Monday, February 17, 2020

Microsoft to deploy ElectionGuard voting software for the first time tomorrow

I for one, see two good things about this.

Firstly that it has an open source base. Voting machines are not a problem domain where we should accept proprietary software from a contractor as good enough. Some form of open review and code auditing is a good thing, and obscurity is not security here: unless you’re the one hacking the ballet.

Second is that Microsoft, for all the crap we give them over Windows, is actually competent. They have both the experience and the suffering to be an ideal player. Microsoft as a company is more aware of security woe than most of us. Plus, did you catch the open source part?

I never actually thought I’d hear about something involving computers, and voting, and not find myself rolling my eyes, or cursing at stupidity.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

On one hand, I find it a little perturbing when a game doesn’t work with Steam Link, and it used to work fine.

On the other, I also figure that not only is it a non Steam game: it was developed for Windows 9x, and targets 640x480 VGA, so I probably can’t complain when the rendering and the mouse wrapping disagrees on where the cursor and the window are.

Mexican Posole Recipe: A Soup-Chili Hybrid - PureWow | National - PureWow

#Recipes to try someday, tasty.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

A while back, I remember reading about edamame served in the pod, salted, as a type of bar snack.

Eating some courtesy of the frozen food isle, I can’t help but think: should have bought beer too. Also, it’s apparently an excellent way to attract the stares of the peanut gallery, and a bag of dog treats may be a perquisite for my survival.
While more than a bit of my childhood was spent starting the day with a bowl of cereal, or whatever my mother might have made for breakfast, I find it curious that I’ve never really been a breakfast person.

Personally, I’m inclined to believe it owes to time more than anything else. I’ve no qualms with what breakfast tends to look like in America, nor with dinner leftovers or the like. Left to my own devices, I will usually have a small breakfast. During the weak: this often takes the shape of a small granola bar. During the weekend: I might make something more substantial but may skip breakfast altogether.

What I’ve generally found, is that I’m not hungry enough for a sizable meal in the morning. By the time that I am, I may as well wait for lunch. Which makes sense to me, really.  When I need to be somewhere: the window between getting out of bed, getting cleaned up, and on the road, is short enough that my stomach is still snoring. By the time the day is underway: there is no convenient stopping to eat breakfast. Thus my choices for breakfast are usually intended to tide me over until lunch is approaching, or are as much for sharing with the dogs as it is for myself.

Now, if I tended to get up at the crack of dawn: instead of somewhere between what I define as normal, and what I determine is necessary, that would probably be different.

Friday, February 14, 2020

On one hand, it might be sad that I could make a meal just out of this part.

My heritage taught me that combining garlic, oil, and spinach works well, and goes well with plenty of yummy.

Of course, Willow would also like some of the deliciousness. But had to wait for her turn at the post dinner treats.

Misty often has the right idea when it comes to comfort.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Longer version of something I scrolled past on D*, and very worth it: Zen Pencils: Stephen King The Desk.

As someone who appreciates a spacious desk, and knows the grumbles of a rather small one, I too would kinda take the L in the corner over the t.rex desk, lol.
Microsoft shows off how containerized apps will work in Windows 10X

My interest in dual screen productivity to go, aside, I’m kind of interested to see where this goes. Most of the experiences I’ve had with containers in Linux, be out Docker, or building on top of chroot, have been a largely positive experience. Combine that container concept with the stability of the Win32 ABI, and there’s some viable good sides to this.

As software becomes increasingly long lived, the need to support software no one is ever going to recompile: keeps going up. Not to mention software that no one is ever going to port forward to more modern APIs and tool chains.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Popular iOS and Mac email apps scrape inboxes to profit from personal data, report finds [U]

I think that people sometimes forget: this is practically the definition of a modern mail client, lol. Hell, some actual mail services describe this sort of thing as a feature, if you really want to be pedantic.

In fact, it’s part of why I was very hesitant about switching to Gmail many years ago. Because it would place my mail under the privacy policy of an advertising company, and probably one of the most likely ones to unleash SkyNet upon the world in some distant future.

With modern mail clients, now you often need to decide whether or not you trust the company that made your client, not just the folks running your mail servers.

Corker’s on point

How I can tell that Corky is the youngest:

When I get home, he’s usually the first in line to greet me at the door. Typically at a quick trot, and a bit of bark. His usual nappy spot is probably on the bed, or under my desk.

Willow’s become smart enough to not get off the couch unless she sees something, or hears something more distinct than the neighbors. Like seeing me walk into the room before trotting over.

Misty is usually cozy on the bed, and will usually whine while dancing up and down the edge of the bed. Because she knows that I’ll sit on the bed to take my boots off.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

One upside for translators’ notes: I always wondered what these were called but figured googling it would probably be pointless, and finally I encountered the term.

Misc thoughts from this weekend's R&R cycle

Getting caught up on Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, I was rather happy to see the festival conclude with a happier note. It's also nice to see another surprise musical number from Clara and her family, which much like the first, was pretty freaking great.

Netflix's Locke & Key seems worth watching based on the first half, and Marianne is a horror series well worth watching if you like scary stuff. Take the former for the story, and the latter for the chills.

Kemono Michi has been sitting in my Hulu queue since it started. By the time Genzo suplexed the princess, I was pretty sure it was going to be an entertaining series. And yes, it has, mostly because of his craziness, lol.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

How much electricity do all your smartphone chargers waste when not in use? | ZDNet

I would expect the era of worrying about wall warts drawing more than a trivial amount of power has long since passed, if you’re running off a major power grid instead of a self powered flight to the moon. Even more so in the case of modern USB based chargers.

Friday, February 7, 2020

I think that aiming for the $400 range would be more logical for Sony. Microsoft m really doesn’t need the Series X to be the Xbox everyone buys. Because they’ll still be able to sell you a One S, or whatever the Series S becomes, for those who don’t need the horsepower as much as they want the catalog of games.

Or at least, my expectations based on the Xbox One’s evolution, is that even the original model will likely continue to run many games for the foreseeable future. They just won’t look so sexy. Likewise the One X in the middle isn’t toothless, nor would I expect sold out.

Personally, my interest in the Series X is mostly based on graphics fidelity. I have little concern for what resolutions games on my Xbox offer, for two principal reasons. Firstly, they look fine on my 2160p TV, which is to say a freaking lot better than older consoles targeting 480i; and Secondly, if I really wanted better graphics I’d throw a big assed GTX at the problem instead of a console.

For the price tag, I didn’t really see much point in the One X. 4K resolution is appreciated, but not that big a deal to me. The data posted so far on the Series X on the other hand, suggests there is going to be a big enough leap in raw power that games can take advantage of this for better graphics, not just tone it back to 720p ~ 1080p. What would be worth the upgrade to me, is headroom for eye candy rather than focusing on the pixel counts.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

News clip from 1989 shows what experts thought future homes would be like in 2020

Things to watch later += 1.
I Gave Up My MacBook and iPhone for a PC and Google Pixel For a Week. Here's What Happened |

As someone that’s done an Android-> iPad maneuver, I rather found that most of the apps being “Basically “ the same made the experience much less jarring. Kind of like how most of the non-gaming software I use on PCs is the same, regardless of Linux, NT, or BSD, many of the apps I use on my iPad are basically the same as the apps I used on my Android tablet.

Being a freako who used Android as a laptop replacement, and that otherwise has been all PC based, I too found the keyboard shortcuts confounding to the muscle memory. My iPad differs drastically from all my other machines on the shortcut part, due to Apple vs IBM/MS modifiers; and for bonus points some of my PC keyboards will toggle the behavior of those keys based on whether or not they connect to an Apple device via Bluetooth.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

I find it a tad curious that my habits of journaling and note taking have only expanded with the rise of software.

For a time it was the norm to have composition books and more portable notepads around. Well into my teens, pencils at home were divided by preferences for writing and drawing. A planner/organizer for things more orderly and less notable.

And then there was my relationship with typewriters. I find it ironic and amusing that my keyboard tries to autocorrect that to torturers. Documents more read oriented called for typewriter action, but the tedium made it a rarity because of the error rate. Many years since I last touched a typewriter, I’m pretty sure that handing me correction tape or similar is a good way to piss me off.

Some years after discovering how awesome computers solved my pains with typewriters, laptops would eventually kill off my use for most things paper that involve the written word. But along the way, I’ve come to take increasingly more notes, and journal regularly. Part of this may owe to accumulating age, and necessity, but I feel it has more to do with the ease of editing and collecting data: since the 2000s, I find the sources and subject of things are far more computer related as well.

Also possible that I’m just kind of strange 😝

Nebo + Evernote = Awesomeness

This past week, I've been trying an experiment with my work journals: handwriting. Shy of writing a novel, this is probably the greatest mark of Nebo being a useful tool.

For a long time now, I've used Evernote as the central note taking hub. Regardless of where created, if it's non-transient, it'll end up in Evernote. For the years of working from Android: it's usually been just an alt+tab away when using my keyboard while docked, and when undocked I've been a stylus with glide/swype style input.

A side effect of the iPad change over is multitasking sucks, and the floaty keyboard has a bugnormous history on iPad. When I shift between apps in Android, Evernote yields a pretty lossless experience. When I do the same thing in iOS, it's more like "Snap back to save point", so alt+tab'ing back to Evernote on my iPad can be followed by changing side-tabs, finding the note again, and repositioning my cursor. Yeah, that sucks, but that's the iOS app. It took quite a while for most of the floating keyboard bugs to get knocked out of the OS as well, for us freaks that do swypy style writing with a pencil.

Nebo's been a side tool for a while now. Often my choice in meetings^ and simple charts/diagrams, which would then be exported as PDFs for Evernote or HTML for my internal web server, depending on context. But I've never really used it for my journal, despite being unexpectedly good at handling the funky nouns local to my environment.

By in large my work journals have consisted of typed text, entered into my notes system.

Handwriting has mostly been limited to tasks that called for mobility, such as scribbling results as I move between pieces of equipment, and not converted to typed text--which is Nebo's speciality. Depending on what I'm working on, my journal entries can vary from a note per day to a note every few months.

What I've been doing this week has been creating my entry in Nebo. Usually written a sentence or a paragraph at a time, and then converted to typed text. No, I can't spell any better with a pencil than a set of fingers; but Nebo works excellent at converting handwriting to typed text. Among other things.

So typically, I'll have my iPad across from my keyboard, and I'll shift to it periodically to write stuff in my journal entry. When I've finished: I export the page as text, and send it to Evernote. Send it to my notebook for journals, tag it as a work related journal entry, and tag it for the projects and search-worthy terms relevant to what I've been writing and working on. If I start the page with the title, Evernote for iOS even picks that up as the note title.

This has been working well enough for me that I think that I'll stick to it. Things that Nebo doesn't support, like attaching files, I can always do after the export. Things that are lossy, like subtitle formatting, I can usually enter manually or omit. Nebo also lets me shift to directly typing text: both using the on screen, and my Bluetooth keyboard.

Net result is I get the convenience of pen input, the searchability of typed text, and don't have to curse profanities at the autocorrect for swiping words. I'm liking it a lot more than I thought.


^ I've given up on Evernote's handwriting stuff. Because it mostly sucks on all platforms, and when combined with app switching on iOS, usually erased my frakking writing!
The best part of food like this, is that it tastes twice as better the next day. You can also smother it in cheese, at which point it is not so healthy, I suppose.

Willow would really like it if she could have all the cheese, and some of the plate too.

Probably a good thing that around here, dog treats typically follow dinner.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Having a bunch of elbow macaroni leftover, I’ve been thinking that I ought to make some beans and macaroni. It occurred to me that my heritage includes some other tasty things that go with beans, thus I arrived at beans, macaroni, spinach, and lima beans.

In my own cooking, I’ve not really done much involving spinach. But I remember well that my mother could make delicious meals around spinach, the key was cooking and seasoning. Fortunately my ancestry includes eating well even at affordable prices 😃

Monday, February 3, 2020

I can’t help but look at this Post-it notes app, and debate if this is an indispensable idea—or just the destroyer of my sanity, lol.

Typically I only use Post-it notes in the meat space when I have a high property reminder, so much that I should pin it to my monitor, or the like. Ditto if I need to tape a note on a piece of equipment because I can’t just scratch NFG into the property of others. Left to my own devices, I’m pretty paperless for about the last fifteen years or so.

But I know well the value of short, concise, orderly, notes.
Watching Day of the Dove over a batch of popcorn, I kind of think this is one of the episode types that The Original Series did rather well.

The Enterprise is lured to a world where it seems a human colony has vanished without a trace, as a damaged Klingon battle cruiser perceives the Federation having attacked them in an act of war. Rapidly it devolves into a battle for control of the ship, and anything that could draw it to a swift conclusion is blotted out by an alien being pulling their collective strings.

Despite the rather swashbuckling nature of the original Star Trek, which was a rather apt nature if you recall popular TV from the period, Kirk and his crew still represent a fairly enlightened humanity. One that fortunately, many of today’s viewers likely have more in common with than our ancestors: who grew up watching Star Trek, and the world they lived in.
Some time ago, I setup DavMail POP/IMAP/SMTP/Caldav/Carddav/LDAP Exchange and Office 365 Gateway on my development laptop to connect Thunderbird to my mail account at work. Handling email was the largest change of swapping from my Android centric work station back to regular desktop Linux.

Give or take my generally meh feelings towards today’s desktop mail clients, Thunderbird especially: this has worked out pretty well, and with pretty minimal pain, thanks to the Actually Worth Reading setup guides.

Today, I finally got around to connecting the address book and calendar functions, and much to my surprise: those actually, Just Work (tm). Which is kind of nice: because I’ve been switching to my tablet for those functions. Thunderbird collected addresses thing, also helpful.

When the rise of the S-Pen made me upgrade tablets, I had to contend with the loss of video output during my otherwise painless Tan S2 -> Tab S3 conversion. Eventually, I traded in some old hardware and got a cheap assed Chromebook that was new enough to do Android apps, and serve as a replacement for docking my tablet. That mostly worked, give or take that Chrome OS is like 10 x buggier and more restrictive than native Android. But eventually that combined with the crappy performance lead me to replace it with using my development laptop directly, rather than using SSH and SMB to access it. The performance grumbles, such as Play Music stuttering whenever opening heavier web pages, made more powerful hardware worth the coin—the quality of Chrome OS as an Android replacement, made using a Linux or NT based system a better option. Thus rather than increment debt, I said screw out and started using my development laptop directly because that was the simplest, cheapest way to kill both birds with one stone.

So, I guess I’ll get to see how well Thunderbird’s calendar works. For my pen use cases, typically my synced to all my devices taste in calendars are used; and I maintain several. My exchange calendar, basically exists purely for dealing with meetings and events going through Exchange users. Since meetings are inescapable, dealings with Exchange calendars.

Coincidentally, Microsoft Outlook for iPad rather sucks as a mail client if you have any significant volume of mail to process, and it’s calendar function is little better than typing cal into an xterm. But it at last syncs with little fuss.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

When my opinion of the temperature drifts, I write it off as the season.

When I’ve had a headache most of the day, I blame it on skipping lunch to take care of house work.

When I get that sick-smell breathing through my nose despite a lack of nasal troubles, I wonder if I’m coming down with something.

Hopefully, just coincidence or related to how elevated my stress and exhaustion levels have been. Or dried out running the heat a little higher than normal. I don’t tend to get sick often, but I have to admit: it’s probably an ideal time for Murphy to throw that one.

Between work, and Misty, I’ve been far more exhausted and extra duper stressed the past month or so. Plus given the amount of trips to the vet that we’ve had, I’ve probably had a wider exposure to the peoply filled outside world than normal. I wouldn’t say that my cold resistance is at it’s highest levels right now, yet don’t really feel that bad (yet). Usually, I experience colds as more of a sudden slam than a gradual decent, like into madness.
The other night, I decided to start watching Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-. It's a isekai series that's been filled under my watch later list for some years now. The series, and more than one of its characters, made my worth remembering list.

Re:zero takes a very different perspective than most series involving another world, of which there are loads. Instead it's much more story and character focused, than conceptualized for entertainment.

Subaru's return by death trick leads him to an interesting directive: just because people can't remember what happened before a reset, does not mean they are any less important. Which is also leveraged in multiple directions, such as the discovery of who murders him during the second arc.

In the first arc, we're pretty much given a straight forward scenario of Subaru trying to save the kind hearted Emilia, known to him under the alias Satella. I kind of like that over the course of the story, while Emilia largely remains true to that awesome-kindness in the beginning, the point is made that she isn't the ideal in Subaru's head--real people aren't ideal.

By the time that is resolved, and things head into the mansion my interest was kind of permanently priqued. It's moved from an almost CYOA scenario into something more mysterious and with room for the characters. Oh, and the way Ram and Rem carry on....especially together. It's like someone tried to push all my right buttons, lol.

For the most part the series is pretty grisly, and definitely not for the squeamish. Subaru's resolve is tested far more often than the utility of his death resetting time. Often with the other characters paying the price. But it's also an incredibly good story. The gore is more of a consequence, as the series focuses much more on the emotion that comes with Subaru's battle, to not give up.

Oddly, by the great conversation between Subaru and Rem on the roof, I've come to see a lot of my own nature in that supporting character. Morbidly, she is also one of the most frequently killed characters given her closeness to Subaru.

I do kind of have to wonder though, what the state of the novels might be. Seems like there are a lot of those. Where as the anime, is only about 26 episodes or so.
Well, aiming for a larger breakfast, and skipping lunch might not have been a great plan, but on the upside, I've gotten most of my planned chores done. I've also gotten to spend time catching up on my anime backlog, hehe.

While I find dealing with the house work tends to be an intersection of time, and gumption, it definitely helps to keep a running list of sorts. Less so because of directed acyclic graphs, and having to deal with floors drying or surfaces you'd have to reclean. More so because it allows compressing them into an effective block, and being able to decide, "Yes, if I just spend fifteen minutes or an hour on this stuff, I'll be nearly done".

'Cuz often the time required is shorter than people think. What makes it such a messy business is falling dreadfully behind, or trying to tackle very large areas. My approach to household chores is probably lax, since I don't actually like to clean in my rest-periods, but I tend to make it focused time. That is to say, not clean the place top to bottomus but rather snipe specific areas and carpet bomb regions, where a little focus leads to a lot of done. Versus the frakk that's gonna take all weekend, problem.

Plus it's kind of a given fact, that I am both lazy and nerdy.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

A subject that I find intriguing. Especially when I live in a world, where friends kids usually have computers in school: and I find it amazing that schools are able to offer that.

The way that my family got our first computer, basically owes to one of my mother’s friends, and how much her son had improved at school, and that she should get my older brother a computer. I have no freaking idea how our mother could afford such a machine.

In practice though, my brother didn’t really care that much for computers until well into the Pentium era, and ma didn’t really care much for computers herself until the late ‘90s. Thus, I had the advantage of a computer and little competition for its use.

As a child, typically the computer to me was a place to play games. I couldn’t read yet, and no one really understood computers very well, so it was hard to get a lot out of MS-DOS 3. But it was easy enough for us to learn the procedure for using floppies, and most of our diskettes had the associated command written on the label.

A few of these games, were purely entertainment. Like a Japanese based thing that could shift between robot / jet / car, or whatever; and Jeopardy. Most games however were more educational: math problems like making change, and dividing ingredients, and stuff like that. I probably moved a frog through a maze or painted interstellar space with wormholes a ridiculous amount of times, but most of the games were school related.

In fact: until compatible software started to become difficult to find in the mid~late ‘90s, most of our diskettes came from school supply stores with a software section.

As it turned out, I would basically be using computers since before kindergarten. Eventually though, Internet access via Web TV, and the usefulness of general purpose Pentium machines with modems, is where I really started to care about computers.

For some reason, I am reminded of the era I was born into, before people even started talking.

Also pretty neat, both comments about the technology covered, and comments about what the future might hold. Like micros reaching the stage where you’ll be able to lose them like your keys because they will have become so small.

Myst is a classic game that I missed. Also one that I should probably dig up someday and play.

The technical challenges faced aside, I kind of wonder how many computer users had CD-ROM drives by then. Another wonder of an era that I missed, since my family’s computer was still a single 5 1/4” diskette machine at that time. Actually discounting the CD-ROM, it was kind of amazing when we finally got a hard drive equipped Pentium computer in the very late ‘90s, and it wasn’t good enough for playing games much more complex than Battle Zone and Asteroids, because Windows 98 took up most of the drive, lol.
This just in: Baby shark swallows AirPods charging case

It’s kind of hard to see myself owning wireless earbuds until the prices come way down, but I have to admit : I’d so buy a cute charging case like this, lol.

If you’re going to do a thing, be awesome. If you can’t be awesome, well at least try and be cute. If you can be both awesome and cute, all the better 😄
The iPad Awkwardly Turns 10

Apple is a lot of things, some good, some bad; consistent is not one of those things.

I actually used to have a fairly high opinion of Apple’s design skill, until the first time I tried to help an iPhone user. That was somewhere around the 3GS or iPhone 4. At which point I wondered how the fuck anyone could use the things.

Over in the land of PCs and Macs, I kind of recognize that many oddities exist. A great many are also artifacts leftover from a time where Apple or Microsoft did a thing, and were probably the first to really do it, rather than following on the trail of standards and successful giants. But that feeling never has repaired my opinion of the fruit company’s software. Today is also a much more connected world than the ‘90s and ‘80s were.

Apple actually does make some great stuff, and folks that helped create those products and experiences should be proud of their work. But like anything else with ten trillion moving parts, consistency kind of goes out the window quite rapidly.

I will admit though:

How would anyone ever figure out how to split-screen multitask on the iPad if they didn’t already know how to do it?

Is the kind of thing, that lead me to start making jokes about having to swipe friend in Elvish.

The iPad has developed a pretty nice on boarding experience, give or take four hundred privacy notices, and the user guide in the Safari default bookmarks is well worth giving anyone that has never used an iPad before. But there is definitely IMHO, a trend towards learning to swipe and gesture in elvish.
Those times when you need a nap, and everyone is comfortable. And then you start debating whether the risk of inciting a riot outweighs having to visit the bathroom.

Passing thought: there are days I wish I could just crash next to the heating vent for a nap.

Sadly, it’s hard to hang yourself from the ceiling in a way that’s comfortable for napping, lol