alexandria's recent activity

  1. Comment on Steve Guttenberg: ”Apple AirPods Pro, it's $249, but sounds like a cheap, throwaway headphone“ in ~tech

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    Shure offer a bluetooth wire that hangs around the neck. It's not 'true wireless' in the sense of Apple's airpods, though.

    Shure offer a bluetooth wire that hangs around the neck. It's not 'true wireless' in the sense of Apple's airpods, though.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on Universal's audible watermark in ~music

    alexandria
    Link
    There are other uses for watermarking audio. It would be blisteringly easy for advertisers to find out what music people listen to based on these watermarks and leverage that into a more expansive...

    There are other uses for watermarking audio. It would be blisteringly easy for advertisers to find out what music people listen to based on these watermarks and leverage that into a more expansive profile:

    During the 2015 Australian Open, KIA Motors Corporation leveraged audio watermarking in TV commercials aired during the tournament to connect directly with viewers’ mobile phones. During a commercial break, viewers were alerted to use KIA’s Game On app on their mobile to try to return the serve of the world’s fastest server, Sam Groth, delivered on screen. The connection between the television screen and the smartphone was achieved with audio watermarking.

    (source)

    Staff recently sent warning letters to app developers who had allowed third parties to install audio beacons in their apps, through software called Silverpush, without informing consumers who downloaded the apps. The software was capable of listening to a television being played near the consumer’s mobile device, and producing a detailed log of the television content viewed, for the purpose of targeted advertising and analytics.

    (source - PDF)

    In the most inconspicuous hustle of all, apps have increasingly incorporated ultrasonic tones to track consumers. They ask permission to access your smartphone microphone, then listen for inaudible "beacons" that emanate from retail stores, advertisements, and even websites. If you're not paying attention to the permissions you grant, you could be feeding marketers information about your online browsing, what stores you go to, and what products you like and dislike without ever realizing it.

    (source)

    4 votes
  3. Comment on Are you having any (professional) "I told you so" moments? in ~tech

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    Wow, where I worked as an intern was well climate controlled and I never smelled anyone else's sweat. One intern got accosted for using copious amounts of a deodorant in a public space, but aside...

    And who wants to smell programmers all day? No thanks.

    Wow, where I worked as an intern was well climate controlled and I never smelled anyone else's sweat. One intern got accosted for using copious amounts of a deodorant in a public space, but aside from that I can never remember any BO problems.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Trying a Thanksgiving feast made from bugs in ~food

    alexandria
    Link
    Just the other day I bought ice cream. It was mint chocolate, and looks and tastes completely normal and like every other mint chocolate ice cream. Because I have extremely bad food allergies I...

    Just the other day I bought ice cream. It was mint chocolate, and looks and tastes completely normal and like every other mint chocolate ice cream. Because I have extremely bad food allergies I had to check the back to make sure the manufacturer didn't smuggle in a gliadin-containing grain. I noticed that it contains locust protein (alternatively it could have been locust bean gum, if so this point still stands but the example has just fallen on it's face). I think that this is the future of food for us. Our food will stay mostly the same in the presentation of it, etc. But the manufacturers, to reduce costs, will start using insects a lot more in the production.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Amanda Palmer is getting dragged on Twitter - is this cancel culture? in ~talk

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    I believe the term comes from an sjw term that caught on (and I'm not using that word pejoratively, as I am an sjw) termed 'cancelling'. You're right that 'cancel culture' is a right-wing term, I...

    I believe the term comes from an sjw term that caught on (and I'm not using that word pejoratively, as I am an sjw) termed 'cancelling'. You're right that 'cancel culture' is a right-wing term, I believe there are some alternatives including 'accountability culture' which (among other things) make it easier to communicate to non-online people what is actually happening.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on What programming/technical projects have you been working on? in ~comp

    alexandria
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    I've been busy writing an implementation of ed(1) in Assembler. I've written most of the base, in that I can read a file into the line buffers and perform operations on that line buffer like...

    I've been busy writing an implementation of ed(1) in Assembler.

    I've written most of the base, in that I can read a file into the line buffers and perform operations on that line buffer like insertion and deletion. I've written a version of pike's regex implementation in assembler too, which will be nice when I get to parsing input and writing the command interface

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Steve Guttenberg: ”Apple AirPods Pro, it's $249, but sounds like a cheap, throwaway headphone“ in ~tech

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    Shure is a major player and IIRC from looking at the frequency ranges and tests it's clear that they do?

    I say that because if you look at all major players, including the Sennheisers the reviewer seemed to be so fond of, and the vast majority of the true wireless headphones do not offer a neutral response.

    Shure is a major player and IIRC from looking at the frequency ranges and tests it's clear that they do?

    1 vote
  8. Comment on What editor/IDE do you use? in ~comp

    alexandria
    Link
    I move between ed(1), ex-vi(1), and vim(1). In vim I have some convenience plugins for vim-orgmode, and some things like clearing search highlights and making searches case insensitive. That's...

    I move between ed(1), ex-vi(1), and vim(1).

    In vim I have some convenience plugins for vim-orgmode, and some things like clearing search highlights and making searches case insensitive. That's generally all I've ever needed tbh. I turn syntax highlighting off in vim (and the other two don't have it).

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Is it OK if someone wants to live for years on a bench? in ~life

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    Maybe they fear strings. A UBI study in an African country (I don't remember which one, unfortunately), failed because the villagers thought accepting the money would come with hidden strings and...

    And bizarrely, it turns out that they have been offered a series of flats by the council. Each offer has been refused - they haven't even gone to have a look. Living on the bench appears to be a choice.

    Maybe they fear strings. A UBI study in an African country (I don't remember which one, unfortunately), failed because the villagers thought accepting the money would come with hidden strings and they would be forced to do something for it in return later that they did not want.

    6 votes
  10. Comment on Gopher is not the Web in ~comp

    alexandria
    Link
    This was interesting! And makes me want to write a gopher client! haha

    This was interesting! And makes me want to write a gopher client! haha

    3 votes
  11. Comment on “C is not how the computer works” can lead to inefficient code in ~comp

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    Well, no. The code I linked to is independent of processors getting better at branch predicting, because it has none. This code will work efficiently on non-branch predicting computers, and branch...

    You just kind of hope that compilers don't change their code generation too much and processors only get better at branch prediction, or you have enough of a buffer that a slowdown doesn't matter too much.

    Well, no. The code I linked to is independent of processors getting better at branch predicting, because it has none. This code will work efficiently on non-branch predicting computers, and branch predicting ones, but it has an advantage on the latter. Obviously it trades off for cache-locality (using a lookup table), but generally most computers these days have quite large caches, at least for this specific application -- so in that sense you are right.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on “C is not how the computer works” can lead to inefficient code in ~comp

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    That's not entirely the case. While it is obviously true for cache-based optimization, it is not true for branch-prediction based optimization. That is to say, simply optimizing with the goal of...

    When it comes to performance, all bets are off. The only way to find out how software performs in production is to run it in production, or sometimes on exact replica hardware. (Sometimes you can do fuzzy reasoning by analogy or ignore constant factors to do algorithm analysis.)

    That's not entirely the case. While it is obviously true for cache-based optimization, it is not true for branch-prediction based optimization. That is to say, simply optimizing with the goal of reducing the number of branches in a program (and thus the number of 'oopsies' that the branch predictor goes through) has a consistent, measurable impact on performance.

    You can see that here: https://nothings.org/computer/lexing.html

    I also wrote a tiny wc clone (warning: code quality isn't great) (before all the recent 'faster wc clones' hit the media) using the strategy outlined above and a friend measured it and I achieved about 20x the performance of normal wc.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker | Final Trailer in ~movies

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    See, I think everyone who is complaining about this missed the point. The point was that after 20 years of fans for the most part being utterly disappointed in the world that the prequels created,...

    I didn't love TFA because the plot was too similar to ANH

    See, I think everyone who is complaining about this missed the point. The point was that after 20 years of fans for the most part being utterly disappointed in the world that the prequels created, and lambasting them, TFA was done like that partly because it was a sane business decision but also to reassure the fans that the property the had beloved for so long would not be like the prequels that it was staying true to the original trilogy. I feel that if they had done what they wanted, fans would have been whining over a departure from the spirit of the original trilogy -- which is what they're mostly whining about with the direction the story has taken these days, too.

    And I don't understand why. Moral relativism and the intentional destruction of hierarchies being a fundamentally good thing is an interesting direction to take a trilogy whose mainstay has been "good versus bad" and "order versus chaos". It gives room for the message that TRJ ended on -- that there is no good and bad, there are people, who have the power to take choices that can be good, or bad. And the message that the prequels had -- that people can do bad things and fall into a pattern of doing bad things, for inherently good reasons. Anakin's motivation that led him to the dark side was, at first, to save his wife and her child.

  14. Comment on Computer files are going extinct in ~tech

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    Ah right, of course, I'll just alter every major programming language to ignore a block of text in their source code files. I don't understand why you don't see immediately how unwieldy and out of...

    Ah right, of course, I'll just alter every major programming language to ignore a block of text in their source code files.

    I don't understand why you don't see immediately how unwieldy and out of scope of the project that is.

  15. Comment on Computer files are going extinct in ~tech

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    Doesn't work for code or text files

    Hmm, it seems like if you store data inside the file (like Exif format in images) then it's less likely to be lost. On the other hand, this can result in privacy leaks too.

    Doesn't work for code or text files

  16. Comment on What keyboard shortcut was a game changer for you? in ~tech

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    When I tried Kakoune, it seemed to break and misunderstand the point of vim. The point of vim is that there are motions, and actions, and you can apply any motion to any action. From a...

    When I tried Kakoune, it seemed to break and misunderstand the point of vim. The point of vim is that there are motions, and actions, and you can apply any motion to any action. From a user-interface standpoint, motions and actions have different keybindings, but they (generally) are intuitive. For example, typing 'd(elete)w(ord)' (without anything in the brackets) deletes a word. The motion 'd(elete)t(o)a' deletes everything on the line until the letter 'a'. I haven't? looked at Kakoune in a while, but from what I remember it completely broke these mappings, and the things it broke in favour of seemed to have been done slapdash. The reason why I prefer vim over EMACS, and Sublime Text, and any of the other text editors out there, is because being given vim feels like being given a toolbox. I can learn a new motion, and suddenly all of the actions I could do before, can be done on that motion. I can learn a new action, and all of the motions I can do are (usually) applicable to that action. From what I remember (and I admit it has been a long time) Kakoune did not have that feeling, or properties.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Computer files are going extinct in ~tech

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    This is frustrating, and the exact reason I wrote koios. I still need to write a nice GUI interface for it, though.

    It seems like it became a question of how to manage files in bulk? Often these are media-specific operations, not something easily done in a file manager. And the filesystems themselves provide little organization.

    This is frustrating, and the exact reason I wrote koios. I still need to write a nice GUI interface for it, though.

    2 votes
  18. Comment on What's your SILLY unpopular opinion? in ~talk

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    I uhhh. That's one hell of a compressed summary. War and Peace could be summarized as "Some families feud while Napoleon invades Russia". That's technically correct but you're skipping over...

    The plot is mind numbingly boring. Rick Deckard learns of four escaped replicants, then kills them.

    I uhhh. That's one hell of a compressed summary. War and Peace could be summarized as "Some families feud while Napoleon invades Russia". That's technically correct but you're skipping over everything the actual plot grapples with.

    2 votes
  19. Comment on What's your SILLY unpopular opinion? in ~talk

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    It's longer than the length of time for someone to (supposedly) become addicted.

    Taking nicotine for a month is perhaps not comparable?

    It's longer than the length of time for someone to (supposedly) become addicted.

  20. Comment on What's your SILLY unpopular opinion? in ~talk

    alexandria
    Link Parent
    I have another pen from them and it is literally a brush, but the PK*-10S is much closer to a felt tip in action, with just enough brush to make them pleasurable to write with.

    It's designed specifically for brush-style calligraphy

    I have another pen from them and it is literally a brush, but the PK*-10S is much closer to a felt tip in action, with just enough brush to make them pleasurable to write with.

    1 vote