Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You need two wings to make a chicken.

Just a reminder, through these horrible times: The whole picture is always more than they'll show you.

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The new pecking order

They found my replacement! Apparently, he's an eggspert ;-)

TTFN
-Tony
 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

You just have to be the right kind...

It seems the Calgary Expo banned a group of female panelists and booth holders just for supporting Gamer Gate.  Apparently all are equal, but some are more equality than others. "Go home, gamer girl" indeed.

TTFN
-Tony

Saturday, April 18, 2015

From the mouths of middle-schoolers

Mandy: Does Jesus live in the sky?
Mom: Jesus lives inside your heart.
Mandy: ...Grandma, that's kind of gross!

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Electronic Voting Made Simple

I read a recent news article about how easy the new electronic voting machines are to hack, and I just don't get it. To me the solution is very simple to design and implement.

To quote Scotty in Star Trek III, "The more they overdo the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." So here's what you do:

Make a simple voting program that is hardwired on an integrated circuit. You have a list of offices, and a list of candidates on a grid. You choose which one you want by hitting a button. Keep it as simple and obvious as possible.

Each machine at the voting place is connected by cable to one collecting computer. None of these machines or the collecting computer have wi-fi, Bluetooth, or any internet access whatsoever. This collecting computer has a bare-bones OS that can do five things. 

1- Record the results on the hard drive
2 - Burn those results to a DVD-ROM
3 - Copy those results to a backup USB stick.
4 - Print the results on paper.
5 - Reformat / fill random characters on the hard drive.

OK, now comes the human element, but there's always going to be a human element no matter what, right? The same way paper results would be transported by an official to whatever collecting agency currently collects them, the official physically transports the DVD, paperwork, and USB stick. Let's say to a county seat, once an hour.

The county seats compile and verify all the data it receives, once again on computers with bare-bones operating systems, with the paperwork. These computers do the same thing as their district counterparts, but the compiled results are transported hourly to the state capital.

At the state level, the results can be transmitted by secure internet connection to national data collectors as they come in. This data is verified over a webcam by an official, whose face must be verified by face recognition software. Sure, the line might possibly be hacked into, but while the data might possibly be found out, the results would be nearly impossible to change.

Feel free to poke holes in this, but I don't understand why something along these lines can't be implemented. Who in their right minds designs e-voting computers with wi-fi access and expects it to be secure?

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

You spin me right round

For the record- 

What I dislike about Hillary Clinton is that she's power hungry, and has proven to be for The Powers that Be, but somehow insists she's a champion of the people. 

I dislike her campaign history of nastily attacking opponents, then turning around, and becoming a victim empowerment opportunist whenever it suits her.

I dislike that when she was senator things got worse and worse for union members in NYC, yet she is somehow considered a blue-collar champion.

I dislike that any meaningful talk about how badly our electoral system needs a complete overhaul is squashed by the "Get behind Hillary, because even if she's not really what you stand for, change is impossible and you wouldn't want to see an evil Republican in power, would you?" campaign that seems to be gaining traction.

Then again, if the last two elections are anything to go by, the Republicans will put forth complete wingnuts that no one in their right mind would ever vote for, and do everything possible to scare centrist fence-sitters away every single time they gain traction. The rich will get richer, the poorer will get poorer, everyone will support their ideologies no matter what, and the "we'd love to fix America but we just can't because ______" won't let us, good-cop bad-cop dance will continue.

If I had to choose one politician who seems the most to actually give a shit about people instead of just pretending, I'd pick Senator  Elizabeth Warren. But seeing the way the Democrats screwed over her campaign to lower tuition rates (by tacking on a capital gains tax they knew the Republicans would refuse to agree to,) she seems to know she'd never have a chance. Que sera sera.

TTFN
-Tony

P.S.
My views on her are, of course, my views, and have nothing to do with how I see anyone who supports her. Same with those who support the far right. My friends are friends because they're good people. Nothing else matters to me in that department.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sometimes the News

I severely dislike Hillary Clinton, but come on, is making fun of her for going unnoticed in a burrito joint really front-page worthy?
In other things that are not the news, my daughter told me last night that she wishes that The Count was big and tough with giant muscles, so that he would "have ladies all over him." So, is Sesame Street now a gateway drug to Twilight?

I spent yesterday hand-winching up a five foot by five foot by two inch slab of steel. I know pulleys and chainfalls have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, but I can't help but find it cool to see the simple physics of mechanical advantage in action.

Why can I feel so lazy when left to my own devices, but still feel like there's not enough hours in the day?

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, April 13, 2015

Back from the shadows again...

So here I am, waiting in the parking lot before another day of work. The furlough has ended, let us go in peace to love and serve the DEP. Everyone is parked out on the fringe, with only a few cars parked right in front of the trailer. I'm wondering if I missed something while I was gone, or if it's just in case of everyone making the same assumptions. At least there's no more ice and snow on the ground. 

My VW was parked under a tree for a week, and was thoroughly anointed by the love of Flushing pigeons. I'm actually, in a way, happy to be back. I work with good people, and even though I enjoyed visiting my sister very much and had a good time with friends, I can spend way too much time being lazy, if left to my own devices. At least I got a lot of writing in it, and I worked on a cell-drawn animation. I should really learn Flash, and how to interpolate between key frame shapes. I can see why no one draws animations frame by frame like that anymore.

Let the fun begin.

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, April 06, 2015

If there is no Denny's...

And the Lord said "Remember when I was drunk, and you took me through the Jack in the Box drive through to get some sobering-up breakfast?"
And the people said "Lord, when did we ever try to get you back down with a cheap egg on a biscuit sandwich?"
And Jesus said "Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, you do unto me."

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, April 03, 2015

J Arthur Rank Productions

Hitting giant nipples at the Musical Instrument Museum!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Arizona!

Yes, it was in the 30s this morning in Flushing, so I'm in the desert wearing a black sweater. :D

You are traveling through another dimension...

AAAGH WILLIAM SHATNER IS ON THE WING!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The question on everyone's mind...

When will 70s fashion come around again? I'm pretty sure I could rock a stylized 'fro.

TTFN
-Tony