Bye Bye Ringtones with Apple’s Catalina MacOS 10.15

Apple decided that custom ringtones were not going to be a part of macOS Catalina. This is the problem.

It’s great that Apple has finally heard the deafening sounds of iTunes lovers, revolting against the totalitarianism that iTunes has become and perpetuated for more than 5 years!

iTunes is now dead, and has been divided into 4 different apps . . . Music, Podcasts, TV, and Finder.

Great, except that Tones is gone too. Is this intentional? . . . absolutely. It’s unlikely that this is just the common ineptitude that governments, companies, and individuals commonly make, but Apple has never been immune to that either, for the record.

Apple went out-of-the-way to make sure Tones was still a part of Mojave, even if the implementation of keeping customs ringtones was clunky and clearly a sign of future removal.
I wish I could say “deprecation,” instead of removal, but that would mean that something had replaced Tones, but nothing, currently has.
Say goodbye to your Mac being able to have custom ringtones that are able to sync to your iPhone.

If you don’t believe me, just call 1-800-My-Apple and ask apple themselves. I already did and the official answer is what I’m writing about.

If you care about your custom ringtones syncing to your iPhone, then please send feedback to Apple at: http://apple.com/feedback

Good Luck,
-Erik Stone

Black Holes are the Universe’s Tectonic Plates

Scientists now say that black holes look more like fountains, than donuts

I remember when I read that “no one knows what is in the center of galaxies.” Then Stephan Hawking was lauded as the guy that figured out that there were probably black holes in the center of all galaxies. It was pretty obvious to me, as a kid.

Now, with all the “dark matter” hysteria, you’d think scientists would be able to make the obvious hypothesis that black holes are the universe’s tectonic plates. Just like the tectonic plates on Earth, recycle the surface of the planet, black holes recycle the surface of spacetime.

The idea that the universe continually expands until it rips apart is dumb. We already know from particle physics, that matter can pop in and out of our known universe, along with antimatter. The same should be true with black holes resurfacing our spacetime. As our universe expands, a timespace vacuum is created that will create matter to fill the expanding void.

We know black holes consume matter, but what offsets that matter consumption? Somewhere, matter is being sucked into the universe. When we find those locations, we’ll have our answer to dark matter. Finding where the matter is coming from, is the key to understanding what dark matter is.

I know that black holes are our subduction and obduction zones in the universe, though no one has really published the idea that black holes aren’t as similar as everyone imagines. Where are our orogenic belts and divergent boundaries for the universe?

The big question remains . . . where is the matter coming from, that is filling the void that is being created by our universe expanding at such a rapid rate? Black holes make matter disappear, but where does matter appear?

SW Steakhouse, after Steve Wynn Sold His Shares

My reviews on Google Maps, which is the best mapping platform on the planet, are being wasted, on Google. They don’t pay me, and they are the antithesis of evil in American politics.
I thought that the SW Steakhouse was the best restaurant in Las Vegas . . . but I’d never been there before.
So I went, and took my family.
Here’s how the three-out-of-five-star-meal went:

Both, the Sanuki, Wagyu, and the Filet Mignon were absolutely perfect.
The steak tartar was good.
The Seafood Spectacular was charred, in a way, that gave it a “steak-like” flavor. I didn’t like that, but if you want seafood, go to Lakeside.

I came for the Kobe beef, but they didn’t have it, tonight, and it wasn’t on the menu.

The service was quite good, from the general service staff. Plates were removed promptly and water was kept full.
Hosting was accommodating, even when we showed up an hour early.
I was disappointed with our waiter, Fernando’s service. He seemed to be a down-to-earth person, while on the job, at what I thought to be the best restaurant in Vegas. I expected to have a lot more formality. Instead, he actually tried to talk me out of the most expensive item on the menu, recommending that I try the American Waygu before trying the Japanese Sanuki.

Because it was my Mom’s birthday, I wanted everything to be perfect. I had a flower arrangement ordered for the table, and the Wynn did a perfect job with that. I also had a pre-authorization to pay for everything, and that completely flopped. At the end of the meal, Fernando was unable to find any preauthorization (not his fault, probably). I paid on the spot with a standard bill.

For a three person meal, at over $700 (with the tip), SW Steakhouse was fine. The ambiance was nice and my Mom liked it.

However, there are quite a few places in Vegas that have the same, or better, everything; be it food quality, service, or prices.

Gary Jules’ Mad World

I saw Donnie Darko alone, in 2004 on a sliver of land in the Atlantic, in November.  It was cold, windy, and lonely.  It was the perfect film for that night. It was creepy and strange, but had something to say.  I’m not really sure what that was, at the time . . . and I maybe I still don’t, even to this day.

There was a moment that things were clear in the film, and that was a montage with the song Mad World, a cover song for the original by Tears For Fears.  It showed several of the characters in various emotional states.  It was Bradbury melancholy, in sound and video.
Strikingly, a song released in the 80’s, had really struck a chord with Millennials, and maybe even bled into the pre and post generations.  Even the “Gears of War” video game franchise, adopted it in one of their sequels, at the beginning of one of their most popular maps.  The slowed down cover from Gary Jules, is a commentary on our current, American culture.  We can play a video game, with all players controlling an avatar of grotesque violence, that frequently smashes the skulls of opponents or saws them in half, in beautiful 4K, with the quiet song of Mad World as the intro.

I liked the movie, but the song is what really stuck with me.

It reminds me of something like what Phil Connors heard every morning . . . “Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today . . . it’s cold out there everyday.”

The original song had a similar feel.  A feel that no matter how bad things are, there is a positive beat, and that we are all here for another day.

I graduated in the year 2000.  Is my generation feeling extreme dissatisfaction with the status quo, the rat race, and their childhood?  If you don’t get up early, is that bad?  Is it common to know people, but not be able to connect with them, in the way that you want to, or expected to?
If you do get up early, and work hard, are you going nowhere?
Are we unable to feel real emotions, other than apathy and indifference.
Is being sad so horrible and terrifying that we want to die?

Maybe for some of us, but not for me.  It’s songs like this that remind me that no matter how bad that any of us think things are, we chose to be here, up until this moment, and at any moment, we can choose not to be.

That’s pretty empowering, and it’s songs like Mad World, that remind us of that.

LWRC IC-A5 M6

Zero of LWRC IC-A5

Long overdue, I just bought my first AR-15.

For all the lovers of the gas impinged design, let me just say, I love Conservatives, and I am one, but only in regard to politics.

Facts:
There isn’t anyone that says LWRC’s M6 is crap.
Everyone agrees that the nickle-boron carrier is pimp.
Fully ambidextrous is a rare thing.

Opinions:
I’ve shot 300 rounds on my new rifle.  My friends from Minnesota tell me that I should spend as much or more on my scope as I did on the rifle.  A $2000+ scope seems a waste to me.  Seriously, we are talking about a device that puts a plus sign or a dot through a piece of glass.  Yes, I could spend $1000 on a tennis racket, but I think I’ll be ok with a $200 one, especially because I don’t play tennis.

I zeroed my scope with a quick release mount from American Defense.  It has a single lever that secures the scope.  It’s actually really awesome to be able to easily switch between open sights and the scope.
Although, with the open sights, I pretty much hit nothing that I wanted (20MOA), at 100 yards.  This was my first attempt at open sights on this rifle, and I have not made any adjustments on the open sights.  I’ll zero them at 50m on another date.

The manual says after 1000 rounds, I should clean it.  That’s one fifth of the barrel life.
I did see some some build up on the front of the rifle, where the piston system expels gas.  It looked exactly like the carrier would look after a couple hundred rounds through a direct impingement system, except it wasn’t in a place that matters.  I think I could burn the barrel before I would get any malfunction.

I’m so happy that this was my first AR rifle.  I couldn’t do any better for what I wanted.
The AK is obsolete.

Altered Carbon

The first season was quite good.

The nudity was great and realistic.  The Sci-Fi was totally confusing and cool.

Spoiler for one sentence!!!!!!
Dichen Lachman finally gets fully nude for a long time and it’s awesome.

There were some inane Feminist themes in the 8th-9th episodes that were hard to take, but it’s not just the men that are tortured to death, multiple times, so it’s kind of balanced.

Watch it, cause it’s awesome.

 

 

EA/Dice Battlefront II / 2 Review

Battlefront 1 was a huge disappointment on the Xbox One release date.  Lots of glitches, grammatical errors, terrible balancing of Star Cards and Heros, and limited content.

Battlefront 1, more than a year after its release, is a significantly better game than Battlefront 2.
I wish I could say that the sabotage (pun intended) of Battlefront II was malice, but it’s clearly just the incompetence of a corporation with too many opinions and no king.

I can’t tell describe how much I was excited for Battlefront II.  EA/Dice was going to take the best feedback from Battlefront 1, and give all of us a game that would be better than the last.  I expected better graphics, new maps, more heros and villains, and an experience that had the polish that Battlefield 1 has, but in the Star Wars universe.

Disappointed a second time on release.

The Beta was alright, for a beta.  With all the excitement and feedback from it, the obvious absurdities would be corrected, right?

Seeing the final release was devastating.

I’m going to jump to the chase and then break it down . . . Buy Battlefront 1 for $10, and forget about Battlefront 2 for a least 6 months to a year.

EA/Dice knows they fucked up this sequel, and they acknowledge it by saying, “listening to fans has been important in making sure Star Wars Battlefront II is the very best experience for all of you.”  Translation, “Please do our job for us, and tell us how to make something great . . . cause we forgot how.”

Sounds just like every politician out there.

Visually, Battlefront 1 is a beautiful game, with authentic sounds and sparks flying upon impact from laser blasters.  Turning your lightsaber off an on, is gratifying and sounds perfect.  Battlefront 2 has even better visuals, especially on Xbox One X, but lacks the classic feel, and a “feature” has been added . . . you can’t turn your lightsaber on or off.

I will say that I’m glad that lightsaber wielder can finally change from a left or right camera angle, but to take away the ability for lightsaber wielders to turn their lightsabers off or on, is unwarranted, and two steps back.

If you want any game, just because it has a Star Wars theme, then get Battlefront 1, cause it’s cheap and awesome.  Don’t buy the expansions, cause they are still expensive.  If the price of the expansions for Battlefront 1 don’t come down, then just stay away from the Battlefront franchise altogether for a year or more.

If you don’t have a lot of time . . . just take my word for it.  If you have a lot of time, then just read all the other reviews . . . cause after all, we will probably continue doing EA/Dice’s job for them as they repeatedly fail on this title, and we repeatedly mourn.

 

 

Quiet vs Loud Motorcycles, and the Zero FXS

zero motorcycle  

So, yesterday, I rode the best motorcycle, ever.  It’s electric, obviously.

This Zero FXS is basically an electric version of my Yamaha WR250X.  It’s a supermoto made for on and off-road riding.
In Sport Mode, from any speed from 0-60mph, with a flick of my wrist, I could pull away from any sport car.  The torque started dropping off after 60mph, up to it’s top speed of 85mph, but it was still easy to accelerate when necessary.

I love all the things that make electric motorcycles great, like virtually no maintenance, lower total cost of ownership, better reliability, and not ever having to deal with gasoline or oil.
However, what I like most about electric motorcycles, is that they are quiet.  This bike was even more quiet than the old zero motorcycle I test drove several years ago.  It was great to be able to hear everything around me.  I could even hear the suspensions of cars around me as they hit small bumps in the road, which was very helpful in knowing when a car was going to pass me.  My increased situation awareness was stunning.

Anyone who’s ever ridden an electric motorcycle knows that it easily outperforms any internal combustion engine motorcycle in the same class.  The range is still lacking with electric, but if you live in a US city, and don’t do road trips, then an electric motorcycle’s range is no longer an issue.

So, why isn’t everyone already riding an electric motorcycle in US cities, and instead, still waking up everyone at night with their loud exhaust?

It’s because there are a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts that enjoy their loud, obnoxious, exhaust.  They like the attention they get when they disturb someone else with their loud muffler or near  lack of one.  When asked, they defend their position by saying they need a loud exhaust for their own safety, so drivers can hear them coming.  They also like to say that electric aren’t as safe, because they are too quiet.  Basically, “safety” is their excuse for being an ass, which works when told to non-motorcyclists, politicians, or Liberals.  Here is a great article that explains why guys like that don’t actually care about safety and why they are just loud, dicks.

https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/stop-saying-loud-pipes-save-lives

What’s even more laughable is that these “badass,” and “independent” motorcyclists who criticize quiet, electric bikes, and claim that loud is safe, are actually relying on other people’s ability to hear them coming.  By not driving a quiet electric motorcycle, they are giving up their own ability to keep themselves safe because they can’t hear over their own loud motorcycle.

My motorcycle is around 75-90 dBs stock, without any performance upgrades.  Unlike many, I’ve always considered loud engine sounds to be a negative side effect of combustion engine, not just because it’s annoyingly loud, but because my situational awareness is hindered.  With electric, not anymore.

Any motorcyclist in a city, who doesn’t need the long range that an internal combustion engine provides, and who wants better performance, can only benefit from riding an electric motorcycle.

 

The Largest Mass Shooting in US History, in Las Vegas

We all know the embarrassing headlines.
So I’m going to give you an “accurate” headline based entirely on information that relies on American Government and the fake news agencies.

A White, American, Muslim-ish guy from Mesquite, NV, after breaking several windows in the Mandalay Bay Resort room that he was staying in, open fired on a crowd of 20,000+ people, and killed less than 100 people and injured another 100.

At least 19,800 people were saved by their individual choices, and not by any government.  It’s so awesome that all terrorists are so ineffective at killing people in America, and I do love that about America.

The sad part is that Americans are often in terror, which is the result of not just Muslim Terrorists, but the American Media.