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Comments

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Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Qzukk Re:Lie. (191 comments)

I wonder if there would be a way with https to store an encrypted mail

Short answer: No.
Long answer: SSL makes use of a temporary session key that is calculated between the client and the server at the time of the connection. Once the connection is over that key is (ideally) destroyed. If the email was encrypted with my session key when I sent it to the server (and somehow not decrypted by the server at this point) your session key that you create when you connect to the server won't do the job.

This is what S/MIME is for. The email body (and optionally some headers) is encrypted with a session key which is encrypted with your public key (rather than the server's key). Then it is sent through regular email channels. You receive the email and decrypt the session key with your private key, and use it to decrypt the message.

4 days ago
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Developing the First Law of Robotics

Qzukk Re:So, a design failure then. (165 comments)

It calculated that I had a 45% chance of survival. Sarah only had an 11% chance.

4 days ago
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Why Google Is Pushing For a Web Free of SHA-1

Qzukk Re:The Real Reason? (108 comments)

Except that it's honestly a shitty idea given the history of witness unreliability. The human mind is pretty shit at remembering a real human's face you've only seen once. Worse, an uncanny valley fake face is going to look like every other uncanny valley fake face, especially without additional visible features like hair or glasses (and even then the memory is likely to recall "wears glasses" not a specific style or color).

Also, the guy never explained what the hell the problem was that he wants the engineers to make a solution for, other than "it doesn't use this cool face-making library I wrote." Clearly we are all too stupid to see the value of having lawnmower man's face shown when we log into our banking website, if only we weren't engineers instead of PhDs.

about two weeks ago
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Surprise! More Than Twice As Much Mercury In Environment As Thought

Qzukk Re:And don't forget mercury in the CFLs... (173 comments)

And of course the non-compact ones that have been in your kitchen for decades, you took those to the recycler too when they burned out, right?

about two weeks ago
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Surprise! More Than Twice As Much Mercury In Environment As Thought

Qzukk Re:CFL Bulbs (173 comments)

Actually, it's all the non-compact fluorescent light bulbs. Nobody ever read the disposal instructions for those, and they're great for swinging around like light sabers, especially if you stand under a transmission line so the EM field lights them up.

about two weeks ago
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Buenos Aires Issues a 'Netflix Tax' For All Digital Entertainment

Qzukk Re:IRS Planning the same (165 comments)

Eh, I think it's far more likely they'll de-Roth. Enjoy paying taxes on the after tax money you invested.

about two weeks ago
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Appeals Court Clears Yelp of Extortion Claims

Qzukk Re:If they don't change this (63 comments)

1 star: did not fix my problem after two calls, would not use again.

about three weeks ago
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

Qzukk Re:Not a slow lane, a fast lane (91 comments)

with the addition of a fast lane

So "they" say, but "they" have been promising infrastructure upgrades for years, even taking subsidies from the government for a fiber rollout that never delivered. This time it's different?

What everyone expects is the same thing that happened when they installed a toll lane on the freeway here. They didn't add any new lanes, instead they walled off the left lane, narrowed the remaining lanes to make room for the wall and new shoulder, then kept the toll lane speed limit the same. The only difference is that when I drive on the freeway *I* have to pay more to go the same speed I always had before, while the cablcos/telcos expect the *sites I visit* to pay up so that I can use the "fast" lane and get the same speeds I was paying for.

about three weeks ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Qzukk Re:Not necessarily (441 comments)

Keep in mind too that the author may be greatly exaggerating

Keep in mind that nobody's spoken to the author. Sheriff Phillips is the one telling everyone that he "is currently at a location known to law enforcement and does not currently have the ability to travel anywhere."

about three weeks ago
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US Government Fights To Not Explain No-Fly List Selection Process

Qzukk Re:Loose Lips Sinik Ships (248 comments)

Do American citizens have a constitutional right to fly?

Does the federal government have a Constitutional power to stop me?

about three weeks ago
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PHP 5.6.0 Released

Qzukk Re:Yes it's easy, with this code: (118 comments)

It's baby_jesus_real_butthole(first_half_of_needle, haystack, last_half_of_needle), duh. But don't blame php for that, that's the name of the function straight from libjesus.

about three weeks ago
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UK Prisons Ministry Fined For Lack of Encryption At Prisons

Qzukk Re:stealing identity (74 comments)

Who's stealing the identity?

The drive walks away one evening, then the next morning it shows up and oh hey it looks like Doctor Death is coming up for release, he's served 999.9 years of his 1000 year sentence, it says so right in this excel spreadsheet, and excel never lies.

about three weeks ago
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GOG Introduces DRM-Free Movie Store

Qzukk Re:Price point is way too high (126 comments)

Eh, $6 is cheaper than most movie tickets and non-bargain blurays these days and I can watch the movie whenever, however, and wherever I want so it's more than a rental. The selection is underwhelming but if they ever get something I wanted to see in HD I'd probably do it.

about three weeks ago
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Sources Say Amazon Will Soon Be Targeting Ads, a la Google AdWords

Qzukk Re:I see 2 problems (83 comments)

it's very difficult for the algorithm to determine the difference

Again. They aren't false positives. You buy stuff like that. The system doesn't care who you buy it for, or why you buy it. If you bought it for others before, you're likely to do it again, and while you may have never wanted it in the first place, you clearly wanted to buy it, or you wouldn't have purchased it.

Except for the case where I bought something from a wishlist and had it shipped to the person who put it on the wishlist. Then

A) it should be trivial to determine that this is a gift
2) The appropriate response is to show me other things that person also wished for.

Personally, I think both of you are wrong.

about a month ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

Qzukk Re:Garden Bot (133 comments)

You could name the first ones Huey, Dewey and Louie.

about a month ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Qzukk Re:MUCH easier. (239 comments)

but can accurately detect where they are.

From what range, 2 inches? Maybe if you lined up A-J across the road edge-to-edge it would have a hard time getting around them, but I'd like to believe that the sensors would be able to observe an obstruction from far enough ahead that it would be able to stop safely in this event. So instead you have A-J moving about. The laws of physics mean that nothing can simply teleport in front of us, nor can anything attain infinite acceleration, so we can detect the vehicle, child and/or dog that is moving towards our current path well before it cuts us off.

D) would probably be the worst hazard of the lot, since being light-weight it would be able to accelerate and change direction much faster than most of the other obstacles. Worst case, having come to a complete stop to wait for it to cross the road, the vehicle is blocking the breeze that was pushing it in the first place, leaving us at a standstill.

about a month ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Qzukk Re:MUCH easier. (239 comments)

For example, hitting an elderly person in order to avoid hitting a small child.

Or maybe it will just note the existence of an object moving at x m/s to the right towards the current lane while the obstacle is y meters away while establishing a list of the smoothest paths out of the infinitely many paths that would prevent the vehicle from striking any of the obstacles.

Definitely easier than trying to determine whether the first obstacle is a baby carriage and the second obstacle is granny. Believe it or not, that light pole did NOT just "jump out in front of you" no matter how drunk you insist you aren't. Neither did granny and/or the baby.

about a month ago
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Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Qzukk Re:MUCH easier. (239 comments)

You are speculating on a system that would be able to correctly identify ALL THE OBJECTS IN THE AREA and that is never going to happen.

It doesn't have to identify all the objects in the area, it simply has to not hit them.

about a month ago
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Humans Need Not Apply: a Video About the Robot Revolution and Jobs

Qzukk Re:Saw the video, not buying the premise. (304 comments)

Do you honestly think that a business is going to sink billions of dollars in capital outlays to make a gigantic automated factory which produces crap that no one can buy?

How many billions of dollars were sunk into building houses nobody could afford the mortgages on?

about a month ago

Submissions

Qzukk hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Holy shitballs, slashdot. Malicious ads being served up.

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about 2 months ago

Love is over.

I was redirected to http://java-update-us.com/index.html?sid=42&aff_sub=wb-playanma-us&aff_sub2=am1&aff_sub3= which dropped a java_installer.exe into my Downloads folder from some ad playing on http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/07/24/1357256/empathy-for-virtual-characters-studied-with-fmri-brain-imaging around 2:30PM central time 7/24

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Serious proposals to replace obamacare begin

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about 10 months ago

The WSJ has floated an opinion piece offering what it calls a conservative alternative to Obamacare, that I think is the first time I've seen any conservative alternative except "Nuh-Uh!" Google news popped it up with a link to http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-381425/ which seems to be some sort of glorified rss feed with an HTML skin, so I have no idea if the link will be good for anyone else in the future.

It is, in my opinion, a beginning. In the past, I've called obamacare the wrong answer to the wrong question. This article suggests extending the current employer tax writeoff so that everyone, not just the employers, can buy insurance with tax-free money. Then it goes a step further by means-testing a tax credit for the poor so they can buy privately operated insurance with their tax credit instead of getting Medicaid. I think this is a good start to answering the question of how to make it possible for everyone to get at least minimal health insurance (if they want it. This is the conservative version, remember).

It is still the wrong question, though.

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2.8 seconds of hate - bash-completion

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year ago

In an effort to be fancy and helpful, bash now has context aware tab completion (in the bash-completion package on Debian). Based on where you are and what command you're typing, pressing tab will Do (what the completion script writer thought was) The Right Thing.

Unless what you think is the right thing was was the behavior of older versions of bash where you could do

**/*.c<Tab><Tab>

and (eventually, ** is damn slow) get a list of all of the matching files. It also worked with [...] {...} ? or any of the other bash wildcards. You know, just in case you wanted to see what your command is going to do before you hit enter.

Now I have to ^U, ls ^Y, then ^Y, which takes about 2.8 seconds (including the realization that bash is just going to keep beeping at me if I keep hitting tab). Or disable fancy and helpful completion with complete -r

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Two minutes of WTF

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  1 year,22 days

So I right clicked in an explorer window in windows 7 and went to "New >" on the menu and the submenu didn't open. I clicked it a few more times and nothing happened. I clicked it a few more times and the entire explorer shell crashed and restarted.

Wish I knew why the hell it sometimes takes 30+ seconds to get to "New Word Document" on my work computer.

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2 minutes of love: how to properly notify users of an update

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  1 year,25 days

Ran paint.net today and a popup appeared letting me know there was a new version. It had two buttons:

  1. Install when I exit
  2. Install now

This is doing it right.

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2 mins of hate: What can make me switch to a new RCS again

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year ago

Three words: Four. Way. Diff.

Show me where my patch (before and after) conflicted with the last patch (via blame) before and after. Bonus points if you can show both complete commit messages. Extra bonus points if you look at the branch, figure out where it went wrong (at what point did my patch last apply cleanly?) and show me all the commits since.

Telling me shit's fucked up doesn't help anyone (that's what I got with cvs).

Telling me what I was trying to do tells me what I was trying to do, not what Bob was doing when he checked in before me, but at least I know what the hell I was doing when I did it months/years ago (this is where I am now with git rebase).

Telling me what the hell I was trying to do and what the hell Bob was trying to do, now that's what I need, because now I know what it's supposed to be doing when I'm done merging the code and can do so with a reasonable degree of confidence that both Bob and I will be happy with the result.

For my company's workflow, this would be the holy grail of revision control. I'd even be tempted to use a graphical tool to do it.

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Today's two minutes of hate

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year ago

git, a love/hate relationship. Right now, hating really really hard.

You can do all sorts of incredible things with it, but there's so much that seems obvious I ought to be able to do, but just can't see how.

Case in point: git rebase. This is an incredibly powerful tool that lets you take changes and apply them to a different branch, one at a time very rapidly (if there are no conflicts). If a conflict arises, the process pauses, tells you where it died, lets you fix it, then you git rebase --continue. EXCEPT you get half of the first line of the commit message (despite being on a 128 column terminal it cuts off at 80) and no hash or any other way (I can find) to look up the complete description of the current commit being fixed (other than aborting the whole thing, going through the complete log to find the commit starting with whatever message then starting again (rerere makes this not painful, just annoying)). Oh, and if you used a branch name, that branch name is MOVED to the new location.

Other case in point: git merge. This is an incredibly powerful tool that throws everything together all at once and lets you deal with the aftermath. Conflicts, conflicts everywhere and no explanation of what the code is supposed to be doing. Fortunately, someone made a git-merge-like-rebase script that creates a temporary branch, rebases it to the target, then deletes the temporary branch leaving you with the original branch where it was (like merge) but applying one commit at a time (like rebase).

Still, I just took 2 hours of work doing something that would have taken 2 days in CVS, thanks to git rebase (rolling out a new version of our code for one of our customers with a heavily customized application. Rebased their custom branch onto our new release branch, fixed all the conflicts where they want customers sorted firstname lastname or blinking red lights or whatever and done). Probably could have done it in 1:30 if I didn't have to go back through the log to figure out how to fix "Change order of fields so that customer rep appears before ". I'm working in more and more tricks to reduce conflicts every upgrade so hopefully I'll have it down to less than an hour soon.

So now I love it again.

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Life post Google-Reader

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year ago

So Google followed through on their threat to kill Reader and I ended up having to track down a new RSS feed reader. Having been bitten by the Cloud, I decided it'd have to be locally installed, after trying a few I've settled on FeedDemon (now discontinued, a shame) as "best so far".

The one thing I really, really miss about Google Reader (which in fact was the reason I started bothering with RSS in the first place) is that it had a bookmark you could set that would open the URL of the next unread item in your queue. Dragged the bookmark to the bar, and one click gets me to read something new and exciting (and middle click to read lots of new and exciting things in tabs). Sure, every time someone published an RSS entry without a URL google gave me a 500 error and marked every single article read, but hey, it was damned convenient when it didn't implode.

FeedDemon gives me a link to click on each article to open in its (embedded IE) browser, but as I go down the list of articles it doesn't automatically remove the read ones nor does it automatically add new unread articles unless I manually refresh the article list (maybe I'm doing it wrong?). It has a "Next Unread" button but it doesn't open the URL, it just shows the RSS item header and then I have to click it to open the URL.

Strongly considering taking some of what I learned in the Coursera python class a while back, this feed parsing library, and learning wxPython (platform independence!) and spinning my own. It won't do much, but it WILL have a button that launches a chosen browser with the chosen URL (thinking of making it a systray icon: left click to open next item, right click for menu, blinks when there are unread articles).

It could even pop up a window to display an article with no URL.

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20 seconds of hate: outlook, *again*

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year ago

Hello, Microsoft. Please explain to me the reasoning why when a meeting is sent to people, they get a blank email with an .ics file attached, which is absolutely fucking useless to everyone not using a calendar app?

Thanks.

BTW, yes, I know about the option to turn ical off, explain to me why the FUCK you are incapable of sending a readable email with an attachment.

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Today's two minutes of hate

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year ago

In every version of it Outlook I've used, it stands out as being terrible at dealing with email in general (aside from the various exploits just from opening malformed emails). It's got rules that cancel themselves because the computer just woke from sleep and isn't connected to the internet (and therefore the rules are "invalid") to having a hojillion different sources of email addresses, none of them configurable or editable (Seriously, why can't I fix a misspelling in an email once it's been saved wherever the hell it gets saved?). Autocompletion of email addresses is a complete clusterfuck. I had to delete a customer from my contact list completely and start over because her email address changed and when I edited her contact, her record refused to come up when I'm sending an email (Doesn't come up when I type, doesn't come up in the contact list when I press the "To" button, but if I write her email by hand and choose "Look Up Outlook Contact" bam there she is complete with name and company information)

If it weren't for Exchange, I'd have ditched this shit long ago. Sadly, it's still the best I've got at dealing with scheduling meetings (at least as long as they're in our own time zone).

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Today's two minutes of hate (yay backups!)

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

So years ago I needed a backup drive for my home computer after the last backup drive up and died on me, so I was possessed by idiocy and decided to get one of those external RAID blocks with two drives in it, RAID-1. Worked fine for years, now it's got a red blinking light on it and doesn't show up to the system anymore.

This is one of those things where foresight would have said "Hey, why are you spending 3x as much on drives when you're going to be stuck with a box with one red light to tell you there is a problem and no way to find out what the problem is". Hindsight says I'm an idiot.

At least it's just a backup.

Maybe next I'll get a LTO drive for a few thousand bucks for shits and giggles. Of course we had one of those at work that ate a tape. Better get two and take redundant backups...

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Today's two minutes of hate

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

God damn where do I get a fucking ftp server that can run a command after an upload without preaching to me about how insecure yadda yadda yadda. I'm not running a goddamned anonymous ftp site (and even if I was, MAYBE I'd like to have a virus scanner run on whatever bullshit goes in and out!)

Currently using ProFTPd because mod_sftp appears to be the only way to get an sftp server with virtual users on Linux without using OpenSSH+PAM voodoo. mod_exec runs programs on every single little command EXCEPT the completion of an upload because fuck you. The documentation suggests logging to a FIFO and writing a program to read lines from the FIFO and acting on each line of the log. Great, only two problems: 1) proftpd shits itself if nothing is listening to the FIFO which means the listening program has to immediately reopen the socket when logrotate restarts proftpd 2) proftpd's xferlog format can't be changed and rather than doing any sane quoting, replaces spaces in filenames with underscores because fuck you.

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30 minutes of hate

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

I just spent 4 hours doing onsite customer training for a customer of ours who is transitioning from an ancient terminal-based software to our software. These customers had therefore bought all new laptops with all new Windows 8 to replace their old terminals. The decision to use laptops had been made because 1) the network infrastructure in place currently ran the terminals which were actually win95 computers plugged into a local network and using telnet to reach the server so wireless was necessary until the old equipment could be removed and 2) the computers running the old system needed to stay there until after the training was complete and they were ready to switch.

I estimate 30 minutes of that time was spent unfucking shit that went wrong when people who had never seen a GUI or used a touchpad in their life had their palms brush the touchpad and trigger random win8 gestures, opening the charms bar, opening bing, opening the start screen, and in at least one case, somehow closing the program window (or was it open somewhere but alt-tab no longer works in windows 8? Damned if I know!)

For the next round of training tomorrow I plan on disabling the gestures. Easy peasy, just a few SynTPEnh\ZoneConfig registry entries to change. And they say Windows 8 isn't ready for the desktop!

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Today's two minutes of hate, redux

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Customer: Your website is broken, I can't log into it

Me: What exactly do you mean?

Customer: I decided to work from home and when I go to your website it gives me this list of things so I clicked on the first one and it gives me an error when I go there

Me: It sounds like you put the address into google and clicked on someone else's site.

Customer: Well, what search engine am I supposed to use?

At this point, I was about to say "well, lady, whichever search engine that links to the actual website when you type www.foo.com into it" but then I realized the answer was "none of them". After all, how would you get people to click on your ads if you took them where they really intended to go?

I explained to her about Ctrl-L and pressing it before typing in a website. I think she got it.

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Silly SQL trick

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Tonight's task is to manually categorize a rather flat tree structure in SQL (currently two levels only) by reading the top level entry and assigning it and its children to a category. On a lark I gave this a shot:

update tree set category=1 where 5 in (id,parent);

and it worked in PostgreSQL.

Why? Because I'm sitting here reading the list of top-level entries in one window while using psql in the other and pressing up to edit the previous query. Before I tried that I had

update tree set category=1 where id=4 or parent=4

so I'd have to retype TWO numbers instead of just one.

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Today's two minutes of hate

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Today's rage divides evenly between:

  1. people who type site addresses into the search box instead of the address bar
  2. gotomeeting.com for not putting "join a meeting" link on their search engine landing pages

That's 15 minutes of my life I'll never get back.

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Today's two minutes of hate

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Windows Media Player is a flaming pile of shit.

Trying to copy notes from a webinar, and every time I press the pause button in WMP the video keeps playing for another couple of seconds. When you add to this the fact that it takes WMP a couple of seconds before it will start the video again when I'm trying to click on the bar to seek, the tooltip on the bar is "Seek" rather than the time it's going to jump to when I click it, and the fact that there's no x0.5 or x2 or any other speed control but a jerky skiptastic fast forward button, it all adds up to an enormous hassle.

This is turning a task that SHOULD have taken a bit more than 30 minutes (the length of the video) into something I've spent the whole morning on. Good going folks!

After failing to get it to work in MPC or VLC, I managed to get it working in mplayer, but apparently it's only seekable to the nearest 5 minutes or so in there, which probably means that the g2m4 codec put next to no keyframes in the video. But at least mplayer has speed control so I can cover the ground I've already covered quickly, and when I press the space bar it stops immediately.

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UI WTF

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about 2 years ago

UI Elements that only operate when the stars are properly aligned annoy the hell out of me. Especially when they do something I want to do on a regular basis. All those grayed out menu items with no hints as to how to activate them are one thing, at least you know there's something there you can use, but sometimes there's things that make absolutely no sense at all...

If you're using the current Chrome, right click the reload button. OK, now open the developer console (Ctrl+Shift+J). Right click the reload button again. An option to dump cache and reload! Pretty cool, eh?

I don't even know what the fuck inspired me to try right clicking the reload button in the first place...

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Election Campaign Forecast

Qzukk Qzukk writes  |  about 2 years ago

On the Democrat side, I expect to see more "adjustments" in the jobless rate. On November 7th, we'll be back to 9%.

On the Republican side, I expect to see more refineries have mysterious fires, power outages, and pipeline closures. On November 7th, they'll all suddenly be fixed.

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