* Posts by johndrake7

12 posts • joined 29 Jul 2014

NRA gives FCC boss Ajit Pai a gun as reward for killing net neutrality. Yeah, an actual gun

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Re: Ajit Pai is the most courageous, heroic person that I know

Nice King In Yellow reference. We haven't fully slipped into R. Chambers' "Repairer of Reputations" alternate timeline quite yet, though it certainly isn't for lack of trying by the Old Ones and their emissaries like Pai.

Strange is the night where black stars rise,

And strange moons circle through the skies,

But stranger still is Lost America.

Game of Thrones author's space horror Nightflyers hitting telly


Re: Bah!

Curious as to what your take on Delany's "Time Considered as a Helix of Semi-Precious Stones" and "The Star Pit" would be in this context?


Re: Meh

Followed closely by Creatures of Light and Darkness. How much more intense is it even possible to be than Typhon and the Skagganauk Abyss? Damn fine stuff.


Re: Meh

Technically the mix of upvotes and downvotes here is confusing but accurate. GRR himself would likely acknowledge more briliance and talent in 1965/66 Dilvish through 1978 Amber (Corwin series) works of Zelazny than the rest of the top 5, hell, top 10 in the genres he covered put together, not excluding GRR himself in his prime. Sadly, post-Amber/Corwin, his output paled in comparison, not just to himself but to any number of others.

Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies on WhiteHouse.gov


Re: whois obamawhitehouse.org


Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable


Rep Rep Promises Antismut Walls for SC PCs

And to make sinners pay for it.

Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'


More alternative-to-default app suggestions

Many if not most of the OSX default apps and some of its sysctl-level operating system defaults lead directly to disappointment. Alternatives that have worked out well for me personally, many of them available in OSX/Win/Linux/BSD versions: Video playback - mpv. Audio EQ - VLC. Terminal - iTerm. Audio encode/decode - XLD, superb, in and of itself almost an argumance for an instance of OSX somewhere, somehow. Archive encode/decode - Keka or B1(swiss army chainsaw, handles anything ever). And homebrew for all the open source stuff (both commandline, e.g. bash and UI e.g. Handbrake/Inkscape.

The lonely exception for bundled apps IME is Pages, which crushes both MS Office Word and Libre Office Writer in terms of UX and is surprisingly brilliant for small/mid-sized documents and document layout if perfect Office compatability is not a concern.

David Bowie: Musician, actor... tech admirer


Re: @Grikath Will anyone wheel out dusty Win98 CDs when Gates and Ballmer cash in their chips?

Your points are perfectly valid in the context you posit but unfortunately you completely misunderstand the intended and actual context of both the blockquote that inspired your post, and the man that inspired the obit. You need to find the time-space continuum where 40-plus years later, millions of people feel like "Abort, Retry, Fail?" error messages got them through teenage wildlife with heart and soul intact ... and swap your premise-from-an-alternate-universe and the bearded Mr. Spock ... for the clean shaven one plus a reality check.

The direct generational and emotional impact of the life and passing of Mr. Jones as a person and creator can only be compared poorly at best to their counterparts in Mr. Gates as a person and creator. Many things could be said of Mr. Gates' philanthropy, and of his direct creative coding involvement with Windows the OS, or of Windows' undeniable impact on billions as you point out ... but surely you don't think that people treasure their first Windows (or any) install CD with anything like the scale or the feelings that a favorite CD from the Bowie canon inspires.

If you do insist on a comparison in your terms, then frankly, Jesus, Gahndi, Mohammed, Buddha and the FSM would come up short in comparison to Gates/Windows in the context you propose: a major clue that perhaps your critique is windmilling at something different to what was meant.

I'd say there's rather more Bowie in the Windows98 ad shown (not to mention Bowie chum Brian Eno in the Windows95 startup sound) than there is Windows product placement in Bowie (or Eno) albums or lyrics ... and there's probably a reason for that, yes? Bill G. himself wouldn't (and couldn't) use Bill G. himself to market Windows or code Windows post-inception. In contrast, Bowie did what he did composition-wise pretty much with his own bare hands, and touched people accordingly, a different kind of genius and impact entirely than Gates'. That was the only point being made ... and now defenestrated ... and then hammered flat.

And ... really ? You passed up "sails of oblivion at my head" and friends in favor of the throwaway TARARTIG piss-take ? You do yourself and musician a disservice. Sad.

Music lovers move to block Phil Collins' rebirth


Re: I am listening to Gensis on Spotify

Definitive 80s Genesis/Phil C perspective by Kevin Gilbert in the first minute of this video:


Kevin Gilbert & Giraffe - The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Live at Progfest 1994 (full show)


If MR ROBOT was realistic, he’d be in an Iron Maiden t-shirt and SMELL of WEE


上手ですね,ドッブスさん !

Here's hoping unicode doesn't explode the comments system: job well done on the song. Don't happen to know it but do know and speak Japanese and you are either one of those freak savants who can sing in a language they can't speak, or a hakujin who put in the time and effort to be unnervingly dead on in informal settings. Cheers either way and a pint on me if you're ever in my part of SoCal.

Flashing back to a previous thread in common: 5 days and counting to the full release of Man in the High Castle on NetFlix in the States, fingers crossed it doesn't disappoint.

That is all.

Weekend reads: Russell Brand's Revolution and Joy Division's Ian Curtis gets lyrical


Re: Atmosphere

Huge fan of Ian Curtis' lyrics: dark, brilliant, and discerning/discernable.

Slightly huger fan of Elizabeth Fraser: opaque lyrics/imagery, blurred/imagined vocabulary, and soaring vox. Plus one for the mention.

Hard to imagine a book transcribing her lyrics ever happening ... but what a glorious thing a legitimate and annotated compilation of them would be!

If you haven't already, track down and listen to the Jeff Buckley/Elizabeth Fraser collaboration "All Flowers in Time", makes you wonder what an Ian/Liz joint would have been like.

Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate history' story made into TV series


Re: Germany? I thought it was Japan

Actual reader of the book here: +1 Mr. D. The Wiki article also gets it right for anyone interested in High Castle's backstory: nearly all of the novel takes place in an alternate history Pacific States of America (Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, parts of Nevada and Washington), within victorious Japan's post-war Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. The finale takes place in the Rocky Mountain States, a buffer region between the PSA and the remaining USA, which is a Nazi puppet state a la Vichy France ... with the Missisippi River as the Berlin Wall-esque divide between PSA/RMS and post-war USA. The Nazis (roughly) reprise the U..S.S.R's role in the Cold War; Japan approximates the USA's. The only Nazi-related characters of any consequence are covert Nazi agents, operating in the PSA's proto-Japanese/American hybrid society that was to be explored further in the aborted "High Castle" follow-up novel, "Ring of Fire".

One of the book's core narrative elements (Operation Dandelion) is a preemptive Nazi nuclear strike on the Japanese Home Islands. The Nazis have hydrogen bomb technology and the ability to wipe out the Home Islands. And the will to use it, depending on who emerges as Hitler's successor, who has just died as the novel begins.

Dick was turning American history inside out to try and come to grips with it: for example, with the exception of a small resistance movement, the role of non-Japanese in the PSA is pretty much that of the Native Americans in "our" world, a far cry from today's cliche Merkin. As portrayed in the book, the PSA is a much humbler and an often-saner place than most of the rest of the former USA, perhaps even arguably the "real" USA.

I have no clue what the series will do with the book's story line, but in my opinion it's Dick's finest novel and is a much more thoughtful read than the buzz around the upcoming series might lead a casual reader to believe. Anyone who enjoys it might also appreciate his Vietnamese reprise of the alternate post-war history genre in "Faith of our Fathers", whose main theme is literally (yes, literally) indescribable.

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