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May 29th, 2014
10:01 am

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Your two minutes of mellow


I don't think I've ever dealt with a cat who was that tolerant, but I have wild fantasies of starting with the sides of the neck and gradually acclimating the cat to having his paws and belly handled like that.

Video thanks to [personal profile] twistedchick.

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May 19th, 2014
09:55 am

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Government by trolls
About a combined effort from GCHQ:
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:

The wikipedia just mentions attacks against the Taliban and Iran, but
Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:


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May 17th, 2014
12:26 pm

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Very large fossilized dinosaur bones found
In Patagonia, really big bones, possibly those of a the biggest dinosaur known....





They think it looked more or less like this:




The length and weight are estimates--

Based on its huge thigh bones, it was 40m (130ft) long and 20m (65ft) tall.

Weighing in at 77 tonnes, it was as heavy as 14 African elephants, and seven tonnes heavier than the previous record holder, Argentinosaurus.)

but definitely good enough for a giant dinosaur movie.

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10:26 am

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Why I was asking about "don't lesnerize"
I had the perfect occasion to tell someone to not lesnerize, but then I wondered what the odds were that I'd be understood, I couldn't find the story online, and I wasn't in the mood to summarize it.

Since then, of course, I've found a copy of "Protection" by Sheckley, and I'm pleased to see it's still a classic.

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03:53 am

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Sf reference question
Poll #1968439
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 59

Do you know what "Don't lesnerize" means?

View Answers
Yes
13 (22.0%)
No
27 (45.8%)
Sounds vaguely familiar
13 (22.0%)
I looked it up
5 (8.5%)
I just want to see the results
1 (1.7%)

Tags: ,

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May 16th, 2014
05:52 pm

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The screens are fixed!
It turned out that professionals were useful.

All hail Home Hero, who told me that they didn't do that sort of work, but Oregon Window Co does. (Oregon Ave. is a street a couple of miles from here.)

Semi-all hail Oregon Window Co, who fixed two screens properly, but neglected to replace a pin in the third screen. Fortunately, the third screen isn't urgently needed.

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02:01 pm

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How to opt out of Google endorsements
Google, who I'd say is not ideally clear on what not being evil means, is going to use your name and face on ads to your friends for things you've given a plus 1 to on Google Play or Google Maps unless you opt out.

Here's how.

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10:29 am

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Non-fiction for world-building
What do Europeans call the platypus?

Handy hints about ways to use language differences for world-building.

Blind Descent-- searching for the deepest caves on earth. Caves are weirder than you might think. You can get electrocuted if lightning strikes a stream on the surface.

The Expressiveness of the Body and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine-- more about cultural difference, not to mention historical change. I'd thought of Daoism as a thing, but of course, it has a history.

Any recommendations for non-fiction that's promising for world-building?

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05:16 am

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How do I revert my LJ?
Fortunately, the new version didn't affect my friends page, but I don't like what they've done to my new entry page or my recent comments page-- there's too much white space and the font is too light-weight.

I've heard rumors of a way to revert, but I can't find it.

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May 13th, 2014
04:26 am

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Window screen problem
I urgently need screens that fit in the window frames of my workroom-- a combination of inertia and that getting something to work turned out to be harder than expected is colliding with the weather heating up.

The screens are the kind with two little spring loaded metal prongs which fit into holes in the sides of the frames.

Even when a screen was made, it turned out to fall out of the frame-- the prongs weren't quite reaching far enough. I've got some bluetack to possibly fill in some gaps, but I'm worried that it isn't strong enough. It also turned out that the springs for the prongs were weak-- does anyone know if the prongs can be replaced without completely disassembling the screen?

Weirdly, the screen for the adjacent slightly wider window doesn't stay in, either-- the prongs aren't reaching far enough into the holes. I don't see any geometrically possibly way the house could settle which would lead to two adjacent windows both widening at the bottom, and both of the glass windows move up and down easily.

Any ideas? Recommendations for professionals?

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