cptcobalt's recent activity

  1. Comment on Let's build a spec-compliant HTML parser in ~comp

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    I really wish some really rich benefactor comes along and says “let’s make a browser engine, but do it the right way”, kinda like Apple did with WebKit before that got too big. Diversity in...

    I really wish some really rich benefactor comes along and says “let’s make a browser engine, but do it the right way”, kinda like Apple did with WebKit before that got too big. Diversity in browser/js/etc engines is still necessary.

    And, preferably, just obsesses over performance.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on John Krasinski's 'Some Good News' sells to ViacomCBS following massive bidding war in ~news

    cptcobalt
    Link
    Looks like it’s not all good news.

    Looks like it’s not all good news.

    12 votes
  3. Comment on I’m a developer. I won’t teach my kids to code, and neither should you in ~comp

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    Yes, but more so because I have an irrational vendetta against python. I also don’t care too much for the preferred programming language argument, but what does get in my way is a language with...

    Yes, but more so because I have an irrational vendetta against python. I also don’t care too much for the preferred programming language argument, but what does get in my way is a language with strongly held opinions that make me remap my brain to converge with a language’s own opinions—and I’m aware this is a weak argument. I think a programming language should work for its user, and what works for one person may not work the same for another. FWIW, I work mostly with PHP with a side dose of Lua (on an embedded platform, no less!) at the moment.

  4. Comment on I’m a developer. I won’t teach my kids to code, and neither should you in ~comp

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    I massively agree with this. I am in a job where I don’t need to know how to code, but my knowledge better informs my work and my ability to communicate with our engineers. I don’t even think that...

    I massively agree with this.

    I am in a job where I don’t need to know how to code, but my knowledge better informs my work and my ability to communicate with our engineers. I don’t even think that you need to go too in depth: introducing kids to procedural programming with basic types is more than enough to spark creativity and start breaking complex technical solutions into building blocks for analysis, problem solving, and creativity. (In fact, my current huge programming project is exactly that. Procedural, basic types, not object oriented.)

    If a kid exposed to programming is destined to be a programmer, the spark may light and they’ll grow from there. It is an art that you can teach yourself, after all. If not, well, they can at least get a sense of code and complexity and be able to have a bit of working knowledge that may help them in scores of situations in the real world.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Elon Musk lied about the EPA’s Tesla Model S test, agency claims in ~tech

    cptcobalt
    Link
    As maligned as Elon has been lately, I am willing to believe that this isn’t a lie: it’s totally reasonable to assume that Tesla would monitor logs of test vehicles Elon’s description of the issue...

    As maligned as Elon has been lately, I am willing to believe that this isn’t a lie:

    • it’s totally reasonable to assume that Tesla would monitor logs of test vehicles
    • Elon’s description of the issue is specific and detailed
    • the EPA’s rebuttal is a “nuh-uh, we did it right”

    I think tesla has the data and confidence to sling around. This wouldn’t happen if they thought the S wasn’t genuinely above 400mi range.

    7 votes
  6. Comment on Eight of last year's ten most challenged books in the USA had one thing in common: LGBTQ content in ~books

    cptcobalt
    Link
    I find myself rather sad reading this. As a kid, I loved reading tons of books, but I never had access to books featuring people "like me". I grew up in a religious family and went to a religious...

    I find myself rather sad reading this. As a kid, I loved reading tons of books, but I never had access to books featuring people "like me". I grew up in a religious family and went to a religious school, and had minimal (rational, well-explained) exposure to LGBTQ content/characters. Sadly, I was rather slow on the uptake of actually realizing I was gay, accepting it, etc. I obviously can't put "lack of LGBTQ characters in books" as the sole contributor to this, but if I had more exposure—especially in this medium, which I love—I can certainly say I would have realized sooner.

    (It's worth going to the list directly and reading previous years too.)

    9 votes
  7. Comment on Postman delivers 'somewhere in Sheffield' parcel in ~news

    cptcobalt
    Link
    Doing things like this drives my brain wild. I've always wanted to know just the minimum amount of information you could include in the address of a letter with the hope that it'll still arrive. I...

    Doing things like this drives my brain wild. I've always wanted to know just the minimum amount of information you could include in the address of a letter with the hope that it'll still arrive.

    I am so glad to hear a story about someone doing such a preposterous thing.

    6 votes
  8. Comment on Will the millennial aesthetic ever end? in ~design

    cptcobalt
    (edited )
    Link
    This feels like melancholy drudge from a type of person that would blindly argue that mid-century modern is the greatest design movement ever while turning red in the face, while the world quitely...

    This feels like melancholy drudge from a type of person that would blindly argue that mid-century modern is the greatest design movement ever while turning red in the face, while the world quitely changes around them. Someone so hellbent on destroying the very meaning and feeling of the color pink.

    So what?

    I personally like the so-called "millennial aesthetic"—it begets bright, open, plant-filled areas that I'm happy to exist in. That being said, I might not the like pastel pinks as much as I do the oranges, minty greens, and vibrant blues and purples. I also feel like this piece isn't being kind to the aesthetic: railing so hard on one's issues with the color pink and ignoring the positives it could bring.

    I also reject author's idea that design is the product. They go on for so long about this. I think to "design-aware" individuals who are paid to comment on design, it's easy to fall in this trap. But, I think these people have lost perspective of the real consumers being marketed to. (Think: it's a similar perspective as a command-line apologist programmer voicing a strong opinion that they know the best way to implement a user interface—you can't square that circle.) I think the goal of well-considered marketing design as a critical element of communicating your product is to get your customers to unconsciously understand that every element matters to you. That no detail is too small. Some customers will align with the feeling and buy in; the others were likely to buy lower end goods from some other store anyway. Following "trendy" design moments doesn't mean that design is the product, but rather that you are selling things that understand and are made for a "modern" consumer.

    As the millennial aesthetic grows omnipresent, as its consumers grow more design-fluent, our response grows more complex. We resent its absence (Why is this restaurant website so crappy?)

    I don't want to be reductive, but I think this is just an expectation of knowing how to talk to your audience. It doesn't have anything to do with design, except for the fact that it has everything to do with design. Having a bad website in 2020 is just as bad as rude staff answering the phone in 1995.

    Last year, the interior-design start-up Homepolish collapsed; last month, Casper made its disappointing IPO; last week, Outdoor Voices CEO Tyler Haney stepped down amid reports that her company, based on tastefully colored leggings, was losing cash.

    Do these fantastic failures have more to do with design, or with VC's massively over funding companies with no solid potential for profitability, customer acquisitions, and cost reduction?

    Yes, gosh, I do have two succulents and a live-edge computer stand on my desk—don't make fun of me for it.

    15 votes
  9. Comment on Stripe is silently recording your movements on its customers' websites in ~comp

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    I want to piggyback on this: I have nothing but goodwill for Stripe. They seem like a company that wants to do their genuine best for its customers and the world. They seem like such angels that...

    I've never seen anything that has made me question Stripe's, or Patrick's, authenticity

    I want to piggyback on this: I have nothing but goodwill for Stripe. They seem like a company that wants to do their genuine best for its customers and the world. They seem like such angels that if they do something wrong, I shudder to think about the worse things the others are doing.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Who else is baking bread, or beginning a starter? in ~food

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    It totally is an SEO thing. It's equal parts of the following: Contextual use of relevant keywords. If you're writing a recipe about muffins, you're going to talk about how you enjoy your steamy...

    It totally is an SEO thing. It's equal parts of the following:

    • Contextual use of relevant keywords. If you're writing a recipe about muffins, you're going to talk about how you enjoy your steamy delicious muffins—mostly blueberry, but also sometimes chocolate chip muffins too.
    • Not overloading with irrelevant keywords. Google cares about content from top to bottom. Think, "above the fold", in newspaper speak. If the recipe is at the top, google is going to think the most important part of the recipe is brown sugar, butter, etc.—it isn't. The fact that it's blueberry muffins is.
    • Word count. More human-like content ranks better than a generic table of non-unique content.

    This ties into how I think Google is a stupid shadow broker of content culture—this is just the way (I think) they do it, but it's certainly not the best way. Just a byproduct of how they index and what people optimize for as a result.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    cptcobalt
    Link
    Yes. In political/controversial threads, people should always feel free to politely state their most salient opinions/perspectives, with a clarifying response or two if others reply, but shouldn't...

    Yes.

    In political/controversial threads, people should always feel free to politely state their most salient opinions/perspectives, with a clarifying response or two if others reply, but shouldn't engage by descending into reply storms.

    Wait for others to speak. If you're on "one side" of a discussion and have already contributed a seemingly spiraling and thread, and you're tempted to reply and make it longer, just wait for someone else to reply. There's probably someone else that agrees with you and can make a similar point. They can probably add color to a perspective in a slightly different way than you.

    Also:

    • Don't bait.
    • Don't willingly misunderstand others.
    • Don't ask questions to provoke a reply if it's unnecessary unless you're genuinely seeking clarification.
    12 votes
  12. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    I just finished Half-Life: Alyx, and I'm super pleased with it—it totally met my expectations. I do second the wish for the environment meaning more—there were times where I had such little ammo...

    I just finished Half-Life: Alyx, and I'm super pleased with it—it totally met my expectations.

    I do second the wish for the environment meaning more—there were times where I had such little ammo that I wish throwing a can at a headcrab would count for something.

    It's pretty special though, I can't wait to see what that team does next. Hopefully, they can keep up with the momentum with the extremely positive reaction HL:A has gotten.

    8 votes
  13. Comment on Why you should not put garlic in your vagina, as a treatment for yeast or anything else in ~health

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    I literally came here to comment this, haha.

    I literally came here to comment this, haha.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on Folding at Home: Team Tildes information in ~comp

    cptcobalt
    Link
    This is rad. I started folding again because I saw it on twitter, but I just pointed my team at the tildes team. Glad to be working with a closer community :P

    This is rad. I started folding again because I saw it on twitter, but I just pointed my team at the tildes team. Glad to be working with a closer community :P

    4 votes
  15. Comment on As Naughty Dog crunches on The Last Of Us II, developers wonder how much longer this approach can last in ~games

    cptcobalt
    Link Parent
    Super relevant quote by Upton Sinclair: That’s it. They see what they want done but don’t want to accept or understand the reality to get there.

    Super relevant quote by Upton Sinclair:

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."

    That’s it. They see what they want done but don’t want to accept or understand the reality to get there.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on Not a 'math person'? You may be better at learning to code than you think in ~tech

    cptcobalt
    Link
    This is 100% me. I am not a math person at all—I do basic arithmetic using my fingers. Anything more—like Algebra—makes my brain completely stop in its tracks. I consistently failed math classes...

    This is 100% me.

    I am not a math person at all—I do basic arithmetic using my fingers. Anything more—like Algebra—makes my brain completely stop in its tracks. I consistently failed math classes in high school. (The only math I'm not adversarial with is some basic stats, actually, but I never took it in school.)

    But dang it, I can build nice websites and super useful tools for people. I can wrap my brain around a problem, break it down, and implement a quite functional solution with ease. My biggest project right now is an ETL on the Tesla API where I'm taking timeseries and weather data, and trying to calculate a super rudimentary solar forecast based on historical data. In my last job, my coding work was business-critical: things like performance monitoring scripts, data visualization, daily reports, ticketing, and pipeline tracking systems—you name it. All this from me—not a "math person". (If I need help with the math, I can always talk to people; they don't even need to know how to code—I can usually figure out how to translate their assistance into the exact building blocks I need to implement it.)

    Actually, it was my ability to code that tricked me into studying Computer Science in college in the first place. This totally fucked me over. I'm a creative, literary, bookwormish kid that stayed up late on school nights reading and writing fanfiction, not doing my math homework. I wasn't prepared to handle calculus, the first math class I encountered in college—and I failed it spectacularly. Turns out, at the school I studied at, a math minor is only one or two extra classes away for a CS student. In my second semester, I started taking art classes—planning to change majors—but encountered so many institutional and familial issues trying to do that. As icing on the cake, depression caused by the whole experience basically made me stop going to the rest of the classes I was enrolled in.

    So I dropped out.

    I wish I had known better, really. But, really, "the system" failed me. My 5 on AP Computer Science fooled me, my high school, my college, and my parents into thinking I had what it takes—I was by far the best programmer in my AP CS class, but only because I had already taught myself how to code—the new concepts were easy to pick up. However, my consistent Cs, Ds, and Fs in high school math classes should have told anyone that knows a computer science curriculum—like high-school advisors—that I actually wasn't going to do well. In the end, I really needed to find some of creative art/design degree (or even a business degree—with less math, perhaps) with a concentration in systems and computer programming—I'd have really flourished.

    That's not to say that I haven't kept up with the pace in life—all this has just forced me to be a smart, scrappy, and hungry. I'm not incapable. My non-conventional education has definitely caused me some problems, but also when people have taken risks on me, it's paid off in giant ways.

    Anyway, all this to say, I really agree with this article. Programming is really like another level of literacy. With my perspective, I don't feel like math is relevant in any way to programming, unless you're using code to do math. I had a leg up because I taught myself to code early, and didn't lean on math to help me learn how to do so—I wound up making little games with programming (all basic control flow stuff). If you're not a math person, you can certainly learn how to code. And, just like languages, early exposure is far better.

    Actually, side thought. I wonder how I'd do with math in school if I could have taken a math class that introduced concepts in a "code-first" manner. Rather than calculators, graph paper, and many many fuckups....what if I could have just implmenented my own rudimentary functions to do the required math for homework/tests. Certainly forbid libraries—your own implementation would prove your understanding, but a "code-first" math class would have avoided about 90% of my pain. I'd probably be in a drastically different spot today, perhaps.

    23 votes
  17. Comment on Jailbreaking - How do you know if a tweak is safe? in ~tech

    cptcobalt
    Link
    More or less long-term jailbreaker here: assume no jailbreak nor tweak is safe, ever, no matter the source. You are breaking the chain of trust on your device and installing insecure and unvetted...

    More or less long-term jailbreaker here: assume no jailbreak nor tweak is safe, ever, no matter the source. You are breaking the chain of trust on your device and installing insecure and unvetted software. Of course, you can mitigate this by doing immense research on your software sources. But you can never really be confident. (The real answer might just be to throw bits of the tweak into Hopper and find out for yourself.)

    The community is a thin shell of what it once was—because so much of the jailbreak community of yore now works for Apple, and those that don’t either sit in outlier research circles, or do it as a casual hobby or for piracy—so there’s not so much good stuff to be found anymore.

    Also, the OS is more or less “feature complete”—at least, as much as you can say it is. The public API is super fleshed out, and the OS has many core system-wide features it didn’t have before. Jailbreaking was really great when the OS was missing large swaths of features.

    ..actually, out of curiosity, what are you getting from jailbreaking in 2020?

    12 votes
  18. Comment on How rockets are made (Rocket factory tour - United Launch Alliance) in ~space

    cptcobalt
    Link
    Tory is the shining star here. He’s way more human than the typical “CEO” type. He obviously knows his stuff, and I really think his waving and smiling at everyone is genuinely part of his...

    Tory is the shining star here. He’s way more human than the typical “CEO” type. He obviously knows his stuff, and I really think his waving and smiling at everyone is genuinely part of his character, not just a PR thing. He comes across as super friendly on his Twitter too.

    He really seems like someone I’d enjoy sitting at dinner with swapping stories for hours with. Maybe a goal to add to the bucket list.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on What creative projects have you been working on? in ~creative

    cptcobalt
    Link
    I’m working on another new website. My plan is for this site to actually cover more professional experience: like product management, leadership, design process, as well as healthy opinion on...

    I’m working on another new website. My plan is for this site to actually cover more professional experience: like product management, leadership, design process, as well as healthy opinion on those topics. (This is in opposition to most of my past/ongoing websites that are more “fun” or one-off topics.) I have been itching for a “serious” writing outlet for a while.

    I’m making good progress. is moving quite fast—it’s just another fork of my battle-tested CMS with a different theme, and I’ve already got a few drafts in progress with the intent of nailing down my message and tone before launch. (This comment of mine is a good reflection of the sort of content I’m aiming for with the site—but obviously more thoroughly researched with real data, not something casual and off-hand.)

    ...but I’m also completely stuck, too. I can’t find a name for it. I don’t want to go for the default route of just using my name for the website—I already do so much on the internet that I want to keep alexguichet.com as a surface level view of and everything I do, with plenty of friendly links to take you all my other web stuff. I have been doing 20 minute freewrites for the past few days to try to come up with inspiration for the name and nothing is coming to me. I want too much from the name: it has to be me, but also convey a bit of my message and style at a glance. Nothing so far is really sticking with me.

    I’m also realizing that I’m getting a bit lazy with my writing—but I don’t know what to do to improve it. I’m pretty decent at editing writing of peers for grammar, style, and message, but when it comes to “editing” my own stuff, I usually need to put it away for a month before I can see it with fresh eyes and tear it apart.

    It feels like a “professional” site is my best target to start paying an editor to shape up my writing. Theoretically those lessons would then trickle down into all my other writing.

    3 votes
  20. Comment on Docker for Windows and Razer Synapse won't run at the same time. (Twitter Thread) in ~comp

    cptcobalt
    Link
    Okay, I know posting a tweet thread is out there, but this is just an interesting enough story. It was also fixed two years ago so it's dragging up old stuff, but still, the why is what's amusing...

    Okay, I know posting a tweet thread is out there, but this is just an interesting enough story.

    It was also fixed two years ago so it's dragging up old stuff, but still, the why is what's amusing here.

    6 votes