July 2015

The best thing to come from the gay-marriage decision...

…is the following typo in a discussion about the likely next step, legalized polygamy: “polyarmory”.

I hereby demand nationwide legal recognition for my polyarmorous relationship. In public. Open or concealed.

Dear Microsoft,

I think I speak for every network manager and privacy advocate in the world when I say, “fuck you with a rusty crowbar”.

For those who don’t know, one of the features in the Windows 10 beta (and already in the field in Windows Phone 8.1) is WiFi Sense. The short version is, if you share your wireless access with someone, you’re now potentially sharing it with everyone on their contacts list from Outlook.com, Skype, and even Facebook if they link their accounts.

And the network owner can’t stop them from sharing the password, or even find out that it’s happened. MS offers only one way to prevent this from happening, and that’s changing your network’s SSID to contain the string “_optout”. (This article notes that Google has their own magic string to prevent your wireless from being mapped by their cars, so the new hotness is “_optout_nomap”. No doubt Apple will jump on the bandwagon as well, and next year it will have to be “_optout_nomap_nocandyfromstrangers”).

They claim it will only give limited access to all these strangers, and not let them see anything else that’s on your home network, but that requires that we not only believe that there are no security holes in a Microsoft product, but that the raw password is securely stored in three different online services and every stranger’s device.

The only real defense is to use WPA2 Enterprise authentication, which requires a Radius server. Unfortunately, a lot of consumer-grade wireless-only products won’t do that at all. Last time I tried to get a Kindle to use it, it detected it but never actually sent the username/password combination.

[Update: Microsoft’s FAQ for this misfeature includes the statement:

It can take several days for your network to be added to the opted-out list for Wi-Fi Sense. If you want to stop your network from being shared sooner than that, you can change your Wi-Fi network password.

Crowbar, Rusty. Rinse and repeat.]

[Update: just tested a Kindle Paperwhite against a WPA2 Enterprise wireless running TTLS/PAP user-based authentication. It sent an empty password, so no, you can’t protect your home wireless from Wifi Sense if you plan to connect common small devices to it.]

’kei is for klan

George Takei decided to show off the Left’s core values again. Apparently it’s still true that hatred, intolerance, and bigotry are not only acceptable but praiseworthy, as long as you’re on the “right” side of every issue.

Explaining the "male gaze"...

It's hard to talk to girls...

This may be the most profound statement ever made on social media.

Best random google ever

So I decided I’d seen enough of the kid’s face in the previous post, and trolled through my Downloads folder looking for something to replace it. After I finished admiring the many nude and lightly-clad young women, I remembered saving this:

(St Patrick Catholic Church, Miami Beach, FL)

But I didn’t remember where I’d gotten it, so I did an image search by filename, and got this:


Dear El Niño,

Bring it on.

Just please don’t start the deluge until after Halloween; I don’t want to get stuck with fifty pounds of leftover candy again.

No Man's Sky?

The publicity push is starting for the upcoming game No Man’s Sky (link goes to Wikipedia, because there’s even less information on the official site). Having watched the E3 videos and the first two of the IGN videos, as far as I can tell, here’s what it’s about:

Every planet in the galaxy is ruled by robots who will kill you for defending yourself from hostile aliens or attempting to exploit local resources. They permit non-invasive "exploration" of their property, even allowing you to gain credit for "discovering" and "naming" their planets and creatures, although they're sure to react negatively to names like Cocktopus and Titsworld.

The demos certainly look gorgeous, but they make it clear that any “unknown” star system you “discover” will instantly have a space station, a claims office, and a fleet of killer robots that will hunt you down for strip-mining or for shooting native life, even accidentally or in self-defense. That kind of undercuts the whole “explore strange new worlds, seek out new life and new civilizations” theme, even if it does mean that you can immediately jump back into the pirate-shooting and galactic-trader parts of the game.

I don’t know if it’s going to be fun, and the graphics suggest it will require serious hardware, so my initial interest in the concept is kind of waning.

[Update: nailed it.]

Take that, Lucas!

First words in the new Star Wars teaser: “Real sets. Practical effects.”

Implied: “A writer. A director.”

Dear Risen 2 marketing person,

I get what you were trying to say, but…

"... raging titans have devastated the world and pushed humanity to the brink of existence..."

Oh, that's why

I’ve got my windows open to cool the house down, and in the distance I can hear heavily-distorted Aerosmith songs. Usually that sort of thing means a party nearby, but you’d expect rap or something latin in flavor around here.

Turns out there’s an Aerosmith concert finishing up a mile and a half away.

School-Live! Live

I’m pretty sure I’m not hallucinating them.

Not even a solution in search of a problem...

The latest in Kickstarter fantasies is GunDetect, a home-monitoring gadget that promises to use computer vision to detect the presence of armed intruders.

$20 says they never ship a working product. $100 says that if they do, they’ll refuse liability for any customer who actually has an undetected “incident”.

Fanboys are a superstitious cowardly lot...

Ai Catwoman

Well, her disguise is evil, but dressing Ai Shinozaki up as Catwoman in her little-known race-queen phase doesn’t exactly strike terror into my heart.

Reminder for 'social' 'justice' activists

Once you start the reign of terror, Madame La Guillotine is no longer your friend.

This season's anime

Gatchaman Crowds Insight feels like a contractual-obligation sequel, I’m idly skimming through MonMusu and hoping that the introduction of MON will make it worthwhile, and I have to force myself to get through each episode of Gate because it’s just not clicking with me for some reason.

That leaves Gakkou Gurashi! as the only thing I’m really looking forward to this week.

Buckaroo Banzai Blu-ray

Not the dubious Chinese version, not the unsourced-import versions available on Amazon US, and sadly not an actual US release, but the new UK transfer that was released two days ago, and was waiting on my desk today.

I’ll have to hook my gaming laptop up to my TV, since it’s region B. After that I’ll rip it, as I did the Remo Williams UK Blu-ray, so I can watch key scenes as needed.

Break The Cutie: The Series

Gakkou Gurashi episode 3 shows how it all started. Nice ambiguity in the use of Megu-nee’s PoV. If you can handle the creeping darkness, it’s pretty much the only thing worth watching this season.

Speaking of which, apparently if you visit the official site between midnight and 4am Japan time, you get the “reality” version. (update: it’s controlled by Javascript, so it works in your local time)

Dear Japan,

Stop that.

Tumblr nqsgq4xBip1rzi5quo1 500


Upending the narrative

The usual claim is that if someone (particularly a woman) tries to use a gun in self-defense, it will just be taken away and used against them by the bad guy.

Well, this well-equipped serial killer is now in the morgue because his latest victim fought back, hitting him with a rake (? details have changed in a few stories) until he dropped his gun, and then shooting him with it. She didn’t need months of professional training and a government-issued license, “I just grabbed the gun and shot behind me.”

The wild cheering you hear might be coming from my house.

I always wondered how he'd do that...

In 2008, Obama announced that his nomination would solve sea-level rise. In 2015, his joint venture with Iran laid the groundwork for a nuclear winter.

Of course, he also claimed that his nomination was the moment “our planet began to heal”, but on a geological time scale, the two aren’t incompatible.

When it really is "killing for sport"

Mr. Lion is rightfully angry with the Minnesota dentist whose African trophy hunt recently blew up in his face.

It’s possible he’s not a willing criminal, if he really did get all his permits and relied on his well-paid “professionals” to keep him legal. It’s definite that he’s not, as his statement claims, a responsible hunter. Jacklighting for leopards with a crossbow and shooting at a lion that takes the bait is not the act of a “responsible hunter”, especially when it leaves one of Ma Nature’s best killers pissed-off and on the loose for 40 hours.

Setting aside the issue of whether luring an animal to your position and blasting it with spotlights counts as “hunting”, if you’re using a single-shot weapon, you have a responsibility to get a clean kill. Especially at night. Especially large carnivores. If you can’t guarantee that, don’t take the shot.

Not that it matters now, since Cecil is dead, the mob has destroyed Our Villain’s business, and his money is going to be spent on lawyers instead of trophies for quite a while.

I’ve never really understood the trophy-hunter mentality. I’ve read Capstick and Cooper, I’ve known plenty of folks who hunt for meat, and I’ve considered a guided boar hunt to do my part in California Pest Control and fill the freezer with sausage, but trophies? What are you really celebrating, if the animal didn’t have a decent chance of taking you home?

Meanwhile, in Occupied France...

Sunbather attacked by muslim women for wearing bikini.

ObBugs: “Of course you realize this means war.”

Today's Mystery

Shizuka holmes

Q: Why is Shizuka Nakamura dressed like this?

A: Who cares? Especially since the movie also features Nonoka Ono in a sexy-cop outfit?

The plot, such as it is, of Sensitive Detective Jasmine, is that rookie detective Jasmine (Shizuka) has one of those convenient psychic powers that lets her pick up clues by touching objects, and along with rookie NYPD detective Youko (Nonoka), tracks down a murderer. Bathing and sexy cosplay are apparently their primary weapons. And the machine translation of the plot summary at Rakuten is hilarious.

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