Are You Suffering from Selfitis?

A new study has identified the taking of too many selfies as an actual illness. But how do you know if you’ve got it?

Name: Selfitis.

Age:Three years old.

Appearance: Chin up, lips out, zero attention span.

This sounds like it might be an illness. Correct, it absolutely is. A joint study by Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management has proved it beyond all doubt.

But what is it?A condition that causes people to post too many selfies on the internet.

I mean, that hardly sounds like cholera. But it might be just as dangerous. Did you know that 36 people have genuinely died from taking selfies this year alone? Some fell in rivers and drowned, others were hit by trains. One was trampled by an elephant.

What does that have to do with selfitis? Maybe if these people had spent less time taking selfies and more time looking around for rampaging elephants, they would still be with us.

Now I’m scared. Give it to me straight: do I have selfitis? I’m pleased you asked. The study has developed the Selfitis Behaviour Scale to help diagnose those who think they might suffer from selfitis. All you have to do is assign the following statements with a value between one and five.

OK, shoot. “I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media.”

Five. “By posting selfies, I expect my friends to appraise me.”

Five. “When I don’t take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group.” “Taking different selfie poses helps increase my social status.” “I use photo-editing tools to enhance my selfie to look better than others.”

Five five five. Oh boy, sounds like you might just be a chronic case.

What does that mean? According to the research, it means that you’re likely to balance low self-confidence with obsessive attention-seeking, and you hope that by compulsively detailing the minutiae of your life online, you will somehow feel like part of a larger group that doesn’t necessarily exist.

Well duh.Yeah, I know, me too.

Is there any treatment available? Not yet, but I suppose we could just put our phones down for a second and experience the real world in the moment. Ha, no, just kidding.

Do say:“I can’t come to work today. As you can see on Instagram, I’m suffering from a nasty bout of selfitis.”

Don’t say: “Finally, proof that anyone who owns a selfie stick is unwell.”

 

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Another Positive Factor From the Alabama Election That Republicans Don’t Want to Talk About

Tuesday’s turnout by race fit historic patterns, but the party white Alabamians voted for didn’t.

There’s one feature of the voting in this week’s Alabama special election that elected Democrat Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate that Republicans aren’t talking about—tens of thousands of white voters who were reliable Republicans voted for the Democrat.

This observation is missing from the mainstream media narrative that correctly, but incompletely, points to historically through-the-roof black voter turnout as a core pillar of Jones’ victory, as Matt Bruenig, who blogs on politics and economics, noted.

“The overwhelming mainstream narrative of Doug Jones’s victory over Roy Moore in Alabama has been focused on black turnout,” Bruenig wrote, citing the New York Times, which reported, “According to CNN exit polling, 30 percent of the electorate was African-American, with 96 percent of them voting for Mr. Jones. (Mr. Jones’ backers had felt he needed to get north of 25 percent to have a shot to win.) A remarkable 98 percent of black women voters supported Mr. Jones. The share of black voters on Tuesday was higher than the share in 2008 and 2012, when Barack Obama was on the ballot.”

But as Bruenig notes, “if you actually look at the exit polling, it is pretty clear that the real story of Jones’ victory was not inordinate black turnout but rather inordinate white support for the Democratic candidate.”

He compiled and compared “the black share of the electorate, black support for Democrats, and the election result for the 2008, 2012 and 2017 Alabama elections,” in which each election saw 28 or 29 percent voter turnout. He then compared the white share of the Alabama electorate, which was also virtually unchanged and between 65 and 68 percent. 

“The white share of the electorate is virtually unchanged, but white support for the Democrat changes dramatically, rising all the way to 30 percent in the Jones-Moore election,” Bruenig said. “This white swing towards the Democratic candidate is basically solely responsible for the fact that Jones won rather than losing by over 20 points, which is the typical outcome of a statewide Alabama election that features this level of black turnout.”

Bruenig’s observation doesn’t detract in the slightest from the historic turnout by all the communities of color in Alabama. But it does reveal that many Republicans are not diehard partisans who would never vote for a compelling Democratic candidate.

Some of those white voters were 18 to 44, as media exit polls noted, but others were “white women and college graduates… likely to recoil from Trump’s campaign and swing in Democrats’ direction than white men and those without college degrees.”

However you slice it, Alabama’s special election shows that red-state America is not as monolithic as Republicans would have you believe. That’s another hopeful sign to emerge from Tuesday’s vote.

 

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World of Hoplites

I recently received an announcement telling me that I could sign up for the beta of a new Total War game, called Total War: Arena. Hmmm. While I did play some Total War games, I must admit that I am not the world’s biggest fan of the series, mostly because of the extra stupid AI. So a PvP version to me sounded like a cheap ploy to eliminate the AI. But then I saw that the game was 10 vs. 10 players, with each player commanding some troops. And I thought to myself, “Oh, that looks like World of Tanks with hoplites, I’m interested!”, and signed up.

Today I got the activation code, and only then I realized that this doesn’t just look like World of Tanks with hoplites, it actually *is* World of Hoplites, programmed by the same people who made World of Tanks, Warplanes, and Warships: Wargaming.net. The “Total War” part is just some cross-branding marketing trick to attract the people who are Total War fans but don’t play any games from Wargaming.net yet. Well, best case scenario Wargaming.net programmed the gameplay and Creative Assembly provided the graphics. (Worst case scenario is the other way round).

So now I am downloading the beta, and I am looking forward to trying it out. In the interest of full disclosure I’d like to add that Wargaming.net is one of the small number of game companies from which I ever received freebies. After posting an interview with one of the devs my World of Tank account was set to receive 250 gold every day I logged on. And as I was playing a lot I ended up with still over 70,000 gold left in that game. But I already had spent money on WoT before, and unfortunately the World of Tank gold isn’t the same as the World of Warships gold, and probably also not the same as the Total War: Arena gold. So no freebies for me for the new game!

Elemental Evil: Session 9

In the previous session the group arrived at the base of Feathergale Spire. As Princes of the Apocalypse is designed as a sandbox adventure and doesn’t have a linear story-line and “quests” leading people to the next goal, this session started with a discussion between the players on what exactly they were looking for in Feathergale Spire. The one point where they could all agree upon was that they were looking for Glasstaff, the evil mage from the previous adventure, who had escaped them but left a letter indicating he could be found in this tower. Landry the halfling monk also had a larger view on fighting the evil elemental cults as a goal, while Theren the elf warrior was especially interested in finding the keys to magical portal they had found in the previous session.

With the help of their Aarakocra allies the group ascended the pillar to the base of the tower, one level below the main entrance with the drawbridge. Here they found 12 large stable doors, with signs that this was were the flying mounts were kept. Listening to the doors they found an unoccupied stable and entered there. Another door led to the central staircase of the tower, but one of the Feathergale Knights was in that room. The group managed to jump him with surprise, and kill him before he could raise the alarm.

Going up the staircase they found that at each level there was a central room with doors to the other rooms of the level. They decided to skip all those doors, and just continue to go up. That worked well, because I played the tower as written, with there not being any guards on the staircase. So the group arrived just below the top level, seeing open sky above them. Landry decided to sneak a peek to see who or what was on the top landing. However he miserably failed his stealth check, and was seen by Glasstaff, who fired a magic missile at him. That started a fight, with the enemy consisting of the mage, two Feathergale Knights on giant vultures, and Thurl Merosska.

The group concentrated on Glasstaff, killing him before he got another spell off (I should have let him cast Shield as a reaction on the first attack, but forgot about that). Then Theren wanted to call a truce, persuading Thurl that they only were here because of a previous beef with Glasstaff, which he assumed to be the boss of the tower. However it turned out that Thurl was the boss, and Glasstaff his invited guest, so the group reconsidered the truce idea and the fight continued.

That fight turned out to be tough. In fact the book says Feathergale Spire could be handled at level 3, and they had a hard time at level 4. I guess the book assumes that the players don’t actually fight the air cult, because there is an option of joining them on a hunt instead and then sending them off against the rival earth cult. As an alternative the book describes the group being captured and thrown off the tower, but then being rescued by the Aarakocra. As I had played up the fight against the evil elemental cults and the information the players got on them, as opposed to the “players are in the dark about what is going on while searching for a missing delegation” story of the book, and as I had added Glasstaff to the tower, the peaceful option was a lot less likely.

Fortunately it all ended well: The group defeated Thurl and his knights on the pinnacle. They got the mage’s glass staff of defense [DM’s note: I changed that one to be able to cast Shield as a reaction, not only as an action, which would have made the spell rather useless.], they got one of the four needed keys to the magic portal from Thurl, and they used the Wing Wear wondrous item they had found in the stables to paraglide down from the top of the tower before further inhabitants of the tower stormed up the stairs. So apart from them not getting the xp for having killed everybody (which would have been very difficult) they achieved a near perfect outcome.

The group returned via the Sighing Valley to Red Larch and rested over night. Then they discussed where to go next. From Popée’s Zhentarim contact, the town baker, they got the information that the warrior in stone armor they had found in one of the four graves was presumably an earth cultist. From the dwarven book from the previous adventure they had a rough idea where the four Haunted Keeps were, and the baker told them about the Sacred Stone Monastery. They also learned about the existence of Rivergard Keep, and the information they had from Landry’s Order of the Gauntlet contact suggested that this might be where the water cultists were hiding out. That seemed to be a good next target, but as it was getting late we ended the session there.

An old problem

I played Magic the Gathering both in physical form and in various digital forms. Anybody who does thinks not much differently of his digital cards than of his physical cards. After all the cards in both forms serve the exactly same purpose, and being able to use the physical card as a doorstop isn’t really relevant enough to value the physical card more than the digital one. However legally I only ever owned the physical cards. Virtual property still has no legal standing in Europe or the USA, so my digital cards are not considered my property. That is a very old problem, and up to now nobody really cared enough about it to consider it worth changing.

But this month comes along EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II with its loot box controversy. And some politicians woke up and realized that such a system is very similar to gambling: You pay real money for a random chance to win something which is of value to you. It is easy to imagine a child being seduced by that and spending hundreds or thousands of daddy’s credit card, because daddy is an idiot regarding his kid and his credit card. Even if research suggests that the real whales are more likely to be lonely bankers with too much money, a politician would rather be seen protecting the children than protecting the bankers. So an attack on loot boxes makes political sense with that child protection story.

However suddenly our old problem is back. Virtual property still doesn’t exist, legally. So the content of a loot box, legally speaking, has no value. So buying loot boxes can’t be gambling, because, legally speaking, you can’t win anything of value. Having ignored the problem of virtual property in the past is now biting the legal system in the ass.

I, being a scientist by education, once had a very interesting conversation with somebody with a legal background about the nature of truth. As a scientist I believe that there is an absolute truth, which I can examine and measure, and then describe with words. If the words don’t fit with reality, the words are wrong. The legal guy thought that writing down words in a law or contract created truth. If the words didn’t fit with reality, reality was wrong. This is one of those cases. It is pretty much obvious to any sane person that loot boxes are a form of gambling (regardless of whether we think gambling is good or bad). You pay money in the hope of winning a prize, and whether you get that prize depends on random chance. Whether you buy a raffle ticket to win a stuffed animal at the carnival or whether you buy a loot box to win a hero character in Battlefront 2 is exactly the same in the mind of the buyer. Only the legal words describing the two situations differ substantially.

While I am in favor of systems that prevent children having access to loot box systems in games, for me that is actually only the start. In order to get to that point we need to legally recognize loot boxes as gambling. And for that we need to legally recognize that virtual property exists and has value. That is a much larger and more important issue than just loot boxes.

8 Legitimate Grounds for Congress to Initiate Impeachment Proceedings Against Trump

Widespread corruption, abuse of power and a threat to our republic.

As we demonstrate in a new paper, The Legal Case for a Congressional Investigation on Whether to Impeach President Donald J. Trump, based on publicly reported information, as of today there are at least eight grounds for the House of Representatives to authorize the Judiciary Committee to begin hearings on whether to impeach President Donald J. Trump.

This paper presents a legal analysis based on the text, structure and history of the Constitution and federal law, and legal and political precedent, that we have developed in consultation with a wide range of experts over the past ten months. Some of the grounds for investigation are based on violations of specific enumerated constitutional or statutory provisions, but in keeping with the intent of the Founders and the 200-year history of impeachments, other grounds are based on abuses of power that do not fall easily within a specific proscription.

Here are the grounds for investigation.

1. Obstructing justice.

Beginning soon after the inauguration, the president engaged in a course of conduct that sought to obstruct justice in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigations of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and of his own campaign’s potential involvement with Russian activity in the 2016 election.

2. Violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause and Domestic Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Through his businesses in the United States and abroad, the president receives payments, regulatory approval, and other forms of direct and indirect financial benefits from foreign governments. These violate the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, which prohibits federal officials, including the president, from receiving a “present” or “emolument” from any foreign government or official. The president’s businesses also act as a conduit for enrichment from federal and state government coffers. These violate the Domestic Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from receiving, beyond his official salary, any emolument from the United States or any state.

3. Conspiring with others to commit crimes against the United States involving the solicitation and intended receipt by his presidential campaign of things of value from a foreign government and other foreign nationals, and to conceal those violations.

In the 2016 election, the senior officials of Trump’s presidential campaign (including his campaign chairman, his son and his son-in-law) met with Russian nationals after an invitation to receive compromising information about his campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton, that they were told would be of great value to the campaign. Federal campaign finance law prohibits a candidate or campaign from soliciting a foreign national (including a foreign government) for a thing of value. In 2017, after this meeting was revealed, President Trump personally dictated a misleading public statement on behalf of his son about the intended purpose of the meeting.

4. Advocating illegal violence, giving aid and comfort to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and undermining constitutional protections of equal protection under the law.

Over the course of 2017, the president has made a series of public statements that together, constitute a pattern of conduct violating his constitutional obligation to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” protect the citizenry against “domestic violence,” and ensure “the equal protection of the laws.”

5. Abusing the pardon power.

The president’s pardon of former Arizona sheriff Joseph Arpaio, who had been convicted of criminal contempt of court for willfully violating a court order to stop violating the constitutional rights of Latino drivers, abused the pardon power by sending the dangerous message that similarly inclined unscrupulous law enforcement officials could not only violate individual rights, but could violate court orders requiring them to stop violating those rights with impunity because the president would support them.

6. Threatening nuclear war against foreign nations, undermining and subverting the essential diplomatic functions and authority of federal agencies, including the Department of State, and engaging in other conduct that grossly and wantonly endangers the peace and security of the United States, its people and people of other nations, by heightening the risk of hostilities involving weapons of mass destruction, with reckless disregard for the risk of death and grievous bodily harm.

Through a series of public statements (including on Twitter), and beginning particularly in the late summer of 2017, the president has made increasingly reckless public threats against North Korea. It is not clear whether President Trump understands the ramifications of his actions. While the president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, reckless or wanton conduct with the potential for millions of deaths constitutes an abuse of power.

7. Directing or endeavoring to direct law enforcement, including the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to investigate and prosecute political adversaries and others, for improper purposes not justified by any lawful function of his office, thereby eroding the rule of law, undermining the independence of law enforcement from politics, and compromising the constitutional right to due process of law.

The president has repeatedly pressured federal law enforcement to investigate and prosecute political adversaries, including former campaign opponent Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. The president’s attempts to employ the criminal investigative powers of the federal government against political opponents for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office are grounds for impeachment.

8. Undermining the freedom of the press.

The president has repeatedly attacked major U.S. news organizations as “fake news” and the “enemy of the American people.” The president is certainly free to criticize particular news stories he believes are inaccurate, and no one tweet in isolation constitutes an impeachable offense. But his consistent pattern of attacks undermines a critical foundation of a free society.

Purpose of Impeachment

Some of the impeachable offenses discussed in the paper overlap with the criminal investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller; some overlap with other pending federal litigation; others do not overlap with any parallel proceeding. However, as our paper explains, an impeachment investigation is entirely separate from a criminal or other judicial proceeding. The purpose of impeachment is not to punish for past crimes, but to remove from office a dangerous official who threatens the rule of law and the republic itself.

Congress must not use the Mueller investigation or other litigation as an excuse to shirk its duty to conduct its own independent impeachment hearings. The abuse of power, the corruption and the threat to our republic are here now.

 

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Bridge Constructor Portal is not the Portal game you expected, and that’s just fine

When Bridge Constructor Portal was announced earlier this month, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t taken aback. After all, I have played the first two Portal games, and while this mobile spin-off incorporates some of the series’ elements, I wouldn’t call it the follow-up that Portal fans have been clamoring for.

Even so, $5 isn’t asking for a lot, and, at least on paper, Bridge Constructor Portal has plenty to offer.

The game tasks players with being able to use metal girders and suspension wires to build bridges. These bridges allow the always-moving vehicles to get across from one side of the level to the other. Because the game employs a realistic physics system, you have to make sure that the bridges you build properly distribute weight. Otherwise, the bridges will collapse under all the stress.

Whereas previous Bridge Constructor games stopped there, however, Bridge Constructor Portal, you guessed it, uses elements of the Portal series to make the levels that much trickier. For example, many levels include sets of portals where you can hurl vehicles, companion cubes, and other objects through. Items like propulsion gel, sentry turrets, and aerial faith plates are also present and accounted for.

With that combination, the more you progress within Bridge Constructor Portal, the more you realize that the levels end up looking like a frenzy of flying vehicles than your typical roadway. Then again, there’s nothing typical about the game, so I suppose it’s fitting.

As with the Portal series, objects sent through portals maintain their momentum, so you will have to think about how to best use them. It’s no surprise, then, that things can get rather complicated, rather quickly, and they do. The unlimited number of dry runs lend to the send of progress, however, and lend to a sense of accomplishment once you finally get past a certain level you might be stuck on.

Also lending to that sense of accomplishment is the way that Bridge Constructor Portal scales the difficulty. Each level allows you to either get by with one vehicle or a convoy of them. The risk is greater with completing levels with a convoy of vehicles, since you have to account for the greater weight and increased chance of collisions, but you get to brag about it to others.

Not that completing levels with one vehicle is a trivial matter — the game’s mind-boggling levels will make you think hard about how best to approach them, so there is no feeling of scraping by if you manage to get one vehicle from one side of the level to the other.

Editor’s Pick

Making that journey a bit more fun is GLaDOS, the dry and sometimes sarcastic AI voiced by Ellen McLain. She is as witty as ever and brought a smile to my face when I heard her voice, only for that smile to go away as I realize that my bridge engineering skills are not as good as I might think they are.

Poor bridge engineering skills aside, I never felt like Bridge Constructor Portal wasn’t fun. Sure, it might not have been the Portal game I was expecting, but it’s great to look at, the music selection is spot-on, and the game itself was fun to play. Making things better, levels beg to be replayed, since there is usually more than one way to complete them.

If you want to catch a glimpse of what’s possible with the Portal series beyond the Portal gun, Bridge Constructor Portal will be available tomorrow, December 20 for $4.99. The game will also be released for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch in early 2018 for $9.99.

What is PATH and CLASS-PATH all about in JaVa ?

What is PATH and CLASS-PATH 


Many problems in the installation and running of Java applications are caused by incorrect setting of environment variables (global system variables available to all the processes running under the system), in particular, PATH, CLASS-PATH.

PATH Variable:

PATH is basically an environment variable on Unix-like operating systems, DOS, OS/2, and Microsoft Windows, specifying a set of directories where executable programs are located. In general, each executing process or user session has its own PATH setting.
When you launch a program from the command line, the operating system uses the PATH environment variable to search for the program in your local file system. PATH maintains a list of directories for searching executable programs.
If the program cannot be found in these directories, you will get an error. For example, if Java Compiler “javac.exe” is not found in the current directory and all the directories in the PATH, you will receive this error when compiling java source code:

ERROR:javac is not recognized as an internal or external command.



 For Java applications, PATH must include the following directories:
  • JDK’s “bin” directory (e.g., “c:Program Filesjavajdk1.7.0_{xx}bin”), which contains JDK programs such as Java Compiler “javac.exe” and Java Runtime “java.exe”.
  • “c:windowssystem32” and “c:windows” which contain console programs and commands.

How To set Path in java?

There are 2 ways to set java path:
  1. Temporary.
  2. Permanent.
1.Temporary path of JDK in windows:

  • Open command prompt
  • copy the path of jdk/bin directory
  • write in command prompt: set path=copied_path

Let’s see it in the figure given below:


2.Permanent path of JDK in Windows:
  • Right click on ‘My Computers’ and open ‘Properties’.
  • In Windows Vista or Windows 7, go to “Advanced System Settings”. Else go to next step.
  • Go to ‘Advanced Tab’ and click on Environment Variables button.
  • click on new tab of user variables
  • write path in variable name and paste path of bin folder in variable value.
  • Click on OK botton.

Setting JAVA path in Linux OS:

Setting the path in Linux OS is same as setting the path in the Windows OS. But here we use export tool rather than set. Let’s see how to set path in Linux OS:

export PATH=$PATH:/home/jdk1.6.01/bin/


CLASS-PATH in java:

The CLASS-PATH is an Environment variable is one way to tell applications, including the JDK tools, where to look for user classes. Class-path in Java is the path to directory or list of the directory which is used by Class-Loaders to find and load classes in Java program.
It would be impractical to have the JVM look through every folder on your machine, so you have to provide the JVM a list of places to look.  Therefore you need to set your class-path such that, JVM should be able to locate all your resources like classes, files, jars etc.
Setting CLASS-PATH:

In order to set Classpath for Java in Windows you need to specify the value of environment variable CLASSPATH, the name of this variable is not case sensitive and it doesn’t matter if the name of your environment variable is Classpath, CLASSPATH or classpath in Java.

Steps:

    How to se Java Classpath in windows and Unix Linux

  1. Go to Environment variable window in Windows by pressing  or you can go from rig“Windows + Pause “–> Advanced –> Environment variable ht click on my computer than choosing properties and then Advanced and then Environment variable this will open Environment variable window in windows.
  2. Now specify your environment variable CLASSPATH and put the value of your JAVA_HOMElib and also include CURRENT DIRECTORY by including (dot or period sign).

Now to check the value of Java classpath in windows type “echo %CLASSPATH” in your DOS command prompt and it will show you the value of directory which is included in CLASSPATH.

  • You can also set classpath in windows by using DOS command like:
set CLASSPATH=%CLASSPATH%;JAVA_HOMElib;

This way you can set the class-path in Windows XP, windows 2000 or Windows 7 and 8, as they all come with command prompt.


Setting CLASS-PATH in LINUX:

To set Class-path for Java In Linux, you can simply export CLASSPATH=”your classpath” from either your .bash_profile or .bashrc script which will run whenever your login into your Linux or Unix Machine. Now to check the value of Java CLASSPATH in Linux type “echo ${CLASSPATH}” this will print the value of Classpath in command prompt. By using the export command, you can set the classpath for Java in Unix, Linux, Solaris, or any other UNIX operating system. 
What are main differences between CLASSPATH and PATH?

  1. Path is an environment variable which is used by the operating system to find the executables. Classpath is an environment variable which is used by the Java compiler to find the path, of classes.i.e in J2EE we give the path of jar files.
  2. PATH is nothing but setting up an environment for operating system. Operating System will look in this PATH for executables. Classpath is nothing but setting up the environment for Java. Java will use to find compiled classes.
  3. Path refers to the system while classpath refers to the Developing Environment.

Want to learn more about java?

I finished The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild

Of course you can’t actually finish an open world game. Even if you used the game’s internal 100% completion counter, that still doesn’t cover all the content there is. So when I say I “finished” the game, I’m using the goals that I set for myself: Do all 120 shrines and kill the end boss to get to the closing credits. I did a lot of other content, but for example not all Korok seeds, of which there are far more than you actually need.

I still think Zelda – Breath of the Wild is one of the greatest games ever. I really liked all the discoveries, the open world without invisible walls made possible by the ability to climb vertical surfaces, and the numerous puzzles everywhere. I would have preferred a less action-centric combat system, but I appreciated that it wasn’t so hard that I would have needed more skills than I have in button-mashing. My biggest gripe with the game is that the sensor you get at some point to find shrines or resources you have previously photographed is terribly imprecise and unclear. Some of the shrines I could only find by looking them up on the internet, for example because they were in a cave half way up on a cliff face hidden behind a breakable wall, with no quest giving you any hint that they were there. But then you don’t actually need all 120 shrines to finish the game, so that is hardly a big problem.

My biggest mistake in this playthrough was keeping all my gems. Yes, there is a quest rather late in the game where you can sell gems for more money than usual. And yes, you can use some gems to upgrade some armor. But the gem-selling quest pays only like 10% extra, and you don’t really need to upgrade all your armor to maximum. I only upgraded the ancient armor to maximum, which both gives very good defense and even adds to offense when using ancient or guardian weapons. Most other armor sets need only to be upgraded twice to get the added set bonus. The armor class is mostly irrelevant for armor that you wear for other bonuses, e.g. for faster climbing or swimming. If I had sold all gems found earlier, I would have spent less hours farming materials which I only used to make elixirs which I then sold.

Ending the game produces an automatically saved game marked with a star, which has some added features like the completion counter I mentioned. Besides that some DLC content unlocks only after having done the four divine beasts, so I haven’t done that yet. However I’m not yet convinced that this DLC content is worth doing, as a lot of it appears to be somewhat grindy in nature, like the gauntlet of 45 levels of the Trial of the Sword. I think I will at least try some of that stuff before stopping to play. And I do consider that I might want to play the game again from the start after a while. However I won’t play in Master Mode, because I tried that and it just made combat incredibly hard, which isn’t what I am looking for.

I don’t regret having bought a Switch to play Zelda, but now it might be time to give some other Switch games a chance.

3D printing larger objects

Since I bought my 3D printer I have printed hundreds of miniatures for my Dungeons & Dragons game. The miniatures are in a classic 1 inch = 5 feet that is 1:60 scale. So a typical medium sized miniature has a 25 mm base and is around 28 mm tall. As I have written earlier, the main problem of printing objects that size is that printing anything less than 1 mm thick tends to fail, so I had to “fatten” some miniatures or give them oversized weapons to work. Now that I have a good selection of miniatures, I am more often printing larger objects, and the challenges are different.

Now “larger objects” on my 3D printer are limited to 150 mm in any dimension due to the size of the printer itself. Over the last month I printed several objects that were at or close to that limit: Two dice towers, a hinged box, a card tray and two card holders for the 7th Continent, and JoyCon holders for the Nintendo Switch. Apart from the box, which was more of a tech demo to show that you can print a hinged object in one piece, the other objects would be either hard to get anywhere, or be much more expensive. Thus there is some utility to printing these larger objects yourself. The 3D printer also automatically makes items hollow, filled with some honeycomb structure, so a bulky 3D printed object is quite lightweight.

While with larger objects there are no more problems with too thin parts, the main downside of these objects is that the uneven surface is far more prominent. If you are used to holding plastic items in your hand which have a smooth and shiny surface, the 3D printed objects are notably different. Along the Z-axis the layer structure is very visible. And on inner surfaces where the printer had to move across empty space to get to the other side of the object there are irregular imperfections. To some extent you can clean the object up using a sanding sponge. But unless you want to spend hours sanding the object will never be totally smooth and shiny like a commercial injection-molded item.

I still don’t believe in a future where we all just 3D print everything we need instead of buying mass-produced items. However there are a few niche applications where a 3D printer can produce a larger object of some use.