resetting the art

Every so often I need to cut through clutter and reset things. My clutter tolerance threshold is actually pretty damn low – most people wouldn’t’ve called my studio cluttered, but it hit that NOPE! point for me and I had to reset it.

I know a lot of people thrive in clutter, particularly creative people. That’s never worked for me. I wish it did, I’d spend less time resetting studio spaces.

On the plus side, it was a good time to change around art. I rotate pictures and such in and out so I don’t get too tired of them. Korra and Toph survived this round, and even got frames, and the Utena art I found at ECCC finally made it onto the wall. Plus I built a little shrine to our favourite Russian Jaeger pilots. :D

Bigger pictures at Flickr, like usual. Mostly useful for the panoramas, of course.

the usual shot

the far side shot

the shrine, in sepia, because the colour came out weird

underlighting makes everything into art deco

Plus there were actually a couple of things that needed repair, like one of the lamps turned out to have some bad insulation (if “missing” counts as “bad,” which I think is true in this case) so I fixed that and its stuck switch.

And those horizontal lines on the sound baffles? Those are part of the new wall anchoring system. I had a baffle come down while trying to put a speaker away, and that sucks, so I fixed it. Plus, that let me put like three support legs into the closet, opening up more space and getting rid of distracting visual noise. Here’s an comparison to the previous reset, with the above panorama cropped to match.


It’s not a big difference, but people other than me notice it when they walk in, so it’s enough for that. Other than the art, it’s mostly corners and shelves, really. And the closets. Those got a good straightening out. Really, if anything actually needed it? It was the closets.

wait a minute, what are these things?

So Paul’s going through Fallout 3 again, and just found a paperweight in a box, and I kind of laughed because ‘hey, here’s something you can carry just to take away from your carrying capacity!’ and so on. But then I realised…

…we all know what a paperweight is. But I’ve never used a paperweight as a paperweight. In fact, has anyone here ever used a paperweight as a paperweight?

Hell, has I know anyone ever used a paperweight as office equipment at all?


anybody know where I can get spares of these beads?

A piece of costuming that I use for some gigs – mostly Leannan Sidhe gigs – threw one of the ring-type beads that are used in tying up the front. It’s just flat gone – no sign of it – so I need a replacement.

I think they’re shell. I’ve been a few places trying to match them with no joy and with the stores not having anywhere to suggest. So… any crafters or beaders out there seen these recently?

Failing that, anybody have a similar? I was thinking maybe niobium – but I’d rather keep what’s there now if I can. (Also, I haven’t seen any that would work.)

who has more smug than any other kitty mug?

George, that’s who.

Click for larger

what do you do with a broken hard drive?

I had already queued this post for today, back on Monday. Intel’s announcement on Tuesday – see previous post – made it even more appropriate.

♪ What do you do with a broken hard drive? ♪
♪ What do you do with a broken hard drive? ♪
♪ What do you do with a broken hard drive, ♪
♪ once it eats your data? ♪

Well, thanks to Boris L. on Facebook, I know know that you can turn it into a microphone. I don’t even know what to think about that. XD

this Intel announcement is inadequately appreciated

Intel have announced inventing a new type of memory technology, the first in decades. They claim it has 10 times the density of existing SSD memory; they are starting fabrication at 128Gb per dye. Intel’s press release says it is three orders of magnitude more durable as well, and three orders of magnitude faster.

This is a huge deal. With this, terabytes are the new K (or new M, if you prefer). But let’s leave that aside for the moment.

That speed means that this new RAM is faster than current system RAM, by about an order of magnitude. Which means there will no longer be an important difference between system RAM and long-term storage. The whole idea of long-term (disc: large, but slow) vs. short-term (RAM: fast, but small) storage becomes completely artificial. It’s all large, it’s all non-volatile (meaning stays when powered off), it’s all fast.

This changes everything about software development. If – and it is a huge if, like, this huge:


…what they’re announcing is true, there hasn’t been a breakthrough like this in the field in decades. This isn’t “better USB drives.” This is a new universe.

I mean, what do you compare this to? The hard drive, maybe? It kind of undoes the hard drive as a separate device, but I don’t think that goes far enough. It resets so many basic ideas about software and hardware development that you may in fact have to go all the way to the very concept of interactive computing to get something bigger. (Interactive, as opposed to batch, where you submitted code and waited for printed output to see what happened.)

No, Really, It Actually Was Like This

And this is just the first generation. At 10 times current storage density, that’s a big skip ahead in Moore’s Law (doubling every two years? Nah, let’s double three times next year alone, instead), and is getting close to “all the storage you want forever.”

You’re also seeing a massive elimination of fragility. That has tremendous value in and of itself. People think of the internet as forever, but that’s not true – that’s only for things that enough people care about to store individually that the resulting redundancy makes up for the intrinsic fragility of previous computer storage systems. 1000 times more durable than existing SSD puts it far, far past the lifespans of magnetic media – it gets you into paper range.

I have archive drives. They are about to be utterly obsolete. The whole concept of ‘delete’ is now pointless, except organisationally.

This changes the way file systems are written. This changes the way processors are made. They’ve got a bus that can handle the RAM bandwidth internally, so presumably – hopefully! – that extends out to a motherboard system bus. Think about that. The first products are going to be PCIe storage expansion, but that’s just because PCIe is the fastest interface out there now. It’s far behind what this new memory type can deliver.

I mean, once you’re designing for this kind of storage, do CPU caches have a point anymore? I don’t even know. (And as an aside: VMs become hilarious. SURE HAVE SOME WHY NOT) If the RAM bus that will go with this is moving at the speed of the RAM – which is, again, faster than anything we have now – then the only savings in the end is raw distance and speed of electron travel. That’s certainly not zero, so may make it worthwhile. I don’t know.

In my head I’m seeing processors basically treating all of storage as on-chip cache, and doing it with as many processors as you want. Hell, do new types of processors optimised for this storage paradigm even need registers anymore? I imagine so, but it’s a question worth asking.

So, yeah. If they deliver, you can short Seagate, short Western Digital, short Hitachi – or, as Fishy said, “short Thailand.” In this environment, what even is magnetic media lol other than “It’s been fun, guys; you are now niche players.”

Test quantities this year to developers. Product next year. PREPARE FOR REBOOT!

introduction to the business meeting

For all those who are considering going to the World Science Fiction Society Business Meeting (as I suggested might be necessary regarding the Hugo awards), Kevin Standlee has produced this ten minute video on business meeting procedures. It is dry, as such things tend to be, but please do give it your time. This is how the meeting is run, full stop, and you need to know.

There is far more sitting than I am comfortable with doing. Such is life. I didn’t know about that, so really, if you’re going to the meeting, watch the video.

a history of recording through 1950

Courtesy the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music, enjoy a lovely history of recording through 1950. Lots of sample recordings you can listen to, including essentially-hifi recordings made live on 78s towards the end of that technology cycle. (Did you know a 78rpm live-recording shellac disc could record 14khz tones? Neither did I. That’s about where FM radio tops out, for comparison purposes. SURPRISE)

There are a couple of illustrative mp3s showing the difference between purely-mechanical recording and “electronic” recording – the move from acoustic horns to microphones, basically. Still no tape or ability to edit; throughout this entire era it’s still horns-or-live-mics-to-etched-master-disc. But the appearance of electric microphones in 1924 changed everything, and to be able to hear it on from-the-era recordings is just amazing.

(And if you’re seeing this on Livejournal or Dreamwidth, the Korra icon I’m using with this post is basically one of the kinds of microphones they’d’ve been using in the early electric recordings, preserved here. Cool. huh?)

yakkity max

This is genius. No, really, this is genius. Hit play.

Courtesy Kathryn T. on Facebook. :D

okay that windows thing from earlier? NOTHING. Not compared to this.

Almost every Android phone can be p0wned by sending it a text. Many of them can be p0wned completely silently, and in most cases, you don’t have to interact with it – as soon as you look at the text, your phone is theirs.

This goes back to Android 2.2, inclusive. It’s a whole set of disastrous security holes, all in one platform. That whole Windows thing I posted about earlier is nothing compared to this. Nothing. This is an unmitigated disaster.

I mean, I’m looking at this from a security environment and just… how do you even fix this? Aside from the fact – fact – that Android phone manufacturers are absolutely infamous for never rolling out OS updates, much less security updates, the sheer number of pending p0wned devices – around one billion – kind of boggles the mind.

The only good thing about it is that battery lives and screen breakage will retire most of these devices sometime over the next three years. That’s how long this will echo around, because we can reasonably well assume the patch rate will be negligible.

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