The eternal need for speed

A note received from the surfer dudes who host this Web site:

Over the next week, we’ll be rolling out “OPcache” for domains hosted on your managed Virtual Private Server.

OPcache is a PHP accelerator that makes your site faster by keeping code in memory instead of loading it on every page request. Since code doesn’t have to be loaded from disk repeatedly, you’ll also see reduced CPU and memory usage on your VPS. That means you’ll be able to do more with less power!

OPcache replaces the outdated “XCache” option which was previously available on virtual private servers. Unlike XCache, OPcache is supported on all versions of PHP that DreamHost offers, so there’s no special configuration required to make it work.

XCache will not work with PHP 7 or newer versions, so it is no longer recommended.

Combined with PHP 7, OPcache can often double the performance of WordPress sites. We’re pretty excited about it, and can’t wait for you to experience the magic and wonder of OPcache for yourself!

Precisely seven days later, they brought this plan to fruition. I haven’t run any speed tests yet, but I do have a little widget to measure RAM usage. For the last couple of years, it’s been hanging between 35 and 40 percent of my allotment. Reading last night: 8 percent.

Gosh. Maybe I should go ahead and implement PHP 7. (I’m still on 5.6.)

Addendum: PHP 7.0 is in place.

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Cooler than cremation

This has been out for a while, but I hadn’t seen much of anything about it until now:

The newest comer on the eco-burial stage is a process called Promession, or put more plainly, freeze-drying. Invented by Swedish marine biologist Susanne Wiigh-Mäsak, the process involves immersing the corpse in liquid nitrogen, which makes it very brittle. Vibrations shake the body apart and the water is evaporated away in a special vacuum chamber. Next, a separator filters out any mercury fillings or surgical implants, and the powdered remains are laid to rest in a shallow grave.

With a shallow burial, oxygen and water can mix with the powdered remains, turning them into compost.

Promessa, the firm founded by Wiigh-Mäsak to promote the technology, has a Web site.

(Suggested by our own Holly H.)

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Someone stole your iPhone

Um, I don’t have an iPhone. You don’t suppose this could be a … a SCAM?

Bogus warning not actually from Apple

Besides, a real message from Apple would likely be written in a less incompetent version of English. “You should complete some personal informations on our help center,” indeed. The link in the box goes to managementsupportteam.com, which you may safely assume is not about to support your management.

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Only steal from the best

Gee, this meal tastes familiar:

A Long Beach restaurant is under fire after customers found out the restaurant was re-serving Popeyes Louisiana Chicken.

For the last four years, Kimberly Sanchez has been serving up breakfast and lunch at her restaurant, Sweet Dixie Kitchen.

And some people thought it was, well, her lunch:

The restaurant’s troubles started after a customer allegedly saw Sweet Dixie employees carrying Popeyes boxes into the kitchen. The customer then wrote a Yelp review relaying his dissatisfaction with having to pay a premium for fast food fried chicken.

A Sweet Dixie employee confirmed they source the fast food chain for their chicken and waffles, which sells for about $15. You can buy chicken at Popeyes for much less without the fixings, Sanchez adds, but she’s not apologizing.

“My kitchen is not set up for frying. We’re an old building. I don’t actually have a proper kitchen back there,” she said to ABC7. “I love Popeyes chicken. I love it. I think it’s the best chicken out there.”

Yelp, for its part, is reacting reactively with an Active Cleanup Alert:

This business recently made waves in the news, which often means that people come to this page to post their views on the news.

While we don’t take a stand one way or the other when it comes to these news events, we do work to remove both positive and negative posts that appear to be motivated more by the news coverage itself than the reviewer’s personal consumer experience with the business.

Bless you, Yelp.

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Knuke the Knicks

So they asked Raymond Felton what it’s like to play your former team. Felton didn’t flinch: “You want to beat the crap out of them.” It doesn’t mean you necessarily have to be rude to them — when Thunder expats Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott were introduced, Loud City gave them a standing ovation — but still, you’re gonna play ’em tough. And the Thunder did exactly that; the Knicks showed occasional flashes of brilliance, and forward Kristaps Porzingis put together an impressive 31-point/12-rebound performance. but OKC finished the first half on a 13-2 run and spent the rest of the game finishing off New York. How finished were the Knicks? Porzingis, game-high, was -17 on the dreaded plus/minus scale. And as Felton dribbled it out, everyone knew it. Oklahoma City 105, New York 84, and Carmelo Anthony came out to give Porzingis a hug.

‘Melo had a decent night himself: 22 points. Paul George knocked down 28 points and hauled in six boards. And dare we ask? We dare. Twenty-one points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds for Russell Westbrook, his first triple-double in, um, one game. And Steven Adams went 5-for-5 for his share of the double figures. Andre Roberson? Shot well (3-7), rebounded likewise (six), and nobody fouled him.

Weird to see Kanter wearing the double-zero. He did hit 5 of 10, collecting seven rebounds and three steals. Nobody else from New York hit double-figures, but you have to figure Porzingis had all the marbles tonight. Certainly nobody kept the rock very well: the Knicks gave up 26 turnovers, which the Thunder were happy to turn into 38 points. And I guess I’m amused that perennial D-/G-League stalwart Dakari Johnson played the last three minutes, his first in the actual NBA, collecting four points.

The Jazz await in Salt Lake City Saturday night, and, well, most of these guys won the Northwest Division last year, so a cakewalk it isn’t. I think. With 81 games to go, it’s kind of hard to tell.

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Perhaps if it were funny

It isn’t, though:

The president of Cleveland State University initially wanted to steer down the middle of the road:

[Ronald] Berkman released a statement saying CSU “remains fully committed to a campus community that respects all individuals” but “also is committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided.”

Following the backlash to Berkman’s response, he released a follow-up statement in which he said he “failed to express” his “personal outrage” over the flyers in his previous statement.

“While I find the message of this poster reprehensible, the current legal framework regarding free speech makes it difficult to prevent these messages from being disseminated,” his statement said.

Yeah, that’s about as long as anyone can hold out in the center.

Great tragedy of our times: fewer than two percent of our committed assholes take their own lives.

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Every emotion possible

One of the staples of YouTube is the Restoration of Senses video: person deprived of one of the senses has it brought back through the miracle of technology, and you get to watch the person react. Usually pretty predictable, but rewarding in its own way.

Then comes something like this. Baby was born deaf; they’ve just fitted her with a hearing aid, and she has no idea what’s happening, or how she’s supposed to react.

A dizzying display of facial reactions, in just over a minute.

Miss Cellania opines:

She never takes her eyes off her Mommy, though, so you know she’s going be alright.

Sounds right to me.

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The science is unsettled

Bill Nye is probably not the Antichrist, but that’s as much credit as I’m willing to give our New Age Dogmatists:

[T]he whole “Science: it works, b*tches” mindset irks me. I am (at least nominally) a scientist. I do research. I crunch numbers. One of the things I’ve had handed to me again and again is that it’s entirely possible to be WRONG about stuff. And also, an ongoing theme in ecology at least — what is the case in one system may not be in another system.

The people who talk about how much they “love” science … well, in a lot of cases, it seems to me that “science” as an amorphous concept is a replacement for whatever religious structure the person has rejected. Science is … in my mind, it’s more of a tool. It’s a way of relating to the natural world. The problem is, a lot of the “I ****ing Love Science” crowd seem also bent on sucking any of the mystery and wonder out of things, or at least that’s how some of them talk about it. And that makes me sad. Yes, I kind of understand what is known about monarch butterfly migration but STILL I look at them and am AMAZED that something that looks so fragile and is so tiny flies thousands of miles to a place in Mexico that they’ve never seen, to hang out over winter … and that they are phenologically different from the other generations of butterflies in that they hold off reproducing for MONTHS until they come back into the US in the spring … and it does amaze me and make me wonder at it.

Well, these two aren’t holding off:

Or it may be simply that, like plenty of organisms you’ve seen, they ****ing love ****ing.

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Have your affiliate

One of those ultra-informative Roberta X footnotes says:

Networks don’t have licenses; individual stations do. Only a tiny fraction of U.S. TV stations are actually owned by the network they carry. Most people don’t know that and assume that the station they watch ABNBCBS on must, in fact, be that network. So when a President Tweets, “Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!” he is channeling H. L. Mencken’s Everyman, and threatening his waiter for the misdeeds of the cook.

The phrase that caught my eye was “tiny fraction.” When I started paying attention to this stuff back around 1970, there existed something called the 7-7-7 rule, tucked handily into the FCC regulations: a single owner, individual or corporate, could own a maximum of seven TV stations, seven AM radio stations and seven FM radio stations. Since each of the three networks in this pre-Fox era had about 200 affiliates nationwide, “tiny fraction” described the situation rather precisely.

But that was nearly half a century ago; regulations have been loosened, and in some instances thrown out entirely. Does “tiny fraction” still apply? The answer, I learned, is yes: CBS owns about 30 TV stations, NBC 13, and ABC only eight.

Does CBS, then, have twice the reach of its rivals? Not even. Of the 30 stations owned by CBS, only 16 actually carry CBS programs. Eight carry the program schedule of The CW, a network owned half by CBS and half by Time Warner. Two more are affiliated with MyNetworkTV, a sister company to, um, Fox. The other four are wholly independent.

Before you ask: Fox owns 28 stations. The largest station operator is Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 173 stations, not including the Tribune Media properties which Sinclair has contracted to buy.

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There’s always a way

Our favorite fix-it female takes on a non-automotive task this time:

As a commenter noted, it’s a lot easier to do this if you can fit inside the cabinet.

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MStakes were made

Warren Meyer’s idea: buy Windows laptops directly from Dell, set up with exactly the applications needed for Meyer’s staff. Dell is willing. Microsoft, maybe not so much:

As part of the setup process before I create the default image, I switch the Windows default browser to Chrome and the default app for opening pdf files to Adobe Reader. No matter what we do, when the new computer boots up with this image, Windows switches the default browser and PDF app to Microsoft Edge (apparently via ‘sysprep”). I might be able to live with this for the browser, but Edge is defective in opening PDF files, specifically it does not allow pdf’s with form fields to be saved in a way that retains the form entry. My users will never be able to figure out how to reset this themselves so now I have to figure out how to write batch files so I can override the Microsoft override after it runs.

Yeah, I know users like that. Nor is this the only intrusion by Windows:

Less intrusive but still irritating is the fact that Microsoft also adds back all their sales spam I deleted, including their “get office” and “try skype” apps.

With the possible exception of @SwiftOnSecurity, people are going to argue in favor of ditching Win10 in favor of [name of Linux distro]. I don’t see that happening, if only because if the users can’t handle routine Windows finagling, they’ll likely be utterly lost in Ubuntu.

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To go, so to speak

Okay, it’s not technically flushable, but otherwise it’s superior to the more familiar versions:

Note: Not tested on bears.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man.)

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Five and thirty

I don’t think anyone here ever thought they’d see this again:

It was an unusual sight walking into the Oklahoma City Thunder’s practice facility Tuesday and seeing No. 35 on the wing, attempting 3-pointers with assistant coach Vin Bhavnani.

No, Kevin Durant was not visiting his old stomping grounds. It was the Thunder’s newest signing, undrafted rookie P. J. Dozier, who signed to a two-way contract Tuesday.

KayDee, of course, spent nine seasons in Thunder blue as #35. Dozier, a former Gamecock from South Carolina, says he didn’t even think about that:

Despite any apparent awkwardness, Dozier said he simply saw the numbers available, asked for 35 and got it. He said he didn’t think about who had previously worn the number when he asked for it.

“Honestly I didn’t even think twice about [Durant having it] when I said it because I had it in preseason when I was with Dallas,” he said. “I just saw it was open and took advantage of it.”

Turns out Dozier’s second cousin was the late Reggie Lewis, whose #35 jersey was retired by the Boston Celtics.

I have to believe Russell Westbrook, who signed his max contract extension on Kevin Durant’s birthday, laughed when he heard about it.

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Or any other reason Y

“Why can’t a woman,” asked Professor Higgins, “be more like a man?”

The difference these days, it seems, is not quite what it used to be:

Just this week our ground floor office was invaded by a mouse. Being immersed in porting one change at a time over the last two months from one application to another application, a process that is many times more tedious than the dreaded documentation, I was gradually made aware of the rodent incursion by way of the loudness of the human reactions, over the better part of an hour. From the dudes, I noticed … the manly, manly, green-camo-wearing, boot-camp-surviving, returned-from-deployment, maybe-killed-somebody dudes … they were, as we say in military and military-contractor parlance, fucking loud.

I couldn’t help but notice the chicks in our office were as “manly” as you would care to expect. They just kept eyes down, photocopying their invoices or whatever like it was any other day. The chatter came from the Y-chromosome set. Now it’s true that the greatest portion of this was volume-setting-eleven observations that some other dude, let it be known, is afraid of mice. That, and banging on the locked office cubicle into which the illegal alien ensconced itself to scare it back out again. Perhaps this is in contrast to the noise the females would be making, if they made the noise, but see … there is the sticky wicket. I wouldn’t know. The chicks, contrary to the cartoon stereotype, were quiet about it. People call me sexist sometimes. With justification, they & some others would say. But, I do notice these things, and give credit where it’s due. If the image of the screeching woman perched atop a chair yelling her fool head off was ever based on reality in generations past — something has changed.

Stipulating that mice are mostly unchanged from time immemorial, we are left with two possible conclusions here: either the women have toughened up a great deal from the days of the standing-on-a-chair stereotype, or the men have been irretrievably wussified. I tend to think that the problem more likely lies with the guys who worry that behaving guyishly will render their dance cards resistant to marking. Little do they know that their desired women, by and large, don’t care, and Colonel Pickering, for his part, is remaining discreetly silent.

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I suppose this was inevitable

For all I know, there might be some of the dreaded dihydrogen monoxide in here:

What do the purists have to say?

And I guess that’s that.

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Beyond obsolete

Oh, yeah? Give me one good reason why I should upgrade to some Newer Products and Services.

[waits]

Okay, that’s one.

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