bub's recent activity

  1. Comment on Favorite function you've written? in ~comp

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    Not my original invention (though I've "written" it many times), but I've always loved the elegance of a sign function like this: int sign(int x) { return (x > 0) - (x < 0); } It's very "essence...

    Not my original invention (though I've "written" it many times), but I've always loved the elegance of a sign function like this:

    int sign(int x) {
        return (x > 0) - (x < 0);
    }
    

    It's very "essence of C."
    And of course, it doesn't have to be int. Just used that example for simplicity.

    8 votes
  2. Comment on Why do we use Tildes? in ~tildes

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    I should probably start reading the user names attached to comments around here. I'd probably get a better sense of community if I didn't just "see comment, respond comment." As it stands, more...

    I should probably start reading the user names attached to comments around here.

    I'd probably get a better sense of community if I didn't just "see comment, respond comment."

    As it stands, more than getting a sense of community out of Tildes, I get a sense that most of the people here are miraculously sane, which is a really nice change of pace from most of the internet.

    12 votes
  3. Comment on Longstanding discourse w/ my SO about the phrase "a couple of..." in ~humanities

    bub
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    As someone who likewise cares about precision in language, I agree that "a couple" means two, in a general sense. It's funny to talk about a number having a "general sense," because we understand...

    As someone who likewise cares about precision in language, I agree that "a couple" means two, in a general sense.

    It's funny to talk about a number having a "general sense," because we understand a number to be perfectly concrete and deliberate normally.

    So the way I'd describe "two in general" is that if someone asks you for "a couple bananas" but takes three instead of two, nothing will be amiss.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Cyberpunk 2077 in ~games

    bub
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    Sure, AI has to be tuned to make the difficulty reasonable. But come on, the cops can't manage to follow you around a corner, out a doorway, or even down a sidewalk. They just spawn behind you,...

    Sure, AI has to be tuned to make the difficulty reasonable.

    But come on, the cops can't manage to follow you around a corner, out a doorway, or even down a sidewalk. They just spawn behind you, then despawn if you run away, only to spawn behind you again wherever you've run to. That's not making their AI manageable - that's just not making their AI at all.

    Other enemies just kind of stand there and shoot at you until you kill them. Quake had more complex and functional enemy behaviors in 1996. I don't think we're expecting too much.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Cyberpunk 2077 in ~games

    bub
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    Yeah, the part where I said "a portion" was actually important. There's definitely some defensive validation-seeking going on among a portion of the games proponents. If that doesn't apply to you,...

    Yeah, the part where I said "a portion" was actually important. There's definitely some defensive validation-seeking going on among a portion of the games proponents. If that doesn't apply to you, then I'm not talking about you.

    It's great that some people were able to have a good time, and I emphasized that OP might also have a good time.

    But I also waited a long time for the game to release, and I feel like trying to "make the best of it" is a mistake in cases like this, because it's just going to encourage this kind of irresponsible unfinished release that's becoming more and more of a trend.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Cyberpunk 2077 in ~games

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    Opinions vary from "It was a good game from the very start, and all problems were overstated" to "The bugs were only the surface layer of everything wrong with the game, and it has deep,...

    Opinions vary from "It was a good game from the very start, and all problems were overstated" to "The bugs were only the surface layer of everything wrong with the game, and it has deep, foundational flaws that make it irreparable, which will never allow it to take the redemption route that No Man's Sky was able to."

    I think the latter is closer to the case, since the game launched completely lacking any meaningful AI, one of the integral parts of the entire "living city" premise they were trying to sell, and one of the largest development tasks they would have needed to accomplish. What was it, 8 years of development? And they managed to create maybe 40% of a game?

    Yeah, I'd say the problems run deep with this one, and I think a portion of the people defending the game might possibly be doing so out of that typical desire to validate their own purchasing decisions (or maybe to validate the years they've spent waiting for the game to release).

    But maybe you'll still like it. Obviously it's really subjective, and depends on the experience you want out of it.

    6 votes
  7. Comment on How Pinterest utterly ruined photo search on the internet in ~tech

    bub
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    After many, many internet conversations about the right to privacy, it seems like sometimes people get it, and sometimes people just don't, and it's very unlikely that anything I say will change...

    After many, many internet conversations about the right to privacy, it seems like sometimes people get it, and sometimes people just don't, and it's very unlikely that anything I say will change anyone's mind. But here goes, I guess.

    In the case of Google, it's not hard to argue that they've established an effective monopoly in the internet search space (and others, youtube, etc). This makes them the de facto portal for most peoples' daily internet usage. The average person who doesn't talk in tech circles probably doesn't know there are alternatives, and probably doesn't feel any need to look for alternatives. The average person also does not understand how data about their activity is accumulated and used for profit. They have not been adequately informed.

    And the average person can't just not use the internet. There is a very high chance that their occupation and daily life require internet access, and a very high chance that they'll have to use a Google service. To the average person, Google services are increasingly more like a utility than a commodity, just like the internet in general.

    So when Google keeps records of every little search, every scrap of information about an individual whose data passes through their servers, it's like if your national mail service were in the practice of carefully opening, reading, and resealing every letter they carried, to their own private ends, without adequate disclosure of the practice, and with no oversight whatsoever.

    You wouldn't say "it's just a letter to my grandma talking about her cats, so I don't care if they read it," or "I've never sent anything illegal in the mail, so why would I have to worry?" That would clearly be missing the point.

    If this still seems just fine to you, I have no idea what else I can say about it.

    And forgive me if I don't wholeheartedly trust Google, a company built on advertising money, to not keep data about my private life just because I ask them nicely not to in their user settings. There would be no consequences for them if they just lied and kept it anyway.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on How Pinterest utterly ruined photo search on the internet in ~tech

    bub
    (edited )
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    It's not about being better, really, it's mostly about privacy. I don't think DuckDuckGo's results are better. But they're usually good enough. Mostly it's about not having your privacy violated...

    It's not about being better, really, it's mostly about privacy. I don't think DuckDuckGo's results are better. But they're usually good enough.

    Mostly it's about not having your privacy violated by a company that wants to build up a personalized targeted advertising profile for you. It's creepy and it's wrong.

    EDIT: It appears the question I responded to was edited to "disregard privacy concerns," so never mind I guess.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on How Pinterest utterly ruined photo search on the internet in ~tech

    bub
    (edited )
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    DuckDuckGo is my default search engine, but I have to admit its results are often poor compared to the Google results. Does it still just pull from Bing's results, do you know? Because at some...

    DuckDuckGo is my default search engine, but I have to admit its results are often poor compared to the Google results.

    Does it still just pull from Bing's results, do you know? Because at some point in the past I was told that DuckDuckGo is just a privacy layer around Bing, basically.

    I think the thing that annoys me the most about DuckDuckGo is that putting a phrase in quotes doesn't work. It just gives you the same results as if you didn't use quotes. It seems like it's scared to show you a "nothing found" screen, so it instead shows you a bunch of garbage you didn't ask for.

    Basically, I use DuckDuckGo as a "first attempt," and then if the results are poor I often have to re-try my search in Google, unfortunately.

    7 votes
  10. Comment on High-speed laser writing method could pack 500 terabytes of data into CD-sized glass disc in ~science

    bub
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    Same with cancer treatments, quantum computing, and nuclear fusion. Although honestly I do understand why that is, being a combination of hyperbolic click-hungry science journalism and the natural...

    Same with cancer treatments, quantum computing, and nuclear fusion.

    Although honestly I do understand why that is, being a combination of hyperbolic click-hungry science journalism and the natural development processes requiring years or decades of further testing, incremental steps, etc.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on Waiting on JFK Jr. at Dealey Plaza in ~news

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    I don't understand how people that have gone so far down a right-wing rabbit hole like this one could idolize JFK. Do they even know where he stood on issues of his day? They would hate him if he...

    I don't understand how people that have gone so far down a right-wing rabbit hole like this one could idolize JFK. Do they even know where he stood on issues of his day? They would hate him if he were involved in politics today.

    But I guess that's not surprising considering that they would also hate Jesus if Jesus were to preach his stuff today.

    5 votes
  12. Comment on Facebook changes name to Meta: Mark Zuckerberg announces company rebrand as it moves to the metaverse in ~tech

    bub
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    You have a point, but I think maybe an important distinction is that all those companies you listed created a new word, which later became common vernacular. That seems like an entirely separate...

    You have a point, but I think maybe an important distinction is that all those companies you listed created a new word, which later became common vernacular.

    That seems like an entirely separate (maybe even opposite) phenomenon from the companies that take an existing word out of the common vernacular to use as their name, which word ends up removed from the common vernacular afterword.

    Google itself is a good example, since you can't bring up the number (googol) that the company named itself after anymore without the listener being confused by the much more well-recognized company name.

    But I think Uber is an even better example, since the prior word was actually well-used before, unlike googol.

    10 votes
  13. Comment on Facebook changes name to Meta: Mark Zuckerberg announces company rebrand as it moves to the metaverse in ~tech

    bub
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    The list going on and on is actually a very poignant pet peeve of mine. Remember when people still used the word "über" in normal conversation, like they might use the word "super?" And just to...

    The list going on and on is actually a very poignant pet peeve of mine.

    Remember when people still used the word "über" in normal conversation, like they might use the word "super?"

    And just to drive the point home - when I googled "umlaut" to make sure I spelled it right in this comment, the top result was for some company that had appropriated that word too.

    Honestly I hate it. Companies that do this are eroding our language much faster than generational slang ever could.

    7 votes
  14. Comment on Why you didn't get lost in Metroid Dread in ~games.game_design

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    I liked the game, but I did actually get "lost" a couple times when the way forward wasn't very clear. Both were times when you had to shoot a random unmarked wall or floor to break it in order to...

    I liked the game, but I did actually get "lost" a couple times when the way forward wasn't very clear.

    Both were times when you had to shoot a random unmarked wall or floor to break it in order to open the way forward.

    I kind of expected that, however, given past metroid games, so it wasn't that big of a deal for me. A newcomer to the series might have been less happy with it.

    4 votes
  15. Comment on I'm looking for a (fairly) accurate "caveman" game in ~games

    bub
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    Ancestors was what I was going to suggest too. I guess instead of following "caveman" tropes, it's actually about realistic hominids, which you didn't want exactly, but also keep in mind that...

    Ancestors was what I was going to suggest too.

    I guess instead of following "caveman" tropes, it's actually about realistic hominids, which you didn't want exactly, but also keep in mind that there is supposed to be a sequel to the first game that continues down the evolutionary path closer to modern humans. So maybe the sequel will be even more to your liking.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on As of October 2021 what is in your opinion the best Reddit alternative and why? What are its best qualities? in ~tech

    bub
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    In the years I've used Discord, it has always been, for me, primarily text-based. Yes, it was initially advertised as mainly a voice chat platform to compete with TeamSpeak and the like, but I...

    text based forum like Reddit or Tildes vs Discord

    In the years I've used Discord, it has always been, for me, primarily text-based. Yes, it was initially advertised as mainly a voice chat platform to compete with TeamSpeak and the like, but I don't think that's the reason it's thrived.

    Rather, it's been adopted as a much more generalized text-based communication platform by, I'd say, the majority of its users.

    Everything I might once have used a niche-interest forum for, I can now use Discord for. Even before Discord had the new "thread" functionality, its search function was good enough to be able to pull up any discussion from the past that you'd like.

    I understand how it's distasteful to some, and how its closed nature is also a turn-off. Regardless, I can't deny that, for the past few years, Discord has been the place where I've had the most success getting together with others to talk about specific niche interests.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on Why is every young person in America watching ‘The Sopranos’? in ~tv

    bub
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    I agree so much with your general thought that serial drama, as opposed to episodic content, has been vastly overrated in TV shows for at least a couple of decades. I point to Star Trek (what...

    I agree so much with your general thought that serial drama, as opposed to episodic content, has been vastly overrated in TV shows for at least a couple of decades.

    I point to Star Trek (what else) as a good example. Initially a highly episodic show by design, each week exploring a new thing that the crew of the Enterprise finds in the weird depths of space, its premise was built for episodic content. And when later additions to the franchise, like Deep Space 9, or (dare I mention them) Discovery or Picard, make the ever-popular move to a serialized storyline, they suffer for it (in my opinion.) The essence of the show is lost, and they become a fairly run-of-the-mill sci-fi drama.

    But even the idea of episodic content these days in a TV show makes people instantly say "ew, no." It's a sentiment that grew out of the end of the 20th century, when serial dramas felt so fresh and exciting compared to episodic "moster of the week" content.

    Well it's not fresh anymore, and I love it when shows attempt a return to form, daring to once again give us a single, contained story, nicely wrapped up, every single week.

    Of course The Sopranos is hardly new, but I mean this in a more general sense. I wish more shows were brave enough to try it.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Amazon asked Apple to remove an app that spots fake reviews, and Apple agreed in ~tech

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    We should all really just be doing it ourselves anyway. Want to know if there are fake reviews on an Amazon product page? Just add an element that's hard-coded to say "yes." Works every time.

    We should all really just be doing it ourselves anyway.

    Want to know if there are fake reviews on an Amazon product page? Just add an element that's hard-coded to say "yes." Works every time.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on Its still rough, but I made a really busy tildes theme in ~tildes

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    This cramped feeling reminds me of why I find it difficult to look at Hacker News for any length of time. And I think that's interesting because Hacker News doesn't have a lot going on, so it's...

    This cramped feeling reminds me of why I find it difficult to look at Hacker News for any length of time.

    And I think that's interesting because Hacker News doesn't have a lot going on, so it's not exactly "busy." I think the annoyance factor that they share is mostly due to the sea of tiny-font low-contrast fiddly buttons.

    High-contrast dark modes really go a long way to improve things imo.

    6 votes
  20. Comment on Fire lookouts: The US Forest Service lookouts watching for fires in ~enviro

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    I lived on a fire lookout with my parents during several of my childhood summers. Some of my family members still man the lookouts. It's unfortunately kind of a hard job to land these days because...

    I lived on a fire lookout with my parents during several of my childhood summers. Some of my family members still man the lookouts. It's unfortunately kind of a hard job to land these days because it's in high demand and there are fewer and fewer lookout towers remaining, which is a real shame.

    The feeling of living by yourself on top of a mountain is something that's hard to describe. It's not hard to see why so many ancient beliefs included the idea of going up to a mountain top to approach the divine.

    7 votes