Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Create Post

The Actuator – July 8th

Level 17

I hope everyone had a happy and safe 4th of July holiday weekend. No fireworks, parades, or carnivals here this year. Felt a bit strange, to be honest. At the same time, it was far more relaxing. Less running around, smaller groups of people, and good weather to enjoy.

As always, here's a bunch of links I hope you find useful. Enjoy!


The Dying Mall’s New Lease on Life: Apartments
We have a handful of dying malls locally that could benefit from similar forward thinking. Creating a mini walking city, right in the suburbs, perhaps with a bike path into downtown.

Close the bars. Reopen the schools.
Seriously. Finding a way to reopen schools should be a priority, not arguing about bars being open.

You're tired because your lizard brain knows that Zoom meetings aren't natural
A useful feature in Outlook—not allowing more than 4 hours of video meetings in any given day.

22,900 MongoDB Databases Held to Ransom by Hacker Threatening to Report Firms for GDPR Violations
Setting aside the fact that MongoDB *still* allows for blank passwords, this is the first time I’ve seen  hackers threaten a GDPR fine as a way to get you to pay their ransom.

Stock surge makes Tesla the world’s most valuable automaker
Not bad for a company that has yet to record a profit.

Walmart Will Open Drive-In Theaters in Its Parking Lots This Summer
With the exception of having a bunch of cars idling to keep the A/C running on a hot summer night, I like this idea of using open spaces in this manner.

BMW wants to sell subscriptions to in-car features
Here’s hoping you don’t forget to renew your airbag subscription.




I'm liking the concept of WalMart drive-in theater.  Probably runs on radio, not 802.11, not BlueTooth?  Certainly not on the old wired speakers, right?

And of course there'll be concessions in the parking lot.  Maybe porta-potties?  And perhaps twenty minutes of WalMart on-screen advertisements for every minute of movie content?

I predict folks will quickly tire of that little yellow smiley WalMart face singing at them & bouncing up & down on lyrics.  And massive amounts of product placement.

Will anyone be monitoring the air quality around the parking lot, as people leave their cars running so they can have air conditioning going?

Mall Conversion seems to be the right thing to have been thinking about ten years ago.  The local health care system in my town already took over two major empty anchor properties in the local mall that were formerly occupied by Sears and Younkers, turning them into fancy exercise / rehab facilities & custom care service centers.

It sure would be convenient if the other empty stores in the mall were elder care places, or even elder hostels for tourists who want to visit northern Minnesota in the warmer months, yet be close to shopping, nice restaurants, AND plenty of medical services.

I agree on prioritizing education over socialization and inebriation in every nation.  But if someone can figure out how to do all three (in their appropriate times & spaces) safely in a COVID-19 world, they might just be the financial hero of the age.

Extortion is extortion, but if the bad guys have the scoop on GDPR violators, let the mud be slung!

It sure seems we in IT ought to be able to track these bad eggs down to help Law Enforcement catch them and to help the Courts punish them.

Tesla is impressive and unexpected in so many ways.  They should be involved in the RV industry now, as well, since ATV's, UTV's, RV's, travel trailers, PWC's, and boats of all kinds are selling like hotcakes during the times when the Canadian border is closed to U.S. Citizens, and when prudent people eschew airlines to avoid COVID-19 exposure.

Seriously, the RV and boat industries can't keep up with the demand here in northern MN.  Even given two months of no sales due to being shut down for COVID-19, they're already setting all-time records for product sold.  Inventory is depleted, and the factories can't keep up with demand.

Tesla, where is your COVID-19 RV Business Plan?



"IN-CAR Feature Sales"?  Please, NO!

I quickly tire of continual Sirius XM radio e-mail and broadcast advertisements, along with telephone calls to my home, cell phone, and car telephone number.  Heaven knows I'll appreciate even more stupid-ware even less.

Zoom meetings quit at four hours?  

First off, let's keep Zoom out of that area completely.  My experience with them has been poor, unreliable, and insecure.  Perhaps yours has been better.

Then let's not say video conferences quit after four hours.  I can actually attend eight hours of video conferences for many days in a row.  As long as I'm not expected to be productive and get other work done beyond attending meetings.

Intelligently designed & planned meetings, using excellent quality cameras & audio gear & large / sharp video screens, with plenty of bandwidth, accompanied by good audio experiences . . . I want this.  Anything less than this . . . no thank you.

Level 20

You're right... we gotta open the Schools and who wants to pay 50k per year for Harvard and have it be 100% online.  For the people that pay that... you're suckers!


Level 20

WalMart has always also allowed Truckers, giant recreational vehicles, busses, and others to use their parking lots for various purposes.

Level 12

Walmart Will Open Drive-In Theaters in Its Parking Lots This Summer
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have a hard time believing that Walmart would dim their parking lot lighting enough for people to see a screen.

The Dying Mall’s New Lease on Life: Apartments
I don't know who would like living without external windows. It would really bother me, even with a virtual window.

Close the bars. Reopen the schools.
Why is this an issue? Because politicians have seriously messed-up priorities. Or maybe they want the population sufficiently buzzed that they don't get upset at what's happening.


Some interesting articles. The drive-in idea shows creativity in the use of existing space.

Level 16

Thanks again for your posts @sqlrockstar 

The Dying Mall’s New Lease on Life: Apartments  I was reading a list of all of the companies that were rolling back stores and unfortunately a lot of them were in malls. 

Level 16

You're tired because your lizard brain knows that Zoom meetings aren't natural

Some of our virtual project planning meetings go 9 hours or more.... uuug

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.