Let’s start out with some alarming news. Namely Germany seizing Russian-owned refineries. Oh yeah, this won’t cause any backlash. From the CNN article:

Germany’s economy ministry announced on Friday that it had temporarily taken over Russian oil giant Rosneft’s subsidiaries in the country. Rosneft Deutschland and RN Refining & Marketing account for about 12% of Germany’s oil refining capacity, the ministry said in a statement.

I keep seeing this whole thing on the European continent spiraling out of control. And I don’t trust any of the current leadership to have the aptitude to derail it.

Oh look here’s a Reason link on ISO’s new merchant category code for credit card sales for guns and ammunition. From the article:

The newest development comes in the form of a specific merchant category code for retailers of firearms and ammunition, breaking them out from the broader category of specialty retailers in which they were previously included. The code makes credit card purchases from such businesses much easier to track and potentially exposes buyers and sellers to harassment.

The new code is touted as an anti-crime measure, but its advocates don’t specify how tagging all transactions by associated vendors will identify suspicious activity.

One of the hosts on Words and Numbers commented that the only way to avoid this was by paying cash – until the government makes it illegal to purchase guns and ammo with cash. I don’t know how they would do that, but these days I put nothing past them.

Next, another Reason article on DeSantis’s administration making the Florida housing market worse. Every time I want to really root for DeSantis, he pulls this kind of bullshit. From the article:

Last week, Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) sent a comment letter to Lauren Poe, Gainesville’s mayor, recommending that the city withdraw a provisionally approved zoning amendment that allows two-, three-, and four-unit homes to be built in neighborhoods that were once zoned exclusively for single-family homes.

About the only thing the state housing codes should do is state a baseline of structural stability. Beyond that, let the localities figure out the housing mixes depending on the needs of the community. We are very good at providing housing for those above and below the working class – which is a huge concern where I live.

In the realm of creepy comes Brookings new dashboard for monitoring podcasts. Oh yeah, that’s not going to be abused – he says as he coughs in SPLC. H/t Kevin Baker via FB.

Let’s end this week’s links with a couple of lighter tech items.

First, from PC World, an article on turning an old laptop into a Chromebook. Which, I have an old one to experiment upon.

This week’s final link is Hot Hardware’s article regarding BackBlaze’s comparative failure rate analysis of SSD vs HDD. For those who don’t know, BackBlaze is a cloud-backup company that’s known for reporting on the performance of the various drives they use for storage.

“At this point we can reasonably claim that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, at least when used as boot drives in our environment. This supports the anecdotal stories and educated guesses made by our readers over the past year or so. Well done,” Backblaze notes.