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Topics - Edvard [ switch to compact view ]

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OK, I was skeptical when this popped up in my Brave Ads.  Is this just a way for another blockchain miner to tap my precious Gigahertz to make them money, or is this as revolutionary as they claim?  I think it's a great idea that if I spend some time in a game and gather assets to my inventory, that it can represent actual possessions via blockchain, which can be used in other games on the network.  Now if they somehow develop this to the point that you can actually cash it out, hmmm...

Farmville Creator to Launch Blockchain Game Network
“It’s going to be a revolutionary experience for people,” Schiermeyer said. “Unlike any other experience I’ve ever seen, when you spend money here, you actually get something, something that you can keep, and maybe even give away or give some to somebody else. You can’t do that in traditional free-to-play games right now. And people just accept that. I think that once people realize that you don’t have to accept that situation, and you can actually own your own items, then people aren’t going to play those other games anymore.”

The first game is Townstar, which is in open Beta at the moment: https://www.gala.gam...kchain-games-on-gala
I read a little further, and paused here:

Townstar will feature an in-game tokenized currency with a fixed price. The game also includes a pseudo-mining feature. Players can purchase “loot boxes,” which contain the parts needed to build a “farm bot,” which can be used to mine the in-game currency. Farm bots can also be purchased pre-assembled within the game for a much higher price.

"... much higher price." you ain't kidding.  According to,  it'll cost you $100,000.00 or 13.902 BTC to buy a FarmBot outright, or you can start with the lowest Loot Box tier at $10 or 0.00139 BTC.  Here's what that's all about:

Mine While You Play
Only 1,000 FarmBots will be available. FarmBot is not only extremely rare but is the only way BoxCoin is mined and introduced into Town Star.
Players who have BoxCoin will be able to buy, sell, share, or use it to enhance in-game play.

And there it is.  Sounds interesting, but I'm not sure I'll be taking the plunge; they want my phone number to sign up for the game, and I don't know that they have a Linux version.  Or maybe it's a browser game?  I don't know, I couldn't find anything about it.  Anyways, check it out:



from a random Brave Rewards ad

Living Room / How COVID-19 made computing history
« on: April 16, 2020, 04:34 PM »
The coronavirus pandemic turned [email protected] into an exaFLOP supercomputer
[email protected] had settled into a low-profile niche. Then came COVID-19.


from Ars Technica, by way of CodeProject News

Living Room / Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Paranoid does!
« on: April 02, 2020, 04:15 PM »
I have no words... This is funny/awesome/crazy.

66% of internet users are increasingly concerned about their online privacy due to their own government
45% are more worried about their online privacy than they were one year ago
75% of U.S. households are estimated to be equipped with a smart speaker by 2025

Uniting Tech and Privacy. Get Paranoid.

from thuh innernurt

Living Room / COVID-19 might have just killed ISP data caps
« on: March 22, 2020, 01:27 PM »
Raise your hand if you knew data caps were a hoax all along...

As COVID-19 leaves people working from home, ISPs are lifting limitations on data consumption. That’s good—and it might turn out to be permanent.

Living Room / AI Dungeon - A text adventure of infinite possibilities
« on: December 10, 2019, 08:48 PM »
Imagine an infinitely generated world that you could explore endlessly, continually finding entirely new content and adventures. What if you could also choose any action you can think of instead of being limited by the imagination of the developers who created the game?
Welcome to AI Dungeon 2

It's hilarious reading other people's adventures.  This is like having Cleverbot as your DM, which is profound and hysterical at the same time.

UPDATE: Downloads are temporarily down, so the devs are asking people to torrent the files (6.25 Gigs worth of files EEP!).
Follow the instructions on the Colab page.  It'll take a bit of git gymnastics, but it will eventually work.

from CodeProject News

Non-Windows Software / MacOS Catalina switches to Z Shell
« on: October 28, 2019, 02:36 AM »
My son, who is an Apple enthusiast, told me a surprising bit of news that was recently handed down in the MacOS universe.  Apparently the newest iteration of the Mac OS, Catalina, is switching to the venerable Zsh (Z Shell) as its default command line shell:
Apple unveiled macOS Catalina yesterday with support for iPad apps and lots of new features, but a big change for developers and power users was missing from the on stage presentation. Starting with macOS Catalina, Macs will now use zsh as the default login shell and interactive shell across the operating system. All newly created user accounts in macOS Catalina will use zsh by default. Bash will still be available, but Apple is signaling that developers should start moving to zsh on macOS Mojave or earlier in anticipation of bash eventually going away in macOS.

Most internet news sources have started asking "Why?", and come up with pretty much the same answer: That pesky GPLv3 license:
So, why the sudden change?
In a word: licensing.
For well over a decade, Apple has shipped macOS with a horrendously outdated version of GNU Bash. The default version on the last version of macOS, codenamed Mojave, is Bash 3.2. That dates back to 2007. For context, that’s the same year Apple unveiled the first iPhone.
Newer versions of Bash are licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3 – or GPLv3 for short. This comes with several restrictions which could potentially have caused a few headaches for Apple further down the line.

While that may be a *correct* answer, a few people have seen another answer that fleshes out a possibility beyond 'Muh License': the mighty 'Oh My ZSH' community.
For one, zsh has the leverage of a powerful online community called Oh My ZSH. Oh My ZSH is one of the oldest and most popular options for managing zsh configurations. Offering over 250 plugins and 140 different themes supplied by the community, Oh My ZSH is a great place to start in customizing the z shell that even comes with an auto-update function that keeps your shell updated. This allows users to work in a shell with a more personalized interface, amp up their workspace with a diverse array of tools, and have access to a convenient out-of-the-box support system. For instance, a highly favorable option for the interface is a right-handed side prompt or a side prompt that auto-hides when typing in long file paths or commands. Even this minute level of flexibility turns developers’ heads towards zsh.

You might say "Ok, so it has a few themes and whatnot, but Bash also supports colorizing and you can write scripts, change configs and set aliases without needing 'plugins', so what gives?", and you'd be right.  Take a look at Bash-It, a self-confessed OMZ "rip-off" and you'll see it offers a similar experience, with nothing more than the afore-mentioned scripts, configs, and aliases.
But then I noticed something peculiar:  Most of the theme screenshots at the Themes page showed Zsh being used inside a Git session.  As in, instead of the prompt simply showing you what directory you're currently in, these custom prompts will show you what Git branch/node you're working in, and some of them do some downright snazzy things. 

There are plugins and themes that go beyond Git, adding autocompletion, aliases and functions for working with Mercurial, Docker sessions, and many others. So it seems Zsh (coupled with the OMZ framework) allows you to go beyond simple colorization, and into useful visual feedback while doing work in the clean environment of a shell.
That's some downright Star Trek bizniss right there.  Nice.  :Thmbsup:

So, will I be installing Zsh and OMZ on my Linux box?  I just might at that, and I'll report back my experience.

Brave presents new RTB evidence, and has uncovered a mechanism by which Google appears to be circumventing its purported GDPR privacy protections.


from via CodeProject News: https://www.codeproj...cript/News/List.aspx

(You'll get the joke if you read about Tuxman's "UnClouder" plugin here -> https://www.donation...ex.php?topic=44611.0)

High-Performance Gaming, Accessible to Everyone
Forget about hardware: Shadow is a full Windows computer you can access through a simple app. Anything you can do on a high-end computer, you can do on Shadow.

So basically, Shadows is a remote computer that runs all the high-end graphics (currently an Intel Xeon with 12GB RAM, 256GB secure storage, and nVidia GTX 1080 graphics), and delivers it to you as a simple stream.  That makes it possible to run high-end games at max settings on a second-hand laptop with nothing more than a decent Internet connection. 
My first thought was that lag would render the games barely playable, but many reviews I've read say that the latency between you pushing a button and it showing on your screen is around 10ms or so, which is noticeable, but barely.  It's a pretty hefty subscription though (~$35/month USD), so I won't be trying it any time soon, but thought some folks here might find it interesting.

from a random post I saw somewhere

General Software Discussion / Slow Software
« on: November 24, 2018, 02:58 PM »
Y'know, I've often wondered why Windows 95 on a Core 2 Duo runs roughly the same as Windows 95 on a Pentium II.
Now I still don't know, but it makes a bit more sense...

You spend lots of time waiting on your computer. You pause while apps start and web pages load. Spinner icons are everywhere. Hardware gets faster, but software still feels slow. What gives?


from CodeProject News.  And yes, I have attempted to run Windows 95 on a Core 2 Duo...

Living Room / Abusing Emoji on your computer filesystem
« on: June 16, 2018, 01:44 AM »
So, who's going to be the first programmer to adopt a poop emoji as their default file extension?
Most computer systems today (e.g. Windows, OSX, Android, iOS) use a thing called Unicode to represent text. Since computers work in binary, there needs to be a way to take a string of binary and convert it to letters and numbers to display on the screen. Unicode is one way to do that, and any system that uses Unicode knows that 01000001 is the capital letter A.
Since all of these emoji are part of the Unicode standard it means that emoji is essentially text, and it can be typed into anywhere normal text can be typed into, which means we can now put them in lots of funny places.

On Mac/iOS: https://zachholman.c...posts/abusing-emoji/
On Windows:

It also works on Linux.  I know because I created a file named new_file.🐮
(that's "dot-cow" just in case ya didn't know)

from it's way too late and I can't even

Living Room / RIP Bozo the Clown (AKA Frank Avruch)
« on: March 23, 2018, 12:23 AM »
I know the current bandwagon is to be scared of clowns, but some people genuinely enjoy clowns and this news is probably a very sad day for them.  Clowns, I can take 'em or leave 'em, but Bozo was the king of them all.

Frank Avruch, the Boston-based performer who starred in the first nationally syndicated "Bozo the Clown," died Tuesday at age 89.

According to Boston's WCVB, where he worked for more than four decades as an on-air personality on a variety of shows, he died after a long battle with heart disease.

from another forum I happened to be browsing

What is Ultibo?
Imagine if you could have the simplicity and freedom of Arduino with the power and features of a Raspberry Pi. With the ease of a microcontroller and the flexibility of a real computer, Ultibo gives you a platform for creating anything without the limitations of a traditional operating system.

The development language for this is Pascal (specifically the Object Pascal variant using the FreePascal compiler), which might put some people off, but it's is actually a very powerful and easy to learn language which has been around as long as C.
The 'Make' page has some cool stuff that's been done with and for Ultibo, some good tutorial videos, and links to other 'bare metal' environments based on C++, Assembler, and C (if that's more to your liking) but from what I can see, Ultibo is the most advanced of them so far.
Check it out!

from rummaging around the Lazarus/FreePascal forums

Living Room / Can you hear this silent GIF?
« on: December 05, 2017, 11:00 PM »
Look at this GIF. There’s no sound, but most people who see it hear a “thudding” in their head each time the bouncing structure hits the ground. Why?
This illusion is an example of synesthesia, or when the senses — like hearing and sight — get crossed in the brain, he explained in an email to The Verge.

from CodeProject News

Living Room / When is a raven like a writing desk?
« on: November 05, 2017, 04:02 AM »
Or more succinclty, when is a turtle like a rifle?

Researcher: ‘We Should Be Worried’ This Computer Thought a Turtle Was a Gun
By manipulating a few pixels in an image, you can trick a neural network—even one that's great at recognizing cats, and is trained on hundreds or thousands of images of felines—into thinking that it's looking at something completely different.

from CodeProject News

DC Gamer Club / PCGamer's Free Games of the Week page
« on: October 02, 2017, 11:03 AM »
Hopefully this is new to some folks, and I'm not repeating something someone has already mentioned, but just... WOW!  113 pages (and counting; each page is from a previous week) of free games, most I've never heard of, and a bunch even run on Linux.

The best freebies from the last seven days.


Living Room / Badly explain your occupation
« on: August 06, 2017, 01:39 PM »
I've seen this game on another forum, who got it from Facebook, but it's such fun I thought I'd bring it here.
I suppose guessing other's descriptions would be fun too...
My job:
People come to me and ask me to take some 0s and 1s and stick them on paper, or they already have a paper and they want another just like it. I have a couple of machines that help me do that. Sometimes I take the papers and stick them all together on one edge. Sometimes the paper comes out of the machine with pictures on it, other times it's a bunch of words. Other people keep telling me that someday I will no longer do this job, because tiny lights arranged on a flat surface is better than paper, but for some reason people keep coming to me asking me to put stuff on paper. This amuses me.


Living Room / Largest FREE Microsoft ebook giveaway EVAR!!
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:25 PM »
For you folks running and supporting and programming for Windows, here ya go.  Now read the guy's blog just to be nice back.  Or not.  Your choice.
I’m Giving Away MILLIONS of FREE Microsoft eBooks again, including: Windows 10, Office 365, Office 2016, Power BI, Azure, Windows 8.1, Office 2013, SharePoint 2016, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, System Center, Cloud, SQL Server and more!

from CodeProject News and Eric Ligman's blog

Living Room / Amazon patents "anti-window shopping" tech
« on: July 16, 2017, 04:16 PM »
Don't know how they patented a router setting, but:
Having long thrived on shoppers checking on their phones to see if a product is cheaper online, Amazon’s “Physical Store Online Shopping Control” patent aims to prevent you doing just that in a Amazon-run real-world store.

from Packt Dispatch and The Verge

The title says it all.  I'm not any good at analyzing data, but it's all there for those wishing to take a crack at it:

Do you use tabs or spaces for code indentation?

This is a bit of a “holy war” among software developers; one that’s been the subject of many debates and in-jokes. I use spaces, but I never thought it was particularly important. But today we’re releasing the raw data behind the Stack Overflow 2017 Developer Survey, and some analysis suggests this choice matters more than I expected.

from Stack Overflow blog

Welcome to 1001Pallets, your online community to share your pallet projects & pallet furniture ideas!
"We want to tickle your creativity and invite you to exercise your imagination to come up with sustainable creations around this incredible and versatile raw material which is the pallet."

from something I stumbled over while doing absolutely nothing on the Internet for a few hours

Developer's Corner / 184 steps to Build Your Own Text Editor in C
« on: April 15, 2017, 12:25 AM »
Build Your Own Text Editor
Welcome! This is an instruction booklet that shows you how to build a text editor in C.

The text editor is antirez’s kilo, with some changes. It’s about 1000 lines of C in a single file with no dependencies, and it implements all the basic features you expect in a minimal editor, as well as syntax highlighting and a search feature.

This booklet walks you through building the editor in 184 steps. Each step, you’ll add, change, or remove a few lines of code. Most steps, you’ll be able to observe the changes you made by compiling and running the program immediately afterwards.

I explain each step along the way, sometimes in a lot of detail. Feel free to skim or skip the prose, as the main point of this is that you are going to build a text editor from scratch! Anything you learn along the way is bonus, and there’s plenty to learn just from typing in the changes to the code and observing the results.

from CodeProject News

Non-Windows Software / Fancy up your terminal prompt with FontAwesome
« on: October 16, 2016, 03:11 PM »
Trendy Bash shell prompt with fontawesome and PS1
Bored with the simple bash shell prompt ? Try something new, give the bash shell prompt a trendy look with fontawesome, the PS1 environment variable and some other characters.

from FixMyNix

Living Room / Cute robot or future overlord?
« on: October 15, 2016, 02:43 AM »
Meet Cozmo:

Looks fun, but... *cough* Skynet *cough*...  :o

Living Room / RIP Gene Wilder
« on: August 30, 2016, 01:47 AM »
Gene Wilder Dies at 83; Star of ‘Willy Wonka’ and ‘Young Frankenstein’

Gene Wilder, who established himself as one of America’s foremost comic actors with his delightfully neurotic performances in three films directed by Mel Brooks; his eccentric star turn in the family classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”; and his winning chemistry with Richard Pryor in the box-office smash “Stir Crazy,” died early Monday morning at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83.


As a (somewhat incompetent) musician, I find this 3-part article interesting and thought-provoking (and they include helpful charts and graphs!), though I agree that they raise almost as many questions as they attempt to answer:

Stairway to hell: life and death in the pop music industry
The rock scene is a volatile mix of glamour, instant wealth, risk-taking, rebellion and psychological distress accompanied by taken-for-granted assumptions that pop musicians will live dangerously, abuse substances and die early.

The 27 Club is a myth: 56 is the bum note for musicians
What do Otis Redding, Gram Parsons, Nick Drake, Jimmy McCulloch, James Ramey (aka Baby Huey), Bryan Osper, and Jon Guthrie have in common?
What about Tim Buckley, Gregory Herbert, Zenon de Fleur, Nick Babeu, Shannon Hoon, Beverly Kenney, and Bobby Bloom?
And Alan Wilson, Jesse Belvin, Rudy Lewis, Gary Thain, Kristen Pfaff, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Pete de Freitas, Raymond “Freaky Tah” Rogers, Helmut Köllen, and Linda Jones?

They are all dead pop musicians.

Music to die for: how genre affects popular musicians' life expectancy
These figures likely represent a combination of factors inherent in the popular music industry (such as the ubiquitous presence of alcohol and other substances of addiction, irregular hours, touring, high levels of stress, performance anxiety) and the vulnerability that many young musicians bring with them into their profession from adverse childhood experiences.


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