What to do with a big TV?

We just picked up a 75" TV for super cheap and we're trying to figure out what to do with it. I was thinking maybe we'd set it up vertically (5'6" tall!) and turn it into some kind of "magic mirror" where it does video effects on your reflection or something. Is there any good software out there for that? Any other suggestions?

It's very heavy, so using it as an on-stage prop would be a hassle; it needs to be mounted somewhere. We could just stick it in the DNA Pizza window and use it for signage, but that's not very exciting.

Update: It became the Feedback TV.

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Mannequin Mountain

Body parts, due to their hollow nature, often contain water.

We do not want them to leak in your car. You can bring a cordless drill to let "water" out.

We often get asked about hands. You are welcome to hands but there is a limit of 5 pairs per customer along with other parts. Under no circumstances whatsoever will you be able to fill your car boot with hands. Please don't ask.

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Suncreen infosec

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we have a new POS

Here's the worst part about switching to a new point-of-sale system: buying a whole stack of new iPads. And this is less than half of them.

Because of course the perfectly functional iPads we already have are now unsuitable. These things would have been considered supercomputers in the 90s, but I'm to believe that they are so old and obsolete that they are incapable of keeping up with someone clicking the button that says "cheese slice". A task like that obviously requires the absolute bleeding edge. Apple has stopped shipping OS updates for our existing iPads, and vendors don't support old versions of iOS, largely because Apple intentionally makes it nearly impossible for them to do so even if they wanted to.

The second worst part is that nobody offers data portability of any kind. If we want to look at trends (or do our taxes) we have to spend the next year looking at that data using two different, incompatible systems. So that's fun.

Anyway, we're switching from Revel to SmartTab for the restaurant and bar. Wish us luck.

It's a new point of sale that is focused on bars and nightclubs, so we have to do a lot less work to get good reports, and there are some cool features related to how bar tabs work that we're looking forward to trying out. By constrast, Revel was designed for low-volume retail, with restaurants and bars added later as a afterthought, and it still shows. Also SmartTab is cheaper than Revel, and they're based in San Francisco, which helps with support. If you want to try it out for your bar, email alexis@smarttab.com (DNA Lounge's former booker!)

Revel, meanwhile, lost our business for several reasons.

First, they refused to pause our licensing fees during the pandemic while the club was closed. They offered a short reduction but only on the condition that we first sign a new multi-year contract!

Second, their EMV readers are terrible. The banks have finally required everyone to switch from swipe-based card readers to EMV (chip-and-PIN or touchless). The way we had it set up before was that the card reader bolted onto the side of a rugged iPad case which the bartender could carry with them as they moved around behind the bar, and hand to the customer. But the only EMV readers that Revel is compatible with are gigantic, bulky things that basically require the iPad to be bolted down in a fixed location, which might be fine for retail checkout, but doesn't work for us at most of our bars.

Third, in order to use EMV readers at all, Revel is now insisting that you use their in-house payment processor. Of course as a special sign-up offer they say they'll match whatever rate you have with your old payment provider, which is a way of saying "we will reduce this one line item on your invoice and hide our profit in a different line item instead". Interposing themselves on the payment transaction is the same scam that the delivery services use. (Revel business model: "Uber for cash registers".) Rather than charging for the service that they actually provide (be that delivering a box or developing software) they instead want a cut of however much money you make while running your business.

Imagine if it went like this:

    "Hey, how much will you charge me to install a dance floor?"

    "That depends, how many people do you think will walk on it? How about instead of me charging you for my time and materials, you give me a taste of what all of the people who ever step on that floor pay you, in perpetuity?"

    "Sounds great!"

I hope we figure out something useful to do with all of those old iPads, but speaking of ancient hardware, as I often do, check this out. Here's a camcorder that we forgot about that I just pulled out of the ceiling today. It was a part of our old SD / NTSC webcast system that was in place when we first opened.

This camcorder has been quietly and without complaint sitting there displaying video since 2005. It has been powered on that whole time and, despite a layer of dust nearly half an inch thick, it is still working fine!

Now that right there is the opposite of how Apple does things.


DNA Lounge: Wherein the construction will continue until morale improves.

Here's a final photo of our new dance floor, after being painted and before anyone has thrown up on it, or dragged a road case across it where half of the wheels have been replaced with jagged pieces of sheet metal:

We re-surfaced the Above DNA stage. No more burlesque performers complaining about getting splinters in their butts!

We replaced the floor in our walk-in fridge. Ten years of dragging beer kegs over it took quite a toll:

And we built a new VIP booth. We've replaced the two upstairs 6-person booths with a single 9-person booth. It's raised on a platform like downstairs, and has three benches and is a bit more enclosed than the others:

Only 35 more days until we get to invite you back inside!


Tear Gas Drones

The IDF has been using small drones to drop tear gas on protesters in Ramallah in the West Bank.

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DNA Lounge: Wherein we've got dark rum!

Please welcome DNA Lounge Brand Dark Rum to the family, complementing our existing selection of Silver Rum, Vodka, Gin, Whiskey and Bourbon. Order your bottle today from DNA Pizza or pick up a bottle in person tonight and collect the whole set!


XScreenSaver Wayland shenanigans

Dear Lazyweb,

I've had a couple of people report that after upgrading to Fedora 34, XScreenSaver 6.00 has stopped being able to detect user activity and activates prematurely. From the logs they sent, it looks like the XInput2 extension still exists but has stopped working entirely. No events are printed by driver/test-xinput (with no args, or with -grab -kbd-async -mouse-async). Can anyone confirm or deny this?

Actual photos of X11 / Wayland integration.

The server is still X.Org 12101001, however it was launched by sddm / startplasma / Xwayland and the environment contains XDG_SESSION_TYPE=wayland and WAYLAND_DISPLAY=wayland-0. So maybe it's Wayland that is screwing everything up? One user was using Gnome and one was using KDE.

Maybe there's a way to configure the system to go back to running "real" X11 instead of whatever fresh hell of X11 / Wayland hybridization this is?

Or is there some way for me to infect Raspbian 10.9 with this hybridization so that I can reproduce it myself?

Related question:

At some point in the distant past, I convinced myself that Wayland was incompatible with XScreenSaver locking, and therefore XScreenSaver refuses to lock when $WAYLAND_DISPLAY is set. I commented this change with "X11 grabs don't work under Wayland's embedded X11 server. The Wayland window manager lives at a higher level than the X11 emulation layer."

However, now I can't find any record of what the actual problem was. Do you know?

My guess is that it's something like running X11 under macOS: the grabs stay inside the X11 app, but you can still use Cmd-Tab to switch away to non-X11 apps even if X11 thinks things are "locked" inside its little sandbox. But I don't remember.


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Burmese peacock softshell turtle

Just spit on your hand and see what's gurgling around in there.

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Fucking Facebook

As always, takedowns happen in seconds, and the appeals are processed in just as timely a fashion -- only 1,602 days this time. Fifty-three months!

From: Instagram <no-reply@mail.instagram.com>
Subject: Your video has been re-posted
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 11:43:29 -0700

We received your appeal and re-posted the video you originally shared at 1:25 PM on December 31, 2016.

View Video

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