The Subscription Model Fatigue

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Unlike many, I am usually fine with the subscription model: I understand why it is useful for the developers and I think that, if priced correctly, it is not bad for the users for the vast majority of use cases. However, I often ask myself if the model will be sustainable when the big majority of the apps will be subscription-based.

October 2019 Update

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September has been sweet and kind to me; but also harsh and challenging. Nevertheless, it is October and under pumpkins 🎃 and ghosts 👻, I am still here for a monthly update. About Life September has been fun. I traveled to Padua for the CICAP Fest (a series of conferences organized by the main Italian Skeptical association), I went to a couple of nice restaurants, I completed some personal goal and I ate some Banana Pancake.

September 2019 Update

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September is the true “new year”. Summer vacations are usually over, and we are ready to start a new powerful working season. So why I feel more tired than before?

Ranking Systems 02 - The Elo Rating System

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As we have said before, skill and ranking are never measured directly; instead, they are inferred from the observed performance of a player in previous matches. The idea of building an estimator based on pairwise wins and losses is quite old, but the Elo System represents the most simple and popular implementation.

Go is still fighting over generics. In 2019.

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I dislike Go. I dislike it a lot. Nevertheless, I usually do not bash on it because I am deeply convinced that people should use whatever they want and they like. Many people I respect use Go. I mean, this blog run on Hugo, that is written in Go! How could I be one of “those guys” who always bitch about what other people enjoy? However, sometimes, I fall into watching discussions in the go community, and they are so absurd I cannot shut up.

August 2019 Update

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Last month, slowing down with socials and news became mandatory. I “won” Camp NaNoWriMo and but I still have the last third of the story to write. Heatwaves are everywhere.

To hot to think and words order fine screen in! Let’s just look at this month update before I catch fire!

Why I love Narration Through Discovery

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Yesterday I was reflecting about an interesting fact: in the list of “my favorite games of all times,” the top 10 is packed with games that share all a common element. The games are: Dark Souls Dark Souls II Well… every game of the soulborne genre. Hollow Knight The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild And more. Can you guess what they all have in common? Sure, they all have a decadent setting (the world is falling or is recovering after a cataclysm), but there is a way more common design element: narration through discovery.

July 2019 Update

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This update will be quite straightforward: July will be the month of digital retreat. Summer is not for staying still. Summer is for side projects; summer is for recharging; summer is for everything but the mindless routines of the other seasons.

The Winter of Virtual Assistants

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Seven years and eight months have passed since the release of the first really popular commercial virtual assistant (VA). Yet, seven years later, virtual assistants can do only marginally better.

Sure, they understand better, they speak better, they have learned some new trick; but in the end, they are still a funny but useless experience. After the first fun moments of experimentation when you start talking to them – that is, where you keep asking them silly jokes or dumb questions – they quickly came back to be pretty dumb object. I am pretty sure that the vast majority of user use a VA just for timers, weather and – occasionally – asking for the event on our calendar.

On Rogozhin's Universal Turing Machines

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Every now and then, we see some headline about Turing Completeness of something. For example, Minecraft or Dwarf Fortress, or even Minesweeper are famous examples of accidentally Turing complete systems.

If you know what a Turing machine is (and you should) you will have an intuitive idea of the claim: you know that X can compute any computable function. Sure; but if you stop thinking about that for a bit, it is not so intuitive how we can prove that. If we think long enough, we can start understanding how X can simulate a Turing machine, but how can we be sure that we can encode a Universal Turing Machine and what is the program of a UTM and how we can prove that it is, in fact, universal?