Roy Tang

roytang.net

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

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2020 June

  • Quitting Facebook

    (This will be cross-posted to my Facebook account.) It's been long overdue, but I'm quitting Facebook. Why? It's not you, but it's not me either. It's Facebook. There's a ton of reasons for quitting Facebook, but here are some highlights: Facebook is dumb. The site is barely usable and the app is a big battery hog. And posts don't even support formatting so now you're getting this one in Markdown. Facebook uses your personal information to earn money, and they're not even very good at keeping that information safe. Their tech tracks you all over the internet, even when you

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: mastodon twitter / 👍 2 🔁 1 💬 2 740 words

2020 May

  • 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

    Also on: mastodon twitter / 👍 1 🔁 4 💬 7 901 words

  • 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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  • HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset

    I ordered this HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset off Lazada on the first day of MECQ. It's a bit expensive. Delivery came in Saturday morning, so around a week, not too bad.

    I'm actually not super-picky when it comes to audio issues, but lately the 3.5mm audio jack on my Razer keyboard has been giving off static. I couldn't move my speaker connectors to the back of the desktop tower case because I often switch them out for earphones (when I'm doing voice chat or streaming on Twitch for example), and it's inconvenient to do so when they're so far in the back, so I've been wanting to buy a headset that can be plugged into a USB slot instead. That way, I can switch output sources via Windows 10's built-in software controls. (You can switch output devices by clicking the speaker icon on the Windows 10 taskbar and clicking the ^ icon near the output device name).

    I decided I might as well get a fancy headset, this will be the most expensive one I've ever bought. On the upside, I get a better (in theory) mic for recordings and voice chats (I was previously using the mic off a cheap webcam), and I can use it on the PS4 as well.

    Tried it out a bit, it's pretty nifty. But sometimes the mic attachment seems to fall off too easily. Maybe I'll make a proper review once I've used it for while, although IDK if I'm not enough of an audiophile for any review to be meaningful.

    I ordered this HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset off Lazada on the first day of MECQ. It's a bit expensive. Delivery came in Saturday morning, so around a week, not too bad. I'm actually not super-picky when it comes to audio issues, but lately the 3.5mm audio jack on my Razer keyboard has been giving off static. I couldn't move my speaker connectors to the back of the desktop tower case because I often switch them out for earphones (when I'm doing voice chat or streaming on Twitch for example), and it's inconvenient to do so when they're so far
    I ordered this HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset off Lazada on the first day of MECQ. It's a bit expensive. Delivery came in Saturday morning, so around a week, not too bad. I'm actually not super-picky when it comes to audio issues, but lately the 3.5mm audio jack on my Razer keyboard has been giving off static. I couldn't move my speaker connectors to the back of the desktop tower case because I often switch them out for earphones (when I'm doing voice chat or streaming on Twitch for example), and it's inconvenient to do so when they're so far
  • 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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2020 April

  • Privacy and 'Nothing to Hide'

    I was reading this post about how to respond to the "Nothing to Hide" argument against the concept of privacy. The quoted DuckDuckGo blog post lists some pretty good reasons, but I thought I'd expound on some thoughts as well. The core of the "Nothing to Hide" argument is that if you, personally, have nothing incriminating or illegal to hide, then you don't need to worry about privacy intrusions. The argument is used mainly to justify things like state-sponsored surveillance, but might also be applicable to data collection activities by large corporations such as Facebook or Google. Wikipedia article for

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  • Naked CSS Day

2020 March

  • Browsers and HTTP

    Drew Devault wrote a great post/rant about the reckless limitless scope of modern web browsers: I conclude that it is impossible to build a new web browser. The complexity of the web is obscene. The creation of a new web browser would be comparable in effort to the Apollo program or the Manhattan project. For the past year or so, I've been thinking about contributing to an open source project. Haven't gotten around to it yet, but I have looked at a few projects of interest. Preferably it's something I use on an every day basis, so Firefox was one

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2020 February

  • Redesign

    Posted by under blog at #tech-life #changelog

    Also on: twitter / 372 words

  • I used to host my tumblr blog on a custom domain at tumblr.roytang.net. That was working fine for a while. Then recently I decided to play around with having Cloudflare in front of my site (might be helpful on the off-chance I ever manage to go viral somehow). Not yet sure whether Cloudflare was a good idea, but apparently it doesn't play well with Tumblr's custom domains, so the above custom tumblr URL got turned off. Now, I don't actually care about the tumblr blog anymore and have no intention of updating it further. All the content from that blog

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 316 words

  • Thoughts on Blogging, 2020 Edition

    I found this great article the other week about Why You Should Start A Blog Right Now. The whole thing is absolutely worth a read, but my favorite part is at the start where he enumerates a list of reasons why he wrote particular posts, and it sent me down a rabbit hole again of evaluating why I write on this blog, and whether it was an endeavor worth continuing. Presumably, having a blog has a lot of possible benefits, but the one important for me personally are: it helps me clarify step through my own thoughts and understand my

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2020 January

  • Weird Blog Spam

    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 527 words

2019 November

  • 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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  • 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

  • Indieweb Updates and Thoughts

    I mentioned before that I was looking into indieweb stuff. There's a whole wiki of information about it if you're into that sort of thing, but also here's a recent post which kind of serves as an overview. I have some comments on the content of this post, more on that later. Indieweb things I've already implemented on this site: have a personal domain (since 2006) microformats (h-card and h-feeds and h-entrys), though I would have to be using some sort of microformats reader to make sure everything there is hunky-dory (no concrete plans for this yet) webmention support, via

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2019 October

  • Current desktop images (Windows 10 PC and Macbook Air). I've been toying with the idea of dual-booting my PC with Ubuntu because reasons (and also I miss having an Ubuntu desktop to toy around with), and I figured maybe I should document my current setup first before I try something that might end in disaster. Both of the pictured wallpapers are from here. Also, yes I am generally bad at cleaning my desktops of icons.

    Current desktop images (Windows 10 PC and Macbook Air). I've been toying with the idea of dual-booting my PC with Ubuntu because reasons (and also I miss having an Ubuntu desktop to toy around with), and I figured maybe I should document my current setup first before I try something that might end in disaster. Both of the pictured wallpapers are from here. Also, yes I am generally bad at cleaning my desktops of icons.
    Current desktop images (Windows 10 PC and Macbook Air). I've been toying with the idea of dual-booting my PC with Ubuntu because reasons (and also I miss having an Ubuntu desktop to toy around with), and I figured maybe I should document my current setup first before I try something that might end in disaster. Both of the pictured wallpapers are from here. Also, yes I am generally bad at cleaning my desktops of icons.
  • Archiving Yahoo Groups

    So a couple of days ago, Yahoo announced that it was shutting down Yahoo Groups. I was a big user of Yahoo Groups back in the day. I was a member of several active mailing lists in the early 2000s, including some fandom groups (see: The Rise and Fall of the Final Fantasy Forum) and a few alumni groups and some MTG-related ones. Now all of that content is vanishing! Since I hate losing content to the sands of time, I immediately looked at my options for archiving my Yahoo Groups content. Groups like archive.org are working to archive publicly-accessible

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    Posted by under blog at #tech-life

    Also on: twitter / 673 words