Sometimes I want to build a new computer just because I want something new and shiny. But my current computer is more than adequate for everything I do. I hate that consumer culture has its hooks in me despite the fact that I'm constantly aware of it and know how awful it is.

Dave boosted

Delete Chrome. Now.

Google is using its exceptionally powerful position to make *the browser itself* analyze your browsing behavior and serve that on a plate in the form of "cohorts" to anyone interested.

They are transforming Chrome into a "browsing-history-passport" - right now.

If you care about your intellectual freedom even a little bit, you must put Chrome out of your life as soon as possible. Support others doing the same.

eff.org/deeplinks/2021/03/goog

#DeleteChrome

I took a small pay cut because I was tired of working all day to make other people more money, and I wanted to work on something remotely important.

So now I work in an academic lab, writing code for computerized tests that help to identify early warning signs of schizophrenia, especially in children. And that part's great.

The part that isn't great is that a lot of academics are almost astoundingly tech unsavvy and think software is just this magical thing that materializes in two weeks, regardless of scope or complexity, so every week I have to explain that writing good, secure software takes time, and that "here's a prototype" doesn't mean "here's a completed piece of software ready for end-users." Sigh.

I've been trying to give back to the StackOverflow community by answering questions, since the site helps me out on a basically daily basis...

...and it kinda sucks. You get instantly downvoted for correcting people who have a misunderstanding of something (no, actually, JavaScript does *not* throw errors when you attempt to access non-existent properties of objects), or people want to quibble with you over stupid shit (fine, use lambdas for everything in C++ and never declare a normal function again; I don't care).

On the upside, reading so many other people's code has made me realize that I don't give myself nearly enough credit as a developer.

Dave boosted

My girlfriend decided to watch Prometheus and Alien: Covenant earlier, so I joined her. I can't figure out what the point of either film is.

They aren't really horror films, past the now-tired body horror of aliens bursting through humans at various angles.

They aren't really action films past a few scenes here and there.

They aren't really sci-fi films that offer any kind of meaningfully deep backstory to the original Alien.

Prometheus felt like two hours' worth of random scenes chopped out of a four-hour movie and spliced together. It was incredibly disjointed; plot points, character decisions, and "major reveals" materialized out of nowhere.

Alien: Covenant spent 40 minutes building up a setting, goal, and developing characters; it then suddenly threw it all out the window to become a story about two androids.

Am I insane, or were both of these movies kind of bad? Fun, at times, but bad.

Dave boosted

wish we could somehow manipulate crypto somehow to overthrow capitalism

I found the source code for a faithfully emulated SNES APU/DSP, and managed to

1.) get it to load SNES audio dumps and make them play,

2.) resample them so that they play at the correct pitch and tempo,

3.) add simple volume control.

Next up is ripping the compressed samples out and getting them to play at designated pitches. Once that's done, I'll have the core of what I need.

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I've been playing a lot of Super Mario World ROM hacks recently, and was, naturally, thinking about making one of my own, mostly so I could write music for it.

So I started researching how people do custom music for SNES ROM hacks, and it turns out that the process is *horrid*. People are basically typing hex code into a text file, using a script to insert it into a ROM, and then opening the ROM in an emulator and listening to the music. Every time they make a change, they have to go through this process.

The developer in me got pissed, and all of a sudden I'm neck-deep in research about how the SNES audio processing unit and digital signal processor work so that I can create a digital audio workstation-like software to let people write authentic SNES music in a sane manner.

Spoilers for the film "Backtrack" 

Today I watched "Backtrack," a film in which Adrian Brody does his damnedest as a psychologist who discovers that all of his patients are ghosts.

Once he discovers this, he spends the next hour getting jump-scared and screamed at by them for some reason, and then his dad turns out to be a rapist and murderer and gets run over by a train. Then the ghosts go away, I guess.

How were the ghosts paying him?

NOPE. THAT NEVER HAPPENS. There's just "the rich planet" and "the poor planet" and that's as deep as it goes. Both planets refer to the rich planet as "the upper planet," and its citizens as "uppers." Like...BOTH PLANETS ARE THE UPPER PLANET IF YOU'RE STANDING ON THE OTHER ONE. NOBODY EVER SAYS THIS.

Oh, also, if you try to go to the other planet, the cops there just shoot you. Wanna know why? Me, too. I would also like to know why.

Anyway, it's like 90 minutes of Romeo and Juliet bullshit between Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst and nothing actually interesting comes out of the world they established. Awful. Beautiful film, though.

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I also watched "Upside Down," a visually stunning movie in which Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst live on opposite ends of a dual-planet system in which matter on one planet is unaffected by the gravitational pull of the other. Okay, fine. I'll accept this.

So one of the planets is more capitalist than the other, and their version of the Shinra Electric Power Company steals the other planet's resources, powers their planet, and sells power back to the poor planet at a premium. Okay, cool. Lots of potential for exploring a class-based struggle here.

Nicole Kidman fell in love with "the other guy" pretending to be "the main guy," and, so, I guess he got jealous of...himself?...and went into another violent rampage.

Oh also her son's still alive and at the end she remembers a little bit about him. But I guess the real takeaway from the movie is that if you have a horrible condition in which you can't form any new memories and are, thus, functionally unable to be self-sufficient, when you disappear off the face of the Earth for four years, not a single one of your acquaintances will be like, "Hey, I wonder where that person went? I should probably check up on them, given that they have a pretty severe condition. It can wait until tomorrow, though, I guess."

The end.

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Like five minutes in, the psychiatrist is like, "Oh, no, you didn't have an accident. You were beaten almost to death." So you, as the viewer, naturally, think, "Oh, shit, either that's not her husband, or her husband's lying."

So then nothing happens for like an hour, and Nicole Kidman's friend is like, "Hey, that's not your husband." Wow. Just. What a revelation. I guess he tried to kill Nicole Kidman because he was "the other guy" and he wanted to be "the main guy" but Nicole was happy with their current arrangement.

Instead of getting over it, "the other guy" like...bided his time and got really good at Photoshop, I guess? And then when Nicole Kidman and "the main guy" separated, "the other guy" swept in and assumed his identity.

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Today I watched "Before I Go to Sleep," a psychological thriller in which a 40-year-old Nicole Kidman, as a result of suffering a traumatic brain injury 14 years prior, wakes up every morning thinking she's still in her mid-20s. Her memories only last until she goes to sleep.

Every morning when she wakes up, her husband has to explain to her, "Hey, we've been married for a long time. You had an accident and can't remember stuff. You can read a book if you want; I'm gonna go to work." A psychiatrist happens upon her by chance, and has her start video-recording her memories at the end of each day. But she has to keep the whole thing secret from her husband. Because reasons.

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By far the worst movie was "Apartment 1303," an English-language remake of a Japanese horror movie of the same name. Here's the plot:

1. Mischa Barton's sister moves into a crummy apartment.
2. The apartment immediately says, "Hi, I'm extremely haunted."
3. The creepy neighbor girl says, "Hey, that apartment isn't lying; it's insanely haunted and you should leave."
4. Mischa Barton's sister doesn't leave.
5. The apartment kills her.
6. Mischa Barton says, "I guess I'll move in, then."
7. The apartment kills everyone else in the movie except Mischa Barton.
8. Mischa Barton goes to jail because the apartment FRAMED HER FOR MURDER(S).
9. The end.

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So YouTube's got this channel called, suitably, "YouTube Movies," on which they offer a huge number of movies that are "free with ads," or, in the case of anyone sporting an ad-blocker, just "free." A lot of them are...really bad. I adore terrible movies. I will tell you about some of them.

Biden won the US presidential election. As a socialist, I don't like Biden, but I'll acquiesce that he's better than Donald Trump.

But it was really nice to see all the people around me happy about something for the first time in seven months. We celebrated with socially distanced pizza, beer, and cookies outside, and it was nice.

Faux-Trumpspeak 

SEXIST Steve Kornacki on failing MSNBC is always talking about ILLEGAL Male Ballots but never mentions the beautiful (and perfectly legal!) Female Ballots. SAD!

"All men have an emotion to kill; when they strongly dislike some one they involuntarily wish he was dead. I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction." -- Clarence Darrow, often paraphrased and erroneously attributed to Mark Twain.

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