Stumax 2

Digital Boogaloo

I find this… a bit disturbing:

The BBC wants to make videos that change to suit whoever’s watching. It’s exploring the idea through a research project called Visual Perceptive Media, which has set up a way to alter everything from what’s in a video to what a video sounds and looks like depending on a viewer’s interests. It starts with a personality quiz: an app asks questions about whether you’re shy or outgoing, lazy or hardworking, and a few other basic traits. It’ll also analyze your music library or ask about your music tastes. Combining that information, it’ll determine what group you fit into and serve you a different cut of the video you’re about to watch.

Remember when billionaires used to give back to society by building parks and libraries and stuff? Good times.

While the Republican Party focuses on winning elections, the Kochs want to realign American politics, government and society around free enterprise philosophies that they hope to spread more broadly.

A key to accomplishing the mission, from the Kochs’ perspective, is countering super PACs and other big-money groups funded by rich liberals, as well as allied public sector unions and academic and media elites. The Kochs’ allies feel that those forces have worked together for decades with Democratic politicians and government bureaucrats to institutionalize the philosophy that heavy regulation and taxation of business is the only way to ensure an equitable society.

The Kochs concluded that defeating this well-funded left-wing infrastructure requires tracking the professional left in real time — a capability they realized they lacked after the 2012 election.

Source: The Koch intelligence agency – POLITICO

This may be my favorite dialogue ever:

Brian Schmidt won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on dark energy, and then he took the prize to Fargo to show off to his grandmother. As recounted to Clara Moskowitz at Scientific American the airport security people were a little put off by the way the giant piece of gold sucks up all the x-rays:

“They’re like, ‘Sir, there’s something in your bag.’

I said, ‘Yes, I think it’s this box.’

They said, ‘What’s in the box?’

I said, ‘a large gold medal,’ as one does.

So they opened it up and they said, ‘What’s it made out of?’

I said, ‘gold.’

And they’re like, ‘Uhhhh. Who gave this to you?’

‘The King of Sweden.’

‘Why did he give this to you?’

‘Because I helped discover the expansion rate of the universe was accelerating.’ Daltonize in Google Chrome

I was musing that there must be a browser extension for people who are color blind that would render a page in black & white. (As you do.) I found this one, which looks pretty cool. There must be others…

Presenting Chrome Daltonize! as one step towards solving the issue of color-accessibility on the Internet – a Google Chrome extension enabling users to daltonize the image content of websites.  Daltonization is a technique of exposing details to color-blind users, enabling them see what they otherwise would have missed.

From Gaping Void’s recent email: Instill Confidence.

“I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little, indeed, to further the happiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation…” That’s Meriweather Lewis writing in his journal. It was his 31st birthday and he was in the middle of leading the Corps of Discovery across America on a mission of exploration and scientific discovery. Meriweather Lewis. Of Lewis and Clark. Not feeling terribly confident about his accomplishments.


According to research done by, self-published books account for 31 percent of Kindle electronic book sales, compared with 38 percent for the “big 5” publishing houses, and added that self-published authors earn more in Kindle royalties than Big 5 authors, combined. And self-published authors are now earning nearly 40 percent of all e-book royalties on the Kindle store, according to research by AuthorEarnings.

via Self-published books nearly a third of Amazon Kindle sales – Puget Sound Business Journal.

File this under Hashtag Facepalm.

I fired up MarsEdit this morning to type up a couple of posts for this blog and found that my password kept getting rejected. It took me a while to realize that the Google Authenticator plugin that I had added to make my logins more secure was (properly!) keeping MarsEdit from connecting. The fix was easy once I figured it out. Here’s how you do it:

Log in to your blog and go to your user profile. Scroll down just a bit to Google Authenticator settings. Make sure that “Enable app password” is checked, and then click “Create new password”. Copy the password and then click the “Update Profile” button at the bottom of the page. (I missed this step the first time I tried and MarsEdit wouldn’t connect.)

Then, in MarsEdit, right-click on your blog and select “Enter password…” from the contextual menu. Enter your regular username and the app password that you just generated. Voila! You can now access your blog securely.

While I was searching for how to fix my missing Dropbox contextual menus yesterday, I came across these handy links:

PathFinderLogoIf you’re a Path Finder 6 user, Thanh Pham has figured out how to make an Automator service that will let you share a public Dropbox link from Path Finder’s contextual menu. More often than not, I find that I need to share files that aren’t in my Public folder already, so I don’t know how much I’ll use this, but it’s handy to have a bit of Dropbox integration in Path Finder nevertheless.


Bloodrop is a Dropbox droplet that I might find slightly more useful. Simply add the droplet to your dock and then drag any files you want to share on top of it. Bloodrop will copy those files to your Dropbox public folder and place links to those files in your clipboard. Easy peasy.