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mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Signal boost: jesse_the_k | Markdown Simplifies Formatting Your DW Posts.

Markdown is a popular plain-text markup language that strongly resembles the conventions of email. In fact, posting by email has used markdown for a long time; you can now use it for posting by using the HTML editor and starting your post with !markdown. It also works if you're using a client that takes raw HTML, such as charm or MakeStuff. See Jesse's post for the cheat-sheet, or go to the official spec, at https://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/syntax. Note that most GitHub extensions, e.g. code fencing with triple backticks, are not supported. At least, not yet. There is one DW-specific extension: @username expands to a standard user link, e.g. [personal profile] mdlbear.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Winterfaire 2018 is open at The Wordsmith's Forge. Browse! Shop! Buy!

I may set up a booth later; I have to look around the pavilion and see whether I have any stock left.

NaBloPoMo stats:
  15537 words in 29 posts this month (average 535/post)
     56 words in 1 post today
      2 days with no posts

mdlbear: (crowdfunding)

The theme of today's crowdfunding Creative Jam is Empowerment. Following up on yesterday's post, and the role of the Watt Balance (now called the Kibble balance, in honor of its inventor) in replacing the standard kilogram by defining the Planck constant as precisely 6.62607015×10−34 joule-seconds, I came up with:

A watt balance weighs The old standard kilogram. Planck's Constant defined. A lump of metal Is finally replaced by Something eternal.

There's something epic -- or at least haiku-worthy -- in the story of replacing an imperfect artifact with a precise definition, a century and a quarter after it was made.

Everyone is of course encouraged to join in the Creative Jam.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

You really ought to go over to ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl. This month's theme is family of choice, which is a subject I have a certain interest in.

NaBloPoMo stats:
   3960 words in 7 posts this month (average 565/post)
     66 words in 1 post today

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is Open!. Go feed the fish! This is a bonus fishbowl; the theme is The Big One.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Go Feed the Fish at ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl! (my prompt is here)

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I was up early this morning (never did get all the way back to sleep after the 4am power outage) casting about for something to write about for this week's S4S. Maybe I need to open my songbook at random? Throw darts at my CD collection? Then I saw "Playing Together" by dialecticdreamer in my reading list. Music! And part of a series tagged with tammy lin. Iiiiiiinteresting. I love a good rabbit hole.

So I clicked on the tag and found that where I'd started was only the second story in the series. Which was good, because I'm a rather slow reader. The first one was, not too surprisingly,

"Tammy Lin"...

Anyone who's ever heard any version (there are hundreds) of Child Ballad #39 can see approximately where this is going (and how much fun Dialecticdreamer is having flipping things around).

And at the end of the post are the notes, starting with "Musical soundtrack that helped shape the story". Links. Lots of them. Even better, scattered throughout the 39 (at time of writing) comments are more links. So, yeah.

I'm not going to copy all those links into this post. Just go read it and click for yourself. I'll be somewhere down the rabbit hole.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is now open! The theme this month is "History written by the losers." Go fishing!

mdlbear: (technonerdmonster)
If you've been following my adventures at all (and if you're not, what are you doing reading this?!), you know I'm living in Seattle and working at Amazon these days. Well, our team is hiring, in both Seattle and Vancouver.

I'm in the Consumer Payments team; our biggest project recently was the Amazon Prime Rewards Card ( https://www.amazon.com/visa ), but we also handle things like the store card, installment payments, and so on. We use technologies like AWS, web development, machine learning, and microservices, at scales up to tens of thousands of transactions per second. We also have our own functional programming framework for batch processing (yeah; sometimes you still have to do that) up to millions of records.

We're looking for SDEs, SDETs, PMs, and TPMs. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll connect you with our team's recruiter.
mdlbear: (crowdfunding)
Ysabetwordsmith has posted a Call for Themes, wherein one can suggest themes for upcoming Fishbowls. There are perks for linkbacks.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is Open! This time, the theme is "All the news is dark, so light a candle." I left a prompt.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Moderately productive. Two "publishing events".

  1. Sex and the Single Link is up on my "formal" website, Stephen.Savitzky.net. This is, despite the clickbait title, an article about the joy of singly-linked lists.
  2. MakeStuff is up on GitHub. This the first of several projects I intend to put up there; it's the collection of makefiles and scripts that powers all my websites. You can see it in action here.

Apart from that, and a bunch of Quora answers, not a whole lot going on. One my Quora answers led to a good discussion on the comment thread. Fairly prodctive at work, though as usual not quite as much as I wanted to be.

One particularly interesting article for the programmers in the audience, Developer Differences: Makers vs Menders, which seems to describe me fairly well.

Also of note, the first episode of the Lesbian Historic Motif Project Podcast: Ordinary Women by Heather Rose Jones ([livejournal.com profile] hrj on LJ) is up.

Notes & links, as usual )
mdlbear: (crowdfunding)

ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl is Open!

I just posted a prompt. So should you.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

... in ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl!. Today's theme is "outgrowing old ideas."

mdlbear: (g15-meters)

... in [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's Poetry Fishbowl! The theme is "Mad Science".

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

My sister-of-choice, [personal profile] pocketnaomi, is still looking for a housemate: the person she was expecting to move in last week backed out at the last minute.

See her post on DW (or here on LJ) for details.

mdlbear: (nike)

Two signals to boost tonight:

The first is my sister-of-choice [personal profile] pocketnaomi, who posts Roommate wanted: Shoreline, WA. The room is just as delightful as she describes it.

The second is [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith, whose Poetry Fishbowl is Open on the theme of "influential women."

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

The CTO of $T called me at the originally-scheduled time on Wednesday, not the rescheduled time on Tuesday -- by that time I'd already made my decision. Thursday I went in and signed the paperwork with $K for my contract job at $D. I start Monday the 15th. There are a couple of good perks from $K, including free access to SkillSoft courseware. (I think I also get that through my recently-renewed ACM membership.)

Even after only six months of "retirement", the thought of going back to work is somewhat scary. It's also rather surprising how few of the things on my list I got done. (Of course, "moving" was also on the list, and occupied an unexpectedly large fraction of my time. But still.)

I'll be at Orycon. The plan is to drive down after work (possibly after a short day) on Friday, and return Sunday night -- it's only a 3-hour drive, which makes it possible. I think I will have a concert, though I might have missed my window for that by not turning in the questionaire on time.

Of course, now that I know I'm going to have an income, I promptly went out and ordered a few things that I'd been waiting on. The first to arrive, because it was nearly instantaneous, was the download of Cat Faber's new CD, The King's Lute -- the physical copy will arrive soon. (You get the download, which includes the sheet music and lyrics, free with the CD.) You can get yours at her Bandcamp page. I highly recommend it -- Cat's a brilliant songwriter and a fine performer. This album is drawn from her recent "Alice Day" posts. It's hard to pick favorites here, but I think I'd have to go with "Cedarglass" and "Atheist's Anthem".

I really need to get a Bandcamp page up, don't I? Good project for tomorrow? Maybe.

I also pulled down a copy of Heather Dale's Perpetual Gift (which is free, as the title indicates, but I made a donation anyway).

Oh, and Janis Ian will be at the Triple Door in Seattle, Saturday, April 6th

The usual collection of links in the notes. Here: have a CPR ad, with zombies.

raw notes )
mdlbear: "Sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness" - Terry Pratchett (flamethrower)
Two very different, very well-written comments on the Readercon mess. catsittingstill | Readercon and stray dogs pocketnaomi: Readercon and me ETA: Readercon: Public Statement
mdlbear: (distress)

A friend of mine, [personal profile] pocketnaomi, is CALLING FOR HELP because of problems with her health care provider, Grouphealth. Specifically, they have taken the only drug that works on her fibromyalgia out of their formulary. That means that, as of July 1, she'll be paying $600/month for it.

Anyone with ideas about what to do should go comment on her post either here on DW or over on LJ.


6/18 edit to allow all comments, in case N's journal doesn't.

mdlbear: (distress)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] dejla at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] rodlox at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] sabaceanbabe at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] morgandawn at Stop Cyber Spying Week (CISPA)
Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups in getting the word out this week:

"Under CISPA, can a private company read my emails?

Yes.  Under CISPA, any company can “use cybersecurity systems to identify and obtain cyber threat information to protect the rights and property” of the company. This phrase is being interpreted to mean monitoring your communications—including the contents of email or private messages on Facebook.

Right now, well-established laws, like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, prevent companies from routinely monitoring your private communications.  Communications service providers may only engage in reasonable monitoring that balances the providers' needs to protect their rights and property with their subscribers' right to privacy in their communications.  And these laws expressly allow lawsuits against companies that go too far.  CISPA destroys these protections by declaring that any provision in CISPA is effective “notwithstanding any other law” and by creating a broad immunity for companies against both civil and criminal liability.  This means companies can bypass all existing laws, as long as they claim a vague “cybersecurity” purpose."

More details and what to do here.

[A Dreamwidth post with comment count unavailable comments | Post or read on Dreamwidth| How to use OpenID]
mdlbear: (distress)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] siliconshaman at Here we go again....CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] griffen at Here we go again....CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] atalantapendrag at Here we go again....CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ericadawn16 at Here we go again....CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] sxymami0909 at Here we go again....CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] xtremeroswellia at here we go again....CISPA is the new SOPA
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] sio at here we go again....CISPA is the new SOPA
PLEASE PASS THIS ON! i've shared on FB and a couple forums and hardly anyone else is--that bothers me on some level. we DON'T need this kind of censoring to be passed!!!

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] colonoscarpeay at CISPA is the new SOPA

Here's their next move: The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, would obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States.

And CISPA would provide a victory for content owners who were shell-shocked by the unprecedented outpouring of activism in opposition to SOPA and Internet censorship.

The House of Representatives is planning to take up CISPA later this month. Click here to ask your lawmakers to oppose it.

SOPA was pushed as a remedy to the supposed economic threat of online piracy -- but economic fear-mongering didn't quite do the trick.

So those concerned about copyright are engaging in sleight of hand, appending their legislation to a bill that most Americans will assume is about keeping them safe from bad guys.

This so-called cyber security bill aims to prevent theft of "government information" and "intellectual property" and could let ISPs block your access to websites -- or the whole Internet.

Don't let them push this back-door SOPA. Click here to demand that your lawmakers oppose CISPA.

CISPA also encourages companies to share information about you with the government and other corporations.

That data could then be used for just about anything -- from prosecuting crimes to ad placements.

And perhaps worst of all, CISPA supercedes all other online privacy protections.

Please click here to urge your lawmakers to oppose CISPA when it comes up for a vote this month.

Thanks for fighting for the Internet.

-Demand Progress

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Cat Faber wrote the song, and Lookingglass Folk sang it at Conflikt. But nobody seems to be doing it -- yet.

[personal profile] pocketnaomi thinks it's time somebody did. I'm boosting the signal. Check it out. Watch for more; we're working on it.

mdlbear: (distress)

Daily Kos: Where's Your $50,000? From Alan Grayson. Mr. Grayson is a former Congressman from Florida, currently running for his old seat back. I really hope he makes it. We need people who will speak this kind of truth.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that our Government has handed out $16 trillion to the banks.

Let me repeat that, in case you didn’t hear me the first time. The GAO says that our Government HAS HANDED OUT $16 TRILLION TO THE BANKS.

That little gem appears on Page 131 of GAO Report No. GAO-11-696. A report issued two months ago. A report that somehow seems to have eluded the attention of virtually every network, every major newspaper, and every news show.

How much is $16 trillion? That is an amount equal to or more than $50,000 for every man, woman and child in America. That’s more than every penny that every American earns in a year. That’s an amount equal to almost a third of our national net worth -- the value of every home, car, personal belonging, business, bank account, stock, bond, piece of land, book, tree, chandelier, and everything else anyone owns in America. That’s an amount greater than our entire national debt, accumulated over the course of two centuries.

A $16 trillion stack of dollar bills would reach all the way to the Moon. And back. Twice.

That’s enough to pay for Saturday mail delivery. For the next 5,000 years.

All of that money went from you and me to the banks. And we got nothing. Not even a toaster.

I have been patiently waiting to see whether this disclosure would provoke some kind of reaction. Answer: nope. Everyone seems much more interested in discussing whether or not they like the cut of Perry’s jib.

Whatever a jib may be.

In the next few weeks, I’m going to be writing more about this. But right now, I wanted to keep this really simple. Just give folks something to talk about when they’re standing next to the coffee maker.

The Government gave $16 trillion to the banks. And nobody else is talking about it. Think about it. Think about what that means.


Alan Grayson

To put it another way, $16 trillion will buy enough gas to drive to Alpha Centauri and back. Twice.

mdlbear: (120-cell)

Today's xkcd is screamingly funny, at least to anyone who knows the Banach–Tarski Theorem.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

It's Cat Faber's idea:

You remember the Koran burning thing.

Well, I have an idea. What if we start a backfire (metaphorically)? Let's make September 11, 2010 "Stand Up For Religious Tolerance Day"

Everybody post something on religious tolerance.

That way we don't reward Koran burning trolls with attention, BUT we don't stay silent and let it look like we don't mind, or even agree.

If you think it's a good idea, please pass it on!

I do, so I did. See you Saturday.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

I got this link via email from my mom. It appears to be fairly old, but worth mentioning because it's so slick. Basically a social engineering attack to get the verification code off your card.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

LiveJournal's new sneaky trick -> LiveJournal's latest misguided attempt to make a quick buck. -> No Opt In, No Ads

What they're doing is redirecting links to outboundlink.me, which adds an affiliate code and sends you back to, e.g. Amazon with the affiliate bucks going to LJ. Sleazy, and both a privacy and a security risk. Not to mention a violation of my copyright.

... So I now have, after much delay, an account on Dreamwidth ([personal    profile] mdlbear, of course), though I haven't made use of it yet. I'm not going to abandon LJ -- most of my friends are still here, and I have a permanent account. And I'm not going to move my primary blog to DW; eventually they'll both be cross-posted to from someplace completely under my control, probably under steve.savitzky.net.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Normally I would have posted a "Wishful Wednesday" last week. I didn't. I did post about The Great Bedroom Makeover last Saturday. Well, it's still on for Saturday (and probably Sunday as well), starting around noonish.

I'll be making big pots of chili and rice, and probably some guacamole. I'm afraid it conflicts with Kanef's housefilk, but I really don't expect people to stay all evening.

Also, signal boost: [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi's friend [livejournal.com profile] jackien1968 is looking for a place to live in the East Bay.

mdlbear: (sony)

Sign the PublicACTA Wellington Declaration! - Boing Boing

The PublicACTA activists have been meeting in Wellington, New Zealand -- site of the next round of negotiations on the secret Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement -- drafting a declaration on how the next global copyright treaty should read, and how it should be negotiated.

The "Wellington Declaration" says that the world copyright treaties shouldn't be conducted behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms, but rather in the full light of public participation at the United Nations, where copyright treaties are customarily made. The UN admits non-governmental organizations, journalists, and representatives from poor countries, while ACTA is only open to rich countries and lobbyists from powerful corporations.

Yes, I've signed it.

mdlbear: (wtf)

This post by [livejournal.com profile] evilpuppy is simply appalling. Worse, much worse, than United Breaks Guitars.

I might be 29 years old, I might have colored hair, and I might not be obviously disabled, but I am a legitimately disabled American citizen. Your airline had no right to treat me the way it did and your customer service supervisor was disturbingly rude to me in the face of my experience. I wasn't being unreasonable, I never swore, and I didn't raise my voice. I was trying my best to be polite and calm and I expected no less than the same courtesy in return. The fact that I didn't receive it and instead was made to feel as though I was just being lazy and irresponsible is beyond infuriating. I have to deal with Worker's Compensation and Disability about my age enough, the last thing I expected or needed was to have to deal with it from your airline when flying is already a painful enough experience.

(from foxipher, and cleolinda via technoshaman; [livejournal.com profile] cleolinda links to a followup tweet @UnitedAirlines. We'll see.)

Meanwhile the probability that Colleen or I will be flying United anytime in the forseeable future has just gone from small to negligible.

mdlbear: (hill-of-three-oaks)

"Obama is not a brown-skinned, anti-war socialist who gives away free healthcare. You're thinking of Jesus." - John Fugelsang

(from mia_mcdavid: Quote of the day)

mdlbear: (distress)

Christianity, Social Justice and Politics - a well-researched rant against the Religious Right, with bible quotes. (From Ravan's Rants - New Post at Another Ravan Perch.)

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

A couple of days ago I posted a link to [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith's post on Loneliness and Fraying Social Fabric.

She has since followed it up with Fighting Loneliness, Part 2: Very Basic Steps and Fighting Loneliness, Part 3: Friendship Tips for Introverts. Wow! I'm finding these incredibly useful.

It's hard for an introvert like me to learn how to function around people, especially when they were raised by introverts like my parents (Dad was, certainly. I'm not sure about Mom). And especially when they're shy and have learned to avoid people. All of the role models the media present us with are extroverts. At least all of the really conspicuous ones. Because, well... extroverts.

It occurs to me that if social interaction is anything like a language (either programming or human), the only way to learn it is to get a lot of practice. Programming languages are easy for me -- computers are patient, and I can practice programming any time I like. They're not likely to get upset at me when I make stupid mistakes, and I'm not likely to get upset at myself. And there are lots of useful manuals to read, to help learn computer languages.

There's a lot to read about interacting with people, too, but it's difficult for a novice to tell what's useful. And of course most of it is written by and for extroverts.

More on that later, perhaps; it needs a longer post, and it's getting late.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith has a good post titled Loneliness and Fraying Social Fabric, that's a followup to [livejournal.com profile] haikujaguar's recent post on loneliness and how it spreads. Lots of good stuff there, and even more in the comments.

She makes some good suggestions. "Restore our support of people who are doing the hard work of sustaining others."... "Practice and teach social skills." "Build the biggest, strongest social network that you can." But they're suggestions for someone like her who knows how to give support, teach social skills, build a social network, and use it effectively.

Trouble is, I'm on both sides of that social chasm. I'm one of those lonely people who never learned many of the social skills they needed -- not because my family was "subfunctional", but more because I've always found it easier to pull back from situations where I had no idea what I was doing. Since we started hanging out together, I've always let Colleen build and maintain the social network -- she has the skills for it.

And now, suddenly, I've been thrown into situations where I'm the one trying to give support, both physical support to Colleen, and emotional support to her and several of my other friends. While groping my way in the dark, having no idea what I'm doing, no idea what support if any is available. I'm learning, but it's slow. Please bear with me. Or something like that.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes )

Not a bad day. A little odd in places. I'm still having muscle aches in my legs when I walk; I'm assuming this is mostly due to being out of shape.

Went to what was supposed to have been a meeting of some people from Kaiser's caregiver support group (on hold because the person running it retired last month). It's possible that I simply wasn't persistent enough about figuring out why nobody else was there. Plus I kept getting lost/making wrong turns on the way back to work. The whole experience was overlaid with a distinct feeling of being totally out of place. Somewhere out of my comfort zone, apparently.

On the plus side, I sent $5 to [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi for the next installment of the crowdfunded story she just started. Check it out -- it promises to be a lot of fun.

Some good links. Some weird trivia posted by [livejournal.com profile] dejla. The Hubble Space Telescope Advent Calendar 2009 (from wcg). MakeHuman, a GPL program similar to Poser; see the wikipedia article for links to some others.

Loneliness is Contagious/Causes Isolation (from haikujaguar) -- the general idea is that when you drive people away with your loneliness, they become that much more likely to become lonely themselves. No hint of what to do about it, of course.

I've already signal-boosted a couple of posts on grieving.

ETA: And I sold a CD on CDBaby!! Thanks, whoever it was!

mdlbear: (rose)

More on grieving, from someone else who's been there.

mdlbear: (rose)

[livejournal.com profile] dsmoen has made a good post on grieving -- some people reading this may find it helpful.

mdlbear: (distress)

My sister-of-choice, Naomi, needs help.

What would help most, of course, would be jobs for her and/or her partner Callie ([livejournal.com profile] cflute). But they also need to feed the kids and pay the rent while they work on finding jobs.

I figure that instead of sending money to a couple of charities working to cure diseases we don't have yet, we can send it to our friends this year.

There's an email address in her post for PayPal, or you can email her for her snail-mail address. Even a little bit would be helpful.

Thanks in advance,

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

My friend [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi had a dream of a friendly society (read mutual-aid society, co-op, mutual benefit society) -- households banding together to help one another out in the current unfriendly times.

Here's her original post, where she says:

I want to see what we can do with this. The filk community is the group I know, the people who already have a predisposition to help each other when someone truly needs it, to regard themselves as family, and to see with a bit longer an eye than most of modern economics. It also covers a wide cross-section of economic, geographical, and occupational ground.

The resulting community here on LJ is called [livejournal.com profile] filk_friendly. See you there, maybe?

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