Nick's Web Log

2017-11-12

Destiny 2: Is very pretty, not sure as I'd particularly want to continue paying for the expansions, grinding for gear, etc. Did not play the first one so don't know who any of these people are. I'm blue because of space dna or something. Thought: a Fallout 4 style new city, equip your guards, fight off invasions, etc. to keep you busy between expansions. I'm not willing to grind for that one perfect piece of gear in WoW, and I'm not doing it here, but a slow and steady build-up is more palatable. (also how I built my nest eggs)

2017-11-05

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/bj7jjd/arcosanti-city-future-paolo-soleri-arcology

Stranger Things #2: slightly more my era, but not a lifestyle I lived or am nostalgic about. I did appreciate the Aliens references, although it mostly pointed out how Aliens did it better.

2017-10-29

2017-10-22

Dark Matter #3: Android is best suburban mom. Got a little Dr. Who-y. Also thought the time loop episode was weak. Those are usually a chance to show off. Either they didn't, or just couldn't polish it enough to shine.

http://thereformedbroker.com/2017/10/16/just-own-the-damn-robots/

Verizon's web sites are more likely to malfunction if you have a cookie from a verizon website. Sometimes it is redirect loops. Sometimes it tries to log into a different part of verizon. Sometimes it just insists your password is wrong.

2017-10-15

Anime Fall 2017 Review

2017-10-08

Summer 2017 Anime Review: 3 of my favorite shows this season did not appear to be licensed in the US. I had thought that with 4 competing streaming sites, the use of English fan subs was reduced only to piracy, but apparently not. Still have not gotten around to getting Amazon. Of the Crunchyroll shows, the shorts were the most enjoyable: Tsuredure, AHO, Ninja Girl. Guru-Guru was fun. Fox Spirit was interesting, but suffered from cultural and format translation issues. Centaur had a few moments raising it just above the rest of middle tier. Except for CHRONOS RULER, which I dropped to boredom, everything else is just meh. Mostly due to a lack of conflict or drama, either by to design (Restaurant, GAME), or that the main characters are OP/Mary Sues ('s, Smartphone, possibly Classroom). 18if and The Reflection had some interesting visuals, but meandering plots.

Been to Atlantic Canada for a week, saw and heard 2 foxes at night in PEI, saw and smelled lots of trees. Waded into a wild stream, then waded right back out again because it was freezing. Walked into the Fundy Fun Zone at low tide. Walked on a lot of new geology. Saw people living the Shack Life, though Canada's shacks are much nicer than Maine's shacks and trailer parks. Got used to metric weather. Did not get used to human sized beds. Did not like the shower knobs with no pressure control, though it didn't look there was a shortage of water. Did not hear anyone say eh?, but oots were common.

2017-10-01

iTunes 12.7 continues iTunes' reputation as a disaster area. I appreciate that they are try to make it better, but they removed yet more of the ability to use an iPhone without wifi, or use both the Mac and ios to play the same list of podcasts. Worse, they did not remove the ability (so the old code is all still festering in there) just all the shortcuts and automatic downloads, just to make it more irritating and presumably force me to buy a new phone with the new podcast app and download the podcasts twice.

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2017/10/sci-fi-fantasy-and-the-status-quo - Agree with a lot of that, but disappointed it did not mention Terry Pratchett or "East of Eden", which specifically addressed this.

2017-09-24
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cyber-standards-insight/distrustful-u-s-allies-force-spy-agency-to-back-down-in-encryption-fight-idUSKCN1BW0GV This is another symptom of the NSA's failure to do its actual job.

Headshot: terrible.

Ezo Red and Silver Fox Friend are doing TV ads! http://www.donbei.jp/kemono-friends/

What Happened to Monday?: humorless Orphan Black, but with incomprehensible accents. Also seems to be the Religious Right's view of abortion: having babies must be defended, even if the adults are just fed into the soylent machine to cope with the population pressure caused by having too many babies.

The Forgotten: with good reason

A Good American: Military Industrial Complex in action. Though I'm surprised. I thought thin thread or its ilk was the primary purpose of the NSA. What were they doing, if not that? It would seem that the Utah data center is simply there to cope with the collection of data, but they've not improved the analysis at all. Their call to action is just a pretty terrible promo website, though. There is literally nothing you can do about it.

2017-09-17

The Blacklist #4: Still weakest when on Elizabeth and the romances, but some good stuff

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2017/09/13/food-nutrients-carbon-dioxide-000511?lo=ap_a1

2017-09-10

2017-09-03

Palisades Park State Line Overlook: I met 2 guys picking up trash. One had lost a fitbit. He asked me to turn it in at the cafe if I found it. I actually did find it, and then ran into them on the trail again, though almost within sight of the cafe. They gave me some cold water out of a backpack. I did not remember Mesousa's "body heat" line in time. It took me 8 hours to make the trip up through Rockleigh, into NY, back down again on 9W (I did not remember the hill in between being that big), the White trail down to Peanut Falls (Peanut Mild Dampness, more like, it hasn't rained in a while), back up 250 feet, detour up the road to deliver the fitbit, then back. Most of the time was on the trail and on the last bits of the way back. I am nearly dead. My lungs feel full, and I should probably get by back issue (scrofula? mold?) looked at. I think they got sun and now hurt.

Seven Eves: I liked it, though there are a lot of technical issues one could argue with. For example, mass drivers. Moving a giant asteroid made of easily magnetized iron is both a problem and a solution. The lost genome store: they still have living males at that point. They might have been irradiated, but it seems easier to yank a single working Y chromosome out of a frozen tissue sample than create one from scratch decades later.

I watched parts of a bunch of Netflix movies but did not finish. I don't want to review things I didn't actually see, but have not had anything else to review. Been doing Overwatch and WoW's new thing. Vole-tron continues apace.

2017-08-27

2017-08-20

2017-08-13

Three: odd

Books (yes, I still read!): 100K Kingdoms (will read the rest), A God in Ruins (Thought I read this because the characters and locations became familiar, but turns out it overlaps another book, of which I have no actual memory but still somehow recall), Six Wakes (almost but not quite a hard SF, which irritated me), The New Space Opera 2 (think I read this, or at least most of the stories in it).

2017-08-06

I feel a need to Witness Captain Disillusion.

Vega's TDP is so disappointing. After Ryzen, lightning did not strike twice. I guess I'll still with this card for a while. Perhaps 4K 144Hz will be cost effective by then, and I can get a G-Sync monitor.

Split: still not a Shamalya-fan

http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/

2017-07-30

I saw my first Overwatch cheater, a Lucio with unlimited push shots. He was pretty bad, otherwise.

There's a bunch of other anime that are still not licensed in the US. I don't even have any torrent software on this machine, but some of them are sequels to things I liked. (and seemed popular, which makes not licensing them seem odd) There's even more good stuff on Amazon, though I am still not willing to shell out something like $20 a show.

2017-07-23

Extraordinary: The Stan Romanek Story: Tries to start a UFO-based sex cult with the most ludicrously cheesy evidence imaginable, fails.

Chasing Coral: Pre-Post-Paris thinking.

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: cute, though in the NS tradition, does not have an actual end.

The Truth Is in the Stars: Anybody old enough to know Captain Kirk probably already knows all this. In related news, Shatner's twitter feed is apparently managed by a deplorable.

Sword Master:

Suntan: dude looks like a serial killer to begin with.

2017-07-16

Summer 2017 Anime

Ronald Reagan's nomination convention took place in Detroit, themed "Make America Great Again". It worked as well for Detroit then as the rest of the country now.

https://www.guernicamag.com/the-fallout/ https://longreads.com/2017/07/13/the-louisiana-environmental-apocalypse-road-trip/ The second is not a great article, but a Mad Max style post-apocalypse is a best case scenario. More likely that humans are simply unable to reproduce over ever increasing sections of the globe.

Keep Quiet: I think he just needed a hug.

Castlevania: odd, at least.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html Alarmist, but possibly not alarmist enough. I think there are far too many inflection points that have not been identified. Like a key vertex in the food web being effected by climate change and also something else at the same time.

What the Health: I have a lot of doubts about these claims. Also the film maker. For all his claims of his unhealthy eating (just like you!), he wasn't fat or cancerous (unlike you!). A lot of the doctors just seem to be super-vegan, which is fine, but that's a pretty large bias the film chooses to ignore.

Little Witch Academia #1: Sucy still best witch, which is odd given my general hatred of fungus.

iZombie #3: fast moving. Liked Don E.

Doom 2016: I found it easy on the middle mode, though judging from the helpful hints, the intended audience are people used to cover shooters. I managed to miss that era entirely.

Obduction: Not Myst, at least. Also kind of easy. The in-game camera helped a lot, but I tried to keep Myst-style notes.

2017-07-09

https://www.fastcompany.com/40434607/im-living-proof-that-its-time-to-redefine-the-american-dream

There was a BBC radio bit with an Ohio steelworker who voted for Trump because the Democrats and NAFTA gave away all the steel jobs. My mother is from the area, and out of a bit of curiosity, I looked this up: America is manufacturing nearly as much steel now (2015) (78.92 million metric tons) as it did durning the peak of WWII ("almost 90 million tons" ~= 80 million metric tons). The peak of 148.5 million tons in 1960 is followed by "But the industry as a whole was cautious and slow to integrate new technology, uncertain about the viability of the new procedures.". Even if we returned to good old days (which were good for the workers presumably because of the "excessive wage hikes were a central factor in the loss of competitiveness") and produced 148.5 million tons, the difference is minor compared to China's 804 million metric tons. Canada and Mexico's steel production, the presumed beneficiaries of NAFTA, are rounding errors compared to the USA's production, and combined wouldn't make up the difference. The poor neglected steel worker is poor, neglected, but wrong about everything. Robots are doing all that work now anyway. Increasing steel production by 50 million tons to the peak of American steel production would employ just 14*2 employees per million tons @ Austrian plant * 50 million tons = 1,400 people. That might employ a town, but not Youngstown. And even that ignores that deploying modern plants in the US is only going to cannibalize our older and presumably people-employing plants before they begin to compete with modern Chinese plants.

https://thinkprogress.org/trump-arendt-terror-management-theory-6f0fc40e598a

2017-07-02

I've been very disappointed with Windows. Even more so than I was expecting, and I was expecting quite a lot. I knew the Windows 10 UI was inconsistently implemented, but things like switching applications can stop audio from playing. Switching out of a full screen app is 5 seconds of black. And I thought Mac's network locking was crude. Things crash and just vanish. Windows' traditional barrage of dialog boxes is still there, except now they can show up on the other monitor. Settings are even more incomprehensible, as fewer settings per page means either more pages, or buried in older sub-dialogs. Many things don't feel faster because of the time spent staring at nothing happening. Waking from sleep doesn't take much less time than booting, and involves going through a pointless password-less lock screen. (see note about confusing preferences. I know it can probably shut that off, but I don't see where.) I want to try Haiku (nee BeOS). If Netbeans/Java, webkit runs on it, I could do my job on it. (Or perhaps not.)

2017-06-26

Spring 2017 Anime Review: Enjoyed Alice, AoT, Natsume, Eccentric, Ninja Girl. Tsugumono's plot was pedestrian, but also reached new depths/heights in bath scenes. WorldEnd turned out better than the title would indicate. Kado turned a bit disappointing plot-wise, but still a good effort. B-tier: Love Tyrant, Kenka (the 7 minute length and odd framing worked well for the complete lack of plot.) Meh-tier: Akashic, Gran, Hinako, BREAK. Dropped-tier: Sakura Quest.

Amazon replaced the missing monitor. 144hz is really noticeable (for me, at least). I have WoW up to 100fps, but DOOM doesn't do more than 60. Just the desktop and mouse cursor is noticeably smoother.

The carrier lost my monitor, and I have jury duty in august. I also got a sunburn because the Sun came out on my biking trip, and my effort to get less sun on my back because of past sunburns left it less prepared than the rest of my skin that I can see.

WoW at 60fps, quality 5, but only at 1080p. It did do 4k, but at ~45 fps. I think I could tweak that up to 60. I'm not sure as the GPU is optimally set up, either.

Windows does not turn on Windows file sharing by default, but even when on, it didn't work. I can't see or log into the Mac, nor log into it from the Mac, which can see the Windows machine. I only wanted to copy an image for the desktop, ended up moving through a server in California.

The Ezo Red Fox Friend Gaming Special is up and downloading WoW. I haven't yet been impressed by speed, as all it has done is download and update. The update process alone was enough to remind me why I hated Windows. It is very quiet, even with the fans on full, but it is making a weird chirping noise on occasion. Aside from the fans, there are no moving parts in there, so I think it might be the CPU fan repeatedly switching speeds as it cycles around one of the speed change points.

2017-06-18

NJ sent me a small tax bill, though most worrying is the "Payments Received" section, which lists a transaction with a different amount and ID number than the one I have on record. I paid this bill, and threw more money at them. I switched insurance companies for less.

The replacement PSU is due tomorrow, but I put the rest of the computer together. I did not plan this (or actually care), but it is impressively black. Like Disaster Area stunt ship levels of black. The only color was a bit of colored wire peaking out near the front panel audio connector cable, which I taped, and the red EVO logo on the drive. Except for the AMD cooler's cable loop, all the cabling is nearly invisible. Really is a super easy case to build in. Such as: the out fan is bumped out so you can drop the motherboard (which got surprisingly heavy) straight down.

The giant pile of boxes and wrapping smells bad. New Macs always smelled nice.

The Zeus mouse is disappointing for Mac. The many dpi related buttons are not hijack-able as they are with the Logitech. They are not even reported as buttons. It doesn't adjust enough for my spider paws. There is an entire embedded keyboard, but only so it can open your Internet Explorer to their website, a feature they waste a button on. It was cheap, though, and has nearly as many buttons as the Logitech even without the extra ones, as long as you don't count the pg up/down as separate from wheel up/down, which I haven't been in WoW. I will give it a try with shooters. I guess I do need a real MMO mouse.

Saving Banksy: multiple personality disorder: holds up taggers as Artists, then condemns taggers for destroying Banksy' equally illegal but far more meaningful art, but without ever taking the step of drawing the line between the meaning and just bombing the wall with your name or random crap.

Got a new power supply anyway. The one I had has a 20+4 and a 4+4 connector, but turns out it shares the +4, (or lost a connector? That would imply there's a loose wire in there.) and can't do both at the same time. I did check, but this was not noted on the box in a way that seems obvious now. In fact, it clearly states it has an 24 and 8 pin connector. [I had the thought that the box is actually for a different PSU.] This is annoying, but the CPU still hasn't been cleared for shipping, so it will be a while anyway. [Update: cpu is cleared and arrives the next day.]

The 4k monitor is cheap because the stand is solid, but very basic. VESA mounts are on the wishlist, anyway.

The AIR arrived already. It is pretty big, but far less imposing that the Cheese-grater. It isn't hugely larger than the big subwoofer, 2x the small one. (mATX is probably the future, though. Let USB3 replace PCIx1 things like a sound card or extra network.) I can put the drive and PSU in, but the guts haven't even shipped yet. Some people get vibration in the grill. I can see where that might happen. Just jam some rubber bands in there. Or take the grill out. I put the PSU in and had a panic when the 4-pin board connector clearly wouldn't reach the top. Turns out I just had it in upside down, which is the only way 4 screw holes line up. With 3, I might need the much derided PSU bracket after all.

Skype just ate all my available RAM. Microsofty!

Wordpress's owners are selling their HQ. I correctly predicted the demise of Yahoo when they stopped telecommuting. (next, IBM) Here's the reverse. I am coincidentally working on a WP plugin.

I just now noticed the AIR looks like my air conditioner.

I also wanted to call the XB EVO the EZO, as in the Ezo Red Fox Friend. On the other hand, the metal grill on the AIR looks really nice painted red. I did get a Samsung Evo drive. That will have to count.

I have purchased a Ryzen 1700 (considered a 6-core as a form of recycling), pcix4 SSD (an extravagance, but nice for VM's), 1440@144 24" monitor (not 4k, but retina), and also a IPS 4k because it was super cheap. I got the MSI PC Mate, mostly because it didn't have gamer crap all over it, but will allow me to overclock the RAM, Ryzen's secret weakness. The particular G.Skill Flare wasn't on the mobo QVL, but the previous model number is, so I'm hoping. That is a bit of a risk. I got the Corsair AIR 540. I would have liked the 240, but got an atx board with enough fan headers to slow the fans down individually (hopefully addressing the major drawback of the 540)(the other drawback: the size is smaller than the 2 XPS currently towers holding my monitor up, and I have no furniture, so it will definitely fit), and liked the optical drive bays and that everybody said it was easy to work in. I may see if I can mount it sideways like the 240, if I get heavier gpu. I really liked the features of the COOLER MASTER HAF XB EVO, but the reviews of it described it as being hot and hard to work with, which would seemingly be damning for a HAF where 4 sides come off. (not the bottom, though, which is a point for the 240/540, where only 2 sides come off, but the correct 2.) I also liked the features of the Fractal Design Node 804 Mini Case. The video card is a placeholder for the next generation, though certainly enough for WoW. I'm recycling a drive, power supply, and a slot loading optical drive (a point for the Node. It would look weird in the bay of the 540.). I'm too cheap to pay for shipping, so it won't be here for 2 weeks. [or not, things are shipping from NJ the next day] Things to upgrade: a platinum-rated power supply, maybe better fans, more storage. Maybe a blu-ray drive, though Netflix charges more for them and I don't think the weird things I watch are likely to be on it. If not that, a better solution for the slot loading drive than just leaving the bay open. Depending on the storage needs, perhaps a switch for the hard drive, leave it powered off as much as possible.

I unchecked "Displays have own spaces" as it was recommended for fixing extreme WindowServer, SystemUIServer CPU load, but that means the menubar and dock stay only on the main window, rather than the active. This is not as good. There was also advice to just reboot the machine frequently. I'll go ahead and say it: MacOS is getting more and more microsofty. [Without the separate spaces, when it doesn't sync with the monitor, all the windows are moved to the main display. I turned "Own Spaces" back on. Maybe the next OS will fix it.]

The 100#4: A few technical things bugged me, and the very end confused me. I had to double check that I had not forgotten all that. Turns out, no, though there are hints in the background I had missed. In all, stellar work and unbelievable body count for a teen drama on the CW.

The iMac crashed again, with the fans on full, and during a raid, so I'm buying a new computer.

2017-06-11

New plan? buy a $50 video card as placeholder. It could still probably play WoW as well as the iMac, and would let me set up the machine. I could also try the ancient card in the PMac, though that is probably not even worth the hassle. The PMac's optical disk drive isn't SATA3, either.

I tried to buy a new computer, but found all the mid to high RX GPUs have been purchased by etherium miners. Should have bought a 480 in March, though ideally still a 1070/i7 last year. The value of mining is going to crash much sooner than bitcoin, which would give me a lot of cheap cards, but vega might be out first. I should probably get an ATX SLI board, though, just in case I can get 2 for the price of 1.

2017-06-04

Serial Experiments Lain: more comprehensible now, though still pretty weird. I watched it to prepare for getting a new computer. Because obviously the size of your computer controls your ability to project into the Wired, I'll feel better about getting a tower (technically, cube, so it isn't as tall). The iMac's lines are worse, and always there, even with the fans at max. I have another fan at the back to stop the case from getting too hot to touch.

I was part of a design movement all along! https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/31/15717534/brutalist-web-design-app-facebook-google-pierre-buttin

2017-05-28

The Good Dinosaur: not a good movie, though nice to see a Pat-asaurus. I also seem to be the only person online who thought Spot was a girl.

2017-05-21

Mindhorn: Judy Hopps could have predicted that.

I got another hilariously poorly produced IRS scam call, but this one was from NYC. I find it additionally funny that they think they are calling a Californian would not know NYC's area codes.

The iMac's system upgrade meant it spent a long time without the manual fan control, and now smells funny. It is still running, but it looks like I'm getting a new PC sooner rather than later.

Quirk: skipped it originally just on the premise, but it was recommended. Very Lost. Hopefully will have an ending, because season 1 sure doesn't.

Blood on the Mountain: Trump will fix all this, no doubt.

2017-05-14

TAG: less excellent, but way more weird

Blame!: Excellent Sci-Fi-Weirdness + Mad Max.

BronekK on Ars Technica notes that he runs a machine with Linux as a host OS, with multiple Windows OSs each with direct access to their own video card. Last I heard, the VM's HAL would prevent that, but it works for some graphics cards now. Despite the benefits ("immediate snapshots, guest restarts without interrupting work on the host, bitrot protection thanks to ZFS on host level, multiple VM - I have multiple GPUs"), I still think what I used to do has some advantages: get several complete machines and use something like Synergy or x2vnc to tie them all to the lead computer (the one with your hands on its keyboard and mouse, not necessarily the most powerful). It has huge advantages over actual remote desktops (only the mouse and key events are transmitted), is far more flexible than just getting one more powerful machine, and is more easily upgraded than the host hardware of the VM thing, particularly if it only works with selected graphics cards. Another advantage of the VM system is the ability to devote all the cores/RAM to a single VM.

The rumored TDP of Vega is disappointing. Might get a 1080 after all, as the power saving alternative. Either way, I really need to get something soon, or put the iMac in an air conditioned bubble. I lowered the fan speeds a bit, and it crashed again. The ambient temp probably wasn't helping that. After what turned out to be 3 days of 30° heat, I'm ready for an air conditioned bubble.

2017-05-07

The antenna fell off my radio, but it sounds better.

The Discovery: all star cast, but literally colorless, and the psuedoscientific babble annoyed me.

Speaking of zoom, the mouse tracking stops working in the direction of the other monitor. I should get new glasses and zoom less. The dock seems to migrate between monitors at random. Other than a few such random issues, I'm pretty pleased with the whole project. It is absolutely quiet, and the laptop has more than enough power for everything I'm doing, now that gaming is getting its own computer. Now all I have to do is actually commit to getting a new gaming computer.

Second problem: I have to sit in a real chair in order to WoW. This is not normal for me. Also, leaving the iMac asleep means it wakes up constantly during the day, too. The lack of the SSD means it takes forever to boot, so I'm stuck either way.

First horrifying problem: on a wake from sleep, the laptop and display weren't able to talk to each other with the time limits before one or the other gave up. This is, judging from the questions, an HDMI thing. I do have the option for thunderbolt/mini-display port to display port, which seems to gather fewer complaints, but it is not great to see your new monitor, which was working all day, suddenly blank, and also screw up the laptop. Then the monitor would wake up enough to show "no signal". It eventually synced up. It works consistently if the monitor is powered up as the Mac wakes up, but generally not if the monitor was already on. (Best: wait 7 seconds, then wake the Mac. It also works to wake the laptop with the monitory connected but powered off, with a sacrificial desktop1 to collect all the windows from the monitor.)

First thing I forgot: I copied the source for pSpace, but not the jar file.

2017-05-07

I have successfully transitioned to using the laptop as my main computer. It is absolutely silent. Disturbingly so. I can hear more of the neighbors and my tinnitus. Other issues: I didn't have enough USB ports with 4, and now I have 2. The laptop looks like an octopus with cables sticking out both sides. (a dock would fix both problems.) I need another decent mouse, but I'm wondering if having all the buttons on top is why my finger hurts, and might try a Naga so my thumb can hurt instead, or keep using the trackpad. (I find it mushy and imprecise, but it is natural in a number of ways.) Using the zoom feature zooms both monitors, which is a little weird and points out the Mac considers both as part of the same space. New windows sometimes show up on the other monitor. Mail was irritating as usual: copying over the files as instructed didn't cause the mailboxes to show up, but it could import the mail out of the boxes it couldn't see. The Mac wakes up before the display, so for a moment, all the windows are moved off the extra desktops. Bonus: For watching video on the big monitor, turning the brightness on the laptop down all the way turns off the screen. I wish the iMac could shut the screen off on command. The laptop allows you to shut off the wake-up-in-the-night thing. Now it's a matter of waiting to see what I forgot.

While still pretty quiet by historical PC standards, the iMac has to run at much higher speeds to stay cool. Now that the ex-iMac is working again as a monitor, I'm going to switch.

Turning an iMac into a monitor:

Inside an iMac
Has the same problem as the original, in that the boards are screwed down, so the panel has to be connected while hanging out of the frame.
Revived iMac monitor
It looks not-orange now.

The power supply for the monitor arrived, and while it isn't of the greatest quality, it is powering the monitor, which is all I'm asking of it. Well, that, and not giving me electric shocks. I also got a HyperX Cloud headset. It is pretty nice, though the mic doesn't work on the iMac. It works on the laptop with the Y dongle, so this is entirely the iMac's fault. I don't actually recall ever plugging anything in there before, and if it didn't show up in the Sound control panel, I might think it wasn't a mic port at all.

Chiku found Lightning Paw
Far more transparent than I recall. Spawned right on top of him.

Sally visits the Maelstrom
I killed a dragon here!

Now have a custom fan profile to stop things from crashing. Even youtube can push up the temp to +60.

I kind of want a 144hz 1440p 23" monitor now, as a compromise between high dpi and high speed. I only see one G-Sync and the "AOC AG241QX". On the other hand, 1080p monitors are cheap enough to buy just until they make high speed 4k. Aside from gaming, there is very little 2k video available that isn't 4k downsampled, and that it has to be interpolated makes it less sharp. Windows has/had problems with both retina and normal simultaneously, but having a 24" 4k media output monitor and 24"144hz desktop/gaming monitor might work.

The fan thing is some pages in Safari are occupying an entire cpu, and beachball if you try to scroll. The problem is these are pages that worked last week, and given the computer's age and likely poor state of thermal paste, the ads are threat to my machine. I'll have to open pages one at a time, or run a load meter, to catch this as soon as it happens. Or just block all the ads.

The iMac fans came on, for the first time ever.

2017-04-30

Lucy: Morgan's speech was psuedo scientific clap trap, but it had a fox in it. I would also applaud a transhumanist film that is generally positive about the transhumanism, yet still simple enough for the film goers (or Mob) to understand.

Also, the lines are back. And now they are gone again.

Passengers (2016): Kind of sap-tacular, and I only spotted 3 grievous technical errors, but I'm willing to overlook that because he built a shack on the concourse.

Now the lines seem to be gone again. Shrugs.

Now the lines have a "marching ants" effect. This is apparently a thing that happens.

2017-04-23

Other Mac fun: my mother's post-verizon mail account stopped working, so after some flailing around, I deleted the account. That deleted all the mail in the inbox. It said it would do that for imap, but it was a pop account so I assumed it wouldn't. Not a problem, as it did seem to fix the problem and as mail has a special time machine mode. However, after doing the restore, nothing seemed to happen as the restored folder (not restored directly into the inbox) did not show up even after restarting mail repeatedly. It wasn't until I searched for a message, found it, looked at "Restored inbox-5", then restarted and all 5 restored inboxes showed up. I copied the mail out of one and deleted it. It did not go away until I deleted the entire restored mailbox. For somebody who has 3 different mail servers running, this shouldn't be so hard.

I noticed lines on this iMac monitor. I am sitting closer, so it might have been there for a while, but it is really noticeable on solid colors. I may need the other one's display for an organ transplant after all. The controller still hasn't arrived yet, but I've been thinking about using the laptop as the main Mac, with the iMac/monitor as the main screen. It would look exactly like it does now, but would have fewer fans. Also a lot less disk space. The SSD won't fit all my old anime.

2017-04-16

Spring 2017 Anime:

AoT2 had more of what made the first half season good, less of what the second half bad. I though the OP was weak, though, compared to the first one.

This year's tax fun: The NJ amount is 3x higher than what I took home or paid last year or what it says on the federal form which is what I checked for accuracy 2 weeks ago. It says "The amounts shown are your distributive share of partnership tax items to be reported on your tax return, and may not correspond to actual distributions you have received during the year.", but the difference is costing me a higher tax bracket and a fine for underpayment, even though the amount I prepaid was actually over what it should be.

While taking the iMac apart, I had another idea: cases other than the iMac haves unused drive bays. Instead of having all the little fiddly bits and tiny cables running all over the place, put it all in a dockable unit and connect it to one of the motherboard's usb connections. Don't want wifi or a card reader but do want to save money, or spend more money and get all the card readers? Get a different unit. Want LEDs and more fan controls? Speakers? etc. Make 1 motherboard, but ship it in everything from minis to full towers. Then just buy the size of case to fit the amount of front space or coolers you need. (might need to add more PCI slots, but I think USB3 (or 4) will reduce that need) There are already PC fan controllers like this, but I don't see any that include the temperature sensors and logic. This also plays into what the front a PC is. A desktop can be the side, while a tower is now the top. Where ever you think the front is, you can put the panels there. Apple wants you to use dongles, but makes machines with dense spiderwebs of internal wiring. They could use internal dongles to simplify manufacturing and part supplies and get back to offering a variety of machine types.

Into the Badlands: while the fights were good, the rest of the show was teen drama level

While continuing to not by a new PC, I looked into turning the other, dead iMac into a monitor. Turns out, it is pretty easy, with ~$75 in Chinese parts to get a flawless 27" 1440p IPS monitor. I'm still paralyzed with indecision, though. Even if successful, it wouldn't be the main monitor for the PC because of the non-extreme refresh rate, but it could be a second monitor to the other iMac, with some sort of miniDP to DP connection. I took the iMac apart to get the exact sku off the panel, then removed the logic board for kicks. There are 3 ducted channels, but the center one doesn't run up over the RAM and CPU (which gets heat-piped out to the side with the PSU) and just seems to feed the hard drive and possibly the display. The GPU has its own heat pipes up to the right. It looks like the monitor has its own power supply, which could save some of that $75 but might require soldering. (I wonder if I could attach the heatsinks to the back of this iMac, like rabbit ears.) [Update: I did get it, but I got the wrong-ish part, so the controller alone was $90, but also includes hdmi, which would make it easier to attach to the laptop, so it isn't a complete waste of $30.]

http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac

Apparently, the military industrial complex has learned a thing from the drug pushers and started direct to consumer advertising. I found this in a ad. Though as a testament to the power of the MIC, even though this company makes the planes actively requested by the military, the complex will continue to purchase things like the F35, which might be complete any day now. Though I just had the dark thought that Ryzen fans' responses to the chip's issues are like the F35's backers. It will work any day now! It will be great, soon. Just one more firmware upgrade! It's all the motherboard's fault. Or maybe the RAM speed! I'm still planning on getting one, as I was considering getting an i5 anyway, so all the extra cores are just bonus.

Possible new computer names: Serval, Serbal Space Program, or Ezo Red Fox. Go Team Red!

2017-04-02

The Mechanic: Resurrection was weak and formulaic, although I'd accept it if Statham just wanted to go diving.

Money Monster attempted to humanize Jim Cramer, and that stretches the limits of believability.

My mother got locked out of her Verizon account. I could afford to wait it out for a couple months, but she will lose her email address in less than 2 weeks if she can't log in. The FIOS service is fine, but their website is awful. The scheduler doesn't work on the phone site, so I can't turn on the do not disturb feature at night, so I just leave it on all the time. Basically, I pay them to not receive phone calls.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/29/magazine/those-indecipherable-medical-bills-theyre-one-reason-health-care-costs-so-much.html?&_r=0 - "Studies have shown that hospitals charge patients who are uninsured or self-pay 2.5 times more than they charge those covered by health insurance (who are billed negotiated rates) and three times more than the amount allowed by Medicare. That gap has grown considerably since the 1980s." Holy Name Hospital was nice enough to give me a 66% discount for paying in cash promptly. So that would be about the "real" price and didn't require a year of effort from a team, though as the article goes on to point out, that number is still unrelated to the actual cost of care.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2017/03/samsung-dex-is-a-galaxy-s8-dock-that-makes-your-phone-into-a-desktop/ - nice, except it doesn't provide any additional resources. It's just a phone with a bigger screen, not better gpu, storage, doesn't manage encryption keys.

I just found out there is a new spirit beast fox pet. Chiku went to tame it, but all the suspected spawn points had somebody sitting on them, 3 months later. That may be awhile.

2017-03-26

2017 anime winter review: Generally good, though I just stopped watching a couple of shows, not even bothering to officially drop them. The surprise mega-hit turned out to be Kemono Friends. I tried to head-canon in a post-apocalyptic background to make a "let's show animals to kids" show more interesting and was going to watch it just because I am a questionably-human fan of animal-eared girls, but it is darker and weirder than even I thought. Interviews, Tanya, Dropout, Maidragon (great tech worker perspective) were good. I watched all of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, and while wouldn't necessarily recommend it (a lot of Japanese cultural knowledge is required), it was at least a lot more interesting than actual Rakugo. Girls Cycling was at least adequate, though I objected to their use of hugely expensive gear. I do this sort of cycling to various parks and scenic points, so I'd like an anime that reflects this more that the Yowapeda team sports cycling, but my entire bike and gear cost as much as one of their jerseys. Nyanko, Piacevole are cute, but useless. I stopped watching Acca, mostly because the country was shaped like a bird, but also predicted (correctly) that it would never develop any kind of plot. I meant to watch more Akiba's Trip, but never got around to it. I did check in with it just now, and while I liked the story, the odd fan service seemed just a detraction. Perhaps best for new fans.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/dissecting-trumps-most-rabid-online-following/ I could have told you that, but it is a great analysis.

I see the new Corsair case, but as an effectively all-in-one, it defeats the purpose of buying generic pc hardware.

Questionably-human fan of animal-eared girls
Says the pantsless one

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHoqYBZMc_c Remember how I said pc cases are all disappointing? This guy really knows where his towel is. I'm not sure about the taking the case off the PSU, but key points: 2 fans, 2 ducted air flows; isolated backup drive (a must in the age of ransom-ware, I still have to plug it in manually); motherboard not pointing backwards (there are still switches on the back, which I would have kept clean so it can go flat up against the wall.). Other things to consider: using the case as the heatsink, such as the iMac; liquid cooling with much larger radiators/reservoirs to reduce fan speed ( though I don't think liquid cooling could be as quiet, as the pump still needs to run at the same speed, and is not as reliable); thermoelectric or refrigeration coolers, with a bonus of being able to radiate outside the case (there is a current thermoelectric).

Santa Clarita Diet: Except for Nathan Fillion, vastly inferior to I, Zombie.

2017-03-19

https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/the-endless-light-and-hunger-of-cities-in-games While it covers cities inside a torus, it doesn't cover making new cities and using vr to preview them.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls: generally depressing, and furthering my theory that racism and stupidity both are required.

Memento: I rewatched this for the first time. Or did I?

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency?mbid=synd_digg I thought that about the Kochs: why are they so bad at influencing elections? They were held up by the right as the example that money couldn't buy elections, so don't worry about money in elections. On the other hand, they are the more comprehensible: they just want to be industrialists, and they can better do that by pushing the externalities of production and consumption on to others. The Mercers seem purely motivated by ideologies, but are much more effective at it. The ideologies are insane, which is a bit of a negative. Return to the gold standard? He worked in finance and never noticed leverage? Even if the amount of cash the government printed was the value of the amount of gold in Fort Knox, the ideological purity breaks down as soon as the banks leverage it 30:1 and lend it all back to the government. Not running huge deficits would fix that, you might say, but that would fix the problem the gold standard is trying to solve.

So I shared my Obamacare story, and I've been getting spam from the white House. They are unintentionally hilarious. For example, the news section, when it isn't Breitbart: "The Washington Post: "Trump's budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why"", contains such gems as "With the money we will save on these sad public servants, we will be able to buy lots of GUNS and F-35s and other cool things that go BOOM and POW and PEW PEW PEW." One of the comments: "Sadly, a whole bunch of Trump supporters will hear a loud *whoosh* as the satire passes them by." Surprise! They work in the white House.

GORA: better than the Turkish Star Wars, at least. It is competently made and I did laugh at some of it.

So Verizon is giving up email, like it gave up web hosting? It is pretty bad at it. Emails take forever to get delivered. Spam processing is non-existant. However, much like Yahoo giving up telecommuting, I'm going to call this as the death of Verizon as a technical company. If you can't manage email, you don't have the staff who can do things like implement the next generation of whatever it is Verizon actually does now. They can't run a website, I can tell you.

Peter and the Farm: while a nice farm, does not embody the shack life.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/03/lancaster-ohio-glass-house/519351/

2017-03-12

Embers: I enjoyed that, though some of us already live without much of a short term memory. Part of it was filmed only 90 miles from here, and you'd assume the land would have to be cheap, given the post-apocalyptic appearance. I was looking at some of the zillow pages for possible Project Binchoustan sites, and I noticed that one of them now has 2 neighbors for sale as well. One was too much because it is sports history site, but there are only 3 other properties on the hill top. I could have the entire hill to myself. What was I talking about again?

The Lovers and the Despot: fun Best Korea movie, though it makes the escape seem like a sudden decision, and not like they just made a movie about an unstoppable monster who eats everything.

While I was out, the phone stopped sending messages, so I rebooted it. This has fixed the problem in the past. When it rebooted, it demanded a wifi connection, which was unavailable while I was circling the Newark Airport's ring road. I did eventually find my mother, but she was out in the cold for an hour.

2017-03-05

Last week, iTunes downloaded the entire run of Rebound, this week, the entire run of Magic Tavern.

The Bodyguard (2016): Old, gray (well, more so), senile Judy Hopps, still kicking.

Once upon a time in Shanghai: kind of off in the middle, but some good kung fu. One of these days, somebody should write up a comparison between the Boxer Rebellion and Trump. Industrial automation leading to lose of traditional employment modes, perception of lost authority, trade imbalances, alternative culture based around sub-culture heroes and ideologies.

Zoom: Didn't actually watch all of it because I started to hate all the characters, but after reading one of the comments I skipped ahead, and it did come together in the end.

Nobel: didn't like it. Economy of characters left little doubt about the overall shape of the mystery.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/trump-foreign-policy-elites-insiders-experts-international-relations-214846 - the image to the bottom reminds me of Kim Jong Il's and Un's photos: the great leader expressing thoughts to note pad carrying followers. That the article is about consolidating power in the ruling family is not helping. I do have sympathy for destroying The Blob, though. As the Daily Show pointed out on multiple occasions, our current problems are just fixes to previous problems which are fixes to previous problems. The solution to Syria probably isn't doing nothing, but arming random separatists isn't going to fix things this time, either. Or no fly zones, or "advisors" proxy-combating the Soviet menace. Speaking of The Soviet Menace, what's up with the dead Russians in NYC?

https://overcast.fm/+ERKNzbAHE John Hodgeman explained what I picked up on but didn't understand about Star Wars 7's weird political view: neo-conservatism.

I don't feel at home in this world anymore: weirdly dark. The Binchoustan lifestyle offers salvation to everyone here.

http://ideas.ted.com/the-rise-of-the-useless-class/ The author seems to think this is something that will happen in the future.

2017-02-26

Mr Robot 1: not sure as the antihero is really the thing for the Trump era. Also, that we might be looking back at a time when losing only the international banking system looked like a big deal.

Kill Command: terrible writing.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams: one of the series "Places Werner would like to visit".

Valley Uprising: The Man and gravity, always keeping you down.

So the stars aligned and the verizon account reset thing didn't ask me for a security question, didn't send me to the mobile site, and actually called me. Insanity is visiting verizon.com repeatedly and expecting the same result. They never did sent me the account number by mail. Turns out, they did just jack up the price twice, and added more random fees. I signed up for another contract to save 3/4ths of the increase. (which, at the rate of inflation, is fair enough. I can't afford to move anyway.) This time I manage to avoid paying $40 for the separate phone service, but now pay $30 more for internet, and a mysterious tech support fee of $10 which was not mentioned on the thing I signed up for, but is on the bill. It promises the same sort of phone features Vonage offered in the 00's, so there's that.

Not that I need this just to test websites in various versions of IE, but this is a cool concept: bootable Virtual Machines. Don't mess with inflexible partitions. Don't worry about registry build-up or viruses, just keep launching clones. https://twocanoes.com/products/mac/boot-runner Semi-related, and from below: if Apple does make an ARM low power computer that runs x86 code on a sub-processor, would it not be nice to run an entire Windows install under the hypervisor-style master OS? (not an actual hypervisor, because you want copy/paste, etc., but also not provide the HAL from a VM.) The ARM MacOS core could pause/stop the client os like VirtualBox if it wasn't doing anything. The client os could even be the Intel based MacOS. You could switch between OSs like desktops.

Another PC case thing: the reviewer points out taking out the 2 supplied fans from the front and putting one up top (has to be a different sized fan, because there are only the 2 mounting points so you can't just move the existing fan) produces a substantial decrease in cpu temperature, but then doesn't condemn the case design for being useless, or the manufacturers for being useless. I don't like, but won't condemn, the glass side panels or led lighting. Even the other side glass panels where it's nothing but cables. It is not a terrible look, even though all the moving fans would drive me insane. I will condemn the user-hostile design choices like removing or hiding all the front ports or the drive bays (even if you don't use DVDs, that's not the only thing you can put there), the lack of design features, like ducted cooling or flip out boards. There is a very compact Asus case (ducts) that doesn't look terrible, but the compactness defeats the upgradeability. Except for that one case with the lobes, I don't see anything with any real effort or new features. There is one case with an iMac style "case as heatsink" feature, but it suffers from the Apple port-phobia lacking on the iMac's back, and lacks the convection effect as it appeared to be horizontal. How about mounting the board backwards, so all the ports are available on the front/side (you'd be looking at the windowed side, of course, so isn't that the front now?), but the fan noise still goes out the other way? I'm picturing this on the desktop, next to or behind the monitor, with the fans pointed away from user, but all the ports behind the monitor. It looks like MiniITX cases have all the looks, but fewer options. (other fun case features: putting all the fans "outside", so the inner area has fewer damageable parts and a secure metal frame while you are putting parts in.)

2017-02-19

Orphan Black 3, 4:

Sanctuary 4: nice they had an actual end for it

https://medium.com/@DaleBeran/4chan-the-skeleton-key-to-the-rise-of-trump-624e7cb798cb#.p3nboguj1 - good article, though it doesn't mention 8chan, in which paranoid schizophrenia is held up as a lifestyle choice. The parallel in history is the Stalinist purges: once every random element holds deep ideological meaning, armed men "self-investigating" pizza parlors is inevitable. Also does not get into the inherent contradictions between what they say and who they are: Brietbart's most anti-semitic articles written by Jews, poor men repealing subsidized healthcare for the underemployed, the gay furry Nazis. I get the willingness to burn down a system that doesn't support you (although being unable to fix it, I, like B5's techno-mages, just left instead), but I don't get why you'd throw support at somebody who's stated platform is openly hostile to your interests. I'd also argue that it is not the left in general that can solve the problem. Read any autopsy of the Clinton campaign and note the disconnect of Brooklyn and the grass roots. That was just more of the system telling you where you should stay, even as you can see it is wrong, the same as working a "real" job in the service economy that pays less and costs more than hustling gigs. Socialism, specifically the message "largely through luck, you have become very wealthy, so share or we'll burn down the system that gives money value" is a solution. I wouldn't argue that is realistic though. Nobody wants to share, particularly people who inherited vast wealth but whose own careers have been poor. The only realistic solution is cannibalism. The parallel in history here is the Irish Potato Famine. Ireland didn't stop creating and exporting food during the famine. The system hugely benefited the 0.1%, and it simply didn't matter how many millions died. But the Irish didn't have more guns than people or spent thousands of hours in murder simulators.

As predicted, the Horizon Blue Cross billing is not working: it is still on, but is a month late. So every month, it is going to bill on the first of the next month, so every month I'm going to get a paper bill. And the paperless setting still can't be turned on.

2017-02-12

Turns out gocomics just had not turned on the ads. So now all the pages that they make you click through now have ads that move the content when they load. And that's the end of that.

This needs to be a thing

As much as I love Nick's phone, the top of Susumu Hirasawa's website is also very cool idea. I'd use a gradient fade to black to make most of the text unreadable in the darkness, but that's just me.

2017-02-05

Apparently, Fark lost its ads because Google called an image of a clothed adult woman child pornography in a thread about the overreach of government in charging a man with possession of child pornography for having a professionally produced (if subsequently pirated) pornograph of a 19 year old. At least the government had already managed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the actress was underage. Google just said is so, so there. Recursive irony. I only read Fark headlines once a week on Sundays to keep up on my weird news. (It replaced "Wait, wait" for weekend weird news jokes.) As such I can't comment on 6/7th of the posts so I'm not part of that community, and am not sure any amount of money is worth 10 minutes of light entertainment a week. But I will mention Fark on what passes for my social media. For some bonus irony, even though I don't have an ad blocker, I wasn't seeing the ads on the article about how advertisers are hurting themselves with the extra-invasive ads because the extra-invasive ads on that page tripped something in the firewall.

Rodger Corman's Death Race 2050: The ideal Corman movie: not great, but it amused and didn't cost too much.

Best of Enemies: Poor Buckley, to have spawned Trump must be the greatest indignity.

http://www.macworld.com/article/3165284/macs/why-a-dual-processor-fusion-mac-makes-a-lot-of-sense.html - Even since I wrote a term paper on heterogeneous multiprocessing, I've been waiting for something like this. I think it would enable a new form of mobile computing: the entire computer is an iPhone. You can use the phone for messages, web browsing, or plug it in to whatever computer you are sitting in front of and all your settings and files are available (either on the phone, or via iCloud), and it can use whatever CPU or GPU resources the host machine can provide to run the native software better, or special software too big for the phone. The bad end is Apple does exactly that, but with only iOS apps. That would be a workable solution for most people, but I think it would be a step back in enabling more powerful user interfaces.

Volpin the not-so-Elusive
Look who Chiku the Fox Hunter finally found

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/how-to-build-an-autocracy/513872/ That didn't even mention the Rosneft deal. Unrelated, maybe: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/jan/30/from-book-to-boom-how-the-mormons-plan-a-city-for-500000-in-florida You want to buy Utah? Trump could make it happen.

Canter also lamented that Director doesn't receive the same appreciation for its pioneering role in interactive content creation as does Apple's HyperCard, which appeared two years after Videoworks and had a much briefer period of relevance.: I'd disagree with that. Hypercard was available to and usable by a much greater range of people. It was also more explicitly a hypermedia/proto-web tool. The fact that you could stop the animation and add buttons to a frame in Director was always a clunky interface for that. Director was definitely a much more powerful tool, though, and not just because it could do color.

2017-01-29

Kill Zone 2: beginning was boring, skipped up to the fight at the end. Suit Guy was pretty good.

From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses: Thought this might be relevant. The magician leading his somnambulant masses turned out to be the good period.

NetBeans 8.2 has some sort of memory leak, or isn't working with the jvm I have, again. It was working fine, but then I caught it occupying 17GB RAM. I restarted it with only 1 project, opened 4 files (2 php, 1 js, 1 css), 500M, fine. Switching back and forth between each of the files would consistently occupy another 100MB, up to 1.3GB when I quit it. Not even editing, but just switching files. Fortunately I didn't uninstall 8.1, which might be part of 8.2's problem. I've usually had problems with installing 2 versions at the same time, but it is usually major versions.

One of the many reason I haven't yet purchased a pc (mainly: I'm cheap.) is the cases on gaming computers: The [Corsair] Spec-Alpha uses the same tooling used on the -02 and -03 Spec cases, but adds a plastic extrusion on the outside for that "1980s cartoon robot" look – a quote we're lifting from Corsair, who previously used the phrase to describe competing, unsightly cases. I don't like the tempered glass, either. The case with the translucent lcd screen seems the height of this trend. I can't find pre-built computers with PCI M.2 NVMe SSD, either. And there might be new video cards in April? And nerds are upset the 10x doesn't include the right kind of high bandwidth memory. I might just watch game footage on twitch or something.

Travelers: decent, cliffhanger is a bit irritating, child custody subplot was dumb. I did like the pacing of reveals. Not certain if the same person can travel repeatedly or not.

Eva: AI robots, but no self driving cars. Except for the butler, emotionless, kind of creepy.

Synchronicity: break down, as view from the top and bottom, past and future: The moment you lived in a society where someone could conceive of an EMT van used as an Über-Uber, you lived in a society where ambulances no longer received the right of way. and "The media is under attack now. They wonder, Is the court system next? Do we go from 'fake news' to 'fake evidence'? For people whose existence depends on enforceable contracts, this is life or death."

Intelligence Squared debates: As much as I applaud the concept, there seem to be some pretty serious structural issues: with 72-28% result, the 28% sides wins, because they converted more of the audience. Which is fine, if the focus is on rewarding persuasive arguments, except the winning side there had even the moderator calling out a straw-man argument, that team argued with each other as much as the opposition and, as predicted, talked over the other side with selective statistics. I don't think they addressed a single question with an actual answer. Particularly for something polarizing, the "score" is too easy to rig. Just drop it. Have the debate, let people think what they think.

2017-01-22

Ragnarok: snek

https://medium.com/@AlexSteffen/trump-putin-and-the-pipelines-to-nowhere-742d745ce8fd?ICID=ref_fark#.es6dtq5nt For example: http://grist.org/briefly/coal-loving-wyoming-legislators-are-pushing-a-bill-to-outlaw-wind-and-solar/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark Although it doesn't address oil's important place in the Economy of The Future: plastics and feedstock for 3d printing.

Room 237: probably not the best movie to have on while working. Something about the Holocaust and minotaurs?

http://nautil.us/issue/44/luck/investing-is-more-luck-than-talent "it's easier to be sort of rich than really rich", "suppose that Jill is a super-sophisticated investor who is able to obtain an annual return that's 1 percent better than average. Even after 20 years, Jill would have only a 56 percent chance of being richer than Jack, a normal investor. That's only a slight improvement over the 50-50 chance she would have if the two of them were equally talented." This is the key to Project Binchoustan, and the failure of Wall Street as the manager of a capitalist society. Everybody at Goldman believes they are above average, and fights regulations that would reduce market volatility because they alone will be the ones to profit during a crash.

I got the money back from AmeriHealth! I wasn't expecting it, but a check arrived without explanation. So while they did eat my money like a broken vending machine, they did eventually get around to giving it back. If only they could communicate faster, I'd still be with them, because the other one isn't exactly speedy either. Speaking of communication and insurance companies, the other one (it is literally the other one, there are only 2 left), despite the email only setting and the automated billing, is now sending me paper bills. If history is a guide, this will continue until I start throwing them out unread, then the automated billing will break down.

The Magicians: far less literary. Given that it is based on a book it seems odd that a lot of the plot threads seem to go nowhere, or contradict others. Something episodic might have issues like that, but you'd assume they had the whole thing laid out at the start, perhaps in novel form. I may try saying "The fox knows how to be happy" every morning. Though the more you think about that scene, the less sense any of it makes.

Netflix's Unfortunate Events: very literary

In Order of Disappearance: very "In Bruges", but the editing is a bit confusing at times.

2017-01-15

Winter 2017 Anime

Winner: the Fang-chans can battle it out for supremacy

That grenade launcher from Ajin #2, the horrifying new weapon? The US Army is considering not deploying it because it is too heavy.

The gocomics.com upgrade appears to be deliberately pooping on the free users. What used to be 1 page is now 4. Weirdly, none of those pages have ads (or I'm not seeing them, which suggests they are flash or something), which would have been the obvious reason to be that user hostile. What used to be an obvious click for the next new comic is now a click for the next comic, whether or not it has new content. The reason it is pooping and not just terrible mobile centric design is the pro version still gives you new comics on one page, so they took a feature out, so you can pay for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zp-Qc_VDC9U

I checked to see if Zootopia won anything at the Golden Globes, and even though the giant ad on the page was pushing for Moana, Zootopia won "Best Motion Picture – Animated". Just more anti-pred bias from big Mouse. The Incomparable's year end roundup also praised Zootopia.

https://thinkprogress.org/the-center-has-fallen-and-white-nationalism-is-filling-the-vacuum-beb0611dfe94#.68ijgzcb2

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/24/11094524/prt-transit-history-self-driving-cars-alden-starrcar-tomorrowland-1960s https://www.wired.com/2016/02/kai-caemmerer-unborn-cities/?mbid=synd_digg#slide-x These two articles just happen to be published at the same time, but point out that while China is building "a thoroughly modern city", it is only copying the problems of all the other modern cities. I cut this out of the previous note, but I mentioned the issues with SATA and SSDs when buying a new computer. Why limit yourself to old technologies when you are buying a brand new motherboard? If you don't have people in the city to complain about the subway construction, why not build in a subway? And a car-way, and safe pedestrian spaces.

http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/01/windows-vs-macos-drunken-carnival-vs-sterile-art-gallery.html - " It makes me wonder if the Apple leadership team actually uses Macs anymore. I'm sure they have nice iMacs on their desk; they may even check their email using Apple Mail from time to time when they aren't on their iPhones or iPad Pros. But do they live out of their laptops, like I believe most people still do? (Or at least, tautologically, as most people who buy laptops do?)" This is also true for desktops. While slowly looking into buying a gaming PC, I actually have increasing respect for a great many of the choices Apple makes for the mini and iMac, but the hardware lineup meets fewer and fewer atypical needs as it ages. Generally, this wouldn't be a problem with expansion slots and ports, but Apple seems dead set removing them, too.

Autohead: slow, though I'm probably not picking up on the regional prejudices because it appears he is some random idiot, not, as in "Falling Down", the American Dream Middle Class Office Worker, or whatever that would mean for India. Maybe idiot rickshaw driver is the middle class Indian, I don't know.

https://hackblossom.org/cybersecurity/ - would like to add S/MIME is much easier than PGP for email, OpenSSL is easier than PGP for individual files (though lacking in key storage features), Apple also has encrypted disk images (you don't have deal with encrypting games, 4k video, etc. on the entire drive if you just want to protect some medical documents), and that it is fine to write down passwords on paper, as long as that paper isn't with the laptop or phone when it gets stolen. You should also treat identity questions as passwords: all random data, stored in the vault. I could opine Tor is useless, providing no more utility than a vpn, vastly worse performance, and makes you a target (The article points out tor sites are not necessarily encrypted, which surprised me when I found that out.), and that a 2Factor password is only as strong as the second factor's security. If it's a phone and somebody knows your real name or number, they can probably change your password.

2017-01-01

Binchou-tan's home
Still need to find Project Binchoustan HQ

Project Binchou-stan remained in a holding pattern pending an ultimate resolution of my health problems, one way or the other. I didn't add to or subtract from the Nest Egg, which continues to grow under its own momentum. It passed the point where even with a 0% return, 3% inflation, I'd still not run out of money with abstemious spending. I've only semi-retired, though, working half-time (though I work a 20 hour week the same way I worked a 40 hour week) and I took a month off to play WoW:Legion. I may finally get around to buying a gaming pc with a gtx10 series card with the "left-over" money. This isn't where I'd want to live, but I'm also too lazy/tired to find that exact intersection of cheap, wooded, near nature reserve trails, private enough such that I could build a house made of straw in the back yard, and now near a sufficiently advanced hospital. Also ideally near broadband Internet, though if I could replace the foxes that fill up my twitter feed with actual neighbor foxes, the Internet would be optional. I do still want to take a longer vacation in the woods this year.

The new design does present a usability challenge. Both in that the text is extremely small, angled, and that it is not apparent that it is scrollable text. This continues my theme of picking fonts you probably don't have. Eventually, it will just be 4pt text on a black background. Ideally, trying to scroll the page would scroll the content, but I couldn't be bothered. PgDn, space work with a bit of JS, but you have to scroll with the cursor over the text. I was nice enough to add a phone break point, so you don't have to look at a site on a phone on a phone. (In case you are on a phone or really small window, or really old browser, you are missing out on the fun, but stand a better chance of actually reading this.) It would be nice if clicking on the home button (or Nick) did something, but I couldn't think of anything.

2016 Drivel

My sole remaining career goal is to live in a shack in the woods. No more resumes!

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-- 
Patrick Phelan, now more than ever.
w____\\W//___w       Te Hupenui
I Blame Your Mother
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