Just a jump to the left...

Every time I see one of these...

I think it's time for one of these...

Previously.

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Uber drivers sue over 'coercive' Prop. 22 messages


Reminder: If Uber wants something, it is by definition evil and you want the opposite.

No on 22!

The complaint alleges that Uber's messaging implies that drivers must support Prop 22 or risk possible termination, should the ballot proposition not pass on November 3. [...]

"The language of the statute doesn't require the company to come out and say explicitly 'you're gonna be fired', it says that you can't use the threat of a loss of employment, which is exactly what Uber is doing," said Lowe. "Uber is saying 'if Prop 22 fails, 70 to 80 percent of you are going to lose your jobs'. [California] Labor Code section 1102 says you can't use the threat of a loss of employment as an attempt to coerce someone to engage in a particular political course of action."

Lowe also said that Uber's messages to drivers through its app, which he says solicit drivers' support for Prop 22, are a clear violation of state labor laws because those messages are a policy which is intended to influence how drivers will vote on Prop 22.

"[Labor Code] section 1101 says you can't have a policy that 'tends to direct' political activity of workers. And Uber is putting very coercive messages on the app that the drivers are required to access on a regular basis throughout the day and including in those messages requests to provide support for Prop 22, misleading information about the benefits of Prop 22, all of this is part of a policy intended to direct the employees to do what they are requesting them to do, which is to support Prop 22," said Lowe.

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

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Billboard Liberated

Back in 2009, when they "upgraded" the Coke Sign neon to LEDs, I wrote: "Coke Sign neon replaced with high fructose corn syrup" --

Now normally I have a visceral, knee-jerk allergy to advertising in pretty much any form (and I don't even drink Coke, see sidebar), but I have to admit that I have some love for that Coke sign.

It was so old and janky and never worked right! Half of the lights seemed to run on Lucas three-position switch technology (off, dim and flicker) and it was a different half almost every night. I have long had this fantasy that the reason the sign always looked like that is that there is only one guy left in the world who knows how to fix the mechanical relays that drive its pattern logic, and that guy is 95 and has trouble getting up and down the ladder to sweep the birdshit out of the contacts with his vintage Nineteenth-century wire brush.

That's how it is in my head, anyway. If the reality is not actually like that, then I don't want to know.

But anyway, replacing it with a slick, modern LED facimile? Feh! I shake an angry fist.

And the replacement sign was exactly as slick and boring as I expected... for a few years.

Then the LEDs started flaking out in a similar, but different, way to the old neon tubes! The quality of the light still wasn't the same, but at least it eventually reverted back to "janky-assed and un-maintained", which was what was charming about the original version.

At least there was that.

Anyway, let's also spare a thought for the late, lamented (if only lamented by me personally) Moscone BSOD-o-Tron, which was removed in 2015:

Is this Cyberpunk? I guess it might be: ubiquitous technology that doesn't work. This giant TV screen on the side of Moscone has been running a halfassed implementation of "Mismunch" since about a month after it went up. Why do they even leave it powered up? Maybe nobody remembers how to turn it off.

When it first went up, they played this panoramic movie on it that was timed so that as the sign crawled its way around the building, it looked like the video was a stationary window into a room full of giants. Stock-photo-model-businessman giants. It was kind of cool.

Ever since then: ten years of Munching Squares.

A new life awaits you in the Moscone Colonies! Press any key to continue.

The sugar-water details, and some history:

We spoke with a representative of the sign's maker at YESCO Bay Area, who confirmed that the sign is being removed permanently, when asked what would become of the sign, he said, "Coca-cola's contract stipulates that it be destroyed after removal."

It is not clear why Coca-cola is removing its famous, neon billboard, one that has stood 112ft above San Francisco since 1937. Perhaps it's because commuter traffic is down in the Bay Area by 20% due to the pandemic, or maybe it's because of San Francisco's very vocal, anti-soda stance and 2016 Soda Tax, which charged everyone an extra tax for buying sugary drinks. This tax raised millions of dollars over the last 4 years by the way, $1.65 million of those soda tax funds are currently being used to provide emergency food for people affected by COVID-19).

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

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Biden Beastie Boys Campaign Ad Removed After Club Owner Doxxed

With "Sabotage" as its theme, the ad focused on Joe Malcoun, the owner of the half-century-old Ann Arbor, Michigan, bar the Blind Pig:

He says that he's been struggling to run the bar -- which has hosted everyone from Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon to Nirvana over the years -- in the midst of the pandemic. "This the reality of Trump's COVID response," Malcoun says in the ad. "We don't know how much longer we can survive not having any revenue... This is Donald Trump's economy: There is no plan and you don't know how to go forward. It makes me so angry. My only hope for my family and for this business and my community is that Joe Biden wins this election."

The ad was pulled from all of Biden's channels on Wednesday after the campaign said he was attacked and threatened by Trump supporters. "The price for having a voice in our political process cannot be endless harassment," said campaign spokesperson Bill Russo. "And yet, that is what Joe Malcoun and his family currently face as he was doxxed, harassed and threatened after the Trump campaign has sought to smear a community leader who dared to speak out against Trump's failed response to the Covid crisis. It is shameful." [...]

In the meantime, as the clock is running out on the last best opportunity to pass a much-needed economic relief package, hundreds of venues across the country are on the precipice of permanently turning off the lights. That dire prospect has led to the push by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) for a $10 billion "Save Our Stages" bill, which is currently stalled in Congress after Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell urged the White House not to seek an agreement with Democrats for the desperately needed relief for American businesses before the Nov. 3 election for fear that it might derail their efforts to fast-track Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the high court.

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

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Winter Is Coming for Bars. Here's How to Save Them. And Us.

"Coming?" It is VERY MUCH NIGH.

If we really want to stem the spread of the coronavirus as winter looms and we wait for a vaccine, the government should pay bars, many restaurants and event venues to close for some months.

That may sound radical, but it makes scientific sense and even has a political precedent. We pay farmers not to cultivate some fields (in theory, at least, to protect the environment), so why not pay bars that cannot operate safely to shut down (to protect public health)? [...]

Back when we knew little about the novel coronavirus, the government responded with a hammer. The Paycheck Protection Program treated all small businesses equally, providing them with loans to shut down so long as they paid their employees. Now we can use more delicate instruments. [...]

Some states have allowed restaurants to open indoors at 25 percent or 50 percent capacity [but] "No bar or restaurant can make it at that capacity -- on the best days in normal years, our profit margin is 10 percent."

Bars and other venues that depend on drinks are not essential services. We want them to survive so that in the future we can enjoy them. So why not pay owners who cannot keep their businesses afloat safely during the pandemic an average of their normal monthly income to shut down for some months? They would keep paying their employees and help break the chain of coronavirus transmission.

Previously, previously, previously.

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Murder Hornet Vacuum Couture


Crews vacuum 'murder hornets' out of Washington nest

Despite their nickname and the hype that has stirred fears in an already bleak year, the world's largest hornets kill at most a few dozen people a year in Asian countries, and experts say it is probably far less. Meanwhile, hornets, wasps and bees typically found in the United States kill an average of 62 people a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said.

The real threat from Asian giant hornets -- which are 2 inches (5 centimeters) long -- is their devastating attacks on honeybees, which are already under siege from problems like mites, diseases, pesticides and loss of food.

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

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Bellevue WA bans all weapons except firearms

I guess this is what is known as "rules of engagement"?

All persons are prohibited from possessing any weapon (with the exception of firearms), including but not limited to, rocks, bottles, pipes, bats, clubs, chains, sharpened objects, shields, gas, flares, torches, paint balls, light bulbs, any incendiary devices, pry-bars, skateboards, liquid filled balloons, lumber, or any other objects which can be used for infliction of bodily harm or damage to property, if possessed with the intent to cause harm to persons or property. With respect to firearms, all persons are prohibited from discharging any firearms in the restricted area.

Shields are weapons. As are skateboards.

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

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DNA Lounge: Wherein a winnar is us!

On this, the 238th day of March 2020, you the people have once again declared DNA Lounge to be Best Nightclub in the 2020 Best of the Bay. Also making the list: your Best Dance Party is Death Guild! And of course, Best Burlesque: Hubba Hubba Revue!

Thank you all for your continued support!

Tonight we kick off Halloween week with some chiptunes: 8bitSF presents The Splatterhouse: "Paying tribute to the sights and sounds of classic horror games and films to get you into the proper October spirit. Our selection of retro-electro horror-themed music spans genres from chiptune/video game music, synthwave/darksynth, industrial/EBM, and more."

Tune in online, or come down in person to chill outside at our parklet: we will have tunes and video playing on the sidewalk, and DNA Pizza will be serving food and liquor until 10pm. We had a pretty good turnout for the parklet edition of Turbo Drive last night, so hopefully this will continue to be a thing, in this weird new world of ours...

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DNA Lounge: Wherein it's Halloween Week

This poster is on sale now!
Complete your set!
Even though we're all still living in some kind of Hell Dimension, I just wanted to draw your attention to our series of excellent Halloween and Halloween-adjascent webcasts we have coming up in the next couple of weeks. It's quite a full schedule!

Also of note, we're trying something new for this week's Turbo Drive: since the event starts at 7pm, we're going to be playing music out on the sidewalk, and wheeling out a big TV. So if you are looking for an excuse to get out of the house and socialize distantly, come on down and have a slice and a cocktail and hang out in the parklet... The restaurant serves until 10pm!

Hopefully as the city edges closer toward reopening, we will be doing this kind of thing more often. If it's popular, maybe it will make sense to extend DNA Pizza's hours later. We're also going to build some kind of structure with walls around the parklet and on the sidewalk, both to encourage distancing and for a wind break. That should appear some time within the next few weeks.

We also got some single-serving to-go cocktail jars to complement our bigger jars that are 3-4 servings each. Those are only available in person, though, not online.

Here's what our Halloween festivities look like:

  • Tonight, Thursday Oct 22nd, 8pm:
    Sound Alert: Classic Rave 1990-1994:
    Focusing on the early years of the rave scene, the classics ofthe early 90s!

  • Tomorrow, Friday Oct 23rd, 7pm:
    Turbo Drive
    The biggest, and longest running synthwave party in the world. Fire up your lasers and fog machine and dance along.

  • Saturday, October 24th, 8pm:
    8bitSF presents The Splatterhouse
    Paying tribute to the sights and sounds of classic horror games and films to get you into the proper October spirit. Our selection of retro-electro horror-themed music spans genres from chiptune/video game music, synthwave/darksynth, industrial/EBM, and more.

  • Monday, October 26th, 9:30pm:
    Death Guild
    Spooky-dance along from the safety of your own home!

  • Tuesday, October 27th, 8pm:
    Ambient Mafia presents BOO!
    With DJs Sinukus, Redstickman, Speakeasy Ray & Cryptid. Join The Ambient Mafia, a Bay Area DJ collective operating for more than 20 years, for a spooky night of chill, trip-hop, and downtempo.

  • Wednesday, October 28th, 8pm:
    Alternative Decade: 1979-1989
    Obscure 80s alternative rock, 80s modern rock, 80s synthpop and 80s new wave, live from the DNA Lounge Main Room!

  • Thursday, October 29th: 8pm:
    Star Crash: Halloween From Afar
    A Streaming Synth Spooktacular featuring exclusive paranormal performances, spine-tingling special guests, creepy clips & vile videos by a macabre multitude of ghastly glamour ghouls. Free show, suggested donation of $10-20 to help us evade the grave...

  • Friday, October 30th, 8pm:
    Frank Oliver's Twisted Cabaret
    This one's a little different: it's streaming live from the DNA Lounge main room, but it's a paid-only Zoom show. See the calendar for details.

  • Saturday, October 31st, 7pm:
    All Hallow's Eve!
    It's our twentieth year throwing this party! Join us for some of our favorite DJs streaming live from the main stage, plus two sets of bewitching burlesque and skillful circus syrens!

  • Friday, November 6th, 7:30pm:
    Jain Dowe presents Apothecary Raree
    A neovintage & Electroswing cabaret and dance party, this time with a Gothic Americana twist!

  • Saturday, November 7th, 8pm:
    The return of POP ROXX!
    Back in the heyday of Indie Dance, there was a monthly, color-coordinated explosion called Pop Roxx! Join Pop Roxx alumni DJs Omar, Netik and Starr Noir for a virtual Pop Roxx Reunion! Dance The Explosion! The color is green.



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Arduino

Dear Lazyweb, can an Adafruit Metro Mini (ATmega328P) be made to impersonate a USB keyboard? If so, how? If not, what board should I buy instead? Smallest possible, with 7 digital inputs.

Keyboard.h: warning: Using legacy HID core (non pluggable)
error: 'Keyboard' not found. Does your sketch include the line '#include <Keyboard.h>'?

Some breadcrumbs seemed to be suggesting "HID-Project" and "HoodLoader2" but neither seemed to help.

Previously.

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  • Previously