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Messages - Parsifal

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Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-04-01
« on: March 27, 2017, 08:59:57 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-04-01, between 07:00 and 07:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-04-01, 03:00-03:15

2017-04-01, 08:00-08:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2017-04-01, 18:00-18:15

The intent is to install security updates on the server which hosts the homepage, forum, wiki and IRC. These will be non-disruptive to functionality, as the server is running a stable OS release that gets critical fixes only.

Technology & Information / 9front (and Plan 9 in general)
« on: March 27, 2017, 03:30:34 PM »
Plan 9 is an operating system developed at Bell Labs in the late 1980s and early 1990s by the creators of Unix. The idea was to create a new operating system based on the principles used in creating Unix, but avoid the mistakes that went into the first iteration.

The result was a small, modern, distributed operating system in which everything from network access to window management is represented by standard read/write operations on files (no ioctl like in Unix) over the network-transparent 9p filesystem protocol. By breaking everything down into that one abstraction, it becomes trivial to control any device anywhere, even on another computer, as if it were attached to your own. Just mount a remote system's /dev to gain access to its devices, or /net to gain access to its network.

The distributed nature of Plan 9 also means that it is designed so that one operating system can be spread across multiple different machines. For instance, you can run a file server on a system with lots of disks, and boot using that filesystem from a laptop with a small SSD. Because 9p is network-transparent, there is no difference to the OS between using a local filesystem and a remote one.

In recent times, modern Unix systems have gained some of the capabilities of Plan 9 (in large part due to its inspiration), but none of them has the same transparency that 9p provides for Plan 9.

9front is a fork of the original Plan 9 created in 2011, after it was abandoned by its original maintainers. It has a focus on modernisation, such as allowing 9p network mounts to be encrypted with TLS, rewriting the filesystem to better suit modern disks, and supporting WiFi on laptops.

I installed 9front some time ago in a VM, which was interesting, but not really a good way to get to know the OS. Over the past few days, I've set up 9front on an old laptop, and I'm still getting used to the system, but so far I'm quite enjoying the experience. Even if I don't end up using it regularly, it's quite interesting from a theoretical perspective because it's so different from any other OS in existence.

See also:

This post was made on a ThinkPad X201 running 9front, using the mothra web browser.

Technology & Information / Re: I Bought a Sony Xperia X
« on: March 21, 2017, 01:36:30 PM »
Very tempted now that I have no need of the dual SIM feature in my OnePlus 2.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 18, 2017, 12:34:11 PM »
Yes, which is why I'm opposing putting it in those terms. Misrepresenting what happened to make it sound like what you want it to be is not OK

Except that that is exactly what happened. They had 15 seats, and now they have 20. The voters who gained them those 5 extra seats must have voted for other parties in the last election (or not been of voting age, but that's improbable given that PVV is more popular among older demographics).

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 18, 2017, 11:31:49 AM »
It's also possible that I was referring to a substantial part of the electorate rather than implying that literally everyone who supported PVV voted not-PVV, but I understand that you're working with a shortage of good arguments to support your side, so your resorting to shitposting is fair enough.

Given that their number of seats has gone up by 5 since the last election, I don't think it's reasonable to suppose that any of their core electorate has deserted them at all. Rather, they've gained a lesser number of voters from other parties than they might otherwise have done.

Putting it in those terms makes it sound much more plausible that Rutte's actions may have saved himself some PVV-curious votes, don't you think?

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 18, 2017, 10:45:36 AM »
I guess, if they're completely blind to any reasoning behind the two potential actions. But, again, I think it would be downright disrespectful to assume they're so stupid.

I'm not sure why you think we're talking about the PVV's "core electorate", anyway. The only way it makes sense to consider the PVV voters who jumped ship for VVD as their "core electorate" is if all 13% of Dutch voters who voted for PVV were fence-sitters. I think you have things a little backwards.

Meanwhile, in related news, the newly re-elected Dutch government apologises to the Turks for using them to create a diplomatic incident to garner votes:

That didn't take long.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 18, 2017, 10:25:23 AM »
One such example of this occurred just a few days before the election, and likely caused a surge of popularity for the VVD.
If you think so little of PVV's core electorate as to suggest that they'd confuse Rutte's actions with anything remotely similar to PVV... damn, you must have a really bad opinion of PVV voters.

Given that Wilders was campaigning to refuse entry to the Turkish representatives for weeks prior to Rutte refusing entry to the Turkish representatives, I'd say they could be forgiven for such an error.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 18, 2017, 03:43:48 AM »
To be fair, in proportional representation systems merely gaining a significant amount of seats is often considered a victory. That might not necessarily be the case for Geert since he was expected to gain more(?), but it's also not as simple as the US electoral system.

He still gained more seats than he had previously, to the point that the PVV is now the second-largest party. Even if they are excluded from the government, they still can't be ignored when only the VVD has more seats.

I wouldn't exactly call this a victory, but it's far from being a loss.

Well 20 seats out of 150, when you predicted more than thirty

Largely, as I said, because Rutte shifted his policies to be more like Wilders. One such example of this occurred just a few days before the election, and likely caused a surge of popularity for the VVD.

And no, polls were not predicting more than 30 seats for Wilders immediately prior to the election. That had happened earlier in the cycle.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 16, 2017, 11:36:25 AM »
Well-done the Dutch, finger in the dyke to stop the trickle of fear based, divisive, backward looking politics becoming a flood.

You realise the only reason Rutte won was that he shifted his policies to be more like Wilders, right?

What was that beer by the way? Bitter?

A rye imperial stout. I've had a few of them before. I'll be drinking it anyway because it's really fucking good.

Well that was a waste of money. Good job you didn't buy champagne.

I wouldn't rule out Wilders joining a ruling coalition with Rutte just yet. I know Rutte has said he won't enter a coalition with the PVV, but you know how politicians are with promises.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 15, 2017, 02:30:38 PM »
Polls will be closing soon. I have a celebratory beer waiting in the fridge for when Wilders claims victory.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 14, 2017, 02:56:10 PM »
Tomorrow is election day. Shit's about to get real.

Technology & Information / Re: Parsifal is getting a laptop
« on: March 12, 2017, 03:43:25 PM »
Today, I synced all my files over and shut down OpenBSD on my old desktop for the last time. It's now just a Windows 10 gaming PC until I get rid of it.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Citizen
« on: March 11, 2017, 11:06:55 PM »
I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that crowd funding isn't something I would do due to lack of consumer safeguards. If a product has a proper business model, investors will back it. The cynic in me fears those who bought into star citizen will get burned and no one will be held to account. As the world record crowd fund, if it does go pop, that might be the final nail in crowd funding before governments move to legislate ... but that isn't going to bring Jonny his pocket money back.

Of course that can happen. I just don't think it's reasonable to assume that it will happen, given progress to date.

The whole point of crowdfunding Star Citizen is that it is dreaming big, no matter how long it takes to deliver. Nobody wants to invest in a game that is trying something on a scale nobody has before with no guarantee on a return date. Frustrated space sim players that want something bigger and better, on the other hand, would jump (and have jumped) at the chance. If that doesn't describe you, nobody is forcing you to back the game.

Everyone who has bought into the game knew what they were getting into (or should have known, unless they didn't actually read the disclaimer they had to agree to which says the game is in development, etc.). If it fails and they get nothing for their money, that's just the risk they took.

At the risk of turning this into a political discussion, I don't think it's reasonable to want the government to absolve crowdfunding backers of the consequences of their own decisions. If you don't like crowdfunding, simply don't back crowdfunded projects.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 11, 2017, 10:40:41 PM »

The Dutch government has had a little falling out with Turkey. PVV had been pressuring for this call to be made for a while, and I assume Rutte did it to avoid losing face just before an election.

It's produced a rather brash reaction from Turks living in the Netherlands:

Hard to say what impact this will have on the election, if any. It does seem to validate Wilders's position, but at the same time, Rutte's decision may endear him to would-be PVV voters.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Citizen
« on: March 11, 2017, 10:32:49 PM »
Star citizen is crowd funded, not investor backed. As with your very own flat earth comic, the law does not do anything to enforce delivery of a product with crowd funding.

We have nothing to do with the Flat Earth comic you are referring to, apart from linking to it as it is likely to be of interest here.
Its a story that happens over and over.

Generally when this sort of thing happens, the project goes silent about progress for a while before it gets dumped. Star Citizen has been anything but silent; they are now producing at least four YouTube videos every week covering various aspects of the game's development. While it is true that they have failed to deliver on numerous deadlines, they have not yet given up on delivery of a single feature, and are now being more transparent than ever about their timelines for delivery.

I don't think star citizen will ever see the light of day.

While you may be correct, there is no reason to suppose that you are, given how well the project is progressing thus far.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Citizen
« on: March 11, 2017, 09:39:12 PM »
I think in the end they may have to implement some type of instancing tech to keep at least part of the vision alive. This is how Blizzard mostly solved their infamous server crashes. For example, the space surrounding a planet and the planet below could be separate instances or something. But let's be honest, we're never going to see 100 v 100 battles or anything like that unless they invent some groundbreaking new server code.

They will be using instancing. But they still want to try to have large battles be a thing. I'm not sure if they'll manage, but I also don't really care that much since I'm not all that interested in combat.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 10, 2017, 09:29:52 PM »

More English-language coverage, this one very scathing about the accuracy (or asserted lack thereof) of the polls.

Arts & Entertainment / Re: Star Citizen
« on: March 10, 2017, 12:21:47 PM »
I've been getting tremendous lag and FPS drops in the PU. At first I thought it was my PC, but Arena Commander runs at 60 fps. Apparently the client-server optimizations are horrendous in the game's current state. If I'm understanding it right, every action I take gets sent to SC servers and is then sent to every other player in the PU regardless of distance. I read that a big ship loading in needs to send about 5MB worth of data to every player. That is huge when there are many other players constantly spawning ships, shooting, and jumping too.

The supposed solution is for players to only receive data from other players in the immediate area, rather than from the entire instance. But, won't large ship battles still be an issue? I see this as the biggest problem facing SC right now. If they can't iron this out the game will be dead in the water.

I'm no networking expert, so does anyone else have any input? How feasible would it be to optimize a game this huge to the point where massive space battles will run smoothly? I feel like it would behoove the dev team to fix this quickly because they are undoubtedly spending more on bandwidth with optimization this poor.

Yes, this is currently a big issue for them. 3.0 promises to remedy a lot of the network issues, but as you say, large ship battles are something they're yet to solve.

Philosophy, Religion & Society / Re: 2017 Dutch general election
« on: March 09, 2017, 06:41:41 AM »

VVD has taken a last-minute lead in the latest poll.

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