stu2b50's recent activity

  1. Comment on Apple's Self Repair Program toolkit weighs 79 pounds in ~tech

    stu2b50
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    I would note that iPhones are, relatively speaking, fairly repairable. I doubt that this is because Apple wants them to be, really, but rather I think the degree to which Apple purposefully...

    I would note that iPhones are, relatively speaking, fairly repairable. I doubt that this is because Apple wants them to be, really, but rather I think the degree to which Apple purposefully sabotages is overestated - they just don't care, and if the optimal way to manufacturer something happens to repairable, great, if it's not, don't care.

    e.g https://www.ifixit.com/smartphone-repairability?sort=score if you scroll past the phones from a decade ago (back when everything was plastic, the back came off, and water resistance was unheard of), the first phone that isn't ancient is the iPhone 13 Pro. It's not easy to repair, still, but it is better than other smartphones made in the last 5 years.

    In general ifixit has a pretty positive view of iPhones re: repairability, with battery and screen both comparatively easy to replace and comparatively easy to find parts for.

    4 votes
  2. Comment on Apple's Self Repair Program toolkit weighs 79 pounds in ~tech

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    I think it's only kinda absurd. In a way, it makes sense. Usual home-repairs of iphones do things with much more jank than how Apple wants you to do them. For instance, instead of the fancy...

    I think it's only kinda absurd. In a way, it makes sense.

    Usual home-repairs of iphones do things with much more jank than how Apple wants you to do them. For instance, instead of the fancy heating machine precisely designed for iPhones, people usually just use a heatgun.

    But would it be good for Apple to send someone that? Arguably not. There's no question that Apple's fancy iPhone heater is just a much better tool for that job. Using a heatgun is pretty jank after all - you can easily heat up an area too much, damaging components, not heat an area enough, causing damage when you try to remove the screen, and so forth. The fancy heating machine will heat exactly where the adhesive is, and exactly enough to cause it to melt for you to remove it.

    Same goes for the rest of the machinery. Would it be better for Apple to send in more typical home repairs? Only kinda, right? When you do things all aftermarket, there's an expectation of jank - you know you're taking on that risk. When you buy it straight from Apple, some expectation that the process is reasonably easy to complete is to be expected.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Why I left Amazon… (PIP?) in ~comp

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    For a certain class of company, yes. And it's not all CoL - it's more about demand. Especially now, outside of Apple, Google, and Facebook (and to a lesser extent Amazon), most of that class of...

    For a certain class of company, yes. And it's not all CoL - it's more about demand. Especially now, outside of Apple, Google, and Facebook (and to a lesser extent Amazon), most of that class of tech company is letting people remote with either no penalty or ~10% base salary penalty.

    For the higher paying pure tech companies, newgrad comp can get to ~250k. The highest I've ever known personally is a friend who as a newgrad out of college who worked at Citadel (the market maker) for 400k/yr. He no longer works there - evidently the WLB is, uh, not good - but clearing slightly over a million over 3 years is not bad at all for a 26 year old (although, at this point the tax brackets are, uh, quite high).

    levels.fyi page for 2021 comp. These are very accurate at lower levels because they're pretty heavily banded - the higher level you are, the more your negotiating ability and your prior experience adds to the variability.

    8 votes
  4. Comment on For aeropress, which one is the better upgrade: better grinder or temperature control kettle? in ~food

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    Hoffman actually quite often suggests boiling water, especially for lighter roasts. For instance, there's a video he made straight up with the title Brew your coffee with boiling water - coffee...

    Hoffman actually quite often suggests boiling water, especially for lighter roasts. For instance, there's a video he made straight up with the title

    Brew your coffee with boiling water - coffee brewing temperatures explained.

    Now, I think that's mostly for pour-overs, where the water will naturally cool off quite quickly, although I believe he does boiling for french press as well.

    Of course, you'd never want to do espresso at boiling but you wouldn't be using a kettle for that.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Can gravity batteries solve our energy storage problems? in ~enviro

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    I wouldn't say it's a straight up "no". It is the, perhaps more bland, "maybe", after reading the article. There's no outright reason brought up to think it couldn't be the primary method of...

    I wouldn't say it's a straight up "no". It is the, perhaps more bland, "maybe", after reading the article. There's no outright reason brought up to think it couldn't be the primary method of energy storage for most grids in a renewable future.

    4 votes
  6. Comment on For aeropress, which one is the better upgrade: better grinder or temperature control kettle? in ~food

    stu2b50
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    Definitely a better grinder. Grinder is incredibly important for coffee. Now, Aeropresses are more forgiving than most brewing methods for this - even with a bad grinder, or a grinder that only...

    Definitely a better grinder. Grinder is incredibly important for coffee. Now, Aeropresses are more forgiving than most brewing methods for this - even with a bad grinder, or a grinder that only gets to fairly coarse ranges, you'll still make good coffee since the immersion is more forgiving in how coffee is extracted.

    But grinder is probably one of, if not the most, important variables in making coffee. If you ever switch to a v60, for instance, or certainly something like espresso, not being able to grind fine enough is an easy way to make a light roast taste like a sour mess.

    I don't think temperature matters as much comparatively, and it's much easier to just splash in some cold water to bring the kettle temperature from a boil to 90F or 80F.

    4 votes
  7. Comment on Even a mugger didn’t want my old Nokia. So why are so many people turning to ‘dumbphones’? in ~tech

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    Where I disagree here is the degree to which the product impresses upon you to do the potentially addictive or destructive action. While some cheaper Androids may be more egregious in this aspect,...

    Where I disagree here is the degree to which the product impresses upon you to do the potentially addictive or destructive action. While some cheaper Androids may be more egregious in this aspect, for the most part smartphones are just general purpose computers, and that there exist no pressures nearly as severe as literally being in, say, a poker game, where you are already compelled to bet, and the only dividing line between reasonable and unreasonable is the amount.

    Yes, some cheaper androids pre-install facebook. I don't consider that in the same league. Pre-installed facebook is like walking down Las Vegas and seeing a casino plus a shiny sign advertising it.

    Everything about an iPhone is not designed to get you to be addicted to Twitter doomscrolling, or to obtain an eating disorder from instagram pictures. The casino is there for you to gamble, the city of las vegas is there for citizens and visitors to do a variety of things, some of which are gambling, many of which are not.

    I would even say that I was too negative in choosing Las Vegas as the metaphorical city. It's more like Chicago. Chicago has Casinos, but it also has many other things besides vices, and I'd argue more non-vice related than otherwise.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Even a mugger didn’t want my old Nokia. So why are so many people turning to ‘dumbphones’? in ~tech

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    The causal relationship is a bit more direct there. It’s more like “you’re free to walk the streets of Vegas, no one is forcing you to gamble…” And yeah I wouldn’t prevent anyone from walking...

    The causal relationship is a bit more direct there.

    It’s more like “you’re free to walk the streets of Vegas, no one is forcing you to gamble…”

    And yeah I wouldn’t prevent anyone from walking around in Vegas. That would seem somewhat ridiculous to enforce such a limitation because someone could hypothetically be induced to enter a casino, and then could hypothetically become addicted to gambling.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 20-22 in ~news

    stu2b50
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    I really feel like the discourse on this has started to shift such that outright xenophobia against Russians lies within the acceptable vocabulary of the discourse, which makes me somewhat...

    I really feel like the discourse on this has started to shift such that outright xenophobia against Russians lies within the acceptable vocabulary of the discourse, which makes me somewhat uncomfortable. Clearly some Russians have done terrible things, and it's just so, so easy to slowly drop the nuances, and so so hard to have any kind of pushback given the subject.

    Here's an example I saw this morning: https://old.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/utxlts/a_1yearold_boy_died_after_being_raped_by_2/i9c3bz5/

    The topic subject is obviously horrific in that thread. And you can probably make the argument that on some level the whole military apparatus is guilty in some collective fashion for tolerating such actions.

    But I mean it pretty clearly just states that Russians are a terrible people, and are historically a terrible people. Adding an intensifying nuance, "especially Russians soldiers", does not change this fact. There is no pushback, and it is highly upvoted.

    7 votes
  10. Comment on Thunderbird's donation-driven revenue rose 21% in 2021 to $2.7 million in ~comp

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    At the moment I'd imagine they're at capacity putting out fires and maintaining Firefox given the heavy layoffs they had, so probably not much money for expansion projects like an email service....

    At the moment I'd imagine they're at capacity putting out fires and maintaining Firefox given the heavy layoffs they had, so probably not much money for expansion projects like an email service.

    In the past, there are a decent amount of "premium" paid email services now, so perhaps they are economically viable, but it is a fairly non-trivial product. Setting up an SMTP server is not that hard - setting up an SMTP server that doesn't get sent to the spam folder of gmail is another thing entirely.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Why this computer scientist says all cryptocurrency should “die in a fire” in ~tech

    stu2b50
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    Wow, it's a small world - I took my computer architecture class with him a handful of years ago! I distinctly remember a project explicitly labeled as a "kobayashi maru"... I remember getting that...

    Wow, it's a small world - I took my computer architecture class with him a handful of years ago! I distinctly remember a project explicitly labeled as a "kobayashi maru"...

    I remember getting that bitcoin lecture in person, in fact. There's was a big blockchain club on campus, so I do think he enjoyed getting to force all of them to listen to his thoughts since that class was mandatory.

    At this point I think my thoughts on blockchain as a technology (the merkle tree + consensus mechanism) is that it indeed is a clever way to prevent the double spend problem in a decentralized system as per the original Satoshi paper... but that it's a very expensive way to do so. Not in raw cost (electricity, for example) per se, but in complexity - it becomes so unwieldy to work with, and imposes such significant technical limitations, and there's still so many things to build because double spend is just one issue that a transaction system needs to solve, that I find it hard to believe the tradeoffs are worth it.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 16-17 in ~news

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    It's a very different situation from the middle east, however. Unlike there, where the West (mostly the US) has to do major power projection, Ukraine is quite literally surrounded on one side by...

    It's a very different situation from the middle east, however. Unlike there, where the West (mostly the US) has to do major power projection, Ukraine is quite literally surrounded on one side by Western allies - that was the point of NATO, after all. And on the other side, they are surrounded by Russia. I don't think an Israel situation is possible here. The West lets Israel be because the middle east is an area with few allies and few footholds for power projection. Not so in Europe.

    The highly motivated Ukrainian defenders will certainly be quite a bit less motivated on foreign territory than their own. And, to be honest, while performing admirably against Russia, I do not expect it, presumably with the supply of arms shut off, to scratch Western allied forces peacekeeping in bordering nations.

    Could a warlord rise and that warlord then partners with Russia? Sure, but that seems like we're getting ahead of ourselves considering they're being actively invaded by Russia at the moment with the express purpose of controlling the state.

    If a warlord rises and does not partner with Russia, would they bite the hand that feeds them? Unlikely, in this situation Russia is just too big of a threat. When you're sandwiched between NATO and Russia, and Russia is clearly hostile, then you gotta pick one or the other.

    3 votes
  13. Comment on Megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - May 16-17 in ~news

    stu2b50
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    Lest they do what, invade Poland?

    As an aside, I wonder will the west come to regret a million motivated, disciplined, and well-armed ukrainians?

    Lest they do what, invade Poland?

    5 votes
  14. Comment on You're not losing fat because you're eating too much — even when you don't think you are in ~health

    stu2b50
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    I honestly think this is underexplored only because of taboos that I have a hard time putting a finger on, but definitely exist. Humans have all kinds of casual augmentations to help us deal with...

    I have this weird idea that many people would benefit from medications that reduce the appetite.

    I honestly think this is underexplored only because of taboos that I have a hard time putting a finger on, but definitely exist. Humans have all kinds of casual augmentations to help us deal with the built environment - we wear shoes, compared to our distant ancestors - we wear glasses, due to higher levels of myopia with books and screens - we drink caffeine to deal with strict social requirements for timeliness.

    Why not augment the stomach and brain to better deal with the excess of calories that humans in the developed world find themselves in? There's no doubting that our reward pathways are horribly outdated for a world where you can practically gorge yourself with infinite calories if you so wished.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on Prototyping group decision making with automatic delegation in ~tech

    stu2b50
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    I think this is an interesting idea certainly. I think in the end there's going to be issues with the algorithm and how under-parameterized this problem is. Essentially, this is inverting the...

    I think this is an interesting idea certainly. I think in the end there's going to be issues with the algorithm and how under-parameterized this problem is.

    Essentially, this is inverting the typical way representative democracies work. Normally, through the process of voting, an individual in the population is selected that (hopefully) has beliefs and a platform roughly equivalent to the modal citizen in that population.

    In this case, rather than selecting an individual from the population, a "virtual" representative is being created by the grouping algorithm from the data of the population's prior votes.

    That's an interesting idea, but another way to reframe is, given voting data, can you produce a model to predict the future voting decisions of a population. And in the end, that problem is just way too underparameterized. Any algorithm or model you choose will have quite large false positives rates, and either
    everyone just sticks with it and a minority of the inevitably populace learns to game the system to demand outsized influence, or whatever governance body is in charge of the algorithm chosen effectively becomes kingmaker.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Bill Gates is so over this pandemic in ~health.coronavirus

    stu2b50
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    Eh, that depends on how it's deadlier. For just a disease with a higher mortality rate I do not think the response would be the same. For one, deadlier diseases in general tend to be much worse at...

    Eh, that depends on how it's deadlier. For just a disease with a higher mortality rate I do not think the response would be the same. For one, deadlier diseases in general tend to be much worse at being contagious - dead people spread diseases much worse than alive people in the modern era.

    But from other deadly outbreaks like Ebola, it was a much more clear cut response from the public. COVID was right there in the sweetspot - deadly enough for it to absolutely be a problem for the medical system and for mortality rates on a national level, but with low enough of a mortality rate that the vast majority of the people who flaunted COVID restrictions and vaccines will not have any significant consequences.

    Basically, really bad from national level of scope, not that bad from a personal level of scope, and that mixture just caused all of this.

    When things get really deadly, then the selfish thing to do is to follow all the best practices to not die, whereas for many healthy, young-ish people the selfish thing to do is to keep on keeping-on in this pandemic.

    11 votes
  17. Comment on GitHub will require two-factor authentication (2FA) for all users who contribute code by the end of 2023 in ~comp

  18. Comment on If you could rebuild user authentication on the web from the ground up, what would you do? in ~tech

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    Therein lies the issue, however. That makes it no longer portable. Just conceptually it's not really possible to be portable without transmitting the raw credential at some point. If I create an...

    Note that when used for two-factor auth today, fingerprint readers don't send the fingerprint over the network to the remote website.

    Therein lies the issue, however. That makes it no longer portable. Just conceptually it's not really possible to be portable without transmitting the raw credential at some point.

    If I create an account on Youtube with my fingerprint on my phone, I cannot unlock it with my fingerprint on my laptop (well, hypothetically tightly integrated devices like an iPhone and a mac could, but that's a limited number of pairings). You would need to authorize yourself again on that device to register your bioauthentication.

    That may just the tradeoff people need to make. Consolidation of authentication with OAuth could make this not a particularly painful process at all.

    1 vote
  19. Comment on If you could rebuild user authentication on the web from the ground up, what would you do? in ~tech

    stu2b50
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    One angle to attack it from could be more available bioauthentication - everyone loves the fingerprint readers and facial recognition software (e.g FaceID, since only Apple stuck with it) on their...

    One angle to attack it from could be more available bioauthentication - everyone loves the fingerprint readers and facial recognition software (e.g FaceID, since only Apple stuck with it) on their phones. It's quick, seamless, you can't lose it (ok, yes, you can lose fingerprints and faces but that is very much an edgecase, and if you lost your face I'd imagine you have bigger issues).

    So perhaps if we were to restart, given the proliferation of cheap but effective fingerprint readers, all devices come with at least one bioauthentication source, and that is the default for authentication. A problem comes in how you make that portable, without also leading the possibility of having the credentials be stolen (it's a lot harder to change your fingerprints than a password).

    2 votes
  20. Comment on Noto Emoji: A new black and white emoji font in ~tech

    stu2b50
    Link Parent
    To be honest, probably. The "beauty" of emojis is that they're universal because they're injected at the most fundamental level of text rendering - the very format for encoding text. This forces...

    Is that too much to ask for?

    To be honest, probably. The "beauty" of emojis is that they're universal because they're injected at the most fundamental level of text rendering - the very format for encoding text. This forces all vendors to properly supply glyphs for them.

    There's lots of services that offer custom emojis, but trying to federate them between themselves is an effort that only end in either the same system (e.g the major players form a strict consortium that determines the inclusion of new universal emojis that de facto are part of the unicode spec as generic rich text would just look broken without implementing them) as we have right now or utter failure.

    Emojis are a form of content, and now you have the content moderation problem. Who hosts the emoji gylphs? What custom emojis are appropriate? How are namespace collisions handled?

    2 votes