buzzy: Rigby from Regular Show sitting in front of a computer (Computer Rigby)
Geez, it's already February. Time flies when you're doing nothing. Ugh, I went into LiveJournal after all this time...After logging in, I was greeted by a long list of popular Russian journals and tons and tons of whitespace. Like 75% of the screen's width was empty. Now I remember why I hang out on Dreamwidth. At least they didn't force the new, horrid friends page on everyone yet. The key word being "yet". I remember putting in a lot of time to get my layout the way I wanted it; that's one of the benefits of having a paid/permanent account — you can customize stuff. Anyway, my LJ friends list is pretty much empty except for the RSS feeds I subscribe to. I just wish I had the same account level on Dreamwidth that I have on LJ. I could use some more icons on DW. Also, I noticed that LJ got rid of their secure login server. Previously, you could go to an HTTPS site to login so your password wouldn't be transmitted where people could intercept it. Going to that HTTPS site redirects you to the regular HTTP site and there's no choice to log in securely. Considering Firefox didn't throw a fit when I went to the HTTPS site, their certificate must still be valid. I didn't just want to talk about that...it just turned out that way when I had to go to LJ to make sure I had the same icons on both LJ and Dreamwidth.
Um, I managed to get a few bucks from doing some quick work on a computer. Every six months or so, someone brings me their computer to do preventative maintenance. This time, it took only about an hour. She keeps the outside of her computer surprisingly clean, so there's only hard drive cleaning to do. (I managed to clean 4.3 GiB of junk on its ~38.4 GiB hard drive.) Her computer is pretty old (it turns nine years old in April), but it keeps chugging along, so I keep maintaining it. Maintenance is a lot cheaper than waiting for some catastrophic failure. The only hardware change made was maxing out the RAM in 2010, so the hard drive is the next likely failure. Also, at the rate she's filling up her hard drive, she will completely fill her hard drive in two years and four months despite maintenance. (Why yes, I actually track hard drive space free for computers I maintain, though I do it more to track how much junk I've deleted.)
Oh, and my Kubuntu machine decided it was going to nuke my custom kernel. (Or that's what I thought, until I rebooted and it still used my custom kernel. The Ubuntu kernel says it's 3.5.0-23 when it's 3.5.7.2, so it seems like everything Ubuntu comes out with in the 3.5 series will have a lower version [to Grub2] than a custom kernel.) At least MariaDB came out with an update, so the updater won't keep trying to erase MariaDB and replace it with MySQL. Like it did before, the updater told me that there was one amount of updates, but then it actually downloads far more. Then again, it says the kernel update was about 2 KiB, and there's no way the kernel is that small. Also, the notification system told me about there being updates twice: once before I opened the updater, and again when the updater was downloading. I guess that's because the GUI for updating and the updating guts are decoupled. The GUI can't just tell the notifier, "dude, I got this." There's a bunch of different kinds of notifiers and updating interfaces, so I doubt any of them would talk to each other. It would also be nice if it could download updates in the background (especially the non-destructive ones, i.e., the ones that don't require removing other things), and do that without having to supply the password...basically what Windows does. If I walk away from my computer for an hour or so, I'd rather come back and find it has updates that are ready to install than have to wait ten minutes for them to download. I don't even know if that's possible.
Anyway, on my kernel, I finally shrunk it down some more. This latest custom kernel uses 337 KiB less memory and 299.5 KiB less hard drive space than the stock kernel. It also boots 2-3 seconds faster. Also, I just noticed that Ubuntu is kinda far back as far as kernel versions go; they're on the 3.5 series when the latest is 3.7. 3.5 is already at its end of life and only gets "unofficial support" (security updates, I assume). My custom kernel is 3.5.7.2; the stock kernel is the same version, but it's labelled as 3.5.0-22.34. I'd like to have the latest in the 3.7 series (3.7.5), but I'm not that smart at all this custom kernel stuff. The big thing is the firmware required for my GPU to work properly with the 3.5.x kernel may not work with the 3.7.x kernel. I'm fairly certain that the rest of the hardware, including the wireless, is supported in the 3.7.x kernel without any extra junk needed. By the time Ubuntu switches to 3.7, they'll have a 3.9 I'll have my kernel configuration perfected so I won't have to worry about the hardware settings when moving my kernel configuration file over.

r94

Jul. 13th, 2012 12:00 am
buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
LJ's r94: This is the [livejournal.com profile] news entry, and this is the [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases entry.
To cancel out the death of Writer's Block, they allow everyone to create polls and there's a next/previous link for the mobile site. They also fixed that annoying bug where times showed up in UTC instead of the time zone you select. Subject lines now show on collapsed threads on S2 styles, which is something everyone has been clamoring for. (Other than the full return of subject lines from the second-class citizen status of only working on S2 styles.) To maintain the tradition of breaking things (other than Writer's Block), some people are complaining about the icon picker*. The tab order on posting comments is wrong, so that hitting tab from the comment box will take you to the bold button instead of the button to submit the comment. Icon deactivation when paid accounts expire is borked too, but that's probably an older problem. (Then again, the thread I linked to was for a person whose paid account didn't expire yet, which makes it weirder.) For some reason, I can't get the Post Entry page to show up. It's just blank. It asks me if I want to restore from a draft (I have no idea what draft it has saved since I use Semagic), and when I say no, it's blank. (Six hours after I noticed this problem, it works again. [EDIT: Actually, it randomly gives me a large blank space where the form and its associated text boxes, etc. should be, kind of like the Writer's Block questions that wouldn't show up until you hit F5.]) Maybe it's because they're fixing the problem where there's some arrow is missing from the Rich Text editor*. I'm guessing it's the one that allows you to put things in your entries other than entries (videos?), but since I don't use the Rich Text editor, I'm not sure what it looked like when it was there. Also, there are problems with LJ Cuts being completely lost when using the Rich Text editor**. Other problems for this release include (if it's not linked, it's in the [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases entry: not being able to copy/paste from a rich text source to the Rich Text Editor in WebKit browsers (Safari and Chrome)**, the bold/underline/italics buttons don't work correctly in Chrome, you can only select userpics with one keyword on the S1 theme, the insert table button is gone from the Rich Text Editor, e-mail notifications from communities have text from something called Promo on the Cyrillic side**, and the site footer is missing from entries using the S1 theme.
* Fixed in r94.1
** Fixed in r94.2 (also fixed: you can change security settings and move images in the Scrapbook)
buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
They talked about killing Writer's Block before during the time they knocked it off LJ's front page, but after a backlash (like a lot of changes LJ proposes) they kept it, but only had it available from [livejournal.com profile] writersblock. Then with successive releases, Writer's Block became more and more broken, with the questions sometimes not appearing at all unless you refresh the page several times. Then, when it did appear, the link to view other answers would never show anything. Now, with those problems and some vague "other reasons", they're canning Writer's Block entirely with the potential for it to return later...maybe. I'm not holding my breath because now it seems like LJ is moving forward with changes with no regard to whether it works properly (e.g., the commenting system where people on certain browsers couldn't click the button to submit their comment), whether people want it (e.g., the removal of subject lines), or whether it's even good (e.g., the comment page color scheme that hurts people's eyes). I'm just wondering if the questions will completely disappear as part of their disabling of Writer's Block, in which case I'll have to retype the questions, or what I thought the questions were. When the next release rolls out, Writer's Block goes dark...After all, it's easier to remove a feature than it is to fix it. At least [livejournal.com profile] astronewt, who was the bearer of bad news, likes it, and hopefully will be an [successful] advocate for its return.
buzzy: Chowder obviously doesn't care for what he just ate (Disgusting!)
It's rare when LJ pisses me off enough that I post something publicly, but I've got something to say about Release 93. When I first heard about LJ's Social Capital, I just figured it was a popularity contest. LJ defines it as how "active and influential a user or community is". I'm not here to be influential, but I figure I'm active enough; I've been posting at least something daily for nearly a year now. I don't really care about popularity contests, because I'm not seeking popularity. With the release of r93 (this is the [livejournal.com profile] news entry, and this is the [livejournal.com profile] lj_releases entry), LJ is now using Social Capital make life easier for people who got a higher score by removing CAPTCHAs for anyone with a high score. I guess they got rid of LJ Games because they turned the entire site into a giant game. I hope I'm not the only one who hates the popularity contest thing being brought to the forefront. The magic number is 15, though they want to hide the method of calculating Social Capital because security through obscurity always works. LJ's definition of what makes you active and influential (and based on what they said with the release of r93, being "active and influential" is what you need to count as "human") includes the following:
  • How old the account is.source (My account just turned ten years old yesterday.)
  • How "active" the account is.source There's no way to tell what that means. I post daily...is that active enough?
  • How many people list you as a friend.source1 source2 (I have about 32, as far as I can tell. I might have more if everyone didn't bail.)
  • How many comments you leave in other journals and communities.source (I rarely comment in people's journals because I'm afraid I'll say the wrong thing. A lot of times, someone else already said what I was going to say, and I don't want to just post comments consisting entirely of "This" or "+1".)
  • How often you log in.source (For me, this is around 5-7 times a week.)
The big thing that's missing is how many entries you've posted. If you use your LJ as a journal (which is right there in the name "LiveJournal"), you're dinged for not using it as Facebook and trying to get thousands of "friends" you know nothing about and commenting on everything.
I've been around ten years, have a permanent account on LJ, but unless I magically find more friends, I will never have the capital of a "real human" of 15. (LJ also put a rating above my Social Capital, which has me in 181,372nd place between two Russians that haven't updated their LJs for several months.) If this really was a way of telling whether you're a human or not (and not a popularity contest), the biggest test of how human you are is how long you've been around without being banned. If you've managed to be on the site for a while without being called out as a spammer, chances are you're not a spammer. I'm guessing a large chunk of what makes up this calculation is in the "How many people list you as a friend" and "How many comments you leave in other journals and communities" criteria. Since this stupid system isn't going to go away (and it will probably get used for more crap in the future), here's what everyone should do: (1) Everyone should mark as many people as they can find as mutual friends. They can hide people who aren't really friends by changing the default Friends page view to be a friends group of actual friends. Maybe a community could be set up to facilitate this. (2) Set up random comment entries (maybe in the same community) to run up everyone's comment counts. When it hits 5000 (when the CAPTCHA would kick in for the unwashed <15 masses), the entry's commenting is closed and people move to a new entry. If enough people game the system, the system will be meaningless.
There's something ironic (maybe in an Alanis Morissette way) about having a secret computer algorithm determining the chances of me not being a computer.

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buzzy: Steven Universe from the show of the same name with a big smile (Default)
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