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301  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: July 18, 2014, 08:54:04 PM
^Like that ironically ironic example he employed:

You and I know, of course, though other less intelligent mortals walk benighted under the midday sun
    Oddly enough, or it's a rum thing that
    Oh hell! I've run out of words to start a sentence with."

302  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: EaseUS & SoftMaker Office on: July 18, 2014, 08:45:52 PM
^ @Curt: LOL! Grin Thmbsup
303  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Weird Router Issue Hoping someone has seen before on: July 18, 2014, 08:43:15 PM
A couple of things:

1) Check your subnet mask setting. Although you're on a 10.x.x.x network (which implies a /8), you're only using 10.0.50.x (which makes it effectively a /24 network) so your subnet mask should be set to

2) I've seen many consumer/SOHO grade routers where their DHCP server has trouble with anything other than the 192.168.x.x range of addresses. If you don't need the huge address space a 10.x.x.x/8 network provides, use 192.168.x.x/24 for your address range.

3) SJ's note about the default gateway is super important. Run an ipconfig /all on any machine that's having a problem and see if they're picking up a strange gateway.

4) Don't always trust your wiring if you're in a shared office space. I went bonkers for about three hours trying to run down a network connectivity issue at one of my client's offices. Some client machines could get the web, but suddenly could not see the servers. Turned out their telco people had installed a router over the weekend for their new VoIP phones and commandeered some of the existing network wiring so that the router I thought some of my user's PCs were connecting to was the telco's rather than theirs. Having the exact same address on the box plus the same DNS entries and DHCP scope served from both routers hid the culprit pretty effectively. It wasn't until I noticed two PCs had the exact same IP address (and the network hadn't crashed) that I realized what was up. Changing the router configuration and DHCP scope confirmed my suspicions. That didn't fix the actual wiring, which needed to be redone. But at least it identified who screwed it up.

304  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: July 18, 2014, 10:11:13 AM
@Ren - perhaps nobody in the Bitcoin social club thinks much of NY. However, in the international business finance and banking world, it looms very large, and its voice is heard. Right up there with London, Zurich, and Hong Kong. Like it or not. Please don't let your bitterness cloud your thinking so much as to think wishing it weren't so changes anything.

Regarding Mr. Ver

I've said before the way things seem to work is you can either say whatever you want to people - or get what you want from them. But you never get both.

Ver is playing right into the opposition's hands making toothless and naive comments like the one you quoted. Lovely of him to publicly make a statement to the effect that the real intent (and therefor threat) of Bitcoin is to undermine the rule of law and disrupt government worldwide. Thanks dude! You can be sure remarks like his will be quoted and figure prominently in the justifications given for tougher regulation or abolition.

Sorry, but his constantly polishing his "street cred" with soundbytes to the already converted accomplishes nothing even if it is an "ego-boo" for him. It's a shame so many self-proclaimed Libertarians just can't resist putting in that sarcastic jab or snarky little dig every time they open their mouths. It will likely be their downfall.

Maybe someday they'll realize being a smartass isn't the same thing as being smart or clever.

Just sayin' smiley
305  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: You like science fiction, don't you? Of course you do! on: July 18, 2014, 07:54:59 AM
Annihilation (The Southern Reach Trilogy) by Jeff VanderMeer.


I'll say it up front - you will either love or hate this book. You'll either read the first 20 pages with a growing sense of frustration and toss it - or you'll read the first twenty pages with a growing sense of frustration and not put it down until it's finished.

I'm in the second group.

Jeff VanderMeer has a weird style and approach to telling a story that I find absolutely hypnotic. Without handing you much, he has the ability to conjure up the most amazing images and symbols in your mind's eye and invoke eerie moods in your subconscious. Like his earlier works City of Saints and Madmen, Finch, and the (sadly out-of-print) Shriek: An Afterword, Annihilation continues in the same tradition - but in a new storyline which doesn't take place in his brooding city named Ambergris. Pretty neat feat for someone using only the printed word.

So here's the deal:

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide, the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer. In Annihilation, the first volume of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy, we join the twelfth expedition.

     The group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

     They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another that change everything.

Not for everyone. But, as the saying goes, "If you like this sort of book, this is a book you'll like."

Amazon's page has an extensive sampling of the first part of the book. Or you can read an excerpt of the first few pages here. I'd suggest you check them out first before buying it.

One review I saw that IMO nailed what this book is about can be found here.

Recommended - but with caveat. Thmbsup


Note: if anybody has a copy of Shriek: An Afterword (either paperback or hardcover) they'd be interested in selling, please PM me? I need a second copy for a project I'm working on. Thx. smiley
306  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: July 18, 2014, 07:13:10 AM
Yet another fly in the ointment. This from Wired:

New York’s New Bitcoin Rules Are Going to Kill Its Startups

    By Robert McMillan 
    07.17.14  |  2:15 pm  |


New York State has released a first draft of its much-anticipated plan to regulate bitcoin and other virtual currencies, and at first blush, they look like they were written for the 19th century banking industry, not the modern fast-changing world of crypto currencies.

The guy responsible for the rules, Benjamin Lawsky, has a fine line to walk. Bitcoin, after all, came of age as a lubricant for illegal activity on the Silk Road. But today, a new generation of bitcoin startups are coming of age with millions of dollars in backing from legitimate venture capital companies. Is New York about to drive these startups out of town by clubbing them with onerous regulations before they can walk? Quite possibly. The New York regulations introduce a new level of reporting rules that cover a wider swath of businesses and require more work than the current federal guidelines.

The guidelines ask bitcoin businesses to keep track not only of the physical addresses of their customers, but also of anybody who sends their customers money using the bitcoin network. That undermines the fundamental value proposition of bitcoin, which works very much like the internet’s version of cash. But there’s more. Bitcoin businesses must also file frequent reports to Lawsky’s organization, the New York State Department of Financial Services, or DFS, to detail changes in ownership, financial forecasts, even strategic business plans. <more>

A complete copy of the NYC-DFS draft regulation discussed above can be downloaded here.
307  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google, designing the font of the future on: July 17, 2014, 05:46:29 PM
something about them is not yet perfect.

If you want font perfection, look no further (IMO) than Hermann Zapf 's Optima (as well as almost all his other typefaces); Robert Slimbach's Minion and Myriad; and Rudolf Ruzicka's Fairfield, Lake Informal, Transitional 551, and Ruzicka Freehand.

 Cool Thmbsup
308  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google, designing the font of the future on: July 17, 2014, 05:35:01 PM
Sometimes when posting I feel like I'm using the font of the future.  The typos don't show up until after I hit the Post Button. 

LOL! However, on an iPhone that would be considered a feature. Their spellcheck has a mind of its own. tellme
309  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google, designing the font of the future on: July 17, 2014, 05:29:31 PM
Thank you, Ed, for giving the right link for Android users. However, it is not my impression that these fonts will do well in a textual document on a large desktop monitor - they look so awful here, that I already am planing to remove them again.

I guess it's one of those YMMV things. Running under Linux on a laptop @ 1600 x 900 screen resolution, it looks more than acceptable to me. Here's a screenshot from LibreOffice Writer. It's running default style with no text format tweaking. This is RobotoRegular at 12pt:


The screenshot is noticeably fuzzier than the text displays in Libre. Inside the wordprocessor it's very sharp and clear. I coud see using it in FocusWriter or Libre for drafts. Haven't seen what it looks like printed since I'm out of toner right now. I'd better do an office supplies run real soon... Grin
310  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: July 17, 2014, 04:36:43 PM

Now we know! tellme tellme tellme
311  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Animal Friends thread on: July 17, 2014, 04:30:47 PM
Although.. come on lady, sticks are free, it wouldn't hurt for you to have more than one.

But then it wouldn't be a game! huh

Our dogs would chase a ball (and each other) around for hours. But of you give each of them a ball they'd either stop playing, or decide among themselves which was the "play" ball and ignore the rest. Wink

Dogs get games. Cool
312  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google, designing the font of the future on: July 17, 2014, 12:10:49 PM
Wha? What does Stephen Elop, Microsoft, or Nokia have to do with Google or the Roboto font?

Absolutely nothing. It's obviously a bad link I had that is now corrected. Thx. Wink
313  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The coldest company layoff notice ever written on: July 17, 2014, 11:26:35 AM
Well, in fairness, that's not the notice they are sending to tell people they are being let go -- that would be evil.
But yea, this is what we call "burying the lead".

Out of curiosity...do they send written notices regarding one's impending layoff to an employee?

My experience with corporate layoffs has been that the people being laid-off get escorted (singly or in very small groups) to a room where an HR person collects your ID, has you sign some COBRA and other paperwork, hands you a check, speaks briefly about how to apply for you State's unemployment benefit, passes out an info packet about whatever layoff counselling and assistance will be provided (usually by an outside speciality firm - and never on company property), does not apologize for what has happened, wishes you the best - and then has HR and/or security personnel escort you out the door.

In some respects, I guess it really doesn't matter how sensitive they try (or don't try) to be. A mass layoff is a bad scene to either be caught up in - or to witness if you're "one of the survivors." Nobody, including the company, emerges unscathed from one of those.

314  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google, designing the font of the future on: July 17, 2014, 11:08:44 AM
I love typography. Kiss

That said, anything that increases readability is laudable in my book.

Some of the aesthetes and designers may be offended by placing readability ahead of art - or not paying sufficient homage to long tradition and those children of lesser gods who design typefaces. It's true that beauty and readability aren't mutually exclusive goals. But when push comes to shove, letters and text are meant to be read. Everything else comes second to that.

Unfortunately, there's a growing tendency on the part of some designers (many of which don't - or won't read ) to see type as "just another graphic element." Which is a perfect example of the tail wagging the dog.

IMHO, if Droid was anything to go by, I welcome Google's latest foray into type design. My only question is: where I can download it? Thmbsup


You can download it here.
315  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / The coldest company layoff notice ever written on: July 17, 2014, 10:25:19 AM
How do you announce a massive layoff to your employees?

If you're a new Microsoft senior exec, like Stephen Elop, you do it with an e-mail that opens with "Hello there" - and then buries the announcement down toward the bottom of a very long and rambling buzzword-laden memo on corporate strategy. Like so:

How lovely is that? undecided

316  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: July 17, 2014, 10:06:32 AM
I need a little taste of smooth cool jazz to go with these hot summer nights we've been having. And who better than Hubert Laws and quintet to deliver it with Land of Passion?

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBrl4ujR8I8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBrl4ujR8I8</a>

Don't know about anybody else, but flute instrumentals are my favorite background music whenever I'm doing something. And fortunately for me, there's been a lot of them recorded over the years.
317  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Oh god...It's him! on: July 17, 2014, 09:21:44 AM
Katie isn't naturally that colour and currently has black/blue hair...I'm fairly sure (but not 100%) that she is naturally brunette...but who the hell knows these days haha

We don't. Which makes them that much more interesting and lovely regardless of their hair color. Grin

Besides, my lady Alexis (who is a natural auburn) maintains that: "'Redhead' is a state of mind, not a state of grace. If it's you  - go for it!" Thmbsup

318  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Oh god...It's him! on: July 16, 2014, 09:09:57 PM
Hello Mr. S!

It's been too long since you graced us with your company. Glad to see all is well.

Nice photo too. There can never be too many redheads in the world AFAIC. Thmbsup (Got one of my own many years ago and never looked back!) And such a noble dog!...(Got one of those too!) Life is good. smiley
319  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: July 16, 2014, 01:31:05 PM
^ havent heard that one before 40 thumbs up
Sounds suspiciously like a Libertarian (in the U.S. sense) song though :p
and wasnt that partly the reason Bitcoin got going in the first place?

@tomos- Ewan McColl was (among other things) a labor activist with definite communist philosophical leanings. At least AFAIK. He was a YCL member at one point in his life, and never attempted to deny or apologize for being one. Even during certain times when it wasn't wise (or healthy) to be called one.

In that Libertarians are the polar opposite of Socialists (in theory so they say - even though much of their rhetoric and arguments are oddly similar to those of the Socialist camp) I think Ewan would be the first to vehemently disagree with you on that point. Grin

That said, it's still a great protest song. My Linux crowd often breaks out singing an impromptu verse or two whenever some new boneheaded bit of tech legislation comes up for discussion at our meetings. The second to last verse is especially popular.  Cool
320  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: July 15, 2014, 09:24:38 PM
One of the odder Moebius inspired (to my eyes at least) videos: Gerry Rafferty's Bring it All Home. (Some excellent bluesy sax on this one.)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0QKA9HZ0R4" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0QKA9HZ0R4</a>

321  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: July 15, 2014, 09:10:03 PM
Sometimes a simple combination just makes so much sense...Bela Fleck & the Flecktones join forces with the Dave Matthews Band for 32 minutes of exceptionally fine music.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G1g0cO0ouA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G1g0cO0ouA</a>

322  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: July 15, 2014, 06:26:32 PM
@Ren - This one was made for you. Francis Black singing the Ewan McColl song Legal Illegal

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkHwkRfsqBQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkHwkRfsqBQ</a>

 Cool Wink Grin
323  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: South Park moves behind Hulu paywall starting Sept 24, 2014 on: July 13, 2014, 08:22:52 PM
“This is a natural partnership for us,” said Matt Parker and Trey Stone, creators of South Park. “We are excited that the entire library will be available on Hulu and that the best technology around will power South Park Digital Studios.”

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcbV1CukCNc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcbV1CukCNc</a>


It is a little weird to see Matt Parker and Trey Stone happily chatting around the change as if nothing happened and it's all a big win for their fans. Especially after their original discussion about why it was so important for them to be able to make the entire archive of past episodes freely available when they first started doing it.

The real problem with a Hulu Pro subscription isn't the cost (about $8 USD/mo. last I checked) but the fact that what's included in their subscription isn't the same the whole world over. Hulu bows to local government censorship conventions regarding propriety. So there's every good likelihood SP will have certain episodes "redacted" (or the entire show embargoed) depending on which country the subscriber resides in.

Then there's all the commercials and region lockout you get with Hulu. That's something nobody in SP or Hulu will even acknowledge, let alone talk about.


Commenter seaborgium over at Ars Technica said it best: Locking your show behind only one method of streaming is a big reason why people torrent.
324  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Does anyone here use Bitcoins? on: July 13, 2014, 12:38:52 PM
Remember the concept of the self fulfilling prophecy, and add to that the knowledge that no one really has any power over you unless you give it to them. If we continuously function solely based on the assumption that TPTB have total control over everything ... Then they very soon really will. And we will all die very quietly whenever and wherever we are told too.


Lest what I am saying be misconstrued, I'll spell it out a little more bluntly...

As a product of the anti-war (Viet Nam) era I too say "speak truth to power."


As Franklin so succinctly put it: We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.

Something to think about when it comes to pushing for disruptive change.

40... This is turning into almost conditioned response to Ren and I getting together on something. cheesy

 huh Ok...If that's the way it's being taken, or starting to sound, then perhaps I'd best just leave the two of you to it.

I'm out.  smiley

Onward!  Thmbsup
325  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / South Park moves behind Hulu paywall starting Sept 24, 2014 on: July 13, 2014, 12:30:41 PM
It was bound to happen sooner or later...


From Ars Technica (full article here)

Since 2008, fans of the Comedy Central cartoon South Park have been able to stream the show’s entire library (minus a few permanently redacted episodes) from the South Park Studios site. But according to a new post on the show's official blog, this fan-friendly unlimited streaming arrangement will soon be ending: South Park is moving to Hulu. Folks who want to watch more than a limited selection of old South Park episodes will either have to resort to physical media or begin paying $7.99 per month to subscribe to Hulu Plus.

Under what the blog post describes as an "exclusive, multi-year" agreement, the current offering of streamable South Park episodes will remain available until September 24 at both the show’s official site and also on Hulu. After September 24—the start of the show’s 18th season—new episodes will be available to both standard Hulu and Hulu Plus customers the day after they air (Variety’s writeup says that the official South Park Studios site will also have next-day streaming, but that isn’t mentioned in the blog post).

The big change is the paywalling of past episodes. After September 24, free Hulu users and visitors to the show’s official site will only be able to watch "a revolving selection of free episodes." Unlimited access—which today is free—will only be available for Hulu Plus users....

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