What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Linkee-poo would stand in line for this, there's always room in life for this

"Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?" The Onion AV Club invites the original voice actors for Pinky and the Brain to do their routine, only with swearing. NSFW. "Just say it, people have been wanting this for years." (Grokked from Yanni Kuznia)

Cory Doctorow on Clear Reader. This isn't the first time such a service has debut (that is, removing offending passages from e-books so people don't get naughty all over themselves). And it's just as silly as when the video service (I forget it's name) cuts out all the bad words, violence and sexual situations from movies. There is a difference here, though. Those video services were then releasing those remastered films (which is a violation of copyright). Here, the application is running on your own copy of the e-book. So, how is this different, exactly, from me skipping over all the songs and epic poems during my last read of the Lord of the Rings?

I normally don't do product placement, but 1) was interested in the idea of office space rental ever since Tobias Buckell brought it into my consciousness, and 2) they handled my snakiness on twitter pretty well. So, if you're looking for shared office space on the east side of Cleveland, there's CUBE Cleveland. And they have space right down from where the day thing is. I probably won't rent space to write because 1) I'm notoriously cheap and 2) I like at least being able to see my wife for a few hours each day. Yea, I'm weird that way. But if you need it, there you are.

Adding a virtual nose to the VR display helps with user vertigo. Yep. It's as plain as the nose on their faces. Want to know how this works? Look straight ahead and close one eye. See your nose now? That's how this works. I know the computer people are all agog over this, but anyone who has studied how our vision actually works knows why. It's not "blindness", your individual eyes see your nose all the time, but when your brain converts stereo vision into the simulation in your head (note, again, what you "see" in your consciousness is a construct of your brain, not exactly what your eyes are seeing), since the nose is so close and isn't seen by both eyes in similar places, your brain edits that out of the simulation (however, it's still processing it, which is how this VR trick works)). Want to test that? Okay, look straight ahead, hold your palm up to your peripheral vision area to create a similar flesh colored mass in the same place in your vision (ie. if you hold up your right hand, place it in the vision of your right eye that you see your nose in using only your left eye, or vis a vis - it helps if you use the hand opposite your dominant eye). Viola, your nose will appear in you vision on the side you're holding your hand up (it's a little fuzzy, because the shape isn't the same, also, your brain knows it can't be the same object). I wonder when they'll realize that some of the motion sickness (and some other problems) can be due to the difference in disharmony between screen refresh rates and your brain's vision refresh rates (everyone is slightly different)? (Grokked from John)

"We wouldn't call a 30th place global ranking 'world-class' -- if US internet from private industry wasn't so terrible and expensive, the FCC and municipalities wouldn't have needed to intercede in the first place." Burn! The State of Tennessee is suing the FCC over their new Net Neutrality rules because those rules overturn bans against local municipalities running their own broadband service for residents and businesses. Why, because the State of Tennessee lawmakers get a lot of funding from the telecoms to make sure there's no actual competition. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), whose push to defund Obamacare led to a government shutdown, now plans to get insured through the federal exchange." Sen. Cruz's wife (from whom they had insurance) has stepped down from her job to help him campaign, so now they're on the market. He then made a statement about how "it's the law" that member of the Legislature have to buy from the Exchange… while completely ignoring his own advice to others to go without instead of signing up. (Must not make joke about needing healthcare to counter the poisonous effect of all that hair product)

Yes, the War on Women is the fault of liberal ideology. Maybe if you're a brain-dead neo-crustacean that lives in the world of men not being able, or challenged, to control themselves and accepting that "women were just asking for it." But for those of us who play with reality and responsibility, we know it's important for boys to take charge of their own lives and responsibility for their own actions and not use neo-conservative values to justify their Cro-magnon fantasy life (note, there's good evidence that Cro-magnons were mostly egalitarian).

I remember the good old days, when Agent Orange was so non-toxic air crews would thug glasses of it. Days of future past. A Monsanto lobbyist is offered a glass of the active ingredient in Round-Up to drink after proclaiming that it won't hurt you (to drink a whole quart). This is after the World Health Organization has cited it as a possible carcinogen. The lobbyist pulled the ripcord and bailed on the interview rather than drinking a glass of what he claimed was a harmless chemical. Wish the next person to say "CO2 is a harmless gas" is offered the chance to stand in a phone booth box filled with CO2. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Here's the thing, Sen. Cruz, Galileo actually had his new, confirmable observations under his belt. What you're forgetting is "the climate isn't changing" was the older interpretation and the "climate change" science is the new, confirmable observations. Also, we've already called you a Flat-Earther, it's whomever gets to the punch line first. You might have missed that part of the yearly talking notes briefings.

Back when people were freaking about what we could do to secure our airlines and there was all this push to secure the cockpit and give pilots weapons some voices said it was a bad idea, because we saw what might really happen. We really fucking hate to be right. The co-pilot may have died, it may have been intentional (it's now been surmised that it was intentional), but because the door was fortified and locked, the other pilot had no chance to save them (there's an override, which can be overridden from the cockpit). Can we maybe rethink the other "safety" measures before someone realizes that those pilots and air marshals are bringing weapons that can be used to hijack flights.

"Bill O'Reilly bemoaned the state of journalism on his show Tuesday night, telling his guest that when inaccurate reporting is left unchallenged, it 'hurts the country.'" Wow, that's meta. Sometimes you have to marvel at the distance Fox News host hold reality. It's like they're going for a world's record for "divorced from reality", or maybe the Olympic Event, the 100 meter Denial.


Eric said...

Heck, I don't understand how buying an e-book and running it through Clear Reader is any different from me buying a physical book and using the pages as toilet paper. Is that a violation of the author's "moral rights," that I'm using his book to wipe my ass?

If I ever finish and sell anything and someone wants to run it through a profanity-cleansing app, power to them: I have my cut and the book is theirs to do whatever they want with it short of illegally duplication and distribution in violation of my copyright. Run the e-version through Clear Reader. Glue the pages of the physical copy together, cut a hole out of the middle, and use it to smuggle a file into the county jail. It'd be nice if they read what I wrote and liked it, but why should I really care?

I really don't get the writerly outrage in some quarters.

I don't always agree with Doctorow, but he's full of good common sense on this one.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Eric, I'm sure it's more along the lines of "but they're changing my words?!" Not so much of an issue when it's performed on the existing book, again, unlike the video service which would have to recut and repress the video (which would violate copyright by creating a derivative work. Since this program runs on the e-reader and changes the word of the officially licensed book, I'm not sure this could be seen as a violation. It's the electronic version of crossing out words and making notes in the margins.