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February 13, 2019

I’m listening to Sunday evening’s TWiT and they are worried that Spotify’s purchase of Gimlet will take the air out of an innovative open space. To me it feels more like Yahoo buying broadcast.com.


February 11, 2019

re: blackholing big online services, I hadn’t considered the knock-on effects…

“Background noise in general disappears this week because YouTube, Apple Music, and our Echo are all banned—as are Netflix, Spotify, and Hulu, because they rely on AWS and the Google Cloud to get their content to users.”

(from Gizmodo, emphasis mine).


cow panorama

February 09, 2019

cow field


February 08, 2019

This NYT piece on grammarian Benjamin Dreyer has some great bits.

“If you’re going to have a house style, try not to have a house style visible from space.”

“A novel is not a blog post about Your Favorite Things”


February 08, 2019

woof


February 07, 2019

Ideas I had while walking dog this week. (Disclaimer: I’m sure 100,000 people have already thought of these ideas. I know I’m not original.)

(1) This latest FB scandal with the spy-app, paying kids $20/mo to install it with the dev certificate… If that data is worth $20/mo, why don’t they just sell FACEBOOK CLEAR for $20/mo? Zero ads, zero data collection (beyond what’s needed to show your feed/wall/followers). Independent code audits to confirm. For free, you still get the current hellstorm. “We won’t make money from ads!” Yeah, you’ll make money from, like, money.

(2) Which leads to an even better idea: APPLE CLEAR. For $20/mo, Apple will use all available tools to completely black-hole Facebook from your Apple device experience. Apps not available, all known URLs controlled by FB or affiliates blackholed at the system level on all Apple devices connected to your account. If it breaks other apps, so be it. “But that’s tortious interference with FB!” No it’s not. Apple can do what it wants in its App Store; you don’t have to buy this service.


cowspotting

February 06, 2019

Probably hard to see the herd moving under the far tree-line, but they’re over there. Easier to see on a desktop in fullscreen.


February 05, 2019

A few years ago there was a fatal accident near our neighborhood; single-car into an electrical pole, driver killed on impact. The local paper’s comment section was filled with tearful regrets on the loss of a wonderful person. Lots of religion and family.

I googled his name and the first result that wasn’t a rehash of the original news article about his death was a page from his small business’s website, in which he bragged repeatedly about his sports car and his excellent high-speed driving skills, “and if’n the law don’t like it they can eat my goddam exhaust.” (I paraphrase, but only slightly.)

It’s not like I was going to go into the memorial-chat-thread and say “Actually your family member sounds like a menace and his reckless disregard for the road finally caught up with him. Glad no one from my family was between him and the pole he encountered.”

It just… is what it is. Fictions of the bereaved.

Anyway a 32-year-old was killed last night after inexplicably running around on foot, on the interstate, after dark. I googled him and 6 or 7 years ago he was part of a multi-state felony-theft and burglary ring stretching from Apopka to PCB to Dothan.

I feel bad for the innocent driver who couldn’t react in time. I probably won’t go looking for the memorial tributes to his upstanding lifestyle and religious devotion.


February 05, 2019

Posting this as a bookmark/note-to-self; lotta albums to visit. MWP album recs @ sic magazine


February 04, 2019

Day 3 of #100DaysOfSwift. Easy to say “oh duh this is too basic I already know variables and operators bring on the tough stuff” but it’s still worth taking one’s time… strict types are new to me (being self-taught only in JS) and little differences like “fallthrough” in switch blocks (in lieu of/as opposed to “break” in JS) matter.


Login problems with Office 365 on Mac OS X

February 03, 2019

Don’t know if anyone will ever find this but I’m compelled to document it, since it cost me a solid half-hour+.

From the Template screen when you first open Word or Excel (or other?), if you click Sign In and the dialog box opens and there’s a different email pre-populated (because your spouse also uses it, or whatever)… and you use the same email provider (because you both use gmail or outlook.com or whatever)… WIPE OUT THE WHOLE FORM and type in your email address.

I, being 123@gmail.com, was replacing ONLY the 999 in the prepopulated email address 999@gmail.com, and couldn’t log in.

Web searches gave only the obvious advice (restart, reinstall, burn your house down and walk into the ocean). So I reinstalled 9 gigs of Office 365… and it kept happening. (Deleting and reinstalling didn’t wipe out whatever little .plist or whatever had memorized the 999@gmail.compart).

Brain flash: Do I delete the whole email address in the window? Is it that dumb? I mean… that’s the kind of mistake I’d make, in a React setState screwup.

Blammo, it worked.


Things I read in January 📚

February 01, 2019

Non-fiction (tech):

  • I liked B. McCulloch’s How the Internet Happened as a pretty breezy history of the 90s and 00s.
  • I finally finished The Friendly Orange Glow, a history of an internetworked, federally-funded computer system that happened from the 60s to the 80s. “You mean ARPAnet?” Nope. A whole other thing that ended up losing. Glad I read it but it was sort of exhausting to get through.

Non-fiction (memoir/bio):

  • How Not To Be A Boy, Robert Webb. Autobiography of half of the Mitchell & Webb comedy team. I didn’t expect a lot of humor here and it gets pretty heavy. Strong message about husbands and fathers and sons and toxic masculinity, though a bit disjointed. Recommended whether you like Mitchell & Webb or not.

Fiction:

  • Alif the Unseen, G. Willow Wilson. A little bit like Stross’s Laundry Files, but in the Middle East, so that’s fun. Felt a lot like a Cory Doctorow book, though, which is not as fun (to me).
  • Artemis, Andy Weir. Okay. He really caught lightning in a bottle with The Martian, and it’s hard to recreate that.
  • Thin Air, Richard Morgan. Glad to see RM back in the sci-fi genre. This is not quite up there with his earlier sci-fi, which I really really liked, but entertaining for sure.
  • Rogue Protocol, Martha Wells. I love the voice of this series. Fourth one is waiting for me at the library now.
  • “A Dead Djinn in Cairo,” P. Djèlí Clark. This was a short story on Tor’s website that was great.
  • Foundryside, Robert Jackson Bennett. RJB might be my favorite world-builder lately. Book 1 of a new series, now that The Divine Cities has concluded (?).
  • “White Nights,” F. Dostoyevsky. I figured I should balance all the genre fiction with something else, and I stumbled across an ePub of this so I gave it a try. Eh.
  • This Book Will Save Your Life, A.M. Homes. I would’ve liked this when I was 25, just like I liked Bret Easton Ellis at the time. Is L.A. really like this?
  • Things You Should Know, A.M. Homes. I like collections of short stories so I grabbed this along with the novel. It’s been 3 weeks since I finished it and I have literally no memory of any of the stories. I gave it 2/5 on Goodreads…
  • Culdesac, Robert Repino. A brief novella I read on the treadmill. Anthropomorphic animals; imagine a gritty, humorless version of Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger series. This was marked “1.5” in a series, so I’ve added Book 1 to my to-read.


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