What happened?
Twelve years!
You hit me with a cricket bat!
Ha! Twelve years!

Tuesday, May 23



Sorry, I lack the words.

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Little Witch Academia Reminder

Akko says, "It's good for you."

Sucy says, "Be kind to mushrooms."

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The Other Akko

The other Akko arrived - my shiny new Huawei Mediapad M3.  Two weeks in transit, two weeks sitting on my desk at the office because my office days got rescheduled, then a week when I was too busy to do much with it.

Artist's impression of Pixy's week.

I'm planning to do a full review, but first some quick reactions and test results:

It's basically the same size as my Sony Z3 Tablet, which I would have been happy with except for the constant irritation of only having 16GB of storage.  The Mediapad has 64GB of storage (52GB free out of the box), a 2560x1600 screen (vs. 1920x1200), and 4GB RAM (vs 3GB).

I added a 200GB Sandisk SD card for $70; larger cards are available but at a significant premium; the 256GB model is $150.  Huawei only advertise support for 128GB cards, but the 200GB card works perfectly.  

Like Sony and Samsung, they've disabled Android 6's adoptable storage, which is a jerk move, but doesn't cause too much harm when the device itself has so much space.  I installed everything, and I still have 26GB free.

The screen is excellent.  It comes set to "vivid" mode, with over-saturated colours, but you can easily disable that, as well as setting the colour temperature to one of three pre-sets or use a colour wheel to adjust it to anything you want.

The fingerprint scanner takes a little while to set up, but once that's done it's fast and accurate.  It also has some clever tricks that I'll discuss in the review.

Performance is very good - not astounding, but very good.  I'm running Antutu and Geekbench  on all my devices and I'll fill in the scores as I go.


Device Total 3D UX CPU RAM
Mediapad M3 83,894 15,731 30,387 30,549 7,227
Xperia Z3 Tablet 63,379 9,911 22,255 21,952 9,261
Xperia Z Ultra 55,815 8,833 19,521 19,635 7,776
Nexus 7 40,583 4,453 15,189 14,785 6,156

It feels quite noticeably zippier than my Nexus 7 (as you'd expect when comparing with a device from 2013); the various minor delays and UX hiccups of that tablet are nowhere to be seen.

Huawei's EMUI Android skin is...  Not all bad.  I installed Nova Launcher, of course, so the only changes I still see are the notifications and the settings panel.  The changes to the settings panel are kind of dumb; storage and battery-related settings are hidden away under "Advanced", for example, and it's hard to find things generally.  The changes to the notifications panel are mixed, though I'll be happier if I can find a way to use a light background.

Overall I'm quite happy with it, and would likely recommend it to anyone looking for a small 16:10 tablet.  It is still running Android 6.0, and the oft-rumoured Android 7 update is nowhere to be found, so if that's an issue for you you'd best look elsewhere.

Full review will probably land next weekend, as I expect another busy week before then.

* I tested all devices with the latest version of Antutu.  If you look up the score for the Nexus 7 online, you will likely find a much lower number - around 20,000 - because the Antutu benchmark has changed since 2013.

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Monday, May 22


97 Economic Facts The Doctor Who Episode "Oxygen" Got Wrong

1. Oxygen is recyclable.  It doesn't disappear when you breathe it.
2. They're mining copper ore.  You know what a major component of many copper ores and other rocks is?  Oxygen.
3. You know what the process of refining oxide ores does?  It produces oxygen.
4. They're murdering the maintenance staff of a refinery to save money on oxygen.  Do you have any idea how expensive it is to restart a refinery after a shutdown?
5. They're rationing oxygen, but not the resources required to produce oxygen.
6. They're sending out an entire new crew of employees on an interplanetary spaceship.  The energy for orbit-to-orbit transfer alone would make the cost of maintaining oxygen for the existing crew an unnoticeable blip on the balance sheet.
7. The actions depicted are not saving money, but wasting it.  Such a company under capitalism would swiftly be outcompeted and either be sold or go bankrupt.  This sort of thing is far more likely under state capitalism or socialism than anything like laissez-faire capitalism.  (Indeed, it's endemic in socialist states.)
8. Capitalism is not a "mistake".  Capitalist theory is descriptive, unlike socialism, which is prescriptive (and normative, i.e. a fairy tale).  Capitalism is simply how people exchange goods and services when they are free to do so.  Our understanding of it might be incomplete, but it's not something that was created by mistake.  Socialism, of course, is exactly that.
9. Murdering 90% of your employees is not a good way to improve productivity, nor do we see this in capitalist economies.
10. They're mining copper ore in situ.  Why?  Just move the whole damn rock.  Might take a little longer, but what's the rush?
11. If the suits can perform the manual labour - even complex operations as we see later in the episode - then why the hell are the crew out in space in them, using oxygen?  Burning money again.
12. They're shipping out a new crew at great expense because the old crew wasn't sufficiently productive, and they expect the new crew not to notice that there's no old crew?  You don't think the ever-growing piles of corpses might have some impact on worker efficiency?
13. There's a substantial crew on an automated refinery.  The refinery is still in operation with 90% of the crew dead.  By what measure were they unproductive when there was no point of them being there in the first place?
14. If the original crew wasn't needed, what was the point of spending a fortune to send out a replacement crew?
15. A company that routinely murders its employees will not tend to have the first pick in hiring new ones.  In fact, unless they're a protected monopoly, no-one would work for them at all.  What is illustrated is not only not a problem of capitalism, it's something that capitalism corrects.
16. That crew vessel is going back anyway.  You seriously have no way of extracting value from the old crew who are already trained and experienced workers?  Again, in a capitalist economy, you're headed for the corporate scrapheap.
17. If a resource is valuable, a capitalist economy doesn't destroy new supplies of that resource; instead it seeks to recover that value.  A cartel would seek to control the supply.  When you do see that sort of destruction, you find a state behind it, and most often a socialist one.
18. Oxygen is not actually scarce in space, not if you're in a planetary system.  Breathable oxygen, yes; oxygen itself, no.  You just need a power source to break it out of whatever incovenient molecule it's formed - H2O, SiO2, CO2, Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2, whatever.  They have a nuclear reactor.
19. The society we see has access to artificial gravity.  This is so far beyond any technology we have today that their worries about oxygen are like us fretting that our neighbours might sneak in while we're at work and steal the secret of fire.

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Tuesday, May 09


Bob Owens

Long-time mu.nu blogger and Second Amendment activist Bob Owens, founder of Bearing Arms, has passed away.

I didn't know him as well as I would have liked, but from everything I saw he was a great guy and his death is a terrible loss.

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Sunday, May 07


Re:Creators Episodes 1-4

This is pretty well done, and some of the artwork is amazing.  Fiction is leaking, and an evil MUP is out to destroy all of creation.

Kind of talky though.  If it fails as a series, that will likely be the breaking point.

For now I give it three whackadoodle magical girls out of four.

As has become the sad new trend, there's no Op video on Youtube, but here's the Ed while it lasts:

How long did it last?  Not long.

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Saturday, May 06


Little Witch Academia Episode 16

This week Amanda is the cause of most of the fuss instead of Akko.  It's good to see Amanda back in action again; she's been sidelined for a while.

Akko meanwhile is getting pretty good with the shape-changing magic, following in Shiny Chariot's broomsteps.  Of course, Akko being Akko, it somehow always turns out like this:


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Un Nyaa Nyaa

Nyaa Torrents is no more.  It's gone to the great big 404 in the sky.

I'm not sure who ran it or where it was hosted, but this may have been in response to a recent Dutch court ruling that fansubs are explictly copyright violation.

I have my AnimeLab subscription, but they have some major gaps in their lineup - Little Witch Academia, for example, which is the best show of 2017.  I'll have to see how well Crunchy streaming works here in Oz.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 05:49 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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