envoy510

The chocolate ration is being increased to 25 grammes per week.

Category Archives: Uncategorized

It’s time to embrace the fat and ditch the carbs

My eating habits are shitty (I crave and eat too much sugar, even binging on it occasionally). I’m a little overweight. My blood sugar was considered pre-diabetic last time I had it checked.  I feel like it’s time for a change.  A small part of it is vanity, if I’m honest, but it is mainly wanting to live longer, feel better and to remain disease free.  Most of the people I’ve known (personally and friends of friends) who died of cancer had pancreatic cancer, and more than anything I’d like to avoid that disease.  It is a nasty one.  There is a lot of evidence that high blood sugar is responsible for a lot of ills, and growing evidence it’s responsible for even more.  For example, there is growing evidence of a link between glucose and pancreatic cancer [1] [2] [3].

Just today I saw this on HNMachine Learning meets ketosis: how to effectively lose weight.  What a great read.  I highly recommend it to everyone, even if you aren’t trying to lose weight.  Be sure to watch the very informative videos in the “More Videos” section at the end.

So, I’m going to try and make a change to a high fat, low carb lifestyle.  Notice I didn’t say diet.  To me, diets are temporary things you do to effect a short-term change.  And I’ll be blunt: the hardest part for me will be giving up ice cream and milk chocolate bars.  Trader Joe’s has this hazelnut milk chocolate bar that is to die for.  I just don’t want to die for it.

The other thing I’m learning about is the glycemic index and load of foods.  I’m currently searching for a comprehensive list of glycemic load for foods.  So far this is the best one.

My plan is to eat much more of the following foods.  The “low GL” means “load glycemic load” in the descriptions.

  • 70% cacao chocolate: this might work as a replacement for my hazelnut milk chocolate bar because it’s very hard for me to binge on it. For whatever reason, perhaps because of the richness of it, I can only eat a relatively small amount of the stuff.  One reason that might be, you can’t eat it fast, you have to let your mouth fully melt it before swallowing, and we know that eating slower is better, because the full signal from your stomach to your brain takes a while.  Notice I listed this first. Obsession recognized!
  • vegetables:
    • non-starchy: artichoke, asparagus, bean sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, lettuces, onions, snap beans, snow peas, spinach, summer squash, tomatoes, watercress, zucchini.
    • corn on the cob: this one surprised me that it’s listed as having a low GL.  I have it rarely, but it’s good to know.  More popcorn with butter!
  • fruits that have a low GL:
    • apples, plums and grapes: I don’t eat apples much, but plums and grapes are part of my life.
    • avocado: mmmm, guac, but how to enjoy it without the chips? Anyone have ideas?
    • watermelon: I would never have guessed its GL was so low.
    • bananas: they seem to be on the upper end of the “low” GL scale. Perhaps in moderation.
  • eggs: this much maligned food is making a comeback and I really love them.
  • cheese: it appears that the GL for cheese is low.
  • nuts: I love hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, and walnuts.
  • dairy: unsweetened plain yogurt, half-and-half and sour cream; all the full-fat versions.

My plan is to record my weight, to track progress, and after a few months to get a blood sugar test, to see how that side is coming along.

Advertisements

Curry’s no-look towel toss to prevent Draymond’s splash

So, after the Warrior’s won their 69th game, Steph was giving an interview and he saw Draymond walk by and must’ve figured Dray was up to no good.  Dray walks around and then picks up a cup of water.  It appears Dray is about to splash one of the splash brothers, but then this happens:

https://vine.co/v/ij9tgDMOhzv/embed/simple

It’s even more amazing when you watch it from the other side, while he’s being interviewed.

He has powers in many domains.

 

My Tracks: The real reason Google is shutting it down

The Android app My Tracks is being killed on April 30, 2016.  It’s not just be abandoned, to never receive another update.  It’s being killed.  It will no longer operate past the above date. This is a rather strong move by Google.  Why are they doing it?  This is their given reason:

After April 30, 2016, My Tracks will no longer be available. We apologize for the inconvenience this might cause My Tracks users. We’ve made the tough decision to invest our efforts into other, more wide-reaching, mapping projects. Below are some resources to help you manage or export your data and find other apps to continue tracking your activities.

This is the bullshit reason.  The real reason might make you angry, if you are a user of My Tracks.

My Tracks lets you record information about walks, runs and other physical activity.  It does so with the GPS on your phone and records it to your phone.  You have the option of uploading that data to your Google account. It’s your data and Google doesn’t have access to it.  There’s no “save to the cloud” or “share with your friends” or anything like that. In other words, there’s no way for Google to monetize (i.e., make money off) your data.

Google has pointed to several applications that are good replacements for My Tracks. Google Fit being one.  The difference between all of them and My Tracks is clear: they all are social applications which store your data in the cloud, so they can do what they want with it.  The Google app, Fit, is clearly designed like this.  The non-Google apps are, too, and many of them, while free, have in-app purchases for sharing features, etc.

My Tracks was killed because it directly competed with Google Fit.  My Tracks was killed because Google cannot make money off you when you use it1, unlike Google Fit.

So why does this matter?  Why am I so sensitive about my data being in the cloud and used by others for monetary gain?  1) They aren’t being honest about what they are doing. Period. 2) We’ve already given up so much privacy by carry smart phones, and I don’t want to give up anymore of it. My walks are my private business. Something stored in the cloud can be accessed or stolen by others. I don’t want my regular activities to be known by people other than my family.

You might say, it’s open source software, so someone else can maintain it, if Google doesn’t want to, right?  Wrong.  Google removed the source code from public view more than a year ago:

We no longer update the open source version of My Tracks, and we will remove these sources after 1/1/15.

They planned well ahead, making people think they were merely abandoning the software, so that when they did kill it, it was less likely someone would have the source code.  Also, the source code, at the time they killed it, would be quite out of date (having been updating it for more than a year from the time the source code went private).

I’ve been a long-time user of My Tracks.  I started using it with my OG Droid, an early Android phone by Motorola.  Through all the upgrades, I’ve used My Tracks to record walks.  It’s a great tool and I really enjoyed using it.  I spent a few hours looking for an alternative app that won’t have access to my data and I failed to find one.  Should a reader of this post know of one, please let me know.

I know what I’ll do on April 30, 2016.  I’ll uninstall My Tracks and not install any of the suggested alternatives.  My phone will be a little less fun to me, and that is the fault of Google.

1Whether Google does now, or will at some point in the future, monetize your Google Fit data is irrelevant. We, as users of Android phones, cannot know what Google monetizes. We know they monetize a lot of our data, and it makes them a lot of money. There’s a saying: If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold. That certainly applies here. I would be happy to pay for a My Tracks app, so I am the customer.

Plex just screwed over its entire Roku user base

Plex was a great piece of software. I’ve used it for years. I’ve ranted and raved about it to many people, both online and IRL. I run the client on a Roku 2 and 3, in two different rooms in my house. I run the Plex Media Server in a Docker container on CentOS 6.7. Until Friday night, August 28th, 2015, it worked like a charm.

Apps on the Roku automatically update. So, when I sat down with a hot plate of food Friday night, after a long hard day at work, I expected to turn on my TV and select something fun to watch on my Roku. When I selected the Plex app, however, I saw was a message asking me to go to a URL and type in a PIN.

Hold it right there. Friday night.  Hot food on the table. You want me to do what? Are you kidding me?  I’m already pissed off to start this process.

A new version of the Plex app had installed itself since the previous night when I used it. So, I grab my phone and typed in the URL.  Oh, it wants me to login.  Well, I probably have an account, but I never use it, because I never need to before. So I fumble around for a while and start the password reset procedure.  But, my food is getting cold, so 15 minutes in I bail and switch to the Amazon Instant Video app to watch something while I eat.

When I finish eating I’m just too pissed off to enjoy watching anything.  So, I recover the password on my long forgotten account and type in the PIN.  The Plex app wakes up and tells me No Supported Servers Found. OK, I know what the problem is, my Plex Media Server can’t broadcast to the local network.  So, I’ll just manually enter the server into the Plex Roku app. But there isn’t a way to do that.

A trip to the computer and to the Plex forums. Yeah, I’m not the only one on this Friday night that’s wasting time messing around with Plex instead of enjoying some videos. There are a lot of people really pissed off about bugs in the new app, ones that I can’t experience because I can’t even use the new app.

They key piece of information I glean from the forums, however, is there is a new Roku app called Plex Classic. Here’s the procedure:

  1. Go to this URL: https://owner.roku.com/add/plexclassic.
  2. On your Roku check for updates (or wait up to 24 hours).
  3. Setup all your Plex options again. For me, that was enter the server address manually.  And tweak a bunch of UI things, like turning off background music, etc.

All told, with 2 Roku devices, from start to finish, I spent about 1.5 hours.  On Friday night.  When I wanted to be relaxing.

Ironically, earlier this week, I saw a thread on reddit where a Plex user asked: is the Premium subscription worth it?  There were many replies and almost every single one said that it was worth it, for a variety of reasons.  Some for features.  Some to support development of an excellent product.  The lifetime subscription used to be $75.  It’s now $150.  I was seriously considering throwing down $150 for a lifetime subscription.  I won’t be doing that now.  All the good will they built up had me on the precipice of donating to them.  And look what they did.

Let’s recount the fuckups by the people that made the decisions at Plex:

  1. Requiring login in a product update (to a product I purchased, by the way).
  2. No manual server entry.
  3. Deploying on a Friday, which for many working people means they’ll first see it on a Friday night when they sit down to relax.
  4. Replacing a functional app with a completely new and untested one.  What plex.tv should have done is to make a new app and advertise that app in the old app.  That would have allowed people to update on their own schedule and to give feedback while not perturbing their current setup.

And, even if people only ever saw #1 above, I still consider that a screwing over.  It alone would force people to spend time doing something unnecessary when they likely didn’t want to do it.

UPDATE: a commenter suggest the free and open source emby.

Google Cloud Print sucks!

I have a Brother MFC-9130CW.  I can verify that it is communicating with Google’s servers via XMPP:

05:01:14.755169 IP myIPaddr.23408 > 74.125.28.125.xmpp-client: Flags [P.], seq 1369720786:1369720946, ack 3552789351, win 9926, options [nop,nop,TS val 2816500 ecr 2919798482], length 160
05:01:14.789339 IP 74.125.28.125.xmpp-client > myIPaddr.23408: Flags [.], ack 160, win 777, options [nop,nop,TS val 2919858660 ecr 2816500], length 0
05:01:14.838943 IP 74.125.28.125.xmpp-client > myIPaddr.23408: Flags [P.], seq 1:611, ack 160, win 777, options [nop,nop,TS val 2919858710 ecr 2816500], length 610

In Chrome I see nothing!  I can add it as a “Classic” printer, then in the Advanced Details I see:

Printer Type
Classic printer connected via Google Chrome
Registered with Cloud Print
Jan 14, 2015, 5:38:44 AM
Last Updated
Jan 14, 2015, 5:38:44 AM

So, the printer has registered with Google Cloud Print (minutes ago), but I don’t see it in my Cloud Print list of printers in Chrome.

WTF Google?!?  This is just like all the other Google products, full of bugs and when it doesn’t work they don’t give a shit.  There is no place to report bugs in Cloud Print.  Yeah, if I have a Chromebook I can post on the forums for that, and let me tell you, there are a lot of people complaining of the same thing.

Comcast Trolls America, parts 1-5

These were not written by me, but I love them, so I’m linking to them.  Spread the word.  Comcast is a horrible, terrible company.  If I had any choice (Google Fiber I’m looking at you!), I’d switch away from them in a nanosecond.

Comcast Trolls America Part 1: How Comcast Grinds You Down
Comcast Trolls America Part 2 – Comcast Fees & Collections: A disturbing practice
Comcast Trolls America Part 3: Reddit’s Magic Wand
Comcast Trolls America Part 4 – Non sequitur: Comcast Math
Comcast Trolls America Part 5: The non-apology apology

You can read about my own experiences with Comcast here and here.  I really, really hate them.  There are more evil companies on earth, I’m sure, but they are really good at being assholes.

What the internet was made for, cat pics

 

 

It just so happens this one has a dog in it, too.  Check out the eyes.
8700830957_452dfcea3a_oThe original is here.

 

The Xbox 360 UI is a piece of shit

Press the X button just the right amount of time you get a menu.  Press it too long and you get a different menu.  Wow, I wish I had thought of that one.  I would have used it in all the programs I’ve written over the years!

I let my Xbox Live Gold account lapse, so they punished me.  It unlinks your profiles and makes you re-link them to the master Xbox Live Gold account.  Could it do this automatically?  Absolutely.  Their website had all the details before.  Do they do it?  NO.  My guess this is punishment for your lapse.  Bend over and take it like a man.

On the Xbox website they say go to “Settings, Family” to add family members.  I’m familiar with Settings.  You just short-press the X button.  From there I found the Family Settings menu, page, or whatever it’s called.  I wandered around in there for 30+ minutes.  Turns out, there is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT place that has Settings and Family.  That’s right, two places with the same names.  Brilliant.

Once I found the right place to add the account, I had to login to the master account.  Have you ever tried to use an Xbox controller to type a user name and password?  It is an exercise in frustration like no other.  OK, so a trip to a computer to find the password, since I’d long forgotten it.  Last Pass to the rescue.  Back to the Xbox and lots of joy-sticking later I have it entered.  Only one more account to add.  15 minutes later I’m done.

In the past, I’ve had similar nightmares with the Xbox UI.  Endless navigation to dead ends, as there is no real organization to the UI.  Having to enter special codes to verify a device, where the code is sent to the original email used to sign up the account.  WTF?  I already entered the password.

Once I was deep into doing some signup on the Xbox website, with the Chrome browser, only to figure out it wouldn’t work.  After beating my head against that wall, I decided to try IE.  It worked.

I have never been so consistently pissed off at a company while trying to give them money or use their product.  It is a horrific experience and if my son didn’t like playing that thing so much, I would take it to the top of a tall building a drop it off.  I would enjoy the sight of its final battle, this one with gravity, and one that it would not win.

Romney “best” candidate because if elected the GOP won’t crash the economy

This is an amazing prediction, that Romney would be the best candidate because if he’s elected the Republicans won’t choose to crash the economy in 2013: The Keynesian case for Romney – The Washington Post.

Sadly, I agree with Klein on the predicted behavior of the Republicans in Congress.  For the last 3 years, they have done the opposite of what Obama has wanted, and have, at every turn, tried to make Obama fail to make the economy better.  It started with the stimulus (which was too small to have had much of an effect), and continued with every other single piece of legislation that Obama has put forth.  Last night, Jon Stewart had Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein on his show, and this is exactly what they talked about.  It’s not the first time I’ve seen discussions of it, and I’ve held the belief myself for at least 2 years.  All you need to do is witness the behavior of Republicans in Congress to believe it.  Mann and Ornstein have a new book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, which detail all the horrible mess we’re in.

Do a thought experiment: a Republican won in 2008.  She was faced with a Democratic congress that at every turn tried to sabotage her presidency.  What would the headlines in the papers across the US read?  What would the Republican PR machine at Fox News be saying?  What would the general mood of the country be toward the Democrats?

The headlines would label the Democrats as traitors.  Much like those who opposed the Iraq war (there were only a small handful of Democrats that opposed it).

Fox News would be running shows 24/7 denouncing the Democrats as un-American, as traitors, as sub-human.  They would have shown bulls-eyes over their pictures, much like they did with Gabby Giffords.

Americans, in general, would hate the Democrats.  The PR machine would be so overwhelming that it would take a huge effort to find anything redeemable in anything a Democrat did.  They would have faced a blood bath in 2010 and would be looking at another one in 2012.

Back in our timeline, I guess the liberal press just doesn’t have the guts to call the Republicans on their deeds.

Best of Imgur

Some of my favorite pictures from imgur.com.
Classic good news/bad news scenario