balooga's recent activity

  1. Comment on How Disney's Tower of Terror works in ~tech

    balooga
    Link Parent
    The theming of the entire attraction is unparalleled. I'm in love with the cobwebby hotel lobby, the warbly old-timey jazz music, the cast member costuming, the boiler room, the 5th Dimension...

    The theming of the entire attraction is unparalleled. I'm in love with the cobwebby hotel lobby, the warbly old-timey jazz music, the cast member costuming, the boiler room, the 5th Dimension scene, the landscaping around the building... It's all so good! (I'm referring to the version in Florida, I haven't been to the others.)

    Fun fact, the side of the tower exterior visible within Hollywood Studios is themed differently from its back side. Because the rear of the building is actually visible from certain spots in Epcot, it's camouflaged to blend in with the Morocco pavilion in the World Showcase! If there's one thing Disney imagineers have always excelled at, it's accounting for all the sightlines.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Introducing: AMD Privacy View in ~tech

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Okay, that makes a bit more sense, though the polarized filters still seem like the superior solution.

    Okay, that makes a bit more sense, though the polarized filters still seem like the superior solution.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on Introducing: AMD Privacy View in ~tech

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I don't understand the use case at all. This is for people who want to show their screen to others, while simultaneously having their private information onscreen (but hidden as long as the...

    I don't understand the use case at all. This is for people who want to show their screen to others, while simultaneously having their private information onscreen (but hidden as long as the presenter doesn't accidentally glance in the wrong direction, or the eye tracking software doesn't glitch)? What an incredibly fragile and overengineered "solution" to a problem that doesn't exist. If you want to show your screen, just close out of your sensitive data first. Is that too hard for people?

    6 votes
  4. Comment on Thor: Love and Thunder | Official trailer in ~movies

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Ditto that for Portman!

    Ditto that for Portman!

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 23-24 in ~news

    balooga
    Link Parent
    The first of MANY more to come, we can only hope.

    The first of MANY more to come, we can only hope.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Deep dive into the history of Kennywood's Old Mill ride, the cancelled Garfield theme park, and the infamous Garfield's Nightmare dark ride in ~humanities

    balooga
    Link
    New Defunctland? Yes please! Thanks for posting it here.

    New Defunctland? Yes please! Thanks for posting it here.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on What's an achievable technological, scientific, or computational breakthrough that you're really looking forward in the next fifteen years? in ~tech

    balooga
    Link
    There are two innovations I really want to see in the video game world, particularly for Bethesda-style RPGs: "Narrative engines" that generate rich characters, locations, quests, and (most...

    There are two innovations I really want to see in the video game world, particularly for Bethesda-style RPGs:

    • "Narrative engines" that generate rich characters, locations, quests, and (most importantly) compelling story arcs that adapt to player choice and other unscripted events. Every NPC will have their own schedule and set of relationships, personality traits, morals, mannerisms, motivations, goals, skills, world-awareness, and influence. Through their responses to the player and each other, and guided by the narrative engine which ensures that emergent stories are fun, interesting, and make sense, no two people will experience the same game the same way. Yes, I'm aware that I'm describing a DM. This tech will elevate video game storytelling closer to the level of tabletop RPGs.
    • Speech synthesis that's indistinguishable from voice acting. As much as I love the narrative engine concept, nobody's going to want to play with it if all the dialog is subtitle-only, or if the NPCs speak like robots. If games are capable of producing a wide range of lifelike voices, with a full suite of emotional inflections, accents, shouts, whispers, breaths, grunts, etc., then we have all the building blocks for some pretty amazing free-form cinematic experiences unhindered by casting and voice talent budget.

    These are big problems to solve but I think there have been good advancements toward both already. Bethesda's been dynamically generating endless quests for years, not main quests but still. The nemesis system introduced in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor is an attempt at something like this. And of course there are deep-simulation games like Dwarf Fortress and Crusader Kings that we can look to for examples of compelling emergent narratives. To the speech synthesis point, home assistants (Siri/Alexa/Google) have made great strides. I've also heard unbelievable voice results from neural networks but those are still computationally intensive. Anyway, 10-15 years may not be an unreasonable timeframe for both ideas to mature, and I hope they do.

    10 votes
  8. Comment on Feature suggestion: Non-bumping comments in ~tildes

    balooga
    Link Parent
    There hasn’t been any activity in master for 9 months. Is Tildes (the repo, not the site) no longer being maintained by anyone?

    There hasn’t been any activity in master for 9 months. Is Tildes (the repo, not the site) no longer being maintained by anyone?

    3 votes
  9. Comment on My college students are not ok in ~life

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I've also felt this, but I can't articulate it. I don't use social media so not sure what's going on in those spaces. Crime is on the rise where I live; the police department is losing officers...

    I've also felt this, but I can't articulate it. I don't use social media so not sure what's going on in those spaces. Crime is on the rise where I live; the police department is losing officers faster than it can replace them and criminals are getting more brazen.

    I can only speak for myself, but covid has been unspeakably demoralizing for me. Not just the disease, but humanity's collective response (if you can call it that) to it. I used to be optimistic about the future, about the accomplishments humans have made and the better life we're creating for ourselves. I used to take for granted the assumption that most people were generous and empathetic. Those attitudes were souring in me before covid but the pandemic was the last nail in their coffin. It's very hard to hang onto hope when circumstances have unmasked how widespread the ignorance, bigotry, are narcissism are. People I once thought were kind and intelligent are spouting off the most unhinged conspiracy theories. Cops are still abusing people. Livestreamed mass shootings are increasingly frequent. War continues, as heinous and barbaric as it's ever been. Microplastics are everywhere and climate change continues apace. Fascism is, perplexingly, on the rise everywhere.

    It feels like even when the problems are pointed out in giant capital letters, we as a species are unable to summon the will to do anything about them. And far, far too many of us are actively, intentionally, aggressively trying to sabotage meaningful progress. It's like we have a death wish.

    Meanwhile, the pandemic is not over, normality has not returned, and I'm legitimately furious that "everyone" seems to have their fingers in their ears about it. Double-vaxxed and boosted and more socially isolated than most, I still managed to get it after holding out as long as I could, a couple weeks ago. And I'm grappling with some serious dread now because, okay, I'm "not sick anymore." But for some reason I'm no longer able to breathe as deeply as I could a month ago. I get winded when I walk around the block. I'm still coughing. Covid is not done with me. I'm terrified to think what sort of lasting scarring it's left in my body. And this is only my first infection. What happens when I catch it again next year? How are these effects going to compound?

    Sorry for the digression but nobody is talking about it and it's freaking me out: it's like people only care if you survive getting covid once, and assume if you live through it that life carries on exactly as it did before infection, like a pass/fail grade. There is no conversation about the long-term societal impact of endemicity, or the personal toll it's going to take on all of us. I have an image in my mind of what life's going to look like in 20 years, and it's the majority of people struggling to breathe, smell, or taste anything because of all the tissue damage years of covid reinfections have wreaked on their bodies. And after seeing the depths of human dispassion of late, I expect everyone will just shrug and accept their new shitty quality of life and an average life expectancy of 65 of whatever. That's so bleak, I hope I'm wrong.

    16 votes
  10. Comment on The Orville: New Horizons | Official trailer in ~tv

    balooga
    Link
    Really looking forward to the next five seasons of this show!

    Really looking forward to the next five seasons of this show!

    6 votes
  11. Comment on The regex [,-.] in ~comp

    balooga
    Link
    Interesting, I've only seen ranges like [a-z], [A-Z], and [0-9]. I'd wondered in passing how the intermediary chars were determined but never looked into it, assumed letter and number ranges were...

    Interesting, I've only seen ranges like [a-z], [A-Z], and [0-9]. I'd wondered in passing how the intermediary chars were determined but never looked into it, assumed letter and number ranges were just hard-coded into regex or something. Turns out it actually uses consecutive ASCII values! Seems like all manner of weird tricks might be possible with that knowledge... Thanks for sharing!

    6 votes
  12. Comment on Who made these circles in the Sahara? in ~humanities

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Glad to know I wasn't the only one who paused on "xtphxtph" and went looking on reddit!

    Glad to know I wasn't the only one who paused on "xtphxtph" and went looking on reddit!

    2 votes
  13. Comment on About those kill-switched Ukrainian tractors in ~tech

    balooga
    Link
    I highly recommend "Radicalized," Doctorow's 4-novella collection about where this sort of technology might lead. "Unauthorized Bread" is a great exploration of DRM, vendor lock-in, and...

    I highly recommend "Radicalized," Doctorow's 4-novella collection about where this sort of technology might lead. "Unauthorized Bread" is a great exploration of DRM, vendor lock-in, and right-to-repair issues.

    6 votes
  14. Comment on Officials prep for gruesome surprises as Las Vegas lake slowly dries up in ~news

    balooga
    Link
    If there isn't a crashed B-29 bomber at the bottom of the lake, Pearl's going to be very disappointed.

    If there isn't a crashed B-29 bomber at the bottom of the lake, Pearl's going to be very disappointed.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on US court orders every ISP in the United States to block illegal streaming sites in ~tech

    balooga
    Link
    This is one of the more concerning parts to me. Is there some specification for these "landing pages" to follow? Is there anything preventing them from attempting to track or de-anonymize would-be...

    All domains must be channeled to the landing page operated by the plaintiffs

    This is one of the more concerning parts to me. Is there some specification for these "landing pages" to follow? Is there anything preventing them from attempting to track or de-anonymize would-be pirates who end up there? Or replace the actual pirate sites with lookalike fake ones that host malware? Maybe I'm too much of a purist but DNS hijacking is a real concern. Any time users intend to visit one site and a third party intervenes to direct them somewhere else is an opportunity for abuse. (I have the same concerns about the FBI's domain seizure landing pages, but at least in that case we know who's operating the server.)

    15 votes
  16. Comment on What lesser known intellectual properties you would like to see in movies or TV shows? in ~talk

    balooga
    Link
    Many years ago I discovered The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, a sci-fi novella self-published for free reading online. Few works of fiction have left the sort of lasting impression on me that...

    Many years ago I discovered The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect, a sci-fi novella self-published for free reading online. Few works of fiction have left the sort of lasting impression on me that it has. It's not the sort of book I would actively seek out; it's loaded with extreme NSFW imagery, graphic descriptions of violence and sex. But they're there for a reason, not simply for puerile shock value. The book explores the technological singularity, the rise of AI, and the essence of what it means to be human when all of the things that make us recognizably so are stripped away.

    I have no idea how this could be made into a movie for general audiences. I bet HBO could serialize it and keep it more or less faithful to the spirit of the original. However it got made, I would hope a new ending could be devised, because the last chapter is a pretty disappointing end to an otherwise fascinating story.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Dall-E 2 is a new AI system that can create realistic images and art from a description in natural language in ~comp

    balooga
    Link
    That's a pretty phenomenal demo video, but as usual, there's very little "open" in OpenAI. I'd love to play with this, and likely will never get to. I don't think I'd be as grumpy about it if...

    That's a pretty phenomenal demo video, but as usual, there's very little "open" in OpenAI. I'd love to play with this, and likely will never get to. I don't think I'd be as grumpy about it if their name weren't such a deliberate misnomer. I like a lot of things in the FOSS world whose names start with "open" but this particular group (despite their undeniably impressive results) is way too gatekeepy for my liking.

    9 votes
  18. Comment on Return to Monkey Island | Coming 2022 in ~games

    balooga
    Link
    Longtime Monkey Island fan here, I was pretty blasé when I saw the headline until I saw the names Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman, Peter McConnell, and of course Dominic Armato. And that was definitely...

    Longtime Monkey Island fan here, I was pretty blasé when I saw the headline until I saw the names Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman, Peter McConnell, and of course Dominic Armato. And that was definitely Danny Delk doing the Murray voice. So... I'm actually really intrigued. It's like a family reunion! This could be a ton of fun.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on The case for 'Is It Cake?,' Netflix's new game show in ~tv

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I don't watch SNL, which I guess he's famous for, but I loved him in the old David Blaine Street Magic videos. I can't see his face without hearing "what the EFF?!" in my head. Warning, those...

    I don't watch SNL, which I guess he's famous for, but I loved him in the old David Blaine Street Magic videos. I can't see his face without hearing "what the EFF?!" in my head. Warning, those YouTube links are ancient history, 240p internet dinosaurs. But still funny.

    Maybe I'm just an SNL alumni hipster but I also remember the Lonely Island guys from this era, on Channel 101 before they made it big. (All episodes of "The 'Bu" are preserved on YouTube.) A number of now-famous folk got their start on Channel 101, actually.

    3 votes