as I understand it, this is what caused the power failure

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So, I've pretty much stopped writing movie and book reviews this year*, but you should go read BLDBLOG's review of Sunshine for a pretty good explanation (albeit in that weirdly drug-addled and overblown BLDBLOGgish way) of how it was almost a great movie, and then went completely off the rails into OMG Suck.

* Partly I just haven't felt like it, but mostly I didn't get the impression that many people whose opinions I care about were actually reading them.

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Current Music: Prince -- Pop Life ♬

Prids tonight @ Hemlock

The Prids are playing at Hemlock tonight and I strongly advise you to attend.

music videos

Dear Lazyweb, I enjoy music videos, and I have some questions:

  1. Where do you find new music videos? I subscribe to the Cliptip and Antville podcasts, but it looks like neither of those update any more.

    (They were mostly a mediocre selection anyway: primarily really uncreative videos of emo acoustic crooners in douchebag moustaches and/or neckbeards.)

  2. When are the Interwebs as a whole going to finally start providing me with music videos that are of higher quality than what I got when I ripped fifteen-year-old VHS tapes? Who decided that the entire Internet should be no more 320×240 pixels, so that everything looks like it was recorded on vintage-1982 consumer gear? I want to punch the responsible person or persons in the junk.

  3. Where does one find videos of higher resolution? I've occasionally stumbled across music videos in HD resolution, and they have logo bugs in the corner suggesting that somewhere in the world exist HD music video channels ("MHD"? "VAVA"?) What are these channels and how do I get access to stuff that originated there?

  4. Speaking of logo bugs, did you notice that Youtube has begun encoding them into the videos themselves? It used to be that the "Youtube" bug was overlayed by their flash player, and if you downloaded the .flv file, it wasn't there. But now it's there in some of the videos themselves. Dicks.

  5. It's bullshit that I have to re-encode videos when I rip them from DVD. What the hell. They're MPEGs already. I say again, what the hell.

    (And half the time, it seems that Handbrake did something stupid with the frame rate, and gave me stuttery video. Awesome.)

  6. Likewise when I pull files off of Tivo, I have to re-encode. Hey MPEG2, what the hell.

  7. Quicktime Pro can read MP4 files, and let you cut-and-paste and save without re-encoding, but when you save, it insists on using a MOV wrapper instead of MP4. What the hell.

  8. MOV and MP4 uses completely different metadata formats, and while there are tools that let you extract the Artist/Title/Album metadata from MP4 files (MP4::Info, Audio::M4P::QuickTime) there seem to be none that will operate on MOV files. What the hell.

Ok, most of those aren't questions, just whining. But seriously. What the hell. This is a seriously shitty status quo we've got going on here. I object.

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for the record, I also deny this.

Billionaire denies building secret sex lair

America's 160th richest person, a billionaire who made his money from the 1990s hi-tech boom, has been accused of planning to build a "secret and convenient lair" underneath his California mansion dedicated to drug-taking and sex with prostitutes.

Henry Nicholas, the CEO of the computer chip-making firm Broadcom until three years ago, has twice been accused of debauchery. The first claim was made by builders saying they were hired to build the hideaway at his home in Laguna Hills. The second claim comes from a former employee who has filed legal papers claiming $150,000 in unpaid salary.

Kenji Kato worked for Mr Nicholas as an assistant for seven years and alleges the tycoon ordered him to provide balloons filled with the laughing gas nitrous oxide for guests at parties held by the businessman. Guests' drinks would be spiked with powdered ecstasy pills, he alleges. [...]

Mr Nicholas, whose luxurious Laguna Hills home sits atop a network of tunnels and a 2,000 sq ft bar called "Nick's cafe", faces further inquiries from investigators looking at whether he handed out share options on Broadcom stock at manipulated prices.


If I were a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, I would dress like this all the time.


Dava Newman, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems at MIT, is working on a sleek, advanced suit designed to allow superior mobility when humans eventually reach Mars or return to the moon. Her spandex and nylon BioSuit is not your grandfather's spacesuit--think more Spiderman, less John Glenn.

Newman's prototype suit is a revolutionary departure from the traditional model. Instead of using gas pressurization, which exerts a force on the astronaut's body to protect it from the vacuum of space, the suit relies on mechanical counter-pressure, which involves wrapping tight layers of material around the body. The trick is to make a suit that is skintight but stretches with the body, allowing freedom of movement.

Key to their design is the pattern of lines on the suit, which correspond to lines of non-extension (lines on the skin that don't extend when you move your leg). Those lines provide a stiff "skeleton" of structural support, while providing maximal mobility.

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I think it's a steampunk Boomer

Ron Pippin:

Louis CK learns about the Catholic Church

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I, for one, welcome our new literally iron-fisted overlords


More cyborg porn.


Update: From their press release: "Some patients, especially soldiers, love the more robotic look of the i-LIMB Skin, but others like their device to blend anatomically with the rest of their body, and prefer to have a life-like covering for the i-LIMB Hand and ProDigits." Hah! Crazy meatsacks. Where's the chrome?

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XScreenSaver 5.03

XScreenSaver 5.03 out now. Four new savers; two by me, two by others:

Incidentally, this week I have reached another milestone. I have two computers at home: one is a (headless) mail server, and the other is my iMac desktop. The server was a Linux box until a few days ago when either its power supply or mobo died.

I meditated on this, and came to the conclusion that it was worth several hundred dollars to me to not have to fuck around with the PC hardware dance again, so I replaced it with a Mac Mini. This means there are now no Linux machines in my house*, and even at work, I no longer have any Linux machines that have video cards in them**, which is as it should be.

So, if this release doesn't work on Linux... uh, that's why.

except Tivo, which doesn't count.
** except the kiosks, which almost don't count. (Ha.)

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