17/365

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:02 pm
catness: (playful)
[personal profile] catness
#17. What does your joy look like today?

Specifically today: rewriting a part of my game engine from a homebrew text format with a Perl script parsing it to C++ code into the YAML format with a Python parser.

The game code is tightly integrated with C++ (e.g. the callbacks are written in regular C++, same as Unity's callbacks are written in C#), but there are many common tasks, like initializing rooms and objects, which would be too annoying without simplification. Right now, I have a plain text "game configuration file", which basically contains all the info split over a zillion of forms in GUI-based game development systems; but here, you can see everything at a glance, and edit it all in one place, in a regular text editor.

I've developed a custom text format because JSON, XML and alike are human-unfriendly, due to the amount of markup. But recently I've discovered YAML - a popular standard for human-readable data, and it looks almost the same as mine! YAML's drawback is the usage of indentation for syntax, but I'm already used to Python, so it's a small sacrifice for huge benefits, such as a YAML parser already supported by all major scripting languages.

I could've stayed with Perl, but lately I'm into Python, because it's so neat and pleasant to work with. Especially upon discovering the heredoc syntax for templates, perfect for my purposes. (I guess there's no end of learning). I'm still on the stage of code refactoring - technically, there's no new functionality besides cleaning up some odds and ends - but the parser is already looking SO MUCH MORE ELEGANT and user-friendly.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I'm uh, still reading about it, and even just as I was reading and trying to find out which version I have - without actually opening the program because holy crappola - Windows Defender displayed behind-the-scenes scan results saying it found an infection...in CCleaner. I'm not sure what to tell anyone as far as "what to do" because I don't know the answer to that.

ETA, 9-20-17: Current recommendations are to either use System Restore to roll back your system to a time before CCleaner 5.33 (32-bit) was installed, or else to "refresh" (Windows 10) or completely re-install your copy of Windows.

*curses*

It's a backdoor called Backdoor:Win32/Floxif that's been in the wild since CCleaner v.5.33 released in August of 2017. ETA, 9-20-17: But it affects 32-bit versions of CCleaner only. You can tell which version you have by opening CCleaner and looking in the top left corner, where it will say if it's 32-bit or 64-bit.

Signalbost: CCleaner has been hacked

Time to reinstall my OS, if the fucking backdoor hasn't already destroyed our ability to do so...ETA, 9-20-17: and I did just that. It didn't destroy our ability to do so, at least not as far as I can tell.

why, what and how

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:00 pm
catness: (shovel)
[personal profile] catness
Why: Apparently I can never be happy without doing my own thing, whatever it might be. Lifetime of consumption is unfulfilling, even if it involves consuming the best products civilization has to offer: books, games and movies, sightseeing and entertainment, physical comforts, even knowledge. And neither is life of servitude, attending to other people's needs, following orders, aiming to please, being a good little cog in the machinery. Self-improvement sounds more like it, and it's a never-ending journey, but it should be considered as a means to an end, not a goal in itself - otherwise it's akin to masturbation.

(A couple of words about hate: it can be inspiring all right, but I'm sick and tired of it. I want to move on to something constructive.)

What: Game development always comes up during questionnaires and exercises for discovering your goals, passions, ideal career etc. The weird thing is, if I loved it so much, wouldn't I have been doing it since a long time ago? Even assuming that it's never too late to start anew - this is not how a passion is supposed to feel. But the whole point of doing the questionnaires and fretting over my inability to set goals is that I'm not that enthusiastic about *anything* right now (and haven't been for a while). But like it's said, idle hands are the Devil's workshop.

Well, waiting for a hurricane of passion already cost me years of life; it's time to settle up for something reasonably appealing. Anyway, goals are not set in stone... if something better turns up, I promise I'll jump ship! But at the moment, I just don't see anything else worthy to focus upon. I don't consider applying myself to depressing mundane goals like earning more money and improving quality of life, because it's much less motivating, and in any case, it's just procrastination; another excuse to put your dreams on hold, waiting for perfect conditions.

How: Adventure games - my favourite kind - are a blend of creative writing and programming, but for me it was always, first and foremost, about programming.

(To be continued... There's going to be a lot of technobabble, so it will be better to make a separate post.)

annoying Calibre plug-in problems

Sep. 17th, 2017 01:26 am
ratcreature: Tech-Voodoo: RatCreature waves a dead chicken over a computer. (voodoo)
[personal profile] ratcreature
Normally I download fanfic from AO3 into Calibre with that FanFicFare plugin, because that is very convenient and imports all the meta data.

However as of the most recent update (to 2.17.1) it won't download locked content anymore. I get an error that it can't log in, even though my password hasn't changed and I can log in via browser. It also still downloads non-locked fanfic form AO3 without problem. Does anyone else have this problem?

ETA: Googling found me some recent message board posts by the FanFicFare creator, explaining that AO3 has changed its login process to disallow automated tools to download locked stories. That is inconvenient.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Amount of posts to add new image links to: 89 (some of these are imgur photo swaps because I don't trust them, either, and some are to edit out links to an image because it was lost or is no longer being made available) so say there are still around 80 posts to swap Photobucket images out of.

Dreamwidth's uploader lets you beam the server as many images as you like, so I fed it a bit north of 260 of them. At once. After deleting under 20 images and noting that another 20 won't be included in my posts, that still leaves about 220 image links to replace across 80 entries I've written.

And it's taken me the better part of a few weeks just to get this far because a) I don't feel like it, b) I got too busy on eBay up until I had to end all my sales early because of the fucking storm, 3) the storm, plus d) see a).

We don't have a link rewriter to automate this mess, so before I do anything I might campaign for it via Support request*, after checking to see if anyone else put in for one besides Steve from LJ (whose request was summarily rejected a few months ago), then check the web for any scripts that might help me get anything done here.

*ETA, 9-15-17: I put this into a Suggestion rather than a support request, since Support isn't set up to handle feature requests, and that's all this really is.

ETA2, 9-16-17: I've since posted two more (closely related) Suggestions. Considering the parent suggestion's topic matter, if one gets tossed they probably all will, yippee.

ETA3, 9-16-17: I've been trying (as I mentioned in my last Suggestion) to find a screen scraper to grab links to images I downloaded from Photobucket and uploaded last night to Dreamwidth, but there's not a one that's gonna work, or at least not without getting me ToSed, mostly because Dreamwidth doesn't make a public-facing, per-user image directory available for this (or any other) purpose. I'd almost hire someone to do what I'll have to do instead, but 1) my privacy and 2) that'd probably also get me ToSed. I just aaaarrggh.

ETA4, 9-16-17: Minutes after my last ETAs it hit me why, above all, I can't use Dreamwidth to host my Photobucket images: because DW changes the original file name on every image to a random number, so there's no pattern-matching/find-and-replace to either find the image in Dreamwidth's Manage Images interface nor to easily find its match to swap out with in the entry. So I'll just upload my Photobucket album to Anti-AOL on Wordpress (my Plan B to begin with) and do this whole thing from there.

Because I've got to get it done.

I could post yet another Suggestion at this point saying more or less, "Oh and btw can DW plz stop swapping out image names for like, random numbers because it's messing up my project" but it's too late now (for me, not for others who might be affected by this issue in the future) plus I think I've about used up my Suggestion-fu for the month week day. I need to just get my ransomed images fixed already, then maybe...

ETA5, 9-16-17: after taking a break to make tuna pasta salad from scratch, because yum, I decided to roll "don't rename image files" - along with "add a search box" - into an existing Suggestion (my second one, with a request my rewrite be released from queue instead of its predecessor). And I'm not trying to stay up all night (yeah, for once, right) so I'll pick up again on this tomorrow, maybe.

In retrospect, I'm sort of glad I waited this long to look into moving my images, because I either never had the time or else the presence of mind before to dive this deep into why DW's image hosting is or isn't workable for moving images from another host. It really isn't, but it seems most of its issues could easily be remedied...problem is, there are so many ways to fix various issues or shortcomings in the service I really had a hard time choosing which to give preference to, so I just submitted all of them. :/

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

I can't imagine how else they'll sell the base on auditing everyone eligible for the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) except to tell them:

"There they are, cruising 'round in their Cadillacs with those heavy Gucci bags back to their McMansions to rest on their big, fancy couches with their 104 inch, 4000K TVs blasting away in their faces, eating some crab legs. Meanwhile, hard-working people like YOU are just scraping by!"

I could see this as the thing that makes the plug-and-play "base" stomp and howl and chant, "Lock 'em up!" at Trumpanado's next barnstorming. Of course, half the people at the rally would have be locked up, too, but whatever; never let facts get in the way of a good hate-in, is what I say.


Before anyone asks, it rained for about 14 hours. We're at a slight elevation so it wasn't too bad. Wind held steady between "blowing branches off trees" and "knocking them over" (including one down the road that took our power out around 6:30am, so at least it wasn't like we were in the pitch black dark while debris made terrifying landings on the roof all night). I jammed earplugs in and slept through most of it, because I didn't want to know.

I made my own ice blocks using gallon ziploc bags the day before, and today we found a store with some ice, then the power cut back on a few hours later, so food loss was pretty minimal.

The hardest part was not knowing: as of 9pm last night Irma was supposed to hit as a Cat 3 or 4, so I was fairly anxious, even apologizing to Bowie, who's even more terrified of debris hitting the roof than I am, which by then it already was.

But Irma was downgraded via push notification to a tropical storm shortly thereafter. I could not believe my eyes, so I spent another hour checking my radar app, my news app, NOAA, weather.gov, the latest on the Post, the Times and the local news, then, satisfied this was probably not End Times In My Neighborhood, just tried to get some sleep.

Breaking Bad (seasons 1 & 2)

Sep. 9th, 2017 06:29 pm
catness: (Default)
[personal profile] catness
A high-school chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer starts to cook meth in order to raise money for treatment and to provide for his family after he's gone. An unlikely choice of a show for me - a contemporary drama, no sci-fi/fantasy, horror or mystery, hardly even a comedy. But I decided to give it a try, seeing its high ratings, and ended up enjoying it so far (the first 2 seasons). I give it 4/5.

I can definitely relate to the main character, Walter White, initially a quiet, timid, introverted middle-aged loser, but apparently he has a dark side, which starts to emerge and develop: a brilliant, tough, self-confident and cruel drug dealer. I cheer for Walt's self-improvement, and approve all the way ;)

Other notable characters: Walt's partner Jesse, his ex-student and a street-smart petty criminal, also in the process of self-improvement (in a more conventional sense); Walt's brother-in-law Hank, a loudmouthed DEA cop (that's where Walt got the idea of drugs being a lucrative business :) ; and a charismatic but thoroughly corrupt lawyer Saul Goodman. These guys are always fun to watch.

The character I grew to hate is Walt's wife Skyler: what a boring, plain, prim&proper, mundane, meddling bitch! Spying on her husband by checking his cellphone - so disgusting. Plus, the whole pregnancy and baby subplot, ewwww.

Funny, Walt claims that he does what he does purely for his family's sake, but it's more like he's doing it for himself, as he really seems to enjoy embracing his dark side. And who wouldn't? ;) But it's a pity to be stuck with such a mundane family, which is constantly dragging him down. (His son, a moody teenager, is also quite annoying.)

a couple of thoughts/spoilers for season 2 finale )

And chemistry is amazing. It's great to be able to use your professional knowledge in a creative, unorthodox way. I wonder what could I do in a similar situation... Hacking banks? Not enough skills, LOL.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

The Equifax data breach is turning into a complete disaster because the very thing they're offering to "protect" us - free credit monitoring for one year - has so many "gotchas" built in you might be better off not signing up, or even using their website to check if you were affected by the breach.

For starters, checking your name for breach status or signing up for Equifax's credit monitoring could prevent you from joining the class action lawsuit which arose from it.

ETA, 9-12-17: Not to mention the website appears to be broken, which sounds about right, because the first time I checked I got no answer on whether I was "impacted" or not, while the second time (same session, same cookies) I was told I was "impacted" and encouraged to sign up for free credit monitoring - after I already had.

And opting out by snail mail from the arbitration clause which prevents you from joining requires submitting an "Equifax User ID" that people who merely check their status or sign up for protection will not have, so opt-out for us isn't actually possible.

But signing up for "free-for-now" monitoring will result in getting billed for service after just one year if you don't cancel ahead of time (just like AOL's so-called "free" trial, if you do nothing they'll start charging for service whether you like it or not). Signing up also requires internet access and a credit or debit card because of course it does, so your connectionless grandma who still uses a landline, has no credit or debit card, does everything by snail mail and just writes checks for whatever she wants is SOL, because Equifax has to minimize their losses, somehow.

If all of this isn't bad enough, it's been said that:

  • Kaspersky Antivirus flags Equifax's breach-status website as a "phishing site"
  • Entering Qwerty as your last name and 12-3456 as the last six of your Social indicates your information was stolen
  • Equifax insiders sold off stocks before the breach was announced - but they've known about it since May, so obviously they were locking in profit ahead of the stock collapsing

I still feel "hackers gonna hack" and haven't wanted to hold Equifax responsible, but it's getting increasingly difficult to maintain that position when Equifax is doing nothing to show they're being "responsible" or "transparent" about this, or to adequately compensate anyone who might be affected (which, let's be honest, could be almost all of us).

ETA2, 9-12-17: since posting it's become not just "increasingly difficult" but impossible to sympathize when it's not a case of hackers finding a novel way around their backend security, but their own failure to patch an Apache Struts vulnerability that they've been able to fix since last March. So they're as at fault as they could possibly be for this entire mess.

KBibTeX 0.7-beta1

Sep. 8th, 2017 10:03 pm
t_fischer: (Default)
[personal profile] t_fischer

After some delay, I am finally pushing forward towards a final release of KBibTeX for KDE 4. The first step is the tagging and releasing of tar balls for version 0.7's Beta 1.

Read more... )

Hell to the...

Sep. 8th, 2017 03:00 am
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

She called herself a master negotiator and "worth the trouble" when the Democratic Party tried with all its might to pitch her overboard, preferably head-first.

Boy-howdy, she wasn't kidding. She stood her ground and so she stayed. She did it again this week, and in doing so saved the day (the week, the month, the year, and possibly all of 2018).

Nancy Pelosi, hell to the...

YES!!! An MSN poll shows 65 percent currently approve of Trump accepting the Democratic proposal to avoid federal government shutdown
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

ETA, 9-9-17 PLEASE READ FIRST: Things got hairy here real fast: a class action was recently filed against Equifax (which I didn't learn of until shortly after posting) and signing up at Equifax for credit protection (or even entering your name to check if you were affected by this breach) using the steps below could legally prevent you from becoming a member.

I'd signed up before writing this, but because I don't hold Equifax responsible (hackers gonna hack, and they're getting sort of good at it, lemme tell you!) I'm not worried about joining. It would be nice if I could, especially if this breach winds up costing me money and/or my privacy down the road, but if I can't I can't.

I just wish I'd known of the lawsuit before signing up for protection. In light of that, I want others to be aware of any possible trade-offs they'll be making.

The Verge reports on what to do if you've already entered your name or signed up for protection (emphasis mine):

For now, the one existing loophole is Equifax’s opt-out provision — another common element of arbitration clauses. Within 30 days of agreeing to the terms of the enrollment, you can deliver a written notice to this address:

Equifax Consumer Services LLC, Attn.: Arbitration Opt-Out P.O. Box 105496
Atlanta, GA 30348

It needs to include your name, address, and Equifax User ID, as well as “a clear statement that you do not wish to resolve disputes with Equifax through arbitration.”

ETA2: the above opt-out information is useless for anyone who isn't a paying Equifax customer, as the rest of us didn't get "Equifax User IDs" just by checking our names on the website or signing up for credit protection.

ETA3: More updates are in a separate post.


It's been a banner week for this sort of thing, hasn't it? And I'm in the affected users pile, so I'll be signing up for protection (they put you on a waiting list because apparently they wish to not imitate healthcare.gov with a disastrous rollout, so signup looks to be ongoing in slow waves).

In five steps, because apparently they feel a bit awkward about putting us through all this

  • Read the blah blah blah
  • Click here, more blah blah blah. Now click the button (it takes you here: Check Potential Impact)
  • See if you were in the affected user pile by typing your last name and last six numbers of your Social Security number into boxes on this screen
  • Take the "I'm not a robot" vision tests (I hate these fucking things; anyone else?)
  • Sign up for protection

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tonybaldwin

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