Let's check in on Sealand, shall we?

Hackers plant card-stealing malware on website that sells baron and duke titles:

Hackers have taken control of the government site of Sealand, the North Sea micronation, since Oct 12th. People buying Baron or Duke titles have likely been skimmed. Sorry, sirs!

While it declared its independence and sovereignty in the '60s, the principality was never recognized as a formal state by any other UN nation and is considered a media stunt. The principality is primarily known these days for selling nobility titles through its website, a practice used by many other small countries or local governments to raise funds for their local budgets.

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Unlock the Goat Internet

Obvious Plant:

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No song I have purchased since 2019 has lyrics attached, since nazi and racist trolls got Lyrics Wiki shut down. This made my jwzlyrics program pretty useless.

Anyway, I have questions:

  • Is there some API that will let me ask Apple for lyrics? Assume that I am logged in to iCloud and the store and such. (Apple is apparently using musixmatch on the backend.)

  • Ok, how about Google? Sometimes search results have lyrics in them. Is there any way to get that without scraping HTML?

  • What does macOS "Music / Preferences / Advanced / Automatically Update Artwork" actually do? I am afraid to check that box. Does it touch lyrics as well? Does it update ID3 data in the files on disk, or just in some database off to the side? Will it screw up the artwork and lyrics that I already have? Note that I have never purchased a song from Apple.

  • Is "Music / File / Library / Get Album Artwork" the same thing? I assume that operates on the whole library and not just on the currently playing track?

  • There are a thousand programs on GitHub that will download lyrics from various services, if you have created an account and API key on those services (which is some bullshit). But are any of them any good? By "good" I mean, I can have a nightly cron job that adds missing lyrics for recent downloads, and can expect it to do the right thing.

It's amazing to me the the music conglomerates have basically conceded that all music is available everywhere for a dollar a month and nobody's ever going to get paid, but they are still treating the lyrics like those are the most precious thing they own.

Previously, previously.

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Shit list


"is someone keeping a shit list of otherwise decent people who are issuing NFTs, so I know who to be deeply disappointed in?"

This list is exceptionally long and exceptionally depressing.

The most depressing and hypocritical remains the Long Now Foundation -- an organization claiming to be about long-term thinking -- releasing a documentary about their founder as a planet-incinerating NFT.

I used to have a lot of respect for them, but I cancelled my multi-decade membership over this.

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W.H.O.'s On First


"What's the new variant?"
"I mean the variant's name."
"The variant is Nu."
"Yes but what's the name."
"I'm asking you what is the new variant?!"
"The variant is Nu!"
"That's the new variant?"
"Well then go ahead and tell me."
"That's it."
"That's the new variant?"
"What's its name??"
"The variant is Nu!"
"Third shot!"

But apparently they decided to rename it Omicron, because nobody appreciates comedy any more; and they also skipped Xi to avoid pissing off China.


YouTube throttling

YouTube recently began throttling their underlying video segments to around 400Kbps, meaning it was often faster to torrent a 2 hour movie than to download a 4 minute music video. I've fixed youtubedown to work around this. Let me know if I broke something.

It turns out that if you divide the URL into pieces and load them all in parallel, each of those loads gets rate limited, but not in aggregate, so downloading it by spanking their servers with 30 parallel connections makes it load 30× faster.

Let's see how long this lasts.

(It's possible that rate limiting is related to your IP address; some people report getting no limits at all.)

I did not want to write this code. Everything about the modern tech ecosystem is just... so... exhausting.


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DNA Lounge: Wherein it's Infrastructure Week

Turns out, our nation's crumbling buildings include this one.

Last month, during the heavy rains and heavier winds, some chunks of concrete fell off our building! They weren't huge, but still not the sort of thing you want coming at you from 30' in the air. So it was time to do some concrete repairs. They basically walked the face of the building and any time they saw a crack, they'd hit it with a hammer and chisel until pieces stopped falling out. Then they filled in the holes. For some of the corner bits, they had to build molds.

Some of the concrete comprising our front wall is only 20 years old (the part inside those 8 large inset rectangles on the first and second floor) but the rest of it is 98 years old at this point. Pieces will be falling off of you at that age too.

And, since the scaffolding was up anyway, we also had them give us a snazzy new two-tone paint job. It looks very nice.

And, just a reminder that both the club and DNA Pizza are closed Thursday and Friday. We'll see you Saturday for Bootie's Dranksgiving.


DNA Lounge: Wherein yesterday was DNA Lounge's 36th Anniversary

"Did you do anything special to celebrate it?"

"What do you mean, all of our events are special!"

Actually last night was pretty amazing, and I saw something that I have never seen before -- and at my advanced age, that doesn't happen very often.

Monday Night Hubba presented Just Add Heather, where they brought in an actual oven, and our host sang, with a full band and burlesque performers, while also baking apple tarts!

They auctioned off the tarts at the end. I bought one. It was delicious!

They had been doing this show as a weekly webcast during the pandemic, but this was their first time doing it out in the real world.

It looks like I haven't done a photo roundup post since August. There are a ton of new galleries, so I'm not going to list them all, but let me particularly draw your attention to the Halloween galleries:

And I'll also highlight only our live shows of the past three months:


That entrepreneurial spirit!


In the long cold morning outside the San Jose courthouse, I vended Elizabeth Holmes costumes out of a suitcase for anyone in the trial line.


On Tuesday, Danielle Baskin, a spectator, also brought black turtlenecks, blond wigs and red lipsticks -- a nod to Ms. Holmes's signature look when she ran Theranos -- as well as energy drinks with the handmade labels "Badder Blood," "Bitter Blood" and "Better Blood." She set up shop outside the courthouse before a security guard told her she couldn't sell goods on federal property.


Today I learned: you can't "sell merch" on federal property.

I had to stash my suitcase, but I still have a wig and turtleneck in my backpack. If you're here, we can do a deal at the corner Starbucks during a break later.

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Conspiracy Chart

One can quibble about the placement of some of the items, but it's a sound taxonomy.


"Conspiracy theories are everywhere and people don't understand how harmful they are. I made the original Conspiracy Chart over a year ago. An update was long overdue. This is the 2021 version."

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