Silbern's recent activity

  1. Comment on Netflix will reduce the video quality on its service in Europe for the next 30 days to reduce the strain on internet service providers in ~tech

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    I wish so too. A surprising number of the sites I personally use (NPR, Twitter, The Guardian, Reddit, Google, YouTube) have more basic interfaces available, but you either have to find the obscure...

    I wish so too. A surprising number of the sites I personally use (NPR, Twitter, The Guardian, Reddit, Google, YouTube) have more basic interfaces available, but you either have to find the obscure link to get to them (NPR, Reddit, The Guardian) or you flat out can't unless you spoof your user-agent to make the site think you can't handle the regular version (Twitter, Google, YouTube). My guess is that a more limited version of the site constrains the web developers, and it's harder to cram them with ads or tie them into social media frameworks, so they're reluctant to make them or make using them easy.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on "What should Bernie do when he drops out? Are there any potential drawbacks to doing so now?" in ~talk

    Silbern
    Link
    At this point, I think the best path is for Bernie and Biden to sit down and hash out some compromises - some Bernie policies, or influence, in exchange for Bernie dropping out. Like it or not,...

    At this point, I think the best path is for Bernie and Biden to sit down and hash out some compromises - some Bernie policies, or influence, in exchange for Bernie dropping out.

    Like it or not, Biden needs every Democratic supporter he can get, including Bernie bros, and he's going to need the party to be fully united to overcome Trump and Russia's propaganda come fall. He can't afford to have the party split between a factionalist dispute.

    Bernie should realize that his losses have likely been too great to overcome, and he risks not getting anything at all if Biden wins over him in sheer numbers alone. If he can get Biden to visibly adopt some of Bernie's policies or slogans, then imo he'll already have made a very positive contribution to the presidency, even if he doesn't reach it himself.

    Right now, unity is more important than any individual that becomes president. As a Buttigieg-then-Sanders supporter myself, I'm not too enthused about Biden, but he's miles better than Trump and we need to do everything we can to get him elected. This country's future depends on it.

    15 votes
  3. Comment on Font size fallacies in ~comp

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    I think it's just a call to be mindful. While it's obvious when you think about it, it's not uncommon to see websites especially break, because of assumed sizes for text. I have this happen pretty...

    I think it's just a call to be mindful. While it's obvious when you think about it, it's not uncommon to see websites especially break, because of assumed sizes for text. I have this happen pretty often since I force my browser to set fonts to at least size 12. Plus, once aspect ratios start changing, you can get some really funky results from the stretching.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Font size fallacies in ~comp

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    I think what they're saying is that the size those number of pixels takes up isn't identical. If we draw a 64x64 pixel image on my ThinkPad (12.5" at 1080p) and then one on my desktop monitor...

    I think what they're saying is that the size those number of pixels takes up isn't identical. If we draw a 64x64 pixel image on my ThinkPad (12.5" at 1080p) and then one on my desktop monitor (1600x1200 at around 23" iirc), the sizeing and shaping of these pixels will be different even though the number of pixels is the same. The size of pixel A on one display is different than the size of pixel B on another, so 11px on one screen won't look the same as 11px on the other.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Life during the outbreak in ~talk

    Silbern
    Link
    To be quite honest, I know this is super selfish as a relatively healthy young person living in a super remote place to think, but I'm actually having a pretty good time so far. The virus has...

    To be quite honest, I know this is super selfish as a relatively healthy young person living in a super remote place to think, but I'm actually having a pretty good time so far. The virus has effectively shut down my university for the time being, and with some local businesses closing and tourism dropping off, it's given me a lot of R&R time recently since there isn't really a lot to do. Far from feeling burned out, this has been a great opportunity to detach from the usual schedule and take some time to catch up on stuff I've been putting off for a while, and to just revel in being bored for once.

    Obviously it sucks for everyone who's losing their loved ones, and I worry quite a bit about the economic impact this pandemic may leave behind (the US stock market has become extremely volatile over the last couple weeks, and even our usual steady bedrocks in government bonds are weakening), but I've been wondering if it wouldn't be healthy for us to do this more often. If, as busy and chaotic as modern societies are, if it wouldn't be great if we could shut everything down for a few weeks once in a while.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Is this unprecedented? in ~health.coronavirus

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Yeah, I'm 21, and I can't ever remember seeing something like this. The closest I can personally recall is swine flu, but that was just a vaccine at school, pretty much. I didn't read the news in...

    Yeah, I'm 21, and I can't ever remember seeing something like this. The closest I can personally recall is swine flu, but that was just a vaccine at school, pretty much. I didn't read the news in middle school, so I don't remember what they thought, but it didn't impact my daily life much. Here in Hawaii, we've had the occasional hurricane shut things down (especially Hurricane Lane, two years ago), but nothing like this, where our university will be closed for at least a month.

    11 votes
  7. Comment on What do you like/dislike about where you live? in ~talk

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    A LOT. Honolulu in particular, which is where nearly all of the IT jobs in Hawaii are located, is an extremely expensive city. I find one website with a calculator that says it's 88% above the...

    A LOT. Honolulu in particular, which is where nearly all of the IT jobs in Hawaii are located, is an extremely expensive city. I find one website with a calculator that says it's 88% above the average in the US. I'm not sure it's quite that high - a lot of the figures they quote, like an average phone bill of $300 a month or a bunch of bannanas costing over $5, aren't right, you can get them for far cheaper than that. They look like they're basing on districts like Waikiki and Manoa, and not including Honolulu's cheaper districts. But I would estimate, at least 40% above the average, maybe around 50% or 60%. For a single person or a couple with no kids, $80,000 in Hawaii is enough to pay the bills, set aside a decent amount of savings, and have enough spare money to have some fun, but it's definitely not luxurious. It's decent-ish.

    The median programmer salary here in Honolulu is around $75,000-$80,000, while the national median is $78,971 according to a Google search. So we earn just about the average salary you would across the entire mainland in this profession. But with that ~50% increase in CoL, it's effectively like we're earning an average salary of $40,000 to $50,000 elsewhere. It's doable, but it's a lot less for this profession. That salary definitely puts home ownership out of reach, and even owning a condo is dicey. According to Zillow, the median cost for a 2 bedroom apartment in all of Honolulu right now is a little under $600,000, and that's including the super cheap leasehold apartments whose land leases are running out and should be best avoided.

    As to why we're not paid to offset the CoL, I think it's because we don't really have a large IT industry here. Programming isn't location dependent, so there's no incentives for software development companies to set up shop here when they can do so for way cheaper on the mainland. Much of the work in software development is also government based in Hawaii, which constrains the average salary further since there's little competition. When there are listings, they're usually for senior level developers, which makes a job for a college grad even harder - and then you get into the chicken and egg situation where you need experience to get a job, but can't get a job without experience.

    9 votes
  8. Comment on What do you like/dislike about where you live? in ~talk

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    I live in Hawaii, and they did my state too :) Lots of things really. Hawaii's climate is usually really gentle, and lets you do things like go to the beach or sit outside under a palm tree in the...

    I live in Hawaii, and they did my state too :)

    1. Lots of things really. Hawaii's climate is usually really gentle, and lets you do things like go to the beach or sit outside under a palm tree in the middle of January. People are more relaxed than on the mainland, they're very socially accepting, and work-life balance at local companies isn't just a buzzword, the vacation and healthcare benefits we get are really good compared to most mainland states.

    2. How colorful the environment is. The mountains are always a beautiful shade of green, the ocean is either a majestic dark blue or a light turquoise, the lava from the volcanoes (if you go to the Big Island) have an intense fiery orange glow, the native flowers bloom in nearly every color imaginable. Every where you look, especially on the Windward side of the islands, you're bound to see something pretty. Rainforests have also really grown on me since moving here. My university is pretty close to one and they're awesome, cool and shaded and with some beautiful waterfalls and rivers.

    3. It really depends. The housing market in Honolulu is as crushing as ever, and the gap between our salaries and cost of living is always growing. In most careers, you have to make some serious economic sacrifices to stay here, and Hawaii is getting a really high emigration rate as a result. Recently we did a study and a whopping 25% of our population said they had plans to leave within 5 years, though I'd be very surprised if that happens. It's really hard to live here though and in that sense, it's getting worse.

    But compared to what's going on on the mainland and in the rest of the world, I think Hawaii is pretty solid. We're not affected as badly as most places in climate change, especially at this latitude. Our work benefits are easy to appreciate with companies becoming more and more stingy every year. Our natural geography pretty much guarantees we never need to worry about war or conflict, and destructive natural disasters are actually quite rare on Oahu.

    1. The very stable climate has a lot of perks, but also brings with it some downsides. I do miss snow and how vivid seasonal changes are in New England, it often feels like nothing much really changes here. The summers in particular are quite harsh for me, as I have super fair skin and sunburn really easily. Communities tend to be very close knit, which means once you're in you have an excellent support network, but as a guy with Asperger's Syndrome, getting to know people is quite a challenge and I fail at it, a lot. Our timezone has its perks, but it also screws us over a lot, leaving us behind the rest of the world for major events. As already mentioned, things tend to be very expensive here, and combined with fairly low salaries (at least in IT), I'm going to need to be quite thrifty and will probably always be behind my mainland peers as far as finances are concerned. Although global warming isn't as much a problem for us as elsewere, we're not unaffected, with the climate getting drier overall. And we have huge problems with trash that people dump in the ocean washing up on our beaches.

    2. If I had to leave Hawaii, the PNW or New Hampshire would probably be my first bets. PNW has a climate I think I'd really like and a great market for IT, what with Microsoft, Nintendo, and the like. NH is where I lived as a kid and it's got a fairly strong economy as well. I have considered Japan as well as I'm currently learning Japanese and lived there before (and I loved it), or perhaps Canada. But both mean having to get a visa, Japan in particular would have some social hurdles as a gay white dude with 0 family there, and IT is very underpayed in both compared to the US, so I'm not really fixing the biggest gripe I have with Hawaii.

    Truth be told, I'm quite happy here and am trying to angle myself for a job after I graduate, so I don't have to leave. It has it's downsides, but there's nowhere else I'd rather live.

    12 votes
  9. Comment on "You don’t look autistic": The reality of high-functioning autism in ~health

    Silbern
    Link
    I'm also highly functioning myself, and I can relate to a lot in this article. I especially connect with the exhausted part - I can usually do okay in public environments, but it's very draining,...

    I'm also highly functioning myself, and I can relate to a lot in this article. I especially connect with the exhausted part - I can usually do okay in public environments, but it's very draining, both emotionally and physically. I've mostly gotten really lucky in life, but I curse having Asperger's, it absolutely sucks. :(

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Live election results: Super Tuesday 2020 in ~news

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Tbh, these results don't look too bad to me. From what we know so far, Bernie is within about 10 electoral votes of Biden, which is quite a close margin given the literal hundreds of them. Tons of...

    Tbh, these results don't look too bad to me. From what we know so far, Bernie is within about 10 electoral votes of Biden, which is quite a close margin given the literal hundreds of them. Tons of states that were supposed to be strong for Biden are in this primary, and I would've really been more surprised if Bernie had won them. As the Midwest and Far West enter the game, Bernie is going to have more chances to do well - Biden's using up a lot of his easy votes now. He may still parlay that into momentum down the line, but it doesn't mean he will for sure.

    Also worth noting the spoiling effect Warren is having, particularly in Massachusetts and Maine. If she had dropped out like Buttigieg and Klobuchar, I think Bernie would've gotten a lot of her support, since they're such similar candidates. That's not the establishment holding back Bernie, that's just other progressives tbh.

    11 votes
  11. Comment on What is/was your favorite console, and why? in ~games

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    Sure! The GameBoy Advance is a very easy console to write your own programs for - it's technically advanced enough that you don't have to learn a difficult language known as Assembly, which is...

    Sure! The GameBoy Advance is a very easy console to write your own programs for - it's technically advanced enough that you don't have to learn a difficult language known as Assembly, which is common on many older consoles and computers, or learn a bunch of esoteric tricks to do simple things like scroll the background or plot arbitrary pixels, but it doesn't have the restrictive anti-piracy measures or the complexity that the Nintendo Wii or the GameCube have. Emulators for it are very stable and run on almost anything, and the internals of the GBA are pretty well understood - the TONC in particular is a fantastic resource, it completely breaks down the GBA's functions and how it works. Not many other consoles have this level of support and accessibility.

    6 votes
  12. Comment on What is/was your favorite console, and why? in ~games

    Silbern
    Link
    Oooof. That's tough. I have fond memories of pretty much every Nintendo mobile console and all of their traditional ones from the GameCube forward. My favorite would probably be the GBA SP. I got...

    Oooof. That's tough. I have fond memories of pretty much every Nintendo mobile console and all of their traditional ones from the GameCube forward. My favorite would probably be the GBA SP. I got one when I was 7, and I used it all the time until I hit my mid-teenage years. It went everywhere with me, it has a lot of my favorite games on it (and a ton of variety, especially since it can play GB and GBC games too), and its sprite based artstyles really click with me. It's super portable compared to the Switch or even the DS, and pretty much all the games on it are designed to be satisfactory to play on your own, even with only a few minutes at a time.

    And, now that I can program, it's one of the easiest and most enjoyable consoles to hack on. It really is an amazing little system, and I don't think there will ever be another one quite like it.

    4 votes
  13. Comment on Pete Buttigieg will end his campaign for President on Sunday in ~news

    Silbern
    Link
    That's a shame, I really liked Buttigieg. He was an excellent candidate and I think he could do a lot of good as the President. Oh well, guess I'm officially onboard the Sanders train now.

    That's a shame, I really liked Buttigieg. He was an excellent candidate and I think he could do a lot of good as the President. Oh well, guess I'm officially onboard the Sanders train now.

    12 votes
  14. Comment on What's the Coronavirus like where you are? in ~talk

    Silbern
    Link
    I'm in Hawaii, and surprisingly, despite the massive amount of Chinese and Japanese tourists we receive and how outdated our airport's screening tech is, we have yet to get a single confirmed...

    I'm in Hawaii, and surprisingly, despite the massive amount of Chinese and Japanese tourists we receive and how outdated our airport's screening tech is, we have yet to get a single confirmed Coronavirus case. But I think even with the advantage of our isolation, it's only a matter of time before we too get a case. I haven't seen much stocking of supplies, with the exception of masks which are all sold out right now.

    10 votes
  15. Comment on What are some bugs/glitches/exploits that have actually made games better? in ~games

    Silbern
    Link
    The Sims, being a simulation of real life, has had some absolutely hilarious bugs, and patch notes to fix them. Some of my favorites are: Sims "trying for baby" with the Grim Reaper The Grim...

    The Sims, being a simulation of real life, has had some absolutely hilarious bugs, and patch notes to fix them. Some of my favorites are:

    • Sims "trying for baby" with the Grim Reaper

    • The Grim Reaper being unable to reap certain Sims because of their band affiliation

    • Sims who are on fire needed to attend graduation before they could put themselves out

    • Sims always flee buildings when a meteor is coming, unless it's a school, because kids aren't allowed to leave. This results in all the kids dying (tell me that's not relatable to 5th grade you, haha)

    33 votes
  16. Comment on Covid-19 could mark the end of affluence politics in the USA, as the possibility of a global pandemic reveals the inability to make and distribute the things people need in ~finance

    Silbern
    Link
    Wow, that was a powerful read. I personally don't think the virus will affect us directly all that much, but this article makes a fantastic point, that with how outsourced our production and...

    Wow, that was a powerful read. I personally don't think the virus will affect us directly all that much, but this article makes a fantastic point, that with how outsourced our production and supply chain is, it will still impact us all the same. And I hope the conclusion comes true - that Trump is the end of a long line of stagnation, and this is the start of a new era in American politics.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on Cult Penguin: Authoritarianism takes root in revival of defunct children's game in ~life

    Silbern
    (edited )
    Link
    This is one of the weirdest things I've seen in a while. I had an account on Club Penguin back in the day and have one on CP Rewritten, but I had no idea there were so many recreations or that...

    This is one of the weirdest things I've seen in a while. I had an account on Club Penguin back in the day and have one on CP Rewritten, but I had no idea there were so many recreations or that shit like this happened on some of these recreation servers. (EDIT FOR CLARIFICATION: It's not the same server as mentioned in the article, that was careless use of a pronoun on my part)

    “RFCP is notoriously forgiving,” he said. “Maybe to a fault. We know that making a sexual joke in the public Discord doesn’t automatically make you a pedo. People make jokes and comments like that. It happens.”

    Goddamn. Not when you know you have kids on your server, WTF.

    9 votes
  18. Comment on Angry P.M. Scott Morrison accuses General Motors of letting Holden 'wither away' after taking $2bn in subsidies in ~finance

    Silbern
    Link
    That's fascinating, I had no idea Holdens was a thing. Looks like I have something to read up on tonight. And fuck GM for taking the money and running, I'd be pissed too. They do that here too...

    That's fascinating, I had no idea Holdens was a thing. Looks like I have something to read up on tonight. And fuck GM for taking the money and running, I'd be pissed too. They do that here too unfortunately, closing up factories after receiving massive subsidies from the state or federal government to keep them open. GM's an asshole company.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on Why it's cheaper to have a baby in Finland than in the US in ~life

    Silbern
    Link Parent
    The US actually has a higher birthrate than Finland, and last I checked, by quite a margin. The cost of the baby is a big factor, but others - especially the cost of housing - are more significant...

    The US actually has a higher birthrate than Finland, and last I checked, by quite a margin. The cost of the baby is a big factor, but others - especially the cost of housing - are more significant imo. Here in Honolulu, the step up from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom house can be over a thousand dollars in some districts... and that's enough to make kids an impossibility for a lot of people.

    4 votes