nothis's recent activity

  1. Comment on Day 2: Password Philosophy in ~comp.advent_of_code

    nothis
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    I'm not great at Python and decided this is a chance to finally dive into it a little more. I spent like an hour trying to cleanly install Python 3 on macOS, which is positively kafkaesque. But...

    I'm not great at Python and decided this is a chance to finally dive into it a little more. I spent like an hour trying to cleanly install Python 3 on macOS, which is positively kafkaesque. But once it's running, it's quite pleasant how quickly you can get things to work!

    Quick question: Is the whole os-path mumbo jumbo really necessary to just load a file in the same folder? It seems odd but I had to paste this in to avoid a "file not found" error.

    Part 1+2
    import os
    import re
    
    thisFolder = os.path.dirname(os.path.abspath(__file__))
    inputFilePath = os.path.join(thisFolder, 'input.txt')
    
    with open(inputFilePath) as inputFile:
        passwordEntries = inputFile.read().split("\n")
    
    correctCountA = 0
    correctCountB = 0
    for pwEntry in passwordEntries:
        limits = re.findall(r'\d+', pwEntry)
        lower = int(limits[0])
        upper = int(limits[1])
        letter = re.findall(r'(.)\:', pwEntry)[0]
        password = re.findall(r'\: (.+)', pwEntry)[0]
        letterCount = password.count(letter)
    
        if letterCount >= lower and letterCount <= upper:
            correctCountA += 1
    
        if password[lower - 1] == letter and not password[upper - 1] == letter:
            correctCountB += 1
        elif not password[lower - 1] == letter and password[upper - 1] == letter:
            correctCountB += 1
    
    print("Number of correct passwords (definition A): ", correctCountA)
    print("Number of correct passwords (definition B): ", correctCountB)
    
    2 votes
  2. Comment on How to buy gifts that people actually want in ~life

    nothis
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    That was an oddly complicated article. What tends to work for me is simple: In the month(s) leading up to Christmas, Birthdays, etc, make mental notes whenever the person you'll be gifting...

    That was an oddly complicated article. What tends to work for me is simple: In the month(s) leading up to Christmas, Birthdays, etc, make mental notes whenever the person you'll be gifting mentions something they'd like but do not have. It happens more often than you think, in genuine casual conversation (like I don't even think it's a "hint, HINT!" situation and even if it is, what does it matter?). Look for things that are juuust absurd enough for people to not actually buy them for themselves. Something they don't really need but that would be nice to have.

    I used to get really nervous about gifting (since gifting doesn't have a huge tradition in my family outside toys for kids and such, so it always feels a tiny bit awkward) but this method helps me to always have something prepared and not feel bad about it. Price, btw, is basically irrelevant.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on The philosophy of Star Trek: Is the Prime Directive ethical? in ~humanities

    nothis
    (edited )
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    Taking Star Trek too seriously always ends in misery. I doubt any of the writers, given the choice between following the show's idea(l)s to their logical conclusions and having a fun episode with...

    Taking Star Trek too seriously always ends in misery. I doubt any of the writers, given the choice between following the show's idea(l)s to their logical conclusions and having a fun episode with bonkers sci-fi stuff, ever chose raw logic.

    So this isn't about Star Trek, really, but there's an interesting sci-fi-y thought I like that's kinda related. Basically, when you think about the purpose of life and civilization, the next step above self-protection you find is often "discovery". Exploration, knowledge, science. Star Trek certainly has that theme (the latest entry literally being called "Star Trek: Discovery"). But there might be a point (and Star Trek civilization seems close) where it's becoming unlikely that you actually encounter "new science". In the Star Trek universe, energy generation has clearly been "solved", as has poverty, hunger, the vast majority of health issues and any kind of resource scarcity. Most objectives of science, engineering and labor are done and cared for, the only jobs left are holodeck designer, replicator cook and... starship officer.

    So it's imaginable that in such a society, art and culture become much more valuable. Any society invents warp technology, eventually. That's boring. It's always the same science. What's interesting is how it got there. What struggles it met along the way, what music, poetry and architecture it produced in the different stages of resources being available to them. There's probably a noble way of formulating this and the fact that you can formulate it so selfishly might be the main issue, here, but: That's the only value foreign civilizations have to the Federation. Why mess with that? Further, no foreign civilization can possibly be a threat, however the moment they have warp drives, they can. So it's necessary to force them into a political structure. It's not goodwill, it's self-preservation.

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

    nothis
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    Oh, I’m sure it’ll stick around! I’m just talking about the crazy trend. It feels like the lifespans of these shortens? Like Fall Guys already dropping again? To make that clear: I kinda like...

    Oh, I’m sure it’ll stick around! I’m just talking about the crazy trend. It feels like the lifespans of these shortens? Like Fall Guys already dropping again?

    To make that clear: I kinda like this, since it means new games are being played every year rather than streamers just playing like one FPS exclusively for 5 years. I hope there’s another “Among Us” type game waiting in spring 2021 and it’ll be totally different.

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

    nothis
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    My nephew talked me into giving Among Us a try and... it’s fun! It’s remarkably simple and there’s a lesson in doing simple well in there for sure! I don’t see this Game carrying a lot of...

    My nephew talked me into giving Among Us a try and... it’s fun! It’s remarkably simple and there’s a lesson in doing simple well in there for sure! I don’t see this Game carrying a lot of attention for more than a couple of months, though since the number of, uhm, “strategies” sure seems limited.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on Austrian village of 'Fucking' decides to change its name in ~life

    nothis
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    Simple, next to the street sign, install a store that sells authentic replicas.

    Simple, next to the street sign, install a store that sells authentic replicas.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on Austrian village of 'Fucking' decides to change its name in ~life

    nothis
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    Fucking cowards!

    Fucking cowards!

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Black Mesa: Definitive Edition - The final major update for the fan-made re-imagining of Half-Life in ~games

    nothis
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    As a massive Half-Life fan, I must admit: I never played this. And I feel like correcting that mistake. 2 questions: Is this final major update already out? I'm so used to "announcements of...

    As a massive Half-Life fan, I must admit: I never played this. And I feel like correcting that mistake.

    2 questions:

    • Is this final major update already out? I'm so used to "announcements of announcements" in gaming that I can't tell from reading the blog post!
    • This is the Source engine, right? So this should run on an older laptop? Or are they doing something crazy? How is the performance?
    3 votes
  9. Comment on How Microsoft Flight Simulator recreated our entire planet in ~games

    nothis
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    Most inspiring thing Microsoft has done in years, IMO. Beautiful game, beautiful story. Cloud technology, finally not being a gimmick but a genuine feature. This doc is a great summary, I remember...

    Most inspiring thing Microsoft has done in years, IMO. Beautiful game, beautiful story. Cloud technology, finally not being a gimmick but a genuine feature.

    This doc is a great summary, I remember seeing some videos on the weather and building generation tech in greater detail and it was mind blowing.

    4 votes
  10. Comment on Falcom announces Ys 1 and 2 for Sharp X68000 in ~games

    nothis
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    I had to duckduckgo this. Apparently, the X68000 is a Japan-only homecomputer from the 80s. Was that computer revived as a retro thingy? Is it still popular? Is this comparable to people still...

    I had to duckduckgo this. Apparently, the X68000 is a Japan-only homecomputer from the 80s. Was that computer revived as a retro thingy? Is it still popular? Is this comparable to people still making games for the Commodore 64 and such?

    I kinda need more context on that story, it sounds pretty weird!

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Xbox Series X/S vs. PlayStation 5 - A direct comparison and the Ars launch-month verdict in ~games

    nothis
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    I'd actually go a little further with the marketing problem: You can't really tell the difference, nowadays. 5 year old games look practically the same as games that come out today. That certainly...

    I'd actually go a little further with the marketing problem: You can't really tell the difference, nowadays. 5 year old games look practically the same as games that come out today. That certainly wasn't the case up until the late 00s. Every new console generation easily had a 5x performance increase, sometimes way more. That's just what you got by waiting 5 years. And the difference was huge. 2D->3D. Nearest neighbor texture sampling -> bilinear filtering. Static lighting -> real-time shadows. Things that you could actually categorize as "not there before, now it's there!".

    Nowadays, it's "it was there before, but now it looks slightly better at certain angles". I'm actually quite excited about raytracing but I have to admit, the difference to screen-space reflections is only visible in niche cases. And that's the one big example I can come up with.

    What's so convenient about 4K/60fps is that it's a measurable number. You can't argue with it being better than 1080p/30fps, it just is. It's math, goddammit! You don't have to put a big, red arrow pointing at that bush in the background being reflected in a puddle, it's just a better number you can't argue with. But it takes up massive amounts of hardware power and it is – IMO – just as subtle in most games. I'd much rather see that hardware working on better shaders and animations used for clever art direction. But that's harder to sell. It's not a number you can just stick into your game ad and get people excited. And that's why the 4K/60fps narrative is going a bit on my nerves. It will probably take another generation before we can actually get 4K/60fps as a stable default and that's because it's simply not that important. Modern AAA games sell because of production value, not tech. Asking for higher resolution or framerates often means just asking for fewer assets drawn and less detailed effects. I don't want that, at least not for games where half the appeal is cinematic immersion.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Xbox Series X/S vs. PlayStation 5 - A direct comparison and the Ars launch-month verdict in ~games

  13. Comment on Xbox Series X/S vs. PlayStation 5 - A direct comparison and the Ars launch-month verdict in ~games

    nothis
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    It's true that games are cheaper on PC, but comparing launch day price isn't that productive, IMO. You can get AAA PS4/Xbox games for like $20 a year or two after release and at launch, PC game...

    It's true that games are cheaper on PC, but comparing launch day price isn't that productive, IMO. You can get AAA PS4/Xbox games for like $20 a year or two after release and at launch, PC game prices aren't that cheap, either. It's ultimately a case of games being $10 to $15 cheaper and sales hitting a little earlier. But unless you buy like 2 games a month, it could take close to a console's life span to make up that difference.

    IMO the only real argument for PC gaming is getting access to crazy high-end modes and early trends that aren't yet big enough to make it to consoles. You can do more with PCs than gaming, but I guess most people already have a laptop that can do most of that already (including playing stuff like Factorio, running emulators or installing Minecraft mods). Arguing for gaming PCs as a cheaper option... I dunno, it feels like a bit of a stretch.

  14. Comment on Xbox Series X/S vs. PlayStation 5 - A direct comparison and the Ars launch-month verdict in ~games

    nothis
    Link Parent
    That kinda goes both ways. I think the 4K/60fps obsession is a way louder force on the internet than the people insisting that 30fps/1080p is fine. I actually think it kinda brought down Halo:...

    Also, I do absolutely relish in this quote, considering how long my console buddies kept insisting 'no 30 FPS is fine'.

    That kinda goes both ways. I think the 4K/60fps obsession is a way louder force on the internet than the people insisting that 30fps/1080p is fine. I actually think it kinda brought down Halo: Infinite. They wanted that 4K/60fps label since it now seems to be the only thing that matters in graphics marketing and then people saw the actual footage and went, "uhm, that doesn't look so good". Well, of course it doesn't! They made a box that's twice as powerful as the One X (this might actually be one of the subtlest generational processing power upgrades in console history) and threw 4 times the pixels at the screen at 60fps, so they had to make the graphics/lighting way worse.

    I have a gaming PC that generally can do 60 fps, but certain genres aside (competitive shooters, racing games, etc) 30fps is... fine. For my entire playthrough of Breath of the Wild, never did I stop and think "huh, this would be much better at 60fps/4K". 60fps is a sport. If graphics don't matter or extremely fast movement is important, go 60fps, sure. But for everything else, it's a case of "this feels 10% smoother", which, at double the hardware requirements, is not worth it for me. I much rather see that processing power invested in things like better lighting, raytracing or generally improved LOD/view distance. It's something I actually notice. And it seems a lot of recent AAA releases give you the option for exactly that reason.

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

    nothis
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    For some reason, I went back to Baba Is You after already having "finished" it to try and go for 100% solved. This game is hard. And amazing. It's honestly a small miracle that it actually became...

    For some reason, I went back to Baba Is You after already having "finished" it to try and go for 100% solved. This game is hard. And amazing. It's honestly a small miracle that it actually became somewhat of a well known game, this is absolutely hardcore Stephen's Sausage Roll-level puzzling, no graphics or story gimmicks. I'm having a great time with it.

    8 votes
  16. Comment on What's a noteworthy game that you never see mentioned anywhere? in ~games

    nothis
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    Mushroom 11. It has maybe the most unique controls and mechanics of a game I've ever played, you play a strange blob you move by deleting "cells" on the one side that regrow on the other. Rather...

    Mushroom 11. It has maybe the most unique controls and mechanics of a game I've ever played, you play a strange blob you move by deleting "cells" on the one side that regrow on the other. Rather than slimy and soft, the resulting shape stays rigid, allowing you to form it into all kinds of "tools" to navigate the world and defeat enemies. The game is also quite beautiful, with strange, dystopian landscapes, alien-looking lifeforms and a narrative told without words. Think Annihilation, but without people.

    I guess the game came out just when physics platformers were growing out of style a little but it's absolutely one of the best of its kind and one of my favorite indie games, period. Sidenote: Development of this game produced this famous listing of 2D camera systems in videogames, which remains one of the best and most complete articles on a game mechanic I've ever came across. Needless to say, Mushroom 11's camera is excellent but it's one of these things you don't really notice when they work.

    5 votes
  17. Comment on What is/are your favorite quote/s? in ~talk

    nothis
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    "Luck favors the prepared." Edna Mode (actually, Louis Pasteur) Beautiful way of simultaneously acknowledging and dismissing the role of luck in success.

    "Luck favors the prepared."

    Beautiful way of simultaneously acknowledging and dismissing the role of luck in success.

    12 votes
  18. Comment on The iPhone 12 Pro Max: Real pro photography in ~tech

    nothis
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    Modern smartphone cameras are pure magic, I think they generally don't receive enough awe. That Pro Max stuff is outside my price range but these things tend to creep their way into lower end...

    Modern smartphone cameras are pure magic, I think they generally don't receive enough awe. That Pro Max stuff is outside my price range but these things tend to creep their way into lower end models over time so it's exciting what photos my smartphone will be able to shoot 5 years from now.

    6 votes
  19. Comment on TV Tuesdays Free Talk in ~tv

    nothis
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    Ah, saw this pop up once but thought it's a movie. Weirdly, it being TV makes me want to watch it more?

    Ah, saw this pop up once but thought it's a movie. Weirdly, it being TV makes me want to watch it more?

    2 votes
  20. Comment on „Hating Men is a freeing form of hostility” in ~life

    nothis
    (edited )
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    This fits beautifully with this recent post about the problems with the language of the left. I'm pretty sure I'm (politically, philosophically) on her side. It's essentially a slogan to bring...

    This fits beautifully with this recent post about the problems with the language of the left.

    I'm pretty sure I'm (politically, philosophically) on her side. It's essentially a slogan to bring awareness to gender inequalities. I interpret this as targeting women who feel guilty for hating aspects of masculine culture and – in as few words as possible – tell them that it's ok to be angry, to accept it as a reality that needs changing, without getting caught up in not trying to hurt (particular?) men's feelings. But it's also verbal ammunition for the right. Just like someone pointed out in the other thread, slogans like "Defund the Police", while succinct and conspicuous, are too easy to be abused by the other side by removing context.

    Now you could say, what does it matter if men get angry about this? It certainly doesn't change the underlying issues this is about and it only brings more awareness. But there do seem to be political consequences. I believe a lot of the reactionary political momentum, nowadays, comes from outrage over the left going "too far". I don't believe they're going anywhere particularly extreme but they still cling to the aggressive slogans from a time when they were in a powerless minority, which comes off problematic when spoken from a position of relative (or even just perceived) power. If you're a small college protestor, you're yelling the most extreme things you can from your megaphone, expecting none of it to realistically come true and gaining attention from potential new allies. It's a position of negotiation where you start with something outrageous, expecting to get something in the middle that's just barely enough and people mostly get that. But if you suddenly have the support of powerful parts of the media, local politics, a collage campus, a liberal urban environment, etc., such "outrageous" claims no longer have the benefit of the doubt of not being implemented in their literal meaning. And that changes the context for slogans like "I hate men". People actually vote right because they're afraid of slogans like this. It's actually happening. It's stupid and oversimplified. But what else is stupid and oversimplified? Facebook.

    (On more of a side note: I always feel like the French language feels different for statements like this, "outrage" can come off more nuanced, sarcasm can be hidden in subtle absurdities and repetition, things like that. I believe there could be quite a lot that's lost in translation.)

    5 votes