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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
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|Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015|
|Friday, April 17th, 2015|
|Interesting exercise: picking your own election manifesto
The BBC was doing it, so why not?
It's my first election for over a decade…
Overall, I come out as liberal
with certain reservations. The Liberal Democrats tended to win my vote based on specific, implementable policies representing incremental improvement which don't give or take away too much. Apparently I like the Alliance Party
, too - usually when the Lib Dems aren't being idealistic enough; the Oxford Manifesto
still has a lot going for it, despite ongoing challenges
I agree with some Green "big ideas", but their red lines on nuclear energy and defence make me unlikely to vote for them. I also doubt their ability to fund their ambitious policies, and have concerns over the competence of their local representatives. (The Lib Dems, for all their faults, still have significantly more members with practical government experience.)
I clearly didn't support either of the two leading parties. The Conservatives are too authoritarian and too eager to cut social services - I'd categorize their approach as prescriptive, yet unsupportive. They tend to offer economic policies that I can cautiously approve of, then ruin it with a cheap play towards social conservatives.
For Labour, the issue is offering too much to everyone, except for immigrants (e.g. guaranteed jobs, benefits), and being keen to do things which sound
good but are a) expensive and b) unsupported by evidence (such as cutting class sizes) - they've also ruled-out many opportunities to raise revenue, which I find fiscally unsound.
Europe is a big part of the UK's future; even if I disagree with aspects such as agricultural policy and the "freedom to be forgotten", these are best negotiated from inside the system. Labour isn't saying too much about this, while the Conservatives seem to want to punt this to a referendum which they expect won't pass. I sense pressure from UKIP in this and other major party decisions. (Fewer will compare UKIP with the Lib Dems - though I suspect their pro-Euro stance hurts them vs. Lab/Con.)
Education is tricky - I'm not opposed to a moderate level of university fees, but they can discourage people from going, and if we think as a society that most people should
be getting university-level education - reasonable, given increasing lifespans - it can probably be managed more efficiently through a central system. For similar reasons, I don't favour academies, let alone free schools. But I also support performance-related pay, so I can't support the Green position.
I can't vote for the SNP, but if I could I'd probably classify them as similar to Labour, but more ideologically pure. I'm glad Scotland didn't leave the UK - I think it would have been a bad idea (especially for them, given the recent drop in oil prices) - but I don't oppose further devolution, as long as that comes with greater responsibility for raising the funds to support their social projects.
Overall, it's good to have more parties involved in the policy debate; but we need proportional representation to make it work properly (I favour range voting
- hey, it worked well enough for Inkbunny's t-shirt competition
). Failing that, I won't be too disappointed with another Lib Dem coalition, as they're able to moderate the worst excesses of both major parties - though naturally, I'd prefer them to be the majority partner! :-) Current Mood: thoughtful
|Monday, April 13th, 2015|
|Wednesday, March 11th, 2015|
|Formalizing the role of charity fundraising in furry conventions
Many furries think raising money to support needy animals is a good thing. From a purely promotional point of view, it's also nice to be able to say you "raised $$$$ for fuzzy critters". As a result, many furry conventions do it
Charity might seem like a win-win, but there are opportunity costs. Fundraising involves volunteer time, and sometimes money, which could otherwise be spent on awards, food, fans, guests, etc… - things which often relate more directly to the enjoyment of attendees, and the celebration and development of furry-related arts and crafts.( While charity events can be entertaining, particularly when live animals are involved, there are often trade-offsCollapse ) Current Mood: relaxed
|Friday, January 23rd, 2015|
|Thursday, December 18th, 2014|
|Friday, July 18th, 2014|
|Digging through old boxes can be profitable
I just found my old new glasses! They were slipped into a con bag for Midwest FurFest 2008
(I have them back to '05, my first con).
I knew I'd bought two pairs with the fancy coatings and suchlike, one oblong and plastic, one round and metal, but I lost the latter shortly after purchase. Never did know what had happened to them. Now I do.
And gosh, things look so much better than my scratched-up pair from . . . well, 2008 as well, but I've been using them them and the coating's worn away. These are mint - colours are more saturated and everything looks that bit sharper. I'm getting that headache that I do when my prescription has changed, but man, it's worth it.
|Tuesday, July 1st, 2014|
|Saturday, March 29th, 2014|
|Saturday, November 30th, 2013|
|Tuesday, September 17th, 2013|
|Friday, September 6th, 2013|
|Room for Rainfurrest?
Anyone heading to Rainfurrest
this year and got a room slot open? I'm hoping to be at the con Wednesday night to Sunday afternoon, though I can probably find another slot for Wednesday if necessary. Ideally main hotel, but doesn't have to be.
|Sunday, September 1st, 2013|
|Sometimes my mind goes places I can't fathom
One of my more bizarre dreams: the decline and fall of the Western Roman Empire, as depicted by anthropomorphic shopping carts, squabbling over national produce as they raced down the timeline of history. Current Mood: weird
|Thursday, July 25th, 2013|
|Heart and soul doesn't always put food on the table
A while back I was reading an artists' journal revolving around the issue of just value for their services. This response is so late that I figured I'd just post it here instead. So, here you go:
Of course art is worth more than a minimum wage job doing some menial task like flipping burgers or ringing up groceries. Art involves the heart and the soul and pouring all you've got into what you're doing!
In monetary/economic terms, ( I have to disagree . . .Collapse )
|Wednesday, July 24th, 2013|
|First impressions on the Chromecast concept
looks perfect for watching artists on LiveStream. I have a TV I only use as a test PC monitor, and it has a spare HDMI port. Would free up my real monitors on my main box for apps (and there'd probably be less crashing due to overheating - Texas is killer on my RAM). The three months of free Netflix is great, too.
I think it would be interesting as a general-purpose streaming device, too. However, Google's development terms
give me pause. Not keen on the concept of restriction on what can be developed with a paid-for device. Current Mood: curious
|Wednesday, June 19th, 2013|
|LinkedIn domain for sale?
Goodness. What's up with LinkedIn?
It's not like they forgot to re-register their domain - it's registered until 2018. Security problem at the domain registrar? Or maybe Qwest's DNS cache has been poisoned
(or LinkedIn's own servers were temporarily taken over).
Qwest's DNS lookup says linkedin.com is 18.104.22.168, but LinkedIn's own nameserver at 22.214.171.124 says 126.96.36.199 (which reverse-resolves to careers.linkedin.com).
Tracing route to 188.8.131.52 over a maximum of 30 hops
1 45 ms 25 ms 49 ms cpe-76-187-64-1.tx.res.rr.com [184.108.40.206]
2 13 ms 12 ms 11 ms tge7-2.irngtx3101h.texas.rr.com [220.127.116.11]
3 15 ms 15 ms 15 ms tge0-9-0-1.dllatx40-tr01.texas.rr.com [18.104.22.168]
4 14 ms 16 ms 15 ms agg26.dllatx1k-cr01.texas.rr.com [22.214.171.124]
5 19 ms 39 ms 15 ms agg21.dllatxl3-cr01.texas.rr.com [126.96.36.199]
6 23 ms 39 ms 23 ms ae-4-0.cr0.dfw10.tbone.rr.com [188.8.131.52]
7 14 ms 15 ms 15 ms ae0.pr1.dfw10.tbone.rr.com [184.108.40.206]
8 15 ms 34 ms 16 ms 220.127.116.11
9 69 ms 48 ms 72 ms ae7-20G.scr4.WDC2.gblx.net [18.104.22.168]
10 50 ms 46 ms 46 ms lag5.csr1.DCA3.gblx.net [22.214.171.124]
11 50 ms 47 ms 47 ms lag1.ar7.DCA3.gblx.net [126.96.36.199]
12 72 ms 51 ms 50 ms prolexic-technologies.ethernet4-2.ar7.dc
13 48 ms 54 ms 51 ms unknown.prolexic.com [188.8.131.52]
14 50 ms 51 ms 49 ms unknown.prolexic.com [184.108.40.206]
15 48 ms 88 ms 51 ms unknown.prolexic.com [220.127.116.11]
16 50 ms 50 ms 50 ms 18.104.22.168
Tracing route to careers.linkedin.com [22.214.171.124]
over a maximum of 30 hops:
1 566 ms 1242 ms 2310 ms cpe-76-187-64-1.tx.res.rr.com [126.96.36.199]
2 14 ms 12 ms 12 ms tge7-2.irngtx3101h.texas.rr.com [188.8.131.52]
3 172 ms 38 ms 16 ms tge0-9-0-0.dllatx40-tr01.texas.rr.com [184.108.40.206]
4 23 ms 39 ms 16 ms agg26.dllatx1k-cr01.texas.rr.com [220.127.116.11]
5 169 ms 15 ms 15 ms agg21.dllatxl3-cr01.texas.rr.com [18.104.22.168]
6 18 ms 23 ms 23 ms 22.214.171.124
7 * * 15 ms ae1.pr1.dfw10.tbone.rr.com [126.96.36.199]
8 15 ms 14 ms 14 ms 188.8.131.52
9 54 ms 97 ms 54 ms linkedin-corporation.tengigabitethernet3-1.a
10 52 ms 51 ms 53 ms 184.108.40.206
11 52 ms 72 ms 51 ms careers.linkedin.com [220.127.116.11]
|Wednesday, June 12th, 2013|
|Socializing Flayrah's newsbytes
's been hopping this month. I figured out how to auto-post newsbytes to Twitter
(filtering the posts to links by contributors, grabbing the first URL and posting stripped text+URL through the Twitter module) and Facebook
(adapting the same tool to create an RSS feed and posting that via RSS Graffiti, like our main one). Also added a feed
over on VK
, for what good that'll do.
A few weeks ago I rolled out enhanced Twitter Cards
support. The algorithm to determine which image to use for the large image cards took a little tweaking, but the results look good (though I think I found a bug in their handling of greyscale PNGs).
Has this led to extra traffic? Well . . . it's hard to say. Posting newsbytes on our social feeds roughly doubles their activity, but they tend to links to sites other than Flayrah, and arguably users now have less reason to visit (the same applies to Twitter Cards). But we're serving our readers better, and that's what matters. Besides, the more useful our feeds are, the more subscribers they'll get, and the more readers for the posts which do
lead back to Flayrah.
|Monday, May 27th, 2013|
|Monday, May 13th, 2013|
|What is the face of a machine?
I missed the whole "IBM's Watson on Jeopardy
" thing the first time around (probably in part because I don't watch TV). Caught up on the coverage this weekend - just before attending a furry event where I'm pretty
sure nothing happened that was illegal in Texas.
It was all interesting
, but the piece I liked the most was how they constructed Watson's face
. That's a real mixture of art and programming that I can appreciate.