Rent Cancelled for the Month of April

April 8th, 2020

via The New York Times

Of all the landlords in New York City, my old landlord Mario Salerno has been making the rounds this past week for waiving April rent across his properties.

When I moved to New York my first apartment was one of his properties right around the corner from Salerno Service Station1 on Lorimer and Grand in Brooklyn, you can’t miss it during the holidays…

When Mr. Gentile spotted the sign last week, he said he was surprised but not shocked. For the nearly four years Mr. Gentile has lived in the apartment, Mr. Salerno has been a model landlord.

Emergencies are fixed almost immediately, he said, such as a water leak in Mr. Gentile’s ceiling that was fixed, patched and painted within several hours.

“You don’t see that, especially in a landlord-tenant relationship in New York City,” Mr. Gentile, 28, said. “He’s amazing.”

☝🏼 This I can definitely confirm. He’s not your typical “evil money grubbing deadbeat” NYC landlord caricature. It was always a prompt and fair exchange. Let’s hope he starts a trend.

  1. There used to be a short documentary on Vimeo about the Salerno Service Station, unfortunately, I can’t seem to find it anymore… []

Office Dog!

April 8th, 2020

Now that I’m working from home, I finally get an office dog (his name is Logan). I mean, he’s my dog, but now he gets to be with me all day. He loves sweet potato, sun bathing and barking. This desk is a bit too small for him to hide under, but he makes it work.

For my friends still using Facebook…

April 8th, 2020

via Vice via Violet Blue via JWZ

Facebook is currently suing NSO for how the hacking firm leveraged a vulnerability in WhatsApp to help governments hack users. NSO sells a product called Pegasus, which allows operators to remotely infect cell phones and lift data from them.

(…) “The Facebook representatives stated that Facebook was concerned that its method for gathering user data through Onavo Protect was less effective on Apple devices than on Android devices,” the court filing reads. “The Facebook representatives also stated that Facebook wanted to use purported capabilities of Pegasus to monitor users on Apple devices and were willing to pay for the ability to monitor Onavo Protect users.”

Facebook proposed to pay NSO a monthly fee for each Onavo Protect user, the filing adds.

Facebook Wanted NSO Spyware to Monitor Users, NSO CEO Claims

Literally the “Internet of Shit”

April 7th, 2020

via Twitter

The ‘smart’ toilet, which is self-contained and operates autonomously by leveraging pressure and motion sensors, analyses the user’s urine using a standard-of-care colorimetric assay that traces red–green–blue values from images of urinalysis strips, calculates the flow rate and volume of urine using computer vision as a uroflowmeter, and classifies stool according to the Bristol stool form scale using deep learning, with performance that is comparable to the performance of trained medical personnel. Each user of the toilet is identified through their fingerprint and the distinctive features of their anoderm1, and the data are securely stored and analysed in an encrypted cloud server. The toilet may find uses in the screening, diagnosis and longitudinal monitoring of specific patient populations.
  1. Your butthole []

Scripting Safari

April 3rd, 2020

If you are a Mac user, AppleScript is a lifesaver to speed up repetitive tasks. I thought I’d share one of my most used AppleScripts, this will take every tab of every open Safari window and add to your reading list.

To quickly access this script, enable the “Script Menu” by first opening /Applications/Utilities/Script > Preferences > “Show script menu in menu bar.”

Once enabled, we can download and place the “Safari – Add All to Reading List.scpt” under ~/Library/Scripts and you will now have easy access to run this script.

New Music: January – March 2020 Edition

April 2nd, 2020

Here’s a little catchup of new releases I’ve been digitally “spinning” in no particular order. As we all use different means of streaming and/or purchasing, I won’t post direct links.

Phalanx- ‘Golden Horde EP

Fine China – ‘Trees at Night‘ single

The Rentals – ‘Another World1

THICK – ‘5 Years Behind

Thorsten Quaeschning – ‘The Capitol Session

Shelter – A compilation by Sunday Records via Bandcamp

Christopher Bissonnette – ‘The Wine Dark Sea

Route 8 – ‘Signed & Sealed EP

Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini – ‘Illusion of Time

AKB – ‘Marianergraven

Windy & Carl – ‘Allegiance and Conviction’

Robin Saville – ‘Build a Diorama

  1. The Rentals have been on a roll releasing a ~weekly single since November 2019 which I think will culminate into a collected album? []

Zoom Continues to be Garbage

April 2nd, 2020

The App Store and Mac Pro (mid-2012)

April 2nd, 2020

Yes… the Mac Pro (mid-2012) is considered “vintage” by Apple’s standards. However, I still heavily rely on it for my audio work (lots of useful I/O and extra drive bays!). Also, I’m not in the target audience to drop 5 to 6 figures on a new Mac Pro…

Instead, I could afford $200 to updated the internal graphics card to one which supported Metal 2 so I could run macOS Mojave1. After my update I noticed a trend when I’d go to wake my Mac, I would be greeted with a repeating App Store pop-up telling me “Unable to complete purchase.” Opening the App Store showed me a pending Pixelmator Pro update which (when manually triggered) would constantly fail.

Obviously something was wrong, so I tweeted at the Pixelmator Pro with my issue, meanwhile I had recently been playing with a command line utility called mas-cli, a command line interface to the App Store. Lo and behold, I issue the command mas outdated (this Lists pending updates from the Mac App Store) and I am shown the output 1289583905 Pixelmator Pro (1.5.5 -> 1.6)2. I then issued mas upgrade and tada! I received the update without issue.

What’s happening? A response from the Pixelmator team shed some light on why I kept receiving that alert:

It’s strange an app as system level and what Apple wants to be the primary means of software can’t verify this. I guess it only can see the model and assume it has the stock hardware (which in my case wouldn’t support Metal 2). But even checking the OS version should be a no brainer, if I managed to get Mojave running, I definitely had to have supported hardware as per Apple’s own supported hardware list.

  1. SAPPHIRE Radeon PULSE RX 580 4GB GDDR5 []
  2. The “1289583905” number preceding the app name is it’s ID in the App Store, you can find any of these by going to the apps download page, clicking the share button and copying the link. For example, the App Store link to Pixelmator Pro is (I’ve highlighted the id as you can notice). []

Zoom is Garbage…

April 1st, 2020

Yet somehow it cracked Okta’s list of the 15 most-used business tools in 2019. Did we already forget about the catastrophe last year where Zoom allowed easy access to your webcam? (that is just one example, you can find plenty more).

The headlines in the last two weeks speak for themselves, luckily I don’t have to touch the software.

Hello world!

March 30th, 2020

What better time to start a blog than during a global pandemic? I’ve nothing better to do.