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[sticky post] Hello!

Oct. 29th, 2009 | 03:00 pm

Welcome back my friends
To the show that never ends!
We're so glad you could attend
Come inside, come inside!

— Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part II)

Hi there!

If you're reading this, you're probably just looking at my journal, perhaps even thinking about adding me as an LJ-friend; or alternatively, perhaps I just added you as an LJ-friend, and you're curious about me now. In either case, I I'd like to use this opportunity to say a few things.

Trevor: You're skating the edge.
Æon: I
am the edge.

— Æon Flux

First of all, I tend to write freely about topics everything that matters to me; more distanced, "professional" entries may directly be followed by more personal ones (and vice versa), and I will, generally, openly write about all sorts of things, including philosophy, sexuality, politics and more. Some of my entries will be friends-only, others will be publicly viewable, too, and unlike other people, I don't use <lj-cut /> tags or specific "topic filters" (i.e., custom friends groups dedicated to specific topics) to shield people from things they may not want to see.

Well, as long as it's text, that is; I will cut images that aren't safe for work etc. (at least if I remember, which I might not always do!), since I wouldn't want for people to get in trouble if their boss happens to be shoulder-surfing at work. Text, though, is a different issue, and if you'll get into trouble for reading about certain topics at work, you probably shouldn't be checking your friends page at work to begin with.

He said, "I am told that when men hear its voice, it stays in their ears, they cannot be rid of it. It has many different voices: some happy, but others sad. It roars like a baboon, murmurs like a child, drums like the blazing arms of one thousand drummers, rustles like water in a glass, sings like a lover and laments like a priest."

— Mike Oldfield, Amarok (liner notes)

Second of all, concerning friending me: feel free to. There is no need to ask if it's OK to do so; everyone's welcome to, as well as to post comments etc. (as long as they're genuine: spammers etc. will not be tolerated, but that goes without saying, anyway). I may add you back if your journal looks interesting or if I know you, too, but this isn't automatic. If you do want me to add you back, engaging me and talking to me is probably the best way to go about it.

Please don't ask about being added back if I didn't do so on my own, either, unless I already know you well and you want to be able to read my non-public entries.

If I already friended you but you don't know who I am and haven't been in contact with me before, that most likely means I became aware of your journal somehow, took a look, and decided I wanted to keep up with what you're writing — "I find your ideas intriguing and wish to subscribe to your newsletter", as it were. I don't expect you to friend me back or otherwise take an interest in me, but if you do — all the better.

If what it is to be furry you still don't comprehend
Then consider this advice, my curious friend
If you're willing to respect that which you don't understand
Then come take my paw and I'll take your hand.

— from "Furry", by Croc O'Dile of TigerMUCK with help from Tony DeMatio, June 1995

Regarding commenting, BTW, I'm always happy to receive comments. However, things like "lol" are not proper punctuation, and correct spelling and grammar would be nice as well. And of course, I expect people to not be insulting or rude, but that, again, should go without saying.

That's about all I can think of for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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Quote of the Day

Aug. 27th, 2015 | 11:52 am

From the Quotes-That-Make-Perfect-Sense-In-Context-Yet-Still-Sound-Odd department:

The Arctic Wolf is a members-only land animal that was released December 2012.

From here, referring to one of those "fools and their money are soon parted" online/mobile games.

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Downloading the Icelandic evening news

Aug. 26th, 2015 | 11:11 am

Just on the off chance that someone else is interested, here's a shell script to download the Icelandic evening news. There's no magic involved, just a bit of automation to figure out the right resource name for a given date; the actual downloading's done using rtmpdump.

#!/bin/bash

DATE=$1
EPOCHSECONDS=`date -d "${DATE} UTC" +%s`
EPOCHDAYS=$((EPOCHSECONDS / 86400))
STREAMID=$((4723254 + EPOCHDAYS))
TAG=${STREAMID: -2:2}
STREAMID2=0

until rtmpdump -V -o ${DATE}.mp4 -n sipvodfs.fplive.net -a sipvod -y mp4:opid/${STREAMID}R${STREAMID2}.mp4
do
        if [ "$?" -eq 2 ]
        then
                break
        fi
        STREAMID2=$((STREAMID2 + 1))
        sleep 1
done

mv -f ${DATE}.mp4 ${DATE}_${TAG}R${STREAMID2}.mp4

Invoke it as e.g. ./dlfrettir.sh 2015-08-25, and you'll eventually end up with a 348 MiB file called 2015-08-25_26R10.mp4.

A few notes:

  • Resources are named e.g. 4739918R0.mp4 on the server; the number before the R is sequentially assigned for each new day, the number after is apparently random. (It's often 0, but not always. Numbers exceeding 20 are rare, and I've never seen it go beyond 30.)
  • Broadcasts remain available online for 90 days or so before they're memory-holed.
  • rtmpdump exits with status 0 upon a successful download, 1 if the resource wasn't found, and 2 if the user interrupts the download.
  • The script, as it is, outputs a lot of debug info; remove the -V flag in the rtmpdump call if you'd rather not have that.

Have I mentioned I really dislike shell scripting? So inelegant. (But it gets the job done.)

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Cygwin perl

Aug. 4th, 2015 | 01:30 pm

Wow, has hell frozen over? Cygwin has actually updated their Perl and gone from 5.14 (first released in early 2013) directly to 5.22 (first released in June).

This is wonderful news, of course. Not just because 5.14 has long been unsupported, but also because newer releases bring a plethora of new features and updates.

On to the future! (And I hope the next major update in Cygwin will happen before 5.30.)

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LJ URL parameters

Aug. 3rd, 2015 | 11:49 am

I occasionally find myself using various URL parameters that Livejournal supports. To my knowledge there is no single place that documents them all (no, I did not search the web to find out), so here's what disparate information I collected. I may amend this post occasionally, so feel free to bookmark it; and if you know of anything that's not covered here, by all means let me know.

?format=light
Keeps Livejournal from applying user styles and uses the default site scheme instead: specifically, the one that you seleccted, or Horizon for logged-out users. Documented in FAQ #259.
?nohtml=1
Displays entries as raw (escaped) HTML. Documented in FAQ #259.
?nojs=1
(?) Added if your browser has Javascript support disabled. (h/t ungulata)
?s2id=...
Displays content in a certain S2 journal style. You can go to Your Styles for ID numbers of styles you've created/customized yourself; other than that I don't know how IDs relate to styles. Mentioned in FAQ #177.
?show=CNPY
Used on your friends page, determines whether communities (C), news (N), personal journals (P) and/or syndicated accounts (Y) will be shown; any combination is possible. No effect on other pages. Documented in FAQ #259.
?style=mine
Displays content in your own journal style, rather than style of the journal you're viewing. Useful for styles that make entries difficult to read, and often more visually pleasant than ?format=light. Documented in FAQ #259.
?usescheme=horizon/vertigo/lynx/lanzelot/xcolibur/dystopia
Displays site pages in the specified site scheme. Documented in FAQ #186.
?view=schemes
On My Account Settings — Display, show XColibur and Dystopia. No effect on other pages.

These are all the ones I know so far.

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bauchery

Jul. 28th, 2015 | 11:59 am

From the list of Words That Should Exist But Don't™:

bauchery /ˈbɔː.t͡ʃə.ɹi/ n
modesty, restraint, pudency; specifically chastity, sexual abstinence.

Give it a try some time — walk up to, say, a church and exasperatedly exclaim "a... a den of bauchery!". :)

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I spy

Jul. 25th, 2015 | 12:19 pm

From the list-of-things-I-should-do-more-often: put on a black suit and tie, grab a briefcase, and walk up to random people on the street saying things like "it's nice weather we're having today, but it's not as nice as in Russia"... and then politely say good-bye and walk away, no matter the response.

I wonder for long I could get away with that before I was arrested, politely questioned or shot by a sniper (or all the above, not necessarily in that order). ^^

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Windows X spam / GWX / KB 3035583

Jul. 9th, 2015 | 12:14 pm

If you're running a recent Windows version, you probably got a tray icon/notification pestering you to install OS X Windows X. And if you're like me, you're probably thinking "never change a running system — I don't want this, not on this computer".

Unfortunately, this is an offer you can't refuse (though you're not outright being forced to accept it, just yet). In particular:

  • There is no way to say "no, I don't want this, stop bugging me".
  • There is no way to exit the program.
  • If you kill the program, e.g. in Task Manager, it'll be restarted automatically later on.
  • If you hide the tray icon/notification, it'll be unhidden after the next boot.

This is obviously annoying.

It turns out that the program responsible was installed by way of Windows Update. The update is KB 3035583; the English description is:

This update enables additional capabilities for Windows Update notifications when new updates are available to the user. It applies to a computer that is running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Perfectly honest description that tells you exactly what it does, right? Descriptions in other languages are even less informative, BTW — you only get the generic "this update fixes problems in windows, you may have to restart your computer after installing it" language.

In any case, if you want to get rid of this notification for good, what you have to do is thus:

  1. Start Windows Update.
  2. Uninstall KB 3035583.
  3. In the list of available updates, right-click KB 3035583 and select "Hide Update".

That should be all that's needed.

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365 days of SL, just for fun 25

Jul. 7th, 2015 | 12:21 am

365 days of SL, just for fun 25: For those who missed it... some shots from the destruction of the Cake Stage at SL12B. The SL12B sims had previously closed, but they were reopened some time before 4pm SLT so people could come back for the grand finale.


(Click for larger — 1920x1033 PNG, 2692 KiB)

People dancing at the pre-explosion concert with BubbaC John and the Bubbettes. The concert ran from 4pm to 5pm SLT, and it was pretty good; I even managed to get in a few requests.


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After the live concert, people invaded the stage, while Doctor "Doc" Gascoigne, the guy behind not just SL12B but previous SLB community celebrations as well, looked on.


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Mikati Slade, the builder of the Cake Stage, and soon to be its destructor.


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And here's the big event now! First the stage was raised into the air; then it was set !Phantom, unlinked, set Physical (not necessarily in that order), and finally all the parts were deselected so that they'd come tumbling down. And that's exactly what they did!

At least 112 people were there to witness the whole thing, in the four sims immediately surrounding the Cake Stage. And most were hit by giant falling hearts. :) All in all, a worthy end to SL12B; and here's to SL13B next year!

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Blowing up the Cake Stage

Jul. 5th, 2015 | 12:40 pm

SL12B is about over, but there is still the grand finale:

Group Notice From: SLB Community Celebration, Doctor Gascoigne

Mikati will blow up the cake stage at 6 pm slt Sunday July 5

This notice has an attachment.

6pm SLT is 3am for me, so I might not make it, but if so I'll be there in spirit at least, cheering Mikati on. "Make the pie higher! Put food on your family! (In the form of bits of exploded cake!" :)

So, see you there!

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