"DNA Lounge may or may not be notable".

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

Tags: , , , , , , ,

That Innsmouth Look

One used mass media to promote his barely-disguised virulent racism and horrific visions of humanity subjugated by incomprehensible, formless entities. The other was H. P. Lovecraft.

I wonder what Zuckerberg named his cat, though?

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

Tags: , , , , ,

Can light gray text on light gray backgrounds please stop being a thing?

Exhibit A: the unfathomably unreadable new look in macOS 11.x. It was already bad in 10.x but they made it worse.

Exhibit B: This is what happens when you go to System Preferences / Accessibility and check "Increase contrast". It just puts thin black borders around everything.

Exhibit C: This is what happens when you move the "Display contrast" slider two ticks up from "Normal" to "Maximum". It makes it so much worse that I wonder if someone implemented the slider backwards and QA didn't notice.

"Dark mode" is just as bad, it all ends up being dark gray on dark gray instead.

Fucking Apple.

Tags: , , , ,

"Very fine people on both sides"

Exhibit A, McConnell:

(And for the white tech bro peanut gallery: though Pelosi is awful in her own way, this is all 100% without question on Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Palpatine, Prince of Dust.)

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , ,

Back in April 2018, I ordered some replacement keycaps for my keyboard, because I could not abide having a "Windows" key on it.

Here's what those new keycaps look like now. The edge is worn down and the flower is missing its stamen. That only took 2.5 years!
I guess it's not (yet) as bad as what the corresponding key looked like back in 2009... I do not recall how many years that took.

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

Tags: , , , , ,

Do Not Unplug The Web

NanoRaptor: "The NeXT Cube that Tim Berners-Lee created the WWW on at CERN in 1990, and a PDF of its sticker to place on any black hardware you might own."

CERN: This machine is a server, do not power down!!
Tags: , , , ,

2020: How it started... how it's going.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Tags: , , ,

"Grifting grifters, all the way down"

Two articles about aspirational kleptocracy!

Exhibit A: This Epstein article is horrifying, and buried at the end is the best part:

I Called Everyone in Jeffrey Epstein's Little Black Book:

After Epstein's arrest in 2019, a media narrative coalesced around the question of his strange place in the global elite: Epstein the master salesman, a man who had skillfully conned his way into the world's most powerful circles, fooling everyone in the process. But after my travels through the book, after hearing more of the petty gossip and childish drama of the people who rule our world, I realized this was obviously incorrect. Built into the premise of Epstein the mastermind scammer is the notion that some kind of legitimate path to a legitimate global aristocracy exists. To call Epstein a grifter is to assume he circumvented some genuine meritocratic world order, where the "real" virtuosos dutifully climb the "real" ranks into the oligarchy, powered by nothing but their native talents.

The truth is that the elite world that Epstein ascended into, the one I tapped into by way of the black book, is populated with hordes of loathsome, boring, untalented people living their bumbling, idiotic lives while just so happening to wield some share of the preposterous global bounty that he and the rest were after. For all the mystery surrounding Epstein's fortune, its existence is hardly more inscrutable than the wealth of any of his other billionaire peers. He earned it the same way they all did, which is to say precisely not at all.

This wasn't some masterful hack into the global aristocracy. It's what everyone does. It's what the whole thing is. There is no scam here. It's grifters grifting grifters all the way down.

Exhibit B: This article about the economics of VIP parties at bottle-service clubs:

There's an invisible system behind every £100,000 bar tab and its currency is pretty women:

If you were to ask most people what makes men spend thousands of dollars on alcohol in a single night, the answer would probably seem simple. Rich people like showing off and don't care about losing money. But even among the very rich there are taboos around gratuitous spending. The people I interviewed who frequented such bars, and spent these large sums, often used the same words to describe the rituals of nightclub extravagance: "ridiculous", "stupid", "waste" and "crazy". For the alchemy by which money is turned into status -- to persuade people to break these taboos, in other words -- there had to be the right audience. And that's why the models had to be there. [...]

Most of the women I spoke to seemed to think that following promoters around would be valuable in the longer term, though this value was hard to measure. One benefit was cultural capital. Getting access to the kind of circles where you might find a serious investor, for example, is almost impossible if you don't display the right markers of education and upbringing. Young women who weren't born into the elite appreciated the fact that, by hanging out in VIP areas, they were able to hear what books or news stories rich people were talking about, and recognise high-end brands, food and wines. Learning the codes of elite consumer culture, they reckoned, was important, even if they were vague on how it might be of practical use. "I can't imagine that it wouldn't be," said one. [...]

Ironically, the promoters' position in the VIP ecosystem was closer to that of the young women they managed than anyone else, though few seemed to realise it. Like the women, most promoters dreamed about joining the club of the super-rich that they hovered around, but they were ultimately excluded from the money and status. They could only pretend to belong.

Dre was convinced that his connections with the elite would eventually earn him a big business deal. Every night out with him, every lunch, brought news of one of these almost-clinched projects: the limousine company, the film production, the TV show, and, of course, his music career, which was always just about to take off. One month he claimed he was raising capital for a tech firm because of his access to so many billionaires and investors. The next he was in discussions about a Serbian telecoms deal. But these never came to anything. Clients were happy to call him when they wanted to go out, but that didn't mean they took him seriously as a business partner.

Each layer of the hierarchy waits for crumbs to fall from the layer just above, believing in their heart that mere proximity will allow them to ascend.

Grifting grifters, all the way down.

Beg for scraps or you will starve.

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

Tags: , , ,

Munching Squares

On a PDP-7 from 1964. Turn sound on.

Exhibit A:
The Type 340 XY display has a P7 phosphor has a slow decay which gives Munching Squares an eerie afterglow. Both programs read the left switches to modify patterns. A small AM radio was used to pick up RFI from the Type 347 controller. For the MIT AI lab hackers the Munching Squares "music" was referred to as Munching Tunes.
Exhibit B:
ADDB 1,2
ROTC 2,-22
XOR 1,2
JRST .-4
HAKMEM (MIT AI Memo 239, 1972) Item 146 reports that it was written for the PDP-1 by Jackson Wright in 1962.

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

Tags: , , , , ,

Today in Computational Necromancy: MOST-POSITIVE-BIGNUM, redux

In 1990, I did a hack to compute the largest representable integer on a system that purportedly had no upper bound on that.

In 2008, I wrote about it.

In 2018, someone ran my code and sent me screenshots!

This person got their hands on a gloriously-vintage TI MicroExplorer -- that's a Lisp Chip on a NuBus card, using a Mac IIfx as little more than a device driver for the screen and keyboard.

And a mere 20 hours later,
Exhibit B:

Remember, kids! If it runs Emacs, it's a computer. Otherwise, it's a peripheral.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Previously