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Catherine Berry
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Catherine's posts

I upgraded to Windows 10 last night, and it all went smoothly. In the hope that this might help someone else, I'm recording the one glitch I ran into, and its fix, here. Upon restarting and completing the upgrade, many programs couldn't "see" my nVidia card, and the nVidia control panel wouldn't launch. As soon as I did an additional manual restart, these problems went away.

Oh, and I really like the Windows 10 look and feel so far.

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This article is about the product I work on at Google. It's fun seeing it explained to newcomers.
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Stupid code maintainers!

Some guy named Chuck Berry (no, really) keeps signing up for things using my gmail address. Over and over and over. The latest is, which has been prodding me for (his) updates for a week, now. There's no obvious way to report the problem.

I am so, so tempted to recover his password, change it, and then begin creating a life story for Chuck. Perhaps he's become a drag performer on Bourbon Street. Or he has recently been promoted to associate drug lord in Caracas. Or his hobby is skeet-shooting kittens.

But that would be wrong. No, wait, not "wrong". I think I mean "probably illegal". And yet, it's tempting.

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Palm trees, winter sunset.

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The demiurge gets tough.

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Gender identity is now explicitly addressed in the USGL non-discrimination policy. In my experience, this has already been the case de facto, but it's always very welcome to establish such policies de jure as well.

I recently read Dies the Fire by S. M. Stirling, and I'm angry. Spoilers follow.

This should be the kind of science fiction I like. There's an interesting premise -- if electricity, gunpowder, and a few other technologies suddenly and mysteriously stopped working, what would happen? At the macro level, Stirling does a good job of answering this, following various groups around central Oregon as they struggle to survive while reinventing medieval tools and techniques, from farming to warfare.

The problem is that he is so busy playing what-if games he forgets his characters. I could go on and on, but one example will suffice. Late in the book, one community is in negotiations to ally with another, with distrust on both sides. The doctor of community B reveals that he has had a stockpile of powdered antibiotics since the Change, which he's barely begun to use up. And the doctor for community A punches him, screaming that a child died of disease under her care because she didn't have antibiotics.

A powerful scene...or rather, it would have been if this weren't the first time we heard about this dead child. Here's a group of perhaps a hundred people, close-knit, terrified of disease as the world goes to hell around them. Wouldn't everyone have been obsessed with the outcome of a child's fight with disease? The leader of community A is a Wiccan high priestess, deeply concerned with the welfare of her people, and we never heard her talking or even thinking about this???

I nearly threw the book across the room. And that wasn't the only time. I'd heard great things about Stirling, but from this book, color me extremely unimpressed. I won't be reading the huge number of sequels (two trilogies, a tetralogy, and more), that's for damn sure.

Oh, but he gets his cavalry tactics excruciatingly right for fifty pages at a time. I'll give him that.

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It's a wonder we see anything correctly. If, in fact, we do.

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There's no scorn like the scorn of a software developer for bad software design.
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