Researchers have recently released a new paper and subsequent model, “Simple and Controllable Music Generation”, where they highlight it “is comprised of a single-stage transformer LM together with efficient token interleaving patterns, which eliminates the need for cascading several models”. What this essentially means in practice is the music generation can now be completed in less steps, and is getting more efficient as we make progress on various different types of models.
I expect AI to hit every industry in an increasingly rapid pace as more and more research becomes available and progress starts leapfrogging based on other models. MUSICGEN was trained with about 20K hours of unlicensed music, and the results are impressive.
Here are some interesting generations I thought sounded nice. As more models from massively trained datasets hit the public, we will see more community efforts and models as well just like with art.
I used the less performant medium model (1.5B parameters and approx 3.7 GB) to demonstrate how even on relatively poor hardware you could achieve reasonable results. Here is some lofi generated from the medium model.
Starbound has been one of my favorite games of all time, so I’m happy to say that I have the latest Starbound source code, last commit August 7th, 2019. I will not be explaining how I got these files. It is the actual source, not just a decompilation, and as such includes build scripts, unused stuff, old migration code, comments, a stored test player, etc.
The source has minimal comments, and the structure is reasonable. I found the code easy to read and understand, but perhaps that’s because I’ve been modding Starbound for years now and am familiar with its behavior.
Languages Breakdown (GitHub)
StarMixer.cpp (audio related)
And of course, we can build it. I compiled this version without Steam API or the Discord rich presence API, but those are easily included.
Funny Developer Comments
Here’s a look at some of the best (in my opinion) developer comments in the source. This is not intended to be a mockery, far from it, I’m ecstatic I can take a peek into the minds of the developers. Enjoy.
Example: Simple Re-implementation of Vapor Trail and Sitting Toolbar Usage
At some point during development, Chucklefish had the idea to add a vapor trail when the player was falling fast. I could’ve sworn I saw a post on their news about it back when the game was in beta, but I can’t find it now. Anyway, we can add a small snippet to restore it, as an example of further engine work Starbound can benefit from.
This file contains bidirectional Unicode text that may be interpreted or compiled differently than what appears below. To review, open the file in an editor that reveals hidden Unicode characters.
Learn more about bidirectional Unicode characters
Allowing us to use our inventory while sitting down
Future work on the engine can lead to further modding capabilities and engine optimizations. There are many potential client side performance improvements that could be made without touching any network code. This would maintain compatibility with the vanilla client. The netcode could be updated as well, but this would break compatibility once major changes were made. If both (or more) parties are willing to use a modified client, any theoretical modification could be made. The possibilities are endless.
The world of software development is rapidly evolving, and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of this revolution. AI is poised to change the way developers work. However, there are concerns that AI will replace developers and make their jobs obsolete. In reality, AI will help developer efficiency, not replace it.
One of the most significant use cases I’ve found for AI in my development work is its ability to automate repetitive tasks, such as using a bunch of similarly named, grouped variables. For instance, I recently was creating a ‘Human’ class, and needed all body parts for variables. That was suggested and picked up almost immediately by Copilot after a couple lines, and the whole class was done in mere seconds vs a few minutes. This adds up and means that I can focus on more complex and creative tasks, such as developing new features and creating new UI ideas or focusing on user feedback. The result is increased productivity and faster software development.
I am quite excited for a future in which I can describe the architecture of my Android app in as much detail as possible and then go in and clean up the resulting code manually to my specific vision. Developers will be fast tracked to a more active management role, just like the revolution AI is currently having on art.
AI also helps developers predict outcomes and identify issues before they occur. For instance, AI can analyze code and provide suggestions for fixes based on a database of common knowledge. This can be incredibly beneficial, especially when dealing with complex codebases or navigating a plethora of different APIs, as it can save developers valuable time and effort. As someone who recently worked on an Android app after being away from the scene for a few years, I found AI invaluable in suggesting the different cases I needed for permissions and navigating the slew of Android versions. Without AI, it would have been extremely difficult if not impossible to be aware of and implement all the specific random edge cases, which vary per version of Android. I could have researched for every single permission I was needing, but it saved hours of time. This not only improves the quality of the software but also reduces time spent on bug fixes.
AI will help developer efficiency, not replace it. As a whole, it will enable developers to focus on more complex and creative tasks, leading to increased productivity and faster software development. While there are concerns about the implications of AI, I think it’s as important to recognize its potential to improve software development and embrace it as a tool to enhance the work of developers.
The internet has changed the way we live, work, and communicate. It’s opened up new possibilities for innovation and creativity, allowing individuals and businesses to connect with each other and share their ideas with the world. But with this rise in connectivity and accessibility, there has slowly been another, darker side rising, in the form of bot traffic and spam.
Bots have become a major problem on the internet, with their traffic accounting for over 50% of all web traffic and spam in recent years (this number fluctuates) making up the majority of all email traffic. This rise in bot traffic and spam has had a devastating impact on small websites and businesses, choking their ability to innovate and grow.
Small websites and businesses rely on organic traffic to grow and thrive. However, with so much spam on the internet, it can be difficult for these small players to compete. Bots can scrape content from websites, stealing their intellectual property and driving down their search engine rankings. And, can also be used to flood websites with irrelevant comments and messages, making it difficult for genuine users to engage with the content. Any website or content not protected with some sort of bot protection is immediately bombarded, DDoSed, hacked, or simply probed for information. I have almost 1,000 spam comments sitting in my queue for this website from the last time I checked.
This can have a particularly devastating impact on small websites and businesses. As the internet has become more monetized, with companies looking to profit from every aspect of online life, small websites and businesses have found it increasingly difficult to compete. They are often forced to rely on advertising revenue to survive, but with so much bot traffic and spam, they find it harder to generate real revenue, along with the growing popularity of ad blockers which are essentially a must in today’s internet landscape.
Another problem with the rise of bot traffic and spam is that it has made the internet more rigid and lifeless. Where once the internet was a place for hobbyists and enthusiasts to share their ideas and connect with like-minded individuals, it has now become a place where everything is monetized and controlled by large corporations.
In recent years, the rise of increasing malicious traffic on the internet has led many businesses to turn to big players like Cloudflare for protection. While these services can provide effective protection against bots and other malicious activity, they can also come at a cost for smaller businesses and startups.
One of the biggest problems with relying on big players for bot protection is that it can stifle innovation. Smaller businesses and startups are often the most innovative, as they are not burdened by the same bureaucracy and red tape as larger companies.
This is because these big players often provide a one-size-fits-all solution that may not be suitable for smaller businesses with different needs and requirements. Smaller businesses may be forced to adapt their operations and workflows to fit the requirements of these big players, rather than being able to innovate and develop their own unique solutions. Less competition, less innovation, and leads to things like Cloudflare taking down the entire internet when it has problems.
Another problem with relying on big players for bot protection is that it can be expensive. These services can come at a significant cost, which can be prohibitive for smaller businesses and startups that may not have the same financial resources as larger companies. This can create a barrier to entry for these smaller players and may limit their ability to compete with larger companies. Bots drive these costs up significantly, and basically make a gated entry for participation.
The rise of bot traffic and spam on the internet is a major problem that is choking innovation and creativity, overall making it difficult for small websites and businesses to compete. The web, nowadays, has become a strictly regulated and experiment discouraged place. Accounts are needed for every service. Every file could be a virus, and it’s often recommended not to click on ANY strange link or file, or venture off the beaten path. There’s no adventure, no random communities and sites you can discover. The internet, at its roots, is a place created for innovation and creativity. In recent years, it looks like just another tool for corporate profit.
This is a guide for virus removal for Windows PCs. If you have a computer/computers that you believe have a virus or have been hacked, here are the steps you must take to protect yourself.
Isolate from the internet
This is the most important step. A lot of functionality is limited if they don’t have a connection.
Make sure the device you believe has been compromised is disconnected from all forms of connectivity. Bluetooth should be off, airplane mode should be on, Ethernet should be unplugged. WiFi should be turned off, and device should be powered down until ready to perform other necessary recovery steps. This will prevent any malware from getting worse, ransomware from progressing, or hackers from sending remote instructions to your computer.
Additionally, immediately boot your computer into Safe Mode (as fast as possible), to prevent malware processes like ransomware from progressing further.
Booting into safe mode (with networking)
Safe Mode is a diagnostic operating mode, used mainly to troubleshoot problems affecting the normal operation of Windows. Such problems range from conflicting drivers to viruses preventing Windows from starting normally. In Safe Mode, only a few applications work and Windows loads just the basic drivers and a minimum of operating system components. This is why most viruses are inactive when using Windows in Safe Mode, and they can be easily removed.
From Settings app
Press the Windows logo key windows key + I on your keyboard to open Settings. If that doesn’t work, click the Start windows key button in the lower-left corner of your screen, then select Settings Settings icon.
Select Update & security Update and security icon, then click on Recovery Recovery icon.
Under Advanced startup, select Restart now.
After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.
After your PC restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Press 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode. Or if you’ll need to use the Internet, select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
From sign in screen
1. Restart your PC. When you get to the Windows sign-in (login) screen, hold the Shift key down while you click the Power icon in the lower-right corner of the screen then select Restart. 2. After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. 3. After your PC restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Press 4 or F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode. Or if you’ll need to use the Internet, select 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
From system configuration
1. Launch System Configuration in Windows by simultaneously pressing the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. Then write msconfig in the text field and press OK. 2. Switch to Boot tab and, in the Boot options section, select the Safe Boot with Network. Then click OK.
If you have an Ethernet cable, plug the computer in directly.
NOTE: After you finished your work in Safe Mode, please open System Configuration again (step 1) and uncheck the Safe Boot option (step 2). Click OK and restart your machine. Your computer will now boot normally.
3. Windows will tell you that you need to reboot your computer in order for the new setting to take effect. After the reboot, your computer will automatically boot into Safe Mode.
IMPORTANT: You may not have internet because of drivers and Safe Mode
Safe Mode doesn’t load most third party drivers as a precaution. This could lead to the scenario where you can’t access the internet. In this instance, you can use another computer to download the .exe setup file and transfer it with a USB drive. You could even use your phone to download and transfer from your phone with a hard wire.
Use Virus removal tools
AFTER YOU HAVE REBOOTED INTO SAFE MODE I recommend:
Download Malwarebytes FREE, install and run (they will push you to buy the premium version, it is unneeded for our usage)
Download Sophos on demand Scan & Clean. If you want a faster download I’ve mirrored it, but this may be an out of date (3/9/2022) version. This is a ‘second opinion’ scanner that should be run after Malwarebytes.
If you prefer, you can use your own antivirus removal tools.
If you are sure the virus is removed off the device, you can start recovery steps
After removing all traces of Malware
Okay, you’ve restarted your machine. You’ve run Malwarebytes. You’ve run Adwcleaner. You’ve turned off safe mode and now you’re back on the desktop. What now?
Run another virus scan
Seriously, you want to be 100% sure your device is at ground 0 again, especially after a breach. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Now that your device is at a “normal” state, it’s best to be sure some sneaky process isn’t running in the background again somehow.
Change your passwords
Depending on the type of virus, it may be prudent to update the passwords you use for online sites that are important to you. Especially any financial accounts or important email passwords. Trojans frequently exfiltrate passwords as one of the first actions taken upon an infected system.
Check your files
Double check that none of your important files were affected. If they were, this is a great reminder to do a backup! Or at least backup the files that are important to you.
Check antivirus settings
Make sure everything is functioning again and there aren’t any settings turned off from the attack.
Monitor site logins
Watch for site logins (via email or sms) over the next few weeks. If you’ve changed your passwords this shouldn’t be an issue but you can never be too careful.
I like Windows, but the new update is terrible. They broke my favorite programs and the new interface is confusing.
But that’s not the only thing they broke.
They also broke the Start menu. Back in my Windows 7 days, the Start menu was a thing of wonder. With the Aero theme (which I miss so much), it was an amazing thing to look at. And it was simple to use. You wanted to start a new program? You clicked “All Programs”. You wanted to find a program? You clicked “All Programs”. You wanted to change a setting? You clicked “All Programs”, then “Control Panel”. You wanted to shut down your computer? You clicked “All Programs”, then “Shut Down”. You wanted to turn off your computer? You clicked “All Programs”, then “Turn Off Computer”. And it was fast. You didn’t have to wait for the Start menu to load, it was just there.
When Windows 8 came out, they tried to change this by introducing the Metro interface and the Start screen. The Metro interface was not the best choice for a desktop interface, but it was still better than the Start screen. The Start screen was a mess. It was hard to find anything and it was slow. They tried to fix this in Windows 8.1 by adding the Start button, but it was still a mess. In Windows 10, they tried to fix it again by adding the Start menu, but it was still a mess. And they tried to fix it again in the Creators Update, but it was still a mess. I don’t know what they’re going to try to do in the Fall Creators Update, but I’m sure it will be a mess.
This is what I was trying to say. I don’t know if it will be a deal breaker for me. I’m considering it, but I’m not sure. I’m not a big fan of the interface or the lock-in, but I like that it’s a good deal and the hardware is good. I’m thinking of getting the 128GB version, though.
The new release of Microsoft’s major operating system has lots of bugs. This sentence is correct.
As for Windows, I’ve used it for years and it’s still not ready for the desktop yet. It’s much better than it was in the past, and it’s getting better, but it’s not quite there yet. I’ll be keeping an eye on it, and when it’s more polished I’ll give it a go.
There is no longer the option to move a box to the front or back. Instead, the option is to change the order in the stack, which may not be as intuitive. The design of the interface has been greatly simplified. The panels have fewer tabs and the options have been moved to a separate popout menu. The search bar has also been removed. The position of the panels and the zoom level are no longer stored with the document. It may be annoying to have to zoom out and rearrange the panels for every new document you open. The new interface may be less friendly for new users. The interface was already quite simple, but the new interface is even simpler.
Wondering wtf you just read? Everything above was generated with GPT-3 with my posts as a base.
When typing, it’s always disconcerting to realize THAT CAPS LOCK IS ON. Caps Lock is useful (sometimes), but more often than not I find myself accidentally engaging it. However, you can change things around in your preferred OS (this guide is for Windows) to allow disabling Caps Lock with Shift. This simple setting changes things for the better, and makes more logical sense.
We’ve Been Doing It Wrong
The logical argument for disabling Caps Lock with Shift boils down to states, and being aware of the key’s current state with the least amount of information possible.
If Caps Lock is a toggle, it’s possible to accidentally hit the key an unknown number of times, or lose track of whether it’s on or off. In order to discover the ‘state’ of the key, you must begin typing. The other way to discover the ‘state’ would be to glance down at your keys, or have some other sort of ‘indicator’ like a keyboard implements visually or graphically. Both of these are wasted efforts and time.
When typing, you shouldn’t look at the keys as much as possible. The cleaner way to handle our problem then is to make Shift disable Caps Lock. When you start typing your sentence, if caps lock is on, it’s naturally disabled. It works naturally with how you type and I no longer encountered any errors with Caps Lock at all upon integrating this. When you need to use it, turn it on. Then, go back to typing as before. It’s no longer a separate mechanism to keep track of, but integrated into the typing experience and bows out quickly after usage without any extra key press. As an added bonus, you don’t have to wonder if Caps Lock is ON either. You simply click it, and type. If it was on, no effect!