Feb 28

Showing off

The new Google Maps is truly a heaping pile of steaming festering crap.

So many smart people producing something so fundamentally stupid. Dumb people would’ve produced something better and less complex.

Feb 27


I rarely fall for these sorts of optical illusions because I’ve spent years taking and editing photographs (some of those as a full-time job).

Didn’t look white and gold or blue and black to me.

Immediately looked brownish gold and blue, and two seconds in Photoshop sampling the colors confirmed this.

Hard to believe that anyone can see it as anything else, but those sorts of color-based optical illusions I’m now almost completely immune to. (Others I fall for just as much as anyone else.)

(Also note: There is no “real color” that the dress is as far as the camera is concerned. It can only be known objectively the reported color values on the screen, which are influenced by camera white balance, light levels, contrast ratio, compression, filters, sensor quality and optimizations and a host of other factors.)

Feb 26

Fair in height

Fahrenheit is better than Celsius.

So most of the relevant temperature variation — the vast differences throughout all of spring, summer, and fall—are restricted to only 23 integers. (I could use decimals, if I wanted to sound like a robot.)

Indeed, on human scales it’s a lot better. The same problem with the metric system. It’s designed to work well mathematically, not humanistically.

And to those who say it’s just because I’m not used to it, not so: I was in the Army for five years where that’s all that is used.

If you want to make a space probe, sure go metric and Celsius and what have you. Want to give me a meaningful temperature or distance, use Fahrenheit and feet.

Feb 25

Fully evil

Google going fully censoriously evil. Well, more evil.

Many X-rated Blogger accounts might cease to exist in the near future, as Google will no longer allow anyone to post sexually explicit or nude videos and images starting on March 23rd, 2015. It doesn’t end there, though: Mountain View also wants old account owners to delete any content that violates that rule, or else it will forcibly make those blogs private (all posts will only be visible to owners) after the aforementioned date.

On balance, I like the Wild West internet better, though many — most — voices are now calling for its dismantling, not knowing what harm they do. The internet has always been doomed to become cable TV, but that eventuality still makes me sad.

Feb 24


An ex-girlfriend of mine said to me, “You just do what you want, no matter what anyone says or does. And it pisses me off that you get away with it!”

She didn’t mean it as a compliment but I took it as one. Part of it is just being male. We can get away with more. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. But another part is that you can get away with much more with Columbo-like bumbling and a smile than any other method in the universe.

Most people watched Columbo for entertainment. I watched it as an instruction manual.

Served me well my whole life. Part of it is my natural personality — I tend to ask dumb questions and be terrible, far more terrible than anyone else the first time I try something — so it’s easy to amplify that.

And oh yeah, just one more thing….

Feb 23


Due to systemd and Lennart Poettering’s/Red Hat’s current near-complete control of the Linux ecosystem, we should probably change the name of “Linux” to “Lennarx.”

Feb 23


The ever-prescient New York Times on laptops, 1985.

I.B.M. never legitimized the market with its much rumored ”Clamshell,” probably because the company realized that laptops are a small niche market, not a mass market.

A lot of new ideas look very, very bad initially. That’s what makes it so hard to tell the two apart. In fact, often great new ideas look worse than old but very bad time-tested ones.

No real point. Just interesting.

Feb 23

Fat Acceptance

The fat acceptance movement — while it had noble goals at first — has now become a ridiculous, anti-scientific parody of itself, not much different than the anti-vaxxers.

According to the mainstream of that movement, caloric intake has nothing at all to do with weight and fat is all some “genetic virus thyroid” problem not just plain old gluttonous overeating.

So every time I see a link to an article about Marilyn Monroe being in actuality very petite (as she was), I link to it.

As a direct example of her size, the white dress she wore in The Seven Year Itch was recently auctioned off and was put on a mannequin that was a size 2, but they were still unable to zip up the dress as the mannequin was too big.

So further to the fact that Rubens’ models were anomalous in Western art, Marilyn Monroe was tiny.

Self-justification for poor self-control and lack of ability to even deal with basic facts of the universe doesn’t make me have sympathy for a movement, and the FA movement has gone completely off the rails to the extent that it was ever on them to begin with.

But the FA coalition is very American (there’s almost no such groupings outside North America) — it’s “let’s accept the misery we’re in and proclaim it as right and good” rather than “let’s make ourselves and society better.”

Feb 22

When two scumbags meet

At the time of the Adria Richards affair, I had sympathy for her. I thought she was in the right, though I observed that if talking about anything sexual at all in front of women — in the workplace or anywhere else — is verboten, then that actually harms women (as humans are and always will be sexual creatures, unavoidably so).

It turns out that she had made sexual jokes on her own Twitter feed, and is a pretty large hypocrite in other respects. Thus I’m not surprised she got canned from her own company (good employees tend not to get fired at the very first sign of trouble, especially in tech workplaces).

I don’t know a single person in the IT world — male or female — who has not made a dongle joke at some point in their IT career.

When two scumbags collide, everyone loses.