[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Monday, 2020-08-10

Google advanced image search

Filed under: Art,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 10:02

You may find this useful: How to get back ‘exact size’ and ‘larger than’ search filters on Google Images

tl;dr version, bookmark this url:
https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search

Wednesday, 2020-07-29

CyberArk releases new SkyArk tool

Filed under: Cloud Computing,Security — bblackmoor @ 10:19

Cyber-security firm CyberArk has released today a new free tool that can detect “shadow administrator accounts” inside cloud environments like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/new-tool-detects-shadow-admin-accounts-in-aws-and-azure-environments/?ftag=TRE-03-10aaa6b&bhid=71893585&mid=12954240&cid=716959071

Monday, 2020-06-15

GitHub to replace “master” with alternative term

Filed under: Programming,Society,Technology — bblackmoor @ 10:37

Interesting. I am curious what people who primarily speak other langues use in the place of “master/slave”, “blacklist/whitelist”.

GitHub is working on replacing the term “master” on its service with a neutral term like “main” to avoid any unnecessary references to slavery, its CEO said on Friday.

The code-hosting portal is just the latest in a long line of tech companies and open source projects that have expressed support for removing terms that may be offensive to developers in the black community.

This includes dropping terms like “master” and “slave” for alternatives like “main/default/primary” and “secondary;” but also terms like “blacklist” and “whitelist” for “allow list” and “deny/exclude list.”

GitHub to replace ‘master’ with alternative term to avoid slavery references“, ZDNet

Friday, 2020-06-05

MyMedia under screen

Filed under: Linux,Movies,Software — bblackmoor @ 11:47

I use a Python application called MyMedia to stream videos from my Ubuntu media server to my Roku boxes.

I installed Ubuntu 20 yesterday. The painfully slow navigation problem (caused by the slow but inevitable deprecation of python 2) re-appeared, and I tried to re-create the fix. Initially, I just succeeded in preventing MyMedia from running at all.

Here is what actually worked.

  1. First, I copied all of my backed up MyMedia files to /usr/local/bin/mymedia
  2. Then I installed python 2.7…
  3. sudo apt-get install python2
  4. Then I installed pip, but first I had to install curl…
  5. sudo apt-get install curl
  6. curl "https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py" -o "get-pip.py"
  7. sudo python2 get-pip.py
  8. Then I installed Pillow
  9. sudo python2 -m pip install --upgrade Pillow
  10. It might not have been necessary, but I installed several image libraries…
  11. sudo apt-get install libjpeg-dev
  12. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libjpeg.so /usr/lib
  13. sudo apt-get install zlib1g-de
  14. sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libz.so /usr/lib
  15. In common.py, I made sure that this…
  16. import Image
  17. … had been replaced with this…
  18. #import Image
    from PIL import Image

Huge success!

Note that during this process, I got several warnings about Python 2.7 being deprecated, like this one:

DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 reached the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Please upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 is no longer maintained. pip 21.0 will drop support for Python 2.7 in January 2021. More details about Python 2 support in pip, can be found at https://pip.pypa.io/en/latest/development/release-process/#python-2-support

It’s only a matter of time before MyMedia becomes unusable. I would love to get access to the git repository and try to update it for Python 3, if that’s possible. I’ve asked, but the original developer is no longer associated with the project. It may be that I’ll have to find a new solution to this problem in a year or so.

Also, I have updated my init script (/etc/init.d/memedia), which runs mymedia in a screen

#!/bin/sh
### BEGIN INIT INFO
# Provides: minidlna
# Required-Start: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Required-Stop: $local_fs $network $remote_fs
# Default-Start: 2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop: 0 1 6
# Short-Description: mymedia server
# Description: mymedia media server.
### END INIT INFO

# Do NOT "set -e"

# PATH should only include /usr/* if it runs after the mountnfs.sh script
DESC="MyMedia media server"
MEDIAPATH=/var/media
DAEMONPATH=/usr/local/bin/mymedia/server
DAEMON=$DAEMONPATH/mymedia.py
SCRIPTNAME=/etc/init.d/mymedia
SCREENNAME=mymedia
USER=bblackmoor
GROUP=media
EXECUSER=root
EXECGROUP=media

case "$1" in
start)
chown -R $EXECUSER:$EXECGROUP $DAEMONPATH
chown -R $USER:$GROUP $MEDIAPATH
su - $USER -c "cd $DAEMONPATH; screen -dm -S $SCREENNAME python2 $DAEMON"
;;
stop)
su - $USER -c "screen -S $SCREENNAME -X quit"
su - $USER -c "screen -wipe"
;;
status)
su - $USER -c "screen -list | grep $SCREENNAME"
;;
*)
echo "Usage: $SCRIPTNAME {start|stop|status}" >&2
exit 3
;;
esac
:

Thursday, 2019-12-26

Cinema Insomnia animated GIFs, part 1

Filed under: Art,Movies,Television,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 13:01

Here are some animated GIFs I made for Cinema Insomnia.

Tuesday, 2019-12-17

Replace white background with transparency in Photoshop

Filed under: Gaming,Software — bblackmoor @ 13:48

I use a lot of found images in my online RPGs, to help set the scene. Sometimes, the image is almost, but not quite, what I want. Cropping, healing brush, and clone stamp solve most of those problems, but once in a while I find the perfect image… but it needs something more complex to make it what I want.

In this case, I found this illustration of a Pathfinder alchemist goblin, but I wanted the background to be black instead of white. So I looked for a tutorial on changing this in Photoshop, and found this one on StackExchange. The basic technique is to use the original image as its own layer mask. I’ll create a duplicate of the layer, desaturate and invert it, pasting the greyscale result into the original layer’s layer mask.

I start with my flattened image.

I then Desaturate the image.

I then duplicate this layer, Invert it, then select and fill white areas until everything I’d like to be opaque is white, and everything I want fully transparent is black. This was tricky, because I want the smoke translucent, but the goblin itself to be opaque.

Now I press CTRL+A to select the entire image, and CTRL+C to copy the combined greyscale result.

I then selected the layer with my original image, made sure nothing was selected in my image, and selected Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All to create a layer mask on my original layer.

I then ALT+Clicked in the layer mask icon to enter direct edit mode, then pasted the greyscale image I had just copied into there.

I then clicked on my original layer to exit the layer mask direct edit, and tada, I have my semi-transparent goblin.

Now I just add a black background layer, and I am done. It’s not perfect, but it will do for my purposes.

Wednesday, 2019-12-11

The Google graveyard

Filed under: The Internet,Work — bblackmoor @ 09:50

Any plan to include Google as a core part of a business process should also include a contingency plan for when (not if) Google shuts down that service.

Feel free to quote me.

Graveyard

Monday, 2019-12-09

AWS vs. the non relational database

Filed under: Programming,The Internet — bblackmoor @ 17:09

Currently taking a course on AWS, in preparation for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate exam. Interesting stuff. Possibly the tangent that is most interesting to me at this moment is the concept of a “non-relational database”. Of course I have heard of that — Mongo, Redis, etc. But I have never had the time (or really cared enough) to investigate them. I might try rewriting one of my simpler web sites to use a non-relational database (Amazon DynamoDB, specifically). I think it might be a fun exercise.

Tuesday, 2019-09-10

Google Images is useless: switch to Yandex

Filed under: The Internet — bblackmoor @ 09:39

Google has removed the options to search for images “Larger than …” and “Exact size” from their Images search. If this makes Google Image search USELESS for you, as it does for me, consider using Yandex, instead.

Friday, 2019-01-25

The limits of rationalization

Filed under: Technology — bblackmoor @ 11:06

So here’s a fun thing. NVidia just came out with the RTX 2060 (a computer video card), which is 50% faster than my current card (GTX 960 — a pretty fast card in its own right). The RTX 2060 costs $380… not cheap… but I could rationalize it (it’s 50% faster!). HOWEVER…

I have three monitors. They have DVI inputs. The RTX 2060 has three DisplayPort outputs. A DisplayPort to DVI adapter is $107. I would need three of them. It would almost be cheaper to buy three new monitors. In any case, I can rationalize spending $380 for a 50% faster video card, but I can’t rationalize $700 for a faster video card — not while my current card works perfectly well.

Gigabyte Geforce RTX 2060

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