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

Haiiro to Ao Cover

November 17th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Haiiro to Ao Cover by Kobasolo (@kobamakolts)
251 unique view(s)

Trying to Using Google Cloud

November 14th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Seems there's a reason @GoogleCloud's market share trails behind Microsoft's @Azure and is nowhere near Amazon's @AWSCloud.  It's just insanely difficult to get up and running.

First is the error that I need to enable the Google Cloud service in my Admin Console, but Google Cloud is not even listed there.  The specific error is "Google Cloud Platform service has been disabled. Please contact your administrator to restore service in G Suite Admin console."

Have to contact support (which itself is a puzzle to avoid having to pay for a support plan). Enabling Google Cloud turns out to be tied to enabling Developer Console (how is anyone supposed to know that?).  They say it's a recent issue with migrations, but this StackOverflow thread shows this has been an issue for over a year at least.

Now that the service is enabled for my account, I try to spin up an instance.  If you use GPUs in your project, it then turns out you need to increase your global GPU quota (starts at zero).  Makes no sense because all of the specific non-global GPU settings already start at 1.

I try again to spin up instances, but now I keep getting "not have enough resources available to fulfill the request. Try a different zone, or try again later." Tried 6 different zones all with the same results.

Contacted support again, who suggest I not put all my instances in one zone.  I tell them this is my only instance.  And the response to that seems to basically acknowledge you can't really spin up instances at this time?

Very bizarre and frustrating experience.  It just seems like no one is even testing Google Cloud to make sure anyone can actually use it.  Or that they care if anyone can figure out how to use it.
252 unique view(s)

Enabling Graphics for Nvidia Tesla GPU in Azure VM

November 11th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
If you're trying to use the GPUs Azure VMs for actual graphics like in game development, DirectX, or other things where the GPU has to be detected, you need to set the Tesla GPUs to WDDM mode.  By default they are in TCC, which doesn't let them be detected by the system in RDP and has graphics disabled.  Not even Nvidia control panel will see the card.

Solution is pretty quick - just a command line entry.  It can just be done in Command Prompt, no additional software needed.  Credits to the comments on Reddit here:

(Make sure you first have the Nvidia drivers installed, either by starting the VM with an image that has them or installing manually.)

1. Open Command Prompt.
2. Enter: cd C:\Program Files\NVIDIA Corporation\NVSMI
3. Enter: nvidia-smi -l
4. Ctrl+Break to stop the loop. Note the long 000:00:00.0 number under bus-id.
5. Enter: nvidia-smi -g <bus-id> -fdm 0
6. Reboot.

Once you're done, you'll notice Nvidia control panel will now detect the card.  DirectX applications will see it as well, etc.
256 unique view(s)

Placebo Effect on Mind

November 10th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Very interesting article that sounds a lot like the ideas portrayed in @MNightShyamalan's @SplitMovie
212 unique view(s)

Double Tax Issue on Patreon

November 3rd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Would love to be shown wrong here, but as far as I've found, money on @Patreon is taxed for both patron and creator. In any other situation, only the giver or receiver is taxed, not both. Donations to non-profits are deductible, salaries of employees are deductible expense for the employer, even traditional non-Patreon patron/sponsorship arrangements are at least some form of write-off/expense for the sponsor.  But for Patreon, unless you go through the excessive effort of establishing yourself as a company with an elaborate case for how giving to artists is business-related or straight up start a non-profit organization yourself, the money you give on Patreon is going to be from income you paid taxes on, and then that creator also pays taxes on it as their income.

This is a simplification of the math but just to illustrate: If you made $100k this year and wanted to give away half to artists on Patreon, you literally can't because $50k is owed to taxes and you actually only have $50k afterwards for yourself, your own expenses, etc.  Half of your money on $100k income would actually be $25k.  If this were any other situation like hiring or donating to a non-profit, you get to give away as much as you want from the $100k and then only get taxed on what is left over *after* - in other words, half of $100k instead of half of $50k.  It is basically doubling the amount of money someone can give and is normally what happens anywhere else, just not at Patreon.

The best way to solve this is if there is a non-profit through which all patrons are giving through and can treat as a write-off tax-wise.  Then only the creators are taxed, just like any other situation for donations, salaries, sponsorships, etc.  Ideally it is Patreon itself, so no one else has to think about these tax questions or look for some other organization to participate on Patreon through.  It's what you would expect when pledging money and aligns with what Patreon is.

It would also open the doors to large corporate patrons.  Think of how many big corporations already give money for causes, branding, etc. The perk of doing this on Patreon is that you can actually point to your company profile there as proof of you supporting artists, projects, etc.  It can easily become like every company having a Facebook or LinkedIn profile.  But they won't do this if for every million they give on Patreon, they still have to pay half a million in taxes on money they don't even have anymore.  They're better off just giving through traditional means or even just straight up hiring artists - any other situation where again the giver isn't taxed for money the receiver is already taxed on.

Right now Patreon is a for-profit company with investors, which makes all this tricky as they must prioritize maximizing profits.  The only way for now would be if a third party started a non-profit for others to contribute through or if, as mentioned earlier, you set up your own company to give through (which has to be a seriously legitimate business reason or you'll find yourself with a large IRS bill down the road).  I've also received pushback that artists do not want to be "sponsored" or donated to, that there's a negative stigma attached, that they want their work treated as product or service, but this just goes back to the point that you might as well just hire the artist instead.  It's hard to tell what percentage of the userbase is on one side or the other, but at least for me, the goal was to support the artists on a monthly basis.  It's also what a patron actually does and what pledging means.  The point though is that on both sides, whether Patreon is supposed to be a platform for selling goods or supporting artists, it is doing this worse than traditional means, at least from a tax perspective, because of the double taxation.  While this is not a big deal for smaller pledges, it really adds up for those wanting to contribute more significant sums and makes it difficult to sustain long term because it is effectively costing you double what the artist is actually receiving.
244 unique view(s)

SF Place on Fire

October 28th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Guess that's my cue to finally leave SF... (esp with the asbestos exposed)
209 unique view(s)

Open to Interpretation

September 9th, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Tired of having my words reinterpreted to mean different things. People are too busy looking for what they want to hear and not thinking about what someone else is actually trying to say.
388 unique view(s)

Typical Businessman Thinking

September 2nd, 2018 | Posted by pftq in Thought of the Day | #
Typical investor/businessman thinking: If I could just find a genius smart enough to make me a million dollars but too dumb to do it unless I tell him to...
369 unique view(s)