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Hacker's Diary

A rough account of what I did with Emacs recently.

October 26
Voted. It's disappointing to see the scale of support for Casey in the exit polls; interested to see the actual figures at the end of the day. If you voted for Casey you are a bad person and should feel bad. He's a disgrace as a person and as a prospective politician.

Solo: A Star Wars Story was a whole lotta fun. I liked the bits of fanservice I recognised - the dice being the obvious one, but also the blaster, the Kessel Run, the card game for the Millennium Falcon, and a few others - but I see from IMDb trivia that there was a whole lot more for people who'd read the books, watched various other bits of the Star Wars universe, or even played some of the games. The movie doesn't buckle under the weight of this, however; it's nicely paced and has a decent plot to carry things along. I did have a slight headscratch at the initial big heist, but I can't really expand on it without spoilers, so let's just say I didn't wholly buy Val's actions if her motivation is supposed to be to get Beckett out of his debt to Vos. But that's a small thing, and I'd happily watch this again.

(also still amused at people tying themselves in knots to explain the Kessel Run "12 parsecs" thing rather than accepting that hey, George Lucas maybe thought a parsec was a measure of time and noone challenged him on it until after it was canon...)

My RSS Toy has been complaining for, uh, months about one of the feeds containing an invalid UTF8 character. This is coming from the binary portion of the database driver, i.e. outside the python code that makes up the RSS Toy. I've been trying various things to understand this and eventually concluded that the driver is actually broken, because the character (a wineglass: 🍷) is perfectly valid. I've tried MySQL-python, mysqlclient, and (most recently) PyMySQL, and all are showing the same problem, so I guess at this point I should just consider throwing away the database entirely (since maybe it's the database that's generating the error?) and use something else.

October 24
Return flight movie-watching: watched Ronin, an otherwise decent movie spoiled by De Niro basically repeating half his lines. Maybe he was hoping to get paid double or something.

Flying was to Oz for work and play.

October 11
Airplane movie-watching: I skipped a huge chunk of Baby Driver, in search of bits featuring driving. Disappointingly few given that the movie's ostensibly about a virtuoso driver. Glad I didn't pay for this; the only thing I'll note about the movie itself is that Our Hero went remarkably quickly from reluctant participant in crimes to, well, killer.

The Green Hell was a little difficult to watch as the audio was in German and the subtitles weren't great, but it's a fascinating combination of historical footage, interviews, and the occasional voiceover piece; the focus is on Niki Lauda and his infamous Nürburgring accident, but it also touches on more general issues of F1 safety.

And I watched a bunch of Preacher episodes. Still awesome, still funny, although to be honest the season finale felt a bit more like "we ran out of time" than an actual finale.

October 6
Updating 2FA stuff to no longer use Google Authenticator; I've switched to Authy instead. Old phone came back to life sufficiently for me to help with this process, but I no longer trust it to actually remain running. I'll factory wipe it while I still can and investigate if it's worth repairing (it'll need a new battery regardless of what else is up with it) or if it's now recycler fodder.

TouchID on the new phone is scarily improved over the old phone (to be fair, I've skipped from a 6 to an 8). I tried it briefly on the old phone and gave up in frustration; new phone actually makes it seem like a viable option, although I'm balking at enabling TouchID for my password safe.

I'm bemused that Google's own spam algorithms chose to classify their own security alert emails as spam. But then, when you enable 2FA, they default to "on" the checkbox that says "don't use 2FA on this browser" which I think somewhat defeats the purpose of enabling it. Let people think about the risks involved, rather than allowing EULA-driven mindless clicking of "Next" buttons to turn off the security feature they've just enabled.

My shiny Bose headphones, a gift for my birthday, have stopped working. This is annoying, more so because it appears to be some sort of known fault going by the prevalence of similar symptoms on the Bose message boards. I am awaiting a return contact from their customer service to tell me what happens now.

October 4
My phone woke me up this morning with its alarm, and then keeled over and died - it looks like the battery has reached MAX_CYCLE_COUNT or some such as it's no longer charging. This is ... inconvenient.

And now I have an iPhone 8. I'll still need to go visit an Apple dealer with the old one because I can't turn it on to factory-wipe it.

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I'm so old I remember when it was January