skullkid2424's recent activity

  1. Comment on Does anyone here use a standing desk? in ~life

    skullkid2424
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    I had a nice transition desk that would go from sitting to standing at work. I worked at the kitchen table for a few months once COVID hit before my living situation enabled me to get a better...

    I had a nice transition desk that would go from sitting to standing at work. I worked at the kitchen table for a few months once COVID hit before my living situation enabled me to get a better setup. Its helped a lot with back issues, though I also need to get back in the habit of stretches and resistance bands.

    For the desk itself - I opted for a manual crank to adjust the height, as its less likely to break down. I'm also aiming at a full time standing desk - so I won't need to move it too often. I've got an IKEA chair in the room that I can retreat to occasionally for meetings or videos or just to sit for a few minutes. I ended up buying this desk with 2-tiers, and my roommate bought the regular flat version. So far, I've been very happy with it. The upper tier works well my monitor and laptop (on a stand) to be at the proper height for vision. My roommate likes his as well, but got a dual-monitor arm for his setup.

    I'd also recommend a good standing mat. I was advised against a flat mat and told to look into a more "active" mat that encourages you to change your foot position. I picked up this one and have been very happy. I find myself using the sides and center ridges all the time to switch things up, and it makes standing much easier.

    Good luck!

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Why mainstream progressives have a strong incentive to 'sanewash' hard leftist positions in ~misc

    skullkid2424
    Link Parent
    Whelp. Didn't know about that one. Maybe he was better pre-twitter - either way its still jarring to see someone who had fame from a kids game falling so far.

    Whelp. Didn't know about that one. Maybe he was better pre-twitter - either way its still jarring to see someone who had fame from a kids game falling so far.

    1 vote
  3. Comment on Why mainstream progressives have a strong incentive to 'sanewash' hard leftist positions in ~misc

    skullkid2424
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    I'm sure it comes to no surprise to a lot of people, but there have been a number of phrases/slogans recently that have nuanced meanings that don't come across well (especially in mediums like...
    • Exemplary

    I'm sure it comes to no surprise to a lot of people, but there have been a number of phrases/slogans recently that have nuanced meanings that don't come across well (especially in mediums like twitter and facebook) - and end up making things worse.

    Black Lives Matter is a prime example. The nuanced meaning is that people of color are disproportionately killed by police. However that nuanced meaning doesn't come across in the slogan. So people take it for something other than the intended meaning. Some people on the right hear "Only Black Lives Matter" and respond with the "inclusive" All Lives Matter. And even people on the far left can muddy the waters by going too far the other way and you see ideas like "You can't be racist against white people". So while reasonable folks who learn about the nuanced meaning of BLM are supporters of it - you have people on the right insisting that BLM is exclusive and ignores other races. And also people on the far left agreeing with them. I think the conversation would be a lot different if the phrase that had caught on was different. Black Lives Matter Too (#BLM2) would be my pick. Adding that single word cuts away ambiguity while still being catchy and concise. Amusingly, if the movement had actually coined All Lives Matter as a response to targeted police brutality, it would have probably worked well.

    Instead - we have the "gotcha" political question: Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter? No room for nuance. No room for explanations. If a politician answered with "While All Lives Matter, but not all lives are being unfairly targeted", they'd probably be shamed by the more radical BLM supporters for not being a simple response of "BLM".

    This has come up before on Tildes on the subject of Notch (the creator of Minecraft). Notch's descent from rational person to QAnon-spouting alt-right isn't too uncommon in the twitter world, and its mostly notable for the tie to Minecraft. But it shows a good example of how twitter's un-nuanced medium combined starts a feedback loop. Some of the memorable ones (from memory, forgive any inaccuracy) are:

    • In the midst of GamerGate - he ends up calling someone a "cunt". That word is pretty extreme in the US, but is much more common in Europe and Australia - where it would be more similar to "bitch" in the US (still gendered and potentially problematic, but much less vulgar. I believe he later (half-)apologized for how it was perceived. But theres a lot of unnuanced responses as well that pushed him further down the hole.
    • He ends up tweeting "its ok to be white" or something along those lines. Another one of those phrases with nuanced meaning. On the surface, it is okay to be white - that phrase in a vacuum is perfectly fine. But in the midst of other BLM and race issues, it was a common phrase that was used by the alt-right and white supremacists as a response to black activism. Again, twitter does its thing and lots of people yell at Notch for being racist. Notch, who is like many "rational" people, saw nothing wrong with the phrase by itself, and got shit for it (without the nuanced explanations). What happens when you think that you say something reasonable and get yelled at for it? You get pushed away from the yelling side right into the hands of very welcoming alt-right and conspiracy theorists who end up being accepting and reasonable.

    Before you know it, he is spouting QAnon statements and continuing to be a general alt-right troll on twitter. Last I check he deleted his twitter on a dare or agreement or something. Hopefully he (and the world) are better for it. I don't know if he was always destined to go down that path, but to me he represents a lot of the reasonable/rational people who are generally moderate - and some of the "encoded" phrases of the left don't make sense while the right/alt-right has done a much better job with phrases that make sense and are technically correct. There are tons of articles on how teens get sucked into the alt-right rabbit hole and find a welcoming community...as long as they believe what the group believes.


    Anyways that was a bit of a tangent. But there are a number of phrases that definitely fall into that category. I believe one of the stories that has come out of the election is that Trump did very well with the Cuban population in Florida - and the presumed reason is that the Trump campaign (specifically Marco Rubio) were very good at painting democrats as socialists. Theres been a lot of talk from my left-leaning friends along the lines of "reclaiming" socialism - or even talking about being outright socialist or communist. Or things like "if free healthcare and a living wage are socialism, then yeah I'm a socialist". Of course - these terms don't mean the same thing to older folks or someone who has been affected by socialism/communism. The socialism bogeyman has been used in US politics for as long as I can remember. Its a single word and already has a negative meaning for many people. And the left doesn't help by leaning into it. Florida went very red due because of those fears - despite Bidens policies being only slightly left of center capitalism and nowhere close to actual socialism.

    As one of the reddit comments puts it, "If you're explaining, you're losing." MAGA is a good example. No explanation needed. Its simple. Its easy to understand. Its all positive. And explaining to someone the nuances of nationalism and fetishizing the past is losing. Explaining that it used to be a KKK slogan is losing, since people don't have that in their memory.

    34 votes
  4. Comment on Genshin Impact made $245M in its first month on mobile alone, making it the top game by revenue in the period and one of the largest launches ever in ~games

    skullkid2424
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    I've been playing it at my own pace and very much enjoying the exploration aspect. However from reading with the various subs, there is definitely a finite amount of stuff to do and a very...

    I've been playing it at my own pace and very much enjoying the exploration aspect. However from reading with the various subs, there is definitely a finite amount of stuff to do and a very limited/grindy endgame. Rushing to the endgame or trying to min/max is not recommended, as new content comes out every 6+ weeks.

    For anyone looking to play, its definitely got an anime + breath of the wild feel, which lots of exploration, world puzzles, mini-dungeons, combat challenges and plenty of main stories and side quests. The combat is fairly fun, as you have 4 party members you can switch between, with various elements. The elements react with each other in different ways, so fire+lightning is extra damage, water+ice is a freeze/stun, geo+anything drops a shield of the other element, etc, etc.

    The gacha RNG is annoying, as the characters are a huge part of the gameplay, and getting specific characters other than the free ones is a nightmare of RNG. The lows of not getting good rolls offsets the (rare) highs of getting really lucky.

    If you play at your own pace, its got many hours of exploration and story - with only 2/7 zones released so far. As with all gacha games, beware of spending money - these games are designed to have only a few main spending levels. The very affordable $5 or $10 a month for some recurring rewards (that encourage/require daily playing), the <$200 for first-time purchase bonuses, and the "whale" level where you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars. Know how much you want to spend going in, as these types of games are designed the same way casinos are - to take advantage of psychology to make players spend a ton of money. Its very easy to spend just a bit more for "one more good reward" or "just until I get the one character" - but the odds are very low, so before you know it, you've spent hundreds or thousands of dollars.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Reddit announces "Predictions" - Allowing users to bet on the outcomes of polls with Coins (purchased with real money), where moderators are responsible for choosing which option wins in ~tech

    skullkid2424
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    To be fair, theres something to be said for only needing to deal with taxes, health insurance, and labor laws for one city/state rather than figuring it out for multiple states or even countries.

    A posh HQ in the heart of the second most expensive city in the US (San Fran.), along with having ~400 employees (as of 2018, so it's likely even more now), is not cheap... especially since they stopped allowing remote workers quite a few years ago (which I don't know if they ever reversed), and so have had to pay wages high enough to cover those SF employees incredibly high cost of living, as well as compete with other silicon valley employers.

    To be fair, theres something to be said for only needing to deal with taxes, health insurance, and labor laws for one city/state rather than figuring it out for multiple states or even countries.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Misguided things our parents did in ~life

    skullkid2424
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    I imagine this is fairly common - but my parents always had us clear our plates. Its what they learned from their parents, who lived through harder times. The habit doesn't work near as well in...

    I imagine this is fairly common - but my parents always had us clear our plates. Its what they learned from their parents, who lived through harder times.

    The habit doesn't work near as well in easier times where food isn't scarce. I would have much preferred to learn to properly listen to my body and know when to stop eating. I'm not severely overweight, but combined with a sedentary job + lifestyle, its not great. And amusingly - cooking at home is generally less healthy for me (at least as far as calories is concerned). Eating out I get one plate of food. At home its hard for me to make one plate of food - so I usually end up overeating by a significant bit.

    16 votes
  7. Comment on ∞ Inbox versus Inbox Zero in ~tech

    skullkid2424
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    That seems like a very broad generalization. Inbox zero is popular for a reason. It works, and it has a good philosophy behind it. It might not work for everyone (such as the author) - but simply...

    They want to stay productive, and Inbox Zero might give them the impression to do so.
    But it doesn't

    That seems like a very broad generalization. Inbox zero is popular for a reason. It works, and it has a good philosophy behind it. It might not work for everyone (such as the author) - but simply saying it doesn't work is factually wrong. It doesn't work for you (which is fine) - but don't assume that the same applies to everyone.

    after noticing the insane amount of time I had to invest to keep my Inbox/text messages queue clean, I started ask myself “Why?”. Now, thinking about all the time people spend to keep their inboxes to zero makes me panic.

    That means the author is doing it wrong. Once you are at/near inbox zero, it should take very little time. If you are getting that many emails, then you need to unsubscribe/filter them or retire that email address. If you don't care about a mailing list or only want it for later reference, great - make a filter, skip the inbox. Boom. If you don't need promo emails from your local pizza delivery joint - hit unsubscribe. Its got a little bit of an up front cost, but you'll get past it.

    ...if you just accept the fact that inbox numbers mean nothing.

    If they mean nothing, then honestly your email probably means nothing. As long as you don't expect to get any important emails, then sure - have 90k emails in your inbox. But good luck seeing that important email about your bank card being used at a gas station in another state. Or an email that says grandma is in the hospital. Or anything else that you don't want to miss. IMO, email is kind of pointless as a communication medium if you don't see or respond to emails.

    You have no control over your incoming messages: spam, useless chats.

    Spam filters, custom filters, unsubscribing, and even using multiple emails for multiple purposes. You have plenty of control over who send you mail. And chats are typically even easier, as you can often set it to friends only and not friend unknown people.

    This approach is the opposite (and the same) of Inbox Zero. This approach is ∞ Inbox.

    It requires a deep breath, ignoring numbers, and realizing that, in the end, zero and infinity are both undefinable.

    Catchy, but not really meaningful. Trimming down to important emails and deciding to action, archive, or snooze is really not the same as just ignoring emails and hoping for the best. Maybe it works for the author...but ignoring emails hardly seems like a #Productivity hack...

    5 votes
  8. Comment on Dune - Official trailer in ~movies

    skullkid2424
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    I'll have to give it a shot...I found the original movie horribly lacking in comparison to the scifi series. Though part of that would be 1980s level effects not scaling well.

    I'll have to give it a shot...I found the original movie horribly lacking in comparison to the scifi series. Though part of that would be 1980s level effects not scaling well.

  9. Comment on Dune - Official trailer in ~movies

    skullkid2424
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    I personally like the sci-fi mini series version better than the previous movies, so definitely could see it as a good TV series.

    I personally like the sci-fi mini series version better than the previous movies, so definitely could see it as a good TV series.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Men going their own way: The rise of a toxic male separatist movement in ~tech

    skullkid2424
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    The basic idea that men can "opt-out" of the traditional goals of a wife and family isn't inherently a bad one. And there are some legitimate fears/concerns about false accusations having dire...

    The basic idea that men can "opt-out" of the traditional goals of a wife and family isn't inherently a bad one. And there are some legitimate fears/concerns about false accusations having dire consequences (not excusing legitimate accusations or belittling the many things that women need to worry about). Its a shame that the actual movement is backed by misogyny and hate.

    22 votes
  11. Comment on Debt, eviction and hunger: Millions fall back into crisis as stimulus and safety nets vanish in ~life

    skullkid2424
    Link Parent
    Alternatively, there needs to be an injection of funds in the right place. The $1200 stimulus check, but given out monthly would do a lot to stem the bleeding. People continue to pay for food,...

    Alternatively, there needs to be an injection of funds in the right place. The $1200 stimulus check, but given out monthly would do a lot to stem the bleeding. People continue to pay for food, rent, and utilities. Landlords continue to pay their mortgages. The wheel keeps turning, though slower as people tighten their belts since $1200 isn't a ton of money to live on.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on <deleted topic> in ~tech

    skullkid2424
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    I don't have anything specific, but I know Red Hat is hiring and the open source values of Mozilla will almost certainly mesh with Red Hat's ideals. I'll note that while Red Hat was purchased by...

    I don't have anything specific, but I know Red Hat is hiring and the open source values of Mozilla will almost certainly mesh with Red Hat's ideals. I'll note that while Red Hat was purchased by IBM, they maintain a distinct hiring pipeline.

    The jobs page is something that I imagine most folks could find easily enough, but like I said, I don't have any insight into specific postings.

    7 votes
  13. Comment on Why are some people so quick to criticize Apple products? in ~tech

    skullkid2424
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    I grew up in an apple hold in the 90s/00s with various imacs and ipods. I got an iphone for HS graduation and then bought a macbook pro for college. As I got older, I realized that Apple's...

    I grew up in an apple hold in the 90s/00s with various imacs and ipods. I got an iphone for HS graduation and then bought a macbook pro for college.

    As I got older, I realized that Apple's priorities with both hardware and software are not my priorities. Perhaps I'm just not the target audience. I want to be able to change the settings for software programs. I want more ports instead of a thinner laptop. I want more battery life and a headphone jack instead of a super thing phone and headphones that I have to charge.

    During college, it was great because I had access to a *nix environment for programming, but didn't have to worry about having a scary linux error the night before a project was due. Linux has come a ways since then and is way more usable and is my primary home laptop and work OS (specifically Fedora) - though I do have a windows machine for gaming.

    The other thing I ran into was Apple making changing to their software - usually silently and usually without the option/setting to change behaviors. I liked my integrated RSS feeder in mail, until it disappeared one update. I liked the way my image viewer didn't open the previous images I had open...until one day it I updated and that was the new normal. After so many changes I disliked, with no settings or options to customize it, I just stopped updating my macbook for long periods of time. It wasn't ideal - but I was tired of my computer no longer doing the things I wanted it to do.

    I'm much happier on linux. Linux desktops have matured greatly in the past decade from when I first started - and short of specialty software (gaming, adobe suite, etc) - they are just as functional and are fully-fledged operating systems. And even the specialty software tends to have alternatives or are getting easier to work with. The past few years have been great for linux gaming for example.

    I'm sure I'm considered more of a "power user" - but ultimately it just comes down to Apple doesn't value the same things I do.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Linux 5.8 formally adds the inclusive terminology guidelines in ~tech

    skullkid2424
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    It ranges from incredibly easy to incredibly hard to change existing content. For documentation and some code you can probably just do the programmer equivalent of a find + replace....
    • Exemplary

    It ranges from incredibly easy to incredibly hard to change existing content.

    For documentation and some code you can probably just do the programmer equivalent of a find + replace. Blacklist/Whitelist is probably on the easier side.

    But most of the time its more difficult. Things are referred to many times in many different places. Using find + replace on the word "master" will almost certainly include other references to the word outside of the master/slave context. I believe one of the statistics was that the linux kernal has ~30k instances of the word master - though that may be more of a comment on the size of the linux kernal than anything else.

    And even more daunting is APIs. Basically many programs and applications provide an interface for external programs to interact with them. For example, facebook might provide an API call that lists all of your friends, or lists the email addresses in your profile. When any of those refer to something that gets removed, everyone has to change it. So for example, if tildes.net/api/blacklist provided a list of websites that are prevented from being posted to Tildes, then updating it to tildes.net/api/denylist will break every piece of software that uses that API call (mobile apps, browser extensions, personal scripts, etc). You can somewhat mitigate this by having the old call to blacklist forward to denylist, and eventually phase it down the road - but even then its highly likely that some piece of code doesn't get updated and it will break something eventually. (Note - I just made up a random example, I don't know that tildes has a blacklist/denylist api call)

    But its a good question. A lot of programmers are technically minded people and are looking at things with a cost/benefit mindset. Changes like master/slave and blacklist/whitelist are generally recognized to have significant benefits that outweigh the costs of changing them. In master/slave, it removes language that discourages many folks of color from going further into computer science. With Blacklist/Whitelist, the benefit is that twofold in that we stop associating black == bad (regardless of whether the etymology has a concerning history), but also we provide a more accurate term with denylist/allowlist - which helps a lot of non-English speakers to parse the meaning from the word rather than "memorizing" that blacklist is a list of bad things. As someone put it, a deny list is a list that denies. A black list doesn't make sense as a list that blacks. Master/Slave also can benefit from more accurate terms, but they have a much wider definition and use, so that may depend on the context.

    But then going to some of the other suggested changes, one is to replace the "master" branch in git with the "main" branch (or another similar term). This one has seen a lot more pushback, and part of the reason why is that for many programmers, the cost/benefit analysis doesn't add up. A lot of the obvious arguments about master/slave don't necessarily apply to master branch. There is no slave branch, the history of the word isn't obviously rooted in racism (the creator was not a native English speaker or American), and the practical use is a master copy of a key or a master record. For many programmers, the benefits don't appear to outweigh the costs of making the change.

    Of course, theres other people who are not doing cost/benefit analysis and are objecting for other reasons ranging from stubbornness to racism to censorship/slippery slope fears and all the way to concerns that focusing effort and goodwill on these small changes will detract from "real" changes like addressing police violence.

    6 votes
  15. Comment on Linux 5.8 formally adds the inclusive terminology guidelines in ~tech

    skullkid2424
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    Theres been quite a bit of discussion on this topic lately, so not too surprising to see more companies/organizations making changes. The "master/slave" and "blacklist/whitelist" terms are...

    Theres been quite a bit of discussion on this topic lately, so not too surprising to see more companies/organizations making changes.

    The "master/slave" and "blacklist/whitelist" terms are probably the most accepted terminology changes, so I imagine this move will make a lot of people happy without much opposition. Of course, theres plenty of people who will be unhappy for many reasons (both valid and invalid) as well. Its a pretty heated subject right now, but I imagine rage will die down over time as new terms are used "by default" and a new generation of programmers don't have the same attachments.

    13 votes
  16. Comment on Do you churn, or otherwise sign up for credit cards simply for the sign-up bonuses? in ~finance

    skullkid2424
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    I'm not sure that math is right...getting $100 back from gas at 4% would mean I spent $2500/year on gas. I'm spending ~$40/month on gas, so ~$500 per year, which is $20 cashback with the 4% on...

    I'm not sure that math is right...getting $100 back from gas at 4% would mean I spent $2500/year on gas. I'm spending ~$40/month on gas, so ~$500 per year, which is $20 cashback with the 4% on gas. The other thing is the opportunity cost compared to the 2% card that I currently use, so thats really only a gain of $10/year - which isn't near enough to pay for the membership. The 3% on travel would help, but its really just 1% more than the 2% card, and I think I usually spend <$500/yr on flights, so that still only adding $5.

    If I was already doing a costco membership or was close enough to take advantage of their gas station, then it might be an option. But I'm buying food for 1 and the nearest costco is probably 20-30 mins away. So unless the card pays for itself, then it isn't worth it for me.

    1 vote
  17. Comment on Do you churn, or otherwise sign up for credit cards simply for the sign-up bonuses? in ~finance

    skullkid2424
    Link Parent
    Thats more or less what I've heard - but even in non-COVID times I spend $25-50 on gas per month, so not really worth getting a card for it.

    Thats more or less what I've heard - but even in non-COVID times I spend $25-50 on gas per month, so not really worth getting a card for it.

  18. Comment on Do you churn, or otherwise sign up for credit cards simply for the sign-up bonuses? in ~finance

    skullkid2424
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    I definitely didn't get into the churning and sign up bonuses, but for a while I did a bunch of research on setting up a bunch of credit cards so I could get 4/5% cashback on most of my major...

    I definitely didn't get into the churning and sign up bonuses, but for a while I did a bunch of research on setting up a bunch of credit cards so I could get 4/5% cashback on most of my major categories. Over time things like rotating categories became too much of a pain, and the Uber card went from an amazing restaurant/travel card to a useless piece of plastic. Now I have a 2% cashback that I use for most everything and a the amazon prime card for amazon/whole foods. Maybe I'll keep an eye out for a new travel/gas/restaurant card in the future based on my spending, but its really nice to just put everything on the 2% card and call it good enough.

    Basically I find that my capacity to care doesn't outweight the meager benefits. Less thinking is better (for me).

    1 vote
  19. Comment on What are the best games you've played so far this year? in ~games

    skullkid2424
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    Animal Crossing was a nostalgic blast from the past, and it timed pretty well with the initial quarantine, which helped a bunch. I don't have the time to play it liked I played the original...

    Animal Crossing was a nostalgic blast from the past, and it timed pretty well with the initial quarantine, which helped a bunch. I don't have the time to play it liked I played the original Gamecube one, but still got a lot of hours out of it so far, and I feel like I can go back later on too. Theres been lots of nice updates and new features, but still some glaring UI and multiplayer issues that shouldn't be a thing in 2020.

    I play World of Warcraft mostly to keep up with my raiding guild. Overall not impressed with the current expansion. The raiding has been fun, but I find myself avoiding a lot of the other mechanics (warfronts, mythic+, visions, islands) that are daily/weekly retention grinds. Things are in a lull now as our guild has finished the final raid on heroic, so theres no new content until the next expansion pre-patch comes out and changes things.

    I tried to play Fire Emblem: Three Houses and while it wasn't bad, the newer fire emblems really just don't draw me in like the old school 2d GBA games. There are too many mechanics that make the fighting something I dreaded, so it was mostly me just running around playing the story and then letting it sit for weeks at a time because I didn't have the hours needed to actually progress.

    On a similar note, I have spent a lot of time playing Fire Emblem Heroes. If you can get past the gaccha RNG and the predatory monetization stuff - its actually got a pretty solid combat system that reminds me of the older GBA games. No hit chance, no crit chance, everything is deterministic and the AI always does the same thing every time. Theres definitely some depth there...but you have to grind a ways to get to it and look for communities outside of the game.

    Borderlands 3 has been my multiplayer game for a few close friends since it came out on steam. We aren't too far yet, but are really enjoying it. Its got the usual borderlands humor and combined FPS/RPG elements.

    And I just picked up the Witcher 3 during the steam sale. Currently reading through the books after watching the show. I've heard very very good things about it so I'm pretty excited to get into it.

    2 votes
  20. Comment on How Vim became so popular in ~comp

    skullkid2424
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    Setting up local editors for remote editing is generally not easy either. Easier than learning all the ins and outs of vi, sure - but probably not easier than learning the few commands needed to...

    Setting up local editors for remote editing is generally not easy either. Easier than learning all the ins and outs of vi, sure - but probably not easier than learning the few commands needed to make small changes.

    4 votes