Sunward's recent activity

  1. Comment on Has your local climate gotten noticeably warmer in your lifetime? in ~enviro

    Sunward
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    I live in South Carolina, within about a 50-60 mile radius of where I grew up. To anchor the references to my youth that are about to follow, I'm in my mid-30s. Compared to my hazy childhood...

    I live in South Carolina, within about a 50-60 mile radius of where I grew up. To anchor the references to my youth that are about to follow, I'm in my mid-30s.

    Compared to my hazy childhood memories, summer is definitely more humid than it used to be, and hotter too. Plus "summer" has gotten longer, with the other seasons shifting and contracting somewhat to accommodate it; summer-like (hot and humid) conditions often start in mid-May now and stretch out into mid-to-late October, whereas I remember us having spring-like conditions from about March to June previously. Fall also starts and ends later (I'd say from about November to January now) and is more mild now, with more days with highs reaching the 70s than I remember from childhood (though they absolutely weren't unheard of then) -- even on Christmas the past few years. Such winter as we now get typically occurs in January and February and maybe the first half of March, with an accelerated spring from then right up until summer starts. I'd say humidity is definitely the hallmark of summer now, even moreso than when I was a kid. Right now it's 85 °F (29 °C) out, but with 68% humidity, it "feels like" 94 °F (34 °C), and the air basically feels like a warm, wet towel wrapped around your face. Even allowing for the climatic variation introduced by the fact that I now live 50-60 miles from where I grew up, I don't remember it ever being that warm and humid.

    We also occasionally (very occasionally) would get what passes for snow this far south in February or March (maybe once every handful of years), but that hasn't happened in the past several years that I can recall, or if it did it wasn't cold enough for there to be any accumulation; the last time I remember there being any noticeable amount of snow, it accompanied an ice storm in 2014.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Daily coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - March 22 in ~health.coronavirus

    Sunward
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    Honestly, if you're working from home, it should be isolated from your home computer usage in some way. If your employer didn't issue you a device, or you're a freelancer or something, at least...

    Honestly, if you're working from home, it should be isolated from your home computer usage in some way. If your employer didn't issue you a device, or you're a freelancer or something, at least use a separate account on your own computer. That will help mitigate some of the privacy losses from this sort of thing.

    Also, that thread is hugely overblown: you cannot see what programs other people are running (unless they're sharing their screens, of course). As the presenter in a meeting, if the host has enabled the feature (it's not enabled by default), you can see in the participants list whether focus has been on a window other than the Zoom meeting for 30 seconds or more, but you can't see the name of the program or title of the window that they have focused; only that they haven't had Zoom focused for 30+ seconds.

    However, if even that feels like too much of an invasion of of privacy (though IMO it's on a par with someone looking over your shoulder at your desk at work, mildly creepy but not a huge violation), then as @pvik linked below, there's a browser extension that will always join the web version of the meeting... though even browsers can detect when they're not in focus, so that might not gain you much.

    Edited to add: If you are using a work-issued device, you should probably act as if you have no privacy on it anyway; Zoom attention tracking should be the least of your worries.

  3. Comment on The most iconic tearjerkers and empowerment anthems in music history in ~music

    Sunward
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    Well, this is...unexpectedly timely for me.

    Well, this is...unexpectedly timely for me.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on NBCUniversal unveils Peacock, a free premium ad-supported streaming service with subscription tiers in ~tv

    Sunward
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    Can't wait for this to fail to meet growth projections and get shut down in 18 months, taking the only legitimate streaming copies of a bunch of shows with it.

    Can't wait for this to fail to meet growth projections and get shut down in 18 months, taking the only legitimate streaming copies of a bunch of shows with it.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on You get to reboot any TV show, and give it a twist. What gets made? in ~tv

    Sunward
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    Sliders. I love the premise, and I loved it when it originally aired, but I don't think it's aged very well; it's definitely a product of its time. I think if it were made (or remade) today, it...

    Sliders. I love the premise, and I loved it when it originally aired, but I don't think it's aged very well; it's definitely a product of its time. I think if it were made (or remade) today, it could get away with being a bit more cerebral, its alternate worlds could be less caricatured, and story arcs could take as long as they need instead of having to be resolved in a single episode (or occasionally two-parter) because it's better for ratings. Oh, and hopefully whatever network (or streaming service) that aired the reboot wouldn't show the episodes out of order.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on 8tracks, a site for sharing music playlists, is shutting down on Dec. 31 - The story of their 11-year journey from launch to shutdown in ~tech

    Sunward
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    Anecdotally, I know a few people who still use Pandora. Somewhat less anecdotally, Sirius XM bought them in February, so I'd imagine it will probably be kept around in some form for a while. At...

    Anecdotally, I know a few people who still use Pandora. Somewhat less anecdotally, Sirius XM bought them in February, so I'd imagine it will probably be kept around in some form for a while. At least, I don't think they'd set $3.5 billion on fire all at once by shutting it down a year after they bought it. Of course, I also don't know much about corporate accounting so maybe if they did they could write it off as a loss or something...

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Paradox Interactive is not immune to propaganda: Leftist politics in grand strategy in ~games.game_design

    Sunward
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    I'll agree with @reese about DST, but disagree with you both about time zones. I'll let Sam "qntm" Hughes make the argument in favor of keeping them around, because he does so much more eloquently...

    I'll agree with @reese about DST, but disagree with you both about time zones.

    I'll let Sam "qntm" Hughes make the argument in favor of keeping them around, because he does so much more eloquently and thoroughly than I could: So You Want To Abolish Time Zones. The tl;dr is: now instead of having to know that location x is y hours off your time zone z (or googling current time in x), you now have to memorize (or google) arcane tables of local daylight hours for each location x you're interested in, plus you've obliterated the concept of the "day", and it only gets worse from there.

    I'll concede that things get a little iffier for people who live in communities straddling time zone borders, but, guess what: they, like all humans, adapt.

    ...Wait a second, wasn't this thread about a YouTube video about a game?

  8. Comment on Finland is a capitalist paradise in ~news

    Sunward
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    The point was, maybe they wouldn't have. Insofar as I'm invested in this debate at all, it's mostly as devil's advocate for the "capitalism really is the source of all the world's ills" side...

    I genuinely fail to see how a dominantly socialist culture would be different from our own in this example, should they have made their society dependant on fossil fuels like we have.

    The point was, maybe they wouldn't have. Insofar as I'm invested in this debate at all, it's mostly as devil's advocate for the "capitalism really is the source of all the world's ills" side (though I am no fan of capitalism either, especially the barely-regulated form that we now live under). At the same time, I don't think it's that "out there" to suggest that that's not too far off the mark. Since fossil fuels have become the main thrust of this conversation, let's use them as the poster child for malignant capitalism: look at all the fossil fuel companies who secretly funded climate change denialists even as their own scientists were sounding the alarm internally about climate change. Shell, ExxonMobil, BP, and their ilk could have been funding research into sustainable and renewable energy technology decades ago and spearheaded a more gradual transition when it might have made a bigger difference in the warming we and future generations will experience, but they didn't, because the ROI on making it seem like it was A-OK to keep burning dinosaurs was higher. They're only pivoting to renewables now because, as you say, there is profit in it. Ultimately, my point is that a system that prioritizes ill-defined "growth", and profit, over all else--even over preservation of the environment (both literal and metaphorical) that makes that growth possible--is what got us into the mess we're currently in. I think it's telling that it's difficult--for either of us--to even coherently imagine a world where the highest priority is keeping the world livable (in all senses of the world).

    1 vote
  9. Comment on Finland is a capitalist paradise in ~news

    Sunward
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    I don't think this sarcasm is helpful or contributes to the discussion. I'm not going to try to argue that a primarily socialist world wouldn't have used carbon-emitting energy sources to...

    Ah yes the well known colonizer's and resource exploiters Canada, Norway, and Finland.

    I don't think this sarcasm is helpful or contributes to the discussion.

    Capitalism didn't cause climate change. Human advancement caused climate change. Are you seriously going to try and argue a dominantly socialist world would not have made use of carbon energy sources to industrialize?

    I'm not going to try to argue that a primarily socialist world wouldn't have used carbon-emitting energy sources to industrialize (I'm also not the OP, so I can't say that that is actually the entirety of their argument). However, I would point out that, while "capitalism caused climate change" might be somewhat facile and un-nuanced on the one hand, on the other hand a "growth at all costs and damn the externalities" mindset tends to go hand-in-hand with capitalism, especially in the last 40-50 years or so, and carbon emissions (and their effect on the climate) are one such externality that, absent measures like carbon taxes, tend to be ignored by participants in capitalist economies. Of course, socialist economies could easily fall victim to that same indifferent mindset, but presumably in a world where the workers own the means of production, attitudes would be more collectivist and everyone would feel a sense of responsibility for keeping the planet habitable, even at the cost of slowing growth and innovation; after all, what good is a newer, better, faster widget if the planet's going to be too hot for anyone who would use it to live on?

    9 votes
  10. Comment on How do you turn a smart TV into a dumb TV? in ~tech

    Sunward
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    Certainly it's possible, but considering that a smart TV's firmware updates are probably (hopefully) digitally signed, you're probably looking at, if not iPhone-jailbreak-exploit-finding levels of...

    Still I’m curious if it’s possible to go even further, and actively render those features unusable.

    Certainly it's possible, but considering that a smart TV's firmware updates are probably (hopefully) digitally signed, you're probably looking at, if not iPhone-jailbreak-exploit-finding levels of difficulty, then at least Wii-jailbreak-exploit-finding levels of difficulty. I'd just not connect it to the internet and be content with that.

    Also:

    I think the only control on the TV I’ll need to use is the power button.

    If your HDMI switch passes through CEC, you might not even need to use that.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on She took her amputated leg home, and you can too in ~health

    Sunward
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    The leg that "looks like the bogwater remains of a diabetic Mr. Goodyear" is, per the photo caption, actually a specimen in the National Museum of Health and Medicine, not the article subject's...

    The leg that "looks like the bogwater remains of a diabetic Mr. Goodyear" is, per the photo caption, actually a specimen in the National Museum of Health and Medicine, not the article subject's own amputated leg, which (again, if you read the article) she sent to Skulls Unlimited in order to get it stripped, cleaned, and articulated like a skeleton in anatomy class so she can take pictures with it on Instagram.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on The next recession will destroy millennials in ~finance

    Sunward
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    Student loans in the US (federal ones, at least) do have payment options similar to what you describe: there are repayment plans where your payment is based on a percentage of your income that can...

    Student loans in the US (federal ones, at least) do have payment options similar to what you describe: there are repayment plans where your payment is based on a percentage of your income that can be 0% if your income is low enough. I never qualified for it, even fresh out of college (having gotten a job in tech), so I don't know that much about it (it's difficult to find actual hard numbers on where the cut-off is; I'm guessing it changes from year to year, but also I'm writing this in a few minutes before a meeting at work so not searching very hard either). If you're on an income-based plan your loans are forgiven after 20 or 25 years (depending on when they were disbursed after or before July 2014)... but the IRS treats the amount forgiven as a taxable "gift", so you're arguably just kicking the can down the road for 20 or 25 years.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on Man of letters: What I learned about America, and myself, working as a mail carrier in ~life

    Sunward
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    A journalist writes about his experiences working for the United States Postal Service after being laid off from a newspaper. If you'd rather take it 280 characters at a time, the content is drawn...

    A journalist writes about his experiences working for the United States Postal Service after being laid off from a newspaper.

    If you'd rather take it 280 characters at a time, the content is drawn largely from a Twitter thread by the author that went viral.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on How much is seeing your favourite band worth? in ~music

    Sunward
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    Ooh, I can actually answer this question with obnoxious precision! I would pay $634.01 to see my all-time favorite band. Because I did. See, my all-time favorite band is the Dillinger Escape Plan,...

    Ooh, I can actually answer this question with obnoxious precision! I would pay $634.01 to see my all-time favorite band. Because I did.

    See, my all-time favorite band is the Dillinger Escape Plan, who announced in 2016 that they would break up upon completion of touring in support of their final album, Dissociation. They announced a final show at the end of December 2017 at Terminal 5 in NYC. That sold out before I could get tickets. They added another date before that at the same venue. That sold out before I could get tickets too. Then they announced a third show, which I assumed would sell out so I didn't even bother, but my best friend did bother and actually managed to get tickets, so I got us plane tickets and a hotel room and paid for taxis, and my half of all that plus the price of my ticket was $634.01.

    10 votes
  15. Comment on What are books that you would consider worse than their adaptation, and why? in ~books

    Sunward
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    As regards the nature of Holden's character, I think it's important to consider how the Expanse started: first as a setting for an MMORPG, then as a tabletop RPG, and then novels after Daniel...

    As regards the nature of Holden's character, I think it's important to consider how the Expanse started: first as a setting for an MMORPG, then as a tabletop RPG, and then novels after Daniel Abraham suggested to Ty Franck that he'd built a detailed enough world to write novels in. In fact, one of them (I forget if it was Franck or Abraham though I'd assume Franck since he did all the research) ran a tabletop RPG set in the world of the Expanse (based on d20 Modern, as I recall) before he and Abraham began to write the novels, and several if not all of the main characters (Holden, Alex, Naomi, Amos, and I think Bobbie?) are based on the players' characters from that initial tabletop RPG. I believe Franck or Abraham has even said on Twitter that part of the point of Holden's character is to show "how annoying it is to have a paladin in the party".

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What's your favorite metal album right now? in ~music

    Sunward
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    Do I have to pick just one? I'm not 100% sure Hopesfall counts as metal (Wikipedia lists "alternative metal" as one of their genres so I'll say yes), but I've been listening to their new album,...

    Do I have to pick just one?

    I'm not 100% sure Hopesfall counts as metal (Wikipedia lists "alternative metal" as one of their genres so I'll say yes), but I've been listening to their new album, Arbiter, their first since their breakup ten years ago and reunion two years ago, and I'm loving it; it's like all the best parts of The Satellite Years and Magnetic North. They released three singles: "H.A. Wallace Space Academy", "Tunguska" (one of my favorites), and "Faint Object Camera". It looks like Equal Vision Records also put several other songs from the album on YouTube, including another favorite, "Indignation and the Rise of the Arbiter" (although honestly, I love the entire album; it's really hard to pick favorites).

    I was also super into The Hirsch Effekt earlier this year, especially their latest album Eskapist. I discovered them once via a Spotify Discover Weekly playlist. They didn't really grab me then, but then they floated back into my awareness with Eskapist, which sucked me in for a while and was nearly the only thing I listened to for about three weeks straight. They remind me a lot of Between the Buried and Me in terms of how indulgently progressive they are (which I love), especially on Eskapist. Plus they have a song about how tardigrades will outlive us and how can you not love that?

  17. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - thoughts about the site's activity level in ~tildes.official

    Sunward
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    This is basically what Slashdot used to do: your karma would be displayed on your profile page in one of six buckets: "Terrible", "Bad", "Neutral", "Positive", "Good", and "Excellent". I just...

    This is basically what Slashdot used to do: your karma would be displayed on your profile page in one of six buckets: "Terrible", "Bad", "Neutral", "Positive", "Good", and "Excellent". I just looked and they don't seem to display it anymore, though.

    Slashdot karma also affected your starting comment scores (comments started at +1 by default, but someone with bad (not necessarily "Bad") karma would start at 0 or possibly even -1, and someone with good (not necessarily "Good") karma would start at +2), so it's not necessarily directly applicable here.

    It would be interesting to see someone other than Slashdot try a Slashdot-style comment moderation system, but Slashdot's was relatively complex, especially compared to Reddit's up-/downvotes or Tildes' up-/no votes, and I'm not sure how, or if, it could be applied to top-level posts.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on Daily Tildes discussion - figuring out some early details of the group hierarchy in ~tildes.official

    Sunward
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    My initial reaction was "the group hierarchy is similar in spirit to Usenet, right? If you subscribe to rec.games you don't also see content from rec.games.video, rec.games.video.ps4,...

    My initial reaction was "the group hierarchy is similar in spirit to Usenet, right? If you subscribe to rec.games you don't also see content from rec.games.video, rec.games.video.ps4, rec.games.video.ps4.uncharted, rec.games.computer, rec.games.computer.windows, rec.games.computer.windows.steam, rec.games.tabletop, rec.games.tabletop.dnd, rec.games.tabletop.dnd.5th-edition and so on" but then I thought about it for an additional five seconds and realized that though the hierarchy is Usenet-inspired, it's not necessarily directly imitating Usenet.

    I like your idea of special keywords but at the same time the idea of having reserved words in group names rubs me slightly the wrong way (~games.subs could equally be used for games about submarines!), although the idea I had (special characters that can't normally be part of group names, e.g. ~games.* to subscribe to all subgroups of ~games) isn't particularly user-friendly.

    6 votes
  19. Comment on Dvorak, Colemak and other alternative keyboard layouts in ~hobbies

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    I tried to switch to Dvorak in my teens, about 20 years ago, when several people in my online friend group were also switching. I was not able to stick with it; I type so fast in QWERTY (I top out...

    I tried to switch to Dvorak in my teens, about 20 years ago, when several people in my online friend group were also switching. I was not able to stick with it; I type so fast in QWERTY (I top out at 150wpm) that it was just frustrating trying to learn Dvorak, and I've never had problems with carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive strain injuries (possibly due to my highly unorthodox typing style arising from exposure to computers before I even started school, let alone ever took a typing class) so it never seemed worth it.

    In a similar vein, I bought an Ergodox EZ to use at work because as a man who is broad-shouldered (and...broad in general), a split keyboard appealed so that I could keep my arms at a more natural distance apart when typing, but I've had almost as much trouble adjusting to it as I did adjusting to Dvorak.