Thursday, November 2, 2017
Linux Picture Downsizing Script, Random Stuff, and More
- come across issues pictures that are too big over and over again. Came up with the following script which downsizes JPEG files with no major changes in discernible quality. You can download it here:
- description is as follows:
# Picture quality on modern cameras/smartphones is high now
# to the point whereby storage and transmission of them has become
# extremely inefficient. This script is designed to deal with it.
# Basically, drop it in the relevant folder with the JPEG/picture
# files and run it to create more efficient/dramatically
# lower sized pictures that are put in the 'downsized' directory.
# Savings of up to five times with little reduction in discernable
# drop in picture quality are not uncommon thanks to 'convert' utility.
# As this is the very first version of the program it may be VERY buggy.
# Please test prior to deployment in a production environment.
- as usual thanks to all of the individuals and groups who purchase and use my goods and services
- similar to 'Dynajail' technology I was pursuing many years ago...
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- Silicon Valley prides itself on “thinking different.” So maybe it makes sense that just as a lot of industries have begun paying more attention to work-life balance, Silicon Valley is taking the opposite approach — and branding workaholism as a desirable lifestyle choice. An entire cottage industry has sprung up there, selling an internet-centric prosperity gospel that says that there is no higher calling than to start your own company, and that to succeed you must be willing to give up everything.
“Hustle” is the word that tech people use to describe this nerd-commando lifestyle. You hear it everywhere. You can buy hustle-themed T-shirts and coffee mugs, with slogans like “Dream, hustle, profit, repeat” and “Outgrind, outhustle, outwork everyone.” You can go to an eight-week “start-up hustle” boot camp. (Boot camp!) You can also attend Hustle Con, a one-day conference where successful “hustlers” share their secrets. Tickets cost around $300 — or you can pay $2,000 to be a “V.I.P. hustler.” This year’s conference, in June, drew 2,800 people, including two dozen who ponied up for V.I.P. passes.
But for some, “hustle” is just a euphemism for extreme workaholism. Gary Vaynerchuk, a.k.a. Gary Vee, an entrepreneur and angel investor who has 1.5 million Twitter followers and a string of best-selling books with titles like “Crush It!,” tells his acolytes they should be working 18 hours a day. Every day. No vacations, no going on dates, no watching TV. “If you want bling bling, if you want to buy the jets?” he asks in one of his motivational speeches. “Work. That’s how you get it.”
Mr. Vaynerchuk is also a judge on Apple’s “Planet of the Apps,” a reality show where app developers compete to win funding from a venture capital firm. A recent promo depicted a contestant alongside this quotation: “I rarely get to see my kids. That’s a risk you have to take.” The show’s promotional tweet added: “For the ultimate reward, he’ll put everything on the line.”
Good grief. The guy is developing an app that lets you visualize how a coffee table from a catalog might look in your living room. I suppose that’s cool, but is it really more important than seeing your kids? Is the chance to raise some venture-capital funding really “the ultimate reward”? (Apple pulled the promo after a wave of critical comments on Twitter.)
This is sad enough for start-up founders, but rank-and-file workers are buying into this madness, too. Last year, Lyft published a blog post praising a driver who kept picking up fares even after she went into labor and was driving to the hospital to give birth. Critics saw dystopian implications — “horrifying” was how Gizmodo put it — and Lyft deleted the post. But people at the company, including the driver herself, seemed genuinely puzzled by the negative reaction.
A century ago, factory workers were forming unions and going on strike to demand better conditions and a limit on hours. Today, Silicon Valley employees celebrate their own exploitation. “9 to 5 is for the weak” says a popular T-shirt. A venture capitalist named Keith Rabois recently boasted on Twitter that he worked for 18 years while taking less than one week of vacation. Wannabe Zuckerbergs are told that starting a company is like joining the Navy SEALs. For a certain type of person — usually young and male — the hardship is part of the allure.
The truth is that much of the extra effort these entrepreneurs and their employees are putting in is pointless anyway. Working beyond 56 hours in a week adds little productivity, according to a 2014 report by the Stanford economist John Pencavel. But the point may be less about productivity than about demonstrating commitment and team spirit.
- Tens of thousands of American citizens have signed a petition that calls on the US President Donald Trump to declare Jewish billionaire George Soros a terrorist and to seize all his assets.
More than 80,000 people have signed the petition on the White House website since its launch on August 20, accusing Soros and his affiliates of systematic attempts to destabilize the situation and “commit acts of sedition” against the United States and its citizens.
The petition's author known as E.B. says the billionaire has created multiple organizations and funded them with a sole purpose to apply modern terrorist tactics for destroying the US government.
“Soros has created and funded dozens (and probably hundreds) of discrete organizations whose sole purpose is to apply Alinsky model terrorist tactics to facilitate the collapse of the systems and Constitutional government of the United State, and has developed unhealthy and undue influence over the entire Democrat Party and a large portion of the US Federal government,” the petition says.
“The DOJ [Department of Justice] should immediately declare George Soros and all of his organizations and staff members to be domestic terrorists, and have all of his personal an organizational wealth and assets seized under Civil Asset Forfeiture law," the petition says.
The document was signed by 80,542 people up until late Friday and needs further 19,458 signatures to reach the threshold of 100,000 by September 19 to get a response from Trump’s administration.
Soros is the founder and head of the Soros Fund Management hedge fund and one of the world’s wealthiest people. According to Forbes, his fortune is estimated at about 25 billion dollars.
Soros was a supporter of Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, during the 2016 US presidential election, pouring millions of dollars into her campaign. The Jewish business tycoon predicted in January that Trump was a “would-be dictator” who would fail, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May would not remain in power following Brexit.
- The Global Times attack on Mr Turnbull comes as the University of Melbourne's Asialink Centre said in a report on Friday that Australia risked becoming the "lonely country", increasingly out of step with its region, particularly in attitudes to China.
Professor Anthony Milner and Jennifer Fang wrote: "When it comes to China's regional and international leadership, the gap between our views and those of our neighbours is troubling ...
"Australians are increasingly focussed on China. But our preoccupations seem narrow, limited and consistently negative – a surprising thing, given we are more economically entangled with China than any other regional country."
Professor Milner told Fairfax Media that Mr Turnbull's call for China to cut its oil supply was a good example of Australia "clinging more tightly to the US".
- DHARAMSHALA, September 1: “Self is singular and others is infinite and if one cultivates a Bodhichitta mind to eliminate all the sufferings, the negative impulse to harm others will automatically subside,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the last day of the four-day teachings for Southeast Asians at Tsuglagkhang today.
Teaching on ‘Generating the mind for enlightenment’ or Bodhichitta, the Dalai Lama said, “Without developing a mindset of selflessness towards others, not only enlightenment is impossible. The present life will also be filled with unfortunate events if an individual acts with self-centered attitude.”
Citing its importance, the spiritual leader reminded that it is essential to generate Bodhichitta for both personal benefit of attaining enlightenment and for the welfare of all other sentient beings.
“Compassion and warm-heartedness toward others are the basis of happiness. Even to the non-believers and doubters, I urge you to practice compassion and warn-heartedness towards others as such mental attitude brings happiness,” the Dalai Lama said.
The 82-year-old spiritual leader also asked his devotees to feel fortunate to be born as humans with such intelligence. He said, “It is impossible to comprehend and study the concept of emptiness without the human intelligence. Animals can only show minimal signs of compassion, however, Bodhichitta can be only attained through human intelligence. Hence, it is important that we use it.”
His Holiness advised that if one practices Bodhichitta on daily basis from the time one wakes up, the rest of the day would be more blissful. He also said that generating the mind for enlightenment not only benefits this life but the next as well.
“So today in front of Buddha and all the Buddhist masters, we must pledge that we would follow the path taken by you with full effort to generate Bodhichitta because enlightenment cannot be attained without generating the mind for enlightenment,” the Dalai Lama said.
The Nobel Peace laureate, before the photo session with the devotees from various countries from Southeast Asia, said that out of the sufferings, mental suffering is problematic, which can be diminished through cultivating warm-heartedness and urged them to be kind and compassionate human being.
Dalai Lama concludes four-day teaching for Southeast Asians
- The resumés of thousands vying to get jobs as mercenaries with TigerSwan, a North Carolina-based private security firm, have been found exposed to public gaze on the Internet.
The material was found in a cloud-based repository by the Cyber Risk Team at Upguard, a security firm which has found many such unsecured caches of data in the past.
The sensitive personal details of the job applicants, many claiming top-secret security clearance from the US government, were left unsecured by a recruiting company with whom TigerSwan had cut ties in February 2017, according to UpGuard.
Most of the data belongs to US military veterans and exposed details about their past duties, which included elite or sensitive defence and intelligence roles.
- As noted in a previous article, the rest of us are too tapped out paying growing electricity costs, higher food prices, and now higher NBN prices to get decent speeds – and even then, Telstra and Optus have had to refund users on higher tiers because they simply couldn’t deliver the speeds being paid for.
Now comes news of more Larry David fumbling – oops, I mean Bill Morrow’s terminally fumbling hands turning molehills into massive mountains, whereby the good news that 1 million homes would now be connected to an FttC or fibre-to-the-curb service was cut down by News.com.au reporting that 200,000 of those users would now have to wait an interminably long extra year to get it.
This in an age when I can get a 70Mbps down and 30Mbps up connection in Canberra on the iiNet Transact network, built a couple of decades ago and not connected to the NBN network, and a suburb in which NBN Co still hasn’t started offering installations yet.
Indeed, iiNet has put flyers into the letterboxes of its customers stating there’s no need to switch to the NBN if you’re already on iiNet’s VDSL2+ service, its own version of FttN, despite the NBN telling all and sundry they’ll need to switch over to the NBN or be disconnected.
The NBN’s biggest failing is that it was constructed at all when a truly free market should have been left and encouraged to do the job.
Then, when the NBN came to life, its original owners and managers fumbled it so badly that construction was at a snail’s pace.
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