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Messages - nosh [ switch to compact view ]

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Living Room / Re: I'm getting married, wish me luck!
« on: December 29, 2018, 10:15 AM »
Congratulations to you and the missus, Mouser! Wish you guys a long, fulfilling life ahead!  :-*

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: December 29, 2018, 10:04 AM »
Hello, DC!  :-* Hope everyone's doing fine.

Just popping in to urge everyone to check out Steve Ramsey's selection of best movies of 2018, I think it's a fascinating list. Those of you who are into woodworking have probably heard of Steve, this is a side channel he maintains where he rarely posts. His picks are mostly lesser known movies, which is what makes it so good, IMO. Great list! Do yourselves a favor and watch!

Happy 2019 to all!

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: December 06, 2017, 10:42 AM »
I've seen some comparison videos where both devices are asked the same questions, Google Home seems to be more intelligent on most occasions. And I only see the gap widening with the resources and knowhow they have at their disposal. Google's voice sounds far better (more human) too. Plus they have access to Youtube... yeah, I can easily see myself switching over down the line.

I was aware the Dot's speaker wasn't even close to high quality, I wasn't thinking of using it as a music accessory when I got it - I don't even listen to music on my JBL bluetooth speaker. I still think the Echo Dot is a great device for music as long as you hook it up to your home's sound system - it's unobtrusive and looks cool.

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: December 05, 2017, 12:49 PM »
I got the 2nd gen Echo Dot. I've never been a fan of voice commands, talking to Siri only confirms how daft this category of AI really is. The Echo's introductory price was ridiculously low, they were all but giving them away so I got one just to see what the fuss was about.

As expected, it wasn't anything revolutionary, the responses are mainly hardcoded to certain keywords. Alexa has no real AI to speak of, if she doesn't recognize a keyword she's at a total loss.

Some things work great though - setting quick reminders, doing calculations or defining a word are all really convenient, but none of these make the Echo a must have device.

The speaker is shit for listening to music but the new gen devices have a line out, so I hooked it up to my mac, which in turn is hooked up to my main sound system. I connected my Spotify account and O.M.G - the convenience of listening to any song (without compromising sound quality) in an instant is truly revolutionary. Understanding the concept really doesn't do it justice, you have to actually use it so realize how bloody wonderful it is. I can't recommend this enough to anyone whose setup allows them to hook the Echo up to a proper sound system.

Living Room / Re: What's your favorite scientist ?
« on: September 18, 2017, 11:54 AM »
Carl Sagan.

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: September 10, 2017, 10:23 AM »
I went for a Spyderco Sharpmaker a few years back and am really happy with it - it's a compromise between one of these sharpener gizmos and hardcore manual sharpening using stones.

Be careful with the sharpener there - there's no safety feature so it's possible to miss by a little and slash through your finger resting on the device. I still bear a mark on my finger from ~20 years back. The sharpmaker has bronze safety rods and does two different angles 15 degrees and 22.5 degrees (listed as 30 and 45 degrees because they count both edges.) It comes with regular and fine ceramic rods and you can purchase diamond and extra-fine rods separately. It's also preferable over a sharpening gadget if you're sharpening high end knives that you want to avoid scratching at the sides.

Living Room / Re: 60 years. Am I now allowed to be grumpy?
« on: September 10, 2017, 10:05 AM »
Belated Happy Birthday, Curt.
No, you aren't allowed to be grumpy after 60; you have to run around with a huge, fake grin plastered on your face for the rest of your days. Them's the rules! :P

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: July 22, 2017, 04:14 PM »
A few picks from the 25  :o or so movies I've seen since I last posted. I rate all of them on IMDB so I know the count.

The Fault In Our Stars (2014) - centers around a girl with cancer. Not the kind of movie I usually watch but I'd heard too many good things about it so I gave it a shot. It lived up to its hype and had some really beautiful moments. Not your run-of-the-mill tear-jerker, highly recommended!

The Infiltrator (2016) - a brilliant thriller about U.S. customs agents working a sting op on Colombian drug runners. Bryan Cranston is as great as you expect him to be. John Leguizamo has a smaller part but is arguably even better. The movie has a 70s vibe about it and I'm not just talking about Cranston's moustache.

Allied (2016): Decent spy thriller starring A-listers, Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Set in Casablanca and then in WWII London. 

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: April 10, 2017, 04:04 PM »
I watched Dirty Dancing years back and remember finding it enjoyable, I decided to watch it again this weekend and HOLY SHIT - I was blown away by how emotional the movie made me! Maybe part of it had something to do with nostalgia but I really enjoyed it. It's amazing how time changes the way you perceive things. BTW, they're remaking it (again!) this year as a TV movie with Abigail Breslin. Sorry, but I just don't see anyone replacing Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

I also binge watched both seasons of the Italian Mafia drama "Gomorra - La serie" - top notch stuff, if you enjoyed the Sopranos or The Wire I highly recommend you watch it. The series has made the IMDB Top 250 TV list, season 3 is expected to premiere this year in Europe, US is a season behind IIRC. Also IIRC, it's currently available on Netflix.

A side-note to avoid some spoiler grief when it comes to TV series... this was brought up on Reddit by someone a few days back but it has been a pet peeve of mine for a while. When looking up a TV series on IMDB do not scroll down on the main landing page for that series, IMDB lists the number of episode each actor stars in so it's kind of a giveaway when you notice that every actor starred in 12 episodes but the one you're looking up just did 10. They probably met their maker in Ep. 10.  ;D
Instead, click on the season number and look up the specific episode you just watched.

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: March 06, 2017, 05:30 PM »
Color me stupid but I didn't care all that much for Arrival (great beginning, watchable throughout but it ultimately didn't pack the punch I was hoping for), however...  I quite enjoyed the less serious space-fluff Passengers. ;D

Living Room / Re: Post Your Funny Videos Here [NSFW]
« on: January 19, 2017, 12:59 AM »
FUCK Windows XP!

(using the Insert Attachment tag just makes the attachment vanish...  :'()

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: January 08, 2017, 11:56 AM »
Train to Busan was a good addition to the zombie horror genre. I liked the buildup but didn't think it was as exceptional as some people made it out to be.
I loved The Handmaiden - the locale itself was worth the entry price. One of the best movies I saw last year. 

Living Room / Re: Movies you've seen lately
« on: January 07, 2017, 01:37 PM »
Hell Or High Water (2016) - a slow-mid paced contemporary crime drama which has a gentle side to it. Great character development - it made me empathize with both sides. Even the minor characters were charming and stood out. The action is sparse but the few scenes it has were very well done. No hesitation in recommending this one.  :up:

So, I've been dabbling a little with cooking lately and one seemingly easy task I'd failed at most spectacularly was making a decent plate of fries.

I tried the double fry method (fry on low heat, cool, fry on high heat) which seems to be online gospel and the results were nasty, to put it mildly. The fries turned into things I'd never encountered before - the closest I can come to describing them is "Elven shoes", completely hollow on the inside and hard and leathery on the outside.

To the rescue: Chef J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, an MIT grad who has a high regard for McDonalds fries and took it upon himself to understand what makes them so "great", his description but I concur. He gets quite technical about the chemistry involved which I though DC would appreciate. My very first try with this method was a 90% success, a quantum leap from anything I'd made earlier (bad comparison) and better than most restaurant fries I've tried.

http://aht.seriousea...le-french-fries.html (the recipe is linked at the end)


Living Room / Re: Goodbye to my father
« on: May 24, 2016, 05:59 PM »
I'm so sorry to hear about this. Please accept my heartfelt condolences, mouser.

Eep! :-[  I actually checked the page once more before posting to make sure I wasn't missing anything. Thanks for pointing this out.  :up:

And there are often many different listings for exactly the same product.

And sometimes there's one listing for similar products. I bought a Lodge cast iron skillet today. They've clubbed nine different sizes into one listing, there are over 8000 reviews and over 500 answered questions.

Q: "What's the actual size of the base?"
Ans: 8"
Ans: 9"
Ans: 3" ... WTF!

The reviews are similarly mixed for all eight sizes. Here the items are basically similar but if you were interested in buying a really large skillet wouldn't you want to read the reviews for just that size? Too bad, there's no way to filter it down. Sometimes there are different materials used for similar items, the other reviews are completely meaningless then.

IMO, for verified purchases, there shouldn't even be an option given to specify the exact product purchased and the seller. These fields should appear automatically for the review and the user should be able to rate and review both, product and seller on a comprehensive review page. I'm guessing Amazon has given these processes a lot more consideration than we're giving them credit for and the resulting system is one that hurts their sales the least.

It would also help to highlight the few sellers who are actually selling authentic products if users could link them to positive reviews.

I imagine that people check this for anything that's not Prime (I know I do).

I can't imagine most shoppers doing this. In any case, it's something I've learned the hard way to do in the future.

Isn't that the point?

It could help, yes. But a better approach would be to let us flag the seller in the product review too. There should be a straightforward way to identify the rotten apple, why should you have to source the info out by contacting other users? It just takes more time and effort and leaves things to chance.

In this case I was assured by Amazon that the seller would be banned but he was up and working in a few weeks time. I've left the product review on because though it's a known seller now, the product (Otterbox Defender) is facing rampant counterfeiting. It's so bad that there are complaints even for the "ships and sold by Amazon" listings.

I've had my own issues with Amazon's review system. A seller sold me a fake phone case a few months back. I went through the hassle of getting my money back and wrote a negative review for the seller. Since the same product was still up for sale with only one seller, the crook, I also wrote a review for the product, saying I was sold a fake. I made it a point to mention the seller's identity. My review was rejected repeatedly till I removed the seller's identity. 

A few weeks later a girl representing the seller calls me up asking me to delete the negative review because it was hurting their sales. I refused to do so. Then she actually tried to bribe me with gift coupons or some nonsense of the sort (hilarious!), I told her I could edit the review and add the fact that they tried to bribe me to it.  ;D
I complained to Amazon about the incident and checked the listing for the phone case just out of curiosity, it was being sold by another seller whom I've bought from several times and know to be honest. So my negative review was directly affecting their sales. What a mess!  :'(

General Software Discussion / Re: struggling in Fb and Twit pool
« on: February 13, 2016, 01:47 AM »
Dc Twits

Living Room / Re: Why GOD has not updated the world ?
« on: January 20, 2016, 03:21 PM »
God (unlike Mozilla) hates version updates. He's a "from the ground up" kinda guy.
Next "format /E": due in ~5 billion years.  :P

Living Room / Re: pass time during flights
« on: December 25, 2015, 09:47 AM »
I spent the last long haul flight I took eating and freaking out the Canadian pig farmer in the next seat:
"Is that a FIRE INSIDE THE ENGINE???!!"  :o
"!!! ...I'm pretty sure that's just the wing light."

Living Room / Re: Gadget WEEKENDS
« on: December 23, 2015, 07:55 AM »

A butter grater to speed up the inevitable heart attack.  The best thing about not having this around is, it's too inconvenient to take tiny bits of butter with whatever, so you don't bother. No such luck now. It works really well with regular refrigerator temp. butter. Made in Japan, it has an excellent build quality. Makes an ideal stocking stuffer for your most hated relatives.

A better demo of the product:
(Shop around for a better price.)

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