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Stephan Beal

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They don't make them like they used to... 
So I now have my old Atari 800XL at home and I was so surprised to see this 32 year old computer still working perfectly. Of the games I've tested so far Chess, Eastern Front (1941), BMX Simulator, Drop Zone, Hover Bover and Ninja Master all work. I am seriously amazed by this extraordinary machine.

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I'm hacking and slashing text with some natural language processing software. My current target is Robert E. Howard's Conan stories and the first three Kull stories. The wordcloud below is made from the most frequently used adjectives within those stories.

Top adjective is black.

Top 30 adjectives:
black - 1388
great - 1230
other - 738
long - 606
dead - 540
last - 518
own - 462
many - 432
white - 428
more - 412
dark - 404
broad - 370
human - 370
few - 364
red - 354
open - 346
such - 338
old - 330
wide - 316
first - 312
strange - 298
green - 292
golden - 290
naked - 290
short - 272
wild - 268
cimmerian - 246
tall - 246
blue - 246
full - 242

Notes: Not all adjectives may have been caught, and some of the things caught may not have been adjectives for a variety of reasons. On the whole though, I'd say it's pretty solid. Also, the counts are best thought of as representative. Slight variants are not included (e.g., greatest and greater are not included in the count of great when they probably should be).

I fucking love words.

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Five excellent tips for visitors to Germany...

Via +Wolf Weber.

Sidebar: my 20th anniversary of living in Germany is coming up in about 6 weeks (September 5th), and i've lived here long enough that i've become strongly sympathetic to point #1 in this video, to the extent that in news feeds i skip over (with disdain) any articles/posts which make casual mention of the German dictator from WW2.
Planning a visit to Germany? Here are some mistakes to avoid.

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i have finally found an easy workaround for #Netflix's refusal to install (via Google Play) on rooted Android devices...

1) First, you need a non-rooted device with Netflix installed. Many, many posts claim that non-rooted devices can access the APKs of installed apps via the /data filesystem path or using 'adb pull' (or similar), but that's not been my experience: access to them via both browsing the filesystem and using adb has been denied unless the device is rooted. However...

2) The ES File Explorer has an app browser built in which has an interesting feature: select an app in their app browser (under "Library ==> Apps" in the left-side menu), then click use the "Send" or "Share" options to send the app somewhere. The APK of that app will be sent/shared to the given destination. (In my case, i sent it to my WLAN's shared hard drive.)

3) Copy the exported APK to the rooted device(s) and install it.

Voila! My netflix account no longer has to be cancelled.

PS: i've been using the ES File Explorer as long as i've been using Android (2012, IIRC) and i can heartily recommend it as a general-purpose file manager. i never use its app management features, but tried them out (out of desperation) for the purpose mentioned above and it worked like a charm:

Free version:

Pro version:

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Proof that we are living in The Future...
John Lam tweeted: Check out this stack trace on a FAUCET. I have now seen it all.

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"In 1913, H. G. Wells essentially single-handedly invented the modern pastime of miniature wargaming, providing a (tin soldier) battle-tested set of rules which makes for exciting, well-balanced, and unpredictable games that can be played by two or more people in an afternoon and part of an evening."

It's name: "Little Wars: A Game for Boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girls who likes boys' games and books" (!!!)

Via +Winchell Chung.

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The Humble Comics Bundle: Jack Kirby & Will Eisner Centennial Celebration has over $449 worth of books and comics, including Will Eisner’s The Spirit, Young Romance, Kirby Five-Oh, The Secret History of Marvel Comics: Jack Kirby and the Moonlighting Artists at Martin Goodman's Empire, and more!

Pay what you want and support charity. You choose where your money goes!

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A fascinating history (or the beginnings of one) of distributed software development...
New blog post: In which I attempt to trace the evolution of distributed software development. I don't think I have the complete story, though, and invite comment.
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