How to make me really angry

Jul. 27th, 2017 11:16 pm
rbarclay: (adminspotting)
[personal profile] rbarclay
OPS guy: "Your naming scheme sucks! It's confusing! We will rename all your servers, so they'll have sensible names, like ours!"
Me: "What? My servers have names like straumli, and deckard. Yours like nics-inl-r48-bl42-u47. I don't see how that'd be any lessconfusing. Go f*ck yourself."
OPS guy: "But it encodes our company name. And class (server or client). And location. And rack-owner, rack-number, blade-number. And VM-number! It's the One Great Solution!"
Me: "Erm. How do you remember those names, when, say, your VPN-gateway is down?"
OPS guy: "CNAMEs, of course! Like vpn.mothership!"
Me: "vpn.ourdomain is an alias for straumli.ourdomain. All our VMs are in one rack. What was your point again?"
OPS guy: "But! Schemas!"

2017, #76, "Sovereign", April Daniels

Jul. 27th, 2017 08:46 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Second in Daniels' Nemesis series. Was looking forward to it after having read the first. Now looking even much more forward to #3 in the series, even if I occasionally would like to shout "oh no, you're being an idiot" at the words on the page. But, they describe plausible happenings and misconstruing of behaviour that, well, maybe is more apparent to an external observer.

We're basically continuing "super-powered capers" that the first book was quite full of. With a side-line of court cases, politics and the like.

Ought to work well as a jump-off point, but why not start one book earlier?
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

Been a while since I read this. It's still eminently readable. The narrative style is a little bit weird, in that it flips between first-person and third-person, depending on who our POV character is. Thankfully, only one POV character gets first-person and I don't recall any case of third person when the first person POV character is present. o it mostly works out.

We follow a gambler and thief, who hooks up with some slightly dodgy characters claiming to work for the archmage of the wizard island (town?), re-homing ancient artefacts. Our thief comes in for artefacts whose current owners are unwilling to let said re-homing proceed. And of COURSE it's never than easy.

Being the first of McKenna's Tales of Einarinn series, it's a perfect place to start.

Hey, cis allies!

Jul. 27th, 2017 12:38 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
[personal profile] tim
In light of the trans military ban, a lot of you have written things on social media along the lines of, "Trans people, I love and support you, you're not a burden, etc." That's nice, but it would be nicer if you told your fellow cis people that disrespecting trans people isn't behavior that you accept. Another thing you can do to show that your words aren't just words is to give a trans person money for necessary medical care that many trans people can't access (and accessing it will almost certainly become harder in the next year.)

Here's one opportunity to do just that. Rory is an acquaintance of mine and I can vouch for them being a legit person with a need.

Wednesday: Dad Update, Coiff Update

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:10 pm
xtingu: (falling down)
[personal profile] xtingu
I wrote this Wednesday, July 19th.

We went to my folks' place on Sunday and got home today (Wednesday) in time for me to go to my second Lizzie rehearsal.

During our visit, Dad had mostly good days, which is good news. However, two visits ago (which is when his health troubles really kicked into high gear) I noticed (but didn't mention) that when he's having his episodes of very scary and unusual zero-energy, he also leans to the left and walks to the left a bit. He was still doing it during this current visit (and when I mentioned it to him he noticed it too and got rightfully concerned) so I suggested he request an MRI or CT of the brain, because losing the sense of taste all at once and also walking to the left either tells me "ear infection" or "god-forbid-a-mini-stroke-or brain-tumor." Dad's mom suffered a HUGE stroke shortly after I was born, so strokes run in his immediate family. He said he'd ask his doctor about scheduling one ASAP. Other than that, it was a very fun visit. Mom was pretty chipper, which was nice.

Dad was feeling pretty good on Monday and I woke up uncharacteristically early, so I went with him to his daily breakfast with his guy-pals. It was really fun, and I'm so happy he has these friends who all really dig each other and bust each others' chops in that 65-77-year-old-guy way. They call their daily meeting (regardless of what day it happens to be) The Monday Morning Morons Club, and each of the four members has a title (Dad is Founder, Steve is President, Greg is Sergeant at Arms, and I forget what Al is. Chief Ball-buster, maybe... ha.) My attendance was jokingly referred to as a diplomatic visit from the Delaware Dorks, and relations between these two groups are friendly and positive. :-)

We left NJ earlier this afternoon and I went to Lizzie rehearsal, and then Joe and I met the gang at The Mexican Post for a very informal get together tonight for Matt (whose birthday is tomorrow, the 20th) and JoeBallz (whose birthday is the 21st) and a belated birthday for Seitzer (whose birthday was last week). This was our DE musician/theater side of our social family, and it was fun.

Kerry was there, and she's doing costumes for Lizzie. I asked her if she had given any thoughts to my hair for the show? My overthinky concern is that my platinum blonde spiky hair really defines me and really serves as a huge part of our band's brand, and if I do this Lizzie play with my Jillish hair, it may be hard for the audience (and me!) to see me as the character and not as "Jill from Hot Breakfast." Kerry said "I honestly haven't gotten that far yet. So do whatever you need to do to feel presentable as you go about your life, and as we get closer to showtime we can decide if we need to wig you, shave your head and dye it purple (ha), or whatever." Fair enough.

In related news (and I think I've mentioned this here before), because I don't have any work scheduled this summer (yet) and not much going on, I decided to try growing my hair out. It's now been two months since I've gotten a color job, and OH GOD my dark roots are SO damn methy against my platinum hair, and tonight after we got home from dinner I reached my breaking point... so tonight I decided to try dying it gray again. I used a semi-permanent color, so if I hate it, it shouldn't last long because my hair is so damn porous. So hopefully, in the short-term anyway, this silver-gray color makes the craaaaazy line between the platinum-blonde and my natural bleh-ashy-brown a bit less nutty. I have the dye on my head right now... maybe I'll post a before and after once I color it.

(UPDATE: I tossed on some Sparks in "Starbright Silver" on the front of my head (it's dark gray, but very blue/purple) and then put Arctic Fox's "Sterling" on the other 2/3 of my head-- that's more traditionally silvery gray, and I blended the two so there's a nice gradation between the two gray colors. I really dig it. Granted, the part of my hair that was platinum REALLY grabbed the dyes, but the 2+ inches of roots and my buzzed sides (meaning my never-bleached hair) barely grabbed the color at all... but I'd rather have a stripe of dark dye-to-dark roots than the really harsh platinum-to-dark roots stripe I've been rockin' for the last several weeks.)

UPDATE #2: Today is now Thursday July 20th, Matt's birthday proper. We had plans to go visit animals at our favoritest happy-place ever, the Three Palms Petting Zoo near Clayton, DE. Alas, they were closed today because it was too hot for the animals since the heat index is 105 today (I'm so happy we called ahead to check). So instead we got some brunch at our favorite restaurant, and then went to see Wonder Woman. It was cool, and there were only like 6 other people in the theater. We sat by these two younger nerdy-ish guys and had a blast talking to them before and after the show, just riffing on dorky stuff. Unfortunately, Matt got panicky towards the end of the movie, so we just went home after the flick to decompress a bit. We decided to order dinner in from our favorite pizza place, and in a bit we'll watch a movie that features Curtis Armstrong, since Matt just read his entire autobiography while at my folks' place and could not put it down.

We were supposed to go to Matt's folks' awesome beach place this coming Monday until Thursday, but they forgot they promised it to Matt's Aunt Sue (it's her birthday on Monday), so she'll be there instead... so we'll go the week after next, I think. We didn't get to the beach at all last year, so it'll be nice to sit on the balcony and listen to the ocean for a few days. I can't wait.

OK, that's enough outta me. Gonna go enjoy the last 2 hours of Matt's birthday snuggled in and watching Risky Business since I never saw it, somehow.


Derg !

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:06 pm
xtingu: (smellson)
[personal profile] xtingu
I wrote most of this on Friday, July 21st.

Matt and I were supposed to go to the beach to enjoy a little change of scenery, but Matt's folks forgot they told us we could use the beach place and instead gave it to Matt's aunt. (Totally no biggie.)

So earlier today I had to drop some stuff off in Philly for a client, and on my way home I got a frantic call from Jeremy. Apparently the Moskosteins are heading out of town tomorrow and so they brought JD to the dogsitter today-- it's the same dogsitter they've used for 8-9 years, whom JD loves and vice versa. But today JD just did not want to go. He was angry when they put him in the car, and once they drove to the dogsitter in NJ, JD was really not happy and didn't want to get out of the van. Eventually JD was coaxed out of the van and then bit the dogsitter on the arm and also snapped at and just barely missed a small dog whom JD normally gets along with. JD has never bitten anyone/anything before (not that we can remember anyway), so this was scary, upsetting, confusing, and a zillion other adjectives one uses along with worried eyebrows. So the dogsitter said she couldn't risk not only her own safety but the safety of her other clients' dogs, so Jeremy was asked to get JD out. It was a scary and awkward and sad situation for everyone involved... but Jeremy was also in a bind because he's trying to get his family on a plane and now he needs an emergency dogsitter for a dog who is now biting people he supposedly loves. I said "Bring him here, please... he'll be fine, and so will we."

Nicole and Jeremy brought JD over and he as soon as they pulled into our driveway, JD's tail was wagging and he was perfectly fine... clearly much much happier to be at our place. If I had to guess, I'd say that JD is hurting and just didn't want to be someplace where he'd be annoyed by 5 other dogs and not where he's totally comfortable... so JD figured if he misbehaved at the dogsitter he'd get to go someplace else. Smart dog!

ADDED MONDAY the 24th:

So we had JD all weekend, and everything was perfectly fine... absolutely noooo sense of doggie weirdness. It is sad to see how often he'll be walking and BLAM his back legs give out. He doesn't seem to be "in pain," but when his rear legs just fail, it is kinda awkward and inconvenient for him when it happens. But when he's laying down he's still very much a happy, good, playful dog... so having end-of-life discussions seems premature right now.

But JD was picked back up this morning and brought back to Chez Moskostein, because Laura and Audrey are back home from their trip now. (Jeremy will be away for a little while longer.)

In other news, Lizzie rehearsal is going well, and if the voices involved are the litmus, this is gonna be one hell of a show.

OK, that's enough outta me.


The girl went over the mountain

Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:01 pm
ilanarama: a mountain (mountain)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Yesterday I ran the Kendall Mountain Run in 3:17:45, making both my goals of a) under 3:30 and b) not falling. I felt a little guilty when I proudly announced my time on Facebook and a few people thought it was a marathon time (26.2 miles), since it's about five minutes under my marathon PR and a plausible result - at least if you didn't know that I haven't been training for a marathon, or that I've had a big slowdown in the past few years. So then I hastily added that it was for a 12-mile race, which immediately had people boggling in the opposite direction, considering my half marathon PR (13.1 miles) is less than half that time! But it becomes more understandable when you see the elevation profile:

The course runs up a freakin' MOUNTAIN. (And back down again.) I didn't take pictures, but for some historical background and video shots of runners on the course (all much faster than me) from previous years, the organizers have put a nifty video on Facebook.

Blathering about the run )

My final statistics were not actually that great. I came in 188th overall out of 236, 62/87 women, 5/6 in my 10-year age group (nearly an hour ahead of #6). Actually there were only four women older than me in the race - the F60-69 AG contained one 68-year-old - and all of them beat me! Oh, well. I have not been running nearly as much as I was back when I regularly ran this type of mountain race, so I'm not really surprised. I'm happy enough that I beat my nominal goal of 3:30, and most especially, that I didn't add any new scabs to those currently healing on my knees!

Now, my legs hurt like you wouldn't believe, though I don't think I actually injured anything, just overused the muscles of my quads and glutes. Hopefully everything will feel good by next Saturday, when we head out into the wilderness for a week of backpacking. Then it will be time to turn my exercise attention to mountain biking in preparation for the Telluride-to-Moab ride in September. But I'll still be running 3-4 days a week, including attending the club track workouts, and hopefully by the time October comes around, I'll be ready to run a decent half marathon, and maybe even sign up for a late fall/early winter marathon.

Hugo shortlist: Novels

Jul. 23rd, 2017 04:50 pm
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
I didn't really have enough time to get through the Hugo reading this year, but I did manage to read enough of the shortlisted novels that I voted for them. I voted thus:

  1. A Closed and Common Orbit; I read The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet shortly before the shortlist was announced (and really enjoyed it), which perhaps biased me in favour of this one. That did mean that I knew how one of the story arcs was going to finish, but it was still an engaging read, and I thought the way the author approached neurodiversity was gently but well done
  2. Ninefox Gambit; I would not normally go for military SF, and it did take me a while to get into this, but the author has created a fascinating world, and I really want to find out how the series progresses. Despite being the first in a series, this had a decent narrative arc of its own
  3. All the Birds in the Sky; I wanted to like this, but didn't in the end. The chapters were a bit abrupt, it sometimes felt like it was just being clever, and the magic felt a bit deus ex machina in places. I also found the (inevitable?) romance plot pretty weak. Also, the ending was a bit disappointing.
  4. Too Like the Lightning; I didn't like this at all. The narrator was infuriating, the style affected, the continued harping on about gender irksome, and it didn't even try to come to a natural close, it just stopped. I know there's a sequel, but really.

I didn't read Death's End, because I hated 3-Body Problem; I didn't read The Obelisk Gate because I didn't manage to get hold of a copy (the kindle voter packet only had an excerpt).

race prep (and photos of fun stuff)

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:10 pm
ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
[personal profile] ilanarama
I haven't been posting in a while, bad me, so you're forgiven if you've forgotten that I'm doing the Kendall Mountain Run tomorrow. I'm a little less prepared than I'd like to be, mostly because I fell really hard while trail running twice in successive weeks, then also fell hard mountain biking, and so I've been more cautious and doing less trail running than I really should have been. But I have been hiking and biking and running!

On top of Graham Peak

Read more and see more photos )

So, tomorrow I am getting up way too early and going up to Silverton (it's about an hour's drive) with a friend who is also running. Now that I've seen what the course is like (we drove the first three miles to get to the trailhead of our late-June overnight backpack) I don't think I can make sub-3; I'm hoping to come in somewhere around 3:30. But my main goal is to NOT FALL.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

Second of the Spatterjay (sub-)series in Asher's Polity universe. Takes place about ten years after the end of the previous book. We do, again, follow several different viewpoint characters, on all sorts of moral sides of any situation that may happen in the book. Some are returning characters, some are new.

I'd definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series, but all in all an eminently readable book.
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
Fans of the coffee stall on the Cambridge market (link to my previous post on opening hours) may be interested to know that he doesn't seem to be open on Thursdays any more - AFAICT he's now Mon-Wed, Fri, Sat.

Not entirely co-incidentally, my coffee supplies are now rather low :(


Jul. 18th, 2017 01:21 pm
rimrunner: (Default)
[personal profile] rimrunner
Stuff is happening. Like:

- I got bit by something down on our land a week and a half ago. Two urgent care visits, two antibiotic prescriptions, and a shot in my hip later, things are finally on the way toward healing. No more shorts in tall brush for me. I had a follow-up with my PCP today; he was frustrated that there's no way to know what originally got me. It could even have been dermatitis from a plant (there are four on our land that I know of that could have caused it, and two that I haven't seen but whose presence can't be ruled out) though he thinks not. My guess is still ticks. They're way more common than spiders and are really bad this year. I have another few days of antibiotics and a bandage on my leg that people keep asking about.

- Another story came out, in See the Elephant magazine. It's the first story I workshopped at Stonecoast so I'm pretty happy about this one. My publications page is starting to grow.

- I built a picnic table, using a pattern from Popular Mechanics and instructional tips from Erik. I can use power tools. This is good. We have also built an outhouse; with that and the well, basic camping infrastructure has been established.

- I also took a basic home repair class through the local community college. There's only so much one can learn in a single day, but it's also true that a lot of basic repair work isn't terribly complicated. Erik says I get to do the next power outlet replacement. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

- Work continues to be political. After a great deal of back and forth, including a consulting architect who got as far as drafting three plans for a library renovation before being told that the project wouldn't be funded, we're getting a student success center in the library. It's being housed in the currently vacant offices where the associate provost and his assistant used to be, entails renovation of the academic assistance center, and they're taking over our two most-used group study spaces on the first floor as well.

The project isn't a bad idea. Our retention rate is below 80%, which is one reason for our ongoing budget woes (at least the library budget wasn't cut again--as far as we know). But it was more or less dictated from the provost's office, the person in charge of the project has spent maybe an hour in the building and has shown some sign of not really knowing what they're doing (18-foot conference tables??), and the provost herself is on medical leave for the rest of the summer. My boss is supposed to report to her and they didn't have a good working relationship before this.

- I recently finished reading Braiding Sweetgrass. It's a fairly astounding book, much about it telling me that I'm on the right track with some of the decisions I'm making. There's even a chapter about a guy who bought up a lot of recently clearcut timberland and started restoring it, viewing it as helping to fulfill his responsibility to the planet. I'm looking forward to being able to spend more time on the land; right now, dayjob and writing are taking up a lot of that time.

- Last week SPU left a door hanger on the front door indicating that they would be doing construction today and no water would be available from 9 until 5. Of course that's the day I'm working at home because my doctor's appointment was right in the middle of the day. I filled a bunch of water bottles and broke out a bottle of hand sanitizer. I'll still be glad when the water is available again.

- The cat Erik and I adopted last fall, Little Man, continues to be adorable and charming. He's even charmed Erik. It helps that his personality is what many would describe as dog-like.

- I am worried for some very dear friends, whose rough times have lasted for years. I won't delve into the details here. In any case their story is becoming all too common, and is why I am taking certain measures that I am fortunate and privileged to be able to do.

- I'll be a featured reader at Two Hour Transport on July 26th. I'm excited.

Catch up

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:42 pm
lnr: (Default)
[personal profile] lnr
Done since Jun 14th:
  • Test rode an Onderwater tandem, which has the child stoker seat at front - Matthew loved it
  • Second parents evening for Matthew's school, nice to see teachers again and get more idea of school plans
  • Rainbow Sponsored Trike Ride - I ended up riding Matthew's bike as a balance bike since he didn't want to join in
  • Blood tests: my calcium, parathyroid hormone and vitamin D levels are all normal, but keep taking the vitamin D for now
  • We did HBA1C as well, which is average blood sugar levels, also fine - I'm at slight risk due to Type 2 diabetes in family and current weight)
  • Picnic lunch and playdate with Kirsten/Andre/Judith/Colin and Lammas Land - lots of fun
  • Shelford Feast - Matthew enjoyed all the stalls and mini steam train and bouncy castles, I helped out on the Rainbow stall
  • Eye Test for Matthew this morning: doing great, patching is helping his eyes work well together, ordered new lenses for his current glasses, next appointment in October half term
  • Work appointed one interim head, who only stayed 2 days, and are now appointing again
  • The "implementation" phase of Organisational Change is officially complete and we all now in theory have new jobs - but almost no management so not much actual change at the moment
  • Total resignations now at 4 (Patrick, James, Stephen, Andrew) with possibility of more to come

Plus assorted bike rides, visits to the park, dyeing hair purple again and so on - and lots of lego :)

Coming up in the near future:
  • Collect Matthew's school uniform (I see the school's admin at Pre-School and she's kindly said she'll bring it along for me)
  • Early start tomorrow for Rainbow Leavers Trip to Wandlebury
  • Rainbow end of term staff party tomorrow evening: as part of the committee I'm involved in helping host it
  • Rainbow leaving party on Friday morning - last day of pre-school!
  • A week in the lake district starting on Saturday
  • Test riding a Circe Helios tandem when we get back
  • Folk Festival on Sunday 30th - possibly with Matthew, possibly without
  • New Interim Head of IT Group starts (phased in) on 1st August (Hi Julian)
  • A week in Devon with family from 4th August - staying at Wortham Manor

In between the two weeks away Matthew will have a week at Hania's - and then when we get back he's got three weeks of holiday club before granny and grandad come to visit the first week in September, and then school starts on the 11th.

I think I know why I'm exhausted :)

[personal profile] mjg59
In measured boot, each component of the boot process is "measured" (ie, hashed and that hash recorded) in a register in the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) build into the system. The TPM has several different registers (Platform Configuration Registers, or PCRs) which are typically used for different purposes - for instance, PCR0 contains measurements of various system firmware components, PCR2 contains any option ROMs, PCR4 contains information about the partition table and the bootloader. The allocation of these is defined by the PC Client working group of the Trusted Computing Group. However, once the boot loader takes over, we're outside the spec[1].

One important thing to note here is that the TPM doesn't actually have any ability to directly interfere with the boot process. If you try to boot modified code on a system, the TPM will contain different measurements but boot will still succeed. What the TPM can do is refuse to hand over secrets unless the measurements are correct. This allows for configurations where your disk encryption key can be stored in the TPM and then handed over automatically if the measurements are unaltered. If anybody interferes with your boot process then the measurements will be different, the TPM will refuse to hand over the key, your disk will remain encrypted and whoever's trying to compromise your machine will be sad.

The problem here is that a lot of things can affect the measurements. Upgrading your bootloader or kernel will do so. At that point if you reboot your disk fails to unlock and you become unhappy. To get around this your update system needs to notice that a new component is about to be installed, generate the new expected hashes and re-seal the secret to the TPM using the new hashes. If there are several different points in the update where this can happen, this can quite easily go wrong. And if it goes wrong, you're back to being unhappy.

Is there a way to improve this? Surprisingly, the answer is "yes" and the people to thank are Microsoft. Appendix A of a basically entirely unrelated spec defines a mechanism for storing the UEFI Secure Boot policy and used keys in PCR 7 of the TPM. The idea here is that you trust your OS vendor (since otherwise they could just backdoor your system anyway), so anything signed by your OS vendor is acceptable. If someone tries to boot something signed by a different vendor then PCR 7 will be different. If someone disables secure boot, PCR 7 will be different. If you upgrade your bootloader or kernel, PCR 7 will be the same. This simplifies things significantly.

I've put together a (not well-tested) patchset for Shim that adds support for including Shim's measurements in PCR 7. In conjunction with appropriate firmware, it should then be straightforward to seal secrets to PCR 7 and not worry about things breaking over system updates. This makes tying things like disk encryption keys to the TPM much more reasonable.

However, there's still one pretty major problem, which is that the initramfs (ie, the component responsible for setting up the disk encryption in the first place) isn't signed and isn't included in PCR 7[2]. An attacker can simply modify it to stash any TPM-backed secrets or mount the encrypted filesystem and then drop to a root prompt. This, uh, reduces the utility of the entire exercise.

The simplest solution to this that I've come up with depends on how Linux implements initramfs files. In its simplest form, an initramfs is just a cpio archive. In its slightly more complicated form, it's a compressed cpio archive. And in its peak form of evolution, it's a series of compressed cpio archives concatenated together. As the kernel reads each one in turn, it extracts it over the previous ones. That means that any files in the final archive will overwrite files of the same name in previous archives.

My proposal is to generate a small initramfs whose sole job is to get secrets from the TPM and stash them in the kernel keyring, and then measure an additional value into PCR 7 in order to ensure that the secrets can't be obtained again. Later disk encryption setup will then be able to set up dm-crypt using the secret already stored within the kernel. This small initramfs will be built into the signed kernel image, and the bootloader will be responsible for appending it to the end of any user-provided initramfs. This means that the TPM will only grant access to the secrets while trustworthy code is running - once the secret is in the kernel it will only be available for in-kernel use, and once PCR 7 has been modified the TPM won't give it to anyone else. A similar approach for some kernel command-line arguments (the kernel, module-init-tools and systemd all interpret the kernel command line left-to-right, with later arguments overriding earlier ones) would make it possible to ensure that certain kernel configuration options (such as the iommu) weren't overridable by an attacker.

There's obviously a few things that have to be done here (standardise how to embed such an initramfs in the kernel image, ensure that luks knows how to use the kernel keyring, teach all relevant bootloaders how to handle these images), but overall this should make it practical to use PCR 7 as a mechanism for supporting TPM-backed disk encryption secrets on Linux without introducing a hug support burden in the process.

[1] The patchset I've posted to add measured boot support to Grub use PCRs 8 and 9 to measure various components during the boot process, but other bootloaders may have different policies.

[2] This is because most Linux systems generate the initramfs locally rather than shipping it pre-built. It may also get rebuilt on various userspace updates, even if the kernel hasn't changed. Including it in PCR 7 would entirely break the fragility guarantees and defeat the point of all of this.

Ah crud

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:09 pm
rbarclay: (rad)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Last week the bicycle chain slipped off once, and on the way to 'ork today it wouldn't change gears properly a couple times. Did a quick check of the chain (like in this video) and concluded that it's probably on its last legs.

Went by the shop close to home, where my diagnosis was confirmed, but they didn't have the correct length in stock. So, since the next service would be due in 1-2 weeks anyway, I ordered a "heavy duty" chain (the mech guy claimed that it should last "at least twice as long as your current crap": well, I'm perfectly willing to be pleasantly surprised) and made a service appointment for Thursday.

Future changes at Disney World

Jul. 16th, 2017 08:59 am
mmcirvin: (Default)
[personal profile] mmcirvin
 So, apparently a lot of rumors about future stuff were confirmed at Disney's big fan expo (and some weren't):

  • There's going to be a duplicate of Shanghai's awesome Tron light-cycle coaster in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland. The big surprise: it's not replacing the Tomorrowland Speedway, as most rumors had it. It'll be in the back of Tomorrowland, outside the railroad tracks, to the left of Space Mountain. Tomorrowland Speedway apparently lives on for a while yet.
  • Similarly, they're duplicating the Ratatouille ride from Paris at Epcot's France pavilion.
  • The Universe of Energy pavilion at Epcot is going to be gutted and used in a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ride of some sort. There's a nice fourth-wall-breaking conceit that the gang is at Epcot because Peter Quill went there as a kid, which might allow them to at least give a nod to what Epcot is supposed to be about. The Guardians are one of the few Marvel properties that Disney is allowed to use in Florida, because Universal isn't using those characters. There's going to be a larger Marvel-superhero-themed land at California Adventure, but they can't do that at WDW. (This also suggests that Florida's Tower of Terror is probably not going to get the Guardians-themed conversion.)
  • Some kind of complete makeover of the non-centrifuge half of Mission: Space, and an immersively space-themed restaurant nearby (I don't think I'd even heard rumors about this--I wonder if the restaurant is going to replace the old Wonders of Life paviliion).
  • Big cosmetic updates to Epcot's whole Future World area, particularly the entrance.
  • Cable skyways connecting some of the hotels and parks around the Epcot/Hollywood Studios area. I imagine they'd consider expanding the network if it works out; this is probably cheaper than building out the monorail.
  • The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios will be replaced by a Mickey Mouse ride based on the recent, very wacky cartoon shorts. Looks like it will make heavy use of projection mapping. Maybe the most controversial change, since that ride was basically the centerpiece of "Disney/MGM" when it first opened. We'll see, I guess.
  • Probably the single wildest thing: a Star Wars-themed hotel with a multi-day immersive guest experience, to go with the new Star Wars land at Hollywood Studios. Sounds expensive, and probably not my thing (it might entirely replace rather than supplementing a traditional Disney World visit), but I admire the audacity.

The one thing I wonder is whether the general slump in international tourism is going to affect these plans. Disney may figure they're doing all right with domestic traffic in the US and they're internationally diversified enough that it won't kill them in general. I get the impression that they consider Universal's parks to be their main threat, and competing means stepping up their game. Animal Kingdom got their splashy new land built already; Hollywood Studios is in the throes of massive construction; clearly Epcot is next on the list to get the love.

Nothing yet about new Epcot country pavilions, or Imagination with Figment becoming an Inside Out ride, or a conversion of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, or Zootopia at Animal Kingdom, or a Moana ride in MK's Adventureland (other rumors I'd heard). I suspect those are either not happening or are more blue-sky future things.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the, what, ninth? eighth? book in Stross's The Laundry Files and the wheels on the hand-basket are truly on their way out, along a radial trajectory.

This book sees the return of many faces from previous books, as we slowly see things unwind around Bob. I am trying real hard to not let anything slip here, you see, as I feel that approaching the book spoiler-free is the most, ah, enjoyable? way of reading it. Surprising at least.

Anyway, Laundry Files, if you've read some of them before, you know what to expect. If you haven't, might I humbly suggest that this is perhaps not the best starting point (although it may well work as an intro novel). We do a fair bit of POV shifting in this book, even if it's primarily a "Bob" book (we also follow Mo, Mhari and Cassie, as well as the occasional follow-the-baddies).

All in all, a gripping read. I shall blame technology (and not being completely done with the previous book in time for the release) for taking this abysmally long to finish off something that was released a whole 4 days ago.
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
Preppin' the script; first rehearsal is tomorrow. Woot! #somanypostits #trustmeihaveasystem #itmakessensetome #theyllprobablyfalloffintwodays #dw


This was automatically posted from xtingu's instagram account. the Hooray for computers and IFTTT!

2017 - #72, "The Skinner", Neal Asher

Jul. 15th, 2017 01:55 pm
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

This is the first book in the Sptterjay series, set in Asher's Polity world.

Time-wie, the Spatterjay books fall well after the rest of the series (bar, possibly, Transformation), but as the first two books takes place entirely (or almost entirely) on the planet of Spatterjay (see how the planet meshes with the name of the series...), it's not massively important exactly how it lines up timewise.

We follow a couple of different viewpoint characters. Ehrlin is a Hooper (that is, someone who's been infected by the leech virus, present in most (if not all) lifeforms on Spatterjay), who's been away from Spatterjay for a while, having adventures. Janer is employed by a sentient hornet hive, that he (some decades ago) spent two years indentured to, for killing one of its bodies at a football match. Sable Keech is a reif (basically a cyber-enhanced walking corpse), and ECS monitor. Sniper, a war drone. And Windcatcher, which I shall say nothing about. And a few more, who get walk-on POV roles.

Fundamentally, this is a story about loss and revenge. And how these things change, as time passes. I guess there's some talk about life and what immortality may mean for the human condition.

Again, this is a Polity book so it's kinda grimdark, in places.

July 2017

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