quick crossover rec

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:12 am
ratcreature: RatCreature smokes Crack (crack)
[personal profile] ratcreature
Yer a Wizard, Parser! by takumiismypatronus. Slash, Kent Parson/OMC (8586 words)
Check Please!/Harry Potter
This was such a fun crossover, and somewhat unusually for Harry Potter crossovers it is not AU for either canon.
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

Update, 7-24-17: in working with images on my other blog tonight I discovered Photobucket has write-protected ransomed images so that even if the method described below works for you, you can only view ransomed images in your browser. Once you download them, they're not viewable on your computer. They also cannot be viewed if you upload them elsewhere. As I say in the post following this ETA, download your albums. Images in downloaded albums were not write-protected - at least not "as of a few weeks ago" when I grabbed my albums.


As I said to Andrew Ducker, it's slow and awful, but until Photobucket disables the ability to use this trick, if you have a copy of Firefox to travel to the image(s) in question, it works even if you're not logged into Photobucket, but does not work on images with the word "album" in the URL, only on images with the word "gallery" in their web addresses.

Which I learned only after my profile meme got ransomed sometime this week, which I caught on to just minutes before posting this. Photobucket images on my blog might be gone now, too, but I don't have time to check.

For Photobucket URLs with the word "gallery" in them, only...

  1. Right-click the ransom badge in your post (for expediency's sake, I'm linking to Andrew's images for testing, so you can try the steps out yourself, as I had no ransom badges of my own when I began this)
  2. Right-click the ransom badge on the Photobucket page you're brought to
  3. The original image has now become visible
  4. Right-click the image and click "Save as" to download - see ETA at top of post for more info
  5. Once you follow the above steps, hit your browser's back button. The original picture (not the ransom badge) will show up on its Photobucket page and the post it was added to.

These steps have only worked for me so far in Firefox latest (version 54.0.1) so they might not work in other or older browsers. They do work in both Firefox's regular and private browsing modes. Using Opera with adblock results in a shocking Photobucket directive to install an anti-Adblock script called BlockAdblock, aka FuckAdblock, and links you to a site that I won't share because Web of Trust gives it such a low rating. "Photobucket teams with FuckAdblock" needs to be my next post title, as that's kind of news in itself.

As for other ways to access Photobucket images, Fix Photobucket and the photobucket embed fix app are both dead. You can spam me in the comment section with any apps, tools or websites that actually still work, but I'm quite picky and will try to check a tool before I publish any comment on it. Comments initially will stay screened.

Downloading Photobucket Albums

Edited on 7-24-17 to add: download your albums. See instructions at next link. See Update at top for more info.

I've had no problem downloading Photobucket libraries, but there are reports that a few people have been unable to. If you don't block ads that could be one reason why; the page basically never finishes loading and will load one ad after another (up to a dozen) which locks your browser up and slows everything down while you're trying to access images, download libraries, or even copy and share file links.

Some people claim Photobucket's mobile site is much faster. There's also a Photobucket app that's said to load up even quicker than Photobucket does on the Web.

As for moving Photobucket albums to a new image host, you might want to skip moving them to imgur. Imgur's ToS prohibits creating libraries that have already been linked to from other websites and will resize images on direct link, making them basically useless.

You might not want to bother with TinyPic, either, because it's already owned by Photobucket.

So I can tell you what others have suggested and what I'm doing: others mainly suggest getting your own domain name and a hosting plan to host images yourself. From what I gather, self-hosted image libraries (not some roll-your-own solution like adding them to posts, or buying a Wordpress-hosted plan) involve buying or at least adding a separate tool or utility to the backend of your website.

Other ideas include using a free Blogger account, then creating individual posts (Blogger allows up to 10 images per post). Kind of awkward...then there's free Wordpress, which along with Dreamwidth's hosting, is what I use for some of my images. Free Wordpress has 3GB of free storage space, and individual posts are automatically created for each image. These posts aren't displayed publicly nor are they indexed by search engines, and you don't need to know their addresses since you can find all your uploaded images in the Media Library.

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

I just...*headdesks with laughter*

My phone's cheapest prepaid plan is $45 through GoPhone, aka AT&T PREPAID (allcaps are theirs, not mine). I don't, to say the least, have $45 for anything, much less my stupid phone, but we're getting into storm season, I still fear the trees and I happened to drop my LG flip phone - which I kind of fucking adored in all its 2G glory - in the toilet the other day and the 3G replacement is such a dud I plan to throw it off the next bridge I come across.

Besides my Windows phone and my bridge-bound dud, I have a tiny Android I haven't used in literally years, so I called Net10, who services it, to ask about plans. Their cheapest is $35, saving me $10 bucks, so I took it (data went from 6GB high speed with rollover to 2GB without rollover; other than that the plans are about the same) only to realize I had to migrate my Windows phone data to Android - mostly contacts, photos and emails (I could be upset about losing call logs and texts but I'm really not, so I haven't sought to restore either one of those).

As I write this Google Drive, aka Backup and Sync (the name change is theirs, not mine, sans the allcaps) is syncing 9,655 files between my laptop and their servers. I decided my folder selection was too aggressive when GUID diagrams for Firefox and my Dell printer began rolling in but whatever. To get this far I had to uninstall Google Drive after merely "upgrading" it to Backup and Sync, which failed miserably, not allowing me to sync the proper folders and basically fubaring everything.

While I was unfubaring the laptop installation, I rolled back Drive on Android to factory-installed settings and broke the sync connection from my laptop, which wiped out all the files on Android's Drive. There weren't many because the Gmail address I use for Android was not talking to the one I use on my laptop so I logged out of GMail on my laptop, logged back in using my Android Gmail address, then re-installed Drive (now Backup and Sync) on my laptop. This installation went flawlessly and is syncing away as I write this - and slowing my connection to Dreamwidth to a crawl.

When it's finished, I should be able to upgrade Drive to Backup and Sync on Android and pull in files from my laptop, which should bring over my Windows phone data, because I threw my OneDrive folder in there and it actually let me, which I cannot believe. Getting that done should pull in all the photos on my Windows phone, which are the only data still missing after the work I did last night to pull in everything else...

First I imported my main Outlook account to GMail, but the import was marked "has not started" with a "provide info" link that made me log in again in a small, separate window that barred add-ons like LastPass from running, then told me my credentials were incorrect although after triple-checking them against LastPass I could see everything was correct.

So I googled these problems and import will probably never finish based on others getting the same error messages since literally 2009, so I moved down the list to Send Mail As and Check mail from other accounts. Those tasks went as expected, so now my Outlook mail is forwarding to GMail on Android, so I'll never really need to check my Windows phone again. I also have a setting that shows what's coming in off Outlook - but according to the unlabelled emails I'm getting at the moment, it's at least partly malfunctioning, so I'll need to fiddle with that some more.

Once that was done, my Windows contacts synced with Android and GMail started receiving Outlook mail, so things were getting better, but I don't like stock Android, so I was in need of a more ideal solution when I stumbled across Arrow Launcher, which uses "pages" in place of launch icons or home screen widgets to let you see email as it arrives (you can use app icons or pages, but pages are amazing) so I set up an Outlook page as my second home screen (just swipe right) and now I don't even need an app to scan my email (though I still need an app to read the body text).

Unlike any Windows app ever, it doesn't crash (well, it crashed immediately after installing - um, it not only crashed, it removed all my custom settings, but after a phone restart and a redo of all the settings, it seems to work just fine).

To get around Android's ugly stock app I'm using Android Messages; I tried Allo but it's too resource-intensive, so I had to remove it after only a few minutes. That I can't update from Jellybean to the current version is irritating because I want the Ibotta app, which so far is the only app that isn't compatible, but I haven't really "done" apps in my rush to get Windows data onto Android, so I guess I'll see what else fails to play well with it eventually.

15/365

Jul. 20th, 2017 07:14 pm
catness: (lazy)
[personal profile] catness
#15. If not now, then when?

It depends. There are 2 different ways to approach something you want to happen. One, when it requires specific prerequisites, but they're all steps of an actionable plan. As long as you're working on the plan *now*, even if the start and the end of the chain seem to be worlds apart, you should be able to get from here to there, even though the precise definition of "when" is outside your control.

The second way, the easiest and hence my favourite, is to wait for "better times". It's comforting to answer "someday" to all such questions, but who am I kidding - in 99% of cases, these better times never come.

It's funny, though, how easy everything looks on the journal page. Pick your goals, write a plan, stick to it. Profit! I wonder why all perfectly good plans dissolve in mental fog and despair faster than you can summon a protective casing. How to work with such volatile material?

on potions

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:15 pm
catness: (catblueeyes)
[personal profile] catness
I've repeatedly observed that a reasonable quantity of alcohol ("reasonable" being the key) has a hugely beneficial effect on my character and behavior. It lowers inhibitions, self-doubts and risk aversion, and increases self-confidence, energy and optimism. (I'm not sure if the increase of energy is real or perceived. After all, isn't alcohol an opposite of caffeine?)

Case in question: yesterday about 23:30 I went to put my Pokémon into a gym located a couple of mins away from my home. (Just as planned, except that I meant to do it after 00:00, to let my enemies friends earn coins, but someone else took the gym before me.) Ended up doing a big round, covering 5 more gyms in the neighbourhood, walking for ~1 hour overall, without water, and dressed in a shabby T-shirt I never wear outside. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Did it still seem like a good idea in the morning? Absolutely (except for water, I should make a point of never going out without it in this weather). Would I do it sober? Only if previously planned (that's what I used to do before the gym overhaul), but not on the spur of the moment. Probably would've convinced myself that it doesn't make sense, and I have better things to do at home at this hour. (Sure, mashing buttons in the browser.)

In contrast, earlier that day I had declined a Tyranitar raid for perfectly rational reasons, fearing too much physical exertion with the risk of not making it there in time. I regret it ever since. Alcohol could've pushed me towards the right choice.

Of course, alcohol is infeasible as a continuous treatment, due to its multiple undesired side effects and overall unpredictability. Which poses a question: is it possible to emulate its positive effects without the usage of any potentially dangerous chemical substances, by the sheer effort of will? Could I ask myself the question "what would the drunk cat do?" and play along, even when it goes against all my instincts?

all the wrong choices

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:46 pm
catness: (puzzle)
[personal profile] catness
The Stanley Parable by Davey Wreden is a 3D 1st-person adventure game. Stanley is an office drone, happy with his mindless button-pushing job and with following the orders. But one day he finds himself alone - all his coworkers mysteriously disappeared, and he goes to investigate.

The game can be completed in a few minutes if the player, just like Stanley, follows the narrator's commands. But this is not the point of this game. You do not "play the game" but "play with the game", trying to disobey the narrator in various ways and to piss him off, which yields a lot of snarky comments and unlocks several different endings.

“The design document for [The Stanley Parable] was, ‘Mess with the player’s head in every way possible,'” says creator Davey Wreden, “throwing them off-guard, or pretending there’s an answer and then kinda whisking it away from in front of them.” [source: Wired.com]

When I had tried this game for the first time, I hated it, because I had expected a story, not a continuous argument with an annoying, condescending and easily angered guy. But now I don't take it so seriously, and it's quite amusing, hilarious at times (such as the "click on the door 5 times" achievement!) The story doesn't reach the emotional heights of The Beginner's Guide (the successor of Stanley Parable, by the same developer), but it also carries a message - the same message I keep seeing everywhere lately... about the importance of breaking away from the routine.

4/5 - an unusual "meta"-game, definitely not to everyone's liking, but worth a try.
[personal profile] mjg59
In measured boot, each component of the boot process is "measured" (ie, hashed and that hash recorded) in a register in the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) build into the system. The TPM has several different registers (Platform Configuration Registers, or PCRs) which are typically used for different purposes - for instance, PCR0 contains measurements of various system firmware components, PCR2 contains any option ROMs, PCR4 contains information about the partition table and the bootloader. The allocation of these is defined by the PC Client working group of the Trusted Computing Group. However, once the boot loader takes over, we're outside the spec[1].

One important thing to note here is that the TPM doesn't actually have any ability to directly interfere with the boot process. If you try to boot modified code on a system, the TPM will contain different measurements but boot will still succeed. What the TPM can do is refuse to hand over secrets unless the measurements are correct. This allows for configurations where your disk encryption key can be stored in the TPM and then handed over automatically if the measurements are unaltered. If anybody interferes with your boot process then the measurements will be different, the TPM will refuse to hand over the key, your disk will remain encrypted and whoever's trying to compromise your machine will be sad.

The problem here is that a lot of things can affect the measurements. Upgrading your bootloader or kernel will do so. At that point if you reboot your disk fails to unlock and you become unhappy. To get around this your update system needs to notice that a new component is about to be installed, generate the new expected hashes and re-seal the secret to the TPM using the new hashes. If there are several different points in the update where this can happen, this can quite easily go wrong. And if it goes wrong, you're back to being unhappy.

Is there a way to improve this? Surprisingly, the answer is "yes" and the people to thank are Microsoft. Appendix A of a basically entirely unrelated spec defines a mechanism for storing the UEFI Secure Boot policy and used keys in PCR 7 of the TPM. The idea here is that you trust your OS vendor (since otherwise they could just backdoor your system anyway), so anything signed by your OS vendor is acceptable. If someone tries to boot something signed by a different vendor then PCR 7 will be different. If someone disables secure boot, PCR 7 will be different. If you upgrade your bootloader or kernel, PCR 7 will be the same. This simplifies things significantly.

I've put together a (not well-tested) patchset for Shim that adds support for including Shim's measurements in PCR 7. In conjunction with appropriate firmware, it should then be straightforward to seal secrets to PCR 7 and not worry about things breaking over system updates. This makes tying things like disk encryption keys to the TPM much more reasonable.

However, there's still one pretty major problem, which is that the initramfs (ie, the component responsible for setting up the disk encryption in the first place) isn't signed and isn't included in PCR 7[2]. An attacker can simply modify it to stash any TPM-backed secrets or mount the encrypted filesystem and then drop to a root prompt. This, uh, reduces the utility of the entire exercise.

The simplest solution to this that I've come up with depends on how Linux implements initramfs files. In its simplest form, an initramfs is just a cpio archive. In its slightly more complicated form, it's a compressed cpio archive. And in its peak form of evolution, it's a series of compressed cpio archives concatenated together. As the kernel reads each one in turn, it extracts it over the previous ones. That means that any files in the final archive will overwrite files of the same name in previous archives.

My proposal is to generate a small initramfs whose sole job is to get secrets from the TPM and stash them in the kernel keyring, and then measure an additional value into PCR 7 in order to ensure that the secrets can't be obtained again. Later disk encryption setup will then be able to set up dm-crypt using the secret already stored within the kernel. This small initramfs will be built into the signed kernel image, and the bootloader will be responsible for appending it to the end of any user-provided initramfs. This means that the TPM will only grant access to the secrets while trustworthy code is running - once the secret is in the kernel it will only be available for in-kernel use, and once PCR 7 has been modified the TPM won't give it to anyone else. A similar approach for some kernel command-line arguments (the kernel, module-init-tools and systemd all interpret the kernel command line left-to-right, with later arguments overriding earlier ones) would make it possible to ensure that certain kernel configuration options (such as the iommu) weren't overridable by an attacker.

There's obviously a few things that have to be done here (standardise how to embed such an initramfs in the kernel image, ensure that luks knows how to use the kernel keyring, teach all relevant bootloaders how to handle these images), but overall this should make it practical to use PCR 7 as a mechanism for supporting TPM-backed disk encryption secrets on Linux without introducing a hug support burden in the process.

[1] The patchset I've posted to add measured boot support to Grub use PCRs 8 and 9 to measure various components during the boot process, but other bootloaders may have different policies.

[2] This is because most Linux systems generate the initramfs locally rather than shipping it pre-built. It may also get rebuilt on various userspace updates, even if the kernel hasn't changed. Including it in PCR 7 would entirely break the fragility guarantees and defeat the point of all of this.

cat black

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:50 pm
catness: (cat_black)
[personal profile] catness
I got a bad case of earworm. Now you can, too ;)



Ok, I hate this guy's bleating voice, and the words do not make much sense (at least in the 2nd version), but oh the music...

lyrics v1

lyrics v2
catness: (cat_black)
[personal profile] catness
It's so amusing how people are madly enthusiastic about the new Doctor being female (and other people are aggravated by the same fact). It's almost like rooting for your team, where the team is defined by random circumstances of your birth. How come that your version of reproductive organs is your most important and defining feature? Why the hell should I care?

I'm curious how the new Doctor turns out, the same way I was curious about the previous new Doctors, but I refuse to see the unusual (for this role) gender as an automatic bonus (or disadvantage). Let's see her acting first. If she's even half as good as the other gender-swapped character (avoiding the spoilers just in case), and the writing is as good, it should be a success... but it remains to be seen.

I'm more concerned about the potential romance angle, as I suspect that the authors will not pass this opportunity for character development. And I hate it when an otherwise good show focuses on romance. (I dunno why? Because I can't fall in love anymore, so no one should? ;) Oh, I appreciate all violent and perverted fictional relationships, when the partners routinely try to kill each other, torture (for real, not BDSM games), Stockholm syndrome and such. (I happily ship Will/Hannibal ;) But I don't have high hopes on seeing anything that intense on Dr. Who.

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 07:00 pm
tfcocs: (Default)
[personal profile] tfcocs
I need to drink more coffee.

14/365

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:17 pm
catness: (Default)
[personal profile] catness
#14. What is the difference between living and existing?

Excitement and/or goals. Ideally one should be excited about their goals, but one without the other can be very well worth it. Either pursuing your goals with grim determination, powered by pain and bitterness (sort of like Voldemort), or jumping from one random adventure to another for the sake of excitement alone - it's all good.

I guess the difference boils down to "active vs passive"? Of course, not every body movement counts as Action. Being stuck with a boring job pressing buttons on your superior's orders is very much non-living even if it involves hard work and you perform socially useful services, create socially useful products, provide for your family etc. (I'm playing Stanley Parable right now, which abundantly illustrates this idea ;) Clicking buttons in online games played out of habit and boredom - same thing, even though it looks like a fun activity at the first glance.

Yup, being mostly a zombie these days.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Jul. 15th, 2017 01:05 am
ratcreature: RatCreature as Spidey (spidey)
[personal profile] ratcreature
I watched Spider-Man: Homecoming this afternoon, and it was a lot of fun.

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

I'm about to take an Emeril Lagasse oyster stew recipe prisoner for this communique on why you should always scan recipes for ingredient lists, cooking times and methods, then ignore almost everything they say and just do whatever the fuck you want.

Before this article on 10 ways recipes are undermining your cooking came along I never knew discussing this sort of thing was a thing, but now that it is, hey, let's do this.

The recipe

Emeril Lagasse's oyster stew

The (alleged) ingredients, with notes on what I sub in or out and when in [brackets]

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick), plus 2 tablespoons butter [this is bullshit; you don't need a plop of butter; if anything, it dilutes the finished product]
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour [he adds it at the entirely wrong step in the process]
  • 1 cup chopped onions [I sub in shallots or use shallots and onions; sometimes also leeks, bok choy, and/or green onions]
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery [completely unnecessary; stew tastes just dandy without it]
  • 2 cups milk [makes a thin, runny base. I worked in a restaurant where oyster stew was made with milk, and it was a disaster. I use half cream and half milk or half half-and-half and half milk - just whatever we have on hand]
  • Salt and cayenne [go light on the cayenne unless you want a burning tongue; can be skipped altogether; for milder flavor I'll use paprika and only use coarse sea or kosher salt]
  • Fresh black pepper [I use this and a peppercorn medley which adds allspice, coriander and All the Pepper Colors]
  • 2 dozen oysters, shucked, drained and liquid reserved [works and tastes just fine with half this many but the more, the merrier]
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic [I usually double this and don't chop it, except to get it small enough to mash up in the mortar and pestle]
  • 1/4 cup chopped finely chopped parsley [not even needed; tastes better with fresh basil chopped and sprinkled on top - and we grow our own]

The directions, with what I actually do in [brackets]

Oh God help me *drinks an entire liquor store's worth of vodka before going on*

  1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. [OK, so far I'm just playing along here, and it's fine. This will be the last time you see me this complacent, so enjoy it.]
  2. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes. [Nope, nope, NOPE, what the hell is he even doing? I haven't even cooked the veggies yet. NOPE.]
  3. Add the onions and celery and cook for 2 minutes. [OK, so far I've melted butter and begun cooking shallots and celery, or shallots and onions without celery, or just shallots or onions, or onions, shallots, and celery. Sometimes I'll even throw in some green/orange/red/yellow bell peppers. But I never add flour before cooking the veggies, literally never. And I stir in garlic after the veggies finish cooking but before the next step, heating it no more than 30 seconds to a minute so it won't get bitter.]
  4. Stir in the milk and oyster liquid. [Nope, nope, NOPE, what the hell is he even doing? This is the part where I finally add the flour! NOPE.]
  5. Season the mixture with salt, cayenne and black pepper. [Nope, nope, NOPE, I do that only after stirring in the cream and milk, or half-and-half and milk - which I haven't done yet, because I'm still stirring in the flour. NOPE.]
  6. Bring the mixture to a simmer and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. [This is when I stir in the cream and milk or half-and-half and milk and add the spices, then bring to a simmer for about the suggested time, except sometimes I'll throw the oysters in now as well, but a lot of times I'm drinking or otherwise distracted so I'll forget I could just toss them in now.]
  7. Add the oysters, garlic and parsley. [Nope, nope, NOPE, I add the garlic after sauteing the veggies, which was many, many steps and often at least one drink or so ago. The oysters might already be curling in the stew at this point, so it's just a matter of tossing parsley or basil in now.]
  8. Bring the liquid back up to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the oysters curl. [Half the time, they've already curled, so I'll skip this and the next step and any subroutines they involve.]
  9. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and remove from the heat. [Nope, nope, NOPE, no butter gets added now. Or ever. NOPE.]
  10. Ladle the soup into the terrine. [We don't have a freakin' terrine, pardon my French, so we just ladle it out of the pot.]

  11. So yeah, sometimes following recipes can suck for some pretty obvious reasons.

    But if you can suss out...how do I put this...how to work around them, they can help you by suggesting what I refer to as "flavor profiles" and giving you other ideas to work off of, like rough quantities and approximate cooking times.

    To give an example of how I'll (deliberately) mix things up, sometimes I'll make oyster stew by combining Emeril's original recipe with his Creole version (which I think is not his nor truly Creole; if it was truly Creole, then the cayenne would be in it, not in the other recipe). Which means picking ingredients from both lists (but normally I just add bacon and white wine and otherwise keep ingredients and proportions about the same as above) but I use the techniques which I bent to my will in the above recipe to cook the resulting combination.

    When I really want to change things up, I'll use ingredients from another recipe altogether, which adds cooked, crumbled sausage into the mix but is otherwise too bland to use in anything other than combination with Emeril's original.

    What none of these recipes even hint at? That fresh-squeezed lemon applied at the table makes any oyster stew truly out of this world. And that if the stew comes out a bit on the thin or bland side (using my steps, it shouldn't), a drop or two of Tabasco at the table is a good flavor lift. And to cook oyster stew in a cast iron pan or Dutch oven because nothing else tastes like it...

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

Oklahoma, for helping us gain at least four seats so far this year.

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

NSFW, your kids, your ears, your eyes, your brain, or in general. Author promises to cough up a "cleaner" version in "about eight hours" but if they ever have I can't find it, so here, enjoy.

Highlights from the Net Neutrality Day of Action: there were none. It sucked. No seriously, we (and I *do* mean "we") went so much more all-out five years ago for SOPA/PIPA (so many websites were either temporarily or completely inaccessible - including yes, Dreamwidth) that the underwhelming nature of today's "Just click the little X next to each little "just joking, BUT" message to close it" - and that's if a website even had a message because most major so-called "participants" did not - almost made me pass out several times from the sheer drudgery of it all.

It's been too hot to take my own advice and just go for a fucking walk (which is sort of a difficult thing for me to pull off nowadays, anyhow), so I had little choice but to try to slog through it.

I mean, the most exciting thing I saw all day long was my own DW, which I turned into something else for this highly anticipated, yet underwhelming worldwide event (Dreamwidthians will need to "view page in original style" or toss or suppress Dreamwidth's cookies to see the end result properly, or at all), because I still recall, unlike much of the intertubes, how to conduct an online protest, and real protests - not this fake pretend shit people do nowadays ("Oooh, I changed my profile picture"), all the lazy clicktivism they indulge in) involve actual effort and sacrifice, two ideas no one's interested in pursuing anymore, to the point where I feel like a freak and somehow wrong for even bothering.

Sorry/not sorry, but if taking just one day to let a truly impactful message get across - even if it means risking the loss of some online visitors, some money and the likely, at-most temporary loss of a few codger's so-called "goodwill" - is too much of a chance for people to take, then I hope they don't come crying to anyone when what they were so unwilling to do - stand up, really stand up for what they want and believe in - results in all the damage they feared and more actually being done.

With a Republican-controlled (aka: business-controlled) House and Senate and Russian-controlled/Republican-flavored Orangado at the switches, this is not the time to be uncaring or flippant about anything that matters as much as Net Neutrality. Let's see people post twee little cat memes once our currently unfettered access to the Internet is cut off by the very ISPs being cat-memed as I speak. Oh fuck, that's right: they won't be able to, not unless they "buy" the imgur package (includes AOL and MSN!) for an extra $39.99 a month, subject to multiple, super-restrictive ToSes and cancellation without notice at any time, yippee.

recent loot

Jul. 12th, 2017 08:09 pm
catness: (maze)
[personal profile] catness
Broken Age is a 3D point&click adventure game by Double Fine Productions (Tim Schafer!) It follows 2 storylines with different protagonists (the player can switch between them any time) : Shay, a lonely teenager stuck on a nursery-like spaceship and longing for adventures, and Vella, a village teenager preparing for a creepy ritual she disagrees with. These stories are unrelated... until the connection emerges.

This is a family-friendly game, with bright cheerful graphics (which I'm not fond of), but there's a lot of darkness and weirdness lurking beneath the surface. Writing is brilliant, full of wit and snark; there's a lot of colourful characters and amusing dialogues. The story is complex, with a mindboggling twist in the middle, which left me promptly shocked. Puzzles are mostly on the easy side, though they become harder in the 2nd part. Some players complain about certain puzzles being unfair, but I liked these ones especially, because they enhance the immersion of the player into the story. Didn't use the walkthrough, because it was never boring!

5/5, awesome and must-play <3


Her Majesty's SPIFFING is a 3D point&click adventure game by Billy Goat Entertainment. It features a good-natured Captain Frank Lee English and his snarky Welsh subordinate Aled Jones on a quest to conquer the Galaxy on the Queen of England's orders.

It's a very British game, making fun of Brexit, English and French stereotypes, and adventure game genre conventions, so there's a lot of meta jokes. Graphics is detailed and stylish, picturing a spaceship full of retro furniture and technology, even floppy disks. (Navigation is somewhat confusing.) The main problem of this game: it's awfully short. Besides, the story is just a fodder for humour - not that it's bad, but don't look for any depths. I used the walkthrough a couple of times, because I was too lazy to keep trudging around the ship looking for clues.

4/5, recommended!

Bayou Island is a one-man indie 2D point&click adventure game about a ship captain who found himself on a mysterious island without any memories of the accident. Graphics has a nice retro, vaguely Mexican look. The story, however, is rather primitive and short; bland writing, non-memorable characters. Puzzles are easy but I used the walkthrough once because I was too bored to look for the code.

2/5, skippable. (If only for motivation... if this game made its way to Steam, then YOURS can, too ;)
ratcreature: RatCreature as Rodney recoiling from a Lemon: Gaah! (gaah)
[personal profile] ratcreature
For example I really like the "fish out of water" trope in stories, but I also have a pronounced embarrassment squick. Unfortunately far too often the former is peppered with the latter. So I end up being lured into reading stories and then have to put them down frequently because I just can't deal. That doesn't make for an immersive reading experience. I wish I could just bring myself to power through the squicky bits rather than taking breaks.

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