I don’t know that I’m currently in the market for a $40K vehicle anytime soon, but this review of the base-spec Ford Bronco really has my curiosity piqued. a 4-cylinder turbo with a 6-speed manual and basic car functionality sounds very nice. I could get used to a modern 4-door Scout-type vehicle.

Date posted: February 27, 2022 | Filed under cars, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Via the Why Is This Interesting newsletter, here’s a link to an interview with DJ Shadow in 1997, right after he’d released Endtroducing… and while he was working on the first UNKLE album. It’s very focused on his technique with the MPC-60, an early sampler and drum machine from the late 80’s and how he got the machine to do what he wanted it to do; it sounds like creating an album with a Speak ‘N’ Spell.

So there’s a part in that song where I wanted to use a trumpet solo from one of the versions, but it was wildly out of time, even though it was in tune. So I had to chop out the pieces of it, every third of a second or so, and put each piece on its own pad in the MPC. Then, using the fade in/fade out function at the beginning and end of the samples, I had to morph them all together.

Date posted: February 23, 2022 | Filed under music, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Oh good. The U.S. government will not be handing user authentication on all of its sites over to a closed-source private company relying on facial recognition software, but a platform based on open-source technology stack. Whether or not this second vendor is powered by the blood of infants or planning to sell our DNA records to the aliens remains unknown.

Date posted: February 22, 2022 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I read an interesting article from Nick Heer about how people are appending Reddit to Google queries for more organic search results, as a reaction to Google’s own bloated and gamed results. Reddit is…Reddit, but I guess I have to agree that there’s a better chance of finding an honest result there than there has been on Google for the last couple of years. I’ll have to try this today. Another alternative has been Duck Duck Go, which I’ve used as my default search engine for the past few months, and which does a decent job.

I’ll try adding site:reddit.com to the end of my Google queries today and see what happens.

Date posted: February 16, 2022 | Filed under geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

At the Drift, Oscar Schwartz looks back at the TED talk and wonders what it was originally for and what it means now.

TED is probably best understood as the propaganda arm of an ascendant technocracy. It helped refine prediction into a rhetorical art well-suited to these aspiring world conquerors — even the ones who fail.

Having just been asked to produce a TED-like talk, this hit close to home. How have these talks changed the world? What real fruit have they borne?

(via)

Date posted: February 13, 2022 | Filed under general, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I cannot remember what convoluted pathway brought me to this site, but Objective-See offers a suite of Mac malware-sniffing tools, things that remind me of the Old Days with Little Snitch and other handy utilities. Definitely worth checking out.

Date posted: February 8, 2022 | Filed under apple, geek, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

The problem is that certain kinds of stuff simply attract more stuff. The home is an obvious one: It craves sofas, sweaters, buffet cabinets, chandeliers. Computers are another; they grow USB tendrils.

I saw this being linked to a few days ago and meant to post it, but it was stuck behind WIRED’s paywall: Paul Ford writes about a Grand Unified Theory of Stuff. Having just gone through my computer collection and resisted the urge to buy things to fix them, this hits close to home. Having multiple hobbies does not help.

Date posted: January 22, 2022 | Filed under humor, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

Heat has long been one of my favorite movies, for several reasons; I think it may have been the third or fourth DVD I ever bought, back when DVDs were a $40 extravagance. News has hit the wire that Michael Mann is releasing a prequel novel to Heat which will explore the lives of the characters before the movie’s timeline and after (at least, for those who are still alive). I haven’t read much this past year—I still have to get a copy of Project Hail Mary—but this one I will purchase.

Date posted: January 20, 2022 | Filed under books, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

I’ve long been a fan of the Onion A/V Club, a website dedicated to pop culture and home to a ton of excellent writers from the early days of the web. Some time ago they got merged into Gawker and when that family of sites imploded they were able to hang on, most likely because of the quality of their work. G/O Media, the new corporate owners of the old Gawker sites, are now basically pushing the longest tenured writers at the A/V Club out in a pretty blatant move to bust up their union and hire cheaper workers in a race to become yet another middling entertainment site. I can only hope they follow the lead of the writers at Defector and build their own thing together.

Date posted: January 19, 2022 | Filed under entertainment, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »

This seems like good news, so I’ll post it here: DirecTV has announced it will cease broadcasting OAN News, the batshit right-wing network promoting vaccine conspiracies. From an earlier Reuters report [emphasis mine]:

The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV.

Date posted: January 16, 2022 | Filed under politics, shortlinks | Leave a Comment »