Payphone stickers

Dear Lazyweb: stickers won't stick to my payphone. How do I fix this?

I don't know what kind of magical coating they used on top of the black-painted iron (or maybe steel?) box that the thing is made of, but I would like it to go away so I can decorate the thing properly. Maybe it's just car wax? Maybe it's something in the paint itself?

I'm hoping for an answer that is less involved than "disassemble the entire thing, sand it and repaint it". Taking it off the wall is a giant pain in the ass.

It's ironic, because the payphone is literally the only thing in the building I want stickers on, and they stick fine to absolutely every other surface.

Previously, previously.

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recent movies

Per recent trend, it's been more than a year since my last movie microreview post.

This isn't everything. I've omitted the many things I watched that were so bad that I don't even have anything funny to say about them. Also, when I checked my list, I found that there were some on there that I don't actually remember at all. There were a few. Ok, a lot.

In maybe something close to chronological order but not really:

Guns For Hire: A very low budget "what actually happened" action/mystery. Not bad.

Addicted to Fresno: Absolutely hilarious Slacker Idiot Caper movie.

Morgan: They keep making this movie -- the genetically engineered "born sexy yesterday" killing machine -- but this is a decent entry in the genre.

The Girl With All The Gifts: A zombie movie worth watching even if you're sick to death of zombie movies. I loved the book, and the movie does it justice.

Doctor Strange: Ok either you've already seen this or we can't be friends.

Crazyhead: This series is Buffy with more swearing and awkwardness. Starts off very strong, sort of loses it by the end.

The Man in the High Castle: Season 2 wasn't bad. You can pretty much entirely skip season 1, in which nothing happens.

Travellers: Time travel show basically from the perspective of the Terminators. It's not bad but suffers in characterization since by design, the characters have no backstory. We only get their cover identities.

Falling Water: This is an odd show about walking into other peoples' dreams. What I liked most about it is that it was really good for watching while falling asleep, because like dreams, it makes no god damned sense. It's like a 42 minute screen saver. When they finally started explaining things I felt, "nooo, don't spoil it".

Passengers: The trailer tells the entire story, because there's not much story, and the plot is even more monstrous than the script says it is. It's pretty, though. And I liked the bartender robot.

The Love Witch: This is a glorious tribute to the Hammer Horror movies. If you have any love for those, this is fantastic.

Person of Interest: When this show started, I gave up after a couple episodes because it was just another stupid police procedural. But people kept saying, "no, if you suffer through Season 1, it gets really good and turns into an actual science fiction show". Well, yeah, it does turn into a science fiction show, and it's not bad, but it suffers so heavily from plotblocking: In five seasons, there's about ¾ of a season's worth of the "AI" plot that I actually cared about. The rest of it is procedural victim-of-the-week nonsense.

The Sin of Harold Diddlebock: I thought I had seen all of the Preston Sturges movies, but somehow I missed this one! And it's fantastic!

Legion: SO GREAT. It turns out that what mutant stories were missing was hallucinatory unreliable narrators in asylums! And Aubrey Plaza. You may have heard that the is nominally connected to the X Men franchise, but it feels like it has nothing to do with that world, so don't let that scare you away.

Timeless: This is a really fun time travel show, and I don't often say those words. It hits many of the tropes, ok all of the tropes, but it comports itself well.

Midnight Special: It's a precocious mutant kid movie that seems to be based on the various M83 videos, and is possibly set in the same universe as Tomorrowland. I mock, but actually it's pretty good.

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe: I was worried this was going to be "zombie movie with boobs", but it's actually a pretty great locked-room ghost story. Very well done.

Modesty Blaise: You gotta watch this movie for the wallpaper alone.

The Void: Start with The Thing, turn left at Hellraiser, sprinkle lightly with Beyond The Black Rainbow.

The Scribbler: Good looking movie, shame about the plot.

After Death: Some people wake up on a beach, pretty quickly realize they died and are in Hell. It's not bad, but don't watch the trailer, it spoils the whole thing.

Rogue One: I was very pleasantly surprised by The Force Awakens, but this was even better. It held up on a second viewing, too.

Get Out: This is as great as everyone says it is. It's funnier and less of a horror movie than I expected.

Before I Fall: What if Groundhog Day was Mean Girls? Actually that works our pretty well.

The Neon Demon: This movie takes a really long time to get around to its actual plot -- which begins about 10 minutes from the end. It's vacuous and very pretty, and I might have enjoyed it more if I had known from the beginning that it was actually REDACTED.

Jawbreaker: Speaking of Mean Girls, I remembered this movie being a piece of shit, but I was talking to a friend who remembered it fondly, so I watched it again. I was right, it's a complete piece of shit.

The Devil's Candy: A really nice haunted house / possession movie. Much more on the suspense side than the spring-loaded-cat side.

Trainspotting 2: I did not expect this is be any good, but WOW, it's really good! It really felt like these jackasses have just been fucking around for twenty years and we're checking in on them again.

American Gods: I read the book and it really bored me -- all I remember of it is that it's a road trip with a whiny viewpoint protagonist who has absolutely everything exposited to him. But the show is so much better! Probably because it's actually about Dead Wife and Giant Leprechaun instead of the nominal lead characters. This is very much a Bryan Fuller story, not a Neil Gaiman story: it has much more to do with Fuller's Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me than with Gaiman's pastiches of late-period Douglas Adams.

The Handmaid's Tale: It's pretty great. But do shows with female leads always have to be about babies? Is there some kind of Bechdel test corollary that goes, "...and the women didn't talk about babies at all"?

Glow: Words cannot express how little interest or nostalgia I have for wrestling, but this was pretty funny. But again with the babies.

Wynonna Earp: , Supernatural has been kind of losing my interest lately, and this show was bringing the kind of stupid monster-of-the-week pulp schlock that I was missing. Season two has been slow so far, though. Also, now with babies.

I Am Not A Serial Killer: This is a pretty weird monster movie. It's hard to say more without spoilers. Not bad.

The Tenth Victim: Did you know that they made The Hunger Games in 1965? This may well be the first recorded appearance of a bra that shoots bullets from the nipples. This movie is not good, but it is better than The Hunger Games.

He Never Died: Rollins is immortal, and very very grumpy. I strongly recommend this as a double bill with The Man From Earth.

Blood Drive: This show is way funnier than it has any right to be.

>Freaks of Nature: What if zombies, vampires and humans all went to high school together, and then aliens invaded. Yeah, ok, I'm in.

Motivational Growth: Jeffrey Combs plays a manipulative pile of talking bathroom mold. It's kind of amazing.

Arrival: I loved this movie, and I was already a fan of the story it was based on. Calling it Contact done right isn't out of line.

Absentia: The day after her husband is declared "presumed dead", he comes back, and then gets taken by a monster again. It's pretty well done.

God Help The Girl and Sing Street: If you are looking for a double bill of twee indie-rock musicals, these are totally where you should go for that.

Wonder Woman: After suffering through what felt like a thousand stultifyingly shitty live-action DC movies, they finally got one right! I enjoyed this a lot. (When I saw the trailer for Dunkirk I said, "Wow, this Wonder Woman movie is way darker than I expected it to be.") I still think the Justice League movie looks like it's going to be a piece of shit, though. How is it that the DC animated stuff is (mostly) so good, but their live action outings are complete garbage? Except this one.

Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Hands up anybody who saw the first one and thought, "Boy, I hope the whole second movie is about Starlord's sad manbaby daddy issues!" Nobody? That's what I thought.

Colossal: Come for the kaiju, stay for the abusive relationships! I loved this.

Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal 2000: I was feeling nostalgic, so I'm here to remind you that these movies are absolutely dreadful. They're even worse than I remembered. They're shit.

Rock and Rule: In comparison to Heavy Metal, this lousy movie looks pretty great I guess?

Akira: This, however, really stands up. Every frame of this movie is gorgeous.

Ghost in the Shell, 1995: This too. It's absolutely as great as I remembered. One of the things that struck me about it this time is that it's slow not just because it's just a talky movie, but because they are showing off the absolutely obsessive environmental detail. This movie loves its skylines and neon-lit tunnels as much as Blade Runner did, and is just as willing to linger on them.

Ghost in the Shell, 2017: I put off watching this for a long time because A) remakes are stupid and B) whitewashing is stupid. And yeah, the whitewashing is weird and lame. But I gotta say, if you can get past that, they did a great job on this movie. It is absolutely gorgeous -- the exteriors, especially, which look like live-action Wipeout -- and the characterization and themes do justice to the original. The plot is different than, and much simpler than the original movie, but the various movies and TV shows were never much for continuity anyway. (Do the first and second movie even take place in the same universe? I can't remember. I'm pretty sure at least some of the TV shows disregarded the others.)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: For the first hour or so, I thought this movie was fantastic -- very much The Fifth Element done right. It kind of lost it toward the end, though. Like most movies, it probably should have ended 20 minutes earlier. Still, it was gorgeous and a lot of fun. (I have since read the comics, and I can say with assurance that the movie is way better. The comics are shit. Though the movie and the comics do share one important point: both of them would have been better if the male lead wasn't in them.)

Update: I tried to watch this movie again, and I completely retract what I said about it above. I don't know what I was thinking. Or possibly drinking. This movie is shit. There are some cool alien races, but everything else is awful. The comedy rarely rises above the level of "Hurr durr, women are terrible drivers!" Seriously, they make that joke like five times.

Atomic Blonde: THIS IS SO GREAT! From the opening titles where I thought, "You are already referencing To Live and Die in LA and I am all in," every moment of this movie is fantastic. The fight choreography is great. The use of music is great. Where they chose not to use music is great. It's all great.


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In-browser screen saver: a concept whose time has come.

After Dark 2.0, 1990:

After launching the emulator (ensuring that sound is unmuted), allow the Mac OS to boot and then... do nothing. After one minute of inactivity, After Dark will kick in.

This emulated Internet Archive item contains version 2.0 of After Dark, the software that kicked off the screensaver craze of the 1990s. Additionally, the expansions "More After Dark" and "After Dark - Art of Darkness" have been added to the install.

Navigate to the After Dark control panel via the Apple menu where you can change to a different screensaver module, change settings for each, and demo them all without having to wait for a minute.

I am particularly fond of GraphStat.

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Today in CV Dazzle news: making self-driving cars read stop signs as speed limit signs.

Robust Physical-World Attacks on Machine Learning Models

Our algorithm can create spatially- constrained perturbations that mimic vandalism or art to reduce the likelihood of detection by a casual observer. We show that adversarial examples generated by RP2 achieve high success rates under various conditions for real road sign recognition by using an evaluation methodology that captures physical world conditions. We physically realized and evaluated two attacks, one that causes a Stop sign to be misclassified as a Speed Limit sign in 100% of the testing conditions, and one that causes a Right Turn sign to be misclassified as either a Stop or Added Lane sign in 100% of the testing conditions.

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