_MG_9893

_MG_9893

From an E-Mail to a lover:

"For the digital man and his digital heart: only the dust of what human connection was and could be. Human beings cannot be turned on and off. They cannot fullfill what we want when we want it like the text and images on computer screens. It is true that there is flesh and blood directing the sometimes symphonic digital self… but the virtual human is a crude vessel. It reflects only what we wish to project of ourselves… a sort of breeding ground of idealistic people who (in this virtual space) believe that our projections (our "profiles") can assert a more controlled, less real (and therefore less likely to fail, to dissapoint, etc.) self.
It makes sense that we would make use of this form of communication… it is easier, it reflects the way that we wish to have our lived spaces (virtual and physical) cater to our desires.

But all in all I don’t (can’t) fully dissaprove of digital companionship… even if I see the shortcomings (amputations as Marshall McLuhan would have said), I cannot deny the fact that this IS the evolution of the human. All I can do is understand its effects and try to help others be aware of them.

The truth is, I don’t know if I’m capable of having serious relationships anymore. I was raised on a veritable market of love. People set up their profiles like booths in a flea-market and I am free to go window(s) shopping at every moment. We are capable of finding love when and where we want it, there is something better right around the corner (follow this link)."

Compunication is:

An interactive performance of digital conversations I’ve had. I dress two participants in computer headdresses which are connected by wire to computer hard drives. The two hard drives are connected to eachother (these are built of cardboard and are not connected to electricity.) I provide transcripts of various e-mails and IM conversations I have had with (virtual) friends and lovers. Many of these conversations were had with people I have never met in real life. I ask that as they read, the participants consider the difference between virtual and face-to-face interaction.

Posted by Zachary Bowman on 2007-07-09 20:14:05

Tagged: , Figment , Imagination , Island , New , York , Governors , Compunication

Two Twenty One of Three Sixty Five

Two Twenty One of Three Sixty Five

Yesterday my computer mysteriously shut down. When I re-booted I had an error message saying something like: "Unexpected shutdown due to a thermal incident" So, today I opened it up and cleaned it out and when I went to start it again, it kept cutting in and out. I banged on it a few times, a plume of dust comes out and away it goes. It doesn’t sound very good and I suspect it will be toast soon. Almost 5 years old so looks like a new one will be required.

Posted by Don Arsenault on 2013-01-07 22:42:11

Tagged: , Canon EOS 5D Mark II , Don Arsenault , project 365 , 365 , computer , Canon ef100 f2.8 IS USM

Dishonored 2

Dishonored 2

Posted by DunnoHowTo on 2018-02-08 08:11:15

Tagged: , Dishonored , 2 , Bethesda , Softworks , Sequel , Game , Play , Arkane , Studios , Screenshot , Panorama , PC , Master , Race , Computer , Action , Adventure , FPS , Photoshop , Death , Outsider , Seized , Bloodfly , Corvo , Emily , Sword , Karnaca , Serkonos , Dunwall , City , Empress , Jessamine , Kaldwin , Billie , Daud , The , Royal , Conservatory , Ansel , Nvidia , GeForce , Mindy , portrait , Clockwork , Mansion , Addermire , Institute , Stilton , Manor , Dust , District , Tower , Void , Attano , Kaldwi , Delilah , Copperspoon , Paolo , Meagan , Foster , Aramis , Overseer , Liam , Byrne , Potrait , Grand , Guard

Computer wiring held above the floor during a cleaning session… 20080706_4011

Computer wiring held above the floor during a cleaning session... 20080706_4011

This is how I got the wiring out of the way for cleaning the dust from behind the cabinet. It hangs from a push pin. The black cord is a boot lace that I saved ages ago.

In 2011, the thick gray cable (printer cable) became moot because I got a new printer that connects with USB or wirelessly.

Posted by listorama on 2010-01-05 21:35:44

Tagged: , home , wiring , cleaning , Lightroom , 1000 , rec room , string , cord

_MG_9876

_MG_9876

From an E-Mail to a lover:

"For the digital man and his digital heart: only the dust of what human connection was and could be. Human beings cannot be turned on and off. They cannot fullfill what we want when we want it like the text and images on computer screens. It is true that there is flesh and blood directing the sometimes symphonic digital self… but the virtual human is a crude vessel. It reflects only what we wish to project of ourselves… a sort of breeding ground of idealistic people who (in this virtual space) believe that our projections (our "profiles") can assert a more controlled, less real (and therefore less likely to fail, to dissapoint, etc.) self.
It makes sense that we would make use of this form of communication… it is easier, it reflects the way that we wish to have our lived spaces (virtual and physical) cater to our desires.

But all in all I don’t (can’t) fully dissaprove of digital companionship… even if I see the shortcomings (amputations as Marshall McLuhan would have said), I cannot deny the fact that this IS the evolution of the human. All I can do is understand its effects and try to help others be aware of them.

The truth is, I don’t know if I’m capable of having serious relationships anymore. I was raised on a veritable market of love. People set up their profiles like booths in a flea-market and I am free to go window(s) shopping at every moment. We are capable of finding love when and where we want it, there is something better right around the corner (follow this link)."

Compunication is:

An interactive performance of digital conversations I’ve had. I dress two participants in computer headdresses which are connected by wire to computer hard drives. The two hard drives are connected to eachother (these are built of cardboard and are not connected to electricity.) I provide transcripts of various e-mails and IM conversations I have had with (virtual) friends and lovers. Many of these conversations were had with people I have never met in real life. I ask that as they read, the participants consider the difference between virtual and face-to-face interaction.

Posted by Zachary Bowman on 2007-07-09 20:14:11

Tagged: , Figment , Imagination , Island , New , York , Governors , Compunication

2012 AMS Alpha 12 GT-R

2012 AMS Alpha 12 GT-R

Horsepower is highly addictive. As automotive enthusiasts, we crave it insatiably.

Each time we place ourselves behind the wheel of a vehicle, a brief moment arrives when we wish for just a little more potency. Whether driving a 138-horsepower Kia Rio or a 638-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, there is always an instant when the initial rush begins to slow and we ache for just a little bit more.

But what if it were possible to have too much power? What if there were a vehicle that satisfied our desire so completely, to the point where we were overwhelmed (think along the lines of sweet-tooth Augustus Gloop swimming in Willy Wonka’s river of chocolate)? Would we finally stop thirsting for more?

To solve the riddle, we tracked down the fiendish Alpha 12 GT-R by AMS Performance. It is not just the quickest accelerating street-legal car that Autoblog has ever driven. With a quarter-mile time of 8.975 seconds at 169.49 miles per hour, it is likely the quickest street-legal volume-produced tuner vehicle on the planet.

Founded in early 2001, AMS Performance is no stranger to horsepower. One of the company’s first projects was tweaking Ford’s turbocharged 2.3-liter under the hood of the (under-appreciated) Merkur XR4Ti. It wasn’t long before the team, led by Martin Musial, began tooling on more capable cars like the Mitsubishi Evolution VIII and Nissan 240SX. By 2007, the company had moved to a facility in West Chicago and its competition-only AMS drag car had captured the title as the "World’s Quickest Evo VIII." In 2009, AMS expanded its portfolio and began to focus on a wider variety of sports cars from Porsche, BMW, Hyundai and Nissan.

Then the Alpha 12 was developed – it is, in three simple words, Godzilla on crack.

But it was the Nissan GT-R (aka "Godzilla") that really captured the company’s attention. Despite being blazingly fast right off the showroom floor, AMS developed and refined the car to deliver even quicker acceleration. World records fell as its Alpha 6, Alpha 9 and Alpha 10 models devoured the competition at drag strips and on racing circuits. But then the Alpha 12 was developed – it is, in three simple words, Godzilla on crack.

Transforming a GT-R into an Alpha 12 is involved. After customers supply AMS with a donor R35 GT-R (new or used), the stock powertrain is surgically pulled and the metamorphosis begins. The OEM 3.8-liter VR38DETT V6 block is bored out to 4.0-liters of displacement, reinforced, and then fitted with an AMS Alpha CNC race ported cylinder head with AMS custom camshafts, AMS injectors, AMS MAP sensors and more. The stock turbochargers are ditched and replaced with an AMS Alpha 12 Turbo Kit, and an AMS intercooler and pipes are installed to reduce the charge temperature. The entire exhaust, from downpipes to the muffler, is then replaced with high-flow componentry. Lastly, the stock gearbox is upgraded with PPG and Dodson components and the differential is fitted with a high capacity oil cooler. What finally emerges is a balanced and blueprinted AMS Alpha 4.0L Race Engine.

Locate a dynamometer that can handle it and the Alpha 12 will show you 1,100 horsepower and 900 pound-feet of torque on 93 octane unleaded. Pump in some racing fuel, and those numbers rise to 1,500 horsepower and 1,050 pound-feet of torque. The figures are dizzying, but they speak for themselves. The 0-60 sprint takes 2.4 seconds. More spectacular is the acceleration from 60-130 mph. The Alpha 12 does it in just 3.31 seconds. In the aforementioned quarter mile, a range-topping Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport (almost a second slower in the benchmark) would be left choking on its dust.

Locate a dynamometer that can handle it and the Alpha 12 will show you 1,100 hp and 900 lb-ft of torque on 93 octane unleaded.

Understandably, a car like this needs some serious real estate to run. Wide open asphalt in places like Texas, Nevada or the deserts of California come to mind. But sadly, we are sitting behind the wheel of the record-breaking jet black Alpha 12 in congested Santa Monica, California. To make lemonade out of our rather sour situation, our goal is to drive the modified GT-R north, up famed Pacific Coast Highway, to escape the bulk of the stop-and-go beach traffic. While we won’t be cracking triple-digits, we should be able to get a good sense of what this thing is all about.

We met the Alpha 12 in a dimly lit concrete parking structure under a Santa Monica hotel. To its credit, and despite all of the carbon-fiber add-ons, the black Nissan GT-R appears both tasteful and clean. Even compared to the other tame passenger vehicles in the garage, it didn’t appear ostentatious. After a splash of (racing?) fuel from a handy five-gallon container, I climbed into the driver’s seat..

Sitting to my right was Ivan Phipps, Special Projects Technician at AMS. Seriously multitalented, Ivan is as skilled with a wrench as he is behind the steering wheel, which made him the ideal co-pilot (Ivan was in the driver’s seat of the Alpha 12 for its record-setting quarter-mile run, and in another video losing control – and recovering – at over 200 mph).

Everything, including the automatic climate control, still works as it did from the factory.

Following the tone set by the exterior, the cabin of the Alpha 12 will appear virtually stock unless the customer orders extras such as race bucket seats, harnesses or a roll cage. In fact, with the exception of some of the non-working telemetry on the center stack computer (some of the sensors are confused by the modified fuel injection and new engine mapping), everything, including the automatic climate control, still works as it did from the factory. Furthermore, and serving as a testament to its streetability, all functional controls work exactly as they do on a stock GT-R.

With a press of the ‘start’ button, the freely breathing 4.0-liter V6 barked to life and sent a concussion wave bouncing off the walls of the parking garage. Idle was smooth, but the raspy and aggressive exhaust note coming out of the enlarged tailpipes was delivering clues that everything wasn’t normal. The Alpha 12 will operate in full automatic mode just like any stock GT-R, but Ivan explained up front that he preferred to shift the dual-clutch gearbox manually with the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Ignoring his suggestion, I left everything in automatic mode and pulled out of the parking garage.

I had covered no more than a quarter mile when Ivan’s comment immediately made sense. The heavily modified gearbox, designed to handle upwards of 1,000 pounds-feet of torque, was brutally deliberate in its fully automatic engagement – uncomfortably so. After a few minutes of taking the abuse, I heeded my passenger’s advice and began to shift manually with the column-mounted paddles. There was more too it, though, as the manual-mode shifts still felt as if we were being rear-ended by a 40-ton anvil with each gear change. After some experimentation, I discovered the trick to driving the Alpha 12 smoothly. By lifting off the accelerator slightly between shifts (just like you would do when clutching with a manual gearbox), engagement of the next gear was smooth.

Don’t get the impression that an Alpha 12 is a docile pussycat. Its mannerisms are much harsher than a stock GT-R.

Don’t get the impression that an Alpha 12 is a docile pussycat. In fact, its mannerisms are much harsher than a stock GT-R. To handle its outrageous output, AMS has fitted some seriously heavy-duty components. Most are buried within, but some (like the high-volume free-flow exhaust and the differential oil pump with straight-cut gears) operate much louder than stock mechanicals. To a true gearhead, one who can identify the din, the sound is oddly reassuring.

As AMS has left the stock Brembo brakes and multi-mode electrically adjustable damping suspension in place (no need to add unnecessary complexity), the ride remains every bit as compliant and comfortable as a stock GT-R. For street use and occasional drag racing this is probably just fine, but I would upgrade the brake pads at minimum if road-racing track duty is on the agenda.

Posted by Mr_Pictures on 2014-09-01 20:42:51

Tagged: , 2012 , AMS , Alpha , 12 , GT-R

Cuba & US 2016 – Update 21/5/16 – Trinidad Night Waits for US – Trinidad – central Cuba – town in the province of Sancti Spíritus.Together with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios, one of UNESCOs World Heritage sites.Founded 23/12/1514

Cuba & US 2016 - Update 21/5/16 - Trinidad Night Waits for US - Trinidad - central Cuba - town in the province of Sancti Spíritus.Together with the nearby Valle de los Ingenios, one of UNESCOs World Heritage sites.Founded 23/12/1514

Why even Google can’t connect Cuba

Reports say Google intends to help wire Cuba and bring the island into the 21st century. But that’s not going to happen.

By – Mike Elgan
Computerworld | Apr 18, 2016 3:00 AM PT

When President Obama said in Havana last month that Google would be working to improve Internet access in Cuba, I wondered what Google might do in Cuba that other companies could not.Today, Cuba is an Internet desert where only 5% of trusted elites are allowed to have (slow dial-up) Internet connections at home, and a paltry 400,000 people access the Internet through sidewalk Wi-Fi hotspots. These hotspots have existed for only a year or so. Also, some 2.5 million Cubans have government-created email accounts, but no Web access.I spent a month in Cuba until last week, and I was there when the president spoke. I’m here to report that those government Wi-Fi hotspots are rare, slow and expensive. While in Cuba, my wife, son and I spent about $300 on Wi-Fi. In a country where the average wage ranges from $15 to $30 per month, connecting is a massive financial burden available only to a lucky minority with private businesses or generous relatives in Miami.
And this is why I think the possibilities of what Google might accomplish in Cuba are misunderstood.It’s not as if Cuba would have ubiquitous, affordable and fast Internet access if it just had the money or expertise to make it happen. The problem is that Cuba is a totalitarian Communist dictatorship.The outrageous price charged for Wi-Fi in Cuba can’t possibly reflect the cost of providing the service. The price is really a way to restrict greater freedom of information to those who benefit from the Cuban system.The strange Wi-Fi card system is also a tool of political control. In order to buy a card, you have to show your ID, and your information is entered into the system. Everything done online using a specific Wi-Fi card is associated with a specific person.The Cuban government allows people to run privately owned small hotels, called casas particulares, and small home restaurants, called paladares. The owners of these small businesses would love to provide their guests with Wi-Fi, but the Cuban government doesn’t allow it. Nor does it allow state-owned restaurants, bars and cafes to provide Wi-Fi.Google is connected to the global Internet through satellite networks. Cuba is connected to the Internet by an undersea fiber-optic cable that runs between the island and Venezuela. The cable was completed in 2011, and it existed as a "darknet" connection for two years before suddenly going online in 2013.So here’s the problem with Google as the solution: The Cuban government uses high prices and draconian laws to prevent the majority of Cubans from having any access to the Internet at all. The government actively prevents access as a matter of policy. It’s not a technical problem. It’s a political one.In other words, Cuba doesn’t need Google to provide hotspots. If the Cuban government allowed hotspots, Cubans would provide them.
Everyday Google tech is ‘Art’ in Cuba
While I was visiting Cuba, a permanent "exhibit" called Google+Kcho.MOR was on display at an art and cultural center in Havana that also promotes technology. Kcho (pronounced "KAW-cho") is the nickname of a brilliant, enterprising, prolific and self-promoting Cuban mixed-media artist named Alexis Leiva Machado. Kcho lives at the center, which he deliberately built in the traditionally poor Havana neighborhood of Romerillo, where he grew up. The M-O-R at the end of the exhibit’s name are the initials of the walled, multibuilding compound: Museo Orgánico Romerillo.I took a Cuban death-cab to the Museo Orgánico Romerillo. And, no, the cab wasn’t one of those awesome American classico beauties from the 1950s that you see in all the pictures of Cuba. The vehicle was a tiny, charmless Eastern European clunker from the 1970s with a top speed of about 45 mph, stripped on the inside of all paneling and lining (presumably by a fire, because everything was black inside) and held together by wire, tape, glue and optimism — and I swear the exhaust pipe was somewhere inside the car. (Oh, what this correspondent isn’t willing to do for his cherished readers.)The exhibit is an astonishing oddity to Cubans who have never traveled abroad, but it’s packed with oldish, cheap, everyday Google gear: 20 Chromebooks, Google Cardboard goggles powered by Nexus phones — and something that has never, ever existed anywhere in Cuba: free Wi-Fi.Of course, there’s no such thing as free Wi-Fi, especially in Cuba. Kcho reportedly pays the Cuban government some $900 per month for the access. The free Wi-Fi, which I saw scores of locals using with their phones, is really subsidized. The Cuban government still gets paid. (The password for the free Wi-Fi is abajoelbloqueo — which translates, roughly, to "down with the embargo.")The free Wi-Fi is the same slow, unreliable connection that a minority of Cubans elsewhere get to enjoy, minus the cost and the cards. The Chromebooks, on the other hand, offer a magic Google connection some 70 times faster than regular Cuban Wi-Fi. Only 20 people at a time can enjoy the fast-connection Chromebooks, and each for just one hour at a time. When I was there, every Chromebook was in use, and each user’s focus on the screen was total, as you can imagine.The "exhibit" also had Google Cardboard viewers. (I had read the center has 100 of them, but I saw only about a dozen.) To use them, you ask a guy working there, and he grabs a Nexus phone from a drawer and walks you through the process of launching the Cardboard app and starting it. Each Cardboard viewer has preloaded content — in my case I enjoyed a Photosphere of Tokyo.During the half hour I spent in the Google+Kcho.MOR space, nobody else tried Google Cardboard. And that makes sense. With no ability to create or explore Carboard content, it’s just a parlor trick to be enjoyed for a minute or two. I got the feeling that all the people there had "been there, done that" with Cardboard and resumed their obsession with Internet connectivity.It was, however, obvious that the two people helping us were used to minds being completely blown by the Google Cardboard and Chromebook experiences. I didn’t have the heart to mention that I’ve owned several pairs of Cardboard for two years and Chromebooks for three years.The Google+Kcho.MOR installation is called an "exhibit," but it’s not. In reality, it’s a co-marketing, co-branding effort.For the Kcho "brand," it’s a "gateway drug" to lure Cuba’s youth to the museum and get them excited about art, culture and the world of Kcho. Along with a cheap snack bar, the free Wi-Fi and the hour a day on the fastest laptops in Cuba successfully bring hundreds of Cuban kids to the center each day, and the Google+Kcho.MOR is the main event.For Google, it’s a massive branding effort. (Google declined to comment for this story.)Nobody was willing to talk about it, but it’s clear that Google is spreading some cash around here. There’s so much Google branding on everything in and on the Google+Kcho.MOR building, it looks like it could be at the Googleplex itself.Even elsewhere in the compound, the Google logo is everywhere. It’s in several outdoor spots where the free Wi-Fi is used, including all over the snack bar that serves coffee and soda.If you’re reading this, you probably live in a country awash in marketing, co-marketing and branding on every surface. But the ubiquity of Google branding at the entire Museo Orgánico Romerillo compound may be unique in Cuba. This is a country without a single Coca-Cola sign or billboard, zero ads anywhere for anything (other than political propaganda for the revolution and its leaders and ideals).During the month I spent in in Cuba, I saw exactly six major public consumer branding units, and all of them were at the Museo Orgánico Romerillo, and all of them were about Google (and Kcho). That makes Google by far the most heavily branded and marketed company in Cuba — in fact, the only one.As far as I can tell, Google is getting away with it only because Kcho is massively favored by the Castro regime and the marketing is all presented as "art" or in the promotion of art.
What Google is really accomplishing in Cuba
Google appears to have begun its entry into Cuba in June 2014, when its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, visited Cuba after slamming the U.S. embargo in a Google+ post. The visit was not reported in Cuba at the time.Schmidt was accompanied on his trip by Brett Perlmutter, who was later appointed Cuba lead for Alphabet, Google’s parent company, as part of the Jigsaw organization, a "think tank" that actually initiates programs for making the world a better place, and was formerly known as "Google Ideas."In January 2015, Perlmutter, as well as Jigsaw’s deputy director, Scott Carpenter, toured Cuba together.One of their goals on that trip was to visit computer science students at the University of Information Science, as well as young Cuban Internet users. Another goal, it’s easy to guess, was to meet with cultural figures like Kcho, and also key figures in the Cuban government.Put another way, Google has been making friends and laying the groundwork for a future when the Cuban government allows greater and better Internet access.No, Google isn’t laying fiber, launching balloons or installing equipment all over Cuba. It’s not planning to sprinkle fast, free, magic Google Wi-Fi all over the island.The best Google can do for now is make friends and influence people.Cuba won’t join the rest of the world in ubiquitous Internet access until the Cuban government either becomes less repressive, or falls out of power. When that happens, Google, as the dominant and best-connected tech brand, will be ready.Until then, no amount of magic Google pixie dust can help the Cuban people.

Posted by Boaz Guttman בועז גוטמן ГУТМАН on 2016-05-21 22:20:45

Tagged: , Cuba , US , 2016

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

Dishonored: Death of the Outsider

Posted by DunnoHowTo on 2018-02-19 07:25:48

Tagged: , The , Eyeless , Gang , Dishonored , 2 , Bethesda , Softworks , Sequel , Game , Play , Arkane , Studios , Screenshot , Panorama , PC , Master , Race , Computer , Action , Adventure , FPS , Photoshop , Death , Outsider , Seized , Bloodfly , Corvo , Emily , Sword , Karnaca , Serkonos , Dunwall , City , Empress , Jessamine , Kaldwin , Billie , Daud , Royal , Conservatory , Ansel , Nvidia , GeForce , Mindy , portrait , Clockwork , Mansion , Addermire , Institute , Stilton , Manor , Dust , District , Tower , Void , Attano , Kaldwi , Delilah , Copperspoon , Paolo , Meagan , Foster , Aramis , Overseer , Liam , Byrne , Potrait , Grand , Guard , Assassin , Upper , Cyria