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Journal: familiar faces from film and TV in commercials

Journal by Bill Dog

I was shocked when Laurence Fishburne first showed up in those Capitol One commercials. He was so great in Pulp Fiction and the Matrix, I thought, oh no, is his career over already? And now Jennifer Garner (no doubt the daughter of Jim Rockford) is shilling for the same.

The creepiest is Matthew McConaughey driving around at night in a butt-ugly Lincoln SUV softly waxing sweet philosophical nothings to us.

The latest is (the now forgettable) Sarah Marshall and Punk'd Employee of the Month (who I just found out are married (to each other, I mean)) doing like a minute and a half mongo commercial where a Samsung Galaxy tablet is part of every aspect of their lives.

And just like that, poof, the shame and presumed damage to one's career for resorting to "acting" in TV commercials is now gone evidently.

It used to be just voices. Like I can never forget a face, I can pick out a famous actor's voice (I just can't remember names for shit). That way an actor could lend a brand some familiarity, without getting himself all soiled in it. For example I most recently heard a new spot with King Ralph as the voice of it. Have no idea what the product or service was, as in my case I'm usually distracted by the familiar voice.

Which I would think is even more of a down-side when they actually appear in the commercials. As in, the focus is on the spokesperson and not the product or service being pitched. When I see Flo (who, incidently, was in that Ben Stiller honeymoon movie before becoming Ms. Progressive) or Red, I think car insurance or Wendy's. When I think of Matthew McHowdoyouspellhisnameagain, I think of Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, not a dying carmaker division whose vehicles' front ends all look like hideous barn owl faces.

User Journal

Journal: Android International 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

Google struggles dealing with people who are in one place but want to use a language from another place.

It's gotten better in chrome on a computer. I can pretty much search in chrome and get my results in English. But on android it's a mess.

When I search in Android Chrome - I get google.hu and I haven't found a way to get it to use google.com

Today I decided to start using 2 factor authentication with gmail. Seems like a good idea and it's free so why not? Once I turned it on and set it up on my computer then I went to my phone. On my Android phone it said, "Now you need to go to the web." and took me to a form in Hungarian. There was no option to switch it to English.

Everything in my phone is set to use English but this is all completely ignored in favor of where the browser has decided that I am physically located. Does that make sense to you? It does not make sense to me. I want it in US English - no matter where I am in the world.

It's a weird thing. On the one hand I love that they are willing to sms the codes to any number world wide (though I switched to the app). So in some ways they are way ahead of others. But then you run into something that is just so backwards. And finding a way to send feedback to Google? Not so easy.

User Journal

Journal: Subscriptions Are Over ~ Busy Penguin 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

I enquired about when subscription renewal would be available again and the reply I got was that the subscription process will not be coming back. Must not make enough income to make it worthwhile. I liked seeing stories a little early and would try to quickly email and warn of dupes when I could. But it is a business. So it goes.

A long, long time ago I registered a domain that I thought would be awesome to use for a number of purposes. SleepingArmadillo.com Actually I thought the best use of this would be as a name for a craft beer. But I thought it would be good for almost anything but I never actually did anything with it. I just had a static html page with a photo of a 'sleeping' armadillo taken on a road near my home when I was living in Florida.

I ended up selling it to a band. The page they have now has a cool little cover image - I like it. I didn't make any profit on the deal but I enjoyed doing it.

It made me want to register something else that may be useful someday. It's not easy to do. I ended up with busypenguin.com I have no idea what I'll do with it. Right now I think it could be a clever Linux site but I don't have the time or desire to do it. I don't think it would be a good beer name. Sleeping Armadillo was genius. Busy Penguin was just the best I could get that day. I like it, don't get me wrong, just not sure at all what I'll do with it.

User Journal

Journal: Give me Catholic Heaven, Islamic Paradise is too hard 10

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

this guy is clearly NOT a mathematician, but if he was:
 
You have 4 wives on earth. Each one of those wives has 70 black eyed virgins for you in paradise. Each one of those black eyed virgins has 70 servant girls. That is 19,884 women for you to have sex with in paradise.
 
But it gets worse. Each one of those women has been given YOU by Allah for a term of 70 years. That means you will be having sex, nonstop, from the time you die for the first 1,391,880 years you are in paradise. You're going to need eternity from then on just to rest up from that.

User Journal

Journal: Northern Ireland at Hungary

Journal by stoolpigeon

Went with some friends tonight to watch Hungary play Northern Ireland in their Euro Cup qualifier match.

It was held at Groupama Arena. It was my first time there and it is a very nice facility. We bought lower priced tickets but it still felt like we were very close, especially compared to what it is like at Ferenc PuskÃs Stadium.

It was 0 - 0 through the first 75 minutes. I felt like Hungary had the majority of the possession over that time and the bulk of the scoring chances. They had a corner and I told one of my friends, "It would be a shame if Hungary don't get something more than a draw out of this match." Seconds later they scored.

It was fun and I was pretty excited. Unfortunately Hungary appeared to finish playing defense at around 80 minutes and ended up losing 2 to 1. Really a disappointing result. They could have and should have won.

User Journal

Journal: Drive Died - Can't Subscribe 3

Journal by stoolpigeon

The drive died but not before I got copied what I wanted copied. Clonezilla failed and then it just totally tanked. So I just put in the drive I was trying to clone over to and did a fresh install. Now I'm copying back some stuff.

My Slashdot subscription ended and you can't buy it any more. The page seems to say this is temporary but I wonder if that is going away?

As I was doing my setup after installation I found some helpful notes from past journal entries. I need to collect all that stuff in one place.

User Journal

Journal: [Beloved] It Is Not a Word 2

Journal by johndiii
It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

-- Sara Teasdale

I remember.
User Journal

Journal: Seagate - At least I got a heads up 6

Journal by stoolpigeon

Booted up my Fedora box at work this morning but instead of starting normally it put me in emergency mode with a message to check the logs. On the whole I'm very pleased with this development. It gave me a prompt to give it the root password and then I could view the logs with journalctl from there.

Unfortunately though the resolution of the text was such that I couldn't read most of it - it went off the screen. So that's a bit of a problem. I had the system start up to the default state and then I was able to look at the logs in Konsole - which was a lot nicer. Looks like the hard drive is on its way out the door.

I ran smartmon and double checked. So now I'm copying everything off that I might be worried about. (In addition to my normal backups. I like to do this just in case.) And I think I've found the Western Digital drive that I'll be buying to replace this Seagate drive that is toast.

From what I've read WD is much more reliable than Seagate. Though I can't complain. It is the original drive that came with the machine and I bought in 2010. I don't think 4 years is an impressive time for a drive to last but I don't think it is terrible either.

But kudos to Fedora for alerting me to the problem and giving me time to plan ahead. The system still seems to run fine, I'm typing this JE from it - but I know that this wont stay true. And probably I could route around the damage for a while but I'd rather not. Storage is too cheap nowadays. I'll be picking up another TB drive for about $50.

User Journal

Journal: The Glass On My Galaxy S3 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

A while back due to a freak accident, the glass broke on my S3. I decided to buy a kit and replace it myself. It went o.k. but I wasn't too crazy about the result. Touch didn't work as well afterwords and the home button was a little too recessed. I figured either I didn't get the adhesive set right or the glass was thicker.

Not long after I fixed it ( within 6 months?) my daughter knocked my phone off a counter and the glass broke again. So I ordered another kit.

This one came with a sticker on the glass packaging. It said, "There is a thin layer of plastic on the glass that is very difficult to see. Be sure to remove it."

As I pulled up the glass I installed the first time it broke - it pealed away with a layer of plastic under it. The first kit hadn't had that warning and I installed the glass without removing the plastic. Now that I have it in correctly it fits much better and everything works much better. I celebrated by updating Cyanogenmod and now I'm running KitKat.

So my daughter did me a favor busting the glass on my phone.

GNU is Not Unix

Journal: systemd 1

Journal by squiggleslash

Having read up on it, I don't think systemd is a bad idea. I rather like:

1. Doing away with shell scripts with huge amounts of redundant, and frequently badly written, garbage to manage starting and stopping system services.
2. Using cgroups to properly isolate, contain, and track system services.
3. Centralizing the services concept so it's network aware, rather than a separate inetd server

The major criticisms seem to be "I don't like change/I understand shell scripts" (well, true to a certain extent, but I don't think the current situation was particularly good), XML configuration (reportedly, having seen it, but yeah, XML sucks), and the developers are rude, arrogant, and assholish, which I assume means that the critics are also boycotting Linux and half a dozen other FOSS projects...

I think criticisms 1 and 2 are valid concerns and are essentially the same concern expressed twice. My belief is that there's much to be said for making configuration files as simple as possible, and to avoid manual configuration where possible. Hopefully that's what the systemd developers believe too.

User Journal

Journal: Using VirtualBox Guest as a Server 3

Journal by stoolpigeon

So right after I wrote my last je I googled a bit and set it up so that I could access my Fedora vm from the host OS (Mavericks).

It was pretty simple though I had to piece together exactly what to do from a few different places. These instructions work well though they leave out one part. The first part about creating a new interface - for me vboxnet0 wasn't already there. I needed to do go into the VirtualBox preferences, then in the networking section I needed to create a host-only network. Then it made it possible for me to create the host-only connection.

Now I can ssh to the guest and browse to it. Very nice. This will allow me to be a lot more productive when I travel.

User Journal

Journal: The Macbook Pro 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

I am getting more used to my Apple Laptop.

It still makes me crazy when I need to hook it to external displays. I wanted to show a video to some friends the other night and thought I would just connect the mac to my tv via hdmi. Couldn't get it to work. Crazy. I just switched to my PC that is always connected and downloaded the video there.

This post I am writing though from inside a VirtualBox instance running Fedora 20. It took me a little bit to get it working properly but now it is pretty good. I need to figure out how to get the mac to connect to the virtual machine so I can run the vm like a server.

I don't know how often I'll use the vm but I like having it. Sometimes it feels good just to get back into Linux and have a break from the Mac way.

User Journal

Journal: one of my mental problems 5

Journal by Bill Dog

Yes, that was plural. One other is that I'm deeply misanthropic. No, not like the Leftie kind. I'm totally with the Left on the belief that people can't be trusted to make the right decisions. But my religion (which is a reference point to my politics, and not one in the same), or my God, commands me to love and forgive others for their failings [if only I could apply that to myself!], and to recognize that despite being highly flawed, my species (i.e. not realy about race, or gender, or other, for me, although I have my prejudices) that I despise so much was made in the image of God and unlike the rest of creation possess cores that will live on past this very beautiful and at the same time very ugly physical world.

So I've never been like for example my sister when she was in college (studying biology/chemistry at UC Berkeley) who wanted to invent something that would, as she put it, wipe out all the human beings so that the animals could live in peace. Nor am I like more adult-thinking Lefties, in feeling that the masses should be enslaved in some sense, for their own good (and that of the earth, and fairness/some universal cosmic karma I guess, etc.)

But though I'm not as bad as maybe around 1/3rd of Americans who are solid Left, it's still something I want to work on.

And then another would be the constant mini-digressions, that I'm prone to, that can be seen in the first couple of paragraphs here. I think this condition of mine manifests itself, in my writing, in lots of parenthetical clauses, and lots of commas, to break up the subthoughts of a thought, and to separate out the hyperlinked if you will related illuminating or context-adding pieces to a thought.

You see, if I don't try really hard to control it, I'm naturally an incoherent mess. So that's another I continously try to work on.

But it's also this second one that leads me to the third and last one I can think of, which is the real topic of this JE. (!)

I constantly get caught up in my own little world, in my head.

From a work performance aspect, I think I was born to be a programmer because I can get in the zone quickly, and get in deep. And I think I create stuff expressed in a way that makes sense, and is robust.

But from a soft skills aspect of work performance, it hurts me badly.

1) In meetings I'm constantly zoning out. My mind frequently wanders back to the issues at hand in the quiet, individual, at-my-desk part of my job. Sometimes unnoticed by me the conversation has meandered to something I've worked on and a question gets posed to me all of sudden, requiring the context of what has transpired so far to interpret. This is hugely embarassing, and is not so swell for my career.

I don't know what to do about this except just try to remember to stay focused on all the floundering around and illogic that the idiots I work with do in meetings, and probably in their own minds.

2) Now I don't think everyone is an idiot of course, and I actually like some of the idiots I work with, because they're nice (goes a long way with me/I can overlook a lot with that), and so my frustration and disappointment with another manifestation of this condition. So I'm deep in thought in what I'm doing, and someone comes by at the end of the (or their) day just to be friendly and social and say goodnight. Like a slug I often just mumble uh-huh or something.

This really hurts, because I don't want to be that way, I'm not really that way when I'm, well, of a fully conscious (of my surroundings) mindset. I really like to socialize with the nice people (who are so few (in today's working world in general?)), I'm just not my "normal" self when I'm engrossed in something. So I come across as a cretan, and so undoubtedly also affecting my working relationships and success.

3) The final aspect of this is that so much time or such frequent trips to my own little world, also coincides with an unhealthy amount of introspection. Don't get me wrong, I treasure my introspective abilities, in a land of what I think are mostly oblivious dullards. But in the workplace, and sometimes in social situations, I would really like some effing obliviousness, as far as internal that is.

Because one deadly way this manifests is in, broadly, public speaking. My somewhat proneness to anxiety attacks are physiological and not psychological, it seems to me, so that's not really part of what I'm talking about here. But examining my voice and my self for cues of it, worrying about if or how much it's coming across, really makes me dysfunctional in orally presenting.

Because of this I dropped most every course in college that included a speech, because I know how my body freaks out (while mentally I'm not worrying about anything, except my body freaking out!). I.e. it's not a preparedness thing, about knowing my topic well enough, or anything like that.

But whatever it is, this also holds me back (as another example I can totally block during a job interview, on something I know full well), and I don't know what to do about that. My mind wants to zone out and focus inward, at the most inopportune times, and it means I don't get to convey to the team everything that I want to about something I've done or researched, and it means I can sometimes just stop, and then the anxiety builds as I can't get myself to focus on getting back to where I was because I'm stuck in worrying about how long it's going to take for me to regain focus! (Usually it's an external stimulus that snaps me back to the task at hand, like someone speaking or otherwise some kind of noise.)

I don't have ADHD or whatever, as I can almost always get myself to sit and read a book and study something for long periods of time. I get engrossed in a movies.

So I'm normal, yet I also grapple with being normal. I don't know how people switch so fast, between deep thinking and social awareness, and how they think and communicate* at the same time without their minds being violently distracted by related thoughts.

*Maybe that programming involves being constantly mindful of related concerns is why I can think and communicate to a computer at the same time.

[Edit: Hit the wrong button while checking for typos; regret if this means redundant notifications get sent out by this system.]

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir

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