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Such a great podcast. Super chill.

PBS EONS: When trees took over the world

Posted at 20:12 - 14th, May 2021 by Alex Alex
I love mini docs and PBS has some good ones. I was introduced to them with Crash Course which had a wonderful webisode about different civilizations and how no one ever expected the Mongols, again and again. They've gone a bit down the rabbit hole with their progressive think, but for the most part, Crash Course Astronomy was the pinnacle for me. Started off at the molecular level and every episode after that went a step further into space. Really quite fascinating stuff and well done.

It ended though, but PBS EONS caught my attention. Here's their latest.

Vizio apparently selling people's info

Posted at 20:01 - 14th, May 2021 by Alex Alex
Should it just go without saying now that all companies are actively farming personal data and selling it?

From ArsTechnica's Vizio TV buyers are becoming the product Vizio sells, not just its customers:

But for consumers, those competitive prices may come with a downside: becoming subject to targeted advertising and monetized personal data collection. As reported previously on Engadget, Vizio just posted its first public earnings report, wherein it revealed that profits from the part of its business that is built around collecting and selling user data as well as targeting advertising at users totaled $38.4 million in the quarter.

So, are you willing to pay less upfront but have personalized ads and god knows whatelse they do with your information?

SmartCast collects user data, delivers advertising, and also gives Vizio a cut of subscription sales to other services made through the platform, like Netflix. This has become quite common in the TV business, and Vizio is not the only company running ads or collecting user data. The practice has become so prevalent that normally tech-focused review sites like Rtings have begun counting advertising approach as a key metric in assessing televisions for would-be buyers.

I miss my old 55" Bravia. It's smartest feature was that it had ethernet but I don't know what for, maybefor surfing the web on a crappy ass browser? Aside from that, it was just a TV. Why can't we have things like that anymore?

Trance Fridays #360 - Braxton - Wilderness

Posted at 0:00 - 14th, May 2021 by Alex Alex
And we're back, after a prolonged break due to site issues.

Honestly though, I've been listening to talk show podcasts during my regular routine rather than music for some reason. Just trying to stay current I guess.

Anyway, here's some deep vocal progressive trance. Caught it on Anjunadeep while driving and fell for it.


Epic Games Store price experiment not as successful as originally thought

Posted at 18:33 - 13th, May 2021 by Alex Alex
That's a hell of a title for an article but hear me out.

There's a lot to digest here but here are some snippets from an Arstechnica article about the subject.

The Epic Games Store's two-year-plus experiment in reduced platform fees provides plenty of evidence on this score. Just look at any of the dozens of games available on both the EGS (where Epic charges publishers a 12 percent fee) and Steam (where Valve charges a 30 percent standard fee).

In almost every case, those games will be offered at the same base price. Instead of passing on the savings, the publishers just pocket the 18 percentage-point difference between the EGS cut and the Steam cut. The only real exceptions come when a store is having a temporary sale, after which the games revert to identical prevailing pricing standards in almost every case.

One of the original idea behind Epic's lower "commission" fee on games was that the savings would be passed on to customers, but 2 years in and that isn't the case. Sidenote, would this be considered a kind of trickle down economics?

There's a bit on price parity and how Steam's policies are breaking things, but this is standard practice in an open market. I remember when Vikie was working at Expedia it was the same thing. If she found her "clients" were advertising lower prices on any competitors it was a big deal. They had to have the same or better pricing on Expedia for the same amount of time.

The article is an interesting read if you have 10 minutes.

Parallels Desktop now running natively on M1 mac

Posted at 20:46 - 12th, May 2021 by Alex Alex
This reminds me so much of the G3's and G4's back in the day and trying all sorts of emulators to get windows running back then.

After sixteen major releases, you might think there’s not much left to be added to Parallels Desktop – and for the vast majority of Mac users who are still using Intel CPUs, there isn’t. For them, this update to the popular virtualisation software tidies up a few bugs and adds support for the latest version of the Linux kernel, but that’s largely it. Overall it’s not even consequential enough to warrant a full ticking up of the version number.

Yet arguably, this is the most significant release of Parallels Desktop since it first appeared in 2006. Just as version one unlocked the potential of Apple’s then-recent switch to the Intel architecture, this one breaks new ground by allowing you to install and run Windows 10 on Apple Silicon.

So there's a catch though. This is basically a virtual machine running Windows 10 but the Windows on ARM version. So programs for windows 10 won't run properly because there is no universal binary for windows programs like there is for mac programs. Seems like the idea of running regular Windows on Mac is going back to the emulation days rather than the more recent virtual machine route.

I am curious though, to see just how good the M1 would be at emulating an x86 architecture. The G3, G4 and especially the G5 were beasts compared to their x86 counterparts back in the day, but emulating the architecture was a slog, even on a top of the line machine.

It truly does bring back feelings of the old days.

1 Comment
andrew - apparently it's not terrible, although have yet to use a M1 Mac. Because it's emulating an...

After 27 years, you can now finally softmod a ps1

Posted at 13:20 - 12th, May 2021 by Alex Alex
Tags: playstation, sony, ps1, softmod, mod
Alex - Oh neat! Love the name too. I've got an SNES in it's original packaging but...

Site issues

Posted at 17:14 - 12th, March 2021 by Alex Alex
Tags: site update, siteground, aws, amazon web services
Alex - For the life of me, I cannot get htaccess to flush the php cache like it's supposed to. I ...

Trance Fridays #351 - Nalin & Kane - Open your eyes (Original Mix)

Posted at 18:49 - 8th, January 2021 by Alex Alex
Tags: Trance Fridays, Nalin & Kane, Open your eyes, Original Mix
1 Comment
Alex - So basic, so classic. Even comes with basic and cheesy lyrics/vocals.

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