• Actual Manor House

    Technological Triumph!

    When we moved into this house we bought a new Samsung stereo, one which we could theoretically dock our Samsung phones right into and play music on them from. It has backup CD/DVD/USB/JPG/whatthefuckall options as well, but in theory one could download an app and stick the phone on and voila.

    Apparently it works really well if you have an iPhone or iPod, but it works for shit with an actual Samsung, which makes no freaking sense at all, but there you have it. I’ve tried in a desultuory fashion for the past several months to Make It Go, but mostly we’ve been putting the occasional CD in it and mostly not using it at all. Part of the reason I rearranged the TBR shelf was so I would also have somewhere to put the stereo in the living room, because there was really nowhere, and this morning I gave Making It Go another shot.

    I succeeded this time, although I ended up using a bluetooth connection instead of the hard dock I was going for. However, since it 1. WORKS, and 2. has SO MUCH BETTER SOUND QUALITY than the CDs did, I’m almost totally satisfied with the solution. (Not totally because it’s fucking stupid that the hard dock doesn’t freaking work. But almost totally.)

    And in not unrelated news, the Pitch Perfect soundtrack is still wonderful. :)

  • Daily Life

    gchat problems

    Does anybody have *any* idea why the in-mail Gchat would abruptly stop showing my online presence to someone? I accidentally turned the stupid hangouts on the other day and when I turned it off, my mom couldn’t see me online anymore, and still can’t. This morning she tried sending me another invite to chat and it started not even letting her see my chats when I talked to her–it wouldn’t pop a window up.

    Now I’ve turned the stupid hangouts back on and if I chat her, she can see it, but she still seems me as greyed out and can’t start a chat with me.

    Does anybody have any idea what’s going on with it? My sister and she have been having the same problem for months and we’ve tried everything we can think of. Removing them both entirely from each other’s contacts and re-adding them fixed the problem for about an hour, apparently, but then it stopped working again.

    (It is not that I have my status set to ‘not here’ or ‘offline’, fwiw.)

  • Uncategorized

    Singularity Moment

    One of my favorite commercials ever is one where there’s an American football game on, and the ball is spiraling through the air toward the goal posts, and there are thousands of fans coming to their feet roaring with hope. The voiceover says, “Not even the will of fifty thousand fans can send the ball through the goalposts…

    “…or can it?”

    And no. Of course not. Not with an inanimate object.

    And yet. And yet.

    Nine months ago NASA sent a machine toward Mars, and that machine had a crazy complicated set of manuevers it had to accomplish in order to land safely. NASA dubbed it “Seven Minutes of Terror” (the video is really worth watching), and for the past week or two people have been getting increasingly excited/nervous/worried/hopeful over its imminent landing date. The good will for this thing to succeed was tremendous.

    This morning I got up early–not quite early enough, as it turned out–and logged onto the computer to see /Laura Anne Gilman’s Twitter post as the first thing, crying out, “TOUCHDOWN CONFIRMED!”

    I spent the next half hour with tears streaming down my face as I watched the live stream FROM MARS FOR GOD’S SAKE, as Curiosity Rover took and sent her first photographs of Gale Crater back to Earth, and as the men and women at JPL sobbed and cheered and hugged and high-fived with their success.

    And I did it all with the rest of the world, with hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people who had stayed up late, gotten up early, all of us sharing it at the same time, all of us sharing it on Facebook and Twitter and, for the love of all, Times Square, thousands of people at Times Square at three in the morning to watch Curiosity and cheer SCIENCE! SCIENCE! SCIENCE!.

    Not even global will for success can make a machine land safely on another planet…and yet.

    If this is not a post-Singularity moment, I don’t know what is. Humans have gathered for important events as long as there’ve been humans, of course, but the whole world connecting like this, able to share the moment instantaneously across the globe, for all that emotion to be so broadly extended…I mean, that’s just beyond wonderful. That’s humanity at its best, and we ought to do more of that.

  • Uncategorized

    a monstrous beast

    I need a new … well. Printer/scanner thing. One that ideally prints up to 8×10 color photos as well as has a 50+ppm b&w text print speed and automatically, no human interference required, will print double-sided pages.

    I want the scanner quality–well, what I /want/ is for it to be a high quality extra large bed scanner like they used to make in about 1998 before they realized they could charge a huge amount more for that kind of thing because the only people who really need scanners that size are artists which I hardly qualify as but anyway, and while we’re at it it’d be nice to have a high-end OCR option for the scanner, by which I mean “I can load a sheaf of papers in and have it scan them,” though that’s less of an issue since HQN went to electronic copy edits. And if it had a negative-scanner attachment that would be ideal.

    There is no such single machine, is there. Not for less than a bajillion dollars. But we’re trying to cut down on Numbers Of Items we have, and a monstrous beast of that sort would be ideal.

    Ted did all the Big Work Ever yesterday and went forth into our chaotic lanai and de-chaosed it and put together the new grill and bike tent and all sorts of wonderful things. He is a hero.

    I, OTOH, made applesauce, which isn’t nearly as impressive. The goal was to see how much applesauce 6 Granny Smiths (plus a couple other random apples lying around) made. The answer was 3 8oz jars, making the conclusion obvious: it isn’t really worth jarring it unless I do 12-18 apples at once. So next time I shall, and that oughta last us all a while, anyway.

    To make up for being unimpressive (or something), I got some wonderful fanmail:

    I just saw the cover of Mountain Echoes and I love it. Its beautiful and I am bouncing with excitement for this book!!!

    However…..I am worried about a few things:

    1. Morrison is not mentioned at all in the little blurb on the back. I read it four times just to be sure. I am hoping this is some sort of mistake and that he is going to show up so he can help Jo do whatever she needs to do to save the world. Because if he doesn’t I think I might implode and I think you are much too nice a person to let that happen to one of your biggest fans.

    2. There is also the possibility that you purposely didn’t mention Morrison to keep us all guessing until we read the book. Which, of course, is your right as the most fun author ever but know that I am here…slowly imploding with anticipation because I am in love with Morrison & Jo as a couple. (and possibly with Morrison…and a little with Jo)

    That really made my morning. Particularly the “I read it four times just to be sure,” bit. :)

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