2021.10.26

Moby Dick Playstation 5 bad mashup deep social commentary

I was okay missing the first round of PS5s; launch day hardware isn't the best and there weren't a ton of games available. Now, a year on, I'd like for mine and J's next game (Back 4 Blood or Far Cry) to be on the new system.

So where have things gone from the hype/chip shortage/stay-at-home clusterfuck of last winter? Well, there's a bit less hype and we're not in a second wave lockdown anymore. So easier? Right? Easier?

Scalped systems still go for $1,000 on ebay and no normal retailers have them in stock.

Derrick had previously pointed me to nowinstock.net. The site looks kind of janky, but that's probably because it's some random dude who wrote a web scraper for various retailers (Target, Best Buy, etc.). I can, at least, personally validate the GameStop data, as we'll see.

Anyway, looking at his historical data it looks like online retailers occasionally get (and list) PS5 consoles in stock. Word gets out and they sell out within minutes. GameStop looked pretty attractive since it appears to regularly get supply on Tuesday.

GameStop Playstation 5 bundles pro early access

Always looking for the upsell, GameStop bundles the system with games and stuff, but the bundle happened to include Far Cry so I was okay with it. Always looking for the membership, GameStop offers early access to their members. I was on the fence about buying in but decided that GME was good enough to me in January to justify a $15 membership (for one year, I turned off auto-renew).
Locked and loaded, Tuesday comes

So I'm documenting my experiences today, I had an identical experience *last* Tuesday.

GameStop Playstation 5 browser setup
Battlestations: Chrome (no js blockers) on the product page, Firefox (js blockers disabled) on the product page and NowInStock. Gamestop even sent an email that consoles would be available at 10:00. I started F5ing (which may have been unnecessary).

GameStop Playstation 5 page load fail
The GameStop web servers seemed to recoil in anticipation of the heavy load.

GameStop Playstation 5 add to cart captcha
At about 10:15, the systems went live. Adding one to my cart required passing a captcha, something a little weird to see post-login.

GameStop Playstation 5 product is no longer available
Most times the captcha would return me to the product page with a bubble indicating it was no longer available. The "Add to cart" button would still be displayed (instead of flipped back to "Unavailable"). Reload, wait for "Unavailable" to turn to "Add to cart", repeat. Oh hey, another captcha.

GameStop Playstation 5 in cart protection plans
Eventually I got one added to my cart. I'll use the shopping metaphor: finally I was able to successfully move the product from the shelf to my cart without store personnel taking it from my hand.

GameStop Playstation 5 empty cart
Time to look at the thing in my cart that no one had taken from me. Oh, it's not there. Back to the product page.

GameStop Playstation 5 in cart
Finally, it's in my cart. To the checkout aisle!

GameStop Playstation 5 captcha while in cart checkout
"Wait, are you still a person though?"

GameStop Playstation 5 cart error

In summary:
GameStop Playstation 5 removed from cart
Back to the shopping analogy, I handed the store clerk my item for checkout and he said, "What item?"

I think I need the GameStop strategy guide.



2021.10.10

Nioh 2 protagonist swords
Been a bit

Posting has been somewhat hamstrung. For one, I've upgraded my phone and camera hardware. The other blocker has been an overhaul of my photo preprocessor.

New body

Nikon D850 body

At long last I upgraded from the D700 (c. 2007) to the D850 (c. 2017). While I just bought a new hard drive, I'm not sure my storage is ready for 100mb tifs, 20mb jpgs, and 50mb raws. I think I'll be modifying my photo process to store jpgs below full res and going back to raws for anything non-web.

I haven't gotten a lot of photo sessions in, but the D850 is pretty nice. The thumb-located focus screen selection is great.

Preprocessor/stylizer


A few months back I updated my post generator to do graphics transforms. It was a bit limited compared to Photoshop or Gimp, where my postprocessing workflow is more or less this:
  1. Create a new layer
  2. Modify the layer
  3. Blend the layer back
  4. Repeat as necessary
There are more complicated workflows, but that mostly captures it. The knobs are:

My aim with the improved processor was to better emulate this workflow. I already had a few effects coded up, so enabling them just mean mapping a label to each function.


Putting it all together:
In line with some prior goals, I added neural style transfer functionality into the editor. Running it takes some time, but it's a great feature - algorithmic stylizing is somewhat limited, but neural style images are better as blends than standalone graphics.
The homestead


Usual stuff around the house. Some teething, some chomping, and a little more work on the veranda.

Investing


/u/BlueKnightJoe
Fed formally announcing a tapering schedule will be the most telegraphed correction ever to pikachuface this sub

I've been a bit skittish about theta gang moves with so much stuff pulling back from all-time highs. Happily, energy stonks rebounded from a recent dip and my 200 OIH shares finally returned to a place where I could sell calls.

CNBC dollar cost average post

The mild selloffs that followed various Fed presidents apologizing for using reserve money to purchase personally-owned bonds meant CNBC needed to repost its DCA article.

The Fed and Evergrande stories has provided entertainment while I've largely sat in cash. The other one...

Lordstown victory lap(?)

Lordstown motors LMC tweet highway truck Endurance

The Lordstown EV saga has entered a new chapter, perhaps one telling its slow death. After missing the promised September start of "limited production", the company announced a partnership with Foxconn wherein its factory would be transferred to the Taiwanese company as well as the manufacturing responsiblities for its flagship Endurance truck.

The company's share price that had briefly enjoyed a couple weeks in the $7-8 range tanked once again and now sits below $5.

Strangely, after relinquishing manufacturing responsibility to a company with a history of slow starts, the company released its first video of the truck driving on public roads. While this doesn't mean the thing is ready for prime time, it's a whole lot more substantive than low-speed parking lot demos.
Games

With Farcry 6 and Back 4 Blood on the horizon, it could be a good fall for gaming.

PUBG

Text chat emoji drop

PUBG unveiled bot league 2.0 (casual mode) recently. It populates the field with three real teams and 22 bot teams. For casuals like the lolbate squad, this is pretty good for setting up early-, mid-, or late-game battles without running into a skilled/cheating squad that ruins your day.

PUBG Battlegrounds buggy C4 jump Erangel

It's given us a chance to explore some less conventional paths to victory (or loss). Late-game C4 and vehicles are a mainstay, bridge camping sometimes works, and we recently flew a pair of motor gliders and got into some air-to-air combat.

I'm definitely hoping they open casual mode up to other maps, well Miramar, Vikendi, and Taego.

thumbnail PUBG Battlegrounds buggy C4 late circle Erangel thumbnail PUBG Battlegrounds ghillie motorcycle kill C4 level 3 Erangel

Nioh 2

Nioh 2 character portrait

On the PS4 front, J and I are ??? through the Nioh 2 story. I don't have a full-on picture book of this one like I do Mass Effect since this one is co-op and applies a weird blur effect to in-game screencaps.

Nioh 2 benevolent grave righteous jasper rewards

I finally started throwing down benevolent graves with my stock of righteous jaspers. The rewards are mostly glory, but it's a cool mechanic. While it doesn't have the poetic element of Bloodborne notes, it's a nice game element that is super useful to the summoner.

thumbnail Nioh 2 protagonist female fire building thumbnail Nioh 2 Tokichiro audience thumbnail Nioh 2 protagonist dual sword thumbnail Nioh 2 Hachisuka Koroku thumbnail Nioh 2 mermaid jellyfish spirit
thumbnail Nioh 2 yokai dark realm horns thumbnail Nioh 2 Tengen Kujaku Oda Nobunaga thumbnail Nioh 2 protagonist info sheet lore fox mask

ME2 completion

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition reaper human boss

Supplementing my recollection with a little gamefaqage, Shepard pulled her squad through the Collector suicide mission with the - ugh - human reaper.

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition ruins Ryugyong hotel North Korea comparison pyramid Tuchanka

I guess I didn't catch the first time around that Tuchanka is actually in North Korea.

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition Samara Morinth choice

Having not traded Samara for Morinth before, I made sure to have enough personality points to do it this time. The faqs seemed to suggest it was a morally-ambiguous decision, but in retrospect it was pretty evil. As a bonus, having a maxed out paragon meter *I think* has set me up to get the good Geth/Quarian resolution (based on a Tali-Legion argument).

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition Arrival alpha relay

Having not played the DLC on xbox, I got to do some heart of darkness stuff in Batarian space with the Arrival content. It felt like a main story mission, but had a pretty cool final combat sequence in the shadow of the *spooky voice* Alpha Relay.

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition shadow broker ship

The Shadow Broker DLC was pretty solid, offering both interesting environments and a lot of story for add-on content.

Picture book time:

thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard robot battle thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Garrus Tuchanka ruins thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard incinerate krogan Tuchanka
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard Garrus explosion
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Grunt Tuchanka cover shield thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Mordin Solus salarian krogan thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Jack torture chair
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Grunt Shepard cover Tuchanka thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard Jack battle lift thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Tali trial quarian high command
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Tali jump cover geth kitchen thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Morinth Shepard collector armor thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard in cover smg collector armor
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Morinth Shepard close couch
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard collector armor thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard collector armor cover crate thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary alpha relay collector hologram Shepard
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Morinth collector rifle cover thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary alpha relay collector hologram thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Liara Feron photo shadow broker
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard Liara office shadow broker thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary car chase thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary shadow broker ship Liara combat thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard pistol draw collector armor thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary shadow broker desk
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard Grunt Garrus asari police thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard shadow broker collector armor cover thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Liara reflecting
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard combat explosion nuke thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard Legion conversation thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Garrus Legion Shepard cover
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Legion geth
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard emp blast thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary collector base Jack biotic bubble thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary squad human reaper attack collector base
thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard Morinth core thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary human reaper collector base thumbnail Mass Effect 2 Legendary Shepard femshep Morinth romance

Mass Effect 2 Legendary Edition Reapers deep space

So at the end of the day, I guess Shepard foiled the construction of a super-reaper, but that might not be the end of the story.

ME3


Oh hey look, reapers again. On a planet this time. The human-led Citadel council I guess continued to ignore everything and now we have Earth getting wrecked as Shepard has to "hurry up and sidequest".


I think I also previously missed that the endgame space kid is in the ventilation ducts. They mostly come out at night, mostly.

thumbnail Mass Effect 3 Legendary Shepard Mars shooting thumbnail Mass Effect 3 Legendary Shepard Liara Mars conversation thumbnail Mass Effect 3 Legendary Normandy Citadel docking
Misc


In Celt news, Janice is back in headlines, stepping up her crazy game.

Millennialism training at work. Ending texts with a period... means you're angry.