Stupid credit bureau tricks

Today I tried to create an account at the web site for the Experian credit bureau. I followed the instructions to the letter. On the second screen of the signup form when I pushed Submit, I got a message saying “An error occurred. Please try again.” No explanation. Nothing saying “we need your zip code” … Read more

Slow WordPress Queries

Index WP MySQL For Speed, the WordPress plugin, allows users to monitor their MariaDB or MySQL database traffic and upload the results of those monitors. It gathers information about the queries, including how long they take and how many there are. Analyzing the uploaded monitor data allows me to identify the most frequent queries and … Read more

Solar Panels for Central Congregational Church

Since last fall (fall 2022) Ollie Jones has been working on a project to get solar panels on the roof of Central Congregational Church. This is an explanation of the project, with some questions and answers. The proposal: to authorize the reinvestment of up to $70,000 of the church’s endowment fund to build this solar-panel … Read more

Newburyport’s Community Choice Power program

My municipality recently announced a program that will cut the cost of electricity supply from $0.339 / kWh to $0.218. That’s great. But it’s not great that public utility pricing is going the way of pharmaceutical pricing, with almost everybody needing to rely on opaque deals to get reasonable pricing. There’s a Massachusetts law enabling … Read more

Testing internet over 5G wireless

Photo of 5G gateway device standing on its shipping carton in front of a window. The device is nine inches tall.

tl;dr This didn’t work out. Why not? Random disconnects requiring user intervention, and a very weak 5G signal. The LTE signal was strong enough, but it looks like the less congestion-prone 5G isn’t really provisioned in my neighorhood as of mid-December 2022. I’m testing a T-Mobile internet-over-5G service. My phone is on T-Mobile, so they … Read more

Dumpster fire?

Enough already with using “dumpster fire” to describe a huge chaotic mess!

Dumpsters are designed to control fire. If a dumpster’s on fire, shut the lid and shut the side doors. The fire will burn itself out.

Maybe the same idea applies to people on fire. Deny them the attention they crave, their psychological oxygen, and maybe their fires will cool off too.

Power and Sustainability in WordPress

To improved sustainability of software like WordPress, it’s important to ask Where is power consumed? At the data center, at the client (the user’s machine or device), and in the network routers and line drivers used to transport the data. To reduce data center power: To reduce client power: To reduce network power, make your … Read more

Sonic search: notes on its use

I have been working on a WordPress search plugin to use Valerian Saliou‘s Sonic search backend. It is a lightweight alternative to backends like Elastic Search. Its straightforward approach to normalizing natural language queries makes it useful for searching WordPress content. And its speed and feature set lend themselves gracefully to autocompletion. Using Sonic in … Read more