It never really went away

InStyle proclaims with a straight face:

The sleeper shoe of the season comes from a quite traditional source: Chanel. Originally designed by Gabrielle Chanel in 1957, it was the only footwear option shown on the house’s mega runway last March. Though it boasts the heritage cap-toe, its modest heel and seductive cutouts were remixed by none other than Karl Lagerfeld. It is precisely the opposite of Instagram click-bait, which makes it all the more covetable.

I’ll bet it didn’t cost $800 a pair back in 1957. Still, it’s worth icon points, as classic Chanel lines always are.

Chanel Slingback shoe rebooted for 2015-6

Chanel has put together a series of short films — none as long as a minute — which feature the Slingback. My favorite was this one:

You do want to take care of your shoes, especially your $800 shoes.

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From the Boo Hoo files

Big Girl Pants are apparently unknown in Australian governance:

A woman in Australia who unfriended a colleague on Facebook after a dispute at work was found by a tribunal to have committed workplace bullying.

The Fair Work Commission, a workplace tribunal, said the decision by Lisa Bird, a real estate agent sales administrator, to unfriend her colleague Rachel Roberts showed a “lack of emotional maturity” and was “indicative of unreasonable behaviour.”

The incident occurred after Ms Roberts, a property agent, complained to the agency principal that her properties were not being adequately displayed in the store window.

Mrs Bird, the wife of the principal, then accused Ms Roberts of being a “naughty little school girl running to the teacher.”

Ms Roberts left the office crying and then checked to see if Mrs Bird had commented on the incident on Facebook, only to discover that Mrs Bird had instead unfriended her.

Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ! What the hell kind of world is this when there are legal repercussions for trivial social-media actions?

That said, I have no Facebook friends at work, and will not approve any applications. I know better.

(Via @SwiftOnSecurity.)

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Amateur night at the Extortionists’ Club

I was forwarded a copy of this bit of blither, sent to God knows how many addresses of people who were alleged to be poking around Ashley Madison’s place:

I now have your information. I have also used your user profile to find your Facebook page, using this I can now message all of your friends and family members.

If you would like to prevent me from sharing this dirt info with all of your friends and family members (and perhaps even your employers too?) then you need to send 1 bitcoin to the following BTC address.

Bitcoin Address:
1AEJiZFnELwRZVjmVSvDSwUaXNZy4X9bQN

You may be wondering why should you and what will prevent other people from doing the same, in short you now know to change your privacy settings in Facebook so no one can view your friends/family list. So go ahead and update that now (I have a copy if you dont pay) to stop any future emails like this.

You can buy bitcoin using online exchanges easily. If the bitcoin is not paid within 3 days of 23 Sep 2015 then my system will automatically message all of your friends and family members. The bitcoin address is unique to you.

Consider how expensive a divorce lawyer is. If you are no longer in a committed relationship then think about how this will affect your social standing amongst family and friends. What will your friends and family think about you?

Sincerely,
Paul

Well, at least he’s sincere.

Inasmuch as a copy I found on the Web contains exactly the same Bitcoin address, we know the “unique to you” claim is BS, although it was probably necessary for credibility, since actually reusing addresses is highly discouraged.

Reports one woman who received the same mailing:

For some it is perhaps more of a problem than for others, but for me it is merely an amusement now. Even so, there are people out there, in cyberspace, who have taken the time to sift through the Ashley Madison hack files and find mail addresses, and those who are counting on hitting someone whether they go through the files or not.

And this is very pertinent:

That any real woman signed up is something I find hard to believe, especially since we already know that all the profiles for females were either faked, covered by bots, or paid for. So someone — whether called Paul or whatever — writing me a mail and trying to blackmail me is just amusing.

The least we can do is laugh at him.

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Tach it up

Faced with a kid asking “How do I make this [usually, but not always, “beater”] go fast?” people with speed experience generally reply “How much money you got?” There’s a bit in Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap writeup for this year, in which an Audi S3 produces a lap one second faster than a not-all-that-different Volkswagen Golf R, that seems to back up this premise:

Ask any group of racers if they would pay $3585, the spread between the Golf R and the S3, to clip one second off their lap. Most would ask if $7170 will get them two seconds.

As always, though, you eventually run into the point of diminishing returns: otherwise, a mere $685,811 would buy you actual teleportation.

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Missed the point by this much

Okay, maybe a little more than that:

“I didn’t know it was going to be that slow!”

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Too good a tool

Bad news in the mailbox from the Fortress of Bezosity:

The Amazon MP3 Downloader is no longer available as of today. We’re sorry for any inconvenience!

As an alternative, you can download your music directly through your web browser. To help make this easier, we’ve completely redesigned web browser downloading. It now gives you the option to download albums and multiple tracks at the same time using .ZIP files. ZIP is a file format that compresses content for quicker transfer.

If .ZIP files save any transfer time, it’s because they move several files under a single filename; actual compression of an .mp3 music file, already compressed to begin with, is next to nil. The last musical .ZIP file I acquired, Go Home Productions’ Sleazy Egyptian EP, managed to get 9-percent compression on a couple of tracks, which is amazingly high.

The real bummer, for me anyway, is that the Downloader was smart enough to find one’s iTunes directory and install the files on the fly, even while they were being tossed into the Amazon MP3 folder.

Oh, yes, this trick is still doable — with the Amazon Music app. I suppose I’ll have to see if this works on the desktop, because it definitely won’t work on my Dumbphone.

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Your moment of Zen

The New York Times comes up with exactly the headline you’d want for a send-off for Yogi Berra:

Well played all around.

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No extra screws in the package

What’s the opposite of a pimp? Let’s see:

A Japanese-based company Softbank, which has created Pepper the robot, has forced customers to sign a document forbidding its owners from using the humanoid for sexual purposes, as well as creating sexy apps.

To tell you the truth, she doesn’t do a thing for me:

“Pepper is a social robot able to converse with you, recognize and react to your emotions, move and live autonomously,” the developer’s website states.

Well, some of your emotions, I suppose. The phrase “I am not programmed to respond in this area” comes immediately to mind.

Pepper is now available for use at home, though people have found that communication is really her only asset, as her domestic skills, such as cleaning or cooking are severely lacking.

Who’s buying this humanoid?

Currently Pepper is available for purchase for Japanese residents only and they must be older than 20.

And they must have the yen equivalent of $2,000 US, and perhaps an indulgence from the Space Pope.

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The aftermath of Dieselgate

TTAC editor-in-chief Mark Stevenson puts it bluntly: “Everyone will lose … except the lawyers.” Quelle surprise:

We are less than a week into this fiasco and class-action attorneys all over the United States are licking their lips before the feast.

Class-action lawsuits are inevitable in the United States in cases like these. Unfortunately, all the parties involved in a class action of this scale — save the lawyers — end up losing. Volkswagen and the attorneys will come up with an “agreeable” civil penalty, current VW diesel owners will be given what amounts to pennies on the dollar for whatever losses — real or otherwise — they’ll experience because of the emissions mess, and the lawyers will walk away with millions of dollars in fees.

The only thing yet undetermined, really, is how ridiculous the ultimate “settlement” will be.

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A man with a horn

One of my favorite soul singles from 1967:

The year ended in tragedy: the Bar-Kays were headed to Madison, Wisconsin with Otis Redding, when Otis’s little Beechcraft plane plunged into Lake Monona. The luckiest men on the face of the earth at that time: trumpeter Ben Cauley, who somehow survived the crash, and bassist James Alexander, who was taking other transportation because there was no room for the whole band plus Otis and his manager.

Alexander still leads the current version of the Bar-Kays, but Ben Cauley, who gave up the road to spend more time with his family, has just left us for good.

Oh, the white guy on the organ? Ronnie Caldwell. In Memphis in those days, this was no big deal.

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Get off my driveway

Technology is not an unalloyed delight. (From the “It is written” widget in the sidebar, Alice Kahn: “For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press 3.”) But each person has her own “This much, but no farther” limit, and this is Lynn’s:

What new or proposed technology goes beyond your willingness to adapt? What would make you say, “That’s it. I’m done. From now on I’m gonna be a stubborn old geezer, forever living in the past. Screw you, modern world.”?

So far I haven’t seen anything that makes me feel that way but I am really not liking the idea of self driving cars. That might be it for me.

I think my threshold is in that general vicinity. The biggest enthusiasts, I suspect, are people who would rather not drive in the first place; they’d just as soon sit on a train and read Facebook. Nothing wrong with either of those endeavors individually, but the combination seems somehow lame.

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How could I leave this behind?

Hmmm. I suppose I should check this out:

Natasha Wagner has a secret weapon … it’s her butt. For fourteen years this anatomically-gifted woman has been trying on jeans for designers, and getting paid for it.

Natasha is thought to have the best butt in the world because of its “ideal blend of curves and flat”. Because of her curvy-flat butt, designers can see if a pair of jeans will look good on everyone. She’s been the butt stand-in for all kinds of brands, too, including Levi’s, Paige Denim, 7 For All Mankind, and Citizens of Humanity.

Upside: She’s got to be at least 30.

Still, I don’t quite comprehend how jeans that will look great on Ms Wagner will look great on someone with a non-perfect butt — or, for that matter, with no butt at all.

(Title from track 7 of This Is Spinal Tap.)

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We shall overcomb

Artist Pixelkitties tweeted this picture a couple of days ago:

New tax on bad hairpieces by Pixelkitties

Still makes me smile.

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Kanter attacks

Even more turmoil in Turkey these days:

In yet another government-orchestrated operation targeting the faith-based Gülen movement, popularly known as the Hizmet movement, counterterrorism police units accompanied officers from the Anti-smuggling and Organized Crime Bureau (KOM), raiding and searching Samanyolu schools on Monday. Officers involved in a raid on one branch asked the administrators to deactivate all of the school’s security cameras while they searched for drugs.

“Gülen” comes from movement founder Fethullah Gülen. “Hizmet” means “service,” but the name is unofficial: Gülen apparently didn’t want any particular name on it, especially his own. He departed Turkey for the US in 1999, ostensibly for medical reasons; he has not gone back, and the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tried him in absentia but failed to obtain a conviction.

Samanyolu — “Milky Way” — is an umbrella name for Gülen-related private schools. Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter attended one such school, and he is not happy about the raids:

“I never witnessed bad habits or even rudeness at these schools. It is really shameful to raid such a school with counterterrorism police,” Kanter tweeted on Monday. “The accusation of supporting terrorism befits those who carry out these raids, not the schools,” he added.

There is a village called Samanyolu, in Batman province, but it is not involved.

Note: The newspaper Today’s Zaman, whence comes this story, is operated by Gülen sympathizers.

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On being yakety

Lesson One: It does not require an actual sax.

Tangential: Ray Stevens’ infamous Gitarzan “ordered Chet’s guitar course, C.O.D.,” suggesting that Chester B.’s influence reaches as least as far as the jungle.

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The older woman

Well, okay, if you say so, but it still sounds strange:

They are supposed to be twins, but Princess Leia would actually be nearly two years older than Luke Skywalker because of Einstein’s theory of relativity, say scientists.

Wait, what?

Students at the University of Leicester made their calculations based on the twins’ journeys to Cloud City. Leia travels from the neighbouring system of Anoat and arrives at Cloud City in around 6.72 hours, while Luke travels from the much more distant planet Dagobah, which takes around one week.

Additionally, as Leia travels in the Millennium Falcon, a much larger ship with more powerful engines than Luke’s X-Wing Starfighter, the students assumed that it reaches a higher speed.

Leia’s journey yields a time dilation of 62.6 days; however Luke experiences a time dilation of 700.8 days.

The students concluded that Luke is therefore 1.75 years younger than Leia, possibly rendering them the first twins ever to have more than a year between their ages.

A second scenario investigated produces an even greater age gap.

I think I need to lie down.

(Via Miss Cellania.)

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