Skip to main content


This section allows you to view all Topics made by this member. Note that you can only see Topics made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - ersi

DnD Central / Soviet Nostalgia Thread
This is a dead serious thread. I'm honestly arguing that in the country called USSR there lived actual humans, normal and ordinary people. They were not green like aliens and they did not eat children, definitely not on average or median. 

Much has been said about Soviet propaganda. I grew up to full age in Soviet Union and since early childhood I personally knew that propaganda was bad. And I don't mean that Soviet propaganda was saying that Western propaganda was bad.[1] I mean I learned early on that all propaganda was bad, and I personally always diversified my sources of information and knowledge. So imagine my shock when soon after the collapse of USSR I noticed how brainwashed Westerners can be. And Westerners have no excuse, because they are willingly brainwashed. In the West, propaganda is what people indulge in by choice. It is not imposed on them by an authoritarian government.

Anyway, here are some points of view.

The main quibble I have is that in my opinion it is not enough to say "This/that is like Soviet Union." Soviet Union itself had a sufficiently long history so it went through very different phases and it was different things at different times. There were at least three different regimes that can be tentatively called:
- Stalin
- Brezhnev
- Gorbachev

Stalin era was the consolidation of the newly created USSR by dictatorial and highly oppressive genocidal means. Stalin knowingly built up a personality cult for himself as an official state religion. Stalin did not see it coming that Hitler could backstab him, so besides government-imposed hardships of every sort the people also had to go through war hardships. For Russians it's all basically fine, because they think suffering is a great glorious sacrifice, but there are many more peoples and nationalities in USSR who think differently, the more so the less affinity they feel with Russians.

Brezhnev era is called the time of economic stagnation, but in many ways it was the kind of economic and administrative stability that European Central Bank officially aspires to. Prices of things (of probably all things, as far as I remember) were not merely stable, but literally the same from the end of 60's to mid-80's. Prices of industrial products were not given by paper label, but were pressed into them, and the price applied for decades like this under Brezhnev. This is when I grew up and nobody can take my happy childhood and youth away from me.

Then we saw Gorbachev, who is worshipped in the West as a wonderful democratically-minded courageous reformer. He screwed up big time from the start. One of his very first reforms was to restrict access to vodka. Smarter people immediately foretold that either this man goes away or the country collapses. The man did not go away, so the country collapsed. The Chernobyl catastrophe was also very early on in Gorbachev's career, and demonstrated definitively that he was a chicken, nothing leader-like about him.

When I received my invitation to the Soviet Army, the country was economically and administratively in ruins. Everything about the government was so broken that I simply ignored the conscription. I refused to go to their army. And then the country died. So, if you want to know how USSR met its end — it was me.

A competent comparison of any other country or regime to USSR specifies which era or phase of the USSR is being meant. Only Brezhnev era was a relatively smooth ride. Stalin and Gorbachev eras were cataclysmic, without any laws in any sense, legal or administrative or economic, no historic justice or justice overall. Everything under Stalin and Gorbachev was done for some propagandistically stated purpose, some promised bright future, but everything failed, was a grotesque lie, or bore a disproportionate human cost. Brezhnev era, the supposed height of Cold War, was in contrast quite calm and peaceful, hardly any sense of urgency in any direction.
This was not on the news daily, by the way. Nor in school. And it makes sense: There was no easy access to Western propaganda, so what's the point of talking about something that's not there?
Browsers & Technology / Is IRC still a thing?
Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is an application layer protocol that facilitates communication in the form of text. The chat process works on a client/server networking model.
Does not sound like much, but it has history,

IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (MultiUser Talk) on a BBS called OuluBox at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science. Jarkko intended to extend the BBS software he administered, to allow news in the Usenet style, real time discussions and similar BBS features. The first part he implemented was the chat part...
and has users too.

As of April 2011, the top 100 IRC networks served more than half a million users at a time,[7] with hundreds of thousands of channels[7] operating on a total of roughly 1,500 servers[7] out of roughly 3,200 servers worldwide.
During my history of using IRC, I have noticed some political turmoil on the free and tech networks, strict party lines kept on similarly named channels (e.g. #politics for consies only and #political for libtards only) and actual wars over channel mod and server op status. Those have been interesting to observe and teach occasionally a lot how power games work in society in general.

The most recent war involves the network called Freenode. Volunteer staff and many (tech) channel maintainers say that the owner (or main equipment contributor and financial donor) performed a hostile takeover, so the affected members created a new network called Libera.

Following the Freenode schism last week that saw most of the IRC network's volunteer staff leave to form rival network Libera Chat, Freenode on Tuesday commandeered hundreds of channels used by various open source software projects and fiddled with their permissions.
As a result, we can stare at numbers.
The Lounge / Game: Forum Chess
Make a legal chess move. One move per post. Consecutive posts constitute a chess game. The move notation should strictly adhere to the notation format defined below.

All forum members can participate. The same forum member can make multiple moves, i.e. several posts in a row. The posts that do not start with a move notation will be treated as a comment post.

The main challenge is to keep track of the legality of the moves. Everybody is individually responsible of keeping track of the progress of the game.

One aim of the game is to detect an illegal move during the game and to call it out. The post where an earlier move is called out as illegal should start with "Foul!" Then identify the rule-breaking post and explain the breach.

The caller will be the winner and the breacher will be the loser. A new game will start after a legitimate callout. Calling out one's own earlier post is, well, checkmating oneself.

Without calling out, the game may end according to ordinary chess rules. The player who can checkmate a king will be the winner in a game without losers. A draw will be a game without winners. A new game can be suggested abruptly without any conclusion to an ongoing game. There should be at least one other forum member agreeing to the new game.

Move notation format
The post describing a chess move should keep to the following notation format. The format should be complete, no omissions, shorthand or additions. Having a bad notation format in the chess move post is a reason for callout.

Move #ColourPieceFrom fieldTo fieldCommentary
Move number is a number. One complete move in the game consists of a move by the white side followed by a countermove by the black side. That is, white moves, then black - these are the same number, and next move by white gets the next number.

Colour is the word "white" or "black", all lowercase.

Piece is a single capital letter denoting a piece.
K for king
Q for queen
R for rook
B for bishop
N for knight

Pawns are not denoted, i.e. a missing letter for a piece means that a pawn is being moved, for example

1black f7f6

From field and To field consist of a lowercase letter for file and a number for rank. Both fields are mandatory in the notation.

Separation of the notation elements
The notation elements can be separated by spaces, but not by any other separators, such as colons or commas. However, spaces between the notation elements are purely optional. For example, each of the following is good

1 white e2 e3
1 whitee2 e3

Misspelling in the notation is treated the same as misformatting and is a reason for callout. A move post cannot be corrected, i.e. a move post that indicates an edit in the forum software is treated the same as an illegal move.

Castling has its own notation. First, include move number and colour. After that, "0-0" indicates kingside castling and "0-0-0" indicates queenside castling. For example,

11black 0-0-0

Commentary is optional. Commentary is separated from the move notation by space or newline. Checks, captures, en passant, checkmate etc. do not need to be noted, but can be noted in commentary in full sentences along with other commentary.

Posts that do not start with a move notation are treated as commentary.

Nothing in the commentary can constitute a reason for callout. Even if the commentary includes an image of the game status, true or false, it does not matter.

Formatting of callout post
The first word should be "Foul!" Then identify the offending post and explain the wrong move. In explanation, include an image of the status of the game and illustration of the illegal move. There should be at least one other forum member agreeing to the explanation.

I devised the rules out of the blue by myself. The rules can be improved by modifying this first post upon suggestion.

Date/Post idWinnerLoserComment
Browsers & Technology / Best about wristwatches
Maybe not totally worth it, but here's a whole new thread on wristwatches. Not worth it, because this is a deadish forum with barely any participants, but I feel like doing another useless poll, so let's do it! The moderate market penetration of smartwatches, expensive futile gimmicks in themselves,[1] indicates that the wristwatch format is a lasting idea.

Wristwatches are of two main types in terms of the driving engine (called "movement" in professional circles in English, as I have learned in my recent research):
 A. mechanical
 B. quartz

In terms of display (or "face"), they can be categorised as:
 1. analog (these can have either type of movement)
 2. digital (quartz movement only)
 3. combined

My first watch ever was an analog mechanical kiddie style watch at the age of 9 or so and I lost it already next week. The first watch that I somewhat cared about was a Citizen digital watch towards the end of eighties. Right now I have a Casio digital watch.

In terms of functionality, there's not been much evolution in the arena of cheap digital watches. The alarm function of my current Casio is missing the common-sense alarm feature that Citizen used to have: alarm per weekday. On the Citizen digital watch in the eighties, it was possible to activate the alarm for the five workdays of the week and keep it off for weekends. On the current Casio, there are all sorts of weird barely useful options available, e.g. a specific date each month, a specific date each year (once a year - useful I guess to remind you of your spouse's birthday or the wedding anniversary), all days for a specific month every year, every day, or nothing. No options for a weekdaily alarm on the Casio. Did Citizen patent weekday alarms or what? But Citizen has moved into the more prestigious analog segment these days and it hardly produces digital watches these days.

In this lockdown situation, some of my old fascination with wristwatches has returned. I bought four cheap quartz watches last month and tried them on. The cheapest of them all became the winner. I am giving the others away as Christmas presents. Last weekend I additionally thought it would be nice to gift myself a mechanical or at least an analog watch due to all the amazing promotions and payraises I have gained in my current job. After much figuring, I am inclined towards a true mechanical watch with some serious calendar features (e.g. a Triple Calendar Moonphase or a Multi Year Calendar watch), but this decision needs to be precise and lasting. Some other time maybe.
Futile because they duplicate the functionality of smartphones, but the users still need a smartphone for the complete functionality. The only ingenious thing about smartwatches is that they are fastened on the wrist, so you do not need a pocket or a bag to carry them along. But wristwatches were ingenious this way long before smartwatches, plus wristwatches - with battery - last for years, and with winding they last for a lifetime, while smartwatches pass out weekly or even daily, defeating their own purpose.
Otter Browser Forum / User Agent string under website preferences
Looks like Otter is not including its own user agent string anymore. That's sad. Here is a random one just so
Code: [Select]
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64) AppleWebKit/602.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Otter/1
Here is a request to go to website preferences:
Right now the user can change the user agent in website preferences by selecting from a menu. However, this would be a great spot to allow to enter an arbitrary string that would apply just for that website.
Hobbies & Entertainment / Commentations on the blog of Frans
You can tell Google Play not to update the app by unchecking auto-update. Tap the three vertical dots in the top-right corner to bring up the option. Then download the old Skype Android app from (“Because Newer is Not Always Better”) or any similar site.
This works until they (Skype/MS) decide to block access from older app versions. I was forced to upgrade Skype eventually on Linux, because I could not log in on the older version.

Also, on one of my ereaders that has an older firmware, apparently EOL, I lost access to Dropbox at some point. Dropbox has been releasing updates furiously lately and seems to have blocked access from older versions of its app.

On Android, there is no functional reason to have Skype at all. FB Messenger does all the same things and more. The only reason to have Skype is that some friends or family are still stuck with it and are not on FB.
Hobbies & Entertainment / Travelling and such
There's a way to share your trips, to make maps of them or whatever, but I haven't done it

I haven't done it because I have not travelled much. As much as I have, I have mostly visited countries neighbouring my own, which is not too interesting. Other than that, I have visited a few penfriends privately, and I don't share that too much.

List of countries and places I visited, in random order:

Russia - Komi, Moscow, St. Peterburg, Tula, Pechory
Finland - Helsinki, Lahti, Turku
Sweden - Stockholm, Värmland
Latvia - a lot
Lithuania - Vilnius, Kaunas
Poland - Gdansk, Malbork, Warsaw, Krakow
Czech - Prague
Germany - Frankfurt
Austria - Vienna
Slovenia - Postojna, Ljubljana
Croatia - Istria, Zagreb
Romania - Cluj, Bistrita
France - Paris
UK - London
Greece - Athens
US - Florida, NYC
Costa Rica - Arenal volcano, Monteverde

Evidently few enough so that I can list them all like this.

The most obvious way of travelling is to go on a vacation or tour to a place where everybody has been, such as Canary Islands or Caribbean. So, how do you travel and where have you been? Do you prefer to rent a car, go on a guided tour, use public transportation, hike, or are you satisfied with what you see from the airplane/airport windows during and between flights? Do you travel on vacations, for business purposes, or more methodically as part of profession or way of life?
DnD Central / Awesomesauce Esperanto problem
(A new topic in the hope of attracting an Esperanto community here, the way we already have Otter community.)

What ticked me off is that you wrote "you mean Y." You can say what amounts to the exact same thing inoffensively by prefixing "if I understand you correctly."

  • If I understand you correctly, you mean Y.
  • Did you mean Y?
  • Could you clarify what you meant by X?
I sincerely apologise for ticking you off. Sometimes I upset people deliberately in order to beat some topic dead more thoroughly (I like them dead, so I can say they are properly settled), but it was not so in this case. I was not really interested in what you were saying, except that it reminded to me that I had that obscure page about Esperanto in my bookmarks. And another apology for that I lack proper internet manners. I hope I'm not too bad though.

However, now I've become a bit interested in this topic and after reading and re-reading I find your attempts to clarify yourself woefully inadequate. Should I analyse this? Maybe just a little bit.

The fact that I didn't simply mean lingua franca should reveal itself from the nonsensical resulting phrase "hoping to attain the status of [a lingua franca], but with a slightly different language emphasis." In which case you should ask, a slightly different language emphasis that what?
True, that would have been my next question, had it turned out that by the latter part of the sentence ("but with...") you meant anything serious. Since the first part of the sentence appeared dilettantish to me and called for an immediate correction, I ignored the latter part for the time being.

Let's recall the first part of your sentence: "...[Esperanto is] an artificially created pidgin/creole hoping to attain the status of an English or French..."

Two immediate things here prompted me to suggest "lingua franca" instead of "English or French".

First, you had already used "pidgin/creole" in the same sentence. You were saying that the pidgin/creole was hoping to attain something. In order for the pidgin/creole to hope to attain something reasonably attainable, the goal should be something of its own class. Pidgin/creole and lingua franca are, in terms of linguistic terminology, animals of kin, while English and French inhabit a different conceptual category in linguistics.

This impression was amplified by the fact that you said "an English or French". If you put an actual meaning behind the article, then you didn't really mean English or French, but something like English or French, whatever it may be (not a specific language at any rate). Without letting you walk deeper into the woods, I suggested you must have meant lingua franca. But now you have chosen to take a deeper walk in the woods.

Second, you didn't say that the pidgin/creole was hoping to replace English or French (which would have been so hopelessly dilettantish that I would have declined to comment on it). Instead, you opted for a slightly more technical-sounding "to attain the status of an English or French". So, another possible emphasis is the word "status". What status do English and French have? The one I could think of was that they are both lingua franca, i.e. current in many countries among people who use it for communication beyond their own native languages. English and French are examples of lingua franca par excellence in that non-native speakers decisively outnumber native speakers.

But possibly you meant a different status. Unfortunately your latest clarifications don't clarify what status that would be. Instead, your clarifications seem to fall back to English and French specifically as English and French (which should be impossible, if "an" had a meaning in the original sentence).

In your clarification, you say "English is a Germanic language, possibly a creole, with a particularly strong Romance substrate, while French is the Romance language with the strongest Germanic substrate." Are you saying both are mixed to a high degree? Why would you say that? Let's try to put it in the original sentence: "[Esperanto is] an artificially created pidgin/creole hoping to attain the status of an English or French [as mixed language]..." Well, why would Esperanto hope to attain the status of mixed language when it was most obviously created as a language mix? It doesn't need to hope to attain what it already is. "Lingua franca", i.e. spreading all over the world as a universal means of communication, would make more sense here as something to be attained.

All this said, could you please clarify what you mean by the latter part of the sentence? I'm not sure what "a different language emphasis" could mean. Was the whole sentence meant to convey something like Esperanto is hoping to attain the status of a mixed language like English or French, but drawing material from languages other than English and French...?

To sum up, I replied because your strategic use of "an" and "status" were interesting. I was hoping that the rest of the sentence would also be interesting and meaningful. To be honest, I am quite positive that you had a really good idea in your mind at first, but it unfortunately withered away in the process of writing. Happens to some of my own ideas too. When that happens and it still was an idea truly worth sharing, then the thing to do is to re-think it and re-formulate it.

Hobbies & Entertainment / The General Sports Thread
Last week the Euro 2016 a.k.a. European football championships drew to a close in France with an excruciatingly boring win. European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam were far more interesting.

Is anybody following Tour de France? Anything going on on some other continent (besides the upcoming Olympics in Rio)?

PS As a random reference, we have an utterly specialised thread for football (soccer). But nobody in this forum has admitted to doing any real sports. Just saying.
Hobbies & Entertainment / Bicycling
Bicycling is not a hobby for me. It's a mode of transportation, after having tried cars for a decade and not being able to handle them. Bicycles are manageable. They are portable even in the other main mode of transportation I use, namely trains.

Inside a small apartment, a good way to store a bicycle is on the ceiling.


Unfortunately, the walls of my apartment are more sand than cement. so I cannot fix anything on the walls, much less into the ceiling. Luckily I have a tiny cellar space that is just big enough for two bicycles side by side, but then nothing else fits in the space.
Browsers & Technology / Tips for computer builders
This is my advice to first-time computer builder: DON'T! The process is not easy. The components may be faulty. Accidents happen. And you don't have enough tools to find out where the problem is.

Tutorials on youtube by professionals don't help. Professionals don't get into trouble. Noobs do. Professionals have mostly forgotten how it was to be a noob. Instead, they give you the false impression that the process is easy and fun like a game of Lego with a screwdriver.

Many video tutorials tell you all you need is a screwdriver and the computer components. This is wrong. You will need at least

- two sizes of screwdrivers (preferably with magnetic tips), if your box is anything less than huge,
- pliers (very tiny pliers to pick fallen things up from tight places if your screwdriver doesn't have a magnetic tip),
- cutters (not scissors, but specialist cutters in order to avoid damaging the bundles of wires when you cut them open),
- alcohol for cleaning,
- clean (dustfree) wiping cloth,
- thermal paste (even if the stock CPU cooler has thermal paste preapplied, be ready to install the CPU multiple times, so you will have to clean the parts and apply your own thermal paste),
- a small flashlight to examine things in the case,
- tons of patience and time,

and it will still not be enough. Something will go wrong. They tell you it's max two hours of assembling things. No. It will be weeks of troubleshooting, months if you have nobody to help you.

More thorough video tutorials by professionals tell you to start by choosing the "right" case. This is a strong clue that we are dealing with someone who has forgotten real-life situations, who has lost the capacity to be useful to a first-timer. People in the real world actually already have a computer and are looking for a way to reuse some parts from there to spare money - at least the case should be reusable, if not anything else. Computer cases have been most resistant to change and innovation. There is no "right" case. There is the case you have wherein you want to build a new computer. If you as a PC build first-timer need to buy a new case, then you should not be doing this. You should take a very good look into your old case first and find a way to reuse it (and maybe a thing or two in it), but even so you will remain a noob. You won't become intermediate by staring into a box.

There is no gratification to be had from building a computer. It is not cheaper or better. It is not cheaper because you cannot afford to cheap out on any of the components. You may think you are putting together something precisely for your own needs, something that is best for you, but in truth you don't know your needs. You certainly don't know which parts correspond to your supposed needs, because you are noob. You think your idea has hatched long enough, for months even, but this is a process where no amount of planning will be enough. You will end up in frustration and overpaying on top of that.

Specifications and manuals don't help. They only tell you what things should fit together, but if the things don't fit together in reality, you are out of luck. And there will surely be some things that don't fit together, unbeknownst to you, because some parts require a surprising amount of force to connect, while the components mostly are very fragile and should be treated gently. As a noob, you will never know if you did it right. More precisely, you cannot be sure what exactly you did wrong. Either you didn't press strong enough where needed or you broke or bent something without noticing or, even if you apply the right force at the right times, the surface you work on isn't quite right. And you don't have enough tools to figure out later where the problem lies.

Something will definitely go wrong along the way. There's no escape from it. You will need someone to share the responsibility with. First-timers should be building under expert guidance the first twelve times or so. Otherwise you will be like me, like many other first-timers who did it wrong. They don't get likes on youtube, they usually don't share their stories, so you don't know about them.

Yesterday I tried to assemble my first PC by myself. The motherboard manual that I got doesn't contain anything about troubleshooting. They expect everything to work. A completely unjustified expectation.

I assembled enough things outside the case - CPU onto motherboard, stock cooler on top of it, RAM into its place, PSU connected at the necessary places. Then, outside the case, I attached the monitor and keyboard to the mobo and the PSU cable to the wall and switched the thing on. Fans spin, mobo lights up, cool. But the monitor has no signal. I thought it was something temporary. I disconnected the power and removed the power cable. I put everything into the case, added a DVD drive and a harddrive, reattached the power cable and switched the thing on again. The DVD drive opens and closes. There seems to be power in the harddrive too, so these parts are getting electricity. And the fans are spinning. The other side however, HDMI and USB and other holes, they don't get anything.

Googling I found out that this is actually a common noob problem. Noobs should not be building computers. I tried some advices. I tried removing and reinstalling RAM. I tried booting without RAM. This is the best troubleshooting list I came across

They say the mobo should beep when you try to boot it up. No, it doesn't. I understand that this is a basic thing, to have a feedback signal whether things are right or wrong, but looks like modern motherboards, certainly the one I have, don't have this basic thing. The manual does not mention it nor indicate where such a beeper could be attached. Also, the mobo lights up in cool colours when turned on, but there's no indicator light to show whether the mobo recognises RAM or such. Pointless.

Basically, I tried everything short of removing and reinstalling the CPU. My next step will be to call someone who has actually assembled computers and who has an electrometre.

Let no one else undertake this useless and frustrating experiment.
DnD Central / The Likes Poll Thread
Express your opinion.

Mine is that the likes function in the imminent forum upgrade should be thoroughly and irreversibly removed and given no further consideration, after this poll has conclusively proven that none of us wants it.
Hobbies & Entertainment / Nordic Noir
This thread may serve as a collector of entertainment news and curiosities in yellow media. I guess this is how it was originally planned too.

This one is for those who are on board with the latest craze in TV series. (I'm not.) The Bridge, apparently started as a Swedish-Danish crime drama TV series, has successfully franchised its format to BBC and beyond, most lately to Russia, where the story is now placed at the border with Estonia.

The Bridge: new version to span Russia and Estonia
Browsers & Technology / Webstores suck
In my experience, webstores are a good indicator how corporations really divide the world. It's not quite by continents, not quite by geopolitical borders, not quite by customs unions... And that sucks.

Here's the example of, comparison of their shipment rates to Egypt and Estonia.


Standard (7-10 days)

    Music / DVD / Blu-ray - £1.49 per item + £2.09 per delivery.
    PC & Video Games / VHS / Software - £2.99 per item + £5.49 per delivery.
    Books (includes audio books) - £2.99 per item + £5.49 per delivery.



Standard (8-10 days)

    Music / DVD / Blu-ray / Software / Video Games (excluding consoles) - £3.60 per delivery + £1.80 per kg.
    Books (includes audio books) - £5.50 per delivery + £1.80 per kg.
    Other categories (including Video Games consoles) - £5.50 per delivery + £1.80 per kg.
Browsers & Technology / E-readers
It seemed that e-reader screens would converge to 6 inches, but considerably bigger devices keep being produced too.


Amazingly, after new year I still had money left, so I bought myself an e-reader. It turns out that the screen is indeed very nice to have when you read a lot of pdfs and epubs (which I do), even though the devices tend to be short on other functionality. The screen is wonderfully convenient compared to a night lamp and a book, and better than a mobile phone's LCD screen.

Insofar as e-readers are meant to display text, there should be font settings (types and sizes) everywhere. My e-reader doesn't permit changing fonts in pdfs, not even when the text reflows. There's no changing of font types and sizes in the web browser either. There should be.

The web browser should permit saving pages as text or HTML. Web-to-PDF would be nice to have. These things are easy to do in a computer and then load onto the e-reader, but it seems like a natural function for the e-reader itself.

Text-to-speech (and saving the file, i.e. conversion of text formats to audio) should be standard in sound-capable devices. Producers of e-readers should be pioneering the speech software for other languages than English. It's an accessibility thing.

More dictionaries too, particularly from other-than-English to English. And more non-Latin scripts/fonts. Producers of e-readers should be actively developing these things.

Even though e-ink screens have only shades of grey, no colours, there should be colour settings to adjust contrast and such. At least there should be a setting to invert the text and background colours. It's again an accessibility thing. Koreader is a program that fixes this particular aspect on my device, though not globally. Settings like this make sense globally.
Browsers & Technology / Does adblock deliberately miss some things?
On a website there was a specific pop-up (pop-in rather, because that's what modern popups are), done in a particularly nasty way due to EU cookie directive. It was basically unblockable with adblock.

The situation: I know exactly the URL of the JS script that I want blocked. I add the address in many ways, into adblock. I have AdBlock Edge extension in Seamonkey. That's what I was using, both by adding the direct URL and trying with various wildcards, each time restarting the browser.

The script is not directly linked on the webpage though. In the webpage code, this element triggers the script,

<div id="user-message-container" data-require="modules/cookie-message">

Only a CSS rule was able to hide the message.

Question: Is there a way to disable specific values of data-require attribute or perhaps disable the attribute itself? By adblock or CSS rules?
Otter Browser Forum / Cookie woes
I applied the patch to the latest git version, launched Otter from command line to and got the error

400 Bad Request
Request Header Or Cookie Too Large

Output attached.

edit: attachment removed
Otter Browser Forum / Notes feature as of this weekend (2015-03-28)
We have Notes!! :D

Hopefully they will be available in weekly #65. (I had trouble making the feature visible, most likely because of the way I had used to build Otter on my machine, i.e. an issue affecting just me.)

The good thing with Notes is that double-clicking the note item takes the user back to the webpage where the snippet was copied from.

In about:notes under the Delete button there's an Add button that looks somewhat out of place in my eyes. The Delete button concerns the specific note item, whereas Add concerns Notes globally.

Request: Instead of the Add button (or perhaps in addition to the Add button), I'd like to see a Properties button that would indicate the URL of the note item, the amount of characters in the note item and perhaps some more data (a la Image properties).
Browsers & Technology / What's the best kind of interface for writing and typing?
Here's a list of text editors

The most professional and advanced thing is of course an office suite for word processing, but my foremost concern here is plain text in e.g. emails and webforms (textareas) and, by extension, coding and programming. My code-editing needs are minimal (naturally on a par with the abilities) and I have usually not much use for e.g. the self-completion kind of bracket-and-tag-matching. However, I often search and replace massively in texts, often in multiple files at the same time, which makes me perhaps intermediate so that I cannot stick exclusively to the simplest editors such as Notepad.

What's the best interface?

It's probably useful to distinguish between GUI and terminal programs. While menus and statusbars are common in both graphical desktop environment and easily possible in terminal (or console), GUI programs can rely more on toolbars with buttons and mouse interaction. Terminal programs can have some mouse interaction, but it's of a whole different quality. Mouse support has no standard in terminal programs, so it's not uniform. Terminal programs rely more on keybinds.

Mouse interaction and buttoned toolbars make GUI interface stand out. Apple and Google interface engineers (and others infected by them, such as Gnome and MS devs recently) think toolbars plus a viewing/editing area is all a user should ever want. They tend to provide menus as another button on the toolbar and they deliberately hide or kill the menubar.

So, in addition to mouse interaction (point&click, scroll, drag&drop) and buttoned toolbars, which are more GUI things, not for terminal programs, some other elements in editor interface are:

  • Menubar and context menus

  • Titlebar and statusbar (with info about e.g. file name, clock, file size, cursor position, etc.)

  • Keyboard shortcuts

  • Theming (font sizes and colours)

What's the functionality you cannot live without?

  • Search, find, select, copy, replace

  • Undo, redo

  • Highlighting

  • Spellcheck

  • Self-completion (of common text, as in Open/LibreOffice)

  • Tag-and-bracket matching (of code and programming languages, as in Geany)

  • Macros (sequencing available actions or creating custom commands) and formatting

  • Buffer management

  • File tree

  • Sessions

  • Formatted preview

  • Plugins and extensions

Given your combined needs of editing, what's your choice of editors? What kind of editors have you been looking at and what did you find?

As for myself, I often tend to use the simplest editors for quick file-changes in GUI, such as Leafpad and Mousepad which are basically equivalent to Notepad. For more concentrated use I open up Medit for its sessions (to continue where I left off), for its file-tree, highlighting, theming, and macros. Sometimes I miss tag-and-bracket matching which is not there in Medit, but not too badly.

In terminal, the necessary theming is done by configuring the terminal rather than the program in it. I tend to use the terminal a lot because all programs in it display uniformly in the fonts and colours I set. My preferred editor in terminal is nano which is much simpler than vi or emacs. Linux distros tend to include nano out of the box, even though vi tends to be the system default, so I have to configure vi away every time and make nano the system default.

Same as the likes of Notepad, nano is a very good option for quick file-changes, but I have ended up writing long text in it (such as this forum post). I have configured it to display highlighting and learned its shortcuts to find, copy, cut, replace, undo and redo stuff and to move around in files. Among other features nano provides automatic justification of text (due to the justification feature, it serves well as email composer for mutt), navigate the file system, some mouse support and management of buffers.

On the list linked above, joe with its multiple frames/windows looks interesting. This is something that nano doesn't do.

Web interface, forms and textareas

Webpages have holes where to type stuff. These are called forms and textareas. Sometimes, such as in these forums, they provide some formatting options, smileys and such. These are things I don't care about. I often browse the web with images off. I don't care in what way the textareas are styled. When I don't use them, I want them small, but when I use them, I want them big, i.e. I want them to be configurable. This means either user CSS or an external editor as a plugin or extension to the browser.

A good example of inbuilt configurability in webpage textares is at Github. It offers a modest textarea for comments along with a full-screen button, i.e. the textarea can fill the browser frame, the font turns big and it's much comfier to type. The Github design would be in my opinion the best kind of design for textareas all around the web, but still the problem is that it's not adequate for everyone and everything. The same way as browsers provide a way to configure an external source viewer, downloader, emailer, etc. it would be obvious to provide a way to configure an external textarea editor too.
Otter Browser Forum / What's the plan with extension
There are some pros and some cons with extensions. In order to know if Otter's extensions will do it the good way or bad way it would be nice to see what the plan is. Is the plan to make Otter compatible with Chrome's extensions or will it be something more? Something less?

The Pro Side

- Extended functionality of the application
- More contributors to the application development, provided that the API's are easy enough to get

These pros are dubious in my opinion. Extensions don't really improve the application itself. The application has its own extensibility and the extensibility has to be decently documented, so the extension authors know how to do it.

The Con Side

- Breakage of the application when extensions are too intrusive
- Breakage of extensions at application updates

The application has to protect itself from too intrusive extensions. For example I don't like in Seamonkey/FF how a new extension may add its own menu item or button, instead of just showing up in about:addons and doing its thing thing.

The functionality of menu items and buttons should be left for the user to tweak and configure. Then I know that there are many Seamonkey/FF extensions that do just that - add a menu item or a button. This is intrusive. Users should be able to combine the available actions themselves in menu items and buttons, just like it was in Opera. Extensions should change the webpage elements or connect the browser to external applications. Or should it do something more? 

Actions related to keybinds, menu items and buttons are configured in the config files. When I have gone to great lengths to configure the application behaviour this way, I don't want an extension - or an update - to ruin this.

And then there's how extensions break when the application is updated. Just now I updated Seamonkey and again the GTK theme (an extension) gets disabled. Just plain annoying.

So, what's the plan?
Browsers & Technology / What's wrong with (web standards)
Take a look

The page loads, but does not display for me in Elinks (no JS) and Seamonkey (maybe adblocking too much). The source code is full of links to scripts rather than textual content. This is definitely not how the web was meant to be.

Any ideas what to do about it? How to make it display in Elinks?

Opera (v.11), Firefox, and Webkit browsers display the page fine with JS enabled.
DnD Central / Paranormal - normal or para?
Stevenson’s main claim to fame was his meticulous studies of children’s memories of previous lives. Here’s one of thousands of cases. In Sri Lanka, a toddler one day overheard her mother mentioning the name of an obscure town (“Kataragama”) that the girl had never been to. The girl informed the mother that she drowned there when her “dumb” (mentally challenged) brother pushed her in the river, that she had a bald father named “Herath” who sold flowers in a market near the Buddhist stupa, that she lived in a house that had a glass window in the roof (a skylight), dogs in the backyard that were tied up and fed meat, that the house was next door to a big Hindu temple, outside of which people smashed coconuts on the ground. Stevenson was able to confirm that....

I’d be happy to say it’s all complete and utter nonsense—a moldering cesspool of irredeemable, anti-scientific drivel. The trouble is, it’s not entirely apparent to me that it is. So why aren’t scientists taking Stevenson’s data more seriously? The data don’t “fit” our working model of materialistic brain science, surely. But does our refusal to even look at his findings, let alone to debate them, come down to our fear of being wrong? “The wish not to believe,” Stevenson once said, “can influence as strongly as the wish to believe.”

Ian Stevenson’s Case for the Afterlife: Are We ‘Skeptics’ Really Just Cynics?
Skeptics are often enough cynics, often enough they lack intellectual curiosity and, even though they like to think of themselves otherwise, they deny empirical data, not to mention logical conclusions.

Let's give it a try. What explanations do you have for the data? If you deny the data, then on what grounds? Further, what do you think 'reincarnation', 'rebirth' or 'afterlife' means and entails so that it should be denied?