NSA Exorcism

"A massive spiritual data hemorrhage that will release the banal facts of our lives back into the ether."

Drive the demons from the NSA data collection building known as "Titanpointe"! Mass exorcism ritual to purify data, reject false gods... and defend freedom of thought!

In the interests of metaphysically purging the edifice of the data it hoards and invoking a less maniacal version of citizen-government relations, on April 15th at 12 p.m. a cadre of priests, supplicants, and a volunteer choir affiliated with The Quiet American will exorcise the malevolent energy coursing through the so-called 'Long Lines Building' at 33 Thomas Street. This sacred day falls approximately one day before the rising of Christ, and three days before tax day.

Beginning with a prayer for the building's physical materials and an invocation of the gods this architectural fiasco has insulted, exorcisors will then lay a perimeter of salt around the building to render ineffective the sinister frequencies it broadcasts. In a rite of liberation and fertility, thousands of pages of personal data, bouquets of flowers, and an ostrich egg will then be sacrificed to the building, thereby triggering a massive spiritual data hemorrhage that will release the banal facts of our lives back into their proper home - the ether -- and expel the demons of fear and suspicion from the temple.

Windowless, monolithic, and creepy as all hell, the building at 33 Thomas Street is an altar to a false god, a monument to the bottomless fear that locks us in permanent war and makes us suspicious of our neighbors, our own towns and cities, our own capabilities and impulses. Windowless, shuttered to the world that it is intended to spy on, the building at 33 Thomas Street is a maelstrom of negative energy, a black hole that sucks up light in the form of our personal communications, then in some alchemical sleight of hand returns that light in the form of a panic and dread which we are assured is the real common currency of our civic life. Rather than allay fears of the end however, this brutalist heap - designed to withstand a nuclear assault and sustain the employees working within its bowels for two weeks - broadcasts paranoia.

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Abandoned TV 01 [IDLE]

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Adam Pizurny

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Inert Products

In time for Halloween!

If you're planning on pranking your friend by hiding this in their carry-on luggage, make sure you spend the extra to get the "X-Ray Correct" versions.

I'm disappointed that "Domestic Terrorism Training Kit #2" does not include a Confederate flag.

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jwztv 1.0

Hey, I wrote a thing: jwztv 1.0.

Critiques of my usage of jQuery, AVPlayerView, AVMutableAudioMix or NSScriptCommand are welcome. I haven't done a lot of any of that before.

Also: is there any way to inject an RVAD (Relative Volume Adjustment) tag into the metadata of a video file using an MP4 and/or MOV container? (Please note that this question is very, very specific.)

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The Bletchley

You break codes to get drinks at spy-themed London bar The Bletchley

The Bletchley is a spy-themed London bar where you have to crack codes to order drinks.

To do that, you use imitation World War 2 Enigma machines which generate a unique code for every "agent." Orders are then transmitted via radio to the bar.

The venue is inspired by Bletchley Park, the site where British mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing and his team used to crack German codes during World War 2.

This is gorgeous, but two things:

  1. When I see a bar that seems to have made it very difficult to get drunk, I can't help but think, YOU HAD ONE JOB.

  2. The plastic wrap atop the Enigma machines really detracts. (Also it was only introduced commercially in 1949!)

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Vectrex 32

Upgrading a Vectrex to 32 Bits

I built a cartridge, which I call the Vectrex32 SmartCart, based on the Microchip PIC32. It's a 32 bit microcontroller that runs at 200 MHz, has a floating point unit, 2MB of flash, and 512KB of RAM. By comparison, the Vectrex's 6809 is an 8/16 bit processor with 8KB of ROM and 1K of RAM.

The BASIC interpreter and the game run on the PIC32. There's a dual-port memory chip readable and writable by both the PIC32 and the 6809. The PIC32 writes 6809 machine code into the dual-port memory and the 6809 runs it. Thirty times per second, the PIC32 writes the instructions needed to draw the screen, play sounds, and read the controller. Since the game logic is running on the PIC32, games can be far more sophisticated than anything the Vectrex could do alone.

The SmartCart also has a USB interface. When connected to a PC, it appears as a mass storage drive and a serial port. The drive holds BASIC programs and the serial port can be used with a terminal emulator. You can interactively debug a BASIC program (my version of BASIC supports breakpoints, single-stepping, printing out variables, and more). You can also interactively change things on the screen, e.g. you can experiment to get your shapes looking right and moving right.

So basically: he took the 1982-vintage Vectrex and wrote a cartridge for it that turns it into a simple I/O device, with the real program running elsewhere. But, to avoid letting things get too modern, he made the controlling computer (which also fits inside the cartridge) be of 1992-vintage instead of something modern.

Today I learned that BASIC can have breakpoints. Apparently these neo-retro BASICs have advanced beyond what I'm used to: when CLOADM $C000 fails because your cassette stretched, you just type it all in again.

I feel like this must have been what game development was like during those heady, accelerating days toward the end of the 19A0s.

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Sovereign Furry Citizens

Free Furry of The Land:

The thing that got me wasn't the "furry" aspect, but the Sovereign Citizen aspect of the whole thing, once again proving that some people have insanity so strong it can bleed right the fuck through a fursuit. [...]

Alright, so, every lawyer in the world that clicked on that probably got to this part: [...] and saw the strange bolding, the weird capitalization of certain letters, and the words "potentially damaging criminal activities causing substantial commercial injury damages" and went "OH SHIT! IT'S SOV CIT TIME!" Indeed. Indeed it fucking is.

Alright, so SovCit is legal jargon for "sovereign citizens," a movement which believes that they can operate outside of and, in some cases, in a superior position to the law. While every goddamn lawyer in the world is aware of these batshit battlers, [...] the rule of thumb (heh, see what I did there?) when dealing with a Sovereign Citizen is to recognize that you're in for either a very good or very bad ride, depending on the particular brand of craziness they espouse. [...]

Second, those seven points are probably complete bullshit. "Incite to riot?" "Trespass on contract Obligations?" Does "incite to riot" even get charged anymore? And seriously, could you imagine this riot in the mind's eye of the writer of that letter? Just people in badger suits yanking out gats and opening fire on each other.

Is that "riot" or "hunting" at that point? Is it okay if they have a license and stick to the bag limit? These are questions left unanswered by the letter. [...]

But here's the real takeaway:

3. Furry Sovereign Citizens do not insist that their fursonas are their actually identities, which bums me out as I was really looking forward to seeing "BOOMER THE DOG, A FREE DOG OF THE LAND" on a legal pleading at some point.

5. This shit is better when you know the guy writing it has, at some point, jerked off to a picture of two animals fucking.

Also, Nazi Furries are totally a thing because of course they are.

Though whether they are "ha ha only trolling" Nazis or Actual Fucking Nazis is unclear (both of which are equally punchable,BTW.)

"It's obviously not a swastika," claims Foxler. [...] "I didn't take any consideration because of my lack of World War Two knowledge," he says. "I don't think I could ever take it off at this point, it's so ingrained into my character, my fursona."

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Today in Applied Demonology

TV ad trolls the live surveillance mic in your house:

The 15-second ad triggers Google devices with the command, "Ok Google, what is the Whopper burger?" The spot will run nationally during primetime starting Wednesday [...]

Here's where we encountered the major flaw with Burger King's ad. Someone had edited the Whopper's Wikipedia page to say that the burger is made of a "medium-sized child," instead of beef patty, and that it contains the toxic chemical Cyanide.

Burger King later edited the Wikipedia page to a more accurate description of the burger. But people keep changing it.

On Wednesday afternoon, the definition had been changed to: "The Whopper is the worst hamburger product sold by the international fast-food restaurant chain Burger King and its Australian franchise Hungry Jack's."

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Sharia Law

Church Can Start Its Own Police Force, Alabama Senate Says

A large church in Alabama is one step closer to creating its own police force, a move that seems to be without precedent in the U.S. The state's Senate has approved legislation that would give church police officers the same powers other law enforcement officers have in Alabama. [...]

Both chambers' legislation specifically names Briarwood Presbyterian Church, a Birmingham megachurch that "says it needs its own police officers to keep its school as well as its more than 4,000 person congregation safe," Alabama Public Radio reports. [...]

Earlier this month, Alabama's House adopted the Alabama Church Protection Act, which would help religious groups form armed security patrols. It authorizes "any church or place of worship to establish a security program by which designated members are authorized to carry firearms for the protection of the congregation of the church or place of worship." The act also provides "limited immunity for members of such a program when they're acting within their duties.


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