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Messages - Frenzie

1
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
I see more attraction in a quadbike or a motoroller for larger distances. Or why not a motorbike or a car.
By "larger" I still mean less than 20 km, maybe up to 25-30 km. Time-wise you should about equal out with a car by that point; the question is if it's nicer. And we should also consider that it's more environmentally friendly and still a lot cheaper.

A motorbike requires a different license. You can't just do it tomorrow. Some loonies go at what seems like quite high speeds through traffic jams but that just seems wildly unsafe. On a motorcycle you have to take car routes. But sure, for the 20-60 km range a motorcycle is probably a great choice.

Also you can't run engines through the pedestrian tunnel, the most effective route for many things. Of course local conditions down to the neighborhood and where you work make certain modes of transport more or less attractive.

Not unimportant, in the case of a "speed pedelec" you've got those 23 cents per kilometer going; you won't get that with a means of transport that isn't classified as a bicycle. So if you have to travel 20 km to get to work, you can effectively choose between 200 extra per month or a moped/motoroller/whatever it's called. Unless you have a very strong preference for mopeds, speed pedelec it is. And in any case I strongly suspect the leg movement to be nicer than just sitting still, even if it seems a bit silly. Some of my colleagues were very enthusiastic about their electric bicycles (not speed pedelecs).
2
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
Last year I was already surprised at how many of those "electric scooters" I was seeing.

Nice topic you dug up. I'd been thinking about buying a new bike for a few years before I did, but I forgot I'd written down some thoughts in progress. :)

Bone-and-muscle driven bicycle is the right way, properly environmentally friendly and healthy and all that.
I can see one of those "speed pedelecs" being attractive for larger distances though. Since they go up to 45 if I'm not mistaken, it's basically like a medium speed scooter. I'm not sure how much you gain from the leg movement but I figure it's got to be better than holding them still.
3
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
That makes 80 euros per year, less than 8 per month to take you anywhere with no gasoline, no transit.
True, but then it'd still take some two or three years to pay for itself compared to public transit and up to a year compared to a car. I was talking more literally. :)

Not that an extra 100 a month would be enough to motivate me to cycle some 22 km daily. I would've gone for the bike regardless, and the fact that it paid for itself in about 4-5 months was a nice bonus.
But for that price (800 e) some people buy cars. At least I could get a brand new quadbike for it.
I'd much rather cycle for 40 minutes than be stuck in a car for 30, maybe even up to 40 too. Sure, it'd only be 15 minutes outside of rush hour but that's hardly a relevant metric.

Besides which, just car insurance alone easily costs you over 600 per year[1] and then we haven't even talked about maintenance, gasoline, health, and the fact that driving (during rush hour) just feels like even more work as opposed to being relaxing in any way. It easily takes over 20 minutes to creep up to the tunnel while you nevertheless have to keep paying attention to traffic... no thanks. On the tram you can usually read a book or if desired just zone out, and while cycling you can relax and/or have some fun.

I pay a base price of € 3 / month for the privilege of having a car at my disposal, and I figure about € 20 / month on average for actual car use. That's because I use it about once a month for bigger purchases and a few times a year for medium distance recreational use. If this were the '80s chances are I'd have had a cheap car of some sort for the convenience of it, but as far as that goes it's nice to live in the 2000s.
They say the average car owner spends about € 400 / month on the thing but I'm not sure if that includes some metric of the base cost of the car or if it's really just insurance + gasoline + maintenance.
4
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
How does a bicycle pay for itself? Are public transport tickets so expensive over there?
Here in Belgium public transit is still reasonably attractive, though they've been working on some pretty big price increases with the excuse that it's still cheaper than in neighboring countries.

There's a tax free cycling compensation of up to 0.23 cents per kilometer. It's up to the employer whether they want to give it to their employees. For me that averaged at about a 100 to 120 per month.
5
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
only the frame and the front fork are original
Exactly. ;)

But my newish bicycle from last year is lighter, has better gears, better light, better brakes, better everything than the one I bought used in '04 for not all that much less (especially when adjusted for inflation). And in any case it paid for itself within half a year.
6
Hobbies & Entertainment / Re: Bicycling
I'd say 15 years is a respectable age for a vehicle.
7
Setting aside custom ROMs and Sailfish (on both of which you can install Google Play but may very well not want to), the Huawei Mate 30 won't come with any Google services either.[1]

Anyway, Opera offers a plain old APK.
Incidentally, Yalp Store is a great place to grab APKs on Android without Google.
8
Samsung browser? The idea that a phone manufacturer might make one that's substantially better than Chrome hadn't crossed my mind.

Does it do without Vivaldi's current fatal flaw of only being on Google Play?
9
How loud is that?  :lol:

Sound decent enough though. ;)
10
Vivaldi for Android beta just came out. I have very high expectations (for an Android browser) but unfortunately the program is non-functional on my phone. Not even the documentation will load. It looks like they skimped out on their dead bird, or maybe they received complaints? It was rather tasteless.

https://vivaldi.com/press/releases/vivaldi-goes-mobile/

For example:
Quote
Another unique feature in Vivaldi is the ability to switch search engines on the fly in the Address Bar using nicknames.
Of course Opera/Presto for Android could also do this. It's weird that Opera desktop still does this while the mobile version doesn't.
11
If so I'd think it fairly negligible or perhaps in line with the claims of the study. (German being potentially slightly denser and slightly slower.)
12
I saw some study about cross-linguistic entropy a few years ago. Iirc Africa and South-East Asia supposedly have low word entropy.

It might be this one from 2017:

The Entropy of Words--Learnability and Expressivity
across More than 1000 Languages
Christian Bentz 1,2, *, Dimitrios Alikaniotis 3 , Michael Cysouw 4 and Ramon Ferrer-i-Cancho 5

I'd have to check search the archives of the main linguistics-related blogs I follow, Language Log and Neerlandistiek. That's where I'm most likely to have seen something like that.
13
I think I've only seen that kind of content in e-mail and Skype spam. I'm surprised IRC is even worth the effort, but I suppose that it's trivial to automate.
14
It does some p2p file sharing too, but only creeps use that.
Ouch. I've sent and received files over IRC.[1]  :insane:
Possibly not this decade.
15
Have you heard of Slack? Tried it? What do you think of it? At my earlier job we made a little bit of use of it. It is of course group-focused rather than p2p or 1to1 focused.
Heard of sure, used it not exactly, not as more than a curiosity. But I've used Mattermost and Gitter, which are roughly the same thing. For that matter, so is Discord, and Microsoft Teams too.

Afaik Discord is actually better at productivity stuff like voice & video calls because it's "for gamers," where voice is ever so slightly important, as well as advanced keyboard shortcut and notification control. Also Slack has a Linux beta, while Discord's had a stable for years and years.

I still find IRC the best messaging system ever.
It's missing some things though, like a history from when you're not in the channel and putting in screenshots. Whether that's necessarily a problem I'm not sure, but it does potentially give it a different purpose. (I'm not sure if that's really true. In my experience chat is just used as too small for e-mail; some say that Slack has replaced e-mail but tbh I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work; were the people who say that using chat at all?)

Those things can also exist for IRC with some extensions these days, presumably mainly thanks to pressure from stuff like Slack: https://www.irccloud.com/

Calculator would be okay, but it also disregards the overall theme (particularly the titlebar colour) and it for some incomprehensible reason is unable to swallow its own formatting of longer numbers upon paste. So much for productivity.
I don't really understand that contraption in Windows 10. It seems to be reasonably functional but mainly it's just a showcase of the problems with the Windows 8/10 design aesthetic.
16
If Skype wants to really improve, it would be in the area of video calls and screen-sharing rather than the messaging. I'm putting my hopes on improvements of video calls and screen-sharing because the thing that I really hope for - ability to make searches in the message history - is evidently never going to improve.
You used to have these excellent plain-text archives. I'm sure they had some ridiculous performance excuse, but they only ever showed you a week or something of history anyway, and I think they show even less now.

Iirc Skype also used to have a pretty decent history search functionality all built in. Or at least much better than what it has now.

particularly when Facebook Messenger manifestly destroys photo and video quality in the process of transfer
So does WhatsApp btw. I understand that to send a proper quality photo, you need to use "send file" instead.

I may wish to count as one of those who appreciates the "productivity focus" (really: just ease of typing-and-sending and of making a video call) but really I am just left behind. I have no clue what Snapchat is or does - anything different from Instagram? - and my attempts at connecting to Whatsapp have been unsuccessful. And from what I know, it is the exact clone of Skype except that you have to give away your phone number instead of it being optional.
I don't understand WhatsApp period. It's the exactly the same as every IM program ever, except more limited! That it'd be limited to Android and Windows is one thing, but phone only with some weird desktop feature that requires your phone to be on?

It must probably be because WhasApp has those easy group chats.

My wife and I switched to Discord years ago. I use Skype to talk to my parents, and last week even a business call (because "Skype for Business"/Lync crapped out, and the quality on Skype was actually noticeably better).
17
China has many industrial policies and other measures that disadvantage if not outright discriminate against foreign companies, poor protection of intellectual property, and cheap financing and subsidies for state-owned firms. These are definitely breaches of WTO regulations. Forbes seems to be downplaying that rather much, even if I agree that to quit doing business is just stupid, and that there doesn't seem to be much if any rhyme or reason to what the Trump administration is doing.

http://eeas.europa.eu/archives/docs/china/docs/joint_communication_to_the_european_parliament_and_the_council_-_elements_for_a_new_eu_strategy_on_china.pdf
18
That made me wonder how many Trump had used so far, apparently 120: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_order#Table_of_U.S._presidents_using_executive_orders
20
I've been using Qalculate as my preferred calculator for a while now, but I recently discovered Speedcrunch as an interesting alternative. (I don't like most calculators.) But Qalculate has more useful built-in conversion stuff, like currency, temperature, and distance. Speedcrunch is more plainly math/physics.
21
That's all pretty random, lol.
22
That's... kinda random @midnight raccoon, lol
23
What you describe sounds a bit like why hire someone at all if you trust them that little?

I haven't experienced that, just being locked out of the ability to approve administrator stuff. It makes sense to have to get IT involved to install Photoshop, although that's more about the license, much less so for Paint.NET, if at all.
24
Curiously, the scroll ring on my Expert Mouse has mysteriously resumed operation after a decade or so of being broken. Perhaps the excessive 38° heat a few weeks ago had a positive effect? I can't really think of any other explanation.

I'm surprised to read so many people say they prefer a regular scroll wheel in reactions to the Adesso trackball. Obviously these are specifically the people attracted to a regular scrollwheel, but I'm of the opinion that regular scrollwheels are absolutely terrible. It's only the recent scrollwheels that have more or less free spinning that are usable.

At my new job it turns out the IT is made to block all attempts by ordinary people to install software that is not pre-approved
It's understandable with the threat of malware/ransomware but yeah, company equipment is pretty annoying to use.
25
- headphone jack
I understand why manufacturers want to sell junk with a built-in expiration date,[1] but I don't comprehend people who defend having yet another thing to charge. Most of the reason my phone has usurped various other mostly superior dedicated devices[2] is precisely because it means I don't have to worry about their batteries anymore. The remainder mainly being that I have to plug in my mp3 player to update my podcasts while my phone has wifi, that I have to manually transfer pictures from my old P&S and even my much superior DSLR camera while my phone has wifi + auto-backup, plus of course I always have my phone on me for phone reasons.

The next step is losing the microSD slot...
I maintain that a phone that requires the Internet to access all of Wikipedia, for instance, is a dumb terminal, not "smart."

- removable battery
I bought an XA2 and Sailfish. The battery replacement procedure is... somewhat reasonable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OL3QkIbWvRM

I have an ASUS laptop where the battery is quite easy to replace. It's not the traditional quick swap which seems like a stupid feature to lose,[3] but pretty much all it takes is a few screws. Okay, a lot of screws, and you need one of those special Torx screwdrivers to take off the back of the laptop, but provided you have those (and they are genuinely better, none of that destroying the head or losing grip nonsense) you can do it in a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately it has soldered on RAM, something I wasn't really aware was even a thing when I bought it,[4] so I suspect that by the time it'd make sense to replace the battery I'll still want to get a new one because 4 GB is already starting to feel a lot more inadequate than back in 2016.

Right now I'm thinking I might look into used business laptops when the time comes.
I just looked it up and Apple is apparently willing to replace your AirPod batteries for about 70. That would pay for some top of the line wired earbuds...
Except for my old defunct '09 GPS. It's slower with a slightly smaller, less sharp screen.
I have two batteries with my DSLR for a reason. It's like carrying around an extra roll of film or two in the old days.
I know it's something Apple did, but I didn't realize manufacturers followed suit.