vord's recent activity

  1. Comment on Microsoft angers the .NET open source community with a controversial decision in ~tech

    vord
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    Not quite. It is free for individual users. They also are quite liberal handing it out to teachers and students. But if you're any sort of organization with more than 5 users? That's not free....

    Not quite. It is free for individual users. They also are quite liberal handing it out to teachers and students.

    But if you're any sort of organization with more than 5 users? That's not free. $45/mo per user. Not too onerous for a for-profit.

    But an open source project? Suppose you had something like GNOME with a .NET base. It would probably strain resources to have that added cost if that feature was needed. Especially since non-profits tend to have tighter budgets and lower wages now.

    And Microsoft licensing is complicated. It's nice they're simplifying a bit, but they have a complex array of third party license resellers and it's a nightmare to explain things especially to non-technical folks. You ever work with CALs? There's entire feature sets of 3rd party monitoring tools to insure license compliance. You can get full-functionality perpetual licenses, but again only through resellers.

    And even ignoring all that...some care about open source code. It's likely few can avoid closed source entirely, but open source very much is user empowerment.

    Locking features, especially free features, behind proprietary code in an otherwise relativly open ecosystem they tout heavily is not a forward-looking open-source friendlyness.

    It's the middle of Embrace, Extend, Extinguish.

    If this flys, be sure more and more great functionality will be gated behind closed IDE or non-free libraries.

    8 votes
  2. Comment on Stop shopping - America needs you to buy less junk in ~life

    vord
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    I generally agree with the ideas, but these three excerpts really feel off to me. But in the very next paragraph: And toward the end: So to paraphrase: You should reduce your consumption, against...

    I generally agree with the ideas, but these three excerpts really feel off to me.

    We know where it’s going, and we know who’s buying it all up. They—and maybe you—could simply knock it off.

    But in the very next paragraph:

    I’m not proposing that you or anyone else boycott commerce on a conceptual level. That would be impossible, and it would ignore how human life in this country works. It would also be the sort of killjoy self-righteous proposal that doesn’t gain much traction. Shopping is fun—novelty and possibility are fun—and it’s often how people access the tools and materials to do things that bring them genuine comfort or joy, which everyone needs.

    And toward the end:

    As it stands, America’s central organizing principle is thoughtless consumption, acquiring things for yourself and letting everyone else pick over what you left behind on the shelves. You can decide you don’t like that. You can decide that people—your family, your friends, the people in your community, the port truckers and Amazon warehouse workers running themselves ragged—are more important to you than another box of miscellaneous stuff. You can take a bit of pressure, however tiny, off a system so overburdened that it threatens to grind everyone in it to dust.

    So to paraphrase: You should reduce your consumption, against what you've been conditioned to do for decades. But only temporarily so the system can smooth out again. Then please resume consumption, because it is fun and essential to American life.

    We've been conditioned via marketing for decades (my entire life certainly) that the path to happiness and health is through consumption.

    So when people are feeling nervous about their health, or bored out of their minds, is it any wonder the consumption ramps up?

    Especially since much of life that could get you out of your home to avoid consumption was closed off. I got a used outdoor playset because playgrounds were closed. We upgraded our computers and tvs because we knew we'd be spending a lot more time on them.

    We stockpiled genuine neccessities in a way we hadn't before because we saw the supply chains diminishing. We expanded our gardening, which needed supplies for.

    All of these things strained supply chains. Partially because there was an urgency to do so before supply chains collapsed.

    My consumption has since reduced to below pre-COVID levels, simply due to more outdoor activities being an option again.

    But I think this kind of plea isn't going to work. To lessen the consumption instinct you must remove the methods which fuels it.We could help by banning all public displays of advertising. Make it all 100% opt-in. Even then I think the only way that America is going to be able to cut off the consumption instinct is cold-turkey, courtesy of collapsed supply chains,

    9 votes
  3. Comment on Microsoft angers the .NET open source community with a controversial decision in ~tech

    vord
    Link Parent
    There it is. This is the Microsoft I remember. You play nice with an ecosystem until you have a critical mass of developers, then turn the screws and start locking in and charging big money (Full...

    There it is. This is the Microsoft I remember.

    You play nice with an ecosystem until you have a critical mass of developers, then turn the screws and start locking in and charging big money (Full Visual Studio is very expensive). Enough critical production code which is out there means the .NET base isn't shrinking very rapidly.

    17 votes
  4. Comment on Alec Baldwin fatally shoots crew member with prop firearm on film set, authorities say in ~movies

    vord
    Link Parent
    Even easier would be to disable the firing pin in the gun. Doesn't matter how live the round is then. Still have the firing blanks problem, though those guns should be made so actual rounds can't...

    Even easier would be to disable the firing pin in the gun.

    Doesn't matter how live the round is then. Still have the firing blanks problem, though those guns should be made so actual rounds can't fit at all.

    3 votes
  5. Comment on Alec Baldwin fatally shoots crew member with prop firearm on film set, authorities say in ~movies

    vord
    Link Parent
    Once you have enough money, you can do whatever you want in Hollywood, regardless of budget or theme. Just doing what is fun.

    Once you have enough money, you can do whatever you want in Hollywood, regardless of budget or theme. Just doing what is fun.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Alec Baldwin fatally shoots crew member with prop firearm on film set, authorities say in ~movies

    vord
    Link Parent
    I don't disagree. That's why the pointing at people should be avoided at all costs unless absolutely needed. But that gunshot should show what a real wound/death looks like. Superhero movies are...

    I don't disagree. That's why the pointing at people should be avoided at all costs unless absolutely needed.

    But that gunshot should show what a real wound/death looks like. Superhero movies are some of the worst in this regard.

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Alec Baldwin fatally shoots crew member with prop firearm on film set, authorities say in ~movies

    vord
    Link Parent
    Rule one of guns: Prop guns are problematic for that exact reason. Just as "non-lethal" weapons like rubber bullets are. If you're going to use them, try to work out scenes so you don't need to...

    Rule one of guns:

    Don't point the gun at anything you would like to remain living.

    Prop guns are problematic for that exact reason. Just as "non-lethal" weapons like rubber bullets are. If you're going to use them, try to work out scenes so you don't need to point them at anything.

    Despite me loving guns, I do think that they're overly glorified in movies and TV, especially at the PG-13 level. I fully believe that guns in movies should be required to show the level of violence, gore, and destruction that comes with them. The D-day beach scene in Saving Private Ryan is a good example.

    4 votes
  8. Comment on Human history gets a rewrite in ~humanities

    vord
    Link Parent
    I don't think that's it, at least not for me. Not being beholden to a landlord's whims, including shoddy and delayed problems with the residence, is also quite liberating. More than anything, it's...

    I don't think that's it, at least not for me. Not being beholden to a landlord's whims, including shoddy and delayed problems with the residence, is also quite liberating.

    More than anything, it's that a rental space isn't really something you can personalize, and that the obligations involved are somewhat masked behind the veneer of 'temporary' housing. Skipping rent or mortgage has same end result.

    Losing your home hurts more, so you feel even more obligated to not rock the boat. Not engaging in legally risky activities like protesting.

    If you lose your job, it's more likely you'll have to up and move than being able to find one locally. Lack of job security across the board doesn't help.

    De-commodifying the housing market should help. Making it easier to get mortgages, share ownership, divest ownership should help. Raising wages so average homeowners can afford general contractors to help manage maintainence. Increasing job security so uprooting lives is less of a neccessity.

    Debt (and rent) is only a small part of the larger picture of systemic problems in the USA.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on SEC report on Gamestop, AMC stock price jumps in January 2021 in ~finance

    vord
    Link Parent
    I ascribe that label to any day trader whom is buying and selling stock on the same day. Rapid exchange of equities is not investing, it is gambling. Plain and simple.

    But sifting through their posts it became obvious they were nothing but numerologists.

    I ascribe that label to any day trader whom is buying and selling stock on the same day.

    Rapid exchange of equities is not investing, it is gambling. Plain and simple.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on At what height should I hang my TV? in ~talk

    vord
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    Living in older homes, before 1965, make this very practical. The various entryways, retrofited ducting, and room shape all tend to have the fireplace as a focal point for seating. Which made...

    because there's a nice empty space above the fireplace

    Living in older homes, before 1965, make this very practical. The various entryways, retrofited ducting, and room shape all tend to have the fireplace as a focal point for seating. Which made sense pre-TV and when the fireplace was a primary form of heating.

    We solved this problem by installing a nice pull-out mount which can tilt horizontally and vertically to aim the TV at you. With recliners it's quite a bit more comfortable than non-reclining sofas with standard TV stands.

    4 votes
  11. Comment on Dave's Redistricting Application in ~misc

    vord
    Link Parent
    Yup. Killing FPTP fixes that problem easily though. Replacing with proportional representation with large proportional districts is easy. Here is an almost perfectly proportional map of PA Senate...

    I think one of the most interesting things it demonstrates is that sometimes making proportional maps without gerrymandering is often basically impossible.

    Yup. Killing FPTP fixes that problem easily though. Replacing with proportional representation with large proportional districts is easy.

    Here is an almost perfectly proportional map of PA Senate broken into 7 districts instead of 50 that I hacked up.. I have lived and worked in 3 of these districts, and conversed extensively with my brother whom also worked in another. I didn't really get them perfect because I was unwilling to redraw the districts themselves. But it's close enough for a demonstration.

    You hardly even need districts with proper proportional representation. These districts make sense though, because each district roughly surrounds their urban economic center. They could be named as follows, with the number of representatives proportionally allocated.

    1. Philadelphia Urban - 10 representatives
    2. Philadelphia Suburban - 10 representatives
    3. North - 3 representatives
    4. South-Central - 10 representatives
    5. Pittsburgh Area - 10 representatives
    6. Scranton Area - 5 representatives
    7. Erie Area - 2 representatives

    By organizing like this, it's more likely that the representatives from both major parties will be more focused on the needs of their population. Erie and Philadelphia have very different needs, regardless of which party is running. It can also help eliminate the disproportionate difference between House and Senate power. Currently in the PA House/Senate, many seats are effectively uncontested by the other party due to FPTP districting. The proportional nature of the proposal likely wouldn't need much further sub-division of districts, because the parties have to compete broadly in the entire district to win favorability. That 24% of Republicans in Philadelphia now have a voice, as do the 33% of democrats in the North. Everybody wins.

    Analyzing the map as-made doesn't return precise results, because it's still expecting small districts with FPTP. But if you look at popular vote of PA, and the current representation in the PA Senate, it looks very different. I leveraged the PA House votes for popularity in 2020, as they are elected every 2 years. This makes the Republican popular vote percentage 52.73%, which is roughly in line with my gut for PA when you remove Trump from the equation. The PA Senate elects every 4 years, but is split so only half are on presidential election years, which creates very messy swings. Below is the results.

    District Map R Seats D Seats Bias
    Current FPTP Senate 29 21 3 Republicans
    Proposed FPTP Senate 19 31 7 Democrats
    Proposed Proportional Senate 26 24 Fair
    Current FPTP House 113 90 6 Republicans
    Proposed FPTP House 113 90 6 Republicans
    Proposed Proportional House 105 98 2 Democrats
    4 votes
  12. Comment on Human history gets a rewrite in ~humanities

    vord
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    A fine example from the Nib. When I was renting, I felt free. Rent was a kind of abstract "I just need to pay this to live here." kind of thing. I moved quite regularly. To escape an untreated...

    A fine example from the Nib.

    When I was renting, I felt free. Rent was a kind of abstract "I just need to pay this to live here." kind of thing. I moved quite regularly.

    To escape an untreated mold problem. To avoid a 3-floor walk up and microscopic kitchen. To move to a better-paying job in the city to pay my debts (many of which I had ignored to this point and passed statute od limitations).

    To get out of a dense apartment to one with a washer/dryer to avoid laundromat costs. And finally to a home to raise a family, because getting enough bedrooms it was cheaper to buy a house than to rent, even with a $200 mortgage insurance, now that I had scrapped together enough money for a 10% down payment...over a decade into the workforce.

    Now? Debt-free except for a mortgage? I feel more trapped than ever. Because that monthly payment is for 30 years. And now with kids, uprooting means taking them from their friends. But if I lose my job in an economic downturn, I don't have as many options to tighten the belt until I get a new one. And I'll probably need to take on more debt.

    9 votes
  13. Comment on Introducing the PinePhone Pro in ~tech

    vord
    Link Parent
    Does the phone currently work for 3G or higher data, phone calls, and SMS? If so, what you've described sounds great.

    Does the phone currently work for 3G or higher data, phone calls, and SMS?

    If so, what you've described sounds great.

    2 votes
  14. Comment on Introducing the PinePhone Pro in ~tech

    vord
    Link Parent
    All that said...for those of us who don't really try using these things, it's a great alternative. I can keep an old Android around without a SIM to do Duo two-factor, and everything else I'll...

    All that said...for those of us who don't really try using these things, it's a great alternative.

    I can keep an old Android around without a SIM to do Duo two-factor, and everything else I'll just use through the browser. Heck, with a bit of rigging I'll bet I could get KDE connect working so I wouldn't need to carry the android.

    7 votes
  15. Comment on Henrietta Lacks estate sues company using her ‘stolen’ cells in ~science

    vord
    Link Parent
    You and @MimicSquid have definitely touched on a few very important things. And I agree, we don't necessarily want to be paying people for organs that are going to be providing a public benefit....

    You and @MimicSquid have definitely touched on a few very important things. And I agree, we don't necessarily want to be paying people for organs that are going to be providing a public benefit. And we definitely don't want to go down the slope where people might need to hurt themselves to make ends meet (or worse, financing organs to pay for new ones ala "Repo: The Genetic Opera").

    Perhaps it would be reasonable, to compensate for organs under very specific conditions. If they're going to a for-profit company which couldn't exist without them, that the donors get equal split of a large shareholder stake in the company (say 40% of ownership) for paying out profits. If it's organ donors upon death, it could go to the estate. But especially for organs like placentas where it's being regrown and ejected anyhow. Or things like those cells in the article. Providing everyone a higher standard of living (in and out of "developed" nations) would probably help reduce that demand for compensation as well, but that's definitely a bigger discussion.

    But even then, I don't think compensation is a good way because of the reasons you mentioned. Attribution and proper public ownership (no patents, copyrights, trade secrets, etc) would insure that any progress coming from donations are for the public benefit, and not gated behind a giant paywall going to a for-profit company for decades or longer.

    I certainly don't have a clear answer. I just think it's uncomfortable and worth thinking about. In the same way that McDonalds couldn't exist without the lowest-paid employees in the company, it feels problematic and exploititive that a few individuals might be catapulted to luxury, even fame, on the organs provided by others.

    2 votes
  16. Comment on Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show in ~tech

    vord
    Link Parent
    This is also part of the reason Apple has avoided antitrust over the decades, despite their vast first-party ecosystem, in a way Microsoft has not (and Google should not). They're not a vastly...

    Except that, like Google, Amazon is in antitrust territory

    This is also part of the reason Apple has avoided antitrust over the decades, despite their vast first-party ecosystem, in a way Microsoft has not (and Google should not). They're not a vastly dominant player in quite the same way (outside iOS, which is kinda pushing that line), so anti-trust is less of a factor.

  17. Comment on Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show in ~tech

    vord
    (edited )
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    This is true, but I doubt it is always their product. Walmart (and others) have a super shady practice in that vein, having manufacturers make crappier versions of their products, under the same...

    Whatever brand is going to make them the most money gets the best spot

    This is true, but I doubt it is always their product. Walmart (and others) have a super shady practice in that vein, having manufacturers make crappier versions of their products, under the same brand and labeling, to sell cheaper at their stores than others.

    Even then, when coming to grocery stores, they'll often promote the other brands more, via sales and such. I've never seen big sale banners for store-brands. But I sure do see a lot of "Buy 2, get 1 free!" specials for name brands that are still more expensive than the store brands. I'd wager the margin is a lot higher on the name brand items, and the store brands are mostly there for the poor people and contrast. I've never seen a store brand packaging look remotely as well-refined as a name brand.

    And there definitely a major difference (as @Diff mentioned). A shelf is a relatively minor barrier (my dingy flicker light was hyperbole), but when it comes to computing, it's generally accepted that the first few results will take the vast majority of the attention. It's a well-known trope that if you're not on the first page of Google results, you might as well be invisible.

    3 votes
  18. Comment on Amazon copied products and rigged search results to promote its own brands, documents show in ~tech

    vord
    Link Parent
    Let's expand on that Walmart example a bit. Lets suppose Walmart signed a deal to be the exclusive retailer for a new product, provided it does well in a few test stores. Walmart sees it flying...

    Let's expand on that Walmart example a bit.

    Lets suppose Walmart signed a deal to be the exclusive retailer for a new product, provided it does well in a few test stores.

    Walmart sees it flying off the shelves. So they copy the original product, put their copy front and center of every store in the nation. And they sell the creator's product at the bottom shelf in the back corner with the broken, flickering light.

    That would almost certainly get shutdown by regulators for being anticompetitive. How is what Amazon is doing any different?

    They're so dominant in the online sales space that their double-dipping as the storefront and a seller means it's easy to wipe out a new entrant without a second thought.

    If 80% of Amazon basics are good, an underlying assumption gets formed that AmazonBasics is better than the alternatives, especially since people prioritize top search results.

    So if you happen across a new product you hadn't encountered, who you going to trust? The assortment of random companies you know nothing about, or Amazon's?

    At this point Amazon just needs split up. Mandate that they must choose between selling their own products or providing a storefront for everyone else.

    8 votes
  19. Comment on Henrietta Lacks estate sues company using her ‘stolen’ cells in ~science

    vord
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    This got me thinking again about the weird situation we're in with things like placenta donation. It's not legal to sell your placenta. But you can keep it, to eat or pay someone to capsulize it...

    This got me thinking again about the weird situation we're in with things like placenta donation.

    It's not legal to sell your placenta. But you can keep it, to eat or pay someone to capsulize it for you. Or can donate it to a biotech company who can/will do their best to make millions/billions off of it. Sure, some great advancements will come of it, especially relative to 'chuck it in the trash'.

    But it feels strange that there will be people getting very wealthy from having access to something that legally has to be provided for free. Whereas many of the donors would have benefitted tremendously from being compensated for their donation. If only because they just had a child, possibly paying multiple thousands of dollars to do so (in the USA).

    It's that kind of thing that reenforces my thoughts surrounding public ownership of research and free access to medicine.

    7 votes
  20. Comment on mkws - A simple static site generator in ~comp

    vord
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    Oh most definitely. I'd probably keep it fully containerized in podman. Like a 1960's hotrod... a deathtrap environment-murdering machine, but oh so fun to drive.

    Oh most definitely. I'd probably keep it fully containerized in podman.

    Like a 1960's hotrod... a deathtrap environment-murdering machine, but oh so fun to drive.