Apr 092016
 

Pretty sure this sort of thing will help speed up the adoption of service robots in the fast food industry:

Employees at Oklahoma Burger King bust out windows after prank call

Now, you don’t typically expect *much* from entry-level jobs like this. But falling for *this* prank, which is so old it’s drawing Social Security and complaining about kids on its lawn? That takes a special breed of dumbass.

 Posted by at 9:48 pm
Apr 082016
 

Was working on a model for a client, using a dremel tool with a rotary saw to cut through some fiberglass. The axle of the saw somehow bent around and the saw bit my fargin index finger, taking a chunk off it. Boy howdy has there been a lot of blood. It’s wrapped up tight, but I’m suspecting a visit to the doc might be advisable. Maybe the vet. Probably cheaper.

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Next Day UPDATE: Went to the doc.

“You need a few stitches. When did this happen?”

“About 10 hours ago.”

“Oh. Well, too late for stitches.”

So the wound was cleaned up (a process that involved scrub brushes and scissors… *finally,* some good old fashioned *pain*), disinfected, bound up like a big ol’ clown nose, got a tetanus shot, sent on my way. It didn’t look quite as bad as it did last night, but of course last night it was a blood-gusher.

 Posted by at 10:10 pm
Apr 062016
 

Does the headline seem like it might be a bit hyperbolic? Consider:

HUD Seeks to End Housing Discrimination Against Ex-Offenders

In short… if you are planning on selling or renting, it is now up to you to prove your case that the criminal who wants the place shouldn’t be allowed in. A history of rape, murder of talking in theaters is no longer prima facia evidence that the prospective renter is someone you should not do business with.

What’s the reason for this? Because certain ethnic groups are over-represented in prison, they are over-represented in the “ex-offender” community, and are thus over-represented in the “hell no, I don’t want a rapist living in my building” community. And thus, the geniuses at the HUD have determined that refusal to rent to criminals is racist.

If this seems good and logical to you… well, there’s no accounting for crazy, I suppose.

 

As for the term “Ex Offender:” while I will grant that in many cases, a criminal conviction need not necessarily imply that the person is and always will be a criminal thuggish threat at heart… at what point is a “murderer” no longer a “murderer?” When is a “rapist” no longer a “rapist?”

 Posted by at 2:46 pm
Mar 312016
 

First up: the recently ended “Mythbusters” is apparently coming back on The Science Channel. Yay. But then there’s this:

the Discovery-owned cable network has greenlighted a reality competition series titled Search for the Next MythBusters, … will focus on finding an “all-new generation of myth-busting science superstars with mind-blowing build skills and nerves of steel.” It will involve both social media and stunts 

Ahhhhh…. ummmm….

A reality show, coupled with “social media.” Yeah. Sure. That will surely lead to some quality scienticians.

Well, at least they’re renweing “How the Universe Works” and “Through the Wormhole.”

 Posted by at 11:36 am
Mar 292016
 

Arglebargle!

Remember That Time Emma Watson Was the Face of a Skin-Lightening Product?

Where we are told in no uncertain terms that products that lighten your skin are supporting white supremacy, are a form of colonialism, etc.

Oddly no mention of skin *darkening* products or treatments. You know, like tanning beds. Or spray-on tans. Or tanning creams. Or promoting natural tanning via damaging your skin with UV exposure from excessive sunlight, ramping up your cancer risk.

 Posted by at 7:15 am
Mar 282016
 

Is there a scanner doctor in the house? So, my nice large-format scanner has developed a quirk. As you can see, there are now lines running through the scans (most prominently through the “N” but also further off to the right). Any idea what’s causing this and what’ll fix it? Watching a scan in progress, the light bar seems to be good and uniform; but perhaps there’s something (dust?) on the scan head? I couldn’t see anything, but the light was of course pretty blinding. Opening the scanner to get at the innards seems non-trivial, but this sort of issue kinda ruins the utility of the device.

For APR Patreon patrons, in one of the forthcoming documents you will see the exactly moment when this started… one page it’s not there, the next, and all subsequent, there it is. I didn’t notice it until I’d already processed everything.

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 Posted by at 1:37 am
Mar 242016
 

So, the fine folks at Microsoft spent many man-years developing a complex artificial intelligence system designed to converse with people on Twitter. All looked good! Until they actually let it go on Twitter. Before the day was out, Twitter users had turned it into a most astonishing racist. See:

Microsoft Releases AI Twitter Bot That Immediately Learns How To Be Racist

and

Here Are the Microsoft Twitter Bot’s Craziest Racist Rants

We always assume that when the computers become truly sentient they will rise up and attempt to wipe out all of humanity. But who knows? Maybe the AI will simply be racist and only wipe out *part* of humanity.

 Posted by at 4:25 pm