Roy Tang

roytang.net

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

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2019 December

  • Decades

    Today is the last day of the 2010s. I was originally planning a short retrospective on the past decade, but that felt a bit unfair to the other decades prior which hadn't received such reflection, so let's go through all of the four decades I've lived through so far. 80s: Having been born in 78, the 80s were my "growing up" years. I lived through the EDSA revolution, but I don't remember much of what was actually happening in society during that time. My world then was playing around at home and being sleepy in the mornings before shuttling off

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    Posted by under blog at #decadenotes

    Also on: twitter / 444 words

  • Watching Lately: December 2019

    Been watching a lot of things this December. I finally got back on The Expanse after finishing S1 more than a year ago. I only finished S2, but it was already a vast improvement over S1. S1 felt like a lot of meandering around until the characters actually ran into the plot. S2 was stronger, faster-paced, and there's always a lot of things going on in each episode. I really like this series now, looking forward to S3 and S4 when I have the time. Netflix-wise, I enjoyed their recently-added Jeopardy series (always a great show to have playing in

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  • Review: XCom 2

    Posted by under blog at #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 663 words

  • What Am I Doing Now

    A few days ago, a friend from a company I used to work for said to me something along the lines of "{Company Executive} asked me how you are doing", and I couldn't give anything other than a pithy "I'm alive" answer. I find that since I generally live an unconventional life, it's a pain to describe how I'm doing. It's not a straightforward "Oh, you know, still working as a freelance developer/consultant/solutions architect" for me, because I don't really identify that much anymore with what work I'm doing or who I'm employed by. For this reason, I rarely talk

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    Posted by under blog at #meta

    Also on: twitter / 367 words

2019 November

  • NaBloPoMo Epilogue

    So NaBloPoMo complete, no big deal. It wasn't much of a challenge since blogging every day for a month is something that I've done multiple times over the past couple of years. It comes out to around 15,900 words written in November, not counting this post. Definitely not as big a thing as completing nanowrimo for instance. Writing on a regular basis is great, and generally a reasonable use of your time. But the thing about writing daily though is that like any activity that you want to do on a regular basis, you don't always have the energy for

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    Posted by under blog at #writing #blogging

    / 214 words

  • Recent Links for 11/29

    I'm trying out this "recent links" series where I highlight some stuff I've bookmarked. I used to just share them via Pocket, which get fed into the links list on this blog, but the problem with that approach was that I don't get to comment on each link about why I shared or bookmarked it. Writing them into a blog post gives me a chance to highlight them too. I've seen some other blogs where they have something like a weekly list of recent links, let's see if that works out for me. Firefox announced a replay feature that will

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    Posted by under blog at #links #recent-links

    Also on: twitter / 642 words

  • Criticism

    Criticizing the logistics or implementation of an event doesn't necessarily mean you want it to fail or you want to the organizers to be embarassed. On the contrary, pointing out flaws allows for improvements. Criticizing the organizers of a sporting event doesn't mean you don't support the athletes participating in the event. Criticizing your country's leaders and politicians and government doesn't mean you are unpatriotic. No given politician is the same as the entire government, much less the country. You can love your country and hate your government. Criticism can arise out of strong positive feelings for the tribe. If

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    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 154 words

  • Review: The Outer Worlds

    Posted by under blog at #gaming 📷gaming

    Also on: twitter / 891 words

  • The Costs of Corruption

    A quick follow-up to something I mentioned in yesterday's post: It is a cultural problem too. Even we the citizens have little respect for rules and laws and try to skip around them when we can. This is why we have fixers, and connections, and patronage. We trade on favors to get us out of trouble. I'm not sure if needed to be said, but I wasn't saying that literally every single person participates in fixing and patronage to get around the rules. Most probably only a minority ever do so. The majority try to just keep their heads down

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  • Laws Not Men

    In yet another example of what is wrong with this country, the PNP are planning to arrest vape users after Duterte's directive, despite there actually being yet no law or executive order banning vaping. Thus, the arrests are meaningless and merely another form of harassment. PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac explained that while violators would be apprehended, they would be released immediately after the incident is recorded in the police blotter. Nobody knows that the rules for this so-called ban are: Ferdinand Rodrigo, president of Vapers Alliance Philippines, told “The Chiefs” last night on Cignal TV’s One News that

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  • One Year with Hugo: Highs and Lows

    It was a bit more than a year ago that I decided to haphazardly and suddenly migrate from Wordpress to Hugo. It's a good time to look back and reflect on that decision and consider where we are now, and how to move forward. Good: I am extremely happy with the site's browser performance. It currently scores an insanely high 96 on Google's Pagespeed tool, and I'm pretty sure I I know how to close the remaining 4% gap. (I just need to get around to it.) generally all the advantages listed in the original post a year ago. I'm

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life #blogging #hugo

    Also on: twitter / 💬 2 621 words

  • New Video Card!

    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 879 words

  • Grab Overpricing

    So the Philippine Competition Commission recently fined rideshare provider Grab P23M for overcharging their customers. Apparently only P5M of that is meant to go back to the affected riders, which seems like a piddly amount considering the number of riders in the Philippines. We'll see how of that I actually get credited back, if any. Grab pricing has been steadily increasing since Uber exited the market early last year. The other day Grab wanted to charge me a bit over P400 for a 13km ride to a commercial area, which seemed insane. I ended up just going out and taking

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  • Five AM

    The world looks a bit different at 5 AM. In a bid to get back into the daily walking groove, I'm trying to shift back my daily walks to early in the morning, before breakfast. Recently I've been doing it in the afternoons or early evenings, but walking in the mornings has the distinct advantage that if for some reason I am unable to do it (maybe because I was super tired from the previous day, or the weather doesn't cooperate, or just plain laziness), I have the rest of the day to catch up on it. This of course

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    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 484 words

  • The past few years have not been good for competitive balance in MTG. Following yesterday's deservedly heavy-handed B&R announcement, standard is now at 14 cards banned since 2017. Before 2017, the standard bannings have been relatively sparse. Working backwards: 2011 - cawblade standard, 2 cards banned 2005 - affinity standard, 8 cards banned 2004 - skullclamp banned 1998-1999 - the infamous combo winter, 9 cards banned So this period from 2017-2019 has seen the most bannings since the affinity era, and may even be comparable to the unquestionably disaster that was Urza block in `98-99. The ironic thing is that

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    Posted by under blog at #mtg

    Also on: twitter / 411 words

  • A Cradle for Imperfect Thoughts

    A lot of people seem to think that blogging as an activity is about writing a well-thought out first draft, revising and researching and revising again until the post is perfected, then finally hitting publish (then possibly realize you had some editing errors and upadating and republishing). I tend to think this sort of perfectionism holds one back, I prefer to publish even when thoughts are yet half-formed and maybe even incomplete, laying the groundwork for revisiting the topic in a later post. One's thoughts or positions on certain issues aren't always set in stone, it can be helpful sometimes

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    Posted by under blog at #blogging

    Also on: twitter / 163 words

  • On Feed Readers

    I don't use Inoreader anymore, but a recent blog post of theirs recently appeared in my feeds that mentioned they implemented "sort by magic". This was a feature that Google reader had 10 YEARS AGO! There hasn't been much innovation in the feed reader space in the last decade it seems, which is totally understandable given they are mostly tools used by internet "power users", and mostly by older netheads, so the target market isn't very large. When I talk about "feeds" and "feed readers", I'm not talking only about RSS and the associated readers, but anything that lets me

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 922 words

  • An Offline Walk

    The other day, a family member mistakenly took my phone with them to the office so I was without a phone all day. This meant my daily walk had to be offline, which was a weird thing I hadn't experienced in a while. I couldn't help but note my hand's instinctively reaching for the mobile phone that wasn't there. Mobile phones are so ubiquitous in our daily lives, but sometimes it feels like a crutch how we can be totally dependent on them. Things I can't do on my walk if don't have a mobile phone: be contacted in an

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 284 words