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Old Androids Never Die, They Just Have A Few Screws Loose

NPR: Neo-Puritan Revival in the #MeToo Age - Tablet Magazine

March 22, 2021

I remain unconvinced that there isn't a concerted effort to take down streamers and gamers in the last week, but I think this article has new relevance.

In the bad old days of abstinence education, purity pledges, and 7th Heaven on The WB television network, the common wisdom about sex went something like this: guys want to have sex for fun, and girls want to have sex for ... well, virtually any other reason but fun. Daddy issues, a desperate need for ...

Source: NPR: Neo-Puritan Revival in the #MeToo Age - Tablet Magazine

Being A Linux Gamer Is The Best

March 22, 2021

Sitting here this morning sipping my coffee, I decided to have a look at ProtonDB, the best source for game compatibility information for Linux users. It's really great to see how many games just work now, thanks to the collective effort of WINE developers, DXVK's developers, Valve, and Proton's developers.

Long story short: on Steam, you've got a 70% chance of any game being playable on Linux, with the great likelyhood that being that it will just work.

A fair number of hardcore Linux users want games to be native, and I understand that and agree with it; we do need good native ports. However, many game developers don't know Linux well, so given a choice between

  • A native but poorly done port, or
  • A Windows game running on code Linux devs can maintain

I'm going with #2. To me, the Windows API is just another runtime, no different from Java, glibc, or Python, and as long as we have a well-maintained, working runtime for it, what's the difference? I'll happily give up a couple of FPS for the massively better privacy and security playing on Linux gives me.

In Proton, each Windows game gets its own, completely containerized Windows virtual system without any access to any personal information stored by the other games, so there is little chance that the launchers and phone-home scripts are stealing your information. You can also easily switch between Windows versions, unlike an actual Windows system, and even control which graphics API individual games use.

Of course, some games will require some tweaking to run. This is no different than on Windows, it's just a different set of tweaks. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools and scripts available to make tweaking these games as simple as possible. My favorite is Protontricks, a Steam-aware front-end for the wonderful Winetricks tool that makes setting up libraries and work-arounds a matter of a few clicks.

Open Source vs Proprietary - From a Retired Microsoft Dev - YouTube

March 14, 2021

TL;DR version of my thoughts: With open source, you own the means of production, which may entail more work but you are NEVER left out in the cold when the company decides you're not profitable anymore.

So I got super annoyed by this dude when he started comparing MSDN to the supposedly nonexistent documentation for Linux distros.

Maybe in retirement he's forgotten that monopolist Microsoft owns all of the development tools and APIs, and since they don't share source code with their users, they have to document the hell out of everything, and having a single format for documents is exactly how corporations operate.

Does documentation have to be written by a pro to be good? In my experience, 90% of "professional documentation" is formatting and boilerplate text with little meat. "This page left intentionally blank" still makes me roll my eyes every time I see it. It gets old, and is irritating when you just want to know the parameters a function takes.

As for Linux content, no, there is not one top-level documentation site for Linux, because we're not a global mega-corporation that wants to lock you into their products. There is, however, official documentation for Ubuntu itself, and the GNOME desktop API documentation, the Linux kernel user and developer documentation... and many, many other sources of good information. Each of these are separate projects run by different groups - in some cases companies, in others, groups of developers with common interests and even single developers.

The biggest advantage though is that when an open source project ends, if an interested developer doesn't want it to end, they can pick right up where the previous developers left off. For instance, if you really liked MS Comic Chat, or Outlook Express, or Windows Media Center, or Visual J#, you're out of luck permanently, but if these had been open source, it would simply be a matter of making a fork and maintaining it yourself.

Ultimately, open source is always better because the product and the means to create that product are really yours.

A Short Note To Australian News Sites

February 17, 2021

To whom it may concern:

I will link to whatever website I want, quote your pages, and I will not pay you a red cent for doing so. URLs are facts, not creative works, and cannot be copyrighted. Quoting someone else's creative work is Fair Use. But this is all beside the point; if you think you can demand money when someone links to your site, you're wrong, and you can go fuck yourselves.

Study: People who are $500 short per month aren't worth helping

February 12, 2021

You've probably seen this bullshit study all over the news by now:

President Biden's proposed $1,400 coronavirus relief checks would allow 22.6 million Americans to pay their bills for at least four and a half months, according to a

Source: Study: $1,400 stimulus checks would help 22.6 million pay bills

What you might not have seen is the proprietary Morning Consult's summary of their own "study." which is pretty much a load of absolutely disgusting assumptions about the behavior of poor people, and complete ignorance to whom all of this money will go. For instance:

In January, 16 percent of survey respondents indicated that their expenses exceeded their incomes for the month, from 15 percent in December.

Who the hell did they ask? If you took a survey of the people I know, you'd get 15 percent-ish of them saying they COULD pay their bills every month, not the other way around.

And - even worse, there's this:

The proposed stimulus plan provides noticeably less relief for the remaining 7.5 million adults unable to pay their bills in January. For most of them, their incomes fell short of their expenses by over $500 in January. The cost of protecting them from financial hardship for four or five months would be high, and the economic benefits would be comparatively small since they account for such a small share of the population.

So, if you're in the hole more than half a grand, the people at Morning Consult - and, by extension, everyone who uses their "study" as a justification - doesn't think you're worth saving. But that's okay, since there's only 7.5 million of you.

Cyberpunk 2077

December 9, 2020

Working on release day with Proton 5.13-4.

Playing on this setting increases your stats for trucks and shotguns. ;)

Linus Trinus

November 27, 2020

I've been playing with VR and ran across LinusTrinus, a somewhat-raw but quite functional bit of code that allows an Android phone with the Trinus VR client app to connect to Linux to make it into a SteamVR-compatible 3DOF headset. While it does not allow movement tracking, and only rotation, it is sufficient for a subset of SteamVR games.

The code isn't very well documented, so for anyone who may want to try to use it, here's a little outline of how it works:

  • The Trinus app on the phone is a client. It sends rotation information to the server on Linux, and displays forwarded graphics on the phone screen.
  • The LinusTrinus server on the computer is essentially a bridge between a slightly-tweaked SteamVR sample driver, and the Trinus client. Most importantly, it uses ffmpeg to copy an area of the screen directly to the Trinus app.
  • The slightly-tweaked sample SteamVR driver receives the rotation data from LinusTrinus and outputs the VR view in a standard, but frameless, window displayed on the desktop.

There are three issues a new user will run into quite quickly:

  • If you don't build the sample SteamVR driver in the subfolder first, the app will appear to do nothing, and SteamVR won't even start.
  • If you don't fix the ffmpeg command in the server so it looks at the correct VT display for your distro, you'll just get a black screen in Trinus, even though the on-screen window will appear to work.
  • If the on-screen window gets obscured (say, by the VR app's window), the video will get screwed up. This can be easily fixed by clicking in the VR output, typing ALT+SPACE, then selecting "Always On Top" from the GNOME Shell pop-up.

I've fixed the first two in my fork of the LinusTrinus repo, and was able to get it to work, but performance is not so great.

Kiwi IRC added

June 17, 2020

There is now an (open access!) Kiwi IRC setup at www.cyborgcentral.net:8888 that you can use to get to my IRC server and any others you might want in the same tab on your browser.

The client will default to CC's IRC. Just pick a nick (you mean big dick) and hop on in.