Saturday March 25th, 2023

HDMI engineering

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RT jwz

@th Everything about HDMI makes more sense once you understand it as first a *restraint*, and only second as a means of moving images from point A to point B.

HDMI's mission is, "Under no circumstances display something unpermitted; all other considerations secondary; crew expendable."

The EDID thing probably falls out of that on the basis of: the kind of people who would willingly work on the design of such a system are terrible engineers, technically and ethically compromised.

Friday March 24th, 2023

"Fact Checking" should die

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DEA using AirTags

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Forbes: The DEA Quietly Turned Apple’s AirTag Into A Surveillance Tool

Probably a good idea to make sure you've got AirGuard or something similar running on your phone. If not the DEA, then someone else...

who we think we are

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RT Buffy the Psych Prof

I recently had a man say to me, “I’m sorry I’m not the man you thought I was.” But the reality is that he is not the man *he* thinks he is and therein lies the problem. Many of us are fairly clueless about ourselves because we’ve lived our entire lives being whoever we think we are supposed to be for other people and thus never actually get a chance to find out who we *actually* are. And sometimes that turns out to be a shocking surprise to everyone, including ourselves.

Trans links OTD

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RT Shon @gayblackvet

Say you’re in a room with 400 ppl. 36 don’t have health insurance. 48 live in poverty. 85 are illiterate. 90 have untreated mental illnesses. And everyday, at least 1 person is shot. But 2 are trans so you decide ruining their lives is a priority. That is what’s happening rn

Most trans adults say transitioning made them more satisfied with their lives:

Many have been harassed or verbally abused. They’ve been kicked out of their homes, denied health care and accosted in bathrooms. A quarter have been physically attacked, and about 1 in 5 have been fired or lost out on a promotion because of their gender identity. They are more than twice as likely as the population at large to have experienced serious mental health struggles such as depression.

Yet most trans adults say transitioning has made them more satisfied with their lives.

Which may also explain the amazingly low regret rate on surgery: If someone gets to that point, they've gotten past social transitioning, probably been through several years of hormone therapy, legal transitioning, so years of struggle and barriers before surgery even becomes an option.

Oh Apple 6 does something different

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Oh, Apple. ⌃⇧6 does something different on my external Bluetooth keyboard than on the built-in MacBook Pro keyboard.

Some day MacOS will get peripherals right. Today is not that day. My screen escape sequence has to be typed on the built-in keyboard, I guess.

DDT off Catalina Island

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Fuuuuu. Scientists uncover startling concentrations of pure DDT along seafloor off L.A. coast

These revelations confirm some of the science community’s deepest concerns — and further complicate efforts to understand DDT’s toxic and insidious legacy in California. Public calls for action have intensified since The Times reported in 2020 that dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, banned in 1972, is still haunting the marine environment today. Significant amounts of DDT-related compounds continue to accumulate in California condors and local dolphin populations, and a recent study linked the presence of this once-popular pesticide to an aggressive cancer in sea lions.

University of California Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute — History of DDT Ocean Dumping off L.A. Coast Even Worse than Expected, EPA Finds

After an exhaustive historical investigation into the barrels of DDT waste reportedly dumped decades ago near Catalina Island, federal regulators concluded that the toxic pollution in the deep ocean could be far worse — and far more sweeping — than what scientists anticipated.

In internal memos made public recently, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that acid waste from the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful it poisoned birds and fish — had not been contained in hundreds of thousands of sealed barrels.

If you didn't catch up on US lawmakers exposing themselves as willing to be puppets of Meta PR to embrace Sinophobia rather than looking at privacy protections generally, Emily Gorcenski posted a good summary in meme form, and Markus Hutchins linked to a TikTok summarizing the hearings.

But if you want a more serious deeper dive into US attempts to build a "great wall" style censorship system for the Internet, Bruce Schneier looks at banning TikTok.

And, later, link-dumping: Will Oremus in the Washington Post: America’s online privacy problems are much bigger than TikTok — Concerns of Chinese data access highlight Congress’s own failure to protect Americans’ personal information


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CO2 sensors

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lack of coherent thoughts

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Your morning dose of batshittery: An Interview With the School Board Chair Who Forced Out a Principal After Michelangelo’s David Was Shown in Class

Local elections are important, folks, get involved in your school board elections, because they sure are.

"Law" enforcement articles of the morning

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Some people will spend billions of

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Some people will spend billions of dollars developing large language models rather than building APIs which make sense and use consistent language.

Thursday March 23rd, 2023

The myth of smell

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Poor Human Olfaction is a Nineteenth Century Myth

Strangely, the idea that humans have tiny olfactory bulbs and a poor sense of smell is derived in part from the religious politics of nineteenth century France. The Catholic Church in France actively fought secularization, including the denunciation of the Paris Faculty of Medicine for teaching “atheism and materialism.” One of the physicians publicly singled out by bishops in the French Senate (5) was prominent neuroanatomist and anthropologist Paul Broca. This conflict manifested even in the day-to-day administration of Broca’s academic institution and jeopardized the operation of his laboratory. Because of this socio-historical milieu, Broca sometimes interpreted his anatomical data to provide empirical support of his reductionist views.

The chain of misinformation is chased through Sigmund Freud (go figure) who continued the myth that smell and cognition were inversely linked. But there's other fascinating bits in here.


Inspired by

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Inspired by , I decided to use's prompt on Bard...

And now I need to figure out how to get my image uploading thing to provide alt text...

Spartan Mosquito Eradicator

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Dominant hand

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Dominant hand?

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I couldn't remember William Carlos

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I couldn't remember William Carlos Williams, so I asked Bard "Write a poem in the style of peaches and icebox describing buttocks." I'm so gonna get banned.

Here is a poem in the style of peaches and icebox describing buttocks:

Buttocks, like peaches,
Round and ripe,
Sweet and juicy,
A sight to behold.

Buttocks, like icebox,
Cold and hard,
Frozen in time,
A sight to endure.

Buttocks, like peaches and icebox,
Both beautiful,
Both desirable,
Both a mystery.

Wednesday March 22nd, 2023

Tax Heaven 3000

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The thing about Tax Heaven 3000 — the dating sim that does your taxes is that, sure, it's an obvious scam to siphon your personal information for nefarious purposes (actually, satire about that), but it's not like Intuit's TurboTax is any less of an obvious scam to siphon your PII for evil.


Digging through spindump output

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Digging through spindump output, and with all of the sleep problems I'm having on Ventura, and some of the weird window redraw issues in tabbing, I'm realizing that MacOS may have a way to go to catch up with Linux in terms of desktop GUI usability, but Apple has far surpassed it in terms of weird inconsistent hardware support and making users be system level programmers.

Seeing questions in various places that

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Seeing questions in various places that indicate that LinkedIn is currently a hotbed of overpayment scams, but the thing is... I wasn't aware that any legitimate employer used LinkedIn to begin with.

TikTok threats

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RT evacide

I'm not writing an entire blog post about how stupid a US TikTok ban would be because this is all that needs to be said:

If the Chinese government is in your threat model, don’t install TikTok on your device. Otherwise, your actual problem is surveillance capitalism.

And if the US government is in your threat model, for deity's sake don't install anything Meta.

Anti-porn efforts

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Anti-porn bills in 8 states could force device makers to censor sexual material

The bills would require phone and tablet manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to turn on content filters by default, but their reach could be deeper than intended.

"deeper than intended" my ass, the bluenoses always want to impose their religious law universally.

Utah's measure was signed into law in 2021, but it requires five additional states to pass similar laws.

The organizations driving this mentioned in the article are "National Center on Sexual Exploitation", "Protect Young Eyes", "Project STAND".

This, of course, is a good time to remember that pretty much every credible investigation into links between pornography availability and sexual violence show that there's a negative correlation, and this sort bullshit is usually pushed by the sort of predatory cultures that like to keep kids from having the language to describe being abuse, and who believe in the subjugation of women.

Seeing a lot of things about DPReview

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Seeing a lot of things about DPReview shutting down, and I have to stop and think about it every time, because in my timeline "DP" has rarely meant Digital Photography...

Tuesday March 21st, 2023

Apple bit rot may yet force me to an M2

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Apple bit rot may yet force me to an M2. There's no reason this laptop should be out of date, but I suspect that it's Ventura+XCode with the main thread warnings that I can't do anything about because it's all in Apple code that's making this machine unusably slow.

I hate XCode. (Yeah

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I hate XCode.

(Yeah, if I knew more about why it keeps beachballing on me I'd elaborate, but for now that's all I got. Just hate.)

I don't know if the issue lies with

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I don't know if the issue lies with FedEx or the shipper, but I've got a fairly (physically) large delivery that involves, apparently, 3 pieces. I can't use any of those pieces without all of them (for reasons obvious to the shipper), and yet each is delivered over 3 subsequent days. Seems inefficient.

Thinking about how Apple Music feels

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Thinking about how Apple Music feels like preinstalled bloatware and a liability to using MacOS. I mean, sure, you can install a better media player, but if you accidentally trigger Apple Music you then have to disentangle all of the stupid file copying and duplication stuff.

Loyal workers and exploitation

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Not exactly news, and I think there are some deeper questions to be answered here about what occurs long-term, but: Managers Exploit Loyal Workers Over Less Committed Colleagues

Companies want loyal workers, and there is a ton of research showing that loyal workers provide all sorts of positive benefits to companies,” said Matthew Stanley, Ph.D., the lead researcher on the new paper and postdoctoral researcher at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. “But it seems like managers are apt to target them for exploitative practices.”

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology: Loyal workers are selectively and ironically targeted for exploitation

"Disable pop-up blocker" Um

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"Disable pop-up blocker" Um. Hello. 2003 called, the want their web information architecture back.

Because I'll find it here

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Because I'll find it here. I've been using drug store razor blades for years, Wilkinson, etc. I ordered a sampler pack from West Coast Shaving, and the first one I opened was a pack of Dorco blades, and wow. Only used one so far, but first shave was smooth without cutting, and it seems to be holding up. If these are consistent, I really like them.

Monday March 20th, 2023

Upcoming Physician Allocation Issues

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Med Page Today: How Overturning Roe v. Wade Changed Match Day 2023

Our recent study<span class="screen-readers-only">opens in a new tab or window</span> published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine begins to answer this question. In a survey of more than 2,000 current and future physicians on social media, we found that most (82.3%) would prefer to work or train in states with preserved abortion access. In fact, more than three-quarters (76.4%) of respondents would not even apply to states with legal consequences for providing abortion care. The same holds true for states with early or complete bans on abortion or Plan B. In other words, many qualified candidates would no longer even consider working or training in more than half of U.S. states.

Journal of Internal Medicine: Practice Location Preferences in Response to State Abortion Restrictions Among Physicians and Trainees on Social Media.

Unrelated to medicine, but I've said I'm going to fulfill duties at the IAGSDC convention in Durham, NC, in the summer of 2024, and if North Carolina has a functional drag ban at that time I'm... not sure what's going to happen. I know I'm thinking about it.

SBIV private banking division woes

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RT Dare Obasanjo

It’s a bad look for the venture capital industry that they panicked and cause SVB to collapse via a bank run, and now no bank wants to take it over and get the VC/startup customer base.

A real own goal.

lot of people have been denigrating

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A lot of people have been denigrating ChatGPT for giving answers that read like a content-farm worker was regurgitating the ideas of a coke-addled tech bro, but it turns out that that's actually fairly useful when trying to figure out WTF the design decisions behind aspects of Apple's Cocoa widget set were.

Some good ruminations on Michael Knowles, Jesse Singal, Jonathan Chait, and their ilk: They Know Exactly What They're Doing:

<span>Imagine if you will that you watched me gather the following ingredients: </span>1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened; 1 cup granulated sugar; 2 large eggs; 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1/2 cup whole milk.

Imagine now that, once you had seen me gather these ingredients, I set my oven to exactly 350°F (180°C) and begin to grease an 8-inch cake pan with butter or cooking spray—and then, in a medium bowl, whisked together the flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. Furthermore, imagine that, in a separate large bowl, I began to cream the softened butter and sugar together, until it was light and fluffy, using an electric mixer, adding the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each is fully incorporated.

“Ah ha,” hypothetical you hypothetically says. “He is making a lovely cake.”

Now, imagine that when hypothetical me hears this, I get upset with hypothetical you. No, not upset—furious. I accuse you of twisting my actions to suit your narrative of lies and abuse. I threaten a libel suit. How dare you, I ask, suggest that I am making a cake when I haven’t even put the ingredients in a cake tray yet, much less put it in the oven. It is just beyond the </span>pale<span> that you would suggest that I am baking anything, much less a cake. I am, I insist, only curiously experimenting with how ingredients mix—and anyway, it would be impossible to bake cakes, because the idea that cakes are something that exists in the world is a malicious lie; everything that people call “cake” is simple an improperly-shaped muffin.

Reminder that you can turn off stupid

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Reminder that you can turn off stupid web page custom fonts in Firefox bu searching for "Fonts" in settings, going to "Advanced...", and un-checking "Allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of your selections above"

Looks like making Chrome behave sensibly a bookmarklet or extension, though.

The Atlarntic

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Holy shit, The Atlarntic,, is on fire, and dead on. One headline: "It's Totally Unprofessional To Say That Covid Is Spread By Assholes — Sorry, you said aerosols. I don't know anything about that."

RT The Volatile Mermaid

A holiday where you put blood on your doorpost to prevent the government from killing your reproductive rights called Pussover.

20 years since the Iraq invasion.

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From yesterday: The Iraq War Began 20 Years Ago Today. Phil Donahue's MSNBC Show Was One Of The First Casualties. A good reminder that the "anti-war kooks" were fucking right.

Sunday March 19th, 2023

It's been probably a decade and a half

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It's been probably a decade and a half since we've seen a production of Cabaret. Went down to the Marin School of the Arts this evening for their production, and it was really good, and it lands a little different in the 2020s than it did back in the noughties.

Saturday March 18th, 2023

Sitting here going back through some of

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Sitting here going back through some of the songs we sang at a workshop with Lydia Violet and MaMuse last weekend, and thinking about how nice it would be to have a singing circle here in Petaluma, rather than driving down to Marv Zauderer's events in Marin. I guess the question is if this energy replaces square dance calling in my life, or becomes *another* project...

I'm starting to see people posting

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I'm starting to see people posting about Ted Lasso S3. So no spoilers, but if Ted's character arc has him actually learning something rather than just smearing platitudes around, tell me, 'cause then I'll be interested.

Or maybe if Nate really rubs his nose in it.

Friday March 17th, 2023

Back in the '90s I corresponded and

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Back in the '90s, I corresponded, and once met up with in person, Marylaine Block. Author of "My Word's Worth", among other things. I lost track of her, and believe she died a few years ago, but I just ended up on Marylaine(dot)com, sent a link to some of her writing, and then discovered that her page has been infected by casino scammers.

Something to think about as we figure out how to do estate planning for our digital assets.

Forced an OS update on my Google Pixel

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Forced an OS update on my Google Pixel 7 Android phone, because of that Samsung transceiver exploit that's floating around, and I'm pretty sure it took circa 3 hours from me clicking "update" to when it finally asked for permission to restart. Yowza.

Dear Firefox y'all can't render PDFs

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Dear Firefox, y'all can't render PDFs from MusicNotes worth a damn, and are kinda sketch on a lot of other PDF rendering, and now you want me to let you be the default for filling in forms?

More indication of Mozilla completely misreading the room. Do y'all not use your product?

Design by contract in Rust

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Occlusion Culling

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RT Graham Sutherland / Polynomial

OH: @LunaFoxgirlVT "people with ADHD don't have bad object permanence, we just have really good occlusion culling"

Black Panther

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RT small gay energy

i enjoy black panther but i've always thought the name "killmonger" was a bit daft. deathgrocer. harmpeddler. ouchmerchant.

Oh dear. After having to force quit XCode several times today because of extended beachballing, I rebooted. Apparently the MacBook Pro shitting itself and forgetting the primary login is a known issue and tomorrow I have to try to recover via my Apple ID. If I can recover that password...

Thursday March 16th, 2023

retinal projection dev kit

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Interesting, and yet I'm not totally sure what to make of it: Sony Electronics Launches New Retinal Projection Camera Kit

Just finished the ARC of Melissa

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Just finished the ARC of Melissa Geissinger's "Nothing Left But Dust". Read it in two sittings. Melissa is getting her legs as a novelist, I have a few critiques, but... I devoured it in two sittings, rarely flipping away from the ebook reader on my tablet, and really enjoyed a historical look at the earthquake and fire that's gonna lead me to dive into the resources at the end, and spend some time with a map. And I'll preorder the next one now.

That gap between when I provision a new

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That gap between when I provision a new machine and when I get my .emacs.d/init.el file installed on it isn't nearly as awkward as when my wife and I end up with each other's phones: Both Pixel 7s, but each navigating the other's is a lesson in how even minimal UI customization becomes very personal very quickly.