February 2012

Obama’s greatest weakness

People like Will Shetterly:

"I have no regrets for voting for Nader twice, and I'm a little sorry I voted for Obama. I knew he was a neoliberal, but I thought it would feel better than it did to finally be able to vote for a black prez."

They only had to prove they weren’t racists once. With that achievement unlocked, they’re free to vote for the candidates they actually approve of.

Dear Email Virus Distributor,

FYI, legitimate shipment notices from DHL do not open with the words “Hello Dear”. That just might reduce the chance that someone will be stupid enough to open your infected zip file.

I’m almost glad my company hasn’t made it big yet…

…because then I’d have to talk myself out of buying the just-announced Sony 500mm f/4 lens. They stopped making the old 600/4 when they bought Minolta’s camera business, but the modern optical design of this should more than compensate for the slightly shorter focal length.

Of course, I’m still drooling over the Sony/Zeiss 135/1.8, and technically I could afford that one…

Mac Marginalization

It used to be that the phrase “Mac marginalization” referred to poor support for Mac users by peripheral makers, bank web sites, etc.

Now that Apple has announced that the now-annual OS releases will accelerate the iPadification of the Mac user interface and dependence on iCloud, it appears that Apple will be doing most of the marginalizing.

Although they do promise that Mountain Lion will be renaming applications for consistency, so the fact that Preview silently modifies your documents should cause them to rename it FuckWith.

A story that knows where it’s going

The latest episode of Bodacious Space Pirates wasn’t up yet when I started my morning workout, so instead I sweated to the first two episodes of Angelic Layer. It’s a fun series that I haven’t seen in quite a while, but this time, I noticed something.

Spoiler alert: it’s an old series, but if you haven’t seen it (and you should), stop reading now.


A Certain Graphical Logo Generator

Someone liked the style of the Index and Railgun logos so much, they made a generator page.

To Aru Yukkuri No Shishiruirui

This turned up in an image search for 死屍累々 (“heaps of corpses all around”; sadly, not everything that search returns is so whimsical), which is a tag on Pixiv that also turned up this bit of Railgun fan-art.

Perpetuum Jazzile does Africa

[Update: official web site and Youtube channel]

Fixing the bugs that Apple won’t

In Lion, there is a single global setting for “applications reopen every document that was open the last time you launched them”. The intent is to blur the distinction between putting your computer to sleep and rebooting it, and is supposed to mesh seamlessly with the new “silently save every change you make to a document, requiring you to restore from previous versions to undo them” and “relaunch every open application on reboot” (which does not have a global on/off setting; you have to override the default every time you shut down).

In Lion, they’re poorly-tested “version 1.0” code that have caused a lot of people to revert to Snow Leopard or simply not upgrade. But Apple knows the best way for you to work, so even if the design is flawed and the implementation is broken, you’re stuck with it (much like the initially-broken-and-still-a-bit-flaky Spotlight replaced the search systems from earlier releases).

So, enter RestoreMeNot and iKluge’s login hook, which get rid of two of these annoying misfeatures. Sadly, only Apple can fix the brain damage in their autosave implementation, and they seem to be too busy pushing everyone into iCloud.

Note that the installation method for iKluge’s fix is a really bad idea, and I’ve reproduced his run-once shell script below.

echo "#!/bin/bash" > /tmp/loginfix.sh
echo "rm /Users/*/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.loginwindow.*" >> /tmp/loginfix.sh
mv /tmp/loginfix.sh /usr/bin/loginfix.sh
chmod +x /usr/bin/loginfix.sh
defaults write com.apple.loginwindow LoginHook /usr/bin/loginfix.sh

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”