Nexu's recent activity

  1. Comment on I need a new phone. Can anyone recommend me a replacement? in ~tech

    Nexu
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    Ok another update from me.. I took some time to plug all of these suggestions into GSMArena, and did a little more snooping around... ultimately went with a Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite. I've never had...

    Ok another update from me.. I took some time to plug all of these suggestions into GSMArena, and did a little more snooping around... ultimately went with a Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite.

    I've never had a Xiaomi, but looking at the specs and price points i couldn't see a good reason to go with Google Pixel - in any case I'll report back after a month or so to report my experience.

    Thanks everyone!

    4 votes
  2. Comment on I need a new phone. Can anyone recommend me a replacement? in ~tech

    Nexu
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    Thanks everyone. I'm thinking the Pixel 3A or 3A XL is the one to go for... I'll have to see what the price is like around here and consider that against some of the other options mentioned. Much...

    Thanks everyone. I'm thinking the Pixel 3A or 3A XL is the one to go for... I'll have to see what the price is like around here and consider that against some of the other options mentioned. Much appreciated :-)

    4 votes
  3. I need a new phone. Can anyone recommend me a replacement?

    I've had a Nexus 6P for the past 3 years. It's been a good run, and I've swapped the battery out once before (1 year ago) but it's time for a replacement. At this point, it's not charging...

    I've had a Nexus 6P for the past 3 years. It's been a good run, and I've swapped the battery out once before (1 year ago) but it's time for a replacement. At this point, it's not charging properly, and turning off randomly.

    What phones are you all using? Any you'd feel good about recommending? I'd be interested to hear thoughts on current smartphones, as it's not something I've looked into for a while.

    Some things I liked about the Nexus 6P:

    • Camera (12.3MP) was really good back when I first got it and still holds up (just shuts down when I take photos now)
    • Larger form factor (not a dealbreaker though)
    • Android
    • Convenience of having photos uploaded to Google Photos automatically
    • Battery life (in its prime) was actually decent

    I'm in EU, and ideally I don't really want to spend more than 300 euros.
    Thanks all, keen to hear people's thoughts...

    Appreciate any kind of response/advice.

    21 votes
  4. Comment on Nick Land's Fanged Noumena in ~books

    Nexu
    Link
    My impression of Land's writing across this time period (especially the earlier stuff) is a bunch of amphetamine stoked poetics. It can be fun to read, if you're not bent on extracting some kind...

    My impression of Land's writing across this time period (especially the earlier stuff) is a bunch of amphetamine stoked poetics. It can be fun to read, if you're not bent on extracting some kind of philosophical panacea. On the other hand, it's infuriating if you're the kind of person who needs something tangible and concrete to take away.

    There are components like "hyperstition" (basically manifesting fiction into reality) and "accelerationism" (in as simple terms as possible, doubling down on capitalism in the hope that it will destroy itself) that constitute some of the more tangible concepts. Land helped shape these terms alongside his Warrick philosophy squad CCRU in the 90s, and later people like Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek helped renew interest in 21st century. I believe Land's accelerationism differs somewhat to, for example, what you might find in the Accelerate manifesto.

    If you're into this kind of poetic philosophical writing you'll probably appreciate the CCRU stuff like this similar collection of their writing from 1997-2003

    Land currently writes at https://www.xenosystems.net/
    And of course seems to be addicted to Twitter

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Humble Conquer COVID-19 Bundle in ~games

    Nexu
    Link Parent
    hey, any chance I could get Killing Floor 2? It's been on my radar for a while. I've already received gifts from you before though, so let's wait a day to see if anyone else wants it :-)

    hey, any chance I could get Killing Floor 2? It's been on my radar for a while. I've already received gifts from you before though, so let's wait a day to see if anyone else wants it :-)

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Throbbing Gristle's Genesis P-Orridge dies aged seventy in ~music

    Nexu
    Link
    now a Godstar

    now a Godstar

  7. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tildes

    Nexu
    Link Parent
    This is more a question of intention and respect, though. If someone posts a threat about political situation, jokes may be seen as noise. But a topic devoted to exploring humour, or something...

    This is more a question of intention and respect, though.

    If someone posts a threat about political situation, jokes may be seen as noise.

    But a topic devoted to exploring humour, or something more imaginative, then the responses are welcome.

    Tildes is a community, not a science experiment (as far as I know) and I think that humour/imagination/even silliness are essential components of a healthy functioning community.

    That's my thought. I am but a singular member of Tildes and perhaps this view is not shared across the community.

    9 votes
  8. Comment on What languages do you speak? in ~talk

    Nexu
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    English (native) and Spanish (semi-fluent). Next on the list is Russian.

    English (native) and Spanish (semi-fluent). Next on the list is Russian.

    5 votes
  9. Comment on What languages do you speak? in ~talk

    Nexu
    Link Parent
    When I overhear Portugese conversations, I ALWAYS think I'm hearing Russian.

    When I overhear Portugese conversations, I ALWAYS think I'm hearing Russian.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on "Link in bio": it seems like a harmless phrase, but it represents a strategy of controlling users and keeping them away from the open web in ~tech

    Nexu
    Link Parent
    Yep this is talking about Instagram. Links don't work anywhere outside of your bio.

    the things that are of more worth to friends: pictures of you and your life

    Yep this is talking about Instagram. Links don't work anywhere outside of your bio.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Chaos at the Top of the World - The untold stories behind the viral photo of the deadly traffic jam at the top of Mount Everest in ~sports

    Nexu
    Link
    My takeaways from this: Regulations and vetting on those making the Everest climb are nonexistent and not looking to get any better any time soon, with competition between agencies and eager...

    My takeaways from this:

    • Regulations and vetting on those making the Everest climb are nonexistent and not looking to get any better any time soon, with competition between agencies and eager tourists driving prices down and the scramble for profit becoming more disingenuous.

    • Sherpas are wildly exploited, and the article seemingly turns a blind eye on this (or is wilfully ignorant of the state of the industry in this regard). For example, Sherpas are described in the article as essentially being expendable slaves who carry the spare oxygen tanks of their masters (master's oxygen is far more important, have to carry two spares for master, only one for myself!)

    • Sherpas are paid disproportionately at best; slave wages at worst. The agencies are the culprit here (
      surprise surprise) - considering the article states one (ONE) individual paid over $65,000 for his package, PLUS the $11,000 registration paid to Chinese government, and contrast that with the laughable sum of "as much as $10,000 per season" that the Sherpas earn. Note the interesting language here, as if we're supposed to remark "wow, that much?! How great for the poor Sherpas."

    Each year, in the months before the climbing season, mountaineering agencies identify the most agile and fearless men from high-altitude Sherpa villages—and then hand them awesome responsibilities. Sherpas lay the fixed ropes that guide climbers to the summit, lug the heavy oxygen bottles that keep their clients alive, and closely monitor their clients' physical and mental states. The work is risky—in April 2014, 16 Sherpas died in an ice avalanche on the Nepali side of Everest; two Sherpas would die this spring in the Nepali Himalayas—yet the money, as much as $10,000 per season, provides an escape from the poverty of rural Nepal.

    Oh, those poor, poor Sherpas - being saved by the brave and generous American climbing agencies who boldly scout their talent and offer them the undeniable opportunity to throw their life away for bougie American tourists.

    Obviously everyone is at fault on some level here. I'm not solely blaming "America". Just a bit of a vent. The whole situation is a travesty and really a sign of the times we live in, if you ask me.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on Are there recommended alternatives to Ebay? in ~tech

    Nexu
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    In Spain there is Wallapop. There is also a UK version but I'm not sure how many people use the UK version. Here in Spain at least, it seems to be just as if not more popular for smaller sellers /...

    In Spain there is Wallapop. There is also a UK version but I'm not sure how many people use the UK version.

    Here in Spain at least, it seems to be just as if not more popular for smaller sellers / Craigslist-like transactions.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on Half-Life: Alyx in ~games

    Nexu
    Link Parent
    Do you have a desktop computer with a CPU made in the past 5 years? At least 8GB RAM? You're over half way there. Samsung Odyssey+ is $250 new from Samsung right now.[1] You can get an NVIDIA RTX...

    Do you have a desktop computer with a CPU made in the past 5 years? At least 8GB RAM?
    You're over half way there.

    • Samsung Odyssey+ is $250 new from Samsung right now.[1]

    • You can get an NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER for about $400 and that will allow you to run most titles at a solid 90FPS.[2]

    • $650 and you've basically got the essence of the current VR experience that is available. Improvements to this setup would be a higher spec HMD like the Index, with external tracking using lighthouse/basestations, and a controller with finger tracking like Knuckles. But this is all extra.[3]


    • [1] I have this HMD. It's great; easily the best value headset available right now. The tracking is fine, but of course you will get better results with external lighthouse/basestation trackers.

    • [2] I currently use a GTX970; so a lot lower spec than current ideal builds for VR. Lots of games struggle at higher quality settings, but I still enjoy these games if I bump the settings down. I also feel the 90FPS rule of thumb is wildly overblown; I play most of the time on 50-60FPS for multiple hour sessions and I'm none the wiser. It's crowd mentality repeating magic numbers and convincing themselves and others that it's impossible to enjoy VR below 90FPS. That's just not true. The point I'm making here is that, regardless of your opinion on FPS in VR you can get a card that has been benchmarked with good performance for about $400 dollars right now.

    • [3] This is of course hugely subjective and really boils down to what you want out of the experience. I'd argue that you can get a great experience with a current "mid-range" setup like the one I described above. Personally, I don't think the difference between the Samsung Odyssey+ and Valve Index HMDs are enough to warrant the price difference. However, of all these extras I would say the biggest impact comes from good 360 hand tracking with external lighthouse/basestation sensors, and the finger tracking of the knuckles.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on What is your dream game? in ~games

    Nexu
    Link Parent
    Since I first replied to your comment I've bought Noita and I gotta say it is a beautiful game. I'd describe it as Terraria with the energy and atmosphere of Dark Souls (in the sense that the game...

    Since I first replied to your comment I've bought Noita and I gotta say it is a beautiful game.

    I'd describe it as Terraria with the energy and atmosphere of Dark Souls (in the sense that the game delivers a similar 'ambient narrative'; less an overt story, more a subtle suggestion of lore, plenty of secrets, hidden mechanics, things like this) with the physics of those old Flash/MiniClip Falling Sand games.

    It's quite unforgiving, being a RogueLite with permadeath, but that adds to the sense of cautious adventure and makes the discovery more exciting.

    On a similar note, I did some looking around and it seems the modding community on Terraria is huge; perhaps there's enough content there to satisfy what craving you had initially?

    This channel has a ton of content showcasing Terraria mods, and coincidentally also has just started putting out some amazing Noita videos (his first look vid describes it as a "Terraria Overhaul Rogue-lite".

  15. Comment on Global condemnation of 'appalling' coup in Bolivia as military forces socialist president Evo Morales to resign in ~news

    Nexu
    Link
    This translated article of Maria Galindo (Bolivian feminist and founder of Mujeres Creando) offers some interesting perspective: I don't know much about the situation in Bolivia but I found this...

    This translated article of Maria Galindo (Bolivian feminist and founder of Mujeres Creando) offers some interesting perspective:

    It tires me to have to repeat that the Movement to Socialism (MAS) is exporting to the world the idea that what is happening in Bolivia is a popular progressive bloc against an extreme and fundamentalist right. The government of Evo Morales was for many years responsible for dismantling of popular organizations by dividing them, corrupting them and imposing clientelist leadership, making pacts with the most conservative sectors of society including fundamentalist Christian sects to which he granted the fascist illegal candidacy of a Korean evangelical pastor, who was endorsed with the approval of the MAS.

    Evo has denounced to the international community that it is a coup d’etat promoted by the CIA and the fascist landowning oligarchy of Santa Cruz, and that is partly true, but it is only half of the conflict.

    He has mistakenly converted himself into the sole figurehead, a symbol of the concentration of irreplaceable power. The figure bears the myth of the “Indigenous president” whose symbolic power is the color of his skin, which he carries with him, a government inhabited by a circle of corrupt of intellectuals and leaders who revere him because they need him as a mask, as Franz Fanon outlines in his book Black Skin, White Masks.

    Evo Morales decided to exalt racist acts to position himself as a victim, using these acts in perverse ways, to the point that acts of racism committed during the general strike became part of government propaganda, amplifying this speech and making racist acts useful for the government itself. Since the movements criticizing them was and is exclusively urban, the government also exploited urban-rural contradictions, as if the conflict was between the two. The intention was to use both contradictions to disqualify criticism and gain time. They did not care about the social cost.

    I don't know much about the situation in Bolivia but I found this article to be insightful as well as flip's comments in this thread.

    5 votes
  16. Comment on What is your dream game? in ~games

    Nexu
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Have you seen Noita? Edit: I've seen this described as "a mix of Terraria+Spelunky+Powder Toy+Dead Cells". Also, when was the last time you played Terraria? I loved that game when it was first...

    Have you seen Noita?

    Edit: I've seen this described as "a mix of Terraria+Spelunky+Powder Toy+Dead Cells".

    Also, when was the last time you played Terraria? I loved that game when it was first released, and as far as I know there's been tonnes of new content added in recent years, is that true?

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Boneworks - Release date trailer in ~games

    Nexu
    Link
    With the recent VR thread, I decided to check up on Boneworks dev and discovered they just announced a release date alongside this new trailer about 5 hours ago. This is one of the most...

    With the recent VR thread, I decided to check up on Boneworks dev and discovered they just announced a release date alongside this new trailer about 5 hours ago.

    This is one of the most anticipated VR titles for me, being developed by Stress Level Zero / Brandon J Laatsch.

    • Boneworks is an experimental VR physics action adventure game.
    • Release date: December 10th (planned).
    • Premise: Witness the events that unravel after Monogon’s MythOS locks down after an unexpected Void breach.
    • Physics sandbox mode, battle arena, and story replays for additional powerful items.
    4 votes
  18. Comment on In 2020, I can no longer abide the 100-hour RPG in ~games

    Nexu
    Link Parent
    I'm intrigued... between this and Amarok's comment below, you're stirring my Skyrim modding loins... I find that installing the mods and getting the build working is almost more compelling than...

    /r/ultimateskyrim

    I'm intrigued... between this and Amarok's comment below, you're stirring my Skyrim modding loins...

    I find that installing the mods and getting the build working is almost more compelling than actually playing it. 20 hours and hundreds of mods down the line, I'll play for about 30 mins then uninstall everything for about 6 months.

    5 votes
  19. Comment on How's VR gaming these days? in ~games

    Nexu
    Link
    I have a Samsung Odyssey+ (currently about $300) powered by a GTX 970 (about $200 dollars back in 2015). The best WMR headset, without question. Has great colours + anti-screen-door technology to...

    I have a Samsung Odyssey+ (currently about $300) powered by a GTX 970 (about $200 dollars back in 2015).

    The best WMR headset, without question. Has great colours + anti-screen-door technology to make the pixels less visible. This is a pretty weak system, by current standards, but I've had a great time with it.

    What have been your favorite games/experiences so far?

    VRChat (Free)
    Very compelling social adventure. One of the most exciting games due to the breadth and expressiveness of experiences you can have. Go in without expectations, and embrace the good and the bad.

    Some of my most memorable experiences include:

    • Visiting Firelink Shrine, and sitting beneath the Giant Crow, staring wistfully out onto Anor Londo.
    • Plucking a balloon out of the sky as a towering 100 foot (Shadow of the) Collossus and gently handing it to a tiny ferret in a wheelchair.
    • Riding a moving train with an Evangelion robot who was telling me about his life and jamming out on the guitar.
    • Cracking a beer on a lonely beach at night with complete strangers, in complete silence, sat around a campfire with virtual marshmallows, looking out at the ocean waves washing up on the shore. We sat for half an hour, not talking, just existing together, feeling each other's presence.
    • Going to virtual clubs to dance with strangers, talk, and just hang out.

    These things may sound trivial or stupid but I have never experienced anything like this in my life before. Games like VRChat will change the way we socialize online.

    Waltz of the Wizard (Free version)
    This game impressed me a lot. It's a simple principle executed extremely well. Very short (and free) game but a good example of how to do VR - focus on the good stuff, zero filler! There's also a paid version but I didn't try that.

    Basically you're in a wizard's room in a tower and you just rummage around finding different ingredients, plopping them into a cauldron and creating new spells. Each of the spells shows off a fun way of interacting with the VR environment and there's just generally a ton of interactivity in the whole space.

    It's room-scale, there's basically no instruction (which is so crucial to the enjoyment of discovery) and the atmosphere is spot on.

    Skyrim VR (heavily modded)
    Probably one of the most extensive experiences you'll have on a VR setup. This was the first game I ever played in VR, on a PSVR setup (I now play on PC).

    I was blown away that first time. Just looking around the dim caverns of the starting area, gingerly plucking a tankard from the table and proceeding to flip and catch it with a flick of my wrist blew my mind. Peering up at the cave walls, they felt SO HIGH. and when I excited that cave, there's no other way to say it other than -- it felt like I was really there. It felt like I was really standing below that looming rock face and staring out down the mountain.

    With mods, I made the nights darker, the magic and weapons more immersive (pulling weapons from my belt and drawing glyphs of magic in the air to trigger spells) as well as texture packs to increase the level of detail on everything. Stuff like that. Great experience even though it's just a port.

    Jet Island
    Fly on a hoverboard and use grappling hooks to zoom around an alien world, encounter other players, and fight giant mechanical worms.

    You will fall on your arse playing this game, unless you're a seasoned virtual buccaneer, but riding a virtual hoverboard is a lot like riding a bike. Just keep getting back on and before you know it that stability will just click.

    Recommended with a big fan in front of your face blasting you for maximum immersion.

    The Kobold Project: Chapter 1
    Horror game. I've yet to finish this, because I was too terrified. Great example of how to open a narrative experience by playing on the strengths of VR. Great use of light/dark with torches and light switches, interactivity of trivial objects, answering a phone and putting it up to your ear, etc. Very immersive. Horror in VR is something else. I don't think I've ever been this terrified by a video game - it's so embodied and palpable.

    Special mentions

    • Gorn: Fun violent arena game that is also a pretty decent workout, but equally risks you destroying your living room unless you have a larger space.
    • Blade and Sorcery: Great sword mechanics and the foundation for future of blade physics in VR. Boneworks and multiple other games have already adapted similar tech.
    • Pavlov: CS:GO in VR.
    • The Forest: Loved this game in pancake mode, it's even better in VR, especially if you're playing with friends. Fucking terrifying, and equally satisfying.

    What are those of us without VR missing out on?

    The sense of immersion. Some games offer an experience that is unlike anything that has ever been possible before.

    It is very hit or miss for people. For me, my initial experience of VR was skeptical caution, and ultimately a casual interest that faded out after I tried a few applications back in 2013-14. These first experiences were pretty much just put the headset on and look around the room on the original Oculus dev kit or watching videos with a Google Cardboard setup. Very underwhelming.

    When I played Skyrim VR, it just clicked. It was at a convention, and I just stumbled on it. Instantly made sense to me. Just try it out, there's no way to know what you're missing unless you have that kind of experience.

    In what way does VR still need to grow?

    Wireless technology
    It exists, but it's currently either way too expensive (TPCast Wireless Adapter) or way underpowered (Oculus Quest). We're getting there, though. A few more generations of VR tech and it will be the norm.

    Complete game experiences
    Right now, there is a lack of truly complete games; games executed to the same level of completion as current-gen games, and that successfully capture the essence of VR and fully make use of its strengths.

    We need more games that dare to test the limits of VR experience. In part this means VR devs need more funding, which will come as market adoption increases.

    Many games right now, even the best, are somewhat haphazard and feel slightly lacking in certain areas. There is very little highly polished offering. Most of the best titles I've listed are (or have been) early access titles created by very small teams (or individuals!). There are some projects that I'm excited about like Boneworks and I hope we see more in the next year or two.

    The problem is a lot of games struggle to get the VR implementation right. It's about attention to detail. VR makes the most mundane stuff mind-blowing. Making everything interactable. Mechanics designed to play with your sense of perspective, and the intimacy of interacting with other players in a VR setting. That kind of thing. VR blows the doors open to so many facets of detail that can and should be exploited to raise the experiential bar.

    Optimization and resolution
    We need foveated rendering to offload some of the work required to run more graphically intensive games.

    It's definitely one of the prevailing issues, that even top-of-the-line cards are not up-to-scratch with certain games. This is also a general optimization issue due to many games tacking on VR support as an afterthought. Better optimization will open up the market and help VR grow.

    However, this problem is secondary to the need for more well-designed VR games. I also think the importance of 90fps as a baseline for VR is overblown. Personally it's more about stability, and I can play at a consistent 50-60fps for hours with no qualms.

    Do you think it will eventually catch on more than it has?

    VR is without a doubt the future of gaming. In less than half a decade it will be the norm, if you ask me.

    In the past three years, we've seen a huge rise in VR popularity. VR is more proliferated than it ever has been at this point and it's only growing. I think it won't be long until VR is as commonplace as having a PS4 or Xbox.

    3 votes