@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar



Entrepreneur & Product Manager - currently looking for new opportunities. Likely starting a Fediverse related business to host, manage and extend instances for businesses and organizations. Writer and GM

https://calendly.com/rycaut to schedule meetings with me

This profile is from a federated server and may be incomplete. Browse more on the original instance.

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

latest example of gmail failures amongst the usual false positives in my spam folder (about 5% of messages Gmail flags as spam are not, in fact, spam) was a rather annoying one to have been marked as spam - the confirmation/welcome email sent to me about my son's summer camp registration. Not a bulk mailing list (which gmail likes to flag as spam even for lists I've been subscribed to for literally decades) but a personalized email with time sensitive information. Sigh.

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

Learned today that someone I have met many times and many friends know well the writer Ellen Klages was on Jeopardy this week. Has anyone been both an answer (either directly or their work) on Jeopardy as well as being a contestant?

And yup Google is useless (decided I wanted to know who had been on both wheel of fortune and jeopardy. Why? No clue but every result it showed me was about wheel of fortune - something I did not ask about in the least.

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

Thinking about assumed context due to a post a friend shared (on FB). A meme like post about “two ways GenX counts” which assumes that all GenX kids grew up watching kids television shows so everyone counts to the tune of one or the other of the popular kids shows of the era (late 1970’s/early 1980’s)

Except I am GenX and don’t count in either way. In fact I heard one of the songs for the first time minutes ago having lived nearly 50 years without hearing the sesame st ladybug counting song

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

Indeed. The biggest donations my family makes every year are to food banks. I live in San Jose CA, one of the richest areas of the country. My local food bank, Second Harvest serves one in five people in their service areas - that’s over 500,000 people each month. And that is in one of the very wealthiest communities in the country.

(And here in CA public school meals are free for every student)

bojo, to random
@bojo@mastodon.online avatar

does anyone have opinions on having your masto account on large, generalized instances vs. smaller, more niche instances?

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@bojo as long as both servers you are choosing beteeen have solid moderation (so are unlikely to be blocked by other servers for hosting bad actors/spam etc) your Mastadon experience will mostly be dictated by who you follow. Some servers might run either software other than Mastadon core or make changes to it (like allowing posts longer than 500 characters) which some people like/prefer.

For a great experience I recommend following a bunch of interesting people - and then watch who they boost

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

Many years ago before my father died he was working on a startup idea for a closed loop water cooling system for factories. It’s complex and he was a the engineer not I but it makes me curious when I read all these reports of the extreme water usage of many data centers for cooling (often at times of year when other uses of municipal water are high as well) and it makes me wonder why I don’t see anyone trying closed loop system that wouldn’t need to draw (or discharge) much water?

anirvan, to random
@anirvan@mastodon.social avatar

Kindle? Kobo? Apple Books?

What’s the best, or maybe most ethical, ebook platform?

(I rarely reread books, so long-term ownership isn’t a factor for me)

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@anirvan they have an active presence here - @libreture offers a drm free place to store ebooks onljne and they promote a lot of places to buy drm free ebooks. So they are a good option to explore whatever client you use to read the ebooks. Many libraries have one or more services they offer to anyone with a local card which can also be a great source for ebooks (and libraries pay often more than individuals for their ebooks)

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

So had an email this morning from one of my favorite bookstores anywheee. Seemed possibly ominous “A message from …”

But as a reminder of why they are an amazing bookstore - it was to announce the formation and recogniation of the booksellers union with the support of the management and board of directors of the bookstore (which is itself a non-profit and former co-op)

So congrats to the Seminary Co-op Booksellers Union) and I’m a proud former co-op member (http://semcoop.com)

Alex, to random
@Alex@vran.as avatar

So I noticed that the "now playing" info on the KEXP website comes from a paginated API endpoint that let's you see previously played songs as well as the currently playing track.

It was kinda neat to poke at it to see how far back I could go. You could just keep rewinding to see all the tracks that aired going pretty far back.

And just how far back was that? 2,650,000 tracks, all the way back to 2005.

I love finding little secret info holes like this. I scraped all that data up to play with.

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@Alex that’s awesome. I suspect that KCRW in LA has similarly deep digital archives but haven’t poked around. They have shows listed as available on demand that haven’t aired in many many years. (Really great public radio station with amazing streaming options and in the midst of a pledge drive)

inthehands, to random
@inthehands@hachyderm.io avatar

Windows Recall…just…good god.

The phrase “Microsoft jumped the shark” just doesn’t feel strong enough. Can we say Microsoft fucked the shark?

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@inthehands it’s so bizarrely dumb. All kinds of tech put to such a horrifically bad purpose. Even beyond now being the target for any external bad actor, anyone who shares your physical space, lawyers who now have an incredible target for discovery it serves next to no actual useful purpose. And when it does the actual value is minuscule compared to the risks it introduces.

And I can only imagine government agencies and corporations CTO and CISO’s looking at this and saying nope nope nope

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@capraobscura @inthehands exactly. The closest I’ve ever come to wanting some history is with FB being so eh “helpful” these days and refreshing the FB app to a random newsfeed of stuff they pushed at me days ago when I had clicked into a post a friend shared but hadn’t finished reading it… but it took me all of eh 2 mins to find that friend’s feed and find the link again and then open it into an external browser.

But on my laptop nope never had a need and MacOS actually has solid local search

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

What tool(s) do other GMs or game designers/writers use to make the first draft of a new adventure? Especially for your prep to run it for a group for the first time?

(I’m about to shift from mostly running published adventures to likely largely running homebrew with occasional published content) for my 5e group that are all now level 10 (and functionally stronger than a typical 5 pc group)

Considering using Scrivener but open to other (MacOS compatible) suggestions

waldoj, to random
@waldoj@mastodon.social avatar

I just called Brightspeed (formerly CenturyLink) to cancel my voice service. They cancelled my entire Internet connection, which disconnected instantly. Can’t they turn it back on? Heavens, no. A technician will have to come out tomorrow and replace the modem and I have no phone or internet until then, just a wisp of a cell signal.

They’re just the worst damned company. And they’re a monopoly here! I have zero recourse. Argh.

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@waldoj and this is the type of stuff that companies had to be pushed and prodded into doing. But in the end having done it (and it being mandated for all providers) means they almost certainly have an easier sales cycle, happier customers, reduced customer service costs (from customer calling to cancel/complain about deceptive marketing/pricing) and it hopefully incentivizes investments in improving availability and quality of service vs marketing due to high churn

ajroach42, to random
@ajroach42@retro.social avatar
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@ajroach42 that’s a show I have fond memories of when I caught it as a kid (we didn’t have a tv until I was practically in high school so missed out on a lot) but I’m almost afraid to watch it now - curious how well it holds up. In my memories the humor was fairly tame (funny but not full of stereotypes etc) but it was also the 1980’s when I watched it…

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@ajroach42 that’s good to hear. My memories are it was great but it’s also been probably over 30 years since I watched any of it.

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@ajroach42 I just might. Though I don’t have a lot of time for watching things. I’m probably going to watch some of the old dungeons and dragons cartoon in honor of it being the 50th year of D&D

futurebird, (edited ) to random
@futurebird@sauropods.win avatar

Hydroponic ultra ripe vertically farmed strawberries are very popular in NYC but flown in from Japan. Restaurants buy them at $2 per berry (not even big ones) they are very good— but do you know what’s more fancy than Japanese vertically farmed berries? LOCAL ONES. Why don’t we have a flouncy berry farm in NYC yet?

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@futurebird looks like NYC does have a bunch of vertical farms seems like strawberries would be a natural addition (One company Bowery seems to be NYC based and has sold vertically farmed berries in the past but unclear if from NYC based farms and doesn't seem like they have them currently - though their site may be searching for their products in California where I am) but Farm.One and Gotham Greens seem mostly greens focused.

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

@futurebird seems like some (Bowery) have VC funding so might not be nimble enough, while others seem less focused on fruits. But yes, seems like a logical alternative if berries flown to NYC from Japan are selling at any volume for $2 a berry - surely a local verical farm could make a tidy profit...

Rycaut, to random
@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

examples of "I don't think they actual test apps at Google anymore"

YouTube (iOS app) - if you have screen rotation turned off - still rotates a video if you play it and push the full screen - and then there is no way to return to the main navigation (i.e. if you had done a search) just options for their next suggested video

Gmail - I was browsing past the first 50 messages, new message came in, it was displayed on my screen as message 51, then as message 1 when I returned in all messages view

@Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

I'm absolutely convinced that the folks building gmail don't think anyone actually wants to use the All messages view as they break it all the time (and force you into other views when you first open gmail in a new browser tab) but I don't want the view that hides messages - I signed up for the messages, I want to see them and choose which to read when - frequently stuff gmail filters out of my inbox (not due to my numerous rules to do that) are actually messages with time sensitive contents

jeff, to tesla
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  • Rycaut,
    @Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

    @jeff the "Note: Do not strike hard surfaces with CyberHammer. Intended for display or gym use." is kinda epic. The couldn't even make a hammer (well one that works vs one that looks shiny but doesn't actually do anything)

    danilo, to random
    @danilo@hachyderm.io avatar

    the weirdest thing that has taken place in my life was reading valleywag throughout the aughts

    with its excellent reportage of subjects the regular tech press wouldn’t touch

    learning about how all these posturing tech guys were pretty sad and pathetic, and mostly winners of a random lottery

    and now almost two decades later

    these same pathetic guys are OBSCENELY powerful and wealthy

    and still pathetic in ways the press remained reluctant to talk about!

    @Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

    @danilo Valleywag was excellent (I'm also biased @owenthomas - who is not really active here alas - is a friend and my former editor in college) but he and the others at Valleywag did a fantastic and much needed job covering tech.

    But yes, it is sad that the horrible people seem to have in many ways "won" - I think there are plenty of exceptions but they get far less (attention, money, news cycles, followers etc)

    Rycaut, to random
    @Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

    Business advice (and yes based on real experiences). Do not send a bill to a non-verified email address. If you do send one - don’t send it from a no-reply address.

    Because, inevitably you will send a bill to the wrong person who will be annoyed and will not pay your bill all while the actual customer won’t pay it because you haven’t emailed them at their actual address.

    And no most strangers aren’t going to call a phone number of a business they have no relationship with just to fix this

    @Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

    This happens to me multiple times a week.

    Every week. Emails from businesses in states I do not live in sent to strangers who think my email address is theirs. With no easy way for me to correct this. When it comes from an actual human I reply and inform them of the mistake. But I don’t call up random businesses to try to explain the situation.

    Again this happens 3-5x a week. (With bills and the like) and multiple times a day with just random mailing lists.

    gnomon, to random
    @gnomon@mastodon.social avatar

    Is there an idiomatic SQL (sqlite3) way of mapping a subset of selected records from a large table ("users") to unique values in a smaller table ("coupons")? It's easy enough to select all the user records not yet mapped, and to select all as-yet unmapped coupons, but then what's a nice clean way of mapping one to the other? Order doesn't matter, only that the mapping once established can be queried again in the future.

    My brain is stuck thinking sequentially about this, frustratingly.

    @Rycaut@mastodon.social avatar

    @gnomon sound reasonable. I’d probably look at how to make it one code that can be run against different sets of users (and this might also force the discussion of “how to bulk inform the users given codes in bulk” which seems like the next question)

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