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maiki.xyz

October 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

Heads up to folks that follow this site to read my posts on free software and information technology: I’ve got a new site at https://maiki.xyz. If you are reading this is a feed, then you may want to subscribe to https://maiki.xyz/feed. ^_^

I am moving this blog to be more of a journal for myself, about personal things. Or commentary that I don’t want to be mixed in with my observations about tech. It will be easier for me to process what I am writing if I am thinking of where it goes. Also, I’d like to do more mundane blogging here, like talking about places I go, that kinda thing. I just don’t want those kinds of post to dilute my technical writing.

I will also be launching some other places on the web, like a place to talk about video games, further removing the types of content I post here. But I will be collecting it all in a new place, as a life stream (remember those? I’ve always like the idea). More to come. ^_^

Difficulty at the beginning usually means ease at the end… in bed.

Intro to Defiance

August 30, 2014 — Leave a comment

Defiance has completed its second season, and hasn’t been renewed for a third (but we can hope!). I talk about it on federated social networks, where I don’t think folks talk about media much (likely because there is a high concentration of copyright reform advocates, but that is a guess on my part). But each time I talk about Defiance, I get a couple reactions of interest.

This small introduction will be my go to link for telling folks what it is about. In the past I’ve had a hard time describing it, because while it can be described as Star Trek + Firefly + West Side Story + western (genre) + post-apocalyptic, the series is able to stand alone (much as the aforementioned Firefly is more than a space western).

I will explain a few parts of the show, and I won’t include spoilers that you couldn’t deduce from the genre descriptors, specifically, it has aliens, weird tech, and happens in the future.

Defiance is a frontier town/city-state, surrounded by what are essentially “badlands”, the result of an Earth having been ravaged by uncontrolled terraforming technology brought to the planet by an alien fleet of capital ships called Arks. The aliens were a collective of various species that evolved in a star system that was going to be destroyed by a failing sun. They didn’t come to Earth to conquer it, but a conflict did happen. A catastrophic event happened (which resulted in the uncontrolled terraforming), which essentially destroyed human civilization’s infrastructure, but also left the aliens stranded, and with very little technology.

That is all cool, but it is dressing for the story. The interesting bits are the personalities of Defiance, and their collective struggle for survival in an unforgiving world that is strange to everyone (native and alien). What do you have to look forward to? Crime families, company town issues, inter-species romance and bigotry, external political forces, weird and lost technology, lawkeepers, and lots of interlocking plotlines. Also, some of the most progressive and interesting commentary on gender, sex, family and societal roles! Turns out you can do with a lot of “alien” culture to talk about contemporary issues. ^_^

The production quality if among the top for what one expects from a sci-fi show, let alone a Syfy show. The music is really fun, too. Also, there is an MMORPG attached to it, if you are into that the transmedia experience (and run a non-free OS).

Of course I recommend you watch it. I think it will obviously be enjoyable to folks that are into other sci-fi franchises, but it also appeals to those that are into social dynamics and alternaitve/intentional family styles. And now that it has concluded, you can get the whole thing via video on demand! ^_^

Gonna keep this short, because I’ve wasted too much time on it as it stands.

I broke the screen on a Nexus 5. It is an LG device. I sent it in to LG to be repaired. I got an email from LG on May 25th, at 10:22 PM, and I read on the morning of the 26th.

It included an Inspection Results document that said repairs would cost $153, and to send send them payment within 4 days or they would return the phone to me. Options for payment were sending in a money order, or writing my credit card info on the form and faxing it to them. All this already indicated to me that LG is a company that does not like doing repairs, because none of those options are easy, let alone within four days.

I called them yesterday at 5:30 PM, coming back from a client’s place. The support person was dismissive, told me to call back the next day to pay for the repairs, as the payment dept. was closed then, and would not put an extension on my account. I asked to verify that I had today to pay, and they said I did. Then they refused to give me their employee number or a reference number for the call. I asked to speak with eir supervisor, and after putting me on hold for 10 minutes, told me they had gone home, and I could speak with them by calling today. I verified once more I would be able to pay today, and e affirmed it.

I called today, and was informed, after being put on hold for 15 minutes, that I couldn’t pay, because the reference item was expired. There was no extension on the account, and in order to be sent to the payment center, I need a reference number, so they need to create a new one, and then send it to their back office, which will then send me another notice with four days (although they kept saying 3 days, and when I asked them why mine said four days, they admitted it counted the first day from when I got the message, in my case the last two hours of the 25th). Their payment office is closed tomorrow, and Monday is a holiday, so I would receive the notice on Tuesday. At this point they’ve had my $400 device for 10 days.

I asked to speak to their supervisor, and was transferred, but after 10 minutes, the person told me that the supervisor division had high volume, and they would be transferring me so I should just hold until they get to me. I asked them to explain to me why this happened, and when I explained to them how the process had worked for me, they suggested I be transferred to “escalation”. I was on hold for 5 minutes before I decided I value my time more than this process.

Supposedly escalation can call me back if the call is dropped. It has been an hour and I haven’t been contacted yet. If they call me back today, and let me pay for the device, I will do so. If not, I will have the phone returned. Regardless, I will never buy another LG device, because they actively discourage having them repaired.

A message from Send Owl, which starts, 'Hi, Fuck-off'

I don’t know what is more offensive: Send Owl sending me such a vulgar message, or that they required a name to download a file someone sent me.

Warby Parker

August 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

maiki-2014-02

I have a pair of Warby Parker glasses call Thompson, in the Crystal Matte variety (as seen in the fashionable image above). That is no longer an option, unfortunately, and I need a new pair. A while ago, Clover bit my lenses… as kids do. It was a tiny scratch that has since gotten worse.

So I ordered the Thompson in Revolver Black, so everyone will know that I prefer the shade of black similar to a gun, none of that midnight or sable nonsense! But I still like my clear frames, so once I receive the new pair, I am gonna send this pair in to have the lens repaired, for just $50.

A new pair with no extra considerations (my prescription is kinda low, anyhow) is $95. So it is quite affordable enough for me to have two pairs. I think that Warby Parker kinda presumes that people buy glasses as accessories. I won’t do that, but I am pretty jazzed I can afford a backup pair! This is a great example of better manufacturing practices being used to improve quality of life. ^_^

Prudence

August 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

I needed a domain to run some management and monitoring plugins for my WordPress sites (see T124). I wanted to get global.international, because that is hilarious, and I could be able to make it useful as an essentially non-public service site for guild use, but alas, someone else registered it. (; ̄д ̄)

Then I was thinking I would go for an Eye of Sauron motif, so I looked up “all seeing eye” and found the Eye of Providence. I don’t really like using religious iconography, even ironically, and especially this, because it feeds into that “sysops are god” complex (so I guess I wasn’t really going after that motif after all…). But the entry for divine providence is a good read, especially the differen between general and special providence (sometimes Wikipedia articles on religion read like a D&D campaign/world guide!).

Anyhow, “providence” comes from providentia, which means “foresight, prudence”, which accurately describes what I am looking for in monitoring system. Also, prudence is a pretty cool idea, and I don’t hear folks referring to others are prudent very often. I’d like to highlight that as a virture, and hope to model it for others.

It won’t contribute to such modelling, but I did register prudence.io! It won’t be much of a service to the general public, but for folks that have me manage their hosting, they will get a dashboard overview of all their sites (though maybe I will be able to offer it as a service once I get comfortable with how it works). And of course all the warez I use will be in the aforementioned component repo. ( ・ㅂ・)و ̑̑

I was considering going to Japan Expo, but I think it would take me around 1.5 hours to get there via transit, and I am not sure what I’d do there, since I no longer buy massive piles of stuff at cons. Definitely planning on attending Kraken Con, since it is a five minute bus ride away! ^_^

The image that appears at the top of the article Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Ferguson on Center Stage broke me:

howardUferguson

I live in a country that not only has systemic bias built into its structure, but also systematically takes away life and freedom from black men.

I don’t know how to fight racism, it intersects with so many other issues. But I do know that we need to stop incarcerating people at the level that we do, and we need to demilitarize police forces. Those are two areas that have a tremendous amount of research and methods already developed, but lack the political will.

Change will come, but I don’t want more people to gunned down to get the privileged to pay attention.

I often wonder if I would have joined John Brown‘s raid, or if I would have ridden on a bus to an American South that terrorized Black folks. I want to think I would, but I have a family with a child, and I am not sure if I could overcome the fear of losing them. But such thought exercises are ended in the relief that I don’t have to make a difficult decision, because the terror of oppression is over for minorities.

But it isn’t, and my heart is broken because we have people dying, not on a different continent across a large body of water on the other side of the planet, but here, right here in our communities. And for no reason besides our privilege and lack of will.

Fuck.

For Gautham

August 19, 2014 — Leave a comment

swingline-ny

For Gautham. Imagine Frank Sinatra singing it. ^_^