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If you're using TeamViewer - software permitting remote operation of your computer - be aware that there's an ongoing threat, and researchers aren't certain how the hacks are occurring. All that's known is there's a large number being reported recently. The hackers involved, once controlling a computer, then send themselves money by PayPal or eBay. If you don't need it installed, I'd recommend simply removing it; else, ensure it isn't set up to launch on startup, only running when you intend to make it available, and enable two-factor authentication. One possibility is that the hackers are simply trying out passwords obtained in other breaches, especially LinkedIn, and seeing if people reused those passwords with TeamViewer, apparently with some success.

So, that was rather cool.. getting to see Russell Brand in the wild. =:D I hadn't quite reckoned on just how intense he is in person, having only seen him on TV appearances like QI and HIGNFY - but an hour and a half in his element, touching on the spiritual and metaphysical, whilst merrily trampling on many social mores.. so damned good. ^_^

A couple more online learning venues - not accredited, but none the worse for that: FutureLearn, and edX.

Ars recently ran quite an insightful little article: you've probably seen some folk claim that scientists were all predicting a coming ice age, and thus, we can't put stock in any warming claims. They took a look at: did 1970s climate science really call for an ice age?

Sunspring is a surreal sci-fi short with a bit of a difference: it was written by an AI. (If you'd like to download it for viewing on TV or suchlike, try this. It's 142MB)

The buns - well, I'm not sure that the scourge has completely run its course just yet, but, only a couple seemed possibly affected, with most looking fine. Numbers appear to be more or less steady, with around 10-12 visible at peak. And some of them have, I hope, enjoyed a few of the raisins I've been scattering. ^_^ There was even a little round of jousting on Thursday! It began routinely enough, with two poised intently toward each other, followed quickly by a succession of launches. No altercation, thankfully. Here's a little sequence..





Siri, Cortana, et al are pretty much everywhere now. But - do people actually use them much? Personally, I've barely used Siri - about the last time was a few weeks ago, when I didn't feel like half getting up and setting an alarm for the morning, and did it that way instead. Do you use such voice-based personal assistants much/at all/routinely?

Did you know it's possible to tattoo your eyeballs?

Alternatively, how about Elite for Emacs?

Music video of the week: Hifi ft. Fred Schneider - "Truck", being a minimalistic disco-electronic track channeling Convoy et al of the 70s. If the name isn't familiar, FS is the distinctive voice of the B-52s.



How's this for some outstanding cosplay? The "junk lady" from Labyrinth.

You may recall, from a couple years ago, word of a writer in New York who was offering people very brief stories, for what they chose to donate, typed on as he sat on one of Central Park's benches. Here's his own story, including when a photo of him hit the front page of Reddit - with his sign explaining things cropped out, showing only someone on a park bench with a typewriter. Instantly, he was branded a "hipster", and out came the hatred..

Headline of the month must surely belong to Seagull turns orange after falling into curry. The accompanying photo is quite priceless. (The bird in question is fine, but continues to smell strongly of tikka masala)

Artwork du jour: Tori: Delicacy, recasting Judy & Nick as TRON: Legacy characters. =:D (The same artist's done a whole slew of other film parodies on Zootopian themes, including Deadpool and Kill Bill, equally professionally executed)



Saturday's viewing turned out to be somewhat truncated, as the roomie got up at Silly O'Clock, so we only had time to watch The Good Dinosaur, and a few shorts, including Hyper-Reality and XXIT. The pizza prelude went very well - starting with a Sainsbury's Iberico chorizo and butter chicken pizza, I added: a bit of crushed tomato (with some garlic, basil, oregano, and rosemary added), a couple chopped up slices of Brunswick ham, further sprinklings of rosemary and basil, a tiny dash of hot smoked paprika (beautiful stuff, but you do need to be careful with the quantities), and a bit of black pepper. And as I felt the cheese could use a little help, I tossed on some crumbled Manchego and smoked Cheddar, simply to add to the flavor profile. Regrettably, it was sliced and consumed far before I had the presence of mind to deploy any camera. ^_^;

As for The Good Dinosaur? Mmm.. I feel my initial discomfort with the trailer was warranted, with the breathtakingly beautiful, realistic scenery simply not meshing comfortably with the very toony characters, supported by a very straightforward tale. Not a bad production in the least, but, for Pixar, surprisingly weak. (And next year brings Cars 3 - what, the first two weren't bad enough? - and a knockoff of The Book of Life? Ah well. It's rather feeling like the A-game's shifted over to Disney Feature Animation, with Big Hero 6, and now Zootopia) It felt, overall, like a bit of a lukewarm rehashing of Disney's arguably superior "Dinosaur" (combining CG for the characters with live action elsewhere), blended with a good dose of The Lion King, including that moment, and their encounter with their late father. That said, it certainly wasn't a bad production at all - hardly something to avoid! - just, not up to the calibre of Ratatouille, Wall-E, or The Incredibles. (Tonight, I'm thinking "Hail, Caesar!" needs to be in there somewhere - it sounds like the Coens were fully back on form for that, even if it'll take a miracle to surpass The Big Lebowski =:)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Did you know it's possible to tattoo your eyeballs?

Not until now. Amazing what people will do to their bodies.

Headline of the month must surely belong to Seagull turns orange after falling into curry. The accompanying photo is quite priceless. (The bird in question is fine, but continues to smell strongly of tikka masala)

Did you hear the one about the seagull who fell into a vat of curry and turned orange?

He's all white again.
Oh, there's much to be said for bodymodding. ^_^ Not that I'm any old hand in the field, with only one kind of piercing thus far - sadly, both rings migrated out about seven years later. (Curiously, within about a fortnight of each other) Can't say I'd go for eye inking, though. But who knows? Maybe a bunny tail someday. ^_^

Oh. Oh dear. I think it's time for me to obtain an Amy Rose brand hammer.. =:)
I liked the first Cars very much, but then I like road trips, which is a large part of why I fell for Bolt so hard. I've not yet seen Cars 2, despite reports of espionage content, or Planes, so don't be harshing my buzz :P
Aw, I didn't mean to be mean. But, no, Cars really didn't resonate for me, and FSM knows, I pretty much live for travel. But with Cars, as I recall, amongst the lowest earners for Pixar, it struck me as surprising they'd leap back into a sequel - but, as Spaceballs noted, merchandising is everything, and I definitely do see plenty of Cars backpacks and suchlike around.

I suppose I'm just more a Miyazaki sort - leave sequels out of it. (And he broke that with The Cat Returns.. not one that caught me, sadly, much as I loved the Baron's brief debut in Whispers of the Heart. I'm not really a Country sort, but that ensemble jam was just tearfully wonderful)
Ooh bunnies! Thanks for the sci fi short link. Mind blowing and funny.
It was a good day for the buns. ^_^ I dearly hope the worst is past for them. I'm sort of optimistic. ^_^ And, of course, I'm very happy I nailed the focus on all of the leaps! (Especially at f/4, the widest the lens goes) That's always a hefty challenge, but thankfully, they've kept me in fairly good shape on that front over the past few months. =:)

I'm going to have to see all of Sunspring. ^_^ It simply looked far too intriguing not to include in this entry - if I were to wait until I'd watched it, I might not mention it for weeks or months, given I'm still only at about s2e4 of Orange is the New Black. ^_^; That such writing is even possible now.. I'd say we're living in the future, even if I can't get a cybernetic body yet. ^_^
That rear rabbit in the last pic looks like he shaved his face fur to look more warrior-like :o) Great shots, one and all!

I enjoyed Cars, and could maybe bring myself to like Cars 2 in time (all one has to do is forget everything from Cars and take it as a stand-alone...). It could be I was part of the target audience (all that nostalgic 50s imagery and such, things I grew up with). To each their own, natch.

I use no voice-based assistants.

My son told me of the eyeball tattoos: he is currently working on getting patchwork sleeves for himself. He wants me to come with him and get some work done, but I have one tattoo and that's enough ;o)
The joust photo is wonderful! You are so good at catching the peak action moment. I know you're probably shooting a couple dozen per each one that you publish, I definitely understand that.

The TeamViewer attack is interesting. There is definitely a flaw being exploited, but the underlying problem is that IDIOTS ARE USING THE SAME PASSWORD FOR EVERYTHING. There are so many password dumps on Pastbin that it's trivial to script up a hack: find a vulnerable software, fire up the script, Profit! It drives me nuts: it's so easy to create multi-part passwords so that each important site has its own that there's absolutely no excuse not to.

Thanks for the comments on The Good Dinosaur. Atypically, I've never been a dinosaur movie fan, and none of the early previous of TGD appealed. Then some better trailers came out, and then a little about the plot, and I was moved from disinterested to willing, still short of eager. But movies churn through our local theater pretty quickly and it didn't happen. And now I have a reason for it to never happen if it involves me spending money.
Kylie Garth is described as having a "delicate" green/blue, but it seems like it would be really hard to pull off any colour. I imagine it would look better having thin lines drawn on the eye. If I were wild, maybe I'd go for a CMYK pattern that was barely noticeable until you got really close.
'Course, now I'm wondering about somehow being able to introduce some form of organisation into a matrix of, say, eInk particles. Animated eyeball patterns, anyone? How about the Hypnotoad effect for real? =:D

If only fine detail and full color were possible - might be rather fun to go for the Philips PM5544 test card. =:)
Amazing photos.
Thanks. ^_^ I find wildlife photography tremendously rewarding, quite relaxing, and occasionally exasperating. =:)