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Never Offer Me Platform Advice

Music: 

Throwing Muses - Cry Baby Cry

I am in the market for a new computer. Apple has left me seriously disappointed with the new Mac Pro, what with its inability to hold many 3.5" SATA drives, and has driven me to the iMac after all this time. Internal storage and the fact that the iMacs of the time (2006) sucked was the main driver for me getting the Pro I have now in the first place. However, time marches on, I have a 32-bit EFI and can't upgrade past Lion, and the install is getting kind of crufty, and so I end up having to bounce the machine every so often, which sucks.

So the new Pro is out, might as well go with a maxed out iMac. I had two questions:

  • Am I going to see much difference between the i5 and i7?
  • Do I care about 2GB of video memory vs. 1GB
  • I asked a friend about the CPU thing. His response was "HP will sell you a way better machine for half the price anyway". Was that what I asked? Do I give a fuck what HP sells? Have I not already proven this to be false when I bought this Pro in the first place?

    If I roll up in a BMW 535i, is your first reaction going to be "You could have bought a v6 Nissan Altima for half the price and only lost 30hp". No.

    I have very specific needs, which Apple meets much better than Microsoft + HP (or whoever), my reasons are not "Because it looks cool" or "Because I am a hipster".

    My reasons are:

    • I am not an Apple fanboy. I am a Unix fanboy
      • Use Cygwin, it's just as good
        • No fuck YOU, I don't like rewriting every goddamn little bash script every time I deploy to a different platform, the differences in output between GNU and BSD toolchains are annoying enough, I don't want to deal with MS tools on top of that.
    • Don't like Windows? Use Linux!
      • If Linux was a serious option, I wouldn't be ditching a perfectly good 4 core 2.66Ghz machine with 16 GB of memory just to get an iMac. Photoshop does not run on Linux. Illustrator does not run on Linux. I run many things on Linux, my wife's primary home machine is not going to be one of them.
    • Well dual boot Linux with Windows!!!
      • Explain that to my wife, and explain to her how her workflow must change because we're using Windows now because we're cheap.
      • Why should I reboot my machine, ever?
      • What if I want to quickly get a unix environment outside my work environment for testing, should I remote reboot into Linux? Manually change boot menu options before rebooting? Sounds like a waste of time.
    • But GAMES!
      • But I don't care about games. Anything I want to play I can either play on my HTPC or in a Windows VM on the Mac.

    ...And on, and on and on I could go.

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    Plastic Surgery Disasters

    Music: 

    Reverend Horton Heat - Eat Steak

    Several years ago I dropped a skinhead on my foot, and lost a toenail. I have not cut that nail in...6 years now? Jeez. Anyway, last night I decided to remedy the situation via surgery, since this is the main impediment to getting me into ski boots (the other main impediment can be cured by laying on the floor and repeatedly thrusting my shoulders toward the ceiling, which doesn't happen with any regularity).

    The surgery went about as well as could be expected. I think I need one of those saws they use to take plaster casts off which cut plaster but not flesh, I bet they work on keratin too, or maybe one of these:

    During:

    Gave up:

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    xrayspx's picture

    Use The Force

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    Some time ago, I set "3 finger drag" on my mouse to "Lock my machine". That worked about 50% of the time first try. The rest of the time it would take me to my dashboard, change virtual desktops, or go back in my browser history.

    The correct way, as in all things, is to use The Force.

    xrayspx's picture

    Samsung Galaxy S4 Benchmarks?

    Music: 

    I just bought two new Samsung Galaxy S4's and was initially pretty happy with the ability for full device encryption. Since it requires a 6 character alphanumeric password which also must become your unlock-pin, I'm less excited, since "unlocking your phone while driving" effectively becomes "texting while driving" and I don't wanna die.

    My main question was how encrypting the device would impact utilization. I tried and failed to find benchmarks for this, so I decided to do my own. The only directory that I can write into, without rooting, seems to be /sdcard/, there is no sdcard in the device, so this is on-board memory. After running my tests, I question whether this folder actually gets encrypted.

    Tags:
    xrayspx's picture

    Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Orpheum, Boston, 3-24-2012

    Music: 

    The Pogues – Poor Paddy

    That was a Plate o' Shrimp, as it was on top of my feed as I was uploading tonight's photos.

    It's too late for me to think and write well, so this is the Short Version today. This is the third time we've seen Nick Cave, and I have to say it was definitely his best sounding show. Not to say that he ever sounds bad, but he was off the wall tonight. Even he said it's the first time in a while he did Red Right Hand in tune, and The Weeping Song was dead on accurate.

    Just to think that only four years ago I never thought I'd ever get to see him, and here we are three shows in, and excellent every time. Cave is full-on constant energy from start to finish all the time, these are consistently among my favorite shows, and I'm very glad I finally was in a position to take some photos.

    Sharon Van Etten opened, and she was great. Reminded me of Hope Sandoval a lot, or Beth Orton, Juliana Hatfield maybe? Anyway she was good, go buy her record.

    I hope that whoever lost the iPhone I handed in gets it back quickly. People really need to PIN lock this shit, I'm constantly surprised by those who don't.

    Sampling of photos from the Flickr set:

    Sharon Van Etten opened:

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    Two Angles on the Country Badass

    Music: 

    Circle Jerks - American Heavy Metal Weekend

    From Mike Ness:

    To The Cramps:

    I remember reading a record review for a rockabilly compilation (Which we own, and which is awesome) in which the writer claims it's disingenuous for the compilers to draw a line from 50's rockabilly to punk. He said in effect that punk owed nothin' to no one. Anyway, Johnny Cash came up followed by Hasil Adkins in iTunes just now and reminded me of that obvious music hater's review of a really good compilation. The review seems to have gone down the memory hole.

    A Short list:

    Sid Vicious covered an Eddie Cochran song, and it was popular.

    Elvis Costello covered an an entire person. That was popular too.

    The Cramps are a thing which exists

    The Misfits, Ramones and Clash are also things which exist.

    Jim Heath has a career.

    As does Hank III.

    GG Allin closes some sort of loop.

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    xrayspx's picture

    Hmm. So that's how it is in their family

    Music: 

    Shriekback - Malaria

    TL;DR: Here is how to restore DJ to iTunes, as much as possible

    A few months ago, Apple maliciously broke iTunes in several really specific ways, one of which was to drop the DJ functionality, which is basically how I would listen to music.

    Reading a thread on JWZ's site this issue, among others, I posted my somewhat-fix for the issue. And it is. A "somewhat" fix. It acts pretty much like DJ used to act, but for two problems. You can't drag things from a window with your whole collection into your "DJ" window (Cause hey, ONLY ONE WINDOW NOW), and besides, I had to create a Smart Playlist to fix it, and you can't add to a smart playlist anyway. There is "Play Next", which I guess works.

    My other main gripe with this is that when I hit Next to skip a track, usually it removes it from the top of the playlist, but often enough to annoy the fuck out of me, it doesn't, and I have to go back in and clean up the top of my list a few times a day. Worse, songs I've skipped will come back up in the mix sooner than I would otherwise want them to, since iTunes doesn't know I've skipped them.

    I remember reading somewhere that there was a discussion once about how to make iTunes mark something as "Skipped", or at least what the secret parameters are that cause things not to become "Skipped". So tonight it annoyed me enough to hunt around, and of course, the very first hit was back to a different JWZ post from exactly three years ago this week, complaining about this exact skipping thing.

    Of course he didn't get a satisfactory answer, because he almost never gets a satisfactory answer to exactly what he asked. It looks like if you skip between 2 and 20 seconds into the song, and don't hit pause ever, it will show as Skipped. Neat.

    His Herp Derp checkbox was the only thing that made any of this sane for me in this case.

    To mostly restore iTunes DJ, do the following:

    Click + at the bottom left of the iTunes window and create a new Smart Playlist. I named mine "DJ-ish".

    Match All of the following rules:

    • Last Played not in the last 1 days -- Or however long you want to go between repeats
    • Last Skipped not in the last 2 days -- This will make iTunes clean up most songs you skip using the Next button.
    • Limit to 100 items selected by Random -- or however many upcoming tracks you want it to pull at a time
    • Match only checked items -- Unless you want iTunes to randomly play songs you've explicitly told it you don't want to hear by un-checking them
    • Live Updating

    It's pretty simple to get most of that functionality back, but you know what would have been simpler? NOT REMOVING IT.

    xrayspx's picture

    YouTube's Phoney Puritanism

    Music: 

    George Michael - Careless Whisper

    Twice in the last week I have been frustrated by phoney YouTube "standards" policy. People send me fun or useful Arduino projects, to which I reply "You lose, here ...", only to be reminded that my example of the most useful Arduino project currently on the Internet has had its video removed by YouTube for ToS violations.

    That project was The Hammer

    The Hammer is better described by the engineer, but basically it's a dildo which lights up according to how much pressure is placed on a bulb that is inserted into its "wearer". Like a test-your-strength machine, except awesome and fun.

    This video was pretty clinical, yet humorous, and did, at the end, have a period where it's implied that the Hammer is being worn. No proof is given for this and there are any number of ways in which this could have been simulated, but who cares, at no point do you see anything except olive green jumpsuit. (The best way to fake this is to have an Arduino controlling a grip which exerts increasing and decreasing pressure on the bulb. It's Arduinos all the way down)

    I like the sex positivity of the project, the fact that it's a neat hack, and, say what you will about the lack of merit of any other aspect of the show, the people who cast The Big Bang Theory knew what the hell they were doing when they cast Leslie Winkle (and probably Leonard too). We (nerds, hackers and engineers) do play to a type whether we like it or not.

    Judge for yourself, the video is here: target="_blank">Link to video I can't be bothered to figure out how to embed

    Tame and humorous, yes?

    Given the dreck that's on YouTube, I can't see the reason for deleting it. It's not meant to turn anyone on, she's not being sexy, she's being an engineer describing her project. Amusing yes, arousing? Not the intent.

    If I had to guess, it's the implied sexuality and/or kinks of the wearer, which, this being the Internet after all, is just a ridiculous condition on which to base anything. Considering the traffic YouTube gets from explicitly sexual videos with view counts in the millions, am I wrong in thinking this is just a case of an easily oppressed fringe being crushed under the boot heel of the straight people for being "icky"?

    Here are examples of videos with tens or hundreds of thousands of views (Millions in a couple of these cases) which YouTube is happy to keep up. Note: I fully support anyone uploading anything to the site, I'm not one to try and complain about content.

    Vibrators Everywhere:

    Implied insertion of that vibrator, in this case an English teacher in class:

    Tits Everywhere:

    Lesbians are great as long as they're doing things guys consider "hot", judging by the multitude of "Chicks making out" videos:

    And of course, endless videos of girls dancing in their underwear:

    xrayspx's picture

    Facebook Hoax Denouement

    Music: 

    The Clash - Hateful

    Of course, according to the natural law of maximum irony, my very next Facebook post resulted in this screenshot.

    In my withering defense, I rate anything I read based on the relative historical trustworthiness of the writer. Ebert, Gibson, my wife, rate very high and are near-unimpeachable sources. William Gibson rated a cursory check of Google News to see that, yeah, there are other headlines from other sources telling the same story.

    That said, don't do the crime if you can't do the good natured time :-)

    Previously

    Since Facebook sucks at telling time, the meat all happened within ten minutes of the tweet I read

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    Howto: Avoid Facebook Ridicule

    As anyone who knows my Facebook history knows, the most callous hoaxes about things like sick, dying and abused children with some photo stolen from wherever makes me mildly angry at my friends for being dupes and spreading lies without thinking it through.

    Invariably, when you rail them on it (semi-politely, using a private message and a link to Snopes or somesuch hoax site), they will say "But it doesn't hurt anything, it's something for people to think about"/"makes people happy"/"could happen some day".

    All of that shit is false.

    I don't even read this stuff anymore, if someone shares a photo with ALLCAPSMISSPELLEDPOORLYPUNCTUATEDTEXT under it, I just do this...

    The attached video shows how you can take quite literally 15 seconds of your time and avoid being the One Friend. I encourage you to share it, paste it into hoax threads as they come up, show people how easy it is to not be the butt of jokes:

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    by Dr. Radut