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Everything posted by Malaphax

  1. I believe this is a larger version of the technology that's been used on the Mandalorian. I guess this is the new jump forward from traditional blue/green screen sets with everything added in post. I guess the downside is that the CGI work needs to be done ahead of time. I also think it's going to be amusing seeing Unreal Engine and other games engines push more heavily into movies and TV, I know they've been working on that for some time.
  2. Finished: Peaky Blinders Season 6 - I feel like this show really outgrew what it was good at. The stakes kept getting raised and the relationships didn't build enough to be interesting. Worse yet, there was a severe overuse of slow motion walking towards the camera shots that quickly became a parody. It's short enough to get through but even 6 episodes managed to overstay it's welcome. I know they're finishing this series with a movie but I have very little interest at this point. Raised by Wolves Season 2 - This is also falling off for me. This season introduced some new elements and then proceeded to completely flip the script, and then flip it again, and again. The best analogy I have is the Star Wars sequels where 'subverting expectations' just leads everyone to believe you're a fucking idiot and don't know what's going on. The show is well filmed and acted but the unexplained plot-lines and weird mystery elements have quickly run out my patience. Slow Horses - This show is certainly high quality but also classic british tv, complete with a short 6 episode season and "lower stakes." It's a nice spy romp, with a band of misfits and screw-ups that get caught up in something above their pay-grade, along with a decent mix of high-tech and low-tech spy shenanigans. It's well worth the watch, I believe they must have filmed two seasons back to back because they had a trailer for season 2 at the end of the first season. Watching: Ozark Season 4 part 2 - Seems good so far, I'll reserve judgement until I finish this. Halo - This show is simultaneously interesting and complete trash. The acting is surprisingly decent, but the plot is all over the place. They also took major liberties with any sort of Halo lore, most of which I'm ok with, but I suspect all of these changes made people on the internet real mad. The action sequences have been very underwhelming, and if this wasn't tied to a major franchise like Halo I suspect no one would be watching this. I'll finish it but, I've been skipping through the boring bits. The entire B plot is fucking trash. Tokyo Vice - This show is really good. Strong recommendation. Spy x Family - This is the darling of this season's anime. A master spy accidentally marries an assassin and adopts a psychic child while trying to go undercover for a mission. Seems very middling so far, I'll see if it picks up. Watch List: Under the Banner of Heaven - I want to check out this mini-series, true crime based on a series of murders in a heavily mormon area. Outer Range - Yellowstone + scifi - might be cool. That Dirty Black Bag - More western stuff, might be interesting if the action is decent. We Own This City - It's set in Baltimore and deals with police corruption... of course it's written by the same dude that created the wire. Could be solid.
  3. Mazda CX-60 (CX-70 in US) PHEV https://www.caranddriver.com/mazda/cx-70 18kw battery (estimated 30mi range) Most powerful mazda (this is reminiscent of the Rav4 Prime) AWD with rear wheel bias $38k starting price (maybe) That seems like a cool option to compete with the rav4 Prime. Some people might care that's it's also going to be built in america and there are some shared toyota parts. I wish the smaller CX-50 was available with a PHEV.
  4. I didn't realize Johnny Guru worked for Corsair now, that's cool. This is a decently in-depth interview from Steve. Also Steve mentioned this website that does slightly more in depth reviews of PSUs and ranks them based on noise and performance metrics. https://www.cybenetics.com/
  5. I didn't realize just how similar the dimensions of the xc40 and xc60 are. They're the same height (1652 mm vs 1653mm), width is only 2 inch difference, or 3 if you include the mirrors (1863 mm vs 1902 mm) and length is the only major difference but still slightly less than 10" (4440 mm vs 4688mm). I get the different trim levels and price points but it seems kinda weird, I would have expected a much larger difference in size. As much as I'd like to see more stuff from polestar, and I really like the polestar 2, my issue is that I do think there's a much larger US market for PHEVs than full EVs currently.
  6. https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2022/04/19/army-chooses-sig-sauer-to-build-its-next-generation-squad-weapon/
  7. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
  8. There's a part of me that's considering a samsung s22 over the other options. I don't really want or need a flagship, but it's much closer in size to my pixel 4a and samsung is pushing 4 years of updates which is a solid draw. The list price is $800 but I'm seeing it on sale already for $700 unlocked, still steep compared to the pixels. I still don't like samsungs skin of android but at least it's not as awful as some of the earlier versions. I'm still going to get updates on my pixel 4a for another year so I don't have any immediate pressure to upgrade, maybe I'll wait a year and pick up the s22 when they're trying to dump them?
  9. https://www.colorado.edu/today/2021/06/29/5-minute-breathing-workout-lowers-blood-pressure-much-exercise-drugs They tested this on older people, seems like a good tool that can be used in conjunction with exercise or for people who may have other health issues that limit the type of exercise they can do.
  10. tl;dw He started experiencing bugs after his initial review, they got to the point where he publicly recommended avoiding the pixel 6 pro. He tried the phone again and while the bugs aren't as bad he still doesn't recommend the pixel 6 pro. He's interested in seeing what the pixel 6a does and the pixel 7. This sort of dampens my thoughts on the pixel 6a since it's going to be very similar hardware to the pixel 6 phones.
  11. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2887954/ This is a solid little show. It definitely relies on some foreign/Japanese mystique but it still feels like a solid crime thriller with a hefty dose of journalism and fish out of water elements. The main actor Ansel Elgort is wooden, which mostly works since this is set in Japan, I only recognize him from baby driver and he hasn't exactly impressed me with any acting yet, his Japanese sounds decent (to me at least). Ken Watanabe is solid but in far fewer scenes than the trailer would lead you to believe, some of the English lines from Japanese actors is a little rough, but I haven't had any issues understanding anyone yet. The storyline is set in the 1990's, and seems like a slow burn, but so far the different threads are interesting enough. I'd say it's worth a watch but definitely on the slower side, also strap in for a decent amount of subtitle reading. Even though they're supposed to be depicting the underbelly of Japanese society and crime, they still seem to keep it fairly clean and romanticized, I'm curious how dark they'll actually go with this.
  12. The ATF published some rule changes predominantly focused on 80% parts kits and slightly changing the definition of a receiver to cover a broader range of firearms. I'm not going to wade through all the 385 pages from the ATF but this is what I've gleaned from what I've read. Source: https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/definition-frame-or-receiver They're limiting the sales of 80% kits - you can still sell the milling jig or 80% receiver but not both at the same time to the same person. If you do that you need to process it like a firearm sale and be licensed to do so. There's some additional language about schematics control in there. The current guess is you can't sell "instructions" on how to mill an 80% when you sell various parts of the 80% Any firearm that doesn't have a serial number that crosses an FFL needs to be serialized. This includes old firearms (like 1900's old) that were not serialized when manufactured. Firearms with lower and upper receivers now consider both of these elements of a firearm - this is more of a definition change to cover different designs. This doesn't mean you need a serial on both parts just that possessing them or selling them are going to be regulated in the same way as a firearm There's also some language about "readily assembled" which I think is targeting the idea that if you had an AR style rifle split as an upper and lower it wasn't legally considered a firearm, now it is. They stretch this to include owning all the parts needed to build a firearm, including 80% parts - I believe this is to give them legal cover to arrest prohibited persons with 80% kits as being in possession of a firearm. Here's a link to an NPR article breaking down this rule change from the ATF: https://www.npr.org/2022/04/12/1092063600/what-are-ghost-guns-explained Most of this looks very mild, I'm not seeing much in the way of serious regulation. I suspect this will be pointed to by politicians as a "big win against ghost guns" but it doesn't read as anything substantial.
  13. A bunch of people are mad because it's not a "faithful" adaptation of any of the halo lore. But even more people are upset that it's just... not well written. Rumors are that plenty of people over the years have submitted various pitches for a halo show/movie and nearly all of them are looking at this show going "holy shit, you went with this instead of what I pitched years ago?" There are pieces of the show that are actually very lore accurate: Halsey is in fact a psycho, some spartans didn't make it through the surgeries with a few being crippled afterwards, there is a rebel held colony on an asteroid field (if I remember correctly that's one of the first missions that chief and his spartans go on in one of the books, they decapitate the rebel leadership on that colony). There are some elements I'm mostly willing to go along with, like the woman working with the covenant having similar "chosen one" properties of the chief when it comes to forerunner artifacts. The rest of the show is just utterly bizarre. The show is going out of its way to make the chief the "good guy" by having him save the girl, or let his spartan friend escape, but that's actually against the character - he's the spartan commander because he always follows orders with the few times he ignored them being in later games and mostly because he wanted to save cortana. As a side note, while I don't mind them taking off the helmet I find it absolutely tonedeaf that the showrunners had the gall to say they "weren't making a show like the mandalorian" as the reason for that decision. Yea let's not copy a wildly successful show with a helmeted protagonist...
  14. The spider man movies have been above average in terms of quality compared to other marvel movies. I it's odd that Marvel has now shown at least 2 different takes on the multiverse (the TVA in the Loki show) and both seemed well thought out and reasonably well done. I guess we'll see another expansion on this in the next doctor strange movie. There's also the Sony animated Miles Moralles take on the multiverse, which came first and also did a solid job of leaning into the more ridiculous aspects of the concept. I hope they don't run this idea into the ground too quickly. The fan service was certainly there but wasn't so over the top as to be annoying - they took it in a mostly lighthearted direction, barring a couple of scenes.
  15. A few weeks back my VPN subscription ran out with Private Internet Access. I've seen some various rumblings about how the company that now owns them isn't a great company and since they're US based it's not a good service to use etc. I'd also had some minor issues regarding connectivity with their firefox plugin (I don't generally use their windows client or any openVPN clients). So I decided to try out NordVPN which I've heard is solid and submits to outside audits to prove out their lack of logging. Sadly this didn't go very well. The NordVPN firefox plugin has almost no options other than 4 connection points and a "pause" button that lets you temporarily disable the vpn connection. I had constant issues with webpages refusing to load, elements loading glacially slow and some websites that flat out broke even though the connection said it was working. I saw some minor performance gains with their proxy on qbitorrent, but nothing special. I gave this a real shot, and asked for a refund today and switched back to PIA. I'm still not super thrilled with PIA, but some of the other VPNs I've looked at either had limited browser plugins or didn't rate any better than PIA. Maybe at some point I'll research other providers more thoroughly and find something I feel better about, but considering my limited use, I'm not sure how much of a benefit a better VPN service would provide.
  16. Malaphax


    I forgot to post about a day trip I had to Catalina to do some boat diving. I was contacted by the woman from northern California I met on my liveaboard trip at Saba - she works as a travel guide and plans multiple scuba trips throughout the year. She had arranged for 2 days at Catalina and I opted to join them on Sunday for boat diving, since I've done Casino Point before I wanted a bit of a change. The boat was ultra crowded, there were 25 divers on the deck all with 3 tanks, they did not do airfills on the boat so 75+ tanks were onboard. It was a major pain in the ass to shift my gear from one tank to another in-between dives, keep in mind it wasn't just the BCD but also the 26lbs of weight I needed to lift up over the tank and onto the new tank. I buddied up with a very exuberant dude, didn't have any issues with him. The diving was mediocre. The visibility was phenomenal, about 60-80' which is the best I've personally seen in California. Sadly the actual dives themselves didn't have much going on, very little marine life and a ton of kelp and sargassum (which is basically thinner kelp, think of the seaweed we get on the beaches locally). I did get tangled at least once, but didn't have an issue extracting myself - I still had my cutting tool in case I was really stuck. I was again reminded that Catalina operates on "island time" because we were late to depart and didn't even start the first dive until ~10:30. I feel like I'm getting more comfortable with California diving. I did get some comments about not wearing a hood, one diver in particular called me crazy - although I didn't feel cold until near the end of the last dive. I might look into getting a neoprene beanie, but I have very little interest in a traditional scuba hood. I'm also glad I bought a big water parka for after the dives, that kept me plenty warm on the boat ride back and waiting for the return ferry. I have to make a very minor adjustment to my scuba gear, but otherwise I'm getting more comfortable with my current setup. It was a long day for me but enjoyable.
  17. Also E3 has been officially cancelled, it's not going to be in person or digital this year. However, I'm seeing posts about how Geoff Keighley's various shows: The gaming awards and more importantly his summer games fest, may end up being the new E3 type of event. Plus we're seeing more and more of the major publishers and console makers carve out their own events, Nintendo bailed on E3 a while back in favor of their own Nintendo Direct streams - Sony and Microsoft have done some similar events and I suspect those will continue.
  18. https://tftcentral.co.uk/news/dell-alienware-aw3423dw-with-34-qd-oled-panel-and-175hz-refresh-rate 34" Ultrawide QD Oled 1000nits, full HDR and Gsync Ultimate This is supposed to be the new shit. Idk, go read about it yourself.
  19. This was a nice straightforward read. I would point out that the book is heavily reliant on flashbacks (they're like 40% of the book) which might bother some people, but the plot moves well. This is very near future sci-fi with plenty of crunch to it, but it never seemed overwhelming when they explain details about technology or science. The downside is that the main character and some of the plot elements are very similar to the martian - super smart science dude manages to macgyver his way through various problems. I'd like to see if Andy Weir can step a bit further out of his comfort zone, but I'm sure his publisher is happy if he sticks to a proven formula. I fully expect they'll try to turn this into a movie or mini-series at some point. Moving on to Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Miur. The main thrust seems to be a mix of sci-fi and necromancy - I'm getting weird Chronicles of Riddick vibes out of that so I'll see if this is decent.
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