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Posts posted by Randox

  1. Reading today about the lawsuit against Canada over how the Huawei CFO was arrested. From what I know about how the CBSA operates, the only part that I see as problematic is not telling her why she was detained.


    As far as what they did, it all seems fine even if the reasons were a little shady (the RCMP totally took advantage of the fact that the CBSA has way fewer restrictions when it comes to interviews and searches), but not illegal. You have no right to privacy, no right to consul, and no right to silence so far as I know, nor does the CBSA need a reason. But I'm not sure they're allowed to lie about why they are conducting an interview or detaining you.


    I expect they are. They're definitely allowed to continue searching to build a case even once it becomes clear they will detain you. Not sure if they can lie about the nature of it though or if they can only lie by omission.


    Anyway, interested to see where that goes. The general rule would be to take nothing across the border that you don't want searched; at least not the Canadian border. I think most countries are similar though. Broad power and narrow scope. Don't mess with border agents or borders.

  2. I never really liked the Michael Scott character. He was amusing, but I often found myself wishing that he would interfere less in some of the other story arcs. I've never been able to watch the first season (because Scott is malicious instead of just clueless), and the last two are probably my favourite overall (though many of my favorite episodes are from earlier seasons). Jim (John Krasinski) was always my favorite (I like Steve Carel too, in other stuff, espeically Get Smart). Really like him in the Jack Ryan show.

  3. Been making more of an effort to get myself into playable form with the Bass Guitar. My parents got into a beginner band last year (Mom learning the Cello, Dad taking up Piano), and the Band Instructor was kind enough to give them the Bass part too so that I would be able to stop by and practice/learn with them a bit. Really helped me get into it to be sure, and while it's not the normal stuff a bass would play, it got me a lot more comfortable with the instrument and reading bass clef (I've played Saxaphone for years, and if I stop thinking about it I still read bass clef as treble in my head).


    Right now I'm hammering away at Money (Pink Floyd) and Africa (Toto). Money seems to be a good beginner song, but some of the rhythm work is melting my brain. Africa is harder than it looks (for me at least). Suffice it to say that my dexterity isn't quite there yet.

  4. Halloween is a purely American thing like Thanksgiving.


    Although like with pretty much any American custom we are also having some younger people celebrating it, but only on the 31st. Mainly for having slutty halloween costumes at student parties.


    We actually have a national traditional holiday that is a bit similar, in that you dress up and go door-to-door for treats and stuff, while memorating ancestors, but it's mid-November.

    Canadian and Irish too (Halloween). Canadian Thanksgiving is a separate holiday though, which takes place this Sunday. I still find it weird that the rest of the world isn't into Halloween. It's literally the eat candy and cosplay holiday. Why does no one else want in on this?

    • Like 1
  5. I'm no expert but mixing memory sticks in a 2×8 + 2x4 set would cause tremendous issues, wouldn't it?

    So far as I know, the different capacities are fine, though the memory speed may need to be manually corrected. The motherboard should have no more issue with mismatched DIMM sizes in the same channel than it does with mismatched channel sizes (I actually have 3 4GB sticks, since the computer they were pulled from had a 3x4GB configuration. 8GB dual channel + 4GB single channel).

  6. I don't normally use peoples real names (unless that was how I was introduced to them), and generally insist on people using my handle even if they know my real name. I guess it's a compartmentalisation thing. When I am online, I expect to hear my handle; it's what I respond to. When I'm not online, I expect to hear my given name.


    16 GB of RAM here too. I can boost that to 24 GB (2x8 + 2x4) if I need more memory at the expense of speed, but it's never come up. I'm still rocking an i5-4670k, which uses relatively cheap DDR3 RAM. I got a lovely pair of sticks with 8ms CAS @ 1600mhz.


    Also, scandinavian languages having Germanic roots makes sense now that I think about it (that at least one of the languages uses the letter thorn would be a good clue). Had a friend spend a year in Iceland, and she picked up a bit of the language while she was there. English speaker like I am, though with a radically different accent (she spent a few years in Australia growing up, be we don't hold it against her).

  7. Yeah, Scandinavian languages aren't the easiest to deal with. The...sound profile (?) is very different. Really, anything that doesn't have Germanic or Latin roots is likely to be an issue for mono lingual English speakers (or even multi-lingual people who only speak languages with Germanic or Latin roots). Hawaiian is pretty good though. When I was in Hawaii, the map we had included a pronunciation index. Written Hawaiian is quite strait forward, but the spelling rules are quite different and the words tend to be long. I think the idea of the guide was that if you got lost, you would be able to get close enough to a correct pronunciation for locals to understand where you are trying to go.


    Come to think of it, there are a few places that should probably have a pronunciation key on local maps...if anyone still used maps.

  8. Just because something is easy to you doesn't mean it's easy to others. You're essentially asking people to ignore every biological instinct they have, and years of specific social conditioning, in the interest of politeness. Clearly not being an [wagon] deliberately is a good thing, but it's not like you're asking someone to call you by a nickname.

    I feel like the presumption is, if you thought the request had merit, you would at least make an effort to honour it.


    I expect that most people understand that mistakes will be made, and if not, that's their problem, not yours. It's sort of like making an effort to learn how to pronounce an unusual name. I'm game to try and learn anyone's name, as long as they understand that their language might contain sounds I can't make*. If it turns out I can't say their name, they can either give me a nickname to use, or put up with me saying their name wrong, but I'll let them choose.


    Now, I realise this isn't always a fair presumption to make. Just like someone might not want to say a foreign name because they're self conscious about getting it wrong, someone may very well feel uncomfortable honouring a request to use specific pronouns for reasons that don't involve not believing in separate biological and psychological gender. I don't know what that reason would be, exactly, but I'm willing to believe it exists (but that's easy for me to say, because I'm not in a position to care).


    That said, my observation has been that pretty much everyone would rather you at least try that not make any effort, and will assume that your ignorant or rude if you don't. That is, personal discomfort is trumped by their right/desire to control how they are referred to.



    *I had a South Korean friend in University who tried to teach me a few words in Korean, and some words I would hear totally different on subsequent repetitions. As best as I can tell, it's my brain trying to make sense of sounds I'm not familiar with, and translating them into a best guess sound I know. Sadly, this means I can't actually hear some of the sounds she made for what they really were, let along duplicate them.


    I do really well with French, and pretty well with German and Russian, though I need to hear words more slowly than in French. My Parisian housemate complimented me on my French parroting (and it is parroting. If I actually spoke French to her, it would be in my own accent, which is 'east coast English speaker who can't speak Quebecois').

  9. Getting back into Kerbal Space Program with some mods I've not used before, like Interstellar, and MKS/USI (base building/base building logisitics, and life support). I'm also trying out career mode for the first time.


    There's still stuff I've not done, places I've not visited, but it all uses skills I already have. Same thing, different destination. It struck me as I was getting back into the game that orbital rendezvous isn't a big deal for me anymore. I mean, I've been able to make two ships meet up in orbit for a long time (since the patch before docking ports were added to the game to be specific), but I've always been a bit apprehensive about it; it's something I would tend to avoid if it wasn't necessary.


    Now it's routine. I built a Mun lander for my career mode the other day, and didn't think twice about making it an orbiter and lander configuration rather than landing the whole ship to make the design easier. I'm not the best at docking, far from it, but there is no longer any doubt in my mind that I can do it, and rendezvous and docking was really the last skill for me where I still had doubts. I can fly to orbit, I can get intercepts with other planets and land on them, and I join ships up in orbit.


    Anyway, I'm looking forward to this. Colonisation gives my space program new purpose, and the mods give me new stuff to discover and learn. And later on, some ridiculously over powered engines.

  10. Here's a question.


    Why do meat products, particularly chicken, get recalled for suspected salmonella contamination?


    I was taught that salmonella in chicken should just be taken for granted, that it was common enough that you should always just assume it's there, and that's why you just don't eat pink chicken and why you take care to wash your hands and any surface raw chicken (or any other meat) touches. I take it that salmonella is not as common in chicken as I thought (I thought that something like 30% of chicken would contain it)?


    Obviously non meat products are a different case. Salmonella isn't expected in a salad.

  11. If you can swing it, and can deal with the possible stress, some people rent out part of their home to help cover the cost. Ideally, you want the tennant to be at least paying say, the interest on your mortgage, turning it into a free loan for you.


    Having already done the living in a house with other people thing, I'd sooner light my pants on fire than rent out part of a house I actually own myself, because apparently everyone treats anything they don't own like shit. But hey, if you're less disillusioned about renting than I am, it's a possibility. Or maybe the idea of sharing your property with someone who never picked up a sponge during the first 20 years of their life and thinks cleaning out the dryer lint screen is for fancy people excites you in ways you can't explain. Who am I to judge.

    • Like 1
  12. Skyrim Special Edition.


    I walked away from classic Skyrim a while ago when I ran into an issue with the sun shining through solid objects and broke my load order trying to fix it. It happened when I upgraded graphics cards, and I suspect it was a driver issue (as in, I would need to use an ancient driver to play the game now). I filled that hole in my life with Fallout NV and 4 while waiting for the special edition mod scene to get to where I wanted it to be.


    But Gopher, on youtube, recently started a new Skyrim series in special edition, so I decided to take a look at the mods. It looked good, so I did what I've done in a past which is use Gophers mod list as a template for my own game, and then flesh it out to taste (I use his list to get an idea of what is available, and under the assumption it will point me towards compatible mods). I've got some old favorites returning, and some new mods to fill in holes by other mods that special edition doesn't have, and a lot more in total than I expected. I thought it would be 30-40 mods, not my current 80, with almost 100 plugins.


    One of the very useful skills I picked up in my time with Fallout 4 is making custom patches. The problem you run into is that mods overrite eachother based on whole records/objects. For example, an NPC is an object. If one mod wants to change that NPC's equipment and another mod wants to change their appearance, only one mod or the other can win because both mods modify records attached to the same object. Some mods come with compatibility patches that solve these kinds of issues for you, but if there isn't one available, the only way to make mods play nice is to make your own patch by manually combining the changes from multiple different mods into a new one. One of the mods I'm using this time around retextures everyone (or close to it), largely because you can't make a female Breton who doesn't look 60 in vanilla:






    This conflicts with a couple of my other mods with modify NPC equipment, stats, and quests. The quest one is really important. If the texture mod wins I end up with 'dark face' because the lighting or whatever doesn't match the new textures. If the mod adding the quest doesn't win, my game implodes. So I spent longer than I cared to fixing stuff like that. Learning to use TESVEdit to examine, and where necessary, resolve conflicts is probably the biggest skill I picked up for modding Bethesda games. You can head off a lot of bullshit by taking a gander at the conflicts provided you have a solid understanding of what the mods in question are trying to do.


    Anyway, it took a couple days, but I think I finally got the game about where I want it. It looks pretty good, combat has been made a bit more interesting, I have a whole new perk overhaul I've never used, and some other gameplay is a bit expanded. So far, so good. Oh, and a bunch of quest mods I never tried out in the classic game.

  13. mods and admins don't have a post timer. some ex staff (maybe all) keep this ability

    Consider it a service gift, though not all ex-staff retain that ability (nor do all staff have it to begin with). As long as it's not abused, I see no reason to 'fix' it. I would of course prefer people to edit their posts rather than double post, at least until some time has passed. The flood control is there to keep people from multiposting on accident by hammering the post button when their browser doesn't react fast enough.



    In other news, there may be a squirrel nesting in a buddies old kayak that is hanging in my carport. On the face of it, I have to applaud the squirrel for such a fine choice of location, since it's pretty much impossible for a cat or predatory bird to get to it there. On the other hand, I highly suspect it to be a pregnant female squirrel, and her accessing the kayak involves jumping from a cupboard to the kayak right above my main door, significantly raising my chances of accidentally picking a fight I want no part of. It/she may have decided the area is too traveled and moved though, or else is only storing some food there and nesting somewhere else. In any event, I've decided to let the situation be for now. It's not my kayak and I like having squirrels around (they're fun to watch).


    I also saw a pair of ducks walking down the street this morning.I live by the water, but I'm about 70 feet above it, so it always amuses me when they bother to come up to the house (it seems to happen during or following heavy rain).


    And there are definitely deer traipsing through the yard from time to time. Pooping on the lawn.

    • Like 1
  14. We've fixed an issue with forums where the system for changing email addresses and validating new accounts was using a depreciated, and no longer functional, CAPTCHA system. We believe this issues started on April 19. We apologize for the inconvenience and frustration this has caused for people. The CAPTCHA system has been updated and anyone attempting to validate a new account or change their email address should now be able to do so.


    If anyone runs into any further problems, please send in an account problem report here.



    ~Tip.It Administrative Team

    • Like 1
  15. Today I learned that how loud a CD is (at a given speed) depends on how well balanced it is. Never thought about it before, but it makes sense. I learned this while setting up Riven to run in ScrummVM, which I'm pleased to say seems to work. Non of the compatability modes can quite get the game working right. Exile still works natively though, if you use software mode instead of direct draw, and Myst doesn't matter because I have the super pretty remaster (the second one). Also, all the games are getting re-released later this year apparently, including IV which I have never been able to get my hands on (apparently III is pretty rare too). I hope they can make Riven look a little better, even without the original assets, and the fourth game hasn't been available since like 3 years after it was released.

  16. The youtube channel Binkov's Battlegrounds might be of interest to anyone wondering how various powers stack up. Each video is a scenario, some more plausible than others, that range in scope from a battle between to ships to multi national conflicts. Of the videos I've seen so far, scenarios are limited to the use of conventional weapons, but I think there are at least a couple that deal with nuclear scenarios too. So far as I can tell, they're well researched and well thought out to the limits of publicly available information.



    I finished reading the book Clariel a couple days ago, and Goldenhand yesterday; books 4 and 5 in the Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix. Nix might be my favourite author at this point (was a big fan of the 7 Towers and Keys to the Kingdom series' too). My only criticisim is that the climax of Goldenhand was a bit brief, and ends very quickly on its resolution. Unless he is planning to pick up that story a 6th time, I wouldn't have minded another chapter or two. In any event, Goldenhand fits onto the original 3 books very nicely, while Clariel is a worthy prequel, and the two books make a good dilogy in their own right.

  17. Getting back into Crusader Kings 2 a bit. Took a while to get back up to speed, as these games do. When I was last playing, my previous ruler, Alfred the Bewitched (A cruel and deceitful possessed lunatic impaler who was also proud, lustful, greedy, wroth, slothful and gluttonus, among other awesome things) took enough time out of being pants on head crazy to form the Kingdom of England before converting to Catharisim, a catholic heresy, because he had a crazy quota to meet. I think where I picked up (which is at least a year since I last played), my current ruler, King Eric the Just, had finished putting down some revolts and expanding territory. There is one county that should be part of England that is somehow independent, but I also have about half of wales and the southern bit of Pictland (Scotland).


    Anyway, one of my aims right now, other than acquiring more land (I am shooting for the Empire of Britannia), is taking advantage of becoming Cathar to change my succession laws to Absolute Cognatic, meaning men and women would inherit on equal grounds. To do that, all my vassals need to like me, and while I've won many of them over a large group of them (rightly) consider me a heretic for being Cathar. But toward the end of today's session I remembered that I can revoke titles from Catholics, or anyone who isn't Cathar, without loosing standing with my other vassals because they're a different religion (tolerance!). Once I am no longer at war, I'll have a chance to clean house and ride the goodwill of handing out titles to changing some laws.


    However, I believe I also need to wait until the next ruler takes over. I have only one (legitimate) son, and my eldest is Queen of West Francia and first pretender to the throne. If I became absolute cognatic, I believe she becomes the heir, and that would be bad (since her children won't be of my house). I think I would have control of her in that case and could transfer the ducal and lesser titles back to someone with a better line of succession, but I'd lose the King title.


    So my line of succession is certainly a little tense right now. Fun times.


    EDIT: The succession has not gone to plan. My planned heir died before he could ascend the throne, and as the only son of King Eric, the line of succession reverted to his elder sister. With no feasible way of keeping the Kingdom in the dynasty if that happened, I legitimized King Eric's bastard son, who as a man, would gain priority in the line of succession. Of course, he'd already had two children by that point, and since he was a bastard at the time, those children weren't of my dynasty either. Three nerve wracking years later, those two grandchildren had died, two dynastic grandchildren had been born, and Eric's bastard son was extremely upset with his dad over the whole 'child murder thing'. Then King Eric's daughter up and got herself killed anyway. However, I did manage to test it out, and switching to Absolute Cognatic causes the line of succession to run through one of the daughters to her non dynastic grandchild, so I did need to legitimize the bastard and kill my newphews to make this all work.


    Anyway, King Eric still didn't want to die, so I've figured, what the heck. He has a lot of prestige, piety, and gold he can burn to take Pictland very quickly and form the Empire of Britannia (he's also the King of Wales now). He's now leading troops into battle at 66 years old, because this ruler is just way too awesome. Not sure I can keep him going long enough to get it done, but if he does, I think I'll figure out how to change his nickname from 'the Just' to 'the Great' to match his deeds. He inherrited a Kingdom in complete turmoil, the last king going crazy and all, and had to put down a revolt out of the gate. He's massively expanded the kingdom since, in between 'waging peace' against his own vassals and peasantry as needed, all while being generally well liked by his countrymen (I've managed to have no negative vassal opinion with him multiple times). Oh, and he's chiefly responsible for the massive surge in the power and spread of the Cathar Heresy, which among christian religions is second in authority only to the Orthodox Church (admittedly it's a big gap, but the Orthodox Church has the Byzantine Empire running it's holy wars, and more than one holy site).

  18. I took a quick peek. I should be able to sort the media tag out over the weekend (if it wasn't part of the default bbcode library I'd do it sooner). Thank you for pointing out the issue. In the meantime, the youtube tags (youtubehq and youtubehd) are both correctly setup and should work fine. For anyone who doesn't know, the third button in from the top left when writing a post is the special bbcode button, and lists a bunch of bbcodes that don't have their own buttons (such as the youtube codes).

  19. You might not be able to get youtube videos to embed. I seem to remember having a look at the code for that because it wasn't working and then not fixing the problem (because I didn't see one). If I remember, I'll take another look at it no later than this weekend.

  20. I am unsure if we'll have warning or not. I know the site and community are important to Silverion, even if he isn't here much.


    I've gotten myself a temporary job at a place I used to work retail while I seek other employment. This time I'm working on the commercial crew, and I find the days go by much faster. The hours are also better for traffic and I don't work weekends (yay!).

  21. On the subject of cars, mine wouldnt start tonight. Random guy saw me having troubles, listened to it crank for 5 seconds, and immediately knew I just needed to press the gas pedal to get it to start.


    I tried googling how in the world he knew that, or how it even helped, but google thinks I'm a dunce that knows nothing about cars (accurate)

    Fuel injection complicates the issue, but any car should have a cold weather start procedure that involves holding down the gas to help it start. In this case, it tells the engine to enrichen the air/fuel mix. Fuel vapour tends to recondense as it hits a cold engine, effectively leaning out the mixture to a point where the engine can't start. This is why carburated engines have a choke. Modern fuel injection should handle this automatically, so the fact that you needed to hit the gas tells me there might be an issue with the engine (I believe that fuel pump issues are likely to surface to in winter. This is not technically an engine issue since it's located in the gas tank).


    Or maybe I'm wrong. That's my recollection though.


    As to how he knew, you do get familiar with the differences in sound if you work with engines for long enough. I'm not one of them, but my Dad is. The stuff he can hear from an engine is pretty amazing sometimes. You can hear when an engine is flooded, so I figure you can probably hear when it doesn't have enough gas too.

    • Like 1


    Always enjoy watching the Olympics. I remember getting up early a few days in 2014 for Sochi. The 12 hour time difference is a bit of a bummer though. A lot of the alpine events (jumps!) tend to run early morning through early afternoon I think, so we'll see what I can catch live.



    I caught myself after slipping on the stairs coming down from my computer loft yesterday. Have a nice cm long friction burn on the side of my left middle finger. Used way more cold and ice than is recommended, but it beat feeling like I was holding my finger in a flame. Feel a lot better this morning, but I still have sensation in the area so I think it's starting to heal nicely. And I was getting so good at playing minecraft with one hand last evening (I have enough thumb buttons on the mouse).

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