solarbird: (molly-oooooh)

VCON starts today! My concert is Sunday afternoon, in the concert block, which starts at 2:30pm. See you at the hotel, I hope!

Minion Paul says I should make the full movie of this Tiltbrush scene I painted into a backdrop for my next online show. You know, have it greenscreened in behind me. 😀

Jem and the Holograms only wish they had this much animation

That’s a narrow crop of the inside of a sphere I made out of animated brush effects. Here’s a movie which makes the ‘sphere’ part a little more obvious. It’s kind of okay in 2D, but totally amazing in a 3D space environment. (Link is to a 33mb mp4.)

You know those Main Street Electrical Parade “ooooooo” buttons some people have? I have those buttons, and this is hitting some of them.

Anyway, yeah! VCON! See you there!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (banzai institute)

The Internet of Things is not a good thing, at least not in its current form. Events like this are why:

Record-breaking DDoS reportedly delivered by >145k hacked cameras
Ars Technica
Dan Goodin – Sep 29, 2016 12:50 am UTC

Last week, security news site KrebsOnSecurity went dark for more than 24 hours following what was believed to be a record 620 gigabit-per-second denial of service attack brought on by an ensemble of routers, security cameras, or other so-called Internet of Things devices. Now, there’s word of a similar attack on a French Web host that peaked at a staggering 1.1 terabits per second, more than 60 percent bigger.

Internet-of-things makers are paying no attention to security, and provide no way for users of these devices to pay attention for them – or to fix them if, somehow, the people who own these devices actually figure out what’s going on. Even realising it’s happening isn’t easy to do; for most people, it’s functionally impossible.

It’s not like you can say, “oh, just put the software in ROM so it can’t be changed ever.” These things are going to send data out, that’s what they’re for, and you have customers be unable to give it a destination for that data.

The part that pisses me off the most is that makers of combination locks have been managing to send out randomised access codes for literally generations, and yet, the makers of these devices are still shipping them with stock passwords. Do you think we at least manage to get up to the safety and security of a middle-school locker Master Lock here? Apparently, no! Not yet.

jfc, 1.1 terabits. It’ll be a terabyte in another two years, all on devices somebody attached to a wall or put in a cabinet and will never look at again until it breaks. I can’t wait ’till we’re being DDOSed by ‘smart’ lightbulbs. What a clusterfuck.

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solarbird: (korra-excited)

VCON has me running open filk on Friday and Saturday nights this weekend. I wanted to do a poker-chip queue system, which is basically a way of making sure everybody can get a turn without having to fight for it, without imposing full queue/bardic rules. You have a blue round, a white round, and a green round.

But that’s not so great for blind people, so I came up with something I hope works: poker chips with braille letters indicating their colour:

W is for White

It’s hot glue! I’m kind of pleased with the idea, but I’m a little bit nervous because, well, it’s hot glue. Here’s hoping the glue holds up. 😀

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solarbird: (korra-no-fucking-around)

Minion Paul got a Vive VR headset and we set it up last night. He got decent dual GPUs – not the top of the line we saw at PAX, but solid entry-level VR-compatible GPUs – and it worked really well out of the box on setup! No weirdnesses at all.

And really everything stayed great until SURPRISE HERE’S GlaDOS and c’mon Vive I HAVE A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST HER FOR A REASON. Okay, fine, pocket universe alternate GlaDOS I guess so technically different but y’know what no EXACTLY THE SAME.

and i did repair that robot. in fact, i made it better. just ’cause SOMEBODY can’t tell “off spec” from “dramatically improved” and SEE THIS IS WHY WE BROKE UP TO BEGIN WITH.

the rest of it is pretty awesome though.

Sadly, trying to get desktop streaming to work from Linux is still in large part No. I got the desktop streaming on video just fine! But no sound. And while okay that might work for art, it’s pretty pointless if you’re trying to stream, you know, music as you work. :/

(Vive 1, Ubuntu -5,253,142.)

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solarbird: (molly-kill-everyone-with-sticks)
In the past, I have recommended Solution Carpet Cleaning of Bothell to an assortment of people. Having just received directly from them a letter raising money for their (surprise!) ANTI-GAY FUNDAMENTALIST CHURCH'S EVANGELICAL MISSION, I am rescinding those recommendations.

Here is their church's position statement on queers:

Please do not patronise them.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Don’t use Portland Taxi. No, wait, bear with me, this ties into what’s going on tonight, but first, from KATU Portland:

A Portland man says a [Portland Taxi] driver pulled out a bull horn and yelled anti-gay slurs at him and his friends outside a bar this week.

KATU News also reached out to the company and was told the driver was exercising his First Amendment rights and there would be no disciplinary action. They ended the call by telling our reporter: “If the gays don’t want to use our company, that’s better for us.”

A KATU News employee also had a negative experience with this cab driver last March.

After giving this employee a ride home from the airport, he refused payment and told our employee he should be in jail because he was gay.

Tonight, there’s a debate in the US presidential elections, with a couple of people on stage. One of them, the Republican nominee, has pledged to sign something the fundamentalists are calling “The First Amendment Defense Act.”

What that does is provide organisations immunity to civil rights laws for hating on queers, if they’re either nonprofit, or do business with the US Federal Government. So, say, denying hospital visitation for dykes? NO PROBLEM! The Salvation Army throwing homeless queers onto the streets to die for being queer, as they have done in the past? NO PROBLEM!

On its face, it’s intended to look like it’s only providing immunity for hating on married queers – and that’s how it’s presented – but the combination of marriage-is-for-st8s-only and no-sex-outside-marriage means all queers.

So stuff like this? Say, you’re in hospital, and they want to throw that at you? Protected.

It’s a “right” to abuse. It’s a “right” to arbitrary cruelty. Particularly if the targets are queer.

And that’s only the first layer that affects me directly.

Mr. Trump pledged, earlier in this campaign, that he would nominate only justices approved by the Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation is a right-wing think-tank/pressure group which thinks I should be illegal for existing, and have at this very moment online their opinion that Lawrence v. Texas (2003) was wrongly decided, and should be overturned.

Since most of you won’t know what that means: it’s the US Supreme Court decision that said states couldn’t make queers illegal by fiat. The Heritage Foundation want that decision reversed.

You’ve heard about the long, brutal history of African-Americans keeping lists of where they couldn’t go in their own country, because it was illegal for them to be there?

I’ve kept the queer version of that list myself. I got rid of it after Lawrence v. Texas (2003). I burned a reference to it as part of new year’s celebrations, where you burn horrible things.

If the Heritage Foundation has its way – and Mr. Trump pledged to give them their way – I’ll have to rebuild that list, and I don’t want to have to build that list again.

And that’s just what I’m facing as a dyke. Virtually every election I’ve ever witnessed has been some kind of referendum on whether I’m a legal person – ever done ground work, going door to door, arguing with people why they shouldn’t vote to make you illegal? I have, and it sucks – and in that way, this election is no different.

The hate is just a lot more broadly aimed this time.

So I’m not watching the debate tonight. It’s bad enough being reminded every two to four years that about half the country is just fine voting to lock me up. This whole thing is yet another referendum on my existence, so why the fuck would I subject myself to that?

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solarbird: (Default)
I am a video game character, and I have died. What do you find if you loot the body?
solarbird: (pingsearch)

Lots of artists (including a few I follow) livestream their drawing sometimes, usually showing their desktops so you can see what they’re working on. A fair number of them do this on Picarto, which is pretty visual arts focused, but says it’s for creators in general.

So I decided hey, maybe music? And they even have a category for it. Yay! And I’ve set up an account here on Picarto, and will stream sometimes, probably announcing on Tumblr and Facebook on the band page.

I’ve only tested it once and it was a little weird but I think it worked most of the time? The wifi in the part of the studio where I have to put the laptop is a little wonky tho’, and it cut out at least once. If people come by I’ll work on fixing that.

It’ll mostly be rehearsals/practice but might occasionally be me mixing something or writing something. I dunno! I’ll probably turn it on later today, I completely upended my planned VCON set and I’ll want to try that out this afternoon. And I’ll check the chat window every so often, too.

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solarbird: (korra-wha)
We Don't Know How To Do Modernism Yet, circa 1920:

This is a gloriously ugly building; I hope it burned down.
solarbird: (pingsearch)

The show at VCON is on Sunday afternoon! They’ve stacked like five of us up, and we each have mini-sets.

Anybody reading this going to be there? If so – got a request? It’ll just be me, as far as I know, so no whole-band songs, I’m afraid. Unless they’re USSR or Kaiju Meat, I’m willing to do those with backing tracks. XD

Also, I’m still a little “woah” that I’m on a panel with Kevin Anderson, Gerry and Sylvia’s son, who does modern CGI and(!) ultramarionation Anderson Entertainment shows. And a bunch of Doctor Who work with Big Finish, too. Awesoooooome.

But yeah, if you’re going to be there and want to hear something I can do solo, let me know. ^_^

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solarbird: (molly-crying-sad)

C. Martin Croker died. What the hell, 2016?

Who is C. Martin Croker? He’s done a lot of animated comedy, he might be most famous for Aqua Teen Hunger Force, but for me, he’s the one, the only Zorak from Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Adult Swim before there was Adult Swim, the musical evil villain and resentful second banana we needed and Space Ghost deserved.

He was 54. Godsdammit 2016. Stop.

Green is the colour of my true love’s exoskeleton
she only has
a thousand eyes
for me

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solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)
Here's what today's Birther distraction was about: Mr. Trump has appointed anti-abortion-rights activist Marjorie Dannenfelser as the leader of his campaign’s "Pro-Life Coalition." This is particularly important because SBA opposes not only abortion rights, but also many forms of birth control.

Mr. Trump has also pledged, again, to appoint only judges who oppose abortion rights.
solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

Know what? You start talking about “shooting n*****s right in the dome” on Overwatch in-game chat, I will call you on it, and I will drop out, and yes, including competitive, just like I did last night.

Yeah, I know it hurts my competitive ranking. Particularly last night. I was on a solid streak and looking okay and now I’ve got a mid-match voluntary dropout on my record. I know that, and I will absolutely fucking take that gutshot because FUCK YOU, YOU RACIST SON OF A BITCH.

And I will take your ranking down with me. Hope you like playing five-on-six, dickbag, because you do that shit, it will fucking cost you. Or – I know! – maybe next time I’ll switch to Mei or Symmetra and start griefing you, making damn well sure you know why.

Still so angry. FUCK YOU, OVERWATCH RACISTS. FUCK. YOU. Fuck you, fuck your friends, fuck your rebranded ~~alt-right~~ white nationalism, and just in case you missed it, fuck you.

Fuck you so very, very much.

You know what else I’m sick of? People giving this kind of shit any kind of a pass. Fuck that, too. You let this shit go, you are the problem. Yeah, I said that – you’re not just an accessory, you’re a core part of the problem.

Nobody should fucking play with these shitbags. If you hear that kind of thing go down and you don’t call them on it and don’t drop, I am damned well going to judge you too. There were four other players in that chat who were apparently gonna let that go, and that’s horseshit.

Because these racist fuckers should know: they drop their shit on chat, the game is over. Right then. It should be a fucking guarantee. There’s no neutral ground here, and I am sick of people pretending there is.

RACIST GAMERS FUCK OFF! And racist gamer enablers? Fuck you, too.

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solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

I used to be a big X-Men fan – the comics, most of the movies haven’t done it – so when I saw this going around, I of course had to watch it. It’s a fan-made solo (and short) Storm film, and in one of the more severe Mutant Registration/Normalisiation Act AUs.

But it’s also really good and Storm always deserved better than Singer ever gave her in the movies. Plus, it passes the Bechdel test. Content warnings, though, hm – violence, attempted (note: attempted) sexual violence, fascism and all that implies.

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solarbird: (gaz)
I have just played the most hilariously terrible all-Winston team I have ever seen in Overwatch. 25 kills as Tracer, going at them head-on.

They didn't even make the first checkpoint. They seem to've thought: if they link shields together, they can make a shield tunnel and be invulnerable.

That is 120% not how Winston's shields work. And when it didn't work, they couldn't figure out what else to try. I was eliminating a Winston - as Tracer - every 12 seconds.

It was a grindhouse. An hilarious, hilarious grindhouse.
solarbird: (strictly outdoors)

Overwatch had a free-play weekend these last couple of days, and so the system was flooded with n00bs. And that’s fine, but somehow, it deeply confused the skill ranking system used to set up matches.

I mean, it’s always been flaky, and find of setting me up as the high-ranked player with five mid-ranked players against teams well above our level, but Sunday? It would be me with my one star and levels plus one person who has two digits of experience pus four literal single-digit n00bs vs. FIVE STARS and a NOBODY.

Because sure, that’s math. I mean, the game has always had issues with its levels matching, but c’mon.

(Crashing on me three times during winning games did not improve my statistics either.)

Is this what I thought about on Sunday night instead of working on the lyric video for “We’re Not Friends“? Yes. Yes, it is. BAD MUSICIAN NO GAMING except of course lots of gaming, at least, when not working on day jobbe, because this is Big Time for Day Jobbe month.

Also I think I’m shipping Phamercy now. Because sure, why not. My section of Tumblr fandom has pretty much decided everyone in Overwatch is queer, and really? I’m good with that.

Yeah, so – how was your weekend?

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solarbird: (molly-oooooh)

So this is just kind of neat, right? The previous lair was a building originally built in 1911, with a lot of expansion in 1924, and it has a lot of history. It was even a chocolate factory for a while, in the 1950s, and I’m not even making that up. (Was it an evil chocolate factory? Sadly, this is not known.)

Anyway, we’ve been replacing the roofs in sections, because it’s a large and strange building, and we’re doing the last part now. Also doing some other improvement work as part of the same project, but mostly, it’s a new roof.

There’s a little mostly-decorative overhang on the front porch which is also singled. The big surprise is that this little decorative part had never been stripped off before. It was four layers deep back to the original, which means we now have a complete history of all the roofs this building ever had.

Now, the further down you go, the more damaged the shingles are, because – particularly bad in the day – they’d tar over the old layers, at least in sections. But some parts were still clean. Check this out:


That’s 1911, 1946 (almost definitely), 1963 (probably), and 1982, left to right. I like that modernist striped blue! That must’ve looked pretty damn swank in ’63. I’d love a photo of the whole roof done up that way – but yeah, good luck finding that.

1982 came out brighter than it was in real life, I don’t know why. It’s a dark grey, with no actual hint of blue in it. But the others are pretty good representations.

I’m gonna save pieces and make a display frame of them, I think, like I want to do with the (huge!) Christmas Chocolates sale sign from the chocolate-factory era. That’ll be neat.

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solarbird: (korra-grar)
Puget Sound Energy has dropped the power ball for either the eighth or ninth time this year, I've lost track. The Bandcamp site is still up, of course ( ) but nothing else is. Invest in diesel generators, I guess? Because PSE sure as fuck can't keep the lights on.
solarbird: (fascist sons o bitches)
Well, this is fun. Got anything - I mean anything, not just computers - that has public- or semi-public-facing USB ports? Not for long.


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