BBS

My teenage years IRL were difficult; I grew up in a time and place where to be a nerd was as bad as being a fag, you'd get beaten or murdered for that by the inbred hillbilly apes. Happily, there were local BBS's full of other nerds, COMER (cbbs? Terrible people, but it had dnd, a fairly complex D&D command-line game), Elvin Forest (Apple ][ board, nicer social group), Three Roses Inn (WWIV, Wil's board was our game hangout), a few others, and eventually my own, The Dungeon (first on Atari 800 running software I don't recall, later on Atari ST running STarnet) and later in Spokane I ran The Caves of Steel (Fnordadel on Atari ST/MiNT UNIX-like).

I still hit up telnet-based boards sometimes, I just tried lmorchard's Decafbad and did some turns in LORD, and I'll check back on that; I don't think he has Trade Wars, which was my game of choice, and the source of my old nickname Kamikaze. I've tinkered with reviving The Dungeon on MysticBBS and that may work out, but hosting's difficult. A better thing might be to make a web-based BBS, which is pretty trivial, but then it's not really a "board" anymore, you know?

So I watched the BBS Documentary again, it's been… 14 years?

The early days part of this, the culture of sharing and flame-warring, ah, the good old days. I had very little contact with/interest in FIDOnet and their horrible internal politics, I was on WWIVnet and Cit-net, both of which were much more chill. I loathed then and still loathe the cracker/h4xx0r parasites, totally useless wastes of skin. The ANSI art scene kiddies were wankers, but at least they made something. My bias then as now: I program, and I write, and those are what I respected back most.

But I find I'm still angry about SEA vs PKWare. SEA released public domain ARC software with source but no spec for the format, and then sued Phil Katz for using that source to make a better product, and later to make ZIP with a shared format everyone could use… Thom's sad he got some hate mail in among his giant corporate paychecks, oh no. Phil was so fucked up by it he drank himself to death. Fuck you, Thom, there is no justice in the world that you're alive and Phil's not.

Kara Interviews Jack

But I can't read all the tweets in Safari, because the "moments" feature doesn't work: "403 Forbidden: The server understood the request, but is refusing to fulfill it." Reloading it in Chrome worked. Neither of them has me blocked.

As @ashleyfeinberg wrote: “press him for a clear, unambiguous example of nearly anything, and Dorsey shuts down.” That is not unfair characterization IMHO. Third, I will thread in questions from audience, but to keep this non chaotic, let’s stay in one reply thread.
—Kara Swisher
I grade you all an F on this and that's being kind. I'm not trying to be a jackass, but it's been a very slow roll by all of you in tech to pay attention to this. Why do you think that is? I think it is because many of the people who made Twitter never ever felt unsafe.
Got it. But do you think the fact that you all could not conceive of what it is to feel unsafe (women, POC, LGBTQ, other marginalized people) could be one of the issues? (new topic soon)
—Kara Swisher
Yeah, it's Chinatown, Jake.
—Kara Swisher

I would've quoted Jack, but he literally said nothing of substance in the entire thread, only "we tried". Tried and failed, Jack.

What a catastrophe, a giant horrible threshing machine of hate with a doofus asleep at the wheel.

The right solution is to shut Twitter down and switch to federated systems. Fediverse routinely "blocks" instances which allow abusers; those instances can remain their own little world, but not interact with the rest of us. And users can block or mute people and domains based on their own needs. I recently muted mastodon.social, the "flagship" instance, because it has many abusers and little moderation. The Federated timeline I see now is so much nicer without m.s. If I want to see what Eugen or their local timeline is doing, I still have an m.s account I can check in with, but I don't bother unless someone refers to current drama and I feel up to reading drama.

AnotherEden Patch Update

We finally get an update notice, this is apparently not the one that'll remove Miyu, but if you want to get her, you should get in soon. And this will be the banner you'll want to do as many 10-pulls as you can on, because it's full of healers:

AnotherEden-update 20190212

I'm actually pretty good on healers now, but I'll pull once anyway in hopes of upgrading Pom.

They say "bug fixes", but this has been one of the most bug-free launches of anything I've seen; even for other games that had a year or two in JP before global launch, those are usually buggy as shit. There's a few weird clipping issues with the paper-doll design, but that's "works as intended".

Finally got out of the beach (I only need 3 more shells for another sword, but I'll get by; maybe do one walk up and back a day) and onto the Riftbreaker, and levelling up my RP-team (Aldo, Cyrus, Amy, Riica) in Another Dungeon on the side; I have 8 class books, only 1 of which is a character I have (and I don't need to level them yet).

What I'm Watching: Close

Dumb rich party girl Sophie Nelisse (of The Book Thief) with a new inheritance goes to Morocco with new bodyguard Noomi Rapace (from the good Dragon Tattoo movies), shit goes bad, and bodyguard has to keep her alive and try to figure out who's behind it. None of which is particularly new or interesting by itself, but the movie pulls out a few good moves.

The fights are good close-up struggles, a little jump-cut-heavy instead of the long tracking shots I prefer. The fortress kasbah is interesting, security system's not complete movie bullshit but visual enough to follow on screen.

I think they wanted to make another Man on Fire, but Creasy is a far more complex character than Sam, and there's more plot and bonding in that film; this isn't slow, but there's nowhere near enough plot, and it just kinda trails off at the ending.

★★★½☆ which is what Netflix originals seem to get for the most part.

What I'm Watching: Kingdom (2019)

The Joseon period (14th-19th C) of Korea's their formative period, but a big blind spot for most Westerners. I know a fair amount about the ancient Mediterranean thru fall of Rome, and the Dark Ages thru Charlemagne; some Japanese and Chinese history because of chanbara and kung fu movies and books like Outlaws of the Water Margin; some American history, but not so much the Texas School Board approved bullshit; only the most cursory details outside those time/space bubbles. Even tho it's right on the border, and like Japan was heavily influenced by China, Korea's isolation and outright weirdness keeps it in the dark. What I've managed to learn is: They tried very hard to be strict Confucians, they recorded everything (seems like half their upper class existed to spy on the other half), and they treated women and lower classes like animal property, worse than China or Japan which were hardly egalitarian.

What I'm learning from this show is: A) Their architecture's so Chinese the Chinese look like they're the bad copies, B) They have fantastic hats and rather nice machete swords, and C) Their aristocracy are shit at covering up zombie outbreaks.

The Crown Prince tries to find out if his sick father is alive or dead, in the hands of a wicked, pregnant stepmother half his age. Yeah, this is gonna end well. Happily, he has a fat but competent Sancho Panza sidekick and sets off on an epic quest.

Hanyang, where they start, is the equivalent of Seoul today; Dongnae's a southern port. The show explains none of this, be ready to read a lot of wiki pages to get at least some geography and fact-checking.

The peasantry might as well be Dennis the Shrubber from Monty Python & the Holy Grail, they're charmingly filthy and stinky.

The dead here are like Chinese jiangshi mixed with Return of the Living Dead zombies and a bit of 28 Days Later rage-infected. They're bestial, awkward, and stupid, but not slow or incapable of cunning.

And there's a lot of Evil Dead comedy in the fighting and zombie-eye camera in some scenes. The little zombie children are adoraterrible.

As in any good zombie story, the living are the worse threat.

This is a very gameable series. It's just like my old Dungeons & Zombies campaign, with wandering knights/fools with swords fighting undead or trying to find shelter every night.

On a Beach in AnotherEden

And I'll be here a while, killing crabs, bananas (third joke monster, after Plum Goblins and the spongmonkey-looking dudes at the Ogre sword fight), and blue "dragons" (barely even wyverns). The Last Island gear is 20 points better than anything else I've unlocked, it drops a ton of gold, and my gear situation was critical; the 4 pieces I've got so far are a game-changer, but I need 12! I'll probably just get 8 and I can move on, back row can suck it. The entire beach is a single short corridor with no turns, so I'm running back and forth forever. Oh kill me now.

Also, you wash up here with Aldo alone; so keep him sorta levelled up if you don't want to die a lot. I got off the beach with <100 HP and no MP, and had previously eaten my food.

When I escape this beach, I can spend more time in the industrial and spacey areas I just finished for story, and do more hard dungeons, and then back to the main story. So there's nice cool darkness at the end of this too-bright grind tunnel I'm in now.

The best part about AnotherEden as a mobage is it isn't Stamina-limited. The worst part is the battery life basically restricts you to 2 hours of game and then it's back on a charger, so you may as well have had Stamina.

There's several sidequests now where I've greatly disagreed with the linear plot, I desperately miss Elder Scrolls Online's branching quests with consequences. Just have to sit back and let the idiots fuck things up, then collect mats, then finish the quest. "How could I have known this would fuck things up?!" Creepy farmer man is creepy and I'd kill him and use his body as fertilizer in a tabletop RPG. I've commented before that morality enforced by a scoring mechanism is not ethical: This is exactly that case in point, I have to help this guy because the system says I'm rewarded for doing so and there's no choices, even though ethically it's utterly wrong.

You get better hard/very hard dungeon rewards from high light or dark ratings. But there's no way to draw plot characters from the Dream, so you can't increase their light/dark ratings the usual way. Instead, JP site says grinding these dungeons with a plot char in party sometimes adds (slight spoilers):

  • Aldo: Miglance Castle
  • Riica: Xeno Domain
  • Amy: Industrial Ruins
  • Cyrus: Man-Eating Marsh
  • Feinne: Beast Kings Castle
  • Helena: Riftbreaker

I did a fourth 10-pull, and completely filled my C-team with ★★★★ Lingli and Denny, both excellent hitters, and a ★★★☆ Ciel which is disappointing since there's a ★★★★ and will be upgraded to ★★★★★ this year, if global follows JP release order; that's too much book grinding to upgrade. And a couple dumb ★★★ robots, which are kinda cool; I'd like to build an all-robot party, even if everyone but Riica sucks. I have another 1000 Chronos but I'm saving them now for special event banners.

Learn2JS Updates

Added to my Learn2JS project, and it's fairly usable now for rapid development, I can move over the application logic of little tools and they just show up in the catalog and work. Still no live editor, you have to drop a script in lib or a user dir, but it's getting closer to instant-on coding!

Try it out, then look at the scripts, alien is just block sprites but it's a decently hard shooter (there's some oddness about hit detection, and it needs upgrade drops to be a real game). maze is the usual maze generator; drawing text right now because I haven't hooked up the sprite graphics. Both are about as close to minimal code needed for the task as you can get.

Arianespace Flight VA247

Interesting differences from a SpaceX or NASA launch video.

NASA does a terrible job of broadcasting their launches, they do good in-space video on NASA-TV, but the launches will usually show a burn and then some infographics and then cut off. NASA's public relations is the bare minimum, lowest-bidder attempt required by Federal disclosure laws, and it shows.

SpaceX is halfway to being a media company, just because they instrument and record everything, so they have great photography of the launch, flight, then on-rocket cameras showing second state separation, and landings, and cool synthwave music before and after. Even when they're not launching a car into deep space, they always put on a cool show.

Arianespace is like NASA-TV, only showing a burn and then CGI renders of what they think is happening, and slightly better live tracking info than NASA-TV. But half their audio & text is in French, German, or Spanish, they haven't standardized on English and some Russian-pidgin like NASA or SpaceX. They spend an inordinate amount of time explaining their political/economic structure, because it's a horrible bureaucratic compromise between countries that barely tolerate each other; they have to launch from French Guiana, one of their last conquered colonial holdings/penal colonies (remember the movie Papillon? That's French Guiana; they really made prisoners catch rare butterflies for the warden's profit); Charles De Gaulle demanded a spaceport be built there in the '60s, which is a bit of a boondoggle but it's still their best spaceport.

Hey, let's interrupt the flight to show an ad promoting Seville for some political thing.

There's a moral question hanging over this like the Sword of Damocles: Should you be launching satellites for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its known-murder-conspirator "prince"? Well, the next two in-flight ads don't even argue that, they just say it's great that the Saudis have paid Arianespace for these launches, and thank the murderer prince by name. I suppose it's rude to say "he should be hung by the neck until dead" to your paycheck's medieval aristocracy.

Another ad for Lockheed/Martin, who made one of the satellites being launched, and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), who made the other.

One final bit of actual launch news, explaining their telemetry gaps, but repeating "perfectly normal" sounds apologetic, rather than factual. I trust nothing the bureaucrat says by now.

Finally bureaucrats give each other handshakes and blowjobs all around. No sign of the engineers or scientists who do the actual work.

Maybe 10, 15 minutes of actual launch content in 85 minutes of airtime.