November 24, 2014

This was not well conceived...

Security robots:

"If you step in front of the K5, or otherwise interfere with it, it will gently warn you with some chimes— but if you don't move, an 'ear-piercing alarm' is triggered," the report notes.

Unless, of course, you need help. If you find yourself in harm's way, you can press a button at the top of the K5, and it will summon help from headquarters.

So if you're laying on the ground with a broken leg, and have the misfortune to be in the robot's way, you get treated to non-stop "ear-piercing alarm" which can only be stopped by standing up on your broken leg to reach the button on the top of the 5-foot-tall security robot.

Who designed this?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 11:03 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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How did they do that?

Just now I downloaded the 8th episode of Nanatsu no Taizai, as subbed by someone called "FedSubs".

It was ostensibly a 720p sub, but when I ran it, it went fullscreen and disabled all the controls on MPC. Mouse clicks (right or left) did nothing, and it didn't obey any keyboard commands. I used CTL-ALT-DEL to try to bring up the task manager, which should be absolutely on top of everything, but the playback was in front of that. The only thing I could do was choose "log out" from the CTL-ALT-DEL popup.

What in hell did they do? I deleted the file and won't be doing any more experimenting with it, nor anything else from that circle.

UPDATE: Shortly thereafter, I tried watching the first episode of Divergence Eve and it did the same thing. So I concluded something had gone wrong with my copy of MPC, and I upgraded to the most recent version.

I apologize to FedSubs for doubting them. I don't think their file had anything to do with it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 05:17 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 18, 2014

The Omniscence of Wikipedia

I had a strange memory come back to me a couple of day ago, a very old memory. Near here there's a shopping mall, and I remembered that before it was built, the land it was on was a grass airport. I wasn't sure if this was a real memory or a dream, and I was considering posting a question to ask.metafilter.com to see. But for the heck of it I tried Wikipedia first.

And, by gum, it was in there: Bernard's Airport. It was closed in 1969, much later than I had expected. (That was when I was a sophomore in high school; I had thought my memory was from much earlier.

That location is now pretty well surrounded by Beaverton, but when it was originally built it was all country. If you zoomed this picture out a long way, the Tektronix main campus would be on the left.

Does Wikipedia know everything? It seems strange that someone went to the trouble to write an article about such an obscure place.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 07:40 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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November 16, 2014

Nihilistic solutions

I'm thinking of starting a new business. It would be called "Endangered Species Solutions". Our motto: They can't be endangered if they're extinct!

See, the way it works: when some damned environmentalist manages to fuck you over completely by getting some obscure species declared "endangered", you come to us and we take care of it for you.

For example: having your irrigation water taken away from you for the benefit of the Delta Smelt? Pay us, and in the dead of night we'll dump 1000 pounds of potassium cyanide into the Sacramento river and kill them all. Once they're extinct, they can't be endangered any longer and now you can go to court and force the government to release your irrigation water.

Or the Gunnison Sage Grouse? We provide you with a group of hunters equipped with IR night vision goggles to go on a grand multi-week hunt to eliminate the problem. With extreme prejudice.

And we're really good at dealing with Spotted Owls! Just try us!

We'll incorporated in Antigua, and only accept cash transfers. Our customers will never know who we are!

Anyone care to invest? I've got $4.95 seed money so far...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 03:58 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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November 11, 2014

Looks like I'm not the only one

Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks that Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko looks like a duck. Tomorrow, Rosetta's lander is going to try to set down on the thing.

/images/07493.jpg
A fake-but-accurate image of the comet

One of the captions in this article says, "Target site Agilkia, chosen for offering the biggest scientific returns at the lowest risk, lies on the 'head' of the duck and covers 1 square kilometre."

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 07:52 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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How do you do this?

How the hell do you do this without the gun exploding in your face?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in linky at 06:48 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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November 08, 2014

Where's my garlic?

Am I the only one who thinks that Kim Kardashian looks like a vampire?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 10:23 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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November 04, 2014

I must confess...

...I'm doing a lot of grinning tonight. I further confess that some of that is schadenfreude.

When's the last time you heard anyone talking about the "emerging permanent Democratic Majority"? (Probably about as long ago as the last time you heard mention of "peak oil".)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 09:43 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Today's word

Today's word seems to be "psephologist". The dictionary defines it as "a person who studies elections" and it's frankly astounding that anyone decided such a word was needed.

Anyway, I've been seeing it all over the place.

UPDATE: I sure hope Pixy has the afternoon off. I can't connect to Ace, and I suspect it's going to have problems all evening (afternoon Wednesday, Pixy's time) due to traffic load.

UPDATE: OK, I just reached it. And there's a note on the page asking people to lay off, because of server overload.

UPDATE: I'm not going to be doing a lot of updates as the counting goes on, but I thought it was noteworthy that Fox has declared that the Republicans have picked up 5 of the 6 seats they need to control the Senate, so far, with others still in contention.

Interesting, but not surprising, that they're being more aggressive about calling contests for the Republicans. Sites like WaPo are hoping aginst hope for a miracle and waiting as long as they can before giving in to the inevitable.

UPDATE: Ace of Spades Decision Desk says the Republicans have pulled it out, and will control the Senate. If they're right, that's a really big deal.

UPDATE: I think they're hallucinating. They called Iowa for the Republicans, even though right now Joni Ernst is behind Braley 47%/49%. Maybe she'll pull it out (I hope) but it's certainly not a lock right now.

UPDATE: Fox now says 50 seats for the Republicans, 45 for the Democrats, and 5 still undetermined.

One of those 5 is Oregon, which is pretty certainly going to the Democrats. But we won't know for a long time; Oregon uses mail-in ballots. So it'll probably be tomorrow before we get any answers.

Oregon has a ballot measure to legalize marijuana, the way Colorado and Washington did. I wonder how that'll go? (Not that it'll make any difference to me; I haven't smoked any grass in nearly 30 years, and I have no interest in starting again.)

UPDATE: Well, maybe AoSDD was onto something (rather than being on something). Ernst is now ahead in the Iowa count.

UPDATE: Fox just called Iowa for the Republicans, and by their count that makes 51, with 4 seats still undetermined. So we're home.

It also means the expected runoff in Louisiana won't end up being a circus. If that had been the deciding vote, insanity would have reigned in that state for a month and a half until the runoff election late in December. It's still going to be crazy, even though the result won't really make all that much difference.

UPDATE: Fox just called North Carolina for the Republicans, making it 52, with three seats still undecided.

UPDATE: I was wrong; they're getting updates from Oregon. 55% counted so far, and the marijuana measure is passing.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 01:33 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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November 02, 2014

36 seats?

Huffington Post:

On Tuesday, Americans will head to the polls to determine 36 seats in the U.S. Senate.

Did we add eight states while I wasn't looking? Sleepy, Happy, Dopey, Bashful, Doc, Sneezy, Grumpy, and Stoney?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at 08:39 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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