A geologist and archaeologist by training, a nerd by inclination - books, films, fossils, comics, rocks, games, folklore, and, generally, the rum and uncanny… Let’s have it!

Elsewhere:

  • Yrtree.me - it’s still early days for me in the Fediverse, so bear with me

This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. View on remote instance

Emperor ,
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Emperor ,
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It's not really clear what the post is about - it goes big on sweeping statements and skimps on specifics, so I was asking for clarification.

Emperor ,
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Now I am off to Google some words, I may be some time...

Are we really living in Children of Men? ( www.newstatesman.com )

Two new features show a Britain in the throes of social fissures that feel both uncanny and emblematic of existential threat. There’s The Kitchen, directed by Kibwe Tavares and Daniel Kaluuya, which takes gentrification to its logical conclusion as London’s final social housing estate struggles to survive. And The End We...

Emperor ,
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Guy I know was in his car when it was hit by kids having a snowball fight. So he drove straight at them onto the pavement, trapped them in a shop doorway and cracked their heads together before heading in his way. There was an article in the local paper about the police looking for him because one of the kids suffered a broken jaw. He still feels that it was a justifiable course of action .

Emperor ,
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We had a bunch of Japanese teenagers run scripts on their computers and half the Fediverse was full of spam. If someone really cared about spamming, this shit wouldn’t stop as quickly.

The upside of that attack is that instance Admins had to raise their game and now most of the big instances are running anti-spam bots and sharing intelligence. Next time we'll be able to move quickly and shut it all down, where this time we were rather scrambling to catch up. Then the spammers will evolve their attack and we'll raise our game again.

Emperor ,
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Unlike the author, I don’t think that the internet is dying, but instead entering a new phase that resembles in some aspects the old internet: search has become unreliable and those mega-platforms enshittify themselves to death, so people shift to smaller (often non-commercial) platforms and find new content to follow by the hyperlinks provided by other people. It’s a lot like the internet before Google Search.

It is definitely feeling like this is a trend, we are moving back to more curated ways of sharing information.

The Fediverse feels like a return to the old, open Web before it was captured by Big Tech, just with new bells and whistles attached. With all the enshittification, it seems like it is well-placed to be the solution to the problem. It's not there yet but it's a start.

Ace of Aces: or, why you should Do Maths as a game designer ( paxsims.wordpress.com )

Every now and again you come across something that stretches your brain in a new direction. Last week I stumbled on a magic trick of a Choose Your Own Adventure: Al Leonardi’s Ace of Aces, a paper computer running a first-person shooter, programmed in 1980—eleven years before Wolfenstein 3D, the “first” first-person...

Emperor ,
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I'm an Admin for a Lemmy instance, so see a lot if reports related to users' comments and, from my perspective, it seems like the vast majority of people on Lemmy are having reasonably respectful discussions.

However, your personal experience may vary depending on where you post and what you post.

Emperor ,
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Because most of the antisemitic terrorist supporters I see are coming from lemmy instances.

As I say, it depends on where you are as Lemmy is a big place. I can only speak from personal experience.

Emperor , (edited )
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This has come up a few times. I'm just drawing my notes together on previous discussions but in summary:

  • The BookWyrm devs reckon it would be easy enough to alter their code for other uses but they don't have the time.
  • There are occasional posts about folks looking for similar services for film and TV, vinyl and music, etc.
  • I think it might be worthwhile first creating a more modular GeneralWyrm (with a wyrm/worm wearing a general's hat as a symbol) that could then be modified for other uses: ScreenWyrm, MusicWyrm, ActionFigureWyrm, etc.

Features for a ScreenWyrm would include:

  • Standard IMDb/Trakt features like voting, reviewing, etc.
  • Lists - with the option to import from IMDb/Trakt
  • Something like Trakt's Kodi tracker
  • Release calendar for movies and TV shows. I currently use something (Episode Tracker?) to bring TV shows into my calendar app but it isn't really fine-grained enough for me but it's good enough for now.

Study Links High-Refined Carb Breakfast to Lower Perceived Attractiveness Rating ( www.theguardian.com )

A French study found people who eat a breakfast high in refined carbs (like pastries and juice) were rated less attractive than those who ate whole grains (like wholemeal toast) for breakfast. This might be because refined carbs affect blood sugar and insulin, potentially impacting skin health and sex hormones. The researchers...

Emperor ,
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I've had porridge for breakfast every day for the last few years and I have no evidence to suggest it has made me more handsome. Perhaps tomorrow...

Emperor ,
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I like your thinking. I currently add seeds and cinnamon, with a topping of Greek yogurt and a banana. So I switch the seeds for nuts and see if the sexual flood gates open. If not, try a different grain as a base. And I'd be doing it for science!

otl , to Fediverse

What have I done?! My abomination of an idea of bridging my email and
ActivityPub progresses. If you see this message, something is working!
Comments replies are welcome as it's a good test of this system :)

People keep saying ActivityPub is a lot like email. If it's so similar
to email, could I use my email client to interact with the fediverse?

Previously I did this by writing a SMTP interface to the Mastodon HTTP
API. That worked. But as we probably know, the fediverse is not
Mastodon; it's really ActivityPub. The real deal would be working
with ActivityPub directly, not the Mastodon HTTP API.

And that's now (mostly?) working! In shonky diagram form, sending
looks like this:

laptop --SMTP--> my_server --ActivityPub--> fediverse

Replies look like this:

fediverse --ActivityPub--> my_server --SMTP--> mailbox <--IMAP-- laptop

my_server translates back and forth between ActivityPub messages and
mail messages.

For example given the message:

Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2024 16:37:59 +1100
From: Oliver Lowe <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]
Subject: test 2

test hello world!

The following ActivityPub message is created:

{
	"@context": "https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams",
	"id":"https://apubtest2.srcbeat.com/outbox/1709703480070628170",
	"type":"Note",
	"name":"test 2",
	"to": ["https://aussie.zone/c/localtesting","https://www.w3.org/ns/activitystreams#Public"],
	"cc": ["https://aussie.zone/c/localtesting"],
	"published":"2024-03-06T16:37:59+11:00",
	"attributedTo":"https://apubtest2.srcbeat.com/actor.json",
	"content":"test hello world!",
	"mediaType":"text/markdown"
}

There's still a lot of bugs (of course) and unimplemented bits (of
course). I can't call this a proper fediverse service yet. I'm going
to roll with this for a bit and see how it holds up.

Emperor , (edited )
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You're weird. I like you.

A Child Could Hack These Popular Video Doorbells, Tests Show ( gizmodo.com )

There may be bad news if you purchased one of Amazon’s “Overall Picks” for video doorbells in recent months. New tests from Consumer Reports find that popular doorbell cameras sold under names including Eken and Tuck are rife with security flaws that make it dead simple for anyone to watch your camera footage....

Emperor Mod ,
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One advantage of HomeKit-compatible devices is that, if you wanted to add Home Assistant into the mix, it does make adding devices very easy. I'm not an apple aficionado but some bits of smart kit happened to work with Homekit and I had zero issues. It feels like the kind of thing Matter/Thread promise but they aren't there yet.

From my external perspective, going purely for HomeKit would mean you have less choice in your devices and you'll likely pay more for them. However, I'm sure more knowledgeable people will be along soon.

Emperor Mod ,
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Running Home Assistant or any other Bridge is a possibly in the future with something like a raspberry pi but I’m not very smart in that area so it’s something I’ll have to learn about and build over time.

It's all pretty user-friendly these days. I moved house so did a clean installation and it went very smoothly.

I’ll have to research Home Assistant more, as well as the overall price per room to do things such as Blinds, Smart TV (w/ AppleTV), Lights (including Switches, and more but this will all not be purchased at once.

This is the way - see what prices are like and if you want to do anything fancy. If it's all catered for within a HomeKit environment and you don't feel the price is too high then go for it.

Aqara kick-starts its first Matter-over-Thread smart lock with a promise of Home Key support ( www.theverge.com )

Aqara has launched its Smart Lock U200 on Kickstarter, where you can currently nab the device for $209, down from the $249.99 it’ll cost you when it goes on sale later this year. According to the Kickstarter page, it will ship to backers in April....

Emperor ,
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Neo-feudalism, then the thinning of the herd once high levels of automation are achieved.

Emperor ,
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My understanding is that Threads won't have a direct impact on Lemmy because out integration with micro-blogging services is... awkward and fairly unidirectional. However, if they make a play for the ActivityPub protocol then we may all be in trouble.

Emperor ,
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And Robert Jewett and John Shelton Lawrence's books:

  • The American Monomyth (1977)
  • The Myth of the American Superhero (2002)
  • Captain America And The Crusade Against Evil: The Dilemma Of Zealous Nationalism (2003)

Borderlands Trailer: Cate Blanchett Leads Eli Roth’s Post-Apocalyptic Action Comedy ( theplaylist.net )

After a very long gestation period and extensive reshoots, Lionsgate’s “Borderlands,” an adaptation of the space Western science fantasy video game, finally arrives in theaters this summer....

Emperor ,
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If it is a scam, they likely have many different people on the hook at any one time, possibly dozens if their systems are sophisticated enough. They could be bringing in quite a hefty sum in total.

Emperor ,
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You can tale a dump, throw up in the sink (I've found such arrangements useful in the past) and then hose yourself down afterwards. Very convenient.

Emperor ,
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The windows point west. It's a feng-shui thing, probably.

Emperor ,
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All you can do is report it. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to keep on top of this and large amounts are getting rapidly removed before anyone even sees them.

Where are the more moderate and rational communities?

I'm trying to find moderate and intelligent people to have discussions with without political psychosis and all the arrogant I'm smarter than everyone who disagrees with me bullshit. It seems every community here is hard left who think things like this post are Nazi declarations because I'm not buying their nonsense. Any...

‘The worst film ever made’: how Sex Lives of the Potato Men broke British cinema ( www.theguardian.com )

When the puerile comedy bombed, the film-makers blamed the critics and the Tories blamed the UK Film Council. Twenty years on, we reassess the legacy of a cinematic pariah whose champions include Stewart Lee and Mike Leigh

The Making Of: Nintendo Adventure Books, Mario's 'Fighting Fantasy' Period ( www.timeextension.com )

In our Lost Zelda Games article, we mentioned interviewing the gentleman behind the Nintendo Adventure Books. Reaching that point required an interesting detour - the books were credited to Clyde Bosco, Bill McCay, and Matt Wayne, all of whom seemed impossible to find online (the comic artist Matt Wayne is not the same person)....

International Nest Aware subscriptions jump in price, as much as 100% ( arstechnica.com )

Google's "Nest Aware" camera subscription is going through another round of price increases. This time it's for international users. There's no big announcement or anything, just a smattering of email screenshots from various countries on the Nest subreddit. 9to5Google was nice enough to hunt down a pile of the [screenshots]....

Emperor OP Mod ,
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They've raised the prices in line with the earlier US price hikes.

Emperor OP Mod ,
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Ah yes, numbers are hard, apparently, especially for tech journalists. I presume they'd have a form of words to explain it, like "it's a rise of 100%, meaning it has risen 200%" but it wouldn't be convincing. Amusingly, saying the price is up by 200% would have made a more attention-grabbing headline.

Emperor OP Mod ,
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February 15th: The Holdovers - a film about a grumpy school master having to babysit pupils at a posh boarding school who can't go home for Christmas could have been a cross between The Breakfast Club and Dead Poets Society, and it would have done well. However, The Holdovers manacles to nimbly avoid feel-good cliches, thanks to a small but consistently excellent cast, as well as tight scripting and solid direction, and instead delivers a bitter-sweet gem of a film.

The only real issue is that those involved won't get the recognition they deserve because the Oppenheimer juggernaut is sweeping everyone else aside in the awards, although I was pleased to see Da’Vine Joy Randolph won the Best Supporting Actress BAFTA and she, rightly, has been scooping up awards in that category. Paul Giamatti, unfortunately, may have to sit out most of the awards ceremonies, although he did get the Best Actor Golden Globe.

Emperor OP Mod ,
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It sounds like it'll be a tough watch but worth it.

Probably has a bit longer to go on the festival circuit before getting a general release.

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