joplin's recent activity

  1. Comment on How should we evaluate narrative tension in videogames? in ~games

    joplin
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    Yeah, as a casual gamer whenever I see this, it always confuses me. Is this part of the game I have to do in order to achieve the actual goal my character is supposed to achieve? Or is this just...

    Yeah, as a casual gamer whenever I see this, it always confuses me. Is this part of the game I have to do in order to achieve the actual goal my character is supposed to achieve? Or is this just some extra side thing to do for fun? I can't tell, and now I'm enjoying things less worrying about it.

    I've also seen the opposite, though. In Batman: Arkham City, there are a number of side stories. Like the game is probably 90% side stories. But there is one main story you work through, and when you get through it, it seems like the game is over, but if you haven't completed all the side stories, you can keep playing until you do. But the city is really empty once you've completed the main story, so it seems really weird trekking around the city to get all your extra points when everybody's left for the most part.

    While I'm being an old man shouting at a cloud, these side quests often lead to being able to upgrade your weaponry. But in my opinion, there are already too many types of weapons in most of these games. I hate having to decide which weapons I need to buy or build or find because if I haven't yet played through the whole game, I have no idea what I'll need in the future. This was something I found really frustrating about BioShock. I don't know which freakin' thing I need from the weapon vending machine or the magic potion vending machine! How about you put the weapon I need into the game and let me find it through the narrative? And how about you don't make a 150 different weapons, because I can't remember which one is in which slot, and by the time I need to use it, I've forgotten I have it, and can't remember which key combo to press to use it anyway! How is this supposed to be fun? It's just overwhelming.

    So yeah, I'm an old man now. I'm gonna go take a nap.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What's something you wish people outside of your field knew/understood? in ~talk

    joplin
    Link Parent
    I've always assumed that they would feel the way you say. I live in Los Angeles and there are celebrities everywhere around here. I don't think I've ever spoken directly to any of them because it...

    I've always assumed that they would feel the way you say. I live in Los Angeles and there are celebrities everywhere around here. I don't think I've ever spoken directly to any of them because it seems super weird to me.

    But I've also heard that sometimes they go out specifically to be seen. For example, one time my spouse and I went to a packed bar in Santa Monica for some burgers and beer. The star of a well-known TV show showed up with his spouse and sat at the table next to us. A friend told me that this is a part of their promotion of themselves as stars. Like they literally can write off the expense of going to a well-known restaurant because it is a promotional activity for them to meet people and "be seen". Do you know if there's any truth to that?

    I also used to work a block from a place where celebrities would go "to be seen". Several times when walking to lunch, paparazzi would jump out from the bushes with long lenses and take pictures of someone in front of or behind us. It was an odd experience to say the least. I can't imagine living with that on a daily basis.

    6 votes
  3. Comment on Three dead, several injured in Madrid as explosion rocks Spanish capital in ~news

    joplin
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    Ah, good to know! Thanks for the info.

    Ah, good to know! Thanks for the info.

    2 votes
  4. Comment on Three dead, several injured in Madrid as explosion rocks Spanish capital in ~news

    joplin
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    This is terrible! I've heard that here in California they're considering outlawing installation of any new gas appliances in homes. A few years ago there was a series of gas explosions in...

    This is terrible! I've heard that here in California they're considering outlawing installation of any new gas appliances in homes. A few years ago there was a series of gas explosions in Merrimack, Mass., and news reports claimed at the time that some of the gas lines may have been made from 100 year old rotting wood. It's pretty scary that these things aren't kept in proper working order.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Lobsters 2021 Mod Applications in ~tildes

    joplin
    Link Parent
    And also has a bunch of far right apologists, too. It's unbelievable reading some of the threads this week where they equate protests to get the police to stop murdering people of color with a...

    Hacker News (which has its own crippling, though largely orthogonal, cultural issues)

    And also has a bunch of far right apologists, too. It's unbelievable reading some of the threads this week where they equate protests to get the police to stop murdering people of color with a bunch of people trying to overthrow the government because they don't like the outcome of the free and fair elections.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on Are software engineers "engineers"? in ~comp

    joplin
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    Yeah, these arguments make me laugh. I honestly don't care what you call me as long I keep getting to do my job. That said, I had some thoughts about what he wrote: I'm glad he pointed this out: I...

    Yeah, these arguments make me laugh. I honestly don't care what you call me as long I keep getting to do my job. That said, I had some thoughts about what he wrote:

    I'm glad he pointed this out:

    In Canada you can’t even call yourself a “Software Engineer” unless you’re accredited!

    I have several Canadian coworkers (I'm in the US), and some of them went through the whole accreditation. They had to meet certain standards and got inducted into a guild. I think they even got a special ring! Ooo! Fancy! I see no difference in the quality, efficiency, or speed of their output vs. the other employees I work with. We all seem to do a pretty decent job.

    Things like calculus, trigonometry, and differential equations are in this category. This is what most people in the US learn in high school, codifying it as what they think of as “math”.

    In software, we don’t use these things

    Lol, wut!? I use those things daily for software engineering (or programming, or whatever you call it). I work on graphics mostly, and we use a ton of trig, and a quite bit of calculus with a little diff EQ. But if you're designing databases, maybe not so much?

    Growing up, my father was an electrical engineer at a well-known automotive company. I don't think he was much more rigorous in his designs than my colleagues and I are in ours (though I could be wrong). Certainly what he designed was physical, and if it went haywire, it could potentially kill someone. But I suspect much of his job was similar to mine, philosophically speaking. We use our knowledge of our field to come up with a design to meet some business need, implement it, test it, adjust it, and eventually release it. There are likely still flaws in it, but they're rare enough and small enough that most of the time they don't matter to the end user or have any significant consequences.

    software engineering is real engineering, but a lot of people who write software aren’t doing software engineering.

    Yeah, totally. Some people are just putting together pre-made building blocks sometimes without even understanding what they do or why they do it, while others are making blocks, putting them together, and making them accessible to others. It's definitely a spectrum!

    And in a related vein, computer science is also real science!

    7 votes
  7. Comment on Storming Reddit's moat in ~tech

    joplin
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    This is a piece about why moving r/changemyview off of Reddit failed, and some of the obstacles needed to overcome such a move. Unfortunately, the author doesn't give you the answers in this...

    This is a piece about why moving r/changemyview off of Reddit failed, and some of the obstacles needed to overcome such a move. Unfortunately, the author doesn't give you the answers in this piece, as they have another piece planned for that in the near future. But I thought that since there's been talk of moving various subreddits to Tildes, it might be an interesting read to others here.

    Seeing an opportunity, the r/changemyview moderators decided in 2019 that they would “unbundle” the community from Reddit - migrate it, in other words, to a dedicated website. ... But the effort didn’t last. Less than a year and a half later, the new CMV website is dead and the community continues to thrive on Reddit. What went wrong?
    ...
    “Unbundling,” as it’s called, is almost a fundamental law of the internet. As platforms grow, they breed new niches, and eventually reach the point where they can’t serve those interests as well as a more focused competitor. And because of the growth of the overall platform, those niches aren’t so niche anymore.

    10 votes
  8. Comment on Anti-science and alternate reality in the USA in ~talk

    joplin
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    As others have said, it's not new and not unique to the US. There's a really good book by Michael Shermer called "Why People Believe Weird Things" that goes into depth about the topic in general....

    As others have said, it's not new and not unique to the US. There's a really good book by Michael Shermer called "Why People Believe Weird Things" that goes into depth about the topic in general. It explains the various logical traps that people fall into and why, and why it's also so hard to get some people out of them.

    6 votes
  9. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    joplin
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    I had previously played Little Orpheus and liked it. The gameplay was so-so, but the world was quite nice. However, I had played it with the sound off. A friend pointed out that the story told by...

    I had previously played Little Orpheus and liked it. The gameplay was so-so, but the world was quite nice. However, I had played it with the sound off. A friend pointed out that the story told by the narrator during the game makes it a much better game. So I decided to try it out and he was right! In the original version there were no subtitles, and I didn't feel like putting headphones on during playing. Well I relented and played with headphones and I have to agree that it's even better with audio. The music is quite good, too. And I noticed in the prefs that you can now turn on subtitles as well.

    I'm still making my way (slowly) through The Return of the Obra Dinn. I'm at 18 deaths solved. I haven't had as much time to play it this past week as I would have liked. I've seen all the flashbacks there are to see, but clearly have some details here and there wrong as a few that I thought were pretty straightforward turned out not to be. I'm curious from others who have played it, if I haven't solved all of the deaths and I leave the boat, what happens? I see that I have to meet up with someone to get more information, but it's not clear how much has to be done before doing that.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on Inside eBay’s cockroach cult: The ghastly story of a stalking scandal in ~tech

    joplin
    Link Parent
    The ending is also quite disturbing: Great, now a psychopath is in charge of a club that's supposed to support children. What could possibly go wrong?

    The ending is also quite disturbing:

    Mr. Wymer has a new job, as the chief executive of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley. The chair of the board said the nonprofit was “aware” of what happened at eBay, but believes Mr. Wymer is “a leader with integrity” and was the unanimous choice for the job.

    Great, now a psychopath is in charge of a club that's supposed to support children. What could possibly go wrong?

    7 votes
  11. Comment on Apple's Pro MacBook revival plan is stupid smart: Bring back old features in ~tech

    joplin
    Link Parent
    I thought they were a different technology. The older ones in MacBooks made a physical connection, I thought.

    I thought they were a different technology. The older ones in MacBooks made a physical connection, I thought.

    2 votes
  12. Comment on Apple's Pro MacBook revival plan is stupid smart: Bring back old features in ~tech

    joplin
    Link Parent
    I suspect the MagSafe chargers are going to be the rebranded wireless ones we see in iPhones now, not the older corded ones.

    I suspect the MagSafe chargers are going to be the rebranded wireless ones we see in iPhones now, not the older corded ones.

  13. Comment on BioNTech, firm behind Pfizer's COVID-19 jab, develops potential vaccine for multiple sclerosis in ~health

    joplin
    Link Parent
    Interesting! I use Reader in Safari, and for whatever reason, it didn't work for this particular article. IF it had, I wouldn't have even noticed.

    Interesting! I use Reader in Safari, and for whatever reason, it didn't work for this particular article. IF it had, I wouldn't have even noticed.

  14. Comment on BioNTech, firm behind Pfizer's COVID-19 jab, develops potential vaccine for multiple sclerosis in ~health

    joplin
    Link Parent
    Right, but that then puts a cookie on your machine that says you opted out. You then have to trust Verizon (who are known bad actors) to not use it to track you anyway. Regardless, it's also just...

    Right, but that then puts a cookie on your machine that says you opted out. You then have to trust Verizon (who are known bad actors) to not use it to track you anyway. Regardless, it's also just a shitty experience to go read an article and have to do something else before reading the article, especially when this isn't exclusive content.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on BioNTech, firm behind Pfizer's COVID-19 jab, develops potential vaccine for multiple sclerosis in ~health

    joplin
    Link
    Can we get a link that doesn't involve consenting to giving tracking data to Verizon? When I load the page, it's entirely blocked by a large popup that won't let me do anything until I consent to...

    Can we get a link that doesn't involve consenting to giving tracking data to Verizon? When I load the page, it's entirely blocked by a large popup that won't let me do anything until I consent to giving them tracking data. (There's a "don't consent" button that I'm guessing leads to pages and pages of opt-out, all of which require that you consent to having a cookie that says you opted out and then you just have to trust they won't use it for tracking.)

    For example, here's another article reporting the same thing without any tracking: https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/news-posts/2021/01/11/biontech-vaccine-halts-ms-progression-without-immune-suppression-mouse-model-study/

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Bakersfield, California just ended chronic homelessness in ~life

    joplin
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    This sounds intriguing. About an hour or so south of Bakersfield, here in LA, we have an enormous population of the chronically unhoused. I wonder whether these techniques would be viable here or...

    This sounds intriguing. About an hour or so south of Bakersfield, here in LA, we have an enormous population of the chronically unhoused. I wonder whether these techniques would be viable here or if they don't scale very well? I wonder if a divide and conquer strategy could make them viable? Like divide the city into n zones and apply these techniques to each zone individually?

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

    joplin
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    I tend to go in circles on my side projects. I'm back to working on tilings. This time I'm working on Wang tiles. I haven't yet tried to generate an aperiodic tiling, just a tiling that is...

    I tend to go in circles on my side projects. I'm back to working on tilings. This time I'm working on Wang tiles. I haven't yet tried to generate an aperiodic tiling, just a tiling that is non-periodic within the window I'm looking at. It's been an interesting read about them. It turns out they're really useful in games for generating non-repeating terrain out of a few small bits of terrain.

    1 vote
  18. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    joplin
    Link Parent
    Also, did they "make a flamboyant showing"? If I recall, they sent pretty straightforward letters and/or emails to Parler explaining what policies were violated and even offering to leave the app...

    make a flamboyant showing

    Also, did they "make a flamboyant showing"? If I recall, they sent pretty straightforward letters and/or emails to Parler explaining what policies were violated and even offering to leave the app up if Parler put forth a coherent roadmap of how they were going to moderate violence on their platform. It sounded to me very similar to what other small-time developers have said happened when their apps have been found to violate these company's policies.

    9 votes
  19. Comment on The Great Deplatforming: An alternate explanation for the Parler, et al, shutdowns in ~tech

    joplin
    Link Parent
    Ah, I see what you mean. Fair point! It was not something that occurred to me before you mentioned it, but it certainly sounds plausible to me.

    Ah, I see what you mean. Fair point! It was not something that occurred to me before you mentioned it, but it certainly sounds plausible to me.

    3 votes