Monthly Archives: November 2013

Google selectively enforcing policies against Cyanogenmod?

I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!

Google “asked” Cyanogenmod to remove their installer from the Google Play store. I put “asked” in great big ol’ quotes because it was a request backed by a threat, or really, a promise that it would be done by force if the request wasn’t granted.

Like I’ve said about, ahem, “other instances of Google’s selective enforcement of ill-defined policies“, it’s Google’s playground and they’re well within their rights to wall off the garden as much as their heart desires. That said, it’s a real dick move to enforce their polices selectively and/or capriciously. That makes it almost impossible for people who use Google’s services to know if what they’re doing is in compliance. Or, worse, if what they’re doing today will be adjudged to be against the terms of service tomorrow. You can’t build a business around Google services if they’re going to behave like this.

P.S. Interestingly, Google has updated the names policy page to make it slightly less nebulous. Now there’s a link to the Terms of Service, which contains a significantly different names policy than the one stated on the names policy page. Hmm…

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Wavy Lines Uv Deth

I’m currently re-reading Warren Ellis’ “Doktor Sleepless” series. I’m not sure it’s actually “good.” It’s trying too hard, there’s too much going on, too many ideas, and it doesn’t flow especially well, at least by Ellis’ standards. But damned if it doesn’t make you think, and that’s about the best thing a book can do, isn’t it?

Plus, c’mon…it’s Warren Ellis.

I’ll have more to say about it shortly, but I feel like buttocks right now and I’m struggling to keep my eyes open and head upright. So, night all. And yes, it’s another Lovecraft-connected entry. There is, without question, something in my head right now.Image

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Filed under Other Stuff, Writing

Stross on Lovecraft

This is a great time of year to celebrate all…well, most things Lovecraft (or Lovecraft-inspired). Today, I’d like to point you in the direction of the always-worth-reading Charlie Stross speculating about what might have inspired Lovecraft’s sense of horror. I’m not going to spoil it for you because it’s well worth reading and ties into modernity better than you might imagine. And, as per usual, the comments are as lively as the post itself.

I have no real opinion as to the accuracy of Stross’ conjecture. It strikes me as plausible but by no means certain. Which, from the standpoint of fiction, is probably the best kind of conjecture.

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Filed under Blogging, Books

Normal Service Resumed

Man, what a time to choose to be positive for a week. I’m glad that’s over. I missed out on commenting on <fill in later TRAIN UP A CHILD, LOUISIANA LIBRARY/PRISON, WHATEVER LIMBAUGH SAID ETC>. It turns out that positivity isn’t really my bread and butter. It get me going the way three pots of coffee and Fox News does.

However, I’m not quite ready to dive back into the muck that is the American Condition. Instead, I’d like to float an idea that I’ve had in the back of my head for some time now: A series of movie reviews of the second movie of trilogies. Difficulty: Can’t have seen the first or third film.

This strikes me as a really absurd exercise and, as such, it appeals to me mightily. The recent release of the second Hungers Games and Hobbit movies is what spurred me to think about actually doing something about this idea. I’ve read The Hobbit over and over, but I think it’d be intresting to see if it holds up as a stand-alone film. I haven’t even read The Hunger Games, so going in fresh to the second film would be interesting.

As you might have guessed, I’m not a huge fan of trilogies. They tend not to have been conceived as trilogies, which means that, frequently, the second film has to spend an inordinate amount of time explaining why the first film didn’t really end the story. And the filmaker almost never thinks “Hrm, I’ve made the first one, maybe one more will properly end it.” Thus, the second film often servers as a bridge more than a complete tale of it’s own.

My plan is to add a few wrinkles to the standard review format. First, how well did the film catch new watchers up on the action from the first film. Second films always have a certain in media res to them. I’d also be evaluating how “complete” the film is. Does it stand on it’s own? Is the ending a true ending, or is it just a cliffhanger setting up the third film?

Other than the two listed, there are plenty of other trilogies I could review due to not having seen any of the films. These include:

The Godfather (yeah, I know…you don’t have to say it)
The Mariachi trilogy (El Mariachi, Desperado, Once Upon A Time In Mexico)
The Millenium trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo et. al.)
The Spider-Man trilogy
The Evil Dead trilogy
The Bourne trilogy

I guess I don’t really watch a lot of trilogies, huh?

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A Lifetime First

For literally the first time in my life, I carried an umbrella with me to work when there was no rain in the morning, and then made use of it on the way home.

For some reason, this makes me feel more accomplished than it probably should.

 

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Good night, Night Vale. Good night.

I’m not exactly on the cutting edge here, but if you’re not a regular listener of the Welcome To Night Vale podcast, you ought to be. There are a few ideas that are so good you can recognize them instantly, and the pitch for Night Vale is genius: NPR meets Lovecraft.

Few things are more disheartening than a great idea poorly executed (Mystery Men movie, I’m staring at you with death-eyes), but Night Vale lives up to the promise of its concept every time out. The writing is consistently smart, surreal, and very funny.

The other key is the voice of Cecil Baldwin, who captures the cadence of public radio beautifully. His slow, calm voice describing the unearthly horrors that are a part of everyday life in Night Vale is a thing to….what’s the audio version of “behold”? Let’s just go with “enjoy.” That’s the word.

There’s a sneaky little something else, too. One of my favorite things about the original Star Trek series was not that the bridge was so racially integrated, but that they never talked about it; it just was. That struck me as a beautiful statement on the progress of humanity, that by the time of Star Trek, no one would even have to talk about inclusiveness anymore because it was just part of the landscape. I won’t spoil it for you, but there’s some of that in Night Vale and the thing that makes it great is that it’s not the focus of the characters, it just is.

Welcome To Night Vale is such a great idea that I wish I’d come up with it, but I never would have executed it this well. Seriously, if you haven’t checked it out, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Image

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This Is The Best Burrito (Keepin’ it positive!)

Trying to keep it positive, but it’s been a very discouraging week. Aside from a deluge of ugly stories in the news, I’ve reached out to the Google+ help forums again without a great deal of success. There’s been some empathy, which is nice, but there have been some ugly responses as well.Those in the middle have been of the “Google’s actual policy is slightly more stringent than their published policy would have you believe.” (thank you +Kamal Tailor)

Honestly, I can accept that, although it would be really nice if the published policy matched the effective policy.

Anyway, I miss my friends on that site. There were 500 or so people following me and many of them were people I’d met through that site. The community was easily the best part of that site, but that will fail if they insist on “real” names, and that’s unfortunate.

Ok, back to positive stuff!

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the music of Parry Gripp, but if you’re not, you should be. He create songs that are like hypercaffeinated They Might Be Giants snippets and some of them are pure genius and very dangerously catchy.

So, for positivity week, I present these three Parry Gripp selections:

Turtle:

This Is The Best Burrito I’ve Ever Eaten:

Baby Monkey (Going Backwards On A Pig):

Little Octopus Climbing Over A Rock:

If those don’t get you humming, I don’t know what will. Literally. I have no clue.

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Sing Me Spanish Techno

I definitely chose the wrong week to be positive, but I’m going to fight through it. Today, I want to share the words of one of my favourite singers, Dan Bejar of Destroyer, and The New Pornographers. Of the new Destroyer EP, he wrote:

It was 2013. The English language seemed spent, despicable, not easily singable. It felt over for English; good for business transactions, but that’s about it. The only other language I know is Spanish, and the only Spanish songs I really know are those of Sr. Chinarro, led by Antonio Luque. I’ve been a decades-long fan of how he conducted his affairs, his strange words, his melodies that have always felt so natural (this is important), his bitter songs about painting the light. Something about them, I knew I could do it…

Anyone who says that man isn’t a poet…

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Une semaine d’être positif

Une semaine d'être positif

This week is dedicated to posting only positive, or at least non-negative things. I get snarky, ,my blood pressure goes up, I eat fast food…it’s not good for me to spend so much time trolling The Source of All Things Clueless to find stories to mock. Before my doctor tells me to stop, I’m going to take matters into my own hands and just try to play nice for a week.

I’d say the odds are about 50/50 that I can make it, but hey, it’ll be fun to try.

Anyway, while searching for a technical manual for a point of sale system, I came across this little gem. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it made me smile. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with MS-DOS. It’s been even longer since I’ve had occasion to poke around any CP/M machines. But I’ve worked with them, I have. I have worked with them professionally. I’m not going to say I miss them, but it’s kind of like coming across a photo of yourself from so long ago that you can’t even remember being that person.

I genuinely never thought I’d feel unironic nostalgia for an operating system. Funny old world, innit?

 

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18/11/2013 · 6:23 pm

TRVTH (a non-inclusive list)

  • George W. Bush did not know about the 9/11 attacks before they happened.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did not cause the housing crisis.
  • Saddam Hussein was not behind 9/11 and did not have undeclared weapons of mass destruction.
  • The Soviet Union defeated Germany in WW2. The other allies played much smaller roles.
  • The Confederate battle flag is associated with slavery.
  • Bill Clinton did have sex with that woman.
  • Voter registration fraud is not the same thing as voter fraud. There are almost no documented cases of voter fraud in the United States.
  • Obamacare is not socialism.
  • Obama is a Christian, not a secret atheist/muslim.
  • Obama is an American.
  • When the pope decries corrupt capitalists and suggests they should be tied to rocks and thrown in the ocean, he’s speaking from scripture, not an MSM communist plot against capitalism.
  • The God of Abraham in Islam is the same God of Abraham in Judaism is the same God of Abraham in Christianity
  • Corporations are not people.
  • Frivolous lawsuits are not driving health care costs.
  • The United States does not need more jails.
  • EDIT (Because it seems appropriate today): The best player is the most valuable player. Quit trying to pretend otherwise.

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Filed under Other Stuff, Personal, Philosophy