Input random numbers and discover great Netflix content!

As the world of video content matures for the masses and easy viewing, more and more “not great” content is being distributed via “premium” platforms.
The single video content delivery network I pay to subscribe to is Netflix. Netflix has enough quantity of choice for fiction but, for me, it is poor on its documentaries portfolio, both in quantity and quality. Documentaries is the genre which got me to pay for the subscription. I started paying for Netflix because of “Our Planet”: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9253866

Unfortunately, docs of “Our Planet” good quality are rare. In fact, much of “Our Planet” content, one way or another, was already available in alternative BBC productions, so while I adore “Our Planet”, even there I expected better.
My main sources for quality docs are a couple of FREE (and legal) websites: arte.tv and “NHK World”. Both are superb sites to watch quality productions. Yes, my Netflix subscription in under threat.

What is really happening is that video producers now have decades-mature formulas for “reasonable” movies and series, fiction or not. They follow the formulas and achieve distributable, even profitable, results. I suppose their “results” work for the majority of viewers, but most of the time they rarely work me. It is getting harder and harder for me to find a movie or a TV series that I won’t perceive as vulgar or even ridiculous.

These days, at the absolute top of my list of RUN-AWAY-FROM content are movies/series centered on superheroes or with any form of gun violence. They are just plain ridiculous. Do you really want to see the horror of gun violence and become traumatized for life? Youtube has it for you (for example, never watch rvE56R2Vowg). Don’t be stupid and don’t even search for it. Go watch flowers, clouds, the sea, etc., anything but guns.

And for superheroes, the real “super heroes” are probably me and you, who endure everyday life without super powers. Hard to top the ridiculousness in wearing a superhero costume!

Not only Netflix’s video content quality is decreasing, the platform’s search tool is also inadequate. So inadequate that the best thing I found this month on Netflix, I found by randomly typing numbers into the URL. This is the short story I really wanted to share in this post, but somehow I extended myself above.
Hours ago, frustrated with Netflix’s search system, I started guessing numbers for programs (programs have a numerical id), and I found the superb documentary series “Tales by Light” : https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5350276/

The URL for the first episode is:
https://www.netflix.com/watch/80168237

Long story short, this is a note to self: eventually better than searching at Netflix, try to discover content by randomly entering program IDs into the URL 🙂

What to do when your new HDD drive arrives?

When in need of HDD space for content archival, I usually purchase internal SATA HDDs with 4+ TBs of capacity. The “Western Digital RED” series has been working OK for me, although I had one 6 TB volume complete failure (suddenly unrecognizable, unrecoverable, and all that on very light use), months ago.

When one buys these HDDs, they should arrive “uninitialized” and, with zero starts/stops and zero minutes of use, inside a sealed anti-static bag, ideally inside a retail or OEM card package. You can check the SMART data using software like “HDD Sentinel”.

Here is what I do next, on Microsoft Windows, using the “computer management” tool (“compmgmt.msc”):
1) Initialize the disk using “GPT” and not “MBR” (for better support of large volumes);
2) Quick format the HDD (for a speedy format);
3) Disable content indexing (for speedier usage and because for searching I do not use Windows Explorer or other Microsoft tools).

Then, using the command prompt (“cmd.exe”), I use fsutil to disable 8.3 names creation. For example, if the volume was assigned to drive M:

fsutil 8dot3name query M:
fsutil 8dot3name set M: 1

The first line will probably tell you that 8.3 names (for retro compatibility with Windows XP, DOS, etc.) is enabled;
The second line disables 8.3 names creation, speeding up the file system operations on the drive. This makes a big performance difference when working with thousands of files, which is my case.

Listening to Okada – "Life Is but an Empty Dream"

A bit dark, or even too dark, but slow and with enough silence to allow you to think. Oddly relaxing for an album with tracks titled “killing myself” and “the right to destroy myself”.
I think reverse psychology might be playing its role in the perception of this music, which can be so gloomy that it actually induces a contrary, uplifting response!

Alan Turing was born 107 years ago

Alan Turing was born in this day (June, 23) in 1912.
Here is his paper “Intelligent Machinery”, one of the very first writings on Artificial Intelligence:

Download PDF:
Alan Turing – Intelligent Machinery


sci_paper_alan_turing_1948_intelligent_machinery

Technical Details

URLs "p1" 20190622 – scientific papers, podcasts, tube channels, etc.

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


URLs "p1" 20190617 : 72 resources, including papers, articles, videos, etc.

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


RF2: Racing Alain Prost’s 1990 Ferrari around Le Mans, France (1991 layout)

On the weekend of 2019-06-15+2019-06-16, there was yet another 24h Le Mans event. Curious about the circuit, using rFactor 2, I decide to run Alain Prost’s 1990 Ferrari (the famous “duck nose” car) around the 1991 layout of the circuit. Unfortunately, the 1990 mod I use only features the 1990 Ferrari cars (Prost and Mansell), so I injected the 1999 bolides (from a different mod) as the competition, in what became a very interesting racing spaghetti.
Long story short: I am 3 seconds slower than the fastest of the 1999 cars, which seems quite good to me 🙂

Here is a video of a 03:14:7xx lap around Le Mans. First, the outside camera, then the inside camera.

A warning: rFactor 2 seems to have a technical limit of 3 minutes per outside camera replay. This means that I cannot capture a full “Le Mans” lap with outside camera. For that reason the outside camera in this video not only skips 14+ seconds of action but also – and more relevant to the interested viewer – is actually the joining of the first ~14 seconds of a second lap the replay system managed to capture with the true footage of the inside camera.

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