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Author: matt

Physical Aimbot Mouse

Physical Aimbot Mouse

Kamal Carter built a servo-controlled robotic rig that moves a mouse exactly where targets are by scanning the screen for specific colors. It works well in the FPS trainer AimLab, but it’ll need more work to be accurate in a real game.

Wisdom from Robert Martin of Clean Code

Wisdom from Robert Martin of Clean Code

Some really wise quotes:

No matter how bad your legacy code is, never EVER create a project to ‘clean up the code’. It will never get completed, you’ll inevitably have to stop, and it will end up worse than you started. This has happened every time in my experience.

The only proven way to get out of bad code requires EVERYONE on the team to get on the same page of how code is supposed to be written. Make them take the Clean Code class/read the book and then use the boyscout approach. That approach is every checkin you check in the code a little better than you found it. That’s it. In time, those little refactors move the ship in the right direction, become dominant, and then surround and destroy the bad code.

Code that has not been touched for years likely doesn’t NEED to be touched. Sure, it may be messy, but if it works, there’s no point in spending time on something you aren’t going to improve functionally.

Code reviews are largely useless. People go in, listen for 5 minutes and then at the end everyone leaves saying, “I sure hope he knew how it all worked because I toned out.”

TODO comments are fine, but should be completed before submission and never checked in. After they are checked in, they become TODON’T comments because they never get completed.

If people get into an argument about syntax/details and it lasts more than 5 minutes, then neither person has solid evidence for why it should be their way. Just flip and coin and move on.

Anti-procrastination cafe

Anti-procrastination cafe

At Japan’s anti-procrastination “Manuscript Writing Cafe”, there is no leaving until your work is done.

The cafe is for writers of all kinds who are facing imminent deadlines. Customers first write down their work goals and an expected length of time it will take to achieve them. Next, they choose between three levels of intensity of progress checks from ‘mild’ to ‘difficult.’ Only after achieving said goals can writers check out. According to the cafe’s owner, Takuya Kawai, every customer has achieved their goals, even if they’ve had to stay past closing time. The cafe also offers unlimited coffee, tea bags, high-speed Wi-Fi and charging ports to maximize work efficiency.

Here’s the address if you want to go. It turns out that I walked a block away from here a few years back, but it didn’t exist as this kind of cafe yet.

原稿執筆カフェ 3 Chome-34-1 Koenjikita, Suginami City, Tokyo 166-0002, Japan

I-Bonds are the rage

I-Bonds are the rage

“The two most powerful forces in the universe are gravity and compound interest”

Inflation is no joke, but I think many people don’t really understand just how bad it is. The last 2 years have seen 7-8% inflation – levels not seen since 1981. People under 40 have never experienced conditions like we have today. At 8% inflation, the value of your money, the purchasing power, drops in HALF every 8 years. It’s like having $100 today, and without doing anything, it’s only worth $50 in 8 years. Unless you are getting an 8% raise EACH YEAR, you’re not even breaking even.

I think a lot of people think that prices will ‘go back to normal after this is over’. With inflation on a country scale like today, prices almost certainly will NEVER go back. Besides specific market-driven increases (like the war in Ukraine on gas prices or local shortages) the prices you are seeing today are what they will be from now on. Forever. And they’ll keep going up each year by the inflation rate. That’s how the $100 you have today will be buying less tomorrow. You still have the $100 that can buy you 10 boxes of cereal at $10 today – but it can only 5 boxes in 8 years when cereal is $20/box after 8% inflation for 8 years.

So what can you do? In order to break even, your money needs to work for you – and work hard. You need to be making 8% or more on every penny you have in order to keep up with the rising costs. But where can you find 8% and higher returns?

Traditionally, you look to the stock market, but in 2022, that’s turned out to be a really bad rate of return. Many of the most profitable tech stocks are down 25-40% this year: nVidia, Netflix, Amazon, Google, etc. The Nasdaq, S&P, and Dow Jones are also all down so far this year.

Now enter bonds. Bonds have been largely a terrible place to put money in the last decade. Very low inflation and interest rates means you were getting almost nothing from them. Many young people probably don’t even know about bond investments. However, in 2022, even bonds are also taking big hits and are in negative territory. It seems there is nowhere to go. Putting your money in stocks and bonds that give NEGATIVE growth on top the 8% inflation means you could be losing 30-50% of your money in one year alone.

But there is another kind of bond – Series I Bonds – and they are really hot right now. These bonds, sold by the US government, are tied to the inflation index and return a value that keeps you at least even with current inflation. You may not be getting ahead of inflation much, but you certainly are guaranteed to keep up with it. This is especially attractive in a time when almost all other investment vehicles (stocks, bonds) are going down.

There are some important things to know about these bonds:

  • They must be purchased directly from the US Treasury
  • I bonds earn interest for 30 years unless you cash them first. You can cash them after one year. But if you cash them before five years, you lose the previous three months of interest. 
  • Maximum purchase of $10,000 per year, with the ability to use your tax refund to purchase up to $5000 more per year (Possible hack: could you make tax pre-payments to ensure you’re over that $5000 refund value on purpose?)
  • If you have a trust, your trust can purchase an additional $10,000 per year.
  • You must pay federal taxes on gains, but not state or local taxes.

If you are interested in purchasing some I-bonds, check this guide out since it walks you through the process on treasurydirect.gov – the only place you can purchase them.

Better to not be born

Better to not be born

“Politicians argue for abortion largely because they do not want to spend the necessary money to feed, clothe and educate more people. Here arguments for inconvenience and economic savings take precedence over arguments for human value and human life… Psychiatrists, social workers and doctors often argue for abortion on the basis that the child will grow up mentally and emotionally scarred. But who of us is complete? If incompleteness were the criteri(on) for taking life, we would all be dead. If you can justify abortion on the basis of emotional incompleteness, then your logic could also lead you to killing for other forms of incompleteness — blindness, crippleness, old age.”

Jesse Jackson, January 1977

There still exists a great disproportionality of abortion of black children vs other races (even other minorities). Instead of providing the compassionate support we claim to want, we take the easy way out of death. To the point that some countries such as Iceland have no down syndrome children births, and more black children in New York are aborted than born.

We also miss out on great lives such as this Michel Petrucciani and other artists like him with a disability that would almost certainly be aborted today. Here’s some other famous celebrities that were almost aborted or advised to be aborted: Steve Jobs (unwanted pregnancy), Oprah WInfrey (teen mom), Tim Tebow (pregnancy complications), Pope John Paul II (mother advised to abort), Justin Bieber (teen mom), Jesse Jackson (pressured to abort), Jack Nicholson, Celine Dion, Cher, and many others.

Yet we have come to accept arguments that a disadvantaged life is a life not worth living – only to have that disproven time and again. I find it fascinating that we greatly applaud kind hearted people that rescue animals missing limbs, that are blind, have deformities, etc – yet if an unborn child has one of these same conditions the public largely attacks people that try to rescue them.

Moving forward, it only took 20 years from Jessie Jackson’s speech for Oregon to pass it’s assisted suicide law in 1997 – as he predicted. I wonder what the next generation, one that has grown up justifying the idea of disposable lives, will do in the next 20-50 years.

Words are meaningless without action. Consider donations to these charities that provide women with the resources they need to keep their children from conception to birth to raising them, education, and beyond: