frog

@frog@beehaw.org

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frog ,

I wonder how much of this stuff may still be around on harddrives somewhere.

Probably quite a lot!

Just as an example, I'm a part of an art and writing focused community that's been around off-and-on since the late 90s. Typically each member has/had their own website. So a few years ago when we went from an "off" phase back to "on" again, a major project became reconstructing the stuff that used to be on Geocities, the various smaller platforms of the 90s and 00s, and ISP-provided webhosting. And obviuously it's hard to judge how much stuff we don't remember and therefore don't know we're missing, but well over half of what we have reconstructed has come from "I found my external hard drive from 2006 and it had X, Y and Z on it!" I personally had ~3000 files sitting on my NAS, which I had moved off my own hard drive at some point, but had been unwilling to delete, so I just dumped it into long-term storage. Four years into the reconstruction project, we still occasionally find files we thought were lost forever, usually when someone's found an old hard drive in a box in their attic/basement. The found content often was created by someone else, but downloaded and archived by the hard drive owner.

Although this is representative of just one community, given how apparently common it was for people to download offline copies of websites they liked, it could well be that large swathes of the old internet are sitting on people's hard drives, waiting to be rediscovered.

frog ,

I live next to a railway line in the south west that is similar. A single train runs up and down the line. If you're on one of the stations, you wave to the train so it'll stop for you. If you're on the train and want to get off, you ask the driver to stop.

frog ,

They're definitely trains. I live next to a similar one. It is physically a train, with exactly the same hardware as trains on busier lines (though typically only hauling 1-2 carriages instead of 4+). It's just more fuel-efficient for a train to keep going through a station if nobody is getting on or off, so when passenger numbers are low, the practice is to let the driver know if you need on or off.

frog ,

I'm very glad that my definitely-100%-legit copy of Windows 10 seems to have no idea how to upgrade to 11. It still gets other updates, my hardware is definitely compatible. The thought of upgrading to 11 just never seems to enter its mind. I suspect I'll be sticking with Windows 10 for a long, long time, until either Microsoft give up on this ridiculous idea in response to customer backlash, or Linux becomes a viable option for my usecase (Nvidia GPU, lots of proprietary software that I need to use for university and future career). It wouldn't be the first time I've held onto an older version of Windows for a protracted period of time, skipping a dreadful iteration or two, and then upgrading when Microsoft have learned their lesson.

frog ,

I've been a late adopter of every version of Windows I've ever used - and I skipped 8 too, switching to 10 around the same time you did because my software required it. It does seem the best way to avoid most of the problems: Microsoft has moved on to pulling its old tricks on the newest version, and there are more tools for modifying the old version. So I figure I'll switch to 11 or 12 when Microsoft is doing awful things with 13.

frog ,

I am definitely happy to be friends. :)

frog ,

Hello friend! It's lovely to meet you! :)

frog ,

Not too bad. How are you?

frog ,

Yeah, I do feel this reality has been severely missold. There should be an inquiry.

frog ,

Same here. Section 28 came into effect just before I started school, and wasn't repealed until after I had left, and I'm certain the lack of proper, unbiased sex education contributed to me not knowing I was trans until my mid 30s.

frog ,

Group project is due tomorrow, including the presentation of the completed animation to the client. After one person on the team (who has been thoroughly documented in these threads over the last six months) got caught lying about how much of his sequence he had done, he was given an ultimatum: a hard deadline that passed fifteen minutes ago, and if he failed to meet it, someone else is doing his scene and his name is getting taken out of the credits. We could justify this as he hasn't contributed significantly to any other part of the project.

He failed to meet the deadline.

I would like to note at this point that his scene is two shots totalling about 15 seconds. My scene was eight shots totalling 45 seconds and I was done last Friday.

We have another assignment due at midnight tonight, which I sensibly/foolishly completed and handed in on Friday. Since everybody else is finishing that assignment this evening, I am the only one with any time available to animate and render this scene, I get to rig and animate the final scene of our animation. That's why we can't just cut the scene and work around it: the story would not have a conclusion without this scene. In retrospect we probably should never have trusted him with it, but it's not like there was anything else that was short and simple he could have done.

I am very angry with this guy, and I'm not convinced I'll be able to hold my tongue if he turns up for the presentation tomorrow.

frog ,

Thank you. :)

We did, amazingly, get it done on time, and the end results were pretty amazing. For first year student work, anyway.

frog ,

I mean, I'd like to be surprised that a technology driven by a techbro with the "move fast and break things" mentality has broken because of moving too quickly into human trials, but....

I guess we should just count ourselves lucky that the poor human test subject patient wasn't permanently harmed by Musk's raging arrogance.

frog ,

Yeah, I'm surprised as well. I assume it's a reflection of how weakened regulators have become that no one was able to say "no" to Musk.

frog ,

Companies like this really are failing to think long term. AIs cannot create new content. All they can do is rehash their training data, because they're effectively a glorified autocomplete. So in a few years time, Stack Overflow will have new questions on it, some of which will relate to new problems. Those questions will require humans with real knowledge and understanding to answer them, and where's the motivation for anybody to do that if their answer will immediately be fed into an AI? In the long-term AIs will be useless because they can't advance or update without new content, and humans are being disincentivised from creating new content by companies who want to make a quick buck selling their content without compensating them.

frog ,

Railways and public transport are grouped under infrastructure because even if climate change was not an issue, public transport is infrastructure that's good for people and the economy. There's plenty of statistics to support the idea that good public transport infrastructure has a wide range of benefits, including improved economic growth, that pre-dates climate change by decades, and will still be the case long after climate change is fixed. The Victorians didn't build railway lines all over Europe because trains are better for the climate than cars. :)

frog ,

It probably helped that Susan Hall is deranged, and the UK as a whole prefers its politicians as close to the centre as possible, rejecting extremes on both ends.

frog ,

"Dragon of Ash and Stars" by H. Leighton Dickson is definitely worth a read.

frog , (edited )

Consider me highly sceptical.

How Aija once dramatically declared to her parents, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the end of the world!” and curtsied.

“It’s a little disturbing to hear that from a 2-year-old, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” Marie says with a slight laugh.

Tucker nods. “You kind of wonder where she even picked up the expression.”

Because, yeah, there were absolutely no individuals on TV or radio who sarcastically remarked during the pandemic "ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the end of the world!" Just because the parents didn't remember hearing it, doesn't mean the child didn't hear it and emulate it. Childrens' brains are wired to pay attention to their surroundings in ways that adults aren't, because that's how they learn. It seems massively more likely that the children in these cases are echoing things they have heard and absorbed that their parents simply paid no attention to.

Unless the parents can categorically prove that, for example, they never watched a film or documentary about the Holocaust while their child was nearby and able to hear it, that seems a far more likely explanation than reincarnation. For that matter, I'd be more inclined to believe that the child was remembering details from a documentary the parents watched when the child was still a baby, and thus considered unable to absorb anything at all, than believe the child was remembering a past life.

The fact that they can never be pinned down to a specific historic individual is also suspect. The article gives a generic "Presumably there were a lot of Ninas in concentration camps", but okay, has anyone checked how many there were, and what ages they were, and what other details might match up with the child's story? A bit of research would prove it one way or another, and the reluctance to follow through on that research makes it hard for me to take the claims seriously.

frog ,

where does that weirdness come from?

Kids are weird, largely because they repeat things they hear without any understanding of the meanings and significance behind the words. So in the cases of past lives, they're repeating stuff they've heard on TV, films, documentaries, etc, and describing images they've seen on posters and adverts and book covers. And they talk about it like it's real because at that age, kids can't tell the difference between reality and fiction, so it's all equally real and it all gets blended together in their minds. Then adults read something into it that isn't really there.

U.K. banks raising mortgage interest rates…cause inflation hasn’t fallen as much as expected. Can anyone do an ELI5 as to why?

As the title says, numerous banks in the U.K., maybe across the world, are raising interest rates on mortgages, and the given reason is cause inflation hasn’t fallen as much as expected. Can anyone give me a basic inflation, other than greed, as to why they’d do this?

frog ,

I'm sure someone else can do a much, much better explanation than I can, but... As I understand it, it comes from the perception that inflation is driven by a "too much demand" problem (ie, too much money in the system chasing the same amount of goods), and by raising interest rates they discourage spending and encourage saving, both serving to reduce demand.

Obviously there are valid questions about whether raising interest rates to deal with a "not enough supply" problem actually helps or causes more harm - and given that the current inflation was initiated by Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which resulted in supply disruptions. The problem was not a surplus of money, but a deficit of goods. And, of course, a lot of things most hit by inflation are impossible to meaningfully reduce demand for, like food and electricity.

I have suspected for a while that raising interest rates to deal with inflation is largely a "when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" situation: the Bank of England only has one tool - changing interest rates - so when faced with a problem, the only thing they can do is raise or lower interest rates.

frog ,

One of the downsides of staying (mostly) on top of my university work, including the group project, is when it comes to a soft deadline and other people aren't done yet even though I am... that just means more work for me. I narrowly avoided getting assigned a difficult task (moving the project forward into the next stage) by proactively volunteering to take over an easy task that two of my fellow students hadn't finished. Thus, I spent the morning generating trees instead of importing dozens of 3D models at variously disorganised scales into a single scene. Which was honestly a relief because I am so drained and burned out and exhausted.

frog ,

Final week on the final group project of the academic year. Deadline is Monday. And I am fucking pissed off.

  • Team leader and sub-team leader for the production phase of the project are incapable of providing leadership, because the former is lovely but timid, and the other is just never fucking there. With just days to go and important decisions and instructions just not happening, I have simply taken over and started telling everyone what to do. But this now means that on top of my work, everyone is now coming to me with questions, including the team leader and sub-team leaders.

  • The useless, obstructive, narcissistic, lazy, arrogant piece of utter shite who I had to work with on the last project. Well, it transpires he has basically done absolutely fucking nothing on this project since January, apart from 3D modelling half of a rock (someone else finished the rock) and modelling 80% of one character (it's shit and the texture job is half-arsed). But this week he actually had to do something, which was building one set and rigging one character. I got a phone call at 8:30am this morning from the person who had to animate that one scene, and... yeah, surprise surprise, it's only half done. Lighting, cameras, and rigging are not done. I hope the guy who has to clean up this mess calms down by Monday, otherwise there's going to be a murder.

  • After spending all day rendering shots, after making a judgement call on the resolution because it wasn't included in the assignment brief (so I guessed based on the previous project) and we were unable to get a response from the teacher when we contacted to ask. Nope, that's the wrong resolution. So everything that was rendered yesterday needs to be rendered again in a different resolution and format. Which takes twice as long. Shots that took 2.5 years yesterday require 5.5 hours today. So while I set up the remaining shots today, I've got both my laptop and my spouse's laptop re-rendering all of yesterday's work. My desk is a chaotic collection of three computers, six screens, three keyboards, two mice, and a specialist 3D mouse.

Yeah, I am extremely fucking pissed off and if my teammate opts for murder I might just join him, because right now an awful lot of people are looking incredibly stabbable. I hate group projects.

frog ,

Please learn elementary anatomy and physiology. You don’t have to get a medical degree. High school level knowledge will do.

Or failing that, learn enough critical thinking skills to be able to tell the difference between a reputable source and a wannabe celebrity influencer who will say anything for attention.

I don't have a huge level of knowledge of anatomy or physiology, but I can tell the NHS website is going to have more accurate and trustworthy information than an attention-seeking influencer.

frog ,

I pretty much only use it for brainstorming ideas.

frog ,

Largely because the refills are more expensive than the pen, making it cheaper to buy a new pack of pens than a pack of refills.

frog ,

One of the greatest sources of fear - and thus hate - is ignorance. Generalised information about what gender-affirming care for younger people entails doesn't violate any individual patient's right to privacy, but it does help to clear up the disinformation. Those who don't know what trans healthcare actually looks like will fill in the details with all kinds of imagined fears, and will make demands for legislation based on things that aren't really happening.

frog ,

A good read from Cory Doctorow, as always.

frog ,

I'm not on FB, but I have recently signed up for Instagram, similarly Meta-owned (due to the recurring problem that a lot of people in my life use it, and networking is distressingly essential these days), and just... why is so much of it ads and promos?

frog ,

I am actually noting that on my desktop, I'm not getting any ads or sponsored posts, just stuff from those I follow, and other people with similar content (so many frogs and sighthounds). I doubt it's because Instagram doesn't force ads on the desktop site. My adblocker is just doing a very, very good job.

frog ,

I genuinely don't get it either. I have an account on FB for the exceedingly rare occasions when I need to contact someone who only has an FB account. I can't imagine being on there willingly.

frog ,

Yeah, good luck enforcing that contract in any country that has a legal concept of "automatically unfair contract terms".

frog ,

My relationship with my Linux installation was disfunctional in its own way. It was that partner that went into a meltdown when presented with any new, slightly complicated situation that was outside of its extremely limited comfort zone. I guess that works for people that have the time and patience to hold its hand and convince it that it can actually do everything. But Linux definitely isn't suitable for all people in all situations.

frog ,

That is kind of the problem with Linux though. I definitely had hardware-distro compatibility issues, and I get how for some people, trying out a dozen different distros to find the one that works best for them is a lot of fun, and that's totally valid. It's just not a good fit for everyone. I think fans of Linux can overestimate its stability, ease of use, and suitability for all use-cases. It's right for some people, but not everyone.

frog ,

Yep, I agree with that breakdown. It's the people in the middle: tech literate enough to need their computer to do a lot, but not sufficiently interested in tinkering to spend time arguing with their OS, that are often better off using Windows or MacOS.

frog ,

Just to play Devil's advocate here... The US takes that approach to guns inside its own borders, expecting that asking nicely is enough to stop people shooting up schools. So it would be kinda hypocritical for the US to hold Israel to different standards. Guns are America's real religion.

frog ,

I'd really love to know if "job creators" are actually job creators, or if many small businesses actually create more jobs than one large one. Are "job creators" actually job destroyers?

frog ,

That's what I was thinking. A multitude of small businesses are less efficient, so need more people to do the same amount of work as a single large company. And I would imagine that the competition created by many small companies all chasing after the same pool of employees would have a lesser ability to suppress wages: if one business won't pay their employees well, those employees will just go and work for someone else instead.

frog ,

For the vast majority of people currently saying they support authoritarianism, particularly in western countries, it's not because of parent-child relationships or boss-worker relationships or the fact that we elect representatives to make decisions rather than have a referendum on every decision (which is unworkable in countries of millions of people). It's purely because the democratic system in their country isn't working for them.

There was some polling in the UK last year, where a bunch of people were asked about their preferred form of government, and the demographic that had the strongest support for "a strong leader that makes decisions without parliament or courts getting in the way" were the 18-30 age bracket. And it's not because this group inherently think that having some authority figure telling everyone what to do is a good thing, because they're of the age when they should be more independent, not less. But they know the democratic system isn't working, because there are decisions that need to be made on jobs, housing, childcare, healthcare, public transport, climate change, etc, and those decisions aren't being made. So when people answer a question about whether they want a "strong leader", they're not really saying they want authoritarianism (and everything that goes with it). They're saying "the decisions that need to be made aren't being made, so we need stronger leaders".

"Supporting authoritarianism" isn't really support for the horrors of authoritarianism for the majority. It's a symptom of economic inequality and politicians who have been captured by vested interests. I note that in the research you linked to, one of the individual comments from respondents was listed:

They need to listen to the working class and the poorer classes. They should not think about profit first and instead focus more on homeless people and the veterans. We should use the money we pay in taxes for the NHS and emergency services and do more for families – affordable resources for child care, more affordable housing...

An authoritarian leader isn't going to listen to the working class, or do any of the things that person said they wanted (which are all things a lot of people in the UK want). The relationships you described, boss-worker and some parent-child relationships, are not known for the authority figure listening to the subordinate one. The kind of people supporting authoritarianism right now aren't looking at their boss, who refuses to listen to them about the problems the workplace, employees, and customers are facing, and thinking "yeah, we need more of this". They're not looking back fondly at the childhood where their parents refused to listen to them, and just ordered them around.

The only thing they're thinking is that the economic system they live in is rigged against them, and politicians have stopped listening. They think (incorrectly, in my view) that if the leader of the country was strong enough, they could make the right decisions without being influenced by hedge fund managers and fossil fuel executives and all the other people with economic motivation to prevent those decisions being made. I think if the surveys used a followup question of "is a strong leader who doesn't listen to the working class, and just uses their power to benefit themselves and their friends, a good way to run a country?" (which is the reality of what authoritarianism is), support for authoritarianism would drop like a stone.

frog ,

The thing is, most of the things that decisions need to be made about cannot be made on an individual basis. I have to agree with @abbadon420's comments on that point. By the time you get more than a handful of people together, nothing gets done without someone taking the lead and providing strategy (I personally am watching a group project at university fall apart because nine people cannot work in tandem without an effective leader.) At this point most countries in the world consist of millions of people (and China and India each have more than a billion). It's simply not viable to expect millions or billions of people all to pull in the same direction without someone pointing which way to go.

But you do actually want communities to pull in the same direction rather than scatter randomly. For every decision where the pooling of resources is more efficient and effective than each individual doing whatever they want (healthcare, education, climate change, childcare, and many other areas), someone has to be responsible for collecting and then spending that pool of resources. You cannot have a society without that collective pooling of resources put towards the common good.

The way democracy is supposed to work is that a group of people gets to choose who has responsibility for resources everybody puts into the pot. This makes sense. If everyone puts resources into the pot for, say, healthcare, and then every person individually decides that they know best how to manage the pot, the pot will be empty before the end of the day, and most of it will have been spent ineffectively. Each person will have individually spent it on travelling to see a doctor in another community, because that's what they personally need right now, when the more effective use of the money was to pay for a doctor to move to that community and stay there long-term, available to everyone whenever they need. Or two people will individually decide to spend the money on paying a doctor to come to the community, but they chose different doctors, and now both doctors are pissed off because there's only enough money for one doctor, and both doctors leave because neither got what they were promised.

So there is an implied contract with democracy: "we choose YOU to manage the pot of money, and you're responsible for making sure that pot is spent in the right way so that when we need the service that pot is for, the service is there."

The breakdown we're seeing in this social contract is because the people who were chosen to manage the pot of money gave it all to their friends instead of spending it on dcotors and hospitals like they were supposed to. The people that "support" authoritarianism don't really believe that one person assuming control of the pot by force is actually better than the community choosing the most trustworthy person to be in control of the pot. They also don't really believe that the problem is the existence of the pot in the first place. They still want the pot to exist, and they still recognise the practical need for someone to be in charge of the pot so that it is used in the most efficient way that benefits the highest number of people.

I actually wonder if what they perceive to be the problem is that by choosing multiple people to manage the pot of money, it has led to the same problem you'd get if nobody was in charge of the pot: a free for all where no effective decisions get made at all. So they conclude: "why can't there just be ONE person in charge of the pot?" They do not want someone to take the pot by force and take it for themselves. They still want to choose who is in charge of the pot. They just want the pot to be used properly.

Support for authoritarianism, in most cases, is the result of a (likely) correct diagnosis, wrong prescription.

frog ,

we expect a bigger than average amount of people to be from a minorised group.

I'm just going to note here that even asking for white vs non-white, you may not be capturing the full picture of minorised groups. Many European countries legally recognise the existence of a number of ethnic minority white groups, which have a racial/ethnic/cultural difference that has led to them being discriminated against within a larger white majority population. Those people will still consider themselves white, because they are, but they're still part of a minorised group - and prejudice against them is often considered socially acceptable "because they're white". (I consider myself to be a member of such a group.)

frog ,

Absolutely agree! Diversity is really complicated, which makes it difficult to properly capture using a few poll questions, but I think the most important thing is that Beehaw should be safe for everyone (except for the intolerant), and that's not really about how many people there are from each minority.

Android users who have a keen eye for design and detail, how is the whole stutter/lag situation? Esp. after a few years of use?

I haven't used an Android device since my last one, the Galaxy S8. Beautiful hardware, beautiful design, but it was plagued with animation stutters and dropped frames. I switched to an iPhone and an iPad around 6 years ago. And the animations were buttersmooth. It was almost unthinkable to achieve such a fluid interface on any...

frog ,

The only time I've noticed issues like this on an Android phone was the device I had before my current one. This was a phone that was great when I got it, and I started to notice issues after about 4 years of use. The reality was it was a mid-range device when it was released, it was already a year or two old when I got it, and after a couple of years, the hardware was just not powerful enough for the stuff I was asking it to do.

So I'm inclined to agree with the others who've said it really depends on exactly what device you're using. If you're buying a budget phone that's not particularly powerful when it's brand new, then it's definitely going to be having issues 2-3 years later, because apps get more demanding as hardware improves, so if your hardware is subpar, you're going to have issues.

While the allure of getting the cheapest possible phone is strong, if you use your phone for a lot of things, you may have to consider spending a bit more money. One consideration is instead of getting a brand new budget phone, get a second-hand model with higher spec: the price will be similar, but you'll get better performance for longer. I'm actually trying to think now if I've ever had a brand new Android phone, and I can't remember any of them being new, but they have all served me well, with only one notably having performance issues by the time it was ~5 years old.

U.S. Sues Apple, Accusing It of Maintaining an iPhone Monopoly ( www.nytimes.com )

The department joined 16 states and the District of Columbia to file a significant challenge to the reach and influence of Apple, arguing in an 88-page lawsuit that the company had violated antitrust laws with practices that were intended to keep customers reliant on their iPhones and less likely to switch to a competing device....

frog , (edited )

Definitely iPhones. With all the other smartphone brands, if you want to switch, all your apps and data can be transferred over. For example I have used four different brands of smartphone, and the process of transferring everything was straightforward. In contrast, Apple makes it hard to transfer to a non-Apple device without losing all your data and apps, essentially creating a barrier to people changing to a different type of phone that simply doesn't exist for people changing from, say, Samsung to HTC. Thus Apple effectively has a monopoly on customers that are trapped in its ecosystem.

Additionally, while users of Android-based devices can use apps from a variety of sources, and can heavily modify the OS (including using completely open source versions), Apple users are not only locked into Apple's ecosystem, but have no choice but to use the OS Apple have provided, in the form Apple dictates, and use only Apple's shop to buy Apple-approved apps. Once you get an Apple device, you're stuck with using it only in ways Apple approve of, and they'll do everything in their power to prevent you from modifying your Apple device or switching to a non-Apple device.

frog ,

The fact that Android lets you use F-Droid, or just install apk's yourself, again means you're not tied to a specific phone manufacturer. You can switch to a different phone and redownload all your F-Droid apps and transfer the standalone apk's over. So even without autotransfer, it's not difficult to keep everything.

frog ,

So I'm actually going to agree with this, with a caveat, having learned from personal experience - because sometimes we do have to keep talking to these people for work/education/family purposes. When they start arguing about their choice of phone being better, ignore them. But do continue to respond to them about things you need to talk to them about. Or, in short, grey rock the hell out of them.

Method successfully deployed against a guy at university who picked fights about everything, including what phones people had.

frog ,

Yep. I do reckon there's a percentage of transphobes who are imagining hordes of men pretending to be women to get into women's spaces, but genuinely do have no problem with actual trans people (even in women's spaces. Even as a trans person, I think the belief that, for example, the small number of convicted rapists claiming a trans identity need to be far more closely scrutinised than someone with no history of acting in bad faith, is reasonable.) Now that Rowling is saying the quiet parts out loud, she becomes repulsive to that particular group.

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