My 2017 gaming goals

Submitted by luxian on Tue, 01/10/2017 - 22:01

Now that my old PS3 is retired, I plan to play more games on my new PS4. I just finished the Uncharted 4 and want to play more.

Currently, I'm playing Battlefield Hardline but I'm trying to see what would be my next one. The list of options I come up with contains:

And maybe Grand Turismo Sport.

Super intelligence might be further away than we think

Submitted by luxian on Thu, 12/29/2016 - 22:28

If you watched and read the links I posted in the Artificial Intelligence article you probably believe that Super Intelligence might become reality rather sooner than later. Today I found an article trying to provide arguments against this: The Singularity is Further Than it Appears.

A short list of arguments:

  • Super Intelligence will not create the next level of Super Intelligence very fast, because this is not a linear problem.
  • There is no incentive for companies to create human level intelligence at the moment.
  • There are some ethical reasons we have to face when we build a truly sentient AI: Can we turn it off? Would that be murder? Can we experiment on it? Does it deserve privacy? What if it starts asking for privacy? Or freedom? Or the right to vote?
  • Uploading our brains to a computer is still a far away dream. At the moment we are able to "simulate" a cat brain but it runs 600 times slower than the real one and it's missing a lot of features the real brain has - so the simulation is far for being complete. Even with this incomplete simulation, we have to wait until 2035 or 2040 to have the hardware we need to simulate a brain similar to human brain in size.

via HN

The reason behind this

Submitted by luxian on Thu, 12/15/2016 - 23:21

I created this blog for two reasons:

  • Practice and improve my writing skills, especially in English since it's not my native language
  • Share things that I find interesting, mostly stuff that's not part of the general hype

This is a challenge and my content is not even close to what I want it to be. I guess practice it's the only thing that helps you closing the gap between expectations and result. And nobody tells this to beginners...

/via @MKBHD

What is HDR for TV?

Submitted by luxian on Wed, 12/14/2016 - 11:50

I asked myself the same question recently and started searching around for it. I was happy to find that Trusted Reviews has an in-detail article about it: HDR TV: What is it and should you care?

In an nutshell:

  • There is a new standard for HRD TV standard/certification you should look for called: UHD Premium
  • UHD Premium certification requires a great brightness range and better color reproduction (10 bit colors)
  • UHD Premium come is two flavors in order to allow both LED LCD and OLED displays to get the certification:
    • Standard 1: requires more maximum brightness (> 1,000 nits) but has demands are more relaxed for black (<0.05 nits) - targeting LCD panels
    • Standard 2: maximum brightness requirements are lowered (>540 nits), but demands more from black colors (0.0005 nits) - targeting OLED panels
  • You will need a compatible video source to enjoy this
  • There are greater chances to get HDR content faster than 4K because it much easier to produce and distribute


Next thing will see are the HDR monitors.

Keeping time is hard

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 23:07

This year we have to compensate for a leap second before entering 2017. That means the last minute of 31st December will have 61 seconds instead of 60. Google describes how they are planning to compensate for it.

They will run the clock slower for 20 hours (ten before and ten after the last second of the year). This way they avoid glitches with systems not able to handle 61 seconds in a minute.

On the same topic, the original article links to the leap second glitch that affected Reddit.



Project Soli

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 23:00

6 years ago we had Leap Motion. Now it's time to meet Soli. The new project developed under Google Advance Technology and Projects (ATAP) creates a sensor that allows you to interact with devices using only your hands or fingers. The sensor is capable of identifying subtle gesture of your fingers and translate them into input for devices. It doesn't require a camera, and it's very small - can be used inside wearable devices.

You can see it in action on in their promo video: Welcome to Project Soli.


Mutate - a simple Launcher inspired by Alfred

Submitted by luxian on Wed, 12/07/2016 - 21:25

Later update: I stopped using Mutate and switched to Ulauncher. You can find out more here: Ulauncher is my new favorite app launcher for Linux.

I'm using a Macbook when I'm in the office, but at home I'm a happy Linux user. My distro of choice is Linux Mint Debian 2 (LMDE2).

While the lack of keyboard shortcuts on OS X bothers me from time to time, when I'm on Linux I miss Alfred a lot. Today I spent some time looking for alternatives. I remembered that a few years ago I saw a friend using something similar for Ubuntu, so there must be something for my distro as well.

That's how I discovered Mutate. LMDE doesn't support PPAs, so I tried the .deb package and it worked. The only thing I had to configure was the shortcut. By default it uses Ctrl + D for general search and Ctrl + T for Google Translate. I found the second one quite annoying (that's the shorcut to open tabs) and the first one only after I opened preferences. To change them, open Mutate (any of the shortcuts above) and type "Preferences". I removed both shortcuts and added Ctrl + Space for default search. 

Update: If you also added the program to startup list, you might find it annoying that the mutate UI opens after you login. Apparently this can be solved by calling the following command:

mutate --hidden

Found on GitHub issue 64.


How to increase timeout for nginx and php7.0-fpm in Ubuntu

Submitted by luxian on Wed, 12/07/2016 - 06:59

PHP FPM timeout settings

To increase PHP timeout, you have to edit /etc/php/7.0/fpm/php.ini and change/add this:

max_execution_time = 300

For FPM you need to change /etc/php/7.0/fpm/pool.d/www.conf as well and change/add this:

php_admin_value[max_execution_time] = 300

There is also another option in the www.conf file names request_terminate_timeout, I didn't change that one because documentation says it should be used only the max_execution_time doesn't stop the script execution.

Next step, restart fpm:

service php7.0-fpm restart

nginx timeout settings

Edit your server configuration file, usually placed in /etc/nginx/sites-available/, and in the cgi section add:

fastcgi_read_timeout 300;

And then restart nginx:

service nginx reload

In case you are using nginx as a proxy to something else, you can find instructions in this article: How to Fix 504 Gateway Timeout using Nginx.

Articifial Intelligence

Submitted by luxian on Mon, 12/05/2016 - 20:08

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it might change the human kind is debatable topic nowadays. To understand it better you can check these links:

If you prefer reading, Tim Urban (Wait But Why) explains it in two articles: 

Or you can watch the TED talk that's sums it up: