Canon gets me every time.

Apr. 24th, 2017 10:00 pm
beatrice_otter: Sam and Teal'c (Sam and Teal'c)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
I'm like halfway done with my Stargate Reverse Bang fic (due in a week, omg I am so panicking), and I just realized I have a MAJOR CANON PROBLEM.  There was no time when a) Teal'c had a prim'ta, b) the SGC had reliable access to their own interstellar ships, and c) Daniel Jackson was on the team.  And for the plot to work as it is designed, I sort of need all three?  Like, Daniel and Teal'c are stranded for a while (longer than Teal'c would reasonably have tretonin supplies for) and the SGC needs to be able to come find them.

I suppose I could set it in, like, season 5 and have the SGC get ahold of Bra'tac?  He is more reliable than the Tok'ra, at any rate.

This is what I get for trying to write a story for a show I once knew encyclopedically but haven't watched in a while.

Yessssss

Apr. 24th, 2017 08:31 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Last Friday, Hope Not Hate filed their libel claim against Nigel Farage.

If you have any spare money you can afford to donate, you can help:

https://donate.hopenothate.org.uk/page/contribute/nigel-farage-legal

Honestly, I can't imagine anything nicer than watching Farage suffer in court and thinking "yes, I helped make that happen."

Firefox grumbling

Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:09 pm
beatrice_otter: SG-1--Walter in his seat, sparks flying. (Walter)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
Months and months ago, I got a new laptop. Well, new to me, because I wanted to keep with Windows 7 (I use Win 10 at work and HATE it, it's better than 8 but that's not saying much). Anyway, it was a used laptop, but it was inspected and certified, and it has been running just perfectly.

EXCEPT that Firefox kept freezing and crashing. All other programs were perfectly fine, it was just firefox. I did some troubleshooting, refreshed firefox, deleted and reinstalled, all that jazz. Nothing worked. So, today I backed up my firefox profile using MozBackup (which has always worked perfectly for me before). Then I uninstalled firefox and deleted the profile and then deleted the firefox folder in my program files folder. Like, EVERYTHING COMPLETELY GONE. NO EXCEPTIONS. So that whatever the problem is, it couldn't possibly come over, right?

Then I reinstalled Firefox, completely clean new installation. Then I tried to use MozBackup.

It didn't work. The backup I made today was "not a valid backup file."

Fortunately, the backup I made two weeks ago DID work, so while I've lost some tabs that were open and a few passwords to websites that I just started using, most of my stuff should be there.

If this didn't work--if I did all this and firefox STILL FREEZES PERIODICALLY, I will be so pissed.

ETA: nevermind, fixed the problem by running MozBackup again and this time, instead of taking the 4/23 backup that it came up with, browsed for and clicked on it from where I saved it in the first place.  Don't know why it made a difference, but it did!

brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I saw Antitrust on an airplane in the summer of 2001. I didn't leave with a high opinion of it; it seemed campy fun.

I found a used DVD at a local thrift shop last weekend, so last night I watched it with my spouse.

It actually holds up better than I predicted on a technobabble level! We freeze-framed a lot and marvelled at how reasonable (mostly) all the command-line stuff was. And as mainstream fiction movies go, I think there still hasn't been a movie that takes the conflict between proprietary and open source software more seriously than Antitrust (I'd welcome corrections on this point).

details, including spoilers )

At some point in the future I will watch the special features and listen to the commentary. (One of the special features is a music video for the Everclear song that plays at the end of the movie. The music video includes clips from the movie. It's like Everclear made a vid!) I imagine I'll have more thoughts then.

March for science

Apr. 23rd, 2017 07:48 am
swaldman: "Stand back - I'm going to try Science!" from the PHD Comic strip. (going to try science)
[personal profile] swaldman
Yesterday, lots and lots of people around the world had pro-science demonstrations. The biggest ones were in the US, for obvious reasons. The one in Edinburgh attracted around 2500 people (I was near the back and asked a steward with a clicker), which was less than I'd hoped but still respectable. It was possibly the most polite, middle-class, non-controversial demo I've ever been on. A significant number of people had never been involved in public protest before (was this even protest?); the police were treating it as a nice paid stroll in the sunshine, and were laughing at the poor organiser with a megaphone who was trying to get a load of cautious and introverted academics to chant!

Favourite slogans on signs, out of many contenders:
  • "I came to do science and kick ass... And you just cut my funding "
  • "When life gives you lemons.... make a crude electrochemical battery"
  • "Witty science related slogan under peer review"
and the winner, for actually making a point humourly rather than just having fun,
  • "Got smallpox? Me neither."
For me the main purpose of this event was showing solidarity with the folk in the US for whom supporting science funding and wanting evidence-based policy is a controversial stance. As others pointed out, it's also relevant in the UK as a reminder to government that a lot of people feel this way, and that in an age of "the public is tired of experts" they are still needed..... but I'm not sure how helpful that is. As I see it, the trouble with the perception of science in government is that it's seen as just another pressure group. "The science lobby", which cares about things like research funding and climate change. I'm not convinced that the way to shift that perception is to do things like marches that a political pressure group would do. Eh. I hope I'm wrong.

I was rather disappointed that out of the ~150 people in my research institute, only a very few attended. When I mentioned it the day before on the relevant Facebook group there was deafening silence. I'm not sure if engineers considered it too political, or what...

Hit the ground running

Apr. 22nd, 2017 11:32 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So yeah, I don't imagine we are headed for anything except a Tory victory (yes, we could theoretically get another freaky none-of-the-polls-predicted-this result, but that would be too damn nice of the universe).

But anything we can do to limit their power and make it hard for them to claim an absolute mandate will help limit the damage. And we can also try to stomp on UKIP's attempts to creep in around the margins.

Google Docs: How To Vote To Stop The Tories (see the FAQ for notes explaining how and why particular choices were made)

Note: Wikipedia gives details of past election results in your constituency, so you can verify and also look at exact details.

Local elections are on May 4, and are important in themselves as well as an indicator of which ways the political winds are blowing. And fewer people vote in them.

Hope Not Hate have a fresh new website and an election fund to fight far-right candidates in any constituency they might have a chance of winning. They are really good at this and have pissed off UKIP no end.

Vote. Make your friends vote. Make everyone you know vote. If nothing else, it's good practice. One day it may matter.
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat




My second venture into the fanzine world was The Tides of Time. I can't find my copy of issue 1, fortunately [personal profile] sir_guinglain has has archived them all. It surprises me that of all the fanzines that have come, and mostly gone, since the 1980s The Tides of Time is one of the few that still produces issues, albeit on an irregular basis.

I've not been involved with it since issue 7, but [personal profile] sir_guinglain is the currently editor and, I believe, possibly looking for contributions...

[tiny linkspam]

Apr. 22nd, 2017 09:56 am
kaberett: Reflections of a bare tree in river ice in Stockholm somehow end up clad in light. (tree-of-light)
[personal profile] kaberett

home again

Apr. 21st, 2017 01:39 pm
ghoti: fish jumping out of bowl (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti
This trip was definitely a few days too long. I do have permission from Mom to stay for shorter next year. I'm also considering a few days in Europe. If nothing else, I'm going to experiment with making a connection through Frankfort or Amsterdam or something. The 12 hour return flight is quite unpleasant.

I did, however, catch up on movies and stuff on the plane. On the way there, I watched Finding Dory and Moana. I started Rogue One, but couldn't focus. While gone, there were way too many episodes of Blue Bloods and NCIS and half of season 3 of Elementary. On the way home, I watched the first 6 episodes of season six of Suits. Also watched the rest of Rogue One, and the new Ghostbusters.

My flight home from Toronto was inexplicably cancelled, so I got to spend the night. On the plus side, they comped my hotel room (at the Marriott, no less) and dinner and breakfast. If only I had a change of clothes too, because I was feeling kind of gross. Note to self, start keeping spare knickers and socks in your carry-on again. I still took a shower, just to get the airplane grime off.

Besides that, more of the same. Work, karate, missing [personal profile] shadowspar.

How are the dogs doing?

Apr. 21st, 2017 08:18 pm
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
[personal profile] qem_chibati
Qem ♞🐯
8:04 PM
Qem's husband: I don't understand how there is so much dog hair on our bed.
8:04
Qem: because they've slept on it, obviously. =/
8:05
Qem's husband: Well if (old dog) she must be the sneakiest thing ever, because (young dog) was in the loundroom all day.
8:05
Qem's husband: wait.
8:06
Qem's husband: I went out to do some shopping earlier...
8:06
Qem: and did you remember to close the bedroom door when you left
8:06
Qem's husband: no, no I did not.
Qem ♞🐯
8:06 PM
Qem: There you go then.
8:07
Dogs gonna dog. And they know it's gonna take some time for us to get out of the car and stuff
8:08
/has caught the dogs by parking on the opposite side of the road, and then using the front door like a barbarian. :P
8:08
/always tries to shut bedroom door as a result.

Qem ♞🐯
8:10 PM
on that note... can hear dog 2 eating something
Qem ♞🐯
8:10 PM
and he doesn't know I'm home right now
A:
8:10 PM
Go and surprise dog 2 xD
Qem ♞🐯
8:11 PM
whelp
8:11
He stole some jatz biscuits off the kitchen counter
8:11
It was literally 3 minutes from when husband left front door.
8:12
(I'd come in through front door and then went straight to bedroom to nap, so he'd not realised I was home)
8:12
so moral of the story is dogs know when they do something you won't like
8:12
but they care more about whether they think they'll get caught or not at that point in time
[personal profile] swaldman
You know how senior people receive far too much email? (Academics think this is unique to them, but of course it isn't)

Some companies have responded to this by rationalising how much email they send.

One person at this university, who sends out information about events, seems to have responded by sending emails about the event every two days for about a month leading up to it. I'm not sure whether it's a concious strategy to try to keep a message about it near the top of everybody's inbox, or whether she just thinks that email works like Twitter, but it certainly helps to make the problem worse......

I wonder if I can come up with an Outlook rule to let the first one of each through, but block subsequent emails from this person with the same subject line, and perhaps the same length?
beatrice_otter: Vader and Leia (Vader and Leia)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
So, waaaaaaaaaay back in 2008, when fandom was still mostly on LJ and AO3 was only just beginning to be talked about but was not yet open, I was discouraged because there was like no Star Wars activity on LJ.  You had to go to other websites for it, pretty much.  And even then, the activity from the prequels was dying down and Clone Wars was only just starting, so there was a bit of a lull anyway.  So I decided to do something about it!  I ran my first and only ficathon, the [livejournal.com profile] starwarsficfest.  And I had vague ideas about doing a second run of it, but that never materialized.

So, having just remembered it, I imported it so that the stories are now at [community profile] starwarsficfest. Interesting thing: I didn't build any long-term relationships with any of the people who wrote for it at the time, and none of them have since claimed their LJ OpenID on Dreamwidth.  But!  One of them, [personal profile] fialleril ([tumblr.com profile] fialleril ) is someone I follow on tumblr.  I love their fic and meta!

(no subject)

Apr. 20th, 2017 09:28 pm
beatrice_otter: A Beatrix Potter illustration of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and Lucie having tea. (Mrs Tiggy-Winkle)
[personal profile] beatrice_otter
My next-door neighbor mows my lawn in exchange for using my large garden space. I think that this is more than enough recompense (NO MOWING YAY, and I don't garden anyway), but she just showed up with a hand-knit scarf for me as well.

Safely home!

Apr. 20th, 2017 12:54 pm
azurelunatic: (Pacifica)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
So I went to Tacoma for a week, to visit my primary partner. It was a very nice visit and everyone had fun!

I flew out Monday the 10th, marred by some lateness from the previous plane arriving, but I had a very lovely chat with my seatmate and gave her some info on self-taught programming for her teenage son who is very good with computers and might be interested in programming if he doesn't go the heart surgeon route. (He is whip-smart, autistic, and interested in planes. And computers. And being a heart surgeon.) Upon seeing my partner, I kissed them hello straight off and then we loaded everything into the car and headed for the next stop (taking time to update the local branch of the polycule on what was up).

My partner met my sister, yay!

There were cheesecake-related shenanigans.

I got to meet my partner's co-workers, and see them at work in one of the more rewarding aspects of their job -- plus some of the stuff that goes into making that happen.

I got to meet some long-time internet friends in person ([livejournal.com profile] tygerr & wife), see Ex Mrs. Shawn #1, see [personal profile] vlion and wife and kid. Stories were told. I got to meet [personal profile] rynia and their wife and another friend, plus my metamour, and the people whose couch my partner will be occupying for the next little bit. And I got to meet the people whose spare room my partner and their cat are currently in. Plus see a few bandmates. And a few of my sister's bandmates. And my metamour's mother and brothers. SO MANY PEOPLE.

Very good times were had by all. We listen to some of the same podcasts, and our philosophies of laundry are compatible. The food choices worked out. [personal profile] norabombay and I bat around some thoughts on alpha/beta/omega dynamics as they are seen in fanfic, and basically you'd need some hardcore preparation for an omega heat. You'd want frozen burritos or something that are super quick to fix, a room with a nice comfortable bed, and a fuckton of lube and such. Water bottles for bed. You know.

^_^

Despite some concerns, we did not get told that we were disturbing other guests. We may have been doing it wrong.

^_^

I left on Monday. I did most of my weeping and clinging on Sunday night. I'm adjusting to life back home, but with a part of my head that I didn't realize had been quite so on-edge now purring quietly to itself.

We'd sort of wanted an oasis of calm with just the two of us. Instead, we got the edge of a crisis, as my partner's hosts had been told that it was renovation time and they needed to find a new place. And my partner had various things at work on four of the weekdays. Plus I wanted to meet people while I was there, and show off my partner. So it wasn't just the two of us alone with no worries, it was commuting and work and locating moving boxes and all sorts of little things.

Our emotions and our physical interactions had been growing wildly out of step. It's one thing to spend comfortable time in each other's virtual presence, swearing at traffic or grumbling about an essay or something. It's another to actually touch each other. I had been a little worried: would I push them away in the middle of the night? Would I be able to fall asleep with their skin touching me? As it turned out, if I tiptoed out of bed in the middle of the night to pee, they'd wrap back around me when I came in, and when they got out of bed with their alarm on a workday, I'd grumble something sleepy at the loss of their touch.

When I was an impressionable teenager, I read some MSR portal fantasy with soulbonding, where some form of magic had bound Mulder and Scully tightly to each other; in the early bits of the fic, the space between them decreased, so they needed to be in physical contact at all times. (This was down to some malfunction, and the bond was fixed later on.) But in the beginning, as the bond strengthened, the physical distance decreased.

But that's ... kind of not where things go.

Given the opportunity, my partner and I will snuggle up into each other. We're both a little short on skin-to-skin contact, so I will likely as not have my hand grasping their shirt collar, fingers tucked against their neck. But it doesn't hurt to let go. It's not a problem of scarcity. If they let go, they will come back and hold me again. If I let go, I will come back and curl around them. There's a security. They are a fixed point. My anchor. My love.
Parted from me and never parted; never and always touching and touched.
purplecat: Texture by simpleandclean (LiveJournal) (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
Tame Layman had sufficiently fond memories of The Talons of Weng Chiang that the Teenager was summoned to watch it with us. She indulged us, but I don't think she was really sold on it. She quite liked Leela and could take or leave the rest.

She prefers The Avengers, I think, which is possibly fair enough.

More under the cut )

Tame Layman and I had a lot of fun watching Talons and felt we were reminded what a great companion Leela was, but the Teenager's relative indifference makes me think that this is not a classic with real staying power. It is a bit too long for the material to sustain, it relies a little too much on tropes from stories that are no longer in vogue, and Leela (out of context) is not as refreshing and different as she appears to older eyes.

Penguicon in a little over a week

Apr. 20th, 2017 09:13 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I'm one of the Guests of Honor at Penguicon, April 28-30 in Southfield, Michigan. Penguicon is a combination of an open source conference and a science fiction convention. Here's my schedule including some more funny bits and some more thinky bits. It'd be lovely to see some Dreamwidth acquaintances there!
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Disclaimer: I have (once) met the Honourable Member for Aberdeen North, who may or may not be bigger than a seagull.

Nonetheless, I feel I am not too biased in my admiration that she managed to legitimately ask this question in Parliament. Good work.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
My longtime friend Zack Weinberg ([personal profile] zwol) needs help in his research to measure Internet censorship. He's a grad student at Carnegie Mellon University, an sf fan, and a longtime open source software hacker.

The short version is: go to https://research.owlfolio.org/active-geo/ and hit the Start button on the map.

More details:

Zack's doing experiments in "active geolocation", which is when you try to figure out where a computer physically is by measuring how long it takes a packet of information to go round-trip between one computer and other computers in known locations. This has been studied carefully within Europe and the continental USA, but much less so elsewhere.

More specifically, Zack is trying to develop a technique for verifying that VPN exits are in the country that their operator claims they are. His larger research focuses on measuring Internet censorship, for which he needs network vantage points in precisely the countries where it's hardest to get reliable server hosting. He could go with the commercial virtual private network (or VPN) providers who say "sure, I have a host in Malaysia/Ukraine/Iran/etc. you can choose to use," but how can Zack know that they're telling the truth? Commercial VPN operators may prefer to locate their hosts in countries where it's easier to do business, and only label them as being in harder-to-access countries.

So Zack is looking for volunteers who can visit that page, which will run measurement scripts, on computers physically located all over the world. South America, sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania locations are especially helpful, but he can use data from anywhere.

Once you click "Start" on the map at https://research.owlfolio.org/active-geo/, the page will run a test/demo to see whether you could help. If you can, then you'll see the consent form below to ask for more information about your location and you'll see the CMU’s Office of Research Integrity and Compliance notice.

Here's more about the research questions he is investigating, here's how to help using a command-line tool in case you'd like to give him data from a computer that you only have remote shell access to, and

In case you want to spread the word about this request, here's a public tweet you can retweet:

I'm looking for volunteers to help with a research project: https://research.owlfolio.org/active-geo/ Especially want people outside Europe and North America.


And you can ask [personal profile] zwol for more info if you have any questions.

Thanks!

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