Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Was I racially profiled?

Once, in my parents’ neighborhood in Staten Island, I was walking down the sidewalk when a Chinese woman comes out of a crappy townhouse and starts accusing me of taking something from her lawn or something.

Instead of having a big chip on my shoulder about being racially profiled because I was white and she was Chinese, I instead tried to explain to her that I was just walking down the sidewalk and I didn’t see anything and I didn’t know what she was talking about. But she was not convinced, and I walked away because I had no idea what she was talking about.

It occurs to me that, if I had been black and the woman had been white, and I acted more hostile to her with a big chip on my shoulder about being racially profiled, and I took a video of the incident with my phone, it could have become a viral thing on Twitter with everyone hating on the woman.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 30, 2020 at 9:25 AM

Posted in Technology

My blog has totally been banned by Google

Doesn’t show up in search results at all, even if you search the site explicitly.

The tech companies are busy at work supressing free speech.

For example, a search that ought to return a lot of results: https://www.google.com/search?q=trump+site%3Alionoftheblogosphere.wordpress.com

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There is no due process. No right to find out what triggered the banning, how to appeal it, etc. Total dictatorship.

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UPDATE: now my site is showing up again.

Theory: Google keeps track of wrongthink sites and subtly causes them to have much lower results in search results, but they accidentally turned it way up earlier today.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 21, 2020 at 12:35 PM

Posted in Technology

I moved to Parler

Parler allows 1000-character tweets, so may maybe I can just move all of my blogging there.

https://parler.com/profile/LionBlogosphere/posts

UPDATE

Parler needs to let people read stuff you post there without requiring them to sign up. The requirement for a mobile phone number in order to sign up, while effective at keeping bots away, will also keep the people away.

And given that Parler is just a Twitter clone with fewer people using it and a crappier interface, there’s no compelling reason for anyone to join except to give Twitter the middle finger.

So I guess for the time being, I will just re-post everything I post on Twitter also to Parler, and see if anyone is reading me on Parler (probably not).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 26, 2020 at 11:40 AM

Posted in Technology

Do I need to buy Microsoft Office for my new Mac?

Apple chose to make all 32-bit software fail with the Catalina operating system upgrade. And Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, which I have, is 32-bit. Fail.

In the past I needed Microsoft Office, but now I think I can do without it. LibreOffice seems to open my Word and Excel files, and I never use PowerPoint for personal use. Office is rarely used for work these days, most stuff has moved to web-based tools like Confluence. I even stopped using Visio in favor of draw.io.

I’d buy Office anyway if I was going to use the new Mac for work, but I’m only allowed to use the crappy company-issued Dell for work. Which I now have at home if I need to use it during off hours.

I do use Microsoft OneNote, but they now make that a free product separate from Office. Thank you Bill Gates!

My last blog post was written on LibreOffice. (This blog post is written directly into WordPress’s website.)

So for now, I will not buy a new copy of Office for Mac until I actually run into a situation where I need it or at least would find it helpful.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 26, 2020 at 2:29 PM

Posted in Technology

Moving to Mac

I ordered a MacBook Pro yesterday; I can’t wait until it gets here. It’s fair if people say that the only reason I did that is because I was bored and there’s nothing else to do with my money with everything being closed down because of the coronavirus, and that I don’t really need a new computer.

In fact, my old Windows desktop computer, with an i7-860 microprocessor, seems to work just fine speedwise, for the most part. That’s a testament to the fact that Moore’s Law has significantly slowed down. In 2010, a computer with a chip that’s was more than 10 years old would have been dog slow and practically useless. Actually, the desktop computer was indeed pretty dog slow before I replaced the main HDD with an SSD and relegated the original HDD to being extra storage for media files and documents. SSD drives are game-changers. Also, the original graphics card would have been pretty useless today, but I replaced it at least twice. With an Nvidia GTX 1050 TI graphics card, I can play Overwatch with a 60 fps frame rate.

Running the Jetstream 2 benchmark test on Chrome, the Windows desktop computer scores approximately 60, while a new Chromebook that I purchased for my 81-year-old father (who is too computer illiterate for me to allow him to use Windows, he always manages to install all sorts of malicious browser extensions despite the computer having Bitdefender antivirus software) scores approximately 50 on the same benchmark. Thus we see that a brand-new cheap computer today is less powerful (although only slightly so) than a power-user’s computer from 10 years earlier.

The Asus Windows laptop that I bought a year and a half ago, in retrospect, really sucks.

  • The HDMI output is only capable of a maximum resolution of 1080p, doesn’t work with my 1440p monitor, and of course won’t work with a 2160p (4K) monitor if I ever upgrade to that. That makes the Asus only suitable for use strictly as a laptop computer and not suitable as a desktop replacement you can use with a high-resolution monitor.
  • It has a fake USB-C port and not a real USB-C port so it won’t support the peripherals of the future. Or in the case of wanting high-resolution video output, which would be possible with a real USB-C port, it doesn’t support the monitors of today.
  • The webcam sucks. The webcam on the MacBook Pro is criticized for being only 720p, but I assume it has to be as least as good as the webcam on my seldom-used 2012 MacBook Air and that webcam is superior to the crappy webcam on the Asus. This is a fault I never noticed until recently, because before March of this year I never used the webcams on any of my laptops, but now I routinely use them for Zoom meetings.
  • The built-in display doesn’t work at 60hz because of crappy hardware design, and running at 48hz results in occasionally unsmooth framerate display with 30fps and 60fps video.
  • Every so often I get this weird “Audio renderer error. Please restart your computer.” error and I have to reboot the computer to keep watching YouTube videos. I have no idea if this is Asus-caused crappiness or Windows-caused crappiness. I’m looking forward to the Mac’s reputation for “just working” the way it’s supposed to.

My plan for the new MacBook pro is to use it as a complete replacement for my Windows desktop, but one that I can unplug when I want to take it to a different room of the house. I want to force myself to become a Mac person and wean myself off of toxic Windows. (I am not alone, Mac has steadily increasing marketshare over the previous seven years.) I intend to only use the old desktop to play Overwatch. (The achilles heel of Mac is that it doesn’t play games. Another achilles heel is that any older software that’s 32-bit won’t run on the latest 64-bit Catalina operating system. That includes Microsoft Office 2011. On the other hand, one of the reasons why Windows is so buggy is because it tries to maintain so much backwards compatibility.)

Some other cool things about the Mac which I recently discovered is how it can seamlessly integrate with other Apple devices. For example, you can receive and send text message to your phone number right on your Mac. The Mac has better built-in support for Apple Airpods. The Airpods do work with windows computers, but only as generic Bluetooth headhpones. So if you stay within the Apple ecosystem, the Mac does some pretty cool and useful stuff.

MacBook 2020 product lineup.

The model of the 13” MacBook that costs $1799 is the best one to buy right now. The less expensive MacBook Pros only have 8th generation Intel microprocessors, one cooling fan and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. The more expensive MacBook Pros have 10th generation Intel microprocessors, two cooling fans and four Thunderbolt 3 ports. The second cooling fan, according to reviews on the internet, results in a quieter computer (because neither fan needs to spin as fast), and higher sustained performance because two fans working together allow the microprocessor to run at a high load for a longer time without overheating. The more expensive MacBook Pros also have Iris Plus G7 graphics which are reported to be significantly faster than any other version of Intel integrated graphics. About 40% as fast as an Nvidia GTX 1050 TI videocard, so it should be fast enough to play some of the few computer games that are Mac compatible.

I bought the $1999 model which has a 1TB SSD drive instead of the 512 GB drive on the $1799 model, because I know that I store a lot of files, and if I’m going to use this as my main computer, I’m definitely going to want all of that space. But if you have no idea why you need a 1TB drive then you don’t need one and you can save yourself some money by buying the lower-specced computer.

It’s dubious whether the lower-priced 13” MacBook Pros really offer an advantage over MacBook Airs, because the latter all have 10th generation Intel microprocessors so they are more advanced than the so-called “Pro” computers, and the Airs now have hiqh quality “Retina” displays (whereas the older MacBook Airs from a few years ago had lower resolution screens with a pretty crappy color gamut making them bad for watching movies because the colors were always all off).

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 25, 2020 at 1:29 PM

Posted in Technology

Twitter manipulation?

It seems to me that Twitter has not been allowing virus related hashtags to trend. UNLESS they are anti-Trump hashtags, in which case they ARE allowed to trend.

Not to say that Trump doesn’t deserve very harsh criticism for the administration’s inept response to the virus, but I don’t like thought manipulation by internet monopolies.

A commenter pointed out recently that when Trump did a smart thing to prevent spread of the virus, banning travel from China, he was criticized for that too. Yes, it sucks that the media is always anti-Trump even when he does something right.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 28, 2020 at 9:42 AM

Posted in Technology

How talk about the virus is being censored

Notice how a misspelling of coronavirus is trending, but not the correct spelling.

All of the major internet companies are shadowbanning or algorithmically deprecating posts about the virus. We rightly decried the heavy-handed censorship in China, but something very similar is happening in the United States. Instead of the government arresting people for posting about the virus, we have the soft censorship of “private” companies like Twitter hiding posts about the virus from people who aren’t going out of their way to look for them.

However, it looks like the censorship algorithm isn’t smart enough to hide “caronavirusoutbreak.” (And the reason this is trending is because people are making fun of Donald Trump for misspelling it in a tweet.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 26, 2020 at 11:44 AM

Posted in Technology

Star Trek: Picard S01E01

So far so good, I can’t wait to watch the next episode.

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PrinzEugen writes in a comment:

Needless to say it’s not Deep Space Nine, but I’m pleasantly surprised that it didn’t suck outright. I even found it quite enjoyable. So far it’s definitely not Discovery-level trash, and the left-wing commentary is not “in your face”, but more subdued like it was in TNG.

The Romulan Refugee Crisis, notably, is NOT equivalent to any current real-world refugee crisis, since the Romulans are a high-IQ, adaptable and resourceful race (although the leftist writers would probably never admit this).

Actually, the acting and production values are way better than Deep Space Nine. And as good as DS9 was compared to other Star Trek series, it still had a lot of dumb Klingon and Ferengi stuff.

Also, Picard being disgustingly sanctimonious is consistent with his character from TNG. Remember that Picard was pretty far down on my list of best starship captains.

This is what I previously wrote:

Patrick Stewart himself may be a better actor than William Shatner, but Stewart is miscast as a starship captain. Stewart is unable to play Picard without giving off the vibe that he thinks the role is beneath him. Shatner, on the other hand, never thought it was beneath him to play Captain Kirk.

In addition to the acting, the character of Picard created by the writers turns me off. Why does an allegedly French guy have a British accent? His constantly ordering “Tea! Earl Gray! Hot!” grates on me. I can’t stand his moral smugness and unquestioning adherence to the Prime Directive. That’s why The Inner Light is the best episode of TNG, because Stewart was great as a guy living out his life on a doomed planet, but he sucks as a starship captain.

However, in a nod to Stewart’s acting ability as well as an acknowledgement that Picard is the second Star Trek captain, I still place him ahead of many other starship captains, including Janeway and Archer. I liked the Enterprise series, but Bakula just didn’t have any gravitas as a starship captain. Putting Quark (the garbage scow captain, not the Ferengi) ahead of Janeway is my comic way of pointing out how much I can’t stand Janeway. (Regarding the other Quark: the episode where Quark assembles an all-Ferengi commando team to rescue his mother who’s being held captive by the dominion is the funniest of all Star Trek episodes.)

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 25, 2020 at 10:10 PM

Posted in Star Trek, Technology

Social media platform of the decade

Out of the running

Google+ Abandoned by Google. This goes to show you that even the most powerful internet company can’t compete against an established platform like Facebook.

Blogs Blogs are dead. So sad.

Tumblr Isn’t that kind of like a lightweight blog without comments?

Flickr and all other photo-sharing platforms that are not Instagram (does anyone remember Webshots?) All dead.

Pinterest I can’t even look at this site without creating an account, and nothing about this site had made me want to create an account.

Honorable mention

Reddit It’s kind of useful, but run by SJWs. If you write a post that’s interesting or unique because it disagrees with the crowd, it will get massively downvoted. And also, the site has peaked.

PornHub It ought to get a mention, at least. It’s certainly not dead.

#6 Facebook

Facebook has too many users to ignore, but I don’t find it fun, and more importantly, young people no longer find it fun. Facebook usage among teenagers has plummeted, and probably less than a third of teens use it with any regularity. Facebook is the social media platform for Generation X, and as much as I may stick up for my generation, my generation as a whole isn’t a trendsetter.

#5 Twitch

Twitch is still up and coming, the place where people stream themselves playing videogames. Before the start it the decade, the very idea of this seemed strange and nonsensical, so Twitch deserves a place on this list for moving the culture forward.

#4 TikTok

TikTok is on an upwards trend. A big upwards trend. It can’t be ignored. Although I don’t think this platform has any appeal to old people (old being anyone old enough to have graduated college). Unless you enjoy looking at pictures of beautiful blonde slutty girls, many of them under the age of 18, bopping around for 15 seconds at a time. In which case you can enjoy TikTok as a spectator. Jeffrey Epstein surely would have enjoyed this app if he knew about it.

#3 YouTube

YouTube is the most useful social media platform. There is so much to watch here, it’s not just morons trying to become social media influencers. I use it to watch music videos, and Critical Role where “nerdy-ass” voice actors play Dungeons & Dragons. If there’s something you want information about, you can usually find it on YouTube. Often, the video you find is actually useful.

#2 Twitter

Without Twitter, Trump wouldn’t be President.

#1 Instagram

Instagram has gone from practically nothing in 2010 to being the world’s most influential app. Instagram has changed photography, and changed the way we see the world. People may argue in ways not for the best. Instagram has caused overtourism, and changed food from being about the taste to being about the presentation, has changed pretty much everything to being about the presentation.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 7, 2020 at 2:08 PM

Posted in Technology

What happened to the cent (¢) symbol?

The cent symbol was on all U.S. typewriters. But when the ASCII committee got together (all of them nerdy computer engineering types), they dropped the cent symbol in favor of what they thought of as more important characters like the pipe (|), tilde (~), caret (^) and curly brackets {}. And thus the cent symbol was dropped from computer keyboards because there was no matching ASCII character. (It used to be above the 6, but now a caret is there.)

Once upon a time, it was standard to type $0.43 as 43¢, but that time was so long ago that people forgot about it because they are so used to seeing $0.43.

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Will manual typewriters ever make a comeback like vinyl records? Not very likely. Vinyl records can play music almost as well as an iPhone hooked up to external speakers. But manual typewriters are pretty useless for getting words into an electronic format, which is the main reason why people would type something. Old typewriters will only be collected as curios.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 6, 2020 at 11:11 AM

Posted in Technology

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