userexec's recent activity

  1. Comment on Why many scientists say it’s unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 originated from a “lab leak” in ~health.coronavirus

    userexec
    Link Parent
    I'm a little out of date on this so I probably missed whatever happened here, but wasn't the leading speculation early on that it made the jump from pangolins? Did they rule that out now?

    I'm a little out of date on this so I probably missed whatever happened here, but wasn't the leading speculation early on that it made the jump from pangolins? Did they rule that out now?

    3 votes
  2. Comment on What shortages have you noticed recently? in ~talk

    userexec
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    CPAP machines. Philips and ResMed have dominated the US market for decades, but Philips recently recalled effectively every ventilator and positive airway pressure device they've ever made due to...

    CPAP machines. Philips and ResMed have dominated the US market for decades, but Philips recently recalled effectively every ventilator and positive airway pressure device they've ever made due to noise abatement foam in the airway outgassing and deteriorating. Apparently from day one the Philips devices were letting off inflammatory and carcinogenic fumes into the airway, and after years in service they start blowing foam chunks into your lungs.

    Philips will be repairing or replacing their devices, but as one of only two major players in the market who knows how long that will take. In the mean time, good luck finding any ResMed devices in stock or at anywhere near a sane price point. The same AutoSet 10 machine that you could have probably picked up a few months ago for $350 is now selling for $1000.

    If you're using a Philips device like a DreamStation or System One, register for the recall to get it repaired or replaced, and if medically possible, stop using it for now.

    14 votes
  3. Comment on Almost all of the top subreddits are moderated by the same people in ~tech

    userexec
    Link Parent
    Definitely let us know how that goes if you do. I'd be interested in hearing impressions of the differences or lack thereof.

    Definitely let us know how that goes if you do. I'd be interested in hearing impressions of the differences or lack thereof.

  4. Comment on Landlords from Florida to California are jacking up rents at record speeds in ~finance

    userexec
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    I've just run into this while trying to find an apartment for a friend to move closer to us in the US Pacific Northwest (not a major city). The rents are absolutely insane here, to the point that...

    I've just run into this while trying to find an apartment for a friend to move closer to us in the US Pacific Northwest (not a major city). The rents are absolutely insane here, to the point that they're genuinely not competitive with even buying a house in the current market. You can seriously get any number of nice 3- and 4-bedroom houses with garages and property for a meaningfully lower monthly payment than even a mediocre 2-bedroom apartment (I know because that's what we ended up doing). They have to be banking on people not being able to afford a downpayment, because if there were any options nobody in their right mind would get into a rental contract here at the moment.

    I think the most mind-blowing thing to me is that I'm a reasonably experienced, salaried programmer and even I wouldn't qualify for a disturbing number of 1-bedroom apartments--even the copy/paste low-rise ones--due to income requirement multipliers being applied to newly inflated rents.

    12 votes
  5. Comment on Buying a house relatively soon, lay your advice on me! in ~life

    userexec
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    Something we did before buying was take multiple trips to the neighborhood and just walk around to get a feel for the place. It was especially useful that the election was coming up, so we could...

    Something we did before buying was take multiple trips to the neighborhood and just walk around to get a feel for the place. It was especially useful that the election was coming up, so we could get a feel for how many lawn signs and flags were up compared to other places. Sort of gives you a temperature on the crazy. Look for little indications of how people behave. Do the people next door park their cars halfway across the sidewalk, or display other little antisocial cues? Are there people out walking their dogs, or do they maybe feel more comfortable taking them somewhere else? Go there and walk around at night. Do you feel safe?

    4 votes
  6. Comment on Pay cut: Google employees who work from home could lose money in ~finance

    userexec
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    Sounds like a good way to lose talent to me. I offer specific expertise and experience, and I expect to be paid what it's worth to the company, not some funky "what it's worth scaled to the exact...

    Sounds like a good way to lose talent to me. I offer specific expertise and experience, and I expect to be paid what it's worth to the company, not some funky "what it's worth scaled to the exact GPS coordinates of where my laptop happens to be sitting when I type for them." My work is not negotiable on some gameable surge pricing scheme. This just feels like a stupid employer power move to try to cut labor costs while relying on their employees' desperation to keep a job. Bold move trying that on folks with a Google-grade resume--have fun with that.

    15 votes
  7. Comment on Unvaccinated people need to bear the burden in ~health.coronavirus

    userexec
    Link Parent
    I actually agree with you on those points. We're not going to reach herd immunity any time soon because everyone has had the opportunity and they're turning it down. Which, to my thinking, means...

    I actually agree with you on those points. We're not going to reach herd immunity any time soon because everyone has had the opportunity and they're turning it down. Which, to my thinking, means we have four options:

    • No longer impose restrictions and roll the dice on a vaccine-resistant mutation putting us right back at February 2020 and re-endangering everyone who has been responsible
    • Impose restrictions and lockdowns, adversely affecting our society in the ways you listed above
    • Incentivize vaccination and/or make being unvaccinated inconvenient to such a degree that we actually reach numbers where we no longer need to worry about either of those outcomes
    • Straight vaccine mandate

    I can't speak to how things are between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in other countries, but at least in the US there's very little patience left for people who have been acting antisocial and pissing in the swimming pool in the name of freedom. There's a saying "your rights end where my nose begins." It had nothing to do with airborne illness, but I think it accurately reflects the feelings of a lot of people trying to act in their own and their childrens' interests while an abrasive portion of their society carelessly endangers them and gleefully rubs it in their face.

    11 votes
  8. Comment on Unvaccinated people need to bear the burden in ~health.coronavirus

    userexec
    Link Parent
    Restrictions still totally make sense, even after everyone's had the opportunity to get vaccinated. In the US we're nowhere near herd immunity levels, so giving the virus free reign to spread is...

    Restrictions still totally make sense, even after everyone's had the opportunity to get vaccinated. In the US we're nowhere near herd immunity levels, so giving the virus free reign to spread is just providing countless totally unnecessary opportunities for further mutations to develop. Right now the vaccinated can be reasonably assured that catching existing variants won't result in death, but it just seems irresponsible after so much effort, loss, and suffering to just cross our fingers and hope nothing bad will happen when we can be reasonably sure it will, and know exactly why.

    10 votes
  9. Comment on If you had to teach a class about information literacy, what would your key points be? in ~talk

    userexec
    Link Parent
    I had never heard of superforecasters until your link there. That's fascinating. To think someone without access to classified information could, on average, make more accurate predictions than an...

    I had never heard of superforecasters until your link there. That's fascinating. To think someone without access to classified information could, on average, make more accurate predictions than an expert with access is pretty out there. I may have to pick up a book on that.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on I am fighting back by switching this website from HTML to PDF in ~comp

    userexec
    Link Parent
    Just to respond to your accessibility question, there's a whole industry that does "PDF remediation" for government and higher education to help re-open parts of the web for people with...

    Just to respond to your accessibility question, there's a whole industry that does "PDF remediation" for government and higher education to help re-open parts of the web for people with disabilities and avoid ADA lawsuits in the US. You can structure a PDF in such a way that a screen reader can parse it nicely, but it takes awareness and some skill in document creation. Far too many PDFs have structural issues that either leave them a garbled mess for those with visual impairments, or just exclude entire blocks of content.

    An individual, skilled author could possibly handle making a PDF-based site that still delivered its content to all audiences, but as soon as you move to an organization level and have unskilled authors creating poorly-structured forms and flyers and schedules as sole sources of information, PDF starts excluding people with disabilities and becomes a legal nightmare.

    Now this is not to say that you can't make an HTML site an accessibility nightmare--of course you can. Some JS developers (and I say this as a primarily JS developer) seem like they're on some holy crusade to ensure nobody using assistive devices can ever use the web properly again. But what you can do with HTML that you can't with PDF is force non-technical authors to express themselves through accessibly-coded content types inside of a Content Management System. The way websites separate concerns by having structure and content separate from style and layout makes them simple(r) to code in a predictable and navigable way for blind users, for example, and with a CMS you can actually scale that reliably across a whole organization.

    8 votes
  11. Comment on Affidavit: FBI feared Pennsylvania would seize fabled gold in ~news

    userexec
    Link Parent
    I take it as a great opportunity for an agency to have off-the-books funding to run programs that official funds couldn't be used for.

    I take it as a great opportunity for an agency to have off-the-books funding to run programs that official funds couldn't be used for.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Quake - Alkaline map pack trailer in ~games

    userexec
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    This looks so cool! I was just telling someone today after showing them a 3D print that they didn't need formal education to get started designing basic models; everything I know about 3D modeling...

    This looks so cool! I was just telling someone today after showing them a 3D print that they didn't need formal education to get started designing basic models; everything I know about 3D modeling I learned from making Quake maps to play with my friends way back. This has inspired a group of us to download Quake again and do a nostalgic co-op run and then give this mod a try afterwards.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on MacKenzie Scott, citing wealth gap, donates $2.7 billion in ~finance

    userexec
    Link Parent
    My completely uneducated guess would be conserving ammo so they can continue to give a percentage while having enough in the warchest to discourage major gifts to competing causes through a sort...

    My completely uneducated guess would be conserving ammo so they can continue to give a percentage while having enough in the warchest to discourage major gifts to competing causes through a sort of moneybags version of mutually-assured destruction. But that is admittedly painting it in the most positive and naive light possible, I'm sure.

    5 votes
  14. Comment on Environmental impact of Bitcoin much worse than gold in ~tech

    userexec
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    Much as I'm concerned about the environmental impact of bitcoin, the metal extraction argument really poisons the article early on by comparing the raw materials required for the equipment to mine...

    Much as I'm concerned about the environmental impact of bitcoin, the metal extraction argument really poisons the article early on by comparing the raw materials required for the equipment to mine bitcoin versus just the finished material output of gold. As if gold just magically rises out of the ground equipment- and wear-free when the very next photo in the article is of behemoth mining trucks that are obviously made of metal, themselves. I feel like this is even going to get sympathetic audiences to click off the piece.

    13 votes
  15. Comment on TI announces new TI-84 Plus CE Python in ~tech

    userexec
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    I absolutely love this. I first learned about programming by tinkering with TI-BASIC trying to make little games and utilities on long bus rides to school. I will say that my TI-83+ probably...

    I absolutely love this. I first learned about programming by tinkering with TI-BASIC trying to make little games and utilities on long bus rides to school. I will say that my TI-83+ probably hindered my math education a bit, as I would just spend math class making programs that would show both my work and the answer that way I could effectively skip all math homework. Still, these days I'm a programmer, so I guess it all worked out.

    I imagine learning Python first will be much more useful and transferable to other languages. TI-BASIC got you thinking like a programmer, but with tons of state variables and labels and GOTO statements. That might have been good because it was conceptually very easy and visual for a child to grasp.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on Permitless carry of a handgun in Texas nearly law, after Senate passes bill in ~news

    userexec
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    I am thoroughly unsurprised to read that in an article about a GOP legislature passing something along party lines. American politics are at least depressingly predictable.

    A solid majority of Texas voters don't think permitless carry should be allowed, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll.

    I am thoroughly unsurprised to read that in an article about a GOP legislature passing something along party lines. American politics are at least depressingly predictable.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on Joe Rogan spread anti-vaccine misinformation. Spotify's CEO redirects and refuses to address problematic behavior. in ~tech

    userexec
    Link Parent
    I just want to chime in with another thank you. I considered responding to the post, but then decided to let it rest for a bit so it would come out more considered. Your response was great, and...

    I just want to chime in with another thank you. I considered responding to the post, but then decided to let it rest for a bit so it would come out more considered. Your response was great, and reflected well on the community here. It's unfortunate that it still needed to be said after so many deaths, but this is the world we live in, I suppose.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster in ~tech

    userexec
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    I feel that. I accept bitcoin in my shop, but I learned pretty quick not to say the forbidden word "bitcoin" on most social media because the scammers' bots will dump all over your comment section...

    Every comment online about cryptocurrency is tainted by the fact that the commenter has probably invested thousands of dollars into a Ponzi scheme and is depending on your agreement to make their money back.

    I feel that. I accept bitcoin in my shop, but I learned pretty quick not to say the forbidden word "bitcoin" on most social media because the scammers' bots will dump all over your comment section with get-rich-quick crap and de-class the whole place. The last thing you want under your product is a bunch of people trying to outright scam your customers. So much cleanup.

    Disclosure as the author suggests, I put $400 or so into doge and litecoin ASIC mining as a side project while learning Linux back in 2014, then converted it into bitcoin when I could no longer keep up. I'm still invested. It's not a life-changing amount, but it is enough that I have to be careful my opinions aren't colored by it being there.

    21 votes
  19. Comment on Tech people of Tildes, what have you automated in your life? in ~tech

    userexec
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    I got tired of setting the remote for my gas fireplace on the couch and then sitting in the recliner, or vice versa, so I chopped up a few TP-Link Kasa plugs and modded those into the fan and...

    I got tired of setting the remote for my gas fireplace on the couch and then sitting in the recliner, or vice versa, so I chopped up a few TP-Link Kasa plugs and modded those into the fan and ignition control on it. Kasa plugs are super easy to turn into voice- or app-controlled relays that you can pop into just about any circuit. I really need to write up a tutorial for it.

    Either way, now I just say "Alexa, turn on the fireplace," and like magic, fire heeds my call.

    And don't worry, there's still a physical cutoff switch. I'm sure that won't stop many of you from recoiling at the idea of 1) having Alexa in the first place and 2) handing it control of a gas line, but hey, it's something!

    7 votes
  20. Comment on Crypto exchange founder disappears with $2 billion in ~finance

    userexec
    Link Parent
    It's always the exact same thing, too. People leave their money on an exchange, money gets stolen, repeat. Maybe they're just used to the idea of their money being sort of inaccessible on stock...

    It's always the exact same thing, too. People leave their money on an exchange, money gets stolen, repeat. Maybe they're just used to the idea of their money being sort of inaccessible on stock exchanges, or just don't know that leaving your currency hanging out in someone else's possession for an IOU is a risk? I mean I use an exchange, but only to load funds in, change currencies, and pull funds right back out. Even though I "trust" my exchange, that trust only goes so far and I keep it to the narrowest windows possible. It's not a bank account.

    13 votes