All posts by Galloper

How to: add a settings screen to Android wallpaper app in Xamarin (C#).

I decided to write this short “how to”, because there are no such articles at least I didn’t see any at the time of writing this. There are people on sites like Stackoverflow, that ask questions about problems, that they have with their menus, there are few threads on Xamarin forums, some suggestions here and there, but there’s no clear explanation anywhere. Continue reading How to: add a settings screen to Android wallpaper app in Xamarin (C#).

Neural Nets – how long till A.I.?

I see news on neural networks almost every day now, they do all kinds of stuff – from market predictions to editing pictures in your phone (see Prisma or w/e that latest fancy app is called).

However, most people and particularly journalists that write articles about them, don’t really understand what a Neural Net (NN) is, some even think that it may lead to the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Well let me tell you about it: AI is much like UFO – there are people that want to believe in it, but no one ever saw one in real life. Fake photos, dots on the lens, halo effects and so on, not a single UFO ever landed to say hello. Same goes for NNs, they have same relation to A.I. as a hammerhead shark to a hammer: it may look like one… at a certain angle, from a distance, if you’re on drugs – you get the idea. Pseudo-intellectual chat bots in the past and NN euphoria now. Calm down people, nothing’s happening here.

If you go read on how NNs really work, you’ll find out that there’s no magic involved, it really is just a fancy math equation. Sophisticated math equation. Can you imagine an equation having self conscience? Will of it’s own? That would be ridiculous, but somehow that’s what people think, most of them being as far from math in their lives as flying eagle’s ass from the ground, I might add.

That said, NNs are very useful in solving lots of problems, take image recognition for example, computer vision is making great progress right now. But A.I. won’t happen any time soon. Stuff that looks like it – maybe, but not something that can have a self conscience. Imitation or the real thing – that’s a huge difference.

Spare-tyre subwoofer (Pioneer TS-WX610A) in Mazda 6 (3rd gen) installation guide.

Soon after I got my new 2015 facelifted Mazda 6 (3rd generation) I decided to upgrade it’s sound system by adding a subwoofer, but I also didn’t want to sacrifice space in my trunk for it. In my previous Mazda 6 I had a factory installed Bose system and it was great, it had a subwoofer too, that was placed in the trunk in spare-tyre, so buying another one for this car looked like a no-brainer for me.

Continue reading Spare-tyre subwoofer (Pioneer TS-WX610A) in Mazda 6 (3rd gen) installation guide.

Fun with Johanna

While Johanna’s hero week is still going, I’d like to share a short vid of her “tanking”, while she still feels kind of squishy in big teamfights (personal opinion), you can have some really funny moments like these:

TBH I waited for her and really wanted to kind of roll her as my new main character, since I was absolutely in love with crusader class in Diablo III, but as for now I’ll probably still stick to my old choices.

USA Freedom Act of 2015

Once again, USA sets a great example for other countries to follow. The so-called “Freedom Act” just recently passed Senate and became a public law as of 06/02/2015. It’s great news for all U.S. citizens because from now on it’s going to take a court order for any agency to dig in your personal data, just like it used to be before the “Patriot Act” of 2001. For more details see here.

This change shows what a healthy democracy is capable of, when something outlives its purpose, the system removes it and reverts back to the normal order of things, rather than keeping the abomination alive by stitching it up with more and more patches, slowly moving in totalitarianism general direction.

One can argue that the real cause of this change is the Edward Snowden scandal, but there’s more to it really. Conspiracy theories aside, I want to be positive about this change. Just recently, UN also voiced its position on anonymity and encryption and they actually would like to see them as a part of basic human rights. These are interesting times we live in.

So they did it

Got a short letter today from CCP, inviting me back to EVE Online. Struck with nostalgia, I read it through and noticed this line: “PERMANENT SHIP SKINS“. Whaaa..?

So I guess in 2011 we fought for nothing. It’s already here. The very essence of the “greed is good” made it into the game. While I didn’t play EVE for a few years already, I still feel for it and worry about it’s future. A brief look at the forums and other media showed that everything’s fine. People seem to accept the change, at least I didn’t find a new “threadnaught” that we had back then. Just see for yourself, those were the days –

On a second thought – why not? First of all, skins are still only cosmetic, it’s not like they add something in terms of real gameplay and besides, everyone’s doing it now, so what seemed immoral and bad in 2011 is now perfectly normal, even Blizzard made a game which makes half of it’s profit (if not more) on skins alone (talking about HotS). From 2015’s point of view all that monocle drama that we had in EVE seems meaningless and stupid to most people. The sad part is that it won’t stop here, it never did. I think we’ll see more and more ingame sales mechanics and those will eventually become pay2win. There’s no other way.

Unless it’s a boss in Diablo, there’s nothing good about Greed.