Daily Happiness

Monday, September 25th, 2017 11:44 pm
torachan: ewan mcgregor pulling his glasses down to look over the top (ewan glasses)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I have to go in to jury duty again tomorrow. They didn't even do the juror selection process today, just picking people who might be selected, telling us about the case, and then telling us to come back tomorrow. D: But! Traffic wasn't bad getting down there or back, and I had a nice lunch while I was there (no thanks to the dire cafeteria in the courthouse, but there was a nice little restaurant in a neighboring building), and I read a lot. The book I'm reading went from 17% complete to 70%!

2. We were watchig youtube videos tonight and someone mentioned milkshakes, and I thought man, that sounds really good! And I actually had some cash, so when we took our walk tonight, we stopped in the former Foster Freeze around the corner and got shakes. :D

3. We use reusable shopping bags most of the time and so don't really have paper bags around much, so Jasper has never actually played in one until the other day, but he really loves it. (The girls seem happy to have a bag to play with, too, so I guess I'll be keeping one out all the time along with their assortment of cardboard boxes.)

#16: N.K. Jemisin, The Stone Sky (Broken Earth #3)

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 12:27 am
kareila: hidden between stacks of books (books)
[personal profile] kareila posting in [community profile] kareila_books
I was pleasantly surprised that the conclusion of this trilogy included the origin story of the central conflict - I wasn't expecting that, since it happened before the world's recorded history. The final confrontation felt like it was over too quickly, after journeys that felt too long and pointless. But that said, I was satisfied with the ending. Overall, the scope and themes reminded me of Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, if it had also been infused with rage against an unjust society.

Scanlations: MMK Girl

Monday, September 25th, 2017 09:13 pm
torachan: a drawing of a girl holding up buddhist beads as if in prayer (tera girl)
[personal profile] torachan
I know this month has been kind of slow with releases, but work is really kicking my butt. ;_; I've got at least one more after this for sure, but hopefully next month will be better!

Anyway, today's release is a one-shot by Mizusawa Megumi. It was included in volume three of Tera Girl, but is a total stand-alone and can be read without having read Tera Girl.



Title: MMK Girl
Original Title: MMKガール (MMK Girl)
Author: Mizusawa Megumi
Publisher: Ribon Mascot Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Status in Japan: One-shot
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Complete
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Rikako has boys falling over her left and right, but the only boy she has eyes for is so devoted to his girlfriend he won't even call Rika by her given name. Is there anything she can do to win his heart?



MMK Girl

Horace Dediu’s Estimate for Apple Watch Sales to Date

Monday, September 25th, 2017 11:37 pm
[syndicated profile] daringfireball_feed

Posted by John Gruber

Horace Dediu:

My estimate has been that Apple sold about 15 million Watches in the last 12 months at an average price of about $330. This puts the Apple Watch revenue run rate at $4.9 billion, indeed above Rolex.

They may be slightly high but the news makes me feel quite comfortable in my methodology. Note also that within the last quarter Apple said sales for the Watch increased by 50%. This is also reflected in my estimate of 3 million in Q2 vs. ~2 million for 2016 Q2.

Overall, about 33 million Apple Watch units have been sold since launch and they generated about $12 billion in sales. Coupled with a 95% customer satisfaction score, altogether, this has been a great success story. But only 2.5 years in, it’s still act one.

(no subject)

Monday, September 25th, 2017 11:22 pm
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
So, earlier today, the neighborhood cat paid a visit to my apartment, meowing up a storm, purring, demanding pettings, and scent-marking everything in sight. I suspect I may give in and contribute to feeding it, if and when I can figure out where its habitual feeding place is. (I'm doomed, right?)

[in the highway, in the hedges]

Monday, September 25th, 2017 03:37 pm
watersword: "Shakespeare invaded Poland, thus perpetuating World Ware II." -Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. (Stock: Shakespeare invaded Poland.)
[personal profile] watersword
[insert groveling for not being interesting for like a month]

The world is on fire; Endellion was good-but-not-great; autumn in New York is almost as good as spring in New York; Chuck Schumer and his staff ignore their phones 100% of the time (Kirsten Gillibrand's staff is at least available sometimes, and my representative's staff ALWAYS talks to me); I made apple hand pies this weekend; the seminar I am taking is not as interesting as I was hoping but I will soldier on; the fact that no one has cut together the Elizabeth-Swann-relevant scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is an abomination; my office moved across campus and while there are some serious downsides, the fact that I no longer work in a dungeon is a net positive.

I cannot believe it is already almost Yom Kippur.

Winclone: Backup your Boot Camp partition [Sponsor]

Monday, September 25th, 2017 05:40 pm
[syndicated profile] loopinsight_feed

Posted by Jim Dalrymple

Thanks to Twocanoes Software for sponsoring The Loop this week. If you are upgrading to High Sierra and have a Boot Camp partition, check out Winclone 6. Winclone 6 is the ideal Mac App for backing up your Boot Camp partition. You spent a ton of time getting your Windows setup just right, and Winclone makes sure that you can always get back to that same setup. Winclone creates a exact clone of your Boot Camp partition, including all Windows system files, applications, and data. If you have a failed update, bad drive, or ransomware attack in Windows, you just restore your Winclone backup and you are back up and running.

Get 50% off Winclone 6 with code WCLOOPHS through Sept 30th.

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[syndicated profile] daringfireball_feed

Posted by John Gruber

Karissa Bell, writing for Mashable:

After more than two years of testing, Jacquard, the company’s project to embed technology into clothes, is ready to launch. The Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google (yes, that’s actually what it’s called), is now on sale in select stores.

And while it’s easy to roll your eyes at the idea of a $350 jacket that comes with its own app, Jacquard is more than a gimmick. After a few days of wearing Levi’s Jacquard jacket, I’m more convinced than ever that the future of wearable tech lies not in tiny screens on our wrists, but in the stuff we’re already wearing. […]

Which gets at one of the other appeals of reinventing wearables as actual clothes: convenience. One of my biggest issues with smartwatches is that glancing at a tiny screen on your wrist isn’t actually that much better that just pulling out your phone.

Limited though Jacquard’s abilities currently are, at least I don’t need to look at a screen to take advantage of them.

I disagree completely. First, this jacket isn’t really a wearable piece of technology. There are touch sensors on the sleeve cuff, yes, but most of the technology is in a flexible gadget that they’re calling a “tag”, which is about the size of an Apple TV remote and which you holster in the underside of the sleeve. It’s not a smart jacket so much as a jacket designed with a custom sleeve to hold the smart device. But even the device itself isn’t all that smart. It’s not a fitness tracker. I’m hard pressed to come up with a more generous description of it than “a Bluetooth remote control”.

Bell’s “biggest issues with smartwatches” is a link to a piece Bell wrote earlier this year, under the headline “It’s Time to Stop Pretending Smartwatches Are Useful in Any Way”. One can certainly argue that smartwatches were overhyped, but it’s preposterous to argue they’re not useful at all. Apple Watch in particular is terrific for fitness tracking and for showing notifications — neither of which things this jacket can do.

The only features of this jacket that Bell (or Google, in their own post announcing its release) cites are about audio control. Here’s Google’s own list of features:

  • Play or pause your music, skip to the next track, or ask what song is playing.

  • Get your next direction, ETA, or the current time.

  • Receive updates on incoming call or texts with a subtle LED light and a vibration on your sleeve, and have the text message read to you.

Unless I’m missing something, if you don’t have headphones in and your phone with you, this jacket does nothing other than keep you warm. It’s a glorified remote control for audio playback and talking to Google Assistant. It’s no smarter than the little clicker on the earbuds that come with every phone.

It’s great not to have to look at a display to use a device. That’s why Apple Watch has haptic feedback. But you know what else is great? Being able to look at a display when you want to. You can wear a watch every day, in all weather conditions. And you keep it on all day. A jacket is something you wear in specific weather conditions and generally take off once you get inside. I don’t see how this is better than a smartwatch in any way.

And this jacket looks even worse compared to AirPods. You need to have headphones in for any of the jacket’s features, so why not just buy smart headphones instead? They work every day, with every outfit you wear (including while you work out).

There is a future for wearable devices that don’t have displays. AirPods are part of that future; a jacket with a Bluetooth remote in the sleeve, not so much.

[syndicated profile] loopinsight_feed

Posted by Shawn King

I’m of two minds about this. The information junkie in me loves the idea but, as far as a baseball purist as I may or may not be, I’d like to just sit and watch the game. Not to mention how distracting this would be for fans around you.

∞ Read this on The Loop

[syndicated profile] daringfireball_feed

Posted by John Gruber

Matthew Panzarino, reporting for TechCrunch:

Apple is switching the default provider of its web searches from Siri, Search inside iOS (formerly called Spotlight) and Spotlight on the Mac. So, for instance, if Siri falls back to a web search on iOS when you ask it a question, you’re now going to get Google results instead of Bing.

Consistency is Apple’s main motivation given for switching the results from Microsoft’s Bing to Google in these cases. Safari on Mac and iOS already currently use Google search as the default provider, thanks to a deal worth billions to Apple (and Google) over the last decade. This change will now mirror those results when Siri, the iOS Search bar or Spotlight is used.

The search results include regular ‘web links’ as well as video results. Web image results from Siri, swiping down and searching within iOS and Spotlight will still come from Bing, for now. Bing has had more than solid image results for some time now so that makes some sense. If you use Siri to search your own photos, it will, of course, use your own library instead. Interestingly, video results will come directly from YouTube.

Apple is claiming they’re making this change for the sake of consistency. It has seemed a little odd that Safari’s default search engine (for queries typed in the location field) has always been Google, but Siri’s web searches have always been Bing. But I wonder how much of this was dictated by user experience and how much was determined by the business deal, which analyst A.M. Sacconaghi Jr. estimates has Google paying Apple $3 billion this year alone.

Also seems strange that Bing holds onto image search, and that video search will go to YouTube specifically, not Google video search. If I’m reading this right, when you ask Siri to search for video you won’t see any results that aren’t from YouTube.

It's been far too long

Monday, September 25th, 2017 04:16 pm
sally_maria: (Ael)
[personal profile] sally_maria
And I really want to post about Oxonmoot, but in the first place two more places to find good icons.

As a teenager in the mid-80s, I'd grown up watching the original Star Trek on television, but what made me really fall in love with the characters were the series of original novels published just at the point when I had money from my paper round to buy them. :-) Authors such as Diane Duane created new adventures and new characters to help fill in the universe.

[personal profile] sheliak has made a lovely set of icons based on the covers of these books- if you have fond memories of them too, check them out.

And if you'd rather have attractive pictures then it's definitely looking at [community profile] pretty_pixels - the latest set is a lovely selection of autumn icons.

Culture Consumed Monday

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 01:04 am
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
A fortnight after the last 'weekly' update.

Books

Read JY Yang's ~5K word story Auspicium Melioris Aevi, which they wrote about in this blog post. It's about clones and history repeating/not-repeating and the goals of a university education under capitalism and, most of all, about Singapore. Judging from the author's post about their story, clearly it was received best by people who knew Singapore well, which I don't, but I liked it a lot anyway and I think if you liked Cyteen you might well like this too. PS: I do NOT ship Clone Lee Kuan Yew and Clone Vladimir Putin, I DON'T, I REFUSE, you CAN'T MAKE ME. /o\

Read Heather Rose Jones' The Mystic Marriage, the sequel to Daughter of Mysteries. It's even less of a conventional romance genre novel than its predecessor. Where Daughter of Mysteries was in alternating third person between Margerit and Barbara, The Mystic Marriage shuttles between Antuniet and Jeanne's points of view and also Barbara's and Margerit's. Which is awesome if you prefer your romance couples to keep developing after the end of 'their' novel and not just show up briefly for a statically happy cameo in the next book to help the new couple, but a little confusing if you were expecting more of the couple you thought would be the main characters in the new novel. Not that Margerit and Barbara aren't there to help the new couple, but their stories continue too. I like this.

I also like how difficult and prickly Antuniet is, and Barbara's own flaws emerging a bit stronger than they did in the previous book (n.b. she's still awesome.) And I liked the competence porn -- Margerit's academic skills (including collegiality), Barbara's combination of court intrigue, law, and security, Antuniet's alchemy and research, and Jeanne's social engineering. That last in particular -- I don't think it's that common for books to show (rather than tell) that particular skill, not in detail. The actual work part of it, maintaining connections and introducing people and keeping track of who needs what and how that fits in with who else. Showing the role it has in Jeanne's life and how good she is at it gave a lot more force to Jeanne and Antuniet's extrovert/introvert issues, which also unusually, involved the introvert inadvertently not meeting the extrovert's needs. (The other way around gets a lot more attention in articles and books, to the point where it's become kind of a cliche.)

Read Rebecca Fraimow's fantasy novella Suradanna and the Sea, which is... bittersweet doesn't seem like the right word. Poignant, maybe. A very nice combination of sweet, charming, and ouch. With the emphasis on the sweet. Mostly. If you like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra you might like this. I kind of wish I'd read it earlier (my own damn fault -- it came out in December last year) so I could have requested it for Yuletide or Trick or Treat.

Fandom

Read [archiveofourown.org profile] sadlikeknives's Stones Could Fly, which was a Yuletide fic three years ago, for 'Dixon's Girl' from Dessa's A Badly Broken Code, and is the spy/secret agent AU for that song I had no idea I needed, and the codenames are all references to the other songs by Dessa.

Rereading [archiveofourown.org profile] bessemerprocess's The 28th Amendment, a pundit and journalist RPF AU set after the 2008 US federal election which reads very, very differently in 2017. :(

TV and Movies

In honour of the Ghibli festival, went to see Kiki's Delivery Service in the cinema (in Japanese with English subtitles), which was a good way to see it for the first time (yeah, I know, absolute latest as usual.) I loved the art and story, but could have done with a lot fewer panty shots -- zero sounds about right. Also I'd have liked to hear Jiji talk one more time at the end, just to be certain Kiki could hear him again, as that was worrying me. I didn't know the story, so the bit about magic and artist's block was unexpected and hit me really hard.

Games

Played some Pokemon Go early on in the fortnight. Beat a gym through judicious use of revives. So many revives.

Was sufficiently stressed that I reinstalled Stardew Valley on my computer. It's just turned winter in year 1, and my character is incredibly sick of cranberries.

Podcasts

Tried a bunch of fiction podcasts: Juno Steel, Death at a Low Price, Whatever Happened to Jonathan Green. I liked Juno Steel okay, but made the mistake of listening to one of the non-Juno standalone Penumbra Podcast episodes, and it fucked me up pretty badly. This is why I don't listen to a lot of horror. I found Death at a Low Price a bit rambling for my taste and also didn't like the sound effects. I liked Whatever Happened to Jonathan Green quite a lot (but there are only two episodes out and it's on hiatus)

Perfume

Testing more of the BPAL imps from Kab. cut )

Garden

Got a couple of small, unexpected capiscums from the plant that's still trucking on. I haven't really been doing anything with the garden, but there it is anyway.

Other

Painted my fingernails in Pride stripes, so anyone who couldn't already tell just by looking at me what my position on Australian marriage equality is CAN NOW.

Activism

Voted in the Non-Binding Plebiscite On Whether People Like Me Should Have Civil Rights. I voted yes, which only shows that my queerness and transness mean I'm unable to be properly objective on these issues. (That's sarcasm.) Did other activist-ish stuff on this issue (a lot, actually -- it kind of ate all the time I'd been planning to spend going to Fringe) and also went to my local branch meeting of my political party of choice.

Which just goes to show what a deleterious effect 2017 is having on my behaviour, common sense, and happiness. I dont want to go to branch meetings. I want to make vegetable/pasta stews, and eat them while reading lesbian Ruritanian romance and/or playing farming sims with retro graphics. I want to mess about rearranging deck chairs on my computer's window manager settings and not even think of politics or natural disasters or misery. But 2017 does not care what I or anyone else wants.

Insight into the Apple Watch Series 3 signal meter

Monday, September 25th, 2017 02:09 pm
[syndicated profile] loopinsight_feed

Posted by Dave Mark

Jeff Butts, MacObserver, sharing info he got from Andrew Woodward, who has his new Apple Watch in hand:

When Mr. Woodward activated his Apple Watch Series 3 LTE and received a text message confirmation, he thought he’d see the green dots on the Watch face. He didn’t, so began the technical support process. After speaking to both his cellular provider and Apple, the thought was that the eSIM was still waiting to be provisioned.

It wasn’t, but Mr. Woodward didn’t realize it until later on in the day. He walked away from his iPhone, beyond Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range. Suddenly the green dots appeared.

Those green dots are the sign that your Apple Watch is flying solo, using its data plan and, likely, using more battery to support the LTE radio.

As you’d expect, the Apple Watch uses the iPhone’s radio whenever possible, saving battery life.

The linked article also walks through the Apple Watch Control Panel interface (swipe up from the bottom of the Apple Watch face), where the “radio tower” icon is white if your Apple Watch is in range of an LTE signal, and green if it’s actually connected and using that connection.

Good stuff.

∞ Read this on The Loop

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Posted by Dave Mark

John Paczkowski, Managing Editor, BuzzFeed:

This year the company is particularly proud of these, which boast a marquee “Portrait Lighting” feature that brings a range of professional-looking effects to the already great photos the dual camera system on the iPhone 7 Plus is capable of taking.

This year’s leap, however, feels particularly meaningful.

And:

The camera’s effects don’t rely on filters. They’re the result of Apple’s new dual camera system working in concert with machine learning to sense a scene, map it for depth, and then change lighting contours over the subject. It’s all done in real time, and you can even preview the results thanks to the company’s enormously powerful new A11 Bionic chip. The result, when applied to Apple scale, has the power to be transformative for modern photography, with millions of amateur shots suddenly professionalized. In many ways it’s the fullest realization of the democratization of high-quality imagery that the company has been working toward since the iPhone 4.

i couldn’t agree more. Apple is changing the conversation. It’s no longer a simple focus on the reduction of low-light image graininess, megapixel count, or CCD capacitor thresholds. Apple is creating tools that help people take amazing pictures.

Love this review.

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Mastering the iOS 11 app-stacking gesture

Monday, September 25th, 2017 01:39 pm
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Posted by Dave Mark

From a larger article on customizing your iOS home screen, Rene Ritchie has a section on rearranging apps on a page. Of all the gestures added to iOS over the years, I find this one (stacking app icons) the most difficult to master. Might be my big oafish fingers, or a subtlety on the tap mechanism itself, but I’ve simply found this mechanism frustrating.

But.

Reading the steps Rene lays out in his post, watching the GIF, and practicing a bit, I finally have it. I think the issue for me was a quick staccato tap to add an icon. Had to hit it just right.

No matter, if you’ve never tried the app stacking thing, give Rene’s article a read.

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