DrStone's recent activity

  1. Comment on Opinion so far on the Epic Games Store? in ~games

    DrStone
    Link
    The only reason I have it is for the free game giveaways. Otherwise, it's pretty bad. No store cart Little info about the games and no in-store review system (minor) Inaccurate release date; they...

    The only reason I have it is for the free game giveaways. Otherwise, it's pretty bad.

    • No store cart
    • Little info about the games and no in-store review system
    • (minor) Inaccurate release date; they show when it was added to epic not when the game was released. e.g. Killing Floor 2 (next free game) says May 8, 2020 on Epic, but it actually released November 18, 2016
    • Browsing the library sucks. It's slow. There's very little in the way of sorting/filtering/organizing. Infuriatingly, if you go to a store page for a game in your library (since, for some reason, that's the only way to get any info about it), going back brings you to the beginning of the list.
    • No achievements. This makes some of "find all of the doodads" or "beat the thing with these tough self-imposed restrictions" basically worthless.
    • No way to set what page to open to (e.g. library). Every time, it's the storefront.
    • Exclusivity deals. Anti-consumer and unsustainable.
    3 votes
  2. Comment on Must-haves for new Mac users in ~tech

    DrStone
    Link
    I've been using company-issued Macbooks for web (and related) dev for the better part of a decade now. Many of my recommendations mirror others' here, in no particular order: iTerm2 - Terminal...

    I've been using company-issued Macbooks for web (and related) dev for the better part of a decade now. Many of my recommendations mirror others' here, in no particular order:

    1. iTerm2 - Terminal Emulator - The built-in isn't bad, but this one is great.
    2. Homebrew - Package Manager (CLI) - This should take care of most of your dev related installation needs. There's also MacPorts and a few others, but everyone I know, myself included, has settled on Homebrew. I don't remember the last time I couldn't find a package I was looking for.
    3. 1Password - Password Manager - Web dev tends to involve a lot of accounts with various services, so a good password manager is a must. If you've got a cross-platform setup already, probably not worth switching, but 1Password is really nice on macOS (it's perfectly usable on Windows, just not as slick)
    4. MacDown - Markdown Editor - Nice, open sourced MD editor with live preview and all of that jazz. If I recall, I liked Mou better, but it's not free while MacDown is.
    5. Textual - IRC Client - Really nice IRC client. There's also Colloquy. Both are open source, and I know at least with Textual you can build from source with very minor adjustments instead of paying for the pre-built app.
    6. The Unarchiver - Unarchiving Utility - Unarchive practically anything.

    I think other tools like editor/IDE are going to depend on your stack. I like Visual Studio Code for frontend (html, css, javascript/react) and currently use Intellij Idea for this project's scala backend (I've heard you can get scala going in VSCode, but I haven't tried it).

    The built-in screenshotting as mentioned is great, so learn those key combos. Spend some time playing with all of the preferences, like tap-to-click, two-finger-tap-to-"right"-click, different multi-finger gestures to do stuff like show all windows, hotcorners of the screen doing things, etc.

    edit: Also Spotlight has gotten a lot better. Command+space brings up a small search bar on the screen (drag to reposition) and from there you can search for and preview docs (grouped by type), launch apps, do simple calculations, currency or unit conversions, and probably more. For my basic usage, I don't need Alfred or Quicksilver anymore.

  3. Comment on Fires linked to fireworks erupt across SF, Bay Area in ~news

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Ok, so we've at least walked back "The fact it's even legal is mind-blowing" to "legality is somewhat grey". A lot of that grey-ness for you seems, and I could be wrong, due to confusion over the...

    Ok, so we've at least walked back "The fact it's even legal is mind-blowing" to "legality is somewhat grey". A lot of that grey-ness for you seems, and I could be wrong, due to confusion over the governing structure of the US. Often there will be no legislation at the Federal level, leaving it up to the State to decide, though there is continual debate on where the line for powers between the two should be; state borders are not just for show and they're not entirely unlike separate countries in an extremely tight union. Generally Constitution > Federal > State > County > Local (city, etc.), where you start at the top and work your way down until there is an explicit ruling one way or the other on something. MonkeyPants has illustrated this with regards to fireworks and COVID handling. It is a big deal when a more local level explicitly legalizes something that is explicitly illegal at a higher level (e.g. marijuana).

    With that in mind, the only real grey area with fireworks comes in how a firework is categorized if the tightest restriction for a particular location has qualifications (e.g. what falls under "safe and sane" in CA where there are no more specific local regulations). The point is twofold: Firstly, whether you think large countries should exist, it's not not at least concede that what can and should be allowed in an urban environment is different than the suburbs is different than rural areas, so no matter what there will be issues with location-based legality within a country. Secondly, when a country is large, the needs and desires of people in the various regions will be aligned in some ways and different in others, so a flexible system allowing for both top-down rulings and increasingly local rulings is, in my opinion, essential.

    Enforcement is a separate issue. Trafficking of illegal goods is and has been an issue both locally and internationally. Land borders and free travel certainly make things more difficult, which I'd argue is completely worthy tradeoff.

    "U.S. and its obsession with fireworks". To be a bit flippant, Asia has entered the chat. The most spectacular fireworks show I've seen was when the Chao Phraya was (legally) lit up in the middle of Bangkok for New Years (both the official show and subsequent business-sponsored shows). Firecrackers and fireworks are huge for Chinese holidays, and the Chinese diaspora is strong and wide. Around CNY, even the fruit stalls openly sell illegal fireworks in Malaysia (well, there's a thin "these are totally not fireworks" sheet over them before you ask, but ask and they're spread out on the table for all to see). I've seen and heard plenty of "just because" fireworks in the region, more so than I've seen outside of the holidays or specific events in the US. Law enforcement generally turns a blind eye unless things get out of hand (or you're a small, dense island city-state like Singapore). Let's not pretend that, legality and value judgements ("absurd pasttime") aside, the US has some unique obsession with fireworks.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Fires linked to fireworks erupt across SF, Bay Area in ~news

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    The first sentence of the article says “illegal”. Personal fireworks are also extremely common around the world, regardless of legality. But don’t let that get in the way of an “America bad” rant.

    The first sentence of the article says “illegal”. Personal fireworks are also extremely common around the world, regardless of legality. But don’t let that get in the way of an “America bad” rant.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on How Vim became so popular in ~comp

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    It's a lot more common than that for people beyond sysadmins, in my experience. Older systems without nice tooling where it's the only real way to debug a situation in production, contractors...

    You're really not that likely to need to ssh into some random system unless you're a system administrator of some sort - in which case you'll likely have permissions to install whatever editor you want.

    It's a lot more common than that for people beyond sysadmins, in my experience. Older systems without nice tooling where it's the only real way to debug a situation in production, contractors given access to certain boxes, going through jump servers and bastions, (usually smaller) organizations without completely siloed engineering and dba / ops departments, etc.

    Even for sysadmins, it's rare that an organization will let arbitrary software of your preference be installed on their servers; usually it's either "this is the tooling we use across the organization" or "your personal preference doesn't justify the risk when we already have X".

    20 votes
  6. Comment on I'm looking for anime shows with a lot of depth in ~anime

    DrStone
    Link
    I haven't seen it myself yet, but Legend of the Galactic Heroes is on my list and seems like it fits well what you're looking. It's a long 110-episode space opera packed with well-developed...

    I haven't seen it myself yet, but Legend of the Galactic Heroes is on my list and seems like it fits well what you're looking. It's a long 110-episode space opera packed with well-developed characters, political machinations and intrigue, religion, governing, and of course, huge space battles. I've seen multiple comparisons to Game of Thrones (when it was good).

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What's it take to make a secure, stable, and scalable site? in ~comp

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Not only practice, but regularly test. Being comfortable restoring from a backup and having it work in the beginning isn't going to help if over time something changed or screwed up the backup data.

    practice it

    Not only practice, but regularly test. Being comfortable restoring from a backup and having it work in the beginning isn't going to help if over time something changed or screwed up the backup data.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on What are some noteworthy games that aren't available through traditional/common means? in ~games

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    So you mean Radica Games’ Bass Fishin’? I loved that one as a kid! As for the others, it sounds like the Tiger Electronics Hans held games. Street fighter II was my favorite. Looks like Hasboro is...

    fishing game that was shaped like the handle of a fishing rod.

    So you mean Radica Games’ Bass Fishin’? I loved that one as a kid!

    As for the others, it sounds like the Tiger Electronics Hans held games. Street fighter II was my favorite. Looks like Hasboro is bringing some of them back

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

    DrStone
    Link
    After beating the wonderful games Hob and Moonlighter, my next two haven't been as good... Ruiner - Isometric action "twin-stick" in a cyberpunk setting. The setting is interesting and the art...

    After beating the wonderful games Hob and Moonlighter, my next two haven't been as good...

    Ruiner - Isometric action "twin-stick" in a cyberpunk setting. The setting is interesting and the art style is cool, the characters and character design are generally good, but that's where my praise ends. Level design combined with the art leaves a lot of invisible walls, unexpected losses of line-of-sight over seemingly very short things, etc. Soundtrack is ok, though at times incorporates "game" sounds like alarms that become confusing. Interactions are mostly text-based, but have stupid voiced noises (a grunt or a canned phrase or two) that get real old real fast. The hitboxes and hit detection are a mess. Weapons are not satisfying at all. There's a weird dash planning mechanic - time slows and you can plan up to a few dashes - that sounds cool, but in practice is a bit of a mess; it shares buttons with attack and has a short (slightly varying?) delay for planning to start, so results in a lot of unintended attacks instead and relies on the aforementioned questionable line of sight. Controls suck. With a KB&M, you get an aiming reticle but are stuck with WASD, but using a controller you lose the reticle, everything feels a tiny bit off. Things can be a bit buggy too. I found most of the difficulty and aggravation came from fighting the damn controls. It's <10h, so I pushed through, but I'd never recommend it.

    Just Cause 4 - A little fun, but ultimately a repetitive mess. "Do the thing, take back control of this little map section, repeat" to the extreme, too easy to accidentally switch to a different mission as it pipes in over coms on your way to a different one and you think it's just a part of the first, so many enemies even in sections you've taken back that just moving around is annoying, infinitely respawning enemies on a seemingly short timer, unnecessarilly complex and complicated menu system (1 to open the menu, 2 and _3 to switch tabs, Q and E to switch sub tabs, hold enter to open the customization edit menu of a subtabsubsection, off-low-med-high settings for a zillion retractor options (your grapple thing), etc.), kinda buggy, only some things destructible (usually red colored, except in missions when the target might not have any indication, of course), vehicles control super mushy, and more. When things all click and work, it can be dumb action fun, but mostly it's "meh". I'll keep playing for a bit and see

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

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Overall, I enjoyed the game. My biggest frustration was that the dash mechanic was locked to the 8 directions and using an analog stick would sometimes give unexpected results (though technically...

    Overall, I enjoyed the game. My biggest frustration was that the dash mechanic was locked to the 8 directions and using an analog stick would sometimes give unexpected results (though technically correct for the input I guess).

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Discord: Our stand on racial equality in ~tech

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    Let's say they get human moderators and pay the US minimum wage, which was $7.25 as of 2019. A year has ~8766 hours, so that's ~$64k per year per 24/7 "moderator" (actually a few individuals'...

    Let's say they get human moderators and pay the US minimum wage, which was $7.25 as of 2019. A year has ~8766 hours, so that's ~$64k per year per 24/7 "moderator" (actually a few individuals' shifts). With a proposed quarter budget of $1B, so $4B annually, that pays for ~62,500 24/7 mods (i.e. at any given time, you'll have 62.5k mods working). According to this there are ~2.6 billion monthly active facebook users as of Q1 2020 and rising. That means each mod could be responsible for ~41,600 individuals per month, assuming even distribution.

    This isn't going to be entirely accurate with real life factors. For example, all of the users aren't going to be consistently active, so the effective responsibility could be less. On the other hand, getting paid minimum wage for a full time job is going to get you bottom-barrel mod quality/effort, probably not worth the mental burnout; you'll probably have to pay a fair bit more (and maybe for counseling too), meaning less mods with the same budget, so more responsibility.

    Having never moderated personally, I don't know what a reasonable responsibility range is. I also have no idea what the immediate and and knock-on consequences are for repurposing such a large portion of the R&D budget for this (e.g. direct pay for the human mods, plus probably lost profits, plus maybe less desirable dev jobs with a smaller R&D budget, possible boosts if the user community does indeed change, etc.).

    1 vote
  12. Comment on I just became a US citizen today in ~talk

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    If you wish to leave and have a valid passport, then the only restrictions I believe are finding a flight and being allowed in by or to transit through the foreign country. Citizens are not...

    If you wish to leave and have a valid passport, then the only restrictions I believe are finding a flight and being allowed in by or to transit through the foreign country. Citizens are not automatically issued passports and passports are not automatically renewed. Traveling between states with in the US is completely free and open.

    If you don't have a passport, or yours is expiring, then you need to get one in order to travel internationally. If you have an "emergency" or other need to travel abroad soon, you'll get priority in the current processing of applications. If you don't have a qualifying need to travel soon, you wait in the queue to get handled as fast as the processing capacity allows.

    Pre-pandemic, the time between application submission and receiving your passport could be anywhere between a few weeks (or less with special expedition) and a few months depending on how long the queue is. The US population is almost 330 million; the number of new and renewal applications at a given time from a fraction of that can be huge. Right before and during peak vacation travel times, the queue will be longer. Mine, if I recall, was pretty quick because I did it off-peak. As long as your paperwork is in order and you pay the fee, you should get it eventually.

    I don't see having to wait your turn in a queue due to processing capacity as equivalent to locking people in.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on “You can't reply to this user yet. Please wait 29 minutes” in ~tildes

    DrStone
    Link
    I just hit it today with a simple A-B-A-attemptedB. This seems like something that should have at least reply count chain threshold before kicking in. The goal is to nip unnecessary, long...

    I just hit it today with a simple A-B-A-attemptedB. This seems like something that should have at least reply count chain threshold before kicking in. The goal is to nip unnecessary, long back-and-forth arguments in the bud instead of waiting for a mod (e.g. in political topics), right?. The current settings feel a bit stifling if both users happen to be online and the "X new unread / replies to your comment" indicator/notifications pull you back to a thread.

    A - Asked question
    B - ~30 after A - Replies
    A - ~1h after B - Follow up question or request for clarification
    B - Tried to reply, but told to wait 30 minutes after A most recent even though B hasn't participated in chain for an hour plus already. Hopefully B remembers to come back (since the "1 new reply" notification is probably auto-flagged as read and gone)

    I think it really needs to be more nuanced. Maybe a certain chain length in a window before it kicks in and based on your average reply time over that chain. So if in an hour, you've replied 3 times already and you've replied within a few minutes (less than some threshold) to the post you're replying to, then we say "hey, looks like you're in a heated back-and-forth, maybe take a half hour to cool off before you can reply". Ideally, and more likely when we have more active people, it could take into consideration upvotes and flags (e.g. if a back-and-forth is quick, but mostly getting votes and not getting any bad flags, let good discussion continue)

    5 votes
  14. Comment on I just became a US citizen today in ~talk

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    From what I read, it's a logistics thing. Most people aren't traveling internationally except for essential business or emergencies. The significantly reduced demand coupled with the risk of...

    From what I read, it's a logistics thing. Most people aren't traveling internationally except for essential business or emergencies. The significantly reduced demand coupled with the risk of people gathering at work meant most related department employees were sent home and things are operating just enough to handle the necessary cases. Therefore, any non-essential passport applications and renewals will be significantly delayed based on current processing capacity and prioritization.

    Seems they'll be reopening the department(s) in phases. The recommendation I've seen is to submit now rather than wait until things are fully reopened, where there's likely to be a giant wave of submissions.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Kitchen knife made by cooking sand in a microwave oven in ~creative

    DrStone
    Link
    Don't be put off thinking it's some weird ASMR thing; I am so glad I spent the full 20 minutes watching. It felt a bit like Dr. Stone, taking things like shells and transforming them into basic...

    Don't be put off thinking it's some weird ASMR thing; I am so glad I spent the full 20 minutes watching. It felt a bit like Dr. Stone, taking things like shells and transforming them into basic chemicals, combining building up to get the desired result. The end result was even more interesting than I could have imagined.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on With monitors, which panel is ideal for movies and TV? in ~tech

    DrStone
    Link
    Whenever it comes to TVs, monitors, headphones, I check to RTINGS. Best Multimedia Monitors They also have a big table tool that you can use to set all kinds of filters (click "Add Column" to...

    Whenever it comes to TVs, monitors, headphones, I check to RTINGS.
    Best Multimedia Monitors
    They also have a big table tool that you can use to set all kinds of filters (click "Add Column" to change what columns/filters are shown... there's a lot to choose from)

    3 votes
  17. Comment on What's wrong with email? in ~tech

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    I'll take extra spam "thank you"s over someone accidentally getting dropped from an important email discussion chain. Even with Reply All available, I've still seen some people manage to screw up...

    'Reply All' is the devil's work and should be banned from all email services.

    I'll take extra spam "thank you"s over someone accidentally getting dropped from an important email discussion chain. Even with Reply All available, I've still seen some people manage to screw up (even repeatedly after being alerted) and reply to just the sender when all original recipients need to be involved.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on "The Black Lives Matter Foundation" raised millions. It's not affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement in ~news

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    There was a Reddit AMA with Kailee Scales, Managing Director for Black Lives Matter Network Action Fund and Black Lives Matter Global Network, Inc. (blacklivesmatter.com) While some questions were...

    There was a Reddit AMA with Kailee Scales, Managing Director for Black Lives Matter Network Action Fund and Black Lives Matter Global Network, Inc. (blacklivesmatter.com)

    While some questions were answered (or dodged) to varying degrees, I don't think there was ever a satisfying answer for how funding gets used by blacklivesmatter.com / BLMGN.

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

    DrStone
    Link
    Both of these games I had gotten for free through Epic giveaways. Also, both of these games are designed with a controller in mind, though KB+M could work. Hob - Dialogue-less puzzle-platformer...

    Both of these games I had gotten for free through Epic giveaways. Also, both of these games are designed with a controller in mind, though KB+M could work.

    Hob - Dialogue-less puzzle-platformer action-adventure. A big golem wakes you up and you ultimately have to rid your crumbling world of toxic purple stuff. As you solve puzzles, pieces of the world move and fall into place, opening up new paths and connecting important things. You've got a sword for swingin' and a golem arm for punchin' (and activating things). Plenty of hidden powerups (heart pieces, power pieces, ability upgrades, sword pieces), but the world is tight enough - especially once fast-travel is unlocked - and vague indicators on the map when you've been near something keep the hunt from becoming a slog; I found most stuff in the course of normal exploration and backtracking with new powers rather than a meticulous hunt. Visuals are stunning, controls are fluid, combat is fine (it's more about the puzzling and platforming). I think it took me about <= 10h to complete.

    Moonlighter - Rogue-lite meets item-shop-manager with a pixel style. You're a merchant who goes into dungeons to defeat monsters and collect artifacts that you can sell in your shop for profit. Your backpack is limited and sometimes items have "curses" (e.g. will destroy the item below when returning to town, must keep item on the bottom row, etc.) that, combined with prices and rarity, add a backpack managing aspect that's more of a puzzle to maximize total profit (or needed items) than a chore. There's four dungeons that you progressively unlock by going deep enough to defeat each one's big guardian. A fifth opens up after beating those. In town, you figure out the best prices to sell your items based on people's reactions and current item popularity (the game keeps track of prices for different reactions for you, so it's less intimidating than it sounds). With your profits you can bring other merchants to town (blacksmith, etc.), upgrade/decorate/expand your shop, upgrade weapons, and such. Eventually your shop is big enough for people to make specific item requests that you can fulfill by certain in-game calendar dates for extra profit. There's a loose narrative between talking to townsfolk and finding in-dungeon letters. I'd guess I'm about half way through, maybe a bit less, and I'm really enjoying it.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on Looking for career switching advice from Film/Business to Software Engineering in ~comp

    DrStone
    Link Parent
    For work, the project I'm on uses a (mostly) Scala backend and a (mostly) React frontend. I use VS Code for the React, and Intellij for Scala. I don't think it's possible to use a java-based...

    For work, the project I'm on uses a (mostly) Scala backend and a (mostly) React frontend. I use VS Code for the React, and Intellij for Scala. I don't think it's possible to use a java-based language without an IDE and remain sane. In years past, I've used a relatively bare-bones vim setup to write PHP, Perl, Go, and Node.js.

    I still use vim for quick edits and miscellaneous text. Just need to update a config value? I can open, edit, and save with vim faster than the splash screen loading up Intellij. Fiddling with an SQL query while looking at psql output and maybe some other system command outputs? vim is sufficient and lets me keep it in a terminal split-pane with the rest.

    If nothing else, one should be at least familiar with the basics of vi(m) even if it's not their daily-driver because it's practically everywhere. If you have to ssh to a remote server to edit a file, a fancier editor may have a remote option somewhere, but vim's probably there. If you have to use someone else's machine and they don't have your editor of choice installed, vim's probably there (unless they're developing on windows, but, really, who does that?).

    1 vote