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I make films. I'm also a nerd.

Archive for 2013:

Textastic Code Editor Expands URL Scheme Support

A new version of Textastic was released today for both iPhone and iPad, and among the new features are iCloud syncing and some fairly deep support for the x-callback-url specification. Creating, opening, and appending to files are all supported actions, and a healthy list of parameters allow for all sorts of potential manipulations.

One especially cool usage is detailed at the bottom of the API documentation; it makes it easy to grab a Web page’s source HTML from within Safari–and I suppose it could also be used to receive a server’s error responses for debugging purposes. I can definitely see myself getting a lot of use out of that one feature alone.

Something Has To Be Done About Our Police

Radley Balko, for Salon:

Sal Culosi is dead because he bet on a football game — but it wasn’t a bookie or a loan shark who killed him. His local government killed him, ostensibly to protect him from his gambling habit.

The poor guy used to enjoy placing low-stakes bets on college football with his friends. An ersatz-Rambo cop decided he’d talk the guy into upping the stakes so that he and his idiot fratboy colleagues could show up at Culosi’s house all SWAT-team style and execute him–he was unarmed, mind you–right on his front lawn.

We live in willful, blissful stupidity under a militarized regime, and every single thing we do is under supercomputer scrutiny. How could that possibly go wrong?

OK, let’s get back to liquefying our brains with TMZ.

Security Hole Found In Dropbox’s Two-Factor Authentication

From a post at Security Affairs:

Few hours ago I was informed that Q-CERT team found a critical vulnerability in DropBox that allows a hacker to bypass the two-factor authentication implemented by the popular file sharing service.

I guess two-factor authentication isn’t inherently more secure.

State Of California Sterilizes Female Inmates

Corey G. Johnson of The Sacramento Bee:

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not right,’ ” said [Crystal] Nguyen, 28. “Do they think they’re animals, and they don’t want them to breed anymore?”

Umm, yeah, that’s exactly what they think, and that’s exactly what they want.

Brazil Angry at U.S. Over PRISM

Reuters :

Brazil will demand an explanation from the United States over [a] report its citizens’ electronic communications have been under surveillance by U.S. spy agencies for at least a decade, foreign minister Antonio Patriota said on Sunday.

It should be totally cool for our government to spy on every single person alive, right? Why limit the spying to the taxpayers who fund the spying–to citizens formerly protected by our Constitution? Hell, we don’t owe the Brazilians anything. Let’s totally videotape them while they poop, bro.

Cassavetes, Falk, and Gazzara on Cavett

The three stars of Husbands appeared on The Dick Cavett Show in 1970, ostensibly to promote the film. In actuality, they showed up simply to goof off. Just imagine seeing something this amazing and anarchic on television today.

Handing Out Your HBO GO Password May Land You In Jail

Jenna Wortham writes, for the New York Times, about the growing trend of sharing TV streaming service passwords with friends:

[Last] Sunday afternoon, some friends and I were hanging out in a local bar, talking about what we’d be doing that evening. It turned out that we all had the same plan: to watch the season premiere of Game of Thrones. But only one person in our group had a cable television subscription to HBO, where it is shown. The rest of us had a crafty workaround.

If you truly want to protect your property, mightn’t it make more sense simply to come up with an authentication method more advanced than Cold-War-era solutions like passwords? Or–I’m just spitballing here–maybe realize that some of the people “stealing” your shows are the same people who would pay you for them if you would let them?

Media corporations (let’s talk about legislators some other time) still can’t figure out which century this is. I often hear the argument that they are “attached to their entrenched assumptions,” and that they “simply wish to preserve their existing business model,” etc. I understand the desire to stick to something that works–until it quits working. At that point, maybe it’s time to change your approach. I mean, if you’re not a damned idiot.

THE LONE RANGER Must Really Suck; Gee, Who Saw That Coming?

If you enjoy reading a withering excoriation of a really shitty film–and really, who doesn’t?–check out Laremy Legel’s review of The Lone Ranger:

There have been so many examples where a creative genius took an idea, and against all odds delivered a piece of art that changed the world. This is not one of them. This is the other thing, where a bunch of really smart people took a really dumb idea and just absolutely went for it, consequences be damned, and ended up with a festering blob in the form of a movie.

UPDATE, July 7, 2013 3:13 PM:

The Hollywood Reporter:

[B]ox office experts and rival studio insiders tell The Hollywood Reporter that the loss could approach or even surpass $150 million based on final opening numbers…

The Schadenfreude will never end.

Man Creates Symbol for “The”, At Great Expense

Behold the kooky tale of the zany Australian guy who decided he’d just unilaterally change the way our language is written–which will totally work, because he’s the God of the English Language:

Famous Australian restauranteur Paul Mathis has invented a new symbol that he hopes will replace the word “the” in everyday communications. Written much like the cyrillic [sic] letter “Ћ” and pronounced “th,” it’s a typographic ligature of an uppercase T and a lowercase h.

And here’s my favorite part:

Mathis has invested around $75,000AUD (around $68,000) into developing the symbol…

Oh, really? It costs that much money to lay an “h” on top of a “T”? I would have assumed it’d never cost more than $30,000.

I wonder what he’d say if he knew enough about the history of the language–the one he alone can advance with his brilliant and original innovations, mind you–to know that we already have not one but two symbols for the dental fricative: þ and ð. And they’re free!

A Nice Man Showed Him A Chunk of His Vas Deferens

Sam Davies on his vasectomy:

Most long-term birth control involves regularly putting chemicals into a woman’s body. Kat was wary of the side effects that come with different types of female contraception. If there was a pill that I could have taken I would have taken it, but the patriarchy is a bitch. Since we were D-O-N-E done, there was an option that made sense for our family: a vasectomy.

I’ve always thought there was something a little nightmarish about birth control pills–all those uninvited hormones can do weird things to a person. If a couple is sure they don’t want a(nother) baby, there are a lot of ways, other than weird chemicals, to get there. I applaud Sam for taking the ballsy choice.

I’m not sure about that photo of the scissors, though.