Bullmaestro's recent activity

  1. Comment on Prisoners serving life sentences in Denmark are to be banned from entering new romantic relationships in ~news

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    As much as I think our society's tendency to idolize serial killers if they're good-looking or social butterflies is distasteful and frankly hypocritical, I don't think we should be punishing...

    As much as I think our society's tendency to idolize serial killers if they're good-looking or social butterflies is distasteful and frankly hypocritical, I don't think we should be punishing prisoners serving life sentences by controlling who they can/cannot socialise with on release just because hybristophilia is a thing.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    Link
    Eurogamer is part of a worrying centralisation trend: where a company closes their official forums and makes either Reddit or Discord their main base of operations. HiRez and Riot Games are...

    Eurogamer is part of a worrying centralisation trend: where a company closes their official forums and makes either Reddit or Discord their main base of operations.

    HiRez and Riot Games are notable examples of companies that shut off their official forums because subreddits like /r/SMITE, /r/leagueoflegends and /r/tribesascend became popular ways to reach out to the community. Wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard and Jagex were to follow suit soon too.

    Don't get me wrong, Discord has revolutionised how online communities are created. Back when I was heavily into games like WoW, guilds had to host their own websites & forums to recruit players. They also had to host their own Teamspeak, Ventrilo or Mumble servers to have voice chat. We're now in an era where you can just create a Discord channel and invite other users on there.

    But I'm damn sure that Discord isn't profitable. The overwhelming majority of users are probably freeloaders who aren't being served ads at all, and with very little revenue from Nitro subscriptions, I do wonder how they even stay afloat without attracting biblical amounts of investment and venture capital to burn through.

    What happens if Discord or Reddit financially go to shit?

    7 votes
  3. Comment on Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    Probably for the better that Tildes is a closed garden with a selective invite-only community. When a site either becomes mainstream or starts to attract the wrong crowd, it becomes a nightmare to...

    Probably for the better that Tildes is a closed garden with a selective invite-only community. When a site either becomes mainstream or starts to attract the wrong crowd, it becomes a nightmare to police.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    Not vouching for Ruqqus (the site) here, because until recently it was one of those "free speech havens" with a racist right-wing community to boot. But Ruqqus (the platform) is open-source and...

    If anyone offered a free (or inexpensive) federated version of Tildes, I would jump at that in a heart beat.

    Not vouching for Ruqqus (the site) here, because until recently it was one of those "free speech havens" with a racist right-wing community to boot. But Ruqqus (the platform) is open-source and technically you could fork it to host your own Reddit clone. Also think the pre-2017 source code of Reddit is probably still laying around somewhere on the web.

    The only major website that used Reddit's source code (SaidIt) has shut down, iirc.

    Not sure how you'd make it invite-only like Tildes though. Or how expensive it would be to host your own social news aggregator.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands – Official gameplay reveal trailer in ~games

    Bullmaestro
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    Of all the licensed songs I was expecting to hear in a Borderlands trailer, Gimme Chocolate by Babymetal was not one of them. It kinda fits the theme... Dunno whether to be hyped for this or not....

    Of all the licensed songs I was expecting to hear in a Borderlands trailer, Gimme Chocolate by Babymetal was not one of them. It kinda fits the theme...

    Dunno whether to be hyped for this or not. Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep was one of my favourite DLC expansions and to see an entire game built around the concept is great. On the other hand, Gearbox haven't exactly pushed out good games since. The Pre-Sequel and Borderlands 3 were kinda... bad.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Andrew Yang to launch a third party in ~news

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    That's the way I'd grow a political party to be honest, at least if I were to start one here in the UK. Start low, contest council/county level seats and only when things have really grown start...

    That's the way I'd grow a political party to be honest, at least if I were to start one here in the UK.

    Start low, contest council/county level seats and only when things have really grown start pushing for MP positions.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on President Biden's COVID-19 plan - Includes a requirement for all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly in ~health.coronavirus

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    I did a rapid lateral flow test recently to attend a gig. It involved swabbing my tonsils & nose, placing the sample inside a liquid-filled beaker and then waiting 30 minutes for a result....

    I did a rapid lateral flow test recently to attend a gig. It involved swabbing my tonsils & nose, placing the sample inside a liquid-filled beaker and then waiting 30 minutes for a result. Thankfully tested negative, because if I tested positive and had to take a PCR test to self-isolate, it would've ruined my 30th birthday.

    3 votes
  8. Comment on President Biden's COVID-19 plan - Includes a requirement for all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly in ~health.coronavirus

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    With a 5-4 spread of Republican-favoured justices, I can see the SCOTUS overruling this.

    With a 5-4 spread of Republican-favoured justices, I can see the SCOTUS overruling this.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Andrew Yang to launch a third party in ~news

    Bullmaestro
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    Good luck... The "third party" in the US electoral system is the Libertarian Party, and they barely win enough votes to even be a blip on the map. Which is a shame because the current two-party...

    Good luck...

    The "third party" in the US electoral system is the Libertarian Party, and they barely win enough votes to even be a blip on the map. Which is a shame because the current two-party system is failing America and I think some Libertarian and Green representation in Congress could help things.

    Yang dropped out nearly dead-last in last year's race for the Democratic nomination, and he lost out in the recent New York Mayor elections. And now he thinks he can start a third party to directly compete with the Democrats & Republicans because he's hot-shit in Silicon Valley.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    Bullmaestro
    Link
    Purchased Sonic Colours Ultimate on the Switch. I see why it's regarded as the greatest 3D Sonic game. Everything from the story, the humour, the game's overall length, the (lack of) additional...

    Purchased Sonic Colours Ultimate on the Switch.

    I see why it's regarded as the greatest 3D Sonic game. Everything from the story, the humour, the game's overall length, the (lack of) additional characters and the gameplay are on point.

    A few things that do annoy me about this port though:

    1. The song remixes aren't that good. This wouldn't bother me much if I could toggle between original & remastered soundtracks. Instead the remixed soundtrack is forced upon the player and the original tracks are kept way back as Act 4, 5 & 6 music.

    2. I don't like how the UI switches off during certain auto run sections of a level. Totally kills the immersion that I'm playing the game.

    3. Tails Assist is an annoying addition because of how scarce extra lives are. It's made extra lives almost meaningless and has killed much of the challenge this game would have originally had. Would have preferred Tails to be playable with alternative cutscenes.

    4. The Switch version is 30FPS and has very long level load times. Cutscenes load instantly and the game starts up fine but it feels like there's an extra 15 second wait to starting a stage... Why?

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Tildes Game Review Journal - September 2021 in ~games

    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link
    Crackdown 3 For the record, I have never played Crackdown 2. The original was a surprise hit for me and was one of my favourite Xbox 360 games. It initially sold well because Microsoft packaged...

    Crackdown 3

    For the record, I have never played Crackdown 2. The original was a surprise hit for me and was one of my favourite Xbox 360 games. It initially sold well because Microsoft packaged access to the Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta with it. Many people weren't expecting the game itself to be good, yet it was Realtime Worlds' first and only successful release.

    By all accounts the sequel sucked and Crackdown 3 was even worse still. I completed a normal difficulty run where I eliminated their Logistics and Industrial divisions, but kept all the security division lieutenants alive before taking down Neimand. My skills by finishing were 5 in Strength and Firearms, 4 in Agility and Explosives, and 2 in Driving.

    I have three major problems with the game...

    First major problem ... it has what I'd call a reverse difficulty curve. At the beginning you are weak to the point where strong enemy units would rip you apart. I'd recommend hitting level 3 in all skills (except driving because driving is almost pointless) before taking on any of the core objectives aside from supply points and propaganda beacons. Once you reach the point where you can competently take on powerful foes, you'll have a much better time rather than be ragdolled by melee brutes and instagibbed by snipers.

    What exacerbates this reverse difficulty curve more is the fact that the headquarters of TerraNova and its three subsidiaries, where you fight the three CEOs and eventually Niemand herself has a liberal amount of checkpoints, making death not really punishing at all when climbing the skyscrapers to take on these bosses. Compare this to Crackdown 1 which had the perfect balance of difficulty, with an intended linear progression path. Corridor Tower and the final fight against Zuang Lun Wang was an incredibly fitting and challenging finale compared to TerraNova HQ, which I blitzed through two-thirds of without any deaths. The Security Wing was the only one that gave me even remotely any trouble because I hadn't eliminated any of their kingpins, and even then I got through it after like... two deaths.

    Second problem is that the bosses are inconsistent in terms of their difficulty. The only two bosses I genuinely had trouble with were Reza Khan (the Quarrying lieutenant) and Neimand (the final boss.) Both of those bosses were incredibly tough due to endless spawn waves that would kill you quickly and because both fights dragged on very long due to their mechanics. Getting Khan low exposes a core which he draws energy from which you have to DPS down. Problem is so many troops spawn that you can't get up close to the core and damage it without taking lethal damage yourself. Neimand meanwhile is the hardest boss in the game because her boss mechanics are incredibly cheap by comparison to everything else. It took me well over an hour of attempts to kill her because after the third-phase begins, elite TerraNova troops litter the arena and can pretty much 3-shot you, even at Level 5 Strength.

    I actually had to cheese both fights:

    • Khan by using Peacekeeper Beacons to handle the adds, which you can't really use when taking on any other kingpin because resistance troops can't reach the boss arenas.
    • Neimand by hiding behind cover on a distant platform, using noise from her nuke attack to jump at the correct time and unloading rockets straight in her face when she charges down the centre. If you stay out of cover for more than about 3 seconds with her, her bodyguards will destroy you. Apparently the adds are manageable if you use Singularity Grenades, and I would highly recommend reaching Level 5 Explosives to unlock them before even taking her on. I obviously didn't do this.

    Third problem... lockdowns are pointless and can be skipped entirely just by exiting and reloading the game. Why would you even subject yourself to ten minutes of fighting off whole waves of TerraNova's most elite troops that can kill you with ease?

    I also find it funny that Terry Crews lending his voice to an NPC was a major marketing point for this game, when said NPC dies within the first cutscene of the game. Did he ask for too much money or something?

    Overall I'd rate it a 7/10. Not much different from Crackdown 1, and I wish the endgame were more challenging without feeling incredibly cheap. Sumo Digital did an okay job with this one.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on Why many scientists say it’s unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a “lab leak” in ~health.coronavirus

    Bullmaestro
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    Funny that the Biden Administration seriously conducted an investigation into this theory when the right wing were immediately dismissed as racists for even entertaining the possibility. I don't...

    Funny that the Biden Administration seriously conducted an investigation into this theory when the right wing were immediately dismissed as racists for even entertaining the possibility.

    I don't think the virus is a bio-weapon. But I do wonder if China's decision to cover up the initial outbreak, arrest journalists and medical professionals who spoke up and only lock down at the very last moment once it had gone global was deliberate. One theory I heard early on in the pandemic was that they intentionally let the virus spread globally in order to damage Trump's chances at re-election. It's plausible, but mere incompetence and paranoia could explain it a lot better, and I'm a believer in Hanlon's razor.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    A lot of the vitriol against Reddit mods is because there's undeniably a lot of censorship at the moderator level on Reddit. Something I found out recently, my comments on Reddit get automatically...

    A lot of the vitriol against Reddit mods is because there's undeniably a lot of censorship at the moderator level on Reddit.

    Something I found out recently, my comments on Reddit get automatically hidden if I mention certain words like "incel." Doesn't seem to happen to other users and I kinda discovered it when the news about Jake Davison broke out. My guess is someone is running some kind of bot script that flagged me specifically. I've hardly if ever participated in any problematic subs, except maybe TRP, which I stopped frequenting about seven years ago when it became apparent that the community was toxic.

    I mean for fuck's sake, I shouldn't have to carefully tip-toe around certain words.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Hi, how are you? Mental health support and discussion thread (September 2021) in ~talk

    Bullmaestro
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    Things are difficult right now. I have been volunteering with a community benefit society for a while now and rose to the rank of treasurer two years ago. The role has turned increasingly...

    Things are difficult right now.

    I have been volunteering with a community benefit society for a while now and rose to the rank of treasurer two years ago. The role has turned increasingly stressful and I want out. In retrospect I regret taking on the position in the first place.

    Been a mixture of issues like being bombarded with share withdrawal requests, increasingly angry communications from various stakeholders, key volunteers stepping down and leaving us undermanned, tenant issues, etc. Some of the aforementioned comms have escalated to the point of legal threats or threats of further ramifications. Our financial accounts are also overdue and comms with our accountant have been slow.

    Part of me has thought about making a post to /r/LegalAdviceUK to find out where I stand. I want to step down from the role not only because the stress of balancing pro bono volunteer work with AAT course studies and work is becoming too much, but also because I don't want to be put into a position where it could jeopardise my future or leave me personally liable.

    5 votes
  15. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    Unfortunately it seems that the protesting mods have been placated by the mere ban of NoNewNormal. All of the participating subs except for /r/futurology have lifted their blackouts in direct...

    Unfortunately it seems that the protesting mods have been placated by the mere ban of NoNewNormal. All of the participating subs except for /r/futurology have lifted their blackouts in direct response to the aforementioned purge.

    Futurology's message reads:

    Futurology has gone private to protest Reddit's inaction on COVID-19 misinformation. Although we welcome the latest step, we are still waiting to see the follow-through before we make a decision to re-open. Specifically we would like to see tooling and real action against the other rule-violating misinformation communities. Quarantines are largely meaningless.

    We note that no action has been taken against arr-conspiracy or arr-LockdownSkepticism.

    Please bear with us for the moment.

    8 votes
  16. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    Thing about Reddit is... it was founded on free speech principles. And then undesirable groups came in and started to stretch said free speech principles to their limits. We are now at the point...

    Thing about Reddit is... it was founded on free speech principles. And then undesirable groups came in and started to stretch said free speech principles to their limits.

    We are now at the point where people want the internet to be censored. I think said undesirable groups killed the ideal.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    All Spez had to do was issue an apology for his previous tone-deaf post, ban /r/NoNewNormal, and then add a new rule to the site banning the promotion of dangerous misinformation on public health...

    All Spez had to do was issue an apology for his previous tone-deaf post, ban /r/NoNewNormal, and then add a new rule to the site banning the promotion of dangerous misinformation on public health matters. The kind of info that NNN was peddling would have directly violated this policy, not only for going against WHO and other international guidance on curbing spread of the virus, but for suggesting that people use experimental and dangerous drugs to treat COVID-19 infections, like bleach, Hydroxychloroquine or horse dewormers.

    Very simple policy change that would send a clear message to other conspiracy subs and tell them to knock off the covidiocy. Would have also been a major PR win for Reddit too.

    Instead the admins do just one of those things, which was ban NNN in the hopes of placating the power mod boycott by fulfilling merely one demand.

    Then the admins gave this overly contrived, jargon-filled response with statistics about "interference analysis" clearly plucked out of their butts, as a roundabout way of saying that "We banned this subreddit for brigading" despite openly acting like they've done nothing wrong just six days prior. Vote manipulation/Brigading is like the boilerplate response that Reddit gives when they ban a subreddit amid advertiser/user backlash but can't be arsed to make a policy change.

    And I honestly believe the "brigading" and "vote manipulation" excuses are dubious, because Reddit have been incredibly biased about how they enforced such rules in the past. They seem to care more than the power users controlling Reddit on a moderator level about imaginary internet points.

    13 votes
  18. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    A bit of further context surrounding Victoria Taylor's firing. Ellen Pao largely took the hit for that and I think the Reddit community were placated by her resignation as CEO. Pao was...

    A bit of further context surrounding Victoria Taylor's firing. Ellen Pao largely took the hit for that and I think the Reddit community were placated by her resignation as CEO.

    Pao was unfortunately a scapegoat that the Reddit community fell hook, line and sinker for, and it's ironic because Spez pushed far more censorship measures than Pao ever did during her brief tenure as CEO. Kn0thing was actually the one who fired Taylor, as Yishan Wong later revealed, but had Pao thrown under the bus for it.

    In a way, Reddit didn't "do nothing" in response to user revolts. They pushed out their female CEO.

    In fact, if Pao hadn't gone, I think Voat would have eventually become a breakaway Reddit alternative with a sizeable community. Instead, the site nearly died, was commandeered by white supremacists who had been chased away from Reddit in later years and became a racist hellhole before it eventually shut down in late 2020.

    They've never done this before. Why would they start now?

    Reddit won't de-mod all the protesting moderators. They'd have to replace them all! That would involve work that the admins don't want.

    I can only think of two times where Reddit actually demodded people: /r/wow and /r/the_donald.

    In WoW's case, it was apparently because Nitesmoke demanded a charitable donation from the current mod team in return for him stepping down. In t_d's case, it was Reddit trying their absolute hardest to install their own pre-approved moderators to avoid an outright ban.

    Should Reddit go the nuclear option, I think they'd leave the subs dormant and start taking offers from /r/redditrequest.

    The only time a moderator protest has had any effect was earlier this year, when Reddit employed a long-term moderator who had connections with a convicted child abuser. However, that case, like you say, involved negative publicity for Reddit Inc. Reddit didn't fire that employee because of the moderator protest. They fired her because they didn't know about her connections when they hired her, and, when they learned about the situation, they realised it would look bad for the company to keep her on the payroll.

    Definitely think Reddit went back on their decision because of negativity publicity, not the perceived or actual threat of a mod blackout.

    I find it hard to believe that Reddit didn't know about her. Both because I seriously doubt that a social media company that operates a platform in the top 20 Alexa rankings would have failed to do their due-diligence, and because they were incredibly quick to censor articles mentioning her past and throw the banhammer at users for posting such articles.

    I don't think for a second it was down to an algorithm screw-up.

    8 votes
  19. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I see one of three things happening, in order from least to most likely: Reddit bans /r/NoNewNormal and enacts a COVID-19 disinformation policy to stop the blackout. Reddit de-mods and/or suspends...

    I see one of three things happening, in order from least to most likely:

    1. Reddit bans /r/NoNewNormal and enacts a COVID-19 disinformation policy to stop the blackout.
    2. Reddit de-mods and/or suspends all the moderators involved in the protest, which unfortunately may also mean you since the sub you moderated locked down. In response, said moderators band together and create a Reddit clone of their own, possibly using the source code of another alternative like Ruqqus.
    3. Reddit does nothing and all the protesting mods inevitably give up and go back to their normal ways.

    Scenario #1 is pretty damn unlikely. Reddit tend not to cave in towards their user base unless it follows negative media & advertiser pressure. Much of their Content Policy has been shaped by responses to negative publicity.

    As for #2, it is the likelier option because I imagine that relations between the admins and the more prolific mods on Reddit are tenuous at best. On the other hand, any negative ramifications against mods involved in the protest would definitely lead to a media shitstorm against Reddit for peddling COVID disinformation. If this were to ever occur, I'd see Reddit doing a 180 very quickly and banning /r/NoNewNormal ASAP.

    Because if they don't, I see those mods forming their own breakaway site and riding off of the press circus that would inevitably come.

    Why do I think scenario #3 is the most likely? Because COVID misinformation is a short term issue. Given the sheer amount of anti-vaxxers who have either died or fallen seriously ill from COVID-19 or the dangerous experimental drugs that the movement has been peddling, I can see many increasingly turning away from the movement over the coming months..

    But the main reason is because much of Reddit is moderated by a small cabal of power users. Would they really want to kill any influence they have on the site for the sake of silencing disinformation?

    There is nothing stopping people from forming an alternative subreddit. When /r/wow went private a few years back because the head mod immaturely flipped out in protest at Blizzard over WoD launch server issues and ended up holding the WoW sub hostage, /r/worldofwarcraft would have ended up being the dominant sub had Nitesmoke not been deposed.

    Partly because I believe that protests, especially online protests, are pointless. They don't achieve anything. The largest protest in Australia's history was when half a million people across the country protested against Australia joining the USA's invasion of Iraq back in 2003. After the protest... Australia joined the USA's invasion of Iraq.

    Our protest here in Britain was a million people strong. Britain still followed the US into Iraq...

    7 votes
  20. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Bullmaestro
    Link Parent
    That would be a PR shitshow for Reddit to say the least. Imagine the headlines: "Moderators deposed by Reddit for protesting against COVID-19 misinformation."

    So yes, it is 100% believable that Reddit would shut down or hostile-takeover subs which go private in protest of its superlatively awful behaviors.

    That would be a PR shitshow for Reddit to say the least.

    Imagine the headlines: "Moderators deposed by Reddit for protesting against COVID-19 misinformation."

    5 votes