[nts] shaaaaaaaaaaarks

Oct. 31st, 2014 03:25 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Insight would be appreciated but mostly I'm writing this down this time so's I have it when I come back to this after the weekend. ;)

Read more... )
nanila: Will not be surviving the zombie apocalypse (me: braaains)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing that you've accomplished in the past 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange, or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (frustration)
[personal profile] megpie71
Producers/Creators: Brave Giant Studio
Cost: 4 WildCoins per play
Game Genre: Hidden Object/Puzzle
Plot Genre: Fairytale/Fantasy

Game Play: The hidden object genre tends toward two extremes - either fiendishly difficult, or pathetically straightforward. This game is the latter. The hidden objects aren't particularly well hidden, the puzzles are largely solvable through brute force and ignorance (really guys, one sequence-themed puzzle per game is plenty - having one after another after another really takes the gilt off the gingerbread), and the collectable elements are less than apparent.

I should explain. The hidden object scenes are generally pretty simple to find everything (to the point where I frequently didn't need to use the hint at all, and I'd pretty much given up on this game and put my brain in a bucket after seeing the opening animation). The puzzle mini-games tend toward toward 6-component "do things in the correct sequence" types, which means you need a maximum of 15 attempts to solve things (at 1 attempt per second, this means you're finishing most of the puzzles before your 30 second wait time for skipping them is completed). About the only challenging part is the "collectables" mini-game, where you have to collect four different types of object (one for each zone of the game, not that anything really clarifies this for you) in order to furnish a "throne room" area.

Plot and Tropes: The player character is a queen who has married her handsome prince and is just about to get her little baby daughter blessed by the court wizard. There's an evil wizard, a steampunk-styled dragon, a kraken and a gryphon to battle. This is a fairy-tale themed fantasy so generic it's ridiculous.

It also has one of my LEAST favourite game plot tropes - the "you have to hurry" plot, with no actual time limitation. Seriously, designers, if your plot is telling me to rush to save the baby or the world or whatever, you need to actually find a way of injecting this urgency into the game play. Telling me "X will happen if you don't hurry" when I know full well I could walk away from the game (while leaving it running on my system) for an hour or two, or even a week, and nothing will advance until I get back... well, it loses all impact. I know I'm going to be able to complete the challenge in time, so having the villain repeatedly tell me I won't isn't really cutting it as a threat, or even a realistic plot device. Why not go with "you'll never stop my fiendish plan" instead? At least that has the advantage of being plot relevant.

Aside from that the plot is so linear you can clearly see the end from the beginning, and there aren't even any interesting twists or bends along the way. The resolution of the main plot is vastly unsatisfying, and really did not enthuse me to play the "bonus" chapter (during which you presumably work to resolve the biggest dangling plot thread).

Effects: Imagine the cheapest paper doll animation you've ever seen. This is the standard this game uses. Very pretty pictures from magazines, cut out and moved in rather jerky stop-motion fashion. To be honest, if you're going to use such good visuals and such poor animation, I'd prefer if the animation wasn't going to be played "straight", as this was.

There's voice overs which die out about a quarter of the way through the game, and they're never in synch with the actual mouth movements (which may have been an English-language localisation issue, but is still rather annoying to view). The maps are primitive, but then, they aren't really needed from one scene to the next.

The voice acting is okay, but it loses a lot from the poor quality of the animation. Again, if you're going to have very poor animation, the least that could be done with it is making it into a feature rather than a bug - put a lampshade on it, play around with the whole business.

Overall: I gave this game 2/10 for game play, 1/10 for plot, and 1/10 for effects. Very poor, positively enjoyed deleting it off my system.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Today I have not yet got out of bed for more than 10 minutes at a time.

small victories )

really really todo: rinse out the dishwasher filters
[personal profile] mjg59
I'm not a huge fan of Hacker News[1]. My impression continues to be that it ends up promoting stories that align with the Silicon Valley narrative of meritocracy, technology will fix everything, regulation is the cancer killing agile startups, and discouraging stories that suggest that the world of technology is, broadly speaking, awful and we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

But as a good data-driven person[2], wouldn't it be nice to have numbers rather than just handwaving? In the absence of a good public dataset, I scraped Hacker Slide to get just over two months of data in the form of hourly snapshots of stories, their age, their score and their position. I then applied a trivial test:
  1. If the story is younger than any other story
  2. and the story has a higher score than that other story
  3. and the story has a worse ranking than that other story
  4. and at least one of these two stories is on the front page
then the story is considered to have been penalised.

(note: "penalised" can have several meanings. It may be due to explicit flagging, or it may be due to an automated system deciding that the story is controversial or appears to be supported by a voting ring. There may be other reasons. I haven't attempted to separate them, because for my purposes it doesn't matter. The algorithm is discussed here.)

Now, ideally I'd classify my dataset based on manual analysis and classification of stories, but I'm lazy (see [2]) and so just tried some keyword analysis:
KeywordPenalisedUnpenalised
Women134
Harass20
Female51
Intel23
x8634
ARM34
Airplane12
Startup4626

A few things to note:
  1. Lots of stories are penalised. Of the front page stories in my dataset, I count 3240 stories that have some kind of penalty applied, against 2848 that don't. The default seems to be that some kind of detection will kick in.
  2. Stories containing keywords that suggest they refer to issues around social justice appear more likely to be penalised than stories that refer to technical matters
  3. There are other topics that are also disproportionately likely to be penalised. That's interesting, but not really relevant - I'm not necessarily arguing that social issues are penalised out of an active desire to make them go away, merely that the existing ranking system tends to result in it happening anyway.

This clearly isn't an especially rigorous analysis, and in future I hope to do a better job. But for now the evidence appears consistent with my innate prejudice - the Hacker News ranking algorithm tends to penalise stories that address social issues. An interesting next step would be to attempt to infer whether the reasons for the penalties are similar between different categories of penalised stories[3], but I'm not sure how practical that is with the publicly available data.

(Raw data is here, penalised stories are here, unpenalised stories are here)


[1] Moving to San Francisco has resulted in it making more sense, but really that just makes me even more depressed.
[2] Ha ha like fuck my PhD's in biology
[3] Perhaps stories about startups tend to get penalised because of voter ring detection from people trying to promote their startup, while stories about social issues tend to get penalised because of controversy detection?

Just One Thing! (30 October 2014)

Oct. 30th, 2014 06:53 am
kate: a dirt path through a bright green forest (trees: road less traveled)
[personal profile] kate posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing that you've accomplished in the past 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange, or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!
graydon2: (Default)
[personal profile] graydon2
A little while back Steve Klabnik mentioned something on Twitter that's been on my mind a bit lately. It's about the right-wing political movement in tech, including some alarming neo-fascist outbursts.
Steve wrote this:
Thinking about it, the far right has never been as powerful and overtly supported in tech as in this current moment.
Between GamerGate, Weev, and Moldbug, it's not even a "conservative tendency" or something, but outright fascism.
I'm not sure what a 'tech antifa' would look like, exactly, but it's sorely needed.
-- @steveklabnik October 18, 2014

I've been meaning to write some about this for a while, and now seems as good a time as any.
long discussion of right-wing in tech )

OMG omg OMG

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:26 pm
cynthia1960: (San Francisco Giants)
[personal profile] cynthia1960
Madison Bumgarner for God. Panda Sandoval for St. Peter.

(and the A's have been avenged like in '12)

Just One thing! (29 October 2014)

Oct. 29th, 2014 08:41 pm
syntaxofthings: Two white flowers against a blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] syntaxofthings posting in [community profile] awesomeers
It's challenge time!

Comment with Just One Thing that you've accomplished in the past 24 hours or so. It doesn't have to be a hard thing, or even a thing you think is particularly awesome. Just a thing that you did.

Feel free to share more than one thing if you're feeling accomplished!

Extra credit: find someone in the comments and give them props for what they achieved!

Nothing is too big, too small, too strange, or too cryptic. And in case you'd rather do this in private, anonymous comments are screened. I will only unscreen if you ask me to.

Go!

On joining the FSF board

Oct. 29th, 2014 05:01 pm
[personal profile] mjg59
I joined the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation a couple of weeks ago. I've been travelling a bunch since then, so haven't really had time to write about it. But since I'm currently waiting for a test job to finish, why not?

It's impossible to overstate how important free software is. A movement that began with a quest to work around a faulty printer is now our greatest defence against a world full of hostile actors. Without the ability to examine software, we can have no real faith that we haven't been put at risk by backdoors introduced through incompetence or malice. Without the freedom to modify software, we have no chance of updating it to deal with the new challenges that we face on a daily basis. Without the freedom to pass that modified software on to others, we are unable to help people who don't have the technical skills to protect themselves.

Free software isn't sufficient for building a trustworthy computing environment, one that not merely protects the user but respects the user. But it is necessary for that, and that's why I continue to evangelise on its behalf at every opportunity.

However.

Free software has a problem. It's natural to write software to satisfy our own needs, but in doing so we write software that doesn't provide as much benefit to people who have different needs. We need to listen to others, improve our knowledge of their requirements and ensure that they are in a position to benefit from the freedoms we espouse. And that means building diverse communities, communities that are inclusive regardless of people's race, gender, sexuality or economic background. Free software that ends up designed primarily to meet the needs of well-off white men is a failure. We do not improve the world by ignoring the majority of people in it. To do that, we need to listen to others. And to do that, we need to ensure that our community is accessible to everybody.

That's not the case right now. We are a community that is disproportionately male, disproportionately white, disproportionately rich. This is made strikingly obvious by looking at the composition of the FSF board, a body made up entirely of white men. In joining the board, I have perpetuated this. I do not bring new experiences. I do not bring an understanding of an entirely different set of problems. I do not serve as an inspiration to groups currently under-represented in our communities. I am, in short, a hypocrite.

So why did I do it? Why have I joined an organisation whose founder I publicly criticised for making sexist jokes in a conference presentation? I'm afraid that my answer may not seem convincing, but in the end it boils down to feeling that I can make more of a difference from within than from outside. I am now in a position to ensure that the board never forgets to consider diversity when making decisions. I am in a position to advocate for programs that build us stronger, more representative communities. I am in a position to take responsibility for our failings and try to do better in future.

People can justifiably conclude that I'm making excuses, and I can make no argument against that other than to be asked to be judged by my actions. I hope to be able to look back at my time with the FSF and believe that I helped make a positive difference. But maybe this is hubris. Maybe I am just perpetuating the status quo. If so, I absolutely deserve criticism for my choices. We'll find out in a few years.
compilerbitch: That's me, that is! (Default)
[personal profile] compilerbitch

Wow, this has been a week. Or several. I’ve been quiet for a while because I’ve been buried by our house move. So anyway, movers were booked for last weekend. Sunday, to be specific. They showed up, tutted a lot, initially tried to refuse to take anything, then got told by their boss over the phone to get on with it. They didn’t have a big enough truck and complained that we didn’t have everything quite lined up just perfect tied up with ribbons and bows for them.


Light at the end of the tunnelI have never dealt with such a huge bunch of wusses as regards movers. They were capable enough, actually very fast, once they got going, but oh my doG the whining. They moved a whole truck load, but it just amounted to 2/3rds of our stuff, practically speaking.


Anyway, cut to the present day. Three days later after many hours of sorting out and chucking of stuff, we are now at a point where we are more or less ready for the Wuss Crew to come over and move the rest of the stuff. Gina and I have done many car loads ourselves, moving things that they refused to move last time, like tripods, light stands, kitchen stuff. You know, anything not tied up neatly in a cardboard box with a freaking bow on it.


Gaah. My back hurts (old injury from excessive ATV driving in the Arctic, most likely), my shoulder hurts (this is its hobby, I think, nothing unusual). Oh and we found woodworm in some stuff that was stored in the rafters, so I’m chucking/abandoning anything made of wood that had been stored in there, including a few benches as well as a fairly substantial load of timber. I was going to move this, but I think I’ll gift it to the house owners toward their remodel — they can check it for beetles themselves if they want it.


Speaking of woodworm, if the little nasties are in things stored in the garage, they must be pretty much everywhere in the infrastructure of the house. Not to mention the vast colony of termites under the floor that have reduced the posts holding the house up to the diameter of a human thumb. The place really needs to be torn down and rebuilt, or it will be a death trap in a reasonable sized quake. We were pretty lucky in the last one, I think.


So much for my machine shop and lab. I’ll have to start over from scratch setting everything up, which will be a little frustrating, but I am kind of looking forward to doing some for-real woodworking. I’m intending making shelving for the shop, lab and house, benches for the lab and shop and probably a few pieces of random custom furniture. Any excuse for woodworking is good with me, however!




Please note: this was cross-posted from my main blog at http://www.mageofmachines.com/main/2014/10/29/light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-approaches/ -- If you want me to definitely see your replies, please reply there rather than here.

#DomesticBliss, #MoMBlog, #Musings
cynthia1960: (Mrs. Bennet OMG)
[personal profile] cynthia1960
manfeels-park.com

Any other commentary could spoil the fun. Blame my beloved spouse [personal profile] whump for this.

Edited to fix link.
megpie71: 9th Doctor resting head against TARDIS with repeated *thunk* text (thunk)
[personal profile] megpie71
Found here on the ABC

As a Western Australian, I would like to take this opportunity to call on the Minister for Education to amend the religious education curriculum as follows:

Taking the following set of religions -

* Christianity
* Judaism
* Islam
* Hinduism
* Sikhism
* Buddhism

Cover the following topics:

* Key theological and doctrinal concepts (eg major deity/deities, major prophets/philosophers/theorists, major holidays and the story behind them)
* Key internal splits (for example, in Christianity you'd be looking the difference between Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christianity; in Judaism, between Reform and Orthodox Judaism; in Islam, the differences between the Sunni and the Shia; etc etc etc) and the reasons given for these splits.
* Worship practices past and present.
* Conversion and Exit practices (is it possible to convert to the religion; if so how; is it possible to leave the religion; if so how; what penalties exist for leaving the religion; etc)
* Places of worship, and iconography (How to spot a place of worship for $FAITH from the outside, if you're so daft you can't read the signs at the front gate).

Hopefully such changes to the curriculum would at least ensure future generations of bigoted nincompoops will be able to target the correct places of worship with their idiotic scrawl. This will prevent us all from being embarrassed by their combination of both bigotry and ignorance.

(One or the other of bigotry or ignorance I can handle. Both at once... well, there's something which needs addressing there).

EDITED 7.35am 30 OCT 2014 - post in haste, edit at leisure.

....oops, I forgot this

Oct. 29th, 2014 01:22 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

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Tim Chevalier

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