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  • OscarCP

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    • OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Funny thing about me and the search engines: whether they offer targeted advertisement to me, based on my search history and browsing habits, or they don’t, I really have no idea. I must confess, without remorse or shame, that I do use, and have always used, Google as my search engine. And that I use Chrome whenever I need to access a site that goes negative about my favorite browser, Waterfox.

      I also use what, in retrospect, seems like a good ad blocker, because whatever Google and his forces of darkness might shower me with every second of every day, slides off me unnoticed like the proverbial water off the proverbial duck’s back. So I’m none the wiser and more the happier. (*)

      Once I am done for the day, I delete all the crude accumulated during my browsing, scan my Mac for malware twice: once with my AV and once, just in case, with Malwarebytes. That, plus using a couple of those addons people here often recommend, such as uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger.

      Maybe mine is a foolish happiness, but at least doing things as explained, for me it makes for a happier and simplified life, without any obvious consequential prejudice, so far. I don’t get ads, people are not suing me, my friends are still my friends; people that didn’t like me before, still don’t. My approach, doubtless, is not perfect. But nothing is perfect, so making my life more complicated is not going to be perfect either. And, perhaps, make my life not that much safer than it already is.

      (*) Unless one counts as ads those links marked “Ad” that show up as “hits” at the top of a search page. These, almost invariably totally unrelated to anything that might even remotely interest me, and never to what I am searching for, may go on for well over a page.

      I am usually looking for is articles on some science/engineering/classical music/recent news of the world/how to cook something, or keep it from spoiling/or historical fact.

      So if, for example, I am looking for something on the 1980’s Irak/Iran War and get pages and pages of irrelevant stuff from sites that all end in “.com”, I do this: I enter “site:org”, or “site:edu”, or “site:gov” in the search box, then hit “return.” One of those often works.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Now, about the idea, already mentioned here by Wavy, of using CRISPR, or some other gene-editing technique to make modified humans that are better adapted to live in other places than Earth in the Solar System, places that are invariably inimical to life as we know it, except, perhaps, for a few such as Mars, where some very hardy terrestrial microbial forms might survive if introduced by us:

      https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210412-the-genetic-mistakes-that-could-shape-our-species

      Excerpts:

      However, this [using CRISPR to edit human genes to remove undesirable parts of them] doesn’t always go to plan. The mix-up with the edited Chinese babies [in an illegal experiment, with the experimenter now in jail] occurred because of so-called “off-target effects”, where the Crispr system bound to a sequence that just so happened to look similar to the one it was supposed to be cutting. It’s a common problem – one recent study found that editing caused unintended changes more than half the time.

      …..

      Given the how little we know about the functions of certain genes in our current environment, Saha [an expert on bioengineering techniques, including CRISPR, at Winsconsin-Madison University in the USA] believes we must be extra cautious when making potentially millennia-straddling changes. “I’m surprised every day, but how many different functions genes have – I try to be as humble as possible in terms of assuming that I know everything that a particular gene variant mutation would do in a human cell,” he says. “These are genes that have been involved in our genome for thousands of years, if not longer – so for us to know how they will function for humans in varying contexts for the next hundred years really is a challenge “

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      in reply to: New age olympics – hacking contest #2357156
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      How could anyone still alive and not suffering from severe memory impairments forget about Kevin Mitnick? The Black Hat that was found out, went to jail, served his time, and after all that became a revered White Hat: a person that tracks crackers (improperly called hackers) around and helps the police get them what they have coming to them.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Well, now that Sky and I are in agreement over war movies, it is time for something else.

      So here is a big shout out for Brad Bird, the author of some of the funniest and most interesting animated movies since the turn of the century: “The Iron Giant”, “Ratatouille”, “The Incredibles.” (*)”Incredibles II” (streaming from Netflix) and, on the live-action side: “Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol” (with Tom Cruise hanging on and jumping around near the top of the highest building in the World, while OUTSIDE of it) and the underappreciated but, in my opinion, absolutely wonderful “Tomorrowland” (streaming from Amazon):

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brad_Bird

      (*) And the voice of Edna Mode.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Sky, I get you point, but what I am arguing here is this: Seito was deluded in believing that the war was going to end well for Japan, that what was going on was a temporary reversal of fortune (besides, news of what was happening were strictly censored by the military dictatorship) and his father, a high-raking Navy officer, was going to be back any time soon. So himself and his sister were going to be all reunited once more with their father, safe and sound. Had he known otherwise, he might not had taken off, enduring instead as much as they had to in the hands of their abusive and selfish relatives. Besides, he was a proud person, proud of being the son of an important officer in the Imperial Navy and, therefore, not someone to be long on his knees, taking whatever abuse was dished out to him.

      And if Seito, foolishly but, in my opinion, also understandingly, had not left their relatives taking with him his little sister that believed he could do no wrong, Takahata could not have shown the larger situation and the movie had been more limited in scope, showing mostly Seito as a sort of particularly unfortunate Cinderella and the war only through its consequences to the sheltered protagonists. Besides, he is told later, in no uncertain words, not to be such a fool and go back and live with his obnoxious family, if he wanted himself and his sister not to die. But he was convinced the bad situation they were in was going to end shortly and well, so the two of them could survive by fishing and scrounging, while being free to do as they pleased, away from their nasty relatives.

      Finally, the movie is based on a short semi-autobiographical story written by someone who had acted more or less like Seito but literally lived to tell the tale, and wrote the story as a sort of pained ‘mea culpa.’

      The special importance of this movie in film history, is that it showed, pretty much for the first time in a such a blindingly clear way, that animation movies can be much more than something for weekend TV, something nice for the kiddies to watch and that keeps them in one place, so they don’t get underfoot. That was the one thing that has impressed me most about it.

      Want to hear about one more great war movie? “Zulu.”

      It is based on something that actually happened during the Zulu Wars. A small detachment of British soldiers defending a mission station, a critical location from a military point of view, and its inhabitants, as well as themselves, at a place called Rorke’s Drift, after two days of indecisive fighting win a final pitched battle, causing extraordinary carnage by disciplined firing by ranks with their Martini-Enfield rifles against living wave after living wave of Zulu warriors charging against them, protected only with leather shields, and the confrontation is over. So everyone on the British side seems happy, relieved, as well as clearly exhausted, But the junior officer of the unit and his commanding officer are not taking part in the subdued celebrations. The CO asks the junior officer (played by a very young Michael Caine) how is he feeling. And the Caine character answers, after a pause: “Shame. I feel ashamed. Is this always this way?” And the CO tells him that this is so. And that is why Zulu is not just a very good movie (which it is) but also a great war movie. And, I think, consequently, also a controversial one.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zulu_(1964_film)

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Sky
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      And this other video of how the “sushi” sequence of “Isle of Dogs”, a single scene that took six months to get done, was made:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSKK–p2Nrs

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I wrote: “In this documentary, I think it is, Suzuki tells a little story about Miyazaki where the point is his intense attention to detail: Once he saw him spend hours sitting on a bench in a street where many people went by the whole day long. What was he doing? He was watching women. What in particular about them? How their clothes moved when they walked.

      Sky commented among other things about that: “I think that Miyazaki would get arrested if he did that observation today though!

      Well, Suzuki did not say that the was doing more than sitting on a bench and watching or that Miyazki mentioned that he was doing anything different. So there is no evidence that he was also touching, cracking wise, wolf-whistling, cat-calling, or doing anything else that could be actionable by the police. Looking, not touching, and doing it quietly and not in any obvious way, that is fine. If it were not, the human race would be doomed.

      By the way, has anyone here watched any of these animation movies by Wes Anderson (of  “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” fame, among many other live-action classics) “Fantastic Mr. Fox”, “Isle of Dogs?” In my opinion, every second of these two is worth watching. And fun too.

      Here is a video showing how “Isle of Dogs” was made (as is stop-action animation made, regardless of the specific technique used)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzibT_SjeoM

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      Sky
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Sky wrote about Isao Takahata’s  Ghibli animation movie “The Grave of the Fireflies”:

      ” … I felt strongly and still do that it would have been much better if the consequences that happen to the main characters came about solely because of their helplessness rather than partially because of the stubbornness and immaturity of the the young man. That’s what disappointed me about the film.

      Well, let me be the devil’s advocate here for a moment and argue his case thus:

      “Downfall” is generally considered to be also a great war movie. It is about what (more or less) happened at the Berlin Führerbunker when the end of the Third Reich was rolling in from the East, brought along by General Zhukov and his troops, including many traveling inside nice and even shiny, if noisy, Russian tanks, along with the usual frequent aerial bombardments, regular long-range cannon shellings and the not all that impossible irruption of General Montgomery and his troops from the West at any time. Now, it would be a stretch to say that the people piled up inside the bunker the movie is about, including the Führer himself, his dogs, the Goebbels and their many children, his girlfriend — except for the naïve young woman that was his brand-new personal secretary and the one who, in real life, was the actual witness of much of what was shown in the movie — that practically all of those there (but not the people at the very top already mentioned) who were trying very hard to have a good time regardless of the bad weather outside, so to speak, were exactly very nice, smart and mature or at least endearing people. And things did not go well for them. By the end of the movie, in fact, things were going horrendously bad for almost the whole lot of them, except those that, later on, ended up hanging by the neck after the Nuremberg trials, or escaped such fate in different ways (the young secretary managed to get away when the bunker was finally abandoned, walked through a crowd of Soviet soldiers without being stopped, and went on to live to a ripe old age).

      But it is a great war movie, nevertheless, and I was left quite satisfied after watching it once, which was quite enough for me.

      Another thing about this movie, is that people have been having fun for years and years subtitling in English (those samples I have seen, at least) the impassionate speeches Hitler was making to the very few people who had to hang around to listen to him anymore. Those subtitles are not really very faithful translations. But they are popular all the same. As is Quentin Tarantino’s movie about the decapitation of the 3rd Reich by Movie Theatre Performance. Or more precisely, Quentin’s alternate-history version of the end of all that.

      Now, what could be even more fun that watching those scenes so subtitled? Well, I think that would be watching  LAIKA Studio’s “Missing Link” (that I have already recommended here) or else any of the Wallace and Gromit movies, be it one of the shorter, or one of the longer ones.

      More recommendations of movies like these (not war ones, please) are enthusiastically welcome.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: Initial Apple M1 SoC Support Aims For Linux 5.13 Kernel #2356422
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Alex, Maybe this has come up already somewhere else, but if so I’ve must missed it:

      This “Linux for M1 Macs” will have to be installed in dual-boot with macOS, right? Isn’t there some barrier that Apple may have built against running non-Apple operating systems in Macs?

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      in reply to: How much RAM does your computer have? #2356378
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      This site is not exclusively about Windows, but other OS and the machines that run them are also covered, and in this case is the hardware what is under consideration.

      So actual and potential Mac users among us might be interested to know that, at least based on my not extremely demanding use,  8GB in Macs is also a good size and the minimum they come with, unless one is doing something that needs more than that and does not want to have a lot of virtual memory paging back and forth between RAM and disk. New Laptops can have up to 16 GB of RAM, while Mac Pro desktop computers can have up to 1.5 TB of RAM:

      https://www.theverge.com/2020/11/10/21559200/apple-m1-macbook-pro-mac-mini-16gb-ram-memory-limit

      Mac Pro (2019) has 12 DIMM (memory) slots that support up to 1.5TB of 2933MHz memory when all 12 slots are full using DDR4 ECC DIMMs:

      https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210103

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      One more thing about the animation film “The Grave of the Fireflies” and why it is in “the greatest war movies” category:

      Those are not the movies that do glorify war, or show courageous deeds being performed by heroic soldiers and, often, also by civilians, with plenty of action, interesting lethal weaponry and plenty of Bang! Crash! Boom!

      Great war movies are those so mercilessly realistic that put people off the very idea of war. And Takahata’s masterpiece, therefore, fully qualifies to be one of those.

      I would not recommend it for being watched by anyone younger than 12. Which is about the right age to start learning not to believe nor follow those that are always pushing for another one — quite often for one where they are not likely to find themselves in harm’s way if they succeed and get their wish.

      As a point of perhaps some interest: I am not a pacifist, because I believe that defending one’s nation by force of arms against a blatant attack is not inherently dishonorable. But one always must be very careful about what being under such an ‘attack’ means in any given case. And an important question to ask oneself is: “if this comes to pass, am I likely to be fighting in it?” If the answer is ‘not likely’, I, at least, would not be pushing hard for it to get started.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      in reply to: New age olympics – hacking contest #2356321
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Doriel: Interesting and profitable competition for those who are good at breaking into other people’s computers and can team up with their equally apt friends (because they have friends).

      According to the article in BleepingComputer:

      Between April 6 and April 8, Pwn2Own contestants will be able to earn over $1,500,000 in cash and prizes, including a Tesla Model 3.

      Team Fluoroacetate was the first to win a Tesla Model 3.

      They also earned $375,000 at Pwn2Own 2019 after demoing exploits for Apple Safari, Oracle VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

      Listen, AskWoody people: What are you waiting for? Get cracking, I say!

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Charlie: “A new experiment has broken the known rules of physics, hinting at a mysterious, unknown force that has shaped our universe.”

      Well, those rules have been known for quite a long time to be not the whole story. The problem here is not just that, but that many attempts to figure out what is wrong and, or missing have turned nothing interesting so far. Mostly they have disproven some of the proposed ways of extending the current foundations of physics to build a better set of theories that explain more of what is observed, including those funny spinning muons (which it turns out they had already been noticed to do that twenty years ago, but with less precise measurements, so people saw it and said: “Yes, funny that. Maybe someone (else) should look into it.”

      According to these reliable sources, the current situation is as follows:

      Business Insider article:

      Theorists would find it [the evidence for maybe a new fundamental force from the Fermilab experiment] appealing to solve more than one problem at once,” Teubner said.

      One hypothesis that could apply to both muons and dark matter, he added, is that muons and all other particles have almost identical partner particles that weakly interact with them. This concept is known as supersymmetry.”

      But Fermilab’s existing technologies aren’t sensitive enough to test that idea. Plus, Teubner added, it’s could be the case that the mysterious influence on muons isn’t linked to dark matter at all — which would mean the rules of physics are inadequate in more ways than one.

      Wkipedia:

      There is no experimental evidence that supersymmetry is correct, or whether or not other extensions to current models might be more accurate. It is only since around 2010 that particle accelerators specifically designed to study physics beyond the Standard Model have become operational (i.e. the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and it is not known where exactly to look, nor the energies required for a successful search.

      The main reasons for supersymmetry being supported by some physicists is that the current theories are known to be incomplete and their limitations are well established, and supersymmetry could be an attractive solution to some of the major concerns.

      Angel (vampire&nicest boyfriend of Buffy, the VS, who got a series of its own and lovely and self-infatuated Cordelia along with it):

      Supersymmetry can be used by villains to kill people:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersymmetry_(Angel)

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Sky: My own appreciation of “Only Yesterday”is rather muted. I think that women would get more out of it, because it may require a different kind of basic experiences and sensibility from mine. I have never been haunted by memories of my school days. I am one with Joss Whedon in this, whose guiding idea in making “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was that “High School is Hell”, so he put Buffy Summers in a school built right above one of the mouths of Hell.

      Another of Takahata’s movies I like is “My Neighbors the Yamadas.” Interesting how the day to day lives of common Japanese people have a universal resonance: the part where they go shopping with the children and forget one in a department  store. Or when they argue about which fruit is the Queen of Fruits (everyone except one of the children agrees it is the banana.) Or when the father confronts a group of bulling bikers that had decided to occupy part of a street near his house and are making a big racket there. He is really scared, tries to be extra nice asking them to keep quiet, does not succeed, so what then?

      As to memories of the countryside, well, I spent some long summer vacations in the station of an aunt of mine where, with my cousins and some of the young station hands, we would ride horses through prairie and bush, help drive cattle and sheep to various places and then go for swims, or to fish, in the creeks and rivers around there. I liked to play a sort of Incas flute called a quena (kenah), and one late evening I had for audience some ten cows forming a semicircle, facing me at a respectful distance. But I am basically a city person.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      There is a documentary (*) about Ghibli, how they did  things there and in particular about the working methods, habits and personalities of the three leaders: Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata (the lead artists and founders of the studio) and Toshio Suzuki (the money man) called “Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.” It was made in 2013, towards the end of the days of Ghibli when all the three were still together, working simultaneously on “The Wind Rises” and “Princess Kaguya.” Takahata died a few years later and Miyazaki was soon to enter his longest retirement so far — now is back working on yet another movie, provisionally titled “How do You Live?”

      In this documentary, I think it is, Suzuki tells a little story about Miyazaki where the point is his intense attention to detail: Once he saw him spend hours sitting on a bench in a street where many people went by the whole day long. What was he doing? He was watching women. What in particular about them? How their clothes moved when they walked.

      “The Grave of the Fireflies” was based on a short story written by someone that had a somewhat similar experience, at the end of the war, as the boy Seito in the movie and also had a sister die of starvation. It is considered to be one of the greatest war movies ever made. I would put it along “The Grand Illusion”, “Rome Open City”, “Das Boot”, “Downfall” and “All Quiet in the Western Front.” The ending, when Seito imagines his dead little sister playing along the banks of a pond, is one of the most emotionally wrenching scenes I have ever watched.

      That was the first of Takahata’s full-feature movies. His last, when he was already eighty years old, was “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”, a highly poetic and at times very dramatic retelling of an old Japanese  fairy tale. It is also one of my favorite movies.

      Miyazaki and Takahata are among the  great Japanese film makers, alongside the likes of Kurosawa and Ozu.

      Also, my sincerest apologies to John Denver.

      (*) Available for streaming in HBO.

      Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

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