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Sir David Attenborough's helping in a bid for the top of the charts this Christmas, joined by Michael Fish on guitar, and Chris Packham on drums. ^_^ Proceeds from sales of the single go to the Badger Trust, to help defend against the UK government's insistence on the badger cull, for now, only suspended, not cancelled. (Direct link to the video on YouTube, and iTunes UK, Amazon UK if you want to buy the single)

The VideoLAN peeps noted: "It seems our followers love ponies, so this is for you guys!" I haven't yet been able to convince them to adopt it as VLC's permanent icon. ^_^

Why PayPal/eBay remain as much of a risk as ever, this time from the seller of an iPhone 5, to someone with seemingly decent feedback. Unfortunately, he only later checked into that, discovering it'd been gained through sub-$3 digital purchases. The key, if you want to rip off an eBay seller, is apparently to file an "item not as described" chargeback with PayPal. In this instance, the "buyer" pulled the same trick with three other sellers. But why would PayPal/eBay mind? They've received their fees, and the buck stops not with them, but the users of their *cough* service.

Bruce Boxleitner noted: "Received great news, Tron III has been given the go-ahead very exciting!" This makes me happy. ^_^ I loved the original, and thoroughly enjoyed the sequel as well. (We'll definitely have to run them as a double bill some night)

So, no, I'm not quite caught up with LJ yet, but getting there. ^_^; Saturday, though, will be time for wandering around the city, culminating in a company Christmas party, where the company in question hasn't existed for a decade. Hmm. Wonder if there could be a Trilobyte Crimbo bash someday.. =:D

Business Insider takes a look at William Binney explaining NSA surveillance. He worked for the agency for 32 years, before resigning in late 2001. "In a short video called 'The Program,' Binney explains how the agency took part of one of the programs he built and started using it to spy on virtually every U.S. citizen without warrants under the code-name Stellar Wind. Binney details how the top-secret surveillance program, the scope of which has never been made public, can track electronic activities—phone calls, emails, banking and travel records, social media—and map them to collect 'all the attributes that any individual has' in every type of activity and build a profile based on that data."

In the Independent:
The people after whom Mr Osborne and his chums are actually going, being in many cases literally sitting targets, have no defence against having marginally smaller sums reclaimed from them. To save a blisteringly irrelevant fraction of what multinationals avoid in corporation tax by licensing an “intellectual property right” to a subsidiary in Lichtenstein via a shelter company registered in Saturn’s third ring, this Government targets the disabled with a rigour it will never deploy against Starbucks, Google and Amazon.

It does so by paying hundreds of millions to Atos, the French firm contracted to appraise whether the disabled are rapacious scroungers. The imminently defunct Disability Living Allowance starts at £20.55 per week, after all, and for that sort of largesse which of us able-bodied wouldn’t spend years needlessly taking ultra-high dose antidepressants or voluntarily confining ourselves to a wheelchair?

Overlapping geek genres: The Dalek Knight. =:D

Having discovered just how effectively DxO Optics Pro 8 was in dealing with an example of the Tamron's chromatic aberrations, I knew it'd be worthwhile for me for that alone, even aside from its other features. But, the price gave me pause for thought, so I decided to wait until there was a sale. And lo, it's ⅓ off until Dec 25. ^_^ (Irksomely, they've added an EU premium to the price, not explained by VAT - $99, or £89. The USD price is about £62, or £74 including VAT. So why not £74?) From looking at reviews, it'd seem about the only weak spot is its noise reduction - capable, but not as good as Neat Image.

Thursday (see previous entry, if you weren't logged in) went well. ^_^; It didn't take long for our contact with the show to appear, who quickly sorted out the table size I wanted (suitable for two people to sit down at, rather than the taller, smaller one that had been in our spot), and a Blu-Ray player was whisked into being shortly after. The BDs played fine, the 42" monitor did a great job of announcing our work, and plenty of interest was shown. There are a couple things I'd do differently, as and when we exhibit again, but that probably won't be for another year or so - 2013 will be much more about bringing about the code's transition from working with individual frames, to working on streams of video, which will involve brain-melting magic to avoid redelivering contours that have already been sent, and which can be reused with a simple transformation by the receiver, as well as synthesising contours for frame times which didn't necessarily exist in the original. Thankfully, there were only a few busy periods, being the breaks between panels - 30 mins each in the morning and afternoon, and 1h30 at lunchtime. I'd set the monitor running one of the two discs on the monitor, and Dandelion turned toward the room, running one of the full commercials I'd previously encoded and decoded, with the iPad discreetly behind, letting me check email and browse while the panels were going on. =:)

Teardown was at 3.45pm, whereupon I hightailed it back to the station, and caught a train back to the warren - serendipitously, a non-stop which happened to arrive a minute or so before the bus I needed. ^_^ A worthwhile event, though it certainly left me quite drained by the time the evening held us in its full embrace. But that's just what long, hot bubble baths are for.

I'll be performing another cull of my flist sometime soon, trimming folks who haven't updated or commented in several months. As ever, it's all reversible - this is just to keep the list vaguely tidy, so it reflects friends who really are on LJ.

Dinner on Friday was influenced by some marked down ham - I hadn't had any in a while, and got to thinking about hammy dishes I could concoct. On the way to pick up some new boots from the collection desk, I passed through their food section, and specifically, what looked like a rather nice smoked haddock chowder, in the chilled section. Chowder plus loads of ham? Sounded like a plan. ^_^ So, that's just what happened, atop a bed of vegetable stir-fry mix (boiled for a few minutes) with some asparagus and kale (such a delicious leaf!), adding a little hot smoked paprika and pepper to the chowder, and oyster sauce, a stock cube, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce to the base - not much, of course, just to make it interesting in its own right.

Finally, this compilation of driving in Russia is well worth a look, as found by avon_deer. If you've ever thought you've seen reckless driving, think again. ^_^;
That VLC thing might make a good .ICO, I'll have to play around with that in GIMP sometime...

Interesting compilation video. See also:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxQVcipl_u0 (Best parts around 0:30 and 0:58)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j58HfrGRr5s (Horn, AK, same difference right?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52apgCuuyQ8 (KrAZ 255 FTW)

On the subject of boots, I replaced the laces in mine the other day, this time with 550 paracord. (I got tired of having to replace them so often. Hopefully this will hold up better.) Also considering resoling them with tire tread similar to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMUoOL9X-3Q or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kydapwQiIoE since I seem to have pretty much worn out the bottoms on them...
The VideoLAN peeps noted: "It seems our followers love ponies, so this is for you guys!" I haven't yet been able to convince them to adopt it as VLC's permanent icon. ^_^

Cute. :) Now if only VLC would get a decent, usable/useful UI as well... ah well, two out of three, I guess.

But why would PayPal/eBay mind? They've received their fees, and the buck stops not with them, but the users of their *cough* service.

This is true, but at the same time, I'm not sure what eBay/Paypal are supposed to do. It's not just buyers that are scammers; sellers are, too. How is eBay supposed to know which is which in any given case?

On top of that, I'm also not sure I'd WANT for the site to get involved in policing conflicts of this kind between users; that should probably be left to the police, at least if it's actual scams and crimes. Simple stuff, sure, but once it gets to the point where you'd have to investigate and make judgements, I can understand why they say "that's not ours to do anymore".

And make no mistake: if the guy had been a buyer and eBay/Paypal had refused to reimburse his money after he received a defective item, he would not have been a happy camper, either.

Caveat emptor; caveat venditor.

Binney explains how the agency took part of one of the programs he built and started using it to spy on virtually every U.S. citizen without warrants under the code-name Stellar Wind.

I'm not really surprised. Independent of whether this is actually true and/or accurate, if your only defense against someone carrying a big stick is that the law doesn't allow him to use it against you, you might find that what ought to be does not always match what is.

In practical reality, it almost always just boils down to power, on what you can get away with, and on how you will be held responsible (or not!) or by whom, and that's probably doubly true when the guy who made the rules about not using sticks is the same one wielding it.

That said, I'm always rather disappointed (not surprised; just disappointed) that the only thing that USians apparently see wrong with ubiquitious wholesale spying is that it's targetting them — nobody ever complains about it being done to them thar bloody furners. Yeah, I understand that sometimes you gotta get your hands dirty and break a few eggs to make a political omelette when you're a nationstate, but surely at the very least, the thought should be "this is wrong, but we gotta do it anyway", not "this isn't wrong, they're just foreigners, they don't have any inalienable human rights or deserve any consideration"? Separating the world into humans and subhumans, based on nationality no less, never leads to anything good.

Irksomely, they've added an EU premium to the price, not explained by VAT - $99, or £89. The USD price is about £62, or £74 including VAT. So why not £74?

Just the usual "let's fuck people in the EU" spiel. At least they didn't convert prices 1:1 (99 USD ↦ 99 EUR) and then add 20% on top of that, as others are wont to do.

Still, given how much one tends to spend on gear, it's probably a justifiable expense, especially at 50% off.

[And that's how computers are made]

*chuckles* Cute. Something about a resistor with one wire clipped off makes me cringe, though. (Well, I suppose it's like kidneys; you can live with just one, too.)

Edited at 2012-12-09 10:54 am (UTC)
I did wonder about how computers were created, perhaps when you get 5 minutes you could answer where plushies come from. a Mummy and Daddy who love each other very much doesn't really work when they have nothing downstairs!
That Russian compilation. 02:31 - ебать твою мать! (Yobat tvoyu mat!)

And 02:54.

04:53 Holy shit, he's a Cylon! Hit im' again, hit him again!


07:08 Whatever was said, the Russians bleeped it out.

08:29 Congratulations, your day simply cannot get any worse. You're трахал.

09:51 Ahh, so that's how WWIII is going to start...

10:32 Gordon Freeman must be in the passenger seat, getting a ride back from Pripyat. I can hear his Geiger counter clicking.

11:24 On second thought, yes it can get worse.

12:46 Well, there goes her sense of trust...
Less than 0.5% of the feedback on eBay is completely honest anyway. I don't think feedback scores for buyers makes any sense: it just produces false or withheld feedback (for sellers) out of the threat of retaliation if the buyers were to be perfectly honest. Sending the wrong item, but then sending the right item only after I complain, deserves negative feedback, but people seem to leave positive feedback anyway. Also, wrapping an item that is not particularly breakable in so many layers of packing that I might hurt myself trying to cut through all of the layers also does not deserve positive feedback. But instead, other buyers gush about how well the item was packed.

Also, I'm disappointed that despite having an astronomy-themed Tag, and even containing the surname of a prominent astronomer, your entry contains no mention of gaseous outflows from stars. ;-P

Edited at 2012-12-11 12:43 am (UTC)
Osborne strikes me as a scummy toff, if I may say so, who appears to be disgusted with travelling by train in any other class than 1st. So far he's not earned an ounce of respect in my eyes, nor have his policies (read, helping out his big business chums while screwing the rest of the country over). But politics is politics, I'm not into it all that much yet even I know who's who and how they're treating their voters.
Your encoding changes the raster data in each frame into vectors, right? Are you making three-dimensional vectors using the stack of all frames, or are you just throwing them sheets of 2D vectors a bunch of times a second? That wouldn't be very scalable, especially considering your range is something between 12 Hz and 240 Hz.