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Topics - Parsifal

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1
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-06-18
« on: June 13, 2017, 01:23:21 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for up to 2 hours on 2017-06-18, between 08:00 and 10:00 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-06-18, 04:00-06:00

BST (UK):
2017-06-18, 09:00-11:00

CEST (Most of Europe):
2017-06-18, 10:00-12:00

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-06-18, 18:00-20:00


The server will be upgraded to a newer stable release of its operating system. This introduces the risk that problems will arise after the maintenance; in case any are noted, please create a thread in Suggestions & Concerns so that we can deal with it. Thank you.

2
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-05-23
« on: May 21, 2017, 04:22:21 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-05-23, between 09:00 and 09:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-05-23, 05:00-05:15

BST (UK):
2017-05-23, 10:00-10:15

CEST (Most of Europe):
2017-05-23, 11:00-11:15

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-05-23, 19:00-19:15


We will be updating SMF from 2.0.13 to 2.0.14, which is a larger patch than normal. We will also be taking this opportunity to update the Tapatalk integration code with the latest SMF fixes. While we are endeavouring to test the change as thoroughly as possible beforehand, please report any problems that may arise after it has taken place, either in this thread or in a new thread in S&C (the latter being preferred for bigger issues).

During this maintenance window, we will also be installing 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.


For details of the changes we will be applying, see these GitHub commits:

3
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-05-04
« on: May 01, 2017, 03:58:22 AM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-05-04, between 07:00 and 07:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EDT (USA east coast):
2017-05-04, 03:00-03:15

BST (UK):
2017-05-04, 08:00-08:15

AEST (Australia east coast):
2017-05-04, 17:00-17:15


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.

4
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

BST (UK):
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.

5
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.

6
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-02-25
« on: February 23, 2017, 11:33:51 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-02-25, between 08:00 and 08:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EST (USA east coast):
2017-02-25, 03:00-03:15

UTC (UK):
2017-02-25, 08:00-08:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2017-02-25, 19:00-19:15


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.

7
Technology & Information / Parsifal might be getting a gaming laptop
« on: February 19, 2017, 01:26:04 PM »
Since I will be moving overseas in just a few months, I am thinking about getting a gaming laptop so I can keep playing Star Citizen once I no longer have a desktop.

This seems like the best value for money that I can find. The specs aren't mind-blowing, but they're still an upgrade from my current desktop, particularly with regard to the GPU. I don't want to spend much more than that since if I end up settling down somewhere in a year or two, I'll build a brand new gaming PC and the laptop will become obsolete.

8
Technology & Information / Windows Subsystem for Linux
« on: February 15, 2017, 08:32:08 AM »
Let me start out by saying that the name "Windows Subsystem for Linux" is terribly misleading. It is not a subsystem for Linux at all, but a subsystem for Windows. It allows running unmodified Linux applications on Windows 10.

Now that that's out of the way, this looks very promising. Microsoft have made this feature available following an announcement in April 2016. Windows NT has always been designed to allow the development of different subsystems for executing different kinds of applications, but this is the first time it's been taken to the point of allowing unmodified Linux binaries to run directly on the NT kernel.

As someone who boots into Windows only to play a couple of games, I find the continual reboot cycle between Windows and operating systems that let me actually do useful work very tedious. I was curious if this subsystem was featureful enough to allow me to use a Windows system as if it were Linux, but with the ability to launch Windows-only applications as desired.

It turns out that someone has successfully gotten my window manager to run on Windows, complete with all the normal applications you'd expect from a Linux desktop. The main caveat there appears to be that i3 is confined to a window within the Windows desktop, rather than taking over the role of the Windows shell, but it's a start.

What I would really like is for i3 to manage the desktop itself and also be able to display Windows applications within X. That might be a bit much to ask, but this is intriguing enough that I'm going to give it a try and report back here.

9
Status Notices / Unplanned outage, 2017-01-29
« on: January 29, 2017, 09:19:26 PM »
From approximately 21:05 to 21:15 UTC on 2017-01-29, the forum and homepage were inaccessible due to a failed SMF database upgrade. To recover, it was necessary to restore a backup taken at 21:00 UTC. Up to 5 minutes of posts may have been lost.

This was entirely on me -- I should have tested the change more carefully, but assumed that an upgrade within the 2.0 series would be safe enough. I will be more careful in the future.

10
Technology & Information / LineageOS
« on: January 29, 2017, 01:29:41 AM »
The Android discussion in the thread about phones has motivated me to finally get around to installing CyanogenMod on my OnePlus 2. Thereupon, I found out that the CyanogenMod project is dead as of December 2016, and its developers have moved to a new project called LineageOS.

So, I'm going to give the LineageOS 14.1 nightly build for OnePlus 2 a spin. Wish me luck.

11
Technology & Information / Smartwatches
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:48:40 PM »
I'm thinking about getting a Samsung Gear S3.

http://www.samsung.com/global/galaxy/gear-s3/

It's quite expensive, and the 4G model doesn't seem to be available in Australia, so I'd basically just be paying $600 so I don't have to take my phone out of my pocket as often. Then again, that sounds really convenient.

Has anyone used a smartwatch of any sort? Is it worth the price tag?

12
Technology & Information / Uber
« on: January 28, 2017, 11:42:53 PM »
Has anyone here used Uber?

I'm thinking about giving it a try. I installed the app on my phone, only to find out that you need Google Apps to use it. (I have historically avoided Google Apps on my phone as I don't like how tied the Android ecosystem is to Google's services.)

If it's all it's jazzed up to be, I don't mind installing Google Apps to give it a go, though I do wish there wasn't such a dependency.

13
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2017-01-29
« on: January 19, 2017, 01:14:47 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2017-01-29, between 08:00 and 08:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EST (USA east coast):
2017-01-29, 03:00-03:15

UTC (UK):
2017-01-29, 08:00-08:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2017-01-29, 19:00-19:15


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.

14
Philosophy, Religion & Society / Chicago racists torture disabled man
« on: January 05, 2017, 12:53:45 AM »
http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/crime/227116738-story

Quote
Chicago police were made aware of this video Tuesday afternoon. A young African American woman streamed the video live on Facebook showing at least four people holding a young white man hostage.

The victim is repeatedly kicked and hit, his scalp is cut, all while he is tied up with his mouth taped shut. The suspects on the video can be heard yelling, "F*** Donald Trump! F*** white people!"

As if that weren't bad enough, the man is also described as a "special-needs person" in CBS's coverage.

I don't know what's more sickening, the fact that this happened or the fact that it's being ignored (so far) by non-local mainstream news outlets after they've been publishing so much fake news about hate crimes instigated by Trump supporters.

If these are the kinds of people supporting Clinton, it looks like America dodged a bullet.

15
Arts & Entertainment / George Michael dies
« on: December 25, 2016, 11:41:20 PM »
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38432862

There goes all hope of a Wham! reunion. :'(

16
Status Notices / Scheduled maintenance, 2016-12-18
« on: December 14, 2016, 07:03:41 PM »
The homepage, forum, wiki and IRC will be going offline for about five minutes on 2016-12-18, between 08:00 and 08:15 UTC.

For convenience, this means:

EST (USA east coast):
2016-12-18, 03:00-03:15

UTC (UK):
2016-12-18, 08:00-08:15

AEDT (Australia east coast):
2016-12-18, 19:00-19:15


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.

17
Philosophy, Religion & Society / gab.ai
« on: December 03, 2016, 01:45:32 PM »
https://gab.ai/

gab.ai is a social media network, aiming to fill a similar role to Facebook and Twitter, but without the increasing level of censorship those platforms partake in. For a longer and better explanation, see their Wikipedia entry and community guidelines.

I'd encourage anyone who cares about freedom of expression and uses social media to give it a try. There's a 2-week waiting period, presumably to throttle the rate of new accounts while the platform is still growing, so I'd sign up right away even if you have doubts.

I'm posting this in PR&S because it's as much a part of the broader current global resurgence of free speech as it is a social media platform.

18
Philosophy, Religion & Society / PolSpectrum
« on: November 27, 2016, 09:22:25 AM »
PolSpectrum is a quiz that places you on the original left-right spectrum, rather than the modernised version.

http://www.politicallyincorrect.work/extras/polspectrum/

Here's my result:


19
Philosophy, Religion & Society / 2017 Dutch general election
« on: November 25, 2016, 09:48:59 PM »
On 15 March next year, the Netherlands will go to the polls and decide their next government. Recent developments have made this look likely to become as big of a deal as Brexit or Trump.

Currently, if the polls are to be believed, the most likely next Prime Minister of the Netherlands is Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV, Partij voor de Vrijheid). Among their policies are holding a legally binding referendum on Nexit (a Netherlands exit from the EU), restricting immigration from Islamic countries, and denationalising and deporting dual nationals who commit serious crimes. Wilders has recently seen a popularity boost after being prosecuted for making "racist" comments about Moroccan immigrants -- specifically, asking his supporters if they want to see fewer of them.

His most likely (and only serious) opposition is Mark Rutte, the current incumbent. Rutte leads the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD, Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie), a fairly moderate centre-right party. Sadly, like many incumbent powers across Europe, VVD has largely ignored the current immigration crisis, though I like basically all of their other policies.

Because of the way the Dutch electoral system works, no one party has ever had an outright majority in the Second Chamber (Tweede Kamer, analogous to the UK House of Commons or the US House of Representatives). This means that whoever of Wilders or Rutte becomes Prime Minister, they are very likely to need to work with the other to form a coalition government. I say "likely" because there is the possibility that either one could work with other, smaller parties instead.

Either way, it will be interesting to see what happens regarding Nexit. It will be even more difficult for the Netherlands to leave the EU than it is for the UK, because they are also a part of the Eurozone and the Schengen Agreement. Most of PVV's other policies hinge on a successful Nexit, since they require autonomy over the Dutch immigration policy.

I'll post some more background information on the parties involved here when I have time.

20
Suggestions & Concerns / So junker is a mod now
« on: November 13, 2016, 07:22:56 AM »
I'm too drunk to make a proper announcement. Just letting you know he's making this shit better.

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