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Stubsack: weekly thread for sneers not worth an entire post, week ending Sunday 16 June 2024
  • wait, we have a SimCopter & Streets of Sim City subthread now? fuck yes. I’m here to attach missile launchers to cars my dad fondly remembers, jankily load my simcity2000 game into the level editor and play the resulting broken mess, and crash (both my car and the game engine)

  • using GitHub CoPilot leads to the obvious consequence
  • agreed. we’ve veered a bit too close to slashdot’s tone on this one.

    with that said, I’m also acutely aware of the tactics that programming.dev reply guys use to generate these kinds of responses. to our guests: it’s best to take your questions about database best practices literally anywhere else but here.

  • using GitHub CoPilot leads to the obvious consequence
  • no, programming.dev, let’s fucking not

  • Stubsack: weekly thread for sneers not worth an entire post, week ending Sunday 16 June 2024
  • according to modern film scholars, this cultural shift was brought about by the lasting audience impact of that scene in Speed (1994) where the bus fucking noclips across a gap while pretending there’s a ramp it’s using to jump (or Keanu made it pop a wheelie?)

  • Stubsack: weekly thread for sneers not worth an entire post, week ending Sunday 16 June 2024
  • no, nobody here is particularly shocked that fascists would lie about being socialists

  • CEO of Zoom: what if we take deepfake fraud, right, and make it a push-button feature of Zoom
  • I stumbled upon this response blog post to people missing the point of Lena and it’s perfect:

    Oh boy, what if there was a maligned sector of human society whose members were for some reason considered less than human? What if they were less visible than most people, or invisible, and were exploited and abused, and had little ability to exercise their rights or even make their plight known?

    That's real! That actually happens! You can name four groups of people matching that description without even thinking. We don't need to add some manufactured debate about fictitious, magical uploads to these real scenarios. They are already terrible!

    and now I’m trying to brainstorm ways to slip a link to awful.systems into qntm’s inbox that don’t look insane

  • CEO of Zoom: what if we take deepfake fraud, right, and make it a push-button feature of Zoom
  • featuring a strong recommendation from @[email protected]:

    "[D]elivers a refreshing dose of existential despair at the transhuman condition." — Charles Stross

    this is making me want print copies of everything, and I haven’t even dug in past Lena yet

  • CEO of Zoom: what if we take deepfake fraud, right, and make it a push-button feature of Zoom
  • somehow I hadn’t read Lena before, and I really like it! this is the style of fiction I’d love to write, if I had time to write fiction.

  • "You can see the future first in San Francisco." OpenAI alumnus Leopold Aschenbrenner pours out a worshipful paean to the AI future, just as if GPT wasn't topping out its S-curve
  • they phrase it so your brain will think otherwise, but I just want to point out the maybe obvious so nobody else has to do a double-take at the quoted paragraphs:

    their example of what an ultra-intelligent AGI could do is of a human speedrunner using a glitch to beat Minecraft in 20 seconds. this asshole is taking something humans are excellent at and saying “but what if AI could do this, and also what if Minecraft was real life?” this is literal baby shit. like, even tool-assisted speedruns are the product of a shitload of human research into the problem space, and the tool’s just executing impossibly precise game inputs programmed, again, by a human. this is another space where AI sucks compared with regular human effort.

    and speaking of which, does anyone remember the early OpenAI and Google marketing where they had an LLM play pac-man or some shit at supposedly superhuman levels? can anyone dig up an outcome for any of those in the form of a record on any credible speedrunning site or during an event? cause speedrunning has a ton of categories including stuff like dog-assisted runs, where you train your dog to play the game, and it’s all considered valid as different forms of skill applied to the game. the one thing you can’t do is cheat, and they’re very good at verifying runs (ie, you must be provably using the method you claim, and you can’t splice video together or use emulator cheats to achieve a better run). so where’s the verified LLM speedrun records?

  • Solana Dev Who Got Burned Up in Meme Coin Stunt Is Alive—And Wants Another Dare
  • no problem! it’s much more dark than comedic in a lot of parts, but it’s excellent overall.

  • wow. sensible
  • deleting your stupid fucking debatebro tantrum won’t save your posting privileges when you piss off everyone who actually posts here

  • Stubsack: weekly thread for sneers not worth an entire post, week ending Sunday 9 June 2024
  • there’s a direct line from SA not explicitly banning ironic naziism to anime nazis being everywhere and I fucking hate it

  • Stubsack: weekly thread for sneers not worth an entire post, week ending Sunday 9 June 2024
  • that is true! usually these assholes set things up so the communities they founded collapse when they leave (and from what I’ve heard that almost happened to SA) so I’m glad they’re flourishing within their niche without said asshole parasocially positioned at the helm. I really should re-include the forums in the list of places I visit when I’m bored.

  • Solana Dev Who Got Burned Up in Meme Coin Stunt Is Alive—And Wants Another Dare
  • I was gonna pull a quote to sneer at how much capitalism and hustle culture have poisoned this guy, but holy fuck that kept getting so much worse the more I read. he’s in the hospital with such severe burns from a stupid stunt he did for a scam that he needs a strong opioid cocktail to function, but capitalism has hijacked so much of his brain he’s going to go straight back to it as soon as he’s out of the hospital

    this is the kind of shit you’d see in an absurdist dark comedy and go “yeah the filmmaker’s right, these are the consequences of a world where capitalism has gone too far and twisted us into something unrecognizable and self-destructive” but it’s here, we’re the absurdist dark comedy and these are the consequences

    fuck it, I’m gonna go rewatch The Lobster

  • Stubsack: weekly thread for sneers not worth an entire post, week ending Sunday 9 June 2024
  • one of the follies of the early non-research internet was that the folks in charge of the more influential communities (Something Awful comes to mind) all tended to be weird fucking libertarian assholes insisting that debating fascists in a “free and fair environment” (whatever that is) must be a good thing, we can’t just ban them on sight for some reason. generally these weird libertarian assholes were motivated by typical weird libertarian asshole things — greed, or being fascists themselves.

    and all of these horseshit policies around not banning fascists ended in complete disaster for those communities and those libertarian shitheads (SA again), but somehow they’re practically the only element of those early communities that carried over to the modern internet, likely because caring about community quality doesn’t make money, but pandering to nazi fuckwits does.

    it probably goes without saying, but I take the apparently radical stance that nobody needs to interact with fascists and assholes and I won’t give their bullshit transit on any system I control. it’s always been surprising to me how many sysops consider “kick out the fucking fascists” an unworkable policy when it’s very easy to implement — it only gets hard when you allow the worst fucking people you know to gain a foothold.

  • Stubsack: weekly thread for sneers not worth an entire post, week ending Sunday 9 June 2024
  • it’s a fucking tragedy what techbros, fascists, and gurus have done to the perception of what a trip even is. there’s this hilariously toxic idea that a trip must have utility or else you’ve wasted your time and material; these people will gatekeep and control how you process what should be a highly personal experience, because that gives them a subtle but powerful amount of influence over what you’ll take back from your trip. the Silicon Valley/TESCREAL crowd have even ritualized bad set and setting so much that they don’t need a guru personally present in order to have a bad fucking time.

    the damage these fucking fools have done is difficult to quantify, largely because psychedelic research is either banned or firmly in the hands of those very same fucking fools. it’s very important to them that you don’t use your temporarily jailbroken neocortex for your own purposes; that you never imagine a world where they don’t matter.

  • lmao it finally happened
  • nah we just don’t understand sneerclub. what we need is some random jackass whose post history is 2000 of the laziest posts I’ve ever fucking seen to come here and read the name of the community at us

    and for those playing the awful.systems drinking game, that’s a shot

  • lmao it finally happened
  • all of your posts are like this huh

  • Lix: a Nix evaluator fork focused on correctness and doing right by its community

    lix.systems Lix

    Lix is an independent variant of the Nix package manager, developed by a team of open-source volunteers, and maintained by and for a passionate community of users.

    it can’t be overstated how important the Nix evaluator is to the Nix ecosystem; it implements the Nix language and package manager, maintains the store, has a hand in the low-level workings of every Nix tool, and is the focus of the push by Eelco and friends to commercialize Nix and keep it appealing to military-industrial interests.

    all of the above is why I joined the Aux CLI SIG, which focuses on maintaining a fork of the Nix evaluator for the Aux ecosystem. but just now I saw the announcement for Lix, a Nix evaluator fork that focuses on modernizing the codebase (including gradually replacing C++ with Rust), maintaining correctness (something the upstream evaluator has been notoriously struggling with lately), and doing right by its community. I found myself nodding along to their description of the project and feeling something I haven’t felt since I read the open letter — I’m finally feeling excited for the future of the technology behind Nix.

    I have no idea if Lix will become Aux’s chosen evaluator fork, though the Aux CLI SIG can help determine that collectively (and I’ll have many more details on Aux in a post later tonight). here’s what’s truly exciting though: by following Lix’s install steps and pulling auxpkgs-unstable, we can have a package ecosystem and NixOS fork that’s completely independent of the Nix community, and we can have it right now. I’m so excited by that news that I’m going to spin up a host just to give Lix+auxpkgs a try later tonight.

    here’s the Aux thread about Lix; so far, there’s a lot of high-level support and excitement for using it as Aux’s evaluator.

    8

    an open letter to the NixOS foundation

    this thread fucking sucks for me to have to post, but the linked open letter is an important read. none of the systemic issues pertaining to marginalized folks and commercial/military-industrial interests in the Nix community I’ve previously written about on TechTakes have been solved; in fact, they’ve gotten worse to the point where the Nix community moderation team is essentially in the process of quitting. that’s the beginning to an awful end for a project I like a whole lot.

    even if you don’t give a fuck about Nix, the open letter is an important read because the toxicity, conflicts of interest, and underhanded tactics detailed in it are incredibly common in the open source space. this letter could have been written about a multitude of infamously toxic open source projects; Nix is lucky that it has marginalized folks involved who care about the direction of the project and want to make things better, but those people are actively leaving, after being burnt out by the toxic people and structures entrenched in Nix’s community. that’s a fucking tragedy.

    66

    the tea protocol is still predictably a gigantic source of PR spam

    www.web3isgoinggreat.com tea.xyz causes open source software spam problems, again

    The tea.xyz protocol first earned an entry on Web3 is Going Just Great in late February, when their plan to reward open source software contributors resulted in crypto enthusiasts with no intention of participating in OSS opening endless pull requests to claim ownership of prominent OSS projects. Th...

    tea.xyz causes open source software spam problems, again

    who could have seen this coming, other than everyone who told the homebrew tree inverter guy this was a bad idea they absolutely shouldn’t do

    15

    thread your Philthy feature requests

    reply with features and bug fixes you'd like to see in Philthy, the lemmy fork that runs on this instance. no guarantees I'll get to any of them soon, but particularly low-hanging fruit and well-liked features can be prioritized.

    0

    ask me questions about awful.systems or NixOS!

    codeberg.org awful-systems

    the Nix flake that deploys the awful.systems server infrastructure

    awful-systems

    the awful.systems server cluster runs on an open infrastructure based on NixOS and Nix flakes, and though it desperately needs cleanup in some places, it's still a pretty good example of how to use a Nix flake to deploy NixOS in production. feel free to browse the repo and ask any questions about how it works, or about Nix in general!

    also, if I get hit by a bus, this can be used to redeploy awful.systems elsewhere. an existing admin who isn't in the hospital or the grave can import a database backup and get back up and running!

    and as always, contributions are welcome.

    0

    the r/SneerClub archive welcomes contributions

    codeberg.org sneer-archive-site

    An archival site for the posts from r/SneerClub, generated from a static data snapshot

    sneer-archive-site

    the r/SneerClub archive at awful.systems is welcoming contributors. it's a statically-generated site (from this set of archived posts in JSON format) that uses a unique, high-performance Nix-based static site generation system. the current site desperately needs a new stylesheet (especially on mobile), but one area where I really need advice or contributions is the dataset.

    currently, the SneerClub archives only pull in data from the bdfr set, which I generated using Bulk Downloader for Reddit right before Reddit killed its API, but I'd love to merge the SneerClub_comments.jsonl and SneerClub_submissions.jsonl files into the data we're using to generate the site, since those have older data from ArchiveTeam. unfortunately, that data set is in a complete different format from the BDFR data. any advice for tools or techniques to merge those two data sets into one (or offers to contribute a merge script) is greatly appreciated.

    0

    Philthy, the awful.systems fork of Lemmy, is seeking contributors

    codeberg.org awful.systems

    Codeberg is a non-profit, community-led organization that aims to help free and open source projects prosper by giving them a safe and friendly home.

    awful.systems

    the software we use to run awful.systems, which @[email protected] suggested I call Philthy (and I agreed!), is seeking contributors.

    like upstream Lemmy, this consists of a Rust backend and a Typescript+React frontend. contributions to both are welcome; use this thread to discuss ideas and collaborate.

    here's some contribution ideas off the top of my head (but all reasonable contributions are welcome):

    • (frontend & backend) actually rebrand to Philthy, to prevent confusion between us and upstream Lemmy
    • (frontend & backend) rewrite README.md to emphasize that this is a fork
    • (frontend) make the page header and footer more configurable; remove various links that aren't relevant to awful.systems
    • (backend) delete posts from Mastodon when they're deleted on our end
    • (frontend & backend) implement The Firehose, a big admin-only list of the posts and content leaving our instance
    • (frontend & backend, ongoing) merge in changes from upstream Lemmy if there are features you wish our instance had

    or make suggestions in this thread!

    one major blocker preventing folks from contributing to Lemmy-related development I've seen is that a lot of people don't know Rust. if that's the case, I can offer the following:

    • the Lemmy codebase is the worst possible place to learn Rust, but I'd love to start a thread for Rust tutorials and shared learning. it's honestly an excellent language in its own right, so I'd love to teach folks about it even if they don't end up contributing to Philthy.
    • if you're good with React and/or Typescript and the feature you want to implement has a backend component, I don't mind handling the backend portion if I'm able.
    2

    welcome to FreeAssembly: a non-toxic collaborative community

    this is a non-toxic place to collaborate on projects (programming, design, art, or otherwise) and share information; effectively, it's the awful.systems answer to Hacker News. this community has been in the planning phase for a long time, but the xz backdoor recently emphasized how severe the toxicity problem in existing open source communities is, and how important it is that we have a place to collaborate that isn't controlled by toxic personalities or corporate interests.

    FreeAssembly is starting its existence as a Lemmy community that enables collaboration on externally-hosted projects, but that doesn't necessarily need to be its final form. as we figure out the needs of this community, we can grow to service needs like code hosting and design collaboration. for now, we recommend hosting code on software forges like Codeberg (and we recommend avoiding github if possible, though it's well-understood that this isn't easy for established projects). we also want to explore the best options for designers and artists to collaborate without making them dependent on large corporate infrastructure.

    there are some expectations around posting to FreeAssembly. see the sidebar for details.

    0

    Amazon’s 'Just Walk Out' grocery stores are dead

    gizmodo.com Amazon Ditches 'Just Walk Out' Checkouts at Its Grocery Stores

    Amazon Fresh is moving away from a feature of its grocery stores where customers could skip checkout altogether.

    Amazon Ditches 'Just Walk Out' Checkouts at Its Grocery Stores

    (via https://hachyderm.io/@jbcrawford/112202942593125987, archive: https://archive.is/VnqRZ)

    surprise, Amazon’s godawful surveillance grocery stores were just exploiting hidden labor and calling it innovation, and even that was too expensive

    even worse, the few times I’ve seen one of these fucking things in the wild, it still had 1-2 employees hovering near the entrance to make sure nobody did the utterly obvious (fuck with the payment system and get free shit), a job that’s also known as a fucking cashier, but with much worse pay, much harder labor (physically stopping shoplifters), and no counter to lean on or opportunity to even sit down

    30

    flag any spam you see from lemmy.world (or elsewhere)

    we’re seeing a bit of spam come in from lemmy.world. if you happen to see any (and a lot of it seems to be in DMs), make sure to flag it. that’ll let both us and the originating instance’s mods know. if we get a bunch of reports and it seems like lemmy.world isn’t cleaning things up properly, we’ll take further steps to limit the amount of spam we get

    1

    the Amaranth hardware description language

    Amaranth is a simple-but-expressive hardware description language (the type of language you use to define integrated circuits for FPGAs, ASICs, and similar hardware) implemented as a Python DSL. I'm not the biggest Python fan, but Amaranth is worth it -- even though it's in heavy development and its documentation is incomplete, it's by far the most comprehensible HDL I've ever used, and I've tried many of them.

    its documentation is incomplete since the language is under heavy development, but its language guide is still the best gentle introduction to HDL concepts I've read, and its tutorials are written for an older version of the language (sometimes called nMigen) but are still excellent -- in particular, Robert Baruch's tutorials combine design fundamentals with formal verification (which itself is usually considered an advanced technique, but Amaranth streamlines it), and the Vivonomicon RISC-V tutorials are worth a read too

    3

    >You could get a robot limb for your blown-off limb > >Later on the same technology could automate your gig, as awesome as it is > >Wait, it gets awful: you could split a atom willy-nilly > >If it's energy that can be used for killing, then it will be > >It's not about a better knife, it's chemistry and genocide > >And medicine for tempering the heck in a projector light > >Landmines, Agent Orange, leaded gas, cigarettes > >Cameras in your favorite corners, plastic in the wilderness > >We can not be trusted with the stuff that we come up with > >The machinery could eat us, we just really love our buttons, um > >Technology, focus on the other shit > >3D-printed body parts, dehydrated onion dip > >You can buy a Jet Ski from a cell phone on a jumbo jet > >T-E-C-H-N-O-L-O-G-Y, it's the ultimate

    the subject matter of Aesop Rock's latest album felt relevant to our instance's interests

    23

    a self driving car burns in San Francisco. the orange site can’t decide which racist trope to blame

    (here’s a Verge article about the Waymo car getting burned during a Chinese New Year celebration)

    a self-driving car got destroyed (to a round of applause from the crowd) in San Francisco! will the robot car fans on the orange site take this opportunity to explore why the tech seems to be extremely unpopular among the populations of the cities where it’s deployed?

    of course the fuck not, time to spin the wheel of racist dog whistles and see which one we land on! a note to the roving orange site fans (hi, fuck off), these replies are either heavily upvoted or have broad agreement in the thread (or I’m posting them here cause I want to laugh at some stupid shit, you don’t dictate the terms of my enjoyment)

    >This isn't a revolt against AI. SF attracts anarchist mobs and they'll vandalize buses, trains, police cars, bikes, whatever is around.

    we’re off to a strong start with some bullshit straight from musk’s twitter (which he stole from the fever dreams of the conservatives on his platform)

    >Alternatively: this is San Francisco where on a good day the locals don’t need much excuse to set fire to a car (although I usually associate it with the Giants winning a World Series) and this poor dumb stupid driverless Waymo drove into a celebratory and by the looks of it somewhat drunken crowd on the Streets of Chinatown during the Chinese New Year where in following its prime directive to do no harm, it got itself stuck up the creek without a paddle so to speak. Waymo probably should have accounted for that ahead of time and told their cars not to go near Chinatown this evening.

    remember that no matter what, the robot car is the victim here. there’s no chance Waymo was doing anything dangerous or assholeish in the area; much like robocop, the car is an innocent victim of its fucking prime directives??? and you wouldn’t set fire to robocop, would you?

    >This is a hilarious take. A few youths went bonkers and defaced private property. Has nothing to do with philosophical beliefs or a Big Tech agenda. You should debate the finer points of the Big Tech agenda with them while they run up to you in a maddened rage.

    yeah! I can’t wait until these angry mobs set fire to your robot car body! then you’ll see!

    >Arguments about driverless cars aside, the youth in this country are seriously lost. It only takes one generation of poor parenting and poor civic policies to ruin a culture.

    this one is downvoted, but this reply isn’t:

    >Sounds like they were right. The youth at that point was lost, and are now raising people who will literally burn down a waymo for fun, or because of some horrifically ignorant idea about fairness.

    oh you poor woke kids don’t like when shitty dangerous robot cars are on the streets? are you gonna start crying about how it’s “unfair” they’re covering up pedestrian injuries and traffic accidents now? your grandpa would never stand for this

    30

    as it turns out, a mountain of health woo and transfusing your teenage son’s blood into yourself is no match for long covid

    www.donotpanic.news The Billionaire Who Wants To Live Forever Has Long Covid

    The billionaire who wants to live forever just admitted he has long covid. Specifically, covid wrecked his lungs. If you haven’t come across him, Bryan Johnson is a 46-year-old tech bro who cashed out a few years ago and now spends all his time trying not to die.

    The Billionaire Who Wants To Live Forever Has Long Covid

    (via mastodon)

    59

    upgrade: lemmy 0.19.3

    this one should hopefully fix the remaining token issues folks have been having, though I'm not seeing anything in the commit log about fixes for the other session and pagination issues we've noticed. as always, let me know if anything looks broken. I'm still working on getting Photon deployed, which might be a good workaround for the frontend breakages we've been seeing.

    8

    upgrade: lemmy 0.19.2 + infrastructure [clear your browser cache and cookies!]

    today's (later than planned) upgrade to lemmy 0.19.2 provisionally appears to have gone alright. if you see excessive amounts of jank (and your page footer can't decide what version of lemmy it's running on, IE it shows separate FE and BE versions), clear your browser cache and cookies since lemmy doesn't seem to do that cleanly on its own

    next up I'm planning to deploy the Proton frontend as an alternative to the default and I'm also going to start pushing code to codeberg (most likely) so stay tuned for that

    40

    awful.systems is updating its priors [lemmy upgrade to 0.19.2 and downtime January 13 at 11 PM GMT]

    I’m taking awful.systems down for a bit tomorrow (January 13) around 11 PM GMT because after 16 release candidates and 2 hotfixes, lemmy 0.19.x finally seems like a safe enough upgrade. this is going to be a major one, so I’ll be taking our instance down temporarily to get a database backup before I apply the upgrade. expect exceptional levels of jank!

    9

    some AI jackasses decided to reanimate George Carlin’s corpse and make it say embarrassing shit

    www.usatoday.com George Carlin is coming back to life in new AI-generated comedy special

    Comedy legend George Carlin died in 2008, but a new AI-generated special is bringing him back to life with commentary on current events.

    George Carlin is coming back to life in new AI-generated comedy special

    remember, regardless of how outspoken you are in life, nothing will stop the capitalists from reanimating your defiled corpse into a shitheaded centrist zombie if there’s a buck in it:

    >“I'd just like to say that as much as I think billionaires are destroying the fabric of society with unchecked greed and blatant self-interest at the expense of basic human rights for everyone else, it is a little strange to me that people get mad at them. People are the ones who gave them the money in the first place," the AI Carlin said.

    (editor’s note: the above is supposed to be a joke from the comedy special these fucking assholes hijacked Carlin’s corpse to promote. I can’t find the punchline, but it’s supposed to be a joke)

    48

    DIDcomm: what happens when you let crypto folks into your web standards org

    we had a previous thread on this thing way back when TechTakes moved here, but it deserves a Buttcoin thread too. observe, for your enjoyment(???), an even worse derivative of the reputedly most worthless W3C standard. when you’ve got nothing of value to write about but you need a spec to be taken seriously so you write stuff like this:

    >The purpose of DIDComm Messaging is to provide a secure, private communication methodology built atop the decentralized design of DIDs. > >It is the second half of this sentence, not the first, that makes DIDComm interesting. “Methodology” implies more than just a mechanism for individual messages, or even for a sequence of them. DIDComm Messaging defines how messages compose into the larger primitive of application-level protocols and workflows, while seamlessly retaining trust. “Built atop … DIDs” emphasizes DIDComm’s connection to the larger decentralized identity movement, with its many attendent virtues.

    (that typo in the second paragraph of the spec has been there for at least 6 months, cause if anyone went back to proofread this crap they’d probably delete all of it out of embarrassment)

    DIDcomm is what happens when crypto folks get invited to join your standards org, and it does to the spec writing process what crypto and AI did to whitepapers: it’s all extreme filler to mask the lack of an idea, built on top of a spec that famously specifies nothing

    7

    defed: threads (and commemorative cocktail recipe!)

    now that threads is starting to federate, they sure as fuck aren’t with us

    threads.net commemorative cocktail:

    • glass: old fashioned (lowball)
    • pour hard cider from red apples until glass is 3/4ths full
    • top with 1 shot of bourbon
    • smoke glass with cherry wood
    • garnish with sliced lime, or add lime juice to taste
    • drink and meditate on what AOL and then Google did to usenet
    9