Roy Tang

roytang.net

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

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2020 May

  • Weeknotes 2020-05-31

    It seems difficult to write about stuff today, when the world seems like it is on fire. For historical context, for the past few days the USA, presumably a first-world nation, has been in the grip of massive protests and riots and police brutality following the murder of a black man by four police officers was captured on video and went viral. Basically, many states are responding to protests against police brutality with... police brutality. Bold move Cotton. I'm not an American, but this resonates with me a lot because to see this kind of thing happening in a country

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    Posted by under blog at #weeknotes

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  • Equal Protections

    A recent post on Cory Doctorow's pluralistic blog had a really good take on the general worldview of "the right", describing it as "mafia logic". I'm going to quote a huge chunk of it here: This follows perfectly from the second definition. The purpose of the law is to protect the rightful rulers, so the law can't – by definition – punish them. And it is "mafia logic." Holbo was talking about Michael Gove – a UK Tory Minister – excusing his the Prime Minister's advisor Dominick Cummings repeatedly breaking the quarantine rules that Cummings is responsible for creating and

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    Posted by under blog at #philippines #philosophy

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  • Migrating away from GMail

    I've basically been using GMail as my main email account since I first got access in 2006ish. "Main email account" means I use it as the primary access point for all my other online accounts. GMail was certainly revolutionary when it came out, and had a lot of benefits: it was fast, easily searchable and had a lot of free storage. But in the modern day, there are significant disadvantages to using GMail: you don't control your account; it's rare, but anecdotally people have lost access to their GMail accounts for some perceived infraction, and when that happens you have

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

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  • Location, Location, Location

    A while back I got an export of my Foursquare/Swarm data. If you're not familiar, these were a pair of apps that were used for "checking-in" to particular locations, with a sort of gamification system where if you checked in at a place often enough, you would earn points and eventually become "Mayor" of the venue. The idea being that owners of those venues might give some benefits to those who check-in often at those locations (AFAIK, this never really caught on in the Philippines). I wasn't a super active user of Foursquare/Swarm, I had maybe 500ish check-ins from 2010-2017

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  • ABS-CBN, Bias, and Press Freedom

    A bit of brouhaha a couple of weeks ago after the National Telecommunications Commission ordered the country's biggest broadcaster ABS-CBN to cease operations because Congress had been remiss in renewing their franchise.. This despite the NTC earlier promising they can operate provisionally while the franchise renewal is being processed, a change of heart apparently due to a legal opinion by the SolGen. Some thoughts: "Bias" The speaker of the house says: But you are one of the reasons why there are issues with your network. In the eyes of some, there is clear bias and meddling in the elections, which

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-24

    My stuff: This week's quarantine notes. the weather has been so hot lately, I've taken to shifting my sleep schedule to afternoons so that I can maximize the use of the air-conditioning to when it's most needed. It also helps me be more productive, since I can get more things done if I'm awake during the cooler hours of the day. I think I'm more looking forward to the end of summer than the end of quarantine. a bit of consulting work this week, actually had to code some stuff. Mostly integration work, API calls, that sort of thing. The

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    Posted by under blog at #weeknotes

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  • Previously. In the most recent weeknotes, I mentioned this post about bringing blogs back to the internet and the ensuing discussion on Hacker News. Some further thoughts on blogging based on the HN discussion: On Traffic and Engagement Someone mentioned that one of the reasons most people stop blogging is that it feels like there's nobody reading their work. This reminds me of a convo I had with a friend a couple of years back when he saw one of my blog posts. He was getting into content creation himself via a Youtube channel and he asked me what kind

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-17

    My Stuff: This week's quarantine notes. Work: A bit of Laravel work, and a bit of server management and deployment. Nothing too ridiculous. Watching: Haven't watched much this week. There was the really great Justice League Dark: Apokolips War which came out last week. Apparently it's the last one for the DC AMU, or this particular timeline at least. Quiz: We are now up to 3 locally produced online quiz nights per week, which seems like a lot because we only used to attend 2-3 live events per month. I managed to tie for first place in the Geekfight one

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    Posted by under blog at #weeknotes

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  • I mean, that's true in general of course. But it certainly seems much more true in these pandemic times. Before all of this waves hands arounds frantically, people had a general sense of routine and predictability about their daily lives. It varied person by person of course, but many people had regular things like a steady job that kept them occupied for most of the week, a school where their kids could go off to most days, maybe a favorite bar or restaurant they visit every week or so, church on Sundays, friends you saw every other weekend or so,

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-10

    My Stuff: Early this morning I took a walk outside for the first time since the lockdown started. Previously I had only gone out for groceries and meds. Only for less than 30 mins, and only in our subdivision, walking up and down the street. It's good to be walking again, although this short and limited route is quite boring and full of neighbor's dogs barking at me, so I'm not too fond of it, but it's better to get the habit started again since I've been feeling the fatness piling on due to the quarantine and the lack of

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    Posted by under blog at #weeknotes

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  • Last week, Wizards announced that they were sunsetting DCI numbers and Planeswalker Points, this felt like an appropriate time to do a retrospective on my 25 years playing Magic the Gathering. Strap yourselves in, this is going to be a long one! The Early Years I started playing MTG in my fourth year of high school, so that's around sometime 1994-1995. The most recent expansion releases at that time were The Dark and Fallen Empires. The blame for this lifelong hobby/obsession lies solely at the feet of the older brother of one of my HS batchmates, who introduced me and

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    Posted by under blog at #magic-the-gathering

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  • Weeknotes 2020-05-03

    First week of May. At least two more weeks of quarantine remain. COVID19 Diary still exists, only updated every so often. I stayed in the entire week! The week was slightly more productive than the last one, at least in terms of personal projects. I moved a couple of them forward. And also spent a bunch of time spring cleaning and moving stuff around here on the site. Details to follow. Quizzes: I watched the Geekfight, but I could only personally answer like 4 questions maybe. My teammate who was an official player did much better. We joined the PopQuiz

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    Posted by under blog at #weeknotes

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