Miscellaneous


CGI Сoffee

Just some miscellaneous and unrelated stuff


YouTube, Dislikes and How the World Is Losing a Valuable Source of Critically Assessed Information

You might have heard of the recent YouTube announcement where they decided to remove public "dislike" counters from their platform.

After reading this I stopped for a moment and carefully considered what was it that made YouTube special for me. As a platform, as a source of information, news and entertainment, YouTube holds a special place in my life since a lot of my skills and achievements were made possible in part thanks to YouTube. It allowed people from all over the world freely share their ideas with anyone and everyone in the form of videos — one of the most effective ways to give and receive information on the Internet.

I quickly realized that the single most important aspect of the platform was the fact that it had a simple yet elegant way of ranking videos. 10 years ago they used a 5-star system and later switched to a familiar "bar" with a ratio based on the number of likes and dislikes the video would've received after its publication.

vsauce-screenshot-youtube-rating

The reason such approach is so effective despite the simplicity lies in the way the human brain operates.

It's a Biological Computer. It Needs Data

According to Cognitive Psychology, the latest scientific approach which looks at the mind as an information processor, any system needs, well, information to process. Processing in a lot of cases comes to forecasting the future based on memory the brain has accumulated over the lifetime of an individual, combined with the information received from the real world. The brain then determines whether an event, an individual, an apparatus or anything else is safe or dangerous, useful or pointless, worthy of one's time or not.

DRM or Die. How Anti-Consumer Practices Became the New Norm and the Consumers Are to Blame

How many of your devices have you activated via the internet today?

drm-everywhere

Most people don't like it when things change. But, by following the proverbial "slowly boiling frog" principle (which is factually incorrect, by the way), if you change your business practices slowly enough and promote them in Media as something positive, these changes will eventually get accepted as the new widespread standard. And the waterfall of complaints and negative press will gradually subside, leaving you with an amorphous mass of consumers willingly giving up their freedoms and personal data in return for electronic services and even physical goods.

Because… What is the "norm"? It's an ever-changing concept on its own. For all intents and purposes, I think it's enough to consider something "normal" when it's practiced by or believed in by a large enough portion of the population.

Some of us may not consider anti-consumer practices mentioned in this post a "norm", but give it enough time, and they will become. Some may even suggest that maybe, just maybe, you don't have to blindly obey and do what the companies and the corporations ask of you, and instead protect your privacy and ensure the security of your future by favoring consumer-friendly businesses over ones which keep getting away with pushing more and more egregious ways to take those freedoms away from you, and turn your personal life into a profitable business asset. Except such opinions are becoming more and more unpopular with each passing day.

Now what the hell am I rambling about?

Simple:

DRM Has Won

No, seriously. And I can prove it.

You Don't Know What You're Giving up When You Choose Debt Over Savings

In the following video Louis Rossmann, a skilled repair technician and the owner of Rossmann Repair Group in New York, talks about how one should never willingly put self in debt just to have something "force" him or her to try and become successful. Instead you should save or invest, because, long story short: "You don't know what you're giving up".

So when an amazing opportunity presents itself, it's better to have the funds or resources to be able to take it, than to miss it and regret ever willingly falling back so far that you're in serious debt you need to take care of first.

Louis went from having literally nothing except for an idea for a business and a couple hundred dollars to running a well-known independent repair company and a parts supplier in one of the largest cities in the US as well as on the internet.

So, please, do find 15 minutes to hear what Louis has to say. You won't regret it, I promise.

The Main Difference Between a Normal User and a Power User

Yesterday I stumbled upon a couple of quotes in an article, where the author tried to give succinct and generalized definitions to the terms a lot of people throw around in their everyday lives.

Those are "normal users" and "power users".

I loved his take on this topic so much, that I decided to adapt those into English and share it here (the original article was in another language).

Behold:

  • Normal users have goals. They achieve those goals. But sometimes they need to expand their abilities to do so.

  • Power users act the other way around: they expand their abilities to fit the future goals within those.

I strongly believe these don't just describe "computer users" and "geeks", but fit any area of the "real world" as well, be it construction, civil engineering, woodworking, sports – you name it.

They all follow similar principles:

One user has just the basic tools and knowledge and only wishes to learn and expand the inventory whenever necessary to reach the goals. Whereas the other one has a garage full of power tools, gear and materials and an extensive knowledge developed not strictly while achieving the goals, but rather as a general interest in the area of expertise (like a hobby or a job you really, really enjoy and try to stay several steps ahead of the competition) to later have confidence in being able to solve problems without feeling "helpless" or inexperienced.

Both approaches are viable and it all comes down to preference and life experience.

So yeah...

The more you know

Which one of those would you be?

The absolute state of Hollywood color grading

teal-hollywood-colored-films

Parmezan cheese SSS and shadow

Can your glorified path-tracer replicate this crunchy, flaky, perfectly aged Parmesan cheese in all of its subsurface-scattery glory?

Parmesan cheese sss and shadow

Twitch 2019: Reaching Levels of Hypocrisy That Should Not Be Possible

Do you know Twitch?

Introduced in June 2011 as a spin-off of the general-interest streaming platform, Justin.tv, the site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of eSports competitions, in addition to music broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, "in real life" streams.

I... I accidentally (yeah, right!) stumbled upon such "in real life" stream with almost a million views. And I have to say...

WOW!

Please note: you can safely share this post with your children of all ages, because the stream was marked as "family friendly":

family friendly twitch stream with boobs

What? You disagree? Come on... Twitch knows best.
Let's check out the official Community Guidelines:

twitch community guidelines regarding  attire

Ooooooh... So it does actually say that "attire (or lack of attire) intended to be sexually suggestive includes undergarments, intimate apparel..."

You're just seeing things, OK?

Trust me, it was surely not "exposing/focusing on male or female genitals". I totally didn't see any "undergarments or intimate apparel" in the video above. As well as didn't notice anything even remotely "sexually suggestive".

NOT SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE

NOT SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE

NOT SEXUALLY SUGGESTIVE

Did you?