Archive for the Technology Category

A State of Shock

Posted in Economics, Economy, Education, History, Just Strange, Life, Politics, Religion, Technology, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2016 by urbannight
voted

After walking home after voting.

This morning I feel numb and horrified at the same time.  There were almost no people walking in to work this morning.  Did people take the day off?  Are there as many people in this country who feel as if they are walking through some post-apocalyptic world despite the fact that the sun is shining, the world looks the same, and half the country is actually happy?

I will probably scream if people start talking about a mandate.  I didn’t like it when Obama said it.  No election as close as these represent a mandate.  I would only accept that word in a landslide vote.  This was not a landslide.  My radio was on when I turned on my car.  I had to turn it off.  People were calling in and saying America has spoken.  As if it was a huge percentage.  It was a razor thin edge.  The worst sorts of people came out of the woodwork.  People who wanted change at ANY cost and don’t care if it hurt this country.  They just want to ‘break’ Washington.

I might have supported and even applauded Trump if he hadn’t approached this on a platform of hate, fear, distrust, and violence.  I have actually thought something did need to break the Washington Machine for it to ever change.  But this was the worst way it could have happened.  There was a tiny, secret part of me that actually thought that maybe he should win and people will get what they deserved and I hoped they would then regret what they did.  But I refused to ever say it.  I didn’t want to do anything to put any of that energy out into the world.  I didn’t really think he would win.

Congratulations to half of this country.  Your man won.  It just goes to show the country hasn’t progressed as far as we thought.  People who want to keep black people, Hispanics, Jewish people, Muslims, and women down so that they can continue to feel better about themselves have won.  People who feel that with the rise of all the people listed above that they have lost their power and that they need to take it back have won.  People who represent the lowest and worst of this country have won.  People with hate in their hearts have won.  People who think women are lower themselves and that women should have no control over their own bodies have won.  People who think men don’t need to control their own reactions and that women should be controlled in order to ‘protect them’ from the things they have been given the ‘go-ahead’ to do because ‘boys will be boys’ have won.

How is it that people who complain that Hilary is one of the ‘one percent’ have bought into the idea that Trump is not?  Trump came from money, always had money, borrowed a huge amount from his daddy to get his business started, and yet people think he knows what it is like to have to work his way up.  He never did.  He is a silver spoon baby and never knew what it was like to need money.   We don’t really know what he is worth because he wouldn’t provide his tax returns.  He did admit to finding enough loop holes to not pay any taxes for 13 years or something like that.  But he says he is worth a LOT but at the same time cheats his contractors and vendors by telling them thinks like, “we don’t have the money to pay you, we can only pay you 70 cents on the dollar.  You better take it because if you take it to court, you will probably win, but we can make it take so long that you will lose everything and go broke before you ever win.”

How is it that people will believe that a man who likes having portions of his companies overseas because he can pay the workers FAR less than he can in the United State will ever do anything to bring jobs back to the U.S.  He seems to think that he is some type of Roosevelt character who just has to build enough roads and bridges to put people back to work.  Roadwork goes on all year round here.  The roads are constantly being repaired.  Roadwork never stops.  Sure, many bridges are in a state where they need to be repaired.  But that was discovered years ago and most of those are in the process of being fixed all around this country.  He also implied that the problem with education is that we need more schools and he promised to build more schools and more hospitals.  We have enough schools and if you count Emergicare offices, we have facilities.  Building more isn’t going to solve the problems.  Repealing Obamacare isn’t going to help lower medical costs.  These issues are far deeper.  We need to pay teachers better; we need to make sure existing schools are supplied with the tools needed to teach kids.  We need to value students more as well.  Parents need to take more responsibility over their children’s behavior and student’s need to take more ownership of their own learning process.  The health industry has to stop gouging patients and more reasonable pricing needs to be put into place and enforced.  Building more schools and hospitals isn’t the solution.

One earbud fell out of my ear and I heard a girl near me say that her one vote wouldn’t make a difference.  The point is that if you put ever person saying that together, you have a block of votes that WOULD make a difference.  So I REALLY hate that saying.  Which leads me to how angry I feel towards people who didn’t vote for that reason, didn’t vote because they couldn’t be bothered, voted for third party candidates and threw away their vote or voted for a write-in and also threw away their vote.  Anyone voting for a write-in or a third party is actually voting for the person they LEAST want to win.  In nearly every case, that would have actually caused Trump to have lost those states rather than have won.

On the whole, I’m still in shock.  I could go on and on, but this is getting long enough as it is.  I’ve also lost my direction as I was working on this between tasks and at lunch.  I didn’t have the advantage of taking today off work.  There are so many things to talk about where this went wrong and will continue to go wrong that maybe I should save those for another time.

About Sushi, Raspberries and Cameras.

Posted in Art, Food, Life, Photography, Technology, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2014 by urbannight

Yesterday I had the most amazing volcano roll for lunch. It seems like every place that serves sushi has a volcano roll but it is different at each establishment. It was also beautifully made. It really wasn’t as fancy as some. It was basically a California roll that was wrapped in thin layers of crab with a more spicy than usual spicy sauce and then sprinkled with some kink of crunchy flakes. It was also just a little bit salty.

I finished off the sushi with a cup of raspberries. They were on sale. Anytime I see them for 2.99 I buy some.  It is what I think of as the ‘normal’ price.  Sometimes the same sized containers can go all the way up to 5.99.  Far to high.

I would loved to take a photo of the delicious and beautiful food but I cannot.  My camera will not charge.  It works perfectly fine when plugged into the wall. This is why the people to whom I took the camera say that it must be a completely dead battery that will no longer take a charge.  Only new batteries, which were very hard to find, also didn’t charge.   I do not have a separate batter charger.  I’m wondering if I should try getting one and seeing if the batteries will charge when charged by an external charger.  Maybe something is wrong with the camera charger and not the batteries.

The only thing is that I’m not that happy with the camera.  It never was as good as my old camera.  But it was the closet one to what I had before.  That camera still worked but the view screen was damaged.  I had the camera in my pocket when I closed the door of the car.  Apparently it crushed something in the viewer.  I could take photos but I could not see what I was taking a photo of.  So I couldn’t see if I was pointing it correctly to get the image I wanted. The repair to that was going to cost as much as the camera was worth.  The part wasn’t terribly expensive but the labor to replace it cost twice as much as the part.

So my mom bought me a new one that was okay but not great.  And now I can’t find batteries for it and it won’t charge properly.  I didn’t think it was that only, only about 4 years.  But everyone else thought that was old for a camera.  Who goes and gets a new camera every year?  It isn’t like an iPod or a smart phone.

According to my roommate, new cameras are released about every 6 months.  His camera was only in production for 3 months and they stopped selling them about 8 months after the initial release date of that model.  So basely a 5-year-old camera would be like a 10-year-old car.

So now I’m thinking that I really want a new camera.  My oldest niece is getting married in June and I want good photos.  So maybe it is time to get a more expensive camera.

The irony is that my all time best camera was a 60$ film camera I picked up at a drug store before going on a vacation many years ago.  Eventually I had problems with the door to the film compartment.  It was my last film camera. I still miss it to this day.  My mom grumbled all through our Hawaii trip one year because my 60$ took better ocean photos than her 300$ camera.  It was funny.

So, until I get a new camera, I’m going to have photo problems with my blogs.  I might have trouble finding the photos I need from my collection of personal photos.

Five Thoughts on Jobs

Posted in Life, Movies and Theatre, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2013 by urbannight

1. I don’t care for Aston Kutcher.
2. I didn’t like Steve Jobs.
3. I hate Macs and how everything is an iSomething.

4. I feel very compelled to watch the biopic Jobs.

And

5. I don’t like biopics!

How odd.

Printable Electronics! Woot!

Posted in Science, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2013 by urbannight

printed%20electronics_sI’ve been complaining about the cost of electronics for a while.  I keep waiting for electronics to go down in price but, thanks to Apple, we now have a culture in which a new and expensive upgrade comes out at about the same time when something should be coming down in price.  There is no gap in between anymore.  Support for older devices is vanishing earlier and software developers are abandoning users of older items faster than ever.

 

This is why I decided to skip the entire smart phone phenomenon and have a no-nonsense mp3 player.  I refuse to be an iSheep and I’m not playing the ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’ game.

 

The issue is silicon and copper based parts which are expensive and require special equipment to produce and install.  There are organic and plastic variations that are less expensive, but also less effective.  At least until now.

 

These new, printable, polymers can be “brushed over a surface to create a thin-layer of film capable of carrying an uninterrupted charge.”

 

WOOT!

 

They are looking to use these in LED displays or in the coating for solar cells.  Hopefully, this will start to make some electronics more affordable. 

 

I keep hoping for the days when tech is so available and affordable that people can easily afford high tech equipment even as they live in hole in the wall dives and the ease of affordability makes the tech not worth stealing.  I read too much cyberpunk as a developing child.

Screaming without a Mouth, a Literary Classic

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Technology, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by urbannight

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a great short work by one of the masters of Sci Fi Horror, Harlan Ellison.

It is the agony of ages.  Lifetimes lived in the wasteland after the computerized apocalypse.  Kept alive by a psychotic AM who has  learned how to modify human physiology and keep them, for all intent and purposes, immortal.

It is the horror of watching the people who AM kept as playthings, to continue his reign of terror and torture.

I have no mouthBenny, once a brilliant, good-looking, homosexual scientist, has been transformed into an ape-like creature, with giant sexual organs, who often has sex with the only female in the group.  He is completely insane and this presents in mostly childish behavior.

Nimdoc is an older man who seems to disappear at times to return to the group traumatized.  The implication is that AM takes him away to torture and terrorize.  He gets the group to go wandering in order to find food, which seems to be running out.

Gorrister was a pacifist who now seems to have no motivation for anything.  He tells the reader the back story of AM and how it came to power as a story to amuse the child-like Benny.

Ellen is the only woman.  She was supposedly chaste but AM altered her mind, much as he did Benny’s body, so that she now craves sex.  Her relationship with the group is complex as they fluctuate between protecting her from each other and abusing her.  Her prefered partner is Benny, ostensibly because of his large genitalia but possibly because his childish nature.  She is black.  She is the only character whose race is mentioned.

Ted is the narrator of this story.  He thinks he is the only person who remains unaltered by AM in any way.  He believes the others hate him because of it.  But it is possible that he has been tampered with and he simply doesn’t know it.  His own paranoia and delusions make it difficult to know if what he is telling the reader is the truth or a distorted version only he sees.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream was written by Harlan Ellison in one night back in 1966 and was puplished with minimal editing or rewriting from that first draft.  (The idea of AM predates Skynet by 18 years.)  It was based on a drawing a friend of his did.  I kind of want to see the drawing that inspired this story.

There is another world war, during which the three main powers create super computers to better run the war.  These computers are called Allied Mastercomputers.  AM.  After a while this changes to Adaptive Manipulator.  Then to Aggressive Menace.  One of the three computers becomes self-aware.  It absorbs the other two computers, becoming more powerful and thereby being connected to nearly every power in the world, running everything. 

The computer decided that the real enemy is humanity and it systematically kills everyone except the 5 people mentioned.  Its hatred seems to be personal rather than clinical.  AM is sentient, self-aware, but trapped in a machine, bound by logic.  AM is not a free being but feels imprisoned and blames it on the humans as the creators of the supercomputers. 

It delights in torturing the people.  It manages to keep them alive in a way that indicates he may have found the secret to immortality.  Or it just may be a function of the fact that it can manipulate their genetic structure.  So perhaps it can also stop the aging process.

AM takes its name not from the acronyms that it started with but from the saying, “I think therefore I am” and the biblical passage where God is call the great “I AM.”  While AM keeps the people alive, he keeps them on the edge of starvation, only feeding them meals that are so disgusting and unappealing that they can barely eat what little is offered, sometimes becoming ill after eating it. 

Nimdoc becomes absolutely convinced that there may be a stock pile of canned food someplace.  As it turns out, Nimdoc was correct.  They did, in fact, find a stockpile of canned food in some ice caves.  After a brief period of great excitement and elation as they raced to the pile, they realized that they still had a problem.   There was no way they could get into the cans.  No one had anything that can be used to open the cans because AM has removed anything they could possible use to commit suicide. 

In frustration, Benny attacks one of the others.  Ted eventually notices that AM is not doing anything to stop the attack. AM normally prevented anything that would cause permanent harm or death to any of them.  Ted grabs an icicle or something and kills Benny. One of the others catches on and they kill everyone and Ted kills the other. 

By now AM has seen what was happened and moved to stop it.  It is not able to bring it to a halt before most of them are dead.  It only manages to keep Ted from killing himself.  Now it has only one representative of humanity, its most hated enemy, left.  In order to stop Ted from every managing anything like this again, it turns Ted into a blob. 

Ted is now truly insane but cannot scream from the torture and torment because he has no mouth.  The only thread he has left to hold on to is the satisfaction that he was able to beat AM long enough to save the others from an eternity of torture by helping them die.

Obsession

Posted in Apartments, Art, Books, Entertainment, Food, Hobby, Life, Movies and Theatre, Photography, Science, Tea, Technology, Television, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2013 by urbannight

I signed up for a Pinterest page.  I now understand how people say it can get obsessive and one can get lost in it.  Hopefully I will emerge from it soon. 

Things I’ve found on it:

Books, Movies, Food, Art, Decor, Homes, Style, Space, Science Fiction, Star Wars, Comics, Daleks, Tardis, Doctor Who, Nature, Scenery, and pretty much everything under the sun.

 

Strange Dreams

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Gaming, Life, Movies and Theatre, Science, Technology, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2012 by urbannight

Lebbeus Woods ship for Aliens 3

(Apologies, I will have to tidy this entry up a bit latter.  But I burnt lunch twice while doing this and I don’t really want to waste anymore food.)

I had a dream about a planet ship built on earth. There was NOTHING really new in this dream.  But that is  usually how the subconscious works.  It pulls from a variety of sources.  Usually from things watched, read, or thought about recently.  Since I’ve been watching comedies and Korean horror, reading fantasy and children’s fantasy, and working on non-fiction and some fantasy, this extremely Sci-Fi focused dream has to have been inspired by the only source of Science Fiction I’ve had the past month.  Thanks StoriesbyWillaims, Sci-fi is invading my sleep.  Also credited are Star Wars the Old Republic and Alpha Centauri.

It was partly built with technology from ‘somewhere else’.  The dream didn’t specify.  Perhaps another planet, fleeing the ravengers came across earth and a joint project enabled the two to build something beyond what their individual technologies would allow.  The technology and programing itself was highly adaptable so that it would update itself.  It was intuitive so that it could see connections between two lines of study and research and be able see where the results could be connected to create new things.  But it stopped just short of being self-determination and self-awareness.  People were loaded onto this craft and sent out into space.

People need purpose so we set up city like communities.  People had homes, jobs, and mostly replicated the normal lives they left behind.  I am myself in this dream and I have no idea what my job was exactly.

We encountered others who needed to be saved and were able to save portions of populations.  The ship ended up in districts where certain, more compatible races, lived.  Shortly after this ship takes off from earth, robotic and medical joint research enables the ship to see a way to create cybernetic bodies and download personalities into them with some reproductive capabilities.  People still desired children. It would massively extend life spans, slow down childbirth rates, control population growth without legislating it, and even enable people to cross over to a different species.

I took advantage of this tech as did many people.  Some people did not.  It was too strange, to scary, or denied God too much.  But most of the overly religious never got onto the ship to start with.

But for some people, the reproductive functions didn’t.  Some people greatly pitied those who realized they would never be able to reproduce.  Some of them fell into a deep despondency.  Other didn’t care.  It created an almost eternal life span for the people to went into it early on. This was soon seen as a flaw and some limitations on life spans were incorporated into the design.  With a long time to live, some who realized they wouldn’t be able procreate took the view that it was simple a matter of time before the weird glitch would be found and corrected.

This saw an upswing in people from less human-like looking races towards more human like races.  Or adapting  the particular physical attributes the races prized most to a more human-like base structure.  Not out of any idea that ‘human’ were better but because, off of the native planets and on a ship, even a planet sized one, it simply had better functionality.

I was in one of the early batches with nearly unlimited life span and ended up in some sort of military capacity.  At a shop one day I ran into the first person I had known in childhood who also made it onto this ship.  Eric Hansen.

Eventually, the districts came to represent different political ideals and world views.  And the natural progression was, of course, war.  It was bad enough having to deal with war between our various ideals but there was also the ravengers to deal with.  As the scientists and the labs were busily churning out research to find a way to deal with them, the ship puts two and two together and creates a new drive and shooting use far away and beyond anyplace we could identify.  And a new internal transport vehicle is produced based on the Kia model my roommate recently bought.

Custom Kia Soul (in my dream, it could fly)

The thing is, during this ‘jump’ the ship pretty much put every one to sleep.  But there were some damages when coming out the other side.  Various areas were woken up at different rates.  Some of the districts took advantage of it to advance their war efforts.

We were fighting off a unit with newly adapted, close quarters weaponry.  Cutting weapons for up close, personal, fighting.  I grabbed two pieces from a downed enemy and was trying to figure out how to use them when a new surge was pushed forward, largely civilian cannon fodder.  I was told to fall back and give them to someone else when I finally got the hang of it.  These were ugly, brutal weapons causing pain and suffering rather than a quick death.  Once I figured them out, it was basically a bloodbath.

Only I don’t like slasher films so my brain, which dreams in vivid, color, movie-like patterns kindly avoided letting me actually see some of that stuff.

Anyway, it was a very detailed, elaborate, drawn out dream with lots of elements from many sci-fi movies, books, and t.v. shows.  Opps, and games.