Mr. Yuk

Livejournal --

I've been cross posting from Dreamwidth to livejournal for a while now.

This will be my last post that gets crossposted.

From the next post on (inclusive) dreamwidth only.

(assuming I get the settings right)
turn 3

I feel so suburban..

I bought a gas powered leaf blower yesterday.

O'Connor hardware will rent them, but buying pays for itself in six uses, which is probably by next spring at the latest. There's my rationalization.
Mr. Yuk

The huge social, economic, and environmental costs of online ads

This came from a friend of mine on a mailing list. I'm copy-pasting it here because I think it deserves a wider audience:

I think uBlock origin (the "origin" is important) is perhaps better than AdBlockPlus, since ABP takes money from advertisers to let through certain "approved" ads. But that doesn't mean it's terrible.

Also note that Facebook treats "" as a malware site, and won't let you post it in facebook. That should tell you something.


Today I happened to be talking to a few people on FB about ads and ad
blocking. The context was about whether it is "stealing" content to run ad
blocking. Of course, it's all really gray. Are you stealing if you leave
the room during a commercial? What about fast-forwarding the DVR? What if
you talk to people and don't pay attention, aren't you stealing? I suppose
just watching less TV because of the ad annoyance is stealing too.

At the same time, I needed to completely blow out all of my Chrome
settings, plugins, everything. I've been having a few serious issues in
Chrome, and assume it's my settings, not major bugs in Chrome. So I did
the painstaking hour of work to get rid of every file on every device and
the server, then get them all logged back in and set up with the links and
logins I use 100% of the time.

During all this, I've been using the web without Adblock Plus, Flashblock,
and FB purity. Let me tell you, the web is a horrifying and unusable place
without those. We all know the obvious problem with ads, which is just
being distracting, annoying, and in the way. However there were a number
of things I had never considered that I've discovered today.

Power usage
This was most obvious on my MacBook 12, which is designed to need little
power and has no fans. It is tiny and light. Heavy power usage heats it
up and really abuses the battery life. Normally I get 12-14 hours from it,
but without ad blocking and just normal web surfing it looked like I was
going to lose 20-30% of the battery life. Ridiculous. We all pay more to
get more battery life, and advertisers are stealing this from us.

On the desktop, my new average power consumption is 174 watts. My normal
usage with all of the blockers is 135 watts. Holy shit. The difference is
more than all the LED lighting for the office, and more than my laptop uses
altogether. That's 40 watts wasted so I can see some ads, and another 40
watts of heat for my AC to remove.

CPU speed and screen space
The other things we pay for are CPU speed, more memory, and more screen
space. Once again, the advertisers are stealing a little (or a lot) of
each of these from you. Since my CPU usage is way up, I have much less
left for productive tasks. On my desktop (i7 quad-core 3.5, SSD, 32GB
memory) the CPU usage seems to be up around 20-80%, depending on what pages
are loading or playing their garbage. Even just leaving a bunch of tabs in
the background has raised CPU usage. The visible result is that many pages
stutter when scrolled or have a long delay when pressing page-up/down
keys. That's pretty insane on a modern, fast desktop with lots of memory.
And the ads eat up screen space. I recently upgraded to 4k because screen
space improves productivity so much. The advertisers are stealing some of
the cost of that upgrade from me.

Productivity and efficiency
A very loud ad started playing in a background tab. I didn't know which
one, so I'm flying through them all to see which one it is. Wonderful for
an office environment, eh? The obvious productivity costs are the slow UI
response, which when multiplied across many hours, days, months....really
adds up to some real time wasted. But then there's also the distraction
cost, and the cost of just feeling anxious when the computer doesn't
respond. Did I click that? Should I wait or click again? Oh, it moved.
Repeat a thousand times a day, and your brain will be frazzled.

My fans are running. They never do that unless I'm doing video
editing/compression. We all know how I feel about fan noise.

Now multiply all these costs across all of society, both the workplace and
home usage. The productivity cost is simply staggering. And also the
electricity cost. If every computer wasted only 10 watts on ads, do the

Advertisers must be opposed. Evangelize ad blocking and related
technologies. We can take back the internet by force.

I'm linking to some Chrome add-ons here, but all of these can run on
Firefox too (different versions obviously).
turn 3

Leap day update:

So... since our last episode:

I met a girl (actually a little over a year ago)
we like each other
we went to France
we bought a house (not in France)
father's still alive and well (amazing)
so is my mother (less amazing)
brother is in a different far away place from last year, still doing important stuff

I still love y'all, it's just the medium. (which actually doesn't suck, I just fell out of the habbit)
turn 3


I knew what this was about before I started reading, I wasn't surprised at all by the subject matter or intensity.

However, I was surprised at how much I'm part of the problem. I'm white, middle class, male, blah blah blah... I started at the front of the line, I'm playing level 0, and know it. Knowing it doesn't make me fully aware. This part especially:

    There's a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: "Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are 'terrorists' and 'thugs'. Why are white shooters called 'mentally ill'?"

    I'm gonna read that again: "Black and Muslim killers are 'terrorists' and 'thugs'. Why are white shooters called 'mentally ill'?"

    Did you catch that? It's beautifully subtle. This is an article talking specifically about the different way we treat people of color in this nation and even in this article's headline, the white people are "shooters" and the Black and Muslim people are "killers."
turn 3

Assumptions about America...

I just got a new TV. It's freakin' huge (42"), remarkably inexpensive, and it came in a remarkably thin box (4")

It came with an energy-guide sticker.

It claims $13/year energy cost.



Now, that's assuming $0.11/kWh, and I pay ~ $0.23/kWh.

But it's also assuming *FIVE* hours use per day. Five. Hours.

I like TV and movies and being entertained by a shiny box, but I'm pretty sure my brain would leak out of my ears if I watched five hours of TV a day.
Brain science

Color... (Oh! I get it!)

I've known for years that additive (light) and subtractive (paint) primary colors were different; the former are red, green, and blue; while the latter are red, yellow, and blue.

It never really made any sense to me that red and blue would be the same but green would be swapped with yellow. I assumed it had something to do with the oddities of the way retinas worked or something.

Today I finally got it. I was reading a book about how to draw birds which has a section on color and color mixing.

The problem (the answer?) is that it's *not* red, green, and blue for paints. That's wrong, and has always been wrong. For subtractive color the primaries are cyan, magenta, and yellow. Red and blue are wrong!

This should be obvious if you look at *any color printer ever*, which all use CMYK inks (+K,'cuz black is hard to do simply/practically without it)

The short form is that you *can* mix to get both blue and red (magenta & cyan, and magenta & yellow respectively) and you *can't* mix red, yellow, and blue to get a good green, or thin out red to get pink, and violet is problematic, too. Plus, you know, cyan and magenta are impossible.

However, if you use CMY for paint and RGB for light, then magic happens: The secondary colors for one are the primary colors for the other. When you lay the two wheels out next to each other, it's obvious:

(click for bigger)

The money quote:

    If cyan, magenta, and yellow are the true primary colors for pigment, the relationship with the light color wheel also makes more sense. Televisions and computer monitors mix beams of red, blue, and green light to make all of the colors you see on your screen. The secondary colors that result from mixing light are cyan, magenta, and yellow. The color wheel for light has the same colors as the color wheel for pigment.

I'm sure this is old hat for those of you who actually deal with color with any enthusiasm, but it was a neat "Oh! Neat!" moment for me.

Here are the two pages of the book, if'n you want to you read them. They basically say the same thing as above, but better, and with more words:


I took the pictures with a cell phone, in a less than photographically ideally lit room, so they're a little grainy.

Actually, let me rephrase that: Holy shit! I took those perfectly reasonable pictures in a dim room with my *phone*! My fucking *telephone*! I love the future.
Mr. Yuk

I was "that guy"

The other day I was driving on the highway with the top down; I was listening to NPR; I was wearing a hat; I was in the left lane; and my blinker was on.

Oh, for shame!
Full Gas gauge


Water is a good solvent.

We knew that though.

Nothing more than water and an old washcloth made a huge difference. I half cleaned the trunk and the driver's door to show the difference. Plus I found a vacated mouse house.

It also turns out you can put a front plate on a Miata without it looking totally stupid. I made the bracket from some aluminum "L" extrusion and flat plate and pop rivets I had in my basement.

I still maintain that front plate requirements are even stupider.

Unsurprisingly, the hood still looks like ass. Lack of clearcoat will do that.

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