Categories
Politics Uncategorized

Was the past better or worse than the present? – Lawyers, Guns & Money

The reactionary world view is based fundamentally on the idea that the past was much better than the present, because people were happier. And why were they happier? Because they knew their place in an unquestioned and unquestionable social hierarchy that gave their lives meaning and structure, and that specific kind of happiness is much more valuable than the shallower kind of happiness provided by general anesthesia and plentiful food and central air conditioning and the Internet and what have you.

That’s what every reactionary believes in his bones. That’s what fuels contemporary American fascism and contemporary American evangelical Christianity and right wing Catholicism (but I repeat myself).
— Read on www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2022/06/was-the-past-better-or-worse-than-the-present

Categories
Travel Wish lists

Swiss Tourism Ad Is Simply the Best Commercial You’ll See

It’s an ad for Switzerland, but really it’s an ad for life.
— Read on www.adventure-journal.com/2022/06/swiss-tourism-ad-is-simply-the-best-commercial-youll-see/

This resonates right now. Summer is looking busy at work, family visits are quite difficult and my head is super crowded. This is an excellent, excellent pitch.

Categories
Computer science Random

Seven Head-Scratching Features from WWDC 2022 – TidBITS

Customize Spatial Audio with TrueDepth Camera

This announcement came and went fairly quickly, but it had us scratching our heads immediately. The idea, it seems, is that spatial audio sounds more realistic if it can take into account aspects of the physicality of the listener that affect their perception of space. Apparently, this is a thing—called Head-Related Transfer Functions—and by capturing data using the iPhone’s TrueDepth camera, Apple could personalize the otherwise average HRTF that combines data from thousands of people.
— Read on tidbits.com/2022/06/13/seven-head-scratching-features-from-wwdc-2022/

I worked with HRTFs in grad school, trying to implement the filters in the wavelet domain (More here) so this is interesting to me. Looks like we’ll be able to use some combination of camera + lidar to capture the pinnae and derive personal HRTFs from that.

I cannot wait. Guess I’ll need to explore the spatial music and maybe movies now.

Categories
Random

Safari on iOS 15 – ‘Hide IP address’ breaks a lot of sites

Since I got this iPad Pro (M1, 10”) a year or so ago, it’s been my primary machine for almost everything. SSH, Remote Desktop, video of course, even video editing and uploads with the GoPro and Quik. It’s a fast, silent, long-battery machine and I love it. Paired with the trackpad/keyboard, I don’t miss my MBP13.

Except. Some websites, typically e-commerce ones, never load. You’ll see a spinner in the upper right corner, next to the cell/Wi-Fi icons, and it never loads. Today I found the fix!!

The problem is the iOS 15 privacy feature ‘Hide IP address’. Disabling it fixes every site I’ve had fail on me. Before finding this fix, I had cleared cookies, erased history, disabled extensions, bypassed the Pi-hole and sometimes used Firefox. Note that Firefox doesn’t have this problem, but I prefer Safari just a bit on iOS.

Go to Settings / Safari and scroll down.

Click on ‘Hide IP address’:

Disable it, go back to Safari and you’ll find that the mystery spinner is banished. Bizarre.

Maybe this’ll be fixed in iOS 16… due to be announced in a couple of days, but I found this so frustrating that I should share the fix.

Categories
recommendations Uncategorized

upptime – this is awesome

upptime
— Read on simonwillison.net/2022/May/26/upptime/

Setup one for me – check it out at https://GitHub.com/phubbard/upptime

Categories
Random recommendations

Matt’s Off Road Recovery

When the Olympics come around, I’ll often watch sports I am 100% ignorant of, just to see the best in the world doing their thing. It’s the competence at work, the striving, that I find compelling.

Like the Olympics, where NBC will strive to deliver narratives about athletes and their paths, good video or books can take you into another life/job/existence. It allows us, the reader/viewer, to visualize another existence; you even see it in museum dioramas and I think it’s a deep human trait.

Since discovering the Vinegar extension for Safari, I’ve found it a lot easier to browse YouTube. I uninstalled the YouTube app, and now solely use Safari on both iPad and desktop; this app is so good. Anyway, that’s what led me to today’s topic, Matt’s Off Road Recovery.

MORR, as I’ll call it here, is a YouTube channel started in 2019. It’s a family business in Hurricane, Utah, that does off-road towing, primarily for vehicles that get stuck in Sand Hollow State Park. Sounds boring? It’s not. Let me explain.

First off, the people are outstandingly competent. Owner Matt, son Rudy and Lizzy, are damned good at the work they do. Sand, snow, crazy steep rock, snow, trailers – oh my god they can back a trailer on a mountainside that looks like Everest – clever use of winches, pulleys and rigging, combining vehicle vectors… it’s a visual feast of ad-hoc problem solving to revel in. And that’s before you detour into the build videos and related channels doing advanced vehicle work.

There’s a host of supporting characters to recognize and enjoy, and the creators have done solid, careful work in establishing recurring patterns & motifs as well as investing in cameras, drones and lights to make the contents better. Like the canonical genius Clickspring, MORR is good at both videos and the work they do.

Lastly, they clearly have gone to a lot of trouble to remain apolitical and kind. In the work they do, often towing people who made bad decisions, lacked skills or inadequate vehicles, it would be simple to mock the customers but they never do. In 2022, when our national media is mainly afire with hate and status games, this is a wonderful thing to find.

I have no interest whatsoever in becoming an off-road recovery person. At the same time, I greatly enjoy watching them do so, and maybe you will too. Hit shuffle on his recovery playlist and be taken to another life.

On a purely personal note, my family owned two Corvair convertibles, so it was amazing to me to watch them create a monster off-road towing rig out of a Corvair wagon. Mad props.

And yeah, I am tempted to buy some swag.

Categories
Computer science programming utilities

Controlling the Logitech Litra on MacOS

Recently I bought a USB-C connected diffused light for Zoom calls, the Logitech Litra Glow. The hardware is excellent, but the control software, Logitech GHub, is horrible. Intrusive permissions, auto start, auto updater, laggy UI, just a hard no. The light has buttons on the back to control it, but since mine is next to the camera it looks odd when I’m reaching over and let’s face it, I’m a programmer and love solving small problems with code. Let’s find a way.

Some searching found a Linux app on Github, but the USB library for MacOS required sudo access which adds hassle. There’s an issue and discussion on the topic, which led me to hidapitester, which doesn’t require root access to run.

Goals

I want menu bar control, simplified – light on and off, one or two brightness levels. Basically make it easy to use as I hop on and off calls. Here’s what I came up with, hopefully it’s helpful for you too.

Installation and configuration

  1. Install hidapitester
  2. Add shell aliases to control the light
  3. Tweak color temp and brightness values to your liking
  4. Add Shortcuts to drive the shell aliases from the GUI

Install hidapitester

Grab the source or binary from the project GitHub page. Copy it into /usr/local/bin and then, due to app signing requirements, you’ll need to approve its use from the Finder.

open /usr/local/bin

Right click on hidapitester and select Open

On the warning dialog, select Open.

The binary is now flagged as OK; you only have to do this once.

Add shell aliases

The default shell is now zsh so let’s use that. I also use and like oh-my-zsh, so my aliases are in /Users/phubbard/.oh-my-zsh/custom/aliases.zsh

Using the magic payloads from the Github issue, we define a base function _hid that invokes hidapitester with the full path and identifiers. We then build on that to add a selection of color temps and brightness levels.

function _hid() {
  /usr/local/bin/hidapitester --vidpid 046D/C900 --open --length 20 --send-output $1
}

# 2/17/22 Litra Glow aliases from https://github.com/kharyam/litra-driver/issues/13
function light() {
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x1c,0x01
}

function dark() {
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x1c
}

# ~10%
function glow(){
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x4c,0x00,20
}

# ~20%
function dim(){
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x4c,0x00,50
}

# tweaking by hand - less than 50%
function normal() {
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x4c,0x00,70
}

# ~50%
function medium() {
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x4c,0x00,100
}

# 90%
function bright(){
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x4c,0x00,204
}

# 2700K
function warmest() {
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x9c,10,140
}

# 3200K
function warm() {
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x9c,12,128
}

# 6500K
function coldest() {
  _hid 0x11,0xff,0x04,0x9c,25,100
}

You should be able to run any of these from zsh:

exec zsh
light
dark

That might be all you need/want. If so, enjoy!

Add Shortcuts

There’s a few key things to know in order to make this work:

  • You can invoke a shell script or alias by using the Terminal app from Shortcuts
  • You don’t get a login shell, so we need to manually load the aliases for this to work.
  • We also need to use full paths, since the non-login shell has a different PATH set.
  • Once the aliases are loaded, we can chain calls using the && operator.
  • Under the Shortcuts setting, there’s a checkbox for ‘Pin in Menu Bar’ that exposes the Shortcut to your GUI.

Looks like this on the menu bar:

I use these three:

source /Users/phubbard/.oh-my-zsh/custom/aliases.zsh && light && warmest && dim

source /Users/phubbard/.oh-my-zsh/custom/aliases.zsh && dark

source /Users/phubbard/.oh-my-zsh/custom/aliases.zsh && light && warmest && normal

I hope that others find this useful. I’m happy with the result as the code runs in a second or so and has yet to fail.

Categories
Random

Cat weathervane

Saw this today. Random.

Categories
Humor Uncategorized

fopdoodle – Wiktionary

fopdoodle – Wiktionary
— Read on en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/fopdoodle

Word of the day. Apply liberally.

Categories
Radio Random Uncategorized

Hey Verizon, you’ve got a problem in 92122

I’m a long time customer and former employee, with an MSEE and ham radio license. I play with SDR for fun – I’m no pro but I’m familiar with radio and cellular. My bonafides explained, this post explains the problem, what I tried and why you lost me today as a customer.

A few months ago we started to have problems. Calls are fine, but data is super slow and my battery was being murdered. With my iPhone 11 Pro, a bit under two years old and 83% battery health, requires two to three charges per day something is wrong.

It just discharges too fast

Second symptom: it works fine out of the home area, very approximately the 92122 zip code. As you can see from the screenshots on Nextdoor, others have the same problems. As the meme says, “I am not a crank.”

I called service and tried to explain. They sent me a new SIM, we reset networks and nothing helped. I wasn’t able to explain that the issue wasn’t me and that others were affected.

So today we’re all onto “Consumer Cellular”. Good price, stellar service so far, and instead of 12mbps I got

So Verizon, I think you’ve got a problem. Could be too many subscribers for the base station, failed antenna lobe, I can’t tell. Apple and the carriers have blocked key diagnostics like SNR so all I can do is speculate. You could sort it out with a test if your mobile coverage and I hope you do. It’s a pity to see the stellar reputation of Verizon Wireless being lost.

Update 12/1/2021 – I reached out to VerizonSupport on Twitter and they are promising to investigate. I spoke to a couple of different reps, one of whom said there was a known outage in the area.