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Battery-Powered Start Unit Market to Witness Robust Expansion by 2023

2023.05.30 04:16 ivychen300 Battery-Powered Start Unit Market to Witness Robust Expansion by 2023

LPI (LP Information)' newest research report, the “Battery-Powered Start Unit Industry Forecast” looks at past sales and reviews total world Battery-Powered Start Unit sales in 2022, providing a comprehensive analysis by region and market sector of projected Battery-Powered Start Unit sales for 2023 through 2029. With Battery-Powered Start Unit sales broken down by region, market sector and sub-sector, this report provides a detailed analysis in US$ millions of the world Battery-Powered Start Unit industry.
This Insight Report provides a comprehensive analysis of the global Battery-Powered Start Unit landscape and highlights key trends related to product segmentation, company formation, revenue, and market share, latest development, and M&A activity. This report also analyzes the strategies of leading global companies with a focus on Battery-Powered Start Unit portfolios and capabilities, market entry strategies, market positions, and geographic footprints, to better understand these firms' unique position in an accelerating global Battery-Powered Start Unit market.
This report presents a comprehensive overview, market shares, and growth opportunities of Battery-Powered Start Unit market by product type, application, key manufacturers and key regions and countries.
The main participants
Effeti Srl
Priceless Aviation
Jakadofsky GmbH
GSE Composystem
Segmentation by type
Segmentation by application
Military Airport
Civil Airport
Key Questions Addressed in this Report
What is the 10-year outlook for the global Battery-Powered Start Unit market?
What factors are driving Battery-Powered Start Unit market growth, globally and by region?
Which technologies are poised for the fastest growth by market and region?
How do Battery-Powered Start Unit market opportunities vary by end market size?
How does Battery-Powered Start Unit break out type, application?
What are the influences of COVID-19 and Russia-Ukraine war?
LP INFORMATION (LPI) is a professional market report publisher based in America, providing high quality market research reports with competitive prices to help decision makers make informed decisions and take strategic actions to achieve excellent outcomes.We have an extensive library of reports on hundreds of technologies.Search for a specific term, or click on an industry to browse our reports by subject. Narrow down your results using our filters or sort by what’s important to you, such as publication date, price, or name.
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submitted by ivychen300 to u/ivychen300 [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 03:55 harry-jg Best VPN for Crypto Trading

Cyber-hooligans and digital ne'er-do-wells do seem to have a frightfully strong penchant for targeting crypto exchanges, making security breaches and attacks on your hard-earned Bitcoin stash a more common occurrence than one would like. Therefore, finding a VPN sturdy enough to fend off these electronic highwaymen, while maintaining a speed that won’t impede your trade, is a bit like hunting for a four-leaf clover. Certain VPNs would have you believe they're the bee's knees, but alas, some wouldn’t be able to safeguard a paper bag, let alone your wallets. Others might hinder your access to crypto trading platforms based on your geographical coordinates.
Having undertaken the Herculean task of putting over 40 VPNs through their paces, I've managed to sieve out the most promising ones for cryptocurrency trading. These services have been assessed for their alacrity, fortification, and their ability to provide a multitude of servers. The crème de la crème of VPNs, they bring together stellar security features and allow seamless access to your preferred platforms from any corner of the globe, without cramping your style or speed.
Perched at the top of my list is ExpressVPN. A boon for crypto enthusiasts, it boasts a splendid combination of advanced security features and blazing fast speeds that would give a greyhound a run for its money. And the icing on the cake? ExpressVPN gives you a golden opportunity to give it a whirl, risk-free, for it's cloaked in a 30-day money-back guarantee. In the event that it doesn't tickle your fancy, you can always ask for a full refund, no questions asked. A jolly good sport, that ExpressVPN, I must say.
When it comes to ExpressVPN, one could assert it’s as swift as the wind and as reliable as the sunrise. My tests showed it being a paragon of consistent and warp-speed connectivity, with a negligible drop-off of 2% on the Dutch servers – quite a stellar performance, indeed! And as I gallivanted across the digital landscape, testing servers in France, Britain, and the Antipodes, they all showed a rather admirable level of consistency. Such rapidity makes for a rather seamless crypto browsing and trading experience, as smooth as a vintage brandy.
With ExpressVPN's extensive network of servers sprinkled generously across the globe, it doesn’t quite matter where you hang your hat. A snappy, high-speed server is but a click away. Switching locations? It takes less time than whipping up a cup of tea. Handy, I say, when one is trying to access geographically-peculiar crypto exchanges from every Tom, Dick, and Harry location around the world. I found myself in Uncle Sam's land not too long ago and managed to access Binance and without a hitch, not missing a beat on those crucial market fluctuations.
Safety? As iron-clad as a knight's armour, I say. ExpressVPN comes equipped with AES 256-bit encryption – the gold standard in cyber defense. A rather nifty kill switch feature acts as your safety net, blocking all network traffic should the VPN connection falter, thus preserving your anonymity. And rest assured, my tests did not detect a single DNS or WebRTC leak, cementing my faith in this VPN. ExpressVPN is your digital cloak, making sure your identity remains as hidden as a sly fox in the brush, keeping those crypto transactions safe from the prying eyes of the ill-intentioned.
The only downside, if one must nitpick, is the rather steep price of $6.67 per month, making it the monocle in the VPN market. But, fear not, dear reader, for ExpressVPN often throws in delightful discounts, reducing the price to a much more digestible figure. When I signed up, I found myself enjoying a handsome 49% off, like finding an extra olive in one's martini.
Moreover, ExpressVPN comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, which is, essentially, a trial period without any risks. I took it upon myself to put this policy to the test by requesting a refund on the 28th day of my subscription. The customer service agent, a paragon of friendliness, approved my refund after some light banter about my VPN experiences. It took less time than toasting a crumpet, and lo and behold, my coffers were refilled within a mere five days.
Hailing from the land of vampires and castles, CyberGhost makes its residence in Romania, safely beyond the prying eyes of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. This particular VPN service is as zealous about your privacy as Jeeves is about maintaining my sartorial elegance. It pledges fealty to a no-spying, no-logs policy, which, in layman's terms, means it doesn't jot down your digital footprints as you jaunt around the internet. Consequently, should some snoopy third-party chappie come knocking, asking for your data, they'd find themselves out of luck, leaving your crypto activities as clandestine as a midnight meeting of the Drones Club.
With an impressive congregation of servers — numbering in the thousands — scattered across a whopping 91 countries, CyberGhost is as well-connected as a socially ambitious debutante. I gave its US, UK, and French servers a whirl on various crypto trading platforms such as Binance, Coinbase, and Kraken, and they all rolled out the red carpet, granting instant access with nary a hitch. Thus, wherever you might be perched on this big blue marble, you'll find yourself able to sidestep geo-restrictions and anonymously partake in the crypto trading dance, as easily as Wooster navigates a society bash.
Now, in this rapid-fire world of cryptocurrency trading, one cannot afford to be left in the slow lane. Fear not, for CyberGhost comes galloping to the rescue. In my rigorous testing, I found that the servers in close proximity provided astounding speeds, experiencing a dip of less than 3%. Connection? Quicker than Aunt Dahlia's temper, established within an average of five seconds. Even for the servers stationed a fair distance away, the connection time capped at 15 seconds, and the speed drop remained below a barely noticeable 5%. With such speedy performance, your exchanges will load faster than you can say "pip pip", and those crypto charts will update without delay, making CyberGhost a veritable knight in shining digital armour.
IPVanish is a chap among the elite club of VPNs that lavishes upon you unlimited device connections. Imagine being granted admission to the Drones Club, the Junior Ganymede and the Senior Conservative all at the same time, for no extra shilling, and you've got the idea. I put this to the test, coordinating a veritable symphony of devices - two Android telephones, an iPhone and my trusty Windows PC - all humming along in concert, without a hitch. A boon, indeed, for those who find themselves constantly on the move, trading cryptocurrencies from device to device, like a jazz pianist fluttering between keys.
Next up, speed, the lifeblood of any crypto enthusiast, the equivalent of having the fleetest feet at the annual Drones Club Day. While IPVanish may not quite outpace the venerable ExpressVPN in this department, it nonetheless proved a sprightly contender in my tests. I experienced but a modest 5% drop in velocity on its local servers, leaving me plenty of puff to keep my crypto charts loaded and my trades flowing like the finest Anatole's concoctions.
And let's not overlook the security, as sound and sturdy as the constancy of Jeeves' advice. Armed with 256-bit encryption, IPVanish is as impenetrable as my Aunt Agatha's resolve. Accompanied by DNS and IP leak protection, I put it through the wringer, subjecting it to a battery of DNS and WebRTC leak tests, and not once did it falter or flinch. This means you can be safe in the knowledge that your crypto dabbling is shielded from the prying eyes of those nefarious hackers and DDoS attackers, even if your favoured exchange should suffer a spot of bother with security.
However, much like the irksome occasion when my club ran out of my preferred brand of Scotch, IPVanish possesses a minor drawback - it doesn't accept cryptocurrency payments. So, if you were hoping to keep the crypto train running by using it as your method of payment, you might find yourself browsing the market for an alternative VPN service.
Private Internet Access
Allow me to introduce Private Internet Access, or PIA for the sake of brevity. It boasts a sprawling network of servers, scattered hither and thither across 84 countries, much like the droves of Wooster relatives who regularly descend upon my humble abode. As a bonus, PIA presents you with a private server, complete with a dedicated IP address, as personalized as Aunt Dahlia's most fiery missives. I took the liberty of testing this feature using a US-based dedicated server. Lo and behold, my assigned IP address remained as steadfast as Jeeves at my side, freeing me from the perpetual identity confirmations every time I frequented my favoured crypto platforms. Quite the boon, if you ask me, for those who would like a dependable, dedicated IP address for their crypto trading endeavors.
PIA doesn't skimp on security, either, providing a bulwark against online threats as formidable as Jeeves's mental acuity. Choose your weapon - 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption, both formidable deterrents to those prying third parties intent on monitoring or intercepting your digital soirees. And while the 128-bit AES option has a bit more spring in its step, the 256-bit version offers a resistance to brute force attacks as solid as the door of my Uncle Tom's antique silver safe.
The fly in the ointment, however, is PIA's location. Much like Bertie finding himself in the path of Aunt Agatha, PIA is headquartered in the United States, within the reaches of the 5-Eyes Alliance. Despite this predicament, PIA holds steadfast to a stern no-log policy, meaning that if any probing requests for information were to arrive, PIA would have as much to offer as I would at a philosophical debate.
In the realm of online security, PrivateVPN parades about with all the aplomb of a gentleman on his way to the Drones Club, brandishing credentials akin to those of the well-renowned ExpressVPN. A veritable fortress of privacy, it brandishes the popular AES 256-bit encryption, much like one might brandish a well-mixed martini at a cocktail soiree. Moreover, the seasoned veterans among you will appreciate the ability to pick and choose from a myriad of VPN protocols, an option akin to deciding between a starched collar and an ascot. For the novices in the field, however, this could prove as tricky as convincing Aunt Agatha that cats make better companions than canaries.
While PrivateVPN may not boast the kind of expansive server network as other VPN providers (the sort that could give Aunt Dahlia's gaggle of country hounds a run for their money), it compensates with considerable velocity. During my empirical investigations, I found its servers in the US, Europe, and Australia to be as fleet-footed as young Bingo Little chasing after his latest romantic fancy. This alacrity enables faster updates on your crypto charts, allowing for brisk trading that would put even Market Snodsbury's bustling market day to shame.
One aspect to bear in mind, however, is that much like Bertie inadvertently finding himself under the jurisdiction of a headmistress at a girls' school, PrivateVPN is subject to the 14-eyes jurisdiction due to its Swedish roots. Hence, the company could theoretically be obliged to share your data with the constabulary, domestically or across the borders. Nonetheless, owing to its no-logs policy, PrivateVPN would be as devoid of shareable information as Bertie Wooster would be of romantic advice for his friends.
The Jeeves Guide to Selecting the Top-Drawer VPN for Crypto Dabbling
One does not simply choose a VPN for cryptocurrency trading as one would select a necktie for a jaunt about town. This requires rather more contemplation, akin to selecting the perfect cravat for the annual Aunt's Day tea party at Brinkley Court. The crucial factors to keep an eye on can be summarized as follows:
Security Features: Much like Bertie Wooster's persistent Aunt Agatha, hackers have an alarming tendency to set their sights on crypto exchanges. These digital bazaars are as prone to cyber mischief as Bertie is to finding himself engaged against his will. In light of this, it is essential to employ a VPN that has security as tight as Jeeves's grasp on etiquette, keeping your data and identity as unblemished as the Wooster reputation (on a good day).
Speeds: Cryptocurrency, my dear chums, is as unpredictable as young Tuppy Glossop's appetite, demanding swift decisions to amass the largest pile of the proverbial spondulicks. This is where connection speed becomes as crucial as a well-mixed cocktail at the end of a taxing day. Opt for a VPN with connection speeds that would give a racing greyhound a run for its money.
Server Network Size: Much like Bertie's wandering eye when it comes to the fairer sex, cryptocurrency exchanges are often restricted by regions. A VPN, therefore, acts as your digital Jeeves, facilitating your swift maneuvering past geo-restrictions. A larger server network gives you a broad array of options, improving both the connection speed and stability.
Device Compatibility: It is of utmost importance that your chosen VPN plays nice with your preferred gadgets. It should be as versatile as Jeeves on a Saturday evening, effortlessly supporting Android, Mac, iOS, Windows, and more.
Simultaneous Device Connections: Just as the old Wooster charm works its magic on multiple fronts, so should your VPN's ability to connect to multiple devices under one subscription. This means that whether you're ensconced in your favourite armchair or on the move, you'll be able to trade with the ease of an old hand at the Drones Club dartboard. All of my top choices, much like a well-trained valet, provide multiple device connections with each subscription plan.
submitted by harry-jg to topvpn [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 02:45 Bloxburg_lover24 first car update

so for my first car my parents got me a 2007 mini cooper s automatic. i love the car, i’ve always wanted a mini. but i’ve only had it for a few months and it just completely stopped working. the key fob was the first thing to go and we thought it was the battery, didn’t fix it when changed. then the windows wouldn’t go down or if they did they wouldn’t go all the way back up. then the letters on the radio and stuff started disappearing. now it won’t start at all. we plugged something into the car that showed some error codes and most of them said misfiring (not sure what that means 😬) and we just plugged in the battery but it says it’s fully charged so it’s not the battery like we thought. do any of you know what could possibly be wrong with it? i’m stuck with the car until i can pay for a new one myself, only being 18 makes that a little difficult so i know i’ll have it for a while. anything helps, thanks!
submitted by Bloxburg_lover24 to MINI [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 01:22 _Revelator_ Clarkson's Columns: 30 Years at the Sunday Times & The Red Trouser Mob Speaks Nimby

30 years of this Motormouth
On three decades of cars, controversy, and cow dung at the Sunday Times (May 28)
By Jeremy Clarkson
Thirty years. That’s how long I’ve been writing for The Sunday Times. When I joined the paper, back in 1993, John Major was in power, Neil Kinnock was a fan of Ford Sierras, they were still digging coal out of the ground in Yorkshire and other columnists on the paper included AA Gill, Michael Winner and, not long afterwards, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.
I’m the only one left now. Still here. Still bashing away at the keyboard. And still feeling like a fraud. I went recently to a party celebrating the newspaper’s 200th birthday and during a film that had been made to commemorate the milestone, I was left reeling at the amount of truly important stories it had broken over the years. And the journalistic colossuses who’d translated these shapeshifting events into readable, punchy prose.
Me? Well, I got a job in journalism — on the Rotherham Advertiser — simply because my grandfather, a doctor, had gone out during an air raid in the Second World War and delivered the editor’s first baby. “I’ve always wanted to pay him back,” he said, “so you start on Monday.”
He sent me on a block release course to learn the tricks of the trade and I was terribly shit at everything. I only managed to pass my 110-word-a-minute shorthand exam by using a two-speed tape recorder and very long hair to cover up the secret earpiece. But while there I did meet a chap from the Harrogate Herald who told me about a great gig. If you could get a motoring column in the newspaper, carmakers would send you a brand-new model every week, fully insured and brimmed with fuel. All you had to do to keep the gravy train running was say how brilliant it was.
So I became a motoring journalist — that’s the profession’s bottom rung, just below being a travel hack. And that was fraudulent too because I had no clue how a car works. Back then my peers and colleagues in the specialist motoring press would talk about gear ratios and steering racks and tread shuffle, and I had literally no clue what they were on about. In my mind you turned the key, witchcraft happened and you moved about. The gearbox? That was pure sorcery.
In some ways this ignorance helped, because if you know how a car works you aren’t all that surprised when it does. With me, I always have a boyish, tinkle-grabbing excitement when I push the throttle pedal and the whole car moves. It excites me. And I don’t think that excitement would be there if I were on some kind of a know-how par with the engineers who’d made it possible.
To get round the problem of not knowing what I was talking about, I wrote mostly about how a car made you look and feel. And that seemed to go down quite well, so pretty soon the gravy train became a foreign junket jus train as carmakers started inviting me to product launches. A lot of product launches. In the mid-Eighties I spent more time in Cannes and Barcelona than I did at home. And all I had to do in exchange for all the private jets and champagne was write a piece saying that the car made me feel and look very nice. And that it would do the same for you too.
At one of these product launches — for the Citroën AX, in case you’re interested — I bumped into a BBC producer who asked me to appear on Top Gear, and pretty soon I was so busy doing that, I didn’t have time to go to Cannes and Barcelona any more. Which meant I had nothing to lose and could say what I liked.
Many of the carmakers didn’t like me saying what I liked, so an association of car industry press officers despatched a chap from Ford called Harry Calton to speak to my bosses. They told him that my directness was bringing more viewers to Top Gear and that this was good for the motor industry. Which in turn was good for Ford. He agreed and pretty soon I was rushing about, refusing to review the Vauxhall Vectra because it was too boring. And likening the new Toyota Corolla to a fridge-freezer. And saying that the Ford Scorpio looked like a slightly melted waxwork model of Marty Feldman.
This brought me to the attention of The Sunday Times, which asked me to do something similar in print. Which is quite an achievement if you think about it. Being asked to write for one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world, on a subject about which I knew nothing.
I couldn’t even drive very well back then. This was a bit of a hindrance, because to write about how a car behaves “at the limit” you have to be able to take it to the limit, and to find out where that is you have to go beyond it, which meant doing some kind of skid. It was my old colleague Tiff Needell who taught me how to do that, at Kemble airfield, in a Lamborghini Murciélago.
I still don’t do it properly. Instead of using power to break traction at the back, which is what the professionals do, I use too much speed. I arrive at the corner far too quickly, lift off the throttle to pitch the weight of the car forwards and therefore reduce traction at the back, and then turn the wheel while rubbing some rosaries. It’s messy and smoky and scary sometimes, especially when you’re doing it three feet from the back of a camera tracking car. But it looked good on television, and it convinced millions of people that I was some kind of cross between Ayrton Senna and Adrian Newey, all wrapped up in a sandwich filled with idiotic metaphors and similes.
Soon The Sunday Times asked me to start writing about other things as well, which is how I ended up with Adrian Gill, in Baghdad, in 2005, reporting on the Iraq War. I was useless at this as well, choosing to use hyperbole instead of actually finding stuff out. “There were a hundred million soldiers” is so much easier than calling the MoD and finding out how many there really were.
I also had a terrible nose for news. Back in the autumn of 2013 — I did look that up — I was in Kyiv doing some kind of Top Gear live show when I received a call from a different editor of The Sunday Times, asking me to go down to Independence Square to see if the protests were as big as he’d been led to believe.
I was thrilled because this was my big chance to be a proper hack, at the pointy tip of a breaking story. So off I went with a notebook and no pen. No journalist ever has a pen. And having talked to the lone policeman and signed autographs for the six rather bored-looking protesters, I called the editor and said the whole Russia/Ukraine thing was a nonstory.
Incredibly, after 30 years on the paper, I’m still here. But will I still be kicking around after 40 years? With cars I think not. I recently borrowed a 2005 Ford GT and, on a beautiful spring evening, I took it from Chipping Norton to Badminton House, along some of the loveliest and quietest and fastest roads that Britain has to offer, and I truly loved it. But in the not too distant future drives like that will simply not be possible. And cars like that will be gone. It’ll all be 20 mph and giving way to cyclists and pulling over for 60 hours to fill up the batteries. And I want no part of that.
I may not know how proper cars work. But at least they interest me. The new breed? I have even less of a clue what makes them move along and I find them all to be more boring than Jane Austen giving a four-hour talk about Chaucer.
When I began doing this columnism lark you could say that the combustion engine was brilliant and that men can’t have babies. These days, though … you can still say those things. It’s just that now people get very angry with you. And I like that because I’ve always liked throwing rocks in ponds. It’s all I’ve ever done, really. Tried to mess things up. It’s been fun.
Does the red trouser mob speak fluent nimby? You better you bet
By Jeremy Clarkson (Sunday Times, May 28)
I have some experience of not getting planning permission, and what I’ve come to understand is this: whether you want to build a conservatory, or a funeral home, or a nuclear power station, you’ve got to get the language right. Sustainable. That’s an important word. Your conservatory may feature window frames made from depleted uranium, but that doesn’t matter if you describe it as sustainable. And mental health. That’s critical. You need a sustainable sun room full of eco-plants because it’s good for your mental health. Plus you will empower the local building trade in a way that will be “transformative” to the low-income “community”.
Sadly, however, no matter how well versed you may be in modern government-speak, you will come up against a neighbour in red trousers who knows the even more powerful language of nimbyism. And he’s going to say that your new conservatory will cause more “pollution”, “traffic” and “noise”. That’s the holy trinity for those who worship at the altar of Laura Ashley. And if that isn’t working, they’ll wheel out the trump card: dark skies. They’ll argue that your new conservatory will cause light pollution, and then, I’m afraid, you’ve had it. Especially if there’s even a suggestion that you might harm a bat.
All of which brings me on to the Duke of Beaufort. He recently applied for permission to stage two summer concerts in the agreeable grounds of Badminton House — the Who and Rod Stewart, in case you’re interested. And I’m sure his representatives used all the right words.
They’ll have glossed over the fact that it’s bloody expensive to run a big house and new income streams are necessary, because that sort of argument doesn’t sit well in a country where anyone with a big house is wrong. That’s the law. So the duke’s advisers will have relegated the business angle to page 12 of the application and concentrated instead on how the sustainable, low-impact, green events will empower the low-income rural community and boost the mental health of the region’s bats.
Sadly, though, the duke’s neighbours are not just well versed in the language of nimbyism. They are fluent — they are past masters — in the art of objecting. So they started by pointing out there’d be increased traffic in the area and that noise would “reverberate” in nearby villages — presumably causing many bat deaths and “mental health issues”.
Naturally, they also said the concertgoers would engage in “rowdy behaviour”, even though it’s the Who and Rod Stewart we’re talking about. Most of the audience will be in their sixties, and when Roger Daltrey sings, “The kids are all right”, they’ll turn to one another and say, “They really are. Henry’s a commodity broker now, and Harriet is doing ever so well at Freuds.” Then, when it’s all over, they’ll go back to Stanton St Quintin in their Teslas, and Keith Moon will not head over to the local hostelries to blow up the lavatories because he died 45 years ago.
Fearing perhaps the council might cotton on to the fact the audience are extremely unlikely to drive their cars into the nearest swimming pool, the red-trouser people decided then to open up with sustained machinegun fire. Crime. Disorder. Public nuisance. Emergency services. Road safety. Pandora’s box. This was the Middle England playbook, and if they’d stuck to it, they might have got somewhere.
But they got high on their own supply and became silly, saying, “With 11 to 12 hours’ drinking licences, drunks will camp overnight . . . increasing the potential for a major fire incident.”
Right. I see. So this 65-year-old reveller overdoes it on the noon balloons and the Whispering Angel, puts up a tent he’s somehow smuggled into the venue and then, using some of the kindling he’s brought from the wicker basket in his snug, gets a fire going, which, despite the constant rain that goes hand in hand with British summertime concerts, somehow turns into a major Australia-style inferno that completely engulfs three neighbouring villages and ruins the dark skies for miles.
It’s the most preposterous argument I’ve ever heard. There was, once, a fire at an outdoor gig. It was caused by a faulty light on the stage and was quickly extinguished using stamping and a blanket. No one was injured and Bruno Mars was back at the mike eight minutes later. So the fire argument doesn’t wash.
And I’m delighted to say the duke’s local authority saw it for the nonsense it was and gave the gigs the go-ahead. And before you write in saying, “How would you like it if your neighbour invited the Who to perform in his garden?”, I’d say: “I’d like it a lot. Especially if they bring some lasers and do 'Baba O’Riley'.”
I fear, however, that this is not the end of the story, because now “sustainable” has been balanced out by “traffic”, and “empowering” by “light pollution”, the red-trouser brigade is going to become increasingly desperate in its constant battle to keep Britain as it was in 1957.
Mr Sunak announced recently that planners will be encouraged to look favourably on rural schemes, but they’re going to be up against a tub-thumping army that will quickly recognise that the fire argument was a bit of an oxbow lake and will start to argue that the new housing estate for the low-income community will cause a plague of luminous locusts that will spoil the dark sky. Or that it will attract immigrants who all have ebola. And that your longed-for barn conversion is actually a Russian missile silo capable of turning all of Chipping Sodbury into a nuclear desert for the next 10,000 years.
The Driving website of the Sunday Times has also published a freely accessible interview with Clarkson, on his 30 years at the paper. It's part of a larger feature that also reproduces several old columns.
And here's the Sun column: "Three things bother us in the UK..."
Clarkson's columns are regularly collected as books. You can buy them from his boss or your local bookshop.
submitted by _Revelator_ to thegrandtour [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 00:39 Solidus345 2013 F150 - Starting system fault

Hello, I have a 2013 f150 platinum, this vehicle is a salvage title but for the past 30,000 miles since the work has been done it has run flawlessly. I mention this because considering it is an electrical issue, maybe it could be a loose connection.

I have the original key that I received from Copart, the truck registers one admin key in the menu (not sure what that means?)

I attempted to start it and I got nothing. The lights came on, the dash came on just like it always does, but no start. I had a reading of 9 volts on my battery, after changing the battery it still did the exact same thing. Weirdly enough, my key fob would only unlock and lock the doors if I took the back cover off and pushed the battery down with my thumb, it actually stopped doing that since this began even after replacing the fob battery. Before the key did stop working I could actually start my truck with the remote start function, however, once putting the key in and turning it over it would shut off and set the car alarm off. This makes me think its something to do with PATS but I would love some input before spending nearly $300 on a new key/programming.

Heres what ive tried so far:
New OEM motorcraft battery
New keyfob battery
Checking all the small fuses under the hood with a multimeter
Visibly checking all the larger square fuses
Noticed the previous owner did replace the fuel pump fuse, but it was fine and getting a good connection
Disconnected and reconnected the PCM connection on the passenger kick panel (seemed to be a common issue on the ford forum)
Tried a million times to start the car
I ordered a "refurbished" oem key through ebay, figured if it worked for $75 instead of $250 it'd be worth it, if I need to pay the $250 ill just buy it direct from the locksmith
Disconnected and reconnected the negative terminal a few times

One thing that's interesting is the car working with remote start, it makes me almost think the PATS sensor near the key is what's bad, I'm planning to pull and check that connection soon but I wanted to post this in hopes of getting some responses before the sun sets.
submitted by Solidus345 to MechanicAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 00:18 horchataxpapi Key fob battery

I got an alert about the key fob having low battery and I changed it but the light didn’t work and it didn’t want to work with the card did the mother board mess up or did I mess up the simple process of exchanging a battery
submitted by horchataxpapi to Honda [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 00:10 Ok-Cut4890 Budget: Pre-Tax $1200 USD, Purchasing in USA

submitted by Ok-Cut4890 to laptops [link] [comments]

2023.05.30 00:09 3DPrintguy8 I found something wrong with my 3D prints

Hello Nosleep!
I honestly just need someone to listen and not think I’m crazy. I also have other reasons for wanting this written in a form that I’m not able to later change, for reasons that will become apparent.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Alex, and I've been an active member of the 3D printing community for years. I've dabbled in various printing projects, from practical prototypes to detailed minifigs. I like to pretend I’ll use them for tabletop gaming, but if I’m honest, I rarely leave the house and don’t really have anyone to play with. Which is fine, I’m happy to be a homebody and have my little hobbies by myself at home. But recently, my 3D printing hobby has taken an… unexpected turn.
It all began a couple of months ago when I embarked on a new project—a 3D printed statue for my sister’s bathroom. Being a fan of Egyptian mythology, she wanted to incorporate an Egyptian theme, and asked if I could print a small egyptian statue for her. It had been a while since I used my printer, so it sounded like a fun project. However, I was having trouble finding a good free print on any of the usual sites, and I didn’t want to have to pay for a file. So I turned to a 3D printing search engine, Yeggi. That’s when I saw the Sebu statue for the first time. The site was in some kind of foreign language I didn’t speak, but the 3D model had an air of mystique yet simplicity that immediately drew me in, and I knew I had to print it. It was definitely egyptian looking, would be a simple print with few supports, and it was free. Perfect.
It had been a while since I used my printer, so I went through the usual process of re-leveling the bed, cleaning out the old filament (apparently the last time I printed I was trying out some flexible filament… no wonder I stopped printing!) and swapping in some bronze metallic filament. Usually I just print in white PLA, then prime and paint, but I wanted to try a nicer-looking plastic since this was a gift, after all. Plus I’m guessing it would eventually get wet, or work its way into my niece’s sandbox, so better a solid color than paint that would get rubbed off. Plus the statue was a really simple one, so a single color would be fine.
I sliced the file, saved it to my SD card, and started up the printer. The layers of filament slowly built up, taking shape as the Sebu statue emerged. It honestly looked amazing, I couldn't wait to see it on display in my sister’s Egyptian-themed bathroom, she was going to be blown away. Looking back, that was probably the last time I felt really, really good about anything to do with the statue. By comparison, everything now seems… cloudy? Probably best I give examples.
First, getting the statue off the print bed was a hassle, which rarely happens with my glass bed. I ended up trying to use a razor blade to separate it without ruining either the print or the bed (it took over 24 hours to print!) and ended up slicing my hand pretty good, which was fairly shallow but did get blood everywhere. Luckily I must have loosened the print at least, because when I went to rinse the blood off of it in the sink, it immediately popped off the bed without any damage.
I still needed to clean up the brim, but felt uneasy about using a razor blade right away (my usual method for trimming my 3D prints). I still had several days before my weekly lunch with my sister, so there was no rush. That’s when my memory started getting kinda uneven. I couldn’t remember where I set the statue down after I put a band-aid on my hand. But not just that one time, it seemed like every time I put it down for a minute, I’d lose track of it. Then finding I’d put it in weird places. You know how you find your keys in the fridge and can’t remember putting them there, but have a vague sense that you must have? Imagine that, but every time you put your keys down you get distracted by the most random thing, then can’t find them. And it just keeps happening
Of course, that happened every time I saw my sister, so I could never give it to her. Finally, I decided to just print my sister another one. But for some reason, the print kept failing. I went back to basics, printing some test prints like Benchy and Moon City. Those came out relatively fine, but no matter how I tried, I could not get the Sebu file to print again. I’d end up with thermistor errors, spaghetti prints, and even once it somehow printed a completely different file (I must have selected the wrong one I guess). I must have been back in the 3D printing mood because it seemed like I had the printer going nonstop for weeks. In some ways I felt like I did when I first got my printer, churning out all kinds of useless things for the fun of it. Looking back though, I don’t remember it being much fun, more just stressful, like I needed to get a certain number of prints done. I went through almost all of my leftover filaments, not just from the new roll but most of my old stuff too. I even managed a flexible filament Benchy!
During this time the Sebu statue continued to be a source of confusion for me. I’d find I had left it on the kitchen counter or perched on a shelf in the living room. Its presence became more and more unnerving. I would find it in my bedroom, sitting on my nightstand as if watching me sleep (obviously I had just forgot that I set it down there before bed), or in the bathroom, staring at me while I brushed my teeth (where I clearly just put it down so I could wash my hands). Its uncanny ability to appear seemingly out of thin air really started creeping me out though. I finally started just carrying it around with me. It couldn’t pop up unexpectedly if it was in my hands, right? I didn’t take it in bed with me or anything of course, that would be weird, Lord Sebu wouldn’t like that. Bedtime was my one escape from the damned thing.
I did start to notice strange incidents happening when I was holding the statue. It started subtly—a flicker of lights, objects slightly shifting position in my periphery. I’d find other 3D prints had moved from the big box I stored them in. However, I chalked it up to my niece playing with them and leaving them laying around.
I first started accepting that something unexplainable was happening when I began finding prints I had no memory of printing. Weird little articulated dolls and strange creatures. It didn’t make any sense, so I started a log of everything I printed. And yes, I checked the batteries in my carbon monoxide detector.
The most distressing incident involved a family heirloom—a precious dreamcatcher that had been passed down through generations. It hung above my bed, one of the only things I had to remember my Grandfather. Just a few days ago, I noticed it was missing from the wall. I found it under the bed, partially destroyed, as if some unseen force had torn through its delicate webbing and knocked it to the ground. Apparently I had also dropped a few prints down there, as they were lying on the dreamcatcher. Lord Sebu was also under the bed, watching. The dreamcatcher was given to me by my grandfather just a few weeks before he passed, when I was very young. I’d been having typical childish nightmares, and my parents were at their wits end as my sister was a newborn at the time and they were already getting very little sleep. It had been hanging on the wall of his living room for probably decades, but he brought it over to give to me. My parents say that ever since the night he brought it over, I never woke them up with nightmares again. It’s been on the wall of my bedroom ever since, even when I was in college. Its destruction left me with an overwhelming sense of loss and vulnerability.
Shortly after that was the bathroom incident. Some pills in my medicine cabinet had switched containers. It may sound insignificant, but it could have had potentially dangerous consequences if I hadn't noticed the mix-up. I’m not even religious, let alone superstitious. But that’s when I couldn’t ignore or rationalize it anymore, and really started taking things seriously. But try telling your GP that you’re worried you’re being… haunted? Luckily my sister is a NP, so I brought it up during our weekly lunch. She insisted it must be a result of stress and not getting enough sleep. That made sense, things didn’t really seem THAT bad until the dreamcatcher broke, and I’ve not slept well since then either. That kind of interruption to routine could easily have an impact on my mental health.
Sleeping pills were a lot easier to swallow (ha!) than beliefs in any kind of supernatural activity. So drugs to the rescue! She also promised to see what she could do about fixing the dreamcatcher for me, she’s pretty crafty (as her extremely well-decorated house will attest). The next day she came over and did a dang good job of mending it, and having it back on my wall plus some melatonin seemed to do the trick, I got a good night’s sleep again!
Things did seem a lot better when I was well-rested. But I was still feeling a little unsettled, and decided to start keeping a journal, especially since I kept misplacing my list of prints. Around that time I also noticed that some of my benchies were printing oddly. Instead of the little ‘3DBenchy’ text on the back, there was just a strange capital D with some lines coming off of it. I tried again, and got the same thing. This time the bottom also had the D, except it was turned on its side with a line coming from it, like a little umbrella with two handles? My best guess is some hacker figured out a virus to print their tag on everything coming out of a 3D printer?
I asked around on 3DPrinting but nobody had ever heard of such a thing. Adding to the growing list of peculiarities, I found myself unable to locate the original source file for the Sebu statue on my computer. It had vanished without a trace.
But the strangeness didn't stop at physical anomalies. I also noticed discrepancies in my handwritten journal, which I’ve been using to document my 3D printing projects, ideas, and experiences. Pages went missing, and others appeared to have been altered or written without my recollection. It was as if someone—or something—was tampering with my thoughts and memories.
The once-solid anchor of my journal is now a source of confusion and doubt. I needed a written record that I had no ability to change or destroy. That’s when I remembered reddit. Even if someone or something changes my reddit posts, there are multiple archive services I could use to go back and determine what the original contents were. So I started posting.
Unfortunately, when I tried to share my experiences on 3DPrinting, my posts were swiftly removed for being off-topic. I understand the mods’ position, but I needed answers and this all had started with 3Dprinting, right? Luckily, one user did manage to reply to one of my posts before it was deleted, and recommended a different subreddit—one that embraces the strange and unexplained: Nosleep. I’d never heard of it, and my first reaction was ‘that sounds like the opposite of what I want’. But it does appear you guys are more accepting of these kinds of posts. Perhaps some of you had encountered similar phenomena? Maybe you have theories or experiences that could shed light on my predicament. At the very least, I can post my experiences here and they won’t be changed. I can’t seem to log in to my old account either, but I think a fresh start with a fresh account is a good idea anyway.
So here I am, reaching out to you, those familiar. I need your help to understand what's happening. Have any of you experienced similar occurrences after printing certain objects? Is there a logical explanation I’m missing? I just want things to go back to normal.
EDIT: Here's a picture of the Benchy showing the symbol.
submitted by 3DPrintguy8 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 23:47 horchataxpapi Keg fob battery

I got an alert about the key fob having low battery and I changed it but the light didn’t work and it didn’t want to work with the card did the mother board mess up or did I mess up the simple process of exchanging a battery
submitted by horchataxpapi to hondacivic [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 23:20 Maxson52 Student laptop for engineering >CAD$1200 (Canada)

submitted by Maxson52 to SuggestALaptop [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:49 Carrie_Boo PLEASE HELP ME!! I think I'm being stalked by something nonhuman...

It all started 3 days ago, I think, though it could be longer. This thing could've been watching me for ages before then, I just probably didn't know. Oh gosh, where do I start? I just need help! I know it's coming. It comes every night.
I'm going to start from the beginning. It was Friday evening, about 9pm and I was making my way back to my log cabin after a busy day of teaching thirty teenagers how to build a raft. I work at a Summer Camp through the holidays to help me pay for Uni. I remember there being a really eerie atmosphere. The trees surrounding my cabin were casting other-worldly shadows all around me as I walked up to my front door. There were weird noises coming from the bushes and from further into the forest. It just seemed...strange. But it was kind of easy to shrug this off as my over-active imagination as I had been here for over 3 months and not one thing had happened. Tonight was different though.
As I searched through the keys on my fob to find the right one, I caught something in my peripheral. Something strange. Something that moved so quickly, too quickly to be a human, yet having the same distinctive shape of a large man. I stood there, paralysed to the spot staring in the direction of 'the thing', waiting for more movement or a noise or anything. I seemed to be standing for an eternity, just waiting, listening, hoping that nothing else would happen.
After a while, I began to fumble with my keys and the metal clanking pulled me from the almost hypnotic state. I found the right key and quickly entered the cabin and double locked it before taking my first breath in what seemed like a very long time.
It took a lot longer to shrug this fear off. I know humans can't move as quickly as that 'thing' did, and I'm damn sure that there's no animals out there that can move like lightning and look like a 6'6'' man. I mean, I live in the UK. The scariest animal here is a badger! But, as time passed, I was eventually able to jump in the bath and relax, allowing the distant thought to flow further away.
It was around 10pm that the fear came flooding back even more intense than before.
I was just getting out of the bath when I heard a noise from down the hall. It sounded like a metal rubbing against metal with a slight squeak, slowly and quietly.
I froze.
The sound continued as I wrapped a towel around me and nervously approached the bathroom door. Then it stopped. The instant relief of the quiet and empty hallway calmed me as I peered around the door frame.
Man, I'm edgy tonight. I've gotta chill out.
I slowly made my way down the hall in search of what the noise could've been. After a few minutes of cursing myself for insisting that I didn't want a room mate in the cabin and for paying the extra fee to have solitary boarding, I realised that there was only one thing that would make that noise.
The front door handle.
I stepped backwards in realization that someone or something had tried to get in my lodge. An overwhelming urge to run overcame me.
Run where? How? It means I have to go outside and I'm safe in here. Am I?
I walked backwards to my bedroom and jumped on to my bed. I tried to calm myself by insisting that the teenagers were playing tricks on me, but I knew these children were all in bed by now and they weren't your average college type students. These were gifted and well-mannered young boys who were probably tucked up in bed right now listening to David Attenborough audiobooks. Rationalising did however get the better of me after a good half hour of slow breathing and the lack of any other noises.
Somehow that night, I managed to get some sleep because day light soon broke through the gap in my curtains and reminded me that I was safe in the light.
The second instance happened the next evening. This was Saturday night and I was invited to a Staff Camp event after sundown. By now I was dismissing everything that had happened the night before as me just being a scaredy cat and imagining things. It's so easy to do that in the day. As night came, though, I still felt a little uneasy about walking through the woods to the clearing where the campfire had been set up.
As we were celebrating only one week left till the end of Summer Camp, I knew there would be drinking and stuff, so I thought a pre-drink in my cabin would set me on the right path and would also reduce my anxiety about walking to the clearing. It worked.
As I got dressed into my bikini, I stared at myself in the mirror. I really had blossomed into a beautiful young woman. Long brown hair with a slight curl to it, big blue eyes...
Ha! No wonder the thing wants me. I'm kinda cute!
I looked at the clock on my bedside table. 10pm. Oh crap, I'm gonna be late! I twirled around and threw an overdress on, before giggling as I slightly stumbled over to the door.
It was then that I saw it.
It was huge. Around 7" tall with long limbs and a long pale face. It had huge eyes that bore a hole through me as it stood at my open front door, watching me.
I screamed and fell back onto the floor in my haste to get away. Then I froze.
I don't think I even breathed as I watched it come closer, almost gliding down the hallway towards me. A putrid smell filled the air as I tried to move my arms to crawl backwards, but couldn't move a muscle. As it came closer, it reached out an arm towards my outstretched leg and traced a line up my shin with its devilishly long finger nails. I tried to scream but no noise escaped my mouth...I couldn't move or react at all.
It's hand moved slowly up my leg till it reached the inside of my thigh. I could hear it breathing deeply, gurgling...was it sneering?
With all my might, I pushed against the floor below me and managed to crawl backwards to the safety of my bedroom, where I frantically searched for something that I could use as a weapon against this freak. I had always thought that I should keep a knife with me in my bedside drawer, however I've never really anticipated that I would need it. Not until tonight anyway.
I quickly scanned the bedroom again. A hairbrush? A hairdryer?
Yeah that's right Carrie, Blow dry it to death...
Panic overcame me and I started to feel the air feeling lighter than it had been before. Everything around me started to turn into black and white splodges and then I passed out.
After I came around, an immediate panic rushed through me. I jumped up and ran towards the hallway, peering out around the frame of my bedroom door.
Had I imagined it?
Everything was in its right place. The front door was still double locked. The hallway was empty. The dull glow from the lamp in the lounge area illuminated the normalness of the cabin. An empty bottle of chardonnay stood beside an empty glass on the hallway desk and I started to feel silly. I don't know if I really believed that I had imagined it, or if it was just easier to think that way, but I somehow convinced myself that alcohol and having the heeby jeebies had made me become an award winning creative director for my imagination.
I didn't go to the campfire that night. I went to sleep. Wine always help induce an easy slumber.
So that brings me to yesterday. Now you may be thinking that I'm either making this up, or that I truly believe it happened but that I was imagining it. But I swear, what happened yesterday will prove that this 'thing' is real. I even have the scars to prove it.
It was raining yesterday and I was so disappointed as it was my day off from teaching the teens. I was hoping to go sunbathing down by the lake, relax and probably read a certain Peter Benchley novel whilst listening to the ripples of the water breaking on the shoreline. I was gutted.
Instead, I thought I'd make the most of the day and watch a couple of films before getting an early night. The idea of going to bed while it was still light outside was very appealing to me, after the weirdness of the past few nights.
As the evening came, I was thoroughly relaxed and eager to get into my fresh sheets and drift off. I had opted for comedies earlier, so I was still giggling to myself about Tucker running away from the wasp nest with a chainsaw like Leatherface when I drifted off into unconsciousness.
I woke with a start. I could feel someone watching me. I was facing away from the window, however I felt such an intense feeling that there was danger on the other side of it. I slowly turned my head and my heart jumped into my throat. The pale faced thing was staring through the gap in my curtains. It's black eyes locked onto mine as mist appeared on the glass from it's heavy breathing.
For the longest moment, I couldn't move. Realisation that the night before was real hit me, along with the terrifying awareness that it was back. I pulled the covers up around me and shouted...
The face disappeared, leaving only the mist on the glass which was shrinking by the second.
I jumped out of my bed and ran towards the front door to check that it was locked. As soon as I reached it, I heard the shattering of glass from my bedroom. I froze and tried to think of what I could do. What I should do. Knowing that the 'thing' was probably in my bedroom, I raced to grab my keys and tried desperately to unlock the door, however my body stiffened as I felt warm breath on my back and heard the throaty gurgles of something that was inches away behind me.
A desperate plea escaped my mouth as tears dropped silently down my cheeks. I didn't dare turn around as I felt a cold sharp fingernail scrape down my back, tearing my silk nightdress and cutting into my skin. I held my breath as it trailed down my spine and then stopped. As my nightdress parted and fell to the floor, I slowly turned my head to the side to plead again for the nightmare to stop, but a cold blunt object pushed my head against the wooden door, preventing me from turning.
It felt like hours that I was stood there, crying and trembling, almost wishing for death over what could have been about to happen to me. But as quickly as the 'thing' had appeared, it had disappeared , and I found myself wondering if it had gone much earlier than my fear had allowed me to recognise.
This takes us to now. Its 9pm and in desperation I thought I could get some advice from you here on Reddit. I can't tell my colleagues here as they will think that I've lost my mind. Hell, I even think I have! In the day I'm completely normal. It seems silly and I make excuses for it. I almost told a friend earlier, but they told me to lay off the drink.
I just know that it comes every night around 10pm, which means that I have about an hour left before it may or may not come,
I'm scared. What should I do?
submitted by Carrie_Boo to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:45 potentialbench4 Shopping for SUV type cars. What are the differences between the popular ones?

Here are the ones I'm considering in no order (feel free to recommend any):
Just want a decent size infotainment screen, modern design, leg room, and many quality features (driver assist and camera). Any recommendations? Can be off the list as well. What are the main differences between the options mentioned? Budget is ~$40k.
submitted by potentialbench4 to askcarguys [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:44 potentialbench4 Shopping for SUV type cars. What are the differences between the popular ones?

Here are the ones I'm considering in no order (feel free to recommend any):
Just want a decent size infotainment screen, modern design, leg room, and many quality features (driver assist and camera). Any recommendations? Can be off the list as well. What are the main differences between the options mentioned? Budget is ~$40k.
submitted by potentialbench4 to askcarsales [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 21:29 AlienNationSSB #Alien-Nation Chapter 168: Now or Never

Alien-Nation Chapter 168: Now or Never

All Chapters First Chapter of Alien-Nation Previous Chapter
Chapter summary: Elias wanders the grounds inspecting everything he can, has a fatheson moment with Larry then sends Vaughn to go try and spring people from jail.
It had been easy for me to see during the speech I'd given roughly how many had already arrived up the narrow pass, and as I stood from inspecting a firing port in a trench, testing whether the old cast iron cannon would roll back far enough on its rails after firing.
I gave it a pass after measuring against a rod. Certainly it was far from the highest of technologies at our disposal, but certainly it would be either lethal, injurious, or at the very least, extremely loud. The gathered mishmashed array of weaponry pointing outward was impressive enough, but the real piece de resistance was the sheer number of railguns we'd had returned to us, frequently carried by a two man team. I signed off on it for final inspection, noting the plug in place over the end, and went to the railgun positioned further down the trench near the intersection.
This was one I recognized. This shared at least something in common to the cannon, insofar as it was far from the latest model at our disposal. I spotted some of my own extremely crude handiwork, a far more rough set of welds performed along the plate's protective, unsanded metal edges. Mister Singer, if he were ever presented with it, may have recognized the shoddy, unstable hand that welded together some of the protective casing. The service flap told me the model without needing to even open it, the household door frame hinges pulled from Verns' stock of spare parts bin, before we implemented something even so basic as refined latches with catch points.
That had to make this a Mk. II. Sentimentality had no place on the front lines. I sucked in a breath at the sight of another old muzzle-loader being carried into the workshop for upgrades, already laid out on the timber worktable and ready for use and sucked in a breath.
I just hoped the earliest design of managing power flow wouldn't give out from the faster firing. Complex but beautifully arrayed piping had given way to simpler, more streamlined designs as we incorporated a greater number of readily available alien parts. Some of which we were supplied an initial batch of in the bag with the blueprints, and then we were told how to work free those same parts from various broken pieces of technology we'd reclaimed off the Shil'vati, or even the freely given away omni-pads. With every iteration we demonstrated a degree of adaptation to using the parts we had available, and each generation marked a leap forward in our own understanding of Shil'vati technology, courtesy of G-Man and his father's handiwork.
The final barrels of the extremely limited run of the second batch we'd paid handsomely for were marked 'present,' too. They had gone the least far afield, with one already slagging itself during the attack on the data center. I frowned at the spreadsheet, as if my impression of it might cause their fate to improve.
The latest blueprints could maintain a decent rate of fire without burning out its power management system located in the welded together case. Or, rather, the barrel gave out first. For the first time, perhaps as a result of being coupled with the magazines and a relatively rapid-fire exchange meant the neosteel barrels we received had finally become the weak point in the design.
It was only after we'd returned to Camp Death that I'd noticed the difference.
The new batch we'd paid dearly for seemed somewhat altered from the first batch we'd been building all the others out of, made from an alloyed material that shone somewhat dimmer under the sun as George and I worked in the shed elbow-to-elbow, though the contrast was not immediately obvious until one held the two against each other. It was slightly thicker, too, all of which to me indicated a change in supply in some manner, but our supplier had hardly announced themselves to Sam.
This was a troubling puzzle to me. I still couldn't be sure it was the new microbatch of barrels alloys being far from equal to the originals we'd finally finished building out? Or was it the expanded magazines and power couplings' ability to fire faster creating an overall volume of fire that overheated the barrel from overuse? Or was the power management design faulty, generating more heat per shot? Were we misusing them?
I measured the barrel of the Mk. II, just to be sure the shelf life of the barrel hadn't come due. So far, inspections of the original batch of barrels had mercifully indicated they'd all been brought back here were in comparatively great shape, with this one being no exception. That lent me some comfort that these new barrels were just not up to the task of heavy, sustained fire. I couldn't know that for certain, and an unreliable weapon was cause for anxiety.
Indeed, there was almost no wear on this version at all, disproving the worst case scenario that these were only good for a certain number of rounds before they'd be worn down to uselessness. Certainly, they'd eventually give out, but it seemed we were still far off from that point.
"Sir?" Asked the gunner, staring at me.
I stared at him, then down at the spreadsheet. "This thing fires three rounds a minute. Do you think that rate of fire is sufficient?"
I could tell he wasn't sure whether a 'no' would have him replaced with someone professing to be more accurate.
"Get it upgraded." I took the white gel pen and scribbled on it- make ready for an upgrade as soon as the final repaired railgun clears the shed. Assigned to casemate #4, Operator... "Call sign?"
"Brut," he answered.
"Brut...with the Umlaut?" He gave a thumbs up and I added them. Costing nothing but a drop of gel ink for a little personalization if it made for a happy gunner was a good investment. "Use it well. Get it upgraded if there's time, keep an eye on the work shed. Once the repairs stop, you can take this to the front of the line, Brüt."
There was no point dismantling all our old ones and creating a backlog while some still needed repairs. I wrote on the hatch Upgrade from Mk. II to Mk. IV. That would give it a magazine and more than triple its firing rate. Anything more than that, I quietly held my doubts for the feasibility of upgrading in a timely manner. The Mark V's took too much time and effort to build their complex power management systems for not enough gain, stuffed too tightly into the protective case to be completed quickly. The Mark VI's tended to overheat their crude fire control circuitry, the consequence of an overcorrection back to simplicity; they could maintain a high fire rate, but were too delicate. The VII's were the ones with the new barrel. Promising, but those barrel faults...I still worried it might have been the power management system.
We'd started considering adding water tanks to help maintain them, but it brought the weight higher than that of a Mk. I, and successfully swapping a boiling hot tank off a delicate, electronically-loaded railgun in combat seemed like a very questionable use of the time. We'd just have to ask the crews manning the railguns to be a bit judicious in our fire, and hope that the flaw was limited to the new little batch of barrels.
How many rounds, exactly, and exactly how fast was yet to be determined; we hadn't conducted the amount of testing a proper military might carry out, but while we had no shortage to man, we also did not have so many as to test dozens until their point of failure, weighing and comparing all their possible conditions.
All this uncertainty kept bouncing around my head. How many troops did we have here? How many rounds for every type of rifle, including the more exotic variants? How reliant on them were we to deal damage, and was it all stored somewhat safely? On the less direct side of things, how many tons of food did we have stored, and was it distributed well? How many thousands of gallons of water could we draw? How many pounds of soap to wash utensils, cups, wounds, and shower with? How many pounds of food over how many men, to last how many days? If it rained, some of these might be alleviated, and yet might kick off a whole host of other issues. There was no way of knowing, no way of taking a perfect stock. But I could estimate.
We had a lot of people. And a lot of guns. And a lot of defenses, and literally countless tons of high explosives, triggered by various means and methods. And we were mad as hell. While exactly how mad was less concrete a figure, I knew this many men away from home could end poorly.
Ultimately, whether it was the fault of the new barrel or the design had finally reached the limitations of its potential rate of fire without causing other issues, I couldn't say for certain. So I had to do my best.
I gave the railgun a clean bill of health to operate if needed, 'priority upgrade,' and noted the rate of fire for the defensive position at 'three a minute.' This one being one of our oldest models, I left it to the operator with my blessings, and made a mental note to add the next railgun we had to be stationed nearby, just so that we weren't under strength from that angle.
I craned my neck from the trench to behold even more insurgents trickling into the old clearing. The arrivals always came in ones-and-twos, their body language telling me the story of the journey it had taken to get here. They'd had to have abandoned their vehicles to the traffic-snarled roads almost certainly some miles away unless they knew the path George and I would occasionally take;.
Those who brought their own heavy weapons lay them down at their feet before collapsing. Water and food was distributed, though I couldn't speak to the quality, and a trash run would have to be made, tossing the empty tins into ammunition containers.
Of all the newcomers who had yet to be organized into place, I counted two mortars, several more volunteers grouping up to retrieve ammo after taking down descriptions of the vehicles from their exhausted owners and sprinting back out into the night to fetch whatever had been left behind.
The resourcefulness lifted my spirits. No one entertained the notion that these men were taking their leave to flee a certain doom. All present felt some degree of faith, understood who they were, why they were here, and what we were setting out to accomplish. Cells worked to find one another in the darkness, congealing themselves into a more coherent, practiced fighting force by virtue of familiarity with one another. Discipline was sharp and needed little enforcement past an initial reminder. No flashlights switched on inside the premises or campfires were lit despite the encroaching edges of the cold front. Insurgents were guided to whatever defensive positions, pillboxes, trenches, battlements, or bunkers still sat empty, depending somewhat on their expected role after detailing their skills to sentries or those otherwise familiar with the camp carefully explaining sight lines and our overall defensive strategy.
Whispered word overheard from those arrivals seemed to indicate a mixture of panic and outrage was fast spreading through the state's populace, carrying them on frightened wings as they took flight in the night, from here to the southernmost beaches and bays. It seemed word had gotten out successfully, then. That knocked down one more obstacle to our success, or at least set the pieces in place. Soon, all that would remain would be the ugly business of following through, and hoping, no praying that I hadn't massively miscalculated in my hubris.
I took the ramp out of the trench so they could pour some loose gravel into it, helping ensure that if those threatening looking storm clouds opened and if the drains clogged, we still would have some footing, and retired to the command cabin, eyeing how empty it felt with all the finished products being set into defensive arrangements; only the workshop still retained all its rather explosive concoctions.
The manpower situation was such that those familiar in reliably manufacturing complex bombs were spending their time setting up defenses in the fields beyond and settling in our new arrivals.
And then I had the couple hostages, weakened by months of captivity, restrained and kept under guard, but still sitting right on top of the half-done armaments.
I told myself that we had taken precautions- the most reactive sets separated by a thin membranous bag of water to prevent chain reactions from taking root and a few emergency containment systems, but they relied on someone present. I'd need all hands on deck- and what if a direct lance of energy landed from some heavy weapon hit the shed, perhaps to try and make a point? No mere bag of water would make a difference then.
Then again, if they brought that king of weaponry to bear, then the outcome would be certain. The Shil'vati would still lose their hostages, and have tacitly admitted I'd forced their hand, and that they'd declared we were enough of a threat to sacrifice noblewomen just to put a stop to.
I hunched over a smaller map in the command cabin, pinning down the garrisons and jails Verns might be held in. Perhaps I'd been premature in my assessment in lacking a future need of a good map when I'd jumped atop the table for my little motivational speech. I'd gotten caught up in the moment; I hadn't foreseen the need for an offensive element.
I was sorely missing my Lieutenants. Vendetta wasn't here, which was one of the greater anxieties weighing on my shoulders.
The one word I'd whispered in his ear all that time ago to bring him around to believing I did, in fact, have a plan: Victory. He should be here already.
He'd sprinted off across the field in glee back when I told him of this plan's possibility, that "Plan C" might come about due to a few cells going dark and my suspicion that it wasn't moles. The null hypothesis, that there were in fact moles, had put him in direct danger by sending him to double-check.
I cursed my blindness. My eagerness to take a night off, to get him out of the way so he wouldn't clash with the others, so I could be a 'normal boy' for a night and attend a party- one I wouldn't be kicked out of, To find social acceptance.
All part of a 'coming of age,' even after I'd already spilt blood, led a war campaign effort, kissed, earned more money than most would see in a lifetime, and mentally cut ties with my family. By almost any account, I already was a man, yet I'd gotten obsessive in imitating the modern trappings of defining such things. I should have seen the cells reporting members' absences and even going dark as a whole for what it was. I could have called off Town Hall, started assembling even more people here.
Then again, if I had, then perhaps...the shil'vati might not have started grabbing everyone. I hated to think of Verns as 'sacrificial.' They likely didn't have much on him, just a neighbor's report. Then again, we'd had that meeting right after the bar fight at Lucky's, right? How thoroughly had George cleared out his house, if they went back to rummage around and investigate? How well could George cover his tracks? We'd left that ammo crate in the hallway, for starters- clumsy of us, yet we were in a panic. Like children. I tensed as I remembered so vividly the sudden sharp report of the gun, watched Patrick's empty eyes stare up. But not children.
There was nothing I could do for Vendetta. We'd sent the Bat Signal out. Either he'd be here, or he'd miss it.
I weighed the value of sending George away once he got here. The order would certainly annoy him after he'd just arrived, something of an arduous task given how far backed up the traffic had become. I also knew it meant I'd have one fewer lieutenant here, where I desperately needed him. I could hardly ask him to burn down the childhood home, and it would certainly reek of hiding evidence.
"Sir," A sentry stood in the door frame, and I stretched from where my muscles had tensed up, pulling my shoulders back and yawning silently beneath my mask, lumbering toward him.
I didn't realize how tall I'd gotten until I realized he was staring up at me and had taken a half-step backwards- not to make way so I could lead from the door, either, but almost defensively.
"Yes, what is it?" I asked, stopping in place.
"We've received a message for you, sir. Radio is reporting that a 'Hex' has checked in from her position. She and Binary report 'Green as Grass,' sir."
I wasn't used to being called 'sir,' and it caught me off guard. I realized he was standing there, waiting for a response from me of some sort, too.
What should I say for him to send back to Hex? I momentarily remembered the sensation of the kiss, the warm, slightly wet softness, the tenderness, and felt a bit of a blush under my mask. While every instinct screamed at me to not air even a hint of my romances or inner turmoil about a kiss over the unencrypted connection, there was a level of 'not talking about it' that I was unfamiliar with and hadn't planned for. Could my message back be coded into something subtle? Nothing came to mind.
"G-good," I finally stuttered a little awkwardly. "That's very good."
"What does it mean, sir?"
I pushed the distractions out of my head. This was no time to be thinking about girls- and my mind stubbornly disobeyed, wandering right back to Natalie. At first to the hug she'd offered me, when I was scared. Frightened of the mind-wiper device. That tenderness she'd offered- I pushed the memory from my mind, too. This wasn't the time to fantasize, either. I had to live in the world that was before me, here in the present. People were relying on me. I could figure out all that other stuff- girls, hope, my future- sometime later.
"It means the operation can proceed as planned."
If the Twins stopped reporting or got caught with the hostages, then we'd have a lot less leverage stopping Azraea from blowing us all sky high. A couple noblewomen- who I wasn't terribly familiar with and seemed to be somewhat less important, provided they were truthful to me of their station. This unfortunate pair had relied on connections to already-stationed family members to arrive, rather than on their raw political power to muscle their way to Earth's then-closely guarded secret coordinates, and were present only for evidence of said hostages' presence.
"Sir, beg your pardon," I could sense something bubbling under his words, against his better judgment, but some sense of desperation demanded he ask me this anyways. "But what is the operation? I've been manning the airwaves with Radio, helping spread word, but everyone I make contact with seems to want to know."
"I don't see the wisdom in broadcasting the finer details of our plan, I'm sure you understand."
I sensed the inner conflict by the way he froze up. He wanted to object, probably, to swear he wouldn't leak more than the minimum. The problem was, anyone listening for long might take a morsel here, a morsel there, and bring it all together and undo us.
"You have all you're meant to have at this point, frustrating though that must be to try and inform others of the going-ons. Our objective is right before us. When the time comes and the enemy appears, blast them." I didn't want to say there isn't much else to plan. At least, not for them to consider.
"And you, sir?"
"I'll be right here, alongside you," I promised. That seemed to ease some of his pressing curiosity, at least. "We'll be here together, to watch the birth of a miracle." That, or we'd die together. Those words didn't quite have the same catchy ring, though.
I looked over my shoulder back at the map. What more good could be wrought over pondering what jail he might be in, without more details?
"Another matter. Hex said G-Man should arrive in a few minutes."
"Thank you. Anything else to report?"
"No sir, the shortwave beckons." They gave a hand-on-heart and stepped out, leaving the doorframe empty.
I told myself I may as well follow. There was no good to come of disappearing into a tent, secluded for long periods, not when anxiety might run through the gathered troops. I had to make myself seen at least periodically. Besides, it was easier to get a more complete picture from out here than in there.
Radio looked like a one-man-band by the way he was surrounded by boxy electronics of varying sizes, their glows dimmed slightly by thin pieces of fabric taped over the tiny glowing screens, and the trap stretched over his head. Wires snaked their way along the ground, a trooper trying to lay the cable into a thin channel of dirt with a spade to reduce the tripping hazard.
Pierce crouched next to him with a laptop plugged into something wired together, the final outlet of which looked vaguely like an international travel inverter, her fingers flying across the trackpad.
"Radio, how are we?"
"We've made lots of contact, I think. So much traffic on the airwaves it's actually hard to find a clear channel to broadcast on."
"Do they have our encryption keys?" I asked, the question almost automatic.
"No, having one kind of defeats the purpose of being heard and getting the signal out. Besides, encrypting's probably easy for the Shil'vati to crack. Less easy for human intelligence agencies, but impossible for the people who we want to hear us."
I already knew most of this, but humoured him. Little entertained radio quite like his namesake.
"What's our chance of discovery, then? Rough time to them figuring out it's us here, and finding the signal's origin."
"At least with a somewhat uncountable number of HAM signals being thrown across the airwaves, we are a really big needle in a gigantic haystack. Besides, how many times have we actually been where we're broadcasting from?"
That was a point I hadn't considered.
The Shil'vati would likely regard our signal as just a relay point, rather than the source, let alone the destination.
Would they strike it just to silence the orders, once they figured out how many of them were originating from the same point?
I comforted myself by staring upstream of the creek that wandered to the south of Camp Death, following its course with my eyes to where it flowed under the concrete tunnels under the highway, under the train tracks, to where it ultimately ran back to where Radio and I had visited Saint Michael's. Then I turned my head back across the field, toward where the foundation of Mojo and Mister Pasta's had been, where Vaughn had called in the kill team on the Fed's sting operation,
We'd certainly set up plenty of remote broadcast towers before, to entice them into launching strikes on collaborationists. That Saint Michael's was still standing after we'd broadcast all kinds of propaganda from there meant they'd almost certainly learned to be a bit more cautious about lashing out blindly.
In the darkness I saw a familiar figure materialize, and with a bit of relief, I ran up to greet Larry. I wanted to give the old mechanic a hug, but knew that expressions of intimacy while standing near the middle of the camp's defensive perimeter in front of everyone was more than a bit inappropriate, and settled for a nod of acknowledgment.
"I cleaned up the mess at Jules place," he said, going back to referring to his friend by their code name, glancing at Pierce.
I felt a moment of shame. We'd panicked and grabbed everything. Perhaps we were like children after all, leaving our toys out and in the hall. "Thank you."
"Saw Patrick."
"Patrick saw," I said back. "Patrick- called."
Whatever Larry was about to say, that brought him up short. "Oh. Oh." The words seemed to leave him pained. He'd known Patrick, too, and I felt the weight of guilt. It seemed he moved on faster than I could, because he changed the topic quickly.
"What's up?" He gestured at the radio setup.
Pierce seemed to be quite engrossed in her work, trying to connect the laptop to a radio via a USB cable, fumbling with the port in the dark. The laptop's screen was showing a shaky handheld video of a mass arrest- and I thought I could hear my own voice echoing the words I'd spoken just a short while ago.
"Just uploading the speech. I've spliced it up to some footage that one of the newcomers brought. We'll also be exporting raw versions of both- just the audio, the video, make sure people have the record and can decide for themselves."
Sometimes the truth was the best propaganda.
"How are you getting video out? I thought the internet was down."
Radio held a hand up, and then put it down, as if I'd been a teacher asking a question and he'd been chasing extra credit. The next few sentences were practically a foreign language to me, uttering a series of numbers in rapid succession, followed by what sounded like a name. That may've been a model, an edition of a model, a make, a special form of broadcasting- all of it may well have been bounced off the ionosphere for how far it went over my head. I wasn't used to being so completely out of my depth, but everyone seems to have specialized in some skill or another. I'd preferred getting involved in all aspects of the revolution, but at a certain point delegation was a necessity, and I was watching not just the task's needs, but also the capabilities of my lieutenants grow well past my ability to offer useful insight and guidance.
"I...see." I didn't, but I wasn't sure what else to say. I wanted to express curiosity, but I felt like this new capability was something we'd discuss later, if there was a later. "And people can receive high definition video over shortwave? It just takes a long time?"
It seemed to me to be an apparently somewhat technical process to perform over shortwave, and only when finally pressed for details, Radio at last admitted something I did understand: "I am not sure most people know how to collect the signal, or have the right equipment to, but I'm sure someone will, Maybe that person will redistribute the videos."
There. Actionable, useful information.
"Then continue," I said. "At least unless anything more pressing jumps up to do."
"Let's hope it's good for more than the history books," Pierce commented mildly.
"The world has to know, and I am certain the shil'vati have no interest in putting such footage out there. That's reason enough for us, isn't it?" I watched Radio nod and then scurry about the camp, tracing one of the wires toward the antenna array nearest the highway. I turned to Larry, breaking off from the amusing spectacle. "Do you remember my promise?" My question was genuine, but he seemed to waver slightly, now that the possibility of actually delivering on it was here and present. Perhaps the aura of our inner circle's invincibility had been shattered with the loss of his neighbors, and it would be best to set his mind to something productive. "If you want it to come true, see to it that the mortar teams are trained. Get the cannons in position, and make sure we're good for more than just one wave."
Larry snapped a salute, fingers on brow, and I clumsily approximated one in return, though I had never done a salute before in my life. I could sense the slight smile from behind his mask, and with a quick check over his shoulder that no one was watching, he reached out, straightened my palm out slightly, then brought the edge of my palm higher until it was a bit more level. "That's better," he judged, then leaving me alone once I dropped the hand a few seconds later.
George showed up a few minutes earlier than Hex had predicted, out of breath and escorted by a sentry. "Ditched the truck," he wheezed. "The huge bags of claymores and equipment were really heavy. Had to haul it under the interstate." His shoes shone with creekwater; He'd almost certainly taken the path Larry had forbade us from trying, and I couldn't imagine doing it in the pitch black darkness at any speed.
I motioned to the sentry. "Help him get that bag into the workshop." He was the best bomb maker, but he also had helped build this place. I wanted to pick his brain, but I would give him time to rest, first.
"Hey, Radio. Radio!" I heard the shortwave radio he'd set at the top squawk to life with a familiar grumble on the other end, distorted somewhat by the tinny speaker. I scooped it up. Someone with a vocoder- Radio gave those out sparingly.
"'E' here," I answered for him, but didn't want to announce myself. Not right away.
A moment's pause.
"What are your orders?"
"Vendetta?" I wanted to confirm.
"I'm here with over fifty people waiting at Warehouse Base for something to do," I knew the transmission would likely be monitored, but the time for subtlety was over. "You're on speakerphone, by the way."
The line was likely tapped, or at least would be intercepted, its contents determining priority for being passed upward or presented to someone with authority, possibly even Azraea herself.
Whatever orders I gave, they'd have to be in code, or at least sound like something unimportant, low-priority so that we might give him as much opportunity to get the drop on the enemy as he could be afforded.
"Don't bother trying to come here yet," I quickly supplied. "By now, if you're not on your way here, you have your own party to go to." I took a moment to survey the grounds. "We've practically got a full house. See about getting a house party of your own, though you'll have to pull the guests out of their own company. Or something to flank."
"Any idea where to start?"
The map fresh in my mind, I found the answer sprang to me.
"There's a rest stop along Route One. If you've got any party poppers, you can get them to open up to you like a can opener. You know, it's all about introducing yourself well."
I heard him laugh mirthlessly, the sound coming through like a cheese grater run over the asphalt.
"That one's a big bite, maybe more than we can chew without choking. Why don't we start with something smaller?"
I wanted to protest, to direct him to the biggest ones first. Then again, how much did they have on Verns? How likely was he to be somewhere heavily defended?
"What do you have in mind?"
"Well, right across the river from where the naughty girls all get sent. Why don't we start there? Every party needs a few ladies, right?" I could hear a roar of assent from the background.
I wasn't quite sure what he meant by that- was he going to try and attack the Shil'vati base? Surely not those women? He wasn't that insane. Then it clicked- the Women's Correctional Facility in Wilmington, just upstream of the Christina River from where he was broadcasting from at the old Warehouse Base. Easy to get to, certainly, and right near the interstate with pedestrian bridges and neighborhoods to scatter in after the strike made it an excellent candidate. Almost certain to succeed.
The strike wouldn't yield us Verns, though forcing the Shil'vati to admit that they couldn't both take and hold their prisoners at the same time might force them to at least pause rounding up ever more people.
If I gave it my blessing, I would be sacrificing any chance of rescuing Verns for...for what? The tradeoff strained my soul to even consider.
"If you feel that's best, you know your crowd. That said, they got Jules- we want him back." He'd helped build Camp Death. He knew its ins and outs, though my real reasons were somewhat sentimental. "Keep an eye out for Morningstar and a few other cells. I've little doubt they can party with the best of them." They were one of my heaviest hitters, routinely bragging they could go clay pigeon hunting with an unguided RPG, yet I was pretty sure I'd never rallied them to Camp Death- if they were to rally, Warehouse Base was where they'd be.
There was a moment of silence, until Vaughn reported back- "Yeah, they're here. They were going to move up to you once they got everyone together. Should we leave instructions for where to find us, or to find you?"
"Do it- supplies are overall good here. Lots of...uh, balloons, confetti..." I felt like I was stretching the analogy too far, so I gave up trying to equate weaponry to party paraphranelia. " know, the works. Take Morningstar and use 'em as you see best fit. What've you got for your party? Any good party supplies?" We certainly could make a trash run and see if we could also deliver them some RPGs at the same time.
"Got some Bump-n-Grinds, and you know those are always good for an up-close-and-personal encounter."
I laughed. "From what I read about bumping and grinding? The closer, the better." Their accuracy left a fair bit to be desired. Still, it would be a good, even vital carry just in case those dreaded Security Forces Technicals made an appearance, and would probably be 'good enough' against a stationary target like a wall, especially in the hands of a capable squadron like Talonstar.
"What time are you thinking?"
"I'd say as soon as we're all ready. You really overestimated how many people know where Camp Death is. A fair number showed up here, and are still trickling in."
"Enough to throw several parties at once?" I asked, suddenly hopeful.
"Well, I suppose, maybe, but I'd be wary of partygoers without someone in charge to, uh..." the metaphor seemed to be breaking down, but I got what he was going for.
"Yeah, I see."
"Are you thinking if there are too many noise complaints at once, it'll keep the party going longer?"
"That's part of it, but I'm hoping we might find a particular person we're missing, lost him when we were playing unexpected host. Someone of G-Man's, you'd know him as Jules. A divide and conquer might maximize our odds of finding him."
"Plus, maximize the number of partygoers we pick up as we move. I like it. A few small house parties for every big house. Any special orders?"
"None. K.I.S.S. principle applies. Good, bad, I want it all out on the streets. 'KISS' 'em until they can't see straight." Keep It Simple, Stupid.
"You're certain?" I could hear the hesitancy in his voice. "This is going to be the greatest thing we've ever done, and I want to be by your side for it 'til the end. I don't want any last-minute cancellations, and I sure as hell don't wanna miss it. How long should I party?"
We'd be letting absolute chaos loose. Fire. Looting. The worst of humanity, turned loose, with Vaughn potentially at its head if he decided to recruit for some reason. Could I still claim to be the good guy if I turned those kinds of people free to wreak havoc on the state I claimed whose denizens I was protecting?
Blackstone's Ratio holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer. It would still hold me no less accountable for whatever followed from this mass prison break, though.
I looked over to the recently arrived George, and hung my head.
So be it.
"Confirmed, Vendetta. I'll next talk to you when you're here in person- call it when you start either getting tired or if the hosts hire a doorman, a bouncer, or something you can't handle. Bring any good partygoers and favors you find, guide them here, O Pied Piper. Over and out." The signal went quiet again, and I turned off our radio, standing and yawning. The hour was late, and it would be my last opportunity for some shuteye.
I pulled aside a few sentries to my first order. I felt it was a strange one, and likely futile: I asked everyone to 'try and get some rest.'
The sentries were going to be exhausted, and I needed them to start working in shifts if we were to maintain our vigil and perimeter. Doubtless, more would be coming, and giving them at least some rest might be a difference-maker. G-Man helped lead the newcomers to the subterranean bunkers and tunnels, trying to make sure everyone had a place to stay the night and resources got split, even if it was throwing tarps and blankets on hard-packed dirt. I eyed the tunnels, knowing which one of them would spit me out near the stream, itself running so low I might as well refer to it as a ravine. Digging that had been cramped, paranoia-inducing, but we'd dug out so much of the hill and filled it with enough weapons to wage a full-scale war. What had begun as almost make-work and a place to store things when we'd started out
I couldn't sleep well on the cot that night, tossing and turning- I even tried resting with the mask off, held in my hands, but the risk to my identity if anyone barged in caused me enough stress. Eventually, I stood and donned it, making my rounds around the camp, trying to calm myself. Instead, I felt eyes following me, and I had to force myself to stand tall. For the thousandth time, I thought of this as my Valley Forge.
The sentry at the door to the command cabin gave me a hand-on-heart, and I returned it.
As I patrolled, I could hear whispered prayers, muttered plans of action, and mercifully, snores. At least some were getting some sleep. I could see orange lights reflecting off the clouds, near where I knew Wilmington lay.
I almost jumped a foot in the air when I felt the tap on my shoulder, only to find G-Man's mask staring into mine. How strange that such a haunting visage was a comfort to me.
"Hey. Can't sleep?"
"I can't," I confessed. "G-Man, I'm sorry what happened with your father. Hell of a birthday." I hadn't even had a chance to give him the present I'd bought him- a couple new filters, and vintage craftsman toolkit, "from before they sold out," Verns had told me. The memory of his voice already felt distant somehow- no. I'll see him again.
"Wasn't your fault. Even if Town Hall wasn't your big idea to get them to retaliate, you know? Then they'd still have done something. But, uh, thanks for saying that. And thanks for trying to get dad out. I'll remember that." George said quietly, then the conversation ended when he turned away and went to the edge of the embankment. Just like that.
I could never quite get a read on him.
I went inside, and tried to force myself to get at least some shut-eye.
Thanks to Terran-Armored-Core and DeltaNu for helping with some decisions and spellcheck.
Thanks to Inmutabilis-Ratio for helping with the site, it was very helpful in importing the text.
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Alien-Nation Discord Buy A Coffee for the Author
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2023.05.29 21:16 potentialbench4 Shopping for SUV type cars. What are the differences between the popular ones?

Here are the ones I'm considering in no order (feel free to recommend any):
Just want a decent size infotainment screen, modern design, leg room, and many quality features (driver assist and camera). Any recommendations? Can be off the list as well. What are the main differences between the options mentioned? Budget is ~$40k.
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2023.05.29 20:21 Immediate_Ad1133 Ford Explorer Problems

Ford Explorer Problems
My ford explorer 2015 twin turbo 3.5 v6 since January has been having so many issues and the video shows exactly what it does while driving. Some days it’ll turn on and throw these lights and the car will remain on but the dash and touch screen will turn off and on repeatedly but other days it won’t turn on and the dash lights will not come on even when the doors open. But if you try to turn it on it won’t even crank. But it you leave it for sometimes 10 mins sometimes 4 hours it will eventually turn on. Also sometimes randomly after hours of being off the headlights will turn on and stay on for like 15 mins. When you open the door and no dash lights or lights turn on inside the car if you shut the door and sit in it you can hear a “disk changing” type of sound like old cd players used to make that’s the only way to describe it lol coming from the dash. I’ve replaced O2 sensors, cam shaft position sensor, all fuses and grounds are good, new battery, new fob batteries, it’s not the cluster, so what is it I’ll have the video and photos of codes it throws included but someone please help. No mechanics can figure it out and they charged me 500$ at just one place to tell me it was fuses when it wasn’t and as soon as I drove away it started all over again. I’ve paid thousands trying to figure it out and I just need help. 🙏🏻 Please
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2023.05.29 18:58 dengibson Put new battery in, now car completely dead.

2017 Ford Escape. I replaced the battery. The old battery still worked, just old and needed a jump last week. Figured it was time. I used the method of taking the air filter box out. All went fine. Had some sparking when I bolted the black wire down, but nothing that concerned me. Now nothing works. No dings, lights, nothing. Battery is fully charged. What did I do?
I'm assuming a fuse, but I'm coming up blank.
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2023.05.29 18:56 RedboneRuss 2016 Outback won't start has absolutely 0 power to anything.

First I'd like to say, I spent a good bit looking for this topic on here but couldn't find my exact issue. I found bits a pieces of the same problems others were having but not exactly the same issue.
Went to unlock the car yesterday and nothing was happening, so I thought the fob battery had died somehow. Unlock the car with key, but once in the car, no lights or chiming of any kind, just completely dead.
So I get a neighbor to help me try to jump start it, as soon as jumper cables are connected the horn blasts. So I pull the fuses for the horns then try again. But after 15 mins all that would happen was the instrument cluster would light up and come on, still no lights and head unit stayed dead and it wouldn't even try to start.
After it wouldn't start I took the battery to 2 places. Both say the battery is good. So from here I'm just kinda lost. I thought for sure the battery had to be shot for it to not be doing anything except when it was directly connected to another vehicle batter. Cleaned the terminals and made sure the cables and connections were nice and tight, still nothing.
I've had suggestions to check the ignition fuse but I'm not sure which one is the ignition fuse when looking at the diagram I don't see one that says ignition or anything like ign. So I was hoping posting here would be able to help me get pointed into a specific direction because if had a few suggestions from things like pull the dcm fuse because of battery drain. But I'd rather attempt to get more specific suggestions before I just start trying everything hoping one of them works.
UPDATE Got a new battery, does the same with new battery. Instrument cluster turns on, no power anywhere else in the vehicle and vehicle won't try to start. Now I'm thinking maybe blown fuse?
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2023.05.29 18:20 Lokhe A Wall of Text Arisen! 'Tis Much Bigger Up Close.

If you, like me, is terribly excited about Dragon's Dogma 2 now that we've seen the game, scrolling the subreddit all day long in the vain hope that a year will pass in an instant, perhaps this will help pass that year, if but a little.

It’s Good To Be Home

First off, I just want to say how great it is to see the community so alive and full of excitement, speculation and expectation. I was, sadly, not part of the initial launch and excitement for Dragon’s Dogma. I did try the demo but it rather put me off the game. It wasn’t until significant pressure from word of mouth that I took the plunge, and even then it took me a good while to crack through the initial barrier of unfamiliarity and prejudice. But boy am I glad I did! It now sits firmly among the games I consider my favourites of all time, and there it shall remain I suspect.
Because of this, I am extra excited to be able to be part of that initial community driven discovery this time around, that hopefully isn’t ruined too much by over-zealous marketing on the publisher’s part.
Can’t wait to be there with all of you on launch day 😊

The Dragon’s Dogma Conundrum

The most fascinating thing about Dragon’s Dogma to me is the absolutely non-existent influence the game has had on the Western gaming industry. I specifically mention Western because I honestly do not know enough about -in particular- the Eastern gaming industry to say one way or the other.
So, looking at it through that lens, the game stands out as truly unique in a couple of key aspects:
· The vocation system. While I’m assuming this sort of system is quite common in Japanese RPGs, it is not in Western RPGs. “But Dragon’s Dogma is not a Western RPG either”, you might say. Which is true, but I feel like it is heavily inspired by Western fantasy and mythology. A wonderful bridge between the two flavours of games.
· The focus. Dragon’s Dogma… has got a story. While I truly enjoy the themes the game plays with, and find the world intriguing, I think we can all agree the delivery isn’t a home run. I would hesitate to call it outright bad, because it still manages to entertain in my opinion. However, it’s not the focus of the game, the core. That is the combat, the mechanical part, the gears under the hood, and this is something I find woefully lacking in Western-made action games.
If you look at the heavy-hitters of the last decade, games that have had a bigger influence, they tend to lean more heavily on presentation than actual mechanics. Games like The Witcher 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Attempts have been made at creating more involved combat experiences though. Games like Horizon Zero Dawn and Ghost of Tsushima. However, while these titles have, in my opinion, better designed combat, they’re still very surface level RPGs, in the sense of gaining levels, stats, equipment and building your character. They are ultimately more about telling their story in a very high quality way.
Then we have the games that are actually more mechanically focused, but they tend to fall within the ever-growing genre of Souls-likes. And as much as I adore these games -though fatigue has really been setting in these past few years- they are not the same thing as Dragon’s Dogma. A more traditional adventure type game, with open-ended exploration and emergent gameplay, facilitated by a solid mechanical sandbox and world design.
When I first started playing Dragon’s Dogma, it reminded me in a strange way of Zelda. To this day I can’t clearly put my finger on why, but that impression has never left me. Ironically, the one game in the last decade I feel most resembles Dragon’s Dogma in a way is actually Breath of the Wild, a game that has undeniably left a gargantuan impression on the gaming industry on both sides of the pond.
Here’s to hoping Dragon’s Dogma 2 will shake things up a bit and inspire game creators to make things other than shallow action RPGs with combat and character building as an afterthought, dressed up in million dollar budget presentations.

My Take On The Story…

There’s been no end of speculation with regards to the trailer and what the story of this second installment will be like, so here’s what I think; most of it wild speculation obviously.
The game starts out with our main character in a jail somewhere. This is about as much as we know for certain. Enter, the dragon. The over-sized chili-chicken will come flapping over to ruin our perfectly good Prison Taco Tuesday and start wreaking havoc on whatever quaint rural settlement we’re sure to be incarcerated in. In the ensuing chaos, the marvel of stone masonry that is preventing us from taking a casual stroll down the lush countryside will, shockinly, collapse – allowing our daring hero to escape into the night!
Being a video game protagonist, however, means we possess a triforce of courage’s worth of not caring about imminent death, and thus we will pick up the nearest pointy broom handle we can find and charge at the fifty tonne, flying, fire-breathing, apex predator in order to save Ulrika, who will dramatically find herself in the barbeque-lizard’s immediate path.
Hence, we will meet our end, but the thing about a cycle is that the ending is also the beginning, and so our journey as Arisen begins. This will of course mean we will meet our first pawn, Karin, who will advise us to go to the encampment and seek an audience with the manager.
After galivanting through the local slice of pastoral not-Italy for a bit, learning that goblins and their kind ill like fire, we will arrive at the encampment where we meet the captain of the expeditionary force, Lionel Catsby. After being sent on some mission by our feline friend we will be tasked with seeing the safe passage of a wagon of probably super important contents to the regional capital of Vermund. A city hub which is the center of a racial conflict between the Beastren and the supremacist humans, led by our moustache-twirling, usurper king antagonist, with a penchant for bling.
Evilus Blingius, with the aid of his right hand man Brant, and his \gasps in French** pawns, has seized control of the capital and ousted the previous ruler, Empress Nadinia. Not only that, but he’s also posing as the Arisen -hence the pawns. The big shocker though, is that he is not in fact the Arisen, he is a mere mummer! He is only controlling the paws with his blatantly evil (you know because it’s purple) necklace. Of course, his faliure of a malevolent offspring knows his naughty secret, and he will UwU his way into our hearts, as we work with the underground movement to thwart the ruinous schemes of Evilus Blingius, and put Empress Nadinininija back on the Iron Throne.
Ultimately, it will turn out that, in a twist that could only have been imagine by the brilliant mind of M Night Shyamalan, Evilus Blingius was the dragon all along, and Prince UwU has been a pawn all this time. The reason -we know understand- he always kept his right hand in his pocket, was not in fact because he was having impure thoughts about court sorceress Wilhelmina.
After a climactic battle we take our revenge on the spicy pigeon-toad and ascend the proverbial throne and all is well again. Except now everything is fucked and there’s a big ol’ chasm opened up in the ground and you know the drill. Get the wakestones, go meet the Pathfin- err, I mean the Seneschal and do battle. Fulfill the etneral ring, this was the true throne all along. The End. Thank you and good bye.
See you in a year when the mysterious Olga will bring us to the ominous Witherwhite Isle 😊
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2023.05.29 18:10 Bebetterkeepfightin Help with BMW x1 2015 🙏🏼🙏🏼

Our car wont start. Back story! We took our car to Valvoline for oil change on Saturday. They where doing some normal checking beside changing the oil. They thought our break light was out but after they changed it wasn’t. They put it back in. We drove it fine on Sunday. On Monday our car alarm went off for hours which we didn’t know until we got a call from from our condo. By the time, it seemed like the battery was dead, I couldn’t used the key fob and couldn’t stop the alarm. Then the alarm stopped itself( maybe battery completely dead) We were able to jumpstart it but we didn’t drive our car. The next morning, we couldn’t start our car again. We jumpstarted in the evening and made sure to drive for about 15 mins. The car was fine on Wednesday when we drove around. Thursday morning, the car couldn’t start again. This time we jumped started and took it to mechanic. We told them what was going on. They said it could be something wrong with the program that drained the battery or the battery needed to be changed or it wasn’t fully charged. They tested the battery and do the 85% charged and said the battery wasn’t a problem. We thought it could be a baby monitor that we didn’t unplug while parking. Because it was holiday weekend. They close on Friday and wont be open until Tuesday. We took it home hoping it would be fine and make sure we didn’t leave anything plugged in while parking. Friday the car was fine. Saturday we took an hour trip away trip to the mountain the car was fine. Sunday, we drove a bit in the morning and afternoon, it was fine. And today (Monday morning), it wont start again. We will probably need to take it in. We wanna know what else could be a cause if it wasn’t a programming. Is there any chance Valvoline could have done something wrong with the programming. I know they just reset the basic info so I didn’t think it was them. Hopefully it was just coincidence we took our car in and this happened. Is there any we could do to fix it ourselves first without making more damage? How much should I be expecting for a repair cost for this situation? TIA
submitted by Bebetterkeepfightin to BmwTech [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 17:45 Jared_Harbert Swimming Pool Renovation in Florida: Enhancing Your Pool's Beauty and Functionality

Swimming Pool Renovation in Florida: Enhancing Your Pool's Beauty and Functionality
Swimming pools are a popular feature of many homes in Florida, providing a refreshing escape from the heat and a place to relax and unwind. Over time, however, pools may start to show signs of wear and tear, requiring renovation to restore their beauty and functionality. This article will explore the importance of swimming pool renovation, the process of hiring a professional pool builder in Jacksonville, and the benefits of working with a swimming pool contractor.
Swimming Pool Renovation

Importance of Swimming Pool Renovation

Enhancing Aesthetics and Functionality
One of the key reasons to consider renovating your swimming pool is to enhance its aesthetics and functionality. Over the years, styles and trends change, and what was once considered modern and attractive may now appear outdated. Renovation allows you to update the look of your pool, incorporating new materials, finishes, and features to create a more visually appealing and enjoyable space.
Ensuring Safety and Compliance
Another crucial aspect of pool renovation is ensuring safety and compliance with current regulations. Safety standards evolve over time, and your pool may no longer meet the required guidelines. Renovation provides an opportunity to address any safety concerns, such as installing updated fencing, improving lighting, or upgrading filtration systems, to ensure a safe swimming environment for you and your loved ones.
Increasing Property Value
A well-maintained and renovated swimming pool can significantly increase the value of your property. When potential buyers or renters see a beautifully renovated pool, it adds to the overall appeal of the property. Renovating your pool not only enhances your enjoyment but also becomes a valuable investment that can yield returns in the future.

Hiring a Professional Pool Builder in Jacksonville

Researching Pool Builders
When it comes to renovating your swimming pool, it's crucial to hire a professional pool builder with experience in handling renovation projects. Start by researching pool builders in Jacksonville who specialize in pool renovations. Look for companies with a strong reputation, positive customer reviews, and a portfolio of successful pool renovation projects.
Checking Credentials and Experience
Before finalizing a pool builder, check their credentials and experience. Ensure they hold the necessary licenses and certifications required by the state of Florida. A reputable pool builder will have a team of skilled professionals with expertise in pool renovations.
Evaluating Previous Projects
To gain confidence in their capabilities, evaluate the pool builder's previous renovation projects. Look for testimonials or before-and-after photos that showcase their work. This will give you a sense of their attention to detail, quality of craftsmanship, and ability to transform pools.

Understanding the Renovation Process

Assessment and Design
The renovation process typically begins with an assessment of your existing pool and a consultation to discuss your renovation goals. A pool designer will work with you to create a design plan that incorporates your vision, functionality requirements, and budget.
Demolition and Construction
Once the design is finalized, the renovation process moves on to demolition, where any necessary removals or modifications are made. This could involve removing outdated or damaged materials, reconfiguring the pool layout, or expanding the pool size. Construction follows, including structural work, plumbing, and electrical installations.
Plumbing and Electrical Considerations
During pool renovation, it's essential to address any plumbing or electrical issues. Upgrading plumbing lines, pumps, and filters can improve the efficiency and performance of your pool. Similarly, updating electrical systems ensures proper functionality and adherence to safety standards.
Finishing Touches and Landscaping
As the renovation nears completion, attention shifts to the finishing touches. This includes selecting new pool finishes, tiles, coping, and decking options that align with your desired aesthetic. Landscaping around the pool area can also enhance the overall appeal and create a harmonious outdoor space.

Cost Factors and Budgeting

Materials and Equipment
The cost of swimming pool renovation depends on various factors, including the materials and equipment used. Higher-quality materials, such as premium tiles or custom finishes, will contribute to a higher budget. Additionally, if your renovation involves incorporating new features like waterfalls, slides, or spas, the cost will increase accordingly.
Pool Size and Complexity
The size and complexity of your pool renovation project will significantly impact the overall cost. Larger pools require more materials and labor, increasing the budget. Similarly, if your pool has unique features or intricate designs, additional expertise and time will be required, affecting the cost.
Additional Features and Upgrades
When renovating your pool, you may want to consider adding extra features or upgrades. This could include energy-efficient equipment, automation systems, or LED lighting. While these additions can enhance the functionality and enjoyment of your pool, they will contribute to the overall cost.

Benefits of Hiring a Swimming Pool Contractor

Expertise and Knowledge
One of the primary benefits of hiring a swimming pool contractor for your renovation project is their expertise and knowledge. They understand the complexities involved in pool renovations and can provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their experience. A professional contractor will ensure that your renovation is executed efficiently and to the highest standards.
Efficient Project Management
Renovating a swimming pool involves coordinating multiple tasks and trades, such as demolition, construction, plumbing, and electrical work. A swimming pool contractor manages the project from start to finish, ensuring smooth communication between different teams and timely completion of each phase. This saves you the hassle of organizing and overseeing every aspect of the renovation.
Warranty and Support
Working with a reputable swimming pool contractor offers the advantage of warranties and post-renovation support. If any issues arise after the completion of the renovation, the contractor will address them promptly and efficiently. This provides peace of mind and ensures that you can enjoy your renovated pool without worrying about potential problems.


Swimming pool renovation in Florida is a significant investment that can enhance the beauty, functionality, and value of your pool. By hiring a professional pool builder in Jacksonville, you can benefit from their expertise, efficient project management, and access to quality materials. Remember to consider your budget, prioritize safety, and explore additional features that can elevate your pool experience. Enjoy the process of transforming your pool into a stunning oasis that provides enjoyment for years to come.


1. How long does a pool renovation typically take?
The duration of a pool renovation varies depending on the complexity of the project. Minor renovations may take a few weeks, while more extensive renovations can take several months. A reputable pool builder will provide you with a timeline based on your specific renovation requirements.
2. Can I renovate my pool myself?
Renovating a swimming pool is a complex task that requires specialized knowledge and expertise. It is recommended to hire a professional pool builder who has experience in pool renovations. They possess the necessary skills and equipment to ensure a successful and safe renovation.
3. What are some popular pool renovation trends?
Some popular pool renovation trends include incorporating natural stone or mosaic tiles, adding water features such as waterfalls or fountains, integrating energy-efficient equipment, and creating a seamless transition between the pool and outdoor living spaces.
4. How much does it cost to renovate a swimming pool?
The cost of pool renovation varies depending on factors such as the size of the pool, the extent of renovations, the materials used, and additional features. It is best to consult with a pool builder to get an accurate estimate based on your specific renovation goals.
5. Are there any maintenance requirements after pool renovation?
After pool renovation, regular maintenance is essential to keep your pool in optimal condition. This includes routine cleaning, checking water chemistry, maintaining proper water levels, and servicing equipment as needed. Your pool builder or contractor can provide guidance on post-renovation maintenance to ensure the longevity of your pool.
submitted by Jared_Harbert to u/Jared_Harbert [link] [comments]

2023.05.29 17:41 Important-Lie7966 Has anyone had an issue with their car unlocking its self or not locking?

I ALWAYS remember to lock my car, and I confirm the lights flash that it is locked. Yet, multiple times, after locking my car, it is unlocked without me hitting any button or coming to close to my car with my keys in hand. It has happen multiple times and now someone has broken into my car due to it being unlocked. It’s a 2018 cla 250 base model. The batteries have been changed in the key fob, and I also have two different key fobs but it doesn’t make a difference. It doesn’t happen immediately after that I have noticed but shortly after. Anywhere between an hour later to 24 hours later.
submitted by Important-Lie7966 to mercedes_benz [link] [comments]