Wes's recent activity

  1. Comment on Simon plays The Witness in ~games

    Wes
    Link Parent
    That's great. I hope Simon also takes a stroll around the island, just to take in design of the world. He hopped so quickly from puzzle to puzzle that there was a ton he missed.

    That's great. I hope Simon also takes a stroll around the island, just to take in design of the world. He hopped so quickly from puzzle to puzzle that there was a ton he missed.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Pack in ~games

    Wes
    Link
    I play a ton of Pattern, which is a nonogram game. Great little collection, and completely free. Also available for Android!

    I play a ton of Pattern, which is a nonogram game. Great little collection, and completely free.

    Also available for Android!

    4 votes
  3. Comment on ‘Babylon 5’ series reboot from creator J. Michael Straczynski in works at the CW in ~tv

    Wes
    Link Parent
    Wow, I didn't even recognize him. He was incredible in B5. One of the standout characters for me. Now I wonder why they didn't do more with him in Star Trek.

    To give you an idea though, Walter Koenig, the guy that played Chekov on the Star Trek The Original Series for seasons 2 and 3 was in Babylon 5 for 12 episodes

    Wow, I didn't even recognize him. He was incredible in B5. One of the standout characters for me.

    Now I wonder why they didn't do more with him in Star Trek.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Simon plays The Witness in ~games

    Wes
    (edited )
    Link
    Apologies for the bump, but I just watched through this series this weekend. That was quite a fast completion. I spent at least 30 hours before reaching the ending. Compared to his, what, 14? And...

    Apologies for the bump, but I just watched through this series this weekend. That was quite a fast completion. I spent at least 30 hours before reaching the ending. Compared to his, what, 14? And that was with almost all areas complete.

    I must say, I'd forgotten just how beautiful The Witness is. The puzzle design is so elegant. Outside of the menus and audio logs, there's not even any text or dialogue. No instructions, no manuals, and yet the player is capable of solving very complex puzzles by the end of each section. Jonathan Blow is a phenomenal game designer.

    Simon seems like an enjoyable narrator. It doesn't have any of the usual streamer guff that turns me off to live streaming, with the possible exception of reading out so many of the comments. But his lack of experience with this sort of thing almost seemed like a positive. No gamer expectations that needed to be subverted; just a pure take on the experience.

    I'd like to see him attempt the final challenge. I have to admit I never finished it myself. I always intended to, but I got distracted and never came back to it. Maybe I'll finally give it another go...


    edit: Five years later, I've completed the challenge. Found it much easier to turn off the music, as otherwise I tended to panic. Only took about 45 minutes, but watching this series offered a much-needed refresher on the puzzle mechanics.

    5 votes
  5. Comment on Where did the trend of disabling Javascript in one's browser originate from? in ~comp

    Wes
    Link Parent
    Microsoft Clarity, Hotjar, and Mouseflow are the heatmap tools I'm familiar with. I expect the default uBlock filters already block them all, though.

    Microsoft Clarity, Hotjar, and Mouseflow are the heatmap tools I'm familiar with. I expect the default uBlock filters already block them all, though.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Where did the trend of disabling Javascript in one's browser originate from? in ~comp

    Wes
    Link Parent
    I'm afraid I get redirected to a regional homepage when I try viewing that privacy policy. From your quotes here though, is this describing the website's data collection or that of their mobile...

    I'm afraid I get redirected to a regional homepage when I try viewing that privacy policy. From your quotes here though, is this describing the website's data collection or that of their mobile application? I think it must be the latter. I don't see how a BLE identifier could currently be captured on a website, for example.

    Similarly, an IP address allows a rough approximation of location in the same way that caller ID gives away a caller's area code. But on the web a more precise lookup requires consent via the geolocation API.

    I fully expect that mobile applications which have full access to your device will have more onerous tracking due to a greater permission scope. However I'm a web developer, and I was only speaking to my own experience in that area. I expect the mobile app landscape is very different when it comes to privacy.

  7. Comment on Where did the trend of disabling Javascript in one's browser originate from? in ~comp

    Wes
    Link Parent
    Sort of. That's knowledge possessed by the cellphone companies, by necessity of cellphones pinging towers as you move around. That's not inherently public knowledge, but it is queryable by law...

    Do you share publicly every single place you visit? If you carry a cellphone you do.

    Sort of. That's knowledge possessed by the cellphone companies, by necessity of cellphones pinging towers as you move around. That's not inherently public knowledge, but it is queryable by law enforcement.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Where did the trend of disabling Javascript in one's browser originate from? in ~comp

    Wes
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    This is bandied around a lot, but I just don't see it. Where are these data markets? As a site owner, where do I go to offload my analytics for $$$? If like me you start reading privacy policies,...

    Instead, though, most sites use it to sell info about you to third parties so they can show you ads for items you already purchased.

    This is bandied around a lot, but I just don't see it. Where are these data markets? As a site owner, where do I go to offload my analytics for $$$?

    If like me you start reading privacy policies, you'll see that 95% of them explicitly state they do not sell user data. That includes large companies like Facebook and Google.

    That's not to say that it never happens. Certainly companies have sold big portions of user data, such as credit card companies. But for the millions of regular site owners who are accused of profiting off tracking, I just don't see anything like that. Even if they place ads on their sites, they're not engaging in any sale of user data. You'd have to really stretch the definitions involved to make that argument ("no no, they're actually selling you out").

    Mostly I think this idea of selling user data is a big boogieman online. Tracking is done primarily by site owners who want to measure performance. Are people clicking Purchase? Are videos being watched? Are the ads converting?

    I have no problem at all with people blocking tracking (and I believe my own adblocker does so by default), but I think internet denizens have really developed a twisted view on this topic over the years. What I see out in the real world is nothing at all like what I see described in the tech circles.

    6 votes
  9. Comment on Where did the trend of disabling Javascript in one's browser originate from? in ~comp

    Wes
    Link
    It's a very small minority of users. They tend to be the loudest voices on websites like Hacker News and certain subreddits, but it's a small crowd using a speaker phone. Real users aren't posting...

    It's a very small minority of users. They tend to be the loudest voices on websites like Hacker News and certain subreddits, but it's a small crowd using a speaker phone. Real users aren't posting with Lynx or downloading pages with curl, so I simply don't worry about it. If the website breaks, those users know how to fix it. If they choose to go elsewhere, that's fine too.

    In this day and age, every browser is evergreen. They support JavaScript and all the latest specs. That includes screen readers and other accessibility devices, so that excuse is no longer valid. As a result of this, the original concerns that led to progressive enhancement are no longer valid. Websites can be fully featured and it will be supported by virtually everyone.

    Nowadays I worry more about performance than capability. A glut of JavaScript will slow pages down, so I try to do as much with as little as I can. I've no aversion to the technology, but developers can be lazy about their uses. By requiring a compilation/interpretation step, JS is the heaviest content a page can send. It's best to be thoughtful about what features a page or app really need.

    24 votes
  10. Comment on Any Star Citizen players here? in ~games

    Wes
    Link
    I check it out every year or two to see where it's at. As an Elite Dangerous player, the flight model in Star Citizen always takes some getting used to, but the game seems to be improving....

    I check it out every year or two to see where it's at. As an Elite Dangerous player, the flight model in Star Citizen always takes some getting used to, but the game seems to be improving. Unfortunately, I've never been able to play it at a reasonable framerate so I can't say much else.

    There's a lot of pessimism about the game, and do I share in some of it, but as a space sim fan I do hope it turns out to be good in the end.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord in ~tech

    Wes
    Link Parent
    If you're only there for the screenshots, you could mute every other channel in the server. That way when there's a new message, the icon should be marked "unread". Not exactly a notification, but...

    If you're only there for the screenshots, you could mute every other channel in the server. That way when there's a new message, the icon should be marked "unread".

    Not exactly a notification, but still filters out the noise.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord in ~tech

  13. Comment on Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord in ~tech

    Wes
    Link Parent
    Probably not. This one was designed for SMF 2.0, which itself is very old now. If you're handy you might be able to integrate it yourself though. The plugin system in SMF is horrendous, by the...

    Probably not. This one was designed for SMF 2.0, which itself is very old now. If you're handy you might be able to integrate it yourself though.

    The plugin system in SMF is horrendous, by the way. It works by modifying the source PHP files directly, and adds some <!-- plugin starts here --> type code to mark their place. No API, no hooks, just raw code injection.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord in ~tech

    Wes
    Link Parent
    I still maintain some old forums in <current year>, and the spam is ridiculous. I went through 5 or 6 different anti-spam methods with no success. Honeypots, heuristic services, custom quizzes and...

    I still maintain some old forums in <current year>, and the spam is ridiculous. I went through 5 or 6 different anti-spam methods with no success. Honeypots, heuristic services, custom quizzes and other techniques just didn't work.

    I eventually found a plugin for integrating reCaptcha and that finally, finally solved the problem. I get why users hate captchas but I can find no suitable replacement. Plus it's only during signups, so it's a one-time solve.

    Spam is a real problem for forums. It's not a big surprise they're going away, really.

    9 votes
  15. Comment on Why many scientists say it’s unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a “lab leak” in ~health.coronavirus

    Wes
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    According to Dr. Steven Novella, it took 13 years to identify the origin of SARS. According to Wikipedia, it took 14 years. It's interesting, but I wouldn't say remarkable. The virus does not...

    It's remarkable that we haven't found the animal source by now, we had already long since found the source for SARS and MERS by this point.

    According to Dr. Steven Novella, it took 13 years to identify the origin of SARS. According to Wikipedia, it took 14 years.

    And it's remarkable that a lab studying coronaviruses that may or may not have been performing GoFR was running in the same city where the pandemic started.

    It's interesting, but I wouldn't say remarkable. The virus does not appear to be human-edited. Even if the lab were involved somehow, the idea that GoFR played any role is extremely unlikely.

    There simply isn't any more evidence for the lab leak theory today than there was a year ago. Unfortunately it is now the narrative that has taken hold. By all means, it should be investigated as a possibility, but I see no reason for the messaging to focus on that. There's already rampant speculation and conspiracy theories online, despite most scientists holding that a natural origin as far more likely.

    edit: Typo

    13 votes
  16. Comment on No Man's Sky Frontiers trailer in ~games

    Wes
    Link Parent
    One of my favourite things about Elite Dangerous is that the skybox is accurate within each system. If you start flying towards a nebula, that stretch of sky will continue to grow larger until...

    One of my favourite things about Elite Dangerous is that the skybox is accurate within each system. If you start flying towards a nebula, that stretch of sky will continue to grow larger until you're inside of it. Or, if instead you fly towards the galactic center, the starscape becomes more and more dense until everything feels lit up.

    It's very subtle, but it sneaks up on you. Suddenly you gaze around and realize you're in a very different section of space. I think this really adds to the sense of scale in the game.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on The Reddit COVID blackout has begun in ~tech

    Wes
    Link Parent
    I don't see that reddit was founded on free speech principles. It was just a link aggregator. It didn't even have comments, text.posts or subreddits at the start. A Libertarian streak did evolve...

    I don't see that reddit was founded on free speech principles. It was just a link aggregator. It didn't even have comments, text.posts or subreddits at the start.

    A Libertarian streak did evolve in the community as it began to form, and I agree free speech was a core feature of that. But I wouldn't argue it was founded on those principles. Certainly there wasn't a strong influence in that direction from on top until much later, when Yishan held the reigns for a short while.

    8 votes
  18. Comment on Almost all of the top subreddits are moderated by the same people in ~tech

    Wes
    Link
    I might just be a grouch, but this seems like pointless fearmongering. Have these users done anything wrong? They're putting in hours of work every day to maintain their subreddits. They weren't...

    I might just be a grouch, but this seems like pointless fearmongering. Have these users done anything wrong? They're putting in hours of work every day to maintain their subreddits. They weren't trying to hide this fact. This same information is clearly visible in the subreddit sidebar and user pages.

    Mods hire people they know and trust. It's not that unreasonable. Many others are on specifically for dealing with problems like spam or CSS.

    There's thousands of subreddits moderated by different individuals. If you don't like a moderator, go find (or create!) an alternative. I see no sense in shaming others just because they're effective.

    10 votes
  19. Comment on The Middle East is running out of water in ~enviro

    Wes
    Link Parent
    I agree, but putting something like body {max-width: 1200px; margin: 0 auto;} in the default stylesheet would surely break a lot of websites.

    It’s really too bad that browser defaults are so bad on big screens.

    I agree, but putting something like body {max-width: 1200px; margin: 0 auto;} in the default stylesheet would surely break a lot of websites.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on Star Trek: Lower Decks - S02E01 "Strange Energies" in ~tv

    Wes
    Link Parent
    I almost talked about that, but TAS is actually the only Trek I've not watched. Mostly due to its age and the fact that it's not considered canonical, so I felt I'd be okay without it. I'm...

    I almost talked about that, but TAS is actually the only Trek I've not watched. Mostly due to its age and the fact that it's not considered canonical, so I felt I'd be okay without it.

    I'm definitely open to watching it though! It's only 22 episodes, and may be more to my liking. So I appreciate that you mentioned it.

    2 votes