- ’70s Soft Rock Essentials: Feeling a little melancholy, here’s a whole decade of melancholy.
Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long?
—Jackson Browne, “Doctor My Eyes”
Mark Damon Hughes blogs about tech and everything else
Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long?
—Jackson Browne, “Doctor My Eyes”
Yeah, sure. The posts are deniable, Discord’s able to secure their services far faster than Twitter. But is it real?
Was there anything posted that Jack wouldn’t? Maybe it was a trial balloon to see if his open swerve right would be OK. That’s why it took so long, they needed response metrics.
In either case, the claim that he only works on his iPhone, and rejects a laptop because it’s too heavy, is maybe the douchiest thing about this incident.
Since I went into the launcher early, and dinked around with new characters to keep my connection alive, I didn’t have to face THE QUEUE, apparently many people had 10,000+ people ahead of them, and hours of wait.
Even so, launch was slow. I could barely move or pick up the greeting quest, and made it into the cave, before the system settled down enough to let me do anything.
Here’s the scene in the Valley of Heroes, 15 minutes into launch:
I’m somewhere in that pile of characters. I was only able to click on the quest-giver’s ?.
After I got my quests, I went out to kill boars… which was impossible, the ground barely rendered in, the boars never rezzed until dead, chaos. After 41 minutes, I’d killed 4 somehow:
Gave up on that and went out to Durotar to kill scorpids and boars there; higher level than me but I did OK because I am a moderately badass Rogue.
I ran up to Orgrimmar and got Skinning, Leatherworking, Cooking, and Fishing. Many many stacks of leather are collected, some of them end up in my new armor. Went back south to clear the Troll island quests; as with the stress test, it was just impossible to get Zalzane, so I gave up on him. Everything else is doable.
Finally dinged 10, went back to Org and put some green armor and ammo bags on the Auction House; I’ll see if anything sold in a bit. Haven’t left Durotar yet.
Next stop, I need to hit Undercity for a weapon trainer to learn Swords—I have dual wield daggers, and need one for stealth skills, but dual swords massively increase my DPS. Running to Thunder Bluff as a lowbie is possible, but difficult. Though I watched Crendor’s stream while I was doing my levelling, and they gave up on Valley and ran straight over to TB, which was almost deserted. Then I’m off to Barrens to quest. That’s gonna be interesting on Mankrik.
I’m last-minute setting up my WoW client properly, which means using addons (WoW, like ESO and many other games, has scripting support in Lua, and much of the UI is written in Lua). I haven’t touched WoW addons in years, so I dunno what’s going on.
Mainly using WoWInterface since I’m used to ESO-UI, but there’s also some on CurseForge and just randomly on github.
There are addon managers, but I never use them, I just hit my favorites link once a week, grab any updates, unzip, drag them to the AddOns folder (World of Warcraft/classic/Interface/AddOns), which I put a shortcut to in my Finder toolbar.
Blizzard has disabled ClassicLFG to try to keep the Classic community tone. Some others might follow.
Haven’t yet decided on an auction house interface. Maybe the standard one’s OK? Maybe Auctioneer?
I might want a new HUD, but there’s not a lot of choices yet for Classic. I don’t like the curvy things in IceHUD. Luna, maybe?
There’s a long list of slash commands for chat, but I don’t know how many work in Classic.
I haven’t really thought about macroing yet. Probably some macros are useful, but I generally get by with hotkeys for the actions; I turn on all actionbars, set keys for all of them, and barely touch my mouse except to steer.
Undercover S1: A Belgian/Dutch crime drama, based very loosely on a real case, with Anna Drijver as a Dutch woman cop (and rather sexy when she cleans up, or if you like dirty biker chicks), and Tom Waes as a Belgian asshole man cop, setting up an undercover observation of a drug kingpin. Except the drugs are mostly ecstasy, the action is mostly in a campground trailer park, and everyone is just pathetic and low-rent. It’s barely above reality TV at times, the filmmaking is not excellent, and the plot is glacially slow. The tension between these cops who have to pretend to be a couple, and the shitty crime boss, his pathetic wife, and ever-changing roster of idiot henchmen, is much better than you’d expect. Watch it in the original Dutch/Flemish. Don’t expect a fast burner, this is one to watch a bit, go on with your life, watch a bit more…
L4yer Cake: Great crime book, if a little heavy on the “oo eck ‘e’re so ‘ery English wot wot” shit. Movie’s about 50% of the book, plus 25% new shit out of the writer’s ass, not always seamless. Movie ending is bullshit—in the book the same asshole shoots him but he lives and then delivers his “if you knew my name” line.
Never said in the book or movie, but his name is Bond, James Bond. Thus XXXX and the fake posing as Bond, sudden development of Navy Seals level murder skills, and fucking another man’s wife (which is rarely brought up in the Bond movies, but in the books it’s a common theme, also common to Ian Fleming himself—adultery made philandering without consequences easier for him/them).
I don’t especially like Daniel Craig as XXXX or Bond, but if you’re gonna do both, he barely passes. Book XXXX is just short of 30, Craig was 36 at the time, but looked 40+, a dried-up ballsack face already. Bloated tub of lard Colm Meany will always and only be sad, pathetic Transporter Chief O’Brien to me; he just looks constipated and confused when he’s trying to be menacing, or really all the time. George Harris as Mortimer is too pleasant much of the time to be the borderline personality of the book; it’s legitimately shocking when he does snap. The girl, Sienna Miller (named for the shittiest color crayon), is about a 7 or 7.5, not the perfect femme fatale of the book; tho the English have a lower scale of hotness so she’s probably as good as they’ve ever seen; and she has few scenes to even establish the adultery subplot.
Funniest moment of the show was the “Serbian” gangsters speaking Romanian; I couldn’t tell everything they were saying with my half-assed Spanish and quarter-assed French, but all Romance languages are recognizable. The English filmmakers probably didn’t know the difference; anywhere east of Germany is Poland, eh, limey?
★★★☆☆ — aggressively mediocre interpretation of better but not amazing source material.
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse: So, up front: I don’t especially like Spiders, or Men, or Spider-Men, and as noted in The Boys, I don’t trust anyone with super-powers not to be a super-jerk. I grew up with the Electric Company Spider-Man, but by the ’80s that motherfucking bug had his own live-action TV show, cartoon, cereal, toys, Japanese sentai show, and more, raking in $millions a year. Plus the police, military, and civilian applications of his web-shooter goop must be worth $billions. If he’s married to MJ she’s worth at least as much as an actress. The poor white boy from Queens act is offensive.
But I needed something light and dumb after the hash they made of L4yer Cake.
Miles Morales is certainly a more humble protagonist than ’60s-era Peter Parker; less Hardy Boys and more Boyz n the Hood. But it’s taken 20 minutes to get him bitten and plot to start. How are there not thousands or millions of Spider-People in a world where every radioactive spider produces the same powers? As usual in the movies and TV shows, with limited rights and limited creative people of their own, they only acknowledge the existence of Spidey’s “rogues gallery”, not any of the hundreds of other supers placed in New York in the comics.
I’m not a big fan of urban graffiti; it’s mostly criminals marking territory they extort protection money from, or vandals damaging property they don’t own. Buy a fucking canvas to paint on.
Mama Morales speaks like two lines of Spanish ever, then switches back to English for the honky audience. NYPD Cop Dad is the stern-but-fair bullshit they’d like to sell; I expect he’s all Training Day on the streets.
Even in cartoons, Stan Lee got his cameo. But not Steve Ditko. They can’t spare one fucking scene in this Russian-epic-length film for the man who created classic Spider-Man and drew the comic until Stan stiffed him on money (as he did to everyone)? There’s a passing mention of him in the credits, which is sadly better than most do.
I did genuinely laugh at one joke: “Hey, maybe you guys can go around? OK, thanks, New York.”
Spider-Gwen and Noir SM are good takes on the idea; I’m familiar with SG from the comics. Has-Been SM and Spider-Ham are awful, jokes carried way past their sell-by date. Old Aunt May with a baseball bat is good and strong, as fits a potential Herald of Galactus. Mary Jane as slightly frumpy Jessica Rabbit is weird, but she has little screen time, she’s just a trophy for various Peters.
Kingpin’s a perfect villain as always and chews the scenery less than in the Daredevil TV show. But for someone so obsessed with family, he isn’t very understanding of others’ familial conflicts. Still, he halfway saves this flick.
Doc Ock is interesting, but I don’t see how the relationship with Aunt May can work after this. Prowler’s given a surprisingly good background (but a very Huntress-like outfit with nipple patches). The other villains are just big mooks, zero personality.
There’s no plot or conflict except “can Miles survive 3d6 random fight scenes and then push a button?” You will be shocked to learn the answer is yes, he pushes the button.
By 1 hour 20 minutes in, I’m ready for the end of the movie, but there’s 40 minutes of this to go. Brevity is the soul of wit, but alas. This just drags out the “kid can’t fight” part before the moment of heroism schtick. Then a very long neon Jackson Pollock screensaver with Doc Ock taking an improbable amount of abuse, instead of using a bruiser villain or fighting with the tentacles. All the villain fights get dumber and more punchy as the film progresses. The collider’s said to be making a black hole, which means it has at least the mass of a planet, possibly a star; but happily magic dimension shit just reverses itself and there’s no lasting apocalyptic results like a city vaporizing even if you do shut it down. Consequence-free adventuring.
“Anyone can wear the mask”, moralizes (oh, “Morales”, I get why he’s so preachy now, “Miles” of it even) a kid who is faster and stronger than any athlete, can recover from almost any injury, swings by his arms from tiny spider strings, and can be invisible (and what man could be good with that power?!) and shoot lasers from his hands. You know, like a SPIDER. If a normal kid wears a SM mask and leaps off a building, they’d just die horribly.
★★☆☆☆ — massively overstayed its welcome, shitty final sequence, too many underdeveloped characters.
Q: Will servers be brought down at some point before release or will players be able to sit at character select waiting for “Enter World” to activate?
A: We are likely to perform some kind of realm restarts or maintenance between now and launch. However, in the minutes leading up to launch, our plan is that the realms will up and available and the Enter World button will instantly light up once we’re launched.
I will be sitting there waiting. Click click click. Gotta kill them boars & scorpids.
Q: Has the reception of Classic met or exceeded expectations? Are there far more people coming back for Classic than expected? Or were you guys right within the predicted ballpark?
A: We’ve been blown away by the response to WoW Classic. The passion from the community is exactly what got us working on this in the first place, and we see new signs of your passion and excitement every day. We’re very excited to make it a reality for all of you next week!
Note: They’ve added several new servers and most of the existing ones are now High or Full, which is apparently several times higher cap than original launch cap. These are for just people who reserved their names, not all the randos who’ll try to sub and come in on launch day. Blizzard low-balled the numbers by a long ways. If classic doesn’t beat the retail population, I’ll be very surprised.
A: Trick or Treat! Yes, because we’re based on patch 1.12’s data, holidays will play out as day did during that patch. So we look forward to spooky treats and happy haunts this October!
YEEEES! This is Halloween! (but with more Forsaken, no Belfs)
Based on the book by FBI agent John E. Douglas — the character Holden Ford is based on him — S1 set up a format of serial killer interviews interspersed with a little too much personal drama in Holden’s love life. Their portrayal of Ed Kemper, the Co-Ed Killer, was especially impressive. Sympathetic sociopath.
S2 starts out more of the same, interviews with Ed Kemper again, Charlie Manson, David Berkowitz, and several others, building up the theory of sexual compulsion; interrupted by Wendy trying to have a relationship, Bill’s kid becoming a budding sociopath and his wife’s high-strung nonsense so Bill has to fuck off of work every weekend to try to be a dad. All the personal stuff’s a waste of screen time.
But then it starts to focus on the Atlanta Child Murders, brings back agent Jim Barney for local expertise. The long, half-assed struggle as they don’t really know how to profile yet, or have adequate support from Atlanta PD (the photocopy flyer story is hilarious/awful; Kinko’s was around and used by every indie zine and punk band, and by the alleged killer, and by BTK in the before-credits scenes, but the cops and FBI can’t get anything done in less than geological time). There’s a ridiculously long stakeout that finally gets them their one suspect, and the difficult politics in getting him prosecuted.
In reality, Douglas got censured for saying the suspect “fit the profile … looked pretty good for a good percentage of the killings”. Holden doesn’t get to shove his foot that far in his mouth. And we still don’t know how many people the suspect actually killed; there’s better evidence of some, but he definitely didn’t kill them all. Someone else killed at least a dozen kids and got away with it.
★★★★☆ — needs focus on the criminal profiling, not the quasi-fictional characters on the side. Tends to be too gentle on Holden Ford/John Douglas who is seriously quite a flaming asshole.
There’s also a podcast, Atlanta Monster about the case, S2 is going into Zodiac.
From the Worst of All Possible Timelines news department:
Well, FUCK. The worst of all possible RCS has won, everything better has been abandoned because shit-eating Lingits gobble up their lord and master’s garbage.
I don’t have any more hg repos, because dev tools standardized on shit, but I’m actually nauseated by this. This is why we can’t have nice things.
David Arkenstone’s oeuvre is hilarious: “Pure Sleep”, “Fairy Dreams”, “Journey of the Whales”, etc. newage tinkly noises… and a couple World of Warcraft albums.
I’ve been running it for the last day, and it’s stable and fast.
Syncing to my Feedbin account works great; the Feedbin web UI is usable, but especially the last redesign leaves me somewhat annoyed, and it has very limited keybindings. NNW also has local OPML subscriptions, if you don’t need to sync and don’t mind waiting forever for it to fetch from every blog and deal with everyone’s crazy broken RSS. I like Feedbin centralizing that nonsense, just replacing the UI has been a problem.
NNW has everything keyboard-driven, but I’m not enamored of some of its choices (Help, Keyboard Shortcuts). I’d prefer vi keys, and those are a dangerous habit with Brent’s keybindings (
l is mark all as read, next;
k is mark all as read; I almost never want to do that, and want to hide those behind a warning). I’ll either get used to them or see if I can rebind them from system settings. The code’s on github, so worst case I can just fork it and hack my own keys in.
The reader’s pretty nice. Stays in dark mode when I have that selected; I’ve seen a couple feeds insert their own background image/color which is obnoxious, but if that’s what the feed contains, it should probably show it.
I miss in-app browser tabs. For webcomics (which rarely put full-size images in the feed) I often launch a bunch of them into their own tabs and then read them, which in Feedbin’s web UI is (while more-comics? (middle-click title) (press ‘space “next comic”)) and in NNW is (while more-comics? (press ‘b “open the current comic in browser”) (press ‘alt-tab “back”) (press ‘space “next comic”)). Maybe it’s possible to open a browser tab in the background?
A million times better than the years-late, rarely-updated Black Pixel release which had their own broken sync server.
Update: One feature I’m loving is drag-and-drop blogroll reorganization. Got a feed somewhere wrong? Drag. Drop. Synced. Fucking done. In Feedbin, you have to have the feed visible (unread or switched to “all” mode), the old way you’d hit Tags (folders) and just change the text in the dialog box, but they changed it to an Edit button which pops up a giant list of all your tags (folders) and you switch them on/off. Utterly awful if you use a lot of tags (folders) like I do. And yes, I’m annoyed perpetually by the “tags” concept, which doesn’t exist in OPML, only folders.