Secrets From The Future
by James Classen
Since my website is unreliable at the best of times, I’m temporarily moving over here. This is an indefinite move: won’t switch back until I figure out how to get PHP-FPM to work quickly and efficiently with nginx. Apache has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most robust web servers available, but it lacks speed when serving static content, and it eats memory like there’s no tomorrow. I doubt anyone will notice, but I don’t mind being alone in the dark. Well, I do, but…nevermind.
Just finished reading “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson. Epic? Yes. Fits all the definitions I can find except those that restrict it to a poem. More to come? Certainly. Seems 1007 pages wasn’t enough to tell the whole story. This is the only Sanderson book I’ve read so far, but it does make me interested in his other stuff. But there’s other books I wish to read first, such as those I picked up at B&N yesterday: “The Philip K. Dick Reader” (they didn’t have “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale And Other Classic Tales” that would match the rest of my collection, so I had to make do with this, not that I mind, really), “I Am A Pole (And So Can You)” by Stephen Colbert (didn’t get the audiobook, which, last I checked, Tom Hanks and Stephen Colbert are donating the royalties to U.S. Vets), and “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” by Jenny Lawson (also didn’t get the audiobook, but they want $30 for that thing!) Anyway, I’m beginning to see the appeal of a Kindle for book lovers. You lose the tactile feel of actual pages, but books get expensive real fast, and bookshelves aren’t cheap either. Anyway, those are the next books on my reading list because I have them, but “Shades of Milk and Honey” and “Glamour In Glass” by Mary Robinette Kowal, then “Hollow City” by Dan Wells are close to the top almost solely because of the podcast Writing Excuses. I’m no author, but I know one personally (well, more than one if you count self-publishing by Xlibris or some similar company), and I do a bit of creative writing, though I rarely show it to anyone before becoming dissatisfied with it…but I digress. Anyway, I respect these four, so reading their books is the least I can do. I read Howard Tayler’s “Schlock Mercenary” daily (have for a couple of years now), and so should you. I also need to set aside some time to read certain comic titles that I’ve been letting pile up. The recent glut of DC titles have kept me busy for a while, but I need that dose of Deadpool now and then. The only character that I can count on to make me laugh out loud.
Looking back at my last real post (took a long time for it to load, as usual), I didn’t have my new phone then. It actually arrived a day sooner than I expected, and I drove 30 miles (one way) to pick it up, but it seems worth it. 98% of the stuff that frustrated me with the Galaxy S isn’t a problem on the S3, and despite a few minor annoyances, even the lack of root hasn’t been an issue for me. Oh, root has been achieved for the SCH-i535, but it seems the files with which to do the deed are hard to come by. I finally managed to procure Odin 3.07, and I’m downloading the stock ROM now for my own peace of mind, but I need an appropriate rooted package, obviously. Root 66 might be the way to go, as it leaves most everything intact, but I might go with one that’s stripped down. Whatever I choose, finding a download link that actually works remains a challenge. The next issue is one of patience, and it seems fortunate that I have plenty of that, because download speeds are…rather slow, and the files are rather large.
Why, oh why, don’t companies like Verizon learn? It’s not entirely the carrier. Samsung had to do it for them, so they were complicit in this. Whether or not it violates the law I’m not sure, because IANAL, but at a glance it seems that it at least falls on the wrong side of FCC regulations. The power, or lack thereof, of the FCC is also a hotly contested issue. Either way, it is almost a given that any locked bootloader, any DRM, any protected or encrypted content that is out there, if the right people have the proper motivation, will get cracked. It is only a matter of time.
So, Humble Bundle had me parting ways with a few more dollars this past week. Seems that the average donation was/is about the same for the Humble Music Bundle as it was for the Humble Bundle V. Y’got 8 days left for this one. I was surprised by MC Frontalot. Not someone I would have sought out, but his lyrics are intelligent and geeky. Heard a song or two from the Valkyria Chronicles soundtrack as well, and while it wasn’t at all bad, it didn’t sound original. Perhaps, like Wit mused, perhaps the greatest talent a man can have is novelty, and in my mind Hitoshi Sakimoto’s work isn’t that novel, while Frontalot’s is, even if they were or weren’t the first in their respective genres. I have been familiar with Jonathan Coulton, They Might Be Giants, and OK Go for a while now, and Christopher Tin’s sound is wonderful in its own right. In Baba Yetu, the South African harmonies dominate, perfectly melding with a masterful symphonic touch. Each song on the album is in a different language, and the instrumental accompaniment seems appropriate in each instance. And even though most tracks are independent (only one fade from one song into the next), the construction of the album is a work of art in its own right. The hosts of the Ars Technicast on music lamented the death of the album in the age of iTunes, but this goes back to the “old ways”. This album is definitely going on my shortlist.
That’s just about it for now. I’ll leave with a couple of links:
- The state of the music industry, by The Oatmeal
- Ever wonder “what would happen if you were to gather a mole (unit of measurement) of moles (the small furry critter) in one place?” or “what would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?” Wonder no more! xkcd provides the answers!