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[11:59] CAPTCHAs exist to "tell computers and humans apart". In order to prove one is human, one could either identify pictures based on their description, solve mathematical equations or ... shoot demons. Apparently shooting at living things is considered a definitive human trait. (see also)
[23:26] The "Johanniter Unfallhilfe" is part of the emergency medical services in Germany. They currently experiment with patterns on their vehicles and backpacks that include QR codes which, when someone points their smart phone camera at it, will display a notification (literal translation "rubbernecking kills"). This is what it looks like (german voiceover about emergency personnel's experience with onlookers, also pointing out that taking photos of accidents and rescue operations is illegal in Germany as of 2021). (primary source also in german, a translation service of your choice might help).
[22:09] I bought a graphics tablet from a friend. I've never really been good at drawing or sketching, but I love toying around with stuff like that, and it gives me the opportunity to get more experience and maybe get better at this. We'll see.
And, as I expected, it was usable out of the box, no tinkering with additional software needed. I love Ubuntu.
(I came across Solarpunk a while ago, which might be the reason I have increased interest in this topic at the moment.)
[14:15] Solar Protocol is "a web platform hosted across a network of solar-powered servers set up in different locations around the world". The web sites are served depending on where the highest amount of solar power can be generated. Very cool idea.
[17:26] I consider any third party scripts on websites tracking, which is one of the reasons I'll not use anything like Disqus or any similar tool here on gmb. But I never checked just how bad it really is. Well, someone else did. And it is actually worse than I thought.
[20:32] I like it when people build things just for the fun of it. Here is a Mac in a shed, telling visitors how cold it is around. (Yes, the domain is of a commercial service so this is kind of in the PR realm, but I'd like to ignore this for a moment.)
I also like that old hardware is kept alive here instead of being trashed, even if "only" for a little side project. While ten years are a very long time when it comes to hardware, this Mac is about the same age as my old Thinkpad that died on me not too long ago. Some of these computers last quite some time, and if the demand is low, there is no need to dump them.
[23:00] A few years ago I spent quite som time and had lots of fun customizing my desktop. Playing with different window managers, panels, porting nice themes over to whatever I was using or making my own. I somehow lost interest in that and just ran with Gnome Shell and later Cinnamon, but a few days ago I read this article and, to make matters worse, re-watched this movie, where the modded laptops and the individual boot splashes caught my eye. So I guess I'll have to spend a bit more time playing around again.
I have a computer set up for WFH, so my personal laptop is available to toy with. And since there's not much to do outside anyways ... I think it is a good opportunity.
[04:36] If you are interested in Sudoku, there is a YouTube channel you might like, called Cracking The Cryptic. Here is an example of what their videos are like, with a link to the Sudoku in the description below. I find it fascinating to watch a brain at work, so to speak (and the pure joy and excitement when something becomes clear). Also I like to try the puzzles myself, but most are just above my level.
[23:18] And while we're talking music, I recently rediscovered Compressorhead, a bunch of animatronic robot musicians. Here's them playing Ace of Spades. Their website returns 451 for me, so I'll link to the Wikipedia page instead.
[22:53] I mentioned ELECTRONICOS FANTASTICOS! before, but I failed to link to their website, where they give brief descriptions of how their instruments work.
[22:54] The Diomede Islands are located in the Bering Strait and are separated by the international date line, with the big island 21 hours ahead of the small one. There is a webcam facing the big island, looking at a place in the future, "Tomorrow Island".
For some reason it always amazes me to see places so far off from pretty much anything have access to the internet. And remarkable peculiarities like in this case are pretty much the icing on the cake. (see also)
[22:23] I played "Stone Story RPG" today, a game with absolutely beautiful ASCII art. I'm not much of a fan of this gameplay, but the artwork was brilliant and well worth a look. YouTube has some game footage.
[21:59] Neuromancer had one supporting character that died before the actual story took place and only existed as a digital copy of his personality and knowledge people could interact with. Here's a person who, as far as I understood, trained GPT-3 (Project December, specifically) on texts written by their late fiancée for a chance to have a chat. Touching. And fascinating.
Update: I forgot to mention the character I was referring to: Dixie Flatline
[22:32] If you have multi million dollar equipment on one planet and a few serious nerds on another, one possible outcome is Curiosity singing Happy Birthday to itself on Mars. I love this.