Posted on November 29th, 2023
Apple makes things so easy!
To turn off the annoying printer message that pops up EVERY TIME YOU PRINT ON LARGE PAPER, simply research the CUPS print server documentation for a half hour, find the IP address of your printer, open the Unix Terminal app to type in the command line which will enable the web interface, navigate to your printers, click on the printer whose defaults you want to save (if it is available, otherwise restart your computer and start over), work your way through all the pages until you find the defaults for "Request Offset," set it to "no," click SAVE, type in your admin username ("admin" will not work and neither will your ShortName, but you'll find that out the hard way), type in your system password, authorize the changes, exit out of the CUPS web interface, restart your computer... AND THERE YOU GO! NO MORE ANNOYING POP-UPS EVERY TIME YOU FUCKING PRINT! IT'S JUST THAT EASY!!! AREN'T YOU GLAD YOU BOUGHT A FUCKING MAC?!???
Look, I realize that Apple is not wanting people to print stuff to save the planet and all that... but there are people who actually have to print stuff. The fact that they don't want to make such a basic function of their operating system be easy to use and manage is reeeeally telling on the "It just works" company.
Posted on November 14th, 2023
UPDATE: Well that was fast... YouTube cracks down on synthetic media with AI disclosure requirement. I mean, this literally means nothing unless it gets enforced, and the idea that YouTube will "crack down" hard enough to make the problem go away would cut into their ad revenue, so I'll believe it works when I see it.
As more and more streaming services keep raising prices while reducing content, I cut more and more streaming services. The one streaming source that is in no danger of being cut anytime soon though? Youtube Premium. Simply because the amount of ads they inundate people with is so horrific that I cannot sit through them without having an embolism. But, unlike Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and the rest, YouTube is always stacking up more content. There's so much content that I couldn't hope to sit through even a fraction of it (not that I'd want to).
But all is not perfect in YouTube Land.
One of the genre's I cannot get enough of is science videos. I watch an insanely huge amount of science-based content.
But lately I've been noticing a shitload of shitty fucking science content being pushed my way. Most of it AI-generated. I'll be enjoying a great science video. It will end. And all of a sudden I get a video with a robotic AI-generated voice, showing the same AI-generated visuals over and over, while reading from a bad AI-generated script, then pushed out with an AI-generated thumbnail.
It's so bad that I ended up searching Google to find out what the fuck was happening.
Ironically (or not) one of the first links returned was a YouTube video that sums it up very well...
Now, I'm just going to put this out there: If YouTube doesn't do something about this crap... quickly... they could end up fucking themselves out of a lot of cash. From people like me who have absolutely zero desire to be exposed to souless content that isn't properly researched or fact-checked by actual people who know how to do that.
A good first step would be for YouTube to require that all AI-generated videos be flagged as such. And easily identified as such. And any video not properly declared as AI-generated can be reported with the account demonetized.
A good second step would be for YouTube to allow its users to set a preference to have AI-generated videos not be displayed. I would check that box in a second, because I have no desire what-so-ever to watch this shit.
A great third step would be to ban the content entirely, but it's not like YouTube would ever ban something that brings them money so I'm not holding my breath.
Posted on May 2nd, 2023
Look, I know that I'm droning on about top-tier First World Problems, but it's infuriating just how bad things are getting with Apple and their bullshit.
I am perfectly willing to accept the blame when the fault is mine. A few days ago it was overcast and raining that day. All of a sudden all my lights came on. It took me a second to realize that when I wrote the automation which monitors light levels and turns on lights when it gets dark was fooled by the overcast weather. My bad. I should have included a time range so lights aren't turning on in the middle of the day.
That I can deal with because I can (probably) fix it.
What I cannot fix is the idiotic crap that pops up every damn day.
Like coming home and telling Siri on my Apple Watch to unlock the front door. Something I've done hundreds of times before. Only to get this...
No reason. It just happened out of the blue. And when I go to the Home app on my iPhone? No problem. The front door is unlocked post-haste.
The other day I was writing an email in a language I'm not terribly comfortable with and decided to ask Siri if the word I was using means what I thought it did. Siri didn't understand. So I thought... let's try a more popular foreign language here in the USA...
ME: "Hey Siri, what does the word 'mañana' mean in Spanish?"
SIRI: "In Spanish, mañana means" =insert pause= "mañana!"
AND SIRI SAID THE SECOND MAÑANA IN A SPANISH ACCENT!! Thanks a fucking heap. Remember last week when I was talking about how Apple is losing the AI digital assistant battle badly? This is exactly what I'm talking about.
But even something like that is not going to send me into a ballistic rage where I want to rip my little HomePod orb out of the wall and chuck it out the window. No, that's reserved for stupid, inexplicable bullshit that has absolutely nothing to do with what Apple should be promising... but instead what they have actually been promising!
Like telling Siri to play a song I want to listen to. Have Siri tell me the song will play. Then have Siri tell me there's a problem with Apple Music. WHAT THE FUCK?!? I'm trying to listen to an Apple Service on an Apple Product. There's no disconnect here. And the solution I get from Apple Support Knowledgebase? Remove the HomePod from HomeKit. Reset it. Then reinstall it. Do you know what happens when I do that? THIS RIGHT HERE...
What a friendly error message! What the fuck does (300208) even mean? I tried three times. The fucker will not add back to HomeKit. And the KnowledgeBase isn't helping. I've wasted fucking hours of my life on this shit. So now I have a dead HomePod and I will have to try and get support out of Apple, whose support is so fucking shitty now-a-days that I am almost to the point where I want to throw this one away and get a new one.
For months the internet has been abuzz about how Apple is at the forefront of eliminating passwords forever so we can use biometric data (like a retinal scan or a fingerprint) to unlock our lives for us. Even when the story is about Google following Apple's lead! Which is so fucking laughable because Apple can't even get rid of passwords in their own fucking ecosystem! This is what I got when I went to remove my HomePod mini from my HomeKit so I could re-add it...
Apple asks me for my password ALL THE FUCKING TIME! And if Apple can't even get their shit to work for themselves, then what hope do they have trying to bring others along? Passkey barely works (when it works at all) on many sites which try to implement it (like this blog!).
This has disaster written all over it.
"Hey Siri! I can't breathe and I think I'm having a heart attack! Call 9-1-1!"
"Playing the song 'Every Breath You Take' on Apple Music." =insert pause= "Apple Music is not responding."
We're fucking doomed.
Posted on April 27th, 2023
And the critics aren't wrong. Siri hasn't gotten much smarter in years. Maybe a decade. Marry this to the absolute fucking travesty that is
HomeShit HomeKit (which is largely controlled by Siri) and Apple has fallen so far behind the curve that they can't even see the curve. It's all flat to them.
And, as I always do, I am going to blame this totally on Apple CEO Tim Cook. Apple needs a complete and total bastard like Steve Jobs in charge, and Cook isn't even close. Jobs was a ruthless taskmaster who obsessed over user experience and made absolutely sure that bugs got squashed and Apple was constantly moving forward. Cook seems to content to coast right off the racetrack and get lost in the woods.
Nope. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and everybody else is jumping on the AI bandwagon to make smart assistants... um... smart... and Apple, as usual, doesn't give a fucking shit. They do whatever the hell they want whether it benefits their customers or not... whether their customers want it or not... whether it makes sense or not.
I fucking hate it, but what's the alternative?
Look, I am not expecting the world here. I don't necessarily want (or need) for Siri to be as smart as HAL 9000 or the computer on Star Trek or whatever. But I would like it to actually fucking work for the things it advertises it can do. But I've lost track of the number of times it fails with even the simplest request... like playing a song I ask it to play. And not from some third party service... from Apple Music! It's like, that's the ultimate softball request. Play a song from a service YOU control. And yet... well... good luck with that.
More than a few pundits are saying that Apple's complete lack of interest in making Siri competetive could ultimately sink the company. This could be hyperbole. But it's not outside the realm of possibility that it's dead-on accurate. When everybody else allows you to have a smart assistant that's actually keeping up with the times and, you know, useful... when Apple is still banging rocks together, how can they possibly survive?
Posted on February 21st, 2023
Oh yay. I am spending more money I don't have!
Today only, the original Complete Series Tom Selleck of Magnum P.I. was on sale for $35 at the iTunes Store. All eight seasons. All 162 episodes. I went ahead and snagged it, because that was too good of a price to pass up. Especially since the return of the excellent reboot (now on NBC/Peacock) has me feeling all nostalgic...
Ultimately, the show doesn't really hold up by modern standards. And yet... still incredibly entertaining. Tom Selleck had a flawless take on the character, and it made the show a lot of fun. Still prefer the reboot (Juliette Higgins is one of my favorite television characters of all time), but the original sure takes me back.
And it looks like I may be buying more shows and movies outright like this now that I am completely disenchanted with most all of the streaming services.
Netflix and HBO are cancelling everything. Paramount+ has one of the shittiest fucking apps ever created (that barely works even when it's working). And absolutely everybody is raising their prices. Essentially giving you less for more money.
Well good luck with that.
It just boggles my mind that streaming service CEOs are still in charge when their decisions drive customers away in droves. Disney just released a bundled deal to get Disney+ and Hulu bundled together... but it's the version with ads. In order to get them bundled for ad-free, you ALSO have to pay for ESPN+. What kind of stupid shit is this? I will never watch ESPN. I couldn't give two shits about ESPN. Not even one shit. Not a single shit given over ESPN. So no savings for me. I have to continue to pay for a non-bundle with zero savings.
Given that Paramount+ and HBO Max are making equally stupid-ass mistakes, I think I'm just going to cancel everything.
Cancel everything then rotate between all of them. Netflix one month. Hulu another month. Disney+ another month. HBO Max the next month. Congratulations on getting 1/6th the money off of me. Y'all deserve it.
The only one I'm going to keep year 'round is Philo. Thanks to their T-Mobile discount and sensible pricing, they're worth it.
I swear, I never thought that streaming would get this stupid this fast compared to cable and satellite, which was stupid from the jump. Now I'm to the point where I really just want to give up on television altogether.
Posted on February 7th, 2023
As I mentioned a few times, I wandered back into Apple's HomeKit smart home technology after the Insteon stuff I was using went out of business (apparently they were bought out, so I dunno what's happening with it now). Very fine people were saying that HomeKit had improved muchly since I tried it out years ago, so I thought "Let's give it a shot."
Turns out it wasn't a smart move.
HomeKit is still HomeShit, and it's frustrating me to absolutely no end. Today when the Kitty Breakfast alarm chimed, none of my Automation routines triggered. Lights didn't turn on, thermostat hadn't changed, and what have you. Then this evening the lights didn't turn on when the light sensor determined the light was dim enough to trigger.
Now, Automations have been finicky for a while, and this is nothing new. What is new is that 75% of my devices are "Updating" and then "Not Responding."
Turns out that Apple updated HomeShit and it broke my home.
After researching on the internet for nearly an hour, I saw that many, many people are having the same problem. And what works for one person doesn't work for the other. The only thing I could do is keep trying everything that everybody else did and hope that eventually something would fix itself. So I rebooted the router. I removed and re-added devices. I unplugged all my HomePod minis and AppleTVs and plugged them back in. I unplugged them again, rebooted my router again, then plugged them back in. Then I did that exact same thing, but this time I only plugged in one HomePod mini that I wanted to act as a "border router." And that's what did the trick. The next day I plugged in the remaining HomePod minis and AppleTVs and everything was working again.
Except for the door sensor that turns on the garage light when I open the pass door.
Eventually I took the battery out and let it sit overnight. Then the next morning I put the battery back in and everything started working again.
Rumor has it that Apple is working on a HomeKit Controller. Like an iPad with special hardware to build a more reliable HomeShit network. I think that's probably because giving that task to HomePod minis isn't working and they know it.
A cynical person would say that Apple created a problem so they could sell you the cure. Maybe it's true.
All I know is that I am sick and fucking tired of having invested new money into having a smart home only to find that the discontinued, broken, 18-year-old system I had been using for six years was more reliable.
Apple has billions of dollars. Billions, with a B. And yet they apparently don't give one cent's work of fucks to fix their busted HomeShit bullshit. I keep waiting for the class action lawsuit which would force them to either fix HomeShit or refund all the money people have invested in it, because this is getting fucking ridiculous.
If this was the home I wanted I would have just left it as a dumb house and saved some money.
Posted on January 4th, 2023
Number 6,438 in my list of SHIT APPLE DOES THAT NOBODY FUCKING ASKED FOR: Apple Mail Inline Link Preview.
Who the fuck thought that this useless fucking PREVIEW OF NOTHING is needed, desired, or in any way helpful? It's like... here's a link to a Facebook page, and Apple removes the link to put a HIDEOUS BIG-ASS LINK LOGO IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR EMAIL...
And, of course, because this is fucking Apple, there' no way to turn this shit off by default.
Oh no. You have to right click and tell it to go back to a sane "plain link."
God I am so sick and fucking tired of this kind of crap. It's only slightly less annoying that Adobe changing the way shit has worked FOR DECADES with no way to go back to the original behavior. Or the way that they randomly switch between origin-zoom and scrubby-zoom in Illustrator with no way to force a default. Typical. It's like... PICK ONE. I don't give a shit which way you go... JUST FUCKING PICK ONE!
Posted on September 27th, 2022
January of last year I ordered a workbench from Home Depot because it finally went on sale (I had been coveting it for months). It arrived and, alas I never had time to assemble and install it. So it's been sitting in my garage these 20-some-odd months. It's a really cool model too, because you can fold it against the wall when you need it to be out of the way. Since I use my garage as a woodworking shop, that's essential.
They said it was adjustable height, and they even showed it installed in a garage on their site (albeit a much nicer garage than mine!)...
But here's the thing about garages... the floor slopes slightly away from the side walls and away from the back wall so that when you wash out the floor all the water can more easily head outside. It's not a lot... usually around 1%... but it adds up when you are talking the distance of a 6-foot table.
But no problem, right? They advertise the bench as being height adjustable!
Um... yeah... no.
The BACK legs have screw feet which are adjustable. The wheels on the front legs are not adjustable at all.
But it gets worse!
The distance that the back legs will unscrew is less than the distance between screw-holes! Essentially making them useless for trying to level out your table. And since the front legs are not height adjustable at all, one side or the other will not touch the ground if one side is higher than the other.
The upshot of all this design stupidity is that I have to shim the table on three sides in order to have a level surface. The two back legs since the screw-feet can't extend far enough. And the front right leg since the slope of the floor means it can't reach the ground. Who the fuck designs this kind of nonsense? Why even bother with the screw-feet on the back legs when they can't extend far enough, can't be independently screwed out to the length you need, and are useless for side-to-side leveling?
The back shims are permanent. And that's fine. But I'm incredibly irritated by the fact that I have to slide a paint stir-stick under the front-right leg any time I fold out the damn table. And don't even get me started by the soft, cheap-ass screws they give you to bolt the thing to the wall. Even with a good large-sized Phillips screwdriver head that fits like a glove... AND USING A HAND-DRIVER INSTEAD OF A POWER TOOL... the things still strip out. Cheap-ass bullshit.
I'd return the stupid thing, but since I waited so long to take it out of the box, it's too late.
The thing is built like a tank, which is nice. But had I known the hot mess I was getting, I would have just built my own. But that's kind of how it works now-a-days, doesn't it? Do it yourself or risk disappointment. The irony that I would have bought all the materials at Home Depot is not lost on me.
Posted on November 8th, 2021
It's frustrating that we have media which is so badly polarized that it's impossible to get an unbiased read on current events. There's painfully obvious bias going on, with the problem being that many people don't seem to realize that. I know folks on both sides of the spectrum who would swear up and down that their news is "unbiased" (or, putting it another way, "Fair and Balanced") and I honestly don't know how they can say that with a straight face. Either they are saying it because they want to believe it, which is understandable... confirmation bias is a real thing... or they are saying it because they actually believe it, which is all kinds of dangerous.
In some ways, I actually prefer it when a news source is unabashedly Right or Left because they're making no pretense as to where they stand on the issues. You know where their pandering is and you can factor it into your thinking as you consume whatever media they're putting out there.
In some cases, there's issues which are neither Right or Left... they just quite simply are... but the only take you're going to get is one from the Right or the Left. It's enough to drive one mad.
Take for instance America's failing power grid.
This is a subject so deadly serious that everybody everywhere regardless of their political leanings should consider it of National importance and an essential thing to be investing in and safeguarding. Yet neither progressive nor conservative talking points address it with the seriousness which it should be taken. On the Right you have "privatization" as the answer (which is laughable given what happened in Texas recently)... and on the Left you have a bizarre mish-mash of wanting to invest in Green energy without understanding exactly why that's not a catch-all solution for every situation (honestly, you can't just shout "GREEN ENERGY" every fucking time the matter of our energy needs comes up and be taken seriously).
Last Week Tonight had one of the best takes I've seen last night despite being hardcore Left in its leaning. It should be considered essential viewing if you plan on using electricity in the future...
Now, there are some issues here that are not fully explored... there's only so much you can fit in a segment like this... but the entire point behind the story is solid. And that is that this country is heading to a major crisis that could have serious impact on all aspects of society.
But how do you explain this to somebody whose viewpoint has been crafted by the media they adhere to for their "news?"
It's virtually impossible.
This is easy to see when you look at the reactions to the $1 trillion infrastructure bill that was recently passed. Infrastructure has been a ball that's been kicked down the field for decades by Republicans and Democrats. Everybody says they want to do something about our roads disintegrating, our bridges falling apart, and so many other horrible problems... but they don't want the financial blowback attributed to them, so that ball gets kicked down the field for the next guy to deal with. This is such a horrible thing to have happen because it only gets more expensive the longer you put off dealing with it. But now President Biden picked up that ball and ran with it because we're quickly getting to the point that something HAS to be done. As you would expect, Democrats are touting this as something on-par to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ... while Republicans are saying it's clearly a sign that Satan has won, and our country is officially in the grips of Socialism.
Truth be told... it's actually somewhere in the middle.
And while I have loads of things I can be critical of President Biden for, the infrastructure spending is not one of them.
Mostly because $73 billion of that $1 trillion goes towards modernizing the U.S. power grid.
Feel how you want about JaBiden, I honestly don't care. But the fact that he's finally actually doing something about some very serious problems we have ignored for far too long deserves respect. And that's regardless of your politics. Because it was a politically suicidal thing to do even if it was the right thing to do.
We're running out of field for that ball to be kicked down. A goal is iminent. The game is about to be won.
And, in this case, that's not a good thing because we're all on the losing team.
Posted on October 15th, 2021
"Well, shit, I'm alive. The COVID booster didn't kill me. So I guess I have to go into to work."
Zero side-effects from the third Pfizer shot. Which worries me a little bit... how do I know that it did anything if there's no side-effects from my immune system getting charged up with COVID-fighting instructions? Though I didn't have side-effects the second time either (only the first, where I had a fever for three hours and soreness in my arm for three days).
In my county here in Central Washington, there's been 102 COVID deaths out of 10,912 total cases since tracking of the pandemic began. Right now they say that 638 people have tested positive in the first half of October. When I check the CDC site, it says that the eligible population here in my county is 73.6% vaccinated and 34 new people have been admitted into the hospital. If it's accurate, that's really good news. Given the number of anti-maskers out and about, I really expected us to be under 50% vaccinated. Some counties east of me in Idaho and Montana are 40-some-odd-percent, which is pretty scary. But not as scary as those counties sitting at 20% once you head over to the Dakotas. Holy shit. It's like a COVID incubater in some parts!
Which is how we end up with COVID variants like Delta, Beta, Gamma, Lambda, Mu, and the variants of those variants. It's all pretty crazy when you consider that the virus will only become more communicable and deadly as it changes to survive.
But that's nothing compared to the heinous level of idiocy coming out of the mouths of pieces of shit like Marjorie Taylor Greens, who is just the worst...
God she's awful. There's really no level to which this horrific excuse for a human being will stoop. I am disgusted to my core.
I'd say that I can't wait for her to get COVID, but you just know that she's been vaccinated. Pandering to her base with this hipocritical bullshit is how she stays in office.