I suck at intro's.

Talking about whatever is on my mind.

Also, it's noirscape. Not ev1l0rd anymore.

  • Ev1l0rd

    Something about NFTs

    So you might have heard about this recent trend of "NFTs" over the past few weeks. In the event you haven't, it's the latest craze being pushed by crypto enthusiasts that is starting to make actual headlines. In this post, I hope to enlighten people about what NFTs are being promoted as, what they actually are and why honestly, you really shouldn't be involving yourself unless you see no problems with the ethics of profiting from the gullible with more money than the sawdust that makes up their brain matter or ruining nature.

    What are NFTs?
    Okay, so an NFT stands in it's entirely for a "Non-Fungible Token". That is a complex word for something really simple. To explain it, get a bank note, or look one up. As you can see on the note, there is a serial code on it. That serial code makes that specific note uniquely identifiable. You can purchase something with the note, you can exchange it for another note, the serial won't change and a central bank is able to identify when and where that note was given out. (This is also how bank robbers are usually identified: the note is serialized so if they steal paper money, it will be instantly noticable by law enforcement where the money is being sold).

    NFTs are the exact same concept, but on the Ethereum blockchain. Practically, they're implementations of something called "smart contracts", a feature of Ethereum that is mostly used to run automated Ponzi schemes.

    Okay but what is this thing about digitzed art sale?
    Good question, imaginary person I made up to lead into the next subject. Well, that is how it's being marketed. NFTs are being marketed as the way artists can "sell their art to buyers who have an exclusive copy of it". The phrasing differs often, but this is what the promotion thing usually tries to say. In reality, almost none of this is true. In fact, I want to go as far and say that NFTs are not even close to being that. So, let's take this promotion line and pick it apart.

    There are two statements here that we need to unpack.
    1. Artists can sell their art with NFTs
    2. Buyers of NFTs have exclusive copies of that art.
    Okay, so for the first one, we need to question what is being actually sold. In practice, when it comes to digital creations, the only relevant concept we have to talk about is copyright. Copyright is the right to control the creation of modified works and reproductions of a creative work (which is honestly almost everything more complex than a straight line).

    While copyright has a bunch of country specific exemptions and tweaks in each country, typically this is assigned to the author of the work. This means that they have full control about how that work is used.

    Okay, so, logically following from this, an NFT would mean that the artist would be selling the copyright to their work (this is possible by contract in something called "copyright assignment", which means that you are relinquishing your own copyright to someone else)? Well, no. None of the current marketplaces for NFTs that I could find say that this is what an NFT does. In fact, most of them have explicit lines in their TOS that state that the artist maintains full copyright ownership.

    So what is being sold then? Well, to get into this, let's dig in the technical parts, which also explains why the second statement is bullshit.

    How do NFTs work technically speaking?
    Okay, so technically speaking, an NFT is nothing but a relatively short string (for non-programmers: a string is a bit of text). Since NFTs are build on-top of what might just be the most inefficient and stupidest technology ever designed (I'll spare the blockchain rant for the end), the contents of an NFT have to be simple. In the case of most NFTs, all that the NFT contains is a link to a metadata file on the "InterPlanetary FileSystem" (more on that in a bit). This file is just a simple json file and contains all the fancy text surrounding the NFT, including the author, tags, descrpition and title of the work, as well as a list of more IPFS URLs that list the images/videos/whatever else that is used to display this stuff on NFT marketplaces.

    So all that's really being sold to people is a string to a metadata file that anyone can read because the blockchain is completely transparent. This is what shoots the second statement full of holes. Buyers don't have any exclusive rights to their NFTs. Anyone with only a slight amount of knowledge on how to look at these things is fully capable of extracting the "contents" of an NFT and sharing them for the world to see and it's pretty much fully legal since these URLs are unprotected. Which leads us into the final question:

    So why are NFTs bad?
    Okay, so let's answer this question. The first reason is that these files are all being hosted on the InterPlanetary FileSystem (IPFS). While I'll spare you the boring parts, the IPFS is like torrents except there are no trackers, everyone is using DHT and that it solves a few of the other problems that torrents have. The most useful thing to know here is that web gateways to the IPFS exist, which is how most marketplaces are retrieving the relevant json files and download links. Most just host their own although I've seen a few which use the IPFS gateway that is made by the developers of the IPFS.

    What this means is that if nobody is (to borrow from torrents) "seeding" your NFTs metadata and files, it might as well not exist. Sounds like it isn't an issue? Well, a literal shitton of "NFTs" have disappeared because the marketplaces setting these up are disappearing and with them, the "seeds" of the NFT and because the people using them don't know how it works, they dont "seed" their own art.

    The second problem is the far simpler problem of art theft that has predated the internet. People creating NFTs that link to work that they don't own. It's not legal, and while a lot of NFT marketplaces claim they process DMCAs and take down "stolen" NFTs, anyone with the technical know-how can keep trading them anyway, which means the DMCA process is liquified poop. It's purely a website block and in the event that the metadata and files aren't being removed from the IPFS, they will keep working.

    Finally, of course there is the ecological argument. NFTs are using the Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain, a technology that if nothing else is incredibly costly on the environments. Recent estimates put the total cost of cryptocurrencies at half the total amount of green energy we produce and at costing more energy a year than the entirety of Ireland. I should point out that currently, people who sell NFTs are trying to downplay this, but it's unfortunately a cold hard truth. Ethereum transactions are extremely wasteful, no matter the type of mining used (Ethereum uses proof of stake, not proof of work, but it's still really bad for the environment. Just because it's not using easy attack angle A doesn't mean that they're not using just-as-terrible tech B) and there's just no way you can downplay it; it's borderline climate change denial.

    For a quick estimate, the average NFT costs about 155kg of CO2. I would link you a site that would give estimates of how much this translates to, but the owner of the site that would let me show you this has drunk the crypto kool-aid and has taken it down when people tried to hold artists accountable for trying to sell NFTs to losers. I unfortunately can't find an alternative for you that works.

    So yeah that's what NFTs are, and to make it incredibly clear: DO NOT BUY NFTS. THEY AREN'T WHAT THEY THINK YOU ARE AND YOU ARE DESTROYING NATURE BYING USING THEM.
    smallissue, yuyuyup, Uiaad and 3 others like this.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Top games of 2020

    Boi. That was a year huh. Covid being a thing and all really threw a wrecker through most of folks plans, including mine. Here christmas is fundamentally cancelled due to the third wave, family isn't coming over so instead I'm stuck here celebrating at home with my family. Anyway, I did like, play a good amount of games this year, so let's go over some good picks from this years games. Note: Games not necessarily released this year, merely what I played.

    5. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
    Fuck it. you know its gonna be on there. It's a neat game. I don't really have much to say for it. It captured me for a month after release, and it's fairly good. Probably the most polished game that came out this year that I actually played. Highly recommended.

    4. Death Stranding
    Kojima's weirdass brainchild of being a delivery man in the post-apocalypse hits more home than ever. It's story is all you can expect from a Kojima story, in that it meanders, ponders about weird subjects and sometimes feels like you're reading a summary of the Wikipedia article he came across that day. Still, a very good game. Very recommended.

    3. Risk of Rain 2
    A strange pick perhaps, but this game is tons of fun. I'd never think that a 3D roguelike could ever work, but ROR2 makes it work. It's fun, it's challenging and I can keep adding adjectives to it. But when you hit those 90 minutes in a run and you're nuking everything with a single mouseclick, you know that this game is something special when it still manages to kick your ass 30 minutes later. A true hidden spark.

    2. No Man's Sky
    Yes really. This is a game that made such a giant comeback. It's nothing like it was at launch. There's so much stuff to do, it's insane. They're adding more things and it's getting closer to that original vision. Can't wait what they do next and the game is by now worth the asking price. If you're in doubt, get it at a sale.

    Runner-ups for number 1:
    The difficulty with my number 1 pick is that there's multiple games that can put a claim to it. Whilst all the previous games excelled in a lot of ways, these all hit in specific marks that I feel are worthy of their own segment that would make them a contender, but none of them excelled like the number 1 spot did.
    • ULTRAKILL - Released by New Blood Interactive, ULTRAKILL is probably a game that's gonna make it to my 2021 list too, given it's still in early access. It's Doom meets Quake meets Devil May Cry and it somehow works. You are a robot called V1. You heal by getting blood splattered on you. Humanity is dead. Hell is full. You figure out the rest. It's an incredible game, and for me a far tighter experience than Doom Eternal was, which is comparable given both try to call back to older games.
    • Warhammer 40k: Mechanicus - XCOM meets Darkest Dungeon meets Warhammer 40k. I'll freely admit to having gotten into 40k this year, and I'm loving it. The fact that my favorite two factions in the setting (the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Necrons) have a game this good dedicated to them is amazing. It's a turn-based tactical RPG that cuts down a lot on the downtime guff that modern RPGs get bogged down by, whilst still allowing a lot of creative expression. Playing robot dress-up simulator never has felt so good.

    And with that we have reached... number 1.

    1. Elite Dangerous
    I bought it in early spring this year. Since then I have put over 300 hours in this game. This is as far as I'm concerned the best possible space sim on the market right now. It controls extremely well and straightforward (unlike some other sims I've played), the UI is refreshingly straightforward, you can play without getting ass-blasted by some PVP kid in a much stronger ship than yours and the developers aren't selling you JPEGs of starships they haven't even made yet.

    Yes those last three were dunking on X4, EVE and Star Citizen. Especially on Star Citizen. There's an upcoming expansion that's adding space legs, at which point the game will have succesfully managed to succeed Star Citizen on basically every level. Can't fucking wait for it. Right now I'm on an expedition for one of the DSSA carrier deployments to one of the furthest regions of the galaxy. If you want a game you can just turn a podcast on with and kick back and relax with, this is the game for you. Highly recommended. If any of you who play it want a CMDR name, feel free to send me a PM.

    And that's about it. Not much going on besides that. Life's life. Onto a hopefully happier 2021.
    Taleweaver, Xzi and Scott_pilgrim like this.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Happy 2020

    Well well well well. Seems 2020 rolled around.

    That was quite the decade. It had it's ups and downs (mostly ups). Onto the next one I'd say.

    To think that 10 years ago I was still a starry-eyed primary school kid and now I'm a 19 year old cynical asshole. Time sure flies doesn't it.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Merry christmas

    [​IMG]

    Yes I picked the dopiest possible card. Deal with it yo.

    Anyway, it was pretty fun. Got myself an external HDD of 4TB (which replaces my 1TB which was getting full) and the first 5 chapters of the BNHA manga.

    On to 2020.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Strange/Obscure internets: Hannah Montana Linux

    If this doesn't convince you to install Linux, I don't know what will.

    http://hannahmontana.sourceforge.net/

    Or maybe you're someone who prefers Red Star OS instead?
  • Ev1l0rd

    Toby Fox: The man who put a shitpost in an AAA game

    https://wf.catgirlsin.space/noirscape/toby-fox-the-man-who-put-a-shitpost-in-a-aaa-game

    So this is pretty funny.
    CallmeBerto and Owenge like this.
  • Ev1l0rd

    On RMS/The FSF

    Been a while since I shared one of these: https://wf.catgirlsin.space/noirscape/on-rms-the-fsf

    Considered posting the opinion piece on the politics board but the thread there is already characterized as a character assassination, plus my article deals with more than just RMSs current behavior.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Happy pride month

    Yadayadayada. I'm bisexual, although I haven't come out to my parents or really anyone irl aside from an ex-coworker, but am open about it on the internet. Whoop de fucking doo.

    If you didn't suspect or know at this point you probably haven't spoken to me very much, I really don't make it a secret.

    Happy pride month to all of you out there and remember, even if you're not accepted irl, don't let that discourage you from being who you want to be and most importantly make sure you can be yourself online alright <3.

    Image fully relevant, also skeletons are cool as shit and you ain't gonna convince me otherwise.

    [​IMG]
    NutymcNuty, afeufeufeu, Sono and 7 others like this.
  • Ev1l0rd

    THQ Nordic under fire for hosting AMA on 8chan

    https://www.pcgamer.com/thq-nordic-...nterview-to-the-toilet-of-the-internet-8chan/

    Wasn't sure where to put this otherwise, but uh... yeah this ain't good.

    Personal thoughts: This was intentional. There's no way you can hold an interview on that site without being fully aware of what it is and where it stands in relation to the rest of the communication platforms. In addition, the entire demeanor of the THQ staff in the AMA indicated that they were fully aware of the type of discourse that goes on in there.
    CallmeBerto and H1B1Esquire like this.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Happy new year

    Yay.

    Heppy 2k19 to the lot of you.

    Don't feel like saying much else here. Enjoy 2k19, lets make it better than 2k18.
  • Ev1l0rd

    I'm 18... or something now

    Yeah, woop woop. 18. Adult now.

    Actually happened last month. Had a pretty good birthday, was fun enough. My parents are gonna buy me the Solaire amiibo as a birthday gift, my sister made me a drawing and my brother bought me a gift card. Grandparents also came over for cake 'n tea.

    Now I can legally drink alcohol, vote, smoke weed and visit hookers. Not necessarily in that order.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Why Team Xecuter sucks

    Needed to get this out of my system.

    It's pretty much me arguing all the major points that have been made over and over again, with some additional things to note from yours truly.

    Summary: Fuck Team Xecuter and their defenders.
  • Ev1l0rd

    A critcism of GBATemp

    https://medium.com/@ev1l0rd/gbatemp-a-mistake-in-forums-458047f42b2e

    As far as I am aware this does not go against the Terms and Rules.

    I'm open to amendments and/or discussion of all points but the final one, since that one will only lead to pointless yay/nay namecalling.
    You, Giodude, PICTOCHAT and 7 others like this.
  • Ev1l0rd

    Merry christmas

    And a happy new year!

    Sup GBATemp? How are yall doing. I'm doing great, thanks for asking.

    Nothing much I wanted to talk about, just... have a merry christmas/happy holidays. Spend an excellent time with your family/friends/online folks and most importantly, have a good one. What having a good one means is up to you, but really... best wishes.

    As I'm writing this I am on my last day of school, tomorrow the holidays start. I'm already mentally steeling myself for the absolute mental damage I'm going to receive next saturday... (I have a cashier job in a supermarket... around christmas. F U N.)

    Anyway before I'll let you off from reading this little blogpost, have a link to my GOTY 2017: http://ev1l0rd.info/2017/12/21/game-of-the-year-2017-awards/ .
    CallmeBerto likes this.
  • Ev1l0rd

    xdicey

    Haven't really got much to say here except for the fact that... well, have this node_module:

    https://www.npmjs.com/package/xdicey

    https://github.com/ev1l0rd/xdicey

    What it does
    In case you aren't familiar: I am the maintainer of the DiscordJS bot known as Pedro. One of the bots commands is xdicey. xdicey basically allows you to throw an x sided dice y amount of times and then gives you the total sum of the dice. This particular module/function is the backend for xdicey.

    Since the code for this program could be useful for other programs, I have made it available as a node module. Usage should be simple, just check the Examples part in the readme. Here's a little example on how you could use it:

    https://runkit.com/embed/wjny8dores7n

    Enjoy!