Saved comment from April 2017

Jun. 29th, 2017 04:06 am
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Continuing from May's saved comments, here is my one saved comment from April. Since there is only one, I'm not putting it behind a cut. It's my reaction to finding out that Steve Bannon is a fan of 'The Fourth Turning' on Booman Tribune.

My response to a comment on "No Pressure Writing" at Booman Tribune.

"Well Bannon is sure that winter is coming, so there may be less difference between game of thrones and the White House than we all thought."

I'm actually a fan of "The Fourth Turning," so it distresses me that Bannon is both misusing the ideas in the book and ignoring the parts of the authors' theory of cyclical history that he finds inconvenient for his purposes, like the importance of the Millennials in determining how the crisis will turn out. This Business Insider article does a good job of outlining both, while the following video from The Huffington Post concentrates more on the ends that Bannon wants more than the means of the book.


Trump’s top adviser thinks we’re in “the great Fourth Turning in American history."

I'm going to have to write a diary about this topic later. Right now, I'll satisfy myself with a first draft of adapting Kung Fu Monkey's joke about "Atlas Shrugged" and "Lord of the Rings."

There are two books that warn that "Winter is coming," "A Game of Thrones" and "The Fourth Turning." One will turn its readers into people who look forward to a crisis that will redeem the country after a decade or more of war, depression, and civil strife. The other one has White Walkers as villains.

(Add this source for any entry: Bannon’s Worldview: Dissecting the Message of ‘The Fourth Turning’. Also put the wish for Trump to "Fire Bannon" in context by including the MSNBC video "The Cult Of Personality Of Steve Bannon.")
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Since I've gone out of my way to pick apart a malware how-to on PCWorld that had too much text/too many steps just to reboot into Safe Mode (conversely, I think my version *still* leaves out selecting Safe Mode before Restart, so I might have gone a wee bit too minimal!, but I'll run through the steps again to make sure)* I figured I'd offer folks a contrast to show how much "fun!" a tutorial can be.

Mine are rarely "fun!"; my nerves get so wrecked getting things right there's not much left over for "fun!". So do as I say, not as I...anyway, Adam Clark Estes at Gizmodo, who I ran across after my own how-to attempt (any title with the words "If You Dare" makes me wanna dare, so I looked even though I don't have Apple-anything to see if he'd get into installing it on Parallels - which shows how little I know about Apple/Mac/iOS) gets it right. Maybe I should try to hire him? After I win Lotto?

Though his style isn't mine, and I prefer mine for Reasons, you have to admit he hits the right notes, like this:

Until the software gets an official release, you can expect your phone to be a big pain in the arse, featuring all kinds of new adventures like crashing apps and awful battery life. So you should consider running the new software on a secondary device, in order to avoid ruining your day-to-day phone usage.

And this:

If all this sounds fine to you

I like this for a few reasons: a) he's not losing sleep wondering if you should. b) You're good with it? So is he! Which sounds kind of re-assuring.

And, finally:

Once you're all updated, have a blast. Impress your friends. Expect everything to crash! It will be annoying, but you'll feel so cool in your annoyance.

I loled.

His how-to is also quite short (maybe that's the difference between how much harder Windows is than Apple-anything? Windows isn't hard to use/tweak/take apart for me, but I doubt my ease with it is on par with much of the population's).

In fact, his how-to is so damn short if I quote much more maybe I'll get in trouble, so just go visit the link (and if you're an iOS user and try it let me know how it goes - though I am not, so I can't help it if it all goes south).

* Ran through the steps on my PC again after posting and nah, it's fine, it's just that the final Restart boots your computer directly into Safe Mode - there are no other options on that screen because it's just that easy...(but seriously, my nerves do get shot making sure of things like this).

marahmarie: How to Even, for Dummies (how to even)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Mind you, in the mid to late 70s I was anything from 7-10 years old.

I had shoulders.

Sometimes they were bare.

I didn't choose my clothes, my mom did. But I happened to like having shoulders, so this was no problem.

The teachers in my (small, well-to-do, perhaps slightly liberal) public school said nothing.

The kids said nothing. They bullied me (I was reed-thin and always sick, which doesn't go over well with bullies, believe you me) but not for that.

The neighbors said nothing.

Back then I did things like: walk for miles unattended, hang around a nearby train station because I liked watching people more than I liked watching trains, and wander through the woods either alone or with boys my own age. While I was a girl.

No one said a word. About my shoulders, nor any of the other stuff I did.

But shoulders? Are apparently a reason to be tortured.

Shoulders? Going off on them now is a thing.

So I guess I had a particularly amazing childhood, considering.

I'm not talking about my shoulders getting me tortured now, either - I'm talking about Ivanka Trump's. She wore this stunning, cheapo off-the-rack dress that showed off her shoulders.

They were bare.

It was too much for people to take.

She's caught almost nothing but hell for it, since (some praise, but mostly hell).

And I don't understand.

I refuse to say, "Well, at least it's not her bottom or breasts" because it's sexist to suggest those areas should not be shown off, too. That's the absurdity of this: we're going off on shoulders now? What's next? Ears?

In light of this, if my mom were here, we'd go shopping to buy up things with no shoulders and take our shoulderless selves out on future dining, shopping and sightseeing jaunts like, "Take that, shoulder sexists, we're a two-for-one. And you won't say a word, because we know how to carry ourselves".

I just. Cannot. Even. With this horseshit.

And I am kind of a prude - not when it comes to how to dress, more in other areas - so I really can't even.

Random

Jun. 28th, 2017 08:02 pm
nebris: (A Dark Boy)
[personal profile] nebris
~I really miss writing in restaurants. I've done some of my best work there. But I have been too broke to do that for years now and that has taken its toll on my creative process.

I've been working on the Liber for-fucking-ever. [Well, seven years and change] I just wrote like a hundred words the Women's Shelters section earlier and then it felt like I was moving through glue and I ground to a halt. I started to terribly miss my old haunt, the Norm's on Lincoln and Colorado in Santa Monica. It's gone now though, replaced by a hipster burger joint.

But even if I could just drive down to the Denny's in Lancaster at around 1 or 2 in the morning on a regular basis I'd be grateful...and far more productive. *sigh*

I'm supposed to mutter something both witty and cynical here, but I have nothing....
neonvincent: Detroit where the weak are killed and eaten T-shirt design (Default)
[personal profile] neonvincent
Saved comments aren't the only records whose potential loss from this CPU becoming nonfunctional or obsolete worry me. So do my listings of the top posts of every month from my main blog, Crazy Eddie's Motie News. I normally turn those into monthly summary posts, but I haven't done so since posting August 2016's stats last September. Therefore, I'm alternating posting saved comments with monthly stats, again in reverse chronological order, beginning with May 2017's listing.

May 2017's stats and top posts behind the cut. )



Saved comments from May 2017

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:54 am
neonvincent: For posts about cats and activities involving uniforms. (Krosp)
[personal profile] neonvincent
One of today's "On This Day" notifications on Facebook was the first status I wrote on this computer two years ago.  That made me a bit anxious, as my desktops have lasted about two years on average before they either become obsolete or something bad befalls them.  That compounded another anxiety of mine, that I would lose the comments I've saved on my desktop computer that I sometimes recycle for blog posts.  A recent event made that anxiety more acute; the closing of The Archdruid Report and The Well of Galabes, complete with the loss of all my comments there.  I have all of them from January 2015 to the present saved, but all of them from 2013 and 2014, including some that I thought needed re-examination, are all lost.  I don't want that to happen to the rest because of computer failure, so I'm saving them here in reverse chronological order, beginning with the ones from May 2017.  Most are from Kunstler's blog, but there are also comments from Booman Tribune and The Well of Galabes.

Saved comments from Kunstler's blog, Well of Galabes, and Booman Tribune behind this text. )

Link'ems

Jun. 27th, 2017 12:54 am
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Politics

Amazon

  • Amazon now offers reduced fee Prime membership - $5.99 per month for low income earners. "Normal" Prime membership is $99, which in theory would be $8.25 per month, but only if you paid $99 at sign-up to lock in the price, so many people actually pay what I did before "cheaper Prime" came along - $10.99 per month/$131.88 per year - the usual $99 plus a $32.88 Poor People's Poverty Tax.
  • Also check out four more ways to get Prime on the cheap.
  • Amazon ended unlimited cloud storage pretty much the same week I had to jump cloud storage services...*grinds teeth into dust*
  • For cord-cutting Prime members now there's Amazon TV (pick your poison. Yay?).
  • From the email I got, as Amazon has no explainer and Google has nothing indexed: "Now’s the perfect time to take advantage of a game-changing Prime exclusive benefit—Amazon Channels, the first truly a la carte TV service. You can create a lineup you love from over 100 channels, and only pay for the ones you want—no cable required. You get a 7-day free trial of all of our channels, and you can watch anywhere and cancel anytime."
  • About the above - I haven't signed up and will probably be unable to. I also don't know anyone who's signed up. Comcast controls most of the fiber in my area and with them it's cheaper to pay for a TV and Internet package (called the "Double Play") than to just have Internet, so that's mostly what's been stopping me. Will take reviews, though (preferably from people I already know)!

Firefox

  • The search for Goldilocks, indeed. The author says the latest version of Firefox (54) has e10s (multi-process/multi-threaded like Chrome but a max four processes), but it does not have this. I'm using it on an x64 machine with two processors/8GB of RAM, so I can definitively say it has no e10s.
  • Before posting, I found an updated article which says (emphasis mine): "Electrolysis still isn’t on for all users. “Roughly half of Firefox’s user population is using multiple content processes, but Mozilla will be expanding the number over the next few months based on extension compatibility, accessibility support work and other factors,” a Mozilla spokesperson told VentureBeat. To check if you’re in the Electrolysis group, type “about:support” into the URL bar and check to see if it says “1/1 (Enabled by default)” under the Multiprocess Windows line item."
  • While I'm on the topic of Mozilla doing what Mozilla does, and as I made [personal profile] solarbird aware of, standard Firefox add-ons are on their way out, ostensibly to make room for the e10s that they claim exist which for many of us, still don't. People aren't exactly keen on this.
  • Without add-ons as we know them, Firefox basically turns into Opera on Webkit. And though they're killing add-ons as we know them first, a complete browser engine re-write is also on the way. "firefox why u so", indeed!

Invention

  • With this, the author proves he can turn something as ho-hum as a relatively obscure invention into an epic tale that covers everything from original sin to the rise and fall of civilizations to the sad state of mankind's eternal economic Shangri-La. He's also - did I mention this - a great writer.

The Shadow on the Moon at Night:

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:04 am
halialkers: (Default)
[personal profile] halialkers
 Chapter IV: 

Idle as a painted ship/upon a painted ocean-Rime of the Ancient Mariner
 

They stood by the sign with a kind of sick fascination. For a moment flashes of memory that were only possible with minds partially human came. In their bassinets they had been sleeping when a monstrous force had stormed into the hospital, a towering mountainous flaying force hewn in a quasi-human form. The God on the Gilded Throne was six feet shorter than the usual avatars she projected even in her armor but a fourteen foot tall god that had erupted into Gotham and callously murdered innocent and guilty alike and reduced the place to a horrific charnel house had a way of remaining a clear and present presence in the minds and hearts of them whom the beast had fallen upon and devoured. 

Then they looked to the right of the monument. And for a moment time itself stood still. 

Two infants in a statue held by hands and wrists without arms. The names Karlee Meir and Rachel Roth, the 'Lost Ones'. 

Us. 

Meir sighed and then flexed for the first time unconsciously something she would come to do very knowingly and replaced her Azarathi garments with a golden armor with a black cape, raising a hood over her brown face, her white pupilless seemingly blind yet far-seeing eyes gleaming. Rachel Roth likewise replaced the flowing dress she'd worn beneath her Azarathi robes with a much smaller and more form-fitting kind of plate-armor, and they looked into Gotham. 

Should we risk that they will know who we are? 


Rachel shrugged. 

We've seen what the God on the Gilded Throne can do. It calls you sister, perhaps you can cloud minds as readily as it can if they do. 

With that the two then took their first steps into Gotham, entering the decaying East End. It was a city at once modern and ancient, solid and liquid, air and stone. Gambrel roofs that seemed more in place in ancient New England where over them danced witch-fires vied with newer buildings that were corroded with rust on the screens. Doors sagged and the stench and slime of mold was all too present. A low-edged hum of despair that was almost tangible even to non-empaths and which was seemingly overpowering at first to Rachel Roth was there, and for a moment she fanced she saw a swollen-bodied nude woman with a fanged mouth gazing with sad and almost protective eyes before vanishing. 

Further they strode into Gotham, the empathic presence of Dagger beginning to manifest for the first time. The God on the GIlded Throne and her avatars, the monstrous entity known as the Azar was a knife that flayed the soul and carved and butchered without pity or shame. The Lightdancer was an elemental tempest, a living storm wrought in demi-human form and even in her purely human guise a storm-scale living testament to divinity wrought in a human guise. 

Dagger herself was a figure who transcended categories and unknown to her but not as much to her sister who gazed for a moment with wonder and then sadness and horror and sadness again would become quite monstrous for this. A being whose defiance of the writ in stone order of things made her presence hard to quantify, something in a tooth that could never be found yet never gotten out. A spectre always on the edge of consciousness yet not seen and an impending and nightmarish presence. A shining brilliant eye-searing light of gold that left blindness and confusion where once had been order. 

Unknown to Rachel Roth likewise her own presence was beginning to flower outside of Azarath. Something like a storm-cloud in her own right, but where the Lightdancer was a being of hope and awe and dread terrible aspect in her storm-wrought presence, the daughter of the demon was something ominous. Hellscape made flesh, something monstrous and the blazing hell-light writ into human form, not a figure of dismal darkness as human imagination in its wretched bigotry would have wished but light, brilliant and terrible as the sun or an atomic bomb. A willowy tall being with a dancer's grace and a nightmare and harbinger of death, and likewise to her sister of choice  a being even then deciding to grasp a power akin to hers. Hers the destiny to level worlds? No. Hers the destiny to save them. 

It was then that as they walked in the moonlight a figure strode up to them. He was a tall man in a purple suit with green hair and a rictus, a cringing whipped person whose back was still bleeding from the pain following him. A harlequin and a mad clown, and as he turned to them he doffed his hat facing not one monster of a make unknown to him but two. 

"Tell me, children, have you ever danced with the Devil in the pale moonlight?" 

Rachel prepared to move but Karlee placed a finger on her shoulder and smiled. 

No sis, let me. 

She lowered her hood and a brown face with carbonized charring appeared, her flesh still reflecting her natural form and content in her brownness she turned to look at the monstrous lunatic. 

You don't know the Devil, little man. 

Casting off the glamor that had made her seem more human she swelled to a height without her armor of fourteen feet and within to twenty feet. That same wrenching presence as a monster of the outside context, the jarring of the carefully created systems made her jar even the eyes of the deranged and savage Joker, who realized with a start that for all that he knew he was a being of two dimensions, lines of ink and pencil, balloons and the like, and that his atrocities would help continue his existence and that of his world that he faced another being equally aware. A being grasping that awareness for the first time. 

Rachel looked with a start as a balloon suddenly manifested over the Joker reaching from his mouth with a jagged element on his laughter as tears fell from his eyes. Karlee Meir smiled ruthlessly and then grabbed the balloon straight away from the Joker's head. 

Odd font, this. What is this? Comic sans? Really? You, the Joker speak with COMIC SANS? 

That last pair of words was a sudden bellow that caught Rachel by surprise and as she watched she realized appropriately for a moment that here in their home, out of the shadow of a greater deity, she was watching the moment in time at which a fledgling entity grasped a greater truth. It was then that she herself grasped that truth and realized with awe that in every world and clime there were multiple iterations of the same people. She could be a being of three dimensions, or two dimensions. A being crafted out of words or clay. 

This then was part of how to extend life. She could defy the great contours of fate itself with this knowledge given time and space, could extend a cycle until it was postponed and never came. Not the destroyer and the monster she'd seen in Azarath, a savior and a redeemer. These thoughts passed in a whirl within time and the twenty foot tall being that was her sister was striding toward the Joker, a speech balloon appearing over her mouth, one colored with a riotous rainbow like aspect and written with a jagged font that represented a tear in reality. A dark blue almost purple italic text that was visible in the lighter part of the rainbow's coloration: 

Comic sans. I knew you were an evil bastard. 

Then raising the balloon in a mocking salute she began to blur and smash into the Joker with his own speech balloon, the blows raining on him with a speed and strength that he had no means to contest, leaving him wrecked in less than a minute. Harley leaped to protect her lover and master but a glancing blow with the balloon led to her falling unconscious and then the balloon seemed to vanish in thin air. 

Rachel Roth looked to her sister in awe, saying: 

So that's the great secret, then. 


She looked with surprise at her own speech balloon. Where Dagger's was a rainbow coloration and a dark blue italic font, hers was a squiggly one reflecting the infrasound reverberations in her speech pattern, some text bold and others normal in contrast to the ones of her sister. 

It is indeed. We are all of us products of a creation by a blind idiot god at the center of nuclear space. Our existence is a random set of events stacked together with beginning, middle, and end. Climax and resolution, plot twists, and all that crap. 


She shrugged. 

All of us at this level know that, I think. Most of us just use it to gain power and to become the central characters and greater scope forces maneuvering mortals and then mocking about what fools those mortals be.  Arrogant, that. We make them pawns and then laugh at them for games they don't get choices to be involved in. We make them puppets, and then because we overawe them pretend that they are inferior to beings that give them no option but to be manipulated. 

She shrugged again and then they resumed walking in Gotham, aware of its two-dimensional aspects now that they saw it and the more fascinated and repelled by it all the same: 

I don't really care past a certain point. I realized when I grabbed that damned balloon that I'm in the most annoying part of any story, really. The origin. The point where I am evolving to be awesome and yet not as awesome as I could be expected to be. 


She then sighed. 

Gotham. Bah. 


For a moment she looked down and rubbed the back of her head and sighed on a different note. 

I came to bury our mothers but the time's not right for that. More things to do, more horrors to uncover. Wonders to witness at the dawn of a new age. 


A portal opened in an alley and a drunk who watched it dropped his booze and decided from that point he'd rather be sober. The portal opened outward in Metropolis, ironically enough in Suicide Slum. 

Dagger sighed. 

Really? We couldn't come out in the nice shiny financial district? Really? 


She shook her head. 

All right. Well, we're here. Now what shal-

It was then that she saw with a terrible smile the next phase of things and her growing power and knowledge and her sister's likewise led the two to suddenly alter all that they were doing. A monstrous figure lurched out of a building it had torn down, roaring in discontent and anger. 

Kalibak, son of a pitiless and dreadful god from beyond the stars. 

And toward Kalibak was hurling a brilliant figure, a blur of red and blue, a figure that held Rachel in awe and it was then that the look of confusion on the part of Karlee was replaced with first a wide-eyed stare of comprehension and then a smile that began to cross her face with a shark's grin of razor teeth. 
 

Life in The Desert

Jun. 25th, 2017 04:47 am
nebris: (Nebs Palms)
[personal profile] nebris
~It's down to 73° now and the air coming out of the swamp cooler is cold, but I'm letting it run, making the house cold. We have one more day of this heat wave [103° today, down from a 106° prediction] and then we're done. High 90's for the rest of the week, which is the usual around here and we can handle that easy.

Been sleeping through most of it. Just as well as we're broke as fuck once again at the end of the month. /sigh

I should be writing. Well, writing more. I have been scribbling a lil bit on the Liber and a few short stories. I never really stop writing, even if it's just trolling assholes on the Internet. LOL

Not much else to talk about. Just getting by and watching The Donald wreck the GOP and the Dem Civil War heat up. Life in The Desert.

...and there ya have it.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT JAMES

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:55 am
defrog: (Default)
[personal profile] defrog
Lots of high-profile shootings in the news recently. Or as we call it, another day in America. It says a lot when CNN has to break away from its coverage of a mass shooting to cover another mass shooting.

So let’s get the obvious out of the way:

1. I don’t have a lot to say about the Philandro Castle verdict that I haven’t already said about similar verdicts for similar cases. Executive summary: If you support the verdict (and yr not an immediate member of the officer’s family), you basically support the legal right of the police to shoot people dead on live video not for what they did, but what the officer thought they were going to do. You may not think that’s what you support. You may think yr sticking up for law enforcement or respecting court decisions, etc. And that’s fine. But the outcome of the verdict is justification for what Jeronimo Yanez did. So own it. Call it what it is. And if that’s the law enforcement you want, that’s the law enforcement yr going to get.

2. As for the UPS shooting and the GOP baseball shooting, I don’t expect either to change anyone’s attitudes about gun control. As the saying goes, if 20 dead schoolkids didn’t convince you, neither of these really raise the stakes.

3. For my money what’s more important about the GOP shooting is that thanks to James Hodgkinson, suddenly we’re having a discussion about the consequences of taking hateful political rhetoric too far. And it’s a discussion we need to have – although not necessarily for the reasons that conservatives now want to have it all of a sudden.

For them, of course, it’s a chance to play the victim about how liberals say all kinds of mean horrible awful things about conservatives, and between Kathy Griffin and Shakespeare In The Park, it was only a matter of time before people started getting hurt. Which is jaw-droppingly disingenuous, given the state of the GOP today and who they elected POTUS. Also, the dithering over Shakespeare In The Park’s current version of Julius Caesar is just stupid, not least because it shows they have no idea what the play is actually about.

On the bright side, it’s convinced Ted “I’d Totally Rape Hillary with an M-16” Nugent to tone it down. So there’s that.

4. While I would agree that now is as good a time as any to take a long hard look at the state of angry batshit political rhetoric and where that particular road leads, unfortunately the current “discussion” seems mired in the “But THEY started it” stage. 

(Or, if yr Erick Erickson, the “I want to tone down my rhetoric but the Left is so evil I have no choice but to double down SECESSION!” stage.)

That needs to change, because insane violent rhetoric isn’t exclusive to one side of the aisle. My FB and Twitter feeds illustrate this every day. We can’t address the problem until both sides admit it’s a problem in their own camp too. It doesn’t matter at this stage who started it or who does it more. This isn’t a 1st Grade playground.

Look, I get that people get passionate about politics and when they get angry, they say stuff they don’t really mean, etc. And most of the time that doesn’t result in a mass shooting. On the other hand, when you reduce the Other Side to demonic subhuman stereotypes who are evil and dangerous and must be defeated permanently at all costs, and on top of that you actively advocate punching people for simply expressing opinions you don’t like, you can't be too surprised when people who have psychological problems go extreme with that sentiment and decide, why stop at a sucker punch?

5. Does that mean the average Bernie Bro is directly responsible for Hodgkinson? Of course not. But I don’t think the proper response should be to shrug and say, “Well, he’s just a kook, nothing to do with us,” and carry on the angry hate rhetoric as though there’s no connection.

What I’m saying is that everyone on both sides needs to stop, take a breath, take a long hard look at themselves and how they talk about The Other Side, and give some serious thought as to how far they’re willing to take it and the consequences of letting it get out of control. Because once you demonize an entire group of people as being evil and subhuman, it gets easier to justify just about anything you decide to do to them.

6. Also, the violence is really just one of several consequences of the angry batshit rhetoric that dominates sociopolitical discourse. It doesn’t just result in the occasional crackpot shooting up a baseball field – it also fuels a winner-take-all attitude to the democratic process that replaces intellectual thought with raw dumb emotion, makes compromise impossible and rips apart families and communities. Put simply, there’s no real upside to it that I can see. And I don’t see how it leads to a better place from where we are now.

The downward spiral,

This is dF
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

In a weird twist, it's not HP recording your keystrokes on certain desktops and laptops - technically it's a Conexant audio driver that does the actual keystroke recording (it includes a debugging program that went a little haywire; whether that's by design or error is not yet known). HP has since released a security advisory that claims the driver's keystroke logging is "caused by a local debugging capability that was not disabled prior to product launch".

Because Conexant makes audio drivers for many computer brands, this privacy intrusion may ultimately affect many other computer, laptop and tablet makes and models, as well.

That means check your tablet, laptop or computer for this driver - no matter which make, model, form factor or version of Windows you have.

You can follow these steps to find the Conexant audio driver on your device and to get a new HP driver without the keylogger in it:

  1. Using Cortana or a search tool like Everything, look for C:\Windows\System32\MicTray.exe or C:\Windows\System32\MicTray64.exe (you can right-click, copy and paste these words right from here into either one of those tools).
  2. If either file turns up, right click the computer taskbar, select Task Manager and look for either MicTray.exe or MicTray64.exe. If either of these turns up, right-click it and select End task.
  3. Go back to the file you found in C:\Windows\System32, right-click it and delete it.
  4. Install the latest HP driver from here. [ed. note: requires FTP to download]
  5. Now search your computer for C:\Users\Public\MicTray.log or check C:\Users\Public\ for the file; if it turns up, open it and check for login names, passwords, banking info, and so on, then change your passwords at the affected websites. 

Microsoft says in this advisory that "Windows Defender AV detects and removes this threat" but also warns "[d]oing so also disables the keyboard short cut that turns the microphone on and off."

For affected desktops and notebooks/laptops HP has made the public aware of scroll to the titles Commercial Desktops, Consumer Notebooks and Commercial Notebooks in the same security advisory linked above, which will list affected models not found in the lists below.

More affected notebook/laptop models the public has been made aware of [list]:

* HARDWARE PRODUCT MODEL(S):
HP EliteBook 820 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 828 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 840 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 848 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 850 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 640 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 650 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 645 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 655 G2 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 450 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 430 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 440 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 446 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 470 G3 Notebook PC
HP ProBook 455 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 725 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 745 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 755 G3 Notebook PC
HP EliteBook 1030 G1 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 15u G3 Mobile Workstation
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Tablet
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 with Travel Keyboard
HP Elite x2 1012 G1 Advanced Keyboard
HP EliteBook Folio 1040 G3 Notebook PC
HP ZBook 17 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook 15 G3 Mobile Workstation
HP ZBook Studio G3 Mobile Workstation
HP EliteBook Folio G1 Notebook PC

Affected operating systems the public has been made aware of [list]:

* OPERATING SYSTEM(S):
Microsoft Windows 10 32
Microsoft Windows 10 64
Microsoft Windows 10 IOT Enterprise 32-Bit (x86)
Microsoft Windows 10 IOT Enterprise 64-Bit (x86)
Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Enterprise 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Starter 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7 32
Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 7E 32-Bit

I'm pretty sure merely having one of the operating systems listed above - by itself - isn't enough to predict "MicTray.exe" or "MicTray64.exe" will be found on your computer, but any make, model or type of computer - such as your tablet, laptop or computer tower - could have it, so it still doesn't hurt to check.


*ETA, 6-29-17: hat-tip to [personal profile] darkoshi for pointing out HP's security advisory lists laptops affected by this keylogger not found in the lists I posted; while I was noticing that, I realized there's a list of affected HP desktops, as well. Article and post title have been updated accordingly.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Seriously, for the love of God, PCWorld has you do so much just to boot into Safe Mode and it's so unbelievably torturous and will so make you want to stab your eyes out with forks (they didn't even have the simple courtesy to turn their many needless steps into a perhaps easier-to-read list, instead pushing you through a gigantic wall of text that barely passes for a normal paragraph) using both hands at once I'm quoting it just for others to share in my sheer horror (emphasis mine, and oh, do I emphasize! [Bracketed step numbering like so] is also mine.):

Step 1: Enter Safe Mode

[in which I've scraped out two paragraphs of useless fluff you can google which has absolutely nothing to do with how to actually boot into Safe Mode]

Sadly, Microsoft has turned the process of booting into safe mode from a relatively easy process in Windows 7 and Windows 8 to one that is decidedly more complicated in Windows 10. [1] To boot into Windows Safe Mode, first click the Start Button in Windows 10 and select the Power button as if you were going to reboot, but don’t click anything. [2] Next hold down the Shift key and click Reboot. [3] When the full-screen menu appears, select Troubleshooting, then Advanced Options, then Startup Settings. [4] On the next window click the Restart button and wait for the next screen to appear [5] (just stick with us here, we know this is long) [ed. note: NO, really?]. [6] Next you will see a menu with numbered startup options; select number 4, which is Safe Mode [ed. note: Finally, yay! Oh, but wait...-->] . [7] Note that if you want to connect to any online scanners you’ll need to select option 5, which is Safe Mode with Networking.

Dear God.


My way, or the highway

Type "safe" into Cortana. Click on the first result; on the next screen hit the Restart Now button. After restarting, click Troubleshoot, then Advanced Options, then Startup Settings; on the next screen hit the Restart now button.

*drops mic forever* (this came in many words under PCWorld's version even once I had to edit shortly after posting for leaving most of the steps out*)


I could make my version even shorter, but it'd just be nitpicking.

Bold is used in my how-to to help the eye track better, so you stay more focused. And if your steps involve a computer re-start at any point, like these ones did? You need to ask your readers to bookmark the instruction page so they can find it again.

The thing is, if you're gearing words toward the computer-learning, don't use lots of words. You need a clear, short, simple, easy-to-follow framework, preferably in list form if it takes more than 2-3 steps. I struggled with just this issue in learning to write how-tos, and still feel some of them should be even shorter/more concise than they are.

Computer users often know what to look up if they don't understand why they're doing something, so simply tell them how and let them figure out "why" in Google or by asking you or others. You can also explain "why" before you start the actual how-to, but somehow separate it from the actual instructions to help minimize confusion.

And if there are multiple ways to do something, show the simplest way possible. Make it look easy; make it seem like fun! Or they'll never want to follow your steps again. Even I got a headache trying to envision how to perform all of PCWorld's steps: knowing the most complicated way to do something is far from knowing the one way that makes you look l33t even if you have no idea what you just did.

And I'm hoping no one says, "But what about people who disable Cortana?" Can't be done, for one thing. Even if people choose to keep Cortana "hidden", there are still easier ways; for instance, the latest version of Win 10 Pro allows you to find Safe Mode by looking in the taskbar tray for All Settings; from there just go to Updates & Security-->Recovery-->Advanced Startup and hit Restart now, then click Troubleshoot-->Advanced Options-->Startup Settings and hit the Restart button. That's it - for real.

*last paragraph also left steps out; now fixed

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

In tonight's "myopia" series, I explain people not being able to see the forest for their own asses taking up the entire view. Another case in point: Us. Let's get our heads out of our asses and stop Republican gerrymandering (witness another House seat we should have easily won; we are screwed right through 2018, should this continue) and stop ogling Trump's supporters.

Y'all have damn short memories. I mean really damn short.

Do any of you all recall what it was like to support Bill Clinton after his first election? Any Bill supporters out there?

OK: *waves*...I was. He won with only 43% of the popular vote and the right insta-hated him. I cannot emphasize this enough: they hated him right out of the gate; he hadn't taken his first post-McDonald's jog around the White House before you could feel it in the air that they wanted him gone. You can quibble with me, but I followed Clinton's every word/move/bill/action/reaction almost as breathlessly as though he was the actual prophet selected to announce Jesus's return.

If y'all want to know why, it's because - and I've said this before - I have a strong weakness for the underdog as long as they - unlike Trump - seem honest, above-board and act well-intended enough (though having my political and social preferences also clearly helps).

Bill was the underdog, so Bill was my president, no ands, ifs, or buts. The only time I *ever* disagreed with him - for like a half a second - was after he signed off on NAFTA, and I'm still pissed about that, so yeah, I rather vehemently disagreed. But walk away? Oh hell, no. Back then I had two obsessions: the New York Knicks winning their championship that year (they got eliminated in the East Finals) and Bill Clinton becoming and staying president, and you'd easily pry either concept from my cold, dead hands before I gave them up without a fight.

Has it ever occurred to people that Trump's supporters simply feel the same way?

As a past True Believer, I can tell you you're not going to win the fight for 2018 or 2020 by winning them back, so quit it. Stop talking about their underemployed, opiate-and-Faux News-laden self-made hells on Earth. Stop interviewing them in their fucking trailers. Stop bemoaning their disappearing lung-cancer-causing mining jobs and stop doing summations of Why They Voted For Him that ignore the second most important part of why they did: mostly because they're racists - or the more well-heeled folks after big tax cuts and the hell with the rest of us - so again, mostly because they're racists.

The most important reason, though? They wanted a leader, and to their minds, they got one. Don't ask why; it's an irrational thing considering Trump is all smoke, mirrors and one too many Twitter rants. While edges of his base will peel away, the core will remain. Don't mess with it, let's just move on.

For success in 2018/2020 we need to stop finger-pointing, we need to stop ogling, we desperately need to redraw Republican-gerrymandered districts, and we need to stop being divisive. Oh, and you think that's just Faux News! Well, that's us, too. A house divided will always fall. Why are we doing this to ourselves?

  • Every time a progressive points at a Democrat and says: "not left-leaning enough" that's not only complete bullshit it's divisive.
  • Every time a Democrat blames something on "the Bernie bros" that's not only also complete bullshit it's divisive.
  • Every time Bernie gets mentioned, it's divisive. I hate to rip a page from Orangado's book here, but folks: Bernie lost; get over it.
  • Every time progressives single out publications for their hate - most recently, they went after The Washington Post for not feeling progressive enough, something I cannot forgive because it's my favorite newspaper - it's divisive.
  • Every time an (obviously) self-proclaimed "antifa" hits the streets to stand in opposition to Trumpsters, it's divisive; also, "antifa" are quite possibly just plain nuts.

If "antisoc" had hit the streets in protest every time Clinton supporters breathed in his direction they might arguably have been locked up (not to mention back then, no one would have dared. My, how times have changed). A really good argument can be made in either direction that Republicans/right-leaners/Trump in particular are fascist scumwads OR that Democrats/left-leaners/Clinton in particular are socialist scumwads. I'm entirely capable of agreeing with both arguments equally.

Did I mention I was so fucking mad about NAFTA I nearly turned Republican myself, and have considered myself "moderate" (with a few admittedly more liberal aspects) ever since? While I was never gonna give up on Bill, the entire Democratic Party could pretty much blow me at that point, and while I've recovered most of my left-leaning equilibrium since then, in some ways it still can. And I refuse to feel bad about this.

So stop being divisive, stop Republican gerrymandering, and quit with all the "why Trump's supporters support him" songs and dances. Because, nope. Really. It's not helping.

Historical myopia, ftw

Jun. 21st, 2017 02:08 am
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Forex: the idea that TV cultivates authoritarianism. Then explain 1930s-40s Germany - I don't think TV was that big a deal then - or North Korea: I doubt there's a TV set in many homes nor that its mostly starving population stays glued to it like our Faux News addicts do, many of them yelling at it day in and out (oh, and if this reminds you of a fake office holder, that's because it should: Faux News fosters not just division and acrimony, but successful presidential runs based on everyone - including the fake office holder - feeding off said division and acrimony).

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Because his parents refused the autopsy and he's being buried tomorrow morning. While refusal to have an autopsy might be in keeping with the family's Judaism (even if the family hasn't yet publicly raised this as their particular objection) I'm still disgusted that his parents could not make an exception when no one even knows how - or why - their own son died.

Short of that, someone needs to introduce a bill - call it the Otto Warmbier Act - stating that in cases of potential murder (especially by an enemy or rogue state!) the family's wishes are automatically overridden regarding autopsies. Call it outrageous. Call it anti-religion (Muslims raise a similar objection) but let's keep some perspective here: any God who'd reject a spirit over how its body was handled after death isn't a God we should want to spend too much time shooting marbles with, anyhow.


ETA, 6-22-17: In light of my suggestion that a law should be passed preventing families from forbidding an autopsy being performed in certain circumstances (and while I was researching another aspect of this issue, entirely) I ran across an article on Judaism and autopsy which states, with emphasis mine:

In general, Jewish tradition forbids autopsies on the grounds that the body is sacred and should not be violated after death. However, autopsies are permitted in two specific cases:

  1. When the physician claims that it could provide new knowledge that would help cure others suffering from the same disease;
  2. When the law of the land requires it.

The normal stricture against autopsy would be overridden by the requirement to follow "the law of the land" so Warmbier's parents - if the law was in effect today - would be incapable of violating it without violating their own religious tenets.

Another article states autopsy is not forbidden if performing one prevents a possible "plague"; as I pointed out in comments, "botulism" counts, and since that's what North Korea claims put their son in a coma, the parents have little reason to forbid an autopsy, since no medical determination concerning botulism was made stateside before his death.

And though I'm having a hard time finding a more definitive-sounding source, this website on Islamic rulings doesn't rule out autopsy to determine the cause of death when a "crime" is suspected, so in their case, the law might not be needed.

Correspondence

Jun. 19th, 2017 11:35 am
nebris: (A Dark Boy)
[personal profile] nebris
I have been emailed a few times in the past week or so by Ms Stephanie Scott, Admissions & Account Assistant, Los Angeles Film School. LAFS was a pretty cool place when I checked out, that was long ago. But I'm a gentleman and also a Hollywood Rule is "be nice to those you meet on the way up..you'll meet them again on the way down".


Dear Ms Scott,

I'm a fat old man on Disability who's last contact with your institution was nearly twenty years ago, so I'm assuming y'all are having 'enrollment issues'. That's a shame. I liked the feel of the place, I just didn't have the bread to enroll.

Presently I am living in a double-wide in a mobile home park up in the High Desert. The film industry is a distant and sad memory, so while I appreciate your offer, I'll have to pass.

I do however wish you the best of luck, my dear.

Yours
M. Daly

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:54 am
[personal profile] polydad
I'm just snapping out of about a week of funk. Haven't been letting my inner pirate/tyrant/monster/whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it out of its cage, and it got bored with me, curled up, and took a nap. Leaving me with not enough energy to run the rest.

I *seem* to have that momentarily resolved, and now it's being Warm. Not *Hot*, yet, but still excessively conducive to naps.

BATMAN IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE BATMAN

Jun. 19th, 2017 09:41 pm
defrog: (Default)
[personal profile] defrog
As you know, Adam West is gone.

Like a lot of people, West was a pop culture icon of my childhood thanks to the syndication of Batman. And whatever his qualities as an actor, he was perfect for the role – too perfect, perhaps, although West was able to reconcile himself with it. And that’s good.

Also, like a lot of people, he was my first Batman experience – in my case, it was the TV show that led me to read the comic books, rather than the other way round. And of course there will always be debate about how “authentic” West’s Batman was – after all, the whole show was meant to be ironic camp fun for 60s hipsters who laughed at Batman’s ultra-square demeanor.

And yet it wasn’t. While the show was essentially conceived as a sort of superhero sitcom, they were serious about Batman’s squareness, if only because he was meant to be the sane centerpiece of an insane crooked world of flamboyant supervillains, and a counterpoint to Robin’s youthful impulsiveness to do what feels right vs what is right – even if it’s a detail like pedestrian safety or being too young to legally enter a nightclub.

Here’s one way of looking at it – college-age hipsters watched it in the 1960s and laughed at Batman’s goody-two-shoes squareness. Primary school kids in the 1970s like me watched the reruns and saw Batman as the ultimate role model – the guy who stands for justice, defends the defenseless, obeys rules and laws (apart from the ones against vigilantism, of course, but who thinks of that when yr eight?), and generally does the right thing for the Greater Good of society.

In other words, we didn't see the irony – we saw the superhero we thought Batman was supposed to be. And we aspired to that. As you do when yr a kid.

Of course we grew up, and in my case I did see the goofy, hokey side of it all (and as Mark Hamill has pointed out, it says a lot that West was able to play the role for laughs and seriously at the same time).

By that time, too, we had The Dark Knight and characters like Wolverine, the first of many bad-ass superheroes who were perfectly fine with killing bad guys and delivering snappy one-liners while doing it – which Adam West’s Batman would never have done in a million years.

Don't get me wrong – gritty realism and graphic violence has its place in comics. I liked Frank Miller’s take on the Dark Knight, and it’s an aspect of the character worthy of exploration, and one that has been explored well, possibly to the point of ad nauseum. But it’s just one aspect of a multifaceted and contradictory character. And West’s Batman is arguably at the core of the character – he may be an orphan who dresses up like a bat to punch the crap out of criminals, but he is also grounded in a very clear sense of right and wrong, and there are lines he will not cross.

Naïve and oversimplistic? Probably. But why not? For my money, superhero stories don’t have to be “realistic” in order to be entertaining or meaningful. They also work as basic good vs evil stories where good generally wins, eventually – and does so on its own terms rather than stooping to the level of evil. And the “terms” can be generally defined as what we think of as ideals of morality, citizenship and justice – where crime never pays and the bad guys never get away with it, but ensuring that without breaking the confines of a fair and impartial justice system. The fact that the real justice system is neither fair nor impartial – to say nothing of the fact that vigilantism technically is by definition extrajudicial – is beside the point. Classic superheroes tended to operate according to the principles of that system regardless of whether the system itself did or not.

We need stories like that, just as we need stories that focus on what happens when the system fails us. Because I don’t think you can really appreciate the significance of the latter without appreciating the aspirations of the former.

Also, as Neil Gaiman intimated in a Riddler story, the former is just more fun. And it’s evident we’re starting to see a backlash at least in DC films that have gone for gritty realism vs Marvel’s lighter approach. I personally love the Nolan Batman films, but that was a specific cycle of films. There’s no need to make the whole universe like that. Anyway, you know you’ve gone too far with the Dark Knight angle when the Lego films are making fun of you.

I suppose some might point to Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin as proof that light-hearted cartoony Batman doesn’t work. I don’t think it’s a fair comparison, partly because Schumacher went against the expectations of franchise fans at the time who expected Tim Burton’s version, but also because the problem with Batman and Robin wasn’t the one-liners, overacting villains and cartoon sound effects – it was a bad story, too many supervillains, a very clumsy and forced attempt to shoehorn Batgirl into the franchise and Robin basically acting like a petulant jerk.

So, anyway, respect to Adam West for helping create a square, straight-edge Batman that we could look up to and yet not take too seriously, all at once.

Go West,

This is dF

Life in The Desert

Jun. 17th, 2017 03:35 pm
nebris: (Nebs Palms)
[personal profile] nebris
~It is presently 103° and 11% humidity. 107° predicted for tomorrow and 109° for Mon, Tues and Wed.

Profile

nebris: (Default)
The Divine Mr. M

June 2017

S M T W T F S
     123
4567 8 910
111213141516 17
18 192021222324
252627 282930 

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags