10/28/2007

10-28-07 - 2

AHAHAHAHA. I downloaded this "Atmosphere Deluxe" product to create background noise at night while we sleep. I set it up to play some ocean loop last night and went to sleep. It suddenly stopped playing around 5 AM, and I come over to look at the computer and it's got a critical out of memory failure. The damn thing has a memory leak and used up my 2G of RAM. Since I have no virtual memory it crashed the app, which probably just starts grinding disk on most people's machines. LOLOLOLO

10-28-07 - 1

I think it would be faster for me to download the CD's I already own via torrents than to actually rip them. The rip doesn't take that long but all the getting it in and out of the case takes forever. And fucking CD ROM drive design is retarded. For a brief period audio hardware was making top loading CD players which is so so much better, these fucking flimsy slow trays that slide in and out are awful. I know, I know, they do it so it can be stacked in a rack, but that's retarded, nobody at home has a real rack, and you always have one thing on top, the thing on top can be the top-loading CD player, you just lift the lid and swap the CD's, so much better.

10/25/2007

10-25-07 - 1

JungleDisk is this storage service based on the Amazon Swarm (which is a totally awesome thing). The pricing is okay for like a small crucial data backup, but you could just burn CD's with that. The pricing is pretty awful if you want a full backup, 100G would be $15/month so you can easily just buy a hard drive instead. For small amounts of backups you can just use your gmail account. I guess Google is launching this GDrive / Google Storage thing but the prices for that are even more retarded than Amazon. The only application I can see is if you travel a lot and for some reason can't carry a hard drive around with you, perhaps because you're a secret agent.

10/22/2007

10-22-07 - 1

"shelled" (the adjective, not the verb) is a totally ruined word. Some people use it to mean "shell removed", others use it to mean "with shell on". You can't tell which they mean until they use "deshelled" (indicating that shelled = shell on) or "unshelled" (indicating that shelled = shell removed). Because of this I recommend using "shell-on" and "shell-off" instead.

For example this page at VA Peanuts uses the word "shelled" to mean "shell-removed" but if you click on the link for the in-shell peanuts, their text here uses "shelled" to mean "with shell".

10/20/2007

10-20-07 - 2

Christ fucking people right outside my window at 4 AM blabbing away and stomping around in high heels. God damn girls are fucking awful with their clompy shoes and their high voices and their "oh my god"'s. I love having a window but I hate that people can see me. I want a window out on nature, not the fucking neighbors and random people walking by who always have to fucking look back at me.

10-20-07 - 1

I've got a new trading strategy that I'm pretty excited about. The market goes through these retarded panic selloffs that make no sense where people sell mutual funds that have various stocks. Some of those stocks do indeed deserve to fall, because the bad news affected them or they were previously overvalued in bubble sectors, but some of them don't. Some of the stocks that fall are just solid basic companies that weren't involved in the crazed bubble or the bad news and they're just falling because people are in a panicked sell-off mode. Recently there have been quite a few 2% drops in single days which gives you a great opportunity to buy into things at a discount. If I had some real guts I'd do some kind of leveraged bet thing that could return a lot, but I don't really know about all that junk, so I just use it as a chance to buy into things that I've thought were solid.

10/19/2007

10-19-07 - 3

Confirmation hearings are so pointless. The congress has absolutely zero ability to determine if the person would do a good job. They would do better to treat it like a job interview, get experts to ask them technical questions, get references from previous employers, etc. The person undergoing the hearing can pretty easily tell what they're supposed to say and they just say that. Many just lie their way straight through it (like pretty much every supreme court justice), and there's no consequences at all. The only thing the confirmation does determine is that the person has the tiny amount of political intelligence to be able to get through the hearing, but even morons like Gonzalez were able to pass that low bar.

10-19-07 - 2

On change :

The average amount of change you get from a transaction is 2 pennies, 0.4 nickels, 0.8 dimes, and 1.5 quarters.

The average value of change from a transaction is 49.5 cents, the average number of coins is 4.7

The ratios are 42.55% pennies, 8.5% nickels, 17% dimes, and 31.9% quarters.

The weights of the coins in order are 2.500 g , 5.000 g , 2.268 g , 5.670 g .

The weight of an average coin transaction is 17.3144 g (1 lb is 453.6 grams)

The value of 1 lb of random change is $12.97 ; if like me you generally remove your quarters from the random change, the value of 1 lb of random change without quarters is $6.17 ; in practice it's even slightly lower because so often you're paying a $.99 or $.95 price which gives you the worst coins by weight, the nickel and the penny.

10-19-07 - 1

One of the wonderful things about SF is how many cool little secret places there are all over that even most locals don't know about. There are just so many, I keep discovering them at a high frequency. All over the Mission there are of course amazing murals and graffitti works, some huge panoramas across buildings, alleys of many peoples' work, and they're in strange hidden places where I keep finding new ones.

Today I found the Douglass Playground. I was just looking for a little grass to run on (which I still haven't found), but instead found this deserted neighborhood park with dense trees and a really cool sketchy trail that goes up the steep hill to some amazing view spots.

A few days ago it was Cayuga Park. It's a little park down on Alemany in the southern mission, and it's full of these bizarre sculptures and tree-house like things all made of wood and left out to age.

10/18/2007

10-18-07 - 1

Little news story about Richard Lee . This is sort of interesting for everything it doesn't say. Richard Lee cashed for $2.8M at the 2006 WSOP. He was in no way a poker player, never has been, and is still not really a serious poker player. What he was was a huge illegal bookmaker. Reportedly one of Texas' biggest bookmakers. His net worth from bookmaking is estimated at at least $25M. His home was raided in 2006 shortly after the WSOP after a long investigation into his doings and $3M in cash was found at his home. Lee claimed he was never a bookmaker and the cash was his winnings from the WSOP. This is highly dubious, since a businessman like him surely would've wired the winnings somewhere and invested them, not just held onto cash. What is likely is the cash was his supply for paying out sports bets, or betting profits that he hadn't yet managed to launder. The prosecutor winds up doing a deal where the government keeps $2.5M of what they seized and Lee goes free and keeps the vast majority of his illegal profits.

This struck me as a nice example of how our legal system treats white collar criminals. If they'd found a few ounces of drugs he'd be in jail. Instead he loses maybe 10% of his profit; I suppose he'll have to stop bookmaking, though he could probably start right back up in a year or two if he buys a few restaurants for laundry.

10/16/2007

10-16-07 - 2

Lately any time I decide to do something, as soon as I start doing it I think "WTF is the point" and then I don't do it. I was going to paint the lugs on my sweet old road bike, and started to look into what kind of paint and such, and then went "WTF is the point" and stopped.

I'm in the middle of this giant endeavor to rip all my CDs and then get rid of them. I've done a few hundred and I'm up to "C" and I'm starting to think "WTF am I doing this for". It would be nice to just not have all these fucking things to lug around, but then I have to get some kind of iPod adapter thing for my car and spend a lot of time loading songs on my iPod and all that garbage waste of time. It's just busy work.

I still want to write a nice auto-DJ app. It would scan through your whole music library and analyze all your songs (which would take several days). Analysis would detect the beats and also the "energy level" and "style" of the songs (there are various papers on making estimates of these things with subband spectrum analysis and "timbre" study and so on). Then the user could pick a song to get it started. When that song ended, the autoDJ would randomly pick another song which was close to the original in all 3 attributes, and perhaps beat match and cross fade if the beat structure is clean enough (a lot of rock songs do annoying intros or fade outs that don't match the primary beat, so you wouldn't want to crossfade them). So the autoDJ takes a random walk through your music collection in a way that provides pleasing transitions that stay in the sort of general musical area of the seed song. Anyway, this is like a few weeks work, but WTF is the point?

Addendum : I've found two existing things that are similar to the auto-DJ I described. One is Pandora which appears to be based on a database that's manually marked up by human listeners. The other is MusicIP which has a free Mixer app you can download. They seem to actually do an automatic content-based identification of song "mood". It appears to me that they don't actually run it on your client, but rather identify your songs and look it up in their online database. In my experience there are a lot of problems with MusicIP. It's just not nearly good enough to actually let it just play. It is, however, kind of a fun tool to browse your music collection if it's way too big and you haven't even listened to half of what you have.

10-16-07 - 1

Food trends that need to stop now :

Deconstructing. There's a reason why all these classic dishes are "constructed". When you put various ingredients together you create a composed bite which is balanced, the flavors meld, that's what cooking is all about. The real truth is that "deconstructing" is easier for the "fancy" restaurant line-cooking style where they can pre-do a bunch of work and then toss things together on a plate at the end. Deconstructed food is sort of like a minimalist modern art painting - it's a brain-stimulating thing to see once in your life, to make you think about the form, but you ONLY NEED TO SEE IT ONCE.

"Surprising" accent flavors. Chili in chocolate. Lavender in oatmeal. Ginger in hamburger. Yes, yes, it's very surprising and amusing that these strange accents taste okay in places we might not expect. OKAY NOW STOP IT. When I get chocolate, I want a rich deep chocolate taste. If you can do something clever with your cooking to enhance the chocolate experience, that's great, but that takes skill and lots of practice and most people don't do it. Just randomly tossing in green tea or hibiscus or whatever flavor of the month is not well crafted food. Maybe back in like 1970 somebody made a trio of creme brulee's each with a surprising accent flavor and that was cool, but IT'S OVER. Too often this is just a way of taking a poor dish and punching it up, used by chefs who want to make something "gourmet" but are unable to improve the basic quality and taste of the dish.

Other retarded food trends are the super high vertical stack (hello, it looks silly and it just falls apart when I try to eat), the sauce paintings on the plate (meh, this isn't bad, but it's just not hip), foam, the seared scallop (the trend that will not die), and the deluxe versions of ordinary foods like burgers and grilled cheese.

10/15/2007

10-15-07 - 1

I guess I'm finally gonna go ahead and sell my Prelude. Man I love that car. Yeah the power really sucks, and it's too back heavy for a front wheel drive, so even if you souped it up it would just spin the tires, and yeah it's really too small for me inside, but man it just FEELS good to drive, so responsive, no latency, it's low so it feels way faster than it really is, and it's got these weird impact moments. When the VTEC kicks in it just feels good, even though it's still really not fast, you feel the difference. When you go around a corner and accelerate through it and the ATTS kicks in to whip the wheels through the curve it just feels great. You just feel so in control. Of course that's largely an illusion, which is why I crashed it once or twice. Anyway, there's no reason for me to have it, it just doesn't make sense. The sick thing is that rent is so fucking totally out of hand outrageous that selling the car for $10k only makes me like 6 months of rent. The first car I bought cost $1600 which is less than one month of rent. WTF. Of course the only thing more outrageous than the rent here is the equivalent mortgage if I actually bought a place like this. California is slumping slightly but we're still in the insane situation where mortgage is 3-4X rent, which is even more insanely out of whack than the super high rents.

In her honor I'll post a few photos of when my baby was happy, roaming the curvy back roads : Nacimiento-Fergusson or Figueroa Mountain

10/14/2007

10-14-07 - 3

Went for another little hike. The Peninsula here has got to be one of the most blessed places on Earth. Perfect weather (on the east side of the ridge), none of the horrible bugs that plague most of the US, great roads for cycling, tons and tons of open space preserves and hiking, old growth redwoods, valleys and peaks, views, etc. Unfortunately it's full of dot commers and other insufferable self-righteous rich people.

We saw this strange mass of ladybugs. They were all piled on top of each other; it reminded me of the monarch butterflies at Pismo that land on each other in the eucalyptus. I put a photo on my Flickr . I read up a bit on Ladybugs; apparently they do some weird things and I'm not quite sure what they were doing there. They do migrate seasonally chasing an ideal temperature range. The masses of ladybugs in the central valley will migrate up into the high Sierra Nevada, and then come back again. They also fly in this really weird way where they constantly are climbing while flying under power, and then they get too high and go into a coma and free fall until they get back down to a lower altitude where they wake up and repeat the oscillation. Very strange.

10-14-07 - 2

Good ideas we've had recently :

Checkers drinking game. Lay out a checker board, but the pieces are shot glasses. One side full of whiskey, the other side vodka (or any two alcohols of different color so you can tell the pieces as usual). Play checkers, and when you jump a piece, you take the opponent's shot. This game is so much better than your normal drinking games in that you drink regularly, it's actually a fun game, and the person who's winning has to drink more which evens out the game.

Indian burrito. Why doesn't this exist? Just take a nice curry, combine with basmati rice and wrap it up in naan bread like a burrito. So delicious and great to-go food. Much much better than the actual Indian to-go foods like samosas which are foul pastey starchy fried heaviness. BTW there a few to-go "hand pie" places in San Francisco which revises the old English tradition of the "pasty" (pronounced pahsty); unfortunatley all the current ones are just not very good so that delicious portable food is not really making a strong comeback yet. (update : I've now learned that Indian Pizza is made at a few places around SF, will have to try that, but isn't Indian food like always pizza? I mean you scoop up some meat and sauce on a piece of bread, that's pizza. Of course that's how the real Burrito was invented as well...)

10-14-07 - 1

"Inland Empire" is a steaming pile of garbage and a very good barometer for detecting movie critics that won't knock the masters and just praise things they don't understand because they think they should. I'm a big fan in general of Lynch and his stream-of-consciousness style movies and the idea of literally getting lost in the movie, but this is just pure self-indulgence completely gone off the rails. Obviously "Blue Velvet" is his masterpiece, it brings his strangeness and style of metaphoric cinematic painting into a real world that we can believe is just under the surface, either in existence or in people's minds. Strangely, I really liked "Lost Highway", which most critics seem to think is inferior to "Inland Empire". If you compare the reviews of the two films it seems to show a retarded lack of logic; Lost Highway is widely criticized for "coming off the rails and making no sense and failing to connect the two stories at the end", while "Inland" is praised for the way you just get lost in the nonsense. To me that reflects a lack of subtlety in the critics who don't want to actually have to watch a movie and think about it. They want to know exactly what they're getting into from the beginning so they can compare it to their expectations. "Inland" to me doesn't work largely because it is just a pure stream of nonsense and you can never really get into. "Lost Highway" really does work because at first you think it's just a normal movie, albeit with some Lynch strangeness, but you try to watch it as a murder/mystery/drama. Then it makes the jump and you try to figure out what's happening, then you settle in to the second part and it seems like a normal movie again, and then the wrap up really leaves you thinking and wondering if you can figure it out or not. I still wonder about what the movie is supposed to mean and if you're supposed to be able to figure it out. In contrast, with "Inland" you very rapidly give up on trying to figure it out because it's just nonsense, you never mentally get to sink into that state where you don't know if you're in fantasy or reality, you're just always in fantasy, which drastically weakens the effect. I also feel like artistically, "Lost Highway" creates a more coherent and powerful mood through the lighting, the music, the cinematography, everything comes together to create this eerie, heavy atmosphere, like a humid southern day, so still it's spooky. On the other hand, "Inland Empire" does have a gorgeous pallet of really rich color and texture, and it does create some really sort of unnerving scary imagery (I watched it alone, late at night, in the dark, which is the only way to see it), but the impression is not sustained, it jumps into these ridiculous dance numbers, semi-normal scenes in the real world, and the mix diffuses the impact.

Oh, and the stupid digital video in "Inland Empire" is really gross awful. It's got tons of that nasty banding that happens when you shoot DV in low light. I don't know if that's just because of the crappy CCD response, or if it's actually the 8 bits of intensity revealing themselves. 8 bits really sucks, especially when you take dark stuff and blow up the contrast and the brightness. Human intensity perception is relative, so the difference between 0, 1, and 2 on an 8-bit image is immense. Now of course film also sucks bad in low light, but it is better, and even when the film shows its limitations, it does it in a pleasing organic semi-random way, rather than the chunky blocky banding that you get from DV. You can just compare the low light scenes of real film in "Days of Heaven" to the modern DV low light stuff to see what we're losing. It's also possible that they fucked it up in processing. I was semi-shocked to find that the classic Avid systems work in 8 bit, and they save intermediate processing to disk in that format, so if you do something like run through a bunch of frames and play with contrast, then run back through and undo it, you can totally destroy your image quality. I believe the newer high end Avids are now 16-bit which sort of makes this okay, but in general in the little exposure I've had to film I've seen a lack of understanding of digital image quality and how to process frames; there's sort of a culture of "if I do this step and it looks good on the monitor it must be right" without thinking about what's happening to the digital value registers and the information you might be losing permanently. Fortunately I believe the scientists have finally gotten the upper hand and we will eventually have full HDR video and editting pathways standard.

10/13/2007

10-13-07 - 1

The US economy sort of looks good if you don't think about it. After all, the stock market has grown by 15% per year on average for the last 5 years. On the other hand, that is way behind average international growth in that time. Measured in any currency except the dollar, it hasn't grown at all. Even with that growth, the actual median income has stagnated or perhaps fallen. That's also a period immediately following a market crash which should normally be a period of growth. We've also had historically low interest rates and a huge tax cut and deficit spending spree which should've stimulated the market more. The government reports that we keep adding jobs, but those additions have been way behind maintenance rates. We have nominally low unemployment, but that's partly because the number of people who are not looking for jobs is at an all time high percentage.

10/11/2007

10-11-07 - 2

Well, I'm disgusted by the shitty service NAD has given me for my amplifier. Not only that but they provide zero information that could be used to repair it, they sell the repair manual for $100. Supposedly it's an easy repair but I've never done anything like that so I would need good manuals. Old stereo amps like mine have depreciated horrifically, to where $1000 amps now sell for $50 on eBay. At the same time electronics repair shops are a dying species, and the costs are shooting way up. The NAD-approved repair shops want around $300 for a repair which is outrageous. The local non-english speaking ghetto shop wants $100 but god knows what those guys will do. SIGH. I guess the most +EV move is to throw it in the trash and buy a replacement on eBay.

10-11-07 - 1

TreePie is sort of okay for viewing disk usage, but really a linear chart makes so much more sense than the silly pie thing. Still, it looks like those goofy GUIs that they always have in movies which has a certain absurdism appeal.

I found this thing a while ago about the Alex Singer bike shop. Those old bikes have so many gorgeous little hand-worked touches.

10/08/2007

10-08-07 - 3

Crazy upsets in the Rugby World Cup this weekend. Rugby Dump is the best sports video clip aggregator of any sport I've ever seen.

I see my boys Gabriel & Dresden are doing a Halloween show. Ooooo. Being a DJ would be pretty fun, you get to travel the world just going to different party spots, you get paid to do very little and be out at the club, and you're a semi-celebrity in the club scene which has its advantages.

10-08-07 - 2

Jet Audio is pretty rad. I don't really like those all-in-one kind of apps with fancy looking GUIs but it does a lot and it's not too intrusive. The alternatives are all pretty rotten (iTunes, Nero, WinAmp). Why do media apps all have to have these awful "looks like a stereo" custom GUIs ?

I'm depressed today, maybe partly because I'm in horrible physical pain. Life is a fucking dreary effort, some days are so hard to get through. It really doesn't matter what I do with myself long term, I'm just a miserable fuck of a human being, I'm going to be unhappy and bring unhappiness with me wherever I go.

The NFL has gotten itself in a sucky state. Pretty much no game matters until the AFC Championship game when the Colts and Pats meet, and then the Superbowl won't matter either (not that it has for years).

10-08-07 - 1

In the real battle of Good and Evil, the only advantage of Good is if they can win the support of the populace, if the populace can see the truth, but that is no gaurantee. Evil always has the huge advantage that they can use the tools of evil to accomplish their goals - lying, cheating, stealing, killing. In the end, evil always wins. In our world they usually win by changing what is considered acceptable or legal, or by changing what is "admirable" or "fair".

10/07/2007

10-07-07 - 2

A.O. Scott's review of "Knocked Up" makes it sound amazing. Maybe Netflix made a mistake and sent me the wrong movie? The piece of crap that I saw was a mix of two of the worst genres in Hollywood - the cheesy saccharine "romantic comedy" and the juvenile stoner comedy. The result is neither funny nor sweet, and is certainly not "honest". This is hardly an original tale or an unlikely route to love; in fact, it's a recasting of classic 18th century cheese, where a sweet girl and an ogreish man are forced into a relationship and discover that they love each other. Mr. Scott is indeed correct that this movie does "capture our moment". It captures the thievery of classic stories, the fear of Hollywood to do anything controversial or realistic, the trend of unrealistically pairing super hot girls and dorky guys which is so standard these days, and comedy that's so watered down and sanitized that it loses all its punch.

On the other hand "Flight of the Conchords" is brilliant. I don't even like the songs all that much (I'm not a fan of humor in musical form), but the two guys are hillarious, even just standing casting sideways eyes at each other going, "mmm, mhmm, yeh, yesss".

10-07-07 - 1

We got some live New Zealand Green Mussels at Sun Fat; they're bigger than your regular mussel, sweeter and more tender. You can eat them raw if you want, but I steamed them and just undercooked them a tiny bit so they were rare. Sun Fat totally rocks my world. It's like the best seafood I've ever gotten anywhere, lots of variety, spanking fresh, great quick service, and it's CHEAP! It hasn't even been invaded by yuppies yet, probably because the parking in the area sucks, so most of the clientele are the local hispanic working people. It just makes me so happy that there is this shop selling some of the freshest fish in the city to the local minimum wage families.

10/06/2007

10-06-07 - 2

I loved the "Dark is Rising" books when I was a kid. I read them in like 6th grade or so, which is about the right age for them. Part of the charm was the multiple levels of anachronism for an American reader in the 90's. The series is one of the pioneering modern works of what became a whole genre of fantasy novels set in the current-day real world, starring children, but in an alternate real world where all the old legends of Merlin and magic and fairies and such is all true. Anyway, part of what made it so cool to me was that the "current day" was itself so unfamiliar, I was enchanted by the charm of 1960's Britain. I was super into the Arthurian legends at the time and the idea of the "once and future king", so all the allusions to that were exciting, and to a 6th grade mind the story revealed itself slowly and with great surprises. It has a good deal of subtlety and believability that is lost in most modern children's fantasy. You could believe that the struggle of Light and Dark could be going on right now in our very own world, and you might not even know it unless you knew the right signs to look for, and that struggle has been going on in the British Isles all through the past, from the time of Faeries when Celts and Picts battled, until the Romans and later Normans swept in and the magic went into hiding, but never completely left.

Anyway, this new movie "The Seeker" seems to have completely removed everything that was charming about the books. It's been moved to the present in America, which totally ruins the charming Britishisms as well as the whole connection to the past and the Arthurian tale. Oh well, even if it was rendered perfectly it wouldn't have been popular and wouldn't be watchable by me anyway, it's one of those things you have to see as a kid, and kids like that are no more.

10-06-07 - 1

The biscotti recipe at Joy of Baking let me down, but Cooking for Engineers came through. I added some ground fennel seeds which gives that nice little anise flavor. When you make the biscotti yourself you get the nice treat of sampling some of the cookies after the first bake when they're still soft in the middle; they're very nice warm out of the oven like that. I actually like my biscotti a tiny bit nontraditional, I prefer them a bit crispy as opposed to just hard, which I think could be acheived by adding a tiny bit of butter to that recipe, maybe 1 tbsp of butter next time.

Saw this "chef" on PBS today absolutely ruining the most beautiful rib eye I've ever seen; it was from Lobel's in New York which has this unreal dark old dry aged beef. Looks like the going price for good beef now is around $40/pound or more. LOL ? It's certainly true that people are better off than ever they were in the past, but at the same time there are these very simple good things, like clothing that's tailored and hand-made specifically for you, or grass fed organic meat, or real fresh eggs - things like that which everybody had in the past when they were cripplingly poor are now so expensive that many people in industrialized societies have them not ONCE in their lives.

10/05/2007

10-05-07 - 1

Daniel Bouloud is such a hack. I dunno if he was a legitimate chef at some point, but at this point he has fallen into the cadre of big-name chefs who have mastered the art of conning rich people with really boring overpriced food and celebrity names. This is a whole market segment, largely driven out of New York, but it's also big in Vegas. These guys make food for the Wall Street types, for people on expense accounts, but also for retarded Midwestern tourists who want to blow a paycheck at the fancy place they read about, or for Long Island prom-nights. The target demo are people who really don't like good food, or at least don't like anything terribly interesting, and want something that they can brag about to others and say it's "the best", whether it's the "best steak" or the "best burger" or whatever. The food is generally ostentatious, sort of like a McMansion - it's got lots of rich sauces, truffles, caviar, foie gras, heavy fancy ingredients that make it "amazing". It's one of those amazing Emperor's New Clothes situations, sort of like our current president, where I can't believe that these guys get away with it; they just do it right in front of everyone so obviously.

I'm even more upset that I've eaten at a number of these places in my youth before I realized what was going on. When you're young or dumb, you can easily get sucked in by all the "buzz" that they create with all the other dumb socialites saying how great it is, and you think you have to go and appreciate it, and if you don't think it's anything special it's just because your taste buds aren't sophisticated enough.

10/04/2007

10-04-07 - 3

I've talked before about the "dick factor"; I think I wrote about it in offices, the way dick-heads can come to dominate a group because their very dickishness makes the more reasonable people so annoyed and frustrated that they choose to disengage.

10-04-07 - 2

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia seems to have lost it. Season 2 was one of the best seasons of comedy TV ever (up there with the good years of Simpsons, Seinfeld, Arrested, Curb), but Season 3 has already gone into standard sitcom jokes and super-exagerrated characters. I noticed that the original gang isn't writing the episodes any more, they have a bunch of professional TV writers helping, which must be part of it. The scripts feel more like something from a "Two and a half men" or a "Home Improvement" super-standard sitcom script factory.

10-04-07 - 1

ARG! This is the era of internet search, can we freaking get companies and bands and such to use unique proper names! Don't name your company "Versus" or a band named "Unicorn" , WTFBBQ.

10/01/2007

10-01-07 - 1

There have been many video compression algorithms developed that work well with packet loss - eg. on average, losing random packets is only slightly worse than compressing to that smaller size, quality degrades smoothly as you lose packets. This can not only give you much faster streaming in an unreliable networking scenario (cuz you don't have to do the whole TCP thing of saying whoops you missed this packet send it again), it would also be awesome for torrents. I often find with torrents that I can get 90% really quickly, and then that last 10% is only available from the seed and he goes offline or something. If I had a continuously degrading video format, I could just watch it as is and it would look really good.

old rants