97 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 10/04/21 DIY Pixels

  1. RE: the Facebook debacle:

    “You know, back in my day we had dial-up BBSes at 1200 bps instead of facebook, and WE LIKED IT
    Kevin Sonney

    “1200 bps? Luxury!
    We had to make do with 300.”

    Lin “Get the Vax” Sims

    I’m still looking for the “In my day, we had to send our e-mails 20 miles through the snow. UPHILL” tweet. I’m sure it’s there somewhere. 😀

  2. Sidney Paget came from a family of illustrators; brothers Walter and Henry Paget were also popular illustrators of the time. Walter may have been Sidney’s model for Holmes’ appearance; the likeness is notable.

    Personally, I like Henry and Walter Paget’s illustration work better than Sidney’s. On my GOBI (Great Old Book Illustrations) Twitter account, I posted a multi-tweet thread for some of Walter Paget’s illustrations for an edition of Robinson Crusoe that included Defoe’s lesser-known sequel to the original. The GOBI thread used some of the seldom-reprinted illustrations from that sequel. Thread starts here, if you’re intersted.

  3. Thanks Bruce! Those illustrations are fine! That last one with the best in the tree is surreal. I can’t remember if I forgot there’s a Crusoe part deux or never knew. I won’t forget now.

  4. @JJ. You forgot “barefoot’

    But honestly, some things that are missing:

    the ability to swap out major components by simply swapping two cables (data and power) and not having to worry about one device recognizing another

    the ability to see EVERYTHING on your harddrive, not just what some programmer has decided you should see

    the ability to get online without having to try and find a Wifi network ID and password

    the ability to know that your technical issue(s) originated in one place and was caused by one of three and only three devices

    the ability to keep a failing device operational ‘just a bit longer’ by physically pounding on it

    the ability to avoid the suspicion that all (ALL) of your devices are spying on you

    the ability to avoid the even deeper suspicion that not only are all (ALL) of your devices spying on you, but that they are talking about you AND planning “something”.

  5. I checked J-archive and confirmed I got all of the questions right – while sitting comfortably at home not under hot lights and time pressure (who knows how I would have done in the real deal).

  6. All five books of The Belgariad are $2.99 — for a long time, they weren’t all available as eBooks. That is, if you can read the books after knowing what the Eddings did to their adopted children in the late 1960s. (At least the money no longer goes to the Eddings.)

    They have new covers and are being released by Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc. (who also publish LMB eBooks and others).

    Also, get well soon, Mike!

  7. Feeling foolish asking but I can’t remember what website does the word scrambling and unscrambling. Can anyone help? My google search attempts were clearly not using the right search terms.

  8. @ Anne Marble

    Sad to hear that the Eddings had feet of clay, because I found the Belgariad to be one of the most entertaining Tolkien spinoffs around with especially strong characterizations. Even when I returned to them, the Suck Fairy bounced off the series for the most part. (Let us not speak of the other related series).

    @ Suite:

    Try: https://rot13.com

  9. Suite, a quick rot13 function for browsers can be created by saving a shortcut in your browser’s Bookmarks / Favorites bar, and then replacing the shortcut link with the text string found here.

    You can then highlight / select the rot13’ed text on the page and click the shortcut, which will change the highlighted text in your browser display back to its unencrypted form.

  10. @JJ: I used to dial into my university’s VAX at 300 bps with an acoustic modem. You could hear the little purring noise it made transmitting data, so I would close my eyes and wait for that to stop, then open them and the screen would be ready to read. Now I wait just as long for overly complex web pages to stop bouncing around, but without the aural clue.

  11. Late to the party, but I hope you feel better soon, Mike.

    Chagrined to have missed the $1600 question, but I got the others pretty quickly.

  12. WHAT WOULD SHEVEK THINK? – Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed is being adapted into a TV series by 1212 Entertainment and Anonymous Content, with the assistance of her son Theo Downes-Le Guin. According to Tor.com:

    There is no writer or network attached to the project as of yet, but the intention is to turn the book into a limited series. With any luck, we’ll get to see Le Guin’s “ambiguous utopia” on screen before long.

  13. Thanks Loren.

    I’m going to be discharged and go home later today. Will put up one more roll your own.

  14. FANTASY NOTE: After watching the House of Dragons trailer, I think Michael Moorcock and the Melniboneans should hire an IP law firm and an agent.

  15. FANTASY NOTE: After watching the House of Dragons trailer, I think Michael Moorcock and the Melniboneans should hire an IP law firm and an agent.

    Could they please just make an Elric series instead of this?

  16. @Paul Weimer

    The Portalist:
    12 of the Best Debut Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels

    Should be appended with “from the last few years”. Most of these are less than four years old, and the oldest is from 2005. There are a lot of great debut novels that are old enough to get a drivers license.

  17. Having just googled Eddings –
    1) Wow, Before the internet you could hide having been in jail much easier clearly.
    2) After being released from jail, do you get to start again with a clean slate? It’s part of a question that bothers me a lot overall- I think there should be some point where you’ve served your time and are done with it. But I don’t know what a fair period is.

  18. bill: Should be appended with “from the last few years”

    The Portalist is Open Road Media’s marketing division. Their lists tend to be driven by their marketing needs and generating income from Amazon referrer links (and I think authors/publishers can get books into their lists by paying for that marketing). My experience is that the quality of their lists reflects that, so I generally don’t pay a lot of attention to their lists.

  19. I’m really quite surprised that nobody has mentioned that Saladin Ahmed’s The Throne of the Crescent Moon in addition to winning a Locus Award for Best novel was also shortlisted for the Hugo for Best Novel. Surely that’s worth recalling?

    I was actually not terribly impressed with Crescent Moon owing to the literally nonexistent characterization of the villain. We never find out why he’s doing his villainy, and he never speaks a line. Possibly this was intended to be some sort of literary effect, and would be rectified in a sequel? But I haven’t heard that any sequel is forthcoming. However, I’ve read a fair amount of his comics work (Black Bolt and Ms. Marvel, for example) and quite enjoyed it.

  20. 300 baud? LUXURY!

    We had to dial a rotary phone and jam it into an acoustic coupler hooked to a TTY and you had to store your programs on punched paper tape. And you’d get 110 baud. But we did have email.

    Luckily those old Western Electric phones were sturdy chunks of Big Iron, because being young, female, and smol, I had to stand on the handset to get it to make a seal sufficient to keep out extraneous noise.

  21. Bookwork1398

    After being released from jail, do you get to start again with a clean slate? It’s part of a question that bothers me a lot overall- I think there should be some point where you’ve served your time and are done with it. But I don’t know what a fair period is.

    An excellent question, and often deeply relevant. To wit, many people trying to demonize George Floyd for being murdered brought up things that were over a decade old AND for which he served his time, and I felt that was wildly inappropriate for any number of reasons.

    and prevailing social attitude (not just in the US) seems to be very much against allowing people to show any kind of redemption, and it would be nice to see it swing back towards “Time is served = clean slate”, especially when it comes to minor convictions like possession of a drug now legal in multiple places.

    AND overall the current system isn’t designed to actually rehabilitate (not just in the US but in general), or to treat mental health issues for people for whom without the mental health issue, they would not have committed any crimes, which doesn’t help, though some places do better at making some attempts that way than others.

    However, there are some crimes for which I think it is absolutely understandable if there are social consequences, outside of the victim or family and friends,* at least until proven trustworthy, and in some cases long past serving time. Horrific child abuse is certainly one of those for many people. And of course for the Eddings’ we simply don’t know if they did anything in the rest of their life to indicate they recognized how terrible their actions had been.

    ( * At no point is anyone who was the victim of a crime, direct witness, or otherwise intimately connected ever obligated to let go their feelings about the person or crime (provided they don’t demand more punishment for that person than the law has chosen to mete). But I genuinely believe that is a different issue from assumptions we as a society make.)

  22. Glad to hear that you are on the mend, Mike. They still talk about you here in 6318!

    @Lenora Rose

    Lots to agree on in your response.

    and prevailing social attitude (not just in the US) seems to be very much against allowing people to show any kind of redemption, and it would be nice to see it swing back towards “Time is served = clean slate”, especially when it comes to minor convictions like possession of a drug now legal in multiple places.

    I would add the qualifier that, in addition to serving their time, a person should demonstrate that their behavior has changed such that they will not repeat their past crimes. Someone that commits a single crime should probably be able to clear their names pretty quickly. Someone with a lengthy criminal history might have to wait a while longer for society to acknowledge the change in their character/behavior.

    I have known and still know a few felons who fit the description of having served their time and changing their character as a result.

    WRT to Mr. Floyd, I believe the point to highlighting his criminal history was that he was being portrayed by the media and various protest groups as someone who was innocent of any wrongdoing and unworthy of any police attention on the day he was murdered. Mr. Floyd did absolutely nothing worthy of being murdered on the day he was murdered. He did plenty on that day (allegedly passing counterfeit money and demonstrably using illegal drugs) worthy of police attention/investigation/arrest and potentially later prosecution.

    He served his time, but he had not changed his behavior/character to prevent future crimes. That shouldn’t have resulted in his being murdered.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The Africans know I’m not an African. I’m an American. – Whoopi Goldberg

  23. Dann: I wish that were true. But most places talking about his past record were people leaning hard into “SO we shouldn’t investigate” / “The cops were right” and even “He deserved to die.” YOU might not have been. But I know what I saw, and the discussion wasn’t “innocent life” vs. “(Well, he didn’t deserve to die but) he was not an angel.”

    Even at that, there are issues with characterizing him as never having changed. He passed a fake bill… did he know? He might still have used drugs (and we don’t know how often), but he wasn’t committing armed robbery, and hadn’t since his release. His family has said he was much improved and trying to be a better person. And one fake bill doesn’t make that a lie.

    I thought my fourth paragraph included an explicit mention of changed behaviour, but apparently in deleting something more convoluted, I dropped that bit, too. Suffice to say, full agreement there.

  24. Lenora Rose: for the Eddings’ we simply don’t know if they did anything in the rest of their life to indicate they recognized how terrible their actions had been.

    According to a comment on the Westeros forum by Adam Whitehead:
    “There is a non sequitur sequence in the Elenium [which was written 20+ years after the Eddings’ jail term and for which they were co-authors] where one of the characters’ sons talks back to him and he immediately takes his belt off and cows the child into submission.”

    So the answer to that seems to be “Apparently Not”. 😐

  25. As regards Eddings, I think crimes against children deserve higher scrutiny and justify greater caution even many years later.

    As regards Floyd, we don’t even know that it was a fake bill, let alone that he knew it was a fake bill. Nothing he did on that day justified the level of aggressive force used, even before the cop, who had his own far more relevant track record of using excessive force, started kneeling on his neck.

  26. @Lenora Rose

    I agree to an extent. I certainly saw those same discussions and spoke against them where I could. Even today I will run into one of those people who, when pressed, will acknowledge that he didn’t deserve to die. Their out of proportion reaction is motivited by the surreal description of Mr. Floyd as being totally innocent and unworthy of any police attention.

    Motte and Bailey have unfortunately become our national method of “discussion”. Yes, I’m as guilty as everyone else.

    There was a brief moment in time when almost the entire nation was listening and ready to have a conversation on the future of policing in America. We were poised to be a much better nation.

    And then the riots and looting started…

    Regards,
    Dann
    – CLOSED FOR TAGLINE DEVELOPMENT –

  27. @Dann665–

    I agree to an extent. I certainly saw those same discussions and spoke against them where I could. Even today I will run into one of those people who, when pressed, will acknowledge that he didn’t deserve to die. Their out of proportion reaction is motivited by the surreal description of Mr. Floyd as being totally innocent and unworthy of any police attention.

    Bullshit. They started in immediately with the insistence that Floyd was a violent thug, before we knew anything at all about his background, that video of Floyd initiating violence toward the police was being suppressed, and that passing a single fake $20 bill (an assertion still not proven) meant he was a major counterfeiter and probably had a violent gang. (Note: The actual counterfeiters never pass the bills themselves. They use underlings for that.)

    And they continue to insist that kneeling on a man’s neck for nine minutes is a perfectly reasonable means of restraint, and Floyd wouldn’t have died if hadn’t been on drugs. They also want to talk only about the cop whose knee was on his neck, and not the others who were on his back and legs, further constricting blood flow and, yes, contributing to the inability to breathe and to his death.

    As much as they want to talk about Floyd’s background, which the cops didn’t know when they were slowly killing him, they don’t want to talk about the background of the cop with his knee on Floyd’s back for nine minutes–which is not good. He had multiple complaints against him, for unreasonable force.

    Chauvin is guilty, guilty, guilty.

    Floyd did nothing on that day to justify a tenth of what the cop did. And the level of force involved is supposed to be determined by the behavior of the suspect at the time, not by actions in the past even if they are known, which they weren’t. Which is to say, even if they knew everything, they were still not allowed to kill him because of that–only if he presented an actual threat to the cops or to bystanders on the day.

    Chauvin is a killer.

    Floyd wasn’t.

  28. @Lis Carey

    Bullshit on your bullshit.

    Were there people in the US acting as you described? Surely. It was not my experience; mostly IRL but a little online.

    The vast majority of my discussions did not involve such people. Most, and they were definitely in the conservative-to-libertarian part of the spectrum, were quite willing to have a broader discussion about policing tactics. Most agreed that Mr. Floyd had done nothing worthy of death on that day (or previously).

    And most were frustrated by the same things:

    Mr. Floyd being described as law-abiding on the day he was murdered. That was patently untrue.
    The disparate presentation by the media of any unarmed black man being killed by police relative to unarmed white men getting the same treatment.
    The riots and looting – particularly given the lack of effective response from prosecutors and the police.

    Quibble with those motivations as you will. But that was my experience and that experience isn’t subject to your approval.

    Regards,
    Dann
    If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell

  29. @Dann–On the day he was arrested, George Floyd may or may not have passed a counterfeit $20 bill. If he did, he may or may not have known.

    Even if he did it, and did it knowingly, that’s not a crime requiring the aggressive behavior Chauvin and his juniors engaged in.

    There is ample video from multiple angles, showing that it wasn’t Floyd who turned the situation violent.

    Chauvin, nearly the entire time he had his knee on Floyd’s neck, had his hand in his pocket and a relaxed expression, even a smirk on his face.

    He knew what he was doing, and he was doing it intentionally.

    Dylann Roof
    Nikolas Cruz
    James Holmes
    Jared Lee Loughner
    Timothy McVeigh

    That list is a selection of armed white men who had killed multiple people, who were taken into custody alive and mostly without serious incident–except, of course, for the mass shootings they’d committed.

    But it’s unreasonable, apparently, to expect cops to do the same with unarmed black men.

  30. @Lis Carey

    That list is a selection of armed white men who had killed multiple people, who were taken into custody alive and mostly without serious incident–except, of course, for the mass shootings they’d committed.

    But it’s unreasonable, apparently, to expect cops to do the same with unarmed black men.

    There is no daylight – zero photons – between us in that sentiment. Nor have I said anything in this thread to suggest otherwise.

    Any last words here are yours.

    Regards,
    Dann
    The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians. – George Orwell

  31. @Lis Carey

    And they continue to insist that . . . Floyd wouldn’t have died if hadn’t been on drugs.

    From the autopsy: Floyd had had 11 nanograms per milliliter of fentanyl in his blood, and fatalities can come from as low as 3 ng/ml. Also, Floyd was having trouble breathing before he was put onto the ground. So it is certainly reasonable to infer an overdose as contributing to his death.

    Also, Floyd wasn’t proned and held down because of the $20 bill, or because he was black. He was restrained because he resisted arrest. That’s the relevant difference between him and Roof and the other white people you mentioned — none of them resisted arrest.

    Chauvin and the other officers were justified in restraining Floyd up until the moment he stopped struggling against them. At that point, they should have rolled him to his side.

    (and as a counter-example to your black/white arrestees, I’ll point out that Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed non-violent white woman who did not present a threat to the life or safety of anyone [the standard for using lethal force], was shot to death by a black officer.)

  32. Being “restrained for resisting” arrest is quite a euphemism for what was done to George Floyd when he was on the ground and handcuffed. That was brutality, not restraint.

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