March 25th, 2017

Porsupah face-on

Sausage-stuffed squid

Of some possible geeky interest: microtrenching, a technique for laying fiber cables much more cheaply than the traditional "dig a wide trench through the road and close a lane while doing so" method necessary for drains and suchlike. In the example used, the trenches are more like channels, a relatively svelte 1.25" wide, and 12" deep - so traffic can still pass safely over the open channels prior to them being filled in. Apparently, San Francisco is looking to codify such permits into law, which would greatly simplify companies like Sonic and MonkeyBrains making FTTH widely available in the City.

Being from the BFI, it only covers the UK, but still of distinct amateur historian value: they've introduced their Britain on Film map, which allows you to search for a location, and find what archive material they have for that place, with many of the newsreels and suchlike being free to view.

Rather fun: where Daft Punk samples originated, with the originals followed by their usage.

And if you're up for some radio plays, Strangeness in Space, wherein the first four episodes are now available and free: "What would happen if Sophie [Aldred], the manager of a NASA Space Centre gift shop, and Trev and Simon, two idiots claiming to be a 1980s styled synth pop duo called Pink Custard, were thrown together with a computer robot called LEMON on board a damaged space craft, lost in a distant universe, orbiting Planet Mirth?"

Meet Jeff. He's the son of Darius, who was formerly the largest rabbit in the world. ^_^

The first episode of The Real Comedy Controllers is now available on iPlayer (globally; they only geofence TV), with a total of four parts, arriving on Saturdays. I'll let huskyteer describe it. ^_^ "The show itself consists of anecdotes and discussion from four movers and shakers in the world of TV and radio comedy (pitchers, commissioners, producers, writers), and the instalment we enjoyed covered the '60s and '70s. Paul Jackson, Beryl Vertue, Jimmy Mulville and John Lloyd were all excellent value, but I have a particular soft spot for Lloyd. He's a very funny speaker, does wicked impressions, and got visibly emotional talking about his friendship with Douglas Adams.

The broadcast show will be three hours long and feature complete episodes of select comedies, but we had to be content with clips. My favourite of these was Round the Horne's Julian and Sandy presenting their version of Shakespeare's Seven Ages of Man, which I will leave you to imagine."

If you're using Safari, and would like a (fairly) simple way to prevent any video from autoplaying, as seems to be the latest delightful web design fetish, try enabling the Debug menu with this at the CLI:

Safari: defaults write IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1
Safari Technology Preview: defaults write IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1

- then, in the Media Flags section, enable both "Video needs user action" and "Audio needs user action". If you encounter any odd site incompatibilities, you can always turn those back off, temporarily or permanently. ("User action" counts as any actual user interaction with that element, like clicking on it) Similarly, you can conceal the menu again with the same command line, just replacing the "1" with "0" at the end. BTW, STP release 26 includes a first draft of an interesting WebKit proposal aiming to offer a unified thin layer on top of Vulkan, Metal, and DirectX, in the form of WebGPU. The Khronos Group appears to be thinking along similar lines; with any luck, these early prototypes will bear fruit in one common API. It's rather cool to see such nascent ideas take form. ^_^

The buns, happily, still seem to be doing well; I finally got out to see them again on Thursday, for the first time in about three weeks, thanks largely to the rather dour weather, but also simply being on the busy side this month. The light wasn't the best, but things did clear up toward sunset, and they obliged with a rapid chase or two, including this dramatic moment. ^_^ (As usual, thankfully, nobody came off worse for the incident, though whether the first knew quite why they were being chased is something I'll never know. I do get the impression sometimes there's less strategy being pursued than "it seemed like a good idea at the time" =:)