Jul 18


I’ve seen so much bullshit speculation online about why Verizon and Comcast are unable to provide unimpeded access to Netflix content that it has been just fucking ridiculous reading all the uninformed gibberish and utter malarkey spewed out by people who have no clue or worse have some political agenda.

So it’s nice to see an actual Level 3 technical expert explain that it’s exactly as easy as I already said it was (since, duh, I’ve done work in commercial datacenters for years and kinda know) to provide the bandwidth.

Verizon has confirmed that everything between that router in their network and their subscribers is uncongested – in fact has plenty of capacity sitting there waiting to be used. Above, I confirmed exactly the same thing for the Level 3 network. So in fact, we could fix this congestion in about five minutes simply by connecting up more 10Gbps ports on those routers. Simple. Something we’ve been asking Verizon to do for many, many months, and something other providers regularly do in similar circumstances. But Verizon has refused. So Verizon, not Level 3 or Netflix, causes the congestion. Why is that? Maybe they can’t afford a new port card because they’ve run out – even though these cards are very cheap, just a few thousand dollars for each 10 Gbps card which could support 5,000 streams or more. If that’s the case, we’ll buy one for them. Maybe they can’t afford the small piece of cable between our two ports. If that’s the case, we’ll provide it. Heck, we’ll even install it.

There is no bandwidth shortage. Repeat after me, kids: THERE IS NO BANDWIDTH SHORTAGE. It does not exist. Never has.

That is a lie promulgated by ISPs hoping to squeeze money out of content providers and any others they can.

As I said in previous posts including this one, it’s a simple matter of connecting two routers together. Just as the Level 3 expert says. Just as any infrastructure type knows.

Anyone who says anything else is a liar. It really is that simple, and something done routinely by non-extortionate entities.

Jul 18


Reading about genetics tonight, I realized that mRNA sequences are much like TCP/IP packets, which is not surprising as DNA/RNA has already solved many of the same problems that TCP/IP was designed to solve.

Jul 18

The truest

Photos are already lies, or at the least a very incomplete truth as Molly Crabapple points out.

But fuck Photoshop. Photos are already lies.

I’m a former model and current artist. I’ve learned this every second I’ve stared into the camera’s insect eye.

Anyone who’s been at a photo shoot knows that even untouched photos bear only the scantest resemblance to a subject. A photo is frozen. A model sweats and bloats, ages, and dies. Framing is a lie. Lighting is a lie. Cropping is a lie. When you suck in your stomach, or turn your head so the light washes out your laugh lines, you’re lying as much as any liquefy tool. Untruth is baked into the process: Photographer Syreeta McFadden writes how the chemical makeup of some films is biased against dark skin tones. Even snapshots often don’t look like you, because you are not static. You are a three-dimensional being, torn by time. Photos are pixel ghosts.

When I used to take portraits and photograph models, I’d often hear them say to me, “I’m not all that pretty but you make me look so beautiful.”

The thing is, though, I only photographed models I knew and liked. It was easy to make them look great because I already knew they were great people. Showing what’s there is easier if you already know how to find it, if it’s already apparent to you. Capturing a moment in time where someone is at their best is just what good photographers do.

It has less to do with finding physically beautiful people but rather finding the best moments of the ordinary. Gracie Hagen illustrates exactly this with her photography.

Photoshop like any other tool can be and is abused. I too also dislike the magazine covers that do not seem to be populated by actual humans. However, the way many feminists and others go about critiquing and resisting this and other related facts is most often antithetical to their actual goals.

And god, this is a great line. I wish I’d written it.

To get a “true” photo, you need to remove artifice. This means removing art. Art’s opposite is bulk surveillance.

And to further Molly’s points, here is one of my favorite photo sets: twenty-year-old model Eniko Mihalik, photographed as if she were 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 years old. No Photoshop. Only make-up. And not even all that much make-up at that. Lighting can do amazing things, as any cinematographer knows.

All of those photos of Mihalik are “true.” And all of them are a “lie.” Both at the same time.

Jul 17


Nice job on a much-covered (and undeservedly hated) song.

Also, the singer Hayley Mary has a mouth the size of a battlestar.

Jul 16

Mighty Kacy

Watch Kacy do cool stuff – the first woman to ever complete this course.

At my fittest, I could’ve completed 2-3 of those events on a good day. She does them all and doesn’t even look tired at the end.

Jul 15


Even the creator of the term “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” is disavowing it.

Good. While at first it was a valid cultural criticism, for many people it drifted to refer to any female character in any film or TV show with any personality at all.

In other words, the term itself became misogynist, even though it was and still is most often used by feminists.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to pop culture: I’m sorry for creating this unstoppable monster. Seven years after I typed that fateful phrase, I’d like to join Kazan and Green in calling for the death of the “Patriarchal Lie” of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. I would welcome its erasure from public discourse.

As used currently, it basically dismisses any woman who has any shred of personality. I’ve seen it used to dismiss women in films that are less interesting and have less personality than women I know in actual, real life.

Thus it is a piece of shit and has to die.

Jul 15


A great song about street harassment, in two different formats. I like the version with synths best, but they are both good.

Amelia Randall Meath has a great voice, perfect for this song.

Jul 14


I understand and can use IPv6 just fine, but it’s such a dirty and brain-damaged hacky system that it could’ve only been designed by engineering types.

It’s the most ridiculous example of top-down, admin-hostile design I can think of –- and I can think of a whole lot of such failures.

It’s actually not all that hard, but it’s like someone was intending to design a cheetah and instead ended up with giraffe blended with a leprechaun.

Such a terrible system.

Jul 14


Autodidacts are rare because learning things is hard.

I suspect that learning higher math which for me is impossible is how hard learning everything is for most everyone, so I can understand now why there are not more of us.

If learning about the things I care about were as difficult as learning how to use the quadratic equation is for me, I’d never do it.

I gave up learning math (on my own or assisted) when I realized that I could spend hundreds of hours learning one application (the concepts are easy for me to learn) that takes the average 8th grader an hour, and when I finally have it down the moment I move on to the next thing, it is thoroughly and completely forgotten.

My math teacher in middle school – who I was very close to, is why she spoke so frankly to me – once told me reference my inabilities at math that I was the “stupidest genius I’ve ever met.”

That was after I answered a really hard problem about special relativity at an academic team match, yet was unable to reliably make use of the quadratic equation in her class (still can’t, but now I don’t care).

When I was young, I wanted to be a scientist but realized that my complete and utter incapability at math would never allow that to happen.

Now I’m glad I didn’t go that route because it’s much, much easier to get jobs in IT and they pay better and demand fewer hours.

So there’s that.