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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

February 19
How had I not seen The Prestige before? Possibly when it appeared (hah!) at about the same time as The Illusionist, I confused the two and couldn't remember which one I'd seen, but in any case, this is a fine piece of work - an escalating revenge story with magicians. It's not perfect; if you've not figured things out by the Cats & Hats scene, you've not being paying attention, and I found the exposition of Angier's trick at the end to be a bit condescending since you should have definitely figured things out by that point. Borden's trick I'd sort of figured out; again, there was a good deal of foreshadowing, but I think in his case the exposition was a little more justified. That aside, the movie suffers the same problem of any well-made movie about a con: you keep waiting for the final, final, final twist - even when you've actually reached it, you're still expecting one more reversal before the credits. Anyway. Good movie, good cast, well worth seeing despite the above niggles.

February 15
Back from a quick trip to the UK. We may or may not have seen Psy doing the Gangam Style dance. (We saw someone Korean, on a stage, wearing a suit, who made reference to the fact that he hadn't done the dance in a while. Good enough for me.)

I don't mean to cast aspersions on certain newsrooms and the things they do to get page views, but
BBC NewsAustralia police seize meth in bra gels2016-02-15 07:05:09
BBC NewsVIDEO: Meth found hidden in bra inserts2016-02-15 07:05:09
BBC NewsVIDEO: 'Meth bra inserts' seized in Australia2016-02-15 07:35:08
BBC NewsSydney police seize meth in bra inserts 2016-02-15 09:35:09
Now, if you look at the history of one of the non-video article:
BBC NewsAustralia police seize A$1bn of meth2016-02-15 04:35:11
BBC NewsAustralia police seize A$1bn of meth2016-02-15 06:05:08
BBC NewsAustralia police seize meth in bra gels2016-02-15 07:05:09
BBC NewsSydney police seize meth in bra inserts2016-02-15 09:35:09
So that's six headlines for one story that just happens to include "bra" in four of the versions. Huhhuh boooooobs.

Admittedly this is somewhat unfair, as I've not done any sort of analysis on how much tweaking the average BBC headline gets over the course of a day. Some fiddling with my current archive of news articles (~150,000 items, where an item is a unique combination of headline, summary & URL) suggests that about 12% get updated once, 3% twice, and 1.5% 4 times; roughly 50% get posted and left untouched for their duration in the RSS feed.

Of course, now I'm curious about those articles that have been updated 8, 9 and 10 times.

February 5
I feel like I'm missing something here. Everyone was raving about the perfection of Mad Max: Fury Road; mostly it felt to me like a two-hour car chase with interludes for scenery and occasional (very occasional) dialogue. I mean, it's beautifully shot and the action is, well, active (although after two hours you've sort of run out of things to be impressed with; there's only so many times you can run over a car or a henchman with The Big Truck) and I get that it's a big deal that it's more Charlize Theron's movie than it is Tom Hardy's, but I'm still not feeling the awe.

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Seconds out, month two!