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Cod Codliness
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Now is not the time for a conversation on gun control. Remember that, Republican politicians...

Inb4 it suddenly is the time for a conversation on gun control. Not that I'm a cynic.

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3 and a half year later update (I was cleaning out my G+ saved posts and conversations folder, and this post was in there).

The Slate project [1] closed in December 2013 and handed off to the Gun Violence Archive. [2]

As of present date, the recorded deaths by gun total by these projects since the Newtown mass shooting stands at 58866.

That's nearly 60,000 lives, gone, snuffed out. 60,000.

And the even worse thing about that number is that, according to the CDC, the actual number is likely to be much higher, since they record an average of around 31,269 gun deaths per year. So that's at least 140,710 people. Dead.

For comparison, that's more than all of the American soldiers killed in WW1. It's more than the soldiers killed in the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and the American Revolutionary War, combined. It's more than every American death through terrorism, both inside and outside the US, from all terrorist attacks, since 2011 to present [3] [edit - that should say since 2001. And, in actuality, it could say ever, and still be true]

Slate did a follow up piece on what they had learned from the proect, which can be read at [4]

And in the three and a half years since this post, apparently the time has still never been right for a reasonable conversation. That's just sad.




4,154 reasons to have a reasonable conversation about guns now, instead of always claiming now is not the right time, or throwing partisan and / or extreme viewpoints around like they were viable talking points which can lead to meaningful gun reform. And possibly getting politicians to pass legislation which the majority of Americans in almost every poll support.

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Hehehe, read the reviews. Not quite the reaction the makers were looking for, I'd wager! Priceless :D

Also, for some reason, the badge in the picture is not the badge being reviewed. Stupid Google!

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One of these suggested "Topics to explore" is not like the others! Also, I've never shown the slightest interest in Doctor Who. But hey, five out of six right is not too shabby I guess - at least it didn't add Donald Trump or Religions of the World or something :D

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This is a really interesting article on how a guerilla work of art has itself recently been subjected to a subversion which completely changes the meaning of the original piece. But the interesting thing is that those doing the subversion are uber-capitalists hijacking predominantly liberal ideals, which have historically been anti-capitalist, to advertise more capitalism. The statue in question hitches capitalism to arguments about gender equality and anti-patriarchalism, areas in which capitalism has, historically speaking, not had much interest in helping out.

LIke the author of the piece, I have to give serious kudos to the advertising person who came up with the idea - they obviously did their research into the history of Charging Bull and have a pretty good idea of which conversational spaces feminism and patriarchy occupy and how to effectively inveigle their pro-capitalist agenda into those spaces without appearing to. It's really very clever. But at the same time, it's like a copy of a beautiful statue, made out of horse manure, and covered with a veneer of gold foil.

LIke the author, I'm not really sure where I stand on Fearless Girl. On the one hand, good art, particularly guerilla art, should spark a conversation. But, does this qualify as guerilla art, given it was comissioned, and comissioned by a global capitalist firm for the express purpose of using other art to advertise itself? And, is it really art, or is it merely advertising - should there be a dividing line between definitions of the two things, or is it possible for art to be advertising and advertising to be art?

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"Hello. My name is Jeff and this week I'll be taking you back to the 80s.

Next week, we'll have a special treat, as we go back to 1968, when you could call those uppity coloureds whatever you liked, and the police could shoot them on sight for talking to the decent white folks, particularly if they were looking like they might be a bit rapey after smoking the demon weed."

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Here we go, round 2.

Project Fear has been revving up and gathering funds in the background for a few months now, so we can expect another onslaught of fear-mongering nonsense and outright lies, which simply ignores the lies and broken promises put out last time.

The thing is, though, it's simply not possible to claim that nothing has changed and that the promises made by the No side have been kept.

The most obvious is the oft-made claim during the last independence referendum by the Unionists that the only way to remain in the EU was to vote No. Clearly that was utterly untrue. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in the EU referendum, and yet here we are, being hauled out by English votes. Which means the only way to remain in the EU is independence. 

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Network problem:

I have a Netgear R7000 router. I have connected to it, wirelessly, my laptop, my AV amp, my TV, my phone (all on 5ghz), and my wireless printer (on 2.4ghz).

Wired connections: Xbox One, cable box.

Everything works perfectly well, laptop connection is behind a VPN, everything else connects directly.

Adding my Nvidia Shield via wired connection almost immediately knocks my laptop offline, and won't allow it connect again. I struggle to even get to the router homepage. VPN also fails.

If I keep the Shield connected via Ethernet, sometimes my phone also loses connection, as does the AV amp. Haven't checked the printer. Plex server on the Shield doesn't work in this configuration.

Unplug ethernet cable from Shield and connect the Shield via wireless (5ghz) instead and the laptop gets back online, along with other wireless devices. Plex works, laptop works, both behind VPN and without VPN.

I'm certain I had this problem before, but I'm buggered if I can remember how I solved it. Now, yes, I can keep my Shield on a wireless connection, but I shouldn't have to - plus if I ever want to stream from the server, having it serving and transcoding on wireless will likely impact its performance.

I'm likely missing something completely obvious, but I've been at work all day, and I'm hungry, so I can't see what.

Router is on latest firmware, as is the Shield. This has only been a problem for the last two days, everything worked fine for the three before that (the Shield replaced a Minix Neo-U1 on Saturday), and no configuration changes have been put in place since Saturday.



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I finally gave in and swapped my Minix Neo-U1 box for an Nvidia Shield.

I'd looked at the Shield when it came out in 2015, but I'd ended up buying a Chromebox and flashing it to dual-boot with OpenELEC, figuring that would give me the best of both worlds - a nice media box and a fully functional Chrome mini-pc.

Of course, I ended up using the Chrome side of the thing not at all, given tablets are so easy to use and offered the level of functionality I was looking for. Also, at the time, it was almost impossible to access Play Store on the Chromebox.

So I sold that and bought the Minix box in August last year. It's a pretty solid box, with the only thing better than it (and at a much higher price) being the Nvidia Shield. I've really enjoyed using the Minix Neo-U1, and it's been an entirely solid home theatre PC setup, playing pretty much everything I threw at it, and supporting audio passthrough for DTS and DD as standard, complete with 4K output.

However, I've still kept a wee eye on the Shield, because that's the one I really wanted. I just couldn't justify the cost. I finally decided to drop the money for one, after Minix announced the Neo-U9, which turns out to only be about £30 cheaper than the new 2017 model Nvidia Shield. For that the Shield runs Android 7.0 out of the box, whereas Minix will "be updating to 7.0 at some point in the future".

The new Shield also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, both of which my new amp can deal with. It also has more RAM, and it comes with Plex Server built in. Oh, and Netflix 4K, and Google Cast built in (and it works really well too). Its also the first Android 4K device to come with Amazon Video as well, which is a bit of a coup.

It comess with Plex server built in right out of the box, which is great (although, I had to spend a while renaming things to Plex naming conventions as I had all my media set up for Kodi). It runs super fast, and is even prettier than Kodi (on any skin), and supports every audio and video format you can think of. Also, with Plex I can access my media anywhere in the world via Plex apps (and the app runs on about everything!), and it looks just as pretty. The Shield has the power for transcoding as well, so the files can be made to work with whatever device is being used to watch the files.

I can also run Kodi, or SPMC, but to be honest, I don't see any reason to with Plex.

Android games look awesome on the Shield, although I'm not sold on the new controller, particularly with racing games. Of course, I'm used to Xbox One controllers, and more recently the Xbox Elite controller, which is a dream to use, and solidly built. Maybe I can figure out a way to link that to the Shield.

The wee remote that comes with the Shield is great, being made of metal and plastic. It feels solid, and makes all of my other remotes feel enormous in comparison. It has a touch sensitive volume strip, which would be handy if I wasn't running the Shield through my home theatre setup.

Oh, it also comes with the ability to cast games from your laptop or desktop (a bit like the Steam Link machine) assuming you have one with the correct hardware, and it comes with GeForce Now, which gives you access to a library of games, for a monthly fee. To be honest, I'm unlikely to use either of those, given I mostly game on my Xbox One, but it's nice to know it's there, and if I ever fire up ARMA again I can play it on my 65inch 4K TV instead of a wee monitor. Which is nice.

Overall, I am more than happy, even if it was quite expensive. That said, with Nvidia's update policy, there's likely no need to buy another box for a long time. Those who bought the 2015 model have just been given the latest update, which pushes their machines to Android 7 and matches the software setup of the 2017 model, including adding Atmos and DTS:X. In fact, the only differences are hardware based, with the unit being 40% smaller than the original, and the controller having had a redesign.

I would say that if you're looking for a box that does tons of stuff, with plenty of power and looks good while doing it, then the Shield is worth dropping your money on. It is quite expensive, but the nearest competitor, which would probably be the new Minix Neo-U9, is almost as costly, and not as good.

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Oh, ouch, that had to burn.


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