Comic for July 25, 2017

Jul. 25th, 2017 11:59 pm
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Walked to the library

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:15 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Saw a squirrel hop into the back of a pickup truck and wait, giving every impression it was waiting impatiently for something. Does it know trucks move? Is that how it got to the library?

Two questions

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:55 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I wonder how long it will take the shadowy figures behind the Dragon Awards to count the votes?

I wonder to what degree the award has been gamed by the puppies?

Please explain

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:39 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.

Discovery

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:59 pm
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A neat bookmark today:

Souvenir of the Discovery of America

Woven in the Word's Columbian Exposition - Chicago 1893

Landing of Columbus
Oct. 12th 1492

Found in "The Century Book of Facts" edited by Henry Ruoff. Published by King-Richardson, 1900.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Interesting Links for 24-07-2017

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

Comic for July 24, 2017

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:59 pm
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Fig and Ibid still need rehoming

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:40 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)

Dur

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:03 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.
[syndicated profile] rebol_questions_feed

Posted by dogeye

I stumbled on this and just wanted to make sure this isn't a glitch in Rebol's design. I have the following code which seems to successfully catch all program errors in the VID environment.

view layout [ 
    across    
    label  "Rebol Command:" 
    f: field [
       do f/text 
       focus f     
    ] return 
    button "Error 1" [
        print this-is-an-error-1
    ]
    button "Error 2" [
        print this-is-error-2
    ]

    time-sensor: sensor 0x0 rate 1000 
    feel [
        engage: func [face action event] [
            if action = 'time [
                time-sensor/rate: none
                show face
                if error? err: try [
                    do-events
                    true ; to make the try happy
                ][
                    the-error: disarm :err 
                    ? the-error
                    ; reset sensor to fire again
                    time-sensor/rate: 1000
                    show face
                    focus f
                ]
            ]
        ] 
    ]
    do [
        focus f
    ] 
]

The state of Augmented Reality

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:27 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
Five years ago I had a disagreement with a friend over whether this article was being overly pessimistic about augmented reality and whether we'd have "hard" AR soon.

Five years later, and this is the state of the art:


Which is, I totally admit, a very neat tech demo. But it's not "there" yet. The FOV is too small, and you can see the real world through it. Although, to be fair, most of the time the real world isn't _that_ distracting, you're definitely not going to be able to "see Victorian gas lamps in place of normal lights" or "have a real Coke can that you want to turn into an AR Pepsi can by drawing a Pepsi logo over the Coke logo".

Ah well, I'll make a note to come back in five years time and see where we are then!

Twitter

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:32 pm
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[personal profile] birguslatro
For what it's worth, I have a Twitter account: https://twitter.com/BLatro

And, sadly, as with FB, I've been looking at it more than my DW of late. (I've just been a bit overwhelmed recently, which makes me disorganized and unproductive. (Which just makes things worse. (Though it's nothing bad - just a run-of-the-mill mess.)))

Twitter doesn't matter in the scheme of things, in that it'd be no loss to me if I didn't use it. FB's different though, in that it's the only place I make contact with some people, all of whom I knew before FB. (I'm deliberately not making new friends there.) I loathe FB as a platform as well as its business model, but what can you do? People have no taste when it comes to the net.

The one good thing about Twitter is that while it takes longer to write a tweet than it does a normal sentence, it means tweets are quicker to read. Forcing people to write frugally does have some virtues.

Comic for July 23, 2017

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:59 pm
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siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Every. single. time. my shell hosting company announces a planned outage for an upgrade for something having to do with email, and they assure me that it won't impact me at all and I won't have any email outage, every single time they've wrong.

I'm not going to embarrass them in public because they do try so hard and are quick to fix broken things when I bring them to their attention.

It's just that, by now, I'd hope they'd just email me, "Hey, Siderea, we'll be fucking up your email at this future date and time. We'll be around on Twitter until this subsequent date and time. Please be available during this window to exercise your account and let us know what we've broken this time."

Instead, I email them in response to the planned outage announcement and say, "Hey, what can we do in advance to make this work?" and they're like "nothing, it's all going to go perfectly!" and I'm like, "ooookay, when exactly will you be flipping the switch, (so I know when to check on you, but I don't say this part)?" and they're like, "oh, sometime on that weekend." *throws hands in the air*

(I miss nyip.net so hard.)

What if for 2018

Jul. 22nd, 2017 08:53 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
My Friday reviews rotated between four long running series? Say, Vorkosigan, Kitty and two others?

Interesting Links for 22-07-2017

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:00 pm

Comic for July 22, 2017

Jul. 22nd, 2017 11:59 pm
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[personal profile] birguslatro
This article, titled "My father-in-law won't become a coder, no matter what economists say", makes its case but doesn't offer any solutions to the supposed coming high rates of unemployment.

The argument against becoming a coder can best be compared to reading and writing, which we mostly all can do, after a fashion. If all our other needs were met, we could spend our days reading and writing. Say, six days a week reading and one day a week writing. Assuming it took a year for each of us to write something of substance at that rate, we'd all have x billions of new writings to choose from each year. Which is quite an abundance of substantive writings. All for the cost of each of us spending a day a week 'working' at writing. At half a day's work a week we might then only have about a billion new writings to choose from, or half a billion if we only work two hours a week.

Programming's not writing, but as with writing, only a few of us would be a good fit for doing anything of substance with such a skill. Hack coders are probably of some use now, but they'd be the easiest to be replaced by software. (Written by good coders.)

The usual question asked about jobs being replaced by automation is who will have any money to buy the goods produced by all that automation? A better question is what will the few high-paid workers (and business owners) buy with their money?

One resource that isn't increasing is land, so they'll be buying that every chance they get. (Such as when the homes of the over-extended who've lost their jobs to automation become available.) Which leaves goods and services. Assuming goods are mostly produced by automation, (arty stuff aside), that leaves services. Or, as they were called in days gone by, servants. People to pamper them. Robots might suffice for some, but I'm sure most will still prefer people.

So, a full-circle most of those who've lost their jobs probably won't much like.

I don't really believe we'll reach very high rates of unemployment, mainly because it wouldn't be acceptable in democratic countries. But I think the above scenario is plausible if a managed response to the stresses of mass automation isn't worked out.

Interesting Links for 21-07-2017

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker

Comic for July 21, 2017

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:59 pm
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Courtesy of Facebook's On This Day

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:30 am
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I just got to a series of posts from 2014 Wiscon harassment meltdown. Ah, memory lane.
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Previous models set first occupation significantly later. Much earlier and the first humans on the path to Australia would have left footprints in the still-cooling ashes of the Toba eruption.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Can somebody update me on the present legal status in the US of graphical user interfaces as intellectual property? Am I correct in believing they can't be patented (though the code can be copyrighted)?

What I really want to know: Can I rip off GVoice's old/retired web interface legally? Or more accurately, can I pay somebody else to do it for me with reasonable ability to assure them they won't go to jail or get sued into oblivion for doing it?

To be clear, there are some nifty functional subtleties I'd want to make off with, which I wouldn't even want to bother pretending I came up with on my own. For instance, there's some interesting algorithm for how texts are batched into threads which I haven't entirely reversed engineered, but make a huge difference in readability.

Review: Kingdomino

Jul. 20th, 2017 01:46 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker
When I saw that it had won the 2017 Spiel des Jahres I took a look at Kingdomino. On discovering that it was only £15, and that games could be played in about 15 minutes I decided to pick up a copy.

So far I've played games with both [personal profile] swampers and [personal profile] danieldwilliam and both of them picked it up quickly and enjoyed playing it.

It's based (surprisingly enough) on the idea behind dominoes - or, at least, the part of dominoes where you have tiles with two ends and need to match them against each other. In this case the different ends are different terrains (grass, mountain, etc), and you score by forming areas of the same terrain*. Each turn you have to make a judgement between going for the tiles that score the highest, versus going for lower-scoring tiles which allow you make the first move the next turn.

I enjoyed it, and I'm definitely taking it on holiday. If you're looking for a filler game then it'll do a great job of that.



*It's a bit more complex than that, but not a lot.

Interesting Links for 20-07-2017

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:00 pm
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[personal profile] andrewducker
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I posted yesterday about the media using "X defends against accusations" as a way of making you think that there are widespread attacks on them.

47 people clicked through to that post from Facebook. 5 from Twitter.

The 5 from Twitter all did so within an hour of the post going up.

The 47 from Facebook did so over the course of the following 12 hours (19 of them within an hour, but then an ongoing curve downwards).

Which indicates to me that Facebook does a pretty good job of knowing when something is interesting to my friends, and keeping it "active" for a while, whereas Twitter sweeps it away near-instantly, and unless it really grabs people it's gone.

And looking at my overall referrer stats, Facebook gets between three and six times the number of clicks that Twitter does.

(Just had a look at my actual LJ statistics too - yesterday I had 145 readers, of which 100-ish were reading via their friends-page and 45 were going direct to my posts/journal. Sadly I don't get the same info from DW, but Google Analytics tells me that 78 people visited that post on DW.)

Comic for July 20, 2017

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:59 pm
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Bah

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:12 pm
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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Reliable sources report the death of Jordin Kare.

We Are Gathered Here Today

Jul. 19th, 2017 02:37 pm
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8 x 10 wedding photo, no writing or dates.

Found in "Out in the Noonday Sun" by Valerie Pakenham. Published by Random House, 1985.

-Click to enlarge photos-

Saaaaaaaaavvvvvvveeee mmmmmeeeeeeee

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:00 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
It turns out you can connect Calibre directly to Project Gutenberg.

Having downloaded a bunch of public domain books, I then went looking for the proper cover art. Interestingly, although I am convinced I owned mid-1970s editions of both Blackman's Burden and Border, Breed nor Birth, I can find no evidence those editions actually existed.

Another interesting thing. This is the list of science fiction books on PG and this is the list of science fiction works by women on PG.

Understanding Red Block Evaluation

Jul. 19th, 2017 12:38 pm
[syndicated profile] rebol_questions_feed

Posted by Kombo

Just starting with Red and am having a difficult time understanding how to evaluate blocks. The following gives me a *** Script Error: panel has no value error:

Red [ 
    needs: 'view
]

my-panel: [
    panel 300x300 [
        text "World"
    ]
]

view [
    title "Hello"

    do my-panel
]

I can get it working if I inline the contents of the my-panel block, but can't find a way to split code up and then include it inside the view function's block. Could anyone give me a real quick pointer to what is wrong with the above code?

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