Jul 262015
 

Just got a new Logitech G710+ for work – good all-round mechanical keyboard (runs $90 on amazon.com as of 7-26-15). Six macro keys, 3 profile keys, lots of multimedia keys. The software’s pretty easy to use, and the keys aren’t too loud. Also, the keyboard layout’s completely standard (in case you already use lots of keyboard shortcuts and really need “ctrl”, “home”, and other keys to be in the normal places your fingers expect).

Logitech_G710plus

Jul 212015
 

Password management isn’t something most people are familiar with. But you know how you have to try 3 times to login to that site you don’t use much, and finally have to do a password reset or consult a ratty notebook or, more often, a rat’s-nest of post-it notes in a drawer somewhere? Yeah, that’s no way to live.

Keepass is a password vault that saves all sorts of credential info using strong encryption. You just have to remember a single, preferably complex password to open it up, then copy/paste that password you need. Keepass entries also have a large “notes” field for miscellaneous info, like answers to security questions, ISP account numbers, etc. It takes a little discipline to keep it updated, and some time to type your info into it initially (I spent like 4 hours churning through my email finding account passwords), but it’s worth it. Never struggle with logins again, and your info’s all strongly encrypted.

Best part is, you can get it as a “portable app”, which means it doesn’t require installation. It’s a folder with the program (an .exe file), a database (a .kdbx file), and a few .dll fils. You can just copy the folder to a flashdrive, then open it on any other computer. Or email it to yourself, whatever. The default encryption will protect you from any hacker short of the NSA, and if you bump it up you can probably even defeat them (or at least give them a modest headache). Just don’t lose your master password, or you are absolutely screwed, at least until quantum computing comes along.

From this link, get the “Professional Edition”, “Portable” version”. It’s free, open-source software: “Professional” juts means that it’s Keepass v2 instead of v1. http://keepass.info/download.html

keepass

Sweet Science Karma: Mayweather-Ortiz headbutt and KO

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Jul 182015
 

The link starts at 6:54, about 10 seconds before things get real interesting. After a vicious headbutt from Ortiz the referee has them touch gloves, and then at the exact instant at which it’s legal and fair to start fighting again, Mayweather unloads on him and catches him completely off-guard. Ortiz comes-off like an undisciplined thug, and Mayweather a professional. And the difference between professionals and amateurs, regardless of the field, is that professionals are always ready.

Apartment-Hunting With Google Earth and a Gamepad

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Jul 182015
 

Google’s mapping has gotten way more intense since last time I really dug into the feature sets. I’m looking for an apartment in Nashville, and even with satellite imagery and street-view, it’s still kind of awkward to get a sense of the neighborhood. Google Earth’s 3D view makes it instantly clear if an address is an asceptic yuppieville or the sort of place you’re going to get shot.

Google Earth’s 3D view is very powerful, and is best navigated with a game controller (or a Space Navigator 3-D mouse if you’ve got one).

The Xbox controller has excellent PC support, naturally. The PS4’s Dualshock 4 controller requires a 3rd-party app but is easy to set-up (it’s much easier and cleaner than trying to get a Dualshock 3 to play nice with Windows).

Also worth noting, Google Maps can color-code roads by traffic density, either real-time or typical condition at a specified day of the week and time.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – Gil Scott-Heron

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Jul 102015
 

An oldie but a goodie – I’ve been in love with this piece since I heard it back in college. Poignant, incisive, and above all, funny as hell.
I’ve always thought the term “race” is horribly misused in our country. For what it’s worth, I’ve got a master’s degree in Biology, and as far as I’m concerned, there’s only one race of people: homo sapiens. Maybe I’m naive – I’m almost certainly naive. But I believe that naivete is a noble prerogative graciously handed-down to my generation by the countless men and women involved in the struggle for civil rights, so that people like me could grow-up seeing the world the way I do.

Lyrics

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag
And skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised
The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruptions
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat hog maws
Confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by the
Schaefer Award Theater and will not star Natalie Woods
And Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
The revolution will not make you look five pounds thinner
Because the revolution will not be televised, Brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie May
Pushing that shopping cart down the block on the dead run
Or trying to slide that color TV into a stolen ambulance
NBC will not be able predict the winner at 8:32
Or report from 29 districts
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers on the instant replay
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers on the instant replay

There will be no pictures of Whitney Young
Being run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
There will be no slow motion or still life of Roy Wilkens
Strolling through Watts in a red, black and green
Liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the proper occasion

Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies and Hooter ville Junction
Will no longer be so damned relevant
And women will not care if Dick finally gets down with Jane
On search for tomorrow because black people
Will be in the street looking for a brighter day
The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock news
And no pictures of hairy armed women liberationists
And Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb
Francis Scott Key, nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones
Johnny Cash, Englebert Humperdink or the Rare Earth
The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a white tornado, white lightning, or white people
You will not have to worry about a dove in your bedroom
The tiger in your tank or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat

The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised
Will not be televised, will not be televised
The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live

Camper Van Beethoven – Jack Ruby

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Jul 102015
 

Camper Van Beethoven is a little-known but brilliant star in the 80’s pop constellation.

Lyrics:

I remember his hat tilted forward
His glasses are folded in his vest
And he seems like the kind of man who beats his horses
Or the dancers who work at a bar
We saw on the screen his face for a moment
No time to plead or even ask why
Jack ruby appeared from out of nowhere
Then disappeared in broad daylight
’cause he’s a friend of that cloven-hoofed gangster the devil
He’s been seen with the sheriff and the police
Drinking whiskey and water after hours, saying
“let’s do business, boys. the drinks are on me.”
So draw the box along quickly
Avert your eyes with shame
Let us stand and speak of the weather
And pretend nothing ever happened on that day
Grant us the luxury, ’cause all our heroes are bastards
Grant us the luxury, ’cause all our heroes are thieves
Of the innocence of the afternoons
Now we think it’s a virtue to simply survive
But it feels like this calm it’s decaying
It’s collapsing under it’s own weight
And I think it’s your friend the hangman coming
Choking back a laugh, a drunkard swaggering to your door
Now do you feel that cold, icy presence?
In the morning with coffee and with bread
Do you feel it in the movement of traffic
And days are terrible, simply forget

Adidas GSG9 shoes

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Jul 042015
 

William Gibson’s Spook Country features a young Cuban exile named Tito, family-trained in Russian Systema and KGB tradecraft, who incidentally picked-up Parkour and an esoteric mix of Carribean Voodoo spiritualism. He’s pretty-much the most competent street agent imaginable, a “snake on ice”.

For one of his jobs, he’s given a pair of GSG9 Adidas running shoes, which is apparently a thing. GSG-9 is Germany’s premier counter-terrorism and special operations unit, the kind of people you send to retake a commercial airliner held hostage on the tarmac. And apparently they commissioned custom footwear, which you, the consumer, can now enjoy.

Incidentally, I just watched Avengers: Age of Ultron (watchable in a popcorn way), and in a scene where Hawkeye is gearing-up, I was amused to notice that after he carefully selects various high-tech arrowheads, he reaches for a pair of Adidas sneakers. Clearly he has good taste.
gsg9-adidas
Update: They’re surprisingly comfortable, and the tread must be seen to be believed.

Kavinsky

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Jul 032015
 

Kavinsky is a “French house / Synthwave” artist with some of the best 80’s retro-pop out there. As a kid he was obsessed with Sega’s Outrun, and consequently the Testarossa Ferrari (which he now drives-around in). His albums thematically revolve around the story of a high school student who fatally crashed his Ferrari in 1986, and mysteriously returned years later as a sort of zombie.


David Hasselhoff – True Survivor

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Jul 032015
 

It’s one of those music-posting nights. From the Kickstarter movie Kung Fury, this is David Hasselhoff performing “True Survivor”. The movie’s a little too zany for its own good – tries to cram-in a few too many 80’s motifs. But this music video is endlessly watchable: so good, I’m not watching it with irony anymore.

Tenacious D – Warning

 Music, Video  Comments Off on Tenacious D – Warning
Jul 032015
 

Necessary viewing. Suffice to say, all you people here are in great danger.