umbrae's recent activity

  1. Comment on How would you reduce speeding by car drivers? in ~talk

    umbrae
    Link Parent
    This is an interesting angle - the feeling unsafe one. I wonder if you could pave roads in such a way that at some tire RPM they produce resonance in a way that feels uncomfortable? It obviously...

    This is an interesting angle - the feeling unsafe one. I wonder if you could pave roads in such a way that at some tire RPM they produce resonance in a way that feels uncomfortable? It obviously wouldn’t work for all wheel sizes, just spitballing really.

    1 vote
  2. Comment on What are some arguments for and against using a python framework such as django? in ~comp

    umbrae
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    If you’re wanting to learn a simple CRUD app, want to learn python, and already have programming experience, I think you could certainly do worse than Django. It’s extremely batteries included,...

    If you’re wanting to learn a simple CRUD app, want to learn python, and already have programming experience, I think you could certainly do worse than Django.

    It’s extremely batteries included, which I think in your case means you’ll be able to get something running quickly. I’d strongly recommend their tutorial which is pretty good to get to a simple CRUD system going.

    The main drawback is that it’s so batteries included that if you aren’t familiar at all with, for example, relational databases and stuff, that you might not learn much about that stuff unless you dedicate time to understand it better.

    3 votes
  3. Comment on The Bug That Exposed Your PayPal Password in ~comp

    umbrae
    Link Parent
    I may have misread it but I don’t think it’s exactly the same as a lot of sites that expose plain text passwords. It sounds like it may have been stored in a temporary session and then resubmitted...

    I may have misread it but I don’t think it’s exactly the same as a lot of sites that expose plain text passwords. It sounds like it may have been stored in a temporary session and then resubmitted afterward. That is hardly an excuse for any site, much less PayPal, but it is maybe... slightly?... less egregious than just storing a plain text password in a database.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Ask Tildes: Design practices for retrieving dozens (or hundreds) of related records over a RESTful API in ~comp

    umbrae
    Link
    I was API lead for a company that used the expand style in an unrestricted way and can confirm that it was operationally super complicated to deal with. Determining slow queries made by third...

    I was API lead for a company that used the expand style in an unrestricted way and can confirm that it was operationally super complicated to deal with. Determining slow queries made by third parties and then dealing with them was super challenging.

    Is this API also for third party consumption or only first party? That could inform how tolerant to later change any choice you make here will be. I.e. if you made the choice to use the expand style but later determined it to be a Bad Idea it may be more tractable to undo.

    One other middle ground I’ve seen some APIs provide is a response “style”, like “full”, “thin”, “ids”, etc. This can be more constrained but could still allow you to embed users in a full response type and could be more generalizable to other endpoints you make. I honestly don’t love it because it’s somewhat opaque but it is a middle ground.

    If I were you I’d probably go with the one off solution for now if this is the first time you are running into the problem. Maybe down the line if this is a repeated issue you could look into GraphQL.

    4 votes
  5. Comment on Don't trust online reviews (personal anecdote) in ~talk

    umbrae
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    It sounds like you’re specifically saying “don’t trust online reviews that are served from the same site as the seller”, would you say that’s right? I’m realizing I have a pretty complicated...

    It sounds like you’re specifically saying “don’t trust online reviews that are served from the same site as the seller”, would you say that’s right?

    I’m realizing I have a pretty complicated mental formula for whether I trust an online review around how specific the details are, whether the poster seems to have reviewed other things, the “right” length, where the review is hosted, and whether positive and negative feedback is intertwined.

    3 votes
  6. Comment on Use This, Not That: Positive Swaps for the New Year in ~talk

    umbrae
    Link Parent
    I’ve tried it; it’s a bit too strong for me generally but I may just be doing it wrong. If we decide to punt on the cotton filters again I’ll reconsider it, good option for others though!

    I’ve tried it; it’s a bit too strong for me generally but I may just be doing it wrong. If we decide to punt on the cotton filters again I’ll reconsider it, good option for others though!

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Use This, Not That: Positive Swaps for the New Year in ~talk

    umbrae
    Link
    We’ve just switched to using a coffee sock as a replacement for paper coffee filters and I gotta say, it’s not much more work and I feel good not throwing that paper away twice a day. Feels like...

    We’ve just switched to using a coffee sock as a replacement for paper coffee filters and I gotta say, it’s not much more work and I feel good not throwing that paper away twice a day. Feels like it will be a good change and to my unrefined palate the coffee tastes essentially the same.

    10 votes
  8. Comment on Old Mobile Websites? in ~tech

    umbrae
    (edited )
    Link
    One other but it’s not styled: https://text.npr.org/ Edit: one other thing you might want to look for is WAP/WML site archives. It was an old school markup language meant specifically for things...

    One other but it’s not styled: https://text.npr.org/

    Edit: one other thing you might want to look for is WAP/WML site archives. It was an old school markup language meant specifically for things like blackberries IIRC.

    10 votes
  9. Comment on How do you organize your digital files? in ~tech

    umbrae
    Link Parent
    Yeah, it’s a point well taken. For a while I was actually double syncing to both google photos and dropbox for redundancy. Maybe I should do that again.

    Yeah, it’s a point well taken. For a while I was actually double syncing to both google photos and dropbox for redundancy. Maybe I should do that again.

    5 votes
  10. Comment on How do you organize your digital files? in ~tech

    umbrae
    Link
    I’ve set up my life such that anything of consequence is within a cloud service - I use Dropbox heavily and Google photos for pictures and videos I make, Google drive for most documents, Evernote...

    I’ve set up my life such that anything of consequence is within a cloud service - I use Dropbox heavily and Google photos for pictures and videos I make, Google drive for most documents, Evernote for notes, source code on github, etc. I don’t have significant media now that streaming is so common, so I got rid of a lot of my local storage needs.

    This means that I have no need to “back up” anything, and it is already accessible via mobile as well. This also means that setting up a new phone is super easy, there’s essentially no data I need to worry about copying over. The only challenge here has been text messages, since I don’t trust iCloud as it seems crappy.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on "Link in bio": it seems like a harmless phrase, but it represents a strategy of controlling users and keeping them away from the open web in ~tech

    umbrae
    (edited )
    Link
    I think Anil is right, and I hadn’t interrogated the idea of no links on Instagram as deeply as this goes. I think some of the choice early on didn’t have as much intent as he suggests here, but...

    I think Anil is right, and I hadn’t interrogated the idea of no links on Instagram as deeply as this goes. I think some of the choice early on didn’t have as much intent as he suggests here, but it seems totally rational that they have made these choices actively now.

    However, there is one sort of uncomfortable truth at least in my subjective experience, which is that Instagram is actually one of the more enjoyable “social networks” amongst the mainstream choices for me, and I think its constraints are precisely why. Being about photos, and explicitly disallowing links, has really constrained what you’re sharing to the things that are of more worth to friends: pictures of you and your life. I think it’s easy to discount that when you’re concerned about the viability of the web vis a vis Instagram but I do think it’s had an overall positive impact on the quality of each individual post which has led to an overall more enjoyable experience.

    8 votes
  12. Comment on Who is someone on Tildes you appreciate, and why? in ~talk

    umbrae
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    I’ve noticed @emdash as a frequent and high quality poster. This comment with predictions was what made me notice a few days ago. That was probably a lot of effort!

    I’ve noticed @emdash as a frequent and high quality poster. This comment with predictions was what made me notice a few days ago. That was probably a lot of effort!

    12 votes
  13. Comment on Radiolab co-host Robert Krulwich announces his retirement from the show in ~misc

    umbrae
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    I’ve loved his curiosity and the back and forth between them on the show. I have to admit that the... less scientific?... bend they’ve had over the past few years has been really disappointing to...

    I’ve loved his curiosity and the back and forth between them on the show. I have to admit that the... less scientific?... bend they’ve had over the past few years has been really disappointing to me as an early Radiolab listener. I’m curious if that will change at all with his departure - he seemed somewhat the less interested one in that angle.

    I loved it when they were focusing on “making science feel like you’re a third grader again”, which I heard them say about their earlier episodes. I’d love to see more of that.

    3 votes
  14. Comment on The voting on topics and comments now ends when they're 30 days old and all individual vote records are deleted, retaining only the count in ~tildes.official

    umbrae
    Link
    This information is often useful for anti abuse purposes. Specifically I am thinking about the potential for political or state sponsored manipulation and analysis of that. I imagine this is not a...

    This information is often useful for anti abuse purposes. Specifically I am thinking about the potential for political or state sponsored manipulation and analysis of that.

    I imagine this is not a problem on tildes now but did you consider the risk of not having this info for anti evil reasons anymore? What makes the trade worth it for you?

    4 votes
  15. Comment on Would you pay for social media platforms and search engines if it meant they would not have any advertising or data collection? in ~talk

    umbrae
    Link Parent
    I helped build a company that tried exactly what you are describing back around 2011 called Readability - a read it later service like Pocket, Instapaper, etc. We took a pay-what-you-want...

    I helped build a company that tried exactly what you are describing back around 2011 called Readability - a read it later service like Pocket, Instapaper, etc. We took a pay-what-you-want contribution from users and would distribute 70% of it to the publishers you were reading. Launch article from the wayback machine.

    We had a couple of huge problems with the model:

    1. The long tail of the internet meant that even at large scale there were tons of publishers (think individual bloggers) who would be getting on the order of 75 cents - like 90% of articles read were in this form. Top publishers (nytimes, wikipedia) would receive thousands of times more money, but they often didn't need or want the experience. It wasn't cost effective for anyone to be sending out checks of 75 cents.
    2. Publishers, uh, didn't like it. They saw it as a shot across the bow of the advertising ecosystem which they relied upon (which it was). They wouldn't accept the money because it would be seen as a legal endorsement of the model.

    There have been a few other approaches to this that don't rely on the reading angle, but it is incredibly hard to make work. I learned a lot from that time about how important incentives are to think through for customers.

    6 votes
  16. Comment on Donation goal met! in ~tildes

    umbrae
    Link Parent
    This came in after my match call I believe so likely unrelated, I’m obviously stoked though! Props to whoever donated!

    This came in after my match call I believe so likely unrelated, I’m obviously stoked though! Props to whoever donated!

    12 votes
  17. Comment on Today and Tomorrow, I will Match Donations to Tildes up to $500 total, and will match recurring donations 3X. in ~tildes

    umbrae
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    Thanks for saying so! :) Maybe next month someone else will be generous and take up the torch. :) We are at $30 out of my pocket right now, woo!

    Thanks for saying so! :) Maybe next month someone else will be generous and take up the torch. :)

    We are at $15 $30 out of my pocket right now, woo!

    14 votes
  18. Today and Tomorrow, I will Match Donations to Tildes up to $500 total, and will match recurring donations 3X.

    I’m feeling generous and want Tildes to succeed and think this is a good opportunity to try to hit the November goal. If you donate and DM me or comment here with proof, I will match your...

    I’m feeling generous and want Tildes to succeed and think this is a good opportunity to try to hit the November goal.

    If you donate and DM me or comment here with proof, I will match your donation. If you set up a NEW recurring donation, and DM me or comment here with proof, I will match that donation triple on a one-time basis (so, you set up 5 dollars recurring = 15 dollars from me this month).

    Services we enjoy need revenue to succeed. If we want those services to exist, we need to fund them. Please consider donating to Tildes.

    The overall donation page is here: https://docs.tildes.net/donate

    You can DM me here for proof, or comment in this thread, or on reddit as /u/umbrae if you prefer for some reason (maybe you browse logged out).

    55 votes
  19. Comment on How will Tildes users be able to visualize trust? in ~tildes

    umbrae
    Link Parent
    I think that’s true in the base case (like karma) but I wonder if there are other more novel ways to aggregate trust. Do the folks I trust trust this user in aggregate? Does a random sampling of...

    I think that’s true in the base case (like karma) but I wonder if there are other more novel ways to aggregate trust. Do the folks I trust trust this user in aggregate? Does a random sampling of users trust this user? Does the specific community I am a part of (like, a tilde section) trust this user?

    There’s probably more here but I agree with you on the general reputation case and it being gameable.

    5 votes