Threads for liberza

    1. 3

      I’ll have to check out cursive, the TUI looks pretty nice!

      My sides entered orbit at v1.0.0 - "wheeee" edition

    2. 9

      Seems like we need a deposite regime to ensure all designs and code are available. And probably at least one third party maintenance partner that can repair the devices.

      1. 13

        I’d prefer a system where the national health service (everyone has those, right?) requests tenders, selects vendors, pays for upkeep/training for a number of years, and gets access to all source code / manufacturing details etc.

        It might not be VC money, but done right it can keep a company profitable for years.

        (I don’t know if health services already do this, for ear implants f.ex.)

        This article is pretty depressing, both because of the social failure (not market failure) and because the tech is despite all this still so limited. My wife and stepchildren have retinitis pigmentosa, and I had naively imagined tech to at least alleviate their condition.

        1. 6

          Imagine technology chosen for being the lowest cost, or for having greased the right palms. Sounds like I’d prefer the open source approach.

          1. 1

            Agreed on the palm-greasing part, but lowest cost is not the issue - it is when quality is sacrificed in pursuit of lower costs.

            There have to be mechanisms in place to ensure that quality (across many aspects) is held above a standard, while still allowing vendors and manufacturers to drive costs down. Low cost is a long-term good thing for people with lower wealth, because even assuming large subsidies, there is only so much we can allocate to particular problems.

            This is important in every industry, but the quality aspect has to be much more heavily weighted in the medical device world because of the drastic consequences of allowing companies to ignore their long-term negative externalities, as seen in the article.

            It’s a tough issue because it has to be balanced with incentivising smart people to solve these problems in the first place. I like the discussion here around escrow of code, but seems like we need more than that. Escrow the hardware design files as well, and require proof that the company has done due diligence in protecting their supply chain from single sources of failure. Multiple sources for components. Escrow the documents detailing repair procedures, including repair part sources and test equipment. Etc.

        2. 4

          Interesting that you (correctly, in my opinion) identify this as not a market failure.

          I’m of a different opinion to you as how best to handle this sort of situation. I’m not a socialist; rather, I think that voluntary solutions to problems like these are better in a number of ways. This particular problem could be solved by either the use of appropriately licensed free software and hardware, or an escrow system in the case that the devices are withdrawn from the market for any reason (thereby mitigating planned obsolescence, too).

          However I am sick of the term “market failure” being used to describe a functioning market providing prices that people don’t like, so I was pleased to see someone of (I presume) quite different political stripes calling it out.

          1. 7

            A state/nation is probably the only entity that can correctly price what this kind of technology is worth. In principle, a blind person could be expected to spend a lot of money to get even a small amount of sight back, but in practice, most blind people are economically disadvantaged, because their handicap preclude them from amassing enough capital for actually pay for the solution.

            1. 4

              A state/nation is probably the only entity that can correctly price what this kind of technology is worth.

              But then you’re right back to considering this a market failure - only instead of proposing price regulation, you’re proposing the establishment of a monopsony to use taxpayer money to drive the prices up to where you personally, not the market, think they belong. Presumably to create incentives for the research?

              but in practice, most blind people are economically disadvantaged, because their handicap preclude them from amassing enough capital for actually pay for the solution.

              Yes. Probably a VC-funded for-profit isn’t the answer here. Perhaps a charitably-funded non-profit? (Edited to add: this would also address the obsolescence issues, if done properly.)

              1. 2

                you’re proposing the establishment of a monopsony to use taxpayer money to drive the prices up to where you personally, not the market, think they belong

                This is not what I propose at all.

                This is drifting off-topic, I won’t continue this thread. ∎

        3. 3

          Mostly a good idea but

          pays for upkeep/training for a number of years

          This is still a cliff someone could fall off. Individualist solutions create lots of cliffs for everyone who doesn’t have infinite money, but collectivist solutions also pose similar problems. Full access to the materials required to repair your own implants alleviates this at least a little - you still need money and/or skills but at least you’re not relying on an organization (governmental or private) to provide support for ever.

          1. 3

            A country knows through statistics how many citizens have RP. It can also calculate the raw savings of allowing people with RP more years of productive work if they get this kind of therapy. This can be translated into a commitment to pay a company a certain amount of money for a technical solution, letting that company set up tooling and training. As the technology advances, and more patients are helped, the technology can be accepted in more countries, opening up new markets and helping more people.

            Granting a patent will ensure the technology is available after the state-granted monopoly has expired.

            1. 3

              Measuring the benefit is really difficult though - it can take a long time and a lot of samples, and it’s difficult to predict how an early stage technology’s benefits would develop - the target can be moving pretty quickly. Even getting VC funding for something that’s working fantastically can be tricky, especially if you run into non-medical issues (regulatory, product engineering etc).

              I’d dearly love to see state-sponsored systems to bootstrap these things but it seems like working out what will succeed is a nigh intractable problem. I’ve been building implantable neuromodulators for over a decade and I’ve seen so many devices that just seem to be splashing around in the dark. On reflection, all the impossible promises about high-res retinal prostheses are a good example!

              Adding more electrodes doesn’t work for very long. The electrodes are relatively far from the nerves they stimulate so the current spreads a lot. And you’re limited in how many electrodes you can activate at once due to the current density - so that you don’t cook the patient.

              A state agency trying to review this without the wisdom of having built these things is difficult to set up - even the existing safety regulators have trouble keeping up (no doubt a lot of that is due to under-resourcing, though).

              1. 3

                Thanks for expanding! I don’t know much about this tech space.

                Measuring the benefit is really difficult though

                Absolutely. But I think it’s more achievable if you have a large sample size / patient pool. guaranteed funding, and requirements for followup etc. I also think that if you’re designing something that will be used for the rest of someone’s life, you should have different priorities than just looking at the next quarter. Trusts seem to shoulder some of this responsibility in many countries.

                Adding more electrodes doesn’t work for very long. The electrodes are relatively far from the nerves they stimulate so the current spreads a lot. And you’re limited in how many electrodes you can activate at once due to the current density - so that you don’t cook the patient.

                Ah, the old software/hardware interface. I curse it every time I have to use a printer ;)

                Seriously though, it is a bit depressing that the stuff that’s breezily foretold in SF isn’t achievable in the real world due to heat dissipation.

                To sum up, we’re in early days of the kind of medical devices that require peripherals like camera etc. The patients in the linked article presumably knew they were part of a pilot group (although information asymmetry comes into play really quickly). I think the company made a good faith effort to get a product to succeed, but the financial support simply wasn’t there.

                The French effort seems to target age-related macular degeneration which is a better bet - a much bigger market (all those boomers who will demand tech solutions to their aging problems) and hopefully RP patients can “ride the coattails”.

    3. 7

      In addition to the new HTML engine, we’ve also had a major change on the way the project generators handles assets. We have dropped webpack and node entirely from the equation. You can now build your js and css bundles without having node or npm on your system!

      This is huge… this is what always gave me the most trouble when creating new Phoenix projects.

    4. 1

      Occasionally this will happen from coding, but my most recent episode of this was from playing too much AoE2. I would close my eyes and see an endless tiled map of town centers / villagers working on farms.

    5. 3

      Oh no… I already switched to emacs from vim… perhaps another stop on my editor journey is over the horizon…

      Magit is really the most powerful way to use git that I have found so far, so I’m very glad to see its approach spread.

    6. 4

      I haven’t read this yet but it looks pretty interesting. Monero is the one cryptocurrency I’ve consistently been interested in. Like others have already mentioned it seems to actually deliver on its promises of security and privacy.

      1. 2

        It does seem to [he expounded, having skimmed ⅔ of the document skipping most of the math]. But I was disappointed to see that the coin mining is based on proof-of-work, which means that like Bitcoin it tends toward profligate energy consumption.

        1. 4

          The key difference between Monero’s PoW and Bitcoin’s though is that Monero is best mined with general-purpose hardware. This improves network security through decentralization of hashing power, and also should result in fairer reward distribution (since one does not have to make as significant a capital investment to become a miner). So at least with Monero’s PoW you get more bang for your buck per unit energy, in terms of network benefits.

          1. 1

            On the flip side of that coin, there is a lot more general-purpose hardware which could be repurposed to 51% attack Monero (imagine all of AWS co-opted for this purpose). Bitcoin ASICs are the most efficient silicon for mining SHA256 and would be resistant to attack even from massive corporate clouds. Through this lens, it’s Bitcoin which gets more “bang for your buck” in terms of network security per kWh.

            Furthermore, the Monero devs have to keep hardforking in order to change their mining algorithm to keep it ASIC-resistant. Even if it helps decentralize hashrate, it puts lots of power in the hands of the developers, which is a different form of centralization.

            Lastly, the lion’s share of energy spent on mining Bitcoin and Monero is to earn newly created coins, not transaction fees. Monero has permanent tail inflation to incentivize mining, whereas Bitcoin asymptotically approaches zero inflation (and therefore far less energy consumed per market cap).

            All that said, Monero has very interesting cryptography and I hope we can learn from it. I’m not sure if RingCT privacy is worth sacrificing supply auditability, but better privacy is great if you can achieve it without significant tradeoffs.

    7. 4

      This is very clear and concise explanation, definitely worth a read even if you already get the concept.

    8. 2

      I love the usefulness of 3D printing for old unsupported stuff. When the MFG stops making a part, just create a compatible (or improved) design and print!

    9. 3

      Although I do not prefer emacs day-to-day, I never understood the disdain for it. It must be the cool thing to do/say on the Internet.

      1. 7

        At the end of the day we’re all human (I think), and tribalism is part of the package. It seems to show up when people invest in one thing vs another, whether the investment is time, money, emotion, brain rewiring (muscle memory!), etc…

      2. 5

        In-group/out-group dynamics, mostly? Getting incensed by some other person’s choice of tools is pretty weird, when you think about it.

      3. 3

        As someone who actively used both at one point, and was probably on the proficient to advanced end of the spectrum in terms of editing experience with both, I cringe at claims that one editing style clearly outclasses the other in terms of efficiency, productivity, or whatever. I’d wager that 90% of the time in a keyboard-oriented editor, we navigate by word or line when we’re not navigating by search.

        Arguing about editors reminds me of unproductive language disagreements, when we talk in terms of absolutes instead of trade offs.

        1. 2

          Agree about 90 claim. After I’ve moved my arrow keys to home row via, I became almost as productive at raw text editing anywhere as I was in Emacs or Vim. Well, you also need ace jump and multiple cursors for coding specifically.

      4. 3

        I think that some people portray Emacs and Lisp as “holy” and above criticism—although this is certainly a minority of those communities—so others respond with criticism of Emacs’s poor defaults and hostility to new users. People get into heated arguments about their favorite things, and that includes text editors.

      5. 2

        It’s mostly team signalling. For some reason a bunch of nerds decided that Emacs/VIM is their Ford/(Holden|Chev) and they need to play silly tribal games.

    10. 2

      I was curious if this could affect Android, but my surface-level googling indicates that it ships a different Bluetooth stack, “bluedroid”, instead of bluez.

      1. 2

        Except this appears to require kernel patches to fix. Does the Android bluetooth stack also come with it’s own kernel modules, or does it use the ones that are already in the kernel?

    11. 31

      This is what has kept me busy the past 18 months. Ask me anything :-)

      1. 12

        I’ve been using the preview for a while, and I like it a lot. Thanks to you and everyone at Mozilla.

        Moving the address / tool bar to the bottom of the screen is, imho, a very clever decision that made my huge phablet phone a bit less painful to use.

      2. 7

        After using Firefox on Android for as long as I can remember, I have changed browsers.

        Every time I start the new version my screen flashes. I perceive no performance improvements or “experience” benefits. On the contrary my favorite extensions no longer work.

        My question is, why should I use/return to this new version?

        1. 6

          Same here, even on my latest Google Pixel, the Firefox performance was awful, the browser experience was not good. But now I’m very happy with the latest version, I can see real good improvements, the browser experience is great and it’s not resource hungry as the oldest version. I would like to congratulate the Mozilla team for the great job!

      3. 7

        I… hated it. Especially I feel like there wasn’t enough testing with the bar configured on top. I wrote a rant with the issues I have, which will probably read as too angry for a comment but allowed me to vent my frustration.

        For now I set the bar on the bottom, which I don’t really like but solves 2 issues (buggy sites, and the new tab button being too far).

        Still thank you for your work. I couldn’t get anything done without firefox in my pocket.

        1. 9

          Another issue not listed: I will sometimes come back to firefox to find an old tab is now completely blank. Reloading will not help: I have to close the tab and open it again. I’ve had this happen with both a lobsters tab and a completely unrelated site… I will have to try and find a reproducible way to trigger it, could be hard.

          1. 3

            I’ve had that issue on desktop firefox. If the site is bookmarked, I click it (helpful especially if it was a container tab)

      4. 6

        Lots of users hate the new tab drawer (vs. the original tab page in earlier Firefox Preview builds). I don’t think it matters whether it’s a drawer or a full screen page, but the fact that scrolling to the top of the list continues into closing the drawer is extremely annoying. I do not ever want to close the drawer by moving my finger down on the list of tabs!! Please make an option to only have the header draggable for closing.

      5. 5

        Any plans for completing the bookmark feature?

      6. 4

        Will it it be made available on F-Droid? Soon? Ever?

        How does this release relate to these:

        Getting Firefox via F-Droid has always confused me, so I’ve stayed away, but I’m always on the lookout for a good browser for Android.

        1. 2

          No idea about Klar, but Fennec is similar to IceCat: Firefox with the proprietary blobs removed. I think F-Droid doesn’t like vanilla Firefox for the reason that it contains blobs.

          1. 2

            My recollection is that F-Droid’s Fennec build is just Firefox with the trademarks removed, not proprietary blobs. The new Firefox for Android, Fenix, doesn’t get packaged because its standard build system involves downloading pre-compiled copies of other Mozilla components, like the GeckoView widget, rather than building absolutely everything from source. F-Droid does allow apps that download pre-compiled copies of things, but only if they’re obtained from a blessed list of Maven repositories, and Mozilla’s CI system is not on the list.

            Also, there may be something about requiring the Play Store to support notifications, but I don’t think it’s the only or even the biggest blocker.

            1. 3

              Ah, sounds like you know a more about this than me - I stand corrected. Thanks for the information!

      7. 4

        why block about:config? why no arbitrary extensions on your own risk? I would love a split screen or dual window feature.

      8. 3

        One thing I would absolutely love is socks5 proxy support. Any plans for that? Also, I use ^L and ^K a freakton in the desktop browser. I’d love to see support for that when using Firefox for Android on ChromeOS.

      9. 3

        How can I downgrade without losing my settings and open tabs?

      10. 2

        Hi @st3fan,

        In general I’m pretty happy with the new version of Firefox. The one big mistake Mozilla made however was to pull important features out.

        For example I miss “custom search keywords”. I have a carefully crafted list of custom search keywords, and I use Firefox on top of iOS too because of it (otherwise I’ve got no reason to not switch to Safari). And it seems that this particular feature is not coming back on Android, due to some unification with the search engines, which don’t even synchronize. And this made me a little sad.

        Also the new engine has some issues with some animations on some websites, as when scrolling such pages I sometimes get lag. I also hope that you’ll improve Android’s UI for tablets, as some of the UI elements are a little small on top of my Galaxy Tab S7.

        Otherwise I’m happy to see Firefox improve, and the few add-ons I relied on still working. For me Android is not usable without Firefox ❤️

        Keep up the good work.

      11. 2

        Great work! It sounds like there’s been a lot of work going on under the hood for this release, and there’s mentioning of it now being easier to make new features in the product. Are there any blog posts - or could you talk a bit about what changes that has been made which now unlocks this extra velocity?

      12. 2

        I use Android with a keyboard.

        Do you know of any keyboard-driven browsing solutions like Vimium on Android at this time?

      13. 2

        Any way to display your bookmarks on startup or something like this ? I’m used to switching through my bookmarks, now I’ve got to add them all to this “collection”(? german word is “Sammlung”) and that is collapsed every time I create a new tab. “Add to start screen” doesn’t do anything.

        1. 1

          Finally found the option to add it as part of the start screen. The new Bookmarks view is hard for me to grasp, like everything looks the same.

      14. 1

        This is the version that finally made me rate Firefox in Play store: to 1 star! Why did you (plural) make it this bad?

        Things that broke:

        • setting DuckDuckGo up a default search engine was simple in the past as I remember. It was auto-discovered, I think, I installed Firefox quite a time ago. Now I had to manually edit a search string.
        • The text selection menu is totally useless. I used to have “copy to clipboard” and “search <default search provider” there. Now I have to push “…” and scroll a tiny list with useless items populated by some incomprehensible logic, containing apps installed on my phone eg. a “pdf reader”, “encrypt”, “private search”, “Firefox search”, “new task”. Lot of useless crap instead of a single simple workflow. The “Firefox Search” option is the functional equivalent of the old operation, but it is at the bottom of the list, so it is a pain to use.
        • icons in the start page are smaller, and the workflows on their manipulation are not intuitive.
        • tab selection is terrible. The tabs opened in the background are at the top of the tab stack, but the current tab is at the top of the screen, and there are no visual cues that there may be other tabs above, you need to scroll both ways to find what you are looking for…

        The whole UX suggest that the developers don’t use Firefox for daily browsing. The feature are there, the UX is terrible, and is a regression in every possible aspect.

        The single good thing is the address bar in the bottom. I’d prefer to downgrade to an older version actually, as the previously advertised speed benefits are not noticable.

        The PR page states:

        User experience is key, in product and product development

        Maybe I’m not the target audience?

        I know this is not your (singular) fault, more likely a project management issue, but I think the direction is not the right one.

      15. 1

        Hi Stefan, please take a look at brave on mobile. I was eagerly waiting for Brave UX in firefox and chrome. Fantastic news that firefox.

        One suggestion - After clicking on tab number at right bottom corner to open new tab, is it possible to slide to normal window to incognito windows by sliding on screen rather than click on each icon. This will be especially helpful for mobile or tablet with big screens.

        Again, big thanks making such huge change possible.

      16. 1

        Just got the update. Really liking the bar on the bottom.

    12. 4

      Do most schools not teach kids how to type? I went to a tiny rural elementary school and even we had a typing class. It’s a skill that has a pretty decent ROI - eliminating the cognitive overhead associated with typing reduces the friction between your brain and the machine you’re interfacing with.

      Relevant XKCD (although it should be extended up and to the left for this…)

      1. 5

        Nope, that’s not very widespread at all.

      2. 3

        Here in the UK I’m not aware of any formal touch typing education in the Curriculum…at any level.

      3. 2

        I believe it was an elective when I was in grade school in Sweden in the 1980s… none of the kids in our household have encountered it.

        1. 3

          I took a touch typing class at a Swedish grade school in the middle of the 1990s. I remember using SPCS Tangentbordsträning and typing the alphabet in under 4 seconds (but when the teacher wasn’t looking we played a climbing game that advertised a fruit juice drink). Touch typing was not a widespread skill among my peers at the time, some were stunned that I typed without looking down.

          Even though we were using computers, I got the feeling that the class might have been a relic from the time of typewriters.

    13. 5

      Support for rotating and resizing images without ImageMagick, nice! Never bothered installing it in WSL, that should make org mode a bit nicer to use.

    14. 2

      Now they just need to release the Ryzen 4000 models, and I may just be ready to move on from my x230…

      1. 2

        I switched to an x390 and don’t regret it

        1. 1

          I just read the specs for that, and am still convinced that every new “modern” laptop now is a step backwards.

          My x230 has 2x the memory (16GB) and it’s soldered down (lol) on the x390 so you’re stuck with that forever. Is the hard drive at least replaceable? I guess I value repairability more than most consumers now, because I’m sick of having to throw away electronics after ~2 years. The x390 looks just like another disposable laptop. (the “17.5hr” battery life is super impressive though, but probably inflated)

          1. 3

            The disk is just a user replaceable M.2 NVMe drive. You can get 16GB of RAM in an X390 as well if you choose the i7 CPU option.

          2. 2

            from what I’ve seen, almost all SSDs are user replaceable (m.2) in modern laptops

            a notable exception is Apple, who uses a proprietary type of drive (because of course they do)

    15. 4

      I’ve recently been playing with creating a VR game using Godot, and it’s been great to work with. Creating the editor using the engine itself is some pretty serious dogfooding, and I’m excited to see how the web export functionality will improve because of this push.

    16. 4

      Good one. The joys of git add . without setting up .gitignore…

      1. 2

        We should also do a better job of educating devs to review all staged changes prior to committing. It’s not enough to git add ., you also need to check it to ensure you agree that everything being committed is absolutely necessary.

      2. 2

        I’ve disabled git commit‘s -a parameter on all my machines. It’s just too dangerous/too easy to screw things up with it. git add $dir is in the same category, IMHO.

        1. 1

          How do you disable the -a parameter?

          1. 2

            I’ve put this into my .bashrc:

            git() {
            	for arg
            		if [[ $arg == -a* || $arg == -[^-]*a* ]]
            			echo "DO NOT USE -a!"
            			beep -l 350 -f 392 -D 100 -n -l 350 -f 392 -D 100 -n -l 350 -f 392 -D 100 -n -l 250 -f 311.1 -D 100 -n -l 25 -f 466.2 -D 100 -n -l 350 -f 392 -D 100 -n -l 250 -f 311.1 -D 100 -n -l 25 -f 466.2 -D 100 -n -l 700 -f 392 -D 100 -n -l 350 -f 587.32 -D 100 -n -l 350 -f 587.32 -D 100 -n -l 350 -f 587.32 -D 100 -n -l 250 -f 622.26 -D 100 -n -l 25 -f 466.2 -D 100 -n -l 350 -f 369.99 -D 100 -n -l 250 -f 311.1 -D 100 -n -l 25 -f 466.2 -D 100 -n -l 700 -f 392 -D 100
            			return 1
            	command git "$@"

            The beep invocation is of course entirely optional ;-)

    17. 3

      Oh no, a data flow language in 3D? LabVIEW is already bad enough in 2D!

      In all seriousness though this is a neat idea. I currently don’t see VR improving much upon existing development workflows in any meaningful way, mostly because it’s hard to read small text. A language + environment designed with VR in mind could be quite interesting though.

      Edit: On taking another look at this, I noticed this paper was written in ’96!

      1. 1

        Yeah the VR thread feels pretty stale, but beyond the funny picture there is a really nice combination of good things in here:

        • “distinguish between logical disjunctions and conjunctions, and between sum and product types”
        • “based on a higher-order form of Horn logic”, “can be passed as arguments to other predicates”
        • “static polymorphic type system, and uses the Hindley-Milner algorithm to perform type inference”

        If all of that could be made performant, it’s pretty much the language of my dreams.

    18. 1

      Arch for my personal computer, Debian for headless stuff, or CentOS/RHEL if it’s for work. NixOS is interesting but haven’t tried it yet.

      To get here I’ve gone through Ubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, DSL, Puppy Linux, Crunchbang, Zenwalk, Mint, Slax…

    19. 1

      Earlier this week I received an alumni magazine in the mail from my university, and there was a great article in it about Chuck Peddle (he graduated back in ’59).

    20. 3

      Collecting all those non-publicly-disclosed vulnerabilities up in one place does seem like a giant pile o’ booty. That’s a lot of breaches for the price of one…