birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
Videos on Twitter in Firefox haven't been working for me, so I decided to look into it today and I found the solution...

in about:config set media.mediasource.webm.enabled to true
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, already accounts for a third of NZ's population and its growth continues apace. In a seismically active country, this is just daft. For instance, see the maps and animations about the recent earthquake off NZ's east coast...

Even if Auckland isn't the center of a future large earthquake, a tsunami from one offshore could still devastate it. Having near to half the country's population in one location makes no sense at all in New Zealand.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
If is the bitcoin folks' latest wet dream (as I claimed yesterday), then must be their current daydream. A case of the hammer seeing everything as a nail.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
This appears to be the bitcoin folks' latest wet dream...

Taken to its logical conclusion, what's on the net would be paid for by whoever pays for the power of the computers connected to the net. (Assuming my brief scan of the site is sort of correct, which it may not be.) So popular sites would be receiving more bitcoins than unpopular ones, and people with no content or services to share sell would be the ones footing the overall bill.

But bitcoin mining ends eventually, right? So computers won't be able to create them any more, which would then get problematic for those who just consume what's on the net - and those relying on the income they receive from them.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
With our nearest star discovered to have an Earth-like planet, as apparently a high percentage of stars seem to have, it's time to get serious about the possibility of aliens out there.

If there are other technically advanced lifeforms in our galaxy, (to restrict our search), it's reasonable to assume they'd be thousands of years more advanced than us, and probably millions of years more advanced. So what they'd be like is probably beyond our imagination.

This makes it probably pointless to look for them, but it does suggest if they're keeping an eye on what's happening in their galaxy, they'll probably spot us before we spot them.

Assuming they've not already spotted us, that is. And there's probably only one reason they haven't, and that's because we've only recently started to make much of a din, technologically speaking. If they were keeping an eye out for just life on planets, then they would've noticed us long ago. But if life's common within the galaxy, that may not have been considered of any consequence.

So, if it's the sudden burst of radio waves or other signs of us getting technologically and scientifically competent that they'd be looking for, it's only in the last hundred or so years that we've reached a point where they'd bother to take an interest in us. And if our understanding of nature is more or less right and information about us can't escape at more than the speed of light, then a bubble of a hundred light years or so surrounding Earth is the current size of the signal of our presence that's being sent to any aliens out there.

Assuming that logic stacks up, we should be examining every star within that expanding bubble to the best of our ability, the better to spot any signs of aliens out there before they spot us - while we still have the element of surprise on our side...
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
From here:

The reason dark patterns don't work in the long term, explains Loranger, is that a loyal customer is always more valuable than a new customer. "Loyal customers are willing to pay more for your products, engage with your brand on social media, and recommend you to their friends," she says. Dark patterns might result in a boost in new customers, but they're less likely to be loyal customers because they'll soon realize they've been tricked.

So very true. The list of companies I'll no longer recommend just keeps on growing. Their sins consist of auto-setting of automatic payments which then occur more than a month before they're due, no respect for their customers' (or their customers' families) privacy (and I'm not thinking of Facebook in this case), error messages when you try to change a setting they don't want you to change, hardware that becomes unusable because it relies on software that can't be kept up-to-date, and so on, etc., etc.

OK, that last one's not a Dark Pattern, but it's still trickery. Then of course there are the companies that provide a good service until they're bought out because of all the people their good service attracts - at which point the rot sets in.

There's now few companies I can recommend! (Other than Dreamwidth, of course.)
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
Long Tan and Rangiriri Pa.

War wounds take a long time to heal.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
The The Digital Antiquarian is an excellent and ongoing history into computer entertainment, with quite a bias towards adventure games. In AGT though, the author makes a compelling argument in favour of text adventures...

"In a ludic world obsessed with high-concept, world-saving, galaxy-spanning plots, text adventures can provide a window into the more modest but — for me, anyway — far more interesting lives of real people."

Small lives (and places) could indeed be easier to capture and bring to life in a text adventure compared to any of the other graphics-rich gaming genres around today.

(Note I'm not saying they could be better - just easier to achieve. Same as it's easier for one person to write a novel than make a movie.)
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
This is a good overview about designing driverless cars...

I wonder about "And I don’t doubt Tesla when they say that Autopilot is "almost twice as good as a person," as measured by accidents per mile" though. Tesla claims here that "This is the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated. Among all vehicles in the US, there is a fatality every 94 million miles. Worldwide, there is a fatality approximately every 60 million miles." They're not comparing like with like though, when they're presumably in a position to do so. As they must also know how many fatalities there's been and how many miles have been traveled in Teslas when Autopilot wasn't activated. That's the data I'd like this Autopilot crash compared to.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
As mentioned here:

They tried to get Rebol onto Linux distros in its early days, but because it wasn't an open-source language it was a lost cause. With Red it'll hopefully be different. And hopefully it'll also start to become available among web-hosting options.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
When Cubelets first came out, I wrote a review of them. And I see now they're targeting education with them. Which makes sense, given how expensive they are. You'd need a lot to do really interesting things with, which a class can probably justify the cost of, while most parents couldn't.

Anyway, there's a fundamental difference between them and the construction sets of old. With the likes of Lego or Meccano, you could model things that already existed. Buildings were made of bricks, machines of metal plates, girders, wheels and nuts and bolts.

It's hard to point to everyday things made in a Cubelets-like way though. So they're a case of a construction set existing before the real-world things you're supposed to model with them exist.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)

Helpfully, that says where the 'Don't be evil' statement attributed to Google comes from. I'd seen comments it was kind of a myth, but it's not. It was in their IPO letter to shareholders.
birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)
For those who read science fiction, there's a review of "Hunters & Collectors" by M Suddain here...

and an interview with the author here...

The interview I can vouch for as interesting.


birguslatro: Birgus Latro III icon (Default)

September 2016

1819 2021222324


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags