October 17, 2014

Phone Phollies

The main function of my phone (HTC Droid DNA) is to solve the "I've fallen and I can't get up!" problem. (And the "I've had another stroke" problem.) I'm proud to say that since my stroke I haven't lost my balance enough to fall, not even once. But I've come close a couple of times, and it's a genuine fear, especially as I'm gradually losing control over my left leg. So I keep my phone with me as I move around the apartment, to make sure that when something bad happens, then if I'm seriously hurt I can call for help. It's always within arm's reach. (Even in bed -- my stroke happened while I was asleep and another one could do the same.)

The only apps on the phone I use are the timer app (when I'm cooking) and Accuweather, neither of which are particularly power hungry. Accuweather is only supposed to phone home when I invoke it, for instance, and when it does it doesn't actually say much. The phone has a healthy battery, and I'm used to having it go from 100% charged to about 90% in one day.

Starting a couple of weeks ago, it began to drop a lot more than that. The phone is nearly two years old and maybe the battery is losing the ability to hold a charge? Well, that wouldn't change so radically so fast. So I looked at the power consumption tracking info frames, and it showed my wifi being a big power consumer, and wifi running when the phone was off. Oh, dear; have I become infected with an Android virus? Am I now part of a botnet?

Yesterday I found out the real answer: the phone popped up and said, "I've downloaded a patch; wanna install it?" I let it, so now I'm up to date, and now the power consumption is back to what I'm used to.

This is the fourth patch since I got the phone, and the other three times it asked permission before downloading, which happened immediately and only took about 20 minutes. (Then it asked permission to install, which took maybe ten more minutes.) I'm not sure why it did the download surreptitiously this time.

So now I'm running Android 4.4.2 and the latest HTC stuff, maybe. I'm grateful that Verizon is still putting out patches for my phone because I read somewhere that Verizon doesn't sell HTC phones any more. Kind of a shame.

UPDATE: I just looked at Verizon's web page, and I'm wrong. They are still selling HTC phones. What I read was that all "Droid" phones are now Motorola, and I overinterpreted that. (And anyway, Motorola Mobility, the phone group, now belongs to Google.)

So what distinguishes a "Droid" from any other kind of phone?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:19 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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Amagi Brilliant Park -- ep 3



This ep didn't have the same magic as the first episode did, especially given I watched it right after Twintails ep 2, which was full of happy silliness.

But I guess that's inevitable. The story is about being terrible and then rising to become great, and once it becomes great the story is over. We're only a quarter way into the story, so we're still in the "terrible" part.

Our Hero closed the park for a day for cleaning and painting, and now he's trying to get more customers into the place. One way is cheesecake, even though this is primarily a children's attraction. Another way is Moffle, which was interesting.

This wasn't enough to make me lose interest in the show, but I wouldn't be surprised if it has that effect on some other people.

UPDATE: Comparing Twintails in my mind to Amagi, I think the problem is that Amagi feels forced. Twintails is flowing smoothly and everything that happens, including the silliness, feels believable. Amagi feels like there's sand in the gears. There's a story but it isn't really being told well; it isn't unfolding organically.

Part of the reason is that Twintails has embraced the Rule of Funny: Anything is permitted as long as it makes you laugh. Ultimately Amagi isn't really a comedy, so they can't do that. (I would say it will turn out to be a coming-of-age story.) So Twintails can get away with an Alien fondling a statuette of Tail Red in a nurse uniform.


It makes no sense, but it gets a giggle, and that's enough. Amagi has to put its story together in a way that really does make sense, and so far they're only succeeding about 75%.

UPDATE: Another difference: I like all the main characters in Twintails. But there isn't really any sympathetic character in Amagi. In particular, I like the lead in Twintails. Yeah, he has a strange (but ultimately harmless) fetish but he's actually a pretty nice guy. The lead in Amagi is an arrogant bastard and I keep hoping he'll get taken down a notch. Isuzu is cold, Moffle is ugly and violent, and there isn't really anyone there that I like.

UPDATE: When I see a girl in a bikini, I don't want her to look terrified or uncomfortable. That's how you get cheesecake wrong.


This is the only one they got right. The other five all look like they think they're about to be raped.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 01:48 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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Twintail -- ep 2

The craziness doesn't let up and the energy doesn't, either. This is a plot exposition episode, but they manage to keep it from getting dull by sprinkling a lot of silliness in the middle of it all.

Toaru explains some things about what's going on but is rather reticent about other things, and Aika gets mad:


The caption for this was, "Answer seriously or your elbow's range of motion will double!" So her answer to "Why did Souji become a girl in the transformation?" was "I like girls!"

Souji's mother eavesdrops on the whole thing, and it turns out that both she and Souji's deceased father had aspirations to become superheroes, but never were able. Learning that her son has that ability, Mom is entirely in favor. She also grants Toaru permission to build a secret base under their house, which takes just one night. (Shades of Keroro Gunsou!)

Up in space, the alien boss orders his lieutenants to come up with ways to defeat Tail Red, and their answers are a sequence of fetishes:




They compete to see which lieutenant will be the next to challenge Tail Red.

Souji and Aika go to school the next day, and it seems that pictures of Tail Red are everywhere, and she's become the meme of the day.


The student body president calls an assembly, and announces her love for Tail Red.


Toaru has implemented an activation code for the bracelet: "Tail On!" The aliens are attacking a school in the next town, and Souji activates Tail Red:




Turtle Guildy attacks:


He lasts about five seconds; Tail Red kills him with a single blow. That's not the problem, though.



Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 01:02 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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October 16, 2014

Erza Bunny-chan


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The Cat in the Hat comes back

How many of you remember the kid's book The Cat in the Hat comes back?

The Cat takes an unauthorized bath and leaves behind a pink bath tub ring. All attempts to clean it simply spread it around, until the entire house is contaminated and all the snow outside has turned pink. The Cat keeps deploying additional smaller cats to help, only they just make things worse. Finally, the 26th and last (and smallest) assistant pulls a deus ex machina out of his hat which goes FLASH and all the pink is gone.

As I read about how various health authorities, particularly the CDC, have been botching the Ebola pre-outbreak in the US, it feels like the Cat's pink. It just keeps spreading, and everything it touches becomes contaminated.

Which is really bad news, of course; we may have already missed our chance to keep it confined to a bathtub, or even to a single neighborhood.

The sheer incompetence on display is disillusioning. It seems like the Centers for Disease Control no longer know how to control noxious diseases -- or care. They'd rather spend their time worrying about things like obesity and gun control, which may or may not be important but which emphatically are not diseases.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 04:10 AM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
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October 15, 2014



This is Safeway's house brand of mozarella sticks. They're really good, too; 7 minutes in a 450 degree oven, and they're great!

But I like the name. Not too many house brands (or any other product, really) are willing to pun like this.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:27 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Fairy Tail -- Victory party!



Even Asuka gets to dress up.

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October 14, 2014

Interesting symmetries

A federal judge struck down the Texas voter ID law. (She was just overridden by the 5th Circuit.) One sentence she wrote:

In her ruling last week, Gonzales Ramos, an appointee of President Barack Obama, called the law an "unconstitutional burden on the right to vote."

I find it interesting that the majority of people who oppose voter ID laws are in turn in favor of imposing as many (unconstitutional?) burdens as possible on the constitutional right to own firearms.

It's also been amusing to watch opponents of gun rights and opponents of abortion rights (politically generally diametrically opposite) taking their tactics out of the same chapter and book. I even wonder whether they're learning from each other.

UPDATE: Please note that I am not implying any moral equivalence.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 04:25 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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'Tentacle Robots' Designed For Space Exploration, Clemson University Researchers Say

"'Tentacle Robots' Designed For Space Exploration, Clemson University Researchers Say".

Nobody tell the Japanese!!!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 10:09 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 12, 2014

Chooser version 52

Added 119 grabs from Super Sonico. Total is now 3994.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Site Stuff at 08:05 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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