the twisted gardens of the mind

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getting rid of GWX

so the windows 10 bullshit never ran on my computer… i think that’s what contributed to the weird ceip bullshit that i bitched about in the last post. but on my precious persnickety wicket’s computer, it went full on

UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 10 NOW! THIS MESSAGE WILL NEVER GO AWAY. YOU MUST UPGRADE. DO IT. C’MON UPGRADE. DOOOOO EEEEEEEEEIT…

so while troubleshooting some other troubling issues on that box, i came across this marvelous fellow’s fix for removing GWX from windows 7. not only do i like his style, but his removal method is well documented and could be followed by anyone that’s even marginally comfortable with a little registry editing.

you’re welcome.

things that are pissing me off, part ii

  • stupid mobile apps. i was sitting behind someone on bart yesterday who had his laptop open, running eclipse, and was very intent on some code. since i’m nosy, and this is relevant to my interests, i scanned the code over his shoulder. his app was stupid and it actually made me sad to see time and effort wasted on something so lame. it made me want to write an app that would count the number of armpit hairs that you have and then share the results with your friends and family on social media. you could compare your hairs per square inch to your colleagues, see if longer vs. shorter hairs run in your high school social circles. actually the worst part of this fantasy app is that it would still be less stupid than the app he was making.
  • useless projects (especially being involved in them — yes.. see? sometimes i’m disheartened by some of the projects i have to work on too).
  • virtualbox, for having completely broken usb pass-thru. no, i’m not even trying to pass-thru my wifi interface, i already know that shit is fucked.. i’m talking about the microsd card that windows will absolutely chew the fuck up when i can use dd instead with half the annoyance.
  • half-assed implementations of .net+jQuery.
  • appcelerator, i will hit you with a brick.
  • windows for attempting to upgrade me from 7 to 10. no, just no. fuck off, no.
  • windows, again, for completely ignoring my opt-out of the customer experience improvement program (ceip). after opting the fuck out, a recent microsoft update took a shit all over my system running performance data collection (and uploading to microsoft!) — supposedly, it’s anonymous, but since i’d already OPTED THE FUCK OUT it shouldn’t have been running anyway.
  • windows, again, because the only reason i even noticed all these broken processes running anyway is because that shit was running anyway and ALL THE TIME. at rest, with everything closed and my anti-virus paused, my hard disk was hitting 100kb/s of I/O. what the serious fuck? i shut down every single ceip related task and things are mostly back to normal.
  • marketingese and the need to monetize every-fucking-thing.

i was doing some research on predictive analysis algorithms when i came across… (emphasis and commentary mine)

our very expensive product “empowers professionals and enterprises to capture and share health knowledge”.

empower (verb): make (someone) strong and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.

our “health analytics market[place] liberates this knowledge and makes it readily accessible so that every health professional [with a large enough budget] can take advantage of it”.

liberate (verb): set (someone) free from a situation, especially imprisonment or slavery, in which their liberty is severely restricted. release (someone) from a state or situation that limits freedom of thought or behavior.

  1. those fragments are from the same fucking paragraph.
  2. i feel weird that people are feeling empowered to imprison my “health knowledge”.
  3. i feel confused that the same fucking people who have “captured my health knowledge” are trying to “liberate” it again. is this an expendables movie? will jason statham show up and rescue my liberated health knowledge?
  4. the fact that all of this data could be actually used to save people’s lives, instead of being bottled up and sold, pisses me off. fuck these people.
epilogue

i feel a little bad about shitting on the guy working on his stupid iphone app above. i really do hope it was a learning project. but seriously, i’ve had it up to here with people attempting to monetize everything — no matter how important or stupidly trivial — and then adding insult to injury by having marketing pouring a case of obsession for men onto their shit sandwich and then everyone dances around applauding their epic new sucking emptiness.

things that are pissing me off, part i

  • calling a mouse ambidextrous and saying it’s good for lefties is bullshit. ambidextrous mice are for ambidextrous people or people who want carpal tunnel.
  • people who put their left-handed logitech mx610 on ebay or amazon for 300$. 300 fucking dollars. i will hit you with a brick.
  • hp desktops. to be fair, the more of it i replace, the more tightly focused my rage is with this machine. it’s probably my own fault for leaving the motherboard to last. but still… hp desktops.
  • my new ambidextrous razer mouse. i mean, i love everything about how it feels, but totally hate where the all of the buttons are placed.
  • why is tilt-click no longer a thing? it’s my 2nd, maybe 3rd most used feature of my whole fucking computer.   :(
  • i very carefully took apart my old mx610 last night and very carefully lost the one tiny piece that makes the scroll wheel click instead of free-spin. i have no idea what the part even looks like; it was lost in the decade-grown hay bale of cat fur that i was pulling out of the mouse wheel’s axle assembly… and then it was just lost.
  • trying to run the android emulator over vnc. is it vnc-server’s problem? is it kvm’s problem? it’s a headless box for fucks sake.
  • every time i type vnc, chrome underlines it like its spelled wrong. it’s not.
  • google music – at one time, my favorite of all the google services, i now try my hardest to not update anything to the latest version. i don’t care about your stupid radio stations[*] curated by stupid people. i have my very own radio station and it’s called “the 30gb of music i uploaded to google music and several dozen albums i’ve bought directly from the play store”.
  • google music, again. because i masochistically looked at the “top charts” and it showed me something by skrillex and justin bieber. fuck you google music “curators”. i can’t believe that you actually exist, somewhere there is an algorithm “self-driving music curator”. seriously? i will not run out of bricks.

[*] side note: avoid the ads and other radio cruft by keeping your play music app (for android) at v5.9.something (basically anything under v6). for the web interface (chrome) i have been able to use adblock to selectively edit out all the radio station & subscription buttons. no guarantee that this will stand the test of time, but.. here’s my filters:

play.google.com##A[class="nav-item-container tooltip sub"]
play.google.com##A[data-type="wtc"]
play.google.com##A[data-type="wnr"]
play.google.com##A[data-type="wbs"]
play.google.com##DIV[class="ups ^"]
play.google.com##DIV[class="situations-container ^new-art"]
play.google.com##DIV[class="banner ws-search-banner ^material-banner material-shadow-z1"]

just add that to your filters. note the carats (“^”) in the last 3 lines! replace those with an extra space (so there’s a double at those locations. i’m not sure why it makes a difference, but for at least 1 of them it does.

caveat: i’ve noticed that if the tab is open-on-start, chrome will often load the page from cache and will not apply the filters, but a simple refresh will take care of that.

the dis-convergence of media

i now have an ello account. it’s a new ad-free non-facebook social network.

i feel like this should be a good thing, but even as i hovered, annoyed and tense, over the shoulder of the remarkable persnicketywicket while she navigated the site to find and send me a coveted beta-invite, i felt a cold, hollow, darkness settle into my stomach.

  • i also have 2 diaspora accounts. it’s an ad-free non-facebook social network. beyond the 1 month mark, i may have logged into one of them, once.
  • i have 4 twitter accounts. 1 i wrote as someone else, to see what it was like to interact with highly political people in an arena i have absolutely no other knowledge about. i learned that living in a highly charged echo chamber is super-easy, but putting off (otherwise interesting-seeming) people who decide they want to hang out with you IRL is more difficult.
  • i also have a google+ account. it’s a surveillance-friendly social network by google – the company behind such amazing things as “google search”, “google mail”, “google chrome”, “android”, and the “google doodle”. i wanted to like it. i tried to like it. but in the end, i left with my faith in the whole google entity/apparatus badly shaken. still, about once a week, i receive a little “bell” notification icon above my gmail that someone else i’ve never heard of has added me to their circles. hooray.
  • i also have 4 wordpress accounts, totalling almost 10 blogs, of which i write in 1. about twice a year. (this one)
  • i also have a flickr account. flickr is yahoo’s last (fading) shred of dignity. i like to take pictures of my cats, and feel the need to inflict them upon the rest of the internet, my friends on facebook, and my family members.
  • i also have an imgur account. imgur is like flickr’s tattooed, younger cousin who is sometimes cool but still too often just a fucking douche. but what can i say? i still like pictures of cats.
  • i also have a soundcloud account. about once a year i make some vaguely resembling music and post it. i almost completely ignore the social aspect of this system.
  • i also have a last.fm account. i like to listen to music, i like to have very generalized statistics about what i’ve been listening to, i like for other people to know that i listen to cool music, and i like that some guy in the czech republic thinks that my listening habits are generally in line with his own.
  • i also have a linkedin account. ugh, shut the fuck up – either be a monster-wannabe or get off the toilet. work+social mixes about as well as cocaine+C4 — not very well, and with a tendency for someone to fuck up and explode by accident.
  • i also have a goodreads account. goodreads is like twitter and barnes&noble’s semi-illegitimate fuck-baby. i log in about once every 3 to 4 books that i’ve read, but mostly because another facebook friend found my account and added me. i’m not sure why i bother.
  • i also have 2 livejournal accounts. livejournal is a pre-facebook, pre-twitter, pre-myspace social network. i have something like 8 years worth of rants, “poetry”, song lyrics, dreams, passionate arguments, discourse, and non-sequiturs in one of the accounts, and several years of club dj sets in the other. i log in once a year and wonder how i can download the entirety of the data in a fashion that i can still peruse (about twice a year), but that i won’t have to spend a couple hours writing some sort of parser or version-insensitive database to contain (and then maintain) the entries. trufax: livejournal is going to be the subject of the next jurassic park movie.
  • i also still have a myspace account. i just checked. i don’t even know how that’s possible. 1000 years from now, myspace will still exist, no one will use it, and my account will still be there, showing the same pre-instragram, photoshopped selfie that i took 15 years ago. artificial intelligences of that era will consider myspace to be the cockroach of application code.
  • i also have 5 facebook accounts and an additional 4 or 5 pages (that i spend a grand total of about no minutes per year actually moderating). facebook is an ad-filled facebook-filled social network, worth a zillion dollars, that everyone hates but uses anyway. it’s sort of like hating air, but… fuck you, you’re gonna breathe it anyway. 3 of the accounts are actually for my cats (1 of whom is deceased, so please stop sending him “happy birthday” posts every year, kthx).

and now i also have an ello account. it’s a new ad-free non-facebook social network.

fuck me, i was going to make some possibly witty commentary about putting half an egg in 15 baskets, but i’m just sort of depressed by this. i wonder what’s happening at work right now…

10 things that tv makes seem much easier

10. jumping a car

this one seems obvious, unless you’ve actually done it for real. in an actual car, without stunt modifications or whatever, it is a much more terrifying experience than you would think. at the moment wheels leave pavement, all bets are off. one-eighth of a second later, when you bounce the bottom of your car off the road, leaving a chunk of it embedded in your pan, and your vehicle picks up a bit of rotation for its next bounce … well, i’ve done it twice, but the second time was only because i’d forgotten how much i nearly wet the driver’s seat the first time.

9. being a lumberjack

buttered scones and women’s panties? doesn’t seem that hard. i only got as far as splitting fireplace logs for my grandparents. the following week i was a whiny smell-o-vision advertisement for tiger balm.

8. bullying the president (of the united states)

this is one i have not been able to try. but everyone seems to do it on tv. francis underwood (kevin spacey) & cyrus beene (jeff perry) make pushing around the man in the oval office look like pizza day in the middle school cafeteria.

7. being an spy (super or otherwise)

so burn notice is was a great show, with plenty of HGTV-style tips on how to be a spy.

sprinkle a mixture of flour and dayglo powder on your floor before you go out, and you’ll know whether you’ve had any visitors and what they were after. – michael weston (jeffrey donovan)

besides making something of a mess, what i have come to realize is that all of the so-called “intelligence services” started somewhere outside the scope of the advice given on the show. i have my own intelligence service now, but apparently what my cats are doing or how much time i spend on a level of portal is of very little interest to military or government organizations. to raise interest, however, i am planning a wiki-leaks style internet exposé of top secret cat-oriented conversations. stuff like “get off the counter!”, “get out of my ice cream!”, and whatnot. my baby kitten walking down my hallway youtube video has only 117 views, so that’s sort of like still having a secret.

6. home renovations

property brothers and mike holmes. i’d like to mix in some of the tips from burn notice with the style and quality home improvement know-how of these guys. i’m pretty sure that this endeavor will end up with “hidey holes”, secret rooms, and other nonsense totally fucking up our ability to collect our deposit when we move out. unless by some chance my partner fixes them all up (after stuffing my corpse into one of them for, you know, totally fucking up the walls).

5. creating a kill room

dexter does it in like 5 minutes, so how hard could it be, right? i tried wrapping a roommate’s stuff in foil once, but i lost interest after about 3 items. total time spent: roughly 90 minutes. foil used: 2 rolls, most of which lay in giant balls of shredded or ripped segments on the floor.

4. managing a conspiracy

here’s another one we see all the time. conspirators on scandal or house of cards manage a conspiracy like its a waterbed. once it’s popped, you better kill all the occupants of the house, so that no one will ever know the waterbed existed. everything is either under-kill or overkill. i am currently managing no less than [REDACTED] conspiracies, personally, and i do not have a waterbed.

3. flipping (houses, storage units, furniture, etc…)

all of these people have way more time than i do (or motivation). but i hate the people who flip houses most. how do they get anything done with all the whining about flipping the house? for me, this really feels like an extension of #6. i think if the roof was good and there were no spiders, i’d be all fuck it, it works great! and sit down to watch some tv. generally though, i tend like the people who do cool things with recycled furniture (mary, from storage wars: texas comes to mind) and recently bought a set of power tools in an effort to motivate myself to do some home improvement projects. i built a cat-landing that attaches to my bed-frame and allows the cats to glare out the bedroom window at wildlife crossing through the backyard. two of my cats fight over it, and now, pleased with my obvious success as a cat-furniture artisan, the tools have sat mostly untouched in the two months since.

2. having sex in the shower

all dramatic television has this. it might actually be law somewhere that there’s a shower-sex scene, tastefully obscured of course, in an episode around the third season. i think where this goes wrong for me is the whole shower-but-bathtub thing. bathtubs are slippery, there’s nowhere to get a leg up, soap tastes like .. well soap, and i worry more that i’ll end up with a broken arm than on the task at hand. which brings me to the question: why do showers not have safety harnesses? or better yet, padded showers with heated cushions? now that i think about it, why has no one done a combination shower/ball-pen? (note to self: have mike holmes build us cushioned ball-pen shower)

1. lasers

because lasers, that’s why. i have several for cat-toys, but once the cats are done with them, they are useless. i aimed 2 of them at a piece of room-temperature butter once, but even their combined force was inadequate to overcome the simple task of melting a dimple into (forget cutting) the butter. i realize i could scavenge some blu-ray players for their more powerful laser, but my skill with a soldering iron is roughly equivalent to that of a three year old with a crayon. i would also like to reference burn notice one last time, because michael weston was always soldering something, from cool spy gadgets to cell phones, and i am convinced that i will brick everything my soldering iron comes into contact with because that shit is hard.

neither here nor there

take a break from political nonsense to pw33n some n00bs!

a confluence of desires have led me to investigate the gaming capability of classic FPS games on my new(ish) razr maxx. here’s the rundown:

i tried 2 classic games’ ports to the android platform: quake2android & kwaak3. i found them both to run extremely well on the razr – between 40 & 70fps with sound and (in kwaak3) with lightmaps enabled. however, control on the keyboard-less razr was next to impossible.

quake2android supports accelerometer based movement and has interesting on-screen overlays (virtual d-pad, virtual keyboard). the primary overlay has 3 hotspot areas that can be bound to q2 functions and on-the-fly re-calibration of your accelerometer. i was able to move around and fire, but i had to sacrifice “crouch” for “shoot”, and tilt-to-move takes some getting used to.

so.. i started this entry nearly a year ago. in the month after, i ended up wiping these from my droid because they were just too difficult to play with any amount of excitement. so i thought i was going to delete this draft (while doing some fall cleaning), but decided i would mention that i recently discovered that carmageddon was available for droid and have been playing it non-stop since. it supports accelerometer based steering/acceleration, but i find i prefer the digital (although i have an annoying tendency to hit my home button mid-race).

speaking of carmageddon, fuck this guy: ca plate 6dzn864. i don’t know if you were drunk or just a shitty ass driver, but the center line is not there for you to follow – it is a fucking divider.

what’s an unsub?

dear interwebz: today your net gain is ZERO.

minus one

with all the absurd video clips of ‘every time [person] on [show] says [catch phrase]’, WHY IS THERE NO ‘every time person on criminal minds says “what’s an unsub?”‘? seriously, what? get the fuck on that – i’m sure i’m not the only person to needwant this.

plus one

in my search for the aforementioned clip, i did find this:

Their Unit Chief, Aaron Hotchner, was telling them all that lack of interdepartmental cooperation was a good way to let the UNSUB, as they called him, slip through the cracks.

“UNSUB…” Parkman snorted, casting a glance over at his partner, Mike, who was reading through a folder the BAU Media Liaison, Jennifer Jareau, had given out. “What the hell is that?”

“The UNSUB,” said a tall black man, that Parkman was pretty sure did swimsuit modeling when he was off the clock. “Is the Unknown Subject.”

“Isn’t that pretentious?” Sylar popped in, leaning on the edge of the next desk. He held up a pair of fingers behind the FBI agent’s head like rabbit ears. “Would you look at this guy? Janice would be all over him.”

yes, you are reading that correctly – criminal minds/heroes cross-over fanfic. it was no rule 34, but it was still amusingly annoying (/annoyingly amusing?) enough that i felt no more need to search any further for anything today.

oh and here’s the link – click at your own peril.

*note

the “plus one”/”minus one” is not meant to signify any type of greatness, it was merely a measure of how much i felt the internet lived up to expectation today. had the story been rule 34, it would have scored much higher.