Was a 10th century speaker of Old Saxon a “Saxophone”? 🤔
You’ve got 37 unpaid parking tickets. You just got pulled over for speeding. In your defense, you were texting your sister about how drunk you are. Plus there’s all that blood on your windshield. Obviously you know it’s deer blood, but the police officers walking toward your vehicle don’t. Still, in the time it takes them to figure that out, maybe you’ll sober up. Or escape on foot! Either way, it’ll probably be fine.
User Tags: Poor Choices / Story Rich / Multiple Endings / Parkour
Collect dead seagulls and build a zoo to house them all. Beautify the zoo with artistic flair and deodorizing sprays. Design creative group promotions to stir up interest! Is that a customer? You’d better hope it’s not the owner of the live seagull zoo down the street, because he’s probably got some questions.
User Tags: Hard Work / Supply / Demand / Diseases & Parasites
Claire Hummel produced fake video game art for the Steam Summer Sale, which was already excellent, but when @g-a-y-g-o-y-l-e reblogged, asking for more context, Claire delivered and then some. Every single one of these “game descriptions” is a special kind of comedy gold… and yet somehow believable from the store that sells us Dream Daddy, IKEA VR Pancake Kitchen, Organ Trail, Oh… Sir!! The Insult Simulator, and Goat Simulator (all of which I own copies of). Go read the full list.
You can install it as an offline-first progressive web application, which means that this could be the first ever digital currency to have an app that works without an Internet connection. That’s probably something no other digital currency can claim to have, right?
Here’s what it looks like if I send 0.1 EGX to my friend Chris using the app:
Naturally, I wouldn’t be backing Emma Goldcoin if it didn’t represent such a brilliant step up better-known digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, and Etherium. Specific features unique to Emma Goldcoin include:
- Using it doesn’t massively contribute to energy wastage and environmental damage.
- It doesn’t increase the digital divide by helping early adopters at the expense of late adopters.
- It’s entirely secure: it’s mathematically impossible to “steal”EGX.
- Emma Goldcoin is so simple that you don’t even need a computer to use it: it “just works”.
Sure, it’s got its downsides, and I’d encourage you to read the specification if you’d like to learn more about what those are. Or if you already know what EGX is all about and just want to try a new way to manage your portfolio, give my new site EGXchange.org a go!
EGX fixes all the problems with all the existing cryptocurrencies once and for all. In particular it fixes the problems around security, environmental impact and ease of use that beset all other known blockchain-based cryptocurrency offerings.
Due to the unique way in which the EGX blockchain is constructed, EGX cannot be hacked and will never be hacked. Period. There are and never will be any security issues with EGX. No other cryptocurrency on or off the planet can claim this.
Whether based on Proof Of Work or Proof of Stake, all other blockchains have a non-negligible and non-zero environmental impact. EGX however is based on neither of these. Instead it is based on Proof Of Existence, described below. PoE has a minimum environmental impact that is provably zero. Individual EGX implementations may have greater environmental impact than this, but that is entirely on the implementor. EGX PoE can be as low as zero if you wish, and we can prove this.
- Ease Of Implementation
Due to its unique properties, no other cryptocurrency is or ever will be easier to implement and work with as EGX. This is not an empty claim – again, we can prove this.
Now here’s a cryptocurrency I can get behind. Shut up and take my money!
But once you’ve seen it and while you’re in the two-year wait for Dune: Part Two (argh!), can I suggest you also enjoy this wonderful creation by the folks at Bad Lip Reading, whose work I’ve plugged before. Note: minor spoilers (amazingly) if you haven’t seen Dune yet.
Great to see somebody finally setting the record straight on bioluminescence and the 50/50 horse-myth. Come on people, it’s 2021!
Here’s the short of it:
- Something you can clearly type a numeric day, month and year into is best.
- Three dropdowns are slightly worse, but at least if you use native HTML
<select>elements keyboard users can still “type” to filter.
- Everything else – including things that look like
<select>s but are really funky React
<div>s, is pretty terrible.
People designing webforms that require me to enter my birthdate:
I am begging you: just let me type it in.
Typing it in is 6-8 quick keystrokes. Trying to navigate a little calendar or spinny wheels back to the 1970s is time-consuming, frustrating and unnecessary.
They’re right. Those little spinny wheels are a pain in the arse if you’ve got to use one to go back 40+ years.
Can we do worse?
If there’s one thing we learned from making the worst volume control in the world, the other year, it’s that you can always find a worse UI metaphor. So here’s my attempt at making a date of birth field that’s somehow even worse than “date spinners”:
My datepicker implements a game of “higher/lower”. Starting from bounds specified in the HTML code and a random guess, it narrows-down its guess as to what your date of birth is as you click the up or down buttons. If you make a mistake you can start over with the restart button.
Amazingly, this isn’t actually the worst datepicker into which I’ve entered my date of birth! It’s cognitively challenging compared to most, but it’s relatively fast at narrowing down the options from any starting point. Plus, I accidentally implemented some good features that make it better than plenty of the datepickers out there:
- Because it leans on a
<input type="date">control, your browser takes responsibility for localising, so if you’re from one of those weird countries that prefers mm-dd-yyyy then that’s what you should see.
- It’s moderately accessible, all things considered, and it could easily be improved further.
It turns out that even when you try to make something terrible, so long as you’re building on top of the solid principles the web gives you for free, you can accidentally end up with something not-so-bad. Who knew?
I have this exact same ride-on mower, but mine doesn’t do this. I feel cheated.
For the last six years I’ve kept a spreadsheet listing every parking spot I’ve used at the local supermarket in a bid to park in them all. This week I completed my Magnum Opus! A thread.
I live in Bromley and almost always shop at the same Sainsbury’s in the centre of town, here’s a satellite view of their car park. It’s a great car park because you can always get a space and it is laid out really well. Comfortably in my top 5 Bromley car parks.
After quite a few years of going each week I started thinking about how many of the different spots I’d parked in and how long it would take to park in them all. My life is one long roller coaster.
This is the kind of thing that I occasionally consider adding to the list of mundane shit I track about my life. But then I start thinking about the tracking infrastructure and I end up adding far more future-proofing than I intend: I start thinking about tracking how often my hayfever causes me problems so I can correlate it to the time and the location data I already record to work out which tree species’ pollen affects me the most. Or tracking a variety of mood metrics so I can see if, as I’ve long suspected, the number of unread emails in my inboxen negatively correlates to my general happiness.
Measure all the things!
# Reserved Strings
# Strings which may be used elsewhere in code
# Numeric Strings
# Strings which can be interpreted as numeric
Max has produced a list of “naughty strings”: things you might try injecting into your systems along with any fuzz testing you’re doing to check for common errors in escaping, processing, casting, interpreting, parsing, etc. The copy above is heavily truncated: the list is long!
It’s got a lot of the things in it that you’d expect to find: reserved keywords and filenames, unusual or invalid unicode codepoints, tests for the Scunthorpe Problem, and so on. But perhaps my favourite entry is this one, a test for “human injection”:
# Human injection
# Strings which may cause human to reinterpret worldview
If you're reading this, you've been in a coma for almost 20 years now. We're trying a new technique. We don't know where this message will end up in your dream, but we hope it works. Please wake up, we miss you.
More awesome from Blackle Mori, whose praises I sung recently over The Basilisk Collection. This time we’re treated to a curated list of 182 articles demonstrating the “peculiarities and weirdness” of computers. Starting from relatively well-known memes like little Bobby Tables, the year 2038 problem, and how all web browsers pretend to be each other, we descend through the fast inverse square root (made famous by Quake III), falsehoods programmers believe about time (personally I’m more of a fan of …names, but then you might expect that), the EICAR test file, the “thank you for playing Wing Commander” EMM386 in-memory hack, The Basilisk Collection itself, and the GIF MD5 hashquine (which I’ve shared previously) before eventually reaching the esoteric depths of posuto and the nightmare that is Japanese postcodes…
Plus many, many things that were new to me and that I’ve loved learning about these last few days.
It’s definitely not a competition; it’s a learning opportunity wrapped up in the weirdest bits of the field. Have an explore and feed your inner computer science geek.
I don’t normally watch videos of other people playing video games. I’m even less inclined to watch “walkthroughs”.
This, though, isn’t a walkthrough. It’s basically the opposite of a walkthrough: this is somebody (slowly, painstakingly) playing through Skyrim: Special Edition without using any of the movement controls (WASD/left stick) whatsoever. Wait, what? How is such a thing possible?
That’s what makes the video so compelling. The creator used so many bizarre quirks and exploits to even make this crazy stupid idea work at all. Like (among many, many more):
- Dragging a bucket towards yourself to “push” yourself backwards (although not upstairs unless you do some very careful pushing “under” your feet).
- Doing an unarmed heavy attack to “stumble” forward a little at a time, avoiding the stamina loss by eating vegetable soup or by cancelling the attack (e.g. by switching quickselected arrows), which apparently works better if you’re overencumbered.
- Mid-stumble, consuming a reagent that paralyses yourself to glitch through thin doors. Exploit a bug in dropping gear for your companion near an area-change doorway to get all of the reagent you’ll ever need.
- Rush-grinding your way to the Whirlwind Sprint shout and Vampire Lord “Bats” ability so you’ve got a way to move forward quickly, then pairing them with paralysis to catapult yourself across the map.
- When things get desperate, exploiting the fact that you can glitch-teleport yourself places by commanding your companion to go somewhere, quicksaving before they get there, then quickloading to appear there yourself.
This video’s just beautiful: the cumulation of what must be hundreds or thousands of person-hours of probing the “edges” of Skyrim‘s engine to discover all of the potentially exploitable bugs that make it possible.
Thanks, supermarket bagels, for expressing exactly how I was feeing when I reached the kitchen this morning: