DanBC's recent activity

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

    DanBC
    Link
    XFigure -- I've been playing a very old, windows 3.1 game. It's an "arithmetic crossword" puzzle. It's short, it's diverting. I wrote a little bit about it here, including a complicated way of...

    XFigure -- I've been playing a very old, windows 3.1 game. It's an "arithmetic crossword" puzzle. It's short, it's diverting. I wrote a little bit about it here, including a complicated way of getting it running and then a much easier way of getting it running. https://danbc.neocities.org/xfig

    1 vote
  2. Comment on I’m worried that the Israel-Palestine conflict is tearing Tildes apart in ~tildes

    DanBC
    Link Parent
    The difficulty with this is that queer people are having to have the same discussion over and over again. These convos start because someone writes a Guardian column and people out of the loop...

    Especially in LGBT topics I personally believe in allowing outsiders (if we can even call lurkers or people who just haven't vocalized their sexual orientation or gender identity that) into the discussion whenever possible so long as they're respectful and looking to learn. The desire to openly discuss within the rules of tildes inherently makes that a good-faith effort that shouldn't be shut down.

    The difficulty with this is that queer people are having to have the same discussion over and over again. These convos start because someone writes a Guardian column and people out of the loop don't understand what the problem is and naively post it to tildes and say "but what's the problem, this is just common sense". This leaves queer people having to tidy up the gish-gallop of bullshit, while other people on Tildes very politely tell them that they are disgusting.

    It drives people away, and it drives the wrong people away.

    8 votes
  3. Comment on Finland used to have one of the highest suicide rates in the world – how the country halved it and saved countless lives in ~health.mental

    DanBC
    Link
    The big fear is method substitution. If women move to more lethal methods their rates of death by suicide will increase a lot. It's an unsolved problem that's troubling for people working in...

    However, the most vulnerable groups now include young women: suicide attempts among those aged 14 to 25 are increasing. The highest proportion of attempts are still among middle-aged men, but the overall composition has shifted significantly towards females. In the 90s, 80% of all suicides involved males; now, among the under-25s, it is 60%. Sihvola says it could be down to the fact that “stereotypical male-female polarities have been lessened”.

    The big fear is method substitution. If women move to more lethal methods their rates of death by suicide will increase a lot.

    It's an unsolved problem that's troubling for people working in suicide prevention.

    Another reason it's a problem is that women's suicidal distress can be disbelieved -- "you've had multiple attempts but you're still alive, why should I believe you this time?". People need support, and people have different ways of presenting when they need that support but services often have weird stereotypes that they use to allocate support.

    13 votes
  4. Comment on Compensating compassion | Too few people donate their organs, dead or alive. How can we make it easier to donate, but avoid the abuses that some fear from cash payments? in ~health

    DanBC
    Link Parent
    Organs transplants frequently fail. The main reason transplants fail is because people cannot comply with the onerous restrictions in lifestyle and medication regimes. One of the possibilities for...

    Organs transplants frequently fail. The main reason transplants fail is because people cannot comply with the onerous restrictions in lifestyle and medication regimes. One of the possibilities for the causes of non-compliance with meds and lifestyle changes is the lack of support pre-transplant. But if you're spending a lot of time and money providing pre-transplant advice and support, well, that looks a lot like the support you'd be providing for prevention -- except prevention is cheaper and easier and more effective when done well.

    The main cause of the need for liver transplant is alcoholic liver disease. We'd be doing so much good if we could provide meaningful support to people with substance use disorders instead of waiting for their livers to fail and then giving them a transplant (and then watching helplessly as between 10% to 20% return to alcohol use within the first year after transplantation).

    Prevention does not help the people who need eg a liver today, but surprisingly often a liver transplant doesn't help those people much either. We hear about the success stories, we don't hear so much about the failures or regret rates.

    And the current system of identifying donors, retrieving their organs, and getting those organs to the right person is often broken - there is a donor shortage, but there's also waste because the systems are ineffective. See eg this from the UK https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/63ee256f8fa8f5612d615d66/Honouring-the-gift-of-donation-utilising-organs-for-transport-OUG-report-web-accessible.pdf (also note that "paying people to donate organs" is such a non-starter stupid idea they don't bother to mention it even to debunk it)

    One of the problems of organ donation is keeping the donated organs healthy before they get implanted -- simple measures like machine perfusion can dramatically increase the amount of organs that can be implanted without any increase in the number of donated organs. DCD Heart donation gives a 25%-27% increase in viable hearts. NRP nearly doubles the number of viable livers. (see above link).

    There is a huge body of ethics work. Simple literature searches return many articles. The submitted article, written by a free-market economist, doesn't mention ethics, and that means it's not going to be persuasive to healthcare systems. Anyone wanting to change existing policies around organ donation needs to start engaging in the ethics, and they never do, and so they never get listened to.

    The article is, from a healthcare policy POV, deeply unserious, and not worthy of discussion because it shows such poor understanding of the topic. It may be moderately interesting from an economics POV.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on Compensating compassion | Too few people donate their organs, dead or alive. How can we make it easier to donate, but avoid the abuses that some fear from cash payments? in ~health

    DanBC
    Link
    We have a huge body of work around the ethics of this, and when people post these ideas they've usually ignored all of that. It's frustrating, because there's no hope of getting movement on it...

    We have a huge body of work around the ethics of this, and when people post these ideas they've usually ignored all of that.

    It's frustrating, because there's no hope of getting movement on it unless they do the work to show why their idea is different to the hundreds of other times it got suggested and rejected.

    And, again, if you have this money to give to donors you're going to get more value from that money if you spend it on prevention.

    I'll just link a comment in a previous discussion: https://tildes.net/~health/19j7/a_single_reform_that_could_save_100_000_lives_across_the_usa_immediately#comment-a90w

    7 votes
  6. Comment on AstraZeneca unveils successes in treatment of lung cancer – best-selling Tagrisso drug slows progression of most common form of the disease at an early stage in ~science

    DanBC
    Link
    For cancer treatment we want to see improved rates of disease free five year survival. If we don't have that we want to see improved rates of disease free survival shorter than five years. If we...

    Its best-selling Tagrisso drug showed a “statistically significant and highly clinically meaningful” improvement in preventing the progression of a version of the most common form of the disease, the company said.

    For cancer treatment we want to see improved rates of disease free five year survival. If we don't have that we want to see improved rates of disease free survival shorter than five years. If we don't have that we want to see better quality of life - a reduction of symptoms.

    It's easy to look at "slower growth of disease" or "reduction in chance of death" as a good thing, but if the trade off is permanent nerve damage ("CIPN" - chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy) it may not be worth it for many people.

    This is especially true for adjuvant treatment - the tumour has been surgically removed, that patient doesn't have cancer, but they're given chemotherapy to reduce the risk of reoccurrence. (loosely, the chemo is mopping up any potential stray cancer cells). We really don't want people with permanent pain and difficulty walking or using their hands as a result.

    Osimertinib is remarkable because the list of side effects is short and not too scary: https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drugs/osimertinib-specialist-drug/#side-effects

    I'm currently getting palliative care for cancer, and I'm taking capecitabine, irinotecan, and cetuximab and it sucks. Anything that can reduce the side-effects, even if it does nothing to extend life, is a good thing.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Weekly Israel-Hamas war megathread - week of February 19 in ~news

    DanBC
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    Feels a bit weird to continue calling this a war against Hamas when it's clear that it's a genocide against Palestinians.

    Feels a bit weird to continue calling this a war against Hamas when it's clear that it's a genocide against Palestinians.

    20 votes
  8. Comment on The Traitors - What a fun game show in ~tv

    DanBC
    Link
    I've the Australian version of The Traitors is good.

    I've the Australian version of The Traitors is good.

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Why do the English love non-League football? in ~sports.football

    DanBC
    Link
    So, not about the sport but I like that the video shows how gently dilapidated many English small towns are. This could be a charming building, but it's falling down....

    So, not about the sport but I like that the video shows how gently dilapidated many English small towns are. This could be a charming building, but it's falling down. https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.7035543,-2.2013177,3a,75y,236.12h,98.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYGdcCn5CJLfESEjNnARV8w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?entry=ttu

    This is a great video, thank you for posting it. She does a great job of talking to people and then getting out of the way, and it's good to hear regional accents.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Those free USB sticks in your drawer are somehow crappier than you thought in ~comp

    DanBC
    Link Parent
    The blog post says this: Oxford Dictionary of Idiom says this: And OED has this: (and a bunch more usage examples)

    The blog post says this:

    Shall we countenance this pretender version of the phrase as legitimate? I don't see how it can be resisted. To begin, both gig and jig are richly laden homographs in English: together they represent at least half a dozen meanings, depending on which dictionary you're consulting. So there's a good chance that speakers hearing one or the other word in the expression will be able to connect it to a sensible meaning. But speakers today are far more likely to be acquainted with a gig (temporary remunerative work) than a jig (16th century dance), and it's not that far a stretch to arrive at the correct meaning with either version of the phrase, or to conclude that gig is the form that makes the most sense — especially if you don't know a jig from a gavotte.

    Oxford Dictionary of Idiom says this:

    the jig is up ∙ the scheme or deception is revealed or foiled. North American informal

    The sense of jig here dates from the late 16th century and means 'jest' or 'trick'. The jig is over is recorded from the late 18th century in the USA and the usual modern version with up appeared only slightly later.

    And OED has this:

    jig, n. 1

    1. A piece of sport, a joke; a jesting matter, a trifle; a sportive trick or cheat. the jig is up (or over) = `the game is up', it is all over. Now dial. or slang.

    1592: Nashe P. Penilesse (ed. 2) 38 “Let not your shops be infected with anie such goose gyblets or stinking garbadge, as the Iygs of newsmongers.”

    1627: E. F. Hist. Edw. II, (1680) 66 “As with a Jigg of State might catch them naked.”

    1663: Flagellum, or O. Cromwell (1672) 27 “When the Major now perceived the Jig, and how Kitchinman had fooled him, he could have pulled the Hair off his Head.”

    1688: Bunyan Jerus. Sinner Saved (1886) 103 “By jiggs, and tricks, and quirks, which he helpeth them to.”

    1735: Dyche, “Jig,..an arch merry trick.”

    1777: Maryland Jrnl. 17 June (Th.), “Mr. John Miller came in and said, `The jig is over with us.'”

    (and a bunch more usage examples)

    6 votes
  11. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    DanBC
    Link Parent
    Yes, it's everything. Everything about it was terrible. In the 1990s setting up a VCR's clock (or a microwaves clock) was tricky because you had to do everything through three buttons and a single...

    Yes, it's everything. Everything about it was terrible.

    In the 1990s setting up a VCR's clock (or a microwaves clock) was tricky because you had to do everything through three buttons and a single display. Changing the settings on the TV felt a bit like that, except I'm using a remote control that has a million buttons and an enormous screen. (I get that they need options for people who've lost the remote, but still.) And you need to use the menu because the default options are odd - there's an option you have on if you watch sport and off if you're watching a movie, and the default is sport mode. There's an option that makes everything sound worse if it's on, and it's on by default, and turning it off makes everything sound better.

    The whole "install an app to watch the content" thing is weird to me. It'd be like if Kindles required you to install a reader-app from Penguin House and Hachette and Random House and HarperCollins etc, and then when you wanted to read a book you've bought you have to just remember who published it so you can launch the correct app. And if you can't remember you have to search the web because there's no global search on the device. And the device gives you a webbrowser but that's painful, so you have to use a different device.

    I'm in the UK. There's a channel called "ITV", and they have a lot of different police procedural shows. ITV is a big channel in the UK, it's not a tiny obscure thing. To watch ITV on-demand I can use their website or I can use their app on a smart tv. This AirBnB has a huge, new, smart tv connected to the Internet. I use the menus to try to find the ITV app so I can launch it. It's not installed, but finding out it's not installed isn't easy because none of the menu options appear to be "here are all the apps you have installed". I go to the app store for this device, and that has a list of apps for "video", "lifestyle", "factual" and the contents are different. I think this is obviously video so I pick that option, and it has a lot of video streaming apps but they're not in alphabetical order. I scroll through pages trying to find this app. It's not there. The store has a search so I use that, and there's a bunch of international ITV apps, but nothing from this store. The TV has a web browser and that's somehow worse than the browser that I used on a Dreamcast (but maybe this is just nostalgia kicking in). I use the browser to try to use the ITV help pages to understand what's going on - I give up and use my phone instead. ITVX Help - How to watch - really simple. Download and install the app to the tv, start watching, no notes. Except, they're talking about live tv and I want to watch VOD, but these are the same right? And the help doesn't mention VOD. There's a list of devices - this is a Samsung, but it's made in 2022 and it should be fine.

    Friends, no, this model of tv simply cannot install the stupid app so nothing from this channel can be watched, but the only people saying "this device can't install the app" are the people on web fora saying "I can't find the app what's happening" and the people replying saying "yes, ITVX doesn't work with old Samsung tvs" and the other people saying "yes, ITVX doesn't work with new Samsung tvs", but with a smattering of people saying "just install the app, it's easy, it's in the app store".

    7 votes
  12. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    DanBC
    Link
    So, not about a tv show but I normally pirate everything I watch. Today my sister came to visit and we're in an AirBnB with this enormous tv and OH BOY YOU'RE NOT KIDDING WHEN YOU SAY HOW BAD THE...

    So, not about a tv show but I normally pirate everything I watch. Today my sister came to visit and we're in an AirBnB with this enormous tv and OH BOY YOU'RE NOT KIDDING WHEN YOU SAY HOW BAD THE EXPERIENCE IS.

    5 votes
  13. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    DanBC
    Link Parent
    I've heard the Australian version of The Traitors is also very good, but I haven't watched any version of it.

    I've heard the Australian version of The Traitors is also very good, but I haven't watched any version of it.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on Served: Opening a restaurant inside a prison in ~food

    DanBC
    Link
    This is a 37 minute documentary released by the UK Ministry of Justice. Up front and obvious propaganda warnings in place. I don't know if there's any geo-blocking on this - apologies if there is....

    This is a 37 minute documentary released by the UK Ministry of Justice. Up front and obvious propaganda warnings in place.

    I don't know if there's any geo-blocking on this - apologies if there is.

    The documentary follows Fred Sirieix and the Right Course scheme.

    There are huge problems with the UK prison system. We urgently need massive reforms. Small projects like this are a tiny step in the right direction. I love the focus on rehabilitation. Currently, politicians seem to be stuck in a loop: the all know prison doesn't work, they all know rehabilitation is cheaper and better for everyone, but no-one is going to be the first person to say "Let's rehabilitate a bit more and incarcerate a bit less". (Although, fair play, Pobb-like Michael Gove did say a few words about this).

    This documentary feels like an attempt by the MoJ to sneak in some prison reform to test the waters, to see what the public appetite is like.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on What have you been listening to this week? in ~music

    DanBC
    Link
    I've been listening to Fretwork - Armada (Music From The Courts Of England And Spain). It's full of songs like "Come to me, Grief forever" and "Pour down you pow'rs divine no grief is like to...

    I've been listening to Fretwork - Armada (Music From The Courts Of England And Spain).

    It's full of songs like "Come to me, Grief forever" and "Pour down you pow'rs divine no grief is like to mine". It's a bit full on for me, so I'm dipping in and out. But I'm enjoying it so far.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    DanBC
    Link Parent
    They're 13. They've done stuff with the BBC MicroBit which is excellent for younger people, and has options for Scratch-like building block programming with MakeCode or Python with a Python...

    They're 13. They've done stuff with the BBC MicroBit which is excellent for younger people, and has options for Scratch-like building block programming with MakeCode or Python with a Python Editor. I haven't used MicroBit version 2. There are lots of educational resources fro MicroBit.

    Raspberry Pi Pico has a reasonably well developed ecosystem. There are four boards. One has no wifi and no pin headers, one has wifi and no pin headers, one has no wifi but does have pin headers and one has both wifi and pin headers. This makes it really easy to know whether something is going to work on the board you have. Comparing this to ESP32 there are a lot of different development boards with different features and it's not hard to work out if something will work, but it's an additional step. There is a reasonable amount of good quality educational content too.

    The Pico has options for firmware. Two of the most popular are MicroPython and CircuitPython. I don't have enough experience in either to say which I prefer. Some libraries for sensor products are only easily available in one form, and conversion is potentially tricky. It's very easy to switch firmware. Switching firmware does make programming easier.

    I have breadboards and jumper wires available. I bought the Pi Pico with headers. I looked around for tutorials and found a kit that does all the stuff - it's a bit expensive, and it has a Pico without wifi. Waveshare MicroPython Learning Kit. The company page for thsi kit is hereWaveshare introductory kit They've got a wiki and tutorials here: Waveshare Pico tutorials. In my opinion this is going to need a bit of support for people new to micro controllers and hardware.

    So, I didn't buy the kit, I bought the IR sensor separately - I think it's HC-SR501 IR Pyroelectric Infrared PIR Motion Sensor Detector.

    I'm using their code examples to try to develop a sequence of building steps. Can you use the repl to do "hello world!", can you light an LED, can you get the PIR to detect anything. The web stuff will be trickier, and life is interfering with it a bit.

    Age ranges are always difficult because a well motivated smart 8 year old shouldn't be underestimated.

    3 votes
  17. Word Processing like it's 1993

    I thought younger people may find it interesting to experience what older, very popular, word processors were like. Here's WordPerfect 6.0, emulated in the browser:...

    I thought younger people may find it interesting to experience what older, very popular, word processors were like.

    Here's WordPerfect 6.0, emulated in the browser: https://archive.org/details/msdos_wordperfect6

    Here's a link to the instruction manual: https://archive.org/details/wordperfectversi00word/mode/2up

    Here's a bit of history: DOSDays - WordPerfect $495 in 1983 is roughly $1500 today.

    Here's the recommended specs (not the minimum specs)

    Personal computer using 386 processor
    520k free conventional memory
    DOS 6.0 or memory management software
    Hard disk with 16M disk space for complete installation
    VGA graphics adapter and monitor

    F1 is the default help key.

    Page 409 of the manual talks about menus. This is version 6 so they give you a drop down menu. To get an idea of how version 5 and earlier would appear by default (without the menubar, just the blue screen), hit alt v, then p. T (To get the menu back hit alt =, then V, then P) People might find it weird but those drop down menus first appeared in 5.1, and were a bit deal: "On 6th November 1989 WordPerfect released what would be their most successful version - WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, selling for $495 in the U.S. This was the first version to support Macintosh-style text-based pull down menus to supplement the traditional function key shortcuts and mouse support."

    I'd be interested to know how easy people find it to use. At the time I had the keyboard overlay (example for WP5) and the muscle memory, but that's all gone now.

    53 votes
  18. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    DanBC
    Link
    My child wanted a thing that could detect people walking upstairs that would send a message to a webpage or something. So, I thought maybe I could cram this into a Raspberry Pi Pico and...

    My child wanted a thing that could detect people walking upstairs that would send a message to a webpage or something.

    So, I thought maybe I could cram this into a Raspberry Pi Pico and breadboard.

    That meant installing Micro python, and learning how that works. I'm thinking of converting it all to Circuit Python which is a little bit more beginner friendly.

    Once I've got it working and I understand it I'm going to take it all apart and create code snippets for each bit of the circuit, with diagrams. The aim is to get my child to build it from scratch, with help available but hopefully they're figuring it out through trial and error and bug fixing and tinkering.

    It's fun! I'm finding Pi Pico much more approachable than ESP32 for some reason - I think it's because there are two variants instead of like 80.

    7 votes
  19. Comment on How Quora died - The site used to be a thriving community that worked to answer our most specific questions. But users are fleeing. in ~tech

    DanBC
    Link Parent
    There was a time when the "if you're looking at this movie here are six recommended movies that you may enjoy" thing was rock solid. I found amazing films from that feature. Currently, for Bugsy...

    Then IMDB showed up and crowdsourced the bulk of their database. You were encouraged to log in and enter information. This is who "that guy" was, this is what "the movie" he was in was. This was "the girl" in it with him. Type, type, type, thank you for logging in and contributing to filling out IMDB's back database.

    There was a time when the "if you're looking at this movie here are six recommended movies that you may enjoy" thing was rock solid. I found amazing films from that feature.

    Currently, for Bugsy Malone the list is populated with other films Jodie Foster was in when she was a child, and then other random children's films released around about the same time. But they used to have [Paper Moon](https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070510/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0_tt_8_nm_0_q_paper%2520moon} in the list, and that's a far stronger recommendation.

    I don't know when it stopped being great, but I suspect it was when the smaller core group of film geeks got out numbered by people with casual interest in movies.

    6 votes