mat's recent activity

  1. Comment on What are you doing this week? in ~talk

    mat
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    I have no paid work on this week so am getting some admin done and catching up on things that have been waiting a while. It's changeover time for my indoor garden (previously here) which means all...

    I have no paid work on this week so am getting some admin done and catching up on things that have been waiting a while. It's changeover time for my indoor garden (previously here) which means all the old plants are out and prepping for the next crop: that's a whole load of disinfecting and scrubbing and probably some fiddling about installing upgrades and tweaks to the setup. I'm also hoping to get my 3D printer online so I can start printing designs to be cast in silver (or gold if I'm feeling rich). I'd also like to finish up a few jobs I'm doing as a favour to a friend, which is repairs to some stuff of hers in exchange for time on her massage table. I do love massage, and getting some "free" as part of a skills swap is even better.

    Always hoping to rack up a few kms on my bike as well. Will try to cycle over to visit a friend whose daughter starts school full time this week, so she'll be a bit lonely and would probably appreciate me showing up all sweaty and demanding tea.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Amazon changed its search system to boost more-profitable listings, including its own brands in ~tech

    mat
    Link Parent
    I hear that quite often but I'm pretty sure it's not true. There are plenty of companies who act in far less predatory/aggressive ways than they could.

    They are obligated to maximize "shareholder value"

    I hear that quite often but I'm pretty sure it's not true. There are plenty of companies who act in far less predatory/aggressive ways than they could.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Netflix acquires global streaming rights to Seinfeld for five years, starting in 2021 in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    It might do, at that. Netflix operate in 190 countries, many of whom have quite possibly never seen Seinfeld, and it's a hugely famous and important show. Their potential customer base has to be a...

    It might do, at that. Netflix operate in 190 countries, many of whom have quite possibly never seen Seinfeld, and it's a hugely famous and important show. Their potential customer base has to be a billion people, at least. At that scale finding 50 million or more subscriber-months isn't too bad. There's also the about-to-leave customer, who says "well, I'll just rewatch Seinfeld, then I'll cancel" (like they did with Friends, and like they'll do with whatever classic show Netflix get after this), and that person is in for at least another 2-3 months because there's 180 episodes to get through!

    They've probably pretty much reached saturation in the US with ~60m subscribers but there's a huge amount of space to grow elsewhere. Netflix India only has 1m subscribers, for example, and there's a lot of people in India..

    As far as I can find out, Netflix isn't unprofitable. They made nearly $2bn profit in Q2 2019.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Tildylongstockings, what’s your morning routine? in ~talk

    mat
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    I have a one year old. Waking up and getting up is no longer a problem I have. I survive because of TEA. Even the little one understands that there will be no playing or even breakfast until the...

    I have a one year old. Waking up and getting up is no longer a problem I have.

    I survive because of TEA. Even the little one understands that there will be no playing or even breakfast until the kettle has boiled and tea has been made. Before he was born it was the same to be honest. Stumble out of bed and make tea and everything else is do-able after that.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on Who is "John Smith" in your country? in ~talk

    mat
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    "John Doe" is used for all sorts of legal stuff, not just the unidentified dead, and turns out has a really interesting history going back to at least the 14th century. Thanks for prompting me to...

    "John Doe" is used for all sorts of legal stuff, not just the unidentified dead, and turns out has a really interesting history going back to at least the 14th century. Thanks for prompting me to look that up.

    19 votes
  6. Comment on The FGC9 is a 3D Printed firearm that is built from unregulated components and costs 100$ to make in ~hobbies

    mat
    Link Parent
    Ah, yes, America's precious bit of paper. Paper can never be changed. Never mind that it was an amendment to start with. And because of that, America can't possibly fix it's gun problem. You guys...

    Ah, yes, America's precious bit of paper. Paper can never be changed. Never mind that it was an amendment to start with. And because of that, America can't possibly fix it's gun problem. You guys went to the freaking moon, but you can't change a single bit of paper? It's so sad to see. Look at Australia if you want someone with, historically, more of a gun culture. They sorted it out pretty well. I know it's not your fault that America doesn't care, but really the only reason it hasn't been solved is that America doesn't, in aggregate, care about tens of thousands of deaths of it's own citizens every year.

    I know how to make ammo. I'm a metalsmith. I - like anyone with basic fabrication skills - could make an entire gun if I wanted, I don't need a 3D printer. But it's not that easy to do when you have to make most of it from scratch, you need various tools and skills most people don't have. You can't just pop down to the corner shop and buy a tub of powder or a box of casings - you need certification and licenses and so on. Even just setting up a 3D printer to get a good enough quality print isn't that straightforward, let along building your own ammo as well. If you want it to be completely untracable you're going to need a LOT of gear.

    Sure, people eventually can do anything via information available on the internet but this isn't about deterring the determined and capable, because those people are always going to do what they want. Luckily the intersection between capable, determined and dangerous lunatics is very small. If it wasn't we'd have serious problems already. That's why I'm not worried by this. Anyone dumb enough to do it is dumb enough to fuck up at any number of easily fucked up steps along the route to a functioning weapon.

    fwiw, if I thought you were being racist I'd just say that. I've long since given up on pussyfooting around on that particular topic. I really wasn't sure what you meant. If you were referring to socioeconomic diversity you should have said so - although I'm not sure the US is particularly more diverse that way than the UK, but I'm happy to be proven wrong on that front if you have some numbers.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on The FGC9 is a 3D Printed firearm that is built from unregulated components and costs 100$ to make in ~hobbies

    mat
    Link Parent
    Near-total ban, as it goes. Shotguns are available if you can prove you have a need for one and you pass all the tests to prove you're safe to have one (which includes the police coming to your...

    Near-total ban, as it goes. Shotguns are available if you can prove you have a need for one and you pass all the tests to prove you're safe to have one (which includes the police coming to your house and looking around it). Bolt-action rifles the same, but almost nobody qualifies to own those. Handguns are totally banned, as are auto and semi-automatic rifles, pretty sure pump action shotguns are limited to 3 (maybe 4) cartridge capacity. Every time someone has gone on a rampage, that sort of gun gets banned, or at least heavily restricted. I remember our one school shooting. Dude had a handgun, a few months later, handguns were banned and nobody has shot up a school (or anywhere else) with one since.

    Anecdotally I'd say it's safe to say that most people in my country have never seen a firearm and far fewer have ever held or fired one. I'm unusual among my peer group in having fired a shotgun. The majority of my friends and family have not.

    You're right that there are other factors, but banning guns from general ownership is a massive part of limiting gun violence. If you knew the state of adult social care (the 'mental health' the gun people always talk about) here there's no way that's up to the job. If we had guns on sale in supermarkets like you do, we'd have mass shootings every other week, I guarantee it. Sure, you can say that gun control doesn't work, but the evidence suggests that it does. Look at the reaction to the Port Arthur, Hungerford, Dunblane massacres - bans. Have similar events happened since? No. Correlation is not causation, you say, but let's not be silly here. Banning guns works well enough. We need healthcare and education and so on as well, because civilised societies have those things - but nobody ever took a free prescription or a schoolbook into a mall and killed a load of people with them.

    btw, can you just confirm what you were getting at when you said "less diverse" as a reduction factor in gun violence? Because that could be read as being somewhat racist and I'm sure that's not what you meant.

    14 votes
  8. Comment on The FGC9 is a 3D Printed firearm that is built from unregulated components and costs 100$ to make in ~hobbies

    mat
    Link Parent
    I dunno, they seem to be working pretty well where I live. I can count the mass shootings during my life on the fingers of one hand and I'm fairly old. I could print that gun right now but how or...

    gun control efforts in a modern era are ineffective

    I dunno, they seem to be working pretty well where I live. I can count the mass shootings during my life on the fingers of one hand and I'm fairly old. I could print that gun right now but how or where I'd get something to fire from it I have no idea. The same way I can't just go and buy a gun, I can't just go and buy ammo.

    I'm perfectly happy with this situation. The problem of people doing violence to each other (and themselves) with guns seems to be quite effectively treated by simply not making guns and ammo easily available to people.

    20 votes
  9. Comment on Do you ever feel like you want to commit asymmetric, vengeful acts of violence, despite feeling that you are otherwise well-adjusted? in ~talk

    mat
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    A survival - or even injury - situation is different from one where your life or body is not in danger. A civilised being - a human by the definition as used in the book Dune - doesn't resort to...

    A survival - or even injury - situation is different from one where your life or body is not in danger. A civilised being - a human by the definition as used in the book Dune - doesn't resort to violence because someone steals their parking space or doesn't slow down when they should.

    1 vote
  10. Comment on Do you ever feel like you want to commit asymmetric, vengeful acts of violence, despite feeling that you are otherwise well-adjusted? in ~talk

    mat
    Link Parent
    Not all human-shaped animals are humans. Hence the mention of the gom jabbar.

    Not all human-shaped animals are humans. Hence the mention of the gom jabbar.

    3 votes
  11. Comment on Do you ever feel like you want to commit asymmetric, vengeful acts of violence, despite feeling that you are otherwise well-adjusted? in ~talk

    mat
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    The other day I was driving with my son in the car. He was, finally, peacefully asleep (he's barely one year old) after having a particularly difficult day and then some bellend in a gold Merc...

    The other day I was driving with my son in the car. He was, finally, peacefully asleep (he's barely one year old) after having a particularly difficult day and then some bellend in a gold Merc pulled an extremely dangerous move which only didn't end in an accident because I'd assumed he was going to do something stupid and pre-emptively allowed for that. If that guy had been in front of me, in person, outside the cars, at that moment - I might well have hurt him very badly. I wanted to, for a few minutes. He put my baby's life at risk. There's part of my brain which reacts to that in a very powerful way, more so than someone putting my own life at risk. It's not the part of my brain which is a human, it's part of my brain which was once an animal and the important thing is that I have control over it.

    I'm of the opinion that it's OK, and entirely normal, to think these things sometimes, especially when life has been endangered. Physically fighting for one's life has been a solid survival strategy for our genes for millions of years, after all. That stuff runs deep. What's not OK is to act on those thoughts. Animals act without thinking, humans do not. I think of it as a kind of gom jabbar.

    13 votes
  12. Comment on The Chefs' Brigade in ~tv

    mat
    Link Parent
    Oh, that looks good, thanks. On a slightly less fine dining tip (and don't get me wrong, I'm all for fine dining) I'm a fairly dedicated fan of Bon Appetit but largely only because of Brad and...

    Oh, that looks good, thanks.

    On a slightly less fine dining tip (and don't get me wrong, I'm all for fine dining) I'm a fairly dedicated fan of Bon Appetit but largely only because of Brad and Claire. I also like SortedFood and the whole matey-London-geezer thing isn't normally my kind of thing but the guys have grown on me and I find them more endearing than annoying.

    1 vote
  13. Comment on What are you doing this weekend? in ~talk

    mat
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    It's my son's first birthday this weekend so I'm baking a cake, shopping for ingredients, blowing up balloons, wrapping gifts and so on. He's one. He doesn't know or care what birthdays are, it's...

    It's my son's first birthday this weekend so I'm baking a cake, shopping for ingredients, blowing up balloons, wrapping gifts and so on. He's one. He doesn't know or care what birthdays are, it's just a good excuse to hang out with some friends and have brunch. I refuse to be part of the competitive child's party scene and luckily we don't seem to know anyone who does that crap, although some of our baby friends haven't had birthdays yet.

    I'm actually pretty much done with work for the week already so tomorrow I'm going to finish up a few things then start my weekend a bit early and go out on my bike for a couple of hours.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on The Chefs' Brigade in ~tv

    mat
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    I tend to find chefs from the Marco Pierre White/Gordon Ramsey lineage somewhat unpalatable. That whole alpha-male (well, alpha-person - I would not want to get on the wrong side of Clare Smith)...

    I tend to find chefs from the Marco Pierre White/Gordon Ramsey lineage somewhat unpalatable. That whole alpha-male (well, alpha-person - I would not want to get on the wrong side of Clare Smith) aggressive bullshit thing really jars with me.

    That said, I'll probably still check this out, so thanks for the heads up. I'm jonesing for some half-decent cooking TV since the Best Masterchef[1] finished for the year a few months back.

    Also, yes. God knows what's going to happen to our currently thriving food scene when we can't afford to import nice stuff and nobody wants to come and work here.

    [1] Australia. Once you go Masterchef AU you don't go back. It's so much better than any other version of the format I've seen.

    2 votes
  15. Comment on The World's Most Important Electric Car Is Launching Now, And It's Not A Porsche Or Tesla - The electric version of Renault's low-cost Kwid in ~enviro

    mat
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    Under £/$/€9K for a 100+ mile EV? I would buy that. I would very much like to buy that. That would cover probably 99% of my driving needs and I can rent a nice big long distance car for the...

    Under £/$/€9K for a 100+ mile EV?

    I would buy that. I would very much like to buy that. That would cover probably 99% of my driving needs and I can rent a nice big long distance car for the remaining one or two trips a year.

    Now, I just need to find £9K...

    7 votes
  16. I've never really been into gaming on my phone, but in the last couple of weeks I've found it's particularly good for entertainment while getting the baby off to sleep. He tends to need holding...

    I've never really been into gaming on my phone, but in the last couple of weeks I've found it's particularly good for entertainment while getting the baby off to sleep. He tends to need holding for 5-20 minutes, during which time no interaction is needed and something to stave off the boredom is good.

    I've been playing Tiny Bubbles which is good because the levels are relatively short and discrete, it's challenging without being too hard (at 4am I don't want that much of a challenge), it's mostly not timing-based, I can play one-handed and drop it at a moment's notice without particularly being penalised.

    Any suggestions for other suitable games would be appreciated.

    12 votes
  17. Comment on How do you achieve an efficient house move? in ~life

    mat
    Link Parent
    One of my friends once spent an hour or so carefully packing all his books into a large chest (like 1.5x1x0.5m). He did a really good job on packing efficiency, there was barely a gap to be seen....

    You want your boxes to be big enough to hold stuff, but not so big that they become too heavy.

    One of my friends once spent an hour or so carefully packing all his books into a large chest (like 1.5x1x0.5m). He did a really good job on packing efficiency, there was barely a gap to be seen. Then he tried to move it...

    7 votes
  18. Comment on How do you achieve an efficient house move? in ~life

    mat
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    I once had a month overlap between rent periods and my old place was between my work and my new house, so I moved basically a handful of stuff a day. That was pretty painless. I'd drop by the old...

    I once had a month overlap between rent periods and my old place was between my work and my new house, so I moved basically a handful of stuff a day. That was pretty painless. I'd drop by the old house after work, grab an item or furniture or a bag of clothes or whatever, then on to home. It helped both places were furnished so I didn't need to move beds and suchlike.

    Other than that, I guess you just think critical path. Don't move the books before you move the bookshelf. Don't shift your mattress until you've reassembled your bed. Make sure the kettle and tea is the first thing you unpack, that sort of thing. My guess is that you risk putting more time into working out the exact optimal way to move than you'd save by just doing it (almost) any old how. I haven't moved for ages and I don't intend to again for a while. Also last time I did was from furnished rental to unfurnished ownership - so the first job was a trip to IKEA to fill a van with brand-new furniture, then put all that together before moving our stuff in.

    I know it's not your preference and in general I agree with you about doing stuff for myself - but in your situation I would absolutely hire professionals. 7 flights of stairs? Fuck that.

    4 votes
  19. Comment on The curious case of a weapon in Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory that sounded so good players thought it was overpowered in ~games.game_design

    mat
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    That's absolutely fascinating. Monkey brains are so messy and squishy and weird and cool.

    That's absolutely fascinating. Monkey brains are so messy and squishy and weird and cool.

  20. Comment on Which books are the "bible" of your discipline? in ~books

    mat
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    Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica would like a word with you..

    Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica would like a word with you..

    2 votes