Happy Birthday to the Maniax

10 years of Oguie Maniax!

Wow, the Otakusphere is kind of middle aged now. I passed my 10 year anniversary last year and I don’t think I even noticed. Over the years I’ve posted about everything that interests me, so I don’t even think this is an anime blog anymore. But thats what makes us otaku. We love what we love.

via Pete, who just turned 10 this past June 🙂

Circle by Disney vs OurPact

There are two main solutions to parental control for kids’ devices – a subscription to OurPact, or buying a Disney Circle. In a nutshell, OurPact is an app you install on each device, and lets you enable controls on all data (wifi and cellular), whereas Circle is a piece of hardware on your network that uses ARP spoofing to filter data on a single WiFi SSID. OurPact is therefore more complicated to setup (you have to install the app on every device) and Circle won’t work on cellular data. Both seem to have similar functionality however. OurPact has an annoyance that unless you jump through extra hoops and pay for the premium membership, it will scramble the order of the apps on the installed devices. I’ve decided to go the Circle route – I will just make sure all the kids devices are on my 5Ghz SSID (really just three – two phones and an iPad to worry about). If theres a performance bottleneck, it will only be on data uploads, since ARP spoofing wont affect download to the devices. I am a bit concerned about the overhead that OurPact will impose on performance since it is basically a firewall running all the time. How will I control the kids from just jumping on 4G? Easy – I only have them on 2 GB data plans, not unlimited 🙂

Congratulations, Astros

I’m not normally a baseball person, but wow, that Game 5. It’s why I hung on until the 8th inning of game 7, hoping to see more of that tense down to the wire contest. But the Dodgers, in the end, came up short.

There’s some criticism of pitcher Yu Darvish out there, but I think that’s absurd. The reason the Dodgers lost was simple: 10 batters stranded on base, only 1 home run.

Another statistic out there – which I haven’t bothered to verify – is that the Astros and Dodgers each scored a total of 34 runs over the entire 7-game series. I think the Dodgers have justifiable reason to be proud they got there, even if they fell short. Of course, how many runs you score isn’t as important as the distribution of those runs over the series. Much like the electoral college 🙂

I didnt really have a dog in this Series; the Cubs were eliminated by the Dodgers, so there’s some satisfaction on my part. I also spent 9 years in Houston, so can’t begrudge the Astros their first win (I do begrudge construction for Minute Maid park, which was a pain in the ass, traffic-wise). Still, my preference was for the boys in blue to win, because after all, I live here.

Next year, I might actually watch some baseball. Postseason, anyway. The great thing about this Series was that it showed me that this sport can actually be fun, if the right teams play.

Bitcoin, explained

This video is a bit long (under 30minutes), but it is a superb explanation of the principles of Bitcoin. I did not really know what a blockchain was or how mining really worked until I watched it, and I unequivocally recommend watching this for anyone with even the slightest curiosity about cryptocurrency – which soon, will be everyone.

Hexagonal Phase incoming

There isn’t that much new here, but more details on cast, and confirmation that it will based on Eoin Colfer’s fantastic And Another Thing… which I bought as an audiobook because Simon Jones is the narrator – so it’s Arthur as Arthur. I can’t even express the joy I feel when I hear him reprise his role. Hexagonal Phase will be an interesting contrast. In a way I kind of enjoyed Jones’ take on Zaphod in the audiobook more. But it doesn’t matter. I’m obsessed.

Trillian will return, with a new voice actor. And we have a new voice of the Book, too.

Starring alongside Simon will be Geoff McGivern as Ford Prefect, Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox and Sandra Dickinson as Trillian, as well as special guest stars including Jane Horrocks as Fenchurch.

Following in the footsteps of the late Peter Jones and William Franklyn, Adams’ friend, co-author and former flatmate John Lloyd will step into the voice of The Book.

image: Fair use, Link

Karachi

i am traveling to Karachi tomorrow, to attend the annual Ashara Mubaraka majlis. I haven’t been to Pakistan in 20 years, half a lifetime ago. I plan to take the opportunity to do some traveloguing and photography accordingly.

Above, a photo I took in 2008 in Colombo, when I started attending Ashara every year. One of my favorite shots. Karachi is not known as a photographic paradise, but I am confident there will be images that present themselves.