Nature is healing

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

XScreenSaver 6.04 out now

XScreenSaver 6.04 is out now, including iOS and Android.

I wrote two new hacks this time, Nakakin and ChompyTower.

I've long been fascinated by the Nakagin Capsule Tower, and since it is being demolished this month, I figured I'd write a screen saver about it.

I also recently picked up a couple of very cool books: Nakagin Capsule Tower, The Last Record and Nakagin Capsule Style. I don't speak Japanese, but the photos are great!

Other notable stuff:

  • On X11, I figured out how to work around the antisocial idiocy inflicted upon us by the GNOME and KDE built-in screen lockers, so it's no longer necessary for each user to hack GNOME and KDE in order for video players to inhibit screen blanking. See the comments at the top of xscreensaver-systemd.c for the vile details.

    The installation instructions in the man page reflect this: let me know if they seem inaccurate.

  • You can now set your image directory to the URL of an Internet Archive "collection" and it might even work. I added special-case for scraping IA, which was necessary because their implementation of RSS feeds is criminally negligent. See the comments in xscreensaver-getimage-file for the vile details.

    And if you know who is responsible for the code on their end, please try to convince them to make their RSS feeds not be completely useless. (My contact there just laughs and backs away like it's the third rail.)

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

jwz mixtape 235

Please enjoy jwz mixtape 235.

Tags: , , ,
Current Music: as noted

Coup Two

Ginni and Clarence Thomas are telling us exactly how they'll steal the 2024 election.

It's easy to dismiss the demented texts and emails from a sitting justice's spouse to public officials who have long-standing professional connections to that justice as zany conspiracy theorizing. Ginni Thomas can be lumped into the QAnon weirdos bucket with Cleta Mitchell, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Mike Lindell -- hapless insurrection enthusiasts who were unable to marshal a single winning argument in an actual court of law after the 2020 election. But the other way to look at the texts and emails that were pinging around the highest echelons of power and influence in the weeks after November 2020 is as a warning and road map for what is already being put into place for the next presidential contest. But next time, the lawyers won't be sweating brown makeup or referencing crackpot theories of Italian election meddling. [...]

The symmetry between Ginni and Clarence Thomas' work has never been more obvious. While Clarence fought to give state legislatures the constitutional authority to reject election results, Ginni lobbied state legislators to do exactly that. A casual observer might assume they were working in tandem, with Clarence handling the law and Ginni working on the political side. They aren't particularly subtle about it. You need only read Ginni's emails and Clarence's opinions to see exactly how the 2024 coup attempt will go down because it's identical to the 2020 coup attempt: If a Democrat prevails, red state officials will question the legitimacy of the results, giving state legislatures an opportunity to throw them out and declare the Republican to be the real winner. [...]

The question remaining isn't whether it'll happen; the question is whether it'll succeed. The Thomases tried this approach in 2020, but like Trump's other allies, they developed their strategy a bit too late and didn't buff out the crackpot edges until recently. But this time they're putting in the work with plenty of time to spare. If Republicans succeed in pulling off a much more respectable coup in 2024, Americans will have every right to be furious and appalled. But no one will have any excuse to be surprised, because Clarence, Ginni, Eastman, Clark, and their many powerful friends are currently laying out the game plan right before our eyes.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , ,


How to Make Automatic Supercuts.

The author also teaches a course in "Scrapism" at the School for Poetic Computation:

"Scrapism" is the practice of web scraping for artistic, emotional, and critical ends. By combining aspects of data journalism, conceptual art, and hoarding, it offers a methodology to make sense of a world in which everything we do is mediated by internet companies. [...]

In this class participants will learn how to scrape massive quantities of material from the web with Python, and then use this source material in projects that probe the politics and poetics of the internet. We will cover multiple web scraping techniques, as well as different techniques for manipulating and presenting textual content.

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

Tags: , , , , , ,

Live Nation stole millions in Federal aid meant for independent venues

Congress wrote a pandemic relief law that excluded Live Nation and companies like it. But the Small Business Administration gave nearly $19 million to Live Nation subsidiaries or companies in which it has a significant investment.

"When we wrote this, we specifically didn't want these publicly traded companies -- Live Nation foremost among them -- to get their hands on this money," said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), a key co-sponsor of the relief legislation. "I did not want Live Nation getting a nickel."

Live Nation as a parent company did not directly receive any money from the program, but the government relief to its subsidiaries still protected its investments and improved its long-term outlook [...] One of the companies that received funds from the SBA borrowed money from Live Nation and its other owners in the first months after covid hit, showing how the parent company played an active role in its survival. [...]

Live Nation initially sought to shape the bill so it could qualify for the funds [...] Live Nation ramped up its lobbying in the fall of 2020, seeking to make it easier for the company -- and its many subsidiaries, large and small -- to access the money. They specifically opposed language barring aid to publicly traded companies [...]

The amount that Live Nation spent on lobbying the federal government on a variety of issues, including the grants, more than doubled in 2020 from the prior year to more than $1 million, and increased again in 2021.

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

Tags: , , , , ,

Right to Repair!

"Apple shipped me a 79-pound iPhone repair kit to fix a 1.1-ounce battery. I'm starting to think Apple doesn't want us to repair them."

The thing you should understand about Apple's home repair process is that it's a far cry from DIY. I expected Apple would send me a small box of screwdrivers, spudgers, and pliers; I own a mini iPhone, after all. Instead, I found two giant Pelican cases -- 79 pounds of tools -- on my front porch. I couldn't believe just how big and heavy they were considering Apple's paying to ship them both ways. [...]

But I wasn't done yet. The single most frustrating part of this process, after using Apple's genuine parts and Apple's genuine tools, was that my iPhone didn't recognize the genuine battery as genuine. "Unknown Part," flashed a warning. Apparently, that's the case for almost all of these parts: you're expected to dial up Apple's third-party logistics company after the repair so they can validate the part for you. That's a process that involves having an entirely separate computer and a Wi-Fi connection since you have to reboot your iPhone into diagnostics mode and give the company remote control. Which, of course, defeats a bunch of the reasons you'd repair your own device at home! [...]

Yeah, none of that surprised me. What surprised me was the price tag.

  • $69 for a new battery -- the same price the Apple Store charges for a battery replacement, except here I get to do all the work and assume all the risk.
  • $49 to rent Apple's tools for a week, more than wiping out any refund I might get for returning the old used part.
  • A $1,200 credit card hold for the toolkit, which I would forfeit if the tools weren't returned within seven days of delivery. [...]

Apple can say it's giving consumers access to everything, even the same tools its technicians use, while scaring them away with high prices, complexity, and the risk of losing a $1,200 deposit. This way, Apple gets credit for walking you through an 80-page repair, instead of building phones where -- say -- you don't need to remove the phone's most delicate components and two different types of security screws just to replace a battery.

To me, those giant Pelican cases are the proof. It would cost Apple a fortune to ship 79 pounds of equipment to individual homes all over the country, even with corporate discounts. [...] It would cost us upwards of $200 just to return those cases to their sender. Yet Apple offers free shipping both directions with your $49 rental.

Previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

Today in Ono-Sendai News

It's nice to see in-depth profiles of minor characters, or in this case, this barely-seen computer prop from Loki.

TVA Multifunctional Computer:

Update: Apparently it's not from the show, but a fan render.

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

Tags: , , , , ,

OutHorse Your Email


Types fast, but might take a nap.

Assertive. Efficient. Shiny hair.

Friendly, trained in corporate buzzwords.

But how did they do all this work and not register a .horse domain?

The Bartender, dumbstruck, gazes into the endless depth of the Horse's eyes, and asks him, "Sir, I beg you say, do you finally have your Emacs setup just how you like it?"

The Horse replies, "Neighhhh..."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

Non-Fungible Trident

NON-FUNGIBLE TRIDENT Weapon (trident), artifact (requires attunement) You gain a +3 to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. Whenever you score a critical hit on a creature with this weapon they instantly die. In addition, the Non-Fungible Trident can be used to cast the Wish spell 3 times per day. Curse. You may never actually wield the Trident in a physical sense. You may never touch the Trident, or attune to it at all. Yes, you may have purchased it, and you do own it, however it must stay sealed within the ancient vaults of Tyr'Ygsol. Instead of welding it, you may carry a fine painting of the trident* and official papers of authentication to confirm that you do technically own the Trident, and show just how special you are. *other creatures can make a convincing copy of this painting with a DC 10 tool check.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

  • Previously