Ran across this looking for something else.
January 8, 2014 — 11:55 pm
Back in the States, I used to buy magnets from these guys — K&J Magnetics. They sell magnets in all strengths, sizes and shapes, because you never know when you want to stick something to something else or find a screw in a leafpile. If you know what I mean. Oh, don’t question me.
Anyway, the send out *lots* of mailings and a few interesting articles, such as this one, about magnetic strip technology. How it works, how to fuck it up.
Can a neodymium magnet erase or scramble the data on a magnetic strip?
Yes. If you rub a neodymium magnet directly across the magnetic stripe, with the magnet touching the card, the data is likely to be erased or scrambled.
How strong must the magnetic field be to erase these magnetic strips?
The magnetic strip on credit cards come in two varieties. The high-coercivity ones, like a typical credit card, require a field strength of somewhere around 4,000 gauss to demagnetize. The low-coercivity ones that are often re-written, like hotel keys or gift cards, require about 300 gauss.
Worth a read, if you have the slightest interest.
I recommend these guys for all your magnet needs. And I trust that you would never, ever fuck up somebody’s credit cards without a really valid reason. You’re just too good a person.
January 7, 2014 — 11:50 pm
Yesterday was Twelfth Night, the traditional end of the Christmas festivities (if you’re in the BBC viewing area and you missed the Tudor Monastery Farm series, go watch it. Or at least the Christmas special).
So, Christmas is over, and here we are again.
I call this picture, “kitten on my goddamned desk, goddamn it.”
— 12:41 am
So I bought the Stanley Parable in the Steam sale. You wake up in a cubicle, and then…it’s supposed to be better if you don’t know anything about the game before you start, so I won’t spoil anyone’s fun. Main problem I have, I’m not sure when I’m done.
True story: I dream about my old job almost every night. It’s partly because I worked the same job in the same building for so long, but I think it’s mostly because I left with a whimper. Most of my long-time colleagues had either left before me or were out of town when I left. I didn’t get, like, a big party or anything.
So, in my dreams, I’ve always popped back over to clear up a few last things. I don’t know anybody and I’m always getting lost in the corridors and hoping nobody figures out I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. Five years, and I’m still having that stupid dream five nights out of seven.
Good weekend, all. Sunday is Twelfth Night, if anybody’s counting. I suppose I shall try to bestir myself to politics come Monday.
January 3, 2014 — 11:48 pm
Because I am a monkey! A stupid, stupid monkey!
For those of you who don’t game (which I assume is most of you), Steam is a gaming application that allows you to buy, store and play games. I’ve posted about it before. I didn’t like the idea when I was first forced to join (it was the only way to purchase HalfLife2), but then I had a catastrophic computer failure and…Steam quietly downloaded all my old games onto the new computer.
Okay, I still don’t like the idea of cloud computing, but that there was pretty neat. I admit it.
Then Steam introduced the concept of achievements. I don’t know if they invented the idea, but it means if you do certain non-obvious things in a game — kill a certain number of foes by using your gravity gun to fling toilets at them, for example — you ‘unlock’ an ‘achievement.’ Which is a little icon. Which other people can see if you look at your profile.
Bear with me. It hasn’t gotten as losery as it gets yet.
Then they introduced the idea of virtual trading cards. You get these things mostly by playing games. They just appear in your inventory after a certain amount of gameplay, I think. Which made everybody (well, me’n the other losers) go back and play ancient games just to get the card drops. Because, monkey.
But wait, there’s more. You can’t get the entire set by playing. You get about half. You get the rest by trading in the trading forum, or buying them in the Steam marketplace. Sell any duplicates or unwanted cards, buy the ones you don’t have. They go for about 10p apiece, on average. All of which goes in and out of your Steam wallet, which you can use to buy games. From Steam.
Oh, it gets losery still. Once you get a complete set of any one card, you can ‘craft’ a badge. Which creates a little icon. You can stick on your profile. In case anyone in the whole wide world is losery enough to check your profile and gives a flying fuck at a rolling donut if there’s a badge on your account.
Nope. Still haven’t plumbed the depths. Another way you earn cards is by buying stuff during the semi-annual Steam sales — a card for every $10 worth of games. Also, by voting on what should go on sale next — a card per every three votes. You can vote every eight hours, and the sale was about 10 days long. It’s just finished.
And here’s where we plumb the very depths of my loseriness. When I went to check my account this evening, there was a little announcement that the Steam Sale 2013 Badge could only be crafted for a limited time. I don’t even remember how many hours, I just panicked and ran to the marketplace for those last two cards.
And there it is: my Steam Sale 2013 Stupid Monkeybadge. I hope you’re impressed.
— 12:49 am
Because I’m just not ready to be serious yet. I took this ten minutes ago, so you could see how big he’s getting. I wanted a nice full-length one, but kitty doth not cooperate.
January 1, 2014 — 11:34 pm
Sorry for late. I couldn’t get my blog to load earlier and we celebrated midnight with neighbors.
Happy New Year, folks. Many thanks for hanging out here with us; it means an awful lot. I can’t think how homesick I’d be without you.
Let’s hope 2014 is…better. We can hope for better, right? Better isn’t greedy, is it?
— 1:01 am
Okay, actually, that’s a picture of the beach, but truly it has rained and rained. And winded and winded. Not like that big blow on Christmas Eve eve, but relentlessly. And for as far in the future as I trust the weather forecast.
We haven’t lost power yet, but we’ve had some close calls. The power to the pump that drains our local acres failed. They had to bring in a backup generator while we watched the ditches rise.
And this afternoon, the power went out in the supermarket. Which was creepy. It was pitch black, except for a lone spotlight in the deli section. The girl behind the counter made a “ta-da!” face in the light, which was kind of cute. It only lasted a few seconds, or I assume more backup would’ve kicked in.
Oh my god. It’s happened. I’ve gone native. I’m droning on and on about the weather…
December 30, 2013 — 11:46 pm
Holy crap — I’ve forgotten to queue up the Dead Pool! That’s the kind of mellow holiday weasel I am today. Sam Paris wins dick with Kalashnikov (and I don’t mean he shot up the place).
I’m several dicks behind, incidentally, if you’re waiting for one. I tend to do them in batches. Don’t worry, the dick always gets there in the end.
Nope. Never get tired of it.
0. Rule Zero (AKA Steve’s Rule): your pick has to be living when picked. Also, nobody whose execution date is circled on the calendar. Also, please don’t kill anybody.
1. Pick a celebrity. Any celebrity — though I reserve the right to nix picks I never heard of (I don’t generally follow the Dead Pool threads carefully, so if you’re unsure of your pick, call it to my attention).
2. We start from scratch every time. No matter who you had last time, or who you may have called between rounds, you have to turn up on this very thread and stake your claim.
3. Poaching and other dirty tricks positively encouraged.
4. Your first choice sticks. Don’t just blurt something out, m’kay?
5. It’s up to you to search the thread and make sure your choice is unique. I’m waayyyy too lazy to catch the dupes. Popular picks go fast.
6. The pool stays open until somebody on the list dies. Feel free to jump in any time. Noobs, strangers, drive-bys and one-comment-wonders — all are welcome.
7. If you want your fabulous prize, you have to entrust me with a mailing address. If you’ve won before, send me your address again. I don’t keep good records.
8. The new DeadPool will begin 6pm WBT (Weasel’s Blog Time) the Friday after the last round is concluded.
The winner, if the winner chooses to entrust me with a mailing address, will receive an Official Certificate of Dick Winning and a small original drawing on paper suffused with elephant shit particles. Because I didn’t have any dinosaur shit particles.
December 27, 2013 — 6:00 pm
Gosh, I’m stuffed.
Back here tomorrow. 6 WBT. Dead Pool Round 57!
December 26, 2013 — 11:36 pm