acroyear: (bad day coyote)
Left this on a comment at another blog, but it basically repeats something I wrote on FB when it happened:

I’ve got all of the Looney Tunes golden collections (then hunted on youtube the rest until they get officially released), though from there I ripped them all into individual ones I can shuffle so it is more like what Saturday Morning (when the BB-RR Show was 90 minutes long) was like when I was a kid. Thus, I’m already selective of which ones I’ll include, leaving most of the black-and-whites and some of the Tex Avery’s and Bob Clampett’s out.

One thing that bothered me is their repeat of gags that really just weren’t funny. It isn’t just that they were wrong (though they were), it is that they weren’t funny. Especially when they were totally out of theme of the rest of the material.

Case in point, a bit totally not in the original book of Dr. Seuss’s Horton Hatches the Egg, that Clampett added to the 1942 cartoon – at one point as the boat crosses the ocean to take him to the circus, a fish sees it, goes “now I’ve seen everything”, and quickly pulls out a revolver from nowhere and blows his head off. I’d forgotten it was there, as it had been cut from syndicated versions since the late 80s so Cartoon Network’s broadcasts never had it.

And it all happened faster than I could react to stopping it before my 3 year old daughter basically saw her first on-screen suicide (her first on-screen death was the dinosaurs in Fantasia, but I was there to talk her through that *before* it happened, making it clear that not all dinosaurs are nice like Buddy and Mr. Conductor ;-) ). The most I could do was repeat “it’s not funny” a few times and then start talking about the plot as it took over from there, because it’s true. It isn’t funny.

It is a gag that the Termite Terrace used at least a dozen times in those early years, and it has never been funny. I honestly have no idea why they thought it was funny enough to keep repeating over and over, and worse still, stick it into a Dr. Seuss work where it absolutely didn’t belong.

No wonder (besides the war and a few other projects) it would be more than two decades before Seuss was willing to let someone animate his work again.

In any case, not every aspect of the Termite Terrace years is bad because of stereotyped racism, or overt sexuality. Silly gun violence is one thing, but un-funny suicides are something different and deserve just as much a warning as the rest.
acroyear: (goof)
So what did I do at Dragon*Con 2014? hmm...

lets see what I remember... )

so, 3 panels, 1 photoshoot, about 3 hours just costume-watching in the marriott, 2 hours costume-watching in the Americas Mart 1, 1 hour in line at starbucks (spread over 2 days), and 7 autographs plus 2 pictures. less than some do, more than others. for having to watch a 3 year old in all that, not too bad. Everything on my "checklist" was achieved (except perhaps meeting Koenig, but he had a long line when he was in the Walk), and that is enough.
acroyear: (don't let the)
A touch over a year ago I ranted about how prismnet had sold off the domain 'io.com' (my original isp) and wouldn't say who they sold it to, having me worried about the idea that spammers had bought it in order to re-open customers email accounts (like my acroyear at io.com) in order to collect personal information and create either unwanted direct marketing spam or worse, identity theft.

It turns out all is well.  io.com is owned by I/O Data Centers LLC (official domain, http://www.iodatacenters.com/ ), and they're legit.  

a new scam

Jun. 28th, 2012 05:24 pm
acroyear: (don't go there)
oh here's a new scam. my livejournal email address just got an email, from (allegedly) Adobe (software@adobe.com), with the following,

"Order Notification.

Thank you for buying Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium software.
Your Adobe License key is in attached document below.

Adobe Systems Incorporated."

zip file attached. I, of course, did not actually order such software.

tempting...

Mar. 5th, 2012 01:47 pm
acroyear: (decisions...)
after way the hell too many years, the account name I originally wanted (just acroyear, no 70) has finally been purged as having 0 friends, 0 posts, 0 watchers, 0 user pics, and 0 interest from whomever had it for so long.

now, with the great drop in LJ usage thanks to FB (and life in general), i'm not even sure I want it anymore...
acroyear: (disney toad)
I did realize something interesting about Jobs's passing that few have commented on.  Most are concerned about how the loss affects Apple stock.  Few have actually asked how the loss will affect Disney stock.  The #1 stockholder has passed on, his stocks still sitting in his own account.  That stock will have to be distributed to his wife and children (and any others), subject to the terms of any will he might have had (given that he's known this might happen any second now for years, I'm sure he kept it up to date).

Not all the recipients will likely want to keep the stock, but will just sell, take the cash, pay the tax bill, and move on.

It is likely, then, that a massive ton of Disney stock is about to go on sale that somebody will have to buy.  If Iger is smart, he'll have the company buy it back in order to have a better pool to distribute to employees, but I'm not sure (with ABC's lackluster performance this year, albeit on part with the rest of the major networks) that he can really talk the board into that large a cash payout. In any case, the large supply will drop the price pretty drastically for a few weeks until things sort themselves out.  Only if Iger acts quickly (by offering a price above the market price) can he avoid having the price drop to the point that it inspires a larger sell-off.

on gadgets

Aug. 25th, 2011 06:02 pm
acroyear: (foxtrot saving time)
Technology Devices Either Sell Big or Die Fast - NYTimes.com:
These days, big technology companies — particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.

When Microsoft released the Xbox 360 in 2005, there were widespread reliability issues and the console faced serious competition from the Nintendo Wii, yet the company stayed the course, and now the Xbox is one of the best-selling video game consoles of all time. That kind of tenacity seems to be in diminishing supply.

Some analysts trace the origin of this blockbuster-or-bust mentality to Apple. Each release of the company’s popular iPads and iPhones crosses over into being a mainstream media event
acroyear: (don't let the)
Nym Wars | jwz:
When the rebuttal to your argument is The Federalist Papers, generally that means that you've lost the argument.
-- JWZ on Google's insistence on forcing everybody to use real names.
acroyear: (I'm being serious)
Apple Has More Cash Than U.S. Treasury | The Onion - America's Finest News Source | American Voices:
Well, the user experience in this country is just terrible.

Lou Gajda
Cable Splicer

Great, so why don't we sell them a couple of aircraft carriers and we'll be back in black.

Sonya Howland
Film Flat Inspector

This is why I took all my money out of U.S. currency and put it into safe, stable iTunes gift cards.

Philip Keeton
Yeast-Culture Developer
acroyear: (foxtrot IT rant)
Google's gormless 'no pseudonym' policy | GrrlScientist | Science | guardian.co.uk:
It might surprise the white men employed by Google to learn that people use pseudonyms for a variety of legitimate reasons -- reasons that may not be mutually exclusive. They may be trying to evade a stalker or harasser; they might wish to keep their social life separate from their professional life; they may be seeking help about a medical condition that they wish to keep private; they might be a political activist or dissident, or they may have lost a job because they write a blog, for example. Perhaps they've used a pseudonym throughout most of their lives and are not well known by their real life name; they might use a pseudonym to distinguish themselves from the other two dozen people sharing the same name and city; or maybe their real name is too long, unpronounceable for most English-speakers or doesn't use Latinised letters. Or maybe they just plain hate their real name. I am sure there are plenty of other non-criminal reasons for using a pseudonym that I've not mentioned here, but regardless of the reason(s), these are personal.
GrrlScientist was one of those who did lose access to their entire Google profile (gmail and all) because of the pseudonym issue in Google+.
acroyear: (yeah whatever)
Google+ Growing As a Social Backbone - Slashdot:
Why is Google+ growing so quickly?
Because everybody on G+ only had to push one button to become a G+ user because they were already on Google in the first place. If you had gmail, google reader, picasa, google calendar, google documents, any google group, you were already in the unified system.  People don't have to "join" google the way they had to join facebook because they were already there.

If anything, G+ adoption is probably slower than it could have been.

on Google+

Jul. 8th, 2011 12:09 pm
acroyear: (foxtrot saving time)
The good, the bad, and the ugly of Google Plus - O'Reilly Radar:
In general, the UI makes it hard to find the stuff I care about. What do I care about? I want to see new things from my friends, I want to see replies to things I've written, I want to monitor comment threads I'm a part of, I want to see the stuff my friends like, and I don't want to see the same stuff again and again. The Google Plus UI mushes all these into a few overlapping streams such that I see the same threads again and again yet can't find the categories of things I do care about. I think they hope that machine learning will promote relevant items to the top, but the results so far do not make me confident that they can deliver a useful service on this approach. My experience is one of noisy irrelevance.

Currently, Facebook and Twitter both offer a more functional user interface to social activity.
but earlier the author wrote this caveat about security within your "circles"

The good, the bad, and the ugly of Google Plus - O'Reilly Radar:
The problems arose when I started to use the circles. If I post something to a circle (e.g., kid pictures to "Family"), someone can reshare that outside the original circle with two clicks. There has, of course, been considerable debate about whether this is a good thing (after all, some say, they could just copy and paste the picture anyway), but I come down firmly against it. If I'm using circles for privacy, I don't want items to be reshared. Just being able to see my photo doesn't make you the administrator of it.
It should be said that facebook *kinda* has this problem but generally the original photo can be locked down so that though the person shared it, it *supposedly* can't be seen by any who couldn't see it in the original security model. I have, however, never tested that feature to see if it really works.
acroyear: (don't let the)
Open source personal health record: no need to open Google Health - O'Reilly Radar:
Predictably, free software advocates say, "make Google Health open source!" This also misses the point. The unique attributes of cloud computing were covered in a series of articles I put up a few months ago. As I explain there, the source code for services such as Google Health is not that important. The key characteristic that makes Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault appealing is...that they are run by Google and Microsoft. Those companies were banking on the trust that the public has for large, well-endowed institutions to maintain a service. And Google's decision to shutter its Health service (quite reasonable because of its slow take-off) illustrates the weakness of such cloud services.
I'm inclined to agree. What *should* be opensource is any library that is used to access a cloud system (which Google does for almost everything), particularly if there are security elements because more eyeballs looking at security source code improves it rather than makes it more vulnerable (an attitude Microsoft continues to fight, and lose as more and more viruses attack their software while other more open works prove more resilient).

But the client library is useless without the server, and if nobody will host the server, then there's no point.

QotD

Jun. 27th, 2011 12:27 pm
acroyear: (Default)
Four short links: 27 June 2011 - O'Reilly Radar:
Nonetheless, Facebook has become the new millennium's AOL: keywords, grandparents, and a zealous devotion to advertising. At least Facebook doesn't send me #&#^%*ing CDs.
acroyear: (don't go there)
Mike the Mad Biologist reaches the same conclusion I did about the "feature" that allows a concert venue to shut down your camera when it gets the infrared blip -

How a Future Feature of the iPhone Gives Civil Libertarians an Incentive to Unlock It : Mike the Mad Biologist:
But wait, Mad Biologist, this is just about the illegal recording of private events, isn't it?

Well, how long do you think it will be before your friendly local government decides to buy some of these things and flash them around political demonstrations? Maybe add some extra 'functionality' too, like shutting down the phone entirely or Teh Twitterz.
Or maybe cops might carry a device like this in their car and trigger it when they decide to pull someone over so their possibly illegal actions can't be recorded?
acroyear: (fof not quite right)
State of Alaska Prints Out Palin's E-Mails; Online Distribution 'Impractical' - Slashdot:
"Three years after numerous citizens and news organizations requested the release of Sarah Palin's gubernatorial e-mails, the State of Alaska is finally making ready to make them available. In print. In Juneau. News organizations must fly or sail to Juneau and pick up the 24,000 page disclosure in person. The state claims it impractical to release the original electronic versions of the e-mails, so the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times, Mother Jones, ProPublica and MSNBC each plan to turn some or all of the printouts back into searchable, easily distributed electronic data. Thanks, Alaska."
"Impractical"? So you can't throw 'em up on a FTP site.  Fine.

1) that's what bittorrent was made for, and here's a legitimate use-case.

2) Anybody ever consider sneakernet?  (e.g., bits on plastic?)

No matter how big they are, there's no reason they can't just fit on a couple of dvd-roms or an 8gig flash drive. If she actually has more than 8 gig of email, I'll be stunned.
acroyear: (don't let the)
So PrismNet has said it sold off the io.com domain and won't tell us to whom.  Doesn't seem like much, right?

Except it is.  It is a huge deal.  And not just for those who currently have io.com email addresses.

Back in the golden age of a zillion ISPs, you didn't buy your own domain.  You hosted on someone else's.  Your account was YOURNAME@ispdomain.com, and your website was often www.ispdomain.com/~YOURNAME.  This was true for io.com, for erols.com, and continues to be true as a service offered by a number of cable and phone companies, as well as a handful of 90s-era ISPs still out there.

Prismnet acquired io.com (originally owned by Steve Jackson, as Illuminati Online, a spin-off of the BBS that the secret service tried to kill in 1990) sometime in the mid 2000s.  Out of my loyalty to SJ, io.com was my first hosting company, and I quite liked how they ran it.  When Prismnet came along, they (unlike A Small Orange's acquisition of Drak) changed the pricing structures to things that were horribly out of whack with industry practices.  I'd have paid my "lifetime" drak price and only gotten about 2 years, with fewer services and less support.  Needlesstosay, prismnet had to go.

BUT that meant going through every single place out there that was legitimately sending me email and changing my email addresses.  That took time.  And I know I didn't get them all.  I know that plenty of them ignore the email change and continued to send to the old one long after I'd said I'd changed it.  I also know that plenty of spam services out there have that ancient email, thanks to how public I was with it back in the 90s, particularly in usenet (AFR).

Spam messages tell someone a lot more than just that I'm a guy named Joe who doesn't need viagra.  If your email address is sold (perhaps in violation of terms of service, but there you go), it is often sold with other marketing information about your interests, and even perhaps your name and things you've bought from the company that sold you out.  The address might also be linkable to other online services and eventually connect to your real address (whois is horrible for this).

While Prismnet was still the owner of io.com, I could trust that they were a legitimate business that would be taking all email messages still floating out there going to acroyear at io.com and routing them into the /dev/null bitbucket.  Good riddance.

Except that's no longer the case.  acroyear at io.com is no longer trustworthy.  The new owners of io.com could configure their email systems to capture all io.com email traffic intended for current and former io.com customers, and perhaps some very personal information being sent by someone who didn't get the memo that your address changed (acroyear at io.com is still in plenty of address books out there I'm sure...).  Rather than route it to null, they could be capturing that and selling it to other servers that will use that to connect your old address to your new one and put you in touch with a whole new level of spam hell you never thought possible. 

The fact that Prismnet won't tell us who bought it is extremely troubling to me.

For the current customers still living on io.com addresses, its even more troubling to them: they now have less than 3 weeks to get everybody they know to change the email on file.  Most probably won't get to them all until its too late and this new company gets serious, and *current*, private information about them.

And the trouble is that this is true for any domain that goes into the "available" bucket - a piece of what was once your identity is now no longer in your control, or in the control of a company you trust.  This is a BIG deal...

[update] - I actually described a related problem with the resale of domains and addresses over 2 years ago.
acroyear: (claws for alarm)
You should, as soon as possible, go to the registrar service for that domain and verify that your email address on file is up to date and correct (and for that matter, verify that you can log into their service at all).  If you can, get a generic never-expires gmail (or yahoo or hotmail or whatever) account that's not in any way attached to a domain that could expire if you or someone forgets to renew it or the service it is on (since gmail is free, it'll live as long as google does).

I had 2 expire today because while drak did transfer 2 domains to asmallorange, 2 others that were done through "domains by proxy" in order to have their whois information kept more private (these were to have been my more significant front domains, aboutjws.info and javaclientcookbook.net, so i wanted anti-spam safeties on them) were transferred to domainspricedright.com as the registrar (fortunately, domains by proxy at least could tell me THAT much - they couldn't tell me much more because they wanted the credit card number (last 4 digits) that was on file and damned if I knew what it was).

I got lucky.  REAL lucky.

I had to go to the closet, pull out my old desktop, open the case and yank out the hard drive, get an old IDE-> enclosure, plug it in, go hunting for my Local Folders cache of all of my email from 2005-2008 (fortunately it was all still there), copy that and tweak the file folder structure so thunderbird would recognize and import it, then I was able to search to find the drak account # at the time.

the lucky bit?  that same account number transferred to domainspricedright as-is, so i was able to get in with one of my "traditional" obscure passwords.  pay the renewal, update the contact info, update the dns, and we're mostly all better now.

all this hassle because the only email address that transferred to anybody was the ancient long-dead acroyear@io.com.

grr...

also, can someone tell me why my fingers absolutely refuse to type the second 'r' in transfered?  I've typed that word about 20 times today (on different keyboards) and my brain just refuses to think it needs 2 'r's in it.
acroyear: (I'm being serious)
but it is hilarious...

grokked from jwz
acroyear: (woke me up)
Buttered Cat Array:
When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet. And when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.

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