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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 =:)

 
 
 
 
 
 
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)