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

History on NATO and Russia

February 19th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
The following reads help give a full picture on the situation with Ukraine / Russia, since the media is omitting a lot of information and context.  
- https://www.vox.com/22900113/nato-ukraine-russia-crisis-clinton-expansion
- https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-europe-russia-vladimir-putin-soviet-union-4619a72d1597673e4112b673a9f6fd9c
- https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/01/19/putin-russia-ukraine-nato-george-robertson/

In short, NATO expanded from 15 countries to 30 in the past 20 years, and now there is Ukraine trying to join, which is right next to Russia.  When a new country joins NATO, the US tends to put its missiles there in the name of defense and common good.  Basically the last 20 years has been slow-creep of getting and closer to Russia and now we're trying to add a country right next to them.  So in this context, it makes a lot more sense how things got here and why Russia wants NATO to commit to not putting more missiles or adding more countries....[More]
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Old Phone Works After Activating Sim on New Phone

February 18th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
This is really infuriating and @FCC or @FTC really needs to look at this. I just bought a new phone because supposedly my old phone no longer works on AT&T after the 3G sunset (despite being a 4G phone), but shortly after activating a new sim card on the new phone, I simply moved the new sim card to my old phone and it worked fine like before - 4G and everything.  What made it worse was right before I bought the phone, customer support insisted the old sim card was still activated and that my phone simply was not up to spec, which was clearly a lie.  They had disabled the old sim card and just needed to turn it back on or give me a new one, which they didn't do until I bought a new phone.  If you do too many switches as a result of this trick, your data may stop working due to a block by AT&T and you'll have to dial 611 to ask them to remove the block on your data service - again something they want you to think is your phone's problem when they literally...[More]
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How Animators and Musicians Make Money From YouTube

February 16th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
     This is something I'm just throwing out there not for creators but more actually for fans to know how to best support their favorite artists.  It's counter-intuitive, but YouTube does not actually pay much, even if the following or view count is largest there.  This is why many creators have links to stores, merch, Patreon, and other platforms.  The ones that manage to make enough from YouTube directly to live on have to upload several videos a week, which is not feasible for animators or composers that take weeks or months just to finish one video.  Just for perspective, some of these animators/musicians I'm referring to have 10M+ views on multiple videos, but they still make almost nothing from YouTube.  For them, YouTube is more just a beacon to get followers but not actually make money - so if you do follow an artist that has links to other platforms, please do make sure to check those out.

     For musicians I know,...[More]
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Tetrachromats Seeing a Fourth Color

January 31st, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Very interesting article on some people who see with a fourth color cone.  It's extra fuel for my God's Flashlight stuff about worlds in other light spectrums that may invisible to us (or us to them).

See: The Woman Who Can See 100 Million Colours

Extra cool is that I was very close in God's Flashlight on the notion that manmade lights in cities are unbearable to those in these other spectrums.  It makes me wonder if all the artificial light we're exposed to is slowly trimming away the extras in what we can see that we might not notice over time.  I did a bit more research and did find hints of that from an older article, specifically mentioning that we've painted our modern world so much in colors we are used to seeing that it may be that people who can see more don't even know it from lack of use.  

It took 20+...[More]
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Old vs New Crash Music

January 31st, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Reminds me of working on Koto Breaker and @WaterflameMusic being unable to stop trying to make the song happy and chill lol
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEylM0mJtlg
(or the quiet part out loud - old vs new Waterflame music bahaha )
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Spam Calls from 916

January 20th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
I've been getting spam calls from different 916 area code numbers almost everyday.  It's the same robo-call message but a different 916 number every time, so my call blacklist just keeps growing.

Any ideas welcome. (and yeah, I got another call while typing this lol)

The call always opens with: "Hello? Hello, this is James..."

Below are...[More]
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思い出かけら by Sweet Dove and AKA

January 10th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
思い出かけら by @SweetDoveMusic and @AKAraxy
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God's Flashlight - Novelization

January 9th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #

Opening credits with the beeping sound of someone on life support in a hospital.  Once the beeping stops and flatlines, there's a power shut-off sound, and things go dark one by one except the body on the bed, leaving a spotlight in the dark.  Everything is silent.  A glowing, formless, non-humanoid spirit rises from the body, and the body disappears into the darkness.  There's a moment of peace while the spirit looks at itself and its surroundings, like a child discovering the world for the first time.  There are faint specs of light in the darkness, like stars, as if having risen to the heavens.  It looks like a stylistic choice to only show the character in darkness, but we later realize it's not.

Suddenly, bright-white eyes appear one after another in the dark surrounding the spirit.   A green, grainy overlay appears over the scene, and a booming voice announces, "There it is.  Capture it."

Cut back to...[More]
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短い未来を見たい by Sweet Dove

January 8th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
短い未来を見たい by @SweetDoveMusic
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Exile by Shirobon

January 5th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Exile by @Shirobon
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Stellar by Lockyn

January 5th, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Stellar by @Lockyn
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After Effects CC Slower Than CS5

January 3rd, 2022 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
I write more detail on this issue in the Adobe forums here: https://adobe-video.uservoice.com/forums/911311-after-effects/suggestions/44629812-after-effects-2021-2022-export-slower-than-cs5-wit

Long-story short, it seems that something broke in the PSD layer importing process between CS5 and CC 2021/2022, as the same project file in CS5 only takes about 10 min to render but over an hour in the latest CC versions.  In the test project I have below, the slowness persists even though all the layers are empty.  Only way to fix it seems to be to delete the Photoshop layers, so that's why it appears to be Photoshop-related for now.

Test project: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NW8cPQRbl3yMt9qCU0gLOodqYA_ZW3AR/view?usp=sharing

I admit I...[More]
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Studio Setup Again

October 17th, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Some momentary stability after almost 3 years of living out of a suitcase.
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VR Room

October 16th, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Had this one as a dream that felt somewhat like a murder mystery...

Someone is trying out a VR game that looks and feels extremely real.  They wake up on the floor in a bluish green tiled room that seems to have had a commotion and is abandoned.  A strange cat/tiger hybrid strolls by with a fruit in its mouth.  There's a constant sound of something dripping nearby.  Once out of the game, the person tries to ask if the place seems familiar.  A friend looks up the tiling and room pieces and confirms they are actual pieces that exist in real life.  At first, they think it's just really good photo capture, but over time, they start to notice things that are too coincidental.  It eventually turns out the room is one that actually exists, as they stumble upon it in an alley way.  The same cat hybrid strolls out the open door as they go in to explore it.  It eventually turns out that it's not just a photo-capture of the room but actually...[More]
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Frequency of Winning Hands in Poker

October 3rd, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Some interesting stats on how often hands show in Texas Hold'em #poker w/ 8 players after running 1 million games on a simulator I wrote for fun.  It's counterintuitive, since having 1 pair win is less frequent than 2-pair, trips, straight, flush, and full-house.  Winning w/ top card is actually rarer than straight flush with only 40 games.  So pretty much you should expect two-pair or better in most games played to the river and be more suspicious of trying to win with top pair or high card.  It also means if someone is playing with friends at a table, they can end up dominating if they play every game out to the river.

8 Players Played to the River:
Two pair: 260263 (26%)
Straight: 199774 (19%)
Three of a...[More]
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Asura's Wrath OST

August 29th, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Asura's Wrath OST by Chikayo Fukuda
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Playing Canasta Again

June 24th, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
Playing Canasta again for the first time in ages since Yahoo Games went down.  Still winning most my games with no contest and remembering the last 10+ cards played.  If anyone wants to 1v1, I'm on Canasta-Palace.com Grin



Edit: And made it to 5-stars rating in one day. Bahaha!


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Man vs Reflection

May 22nd, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Stories | #
Guy punches himself in the mirror and hurts his fist.  He gets pissed, punches his reflection's face, and knocks himself out.

- a dream I just woke up from. If anyone wants to do this as an animation on commission, let me know lol
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Quantopian vs Tech Trader

April 19th, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Blabberbox | #
So many people over the years kept asking why I didn't just build @TechTraderAI on Quantopian (besides the technical impracticalities), and here is the answer.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-16/quant-trading-platform-quantopian-closes-down

Some posts still online (example Reddit), but mostly in-person and at conferences/events.  

Especially after Adobe used a killswitch on everything built on Flash, the last thing you want to do anymore is make anything important on someone else's platform where you are dependent on them to keep things running.

Funny to think only 6 years ago I was naively trying to share everything like candy.  Different times for sure.
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Nothing Lasts Forever

February 2nd, 2021 | Posted by pftq in Stuck in My Head | #
Nothing Lasts Forever by Benjamin Walfisch (@benwallfisch)
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