Kwality Engineering

In a meritocracy, the most skilled rise to the top. As an example of this principle in action, here's a demonstration of how Twitter's flagship "pro" product, Tweetdeck, thinks that videos should be presented on a 4K monitor:

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Mac loses ability to play video

Dear Lazyweb,

About once a week, macOS 10.15.7 loses the ability to play video. Press play and it goes super-fast-forward all the way to the end. Scrubbing while paused works, but any attempt to play fails in any app using AVPlayer -- not just QuickTime Player, but also jwztv and even "Notes". VLC works, but obviously that doesn't help me.

Sound familiar? Any idea how to un-fuck it without rebooting?

I don't see anything obvious in the system logs, but they are so comically verbose that it's impossible for me to tell.

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Further thoughts on the Book of Jones

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:

    These movies are just so shining and pure. The choreography and comedic timing on the fights and the chase scenes are without compare. To be clear, I despise Spielberg. I find almost everything he's done to be pandering, saccharine nonsense, and I'm repulsed by his fetishization of the suburbs that informs everything he's done. But these two movies are masterpieces. Absolute gold. Also there's so much nazi punching.

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:

    I hated this when it came out, and I hate it even more now. It's just plain mean-spirited. It has none of the "fun" of episodes 1 and 3, no good choreography, and this movie just really, really dislikes women. And though the whole series is awfully imperialist -- I mean how could it not be -- holy cow is this one racist. But more than that, it just mostly makes no god damned sense. There's a secret temple under a secret temple and a secret mine and subway under that. Yo dawg I heard you liked theme park rides so we theme parked your theme park so you can theme park under your theme park. Ugh, it's just the worst.

    (Counterpoint: Say what you want about Mola Ram, at least his goal was to attack and dethrone God.)

    Also -- and this may be the nightclub owner in me speaking -- but any time someone crawls through a hole to get to the secret gigantic auditorium, I immediately want to know how those other two hundred people got in there, even the elderly ones with bad knees, and how nobody saw them doing it. Not to mention catering and janitorial. Someone has to service and re-set the trapdoors.

  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:

    I hated this when it came out, and... I am shocked to say this, but you know what, I don't hate it. Now this is not a good movie, don't get me wrong. It's bad. It is a bad movie. Shia LaBeouf is terrible. Karen Allen and John Hurt are wasted. Cate Blanchett deserved a better movie in which to chew that particular scenery (and finally got it, in Thor Ragnarok). All these things are true. But it has some fun moments, it made me laugh several times, and in retrospect, it is far better than Temple of Doom. Your worst memory of Crystal Skull is how incredibly stupid that "getting nuked inside the refrigerator" scene was, but I'm here to tell you that that scene is not nearly as stupid as the Temple of Doom opener where they jump out of an airplane in an inflatable raft.

Where's the Marion Ravenwood movie?

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Gotham Girls

A cute series of interactive cartoons from 2002 that Internet Archive has also rescued from the Flashpocalypse:

Gotham Girls is an American Flash animated web television series focusing on several of the female characters of Gotham City, created and produced jointly by Warner Bros. Animation and Noodle Soup Productions. The webseries, which ran from 2000 to 2002, starred Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, Catwoman, Renee Montoya and Zatanna in short stories of varying length about the daily lives of the characters (from the DC Comics universe).

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Take the Nightline through an infinite Metropolis.

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On the first night of Zalgomas...


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RetroPie and MAME

I'd like to put some arcade games on this thing, but I'm lost in a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

The docs seem to say that there are 12 (twelve!!) different builds of MAME included in this thing? And I'm supposed to mix-and-match ROM sets with emulators somehow? Or it magically figures it out? Or something?

Let me ask a simpler question. Say I want to start with just a small set of early 80s games, let's say, Star Wars, Tempest, Millipede, Pac-Man, TRON, Joust. Can someone point me at the proper URL to download that works with "RetroPie 4.1.1, RPI 4/400"?

And also what folder do they go in, and do I have to edit config files or some shit?

Do things work completely differently for the vector and raster games, he asked with great trepidation?


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jwz mixtape 223

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 223.

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Current Music: as noted

RetroPie questions

When we do Cyberdelia, we set up head-to-head Wipeout on PS1s, but the PS1s are getting finicky in their old age, so I figured I'd give emulation a shot. I have questions:

  1. If I have two RetroPies running Wipeout, can I get them to simulate a link cable for head-to-head play on two separate screens, rather than side-by-side on one screen?

      Update: The answer seems to be no. Nothing running on a Pi simulates the link cable. Maybe it works in some other Windows-only emulator, but probably not. ("Sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'll never know.")

  2. If that works... since the Pi4 has two HDMI outputs, can I just run two copies of the emulator on the same Pi?

  3. How do I rip a physical PS2 disc to a file that RetroPie will run? I've tried "dd if=/dev/disk8s0", "disk8", and a couple things in Disk Utility, and I don't get something that works.

  4. Failing that, where do I find a working iso of Rez for PS2?

      Update: The answer seems to be, "RetroPie doesn't emulate PS2 at all." You would think that "here is a list of the systems that we emulate" is something that they would publish prominently, but you'd be wrong. You would think that "This game is for a PS2 and we don't emulate those" is something that would pop up in an error dialog, but you'd be wrong again.

  5. I tried to get it to use vintage PS1 and PS2 controllers using one of these and one of these and it didn't work. It kind of flickered the controller name and would never let me enter the configuration page. What's up with that?

  6. So I got one of these, and it works, but when I configure it, it seems to be saying that the left analog stick and the right analog stick are sending the same codes. That seems wrong?

      Update: I wiped the card and started over from scratch for other reasons, and having done that it now believes that this controller has two analog sticks, so this problem magically solved itself? Still no luck with the vintage controllers, though.

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Guatemalans set Congress on fire, bring guillotine

And this looks like a no-joke guillotine! This isn't some cosplay shit.

Guatemala's Congress passed the budget bill Tuesday night, increasing lawmakers' own stipends for meals and other expenses and cutting funding for human rights programmes and the judiciary. They also axed $25m destined to combat malnutrition, igniting nationwide outrage. [...]

Four blocks away, a university student-led march on its way to the plaza had stopped and set up a guillotine outside the Congress building.

A few dozen police in regular uniforms stood by and watched as young men climbed the building, kicked in windows, and threw in incendiary devices.

Flames and smoke shot out of the windows for several minutes as protesters destroyed framed photographs of politicians. Riot police showed up, tear gassing the crowd, and then firefighters arrived to put out the blaze.

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