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novalis bonked 03 Jun 2023 22:59 +0000
original: LadyDragonfly@universeodon.com

BILLY JOEL: I'm sorry what
ME: the piano-man...which half was piano and which half was man?
BILLY JOEL: no, no, he was just a regular man who played piano
ME: william that can't be right

novalis honked 02 Jun 2023 17:22 +0000

I love Godot. I filed a bug report last night before bed, and by the time I checked in the morning, it had been fixed. No waiting.

novalis honked 02 Jun 2023 01:51 +0000

Today I discovered a performance regression introduced in 2005. I am deeply Chesterton about fixing it without understanding why the change was made, since it was clearly a deliberate change.

novalis bonked 01 Jun 2023 12:55 +0000
original: doktormod@mastodon.online

Monday you can say you’re Greg
Tuesday, Wednesday, morph in bed
On Thursday climb the walls instead
It's Friday, I'm a bug
– Robert Smith on Kafka

novalis honked 30 May 2023 15:53 +0000

A few weeks ago, I tried to get a vaccine at Walgreens/Duane Reade. I booked an appointment online, and they happily gave me an appointment. But when I got to the store, it wasn't in stock. They called around, and basically none of their stores had it in stock.

Today, I tried again. While their online system would give me an appointment, I decided to call first -- and indeed, the location still didn't have it. So I asked the pharmacist to let their management know that the system is broken. She told me to call and tell them myself.

... or I could just use another pharmacy whose employees give a shit about not inconveniencing customers.

novalis honked 25 May 2023 15:12 +0000

I invented a new, really irritating puzzle!

It's an inequality crossword. The idea is that, for instance, the bottom-left letter is later in the alphabet than both of its neighbors, as denoted by the > signs to its top and right. According to Z3, there is a unique solution with my word list (excluding words always capitalized)... assuming I didn't make any mistakes transcribing it from my awful hacked-together Python to the image.

I think with longer words, fewer givens and/or fewer inequalities would be necessary. When I look at that bottom 3-letter word, there are hundreds of possibilities. But if instead I consider a word like ACCESS, there's only ACCESS, ABBESS, or ABBOTT. So all we would need to do is pin the second or third letter to 'C' to make it unique. Some longer words are still hard ("INTERNS" has hundreds of possibilities), but double letters really help pin it down (AARDVARK, for instance, has only one possibility). There are only three five-letter words which are unique (LLAMA, LLANO, OOZES), but there are 13 six-letter words, and by the time you get to 12-letter words, there are 835.

Anyway, enjoy... I guess?


novalis honked back 19 May 2023 15:52 +0000
in reply to: https://social.jvns.ca/users/b0rk/statuses/110396031394703439

@b0rk I use masks to represent squares used while generating polyomino tilings. (I used this method while generating puzzles for https://decodeckgame.com). To place a polyomino, I bit shift it to the correct position, then use and to check if it overlaps any already-used square. If not, I use or to combine it with the already-placed polyominos.

I use xor if I want to check for equality -- 0 xor 0 is 0, and 1 xor 1 is also 0. Here's an example of this usage (not my code): https://github.com/git/git/blob/master/path.c#L920

novalis honked 17 May 2023 18:08 +0000

One funny thing about using Godot for my games is that I say the word "Godot" a lot. I pronounce it like Beckett did: GOD-oh. This confuses nearly everyone I talk to (except for one guy whose uncle was an actor who had performed in the play). But since I know the right way, I have the choice between being confusing and being correct.

I think the engine should officially adopt the "wrong" (but common) pronunciation, which would arguable reduce confusion, and also give a change for the rare snapback correction ("it's pronounced GOD-oh", "no, that's the play, the engine is officially guh-DOUGH").

#gamedev #godotengine

novalis honked 02 May 2023 21:32 +0000

Every time I try to use XSLT, I realize that it's incomprehensible gibberish and it's quicker to just use lxml.ElementTree to do whatever it is manually. Most recently, I hit "It is an error for the value of the match attribute to contain a VariableReference" (apparently fixed in 2.0, but of course xsltproc doesn't do 2.0).

Oh well.

novalis honked 27 Apr 2023 14:30 +0000

Weird thing: I posted on a local mailing list looking for a lawyer to help me keep my house from being landmarked. All of the on-list replies were in favor of landmarking. All of the off-list, private replies were against it.

novalis bonked 25 Apr 2023 13:50 +0000
original: combs@mastodon.art

this is my new piece "Birdsight (Develop/Validate/Acquire)"

The aging on this box is all fake. The top of the box is covered in faux bird droppings.

Normally it makes nice nature noises. Hold the "Acquire" button and loud, destructive noises emerge... then warning lights flash.

If you hold the button for 30 seconds—an excruciatingly long time, honestly—it begins to pour smoke (really water vapor) and continues to crescendo—until a sudden silence.

it is about some other website 🤔

a grey box mounted on a wall, splattered with oil and stains. connected via a short steel cord is a smaller box, or pendant, with a big yellow button.

this detail of the control pendant box shows a green light labeled Develop, an empty hole labeled Validate, and a big yellow button labeled Acquire with some brownish stains on its label.

the top of the box appears to be covered in bird droppings.

In this action shot, a little smoke and blue light comes out the machine's side.

novalis bonked 18 Apr 2023 13:00 +0000
original: popchicken@mstdn.social

The Fine Sweater is finally complete! Great pattern by Yu Jie, based on the comic by KC Green. This is definitely the most complicated thing I’ve ever knitted, and I think it took me as long to embroider it and weave in the ends as it did to knit it, but I’m glad I did it. Not recommended for anyone who is a perfectionist, though.
#knitting @knitting

Close-up of the dog image on the front of the “Fine” Sweater by Yu Jie, surrounded by flames

Front of the hand-knitted Fine Sweater, pattern by Yu Jie

Back of the Fine Sweater, lots of flames and a grey yoke (smoke)

novalis honked 17 Apr 2023 14:29 +0000

I had to basically beg the NYPD to do anything at all about a car with opaque tape covering its license plate this morning. What the fuck? First call, NYPD Traffic Brooklyn North: "We're not allowed to touch the car, and since there might be no inspection sticker, we can't ticket it." Second call, NYPD 77th precinct: didn't pick up the phone. Third call 311: We have to send you to 911. 911: This is not a 911 matter. Me: Well, I tried three other places. Them: Well, do you think it's suspicious? Me: Do I think it's suspicious that someone has a bunch of tape on their license plate so it can't be read? Yes, that's 100% suspicious: it's 100% so they don't pay tolls or get tickets from red light cameras.

What the fuck?

(Bonus points: NYPD vest in the windshield and a Delaware plate, so if it were actually an NYPD officer, said officer would be violating the rule that officers must live in-state).

novalis honked 06 Apr 2023 13:44 +0000

Matzo Project is legit better than other matzo. It's probably even better than my homemade one. Not sure how they manage that.

novalis honked 24 Mar 2023 21:16 +0000

This week:

Programming: Whacked together a date picker: more-or-less correct on the first try.

Deploying the code: fucking around with incomprehensible machine-specific crashes that don't happen in debug mode.

novalis bonked 15 Mar 2023 18:41 +0000
original: neil@mastodon.neilzone.co.uk

I am organising a conference on FreeBSD / Linux jails and chroots.

It’s an in-person event, but you have to sit in a room in your own, and there’s no socialisation / networking after.

novalis honked 15 Mar 2023 14:04 +0000

I really enjoyed "Say Nothing" by Patrick Radden Keefe. It's about the murder of Jean McConville, and covers the Troubles more generally (although generally focusing on the IRA's crimes more than those of the other sides). I highly recommend it.

novalis honked 13 Mar 2023 13:09 +0000

I had a dream that there was a group called the "Linux Sex Mafia". People had lsm.org email addresses and everything.

It seems like exactly the sort of name that someone would (a) have come up with in the 90s and (b) be embarrassed by today.

So anyway, if the ASF is looking for a new name, they can use LSM.

novalis honked back 07 Mar 2023 17:45 +0000
in reply to: https://social.jvns.ca/users/b0rk/statuses/109983089356620393

@b0rk I've been using bitmaps to do pentomino packing. So, I've got (say) a 6x10 board, and I want to figure out if a T pentomino can go in the top right. So I take the bitmap for T, bitshift it over 3 (so that it's at the right), and then bitwise-and it with the board; if any bits are set, I know that it overlaps an already-placed pentomino. If not, then I can bitwise-or it with the board to place it. Even for larger boards (8x15, say), this is still reasonable; the whole thing fits in two 64-bit ints, and only takes a few instructions.

novalis honked back 23 Feb 2023 22:09 +0000
in reply to: https://mastodon.social/users/danluu/statuses/109916283730846314

re: "old man" complaint about board games

re: "old man" complaint about board games

@danluu I don't think you should necessarily enjoy poker. I don't. But I don't think the reason is about skill ranges, since poker definitely has a wide skill range. Maybe your preferred metric, then, isn't wins over an infinite number of games but net wins per hour?

novalis honked 23 Feb 2023 21:54 +0000

The most valuable company in the world thinks that it's acceptable to send (always very small) integers as strings in JSON. Also, booleans as the string "true" or "false".

novalis honked back 23 Feb 2023 20:06 +0000
in reply to: https://mastodon.social/users/danluu/statuses/109915670038613322

re: "old man" complaint about board games

re: "old man" complaint about board games

@danluu I guess another analogy is rando-Azul, where at the beginning of the game, a tile is secretly chosen and put aside, and at the end of the game it's revealed and you get some extra points for each one of those tiles you have. Even if you are really good at counting, you won't know that you picked the wrong color until the end of the first bag, which is often most of the way through a game. Seems like a mechanic I wouldn't like.

The one advantage over regular Azul is that it reduces the "but Tony is in first place, so let's punish him" problem. Of course, in >2p Azul, that's rarely possible or worth doing anyway, so it's kind of solving a non-problem. Still, I think (as Garfield and Elias point out) that "Tony is in first place" is a real problem for multi-player games where there's any way to non-altruistically punish specific players, and this is one of the two problems that randomness is solving (the other is that it's rude to quit a long multi-player game even when you've already lost -- and it's unfun to do so in a small group where there isn't another game to join, so having some uncertainty keeps players in).

novalis honked back 23 Feb 2023 19:37 +0000
in reply to: https://mastodon.social/users/danluu/statuses/109915582027419700

re: "old man" complaint about board games

re: "old man" complaint about board games

@danluu I think I disagree here. I'm not saying that the non-rando part takes "some skill". I'm saying that it takes all of the skill of regular chess. You might say that it's strictly worse because the returns to skill in terms of win ratio are lower.

I'm not sure I agree. Everyone agrees that poker involves a great deal of skill, and yet it takes a very, very large number of hands to overcome the randomness. I don't think it's possible to imagine poker without randomness.

I agree that rando-chess is worse than regular chess, but not because of the win ratio. It's because the randomness doesn't add anything to the game. I would also dislike ChessCaylus, which is just like chess, but while you're playing chess, you're also playing Caylus (the outcome of the Caylus game has no impact on the chess game -- it's just for fun; it's considered poor sportspersonship to say, things like, "I got checkmated but at least I won at Caylus").

I basically want to change your definition of returns to skill to be: a better player will defeat a worse one after an infinite number of games. To some extent, modern regular Chess is like this: there are so many draws that it takes a lot of games to determine the winner.

My point, maybe, is that making decisions under uncertainty is just as valid a game mechanic as lookahead (chess, go), memorization (Scrabble, Innovation), or negotiating (Diplomacy, Catan, Apples to Apples), or creativity (Stupiduel, Word Blur, Montage), or trivia (Trivial Pursuit, Montage).

You can still complain about games that have randomness but are too long to play enough to overcome the randomness. And you can still dislike certain mechanics. But you should not treat random as necessarily opposed to skill; it just means it takes more time for the skill to show.

novalis honked back 23 Feb 2023 15:24 +0000
in reply to: https://mastodon.social/users/danluu/statuses/109911017344300244

re: "old man" complaint about board games

re: "old man" complaint about board games

@danluu I don't think that "90% chance of winning a single game" is a reasonable metric. Consider rando-chess (It's chess, but after the game you roll 1d6 and on a 6, the loser of the chess game wins). It's got all the skill of chess, but Magnus Carlsson isn't going to beat anyone 90% of the time.

novalis bonked 21 Feb 2023 13:15 +0000
original: UncleDuke1969@universeodon.com

"Aye, the sirens," says the lighthouse keeper, picking a bit of tobacco from his beard. "Some nights, when the wind is just so, I swear I can hear 'em singing." "What do they sing?" I prod him. A faraway look in his eyes, he says in a voice barely above a whisper, "Tubthumping."

A yellow lab (maybe a mix?) in front of a wooden building, wearing a weatherproof coat with the hood pulled over their head, long fur hanging from their neck, looking right with a thoughtful expression.

novalis honked 20 Feb 2023 01:39 +0000

Went to see the Nick Cave exhibit at the Guggenheim. I had assumed that it was Nick Cave the musician (why not -- he's also written novels, and acted in movies). But no, it's a totally different guy with the same name, who is also totally awesome. My pottery buddy and I were both totally blown away by one particular piece. We want to play the video game of it. Obsessively.

Definitely go see it.

novalis honked 18 Feb 2023 14:45 +0000

"The time of the original app purchase, in a date-time format similar to ISO 8601."

Similar? Similar?

(No, there's no further information about how it differs)

novalis honked 17 Feb 2023 21:20 +0000

Ah, yes, the famously delightful Apple user experience, where users have to manually restore in-app purchases, like savages. It's almost as if Apple has forgotten that computers could keep track of this shit on their own.

novalis bonked 15 Feb 2023 15:48 +0000
original: jmac@masto.nyc

Flying away from #NYC makes me remember the same single disorienting shock I feel every time I return to it:

New York! Greatest city on earth! Where we just pile up our literal garbage right on the fuckin sidewalks! Hahaha! Yeah, I know, trust me, you’ll stop even noticing it after the first week. 🗑️🐀

novalis honked back 09 Feb 2023 19:11 +0000
in reply to: https://dice.camp/users/bryantd/statuses/109835653300027277

Tedu's Honk (with misc patches). Good: dead easy to operate -- about five minutes to get running on a DigitalOcean droplet.

Bad: I can't figure out how to vote in polls -- maybe it's not possible. It has somewhat incomprehensible language ("honk", "bonk", etc). Someone has a patch which removes this but I don't want to get too far off mainstream.

It only shows about 450 messages, so if you get far behind, you'll miss some.

I wish for threading.

Possibly a different client would help with this stuff, but I definitely don't need more distractions on my phone, and I haven't looked into what web clients are supported.

novalis bonked 08 Feb 2023 15:35 +0000
original: danhon@dan.mastohon.com

Introducing Dante

It’s a hellishly exciting time to be working on torment technologies as we translate deep research and breakthroughs into products that deliver new levels of distress.

That’s the journey we’ve been on with creating torment from large trauma models. Two years ago we unveiled next-generation torment and misery creation capabilities powered by our Artificial Generative Ordeal and Nuisance Esnemble (or AGON-E for short).

novalis honked 30 Jan 2023 15:07 +0000

With this patch, I now have patches in three different programming languages that I do not use. (Previously, I added a function to Rust's standard library, and fixed the return code of scaladoc).

novalis honked 24 Jan 2023 20:03 +0000

I was trying to make an Art Deco style card back for my work-in-progress game Deco Deck, and I accidentally created... Fart Deco.

A fart in Art Deco style

novalis honked 23 Jan 2023 18:29 +0000

I think Biden ought to be impeached over his handling of classified documents. Classification is bullshit, but it's far more important that the president follow the law than basically anything else.

novalis honked back 11 Jan 2023 14:01 +0000
in reply to: https://mastodon.social/users/b0rk/statuses/109670855322107281

@b0rk In 2009, was converting some streets between map projections (from something like EPSG:32618 to lat/lon). The shapefile didn't have connectivity data -- it just had something like "this street segment starts at point 123.4 and ends at point 456.7". To reconstruct connectivity, I assumed that if two streets shared an endpoint, they were connected. But I kept finding missing connections that were off by a few ULP. The coordinates were exact in the source data, but sometimes changed during the conversion. It turned out that the JITed and non-JITed versions of the conversion routines did the arithmetic slightly differently, so the first ~1000 points converted had slightly different results for the same inputs.

novalis honked 10 Jan 2023 17:48 +0000

Our fucked up healthcare system: Had a prescription (for something time-sensitive) sent to Capsule. Two and a half hours later, Capsule let me know that they can't deliver it until after I leave the house tomorrow morning. So I called up the doctor's office to have it sent to a local pharmacy, and the receptionist said that (a) the doctor herself will have to call the new pharmacy (why?!) and (b) she might not get to it before the local pharmacy closes, and that the receptionist has no way to know whether or not this will be the case (and she didn't even mark it time-sensitive until I was rather insistent about it).

Meanwhile, I am pretty sure that my cat had exactly the same medication three weeks ago, and like a fucking idiot I threw out the remainder. That one's on me -- I should know better than to ever throw out medicine. I bet if I called the vet and told them that my other cat had the same problem, I could just stop in and pick up some, but that would be more expensive and further away.

novalis honked back 24 Dec 2022 21:15 +0000
in reply to: https://mastodon.social/users/jmsdnns/statuses/109566418704153861

@jmsdnns So, the "hint" would basically be a button that shows up after a while which says "revert to before your first error"? But that might eliminate newly-added good parts as well as bad parts. So maybe the button should just remove all erroneous lines. I have a hint button now, so maybe the newbie mode should be "Highlight the hint button when I look like I need a hint"?

novalis honked 23 Dec 2022 18:44 +0000

Just realize I had never posted my new finial.

An orange coiled base supports a blue-green horn; the whole thing resting atop a fencepost

novalis honked 22 Dec 2022 01:14 +0000

Got my @conservancy T-shirts today. Always happy to donate, and the shirts look great! Also a Godot sticker, which is much more fun now that I'm actively using it.

novalis honked 21 Dec 2022 20:42 +0000


I'm working on an app for a new kind of logic puzzle. It's likeTentai Show (https://www.interactive.onlinemathlearning.com/fun_galaxies.php) in that it involves marking regions on a grid.

Like most logic puzzles, there is a single correct answer.

Question: should I have a mode that immediately marks wrong entries (even if they are not contradicted by any other decisions that you have made yet)? Is that useful for learning, or does it just make it so trivial as to be pointless?

novalis honked 17 Dec 2022 21:00 +0000

Ms. 3: Dad, how many colors are in a rainbow?

Me: 16,777,216.

novalis bonked 16 Dec 2022 18:16 +0000
original: rubenbolling@mastodon.social

Things just seem so crazy today.
I mean, can you imagine say in the 1930s if the richest automobile executive in America was also a media owner who used his platform to encourage anti-Semitism and allied himself with a foreign dictator waging a territory-expansion war in Europe?

novalis bonked 16 Dec 2022 18:16 +0000
original: pfadintegral@ohai.social

There are many legitimate reasons to track Elon Musk's flight coordinates, for example to offer him ads more relevant to his interests

novalis honked 15 Dec 2022 16:00 +0000

We know you're obsessive, but please stop telling us about your three girlfriends already.

Truck with text reading "Obsessive about poly.  Passionate about people".

novalis honked 14 Dec 2022 16:20 +0000

It's completely weird that forms require a "title", like Mr., Ms., Mx., etc. I don't want to be referred to as "Mr. Turner". I prefer to use my first name. Surely I can't be the only person with this preference -- the entire tech industry seems to use first names by default. It's not even that they're using the title as a proxy for gender, because "Dr." is often on there.

Does anyone these days prefer to be referred to as "Mr. Lastname"? The one case I can think is be a person from an underrepresented minority who has a PhD: they might want to be referred to as Dr so that they're taken more seriously. But anyone else?

novalis honked 12 Dec 2022 20:06 +0000

For fuck's sake. I got four quotes to replace some windows:

  • one at nearly twice the cost of the others
  • one written by hand, scanned sideways, with only half of the windows listed and a different model than I had requested, with no price listed (and no reply to emails asking to correct)
  • one which I had to ask four times for a U value, which finally sent me a PDF which listed U values of "0.17-0.45" (a range so broad as to be meaningless)
  • one reasonable, professional proposal that I could actually sign.

novalis bonked 12 Dec 2022 18:22 +0000
original: kissane@mstdn.social

So Google search is increasingly vibing late-90s Alta Vista in a casino, Facebook has melted into MySpace + Second Life, Twitter is dogpaddling as hard as it can toward early 4chan but probably isn't going to make it, people are making blogs again, and everyone wants to talk to the ELIZA

Is the whole internet swimming back home to spawn and die, what is happening

novalis honked 06 Dec 2022 14:21 +0000

Last night's chicken, for @katieamazing:

If you have time, brine your chicken thighs: cover them with a few cm of water; weigh the results, water and all; add salt to 1% of this and MSG to 0.25%. Refrigerate overnight. If you don't have time, just salt and msg to taste while the onions are sauteing.

Saute some onions. When they are brown, add minced garlic, minced preserved lemons, turmeric, and ground coriander and saute for a minute.

Drain your chicken, discarding the brine. Add the chicken, along with chicken stock and/or water. When the chicken is nearly finished cooking, add some green olives and vinegar or lemon juice to taste. Mustard would be good too.

novalis bonked 05 Dec 2022 14:25 +0000
original: tedu@honk.tedunangst.com

DZ: cats not cats

DZ: cats not cats

Beautiful. I like that it starts writing the extra letters into the image.


@hankgreen: Someone suggested that I ask MidJourney to show me a cat but to keep adding “A”s until it wasn’t a cat anymore. Here is “cat.”
@hankgreen: Caat
@hankgreen: Caaat
@hankgreen: Caaaat
@hankgreen: Caaaaat
@hankgreen: Caaaaaat
@hankgreen: Caaaaaaat
@hankgreen: Caaaaaaaat
@hankgreen: Caaaaaaaaat: officially no longer a cat.
@hankgreen: Other cats…it kept being some sort of cat for 18 “A”s.