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Messages - ersi

2
DnD Central / Re: "Scientists Say" blather
Scientists Identify New Snail Species, Name It after Greta Thunberg

Probably because scientists have found no better way to get into the news lately.


3
Finland-Estonia is delegated to study groups, and is not going to happen by 2025.
This particular tunnel has always been funny, because it is exactly backed with China money so that even Wikipedia knows it: "Vesterbacka has made a tentative deal with chinese investment company called Touchstone Capital Partners." Part of the silk road or such.
4
An Irish Sea bridge would be just another Boris Johnson folly

If you let the Chinese invest in it, it will be great fun.


5
However, primarily the past decade has shown trend of people with fairly distinguishable local accents being allowed to read the news. My dad gets annoyed by it, but at 84 surely you're allowed to. ;)
According to my experience with local news in Sweden (which spans the last decade), there is a considerable allowance for local and foreign accents. The variety of the dialects is significant. When one is primarily familiar with, say, Stockholm speech, then Skåne dialect is barely comprehensible, and I imagine the difficulty obtains the other way also. Among the reporters there are additionally foreigners (immigrants) in the mix with their various thick accents.

In comparison, BBC newsreaders, even when they are from (or in) Australia or India, have a very uniformly drilled pronunciation. Same in all the American radio stations that I have listened to, despite their alleged autonomy or varied commercial ownership or loyalties, be it NPR, something in New York, Detroit, Chicago or California. Texas radio is most distinct, but only because they try really hard to sound different, with some limited success.

Take for example this presenter in Michigan, with ethnic Finnish background and professional background in radio and law.



Anyway, women do not overly prevail anywhere in journalism. Maybe RJ looks at one single channel and his favourite male newsreader retired and was followed by a female...
6
When I visited my parents recently, we watched a documentary from a hard disk recording a decade or so old. It was in what's now called SD. I don't think that recorder/DVD player can do better actually.
What is an SD? Is it the modem/digibox that comes with the provider? Or is it something more external? If the latter, then I guess I can put my smartphone on a stand in front of the TV and time-configure it to start to record whatever I want to see later...

If the former, then that's exactly where the recording opportunity has been removed by the providers.

If SD means some harddrive internal to the device by which you can capture and store whatever is displayed on the screen, be it from the TV provider or any other source (HDMI, USB stick, ...), I have not found that this amazing function exists on my TV. Maybe I should read the manual in the hope that this feature can be found.
 
In Belgium and the Netherlands you can just watch the relevant TV channel through the website or some app. The only problem is that it's geoblocked, while my parents with satellite have a free choice between the Dutch, Belgian, German, French, British, etc. broadcast.
Yes, satellite is the king of TV, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Not in my plans though, as I am flooded by content enough as it is.
7
Still at your telly, eh?

Recently, I bought a modern telly, but I use it just as a bigger screen for Youtube.

Television portrays people overall. Not just men or women, but humans. Always has. I do not like that. I prefer topics like history, nature, science, etc. Topics are available on Youtube more readily than on any telly.

The problem with television is that there is a schedule and there are too few channels. When things are not on or when you are not at the telly when things are on according to the schedule, you just won't see them. Saving of programs for later watching used to be a thing, but it was always limited to a few weeks and, more recently, my dear home country's providers made saving of programs an additional service that you have to pay extra for. A year ago I still considered whether I should subscribe to a TV provider, but when I heard that they basically removed the option of saving of programs, I stopped considering.

I am pretty happy with my new big-screen Youtube app. I was a bit afraid that it may not play easily from USB stick, but it actually does hotplug very intuitively. It also recognises keyboards instantly, and it can share smartphone screen over air. Awesome stuff.

The only area where TV still rules is live sports events. Those are sometimes hard to find streaming online. Well, radio takes care of them if one is okay with just listening...
8
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News
What I find particularly alarming is that in this case the onboard-pass checkers of the flight operator (SAS) did all the work for US borderguards. In the normal world you would be able to board airplanes when you have the flight ticket (and there are no other reasons to deny access for you) while the visa issues would be handled by the borderguards. In my case, I had the flight ticket, but I did not get to meet the US borderguards to tell the great story of visa freedom between our great nations.
9
DnD Central / Re: Today's Bad News
This time my vacation will be sad, very sad. I was not permitted to board a flight to the USA because my ESTA (the so-called visa waiver programme) was not valid. It was valid when I booked the flight, but meanwhile I happened to get a new passport. It turns out that ESTA is attached to the passport and when you get a new passport you also need to apply (and pay) for a new ESTA.

As I have been saying, this so-called visa waver programme does not waive any visas. It is a visa programme in itself.

Lately, EU has started fully emulating these visa procedures with a programme called ETIAS that applies to visa-free countries. The programme reads as follows,
There are many countries who are not in the European Union (EU) whose citizens can enter the EU Schengen Zone without needing a visa. Specifically, there are currently 62 countries who are not in the EU, but are visa free.

[...]

To reduce procedures and wait times, as well as address the security concerns, the European Commission (EC) has come up with a solution - ETIAS.

[...]

If what you filled out on the application form is correct, and you are eligible and not risky for the ETIAS, then you will be approved. This whole procedure is expected to be completed in only a few minutes.

[...]

The ETIAS will not burden your finances a lot. It is planned to have the ETIAS cost only €7 for each application. This is only valid for adults over 18 years old, as those under 18 will not have to pay any fees. You can pay the fee by debit or credit card. Immediately after you complete the payment, the ETIAS authorization will start processing.

[...]

If approved, the ETIAS might be valid for 3 years or until the end of validity of the travel document registered during application, whichever comes first. Whether you will get the first period of validity or the second depends on the system's evaluation of your information and risk.
So, dear visa free travellers, fill in your visa form, pay for the answer, and the answer is attached to your passport, exactly like a visa. Then you can travel visa free!

EU established these procedures to retaliate the same procedures that USA had established against EU citizens. (Because diplomacy doesn't work when it comes to USA.) I am quite sure that by now there are more countries where visa free travel means going through just another visa procedure.

Welcome to the 21st century!

Well, whatever. Even if I get no money back, flight tickets are cheap these days.


10
[...]they stuck "YouTube" and "Netflix" buttons on the TV remote.
I have "Netflix" and "Amazon Prime" buttons on my remote, neither of which I have any use for. However, they are placed so that they are not in the way. I don't even feel the need to reassign them. Reassigning would probably not be possible anyway.

11
But in any case, while I think the "TV" part of a  TV (i.e., the digital tuner) is cute and all, I'm just not interested in a cable subscription for it. I just use it as a giant monitor for PC, Wii, and DVD/Blu-Ray player.
Same here. I bought just the device, no subscription. Four months earlier the same device was pushed with a little bit higher price with a digital-TV subscription attached. Now it was offered for a bit less by itself and I finally took it. It was worth the wait.

In case of emergency the TV can also play YouTube and Netflix by itself.
I don't subscribe to Netflix either or any of those other things. I only play YT and the webbrowser on the TV thingie. And the USB stick and the computer over HDMI. It is plenty enough.
12

I've seen some "smart" TVs that take like 50 minutes to boot up.
Maybe I got lucky, but my smart-TV boots up literally in a second. One second, not two.

It's actually more of a real upgrade than I anticipated.
I am also pleasantly surprised in this aspect. The 4k screen is worth it, and the internal processor is adequate for it. And I don't remember ever having a remote so intuitively operable that there is no need to look at it. It happens to have a scroll wheel so I can scroll down the webpages in the big screen. This one is a keeper.


13
Wind Turbine Blades Can't Be Recycled, So They're Piling Up in Landfills https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-02-05/wind-turbine-blades-can-t-be-recycled-so-they-re-piling-up-in-landfills

Recycling is one area where capitalism will forever be far behind compared to socialism.
14
What a pointless thing a TV is and I just bought it, an LG 49UM7400. It is like a huge smartphone minus touchscreen and Google Play. Luckily the LG Magic remote that came along with it is pretty good at point-and-click, and attaching a keyboard to the USB actually helps in typing the alphabet.

The most amazing thing about it is that Galaxy Note 4 is able to share the screen with it. I had given up hope that screen sharing could ever work with anything. Moreover, it has been made easy to plug in the USB stick to the TV to see photos and videos on the stick.

So now I have two devices that can play 4k video without stuttering: smartphone and TV. Maybe I will upgrade the graphics card on my home computer at some point too.

Maybe there is a way to hack into the TV and get to something like tty, because the opsys is basically a reduced Android. Some other year.
16
Are they out now? For real, finally? No more negotiation nonsense? Did they decide anything about the tunnel in the bottom of La Manche?
17
DnD Central / Re: Everything Trump…
Because the war with Iran failed to catch fire, impeachment goes on.


18

A good thorough piece published half a year ago. Amazing what you may find when you browse https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/mh370-malaysia-airlines/590653/


19
DnD Central / Re: Everything Trump…
The most obvious contender for "what Trump gets out of this" is that he has been impeached and is going into an election year with stubbornly underwater approval ratings, and sees war with Iran as a Hail Mary pass to whip Americans into a wartime fever -- much as happened behind Bush in 2003 -- which might be enough to drag him across the line in what will likely be a close election.

(Trump on Nov. 16, 2011:
"Our president [Obama] will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate. He's weak and he's ineffective. So the only way he figures that he's going to get reelected -- and as sure as you're sitting there -- is to start a war with Iran.")

One of the most predictable aspects of Trump's narcissism is that he always projects his own flaws and evil impulses onto others. If he accused Obama of feeling an urge to start a war for political advantage, we can pretty much bet that same impulse lurks in Trump's own heart.
What a nasty little writer. But who can prove her wrong?

20
The Lounge / Re: Happy New Zealand!
They seem to share same limited feeds. It should be possible to do better.
Yes, it seemed better last year. They keep getting worse.

Anyway most of the world has entered 2020 already, and we haven't gotten to Europe yet (Russia and Turkey excepted).
Even in 2020, Turkey is still not Europe.
21
The Lounge / Re: Happy New Zealand!
Yeah, congrats NZ and Kiribati and the rest.

Same as last new year, I am trying to find a live stream on YT that show the celebration fireworks in most places in turn. Right now I cannot decide if USA Today is better than NBC or not.

Edit: The protesters in Hong Kong cleverly stole the spotlight holding the banner "Never Going Back".
22
Consider the (Linux x64) User Agent for our current Vivaldi stable. It reads like so:
Code: [Select]
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/78.0.3904.99 Safari/537.36 Vivaldi/2.9.1705.41
Really? In my testing, Vivaldi always, since day one, showed the UA identical to Chrome where things mattered, falling back to Vivaldi when it didn't matter. So your current change does not change anything.

A change would be permitting users to change the UA manually, instead of via an extension. Well, even that would not be much of a change. It would be just giving the users what they were used to with Opera.
23
A far more realistic observation, unfortunately
The materialistic United States, which Rifkin expected to be eclipsed by Europe, was better able to weather the financial crisis. [...] The error was not Europe's, but Rifkin's. Europe was not, and is not, bound to succeed. In fact, as 2019 comes to a close, the European Union is seemingly helpless and resigned in the face of its most important challenges: completing the economic and political integration of the bloc, creating a common defense policy, and even safeguarding basic standards of the rule of law.

Poland's government, for example, is responding to a European Court of Justice decision regarding violations of judicial independence by introducing legislation that would allow the country's judges to be removed for criticizing violations of the Polish constitution. When leaders of Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party proclaim that "this caste must be disciplined," what can the EU do?

[...] China['s] emergence as a global leader is displacing not the United States, but Europe. China is now the world's largest exporter, and, as the biggest producer of electric cars, it may soon overtake Germany to become the global leader in the automobile industry. America's position as the world's leading military, financial, and innovation power is not threatened for now. The US withstood previous challenges from Germany and Japan in each of those areas, and very likely will resist China's competitive threat, too. But Europe very likely will not.

In fact, we are witnessing a great reversal of roles between Europe and China compared to the nineteenth century. For China, the 1800s were the "age of humiliation," a period when it was infiltrated by the French, British, and German empires, as well as by Russia and the US. These foreign powers imposed humiliating trade treaties, subordinated and exploited China economically, and controlled it politically.

Today, the EU increasingly resembles nineteenth-century China: a still-rich empire that cannot be occupied by others, but is weak enough to be infiltrated and exploited. China, meanwhile, has assumed Europe's former role, with its companies and investors increasingly penetrating the European economy and extending their influence.
24
...impossible to achieve in EU, see those Brexit supporters.

EU would never return to it's supremacy role with such people.
When was the EU ever at the supremacy role? Back in the golden age of colonisation, when there was no EU in the first place?

And what is wrong in supporting Brexit? UK never did anything good in the EU politics. They drive on the wrong side, they have the wrong sort of power sockets, they kept their island tax havens, and they never planned to fix any of this. They had all the exceptions and still whined for more, so that eventually the only kind of unity in the EU was the continent versus the UK. Let them get out quick and stay out forever.
25
Some week ago my Android YT app stopped working. It kept saying that an update is absolutely required, otherwise no go. I had kept it deliberately unupdated because the newest updates insist on you to log in.

TubeMate is a good alternative, I have found. It lets you browse YT, block autoplay, switch between mobile and desktop sites, it has a good number of video-sharing websites pre-bookmarked, and is capable of downloading from all of them. You can liberally bookmark more video websites.

At first I assumed TubeMate uses ytdl for downloading, but there seems to be something different going on. For example, TubeMate can download this video while ytdl cannot https://elonet.finna.fi/Record/kavi.elonet_elokuva_117364 (President of Finland visiting Estonia, 1925).

The downsides:
- ads
- sometimes the app steals focus from other apps too aggressively