Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Weeknotes 2020-04-19

This week went by quickly, for some reason. And despite the fact that it's summer, the rains have started coming in early, although only sporadically. inb4 "the world is healing"

The COVID19 Diary is still being updated every few days. Actually went out 3 times this week, once for groceries, and twice for meds for the parental units (one would assume they would coordinate so I can just buy everything in one go, but nooooo.) Maybe that contributed to why the week went by so fast for me. Going out these days saps your energy a lot more than it used to.


Tiny bit of consulting work this week. Wrapped up something I was checking for a client, and helped another one optimize their Wordpress install. It's simple, but it's honest work.

There were two online quiz nights again this week. I didn't play in the Geekfight one, only watched, as the theme (musicals) was out of my wheelhouse. We actually attended the original one for this back in 2016, and correspondingly did quite poorly lol. The second one was team based and was literature-themed, with four rounds based on specific authors each: Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Michael Crichton and Neil Gaiman. I actually rewatched the Agatha Christie Doctor Who ep for this, but the relevant question was super easy anyway, doh! We did reasonably well, but only managed to finish second. Facebook Live continues to be a horrible experience for this given the lag.


Watching lately

I noticed that Psych was on Prime Video and have now accidentally binged the entire first season. I recommended this series to a friend, but upon watching the first season (I don't think I've seen any of these eps before) I can't explain why I'm so entertained by it. Shawn's antics are over-the-top, and the cases he solves are often ridiculous, but I enjoy it anyway. (Edit: After reading some old convos with people, I suspect it might because I also on occasion attempt to pretend to be a psychic lol.)

Only movie I watched last week was Spirited Away. Check the 2020 movies page for my commentary.


Some things of interest:

  • Cory Doctorow is blogging again outside of BoingBoing via a new blog called Pluralistic. Each daily entry contains some number of links, it's kind of like a newsletter really.
  • Bibliogram is a privacy-focused write-only web frontend for Instagram, that also provides RSS feeds. This kind of site can be fragile to maintain since I doubt they are using the closed official Instagram API. I fully expect whatever integration they are using to break sometimes and at some point in the future, permanently. Nonetheless, I used it to move some of my follows from Instagram to my feed reader (mostly less important ones like comic book artists). There is also an equivalent web front end for Twitter called Nitter.
  • There is also a web extension called Privacy Redirect that automatically redirects twitter and instagram requests (among others) to the privacy-focused equivalents (as described above). I tried this for a bit, and it's ok if you only use these sites in a read-only manner. But you can't reply or repost, etc. And if I want to share something via tweet, it attempts to redirect the twitter dialog to nitter, which has no equivalent URL. I also logged an issue re:trailing slashes on Nitter. Since I'm still using these sites on a read-write basis, I can't use this extension myself, but maybe some of you may find it useful.

Gaming

Ikoria is out on Magic Arena! I've done a few drafts already, you can check them out at the MTGIKO tag.

My Saturday gaming group recently switched our multiplayer game from Sentinels of the Multiverse to Armello. Quick review: It's a fun, four player competitive board-game like where you try to beat each other to become king of a land of anthromorphized animals. I don't think there's a real-world board game equivalent for it though, some of the mechanics don't seem feasible IRL.

I also thought about buying one of the Jackbox party packs so I could play online trivia with the quiz team, but I haven't gotten much positive feedback. And they'd all need Steam accounts so I could stream the screen to them, that's a barrier. I'll think about it some more.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is still my current ongoing RPG. Haven't been playing it too often, but making some progress.


Site updates:

  • I added a link to support me via Ko-fi, if you'd like. I don't really expect anybody to use it, but maybe someone finds one of my posts useful and is generous? My expectations are low, so anything that comes through this channel will be a pleasant surprise.
  • I've disabled the comment form from blog posts. There's a lot of spam that gets submitted, despite the Google Captcha. They don't show up on the site since I have to review them, but it's a mild annoyance. And for some reason, the spam comments tend to focus on specific posts, an example is the 2020 New Year Checklist post. They used to focus on some older posts, but a while back I disabled comments on posts older than a year. I wonder if spammers share these links and are like "hey, this would be a good post to spam comments on!" Anyway: on a rare occasion some of my friends will comment via the form, but the majority of interaction with my posts these days is via bridgy webmention, so it probably wasn't worth keeping around. We'll see how that goes.

I have no idea what to expect in the weeks to come. The future is so uncertain.

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