Leonard Nimoy R.I.P.

Leonard Nimoy, or Mr. Spock to us baby boomers, passed away today. On my brother’s birthday :-(  He can’t be 83, could he?

Leonard Nimoy, who died on Friday at the age of 83, after succumbing to pulmonary diesease, will be remembered best for his star turn as Mr. Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human officer, on Star Trek. But his exploits as a hybrid character extended far beyond the USS Enterprise; in addition to acting, Nimoy was a poet, a writer, a sergeant in the U.S. army, a photographer, and a director.

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/02/live-long-and-prosper-leonard-nimoy-spock-stark-trek–dies-83/386423/

I fondly remember the original 1964 Star Trek TV series.

Prescott Internet, 911, Telecom Back in Service

Our internet, 911, some bankings, ATM’s, some telephones were offline for around 7 hours today. Much of northern Az was affected including Prescott, Flagstaff, Cottonwood. The cause was intentional sabotage. A fiber optic cable that is inside a tunnel in far north Phoenix was cut, and that is the only connection. Just as a major wreck on I-17 can halt most vehicular traffic in northern and central Az, this halted most data traffic. The culprit has yet to be identified. Vandal? Criminal? Terrorist?

Here’s the latest news article I can find: http://news.yahoo.com/outage-halts-internet-cell-northern-arizona-230621745.html

To us it was a minor nuisance. We (thankfully) did not need to call 911. We did not need to use an ATM or bank services. I went to a couple of stores for small purchases but I had enough cash on hand. Our Verizon phones functioned, with 4G internet access and text messaging working.

Some thoughts on this outage:

1. The telecom system was designed for efficiency, not reliability. One fiber optic link is more efficient than 2, nice until that one is not in service for an extended time. That cable is a single point of failure. There is no backup, no redundancy – these are costly and thus inefficient.

2. It is amazingly easy for someone with bad intentions and a little knowledge to take down a major utility used by many people and businesses with a few hand tools.

3. This is what a systemic failure cascade looks like, in real time.

Phoenix Area Residents Starting to Use Air Conditioners

If you live in the northeast or upper mid-west, where things are buried in snow, you may think this is insane. But Phoenix area residents are starting to turn on air conditioners.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — With temperatures in the 80s, Valley residents have been turning on their air conditioners early.

This is only the beginning, and we all know the inevitable is coming. Being prepared for the heat is the key to comfort and less hassle when the temperatures reach their threshold.

link

The linked article goes onto discuss maintenance tasks for a/c.

Here at 5500 feet above sea level in the Prescott, Az mountains we are not using a/c. We are still running our furnace at night. It has been abnormally warm in the daytime hours here, but no a/c is needed.