Pinned toot

From the archives of my blog but still very relevant: "pytz: The Fastest Footgun in the West", about why you probably shouldn't be using pytz:

The more time that goes on, the more I appreciate how rare and amazing is.

It is an absolute staple of the web and the backbone of most people’s information diet, and for decades it has resisted so many of the dark patterns and negative incentives that the other major players of the internet have fallen prey to.

I feel like Reddit could have been a community pillar like Wikipedia; a central hub for curated discussion fora, but the actual experience of using the site gets worse every day (likely driven by the drive to monetization).

The saddest part is that Reddit is the rule and Wikipedia is the exception. From what I can tell Craigslist is the only comparable story of a high-quality website maintaining its dominance while putting user experience first (and sacrificing revenue in the meantime).

Oh yeah, and I just realized — there are two pediatricians that asked about the medical records and I gave up on them because I only called them because the records were taking so long! Had I actually abducted the child, this would keep him away from mandated reporters!

So basically this actually is more likely to keep abducted children out of the hands of someone who might notice if something was wrong while not actually catching anyone abducting children, and has negative side effects for the vast majority of children. Bravo, CT. 👏

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And mind you these are the same people who refuse to give your kid a vaccine unless you are a patient of theirs. They could, you know, catch the flu in a 30 day delay.

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I grilled one of these people and they said their office policy is that they need it because “children come from wherever these days”. When I asked what the fuck that means, they said, “You could have abducted the child!” It made me laugh out loud.

How many child abductions would be caught by requiring someone to fax over a child’s medical records (they seem trivial to fake even if you don’t have them), as opposed to like.. ear infections doing permanent damage because the child has no access to medical care.

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Man, every interaction with children’s medicine in Connecticut is the worst. Last year I had to drive to Massachusetts to get him a flu shot. Now no pediatrician will talk to me unless I have his full medical records ready to go.

I guess his new pediatrician is the ER?

I am glad that I customized a #cookiecutter template for my needs. It came in handy in creating another #Python package from the scratch.

I did some updates today and polished all the rough edges:

Fun fact: This is also a great way to solve “spot the difference” pictures, because when you treat two basically identical photos as a stereogram, you get that “shimmer” effect on anything different between the two, making the answer obvious:

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You can get something of a sense for how it looks by looking at the 45° and 135° photos side-by-side, then letting your eyes unfocus until the details line up like a stereogram (e.g. magic eye puzzles).

Here are two pictures I’ve stitched together to make that easier:

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Around mid-morning, though, it seems that a lot more sunlight in the sky is scattered off the atmosphere, which causes it to become polarized, which gives the sky a very strange appearance.

Here’s the sky at 11 AM in CT with no filter, 45° filter and 135° filter:

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For some time I’ve been interested in what the world looks like with a different sensorium, so I was curious to know what the world would look like if we could see the polarization of light. To try it out, I bought these glasses and started wearing them:

They are linearly polarized like polarized sunglasses, but the polarization of one eye is 90° off the other. The result is that unpolarized light passes through unmodified, but linearly polarized light shows up differently in each eye, which gives an interesting “shimmer” effect.

Usually the world doesn’t look that interesting with them on, TBH. For most of the day, the only polarized light you see is reflections, so your attention is drawn to cars, plastics and other man-made things.

I’ve made this a few times now and this time around my wife finally reminded me to take a picture of it when it was done 😅

Paul Ganssle  
Made katsu curry for the first time last night. Not so bad, but it made me want to go visit Japan again, which I fear won’t be possible for a few y...

Also, earlier this month I finally got a picture of a red-breasted nuthatch!

I’ve been hoping to get a photo of one of these ever since I thought I saw one during PyTexas 2020:

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Got my first ever Cedar Waxwings in the back yard the other day! Just as I was thinking that all the interesting birds were gone for the winter, a small flock of these guys came in.

Very cool-looking birds.

If possible, it would be interesting to collect a bunch of performance stats for my computer use over the course of a few years to see how often I bottleneck on things like “hard drive read/write speed”. Not sure if it’s worth my time and $100 to replace this SATA with NVME.

I suspect that in almost all cases where I’m reading to or writing from the hard drive, the bottleneck is somewhere else — e.g. network, a drive I’m transferring to/from, speed to parse or serialize whatever data I’m reading/writing.

I imagine my most likely bottlenecks on IO would be during start-up (which is rare and I don’t find it especially slow anyway) or if I’m reading/writing some memory-mapped file (can’t remember the last time I’ve done this), but it’d be nice to get real data on this.

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Of course, once I took my laptop apart to install the new hard drive I realized that my current SSD is NVME M2 and I don’t even have a SATA cable for this… 😅

I ordered one, we’ll see if I notice a drop in speed for any of the tasks I do regularly.

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Recently got a new 2TB SSD for my laptop and I transferred everything over from my old SSD using a USB 3.0-SATA cable and it took about 30 minutes to transfer ~400 GB with rsync, which I found extremely impressive (especially since it was a lot of little files).

This looks more like what I was looking for at the time:

I’ve written a little Python script wrapping the advice here and it seems to be working very well (though I haven’t tried it on any non-HDR and non-x265 content…)

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I think this actually boils down to this bug:

If I had more time to play with OSS and more experience in this domain I might jump on it. Probably in the meantime I’ll try to cobble together a script to mostly-automatically carry over the HDR metadata in transcodes.

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Resurrecting this because I finally got around to trying it: unfortunately, this didn’t work well for me. I get a lot more opportunity to tweak the color palette, but I haven’t gotten one that turns out quite right yet, which makes me think this approach would need about as much tweaking as manually figuring out the parameters to copy over HDR metadata.

Additionally, Tone-mapping requires using zscale to make the inputs linear, which requires compiling with --enable-libzimg, which Arch linux and most docker containers I’ve found don’t do. I managed to create a docker container that installs ffmpeg-full from the AUR, but that was a whole complicated affair, unfortunately, and takes forever.

@pganssle Do you want to keep it HDR or do you want to convert it to normal? For the former, you'll want to use a compatible video codec (av1, hevc...
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