the twisted gardens of the mind

tech

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.

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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…


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.


its fucktastic!

10.20 am : internet is running slowly.

10.45 am : after running extensive ping, traceroute, and speedtests, then rebooting every piece of hardware i can lay hand on and run it all again – 20 to 40% packet loss after 2 router hops.

11.20 am : when i can’t find any working network status page for comcast, i finally call them. they tell me i’m not on the account and can’t put in a trouble ticket.

11.40 am : i log into comcast via my gf’s laptop, add myself to the account, although due to high packet loss, it may have been more expedient to use carrier pigeon. i call back.

11.50 am : the support rep i am on the phone with tells me she can’t see any trouble in my area, but also admits that their internal system is down. she apologizes for not being able to help troubleshoot what she is fairly certain is really just a problem occurring between my computer and the modem. i refrain from telling her that that is the only saving grace about this call.

12.10 pm : i try and get some work done, but am continually booted from my remote desktop session. i play angry birds and eat lunch.

12.50 pm : i re-run all my diagnostics, not only from my pc, but from my gf’s laptop and directly off the router itself. i double check all ethernet and coax cabling.

1.05 pm : i randomly google comcast twitter and find the twitter accounts of several techs who seem to be giving more solid help, advice, or even just up-to-date status to customers. i connect with a tech and am passed off to a second tech with a request for details of the issue.

1.30 pm : i happily send them brief traceroute & ping logs.

3.05 pm : i send a quick check-in to see if they have any updates on the issue.

3.15 pm : i realize that neither of the techs has responded to any issues since shortly after 1.30. apparently, they are on the east coast and have gone home.

4.00 pm : after having wasted an entire day, i call comcast again. their system is still down and since i never received any type of follow-up, i not only do not have a trouble ticket, but there is apparently no record of any of my previous contacts. i hang up in disgust.

4.30 pm : i am filled with the rage. i can’t  watch anything through boxee box, because it … you know, uses the fucking internet. i pretend that all the little pigs are comcast employees while i play motherfucking rage-filled birds some more. whatever corporate fuckwit decided that there should be no network status page deserves a triangular, yellow, gurgling bird to the throat.

4.50 pm : in a last ditch effort to at least appear productive, i call support again. i get put on hold and hang up.

5:20 pm : consistent service appears to be restored (just in time for people to get home and start watching tv!).

i almost hate you more than AT&T. almost.

[edit] i have been contacted by several customer relations people regarding this post. i will update this story as warranted.