Older blog entries for ncm (starting at number 385)

3 Feb 2010 (updated 3 Feb 2010 at 05:03 UTC) »

My laptop is running linux now, and the $2 Clique HUE cameras that failed with and barely worked with now seem to work fine, even producing credible (fake) 1280x1024 video at low frame rates. Thank you to Brian Johnson, I think.

2 Feb 2010 (updated 2 Feb 2010 at 20:01 UTC) »

I finally saw Avatar. My advice is -- particularly if you're seeing it with kids -- leave the theater at the point right after the first big explosion. At that point you have seen everything original and inspiring, and you can walk out feeling invigorated and inspired by the visuals, and forget all about the toy plot. Every detail after that point rings false. It just keeps getting dumber and dumber until it's just a parody of every other Hollywood explosions movie.

Seriously, there are two movies here. The first is beautiful. The second is ugly and stupid. There are much better things to do with that final half hour than getting dragged through Hollywood's gutter.

Epiphany itself has a nice new version, 2.29.6. It now gets stuck in an infinite loop while rendering (some?) meetup.com pages, failing to render any other pages and keeping CPU usage pinned at 100%, or even crashing outright. It's not entirely certain 2.29.5 didn't also fail on these pages with Webkit 1.1.19, or even Webkit 1.1.18, but with Webkit 1.1.17 it didn't.

25 Jan 2010 (updated 26 Jan 2010 at 23:01 UTC) »

Webkit released a version 1.1.19, so I decided to try out Epiphany on it. The bug from 1.1.18 that made Epiphany unusable is fixed, but none of the Debian changelogs nor the Webkit or Epiphany changelogs hints at anything germane. Maybe it was some random library incompatibility, fixed by my upgrading libgtk or something in the meantime. So, I am left to thank the anonymous person who fixed it. Thank you, anonymous person.

Sadly, it still ignores my Gnome edit-key bindings setting.

23 Jan 2010 (updated 23 Jan 2010 at 21:28 UTC) »

The American Experiment lasted 233 years, 6 months, and 18 days. It was an interesting experiment, but it's over now. I wonder what historians will call the new form of government instituted by the Supreme Court on January 21. (They might reasonably date it to the 2000 Gore decision, instead.) It strongly resembles Fascism, but without the millennial ideology it carried last time around. It's hard to believe Europe will be able to, um, save us the way we (and Russia) did them, then.

21 Jan 2010 (updated 21 Jan 2010 at 06:25 UTC) »

Following up on what katzj said, when somebody says "cloud" to you, immediately say "I don't know what a 'cloud' is. Please mention something that exists."

I have finally been forced to abandon Epiphany, as of webkit 1.1.18. Now, when it recovers after a crash and can't reload the page, it shows "blank page" in the address bar, and logs that, instead of the address that wouldn't load, in its session_crashed.xml file. Epi with webkit 1.1.17 didn't do this.

Debunking old climate-change myths one at a time: if the Gulf Stream shuts down does it really plunge Europe into an ice age?

4 Jan 2010 (updated 5 Jan 2010 at 03:09 UTC) »

U.S. radio network NPR ("National Public Radio") show "Talk of the Nation", a call-in interview program hosted by Neal Conan, has been repeatedly hosting a former Bush TSA official to help build up fear of terrorism. They select callers who fall all over themselves urging the TSA to strip-search them, and reminding us over and over that travel is a "privilege" that we should be kneeling before anyone in a uniform to thank for allowing us. That's most of my exposure to mainstream U.S. media; if it's a fair sample (but I suspect it's actually more thoughtful than is typical), it's no wonder Americans are acting terrorized. It's probably time to write to NPR and complain about their participation in terrorizing Americans.

My question for everyone demanding a kneeling public is, "Couldn't you find an honest job?"

I just found out that the ISO 639-3 three-letter code for the oldest written language, Sumerian, is "sux". That seems kind of undignified.

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