balooga's recent activity

  1. Comment on I grew up in Michigan but currently live in Georgia. My GF and I are looking at buying a house, and both states have first time home buyer incentives, but they're income based. in ~finance

    balooga
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    Oh thanks, I bookmarked your comment so we can take a deeper dive when we are ready for next steps.

    Oh thanks, I bookmarked your comment so we can take a deeper dive when we are ready for next steps.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on I grew up in Michigan but currently live in Georgia. My GF and I are looking at buying a house, and both states have first time home buyer incentives, but they're income based. in ~finance

    balooga
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    Makes sense, figured it was worth asking. Lot of details to learn when pursuing home ownership for the first time.

    Makes sense, figured it was worth asking. Lot of details to learn when pursuing home ownership for the first time.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on I grew up in Michigan but currently live in Georgia. My GF and I are looking at buying a house, and both states have first time home buyer incentives, but they're income based. in ~finance

    balooga
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    I’m in a similar situation but married. Would the advice be the same for me or does the marriage change things?

    I’m in a similar situation but married. Would the advice be the same for me or does the marriage change things?

    1 vote
  4. Comment on All the good email clients go to hell in ~tech

    balooga
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    I use Thunderbird and it’s… fine? I’m not the person you should talk to about it because I hate email and generally avoid it as much as possible. But Thunderbird isn’t trying to be flashy or...

    I use Thunderbird and it’s… fine? I’m not the person you should talk to about it because I hate email and generally avoid it as much as possible. But Thunderbird isn’t trying to be flashy or charging a subscription, it’s not syncing my creds to the cloud, it’s not shoving more ads in my face. No weird corporate office workflow stuff. It gets the job done. I get warm fuzzies from using Mozilla software. I’ve used Thunderbird for, probably decades? And I haven’t had any real issues with slowdown or bugs during that time.

    16 votes
  5. Comment on A casual chat with ChatGPT about the prosperity of humanity in ~humanities

    balooga
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    I think you got a left-leaning response because you gave it a left-leaning prompt. Conservatives don’t want to “steer humanity” toward goals, or they wouldn’t frame it that way at least. If you...

    I think you got a left-leaning response because you gave it a left-leaning prompt. Conservatives don’t want to “steer humanity” toward goals, or they wouldn’t frame it that way at least. If you asked it a question about “preserving values” or “defending culture” or “upholding personal liberty” you’d get Republican talking points.

    ChatGPT is a really fancy auto-complete. What you get out of it is a direct continuation of what you put into it.

    11 votes
  6. Comment on Two years to save the planet, says UN climate chief in ~enviro

    balooga
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    This may be the most 2024 idea I have all year, but it's time for a gritty live-action reboot of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Make it a big-budget HBO series. Replace the "mother earth" Gaia...

    This may be the most 2024 idea I have all year, but it's time for a gritty live-action reboot of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. Make it a big-budget HBO series. Replace the "mother earth" Gaia character with some sort of digital platform that amplifies the voice of the people... maybe keep Gaia as the AI personification of our collective will. Captain Planet himself is not a superhero, but an ecoterrorist vigilante whose whole thing is identifying the (actual) responsible parties who have the power to fix things, and making it personal for them. Lots of closeups of bloodied billionaires cowering in corners, swearing they'll do right thing so they won't get visited by the Captain again.

    I'm half joking, but we've been waiting for the polluters to stop, or be stopped, for decades. Recycling and driving EVs aren't going to fix anything on the global scale. The problem is in the hands of a few, people who possess the power to improve things but refuse to use it on meaningful change. Who will hold them accountable? If only there was some way to crowdfund a resistance movement, since governments and corporations are failing us. I'd prefer if that weren't ecoterrorism or some kind of extra-legal action, but what else is there? At least a big TV show would get a new kind of conversation started.

    10 votes
  7. Comment on Keanu Reeves joins 'Sonic 3' as Shadow in ~movies

    balooga
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    As a fan of Keanu Reeves AND Sonic the Hedgehog… I’m seriously disappointed in both of them.

    As a fan of Keanu Reeves AND Sonic the Hedgehog… I’m seriously disappointed in both of them.

    9 votes
  8. Comment on The Lonely Island beginnings | The Lonely Island and Seth Meyers Podcast - Episode 1 in ~tv

    balooga
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    I remember watching The Lonely Island vids on the Channel101 website back in 2004 or so. They had a bunch of stuff on their own site too, this was before YouTube. Being a fan of theirs before they...

    I remember watching The Lonely Island vids on the Channel101 website back in 2004 or so. They had a bunch of stuff on their own site too, this was before YouTube. Being a fan of theirs before they got famous has been the defining hipster moment of my personal pop culture story. And they did kinda sell out, and I don’t watch SNL so I haven’t kept up with them in literally decades. But I was honestly happy for them, that all three got hired together, which is frankly absurd (but merited in their case). I love that The Lonely Island has remained a thing separate from SNL all the while. Nice to see they all made it to veteran celebrity status, with their friendship intact… It’s a true success story.

    I listened to the episode and enjoyed it nostalgically. It inspired me to rewatch a few episodes of The ‘Bu which are still pretty masterful today despite their nonexistent budget. I hadn’t realized until Seth Meyers mentioned it in the podcast that Channel101 was partly a Dan Harmon creation. He’s a household name now but that website seemed super underground at the time. I didn’t even realize they did physical screenings, I thought it was all online! There was a lot of talent in that pool. I need to go look up Sockbaby and Kicked in the Nuts, see if either of those are still hosted somewhere.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on ‘Heroes’ reboot in the works from series creator Tim Kring in ~tv

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Okay, since somebody bit... you gotta watch this surreal Flash-turned-YouTube video from that era. IIRC it originated as a Worth1000 "misheard lyrics" Flash animation contest winner, but W1K and...

    Okay, since somebody bit... you gotta watch this surreal Flash-turned-YouTube video from that era. IIRC it originated as a Worth1000 "misheard lyrics" Flash animation contest winner, but W1K and Flash are both long dead so I can't prove that. Warning: Contains juvenile early aughts edgy "humor" but the good still outweighs the bad in my opinion.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Evennia: a modern way to create MU*s in ~games

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Oh wow, Gemstone III was one of my jams back in the day.

    Oh wow, Gemstone III was one of my jams back in the day.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Nintendo 64-style platformer Corn Kidz 64 releases for Switch on April 19 in ~games

    balooga
    Link Parent
    Personally I can't say I find a ‘90s gaming experience to be something I particularly want. That first generation of 3D platformers was rough. Janky character controls, even worse camera controls…...

    Personally I can't say I find a ‘90s gaming experience to be something I particularly want. That first generation of 3D platformers was rough. Janky character controls, even worse camera controls… I loved those games at the time but there have been so many innovations since then that it’s downright painful to play them now.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on ‘Heroes’ reboot in the works from series creator Tim Kring in ~tv

    balooga
    Link Parent
    It means "I did it!" Edit: Anybody else remember the ancient Yatta! song meme?

    It means "I did it!"

    Edit: Anybody else remember the ancient Yatta! song meme?

    9 votes
  13. Comment on ‘Heroes’ reboot in the works from series creator Tim Kring in ~tv

    balooga
    Link Parent
    It’s a good point that the superhero entertainment landscape has changed a ton since Heroes first aired. The Dark Knight hadn’t come out yet, nor had the entire MCU. Today we literally have the...

    It’s a good point that the superhero entertainment landscape has changed a ton since Heroes first aired. The Dark Knight hadn’t come out yet, nor had the entire MCU. Today we literally have the term “superhero fatigue” to describe audience burnout with this kind of story. It doesn’t feel like the right time to try it again.

    Also, in my opinion Heroes was very much an example of the Lost style of storytelling, where the show builds interest by layering mystery upon mystery with no actual plan to resolve 90% of it. They were just making it up as they went along. It made for an exciting season as it aired but it was ultimately unsatisfying. I don’t think this method is viable in 2024; a lot of people are still wary of it, particularly after seeing how Game of Thrones went off the rails after outpacing GRRM. I’d be worried about a Heroes reboot trying the same trick again.

    13 votes
  14. Comment on Elon Musk’s xAI seeks up to $4 billion to compete with OpenAI in ~tech

    balooga
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    What a coincidence, so am I! My pitchdeck is simply “I will spend it better than Elon Musk would.”

    What a coincidence, so am I! My pitchdeck is simply “I will spend it better than Elon Musk would.”

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Evennia: a modern way to create MU*s in ~games

    balooga
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    I've got a lot of fond memories from the '90s MU* scene. Unbelievably, TinyTIM (the world's oldest MUSH) is still running, though I'm linking an archive snapshot because their site's apparently...

    I've got a lot of fond memories from the '90s MU* scene. Unbelievably, TinyTIM (the world's oldest MUSH) is still running, though I'm linking an archive snapshot because their site's apparently been offline for a few months. The game server's still kicking though, albeit as a digital ghost town. Feels like somebody left the machine on in a closet somewhere and walked away for two decades.

    I'm glad there are still enthusiasts out there keeping the scene alive and improving on the mechanics and backend architecture. At this stage in my life I no longer have the free time (or, arguably, the imagination and attention span) required to get back into it myself. But I still get warm nostalgia fuzzies when I think about it, for whatever that's worth.

    One thing I noticed while reading the article is that apparently telnet is still the preferred protocol for these? That's been deprecated basically everywhere for a reason. I get that someone's MUD session isn't exactly a high-value target but still... why not update that? I'm assuming SSH could be used, though I've never seen it done.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Norwegian bridge collapsed ten years after it was built – all because designers focused too much on making it look good in ~engineering

    balooga
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    What? That's a beautiful bridge! Way more aesthetically pleasing than this one was. And it lasted, I assume, 115+ years?

    What? That's a beautiful bridge! Way more aesthetically pleasing than this one was. And it lasted, I assume, 115+ years?

    7 votes
  17. Comment on US Senate Republicans furious over Donald Trump derailing FISA bill in ~misc

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I may be misinformed, but I don't know if this is actually the case anymore. It certainly was when Snowden made headlines, and the surveillance apparatus was definitely intended to function that...

    This act is precisely the surveillance apparatus that Snowden martyred himself for. The federal government, through the NSA and other agencies, monitors and records essentially every form of electronic communications we have access to. We currently live under a surveillance state far, far more intrusive than anything the Soviet Union or East Germany could ever dream of.

    I may be misinformed, but I don't know if this is actually the case anymore. It certainly was when Snowden made headlines, and the surveillance apparatus was definitely intended to function that way. But in the years since then, the internet has made great strides in rolling out SSL, end-to-end encryption, and the like. Anyone can configure their systems to use DNS over HTTPS, and tunnel their traffic through an anonymizing VPN. The NSA is likely continuing to siphon off every bit of data they can (aka, all of it within the USA) but the vast majority of it is meaningless noise at this point. I think the goal at this point is to store everything in giant datacenters, in case the ability to decrypt portions of it becomes feasible in the future.

    That said, I'm sure they've got tons of other nefarious things in the works since Snowden. Highly classified things we can only speculate until another whistleblower comes forth. The things we do know about that I'm most concerned about are data brokers, who hoover up every detail they can get their mitts on and sell that info to others, including state actors. Defense against this is more complicated but using uBlock Origin and a browser with strict tracking protection can go a long way. Also, the gov't is involved in the zero-day exploit trade which is generally terrifying but usually those attacks are targeted at specific individuals. Not mass surveillance. Same with subpoena'ing tech companies to find out what particular people are doing on their platforms.

    I don't want to be all "stop worrying, everything is fine" when the NSA is very assuredly continuing to do what we know it does, in secret. I'm sure they've got some horrifying powerful tech in use right now that no one knows about. But I'm not sure how much value there is in being paranoid about unknown unknowns. Better to address the problems we know to be real, and apply smart defenses against them wherever we can.

    13 votes
  18. Comment on US Senate Republicans furious over Donald Trump derailing FISA bill in ~misc

    balooga
    Link Parent
    I don't know the context of the quote but could he have meant "on every American" instead of "on Americans" (collectively)?

    I don't know the context of the quote but could he have meant "on every American" instead of "on Americans" (collectively)?

    1 vote
  19. Comment on Pompeii: new paintings found in ~humanities.history

  20. Comment on OpenTofu denies Hashicorp's code-stealing accusations in ~comp

    balooga
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    The linked source code origination report is interesting. It’s too long and arcane for me to read in full right now, but provides a lot more substantial technical analysis of the situation than...

    The linked source code origination report is interesting. It’s too long and arcane for me to read in full right now, but provides a lot more substantial technical analysis of the situation than the article does. I’m not a lawyer (and I’m generally opposed to “intellectual property” on principle) but based on this I don’t think Hashicorp has much of a leg to stand on.

    7 votes