September 2018

"Hey, where'd he go?"

I got nothin’…

Halt and catch fire

I would pay good money to see this happen to every Prius I end up behind on Highway 101…

Audio dramas with a side of gaming

One of the things that’s always been difficult for non-Japanese anime viewers is the amount of extra untranslated content that develops the characters and cleans up the stories. The mobile game for the “Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon?” franchise is only moderately interesting as a game, but is absolutely stuffed with story, with music, art, and voice work by the anime staff and actors, and side stories co-written by the original author, making it all canon.

The only downside is that the game mechanics are optimized for deep-pockets “whale” players, and it gets increasingly grindy for free players after a while. You get enough “stamina” credits to play for free for quite a while each day, but unless you get some lucky gacha draws, you’ll eventually stop progressing through the quests, and be forced to spend your time grinding for materials and cash to upgrade your sub-optimal party members and/or replace them with better ones.

Fortunately, by then you’ll have unlocked a number of side stories that flesh out characters who are barely touched on in the anime, some of which are quite lengthy. (seriously; the catgirl waitresses just got a sequel to their previous adventure)

Performance-wise, the game is a real space-hog (3+ GB without the optional extra voice content; make sure you’re on wifi when you run it the first time) and battery drain, and will not run well on older devices with limited memory. For instance, on my iPhone 6+, it’s too big to stay suspended in memory if I switch to any other app, it takes quite a while to load, and it drains the battery very quickly, so I play on my iPad Mini 4 instead. (you can transfer a game between machines using a code/password combo)

It’s fully translated, and most of the Japanese voice content is subtitled (except for combat taunts, etc). The chibi versions of the characters are adorable and well-animated. Many of the side stories are a lot of fun. The main questlines cover both anime seasons and all three novel series, and given the kind of money they must be pulling in, I expect they’ll keep adding more.

The casino “poker” game unlocked at the end of the Ryu questline is really just a slot machine that’s almost impossible to lose money at, but it provides another way to grind for upgrades when you’re bored with the usual ones.

There are a lot of things not made clear in the documentation, and I was kind of surprised that none of the FAQs really cover it well, either. For instance, I was running around with a gimped party for quite a while because I didn’t realize that assistants add all their stats to the character they’re paired with, making it important to level them up just as much as the adventurers, and to pay as much attention to the distribution of their stats as to the buffs they provide.

Also, “White Healer” Amid was my single best gacha pull. I wouldn’t have made nearly as much progress without her in my party, and I’d almost pay to limit-break her right now.

I did make a single in-game purchase (“Syr’s Daily Lunch Box”, which provides resources for 30 days) to reward the company for amusing me, but everything else costs about 10x what I’d be willing to pay, and even paying real money doesn’t let you pull specific characters.

5 kilos of hmmmmm...


Fake news...


High school is different in Japan...


Bosch botch

He went back inside and got his other gun out of the hallway closet. It was a forty-four with grips and safety configured for a right-handed shooter. The cylinder also opened on the left side. Bosch couldn’t use it because he was left-handed.

I realize I’m 25 years late on this small but entertaining sample of “mystery-writer gun-writing”, but when my sister was out here for the holiday weekend, she mentioned that she really liked the series of novels she’d been reading recently on her constant international flights, about an LA detective named Bosch.

“Oh”, I said, “like in the series on Amazon Prime?”

“There’s a series?!”

We ended up bingeing the first two seasons. She downloaded the other two to her iPad before heading out of the country again.

Having noticed my interest, a few days ago Amazon flagged a low price on the Kindle edition of 5 of the early novels, plus the first in a related series. Annoyingly, the discount was on books 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8, but at least books 2-4 were under my $10 cutoff, and the average price came to $5.75 for all eight.

Skipping down the page a bit, we get to:

And he could have taken it to a gunsmith and had it reconfigured for left-handed use, …

When applied to a double-action revolver, this statement is roughly equivalent to “jack up the license plates and change the car”. Harry Bosch would need more than a homicide detective’s salary to find a pistolsmith who could transpaw a .44 revolver.

Left-handed revolvers do exist, today, but any left-handed cop back in the days before semi-autos took over the market got the standard model, and built up muscle memory on how to reload it quickly.

(and, no, this is not like the very-right-handed target grips you sometimes see; Harry got it from someone who hoped he’d use it to kill bad guys, and he puts it into his standard carry holster specifically so he has something to hand over before crossing the border into Mexico)

(update: …and the cop at the border smirks at him when he sees Bosch sign the form with his left hand after turning in a right-handed gun, sigh. Fortunately, none of these details are actually important to the story; it’s just a bit of flavor text to establish that a cop can easily work the system and manage to be armed in Mexico)

Lego that pool!

Y’know, that pool:


I’m surprised the creator didn’t include erotically-posed minifigs…

Dear Apple,

How many Geniuses does it take to name your new iPhone the “excess max”? Couldn’t you at least have called it the Ne Plus Ultra.

Or even just the Plus Ultra?

(and, no, claiming that the “X” should be pronounced “10” doesn’t get you off the hook, because you don’t get to decide how millions of people pronounce a letter, and “tennis max” is dumb, too)

Plug-in Transformer

Wow, that’s gotta be hard to clean…

Trump 2020!

If you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, Dianne Feinstein just turned Trump into a fucking superhero. #OwnGoal

OMC: Yuka Ogura

Yuka Ogura (小倉優香). Age 20. Yum.

I could stare at this smiley cutie for days. In fact, that’s why it took me so long to post this…


Dear Dianne Feinstein...

Yeah, what he said.

"Cheap ain't easy"


A Balanced Diet

Not pictured: the fourth food group, alcohol.

Spaghetti with classmeat

The real WTF is that it comes with a cabbage-broccoli salad.


[for the kana-deprived, the menu item is for “spaghetti meat sauce”, served with one of: beef, pork, ham, or classmate]

“What is that?”

"It's priest, have a little priest."

“Is it really good?”

"Sir, it's too good, at least."


Honest Dictionary Entries...

Literary Science Fiction: “No academic publisher would take it, so I threw in five lines about time travel and sold it to Asimov’s.”
See also Atwood, Margaret.


Junior sizes, please!

One of my favorite quotes applies here: “Anyone who takes this seriously deserves to.”

(via one of the many people offended by this, tee-hee)

[Update: surprisingly unprepared for the descent of an angry mob, the vendor has removed the outfit. This is why we can’t have naughty things.]

Pixiv: Ass Goddesses

But my opinion is firm: it takes a lot of cheek to tag a girl with 尻神様, so you’ll need to back that up, even if you have to bend over backwards to round up proof that a candidate is ripe to make the cutoff short list. Rear views only, nothing half-assed, and don’t make any cracks about rump sessions, or it’ll all go pear-shaped.

Moon. Buns. Bottom. Behind. Bum. Tush. Fanny.


Saaya plays Steely Dan...

Viewed at thumbnail size, for a moment I thought she’d switched career tracks.


The Conspirator's Coven

Merit, shmerit

The online O’RLY book-cover meme generator only emulates the “classic” O’Reilly layout, but this picture seemed to cry out for a more modern look. Fortunately I did the first one in Illustrator, making it trivial to update.

No school like the old school...

Dinking with parody O’Reilly covers reminded me of the one I’m in:

I wasn’t involved at all with the book, and I was, as they say, “just another Perl hacker”, but I did have one thing going for me: I ran tut. was our “big iron” back in the day, a multi-user Unix box that had the dubious distinction of running both BSD and SysV Unix, at the same time. It was one of the few machines that was more for research than instruction, and among its many hats were: Usenet backbone site, GNU mailing list to Usenet gateway, anonymous FTP site, anonymous UUCP site, and (for a while) Compuserve’s tape-based Internet email relay.

[seriously; Karl Kleinpaste would drive 9-track tapes over to their office and back]

In its FTP/UUCP capacity, it hosted all the GNU software, and Perl. Because the official distribution method was Larry posting multi-part shar archives to Usenet, until it got too darn big.

Anyway, my only appearance in the book is my old email address on page xxii, as the UUCP contact address. This was still enough for me to get support email a few times, from people who didn’t want to bother “the big names”.

Fun facts:

“The text of this book is set in Times Roman; headings are in Helvetica®; examples are Courier. Text was prepared using SoftQuad’s sqtroff text formatter. Figures are produced with a Macintosh™. Printing is done on an Apple LaserWriter®.”

You’ve come a long way, baby.

Oh, and when I dug my copy out of a box, I discovered two things: it’s signed by Larry and Randal (something I forgot decades ago), and it still has the original postage-paid mail-in card. I’d be tempted to send it in, but they moved their headquarters sometime after 1991…

I can quit any time...

…in fact, I quit Twitter months ago.

Contributor's Covenant Illustrated

The ink wasn’t even dry on the Linux CoC before someone falsely accused a member of the technical advisory board of being a “rape apologist”. This wasn’t an aberration, it was the opening act.

The end-game looks like this:

🎶 🎶 🎶 🎶
Better wait a minute.
Ya better hold the phone.
Better mind your manners.
Better change your tone.
Don’t you threaten me, son.
You got a lot of gall.
We’re gonna do things my way,
Or we won’t do things at all!
🎶 🎶 🎶 🎶

I’d never actually seen the original ending of Little Shop of Horrors, but damn if it doesn’t accurately predict the current situation in Open Source. No happy ending there, either.

3D Cheesecake 9

Providing further evidence that I can never be nominated for the Supreme Court or leadership in an Open Source project, here are more scantily-clad, nekkid, and just plain purty women randomly selected from the downloads folder on my laptop.

No O’Reilly books were harmed in the making of this gallery.


I'll stop now, honest

I just had to do this one first:

Of course, now that I have a good source and tool for making O’Reilly-ish (technically Dover Pictorial Archive style) cover images, more could appear at any time.

The top script comes from here; the bottom one is my old minimized CipherSaber implementation.

[Final version of the new japh I came up with after making this cover; intermediate steps after the jump]

sub _'__'_{sub{map{pop.shift}@_}}sub{print+(map{pack$..h.2,$_}_ _::__->
(split$,,shift.pop.shift))[map{hex}split$\,pop]}->(map y{#-`}{+-]}r,qw&
...../. (aa(+f*(,-0+e)-cb ../// ////..*. e/-0d+,b0.*ad1*a)d.+c(*af&)&0_


Rule 34 Friday...

Nana Okada (岡田奈々) takes up the challenge.

More here, most with more life behind the eyes. NSFW due to bikinis, lingerie, and quite a nice heinie for a Japanese girl.

All your Bows are belong to us

Gender-swapped Bowser and friends is the good news this week.

Needs a bit of work...

Tim Berners-Lee announces new decentralized web technology. Site immediately crashes under load in classic slashdotting.


If you bypass their overloaded web server and go straight to the github repo, you’ll find a slumgullion of kitbashed code and obsolete documentation, suggesting that the simplicity and elegance of Berners-Lee’s earlier invention are completely absent here.

Oh, that's what the second front door was for!

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who wondered what the hell Ford and her husband were fighting about in therapy when she first revealed her 30+-year-old secret allegation against then-unnamed attackers. Lacking any details, I assumed it was a security door to make their entrance more secure.

Turns out they were adding a studio apartment to their Palo Alto house, and she didn’t want tenants to have access to the rest of the house, so it was “a front door for the apartment”. That sounds perfectly reasonable, so my guess is that the fight was because she didn’t mention this requirement until the work was already done, and the contractors had to come back and cut a new exterior door in a location that wasn’t designed for it, adding $$$ to an expensive remodel that was supposed to have started making money for them by then.

(via Ace of Spades HQ sidebar link)


Looks like my guess is off: the person who sold them the house was their first tenant, and continued to use it as her business address.

You've got a long way, baby...

Tried out the Fedora 29 beta. I can get past having to reset the screen resolution every time it boots, since it’s running under VMware Fusion and thus may not be Fedora or GNOME’s fault, but this definitely is:

Yes, the Media Size menu is mostly offscreen. At least, the first time I click on it; it’s just plain missing after that, which leads me to believe it’s completely offscreen.

Not shown is the batshit-craziness of having to unlock the printer configuration with your password before you’re allowed to change anything on this screen at all: page orientation, paper size, duplex, tray, anything.

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