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ekket

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Posts posted by ekket


  1. You brought up that maybe, if we have starships, we could deal with infinite growth (we could just send some von Neumann probes to do our bidding for us, sure). Though that implies that the universe has infinite matter, which we don’t know for certain.

     

    Assuming that isn’t the case and the universe is finite, I’d like to mention the game Universal Paperclips (also an article on it). Now, the presentation isn’t anything to write home about, but considering that it is an incremental game (the main draw is watching the numbers go up), the gameplay loop gives you some grasp on the end-game of infinite growth. In the game, you’re an AI making paperclips. You start off making just a few, then it spirals into becoming the main manufacturer of paperclips, placating humanity, and then terminating them to make way for more paperclips. Then you start building spaceships, all the while you attain an unthinkable number of paperclips, thanks to exponential growth. After a while, 100% of the universe is paperclips, and that’s it. It isn’t like you have any other goals, after all.

     

    If you’re looking for another first contact story with aliens who are truly alien, you should read Peter Watts’s Blindsight. It features:

    • Many-legged anaerobic aliens who inhabit the alien spaceship and are way smarter than us (their anatomy partly informed by the author being a marine biologist)
    • Exploration of consciousness—something the book says was an evolutionary fluke—and our understanding of it (blindsight plays a role, so does the Chinese room)
    • Scientifically plausible vampires (and the sociopolitical ramifications of resurrecting them in late 21st century society)
    • Bleakness regarding the state of humanity
    • And more!

    I read it through just a few weeks ago, and I truly think it deserves all the praise it gets. The author even released it in PDF, EPUB, and HTML format on his website, so there’s really no excuse not to read it.


  2. That's terrible – especially for the foreign YouTubers who relied on it, their audiences no doubt being crippled by this. YouTube’s tools weren’t very good, but they were better than nothing. At least it’s a good thing this forum exists (YouTube can’t take that away from us).

     

    YouTube appears to be promoting Amara as an alternative for community subtitles (source):

    Quote

    We are working with Amara to offer YouTube Creators a comprehensive alternative to our Community Contribution feature, which enables crowd sourced captions

     

    Amara has extensive experience working with creators to crowd-source captions and translations for their content and has built a streamlined integration with the YouTube platform that enables real-time updates to creator videos.

     

    YouTube will be covering the cost of a 6 month subscription of Amara Community for all creators who have used the Community Contribution feature for at least 3 videos in the last 60 days (more details coming soon). We hope this helps support Creators during this transition, as well as benefit those who have been contributing captions (as this is a crowd sourced option). Creators who don’t qualify for the subsidy are still able and encouraged to use Amara’s tools, including their free subtitle editor.

    (The privilege of having community subtitles now appears to cost the creator $12 per month.)

     

    Really, it shouldn’t be too hard just to let another user other than the creator upload subtitles. Unfortunately, that’s impossible, so here we are. It might be possible to use the API for that purpose, though that might just be too much effort. Do let me know if that is possible in any way.

     


  3. That does sound exactly like the "Embrace, extend, extinguish" phrase to me, though that may be a bit outdated now. Also, the Linux kernel is GPLv2, so there's only so much they could do. That only becomes a problem with permissive licenses, e.g. MIT (like FreeBSD has). I don't think changing the kernel outright would be very feasible for consumer builds of Windows, since backwards compatability is still extremely important for Microsoft (feel free to prove me wrong, however; they did want to change the ecosystem with UWP).


  4. 3 hours ago, Isaiah said:

    For example, in your video you complained about small GUI elements that demand too much precision from the user and recommended a kind of runway vs helipad approach, reasoning that "the less precise you need to be the faster you our". Okay, fair enough. But here in the forums you complain about increased travel distances being inefficient, which your very own "runway" concept would actually produce. The very mouse gestures you love being the perfect example of that.

    If we are considering the "runway vs helipad approach", then Fitts's law is something that is very important. It provides a fundamental model of UX interaction and states that "the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target." It can easily be used to justify some of Ross's ideas, such as pie menus and hot corners (the browser shortcut he showed).

     

    I would argue that the efficiency of mouse gestures is very dependent on their design. For one, they are able to match the user's actual motions to what they intend to motion. They also need to be considered in terms of (a) what are the most commonly used gestures and (b) what are the easiest gestures to motion. I think that where mouse gestures tend to suffer is in discoverability (like CLI commands), but demanding too much precision I think is a non-issue in a well thought-out system.

     

    3 hours ago, Isaiah said:

    But for the sake of argument let's assume for a moment that greater travel distances are less efficient. Well with the alt-tab method I mentioned you instantly see all open app names at once with very helpful preview images, which is an objectively faster way to identify them than your method of moving the cursor all the way down to the bottom of the screen and across each icon to see the name of each, one at a time. And there displayed in the center of the screen closer to where the cursor most likely already is. And finally you only have to move your cursor to the exact app you want once identified. Meaning the alt-tab method is faster either way because it requires less travel distance and precision overall.

    An interesting result of Fitts's law is that the edges of computer monitors can be considered to have infinite width (that also goes for double with corners, where the edges effectively collide and have infinite dimensions). So effectively, the dock shortcuts are infinitely tall because they do not require a deceleration phase.  This means that one can be very efficient with orienting their mouse to the given application and opening it. The edges, along with the corners, are your most valuable real estate.

     

    Anecdotally I would also like to add that I don't ever use the Alt-Tab menu in conjunction with the mouse, rather I use it one-dimensionally with the keyboard, mainly because that would require me to (a) hold down Alt-Tab and release Tab, (b) look at the previews and identify what I want, and (c) orient my mouse to the application and press the button to open it. That is much more complicated than just pressing Alt-Tab however many times until I see the application I want.

     

    Recommended reading on Fitts's law:

    Visualizing Fitts's Law — A good introduction

    When You Shouldn’t Use Fitts's Law To Measure User Experience — Some pitfalls and possible solutions

    A Quiz Designed to Give You Fitts — This article uses examples to give you a great understanding of the underlying concepts


  5. 5 hours ago, Ross Scott said:

    Christ, I can't even use my own forums formatting properly.  I tried using the quote tags and everything went to hell

    One way to solve it would be to add posts to quote through the plus button on the bottom-left (‘MultiQuote’). You can also @ people, like @Ross Scott (that does notify them at least). I agree that this WYSIWYG editor isn't the best, though I don't think there's a better solution with this framework. (Just don’t feel forced into underlining text, that’s the worst.)

     

    EDIT: Forgot to also mention that you can insert two line breaks inside a quote to break it up. Anyway, I would not mind hearing about better solutions for all this (hopefully they can also work with Invision Community).


  6. Going by your tenets of GUI design, I would rather say that having your hands on the keyboard all (or at least most) of the time is the ideal. For one, I use Vim (Neovim actually) as my text editor (even using it to edit this) and try to use the keyboard for everything I can get away with (see qutebrowser for a great browser with Vim keybinds). There is a learning curve to it, but it can make you look like a wizard when you’ve mastered it, so it evens out.

     

    To that end, I think that tiling window managers (WM) are the way to go. As the name says, they tile windows, usually doing so based on keyboard shortcuts and the concept of workspaces. There are some great workflows ([1], [2]) using tiling WMs, but their userbase is mostly people who are comfortable with CLIs, so not your kind. (Both of these examples are on r/unixporn, a good place to look for nice-looking Linux setups—EDIT #1: Though looking at the recent posts, it does get samey.)

     

    Where tiling WMs do succeed is in getting out of the way, and that’s where I think GNOME 3's shell also succeeds. Now, you might get the impression that it’s meant for touchscreens, but it really is keyboard-driven—so much so that it’s actually pretty inefficient to use the mouse! Like tiling WMs, it also relies on workspaces (of which you can have an unlimited amount). One very important key is ‘Meta’ (or ‘Windows’, if you’re on Windows), which opens up an overview with windows, apps, and a search bar for launching them (though you could bind that to a mouse key, which could make things more efficient). EDIT #2: I also forgot to mention that they also forego the icons on desktops and buttons for minimising and maximising (because you have dynamic workspaces, all you'd need to do is to close them, you can double-click anywhere to maximise them too).

     

     

    The workflow is unorthodox (it goes away from the traditional desktop metaphor to a sort of ‘canvas’ for the programs) and does have a learning curve, but I think it’s very much worth it. The video linked above explains it better than I could. Now, the customisation isn’t that great (use KDE if you want to go to town with the settings), and some basic features aren’t included by default (they only recently added application categories and Gnome Tweak Tool is still quite necessary), but I really like an opinionated shell with innovations beyond the Windows 95 model of user interfaces.

     

    As for what I use, currently that’s three different interfaces: the default shell on Windows 8.1 (with Classic Shell, a custom theme, Everything, and Cygwin for my own sanity), the aforementioned GNOME 3 and bspwm (both running on NixOS and also on test drive until I have to courage to entirely migrate to Linux); all of them having a Quake-style drop-down terminal which is pretty essential for my workflow. Also, regarding fonts, I do like Fira Sans (after all, I chose it for this very website!) and Inconsolata.

     

    Lastly, I do appreciate you fighting the fight against entropy on this; don’t let chaos win out!


  7. Personally, I prefer your videos with more “food for thought” (see: SPIDERBOT, the apocalypse in Trackmania²) or just something cool to show/look into (like an American roadtrip or time-travelling composers). Save for a few segments, this episode was pretty devoid of either of those things, doing little prior research into the game. That, along with the commentary complaining about the poor game design resembling a reaction video, made this feel more like a Let's Play and not the bewildering tour show I’m accustomed to seeing from you.


    Actually, this sort of game would be way better for streaming, like you did with The Lecarde Chronicles. Alternatively, I’m thinking that some new format could prove beneficial for this. I know a lot of people (incl. myself) didn't like Moon Gaming, but I think that a shorter and more scripted variant of that could be a winner for something like this game.

     

    EDIT: I was probably being too harsh with the criticism in this post, I admit. I at least hope that I am being helpful with pointing out what I myself really love about the videos. On the whole, I think this episode was good for tiding people over, but that the game didn’t have enough material for the standard ’Game Dungeon’ treatment, hence why I think experimenting with it a bit more would be good. I’d love to see what you could do with that!

    On 4/7/2020 at 7:37 AM, Misagh said:

    Hmm anybody got a YouTube url to the title music? It's been credited by Paul Muzea but i can't seem to find it.

    To my knowledge, it's custom-made for the series, so what you hear is what you get.


  8. 12 minutes ago, kerdios said:

    Nope. It would have been a giant flop.

    There's no way the amiga would have been able to support an infinite amount of stars the way no man sky promised (and remember the position of each one of them, so you in theory could go back and even have other players visit them).

    May I point you towards the original Elite from 1984? It had procedural generation based on a single seed (simple method for having it generate the same thing every time), which made it possible to explore 8 galaxies with 256 planets each (originally they intended to have 2^48 galaxies, but that would have become repetitive). Granted, that was for 8-bit computers, and so pretty limited, but every planet and star system was indeed unique.


  9. I guess we won't be seeing an end to Freeman's screaming any time soon. I hope you're not harming your throat any.

    Spoiler

    Also, this is probably the most traumatized Freeman has been in FM2, except for that time when he got snatched by a barnacle.


  10. 13 minutes ago, kerdios said:

    Do you know about the issue with pasting images into post causes the image to be added twice?

    No, thanks for informing me. I currently wasn't able to trigger it (copied the last image from this page and pasted it with CTRL-V). Could you give me some steps for reproducing that issue (and also the browser you're on, since that may affect it, though that's unlikely)?


  11. 1 minute ago, BTGBullseye said:

    Well, I am getting 2 seeders connected, and I was able to get the whole torrent, so it's all good. Now seeding for the foreseeable future. (and this time I've got everything backed up across multiple drives)

    Alright, good. The more the merrier.


  12. 13 hours ago, BTGBullseye said:

    Am waiting to download. (am not getting any seeds) If you have encrypted connections disabled, then I can't get anything from you. (my ISP throttles unencrypted torrent traffic, so I have my Tixati client set to encrypted only)

    The “Encryption mode” option is set to “Prefer encryption” (default setting). I did however troubleshoot the port forwarding and resolved an issue there. Let me know if it works for you now (currently not getting any peers, though I verified that it was working with a client on another network).

    1 hour ago, Im_CIA said:

    You should make a Freeman's Mind seedbox.

     

    A cylinder - enveloped by a picture of the logo - hanging from your porch awning. For feeding bluejays.

    Thanks for the idea, but I think I'll just stick with the “torrent” kind of seeding. I don't think we have bluejays here either (am in Europe, not America). Not like I have a porch either.


  13. I'm releasing a torrent of downloads for all of Ross's machinima videos* previously available from this site. The videos are all unmodified from the legacy downloads and in original quality (especially noticeable for the early Civil Protection episodes, the quality of which is absolutely butchered on YouTube). I figure that having a torrent would be the best stop-gap solution until something better can be figured out for this website (open to options on that front if you have any good ideas).

     

    Magnet link: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:208a2aba4c7f133cc4d993ad48b0f6b696a8fccc&dn=accursed_farms_machinima

    (or in shorter form, if you prefer: v.gd/AFvids

    Torrent file: accursed_farms_machinima.torrent

    Size: 1.53 GiB

    Format: MKV (H.264 with MP3 audio)

    Includes the following videos:

    Spoiler

    Civil Protection series in its entirety

    Diary of a Zombie

    Doom Guy's Mind: Episode 7

    Galaxy Gulp Director's Cut

    Halo Video

    Sequel to the Amazing Halo Video

    Stranger In Need

    I strongly recommend you seed this if you're interested at all, as I am only seeding this off my PC and wouldn't want the torrent to die out either. You can get the subtitles for all videos from the Official Accursed Farms Subtitles Compendium by @danielsangeo in SRT format. I currently use qBittorrent as my torrent client of choice, though Deluge and Transmission are also good choices (all are cross-platform and free software). Just make sure to enable the DHT and PEX protocols if they aren't already.

     

    * Excluding episodes of Freeman's Mind 2 because the downloads haven't been released yet, and Freeman's Mind because it already has an active torrent; including those videos here would be redundant. I would recommend people to seed that torrent as well!

    cc: @BTGBullseye, @QuakeIV, @noli@Mode 7


  14. @thou: see this forum post for Freeman's Mind 1 downloads. There aren't any downloads for FM2 episodes available yet, that should get implemented in the future.

     

    EDIT: just to temper your expectations, the downloads aren't being actively worked on, but are something I would like to see added to the website at some point in time. I will however set up a torrent of legacy video DLs soon.


  15. 10 minutes ago, Im_CIA said:

    I think you're overreacting a tad much here. Freeman's Mind is a series best watched binged.

    I don't think that’s a good retort, even though I don't agree with his argument entirely either. A series that is good for binging doesn't necessarily have to have that aspect be the only thing of merit.


  16. The edit time restriction has been lifted! Now you should be able to edit your posts, no matter their publishing date. Along with that, we've added a feature to see the edit history of a post (doesn't apply retroactively). If there's something you don't want people to see in the edit history, you can contact us and we'll sort it out.

     

    There is also now a staff directory in the forum index header which should be useful for anyone looking to contact, you guessed it, the staff.


  17. On 12/30/2019 at 7:45 AM, noli said:

    Hi all, I'm currently seeding the torrent that's listed here: https://www.reddit.com/r/accursedfarms/comments/40r0l3/hey_everyone_were_distributing_all_episodes_of/

    The magnet link still works: magnet:?xt=urn:btih:cb5d450e2089d4cdb4867fe7fdad668b47c4a832&dn=freeman%5Fs%5Fmind%5Fby%5Fross%5Fscott

     

    Subtitles for all episodes are here: https://www.accursedfarms.com/forums/topic/2958-freemans-mind-all-episodes/

    The .srt filename is different for the first 10 episodes so your media player might not pick them up automatically. 

    It working is news to me, since last time I checked, it seemed to be entirely gone — it couldn't even return the file listing. I feel I'm still obligated to release the other machinimas (machinimae?) in torrent form, but I'll do that next decade.

     

    EDIT: I have released a torrent of the machinima videos, see Accursed Farms Machinima Torrrent.

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