Hateplow

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ionnalee, queen of the elves

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Ultimate Hacking Keyboard

A surprise new keyboard arrived in the mail a few days ago, the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard. I had completely forgotten that I had ordered this over two years ago (March 2016)!

It took me a little while to get used to it, but after using it for a couple of days, I think I've decided that I like the Kinesis Gaming Freestyle Edge more.

Here's it's layout:

And the Kinesis, for comparison:

The good:

  • It's really solid, and heavier than it looks. It's a very nice build.

  • Key switches are... ok. They say they are "Cherry MX-style", which I gather means "Kailh Brown", but they are definitely mushier than the real Cherry MX Brown switches that I have in the Kinesis.

  • Ctrl, Opt and Cmd on both sides! Finally! Why do manufacturers always omit some on the right?

  • After attaching the tenting legs, it was at exactly the angle that I like, and the default connecting cable is long enough, after giving it a good stretch.

The bad:

Most of my complaints stem from, I'm guessing, that their top priorities in designing this thing were:

  • Make it as physically small as possible;
  • Make it dock together into a square keyboard;
  • Control the mouse.

I literally could not care less about any of those things, but those decisions forced most of the bad stuff to happen.

  • It's is 5 rows tall instead of 6. This means that there is no Function / Media row, and most critically, no Escape key.

  • I'm going to say that again to let it sink in. There is no Esc key. You type Esc by holding Mod and typing tilde. (Just a hunch, but their "ultimate hacking" probably doesn't happen in vi.)

  • There's no arrow cluster, and no right navigation column (Home, PgUp, etc.) You type arrows by holding Mod and typing IJKL.

    So because of the Esc and arrows thing, I find it damned near impossible to use Photoshop or Illustrator at any speed. It's a horror.

  • As if that wasn't bad enough, the weird little half-height Mod and Space keys that are beneath the "real" keys (so that you have both Mod and Space on both sides) are not real keys, they're microswitches. They require a lot of pressure, and you have to hit them way over at the end. I hate them. Hate.

  • So, that Mod key. There's no spacebar on the left side, because you need to use Mod all the time to get at navigation and function keys. You can only type Space with your right hand, or, under duress, you can type it using the horrible microswitch on the left.

  • The chord keys in the bottom row are Ctrl, Opt, Cmd, Fn. The "Fn" key is how you get to the Media keys (which is weird, because it seems like those could have been added to the Mod layer, but whatever.) Anyway, the very presence of this key is a problem, because it means the Opt and Cmd keys are too far to the left. It's hard to type singled-handed Cmd/Opt keystrokes without contorting your hand into an uncomfortable claw.

    At least, I think that's what going on? I'm not sure. I just know that typing single-hand chords is uncomfortable.

  • There's a big 3 character 9-segment LED display on the keyboard that tells you which keymap you are using (Mac QWERTY, Windows EBCDIC). I don't know about you, but the frequency with which I change my keymap is: exactly once ever. So I don't really need this thing glowing at me. You can turn the light off, but even when unlit it's still ugly as sin. It begs for a piece of electrical tape over it. Also, I'm baffled that they chose to devote so much physical space to such a useless indicator.

  • The 6 is on the left only. There should be one on each side.

  • No USB ports, so nowhere to plug in your mouse.

  • While fumbing around trying to figure out how to type a function key, I accidentally put it into EBCDIC. This is a time bomb that I do not need. (I then remapped that key away, but still.)

  • I might like to have palm rests, but the ones that they sell are woodgrain. Ew ew ew, no no no.

What would make me like this keyboard would be:

  • Arrow cluster at bottom right;
  • Add top Esc/Fn row and navigation column;
  • Fix the bottom row layout by omitting Fn and Mod.

As is, this keyboard would be good for you if you:

  • Can't quite commit to switching from a rectangular keyboard to a split keyboard;
  • Want it to fit into a small bag;
  • Have some weird fetish about moving your mouse with IJKL;
  • Don't use arrow keys or ESC.

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Foxtails Brigade

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Yassou

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Eight Arms to Hold You

MDMA Makes Octopuses Want to Mingle, Too

After waiting several hours, they soaked the octopuses in a MDMA bath for 10 minutes, washed them off with saline, then returned them to the partitioned tank for 30 minutes.

Worst. VIP. Room. Evar.

After a dose of MDMA, the octopuses spent much more time with other octopuses, of both sexes, than before. This is markedly unusual behavior for the creatures, who normally stick to themselves, and the researchers suggest it could be because social behavior that's normally suppressed was being expressed. They were also observed making "slow, voluntary, non-stereotypical, semi-purposeful movements" after being marinated in MDMA, something the researchers think might also be an example of normally repressed behavior coming out.

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ENHANCE.COMPUTER

nicolehe:

I made a cyberpunk game you play by yelling at your computer like you're in a movie. It's an homage to the classic sci-fi "zoom and enhance" trope. Play it in Chrome! 🕵️🗣💻🕵️‍♀️

I can't make it go because I don't know how to make my web browser listen to my microphone (in fact, I'm horrified at the idea that this is even possible) but the concept checks out.

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youtubedown help needed

I've been beating my head against this for a while and I've run out of time and patience, so dear Lazyweb, please lend a hand...

Something changed recently in Youtube such that many of the higher resolution video formats are no longer listed in url_encoded_fmt_stream_map but must be extracted from the dashmpd file instead. But the MP4 URLs I am finding are giving me 403 or 404 errors. So I'd like you to help me figure out where it's going wrong.

  1. Get HTML from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlaoFHe6JL0
  2. Find the "dashmpd" URL, which will look like https://manifest.googlevideo.com/api/manifest/dash/...
  3. Note that it contains /signature/ rather than /s/ which means indicates that it is the real signature, not an enciphered version of it.
  4. Find the <Representation id="137"> in there.
  5. Its BaseURL should be a downloadable audio-only 1080p MP4, but instead it is 403 or sometimes 404.

What am I missing?

Update: Uh maybe I fixed it maybe.

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Just spit on your hand and see what's gurgling around in there


Mireia Donat Melús:

This conglomerate report of fleshy appearance encourages us to delve into the intriguing orifice that, treasuring the appearance of a great anus, presides over its front. An internal camera waits for the intrusive hand that fractures this barrier.

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XScreenSaver 5.40




XScreenSaver 5.40 is out now, including iOS and Android.

VFeedback simulates the effect (likely unknown to da yoot of today) of pointing a video camera at an analog television. If you position things just right you can get seething flame spirals. The screen savers does an... adequate... job of this, by randomly zooming and rotating the camera, but it works a lot better when run interactively. Try to get a hard light/dark division kind of near the center of the screen and hold it there.

Running it in a window on Linux, left button pans, other buttons or modifiers rotate. There are also a bunch of keystrokes for twisting the tv knobs. On mobile, you can only pan, because the X11 code can't see multi-touch.

FilmLeader displays a looping countdown based on the SMPTE Universal Film leader, and it never reaches the end, which I am told is super frustrating.

GlitchPEG is perhaps the first screen saver that's excellent at detecting buffer overflow exploits. It loads an image, corrupts it, and then displays the corrupted version, several times a second. It glitches the image by altering random bytes in the compressed image file before de-compressing it. So if this saver crashes, congratulations, you have an exploitable image library!

It looks cool on JPEGs, but doesn't work well on PNG files, since PNG contains checksums that detect simple corruption.

GlitchPEG only works on X11 and MacOS, not iOS and Android, because right now there's no easy access to the un-decoded image data on the mobile platforms. I could add an API for that, but I haven't bothered.

I've already written about the new version of DymaxionMap, but now you can actually run it. It blends day and night maps into a single image that shows what the day/night terminator would look like moving across Flatland. It sort of feels like two spirals turning on opposite directions.

GLPlanet also looks a lot better now, since it also blends the day and night images with a dusk terminator instead of a hard edge.

Also, many more modes have been enabled on Android.

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