Amarok's recent activity

  1. Comment on Apple's Self Repair Program toolkit weighs 79 pounds in ~tech

  2. Comment on Babylon 5 (1993) retrospective/review - Part 1 in ~tv

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    S1 is a bit dry and wooden, like most scifi shows it takes a while for the show to find its legs. If you make it into S2 you'll be fine. ;)

    S1 is a bit dry and wooden, like most scifi shows it takes a while for the show to find its legs. If you make it into S2 you'll be fine. ;)

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Babylon 5 (1993) retrospective/review - Part 1 in ~tv

    Amarok
    Link
    If you haven't seen the show yet this video will spoil damn near everything, so you've been warned. :) Rowan's channel is worth a look if you are into scifi or screenwriting and television...

    If you haven't seen the show yet this video will spoil damn near everything, so you've been warned. :) Rowan's channel is worth a look if you are into scifi or screenwriting and television production. His Trek retrospectives are excellent, he does his homework.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Bill Gates is so over this pandemic in ~health.coronavirus

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    If the hosts die of a heart attack after a couple days, the virus has no opportunity to spread from the dead body of the host. If it has a living host and can hang on to that host longer than that...

    If the hosts die of a heart attack after a couple days, the virus has no opportunity to spread from the dead body of the host. If it has a living host and can hang on to that host longer than that same couple of days without killing him, the chances to infect new hosts are astronomically higher. That's the selection pressure that incentivizes viruses to be nice and learn how to stick around rather than just killing.

    I think the way we did the quarantine leaves a lot of room for improvement. Pick two weeks every 3-5 years and do a planetary lockdown, call it a reading holiday. That's switching from defense to offense. We do that and we will diminish or make extinct many strains of many viruses, far more than just whatever coronavirus du-jour we're dealing with.

    The quarantines were only a problem because of the uncertainty. If we know years in advance that a particular two week period will be a global quarantine, we can prepare for it much more easily. No economic damage, just lost business opportunity. It also gives nations time to get coordinated.

    We know it'll work because even this slapdash mess we just went through with covid-19 made many variants of the flu and the common cold extinct. Covid has become so greedy that it is cannibalizing its cousins. We will never get them all, but we can do a lot better with any attempt at global planning and coordination.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Clean energy is about having more, not less in ~enviro

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    The majority of our existing battery technologies won't remain competitive in the next couple of decades. They'll be replaced with various types of solid state batteries. This includes options...

    The majority of our existing battery technologies won't remain competitive in the next couple of decades. They'll be replaced with various types of solid state batteries. This includes options like a glass battery that don't include anything toxic, expensive, or rare, and have the potential to last for decades with little to no reduction in charge efficiency while providing at least double the energy density. There are literal billions being invested in this right now, this year, all over the world in a wide variety of energy and car companies. I don't think we can predict which of these types will make it into our devices, but there will be winners and they will replace lithium completely.

    The current state of batteries and their recycling issues will be irrelevant in a couple of decades. When we talk about the future we often make the mistake of assuming current technologies will still be there along with their problems. They won't be.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on US court orders every ISP in the United States to block illegal streaming sites in ~tech

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    I expect it won't be long before courts rule that ISPs can turn over any information pertaining to piracy and connect names with IP addresses. Copyright interests have been lobbying for that for...

    I expect it won't be long before courts rule that ISPs can turn over any information pertaining to piracy and connect names with IP addresses. Copyright interests have been lobbying for that for decades now and they'll get it eventually.

    People will just respond by using VPNs and the myriad third party DNS servers that don't have these redirects in place. There are fledgling replacements for DNS like Namecoin that by design can't honor takedowns. If DNS becomes compromised by state action, it'll be sunset and replaced with something that doesn't have that design flaw.

    It's just another chapter in the rather silly internet arms race. Institutions by their nature will never be fast or intelligent enough to respond to the tech world. What takes them years to get in place can be undone by a new system in mere weeks.

    Convenience is the only thing that is able to beat piracy. Valve proved that in Russia. It's really that simple. Nearly everyone is happy to pay for the things that they enjoy. They just won't put up with fifty subscriptions to get what they can get for free with a couple mouse clicks and a little patience on the open internet.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on US court orders every ISP in the United States to block illegal streaming sites in ~tech

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    Our libraries should be datacenters. If something exists and is copyrighted, it should be available in every single one of them to anyone with internet access as a condition of maintaining the...

    Our libraries should be datacenters. If something exists and is copyrighted, it should be available in every single one of them to anyone with internet access as a condition of maintaining the copyright with no exceptions, period. The rights holders should be getting paid properly based on that access. Makes no difference if it's a film, book, album, show, game, computer program, or scientific journal. I've had enough of privatized gated ownership of our collective culture. :p

    6 votes
  8. Comment on US court orders every ISP in the United States to block illegal streaming sites in ~tech

    Amarok
    Link
    I predict a nice windfall for VPN services and cryptopayments.

    I predict a nice windfall for VPN services and cryptopayments.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on The Internet as a superorganism AI ... thoughts? in ~talk

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    I'm sure it's been true since the first fire-keepers started retelling stories to their tribes. Those memes had a very limited, localized reach. That's changed now, the memes have gone global and...

    I'm sure it's been true since the first fire-keepers started retelling stories to their tribes. Those memes had a very limited, localized reach. That's changed now, the memes have gone global and they can get around at close to the speed of light. They can live on blogs and in books rather than just in heads, too.

  10. Comment on Leaked draft opinion show the Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights in ~news

    Amarok
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    The majority doesn't vote. The red and blue teams are relatively small parts of the population, though you'd never know that looking at online political discussions. The silent majority is sick of...

    The majority doesn't vote. The red and blue teams are relatively small parts of the population, though you'd never know that looking at online political discussions. The silent majority is sick of both of them, and even those who have favorites are likely disappointed with their own party.

    What it would take to actually fix this mess is an election cycle that was a vote of no confidence in the red and blue teams - meaning that everyone agrees not to vote democrat or republican. Treat those D's and R's as scarlet letters. As to who everyone does vote for - it doesn't matter, as long as it's people not on those two teams. I mean local, state, and federal, too - bloc voting straight down the ticket for any persons or groups that are not D and not R. Every senator, representative, judge, and governor out on their asses overnight unless they leave their respective parties. This shatters the control mechanism of any shadow government or corporate financing.

    That drains the swamp and opens the door for real reforms, at least until big money manages to bribe and corrupt the new guys, which it will do within a mere couple of years barring some kind of reform that allows citizens to outbid the corporate interests and become the lion's share of a politician's revenue stream. That is the only thing I can think of that could possibly thread the needle.

    That gives us the ability to get in term limits, reform election funding, and reset the stage. The court isn't really a problem, because the limit of 9 is just a tradition. A not-democrat not-republican president/congress can appoint 9 more in a month if they want to do it.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on The Internet as a superorganism AI ... thoughts? in ~talk

    Amarok
    Link
    Seems to me like the internet and mass communications has only enabled our thoughts to exist and spread outside of our own heads, and persist past death. We've had that since we invented writing...

    Seems to me like the internet and mass communications has only enabled our thoughts to exist and spread outside of our own heads, and persist past death. We've had that since we invented writing and the printing press, but the effect has intensified and sped up to near-realtime in recent decades. Now you have all the thoughts of your entire race - good, bad, ugly, and batshit insane - in your pocket, with no reliable way to tell which is which, nowhere near enough time to even consider a fraction of a fraction of a percent of it, and mountains of financial incentives hell bent on confusing things further.

    Calling it a hive mind misses the mark considerably, though. We are the nodes, just like ants are the nodes, but what goes on inside the mind of an ant or a colony of fungus or a collection of tree roots is nothing at all like what goes on inside our minds. We're orders of magnitude more complex and abstracted. Those hives are more like a knee-jerk reflex without self-awareness, a nervous system flailing around without real cognition. Whatever our 'hive' mind is becoming is something completely new to this world, maybe even this universe, and it's truly uncharted territory. It's also as far beyond our own understanding as the ant's hive mind is beyond any single ant, and that's not likely to change.

    It's as if the memes are becoming the true decision-making units of our hive, rather than individuals.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Leaked draft opinion show the Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights in ~news

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    Exactly. If the court overturns, congress won't be far behind pushing that agenda. There's no way in hell states like California, Washington, New York, or Massachusetts will ever enforce or even...

    Exactly. If the court overturns, congress won't be far behind pushing that agenda. There's no way in hell states like California, Washington, New York, or Massachusetts will ever enforce or even help to enforce such a ban. The consequences of multiple states openly refusing federal authority as a bloc are pretty bleak. Once a few of them do it for one issue, all of them are much more likely to do it for every issue. Any way you spin it, the federal government loses to the states.

    The only silver lining I can find is if that series of events provokes some long overdue reform of the federal government by the states themselves. All it takes is 38 of them to ratify a new constitution and they can change any and every rule they please - if they can all agree on it. They can rewrite the laws that all of the court's rulings are based upon and invalidate any legal precedents. State authority can even dissolve congress and the supreme court or change them in any way they see fit. Finding a consensus for that kind of reform among so many different states seems unlikely, though. There's too much room for disagreement and state government institutions are every bit as polarized, geriatric, and corrupted as the federal government.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Leaked draft opinion show the Supreme Court has voted to overturn abortion rights in ~news

    Amarok
    Link
    I won't be surprised when several states tell the Supreme Court to pound sand on this one and flatly reject both Federal authority and this law. This could precipitate a loss of Federal government...

    I won't be surprised when several states tell the Supreme Court to pound sand on this one and flatly reject both Federal authority and this law. This could precipitate a loss of Federal government judicial control. They certainly haven't got the money or resources to force states to comply with this or any law.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on Why Germany won’t keep its nuclear plants open in ~enviro

    Amarok
    Link
    From the comments... We really should just pick a spot for the entire world to use for this purpose. The planet only needs one, even if we open up a hundred thousand new plants it's the same, no...

    From the comments...

    Ah, and finally. There is truly a huge disbelief that nuclear waste can be handled safely with the political personnel we have. That comes from the fact that even the most die-hard defenders of nuclear energy suddenly feel that their Bundesland is way too beautiful to host a nuclear waste site (looking at you Bavaria). That goes as far as actively blocking a scientific survey to find the best spot in Germany to set up such a place.

    We really should just pick a spot for the entire world to use for this purpose. The planet only needs one, even if we open up a hundred thousand new plants it's the same, no matter what tech/design is used or what elements are fused. We're going to need it for fusion reactor waste too - anything getting that much neutron bombardment is nasty business. Pitch in funding according to how much waste one tosses into the pot.

    I feel better if it's done in one place with everyone pitching in - less chance of a single government making a mess of it.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on My experience switching to Linux and the need for guidance in ~tech

    Amarok
    Link
    Oh boy. I'd start with a quick primer on the linux file system. There are only a few parts of it you'll care to interact with regularly, it's not as scary as it looks. Then you can dive in to this...

    Oh boy. I'd start with a quick primer on the linux file system. There are only a few parts of it you'll care to interact with regularly, it's not as scary as it looks. Then you can dive in to this book on the command line. It's free, current, and aimed at new users. You might find linux books as good as this one, but you won't find a better one.

    Learn the joy of man and apropos so you don't go crazy trying to remember everything.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Dungeons & Dragons’ next anthology is written entirely by Black and brown authors in ~games.tabletop

    Amarok
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Yep. I think of those sorts of sites as 'webrags' with zero integrity. They want to book the fight, not do the news. Compare the takes on those sites with, for example, threads about this on two...

    Yep. I think of those sorts of sites as 'webrags' with zero integrity. They want to book the fight, not do the news. Compare the takes on those sites with, for example, threads about this on two of the oldest RPG forums: Giants in the Playground and RPGNet. No need for a disclaimer about not reading the comments there.

    Wargamer's article was much better imo.

    Edit: Even Gizmodo has better coverage.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Dungeons & Dragons’ next anthology is written entirely by Black and brown authors in ~games.tabletop

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    I can hardly tell them apart lately. :p For myself, I'm just looking for a quality product. All the emphasis put on everything that isn't the product itself I take as a sign that the product has...

    I can hardly tell them apart lately. :p

    For myself, I'm just looking for a quality product. All the emphasis put on everything that isn't the product itself I take as a sign that the product has nothing good enough to use as a selling point.

    Can't give me a sample chapter, good reviews, or a trailer, but can give me ten pages about skin tones and gender? Hard pass, marketing fail, and I'll check that the word 'sucker' isn't tattooed on my forehead. I can't imagine deciding to buy a product because I found out the author was black, or white, or a woman, or whatever. Sell me the product, not the author. I won't care about the author until after the product blows me away.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on Dungeons & Dragons’ next anthology is written entirely by Black and brown authors in ~games.tabletop

    Amarok
    Link Parent
    Polygon exists to make money on the rage clicks from that fight, as do rather a troubling number of internet sites. Compare their review to the press release and see how they spin the language...

    Polygon exists to make money on the rage clicks from that fight, as do rather a troubling number of internet sites. Compare their review to the press release and see how they spin the language expressly to provoke the fight on display in their own comments.

    Whenever I see a product or review that does nothing but sell 'diversity' and 'inclusivity' I take that as a red flag just begging for the woke fight and it's tasty page views, rage reposts, and all the other nonsense that follows.

    A good product doesn't rely on that fight to make its sales pitch. This product certainly doesn't need it.

    7 votes