I worked at my college's tech help desk for a couple of years. At the time, they had printers that could be administered remotely (via a web browser) and had neglected to put a password on them.

For unclear reasons, the bottom paper tray of one of the help desk's printers was always left ajar. This caused the status message on its LCD to cycle between "Ready" and "Tray 3 open".

I logged in and changed the Ready message to "Tray 3 closed".

I still think it's hilarious.


I say this without having seen any data, but the idea that < 5% of accounts are bots seems absurdly low -- I would have guessed 30 or 40%.

But then, what counts as a "bot" here? Not everything that posts spam is a bot, and vice versa.

I have a Twitter account that I use solely to transfer Playstation/Switch screenshots -- using Twitter like a bad Dropbox. Is it a bot? Probably nobody cares about banning it, but it's not an engaged audience member.

I've published another round of updates to my DIE Combat Assistant, which helps Gamesmasters run combat while playing the DIE .

In addition to some interface improvements, the most notable change is that the site now automatically saves and reloads your data in case your computer crashes or something.


Coincidentally, a DIE Kickstarter will be going live this Thursday. (I'm not affiliated; just a fan.)


This was happening in the dream I woke up from this morning:

A shopkeeper had a pet dragon (looked like a half-length crocodile) and, though this was clearly a low-tech fantasy setting, loved to use Linux. But some software that he needed to run his shop was not available for Linux.

A destitute patron needed a favor from the shopkeeper, and had a magical scroll that would grant him one wish.

So the patron wished for a second dragon, that liked to use Windows, and gifted it to the shopkeeper.

I've been working on deleting accounts for services I don't use anymore.

Some companies have a "delete my account" link right on the web site. Some require you to e-mail or chat with customer support.

Norton actually told me "your account is not eligible for deletion at this time ... regulations allow businesses to retain information when there is another legal obligation that necessitates keeping the data."

I kept at it and eventually the chat agent said they could "disable" the account.

Me when the web site that I just changed my password on sends me an e-mail to tell me that I just changed my password:

The greatest innovation in the history of computer science was the ability to tolerate a trailing comma after the last item in a list.

$groceries = [
"bread", // this comma right here

Finally got a perfect score (125) and almost didn't notice I'd done it.

The game got an update a couple of days ago -- sound and some bug fixes.


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Finally published some long-overdue changes to bring my DIE Combat Assistant site in line with the game's version 1.3 manual (from December 2020). Summary of changes: fixed how initiative works, added stats for the new monster/character templates, upgraded the jQuery library, made a few quality-of-life improvements.


After the Winter Olympics I resumed playing Steep, Ubisoft's "action sports" video game. These days it's rare for me to ever return to a game after once putting it down.


Not that I'm opposed to violence in video games, but it's nice to play a game that, at its heart, is just about hanging out on mountains and doing cool stuff.

I suspect the day is not too far off when the servers will be shut down. But I didn't want to wait until Steep was dead to eulogize it.

Oh wait, just got to 123. The missing two points are because somewhere (can't tell where from the final image) there's a hill that doesn't have a wind turbine on it.

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I've been playing this "Six-Sided Streets" game a bunch over the past week. Seems like it's still in development, but what there is so far is pretty neat. You lay out a town on a hex grid and try to arrange the various terrain types optimally.


I've managed to reach the highest rank once. I think the maximum possible score would be 125 points (if those three treeless grassy areas were connected), but even getting to 120 took some luck.

When Evite was still a young company, I actually wrote to them to say "this is inappropriate; please block my e-mail address from receiving mail from your service." And they did! That's what responsible participation in the internet looks like.

Then the block stopped working, and they stopped responding to my messages about it.

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Got an Evite this morning, and it contains fine print claiming that it "is a transactional email, not marketing or promotional, which is why it does not contain an unsubscribe link...."

This is nonsense. Evites are spam and they know it. It's unsolicited commercial e-mail; they're not running a charity. And you can't opt out; you can only block individuals IF you have an account.

I dream of having enough free time to run my own mail server, so I can configure it to reject all Evites.

I think from time to time of the "Ritual Cat" parable, third at this link, which sketches how people/organizations may continue a practice out of habit, even when the original reason for doing it has disappeared:


I expected that there would be a jargon term for this phenomenon, in the same vein as "yak-shaving" or "bikeshedding". But if there is one, I haven't been able to find it. So I propose "cat-tying".

I spent some time over the last few days sprucing up the documentation and adding some sample art to my "Block Painter" project—which I hadn't touched in seven years, according to git.


Block Painter uses a tiny amount of HTML/CSS/JS to show an arrangement of colored blocks. It's not a practical tool; more like a demo (in the "demoscene" sense of the word) or a toy. Good for a few minutes of amusement, perhaps.

For those who have resources, a list of charities helping people in Ukraine -- Hospitallers, Voices of Children, and more -- newsweek.com/how-help-people-u

Tabletop gaming opinion:

I'd still rather play Apples to Apples than any of its several copycats.

Someone linked me to this illuminating article by a cryptographer peering into the world of cryptocurrency & NFTs.


My takeaways:

· The appeal of blockchain tech is decentralization, but the actual infrastructure for a lot of this stuff is much more centralized than you'd think.

· Most people don't have the patience for decentralization, and it's hard to fault them. That doesn't mean we have to give up on it, but we should focus on decentralizing the right things.

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