Blabberbox:Random blog-like posts from pftq.Share on Twitter

Comparing Options Contracts

June 12th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in 42 | #

Bitcoin Options Price Feed Data and Analysis on LedgerX

This is a spreadsheet I created to compare what call or put options are best to buy, specifically using this for Bitcoin options on LedgerX but can be used with any options really.  You can essentially use this as an API for LedgerX options price data into your own scripts as well by using the ImportRange function.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dZbFjCrr2FykdPvE4UVLp8kOO5Iox9lmctSmfqSTq1I/edit#gid=0

Sometimes the...[More]
402 unique view(s)

Flagging Uber, Lyft with QR Codes

June 9th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
For me it's still easier to flag a taxi in #NYC. It'd be great if you can flag @Uber or @Lyft the same way and just swipe QR codes to pay. Then you don't have to wait 5 min for the app to find drivers or for someone else further away to circle the block after accidentally passing you a few times.  Since many drivers already label their cars with Uber or Lyft signs, this is sort of part way there already.  The only thing missing is for a way to pay without driver searching, which would be solved by QR scanning the driver's phone when the passenger steps in to bypass the search process.
254 unique view(s)

Conversations

May 29th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Overhead a couple people having one of the more interesting philosophical conversations in a long time and wanted to join in, only to then realize they were middle school students doing homework. Sigh.
254 unique view(s)

Saitama vs Suiryu Fan Animation

May 26th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Thought this fan animation was more exciting to watch than the actual scene in the anime, which sadly often felt more like still images panned across the screen. #onepunchman
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkY6bFt5UkY
240 unique view(s)

Brightburn at Dolby Cinema

May 25th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Just watched @Brightburn but was actually more impressed by @DolbyCinema. The bass was so heavy + directional that it felt like the sensation of a train speeding by (or coming right at you), which made it scarier than the scene itself.
180 unique view(s)

Conversation with a Doctor

May 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
One of the more frustrating experiences I've had in a while... part of what makes the healthcare here feel pretty worthless.  Obviously not reflective of all doctors... just many my own experiences.
-------------
Doctor: Here's a prescription drug that will relieve the symptom.  Just take it everyday from now on, and you won't feel it anymore.
Me: Is there a test or something we can do to check why it's happening? Or if it might be more serious?
Doctor: Like what?
Me: Maybe it's...[More]
72 unique view(s)

If People Talked About Internet Like They Do Blockchain

May 10th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Person B: Have you heard of this thing called the Internet? It's the future. You should buy as many dial-up modems as you can before the price goes up.  Once the Internet becomes mainstream, we'll all be rich.
Person A: Why would the price go up?
Person B: Because adoption.  Everyone will start using the Internet.  You could use it to store information, transact, compute things... everything will be on the Internet.
Person A: Isn't that just computers in general?
Person B: No, unlike just your home computer, anything that is on the Internet stays there forever.  It's also decentralized, meaning no one can shut it down or control it.  And most importantly, it's global.  Everything has to be global nowadays.  That's the future.  Personal computing was the first revolution.  This is the next one.  Imagine if you could go back in time to the 80's before personal computing was mainstream.  This is that opportunity.  You could buy up everything before anyone else gets a chance.
Person A: But why would modem prices go up?
Person B: There's no Internet without modems.  Every person needs a modem to use the Internet.
Person A: Couldn't you just make more?
Person B: That's why you have to pick the right modem brand.  Some brands inflate the supply.  You should buy AOL modems.  It's a fixed supply.  There will never be any more AOL modems made again.  It also has the highest usage and market cap.
Person A: Market cap?
Person B: You take the price of a modem and multiply by the number of modems out there.
Person A: How many AOL modems are there?
Person B: Theoretically, once the last modem in store is sold - 21 billion.
Person A: That's more than we'll ever need.
Person B: Yeah but each person can buy more than one.  Some people who were early got to hoard millions of modems.  People also lose their modems or their logins.  Supposedly 20% of all modems right now are lost or not usable by anyone.  You have to imagine a future beyond your wildest expectations where everyone and their grandma know about and use the Internet.  It's hard to visualize, but that's how people felt when personal computing first started too, and now everyone has a computer in their home.  Everything in the future will use the Internet in one form or another, and this is our chance to own part of that infrastructure.

Person A: So what does your startup do?
Person B: It's an Internet company.
Person A: But what does it do?
Person B: We create applications that run on the Internet.  People are calling them Websites.
Person A: What kind of applications?
Person B: Anything that clients demand.  We're trying to help build the Internet ecosystem.  The more people we get using the Internet, the more modem prices will go up.  Everyone wins.  We've had clients from restaurants to banks.  Everyone wants to be on the Internet now.
Person A: Why would a bank need to be on the Internet?
Person B: Banks still keep things in books and binders.  We help them store things digitally on the Internet.
Person A: But couldn't you just store it on computers and digitize things in general? That would already solve the problem.  What about just a database and network? Wouldn't that be faster? Also wouldn't being on the Internet put their information at risk of being hacked?
Person B: The Internet can't be hacked. Everything you read is the user getting hacked or the Website being insecure.  The Internet itself has never gone down or been compromised.  It is the most secure and resilient thing out there.

Person A: So what does your Website do?
Person B: We're building a revolutionary ecosystem so anyone who checks out a library book does it through the Internet, and everyone will have to use our Website to be part of that.  It'll change the world.
Person A: Would I get to read the book digitally?
Person B: No, you would just log on to the Website to check it out on the Internet, but you still go to the library to pick up the book.
Person A: Why wouldn't I just go to the library and check out books the old way since I'm there anyway?
Person B: Because the Internet makes things more efficient and secure.
Person A: How does that translate to a business model for your startup?
Person B: If everyone is using our Website, then the Website has value, unimaginable value, and the price will reflect that value in the long run.  Think about how many people in the world read books.  Billions.  Imagine if they all used the Internet.  Even if every account was only worth $1, that's billions of dollars flowing through the Internet.  And then think about how many books a person reads, multiply those numbers and you get trillions of dollars.
212 unique view(s)

Prions and Synthesized Foods

April 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
More an open-ended question here.  Prions, or misfolded proteins, are the cause of mad-cow disease when eating meat.  The animal itself is more likely to be produce misfolded proteins when eating brain tissue, but sometimes it's also just luck (or perhaps environmental, stress, etc).  The prions themselves cannot be destroyed by heating or other means once created, as it's more a mutation than a "disease." Once in the body, it causes other proteins to be misfolded as well in a tumor-like fashion.  With regards to new synthesized foods like vegan or fake meats,  I wonder what ways (if any) are there to unintentionally create misfolded proteins in the process as well.  Right now, it seems that they try to mess with the vegetable ingredients as little as possible when creating the meat flavor and texture.  Some of these opt for a non-GMO label to make it distinct.  It would probably be more a concern if in the future companies become more aggressive with manipulating or modifying the proteins themselves as they refine the meat.
222 unique view(s)

A Wish for a Life

April 2nd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Imagine if you could make any wish come true but would cause the death of one random person.

A man, known as the Baron, lives in a castle atop a hill and is suspected of having a supernatural artifact that does this, causing many mysterious deaths in the nearby town for his own gain.  Each death is similar, with each person becoming suddenly frail and ghostly pale before dying within days.  The story initially seems one of despair, as no one can really prove this to authorities and people at random just keep dying.  Many supporting and likeable characters have their arc abruptly ended in this manner.

An investigator tries to solve this mystery but doesn't believe in superstition.  He's an outsider to the town and tries to bring science and reason he believes the townspeople lack.  He suspects more likely the Baron created this rumor to hide something more nefarious.  A friend of the investigator gets frustrated with the investigator's calm...[More]
67 unique view(s)

Racist Mentality

March 29th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Society | #
This is more or less a concise version of one of my points from the longer Three Tiers of Mind and arguably an extension of the discussion on Inductive vs Deductive Reasoning.  What bothers me lately is there seems to be a general shift away from why racism is bad in the first place and more towards just any mention of race is bad or that any difference in advantage is bad (aka "privilege").  What makes racism bad at its core is that you are ignoring a person's individuality and making an assumption about that person based on association to a category.  In other words, you are not seeing the person in front of you but treating that person as just one of many belonging to some arbitrary label.  That person is no longer a person with their own agency and ability to cause change in the world but just a thing, an object, something that is not you.  That's the real problem that leads to all other acts someone may commit, which everyone then reacts to as racism or other crimes.

You see this immediately in any situation you normally associate with racism.  The reason slavery was able to make sense in people's minds was the ability to ignore the individuality of any person branded under the slave label.  Removing race would have made the act no better if the hierarchy still existed (and it did/does even amongst populations of same ethnicity).  The reason there is conflict between the rich and poor is because each side uses the other as only a means to an end, treating the other as just that - an other.  Removing money or other material differences makes the situation no better if people still view each other in terms of what they have, their demographics, or other population-level traits - in terms of association and value instead of as individuals.  Objectifying, commoditizing, treating someone as merely a statistic... these are all different names and outcomes for what is essentially the same thinking process deep down.  They judge you on where you come from instead of why you came, what you represent instead of what you actually chose to do.  You're X because you're a Y, and Ys are X.  It's the act of being too lazy to think about the full context and just reacting on a trigger word, of trying to think in broad-brush rules and sweeping generalizations instead of being willing to look at each situation case-by-case.  The flaw is thinking the abstract grouping more real than the individual the abstract was created around.  

This same manner of thinking pretty much leads to any other social aspects we consider "bad." An unfulfilling job - being a cog in a machine, working under someone's thumb - happens when your individuality is disregarded and you are treated as just a faceless number amongst many.  A friend or relationship feels false when the other doesn't actually listen to you specifically but just says what could be said to anyone else.  Someone is patronizing if they give advice without knowing anything about the person they are lecturing and just assume advice is warranted.  Someone is pedantic if they are ignoring what you're trying to say and only caring about how you said it.  Even the murderous psychopath - the difference between him and a hero soldier is that he does not think about others as individuals, just objects, a kill count, again a number.

When taken...[More]
282 unique view(s)

Four Notes of Us, Annihilation, Dark City

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Had these four notes from the Us trailer stuck in my head for the longest time and couldn't quite place why it sounded like I heard them in orchestral form before, then realized I heard them in Annihilation, and before that, Dark City.


Music obviously isn't mine but is meshed together just for fun to show how similar the pieces are from each respective movie.  Ironically, Dark City is the most uplifting variation of the melody and most thoroughly explores it.
251 unique view(s)

God Formula

March 24th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another one that came to me in a dream. Made more sense right after I woke, but I unfortunately started losing details as soon as I got to writing it down.

==============

The story is essentially a sci-fi thriller movie, where the founder tries to create AI from a math perspective similar to induction instead of the more common approach of fitting to data.  It's counterintuitive but rather than try to create a general algorithm that adapts to specific cases, the founder wants to start from one case and solve for the rest of the world - ie letting the AI define the rest of world on its own volition. In other words, instead of adapting or being an agent in the world, this algorithm plays God and creates it from scratch.  The idea is similar to trying to understand or simulate the current universe by instead creating a new one altogether via man-made blackholes in a lab.  It's also similar to what you do in theoretical math where you define hypothetical systems or...[More]
65 unique view(s)

Economic Literacy

March 7th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
"I don't see why universal healthcare can't work. Other countries do just fine having it. In fact, they're doing better than us. Look at the pound - it's worth way more than the dollar!" And everyone agrees and cheers. Sigh...
260 unique view(s)

In the End

March 4th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
In the End by Marcus Warner (@MWarnerMusic)
255 unique view(s)

Dreams Adrift

February 5th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

This could either be an animation or short film. The imagery of someone walking upsidedown against the night sky is what stuck in my mind.
================
Scene starts panning down from a cloudy, moonlit night sky to a girl standing on the edge of a highrise rooftop with her arms out.  It looks like she is about to fall, but as she goes over the edge, the camera rotates to instead show her walking down the side of the building, apparently sleepwalking.  There is a wistful element as her hair is constantly flowing and her arms are out to balance.  The elements seem to whirl around her as she walks, as if animated by what she is dreaming.  The iconic scene is of her walking upsidedown on the bottom of a plank between two highrises against the backdrop of the moon and night sky in the background.  

Eventually...[More]
89 unique view(s)

No More Outsourced Teams

January 27th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Why I'll never outsource my ideas again - tired of teams thinking it fair if I pay everyone's salary out of pocket + give up half equity. I get 100% of the risk while they get zero risk + salary + half upside. Their worst case is getting paid and moving onto the next client, while mine is losing everything and starting over.
245 unique view(s)

Run and Record Games on VM Server

January 23rd, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
More a reminder for myself how to set up a remote server/vm like Azure to run and record games.  Otherwise, you'll run into issues like lack of GPU/DirectX or no sound.

1. Create a VM with Windows 10 and a GPU (for Azure, it is the NC series).
2. If your GPU is a Tesla, make sure to install Nvidia drivers and enable graphics rendering on it.
3. Install VB-Audio virtual sound card to be able to capture sound from the game.
4. If an Unreal Game, most likely you'll need .NET 3.5, which needs to be enabled from "Turn Windows Features On or Off."

Once this is all done, you can run the game as you would at home and use GameDVR (Win+G) to record.  One thing I haven't figured out yet is how to keep the recording going if your Remote Desktop window closes (but server still running).  The only work-around it seems is to have an intermediary VM always logged into the primary VM to keep the recording + audio going, which works even if you log out of the intermediary VM.  This was also reported as a bug here.  If anyone has suggestions, let me know.
248 unique view(s)

Fixing VR Controllers Out of View

January 21st, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
If you use inside-out #VR / #WindowsMixedReality headsets like @Samsung Odyssey, you'll run into the controllers glitching out when out of view (below or behind your head). In an #UnrealEngine or #Unity game, a workaround is to store the location of the controllers but avoid updating if the location moves too far from the headset (the glitching out when out of view). The rotation of each controller still works as they're based on gyroscopes instead of cameras, so you'll still want to update the rotation, just not the location which is now some absurd unusable number.

In Unreal Engine, it would look like this:


This really should be internalized into the headset driver itself, as it only makes sense to not update to a location that is physically impossible.  For now, you have to do that check yourself.
243 unique view(s)

Vue

January 20th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Another story that came as a dream, ironically as a movie I was watching in the dream.
===============
The movie initially starts as a horror film about boy initially trying to escape the home of a crazed family with a murderous cyborg child.  The home is more or less a cave with no open windows or exit (all boarded up).  The parents are human but very old and clearly insane, sort of like the fake grandparents from The Visit.  The cyborg behaves more like an animal and is Frankenstein-like, with loosely pieced together scrap metal for arms, blades for hands, barely functional prosthetics for what's left of the face (doll-like eyes, unmoving lips, etc), etc.  Often it crawls on all fours or climbs the walls, staying in the shadows.  It is unclear if it was once human at all or entirely machine to begin with.  The pacing and feel is almost like a Saw movie at first, with no indication how the we arrived here or why things are.

After about...[More]
37 unique view(s)

ETC Probability

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Not surprised about ETC 51% attack since everything in blockchain is only "statistically impossible" (low odds) instead of true certainty. Expecting more problems like this over time. More surprised some now defend lack of certainty as a feature instead - https://coingape.com/pow-blockchain-secure-post-ethereum-classic-attack/
-----------------
In line with what I wrote before:
https://www.pftq.com/blabberbox/?page=Bitcoin_Probability
Quote
"If they're going crazy right now on how some random hashtag should be "statistically impossible," wait till two people generate the same wallet (which is not supposed to happen until the sun dies... "statistically"). #Bitcoin
https://www.coindesk.com/21e800-bitcoin-satoshi-mystery-twitter-obsessing/"
236 unique view(s)