Sep. 24th, 2017 03:30 pm

Uber alles?

vampwillow: skyline graphic (Default)
[personal profile] vampwillow
So TfL have declined to further extend Uber's licence to operate in London. They gave them an extra four months, but Uber declined to get its act together and operate legally.

Personally, I don't trust Uber the company or Uber the concept - too fraught with danger of multiple types, but I accept that some see it as an easier answer to calling a minicab (don't they realise mobile phones can actually be used to _speak_ to people? Seems not...) but they way their 40,000 vehicles cruise around touting-but-not-touting just creates traffic problems, fumes, and blockages in local areas such as Heathrow environs, so making them toe the legal lines that other companies must do seems only right. Too many empty vehicles on the road, frankly.

I noted on BBC news channel yesterday a bloke saying that he'd been driving a minicab for 15 years and didn't know what he'd do for a job if Uber close down. Begs the question what he did for the first ten of those years - and why he's unhappy about doing the same again.
Sep. 24th, 2017 08:25 am

letters, Johnson & DeVos

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[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

You have been saying terrible things about people with "pre-existing" conditions for all of 2017, comparing us to cars, saying that we should pay more for our healthcare, even though most "pre-existing" conditions are not caused by anything a person does or by bad choices they make. In fact, since pregnancy is a "pre-existing condition," you are actively punishing people for having families--which seems to run counter to the agenda the Republican Party has been pushing for years The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal, which callously strips all protections from people like me (and which makes it entirely possible that a premature baby will hit his or her lifetime cap before leaving the hospital for the first time), makes it clear that in fact you have no idea of what it's like not to be able to afford healthcare, or to have a chronic, incurable condition, and that you don't even have enough imagination to be able to empathize with the people whose lives you are destroying.

Moreover, given that there is astonishing unity among healthcare professionals, patients' interest groups, and major insurers (plus all fifty Medicaid administrators and a current count of eighteen governors), it is quite clear that you aren't doing this because it's a good idea. You don't care whether it will be good or bad for your constituents. All you care about--and more than one of your Republican colleagues have admitted as much--is repealing "Obamacare." You're doing this because you made a campaign promise, and you're too blindly self-centered to see that this is a promise that would be better honored in the breach than in the observance. You and your colleagues are behaving childishly, destroying something only because you hate the person who built it. The ACA is not failing, as you keep claiming it is, Senator. It is suffering mightily from obstructionism and deliberate sabotage from you and your colleagues, and, yes, it does need reform. But your proposal isn't reform. It's wanton demolition of legislation that is working, legislation that is succeeding in making the lives of Americans better, demolition which you are pushing without the slightest consideration of its effects on the people you claim you serve.

I'm not writing this letter because I expect you will change your mind--or, frankly, even read it. I'm writing this letter because I'm angry and scared and unbelievably frustrated with your deliberately cruel and blindly stupid determination to do something that no one in this country wants. You won't change your mind, but you can't say you didn't know there was opposition.

P.S. I'd still really like to see you denounce white supremacism, Senator. Because right now, I unwillingly believe you don't think there's anything wrong with it.

***

Dear Ms. DeVos:

I am appalled at your decision to roll back the protections given to sexual assault survivors by Title IX. I'm not surprised, because it's perfectly in line with the other cruel, short-sighted, and bigoted decisions you've made since being appointed Secretary of Education, but I honestly wonder (and I wonder this about a number of Trump appointees, so you needn't think you're alone) how you live with yourself. How do you justify, even if only to yourself, the damage you're doing? Do you believe the lies you tell?

I'm not going to quote statistics, because I'm sure they've been shown to you. I'm not going to try to change your mind with personal stories. I am going to ask, futilely, that you stop and truly think about the young women whose college careers, already catastrophically imperiled by the sexual assault they have survived, may be destroyed because of the policies you're implementing. And I'm going to ask how on earth you think this destruction is part of your mandate as Secretary of Education?

Everyone's civil rights need to be respected. I believe this strongly enough to belong to the ACLU. But victims' rights are historically ignored, trampled on, and outright broken, especially in cases of sexual assault, especially when the perpetrator is white and male. I also strongly believe that the purpose of government should be to ensure that privilege is not used to skew justice. It was already crushingly difficult for sexual assault survivors to report their assailants. You have made it that much harder, and that much more likely that they will simply remain silent. I cannot help thinking that that silence is your goal, and that, Ms. DeVos, is truly shameful.
calliopes_pen: (oraclegreen Drummond Dark Shadows)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Yesterday, the bill arrived for Comcast. We expected this month’s bill to still reflect things from before we cut out watching cable due to whatever reason, but no. It’s better than that. This month, we seem to owe nothing, and we have been credited $65. So…next month the bill should be $5 once that's subtracted, until this returns to the expected $70 in November, I suspect.

Odd, but nice for once.

Meanwhile, as I hunt for a new computer, I realized that just in case of any emergency that requires me to go—either due to being forced to travel out of state again, or not—it might be best to search for laptops. So I’ve been looking at the HP* Pavilion 17 inch sort, since that’s held up well for Dad. He hasn’t had any problems with his, since he got it in 2013.

And since I prefer Windows 7, I purchased an OEM for Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, which should arrive sometime next week. I’ll use it once I have an appropriate laptop actually in my possession. I have also done in depth research of the Intel CPU, which one would allow an installation of 7 over 10, and which ones wouldn’t. I think I’ve figured that one out. I have far too many links gathered for all the steps to everything, so that’s what I’ve been doing this week! I also gathered all relating links to drivers that still support Windows 7 in either the CPU of Intel or AMD.

I also asked questions at Reddit, Seven Forums, Tom’s Hardware Forum, and Bleeping Computers so that I would have everything straight. As a side note, from one of those I gained the alternative of the Acer Aspire desktop, should other ideas not work. So that’s why I’ve been a bit quiet—research!

And on a non computer note, The Collinsport Historical Society has their round-up of everywhere that Dark Shadows can be found this Halloween season. If only I had Decades and TCM, I would be so happy on October 28th.

*We have a local place that works on all things HP, so if anything happens, straight to the manufacturer it can go.
Sep. 24th, 2017 10:23 am

Reading: St Mungo's Robin

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[personal profile] white_hart
I wasn't quite ready to get my head out of fifteenth-century Scotland after finishing Gemini, so I thought I'd read the fourth of Pat McIntosh's Gil Cunningham mysteries. Set in Glasgow, about ten years after the end of Gemini, these books feel a bit like a extension of the world of the Niccolò series; some of the same historical characters appear in both and I like to imagine Dunnett's characters living their lives just off-screen. (Accidentally or on purpose, there are also a couple of cases where character names and nicknames end up being minor spoilers for points in Dunnett where knowing a character's full name rather than just their nickname would have given too much away, so if you're reading your way through Dunnett and care about remaining unspoilered I'd recommend leaving McIntosh until afterwards; I also enjoy McIntosh more for having read all of the Niccolò books now and understanding the historical background.)

In this book, Gil (now officially charged with investigating murders, after his earlier successes on an amateur basis) is called to a Glasgow almshouse where the unpopular Deacon has been found stabbed with no shortage of people who might have had a motive to kill him. He's also due to be married in a week's time and his investigations are both helped and hindered by family and friends arriving in town for the wedding, while he and his fiancée, Alys, are both suffering from pre-wedding nerves.

I enjoyed this a lot - the series really seems to be hitting its stride by this stage, with the core characters established enough to feel like old friends now; Gil's investigations manage not to feel out of place in the historical setting while still allowing him to do things like estimate times of death from the condition of a corpse. I did spot a couple of clues well ahead of Gil, and had worked out the identity of the murderer by about two-thirds of the way through the book, but then it's always nice to feel cleverer than the detective!
Sep. 24th, 2017 01:13 pm

Five things make a post

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[personal profile] rmc28
1. I was just saying to my boss this week that I was quite proud of keeping my migraines under control more lately; guess what I got yesterday? So annoying, especially as I'd been looking forward to a friend's party that I ended up missing.

2. I am very slowly beginning to tackle the backlog of Stuff I Kept Putting Off While Studying; this week has been all about the clothes / fabric. I have assorted piles of worn-out clothes and out-grown clothes accumulating around my room. I pulled out all the actually worn-out stuff, and bagged that up to go to recycling. I bagged up two sets of bedding we never use for the charity shop. I bought myself some underwear that doesn't have holes in, and added all the ones that did to the recycling bags, along with my oldest & least useful bras. I sorted through my socks, and chucked a good few pairs in the recycling bags, and a few others into the charity bag. Finally I ended up sorting through my stash of pretty scarves and wraps and kept only the ones that I really love and may actually wear more than once a year. (I sort of aspire to be someone who routinely wears pretty scarves etc but in practice I am never that put-together very often.)

3. I took the charity bag to the EACH shop, and came back with a very shiny pair of not!DMs and a metallic blue stripey hat. (Amusingly, I had been whinging this week about needing new shoes for winter, and hating shoe shopping, so that was very well timed.)

4. Last Saturday I watched Robocop with [personal profile] fanf . He was inspired by this post (linked by [personal profile] andrewducker ), and I'd never previously watched it - not on purpose, just never got round to it. It's very very Paul Verhoeven isn't it? Gratuitious mixed-sex shower scene, gory violence, horrible-future-media & horrible-future-adverts. Although my reaction to the project manager with the huge glasses was a. love those glasses b. you are really enjoying imagining watsisface having his hand broken c. please tell me watsisface dies horribly after forcing a kiss on you and taking credit for your work (spoiler - he does). Watsisface really is a walking example of the unwarranted confidence of the mediocre white man.

5. Nicholas saw Trolls at holiday/after school clubs and asked for his own copy. It's not awful, and I like the music, but after sitting through it with him three times in less than a week, I think I have had enough of it for now. The trailers on it include Home (based on The True Meaning of Smekday) which I've been meaning to watch, and Nicholas is keen to do so too, so hopefully I'll enjoy that more.
Sep. 24th, 2017 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 24-09-2017

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[personal profile] miss_s_b
Sep. 24th, 2017 11:30 am

Trip to Spain

trailer_spot: (Default)
[personal profile] trailer_spot
I'm back from a trip to Spain. I visited Barcelona
BarcelonaBarcelona


and Madrid.
Madrid


I'm now in the process of catching up with everything that I missed in the last two weeks. Normal trailer service will resume in a couple of days.

A travelogue will follow once I make it through the far too many pictures that I took. That may take a while.
Sep. 24th, 2017 09:36 am

Freeways (cpatain games)

jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
https://captaingames.itch.io/freeways

Yesterday andrew ducker's links got me addicted to this little game. Each level is a screen with some roads coming in and some going out, and you need to join them up so the traffic can flow freely. Some connections need high traffic and need direct connections. Sometimes there's small or medium levels of traffic but lots of connections.

It's really cute how the separate screens join together to make a city with coast and mountains and houses and industrial areas. When you do all the levels in the initial 3x3 grid it expands to 5x5, then 7x7. And maybe further, I don't know.

I don't really understand the score, it clearly correlates with how good the network is, but I don't know exactly what contributes to it.

It makes some real-world motorway engineering make more sense. There's lots of situations where roundabouts work really well. Sometimes there's a couple of really busy routes which need direct connections, but then everything else just needs to be connected *at all* so you can use normal cross-roads with no flyovers at all.

Some things are bizarre. Who designed this city so SOME roads drive on the left and some on the right?

A few of the screens have a menu item to open an aerial picture of a real-world junction with similar connections and see if you came to the same sort of solution. One was a diamond interchange, with a moderate traffic road crossing a high traffic road. Another was two low-traffic roads crossing, in the middle of some fields somewhere.

There doesn't seem to be an "undo" button, am I missing something? That's realistic for working with concrete, but with the interface so clunky it would be really nice.

Edit: Also, there's a directory called save but I can't find any option to save which disinclines me to play again. Anyone know where it's hidden?
Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:46 pm

Working Weather

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[personal profile] kevin_standlee
With Autumn's arrival, we have reached one of the windows on which we can work on the many tasks around the property at Fernley House where we neither freeze nor melt. The weather today was essentially perfect for working on some jobs that we've been avoiding all summer and about which I will write more later when the full project is concluded. But after roughly eight hours toiling away at it, Lisa and I were both tired, sore, and hungry, so we got cleaned up and went to the Black Bear Diner for dinner. After dinner, Lisa won $5 on her favorite slot machine, which she kindly gave to me to help pay for part of the dinner.

If we're not too sore tomorrow, we have more jobs to do. There are only a few weeks of good weather before it starts getting too cold and the days too short for us to get much done, so we have to make the most of what we have.
Tags:
Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:10 pm

Feeling a bit more up to things again

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[personal profile] mmegaera
To the point where when friends offer to take me places, I can go. I tire really easily, but we've found ways around that. Up to and including my friend Judy, who has a conversion van I can sleep in the back of while she takes me places, so that I have the actual energy to enjoy them when I get there. Is that a wonderful friend or what?

And that last post was the first blog post I've written since I got sick. So yay, me!

I'm settled into my new place, and I feel safe and comfortable here. Also, not having to figure out what kind of food I can eat and just having it there for me has made all the difference. I've stopped losing weight, for one thing [g].

The symptoms are starting to gradually get worse (whatever Power That Be who decided the main symptom of the endometrial part of this would be the equivalent of really bad menstrual cramps all the time needs to be shot in the kneecaps and left to die), but that's just the way it is. It would be nice to have a working internal thermostat again, too, but hey. At least I still have a brain.

I am so grateful to my local friends, who have bent over backwards to help me out. You have no idea. Seriously. And my long distance friends, too, who have done all sorts of things to keep my spirits up. I have the best friends on the planet. Period.
Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:06 pm

Softball and the Old Lineup Shuffle

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[personal profile] billroper
Katie's team manager is out of town this weekend, so the rest of the inmates have been left to run the asylum. :) She left us a draft lineup, which I have now shuffled to cover for the fact that one of the girls who had been slated to catch has some cuts on her knees which would make catching less than a good experience. Hopefully, everyone will be ok with the changes, which I just sent out via text message.

It is going to be brutally hot tomorrow. Gretchen is bringing extra water and ice. I've bought a pack of salty snacks to keep the girls running.

We'll see how it goes.
Sep. 23rd, 2017 07:06 pm

Karin’s sewing machine

mmegaera: (Much Ado in Montana)
[personal profile] mmegaera

Tonight my friend Tina and I went to a program/exhibit at the Lacey library.  It was put on by the Pacific Northwest Vintage Sewing machine organization.  It was fascinating.  All kinds of antique and vintage sewing machines, as well as a program where several people spoke about them.  Some folks there own more than a hundred sewing machines!

There were also quilts up on the library’s walls from a couple of local guilds, which was nice.

And I got to try a sewing machine about the right age to have been Karin’s sewing machine from True Gold, which was truly cool.

Here are some of the photos I took.

One of the oddest sewing machines I’ve ever seen. 1930s vintage.
I’ve never seen a white Featherweight in person before.
This one’s about the same vintage (if not the same maker) as my old sewing machine.
Some of the quilts on display.
This one looks a lot like the one my mother had.
A 1914 Scottish Singer machine .
Not a very good photo, but this machine could be the one Karin carried over Chilkoot Pass and the Golden Staircase in True Gold.  It’s a vintage 1895-1905 Singer portable.
And the carrying case for Karin’s machine.

Oh, and by the way, this is a photo of the Golden Staircase up to the top of Chilkoot Pass that Karin carried her sewing machine over, and the conditions in which she would have done it.

Mirrored from M.M. Justus -- adventures in the supernatural Old West.

conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
But honestly, I'm not sure I want to. It's harder to cut felt than I realized!

(Is "logo" the right word? Should I say "sigil" or "symbol" or "shield"?)

********************


The Bad Hair, Incorrect Feathering, and Missing Skin Flaps of Dinosaur Art

When growing their penises for the season, ducks bend to social pressure

The Hobbit Was Almost Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

Growing Up Neanderthal

The Banned 1910s Magazine That Started a Feminist Movement in Japan

Millions of new genes in human microbiome

Present-Day Devices as Props

These jellyfish don’t have brains, but still somehow seem to sleep

The mysterious group that’s picking Breitbart apart, one tweet at a time

Getting emotional after failure helps you improve next time, study finds (Who'da thunkit?)

Gene editing of human embryos in UK reveals new fertility clue

How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food

Women Are Spending Years In Prison Because Wyoming Won’t Let Them Into Its All-Male Boot Camp

Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey

How Canada has been secretly giving asylum to gay people in Chechnya fleeing persecution

Thousands gather to protest arrests over Catalonian vote

Spain to send extra police to try to halt Catalan referendum

Whites Have Huge Wealth Edge Over Blacks (but Don’t Know It)

Lightning storms triggered by exhaust from cargo ships

Washington Just Sued a Giant Private Prison Company for Paying Immigrant Workers $1 Per Day

These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War

In Battle Over Tax Cuts, It’s Republicans vs. Economists

174 Television Stations Are Being Forced To Air Trump Propaganda Disguised As News

Some forcibly arrested in St. Louis weren't protesting

'Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself' Is in Full Effect

How a federal agent got away with terrorizing his Brazilian ex-girlfriend — even as she repeatedly begged the US government to stop him.

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

Push for Gender Equality in Tech? Some Men Say It’s Gone Too Far (Wow. And yet, so not surprising....)

Too late, China and America see North Korea the same way
Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:07 pm

Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give, 2017

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[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
This is a young-adult novel, a debut for the author, and it deservedly has a lot of great reviews.

Content notes for police violence

Starr Carter lives in a poor neighborhood called Garden Heights. She and her brothers commute 45 minutes to go to a mostly-white private school. It's Spring break and she's a a party in the Garden. She runs into an old friend, Khalil, and they catch up. A fight breaks out at the party and they leave, getting into Khalil's car. On the way home, a cop pulls them over, shoots and kills Khalil. The book is abou the aftermath of these events.

It's first-person and the strong use of voice makes this book real and visceral. Thomas deftly handles a number of difficult topics, such as Starr's complicated feelings about dating a white boy, and feeling torn between two worlds. The story is gripping, and though its long (by YA standards), its a fast read.

I hope to see this as required reading on syllabi.
Sep. 24th, 2017 02:37 am

Nook replacement?

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[personal profile] ffutures
I've somehow damaged the screen of my Nook Simpletouch. It's not too bad at present, just a blotch a couple of letters wide and high near the bottom of the page, but it's a bit annoying and I'm worried it might get worse. It's not urgent, but I think I'll replace it if I can find a cheap substitute - but it must be an e-ink based ebook reader, not anything with an LCD screen, the power life is too limited on anything like that.

I get the impression that this technology has to a large extent been sidelined by cheap android tablets etc., but if possible I'd like something a bit faster than the Nook and easier to organize - you can't organize books into "shelves" from the computer with Nooks - and Calibre compatible.

Any suggestions?
Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:33 pm

Ellen Pao, Reset, 2017

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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Remember how I said that I was probably way too close to the world described in Juliet Takes A Breath to have any kind of objective opinion about its merits? Join me in laughing hollowly as I disclose that I joined the venture capital industry very shortly after Ellen Pao first filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the industry's giant, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Why is it on me to learn and improve and not on them to listen to me like they listen to one another? I wondered.

I shall confine myself to remarking that I underlined every second sentence or so of Reset but nobly refrained from writing IT'S SO TRUE!!! in every margin, if only because I was reading it on my Kindle. And that Ellen is a real-life badass superhero and that her Project Include is an authentic Force For Good. And that this book is an pretty good primer both on the structure of venture capital and on what discrimination in the workplace looks like, and how insidious it is and how hard to fight. Okay, I'm done.
Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:21 pm

Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, 1970

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[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Content warning for child sexual abuse, incest, and a fairly graphic rape.

I was puzzled by this book until I realized it was the author's first, and that when she wrote it she was not yet the astonishing artist who created Sethe and Beloved. The Bluest Eye deals with a lot of the same themes as the later novel - the crippling legacies of the slaveholding South, the crises of Black American manhood, the extremes to which Black women are driven to make sense of their predicaments. But they are present here in larval form.

Morrison uses the text of a child's early reader as a framing device, and to throw her dark material into stark relief. I realize as I am writing this that it works equally well as an ironic nod to the fact that the author is here feeling her way into her story and her voice.

The great John Leonard gave this book a lovely, generous review.

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