spctrvl's recent activity

  1. Comment on Bernie Sanders projected to win Nevada Caucus in ~news

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    AOC was never a presidential candidate, she's a house representative- she's too young to run for President until 2028. I also wouldn't describe Harris as a progressive candidate, Bernie's main...

    AOC was never a presidential candidate, she's a house representative- she's too young to run for President until 2028. I also wouldn't describe Harris as a progressive candidate, Bernie's main competition there is Warren, who is still in the race, though her performance thus far has been less than compelling.

    9 votes
  2. Comment on Radical hydrogen-boron reactor could leapfrog current nuclear fusion tech in ~science

    spctrvl
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    Considering how much harder the hydrogen-boron reaction is to ignite than the deuterium-tritium one we're still struggling with (10 times), and how much lower the energy output is (1/2000th), call...

    Considering how much harder the hydrogen-boron reaction is to ignite than the deuterium-tritium one we're still struggling with (10 times), and how much lower the energy output is (1/2000th), call me a skeptic. Seems to me that if they can achieve even a tenth or a hundredth of breakeven with H-B, they should be able to retool to build the mother of all D-T reactors, especially as their technique as described in the article doesn't seem to be specific to their fuels.

    4 votes
  3. Comment on The cost of PlayStation 5: are we looking at a $500 console? in ~games

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    A bottleneck just means when one part is holding the others back. For instance, if your GPU is capable of pushing 120fps, but your CPU can only manage to get those frames out at 60fps, you're CPU...

    A bottleneck just means when one part is holding the others back. For instance, if your GPU is capable of pushing 120fps, but your CPU can only manage to get those frames out at 60fps, you're CPU bottlenecked.

    4 votes
  4. Comment on What's something you have always wanted to know about being LGBT (but were maybe afraid to ask)? in ~talk

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    Estrogen can actually naturally suppress testosterone as well, just needs higher doses than are used in regimens employing an anti-androgen. It's something that's seen a fair bit of interest...

    EDIT: also, it's worth noting that testosterone will naturally suppress estrogen, so people talking T just take T, while people talking E need to have a T suppressor, which is usually a bit more serious in terms of side effects. In my case it makes me pee a lot and it sucks.

    Estrogen can actually naturally suppress testosterone as well, just needs higher doses than are used in regimens employing an anti-androgen. It's something that's seen a fair bit of interest recently due to the side effects of the common AAs, especially spironolactone and cyproterone acetate.

    7 votes
  5. Comment on What I want to see from 2020 ThinkPads in ~comp

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    Depends on what you're doing. Day to day stuff, boot times, gaming, not really. Moving and working with large amounts of data? You're talking a literal order of magnitude difference in speed...

    The benefit to SATA is that the drives are easily swappable (usually with one or sometimes zero screws) and can safely be tossed in a bag. They're also cheaper and I already have a handful of them sitting around my workshop for projects or spares. But yes, mSATA and NVMe are more compact. I don't believe the performance differences are compelling.

    Depends on what you're doing. Day to day stuff, boot times, gaming, not really. Moving and working with large amounts of data? You're talking a literal order of magnitude difference in speed between the latest NVMe drives and SATA SSDs.

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

    spctrvl
    Link
    I finally built a new computer last month, upgrading from the venerable i7-2600k to an R5 3600X. Thanks to the step up in processor power, I've been able to up my emulation game, so I've finally...

    I finally built a new computer last month, upgrading from the venerable i7-2600k to an R5 3600X. Thanks to the step up in processor power, I've been able to up my emulation game, so I've finally gotten around to playing Breath of the Wild.

    I've just got to say, damn. Breath of the Wild is probably the best open world, sandbox style game that I've played. I thought I was burned out of the genre back when Skyrim came out, never mind the recent proliferation of such games, but this one just sucked me in.

    It's kind of hard to put my thoughts into words, but I feel like it's the first game I've played that was really designed from the ground up around the whole sandbox paradigm, with the story progression being seamlessly integrated with exploration. The only other game I've seen that came close was Subnautica. The setting is also just something else. Aside from being beautifully designed and packed with details in a way often lacking in games with huge, open maps, post-apocalyptic hyrule crawling with high tech relics and medieval ruins? It's just weird and experimental for the series in the best sort of way.

    The various patches and mods for use with the emulator are also very nice. After playing the game at 1080p and 60fps, I can't imagine playing it on the original hardware, it's most definitely a game that benefits from higher framerates.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on The $15/terabyte hard drive is coming in ~tech

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    If I had to throw out a number, I'd say probably somewhere in the range of 20% of my library gets accessed a year. I don't rewatch stuff too often, but storage is cheap (my library fits on a $50...

    If I had to throw out a number, I'd say probably somewhere in the range of 20% of my library gets accessed a year. I don't rewatch stuff too often, but storage is cheap (my library fits on a $50 3TB HDD), and I don't like my access to content being subject to the licensing agreements of megacorps.

    I will say that I'm not necessarily a representative sample though, I'm pretty sure most of the gigantic drives are marketed towards people who fill them with games, at least in the home market. I'm fortunate enough to have a decent internet connection, so I tend to only have games installed that I'm actively playing, since downloading doesn't take too long.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on The $15/terabyte hard drive is coming in ~tech

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    For me, it's mostly games, movies, and TV shows. The latter in particular can take up boatloads of space, and especially if they're from DVD rips and the like, can't be re-downloaded when needed...

    For me, it's mostly games, movies, and TV shows. The latter in particular can take up boatloads of space, and especially if they're from DVD rips and the like, can't be re-downloaded when needed like games can. Though there's some savings to be had in re-encoding them in h265 and other more efficient codecs, I still need at least a couple TB for my collection.

    5 votes
  9. Comment on United Nations Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English in ~humanities

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    Yeah, likewise. I had the usage of singular 'they' in essay writing beaten out of me in high school, and I've been trying in the last few years to re-acclimate myself to using it, especially with...

    Yeah, likewise. I had the usage of singular 'they' in essay writing beaten out of me in high school, and I've been trying in the last few years to re-acclimate myself to using it, especially with the increase in visibility of non-binary people, but it still feels a bit weird. Maybe one day I'll manage to fix what those misinformed prescriptivists broke.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on United Nations Guidelines for gender-inclusive language in English in ~humanities

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    They're mostly good; for section two though, I personally think that the singular 'they' is a lot less kludgy than the phrase 'he or she', though aside from the former being inclusive of...

    They're mostly good; for section two though, I personally think that the singular 'they' is a lot less kludgy than the phrase 'he or she', though aside from the former being inclusive of non-binary people, it's mostly a matter of taste. Some people dislike using 'they' as an un-gendered pronoun for a single person, even though that use dates back to at least Shakespeare.

    12 votes
  11. Comment on Iowa Democratic caucus results delayed until Tuesday due to reporting inconsistencies and technical issues with app in ~news

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    At this point, I'd settle for an election that only lasted a year...

    At this point, I'd settle for an election that only lasted a year...

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

    spctrvl
    Link
    While waiting with breathless anticipation for Kerbal Space Program 2, I've given the various Real Solar System overhaul mods for the original KSP a shot. And man, let me tell you it is a night...

    While waiting with breathless anticipation for Kerbal Space Program 2, I've given the various Real Solar System overhaul mods for the original KSP a shot. And man, let me tell you it is a night and day difference.

    When it comes to the 'map', everything is scaled up by a factor of at least ten, you're not operating out of an equatorial launch site, and the inclinations are all over the place. If you try to get to the Moon as you'd try to get to the Mun, you're looking at as much as a 56 degree difference in inclinations.

    As for parts, it adds different fuel types to match up to the real world ones; instead of just generic Liquid Fuel and Oxidizer, you get Hydrogen, Kerosene, UDMH, etc, and you have to deal with their different densities, boil-off rates, specific impulses, and so on, as well as only being able to use them with specific engines. Engines, while they generally have better specific impulse, thrust, and TWR than in stock, to match up with real numbers, have limited numbers of ignitions, limited throttle ranges, failure rates, and are subject to ullage (basically in 0g environments, you need to settle your fuel before igniting the engines). You also have to pack along supplies for your kerbonauts, like food and water and stuff, but frankly that's the least of your worries, compared to how finicky real world rocket engines are.

    All of this is to say that the game is monstrously more difficult than stock ksp. I've played hundreds, if not thousands of hours of that, and essentially mastered it, but it took me four hours just to get into Earth orbit in RSS. And today, after probably ten to fifteen hours of RSS gameplay, I finally managed my first lunar landing and return! First flight of the launch vehicle, too! I was pretty giddy about it, definitely one of my proudest kerbal accomplishments to date.

    I basically built a direct ascent lander using a Mercury capsule, and launched it with something like a scaled down (2500 ton) Saturn V. First stage had 4 F1s, second had 4 LR87-LH2 engines (which are similar to the J2s that the real life Saturn V stage 2 used), and the lander/return capsule used a single RL10. The first stage did most of the work of getting to orbit, the second provided the final 1.5km/s or so, then re-ignited four times. First, for the final inclination correction to match with the Moon, second, for the trans lunar injection, third for lunar orbit insertion, and finally the remaining 500m/s or so is used for the beginning of the landing burn, before it's completed by the third stage/lander's RL10, which can actually throttle. Truth be told, the whole stack was ridiculously overbuilt, and made it back to Earth with a spare 1.5km/s in the tanks. Probably going to hop back on later today and see how far down I can trim it.

    Overall, I'd definitely recommend trying it out for any KSP veterans, but I absolutely hate how cluttered the parts list is, and I would much prefer it if everything could be made procedurally, especially engines. Sometimes the included historical engines just don't come in the appropriate configuration for what you're trying to do; certainly not looking forward to designing a Mars lander entirely out of RL10s. Also I'm pretty sure there's ways to improve it, but the failure rates on engines can be absolutely absurd. In previous moonshot designs, I've had as many as four out of five engines on an upper stage fail.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on What's a widely criticized thing that you feel is worth defending? in ~talk

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    I actually like both of those, but not at the same time. I assume, anyway.

    Pineapple on pizza is amazing. People who are vocal detractors usually like green pepper on their pies, so I think we can safely ignore anything they have to say.

    I actually like both of those, but not at the same time. I assume, anyway.

    1 vote
  14. Comment on What's a widely criticized thing that you feel is worth defending? in ~talk

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    The most straightforward and low-friction way to transition to socialism would be to go the market socialist route. Essentially that would entail reorganizing most businesses as workers'...

    Late stage capitalism sucks for the larger part of the population. But I'm not sure the answer is to try to replace it completely. Even if that was the answer, how would that realistically happen?

    The most straightforward and low-friction way to transition to socialism would be to go the market socialist route. Essentially that would entail reorganizing most businesses as workers' cooperatives, with egalitarian distribution of voting stock, elected boards, etc. That'd let you keep free markets and stuff, if you're in to that sort of thing, and the basic machinery of the economy doesn't end up too different, but it basically guts the power of private capital and puts the means of production under workers' control, and I think it would lead to a substantial increase in economic equality.

    While that's not necessarily what I'd advocate as an 'endgame' for socialism, I think it's a decent enough way to organize things, and a substantial improvement over the current system, and so serves a good jumping off point if there do turn out to be better alternatives. It's not necessarily the most important thing in the world that we go straight from capitalism to the ideal form of socialism. What is important is that there's a consensus that it's time to move past capitalism, and an openness to experiment with alternatives in good faith, within the context of democracy and an open society.

    9 votes
  15. Comment on What's a widely criticized thing that you feel is worth defending? in ~talk

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    Or planned obsolescence, induced demand, overproduction, destruction of products to generate artificial scarcity, and inability to deal with any externalities relevant beyond the next quarter....

    Capitalism is efficient at distributing resources.
    Say that to all of the sick, hungry, and homeless, despite having ample medicine, food, and shelter.

    Or planned obsolescence, induced demand, overproduction, destruction of products to generate artificial scarcity, and inability to deal with any externalities relevant beyond the next quarter. Market economies are overrated. In the age of dirt cheap computing, we can do better.

    I wrote a bit more on that in a similar thread a while back if anyone cares to read.

    26 votes
  16. Comment on Why Republicans are suddenly in a rush to regulate every trans kid’s puberty in ~lgbt

    spctrvl
    Link
    Unfortunately, the South Dakota bill mentioned in this post is part of a larger trend of Republicans ramping up the attacks on human rights in an election year, with similar bills to South...

    Unfortunately, the South Dakota bill mentioned in this post is part of a larger trend of Republicans ramping up the attacks on human rights in an election year, with similar bills to South Dakota's being proposed in ten other states: Missouri, Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Colorado, South Carolina, Kentucky, Utah, Texas, and Georgia.

    8 votes
  17. Comment on How IoT betrays us: Today, Sonos speakers. Tomorrow, Alexa and electric cars? in ~tech

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    Have you ever read Brave New World? I think it's a much more apt comparison in this case, the whole society was engineered to induce demand to match supply, using everything from planned...

    Have you ever read Brave New World? I think it's a much more apt comparison in this case, the whole society was engineered to induce demand to match supply, using everything from planned obsolescence to psychological conditioning.

    "Strange," mused the Director, as they turned away, "strange to think that even in Our Ford's day most games were played without more apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of netting. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It's madness. Nowadays the Controllers won't approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games." He interrupted himself.

    5 votes
  18. Comment on MNT Reform open source, modular laptop crowdfunding campaign launches in February in ~comp

    spctrvl
    Link Parent
    While Linux on arm is certainly usable, there's still a lot of x86 only software out there that you'll be cutting yourself off from, virtually every non-FOSS game out there for instance.

    While Linux on arm is certainly usable, there's still a lot of x86 only software out there that you'll be cutting yourself off from, virtually every non-FOSS game out there for instance.

    3 votes
  19. Comment on Raspberry Pi 4 CRT-based VR Headset in ~tech

    spctrvl
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    I don't think that's a good analogy. People died in car crashes all the time before they were made safer. CRT viewfinders were used for decades without incident, it's not like there was some...

    I don't think that's a good analogy. People died in car crashes all the time before they were made safer. CRT viewfinders were used for decades without incident, it's not like there was some scourge of 'reporters' eye' or something. And this was well into the time of consumer advocacy and safety consciousness. If there was a risk to using these that was faced disproportionately by news staff, I can't help but think we'd have heard of it.

    3 votes