Pockets of cootie resistance

In my capacity as a person who knows some actual female gamers, I did manage to pick up on this:

Now I’m not a big fan of the “We Must Have Our Own Role Models!” shtick; but this woman got totally dumped on in the crudest and crassest manner possible, and I’m not a fan of that sort of thing at all.

Lara Croft was not available for comment.

Disclosure: I have purchased and played — and won at — exactly one game with a female protagonist. This, of course, was long before my plunge into the ponyverse.

(Via Fark.)

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Beyond the blue Verizon

Here’s another one of those dadburn dilemmas with horns:

I have a phone I hate.

It’s glitchy and horrible and dumb and I hate it. However, I have a service that I like. 4G coverage, unlimited data, usually works yadayadda.

It escalates from that point, and winds up here:

Do I replace this stoopid hated glitchy phone I have now by using insurance and paying a $100 deductible for the same stoopid hated probably still glitchy phone because Verizon claims that the scratches on the phone have invalidated the warranty? (They made a similar claim invalidating my warranty when my Droid X got bricked by their stoopid ice cream update two years ago. I hate them SOOO much, yet I know they have the best coverage in America. ARRGGHHH.)

Be grateful. Had it been AT&T, they’d have charged you a Bricking Fee for accepting the update in the first place.

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Plate tech ‘tronics

It’s tentatively called the “e-tag” — a name there’s still plenty of time to change — and South Carolina is contemplating putting such things on cars as a method of tormenting scofflaws:

[T]he tags would be electronically linked to the DMV, so if a driver’s license has been suspended or his insurance has lapsed, the DMV would send a signal to the license plate. The word “SUSPENDED” or “UNINSURED” would appear on the license plate.

If your car is stolen, the DMV could make the tag read “STOLEN”. The state could also use the tags during Amber Alerts or other emergencies.

I figure this system will be hacked approximately 90 minutes after the first deployment of tags.

(Via The Truth About Cars.)

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Sympathy given

Musician Emily Haines wears several hats, though the one that brought her to my attention was the one she wears as lead singer and keyboardist for the Canadian band Metric. Here she is, not wearing a hat at all:

Emily Haines photo by f_mafra

This particular song, from Metric’s 2009 album Fantasies, has been creeping into my subconscious for several weeks now, though I didn’t hunt down the video until last night. It’s at least somewhat incomprehensible, as is the song itself, but I’m fine with that, and as usual, I’m amazed at what can be done in a single shot.

Why “Metric”? Emily explains to Spin:

“[Bandmate] Jimmy [Shaw] had a song that involved a sound he’d programmed into his keyboard and called ‘Metric.’ When we saw that word on the keyboard’s LED screen it looked so electro. It had a no bullshit vibe. It was a little cold and standoffish and we’re down with that. It works for us. Some people think it has something to do with the fact that we’re from Canada — which uses the metric system. That was coincidental, though at the time we were into arty electronic stuff that was coming out of European countries that also use the metric system. But if we’d wanted to use a name that evoked Canada, we would’ve called ourselves the Toques or something.”

Besides, there’s a band called The Toques, from, um, northern Arizona.

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Pass the Bufferin

Oh, wow! Streaming audio from the iTunes Store! There’s just one iFly in the iOintment:

It seems iTunes may dip into social media like Facebook or Twitter to see what you like and they say it’s to see which artists you like and don’t like so they can build a proper playlist for you, but we all know where it’s going. Selective marketing. You can buy any track you like immediately off iTunes Radio which isn’t a bad thing as long as the money gets to the artist. The problem here lies with the ads. The iTunes software is already resource heavy on machines in comparison to VLC Player or even the XBMC. Now take a resource heavy client and add in a live music stream and ads to follow every second song. It’s like taking a pack mule that is loaded with all your gear and sit on it expecting it to take you up the mountain.

Okay, it’s not a fly, it’s a mule. Either way, it’s bound to be stubbornly annoying — or annoyingly stubborn.

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You could have just asked

The Daily Mail comes up with another humdinger:

It won’t come as a surprise to most females that men mature later than women, but new research has pinpointed the exact age that boys mature completely as 43 — 11 whole years after women.

The study into the differences in maturity between genders revealed both men and women agree that males remain ‘immature’ well into their late 30s and early 40s. By contrast, the average age at which women mature is just 32.

Of course, your mileage may vary. I must, of course, point out that this particular study was paid for by the UK outpost of the television network Nickelodeon, which doesn’t exactly seek suave and sophisticated viewers.

And does this mean I should look for a mate 11 years my junior? I didn’t think so.

(Via Fark.)

Addendum: Now what could I possibly have done in my forty-third year to transform myself into a Mature Adult? Oh, yeah, right.

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Not so much as a Flickr of hope

I haven’t taken the changes at Flickr too badly, perhaps because I am a fairly light user of the service, my Pro status (which may be in jeopardy presently) notwithstanding. By contrast, Newton of Infinite Hollywood declares that it sucks:

The new Flickr is supposed to be a place where you post up all your random, pointless photos. The original Flickr gave you information on the camera used, aperture, shutter settings and allowed you to interact with the photographer to learn more. These options still appear in the new and “improved” Flickr, but they’re buried away because they aren’t flashy enough.

In terms of random, pointless photos, Flickr will never be able to compete with Instagram.

In terms of usability:

The old layout of Flickr wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but it was very functional. It wasn’t broken, so it certainly didn’t need fixing. But Yahoo has made sure that the new layout is super sleek and fancy. Unfortunately this also comes at the cost of slower loading times (to the point that apparently users with even slightly sluggish internet speeds can barely use the site) and almost zero functionality. Many of the old options are there, but they’re scattered throughout a clunky interface that’s designed to dazzle you, not help you.

And the search function is hosed, says JenX67:

I needed a picture of scattered feathers with the Creative Commons License. On the old Flickr, this would have been easy to find. But, before I even looked for such an image on the new Flickr, I decided it would (1) take less time to buy a bag of feathers and (2) photograph my kids scattering them and (3) clean up the entire mess than it would take to sift through the colossal junk that has become Flickr.

On a, you should pardon the expression, hunch, I checked in with Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr back in the Old Silurian times. She hadn’t a word to say about it, blogwise.

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Wait a minute

There was a short Monty Python song called “I Like Traffic Lights,” sung by a character who was named something other than Bamber. Not everyone, however, is so enthusiastic about them:

I don’t like traffic lights. They are so sloooooowwwwww. I have learned to cope by counting the seconds I have to wait. I find that most of the lights at big intersections run on a one minute cycle. These are the ones where you have dedicated left turn lanes and signals, so you have four groups taking turns. Occasionally you will run into a big intersection, like one with five or six points that runs closer to two minutes. Counting the seconds gives me something to do until light turns green. I will have a bill for the traffic gods when I die.

Personally, I think the light should count the seconds for you:

This installation is located, says the video provider, in Chiayi City in southwestern Taiwan.

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Rubber repossessed

I winced when I wrote the check for those tires the other day — the wrong side of $700, it was — but I take comfort in the fact that I could have done a whole lot worse:

Rent-to-own tire shops are among the newest arrivals to a sprawling alternative financial sector focused on the nation’s economic underclass. Like payday lenders, pawn shops and Buy Here Pay Here used-car lots, tire rental businesses provide ready credit to consumers who can’t get a loan anywhere else.

And, just like those other operations, they work on massive margins:

[A] couple last September agreed to pay Rent-N-Roll $54.60 a month for 18 months in exchange for four basic Hankook tires. Over the life of the deal, that works out to $982, almost triple what the radials would have cost at Wal-Mart.

Still, if you have to scrape to get $14 a week, and there have been times when I have had to, what else can you do? Used tires? Bus passes?

(Via Outside the Beltway.)

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Which way is it going?

This came out last year, but things haven’t changed all that much except for a few more bright pixels:

Tornado tracks through 2012

Notes from John Nelson of IDV Solutions, who put this together:

Got this data from NOAA via the spectacular Data.gov. It tracks 56 years of tornado paths along with a host of attribute information. Here, the tracks are categorized by their F-Scale (which isn’t the latest and greatest means but good enough for a hack like me), where brighter strokes represent more violent storms.

Also from Nelson: earthquakes since 1898, major fires since 2001, and hurricanes since 1851. Obviously we need to get off this planet entirely before it kills us all.


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To those emerging from darkness

Smitty has advice. He who has ears, let him hear:

[T]o all of the new Tea Party folks, let me pass on a warning: the two ears, one mouth rule applies. There is much to learn about the sordid realities of our government, as it’s deviated well off course. Relax. Focus the passion on sober, positive deeds that advance the Constitutional ball. Screaming about Barack Obama’s Martian birth certificate and obvious status as a High Priest of Cthulhu is ONLY ABETTING HIM.

I have no idea if mentioning Doug Mataconis, who is cited in Smitty’s post title, will cause him to suddenly materialize, in the manner of Kibo or Dave Sifry or even Conor Friedersdorf, but we shall see.

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In defense of education spending

Miss Cellania says she spotted this on Buzzfeed:

Sign about school levies

I’m just going to assume the poster of the original sign wasn’t Jewish.

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And still stylish:

Archer Hosiery ad from late 1930s

This is generally believed to be a 1956 advertisement. (The fact that it’s on page 56 is presumably a coincidence.) Archer Mills had merged with Wayne Knitting Mills (which in turn was owned by Munsingwear) back in 1940. And Vanity Fair was shut down and incorporated into Vogue in 1936, only to be spun off again in 1983.

About 2007, I flipped this and used it for a CD cover.

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Striver’s license

The Bodacious Beaters series by Phil Coconis hits both Phil and me close to home this time around:

This time the subject is the very first car I ever owned — and it was one of these: a 1966 Chevy II Super Sport with 283 cubic inches of Bowtie Smallblock under the hood, and the venerable two-speed aluminum Powerglide under the SS console shifter!

Now step down a level or two and you have the very first car I ever owned: that selfsame Chevy II without the Super Sport credentials or the console shifter, but with the Powerglide, shifted from the column, and with Chevy’s boat anchor 230 straight six.

Still, this much we had in common:

Yes, it wasn’t particularly quick or fast — that Powerglide definitely not helping the cause in either department — and it didn’t handle anything like a sporting-type of car — although the lame “mono leaf” rear springs did provide a rather “jouncy” and otherwise unbalanced ride — but I just contented myself to crank up the in-dash stereo and cruise it.

Which I did, once I’d added a proper stereo — though I eventually mounted it on the hump where the shifter wasn’t, leaving the factory AM in place, and cut a hole for a second speaker. And the interior of the II, in Nova trim, wasn’t too unpleasant, although the seats were slicker than owl snot and the dash was liberally festooned with things to puncture you if something hit you head-on.

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Not a laughing matter

The Guardian’s Sam Leith doesn’t see the humor in LOL:

In the last decade it has effortlessly overtaken “The cheque’s in the post” and “I love you” as the most-often-told lie in human history. Out loud? Really? And, to complicate things, people are now saying LOL out loud, which is especially banjaxing since you can’t simultaneously say “LOL” and laugh aloud unless you can laugh through your arse. Or say “LOL” through your arse, I suppose, which makes a sort of pun because, linguistically speaking, LOL is now a form of phatic communication. See what I did there? Mega-LOL!

Bonus points for “banjaxing.” As it happens, “banjaxed” is an Irish term for “broken or unusable, usually by result of violent damage.” (Admittedly, I JFGI’ed.)

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Strange search-engine queries (384)

Monday morning means another batch of weird search strings received here at the site, scrutinized by the National Security Agency, and published in the hopes of garnering cheap laffs.

cross stitch patter song notes sexy sadie:  Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my knitters.

upholstery downholstery:  All around the townholstery.

a c an e-flat and a g walk into a bar. the bartender says sorry, but we don’t serve minors:  And that’s when all the treble started.

extend nissan leaf range:  Go downhill a lot.

netgeo I didn’t know that. Johnny About bra images:  Johnny was just like the rest of us: he’d give a year’s pay for a peek under there.

Suppose that nine-digit Social security numbers are assigned at random. If you randomly select a number, what is the probability that it belongs:  Ask the NSA. They’ve probably already looked it up.

dodie smith klothes that klank:  Made of some new mirakle kloth, I suppose.

BMW 750IL does not go in reverse:  What do you care? You didn’t buy it to drive; you bought it to be seen in.

emily brooks contortionist:  Oh, she left a message for you: “Get bent.”

beastly squirrel porn:  You mean like this?

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