those, and our keyless cars, we no longer need to use keys.

  • How do Texas residents afford electricity during high-demand?
  • Energy pricing in Texas is managed for the benefit of the utilities, not their customers. Some of the people on non-fixed plans who got charged insane amounts just went bankrupt.

    Texas is a nearly perfect example of how the Republicans think everything should work.

  • I think we have technology sufficiently advanced for me to have an Iron Golem follow me around and bash my enemies.
  • Titanium and carbon fiber, not iron. This isn't the middle ages.

  • I like cats more than most people. And by that I mean, I like cats more than I like most people.
  • Between the picture and your comment that was a double win.

  • does anybody use an external player? Android
  • WearOS has a built-in media control that you can configure to pop up automatically when the phone is playing music or video. There are also multiple apps that act as remote controls for the phone's camera. Mine also displays the camera view on the watch, which can be very handy.

    The third-party media players often provide more detailed controls. They handle a broader range of formats (particularly VLC). And some of them perform better.

    To be honest, though, the main reason I use third-party players is because I'm familiar with them. It's similar to the advantages of using a third-party launcher. You have a lot more control over when and how you upgrade your UI experience.

  • does anybody use an external player? Android
  • And, on a side note, one of the best things about having a smartwatch is being able to control my phone's media players without taking out my phone.

  • does anybody use an external player? Android
  • I use MX Player, PowerAmp, and VLC for various things.

  • i like to pretend archie speaks only dutch (i do not)
  • He is probably multilingual. Seems like a smart, well-educated person.

  • ‘Anti-Woke’ Water Makes a Splash at Conservative Conference
  • That's just what I was thinking. It should contain added microplastics and industrial waste. And it should come in bottles made of plastic that cant' be recycled and never breaks down. That would be the proper way to support right wing environmental policies. It would also be another "don't get vaccinated" way for them to kill their own supporters.

  • Our cat matches our kitchen counters and floors
  • You've chosen beautiful counters and floors!

  • Have you ever been unable to pay by direct debit through PayPal?
  • I'm not sure if this helps, but my PayPal account has two sources configured. One is direct withdrawal from my checking account. The other is a debit card tied to my checking account. I have never had a merchant refuse it.

  • House Republicans launch investigation into news rating group NewsGuard
  • They are aggressively going after anyone who points out that almost everything they say is a lie. That's what "woke" really means. They're terrified of anyone who is awake and paying attention.

  • Drenched South Florida faces fresh flood threats from more heavy rains
  • Just ignore the fact that you're up to your waist in floodwater and go about your normal business. After a while it will stop bothering you.

  • The Stanford Internet Observatory is being dismantled | House Republicans attacked the lab’s reports on misinformation and election integrity — and now Stanford is pulling the plug
  • I appreciate your patient contributions to this discussion. And I agree with you. This is another case of blaming the victim. When someone makes a threat threatens you the focus needs to be on those making the threat. How you handle the threat is only important if no one stops the aggressor.

    Large parts of the GOP want to turn our country into a "what it used to be" that never existed. Destroying our educational system is a critical part of that mission. The lies at the base of their movement are not very effective against people with critical thinking skills, so they want to avoid letting anyone teach those.

    These people are a genuine threat because we have allowed them into positions of genuine power. There will be no long-term solutions to the problems they are causing until we get them back out of power.

  • Pros / cons of riding a bike?
  • My city plows the bike paths at the same time it plows the emergency routes. We're in Wisconsin, but a startling number of people still commute by bike all year long.

  • DeSantis ‘freedom fund’ Pac targets abortion and marijuana ballot initiatives
  • I was thinking the same thing.

    The problem is that honest names, like repression fund or authoritarianism fund, don't score well in marketing research.

  • I hear voices inside of me....
  • This is an illustration of Multiple Physicality Disorder.

  • Where does it save the pictures? I can't find them
  • I'm glad you found them! Different manufacturers put them in different places.

  • Bizarre video drop-out problem

    I am experiencing a technical issue that I can't even explain, let alone fix.

    Short Version: My laptop's video link to our television regularly drops out for 10-15 seconds when anyone steps too heavily on a particular area of the floor.

    Long Version (because I don't know which details might matter):

    My wife and I regularly participate in video meetings with friends, so we have a setup for it in our living room. My laptop serves as the computer. It is connected to a Thunderbolt 4 hub on a side table to the left of my easy chair.

    There is a video adapter connected to the hub. 20' HDMI and USB cables run along a wall to the left of the table to connect the hub to the television and the camera that's mounted on it (Logitech Brio 4K). Another 20' USB cable runs behind the chair and forward along the right side where it connects to a microphone (Logitech Yeti X). The microphone is on another small table that extends out into the room just in front of the chair arm.

    My wife uses an easy chair immediately to the right of mine. The microphone wire runs between the chairs, but does not touch either. None of the cabling or devices are in front of, behind, or to the right of that chair.

    The problem is that when my wife gets up, the tv picture often goes black for 10-15 seconds. The television indicates that it no longer has a signal during that time. Then the picture comes back and things return to normal. During that time, the camera and microphone both continue to work normally.

    The drop-out happens when she puts weight on the floor immediately in front of the chair, not when she puts pressure on the chair to get up.

    Occasionally the drop-out will happen when one of our dogs (50-75 pounds) jumps down from the chair onto the same area or when someone walks across the area. The section of floor where this happens is no more than a couple of feet square, starting at the front of the chair and extending out in to the room. There are no cables or wires in the immediate vicinity on the floor and there is no electrical wiring under that section of floor.

    We have speculated about static electricity, but there is no obvious way it would get into the microphone wiring across at least an 18" gap. I also replaced the microphone's USB cable with one that is better shielded, which made no difference.

    So what could cause the video signal to drop-out when someone puts weight on a section of the floor with no apparent connection to any part of the system?

    Any theories or suggestions would be welcome. We are genuinely mystified.


    How can I disable auto-play?

    Is there any way to disable auto-play in Voyager? Video plays automatically even in the feed. I would rather nothing played without me telling it to. I feel like there must be a setting, but I can't find it.


    Where to find political opinions and discussion?

    There are plenty of politics communities, but they all seem to focus on posting and discussing articles. Is there a community for posting political ideas and opinions?

    Pens & Paper Curious Canid

    Kuru Toga Dive News?

    Has anything been heard about the Kuru Toga Dive in the last few months? It looked like a very interesting pencil, if somewhat overpriced. It was released, but never in more than small batches, and now seems to have disappeared.


    Looking for oddly sized barrel bolts

    I'm trying to find replacement barrel bolts to hold the scales on a fixed blade knife.

    The dimensions, as best I can measure, are: Barrel Section: 6mm diameter and 8mm long Screw Thread: 4mm diameter and 6mm long Heads: 8mm diameter and 3mm thick with 2.5mm hex sockets

    I have done a fair amount of web searching and I have looked at several of the large online tool and fastener companies. Almost everything I can find has a much thinner barrel and wider head.

    Can anyone suggest where I should look for these?


    GOAT Multitool

    I've had my GOAT multitool for a couple weeks now. It's big feature is swapping the tools, but it has other advantages as well. The spring-loaded pliers are great and they use a "frame-based" spring that should hold up to heavy use. The bit driver will hold every type of bit (standard, double-ended, Leatherman, etc.) reliably and is somewhat offset toward the center, similar to the Gerber Center-Drive. One end of the tool is flat and reinforced to act as a light-use hammer. All tools can be removed, which means you can adjust the GOAT with the built-in Allen wrench and sharpen it with the built-in metal file. It includes a replaceable-blade X-Acto tool.

    An inobvious, but potentially huge innovation, is making the tool and scale templates open source. Anyone can produce additional tool implements that will work in the GOAT. That could be a game changer if it catches on. Think about specialty toolsets for different professions, for example. Likewise, optional scales can be produced in any material or design.

    The downside is that the current GOAT is clearly a first-generation tool. The tools clump badly. The "tool removal levers" clump with the tools, which can be a real problem. The pivots have to be carefully adjusted so the "springs" (the frame backs) will hold them all inside properly without being too stiff to fold out. The lock release mechanisms are awkward.

    I would not have been comfortable carrying mine as it came out of the box. Fortunately, most of the issues can be fixed, or at least improved, with very little effort. Maxlvledc did a wonderful video on YouTube that talks about the issues and provides suggestions on how to address them. It was a big help to me and I recommend everyone with a GOAT watch it.

    The things I did to "fix" mine were fairly simple. I added a thin shim washer (5x8x0.2mm) between each of the "tool removal levers" and the other tools. I re-arranged which tools were where and removed the washer next to the wood saw. Finally, I loosened the pivots a bit to help hold the tools inside the frame. (It seems like that should work the other way, but the pivots need to be somewhat loose to let the "springs" do their jobs.) Now it works quite well.

    What do the rest of you think about the GOAT?


    Question for SnapRaid Users

    Can SnapRaid restore the a lost drive in the case where the other data drives have been written to since the last sync? My understanding of the principles is probably just lacking, but I worry that using parity based on the other drive's data would only work if the data on the other drives had not changed since the parity was last calculated.

    So do I invalidate my last sync as soon as I write new data to a drive in my arrray?


    Casio Pathfinder 1300

    When I want a sensor watch I generally wear my newer Casio Pro Trek 3500, but I wore the Pathfinder 1300 for a long time and I'm still fond of it. I had screwed up the band a while back and finally got it fixed. It feels good to have the my old standby functional again.


    Can US customers still access Amazon Japan?

    I'm not sure this is the right place to ask, but I've been struggling with this for a while and would love any suggestions or info.

    I live in the US, but I've had an account with Amazon Japan for years. The last few times I've tried to use it I have been unable to login.

    I follow the same sequence every time. The site recognizes my login, but tells me I need to change my password and send me one-time code by email. When I enter that it tells me there is a problem with my account and I need to solve a puzzle. When I enter my solution to the puzzle I get a message that there was a problem connecting to the verification server.

    I have been through this at least a dozen times over three sessions and a period of several months. The sequence is the same every time.

    I have also tried to create a new account, but that also asks me to solve the puzzle and I run into the same error.

    I would like to contact Amazon Japan about this, but you have to log in to contact their support.

    Has anyone been able to use Amazon Japan from the US recently? Does anyone have suggestions for how to fix this or what might be causing it? Are the any other ways to contact Amazon Japan?

    I would be grateful for any help.


    Why is the Federal Reserver trying to drive down wages? Wage growth is slowing. Blame the Federal Reserve.

    Some policy experts are urging the central bank to stop jacking up interest rates before it tanks the economy.

    Wage growth is slowing. Blame the Federal Reserve.

    Does it make anyone else angry that Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve are trying to "Get Wages Down"? I would ask who these people work for, but that's fairly obvious at this point, and it certainly isn't any of us.

    Wages have failed to keep up with the rest of the economy for decades now. The middle class belongs on the Endangered Species List. But paying people a moderately comfortable wage, or even a living wage, would get in the way of maximizing corporate profits.

    Late stage capitalism is bad enough without having the government actively trying to make it harder on the average worker. We need to protest these policies!


    How to log back in?

    I keep getting popups saying that I need to be logged in to do various things. I have never logged out and I don't see an obvious way to log back in. Is there one?

    I have found that switching to another instance and switching back seems to work, but there must be a better method.