DNA Lounge: Wherein we've got sandwiches, coffee, and a halfassed sign.

Wow, the comments on yesterday's post... I had honestly forgotten that any time I mention tipping, I am inviting responses from the Internet Spergelords who read Ayn Rand when they were 14 and never recovered from it.

That scene in Reservoir Dogs where Mr. Pink rants about tipping? You were supposed to think he was being an asshole. I think some of you might have read that one wrong.


I am sad to report that the Curse of the Sign has claimed yet another victim. Remember back in mid-April, when one panel of the DNA Pizza sign went up? Yeah, that's been pretty much the end of that. The guy who made that and was working on the remainder of it has pretty much dropped off the face of the Earth. Please do not die of non-shock.

So, we finally gave up on waiting and got some vinyl banners to hang over the half-finished sign:

I hate this, but it's better than nothing.

Meanwhile, DNA Pizza now has coffee and deli sandwiches!

We just got a real coffee brewer, shown on the left. And, even better, we just bought a real espresso machine. It hasn't arrived yet, but that's it on the right.

Once the espresso machine arrives, we're going to be open 24/7. If you're doing real coffee drinks, it's foolish not to be open by 6am to catch people on their way to work, and at that point -- given that we're open until 3am every night anyway -- we might as well just stay open. (Closing at 3am means staff are here until 4, and opening at 6 means staff gets here at 5, so at that point we're only talking about one additional hour of salaries...)

The risk here is that it will take months before enough people realize that we're open 24/7 and we'll be sitting empty a lot of the time.

For example, I have had my friends ask me, "when are you gonna start doing pizza deliveries?"

You know we do delivery, right? You know we've been doing delivery since the first week we were open, right?

I think a lot of you don't know that.

We've started running some ads, even though my assumption about advertising in dead-tree newspapers is that we'd do just as well by cutting out the middleman and just setting the money on fire.


Wiretap picture frame

This is highly relevant to my interests.

A picture frame that displays wifi-packet-sniffed images.

The ingredients: I rescued a to-be-scrapped laptop from Free Geek Vancouver (a Pentium II-450mhz Dell, if I remember) to provide most of the guts.

It's running Debian, with most of the boot scripts neutered and a custom script dropped in to start X, run Driftnet, and hide the mouse.

WebCollage can use DriftNet as an image source, you may recall.

I think that salvaged laptops make lousy picture frames. They run hot, draw an unconscionable amount of power, their power supplies tend to be the first thing to go, and they contain moving parts. The more-awesome way to build this gizmo would be to port DriftNet to a jailbroken AppleTV, or to one of those wallwart-computer dinguses. See also Newstweek.


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Kim Boekbinder's selling tickets to her shows before booking them instead of after.

Seems like a fine idea to me:

The dilemma: I need to play live to have a real connection to an audience but the expense of touring is debilitating.

My solution: Pre-sell the shows before they are even booked. Get the fans as invested as I am in the creation of the art. [...]

There is no "Making It" or rather, this is making it. Right here, where I am, with my small but dedicated fan base holding me aloft while I drift through the detritus of an imploding music industry that never did a thing for me yet still manages to get in my way. I'm a modern musician with modern tools trying to navigate an old broken system; a system which declared that all musicians must work for free until picked up by a record label which would either make or destroy them; a system which drove a wedge between fans and their music, musicians and their audiences; a system that forgot that the entire reason it existed was to facilitate the experience of art.

This kind of thing works out nicely from the venue's point of view, too. The absolute hardest thing about booking live music is knowing whether anyone's going to show up. Without a reasonable guess as to how many people will show, both the performer and the venue are risking a lot of money.

"Make an educated guess about how many people will show, for this band you've never heard of in a genre you're only passingly familiar with" is pretty much the entire job of a venue's booker (or "talent buyer"). It's a black art. Anything that takes the guesswork out of that is better for everyone.

Update: Her update.

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It's turtles, all the way down.

World's first womb transplant planned

Eva Ottosson, 56, has agreed to take part in a groundbreaking new medical procedure, which if successful could see her donate her uterus to her 25-year-old daughter Sara.

Doctors hope if the transplant is successful Sara, who was born without reproductive organs, could become pregnant and carry a child in the same womb from which she herself was born.

“She needs the womb and if I’m the best donor for her… well, go on. She needs it more than me. I’ve had two daughters so it’s served me well.”

It's a fucking family heirloom is what it is.

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Come on people, what did The Ramones have to say about this?

NY Tells Pet Cemeteries to Stop Taking in Humans

A state agency has told New York's animal cemeteries to stop burying the ashes of pet owners alongside their beloved cats, dogs and parakeets. The order from New York's Division of Cemeteries comes as a growing number of Americans are deciding to share their final resting place with their pets.

Ryan's wife, Bunny, and their two dogs, B.J. I and B.J. II, are buried at Hartsdale. Ryan had arranged, and prepaid, to join them, York said. There's also a space for B.J. III, who's still alive. But Ryan's ashes sit in a wooden box at his sister's home because the state's new rule won't allow him into Hartsdale.

Someone's gonna need to diagram that sentence for me. Is that "wife AND bunny", "wife NAMED Bunny", or "wife WHO IS A bunny"? Because I understand that sort of thing is possible now that we're no longer defending traditional marriage.

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The Internets: It's Kind of Like That.

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Pilot Dies as Blimp Bursts Into Flames

I know you're thinking it. Don't say it.

An airship burst into flames and fell out of the sky in Germany on Sunday evening, killing the pilot, but the three passengers managed to leap to safety and were unhurt, police said.

Bild newspaper reported that the pilot, an Australian, called out to the passengers: "We're having a crash!" and told them to jump out of the cabin, which was hovering just 2 meters above the ground at the time. As soon as they had hurled themselves to safety, the airship soared rapidly to a height of around 50 meters, possibly due to the sudden loss of weight in the cabin, making it impossible for the pilot to escape, eyewitnesses said.

The blimp then became engulfed in flames and fell back to the ground in a ball of fire.


Previously, previously.

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iTunes music video import script

New hack: "Munge Videos.scpt". Well, it's not actually that new, but I haven't published it before, and it has grown a lot lately.

It's an iTunes AppleScript to process newly-imported music videos. Among other things, it: marks the track as being a "Music Video"; sets the "Comments" field to the resolution in pixels of the video; sets the "Volume Adjustment" based on the video's overall audio volume; copies the year, genre, rating, and capitalization from older versions of this same track; and adds this new track to all of the playlists of an old track that it appears to be intended to replace.

It's pretty hairy, and it's a really good reason to hate AppleScript. I'd appreciate code critiques from anyone who thinks they actually understand this bagbiting language.

PS: If anyone can tell me how to add a track to a playlist at a particular position, e.g., "add track B after track A in playlist X", that would be swell.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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