davehtaylor

@davehtaylor@beehaw.org

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davehtaylor,

perhaps its dominant meaning now is a kind of progressive culture-war posturing characterized by language policing, censoriousness, automatic deference based on personal identity, and moralizing about individual behavior.

Yeah, the author here isn’t even trying to say “this is what the Right thinks, but that’s not what it’s really about.” They aren’t trying to qualify this statement at all, and in fact go on to basically say “yeah, this is pretty much what it is.”

And I absolutely agree with what you said about people thinking this is an issue of niche concerns that “SJWs” have become militant about. The fundamental nature of my being, and that of entire communities of people, isn’t a niche concern. It comes from such a gross position of privilege for people think “you’re just making everything political! stop trying to tell me I’m being mean by being a bigot!” when our entire existence has been politicized. White cishets are trying to set the parameters of the conversation, pretend they are the default, and attacking anyone to dares suggest people could exists in a framework outside their narrow worldview.

More fucking Centrist bullshit from people who see this as an entirely academic discussion. “One side wants to eradicate entire groups of people, while the other says we should fight for equality, equity, tolerance, and empathy. But really, isn’t the latter group getting out of hand with their demands?”

davehtaylor,

F4 has only had staying power simply because of the modding community. It’s succeeded despite Bethesda. Modders took an extremely mediocre game and made it something much more rich and interesting.

davehtaylor,

I recently did another playthrough, starting with 1. When I got to three, I spent a couple hours with it and just gave up. It’s just so shallow, bland, and lacking compared to 1 and 2.

New Vegas is the sequel 1 and 2 deserved, and Bethesda tries really hard to pretend it doesn’t exist.

davehtaylor,

The problems is that’s not what Fallout is. It’s not a settlement sim. But when I played F4 for the first time, it felt just like Fallout Shelter with a quest tacked onto it, which is not at all what I wanted. Especially the way the game strongly pushes you into the Minutemen. It makes it extremely tedious for a new player. After the first time, I walked away from the game and didn’t come back to it for over a year. I decided to give it a go and completely ignored the Minutemen, and it was such a better game. But you have to know you can do that.

Also it wasn’t until modding was opened up that the settlement system got good, IMO.

davehtaylor,

The problem with Starfield’s settlements is that they are entirely resource mining operations. They aren’t really settlements in the way Fallout’s are. You have to spend a phenomenal amount of time to get the perks needed to make it even remotely useful or manageable, and by the time you get there, it’s not even worth it (which is true for most of Starfield’s mechanics, IMO).

davehtaylor,

Not the person you replied to, but for me Oblivion has some long and rich faction quests, really interesting side quests, and Shivering Isles basically adds an entirely new game to it, there’s so much to do there.

However, my biggest issue is that the leveling system (particularly the level scaling) is completely broken. If you rise anywhere above lever 5 or so, the difficulty ratchets up so much it makes the main quest nearly impossible to complete. I know level scaling is a big topic in the industry, but for me, the way it’s implemented nearly ruins what is otherwise a mostly great game.

I also wish you weren’t able to join all the factions. Like, if you’re high up in the Mage’s Guild, why tf would the Fighter’s Guild want you to join them? That was something Morrowind did really well. You really had to be deliberate about those kinds of choices.

davehtaylor,

Didn’t Oblivion already have the difficulty slider? You could just adjust that, no?

Not sure how much it affected the scaling. I usually just stuck to Normal difficulty. But as you went on, in Kvatch and inside Oblivion gates, instead of stunted scamps or clannfear runts, you’d start seeing spider daedra, daedroths, storm atronachs, and Xivili. Going back through Kvatch the second time, or when you get to the end of the main quest going through Imperial city you would be overwhelmed with a huge mob of Xivili and spider daedra.

You mentioned immersion breaking, and that’s another big issue. Just walking around seeing bandits go from wearing fur or leather armor, to wearing glass or daedric armor, is just ridiculous.

which provided an immersive way of gating content and a real sense of achievement when you came back later with better armour and weapons to finally defeat the enemy who gave you so many problems earlier. Basically the same experience you had with Death Claws in Fallout New Vegas when compared to Fallout 3 - they aren’t just a set piece, they are a real challenge

This is precisely why I dislike level scaling at a whole. It ruins any sense of progression. And I do love the way FNV used the deathclaws and cazadores as a gating mechanism.

davehtaylor,

Yeah, it essentially makes it a state issue, and each state can ban, or not, and choose to recognize marriages from other states, or not. So if you got married in Washington that might allow same-sex marriage and respect marriages from other states, and then you move to e.g. Tennessee that banned it and didn’t recognize out of state marriages, your marriage essentially wouldn’t exist there. I also imagine for the case of emergencies and whatnot, if you were traveling through such a state, you wouldn’t be recognized as spouses, making it literally a life or death issue for travel.

It’s very, very bad.

davehtaylor,

LMAO no. They absolutely cannot. The Repubs have basically deadlocked Congress now in their ideological war. Dems won’t get any Repubs to join. But it’s moot because Dems won’t even bother. Even if they had a supermajority trifecta, they’d still kowtow and refuse to pass a bill without bipartisan support (like they always do). And we even have examples already. Congress knew for over a month that Roe was about to fall and did literally nothing to stop it. And in the time since, Dems haven’t said a single word about it or done anything to codify reproductive rights at the federal level.

davehtaylor,

All phone systems are digital now. Even what appears like POTS at the subscriber end turns into VoIP when it reaches the phone company.

davehtaylor,

The thing is that you’re both right: your landline at your home would continue to work during a power outage, assuming the central office still had power or there wasn’t a mechanical failure there. And if the CO went down, your phone would stop working. And this is a case of the CO going down.

Looking for FOSS WYSIWYG HTML editor

I’m making this request on behalf of a community I’m part of, which has some fairly specific requirements that we’re struggling to fill. Basically, we’re an art and writing group that makes extensive use of building our own old-school webpages (almost exclusively HTML, some of us use some CSS as well). This group has...

davehtaylor,

Eclipse is a popular IDE that’s super customizable and extensible. They have a huge marketplace of plugins. And swear I remember there being a WYSIWYG editor for it, but now that I’m searching, it seems there might not be anymore.

I definitely understand the pain though.

We have experimented with CMS options, but had various issues arising from this - lack of customisation/design flexibility (each individual page we create often has a completely unique design based on the content

I’m a web dev who got their start back in the 90s. I’m also an enthusiast for classic computers and restoring them. One of the biggest problems is that older web browsers won’t view anything with HTTPS, have no idea how to render modern web languages, and modern browsers make a mess of classic sites (though this is also an effect of much larger screen resolutions). So I was working on a project to try to build sites on the modern web that older browsers could view, using like HTML3, with no CSS nor JS. I had this ambitious idea that maybe there was a way to create a CMS that could build older sites like that. I was trying to use a headless CMS that I could take content from with a modern frontend for a modern experience, and then build a backend that could wrap the content up in 90s-tastic style. And it’s possible if you want just a generic, bland and basic site. But if you want anything that looks like things did then, it’s impossible. Like you mentioned, everything was so bespoke. so often pages then were built largely with images: navigation, layout, styling, etc. Everything was so unique, custom, and specific to the site. It wasn’t like now where everything is based on the exact same grid, or Bootstrap theme, or WP theme.

The sad part is that there were so many WYSIWYG editors back then that you could use, and even web-based ones (Angelfire, Tripod, Geocities, etc) but all that’s gone now. I did find a copy of Dreamweaver 1 and 2 on MacintoshGarden and gave that a spin for a bit on an old PowerMac G4. That was fun, but I can’t remember if they had a Windows version during the 90s. Though as hard as it is to get even 10 year old software to run on Win 10 and 11, that probably wouldn’t work anyway.

Long-winded way to say: the divide between the 90s and now, wrt web tech, is vast. Not sure how close this is to what you’re trying to do, but thought I’d share it.

davehtaylor,

This is the worst part: there is literally zero action in Congress to codify the right to reproductive care on a federal level (or equal rights, protections for trans health care, pushing back against book bans, education takeovers, or any other attack on LGBTQ+ folk). Congress knew for over a month that SCOTUS was going to kill Roe, and they did literally nothing. And since then, they have done literally nothing. There is simply no one at the fucking helm. No one is even trying to stop this fascist bullshit. The entire goddamned country is going to be a collection of conservative hellscapes, and Congressional Dems will still be trying to “reach across the aisle” and making sure to maintain “decorum” when it’s too late to do anything about it.

davehtaylor,

In a just world, the idea of SEO shouldn’t even exist. You shouldn’t be able to game an algorithm to rise to the top. But that’s what literally our entire world has become now. Social media influencers, scammy and spammy websites and services, AI art thieves, content farm sewage. None of it would exist if the algorithms didn’t let you game them or promote certain behaviors.

davehtaylor,

“Bad guys are going to do bad things, so we shouldn’t even bother trying to do anything to make things better, and just let the dystopia happen” is not the answer

davehtaylor,

If you don’t see how even the most basic of AI images, videos, deepfakes, etc. can manipulate the public, the electorate, popular opinion, or even sow just enough doubt as a cause a problem, then I don’t know what to tell you.

People are already dying because of deepfakes and fake AI porn. We know that most people who see some headline on Facebook will never click farther to read it, and will just accept the headline and/or the synopsis as fact. They will accept something a 1000x re-shared image says, without sources or verification. The fact that a picture or vid might have a person with 8 fingers on one hand in the background isn’t going to prevent them from taking in the message. And we’ve all literally seen people around the web say , explicitly, something to the effect of “I don’t care if the story is true or not, it’s a real issue we need to consider” when we know for a fact that it is not.

Yes, mis- and dis-information are far more of an existential thread than chem or bio weapons, and we know this because we are already seeing the consequences of it. If you refuse to see that, then you are lost.

davehtaylor,

I’m not so worried about these technologies landing in the hands of adversaries that I think we should abandon our values or beliefs Just In Case

What beliefs and values would we be abandoning by fighting back against tech that is literally costing people their literal lives?

davehtaylor,

Ah gotcha. I must have misunderstood the flow there. Yeah, definitely seems like we’re mostly on the same side

davehtaylor,

Of course they picked a more deadly option.

Elon specifically said that if a CT gets into an accident with another vehicle, the CT “wins”. Which is such a fucking horrifying way to think about automotive safety. Same thing from people who bitch about how “your car gets totaled in even the lowest speed crash nowadays” when doing so is precisely what saves your life. Totalling a car and allowing you to walk away with only minor injuries or none at all, it is the point, but people like him have this idea that it’s more manly to die in easily avoidable ways than it is to observe safety measures that we’ve known about for decades.

davehtaylor,

Hear fucking hear.

This has nothing to do with realizing the technology promise of the 90s, or “lowering barriers to entry,” or user freedom, and everything to do with clear-cutting the entire technology scene. Handing everything over to LLMs isn’t the way to fight the corps, because they’re going to take those same tools, and destroy incalculable numbers of developer careers, destroy software quality, and anything else they can, just so they can pad their bottom line. And we will be significantly worse off for it.

Also, I am so fucking sick of language like “I don’t want this power to be constrained to a priesthood who know the secret language of coding.” OP sounds like those people who think artists are “gatekeeping” art, and that AI image generators are “democratizing” art. It’s so fucking disingenuous and gross. No one is gatekeeping anything. Anyone can pick up a pencil, or download a free drawing app and make art. Just like anyone can follow countless numbers of free YouTube vids and online tutorials to learn how to be an Android dev. There’s no fucking priesthood or soldier at the gate preventing anyone from doing anything.

This whole article is nothing but AI/LLM apologietics wrapped up in FLOSS language.

davehtaylor,

How do we welcome these contributions while lowering risk?

We don’t. These contributions should not be welcomed. At all. And they bring nothing BUT risk.

davehtaylor,
davehtaylor,

It’s really frustrating in general how TLDs have been misused and abused over the years. They used to have very specific meanings and usages. Now anyone can register a .net or .org, and don’t have to prove they’re a network service provider or a non-profit.

People also forget that URLs designate a hierarchy, reading from right to left. For example, take the URL app.foobar.com This designates

. -> There’s an understood period at the end that’s not typed. But it designates the root (or, well, top in this case) of the hierarchy
com -> The commercial space (hence top level domain)
foobar -> Company named Foobar in the commercial space
app -> The app site/service/etc from Foobar

If you’re using a domain like foobar.tv, you’re saying you’re an organization called Foobar based in Tuvalu. There’s still plenty of restricted TLDs (.gov and .mil e.g.), but everything has been thrown to the wind for the sake of cleverness, and spammers have ruined anything else that’s not .com for your average user. Your personal info site generally isn’t a commercial page, so .com doesn’t make sense. But other gTLDs get blocked by default by so many admins, it’s pointless to try.

davehtaylor,

Yeah, loads of them get blocked. Here’s a site with discussion on some of the big ones: www.spamhaus.org/statistics/tlds/

davehtaylor,

The Taliban blew up huge statues of Buddhas that had stood for 1500 years because they’d suddenly decided they were blasphemous. They would absolutely hijack a queer forum so they could hunt down any user who might be in Afghanistan

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