May 31

All my dreams

Oh my fucking god, I cannot wait.

Good fonts, good fonts everywhere!

Every time we post a story that mentions a high-PPI notebook, tablet, or smartphone screen, folks chime in about the need for higher pixel densities on the desktop. Well, here you go. Asus has announced a 31.5″ monitor with a “4K Ultra HD” resolution of 3840×2160.

Now I will no longer necessarily have to use my 3rd-gen iPad to read an ebook with decent fonts. And the iPad does have a spectacular screen – far more legible and easier to read than a printed book.

And photos should look glorious on that screen.

I will be getting this; Asus, take my money, please.

May 31


As a species, I think humans are too stupid due to evolutionary circumstances to not go extinct.

There’s a fairly good chance that we will create real AI before our final departure, so we may leave successors. Some humans may also sort of survive – either resurrected from stored DNA or kept as near-pets by these AIs.

Think this is all crazy talk?

Imagine what our ancestors would’ve thought about Skyping someone from across the planet, or being able to see nearly any building on any street in the entire world as Google Maps allows.

I don’t believe in the technological singularity, but I do believe that over long time scales things can become radically different, and are almost guaranteed to do so.

May 30

Fuck keyboard shortcuts

About those who think that keyboard shortcuts are the sine qua non of computer use, how about this: fuck you.

I use or work on seven differerent OSes regularly or semi-regularly. Yes, that is correct. Seven.

I use not-very-regularly seven more.

That’s 14 different OSes that I use. Now tell me, how am I supposed to even begin to remember all of the shortcut keys for all of the OSes and applications that I use?

For the disbelievers, here are the OSes I use regularly or semi-regularly:

1) Windows 2003 Server

2) Windows XP

3) Windows 98

4) Windows 2008 Server

5) Windows 2012 Server

6) Linux Mint (MATE edition)

7) Windows 7

Here are those I use not-very-regularly, but more than once every 3-4 months:

1) Solaris 10

2) Novell 4.1 and 5 (too similar to list separately)

3) Windows 95 (legacy system at work)

4) Windows 2000 server

5) Windows NT 4.0 (legacy system at work)

6) KDE on Linux (keyboard shortcuts are vastly different in this)

7) Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

Yep, many Windows versions use the same keyboard shortcuts. However, they differ between every version slightly, and it is impossible to remember what works in Windows XP and what doesn’t in Windows server 2008 and vice versa.

Not to mention the dozens to hundreds of admin tools I use on a weekly basis, all of which have different keyboard shortcuts.

Your reliance on keyboard shortcuts tells me only that you are probably mostly in one OS and one application 95% of the time. Good for you.

For some of us, that is not possible.

And yes, I do really know how to use all of those OSes, and about a dozen more. I’ve been at this shit for a long time.

May 30


Wow, the the new Gmail sounds even more horrendous than it already was.

So very glad that there are still desktop mail clients that do what I want.

But like a lot of tools that are increasingly designed for non-power users, it makes the hoi polloi slightly faster, but decreases my competition among smarter people as it reduces their efficiency while at the same time creating the illusion that they are working faster.

So as long as I don’t have to use the stuff myself – as long as I have alternatives – in many ways it is a net gain for me.

Just as long that is as I never have to suffer it.

May 29


It is clear that humanity will not be allowed to get in the way of corporate profits.

It is also clear that people who believe that corporations are just a collection of humans and only that understand very little about the world. After all, a human is only a collection of single cells – and yet these same people would not claim that a human is the same as a spirochete or a jellyfish.

Reasoning by analogy is always dangerous, even when it is correct. Perhaps particularly when it is correct.

There is probably nothing to be done, anyway. Oligarchs will not surrender power. Climate change is unstoppable. Environmental degradation is continuing apace.

When change occurs, it will occur quickly – also despite popular belief.

I no longer align with the left or the right as dangerous and unshakeable illusions are firmly established in both camps, and are implicit in the very ordering of their belief systems.

I align with the data and with the truth, and revise my views avidly and quickly as new evidence arises, at least as much as any human can.

May 24

Official supervision

I’m a company officer where I work. Have been for close to a year now, I guess.

Still is weird to see my name next to the bigwigs in company communications and the like.

What it really means mostly is that I can sign expensive contracts and such now that I couldn’t before, that I can legally represent the company out there in the world.

I feel a little proud because it’s a level most IT people never reach. I did it with no college degree and without any political backstabbing.

Not bad for a former North Florida redneck.

May 23


I used to paint some or all of my fingernails in high school, because at that time I just did not give a fuck.

In rural, very homophobic gender-stereotypical North Florida, too. That I didn’t get beaten into a pulp is a bit miraculous, really. Of course a reputation for not giving a fuck is one of the primary reasons I wasn’t beaten to a pulp.

Couldn’t do it today, though. I’d be fired in a matter of days if not hours.

In some ways it was easier and better when I could just fight with my fists, because why I’d be fired now is something nearly impossible to fight at all.

May 23


Mint 15: Today’s best Linux desktop.

Agreed. I run it on our home server. The Cinammon and MATE editions are far, far better than the interface apocalypses that are Unity, Windows 8 and Gnome 3.

But as I’ve said before about Windows 8, Gnome 3 and Unity the great thing about those interfaces is that folks who use any of them are absolutely no competition to me in the workplace as I can lap them several times a day in amount of work done.

Maybe Linux Mint with a sane interface will be the new professional OS in a few years.

May 23

Boxed in

I don’t give a crap about gaming consoles really, but the new Xbox console even looks terrible to me, and I plan to own not a one of them.

Slower? More restricted? About “social” garbage? Indie developers not allowed?

Why would anyone buy it?

May 23


Disclaimer first: I am very much for gun control – far too many people in this country have lethal weapons that they should not, and nothing good results therefrom.

That said, I do have to quibble with the “can’t fight the army” argument against gun control.

No, in a conventional war, a bunch of gun nuts couldn’t take on US Air Force ground attack aircraft and US Army tanks on a conventional battlefield. But why would you ever fight such a superior foe on a conventional battlefield? Did the Iraqi rebels do such a thing? Did the Viet Cong?

Of course not. Because it’s idiotic.

As we’ve seen in our history numerous times, guerrilla wars are very effective and require very few resources, relatively speaking.

Any anyway, in a real armed insurrection against the US government the purpose of the rifles and pistols wouldn’t be to battle it out against the US Army right away; no, it would be to take over and pilfer some National Guard munitions depots, which are both lightly guarded and full of the things you’d need for a real guerilla group: AT4s, Javelins, C-4, SAWs, and the like.

Anyone with 20 long rifles and a willingness for a few people to die could do this.

Hell, a few dozen people with crossbows could do it.