Saturday August 15th, 2020

When you really like the shape of the

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When you really like the shape of the Bogen tripods knobs, but are sick of trying to find the funky bolt they use because camera stores aren't a thing any more and it's not a standard metric or Imperial size

Anki Flash Cards

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Anki is an application for flash card creation. It came out of this morning's Newbie Caller's video session (this one isn't up yet, will be a little later), but Charlene's needing some flash cards..

Local-First Software

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I'm kinda weird in the solutions that we deploy at home because I like to start with systems that own our own data, and that we can get the information into and out of in the original form. We don't have a lot of cloud services, and I'd much rather have a shared drive mount point that gets sync'd to S3 than some OS add-on that does some sort of sharing that I don't understand the semantics of (eg: Google Drive, Dropbox).

As Charlene is going to a Mac, it's a little harder to implement some of this, Macs don't interoperate well (yesterday evening I plugged a USB stick into the home server and used rsync because getting the Mac to mount a USB stick is not a consistent process...), so I'm looking around at what new solutions are...

Anyway, I found this a worthwhile read on different classes of software and how we can think about them:

Local-first software You own your data, in spite of the cloud


Friday August 14th, 2020

SoundBlaster Lego

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Content warning: May trigger flashbacks to ISA cards and Doom sessions. Twitter user idspispopd @Bhaal_Spawn has a suggestion for Lego kits: Sound Blaster & 3dfx Voodoo cards

Work QOTD: "I just deleted xcode finally which helped"

Wednesday August 12th, 2020

DHS raiding your devices

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Homeland Security details new tools for extracting device data at US borders

The agency says it can now obtain details including your phone's location history, social media information, and photos and videos.

Tuesday August 11th, 2020

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion WAP

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So there's some uproar over a new song from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion, "WAP". It is explicit. Twitter is weighing in.

RT Laurel Krahn @windowseat

Still unclear on whether the song is about Wireless Access Points or Wireless Application Protocol.

Dr Eleanor Janega @GoingMedieval

You, a degenerate modernist: women do not enjoy sex.

Imagine being so wrapped up in your misogyny that somehow you'd imagine that other people would be as up in arms over women celebrating female pleasure as they are over calls for genocide and enslavement. RT James P. Bradley @BradleyCongress — US House candidate, CA-33

Secondly, while I personally take offense to the lyrics and messaging of this song, I absolutely respect her 1st Amendment right to make it.
Also surprised that twitter doesn’t mind this kind of free speech but has a problem with conservative free speech.

Also, this is why we've gotta work down-ballot too.

Sunday August 9th, 2020

Realized that I'm not against celebrity

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Realized that I'm not against celebrity gossip, I just want to know about the celebrities who are relevant to my fandom. Like what's this Chuck Tingle / Chris Evans tweet thing?

Unicode testing

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😈 Just trying to see if I've fixed some Unicodeness

Tapping out the new foot locations

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Tapping out the new foot locations

Saturday August 8th, 2020

Gonna pair the live edge olive with red

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Gonna pair the live edge olive with red oak for a headboard/cabinet sort of thing for the head of the bed that'll use a standing desk mechanism to hide a rise-out bookshelf there.

Friday August 7th, 2020

Glass Guitar Making

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Building a an ENTIRE guitar out of GLASS! — Morningstar Glass Guitars

I build glass guitars. Not acrylic, not resin, GLASS!!! I made this video to demonstrate how I build a glass guitar. The headstock, neck, fretboard, and body are all made of glass. I build them by hand using cold-working methods.


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The answer is, of course, a little down in the Twitter thread, that teledildonics is the first step in mass-market telepresence technologies. Porn and sex always drive tech.

But I think that progression (which, of course, glosses over some of the tremendous changes in the individualization capabilities of the various communication mechanisms) is an interesting jumping off point for thinking about how communication enables human interactions, and how sometimes the technology becomes an end in itself rather than being about that communication.

What sort of nuances do we want to communicate that we currently aren't? How are the limitations on Zoom a filter on what gets transmitted, and once we see that it's a continuum between zoom and IRL, what are the limitations of language and the concepts that we know how to express in our relationships.

Anyway, motorized Internet-connected buttplugs are funny.

Bonus: RealTouching from a distance

Drag The Vote

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Damn it, I've been voting by mail for years (love the leisure of going over the ballot with Google and discussing each issue with Charlene while we vote), and we've been doing pretty good with minimizing our exposure to people and being careful about when we go out and where we go when we do, but...

This makes me want to vote in person.

KQED: Drag Performers Could Run Your California Polling Place in November

Should've Shot Alexander Hamilton in the Face

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Pulse Oximeters

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How a Popular Medical Device Encodes Racial Bias

Pulse oximeters give biased results for people with darker skin. The consequences could be serious.

Nudist chasing pigs

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Americans need an AR-15 in case their yard is invaded by 30-50 feral hogs. Germans don't even need clothes: Cheeky boar leaves nudist grunting in laptop chase

Good and necessary trouble

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Change gene names so they can keep using Excel

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Shadow reminded me: Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates

Scientists rename human genes to stop Microsoft Excel from misreading them as dates

Help has arrived, though, in the form of the scientific body in charge of standardizing the names of genes, the HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee, or HGNC. This week, the HGNC published new guidelines for gene naming, including for “symbols that affect data handling and retrieval.” From now on, they say, human genes and the proteins they expressed will be named with one eye on Excel’s auto-formatting. That means the symbol MARCH1 has now become MARCHF1, while SEPT1 has become SEPTIN1, and so on. A record of old symbols and names will be stored by HGNC to avoid confusion in the future. </blockquiote>

MeFi thread

NextDoor: The Musical

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Qualified Immunity decision

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Judge, Shielding Cop Via 'Qualified Immunity,' Asks Whether It Belongs In 'Dustbin'

The decision, Clarence Jamison, Plaintiff, v Nick McClendon, In his individual capacity, Defendant — Order Granting Qualified Immunity is well worth reading:

This Court is required to apply the law as stated by the Supreme Court. Under that law, the officer who transformed a short traffic stop into an almost two-hour, life-altering ordeal is entitled to qualified immunity. The officer's motion seeking as much is therefore granted.

But let us not be fooled by legal jargon. Immunity is not exoneration. And the harm in this case to one man sheds light on the harm done to the nation by this manufactured doctrine.

Thursday August 6th, 2020

Can killing cookies save journalism?

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Whoah, turns out flooding you with ads for products you already bought isn't a good strategy. Who knew? Wired: Can Killing Cookies Save Journalism?

A Dutch public broadcaster got rid of targeted digital ads—and its revenues went way up.

Dementia in decline

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Dementia on the Retreat in the U.S. and Europe

The risk for a person to develop dementia over a lifetime is now 13 percent lower than it was in 2010. Incidence rates at every age have steadily declined over the past quarter-century. If the trend continues, the paper’s authors note, there will be 15 million fewer people in Europe and the United States with dementia than there are now.

Neurology — Twenty-seven-year time trends in dementia incidence in Europe and the United States — The Alzheimer Cohorts Consortium

Conclusion The incidence rate of dementia in Europe and North America has declined by 13% per decade over the past 25 years, consistently across studies. Incidence is similar for men and women, although declines were somewhat more profound in men. These observations call for sustained efforts to finding the causes for this decline, as well as determining their validity in geographically and ethnically diverse populations.

Wednesday August 5th, 2020

Chris Murphy on the Venezuela coup

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Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) posts a Twitter thread about Trump administration bungling in the Venezuela coup that kinda says "Democrats are better at overthrowing foreign governments than Republicans", which ... well ... I don't think he wanted to say the subtext quite as clearly as he did, and boy it kinda makes all US foreign policy look horribly incompetent and corrupt.

Kris Kobach’s Lucrative Trail of Courtroom Defeats

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This is great: Like a modern hate-driven version of The Music Man[Wiki], dude goes town to town selling them on the notion of ill-advised ordinances, then gets paid to defend those ordinances in court, loses, moves on to the next town where he manages to get them to enact the ordinance again based on his successes in getting the previous town to do the same.

Kris Kobach’s Lucrative Trail of Courtroom Defeats

For years, the candidate for Kansas governor has defended towns that passed anti-immigration ordinances. The towns have lost big — but Kobach has fared considerably better.

LAPD "The Executioners"

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Los Angeles Deputy Says Colleagues Are Part of Violent Gang

The allegations against the Compton deputies follow accusations of other gangs in the department — called the Spartans, Regulators, Grim Reapers and Banditos — that also share tattoos and a history of violence, the Times said.

Los Angeles deputy says colleagues are part of violent gang

COMPTON — A violent gang of Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who call themselves “The Executioners” control a patrol station in Compton through force, threats, work slowdowns and acts of revenge against those who speak out, a deputy alleges in a legal claim.

the rich are not halal

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Thread: RT acab|blm @jaythenerdkid

reminder to my fellow muslims that eating the rich IS NOT HALAL! we're not allowed to eat scavengers or anything that survives on carrion!

Beirut Blast

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Al Jazeera: Beirut blast: Tracing the explosives that tore the capital apart

It was forced to dock in Beirut after facing technical problems at sea, according to (PDF) lawyers representing the boat's crew. But Lebanese officials prevented the vessel from sailing, and eventually, it was abandoned by its owners and crew - information partially corroborated by Fleetmon.

Endless Doom Scroller

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Replace your social media feeds with the Endless Doom Scroller:

Tuesday August 4th, 2020

John Lewis final essay

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Morgan Freeman Reads Rep. John Lewis’ Last Words | The Last Word | MSNBC

In a special Last Word, Morgan Freeman reads the words of John Lewis’ final essay, which he requested be published in the New York Times on the day of his funeral: “Together, You Can Redeem the Soul of Our Nation.” Aired on 7/30/2020.