Jul 13

Cheap

The great thing as a director that hiring Tatiana Maslany gets you is that you don’t need to hire any other actors.

Mother?

Tatiana.

Mother #2?

Tatiana.

Grandmother?

Tatiana.

Father?

Tatiana.

Hit man?

Tatiana.

Family dog?

Tatiana.

She needs to start a union for herself or this could get out of hand.

Jul 13

QOTD

Quote of the day: “Windows task manager really needs some sort of ‘EXPLAIN YOURSELF AT ONCE’ button where you can click on a process that’s just used up all the cpu and have it confess, no bullshit, exactly what the fuck it thinks it’s doing.”

That that would require an AI? No matter. I completely agree.

Jul 12

Trust

Still trust Microsoft to safeguard your privacy, idiot Americans?

Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users’ communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company’s own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

That Ars Technica piece about SkyDrive the other day where people scoffed at the idea of the NSA having access? Well, being wrong is what those infected with engineeritis and/or geek arrogance do best.

The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide.

If you aren’t using something open source to encrypt your data, it’s not safe. And if it’s stored in the cloud, it’s doubly unsafe.

Of course, nothing is completely secure and verifiable as very smart people can embed an undetectable backdoor in the compiler itself, but there’s only so much you can do.

Jul 12

BBS

Back in the BBS days, I remember being able to type faster than my computer’s extremely slow modem could send text to the remote console and then echo it back to me.

Struggling to get anything useful done on terribly slow, bad hardware. Wishing for the sweet release of death while waiting five hours for that 300KB text document to download, and hoping you didn’t get disconnected.

Tablets feel like that to me, scaled at least to what is possible now – using them for anything other than reading books, that is.

It’s interesting to me that due to smartphones and tablets, the average person is going to lose the ability to type again, as was once the case.

Many people are now too young to recall, but back in the early and mid 1980s, knowing how to type was a relatively rare and valued skill.

Then PCs became common, and typing become a lot more widely-known.

Since real keyboards will always be used for work, the ending of the era of the PC (for most people) will mean there will be future generations nearly completely unsuited for corporate office work without more training than is now necessary.

Jul 12

Three feet tall, but a helluva forehand

I was looking for some Wimbledon matches to watch on a website that slant-rhymes with The Ferret Way, and saw something like this:

SABINE LISICKI (GER, 23) – AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (POL, 4)

It took me a moment to figure out that the number was their world ranking, not their ages. I don’t really follow tennis, but do have a few players that I enjoy watching play, so age is what occurred to me first.

I’m glad they are not letting four-year-olds play in Wimbledon.

Jul 11

Corporate zombies

Well, this is not a shock.

Being self-employed could hurt your chances of landing a corporate job, new research has found.

In a two-year field experiment, researchers found that self-employed individuals who sought company jobs scored significantly fewer interviews than peers who were employed by companies.

I’ve worked with people who were self-employed and then gotten corporate jobs. They are far, far less likely to just take corporate bullshit handed to them on a platter and pretend it’s filet mignon. That’s why corporations don’t want them – they are no longer fully zombies.

Jul 11

Losing people

Congratulations, you just lost 99% of the people who might’ve listened to you.

Today I learned that it is racist to cover a song.

It’s a good reminder why I don’t consider myself a member of the self-flagellating liberals, and neither am I anywhere close to being a conservative.

People say they don’t like being pigeonholed, but that is usually a lie. What they really don’t like is when you refuse to pigeonhole yourself for them so they don’t have to do all the work. And of course it’s just easier to pigeonhole yourself because it buys you a social group.

But I like being thoughtful more than I like having a social group.

A commenter from another site got it all too right: “Old: article. Really really old: Jezebel middle-class, college-educated white women arguing viciously over which of them is the least racist.”

Is it racist to like rap? Judging by this article, it would be. Not that I care at all. Because I like rap a lot and listen to it all the time. I don’t intend to stop because someone with all the deep thoughts of a sea anemone tells me that I shouldn’t.

And is it racist to be interested in other cultures? Most new things are cultural appropriations. Rock and roll is a cultural appropriation (I really hate that term, by the way) of hundreds of years of African-American musical traditions. So by that definition, any white person playing a rock song is racist.

And does this idiot Jezebel writer really think any artist would cover a song just to make fun of someone? That’s just moronic.

Or the even more daft interpretation is that no white/Latino person should ever cover a song that was originally performed by a black performer. What about if the song is “Green Onions” by Booker T and the MGs? Four members, half black and half white.

Guess I can only cover that one if I am Barak Obama or someone else with one black parent and one Caucasian progenitor.

When I used to play Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” on the piano?

Also like totally racist, of course.

Jul 09

Going South

My partner might not be a Southerner, but I’ve gotten her hooked on sweet tea, catfish and boiled squash.

Sweet tea made well and properly iced is about the best thing ever. How anyone can not like this simply mystifies me.

The catfish doesn’t taste as good as it did when I used to catch it myself and we’d eat it fresh from the river, but it still is pretty delectable.

And boiled summer squash is one of the side dishes with the best ratio of taste to effort. Takes 10-12 minutes to make and tastes better than most things that take hours.

Jul 09

Wimby

Andy Murray is supposedly the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 77 years.

But Virginia Wade won it in 1977. Or don’t women count?

Also, why are there no women in the Tour de France?

Jul 09

ZD

It’s hard to feel bad for a woman worth millions of dollars, but an artist wanting to ban zillions of idiots holding up iphones and even ipads (yes, it does happen) to take terrible, shaky video of something happening right in front of their faces – well that I can understand perfectly.

I like a few She & Him songs. Never understood the Zooey Deschanel adoration from geeks (at least, adoration of her typical on-screen persona), but then the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype has always made me hurl. No, I’ve always been far more attracted to the Cosimas of the world anyway.

That aside, I am inveterate photographer but only do it when it doesn’t disturb other people. It’d never even occur to me to hold up my phone inside some concert venue and take photos or video. Anyone who does that should be thrown out as a matter of course, in my opinion.