From above you it devours

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It's Not a Government Shutdown. It's a Right-Wing Coup

Evergreen post from 2017:

The term "government shutdown" gives the public the false impression that the entire government is being shut down, when in reality, only a small percentage of the government gets shut down -- and for starkly ideological reasons.

What we are really facing is a liberal government shutdown -- which is to say programs designed to help the vulnerable and poor are gutted, while institutions designed to serve the rich and powerful remain unscathed. [...]

In principle, the criteria of what is and isn't "essential" is determined by unelected agency and department heads using guidance [that] defines "essential" activities as those that "protect life and property" -- a fundamentally reactionary (and curiously unexamined) criterion that elevates property over justice, feeding people, and protecting the vulnerable. [...]

There's the broader ideological coup as well. [...] By calling it a "government shutdown" the left runs the risks that many Americans will not notice their lives change in a clear way as the months roll on. The "return on investment" of liberal government -- education, science, children's health -- are not noticeable in an immediate and demonstrable way. Each day the "government shutdown" rolls on is another day the far right achieves another propaganda victory by giving the public the impression that government must not be very important if its wholesale closure has no impact on people's lives. [...]

Starving liberal institutions by triaging programs on ideological grounds without input from the public isn't a "shutdown"; it's a coup by another name. The media should start calling it one.

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Unicode Consortium: 214 characters from legacy computers and teletext that were proposed by the Terminals Working Group were just accepted:

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Oh boy, I seem to have broken everything.

Lazyweb, what's the proper way to take an infinite stream of MP3 bytes and publish to an SSL-enabled Icecast server?

It turns out that now that I'm doing Strict-Transport-Security and everything on my web servers is SSL, various browsers are now expecting the Icecast streams on my domain to be SSL too. I'm not sure how backward-compatible that is, but fine, let's do it. So I got Icecast 2.4.3 configured with SSL, I think. At least, at startup it says "SSL certificate found".

But I think the problem now is that I need to publish audio to the server over SSL too, and I can't figure out how to do that. I had been using this "Shout-2.1" Perl module, last modified in 2005. I guess it's just a wrapper over libshout, of which I have 2.2.2. This had been working fine until I turned on SSL, but now I can't figure out how to make it go. Help?

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Mercator Globe

"I'm mesmerized by how opposite of correct this is"

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DNA Lounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein shady businesses are shady.


There are only 4 essential movies about VR: Brainstorm, Videodrome, Strange Days and The Matrix. After those, everything that there is to say has been said.

Another thing about Brainstorm that I don't see mentioned often is how real the corporate environment felt. As someone who spent the late 80s in and around university-adjacent tech startups, I really felt that part of the movie where the engineers think it's their project, until the suits yank on the DARPA-branded choker-chain and explain that, no, it's not, and it never was.

Anyway, about frame rates and aspect ratios:

"We were seeing stuff we had never seen before, because there was no blurring," Trumbull says. "The frames were sharp as a tack, because the shutter closure was so narrow. The movie became incredibly vivid and powerful."

They settled on 60 fps on 70mm film and named the technology Showscan, incorporating a company called Future General. "The reason I choose 60 was because that's the same frame rate that television has been forever, because television is very narcotically stimulating," Trumbull says. "We did this test in a laboratory at the university [California State Polytechnic] down in Pomona, California. We found these laboratory guys that were really interested in measuring human physiological stimulation -- to gauge people's reaction. We ran tests that could show all these films shot at different frame rates and do what they call a double blind study -- mixing them and never tell anyone what the order of events are. We hooked individuals up to an electrocardiogram, and an electroencephalograph [which records electrical activity in the brain], and we measured galvanic skin response [similar to a polygraph] -- all to measure the physiological stimulation at the different frame rates. It created this hyperbolic curve that got better and better the higher frame rate you went to. It was empirical. This was like a really epic discovery about how to make movies better. That was our mission." [...]

The increased film speed and aspect ratio shocked Rubin. "I've ridden on roller coasters in real life, and I rode the roller coaster in Showscan," he says. "The memory locked in by the viewing of Showscan was stronger than the memory of actually going on a roller coaster. It registers in a very deep, impactful way." [...]

That effect was going to play right into Trumbull's vision for Brainstorm. During the parts of the story when no character was wearing the magic headset, the film would run as usual -- 24 fps, 35mm. But when a character put the headset on and entered another character's consciousness, the aspect ratio would widen to 70mm and the frame rate would jack up to 60: Everything would seem bigger, crisper, hyperreal. Viewers would feel like they were wearing that headset themselves -- a meta effect pushing the science-fiction plot into something approaching reality.

Is there a digital version of this movie that comes close to capturing that experience or that level of detail? I guess that would take 8K at 60FPS? Which would be useless to those of us who max out at 1080p.

How do you watch a movie that switches between 2.35:1 @ 60 and 1.66:1 @ 24 on a 1.78:1 device?

I'd love to see this again on a real screen.

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Level Five Vegan Bunnies

Adorable snowshoe hares found to routinely feast on their own dead:

The University of Alberta study adds to a growing scientific realization that herbivores actually love meat, they're just bad at finding it.

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Today in Landfill Capitalism: bringing a scooter to a knife fight.

Bird Scooter tried to censor a Boing Boing post. So that's going well:

Last month, I published a post discussing the mountains of abandoned Bird Scooters piling up in city impound lots, and the rise of $30 Chinese conversion kits that let you buy a scooter at auction, swap out the motherboard, and turn it into a personal scooter, untethered from the Bird company.

In response, Bird sent us a legal threat of such absurdity that we are publishing it in full, along with a scorching response from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as a kind of celebration of truly world-class legal foolishness.

In Bird's legal threat, they imply that by linking to a forum in which the existence of conversion kits was under discussion, I had violated the anti-trafficking clauses of Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the 1998 law that limits the dissemination of "circumvention tools" that bypass access controls for copyrighted works -- for example, tools that let you extract the video from an encrypted DVD.

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Dawn of the Second Epoch

Or, 10 bits should be enough for anybody:

GPS used a 10 bit field to encode the week number in each GPS time message, which means that a maximum of 1,024 weeks (19.7 years), could be handled. Each of these periods is known in GPS terms as an "epoch".

The first GPS satellites went live on 6 January 1980, meaning that the first epoch of GPS time lasted until 21 August 1999. We are now nearing the end of the second epoch, which will fall on the 6 April 2019. That means from that date onwards, we are likely to start seeing rollover problems in GPS receivers that aren't programmed to cope with the week number reset.

One of the things that makes this issue different from the Millennium Bug is that the impact won't necessarily be felt on rollover day itself. In fact, it's much more likely that an affected receiver won't start outputting erroneous data until long after the 6 April 2019.

That's because many receiver manufacturers have sought to maximise the default lifespan of their receivers by implementing the 1,024-week limit from the date the firmware was compiled, rather than from the date the current GPS epoch began.

In effect this means that older GPS receivers will operate normally for almost 20 years before problems begin to occur -- and if firmware is implemented in this manner, no issue is likely to be seen when the GPS epoch changes.

Correction, 13 bits should be enough for anybody:

The GPS modernization program is an ongoing, multibillion-dollar effort to upgrade the features and overall performance of the Global Positioning System. The upgraded features include new civilian and military GPS signals. To improve the situation regarding Week Number Roll Over, message types (CNAV and MNAV) use a 13-bit field to represent the GPS week number and newer GPS receivers that utilise that 13-bit field will not have a problem with 1,024-week epochs.

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