abounding with verbosity

Tag Archives: google

Nevermind What I Said About Buying a Domain

In this post. Well, mostly nevermind. Mostly. As the way things are going now, you really can get a domain taken away from you, if you are known to have Very Bad Ideas™ and incite violence. Most of you that read this won’t need to worry about that since my readership aren’t of that stock (that I know of), but folks who have the ear of powerful people can be very touchy these days, and it’s getting to be that expressing the Very Bad Ideas™ will be synonymous with inciting violence. You’re far less likely to be deplatformed if you incite violence but think Very Approved Ideas™. Humans are excellent at rationalizing a special plead deal with the unwavering gods of logic when it comes to the behavior of their in-group.

Some quick ideas. At the very least, if you’re neck-deep in Google’s services, schedule backups every now and then with Google Takeout, and store the archives locally, or on Dropbox or your hosting (not on Google Drive, obviously). Register a non-Google email address, like at Protonmail, and maybe one that doesn’t identify you personally. Use Firefox or a Gecko-based browser, or Tor, for browsing. Use Startpage or DuckDuckGo for searches. Buy another domain and, like your email address, keep it non-identifiable back to you.

Darksky.net Is My Jam

The past few months saw the software engineer side of me agonize over weather.com’s mortally offensive UX. Ads everywhere, demonic load times, and the weather you’re looking for is somewhere. Please, stop.

Farting around Google lead me to forecast.io, which recently became darksky.net. Loads quick, info that 80-90% of people are looking for is right at the top, no overstimulating visual garbage. And they never bug you to download their app. My only minor qualm is the weather map, just below the current conditions. Unless you’re using a browser’s scrollbar, when you scroll down the page you will automatically start sliding the map instead of continuing down the page. Most people don’t want to slide around the map that much, or at all. I would keep the map visible but overlay a subtle gray along with a message to indicate that it’s disabled. The user would have to tap it to enable sliding.

Enjoy my mobile screenshot:

I Don’t Know What This Is

I can hear my heartbeat in my left ear. A heart can go at any time, and you’re gone. If you’re lucky, you expired on the sofa and your corpse can binge watch the next eight seasons of the Gilmore Girls Netflix revival. Spoiler: Rory will have a few dozen more babies out of wedlock and live off the (coerced) kindness of (taxpaying) strangers. But she’s still st Continue reading

Someone Give Me a Good Phrase For This

When a prequel is made with ultra-modern filmmaking technology—CGI and the like—the visual effects are “held back” when illustrating the in-universe technology to match its look and feel. This only seems to affect prequels, not sequels or reboots, since prequels necessarily take place in the in-universe’s past.

I tried Googling some things, but I’m coming up short. There may already be a term for this but the algorithm gods have it in for me.

One of the biggest example of this phenomenon (dilemma?) is the ending of Revenge of the Sith (unable to embed it). There’s three scenes in the closing montage that have sets shown in a A New Hope, which was filmed nearly 30 years prior: the all-white interior of the Tantive IV with Bail Organa and the droids (from 0:00 to 0:14), the interior of the Venator-class Destroyer with Vader and Palpatine (1:04 to 1:37), and, to a lesser extent, the moisture farm on Tatooine with Obi-Wan passing off baby Luke to Owen and Beru (2:25 to 3:21, the very end of which is one of the greatest visuals in the prequels, in my opinion).


Someone at the the excellent resource EffectiveUI wonders if two unrelated things are related to each other:

Does being out in tech matter? This is a question I asked myself last week when I was preparing to be on a panel at the Google offices in Boulder, Colorado to speak to LGBTQ youth about careers in the tech industry and being out at work. Coming out is a continuous process rather than a one-time event, but I’ve grown accustomed to the ease with which I can do it now. In fact, when I started interviewing for positions a few years ago I made a point of coming out during the job interview process. I had decided I’d rather expose any discomfort from the start and use it as a tool to gauge company culture. At EffectiveUI, I have the luxury of not having to think about the privilege of being a queer woman in tech.

Someone in tech can prefer any kind of sandwich they like to, and to any degree. Potential team members who don’t care for ham sandwiches will pre-select themselves out of the dev team that really really wants them to prefer ham sandwiches over others. Candidates will simply seek another team that likes steak and cheese with just as much intensity, or a team that doesn’t bother with the preference at all and just focuses on making widgets as proposed.

It really works itself out, but persistence will breed exodus, or worse yet, pushback. Don’t be surprised when it comes.

Was the jQuery Blog Hacked?

Below are some screens from a post on the jQuery blog, that I received in my RSS reader. Looks like they were hacked, but the post has been taken down. Interesting.

EDIT: Google search results for “jquery hacked” lists the hacked blog post as the fifth search result (yours truly comes in as the ninth result). Weird how that got listed so high, but Google’s results logarithm is as mysterious to me as their hiring process. If only there were a website where I could “search” for information like that…



The Quickest Way to Access Basic Computer Information in Windows 10

Another public service announcement type of post.

1. Press the Windows + E keys to launch File Explorer:


2. Click inside the locator bar, type or copy/paste the following path, then press enter:
Control Panel\System and Security\System


3. The System info section inside the Control Panel will be shown:


Of course, this is only the quickest (maybe) if you’re on this page and can copy/paste that path directly.

It took me 3 or 4 clicks on Google search results to find this, and the actual Microsoft help pages were not helpful. I had to schlep through a Youtube video to find this out.

Dancing Mechas

While doing research for Pale Blue Scratch, on ballet and dancing in general, I came upon this video while following rabbit trails on Google. It’s the intro for a series I had watched a few years ago on Netflix, before one of their anime purges. I have no reason for posting it, other than I remembered how realistic the machine (called a “rideback”) looked and “felt”—probably just as realistic as the mech from District 9 (extremely nsfw). Japanese art direction in anime tends to be ridiculously detailed, so it makes sense that creators would want to match real-world physics for further effect.

Distortion, Replacement, and Identification

Perceived object X can be distorted to n degree, such that recognition is impossible. Or X can be entirely replaced with another object Y, that mimics the n degree, but also the way it’s distorted m. The effect is the same, though a bit of knowledge can be gleaned from the former case. If distortion is present, an actor could be aware of the deception. In an entire replacement of X, the actor may be oblivious; it’s just another strange thing passing through perception.

This distinction implies another actor—the deceiver—to be involved. Normal folks wouldn’t be suspect of foul play unless they know someone is behind it all, unless abstractly through personified circumstance: i.e., “The fog really had it in for me that day. I almost got in the wrong car!”

As always, there’s plenty of wiggle room. See the Eubulides’ Elektra Paradox (there’s virtually no better Google search result for it).

Why Borrowers Pay Mortgage Insurance

The first search result for “why do borrowers pay pmi” on DuckDuckGo (fifth on Google) is this helpful page, which explains in as basic English as possible, why borrowers pay personal mortgage insurance and not the lender.

The reason I searched for this is because 1) I have a mortgage, 2) I pay for PMI, and 3) I wondered why I was paying for something that benefits someone else. It is basically to skirt the results of laws that were passed to fix a previous law to fix a previous law, an so forth. It’s shocking—utterly shocking—to me that a nonsensical situation is the end result of a paper trail of bureaucratic decrees.

It is all unnecessary.

If lenders paid for mortgage insurance, they would decide when to terminate it, based on whether or not they felt the insurance was still needed. Some lenders would probably reward borrowers after terminating the insurance. Borrowers could choose between two-tier rate plans and single-rate plans. The rules would be set in the market rather than by government.

It’s all unnecessary, yes, and vastly more confusing than if lenders and borrowers were only involved in the transaction, and not a third party that has no vested interest.