Howl's Moving Victorian Time-Lapse

Karl Mondon:

If like me you're wondering, "But why tho?", you might dig up this article: mostly a history of other times that people have moved houses, and including only this by way of explanation:

The move of 807 Franklin St. is being done by a private owner looking to restore two empty Victorian-era buildings while making way for a new eight-story, 48-unit rental property.

...leaving me still wondering, "But why tho?"

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Robot War Dog Company objects to their Robot War Dogs being called War Dogs

Boston Dynamics:
Today we learned that an art group is planning a spectacle to draw attention to a provocative use of our [military] robot, Spot. To be clear, we condemn the portrayal of our [military] technology in any way that promotes violence, harm, or intimidation. [...]

In addition, all buyers [except the military] must agree to our Terms and Conditions of Sale, which state that our products must be used in compliance with the law, and cannot be used to harm or intimidate people or animals.

The "and" in that last sentence is doing a lot of heavy lifting: armies, are they legal?

Anyway, it was very nice of Boston Dynamics, The Robot War Dog Company,™ to put out a press release drawing attention to this art project, but they seem to have mistakenly left out the link to the art project itself! What an embarrassing oversight! It's here:

Spot's Rampage by MSCHF:

We've put a Spot in an art gallery, mounted it with a .68cal paintball gun, and given the internet the ability to control it. We're livestreaming Spot as it frolics and destroys the gallery around it. Spot's Rampage is piloted by YOU! Spot is remote-controlled over the internet, and we will select random viewers to take the wheel.


We're all winners in our hearts.


The human race, when remote-operated dogs of war become commonplace. As these war dogs become fixtures of militaries and militarized police we will all learn a new meaning of fear: an oppressor who can pull the trigger without even needing to be physically present.


See Spot Run. It tops out at a blistering 3mph.

See Spot Roll Over. Spot is an empathy missile, shaped like man's best friend and targeted straight at our fight or flight instinct. When killer robots come to America they will be wrapped in fur, carrying a ball. Spot is Rob Rhinehart's ideal pet: it never shits.

Good Boy, Spot! Everyone in this world takes one look at cute little Spot and knows: this thing will definitely be used by police and the military to murder people. And what do police departments have? Strong unions! Spot is employee of the month. You never need to union bust a robot - but a robot can union bust you.

See Spot KILL!! Spot is an empathy building tool, because: Cute and approachable! We talked with Boston Dynamics and they HATED this idea. They said they would give us another TWO Spots for FREE if we took the gun off. That just made us want to do this even more and if our Spot stops working just know they have a backdoor override built into each and every one of these little robots.

See Spot Fall Over And Freak Out. Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave. Our saving grace: Spot is evil but not very good at its job.

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"Stop adding Bitcoin as a checkout option like it's not a planet-killer."

Looking at you, Internet Archive.


As the price goes up it's worth it for miners to spend more to mine a coin. Even if it costs them enormously in energy costs.

Will they? Guaranteed.

As long as someone who wants to better their finances can make a fortune destroying a common good at least one psychopath will do that.


What can we do? Treat Bitcoin like we (should) treat the heroin trade. Folks want it, suppliers are getting foolishly rich off it, and it does absolutely no good.

Stop adding it as a checkout option like it's not a planet-killer.

And for godsakes stop letting anyone refer to the future promise of blockchain as a beard for BTC. If there were any other use besides burning Earth to a crisp we would have found it by now.

But this analogy may unfairly malign heroin, which for all its downsides, has probably brought the world more joy than Bitcoin ever has.

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XScreenSaver version 6 beta 1

I have significantly refactored the XScreenSaver daemon, the component of the XScreenSaver suite that provides screen locking on X11 systems.

These changes greatly reduce the amount of code running in the "critical" section: the part of the code where a crash would cause the screen to unlock. That critical section is now only around 1,800 lines of code, a reduction of roughly 87%.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

My approach with XScreenSaver, as I've written about extensively, has always been to minimize the amount of code in the critical section: to link with as few libraries as possible, and to sandbox as much of the rest as possible in separate processes. This approach has worked out very well; XScreenSaver has had an excellent security track record over these last three decades. Not perfect, but pretty damned good. Especially as compared to its putative "competition".

But, it still contains quite a lot of code, and keeping up with new operating system features like hot-swapping of monitors, new ways of detecting user activity and so on, has caused more and more code to creep into it. Remember that XScreenSaver predates not only HDMI, but USB! I wrote the first version on a 1-bit monochrome display.

So I stepped back and took a fresh look at the whole thing from the perspective of, "what needs to be here?" In addition, dropping support for X11 systems more than fifteen years old -- an eminently reasonable thing to do -- allowed me to simplify the flow of control a lot.

The new design looks like this:

  • xscreensaver
    • The daemon. Links with Xlib and nothing else.
    • Requires the XInput2 extension, standard since X11R7 in 2005.
    • Handles grabs, idle detection, and client messages.
    • Maps no windows.
  • xscreensaver-gfx
    • Launched by xscreensaver to blank the screen.
    • Launches the screenhacks as sub-processes.
    • Handles monitor reconfiguration, fading, visuals, etc.
    • If it crashes, the desktop will momentarily be visible, but the keyboard and mouse will remain grabbed and the screen will remain locked.
  • xscreensaver-auth
    • Launched by xscreensaver to authenticate the user.
    • Draws the unlock dialog, and talks to PAM.
    • Exit code indicates success or failure, so if it crashes, that has the same behavior as "incorrect password".

The old XScreenSaver daemon contained 14.5k lines of code in a single executable. The new one contains 12.5k lines across three different executables -- a 14% reduction overall. But as I said earlier, the critical section -- the process whose crash will result in an unlock -- now contains only 1.8k lines -- an 87% reduction. This is great not just because it reduces the attack surface, but also because it's easier to understand and audit.

Since this is a very large change, I would like to get a lot of testing on this before calling it ready for release. Please beat on it, eyeball it, throw whatever you can at it, and see if you can make it crash. Particularly, see if can make it crash and unlock.

Let me know if any of these things don't work by default:

  • There should be no compilation errors that "configure" didn't warn you of first.
  • Locking should work, specifically unlocking.
  • The "xscreensaver-systemd" program should be running in the background.
  • Fonts and font sizes in the unlock dialog should look sensible.
  • Custom fonts should have been installed and used (e.g. "memscroller" should be using an OCR font).
  • Fading and un-fading should be smooth on all screens.

Things that it would be nice to have some testing on, if you have the means:

  • Non-English locales.
  • Passwords containing non-Latin1 characters.
  • Unixen that are not Linux.
  • Linuxen that are not Debian or Fedora.
  • Hot-swapping monitors willy-nilly.
  • Laptops with flaky power management.
  • HiDPI monitors.
  • PBP monitors ("two HDMI one cup").
  • Kerberos.
  • Exotic PAM authentication methods, such as USB or bluetooth fobs, or fingerprint readers.
  • Any PAM setup that prompts for more than one input.
  • Does XScreenSaver interact sanely with remote desktop clients or games that grab the mouse for long periods?
  • Exotic input devices: do you have a controller that does not present as key-press or mouse-motion, and does XScreenSaver recognize it as user activity?

Launch it as "xscreensaver -log log.txt" and if anything goes wrong, send me the entire log file, and as many other details as you can about your system and what was going on at the time.

If there were any compilation problems, send me the entire output from "configure" and "make", as well as the "config.log" file.

Please note, this is a BETA release. Do not download this unless you are willingly participating in the testing of software that is probably flaky! And above all, do not distribute this version to other users.

☢ xscreensaver-6.00b1.tar.gz ☢

Do send me email and let me know what systems you've tried it on and how that went.


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Strongest two factor authentication:

- Something you know

- Something you f̷̸̧̞̘͓͉ͪ͆̍̂̀ẹ̷͔͙͚̑ͮͪ̐̀́͝a̶̷"̨̩̼̞̤ͧͪ̾̂r̴"̦͖̯̠̎ͬ̅ͫ̕͝


HTTP 403 F̦̩̫̼͔̫͓̃ͤ̈̆̀͑o̖̟͙̫̯̗̳̽ͦ̆́ͨr̩͉̰̗͉b̬̂͘į̟̬̓d͂͗҉̟͈̜͙ͅd͎̜̺̝͇͑̒̋̾ë̴̳̺͓̦̘́ͮ̈́ǹ͈̦̫̙

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DNA Lounge: Wherein slip mats are back in stock!

It had been a while since we had to re-order these, and -- this may shock you -- in the intervening time, the printing company we had used went out of business. So we had to start over from scratch. But we finally got the new ones in, and they look great!

The minimum bulk order on these was kind of large, so don't make me regret re-stocking these, ok? I know all of you hipster bedroom DJs are still spinning vinyl, and we've got what you need for it.

Order here!

Turntable not included.


Trump Plaza Demolition

"It was not the biggest or the best implosion ever."

Front-row seats to view Wednesday morning's spectacle were sold on the cheap. Onlookers in cars hoping to witness the symbolic finale of the former president's casino empire in the seaside resort city were charged $10 and herded into a lot most recently used as a pandemic-era food distribution site. [...]

The mayor, in a bid to raise $175,000 for the Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City, had attempted to auction off the right to push a button to implode the building, but Mr. Icahn, who had supported Mr. Trump as president, scuttled that plan, citing safety concerns. [...]

Trump Plaza was the first of three casinos Mr. Trump owned before his gambling businesses in Atlantic City cratered and went bankrupt for good, leaving a trail of unpaid contractors and suppliers. [...]

"The money I took out of there was incredible," he once told an interviewer. In fact, he used little of his own money, a New York Times investigation found, and he shifted personal debts to the casinos, leaving the burden of his failures on investors and others who had gambled on his success. [...]

It lasted only seconds. Because the building had no basement, and no cavity to absorb the debris, the pile of remaining rubble could be 70 to 80 feet high.

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I Miss My Bar

Recreate Your Favorite Bar's Atmosphere

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jwz mixtape 225

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 225.

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Current Music: as noted

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