Why I never play video games any more

tl;dr - because sysadminning a console is the worst game ever.

  1. Hear about [REDACTED] being released for PS3.
  2. Wonder if I can download that.
  3. Turn on PS3 for the first time in... a year?
  4. Remember that for some reason it stopped being able to connect to the network.
  5. Dick around in settings for 30 minutes.
  6. Completely disassemble it. (Wow, those heat sinks are not fucking around!)
  7. Detect nothing obviously unseated. Re-assemble.
  8. Dick around in settings again. Oh, now it wants to download an update! I guess the network is working again.
  9. Download. Wait.
  10. Install. Wait.
  11. It gets to 99%, aaaaaand....
  12. Yup. Repeatedly.
  13. Download PS3UPDAT.PUP to a thumb drive. Ignored.
  14. Safe mode? Nope, it goes right back to the installer loop, but this time in glorious SD.
  15. Pull the drive to see if I can replace the PS3UPDAT.PUP there surgically. Nope, it's in some goofball file system that a Mac can't mount.
  16. Safe mode with the drive pulled? Nope.
  17. I guess I don't have a PS3 any more, now I have a brick. Hooray!

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Grocery Can Liberation


PDFs for all the labels are here!

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Berkeley Cop Trading Cards

In 2002, Berkeley UCPD made trading cards for their officers so students could get to know their cops. It's been a while, so we updated the initiative.

"Sgt Andrew Tucker, who hospitalized four students in 2011. Maybe they asked for it, though: Chancellor Robert Birgeneau called the protestors "not non-violent" because they'd linked their arms together."

"Barry Boersma, who killed a man with a carotid hold and shot another in the back with a Taser while working for Vallejo PD."

"Berkeley UCPD Sgt. Billy Brashear, the cops' student body liaison. In 2011, Brashear liaisoned with students' bodies by beating them with a baton, even though one had already fallen to the ground."

Long thread is long.

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Paypal's War on Tardigrades

ArchieMcPhee:

Just an FYI that @PayPal is currently blocking all transactions containing the word "tardigrade" in the product name or description. We've contacted them and they told us we should just stop using the word tardigrade.

PS This is not limited to Archie McPhee. This is ALL OF PAYPAL! And they give a message that the USER is violating their agreement. It's scaring customers away!

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DNA Lounge: Wherein there's some press about our lockdown webcast series

Broke-Ass Stuart has a run-down of our extensive set of online events:

How DNA Lounge Is Keeping Sf Weird During The Pandemic:

The DNA Lounge webcast -- dnalounge.com/webcast/ -- has, for nearly 20 years, been piping audio and video of its live events onto the internet. Now, under the direction of general manager Devon Dossett, and with crews of dedicated producers, promoters, performers and techs, the club has significantly upgraded its webcast technology, and has transformed itself into a de facto television studio, for broadcasting live events from its stage to the world. [...]

Events so far have included live variety shows, projection-mapping artists, DJ parties with full club lighting and go-go dancers, and even an appearance by EDM luminary Shlump, on his way to perform at an outdoor, drive-in rave in Colorado. [...]

Hopefully better Federal leadership and real solutions will come soon, and we'll be able to return to live shows and live gatherings before it's too late for local venues and local live entertainment. In the meantime, DNA Lounge, and all its partners, are doing what they can to keep San Francisco's independent, non-corporate entertainment business alive and viable for the Bay Area's future.

SF Weekly spoke to a number of venues, including us, about our disparate, desperate efforts:

Trials & Innovations: Live Music During COVID-19.
Socially distanced shows, live streams, and new tech won't be enough.


Instead of going outdoors, DNA Lounge has responded to the pandemic by going online. Ever since reopening in 2001, DNA Lounge has made live-streaming events online a major part of the club's identity. [...] A little less than a week after the Red Room Orchestra played the Chapel, the DNA held their own music event: a quasi-live performance by chiptune and electronic band Crashfaster in which half the band filmed themselves playing, and then the other half performed over that prerecorded video. "They even had a friend of theirs record a performance of some laser equipment," Dossett says, a testament to the kind of creative thinking artists are putting into practice these days. [...]

However, as with the Red Room Orchestra show at the Chapel, Dossett says DNA's currently scheduled events aren't really about making money. It's just an attempt to keep nightlife alive during the pandemic. Live music, he says, is "vital to people's emotional wellbeing." [...]

The reality for musicians and venues alike, is that until touring returns -- until venues can open to full capacity and it is possible for bands to safely travel the country again -- both are going to be hurting. Badly. [...]

Back in June, the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) estimated that 90 percent of America's independent venues were likely to close during lockdown due to lost revenue. In July, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D) and John Cornyn (R) introduced to the Senate the Save Our Stages act (S. 4258). If passed, the bill would authorize up to $12 billion in grants for venues and industry workers from the Small Business Administration.

And The Examiner, as well:

SF clubs mix things up to avoid a last call Proprietors get creative with money-raising efforts during pandemic

"None of this is even remotely sustainable," says Zawinski. "So, like every other nightlife-related business, we're all just sitting here watching the clock tick and waiting for the money to run out." [...]

Club owners and managers all hang varying degrees of hope on the local Independent Venue Alliance, which represents and educates a group of over 20 mostly closed nightlife venues on state and federal funding initiatives. [...] But with little financial assistance from the government thus far or any clear-cut timeline as to when bars and clubs will be allowed to fully reopen, many remain forced to rely on limited patronage and donations from longtime customers.

As always, if you want to ensure that DNA Lounge will still be here for you once the pandemic is over, contribute to our Patreon or make a one-time donation. And buying some pizza or cocktails helps, too!

And while we wait, tune in tomorrow for Turbo Drive and Saturday for Hubba Hubba Revue...

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The Man Who Taught His Sandworm To Talk

"The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel."

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"But we know that it was us that scorched the sky."

(Drone footage by Bond Studio)

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Greetings from Sunny California


It is 9:45 AM.

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jwz mixtape 219

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 219.

It is also currently queued up on the DNA Lounge webcast, if you want to watch it in simultaneity.

Tiny Stills are on this mixtape, and we have a show scheduled with them at DNA Lounge on Jan 17. Anyone placing bets on whether we're allowed to open by then?

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Current Music: as noted

Recent Movies and TV

Hunters: When I heard about this -- "So, Inglorious Basterds was good, but what if we upgrade that Tarantino to a Jordan Peele?" My reaction was, "Shit, that's all you had to say." And it starts off very, very strong -- but then it kinda loses its way. There's a bit of that Grindhouse weirdness, but they never lean in to it, and the ending is just... pretty dumb. You already had a gang of old Jews extracting violent revenge on actual Nazis -- just inject that right into my veins. Trying to spice that up with another goofball conspiracy because Operation Paperclip wasn't spicy enough? Anyway, I enjoyed it, but it really went off the rails in the last 2 or 3 episodes.

Lovecraft Country: This is absolutely amazing. Best thing on TV right now. It's only up to episode 4 and they've already blown through half the book (which was very good too). The book was more of a collection of several novellas, so I guess that lends itself to episodic TV pretty well.

Bill and Ted Face The Music: This is everything it should have been. It's a triumph. It has all the goofiness of the first one and not a mean-spirited bone in its body.

Star Trek Lower Decks: This is just The Orville. The Orville already met its goal of debasing Star Trek. Why is Star Trek now taking a sarcastic shit on itself? What if Star Trek, but cynical, barely-competent dimwits? If Star Trek is The West Wing, this is Veep.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: I really enjoyed this, it's very funny. But a lot of it is, "Oh, these rich people are so unhappy at their boring lives." Speaking of Star Trek, it has a weirdly post-scarcity feeling to it. All of their problems are that they could do anything but they don't want to.

The Wretched: A very 80s-feeling monster movie. Good effects without dumb jump-scares, and a twist or two that I didn't see coming.

VFW: This feels like it was made in the 80s, thematically: a bunch of old former soldiers fight a bunch of "young punks" who are all hopped up on goofballs. It's got that weirdly classist fear of cities that you saw a lot back then. Probably Giuliani's fault.

Super Mario Bros. (1993): This movie is nuts in kind of the way that Tank Girl was nuts. I wouldn't say it's good, but it sure is... very much its own thing. We should have shown this movie at a Cyberdelia that nobody would have come to!

The Night Before (1988): I hadn't seen this since it came out, so I was worried. Teen Keanu blacks out and accidentally sells his prom date to a sex trafficker, then tries to piece the night back together, Memento style. It's actually pretty funny, though it does contain the expected "80s comedy" level of low-key racism and sexism. One big surprise: the pimped prom date is Lori Loughlin, currently more famous for failing to bribe her kids' way into college. Also, that scene in every 80s movie where they go into a dive bar and nobody's paying any attention to the super famous band playing? Usually that band is Oingo Boingo, but this time it was George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars.

True Romance (1993): I had fond memories of this movie, but that must have been from before additional decades of exposure to Tarantino and his creepy tics. This movie is crappy and mean! And the whole time I was watching it I was constantly thinking, "This scene would play as a bunch of horrifying psychopaths without this perky steel drum score behind it." So chalk that up to the power of music I guess.

Stargate Universe: I re-watched the whole series, and it's still really good! I always say that my favorite Star Trek series is Stargate Universe. It was obviously a reaction to Voyager, which should have been a show about "how bad do things go when a starship has no supply lines" but instead Voyager was the same old garbage, including firing all all 121 of their 38 photon torpedoes.

Stargate Universe was all about scarcity. The first few episodes were literally climbing the hierarchy of needs: EP1: "We're venting atmosphere." EP2: "We're out of water." EP3: "Getting hungry." There's a throwaway gag where someone wistfully says, "So, that was the last of the coffee, huh?", and someone replies, "You should see the smokers." At some point they lose the shuttlecraft, and that's it: now having no shuttlecraft becomes a major plot point for the rest of the season.

I also loved how, for the first half of S1, they mixed up who the antagonists were. It started off as "The military are doing their best but these crazy scientists keep trying to get us all killed" and then a few episodes later they flip the narrative to "the smart people are doing their best but these fascists keep trying to get us all killed."

The thing I HAAAATED about the show, though, was the magic "telepresence stones". They relied on them as plot elements SO heavily and SO often that the show was almost about those. They were more overused than -- and as bad as -- holodeck episodes. (All holodeck episodes are bad. Fight me.) It also didn't make a lot of sense, especially in season 2, why SGC was so eager to get access to Destiny. Sure, they wanted to rescue their people, but it went way beyond that. They almost started a war over it. It's not like they didn't have access to tons of Ancient ships and tech already, e.g. the entire Atlantis facility.

Overall, though, a great show that deserved a third season.

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