Purity Ring

They had some cool lighting instruments: two grids of individually addressable LEDs, 4096 total, I think. They mostly just ran sweeps but there were a few volumetric effects too. Basically the Bay Bridge lights but with depth.

Also I liked her 50s space-girl outfit.

But when that's all I remember about a show... sigh. It's hard to see the point of seeing a singer-plus-producer act at a large venue. They sounded exactly, totally, 100% like the CD. Much of the vocal track was canned, too. There wasn't really a performance. I saw them at Bottom of the Hill and it was basically the same show, lights aside, except that this time I was watching it from two blocks away and couldn't amuse myself by mentally reverse-engineering the drum-trigger pods.

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Circuit-bending neural network layers to produce ZALGO hellscapes.

Inceptionism: Going Deeper into Neural Networks

We train an artificial neural network by showing it millions of training examples and gradually adjusting the network parameters until it gives the classifications we want. The network typically consists of 10-30 stacked layers of artificial neurons. Each image is fed into the input layer, which then talks to the next layer, until eventually the "output" layer is reached. The network's "answer" comes from this final output layer.

So then they reach inside to one of the layers and spin the knob randomly to fuck it up. Lower layers are edges and curves. Higher layers are faces, eyes and shoggoth ovipositors.

So here's one surprise: neural networks that were trained to discriminate between different kinds of images have quite a bit of the information needed to generate images too.

That part, they kinda gloss over...

But the best part is not when they just glitch an image -- which is a fun kind of embossing at one end, and the "extra eyes" filter at the other -- but is when they take a net trained on some particular set of objects and feed it static, then zoom in, and feed the output back in repeatedly. That's when you converge upon the platonic ideal of those objects, which -- it turns out -- tend to be Giger nightmare landscapes. Who knew. (I knew.)

PS: Inception sucked.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Wormhole Waterslide

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein you watch sausages being made.

The video of yesterday's Entertainment Commission hearing is online.

May I particularly direct your attention to 04:26, where the manager of the brand new apartment building across the street says that we are "not a desirable member of their community", and to 07:42, where additional public comment is delivered in the form of song.



...and DRM!

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Queen Qwong

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Downtown San Francisco used to be known as "The Barbarian Coast"

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we are a Place of Entertainment.

Today we were approved for our entertainment permit at CW, with utterly tolerable conditions! And there was much rejoicing. The next hurdles are the construction permit and liquor license, not necessarily in that order.

So I had this crazy idea.

Our new building has these enormous blank walls on it. I want to put murals on them.

Now, pretty soon there are going to be housing developments that completely obscure those walls, but you know how construction projects go: that's probably going to take years. The gas station side hasn't even broken ground yet. So if we did this, it would give us N years of Big Art instead of Beige Wall, where N > 0. That sounds worthwhile to me.

I haven't done any research into this sort of thing, or even discussed it with our new landlord, who is the actual owner of those walls, but.... what is involved in that kind of thing, anyway? Do you need a permit? If it was a sign or a billboard, I think the answer is yes, but for art? Also, assuming the artist doesn't work for free, how do I get someone else to pay for it? This seems like the sort of thing for which grants would exist. I know nothing about such things. And finally, what local artists do you like who work at this scale?


Geo-IP, again

If you work at Youtube, can you tell me what country the system thinks is in?

Bonus points if you can tell me how to fix it.

I've wrestled with this before and still haven't figured it out, years later.

The answer is not "US", even though that is the case. Here's a video that it won't let me view from that IP, with the error "The uploader has not made this video available in your country": 7KzK-1M3QjE.

And here's what the API says about that video's restrictions:


    ... "allowed": [ "UZ", "ZW", "UM", "ZM", "ZA", "LV", "BS", "SA", "SB", "SC", "JO", "SE", "JM", "SG", "SH", "SI", "BY", "SK", "SL", "SM", "JE", "SO", "MH", "BB", "SR", "ST", "BF", "SV", "BD", "SY", "SZ", "JP", "BO", "BN", "BM", "BL", "KH", "CR", "CU", "PE", "KI", "PG", "PF", "PA", "KM", "KN", "PM", "CY", "CZ", "PN", "PH", "PK", "KG", "PT", "KZ", "CC", "CD", "CF", "PL", "KP", "CI", "KR", "CK", "PY", "CM", "CN", "CO", "DK", "DJ", "DM", "DO", "KE", "DZ", "LY", "US", "KY", "LS", "LR", "LU", "LT", "UY", "LI", "UG", "LK", "UA", "LA", "LC", "LB", "EG", "EE", "EC", "BR", "BH", "PR", "EH", "CH", "ET", "ER", "ES", "BW", "BV", "MZ", "MX", "MY", "MV", "CL", "MT", "MU", "RO", "MS", "MP", "MQ", "RS", "MO", "ML", "MM", "RW", "MK", "RU", "BZ", "MF", "MG", "MD", "KW", "SJ", "MA", "FO", "FM", "FK", "FJ", "FI", "BT", "SN", "FR", "NG", "NF", "NE", "BI", "NC", "NA", "NO", "NL", "BA", "NI", "WS", "NU", "NR", "NP", "BG", "WF", "NZ", "GL", "GM", "GN", "MC", "GH", "PW", "GD", "GE", "GF", "GG", "GA", "GB", "MW", "GY", "BJ", "GT", "GU", "GW", "GP", "GQ", "GR", "GS", "TR", "TT", "TW", "TV", "OM", "RE", "TZ", "TC", "TD", "TG", "TF", "TH", "TK", "TJ", "TM", "TL", "TO", "TN", "GI", "CA", "IT", "MR", "SD", "HM", "MN", "HN", "HK", "VN", "YT", "HU", "HT", "QA", "PS", "HR", "AI", "AO", "AL", "AM", "CG", "AF", "AG", "AD", "AE", "AZ", "AX", "CV", "CX", "YE", "AR", "AS", "BE", "AQ", "AW", "AT", "AU", "ME", "ID", "IE", "VU", "IN", "IO", "IL", "IM", "IR", "IS", "IQ", "VI", "VG", "VE", "VC", "VA" ]

From comparing that list to the list of all country codes, I can infer that Youtube thinks I'm in: "AC", "AN", "CW", "DE", "EU", "SU", "SX", "TP", or "UK" ... or maybe "" or NULL or something.

Update: I think it's fixed now. A fellow inside Google said: "I looked at our IP mapping data for, and it actually looks like we don't have a Geo mapping at all for it. That means it falls back to the "none" country code, which causes all kinds of havoc with things like YouTube." He opened a bug report with the Geo team, and a few weeks later, I am now able to download that video. Unfortunately, he also told me that there was absolutely no way I could have caused this problem to be fixed on my own, without involving an insider doing me a favor. So if this happens to you, good luck.


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Why market-rate housing makes the crisis worse

If you require less than about 40 percent affordable housing, the net impact of high-end construction is to make the housing market worse.

How is that possible? How could building more housing (at any level) be a net problem for the housing market? Doesn't more housing trickle down and make things better for everyone? It's not that complicated: When you build a new luxury housing complex, new resident move into it. For the most part, they result in net additions to the number of people in the city: If the person who buys a new condo moves out of a rental unit, someone else will move into that rental. Quickly.

The people with high disposable incomes who fill those condos or luxury rentals will spend money in town, creating a demand for jobs -- restaurant workers, grocery clerks, cops and firefighters, bank tellers ... and those people will also need a place to live. [...]

So according to the study, by Keyser Marston Associates, every time the city allows 100 new high-end housing units, it needs to build between 20 and 43 new affordable units -- just to keep the housing balance the way it is now. Put the affordable units in the main complex and the impact is lower (because fewer millionaires move in). Built them, as is common, somewhere else and the impact is greater. [...]

If the city demands 15 percent affordable set-asides, then every market-rate building adds more demand for affordable housing than it supplies. That means every new building makes the housing crisis worse.

Again: This isn't me and some crazy leftists saying that. It's the city's own studies, done by a respecting economic consulting firm.

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