Advanced slit-scan

Baku Hashimoto:

Let's say there's a quite thick flipbook that all frames of a video are bound page by page. If you just rifle through it, the original video will be just played. Slit-scan intrinsically means slicing the flipbook diagonally. [...]

I think the name of "slit-scan" makes people confused. It's rather appropriate to call it "time displacement" just like the name of AE's effect because this technique actually means displacing a cross section of "world volume" (like a flipbook, it is an imaginary 3D cube consists of 2D image + 1D time) along with "time axis".

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Facebook refuses to delete fake Pelosi video spread by Trump supporters

2020 is going to be awesome.

Facebook says it will continue to host a video of Nancy Pelosi that has been edited to give the impression that the Democratic House Speaker is drunk or unwell, in the latest incident highlighting its struggle to deal with disinformation. [...]

Despite the apparently malicious intent of the video's creator, Facebook has said it will only downgrade its visibility in users' newsfeeds and attach a link to a third-party fact checking site pointing out that the clip is misleading. As a result, although it is less likely to be seen by accident, the doctored video will continue to rack up views. Facebook only took the action following inquiries from the Washington Post, which first reported the story. [...]

One version of the video, which remains live on a Facebook page entitled "Politics WatchDog", has been viewed millions of times, attracting comments speculating on Pelosi's health, supposed use of drugs, and other apparent ailments.

The viral success of the crudely produced video highlights the challenges in fighting online disinformation when individuals are willing to share material that backs their own political views, even when it is accompanied by warnings.

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Deep Time Fakes

Machine learning brings old paintings and photos to life

Machine learning researchers have produced a system that can recreate lifelike motion from just a single frame of a person's face, opening up the possibility of animating not just photos but also paintings. It's not perfect, but when it works, it is -- like much AI work these days -- eerie and fascinating.

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5G Networks Could Throw Weather Forecasting Into Chaos

NOAA's acting chief said that interference from 5G wireless phones could reduce the accuracy of forecasts by 30 percent.

That's equivalent, he said, to the quality of weather predictions four decades ago. "If you look back in time to see when our forecast scale was roughly 30 percent less than today, it was 1980." Jacobs told the House Subcommittee on the Environment. That reduction would give coastal residents two or three fewer days to prepare for a hurricane, and it could lead to incorrect predictions of the storms' final path to land, Jacobs said. [...]

In March, the FCC began auctioning off its 24-gigahertz frequency band to wireless carriers, despite the objections of scientists at NOAA, NASA, and the American Meteorological Society. [...]

While the FCC can switch which regions of the spectrum it allocates to phone companies, forecasters are stuck. That's because water vapor emits a faint signal in the atmosphere at a frequency (23.8 GHz) that is extremely close to the one sold for next-generation 5G wireless communications (24 GHz). Satellites like NOAA's GOES-R and the European MetOp monitor this frequency to collect data that is fed into prediction models for upcoming storms and weather systems.

"We can't move away from 23.8 or we would." [...] NOAA's Jacobs told the House committee that the number currently proposed by the FCC would result in a 77 percent data loss from the NOAA satellite's passive microwave sounders.

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Homeless Armada

Hoist The Black!

"Imagine this is the view from your backyard. Now imagine a homeless person crashing a boat into your deck & asking for a peanut butter sandwich! Neighbors in Belvedere say incidents like this are happening more often." [...]

Floating in Richardson Bay, the little body of water between Sausalito and Belvedere, are about 200 boats that serve as the homes for a community who call themselves Anchor-Outs -- the term for people who live rent free on boats they anchor off shore. [...]

In Belvedere, the median home value in is $3.5 million. [...] If the only repercussions they experience from two generations of rapaciousness are peanut butter pirates popping by their private docks, and a bit of unintentional damage to said dock, they are getting off extremely easy. If you're rich enough to have a private dock on the San Francisco Bay (really, imagine that), you should hire someone full time, with benefits and 401k, just to make PB&J sandwiches and hand them out all day long.

Because here's the thing, once poor people finally realize how rich the one percent really is, they wouldn't be able to build guillotines fast enough.

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Recent movies and TV

Unicorn Store is hilarious! It is literally about a Unicorn Store. I assume Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson made this on a weekend in the middle of Captain Marvel. That means, canonically, Nick Fury owns a unicorn store. Seriously, I choose to believe that this movie is set shortly after the events of Captain Marvel where a slightly memory-defective, concussed Carol goes back to live on her parents' couch for a while.

The OA: The first season was brilliantly bizarre. I had no idea where it was going and it was full of deeply weird twists. Season 2 is even crazier. It reminds me of the best parts of Legion and Legend of Hill House (but is better than either). I was not expecting an octopus and The Parliament of Trees!

The Dark: A smart zombie girl befriends a blind boy. Soon they learn that the real monster was in their hearts the whole time. Actually it was pretty good.

Love Death and Robots: Almost all of these were great! It's very nice that they are so short. It's an under appreciated form. This is the opposite of Into The Dark, that recent horror anthology where every story was just so, so padded.

Then Came You: Arya Stark, manic dream cancer pixie. Formulaic, but it had its moments.

Miss Bala: Jane the Virgin becomes a drug mule, kills mobsters. Simple and unsurprising but not bad.

Someone Great: Jane the Virgin does Sex and the City. Parts of it were cute, parts of it were as despicable as Sex and the City.

The Order: I never saw Teen Wolf but I assume that it was this. It's garbage and everyone is a fratboy douche. And a sociopath. I mean this is super extra "Crime World" -- literally every person in this series is a serial killer. A vacuous, slack-jawed serial killer.

Daddy Issues: Until about 30 minutes in, I thought this was going to be another movie on the theme of, "Instagram is terrible, and used only by monstrous narcissists and/or stalkers", (a la the far superior Ingrid Goes West) and it was that, but it took a better turn. All the characters were terrible, selfish people making terrible decisions, and it had one of the creepiest relationship triangles you could imagine, but somehow at least 2 of the 5 despicable people in this movie got some sympathy from me. I will say that the drug/hallucination sequences were well done. Those were front-loaded and I would have been happy with much more of that.

Man of Tai-Chi: I was worried that this would be some kind of "Tom Cruise playing a samurai" nonsense but it wasn't that at all. Keanu is the End Boss but it's actually a straightforward 70s style Street Fighter movie. It's a showcase for Tiger Chen's fighting. The master says meditate more! But Tiger wants to prove himself! And now he needs money to save the temple! So he must join an underground tournament! And there's a lady cop who knows what's going on but The Chief told her to drop it! So yeah, it hits all the plot markers, but the fighting is great.

John Wick 3: Oh. Chef fingers. This was everything that I hoped it would be. There is horse fu! Horse fu!

I've noticed that when talk turns to Bill and Ted, what with the new movie coming out soon, that nobody seems to remember Alex Winters' The Idiot Box. So I watched it again and uh.... it's not nearly as funny as I remembered. Also it's very short. Lockjaw the Cop still makes me laugh though.

Doom Patrol: I was pleasantly surprised by this in the first part of the season, but it has completely ratcheted up the insanity recently. Cyborg and The Chief are awful and boring as shit, but all the other characters are great. Anyway, by about halfway through the season it goes completely off the rails in a fantastic way. I cannot believe I am seeing Flex Mentallo on TV. This, like so many things, must be because of that weasel that fell into the Large Hadron Collider in early 2016.

American Gods: I nearly boycotted season 2 after they fired Bryan Fuller -- it was so his show, very much a continuation of Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, far better than the book, and in every way in which it was better, it was in a Fuller-esque way. But even without Fuller, Gillian Anderson and Kristin Chenoweth, this season is... not bad. "Dead Wife and Leprechaun Road Trip" remains wholesome entertainment.

Blood & Treasure: This just started but it might fill the hole left by Leverage and Burn Notice. Money laundering! Nazi artifacts! That little graphic of a plane traveling across a map! And it takes place in "Crime World", where Miami blows up twice a week and Interpol is actually S.H.I.E.L.D.

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: This show is cuter and funnier than it has any right to be, for a remake of a commercial for a series of action figures. It's like a chibi-eyed glittery Venture Bros, with mommy issues instead of daddy issues, but less cynical and super gay. There's a horse whose first desire after learning to talk is to smash the state. The landscapes have kind of a Mobius feel to them. And they literally... hack the planet:


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Let's Encrypt

Dear Lazyweb:

Why is Let's Encrypt emailing me saying "Your certificates will expire in 10 days" about As far as I can tell it doesn't expire until August.

The email lists every domain in that cert except for mta-sts, which was added recently.

"certbot renew" says "Cert not yet due for renewal" for every domain. Version 0.31.0.

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"The Uber of Live Music"

Sofar Sounds house concerts raises $25M, but bands get just $100:

Tired of noisy music venues where you can hardly see the stage? Sofar Sounds puts on concerts in people's living rooms where fans pay $15 to $30 to sit silently on the floor and truly listen.

I mean... nooooo? That sounds dreadful. But go on...

Nearly 1 million guests have attended Sofar's more than 20,000 gigs. Having attended a half dozen of the shows, I can say they're blissful...unless you're a musician to pay a living. In some cases, Sofar pays just $100 per band for a 25 minute set, which can work out to just $8 per musician per hour or less. Hosts get nothing, and Sofar keeps the rest, which can range from $1100 to $1600 or more per gig -- many times what each performer takes home. The argument was that bands got exposure, and it was a tiny startup far from profitability.

Today, Sofar Sounds announced it's raised a $25 million round led by Battery Ventures and Union Square Ventures, building on the previous $6 million it'd scored from Octopus Ventures and Virgin Group. The goal is expansion -- to become the de facto way emerging artists play outside of traditional venues. [...]

The startup has enriched culture by offering an alternative to late night, dark and dirty club shows that don't appeal to hard-working professionals or older listeners.

How shall I put this...

You and me, we are never going to be friends.

By comparison, Sofar makes Uber look downright generous. A source who's worked with Sofar tells me the company keeps a lean team of full-time employees who focus on reserving venues, booking artists, and promotion. All the volunteers who actually put on the shows aren't paid, and neither are the venue hosts.

Ok, first of all... The author trying really hard to compute the "hourly rate" of the tambourine player* in an 8-person band playing in someone's living room is, let's say, off the mark.

If you're in a nobody band, and you get a slot as first of 3 on a bill, $100 is actually generous. That's the sort of guarantee an opener is only likely to get at a show that is already predicted to go pretty well.

There are several common ways that live show contracts work. Sometimes it's just a flat fee. But for small shows with up-and-coming acts, a typical structure would be: $X guarantee (the bands get that no matter what), then if the door takes in more than $X, the house gets the rest up to $Y (to cover costs: rent, insurance, sound tech, light tech, security, cashier, manager, and oh yeah promoting the show) and anything above $Y, the bands and the house split 80/20. For a really small show, $X is probably 0. For a big show, it might be $20k. Then the bands split their take probably 60/30/10. So for the opener to have a guarantee of $100, that means X=1000, which suggests a high degree of confidence of 100+ paid on a $10 ticket. Now it's not so small a show any more.


This company is doing the typical "gig economy" trick of externalizing all of their costs onto the contractors volunteers rubes. They have some small administration costs (shared across multiple cities and probably highly automated), but no room costs, no staff costs.

If I didn't have to pay the 5 to 30 people it takes to put on a show each night (not counting the artists!), and the room itself was free, those shows would be a lot more profitable. Oh yeah, and all of my friends would be unemployed.

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Surge Hacking

Uber, Lyft drivers causing artificial price surges:

Every night, several times a night, Uber and Lyft drivers at Reagan National Airport simultaneously turn off their ride share apps for a minute or two to trick the app into thinking there are no drivers available -- creating a price surge. When the fare goes high enough, the drivers turn their apps back on and lock into the higher fare. [...]

"Uber doesn't pay us enough, what the company is doing is defrauding all these people by taking 35-40 percent," one driver told ABC 7. "They are taking all this money because there's no system of accountability," another unidentified driver said. [...]

"All the airplanes we know when they land. So five minutes before, we turn all our apps off all of us at the same time. All of us we turn our apps off. They surge, $10, $12, sometimes $19. Then we turn our app on. Everyone will get the surge," one driver says. [...]

"Does everyone do it?" "Yes 100 percent. Everyone knows it's not worth it. They know if they take a ride from here without surge, without pumping the surge up, it's not worth it."

This is hilarious, but I can't decide whether to root for the drivers here. Is this effective "collective bargaining"? Or is it just more grift that does little more than prop up Uber's and Lyft's profits? Grift on top of grift. Grift all the way down.

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In Library of Babel News:

Zhongshuge bookstores:

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