Stellar Blade

Jun 25, 2024
Eve in her Planet Diving Suit

I wasn’t sure if I was going to pick up a copy of Stellar Blade. I didn’t pre-order it, but I was intrigued by some of the controversy surrounding the title, as well as how well such a game would look with Sony’s adjustments. I managed to get a physical copy on opening day. The initial few hours were filled with intense and challenging combat, making me wonder if this would be the first game I started on the PS5 that I wouldn’t finish. I pushed through the early bosses and was met with some very interesting characters, beautiful game art and excellent world-building. It’s a game that has its flaws, and a steep skill curve. Yet, it still ended up being an entertaining game as I stuck with it.

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Goodbye Viva Frei, Robert Barnes and Steven Crowder

Jun 18, 2024
A slightly overweight 40 year old lawyer with a greying beard across the desk from the slightly overweight, beaded change my mine guy, who also has side holsters and they're on air and it's in the style of 8-bit voxel art

I recently documented how I archived content from creators I subscribed to on Locals. I subscribed to VivaBarnes when they first joined the platform in 2020, and I also subscribed to Louder with Crowder when it switched to Locals from The Blaze. For years, I felt like both had done an excellent job of informing and/or entertaining their audience in some very difficult times. However, both have had their own controversies over the years. Over time, I gained less from the subscriber-only content. The quality of their work has degraded. My own research has found they’ve both been pushing their own narrative stories, sometimes directly opposed to the facts of the events they cover. I don’t regret supporting them, but I think I’ve exhausted the value I received from their videos. This month, my subscriptions end for the only two people I follow on Locals.

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Archiving Locals Content

Jun 17, 2024
A.I image generated from the prompt: A robot scraping and archiving content into an old steam punk looking filing cabinet

I subscribe to two channels on Locals, a creator funding platform that was bought by Rumble. Both of the people I subscribe to produce a lot of content, and there’s no way to consume all of it, especially with Local’s abysmal web interface. In the past, I’ve archived content from The Blaze. The Blaze had a well-designed frontend interface and easy to handle JSON response. This made it almost trivial to archive content. Locals renders most of their HTML on their servers. A considerable amount of scraping and parsing is required, in order to archive their content. I created a tool called arclocals; a Python application anyone should be able to use if they want to archive the content of people they subscribe to on Locals.

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Every Tablet I've Ever Owned

Jun 14, 2024
A Row of AI Generated Tablets

I’ve documented my long history of cellphones. My history of tablets is substantially shorter. I’ve been able to get significantly more life out of the various tablets I’ve purchased over the years. In this post, I’m going to show you every tablet I’ve ever owned. I’m only including devices without keyboards. I’ve had some x86 laptops, both personal and for work, that have screens which flip all the way around so they can be used as a 2-in-1. I’ve never really used these in tablet mode, so I’m leaving them out. For the most part I’ve only used tablets for reading novels, comic books and manga. They’re really great for reading, and maybe some light web browsing, but I’ve hardly used them for anything else. In this post I’ll cover the Acer Iconia Tab, Samsung Galaxy Tab S, Microsoft Surface Pro 2, a failed attempt to restore an Asus Google Nexus 7, and finally, the Google Pixel Tablet.

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dav-xmpp-sync v1.2.0 Release

May 12, 2024
AI Art generated from the prompt 'A new release of dav-xmpp-sync, version 1.2.0, that allows for group synchronization between and XMPP server getting SMS messages from and a CardDav server'

Years ago, I migrated from Google Voice over to a Voice/SMS service called Jmp.Chat. I host my address book using Radicale, an open source CardDav/CalDav server. In order to synchronize contacts between the two, I wrote dav-xmpp-sync, a Python application for CardDav to XMPP synchronization. It’s worked fairly well for a while. I recently did some maintenance: updating dependencies and adding support for SMS/Text groups. The v1.2.0 release is available via a Docker image, and is fully backwards compatible with the previous release.

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W-Ergo Split Keyboard

Apr 28, 2024
W-Ergo Keyboard fully assembled with keycaps, wrist rests and mouse on a deskmat

A while back, I tried out a SlickMK, a split keyboard with an Ergodox layout. It took me a while to get use to its ortholinear layout. My frustration made me wonder if I had made the right choice. However, after getting a bit more comfortable with it, I moved it to my work computer. I eventually returned to the same typing speed I was use to on traditional, staggered layout keyboards. Recently, I decided to switch over my personal workstation to a split keyboard as well. I replaced my Royal Kludge 84 with a W-Ergo. It took a little while to arrive, but so far it’s proven to be a reliable and fun keyboard.

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Extracting my old Delicious Bookmarks

Apr 22, 2024
Delicious Logo

In the early years of the Internet, there was a social bookmarking service known as, or “Delicious.” It allowed users to create and tag bookmarks. It had a Firefox extension that could synchronize bookmarks and tags between a user’s various web browsers and computers. Sadly, the browser extension stopped working as Firefox deprecated their old extension API and Delicious traded hands between various companies. My home directory is old enough that I still had the disabled Delicious extension data sitting within my Firefox profile. The data is in a standard sqlite3 format, and I wrote a Python script that extracts those old bookmarks and formats them as HTML.

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Tennessee Emergency Alerts Redirect to a Facebook Page

Apr 18, 2024
A.I. Generated Device with the word Alert and other incomprehensible text

On February 9th, 2024, I got a Blue Alert on my cellphone. In the past, the details of the alert were typically in the message itself. However, this time I got a link to Upon tapping on the link, the redirected me to a Facebook page. My phone then prompted me to download the Facebook app. After clicking no, I was then asked to login, where it appeared that I couldn’t continue without an account. I had to go through two modals just to get to an alert. If the state of Tennessee is going through the trouble of having a web server with a redirect, why not just serve the alert information themselves, instead of directing everyone to a page with a terrible user experience, and third party data tracking?

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Building Compost Bins

Apr 17, 2024
Finished compost bins with slats installed and bins filled

Last year, I started composting. Grass clippings, kitchen food waste, leaves and unbleached shredded cardboard were fed to a pile at the back of my yard. The pile’s hunger was insatiable. Before the weather got too cold, I decided to build some compost bins. Moving the piles into a three-bin system over the winter should help break down the material into soil for my raised garden beds. Although I recently stained an unfinished a picnic table set, this is the first wood project I’ve built from the ground up.

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The Tragedy of Steven Crowder

Apr 1, 2024
A conservative TV host, with a blue shirt and a beard, in a tragic situation, staring off into the sunset as his studio crumbled around him

Recently Steven Crowder ran an investigative piece alleging a high ranking female executive at BlackRock was connected to a forum used to exchange sexually explicit material involving minors. This allegation was based off of a single e-mail address, tied to the individual by means of several background check websites. This investigation was horrifically sloppy, and had no concrete evidence of any criminal wrongdoing. Crowder’s team has done amazing investigation work during the most controversial election of our time. However, this investigation was abhorrently bad. It was followed by a serious of other questionable investigations where Crowder went after the porn industry, and a small local school. As the show seems to drift further away from the topics many American conservatives actually care about, he also is facing more accusations from former staff members about his conduct as their employer. As someone who has been a fan of his content for years, I find it disheartening to see the quality of his show in a sharp state of decline.

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