Empty SF

Previously, previously.

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THE LINE IS PLEASED

edburmila:

"THE LINE IS PLEASED WITH THE TALK OF SACRIFICE" INTONES THE SHAMAN, AS MEDICINE MEN CHANT THE NAMES OF MUTUAL FUNDS AROUND THE CHART. "NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO DISPLEASE IT! WITHOUT BLOOD THE LINE WILL FORSAKE US" HE WARNS, AS THE FIRST ELDER IS FED SINGING INTO THE WOOD CHIPPER.

"LO! THE LINE HAS SEEN YOUR LACK OF FAITH!" THE SHAMAN SAYS WITH A SCOWL, ACCOMPANIED BY ALAN GREENSPAN PLAYING "LOSING MY RELIGION" ON SATAN'S PAN FLUTE. "LET HE WHO DOES NOT BELIEVE LEAVE THIS LAND! LO, THE PEOPLE MUST BELIEVE WITH ALL THEIR HEARTS!" A PORTAL OPENS.

IN THE DISTANCE, A PEASANT POUNDS A RHYTHM ON HIS OWN SKELETAL, TUBERCULAR CHEST. "LINE....LINE...LINE..."

OTHERS JOIN IN, WHEEZING: THE LINE. THE LINE. THE LINE.

SOON, AS IF HYPNOTIZED, THE MASSES SHOUT AS ONE:

THE LINE
THE LINE
THE LINE

WE GIVE OURSELVES OVER TO THE LINE

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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John Carpenter Announces Release Dates for "They Live" Sequels:

"They Laugh" and "They Love":

"Believe it or not 'They Live' was always my most spiritual film, and these long-awaited sequels will make that clear" the 72-year-old director said in a surprise Instagram Live video. "Yes, it's about learning to see the ideological distortions underpinning consumerism, but it's also about learning to giggle in the autumn breeze, to smell the moonlight on a midnight beach, to dance like nobody's watching you through your television."

"Obviously, none of this would be happening without Amazon Studios," Carpenter added. "Seriously. Like, it's literally impossible for mid-budget artists to tell stories to a mass audience without the involvement of companies like Amazon."

Picking up immediately after the 1988 film -- in which (spoiler!) Nada and Frank's high jinks revealed a race of elite alien overlords to humanity, "They Laugh" and "They Love" will follow a fresh cast of human characters as they compartmentalize the implications of their servitude and learn to live and grow alongside their extra-terrestrial masters.

"They Laugh" will follow Kumail Nanjiani as a milquetoast comedian competing on an alien talent show for a lucrative sponsorship deal, while "They Love" is planned to center around a plucky career alien's romantic entanglement with two working-class Franco brothers. Andy Serkis slated to play all of the aliens. [...]

Some high profile celebs have been freaking out about the announcement, including Chris Evens, Miley Cyrus, and Slovenian philosopher and pop culture analyst Slavoj Žižek: "These are the sequels for which I would have sold to a witch the left tit of my grandmother," said Žižek in an artfully shot black and white Patreon vlog. "To live, within ideology, is, I think, to be enslaved to the fetish of collective false consciousness, but to live, laugh, love? This, I think, reminds me of sandals at the beach, and of kissing in the rain, and so on."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Great Moments in Taxonomy

Cory Doctorow:

I'd been suspended for having a list to which I add trolls called "colossal assholes." [...] Weirder: "Colossal assholes" got me suspended, but not its companion list, "Toe-faced shitweasels". [...]

In response to Twitter's sensitivity about "colossal assholes" as a listname, I've renamed and expanded my lists.

  • Potent emetics
  • Tissue-thin bad faith
  • Foolish timewasters
  • Beneath contempt
  • Odious nonsense-spewers
  • Confederate gravy-eaters
  • Toe-faced stenchweasels
  • Hilariously inept lackwits
  • Probably bots
  • Thick as two short planks
  • Raving conspiracists
  • Sociopath climate deniers
  • Dim bulb centrists
  • Inept MAGA trolls
  • Red scare bedwetters

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein Slim's is closing.

Well, Golden Voice has taken Slim's out back and shot it in the head. The Chronicle reports:

Slim's staff was informed on Wednesday that the 11th Street nightclub will close permanently after more than 30 years. The decision had been made late last year, long before the coronavirus pandemic forced its immediate shutdown, Scaggs told The Chronicle [...]

Scaggs, Caufield and Hellman operated the clubs and free festival for their love of music. They laughed about competitors who were in the business for the money. Slim's owners failed to take a dime of profit out of the clubs all these years. [...]

Caufield, an original investor in Silicon Valley startups from America Online to Google, loved owning the club. He would get behind the bar and pour free drinks. [...] "What were billionaires like Warren and Frank doing caring about some blues club? It was a gift they gave themselves."

That's a pretty gross framing there, "a gift they gave themselves." He's saying that it wasn't about building a place for artists to thrive, creating community, or about giving back to their community. No, it has to be about what they got out of it personally.

Let's be very clear about this: Slim's never made a dime. Its 30 year cultural legacy -- and an incredible legacy it was -- only got to happen because of the whims of billionaires. If you look at what they did through the myopic lens of calling it a "business" -- that is, a financial instrument where you put money in one end, turn the crank, and more money comes out the other end -- then you'd consider it a spectacular failure.

But that's not what we, who run nightclubs, do. We facilitate the creation of our culture: You push money in one side, turn the crank, and what comes out the other side is art and community and music and stories.

But not money. Never money.

So if Caufield is to be believed, it means that all this time, Slim's was two or three rich dudes throwing a party for themselves... "And, whatever, I guess all of you plebes can attend, until we get bored with it."

So here we are, and the Money Men who had been supporting Slim's for so many decades finally decided to stop doing so. Two years ago, they sold it off to multinational superpredator Golden Voice. And, surprise surpise, the new owners Gordon Gecko'ed that shit, because, if at any moment a thing is worth more money by cutting it up and selling it off for parts, that's what they'll do. Then they move on, and consume and destroy the next thing, and so on, and so on.

In the DNA Lounge version of this story, I've been funding this place for decades off my 90s Startup money, and that money is nearly gone, because I was never rich like those guys are.

DNA Lounge isn't some whim of a group of dilettante plutocrats. It's not some side-hobby I toy around with when I'm not private-jetting off to my fifth mansion or luxurious doomsday bunker or whatever. This is all I do. I didn't expect this to be my life's work, but it is, because I think it's important.

I hope you think it's important too, and want DNA Lounge, your community, and all our communities here, to continue to exist after this pandemic lockdown. Please share our donation links. Please donate or contribute to our Patreon. Without our communities becoming much more heavily involved, this could be the end of the DNA Lounge project.

The "two or three rich dudes" model is not sustainable, because two or three people, billionaires or not, are not a community.

And let me close by casting a particularly strong side-eye to those of you working in the tech industry. You're making a quarter million a year and thinking "Wellllll.... I do like that place. Maybe I'll kick in $10 a month..."

If you add a couple-or-three zeroes onto that, then your community, all our other communities, and DNA Lounge itself, might just make it through this pandemic.

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Bat Pee

tinch: If you ever wondered how a bat pees.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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XScreenSaver 5.44 Hacks the Planet

XScreenSaver 5.44 is out now, including iOS and Android.

  • New hacks, Gibson, EtruscanVenus and Scooter.
  • BSOD supports Tivo and Nintendo.
  • New color options in RomanBoy, ProjectivePlane, Hypertorus and Klein.
  • "Use random screen saver" works again on macOS 10.15.
  • iOS supports dark mode.
  • Image loading works again on iOS 13.
  • Fixed rotation on iOS 13 (Apple incompatibly breaks rotation every two years as a matter of policy).
  • Performance tweaks for Eruption, Fireworkx, Halftone, Halo, Moire2 and RD-Bomb.
  • Various bug fixes.

It was recently the 25th anniversary of Hackers, you know.

Sadly, if you install the DMG on macOS, it no longer includes WebCollage or the stand-alone terminal-program versions of Apple2 or Phosphor. This is because I couldn't figure out how to sign them in a way that would allow "stapler" to function (it's losing its damned mind because an .app bundle has an executable command-line helper program inside it), so, fuck it, I guess they're gone.

Apple and code signing: every day, worse in every way.


Update: I think I figured out the latest pointless codesign firedrill. I pushed out a DMG (only) of 5.44.1. Let me know if it works.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein you can now have DNA Brand Liquor delivered to you!

In a truly shocking development, the ABC has temporarily loosened their rules on liquor delivery, so now we can deliver life-giving, sanity-preserving liquor to you at home! Not only can you order beer with your pizza delivery, but that means you can also order full bottles of our house brand DNA Lounge Vodka, DNA Lounge Gin and DNA Lounge Rum!

They are available right now on GrubHub, Doordash, and Postmates.

And because I know this is the first question I'm going to get: no, I have no idea how you can get one of these if you are outside of what the delivery services have decided is our delivery area. I can't even tell what that delivery area is, let alone how to change it. Likewise, I have no idea whether I'm allowed to just mail it. I assure you, when I know, you will know!

Also you can stop by in person and pick it up to-go from the window. Walk-up or call-in.

That aside, our experiment with keeping DNA Pizza open for deliveries has been going... not well. We had like two orders total yesterday.

Please order some pizza, or it's going to end up being cheaper for us to just be 100% closed.

It's good pizza you guys!



UPDATE! We now also deliver pre-mixed cocktails!

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Recent TV

I imagine all of you are going to be watching a lot more TV in the next few weeks. If you're looking for recommendations, may I direct you to my reviews tag, where I have written a lot of these micro-snark summaries.

Moving on:

I Am Not Ok With This: it's basically "Impulse" as a comedy with 20 minute long episodes. Pretty funny. A fine entry in the burgeoning "unwanted superpowers in a mundane world" genre.

BTW, watch "Impulse" again, it was so, so good.

High Fidelity: This is amazing. I was a huge fan of the Cusack movie, and this is even better. It's nearly Fleabag.

Harley Quinn (movie): This was really fun! It's basically Margot Robbie's Deadpool, down to the backstory: "Actor plays a great character in a shitty movie, becomes possessed by that character, becomes executive producer of their own movie of that character, which completely nails it."

Harley Quinn (cartoon): This is the greatest DC cartoon series ever made. It had not occurred to me that what was missing from these stories was lots and lots of swearing. But it is. It really, really is.

Johnny Mnemonic: I watched this in the theatre recently. I'm pretty sure this was only the second time I've seen this, and the first time was in the theatre for its first run. I hated it at the time: not only was it a poor example of the nascent cyberpunk genre, I found it just a really poor pastiche of Gibson's books, which I loved the shit out of. But watching it again, in 2020 (the movie is set in 2021), it's... better. Today, it's more about a 1995 vision of the future, so it's just retro kitch, more about the past than the future. I was kind of into it for about the first half, and then it goes pretty flat. The acting is poor, even for the genre-standards of the time. Honestly, when your best performances come from Henry Rollins and Ice T, what are you even doing? Nothing against those gentlemen, I enjoy their work, but they're not exactly what you'd consider heavy hitters.

Why would you even watch this when you could be watching Strange Days instead? Strange Days is the only Gibson adaptation we will ever need, even though it wasn't actually an adaptation of his work, except in only the important ways.

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist: Woman starts hallucinating elaborate musical numbers. I really wanted to like this... but I could not. It's a fun idea, and it's in the same space as Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but first of all, the songs are just... bad. Like, "bachelorette party at karaoke" bad. The choreography is fun but the song choice just so schlocky. Also the office-drama subplot is intolerably poorly written. This seems to have been written not only by someone who has never managed anyone, but possibly someone who has never had an office job, or possibly any job at all.

Briarpatch: Small town noir-ish murder mystery. It's fine so far.

Danzig's Verotika: I was unable to prevent myself from clicking on this car crash. Wowwwwww this is like, what if "Suicide Girls" was a series on Cinemax in 1992.

No subtitle has ever subtitled more accurately.
Devs: This seemed like it was going to be some stupid "Silicon Valley" story, but it's not, it's a very, very simple corporate murder story -- but it has pretensions of depth through its soundtrack of overwrought Kubrickian shrieks. As we pan across a hideous open-plan office done up in a "Trump's Shitter" color scheme, listen to the howling and buzzing from 2001's "Monolith reveal" or "stargate" scenes. What are you even doing. The sound design is cool and all but it's really wallpapering over the fact that there's not a lot here.

Avenue 5: BRB self-isolating with Incompetent Captain Dr. House. This is very, very funny!

October Faction: It's basically Supernatural as a high school drama if their dad hadn't left. So it's "All about fambly". The first half of the season is kind of a test pattern, but once they get around to doing the obvious turn of, "Maybe the real monsters were the friends we made along the way", it gets somewhat better.

Locke and Key: I could almost paste the October Faction review here.

Altered Carbon 2: Snooooore. See my previous review.


Previously.

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Speeding up macOS screen sharing?

For obvious reasons, this is of more interest to me these days. I currently do it like this:

    ssh -N -L 6666:\!\*:5900 remotehost
    Finder / Go / Connect to Server
    vnc://localhost:6666

It's slow as shit. Even bouncing dock icons are painful. Dragging a window is a 30 second ordeal. Where is the "go faster" crank?

Trying to search for answers to this question on the interwebs produces, unsurprisingly, a lot of cargo-cult palm-frond tail-section mockups that I do not believe.

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