Roy Tang

roytang.net

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

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2019 March

  • Should we stop reading the news?

    Daily news reading is a habit I inherited from my father, who tends to read the morning newspaper at the dining table during breakfast every morning and most other meals as well, even to this day. Some would say a bad habit, especially when among company. These days my morning newspaper consists mostly of Flipboard articles, then the local newspaper during lunch and dinner if I am at home. Aside from mealtime readings, I also regularly take breaks to check what is going on in social media and my RSS reader. I am, to invent a word, hyperinformed. As soon

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    Posted by under blog at #current-events

    Also on: twitter / 337 words

  • Watching Lately: March 2019

    The big one this month was Captain Marvel. I posted the usual spoiler-free review over on Tumblr, but I have some more spoiler-y thoughts over here: (Spoilers) While I thought the movie was ok, I was underwhelmed by the third act and specifically the lack of any serious threat for Carol to defeat towards the end of the movie. As this tumblr post explains more clearly than I ever could, perhaps the issue is that the narrative is not something targetted towards me as a man, who has not experienced the emotional gaslighting IRL that many women are exposed to.

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  • I posted a quote yesterday about how if you're feeling like an outsider or you don't belong, you should take the take to try and "find the others" who are more similar to yourself. For every person, there likely exists a "tribe", not necessarily all in one place, a community where that person would fit in. And in the modern age, the internet and social media make it all the more easier for such "outsiders" to connect with each other. There is a power to this connection, to finding your tribe. It gives you strength and reinforces your beliefs and

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 572 words

  • Find the others

    “Admit it. You aren’t like them. You’re not even close. You may occasionally dress yourself up as one of them, watch the same mindless television shows as they do, maybe even eat the same fast food sometimes. But it seems that the more you try to fit in, the more you feel like an outsider, watching the “normal people" as they go about their automatic existences. For every time you say club passwords like “Have a nice day" and “Weather’s awful today, eh?", you yearn inside to say forbidden things like “Tell me something that makes you cry" or “What

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    Posted by under blog at #quotes

    Also on: twitter / 188 words

  • Export your social media data

    As a follow-up to yesterday's post about Google Plus being discontinued, I should note that you should be regularly doing backups of all your social media content anyway. Most of them will provide easily accessible backup tools, but probably they have to be accessed via a web browser. Here are the relevant pages for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (And be wary of sites like Quora that don't have a direct backup option.) I'm not saying these services are going to fail and shut down mind you (though that's a disinct possibility with all the controversy these days). But there's a

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 343 words

  • Google Plus is dying

    They're pulling the plug on it by end of this month. I got an email telling me to backup my content from there so I did, not that I had much. I don't think I wrote any original posts there, the export was mostly +1s and shares and such. Maybe I'll dig through it in detail in the future. I wish I could say they tried their best with Google+, but they really didn't. It could have gotten a lot more support, but it felt like their heart wasn't really in it. Maybe the world could have been a better

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 121 words

  • A Quick Twitter App I Wrote

    I wish I had a more concise way to describe it, but I really don't. Some time ago this guy I follow on Twitter, visakanv wanted to know how to do a certain search: he wanted to know who a given famous person follows on Twitter, and among those, finds the one who follow him (visakanv), so he could network through them. I might not be explaining the concept too well, here's the thread. Anyway, in a fit of "I'm a bit bored, anything interesting I could do?" I figured I could set up a quick webapp to do that.

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    Posted by under blog at #software-development

    Also on: twitter / 373 words

  • Meritocracy

    The concept of a "meritocracy" has come to the fore again with the recent college admissions scandal in the US, where wealthy parents bribed coaches and other professionals to get their kids into high-end universities with supposedly high standards. It's put a lie to the idea that the students of these universities represent the "cream of the crop" or "the best of the best", showing that kids can get in not only due to their own talent, but also due to money. Of course, it was always open knowledge before that one could get their kid admitted to such universities

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    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 546 words

  • Google Stadia

    Earlier this week, Google officially announced their much-rumored streaming game platform, Google Stadia. Initial thoughts: If this works out, it will greatly lower the barrier for access to AAA games, since people won't have to buy desktops or consoles anymore, and you would be able to game on laptops without worrying about overheating. Sadly like many online services, it will probably be a while before it even becomes available over here in the PH (I believe even Sony's Playstation Now is not yet accessible here) One would presumably worry about how well it would work with the limited bandwidth available

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    Posted by under blog at #stadia #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 149 words

  • Discerning motives

    Scenario: Someone I know, let's call him/her Person A, appears to be supporting Party B, who in my opinion represents some of the worsts traits of Philippine politics (including but not limited to corruption, patronage, personality politics, etc). Now, I like to be optimistic about people and give them the benefit of the doubt, so in a bid to understand I tried to list down some possible motivations for Person A to do so. There are I believe two axes to consider: - whether Person A believes Party B is good/bad for the country - whether Person A personally has

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  • Zero Time Dilemma

    Posted by under blog at #vita #gaming

    Also on: twitter / 595 words

  • Another repost from my Quora answers, this time some info for anyone looking to move into programming. How much of what we learn in school helps us in real life? The stuff school teaches you - literature, mathematics, art, history, science, and so on - are intended to give you a broad enough base from which you can freely choose the direction you want to go in life. This means that as you specialize, many of these subjects may become “irrelevant" to you, but having this broad base of knowledge gives you a better foundation in life. Knowledge from unrelated

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    Posted by under blog at #quora

    Also on: twitter / 265 words

  • The Eternal Struggle

    "If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day." - E.B. White I am fortunate that with my flexible working schedule I get to choose whether to derp around or to be productive every day. Though I must confess, derping around wins more often, maybe.
    Posted by under blog at #quotes

    Also on: twitter / 85 words

  • Lies and marketing

  • Don't stay in the same place too long

    If I could give some advice to someone starting out in their software development career, it would be this: Don't stay in the same place too long. The first company I worked at, I stayed with them for thirteen years, which I now feel was way too long. I have to admit, the work was hard and challenging, but I was young and had a lot of energy and was willing to work the long hours. I was good at the work and the enjoyed the company of the people I worked with so in a certain sense I got

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    Posted by under blog at #software-development

    Also on: twitter / 480 words

  • RIP Webfaction?

    A few months back, my current web host WebFaction announced they had been purchased by GoDaddy, which was worrying. Back then they hadn't announced any details other than there would be some account migrations and single sign on, so it wasn't a big deal yet. I initially joined WebFaction back in 2008 because they were a Python-friendly and developer-friendly host that had some reasonable budget options, allowing me some space to host this blog and any side projects I wanted to deploy. At that time I was learning Django, so I needed the Python support that normal hosts don't provide.

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    Posted by under blog at #webfaction #tech-life #meta

    Also on: twitter / 536 words

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    Also on: twitter / 737 words

  • Routines

    Posted by under blog at

    Also on: twitter / 545 words

  • Another repost from my Quora answers, this time some info for anyone looking to move into programming. What are the pros and cons of making your career in programming? Pros: It is a very rewarding career financially. Software development often ranks in the top 10 highest-earning careers in most countries There is a lot of scope - you could be developing web applications, mobile applications, embedded applications, client-side, server-side, data analysis, artificial intelligence, games, etc It is very difficult to be bored. You can always automate away the boring stuff. Different projects always present different challenges. The field is evolving

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