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Here's a Kickstarter you'll want to support: Decrypting Rita vol.3 and Omnibus, a multi-year endeavor by shatterstripes. "The fastest woman ever built has been dragged outside of reality by her ex-boyfriend. She's got to pull herself together across four parallel worlds before a hive-mind can take over the planet."


"Seriously folks, if you haven't looked at Decrypting Rita yet you really ought to. Innovative, fresh, interesting, and it does my head in."

- Charlie Stross

"Decrypting Rita is that rarest and most refreshing of things: a science–fiction story that feels like it comes from the future."

- Phil Foglio

Thursday saw the public betas of macOS Sierra and iOS 10 debut, so, of course, I'm waiting patiently until all potential issues are worked out.

So, what really happened was I brought Hazel and the iPhone along into the bath as well as the usual iPad, and updated everything. ^_^ (I didn't want to forego bathtime, and I know very well that any process, however reliable, will do everything in its power to end all life on Earth if left unattended) Too early to really tell, but so far, there don't seem to be any show-stoppers: Mail updated its database fine, which is always a point of concern, given my archive now spans multiple previous email clients (ah, Eudora, how we knew thee) back to 1994. iOS likewise - the Music app's gently improved, with the control icons being substantially more useful in size, and the ability to reposition within a track now actually works properly again, where iOS 9 seemed to half break it. Similarly, where iOS 9 inexplicably embedded all music videos within a thick white frame, it's back to as it had been, simply playing them full screen as you'd expect - that change prompted me to abandon Videos for VLC. The conversation view in iOS 10's Mail is nicely improved. And so far, nothing seems to have broken, most especially Aperture. ^_^ Similarly, even a couple relatively ancient apps I keep on the iPad seem fine: an old version of Scrabble (don't like the newer board design), and iGammon, which hasn't been updated since about the 6502A's heyday. =:).

Aha! VMware Fusion 8 doesn't seem happy: launches, but won't resume the Ubuntu VM, complaining of an "internal error". (A known issue, it seems, with an easy workaround: disable accelerated graphics on a given VM. Unfortunately, that requires the VM to be resumed and shut down first.. =:) Oh, and my bank's app seems prone to dying soon after loading the account info, but that's to be expected, with the general standard of banking industry software. Poop! iPlayer seems unhappy as well. No biggie, as I only tend to use it for bathtime viewing when I haven't already downloaded the programme with get_iplayer beforehand.

Other than that, about all that needed fixing was a couple preferences, with iOS 10 turning on keyboard clicks (ACK ACK ACK NO), and Sierra turning off tap to click and tap/half tap to drag (which I've apparently had enabled for so long I'd forgotten it isn't in the Trackpad prefs, but actually within the Accessibility options). And, for whatever reason, securityd and a friend were persistently using anything from 40-80% of CPU, for some twelve hours, before I finally killed them, which appears to've solved the problem. Disquietingly, Time Machine seems to be taking a very long time to get the first post-update backup out, seemingly stuck on "Preparing Backup...", though without any errors showing in the logs, so it could just require a day or two to get its house in order. [ETA: yay! It's finally transferring data! So, the answer would seem to be "wait a day or two"]

Here are the 68 companies that have joined against North Carolina's vile HB2 anti-LGBT legislation, including small outfits like Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Nike, Cisco, Intel, Corning, and GEC.

So, with DeviantArt - which I've begun paying more attention to recently, and posting the odd photo - what's the deal with the llama badges people are giving me? ^_^;

At some point, I do want to pick up a good tripod - and this one looks just the ticket. It's a new design from a German manufacturer, FLM, with what seems like the perfect combination of characteristics for a seriously good travel tripod, extending tall, folding short and thin, supporting plenty of weight, and made of sensibly rigid materials. Briefly: 10kg load, 55.9" max height, collapsed 15.3", 3.8" folded diameter, weighs 1.28kg, made of 10x carbon fiber in eight directions and aluminium, 10 year warranty.

ProPublica and the NYT recently published a damning story on just how widespread is the use of drug-testing kits in the field, and just how unreliable they are - yet, are in high demand by police forces across the US. And despite it having been known that they're entirely fallible, reacting to yield the positive color change not just with the intended substance, but many others as well, they remain the basis of arrests and plea bargaining in many jurisdictions. And therein lies the rub - plea bargains are often overwhelmingly how such convictions are secured, and with that comes a felony conviction, and all the joyful social disavowal that people helpfully throw on, like being unemployable in many positions, and unable to even rent a place to live.

Last Saturday night's viewing turned out to be a double bill of quite unrelated items, commencing with an Icelandic drama with very dark humor, Rams (Hrútar). It begins with two brothers - and neighbors - who haven't spoken in forty years. One loses a ram championship to the other, and then.. well, it gets tougher. I can't really say more, and I'd recommend against reading even the IMDb summary, though it won't really spoil the film; which I will recommend. It's beautifully shot, with some outstanding, often quiet, performances from the leads. Then, I mentioned to the roomie that I had never seen Big Trouble in Little China, and suspected there might be a chance he'd have a copy, and so it was. ^_^ There's much to love about this kind of utterly playful filmmaking, with John Carpenter not only directing, but responsible for much of the music as well. And the fact it was (loosely) set in San Francisco didn't hurt my enjoyment, either. ^_^

In which two Moldovan punks consider their mutual crush to be a trophy to fight over. And both lose. (Will they learn?)

A fascinating paper! Rats will free others from cages, and even share food with their newly liberated kin. THere's even a gender twist: "Although fewer in number, all the female rats tested became door openers; whereas 30% of males never became door openers." So, The Rats of NIMH was a documentary?

And elsewhere in the big wide world: How frigatebirds cross entire oceans without ever needing to rest. "Frigatebirds are the only seabirds that lack waterproof feathers — if they dive into the ocean or even land on its surface, the water will soak their plumage and prevent them from taking flight again. This should be a death knell to a species that dines exclusively on fish, but it's not."

The nerdier amongst you may wish to try your paw at a caption for this EE Times cartoon. =:)

Yay! The weather seemed like it might improve for a reasonably bright Friday evening, and lo, a beautifully bright, quite warm (if a mite breezy - the perils of long hair that isn't quite long enough to completely tie back..) couple hours, with the numbers remaining fairly constant, although this time split between the group I normally observe, and another, possibly separate, warren in the other direction. There wasn't too much wild stuff going on, but I did manage to catch quite a nifty leap out of the way, which might work quite well as a triptych. ^_^





Yay, I was right! ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
"You know what Jack Burton says at a time like this?" "WHO?"
"IT WILL NOT COME OUT AGAIN!"
"If I'm not back by dawn, call the President."

BTILC is an all-time fav of mine, it's been quite a while since I saw it. I wonder if there's anything on AO3 for it, which means there certainly is. Did you hear that Dwayne Johnson is going to star as Jack in a remake, with the blessing of Kurt? I love the Seven-Demon Bag. I actually created Jack as a hero in Champions, on the premise that the potion that he drank did not wear off. Overconfidence and Unluck, what a great combination in a hero.
There's really a surprising amount to take in with BTiLC! They really went to town with establishing it as some kind of bizarre manifestation of lore, somehow wedging its way into being part of San Francisco. (Needless to say, any film set in SF automatically wins points with me. It's such a pity there aren't more! ST IV, The Game.. it's an amaxingly photogenic city. And then there was that fairly insane DC stunt a couple years back, with some famous urban driver scooting around at some ungodly hour in the early morning.. !)

They're actually remaking it? Egad. Still, who knows? FSM knows, I'm really looking forward to the new take on Ghostbusters.

Overconfidence and Unluck.. would that that defined Trump. ^_^; (Well, I suppose it does - but people keep bailing him out, every time he goes bankrupt)

So, with DeviantArt - which I've begun paying more attention to recently, and posting the odd photo - what's the deal with the llama badges people are giving me? ^_^;

There's none, really. People like to collect them – the more llama badges you get, the more different llamas you unlock, as it were –, but that's really all there is to it. (You can buy a few accessories for your llama in case you feel like spending money on a literal handful of pixels on a screen, but I doubt that's the badges' raison d'être.)

If you feel nice you can give people who gave you a llama badge one in return.

In which two Moldovan punks consider their mutual crush to be a trophy to fight over. And both lose. (Will they learn?)

Preposterous. That kind of behavior is entirely unnatural, not to mention unheard of in the history of humankind.
Ahh, okay.. so there's no big meaning as such. That's fine. ^_^ Not that I have anything against llamas, of course, though my only encounter thud far has been spotting a llama farm on one of my "out of Bath" walks, given the fabulous preponderance of paths radiating from the town.

At least those twerps may, possibly, have learned something from their misadventure. Maybe. =:/ Or they'll have thriving careers as Fox News correspondents. (Wow, that GC lawsuit.. what a catch Roger Ailes would be! *cough*)
A llama farm — now that sounds fun! Though I don't suppose the herd was particularly inclined to come up to the fence to be petted?
Thursday saw the public betas of macOS Sierra and iOS 10 debut, so, of course, I'm waiting patiently until all potential issues are worked out….  So, what really happened was I brought Hazel and the iPhone along into the bath…

I thought this was going to turn into a wet-electronics disaster, but apparently you didn't bring them *all the way* into the bath!

Oh, and my bank's app seems prone to dying soon after loading the account info, but that's to be expected, with the general standard of banking industry software.

TD's website seems pretty good, although ScotiaBank's website is quirky and they take too long to post transations (3-day float for an electronic transfer that actually arrived in seconds⁉).  I haven't tried any mobile banking apps, but surely sensible people should not use buggy financial software⁇

Sierra turning off tap to click

Linux (and Windows?) *always* reëenables tap-to-click, regardless of previous preferences.  I *always* have to turn this off again after every upgrade.  Thankfully this is *usually* in the Trackpad preferences.

securityd and a friend were persistently using anything from 40-80% of CPU, for some twelve hours, before I finally killed them, which appears to've solved the problem.

So is your system now insecure because securityd is not running, or does it just not know how secure it is without that?  Will securityd (and its problem) come back on the next reboot?

It's finally transferring data! So, the answer would seem to be "wait a day or two"]

I can't imagine how much data you must have in order for "Preparing to backup" to legitimately take 24-48 hours just to decide on a list of files to save.

just how widespread is the use of drug-testing kits in the field, and just how unreliable they are - yet, are in high demand by police forces across the US

Yeah, like the use of drug-sniffing dogs that have been trained to "alert" whenever the cop needs to invent some evidence.  The race war in the US has been going on for a long time.  Recently some Nixon Administration officials admitted that the "Drug War" was actually intended as a "Race War" all along.

this EE Times cartoon

ACK!  The shadows are impossible given the sun's angle as drawn.