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Posted on 2024-06-10

Gamer+ Galleries

https://home.gamerplus.org/galleries/

I’ve been working on my Gamer+ galleries using SammysHP SimpleImageBrowser.

Here’s a sneak preview. I wrote the landing page and I’m going to add a second column and crisp things up. Take the links to see Sammy’s cool galleries. I added the text descriptions.

I have a few ideas I still want to implement. Suggestions welcome.

Click for more pictures

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The King Of Elfland's Daughter
The King Of Elflands Daughter


Posted on 2024-06-10

The King Of Elfland's Daughter
by Lord Dunsany
Mini review by Hairy Larry

No spoilers.

This is a completely different view of Elfland which explains the time differential between Elfland and The Fields That We Know.

I love how he uses The Fields That We Know as the descriptive term to describe the human abode as opposed to Elfland, the abode of magical beings.

The text is beautifully written but this is not the narrative novel that we have learned to love to read. There's very little character development and the characters develop less as time goes on and magic takes it's toll.

Lurulu, the troll, is actually the most interesting character.

Who knew that Unicorns have fabulous blood?

The moral of the story is be careful what you wish for.

---

I downloaded the ebook from https://standardebooks.org/

"Standard Ebooks is a volunteer-driven project that produces new editions of public domain ebooks that are lovingly formatted, open source, free of U.S. copyright restrictions, and free of cost."

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KISS Stupid
Posted on 2024-06-05

KISS Stupid

Not to repeat myself but KISS Stupid = Keep It Simple Stupid Stupid

I've been working on Plain Text Blog and Not Actually Plain Text Blog trying to deal with this problem.

I use the mtime meta data stored with the file to sort my chronological lists. Which works great. Until it doesn't.

Warning! This is Linux and I am a gearhead. You have been warned.

For instance if you are restoring from a backup CD the chances are that all that time data has been lost. What? you say. Just look at one of your backup CDs. All the dates are the same. The date you burned the CD.

Also there's the problem with making edits. If I am perusing my posts and I see a typo I want to fix it. When I fix it the mtime meta data changes because mtime saves the most recent edit. Which boosts the post to the top of the Most Recent list.

If it's a substantial change I may want the post boosted. But if I'm just fixing some spelling, probably not.

Also not all ftp servers preserve the date of the uploaded file. So even if your backup has good dates when you upload them to a new server their ftp server will cheerfully give all the files the same date. The date of the upload.

I spec'd out several schemes to make this work by backing up the timestamps in a seperate directory. They were all complicated and required extra programs to deal with these problems.

Then yesterday it came to me. The files are uploaded as plain text and the files either have the date created or the date uploaded in the mtime meta data.

When I view the post on it's permalink page the program checks whether the first line starts with

Posted on 2

If it does not it reads the mtime meta data and adds a line at the top of the file that says

Posted on 2024-06-04

or whatever the mtime date happens to be. It saves this file in the text directory (along with all the other text files) and also in a bkp directory (along with all the other backups).

The reason I have to make this backup is because that line is not in my mirror where I write all the text files in the first place. So if I unthinkingly make an edit and upload it without the Posted on line I will lose my original post date.

I also have a tiny little three line routine in my permalink program that will do the unboost by reading the date at the top of the file and updating the mtime meta data to match.

This means I can add Posted on whatever date I want at the top of a file before uploading it and the unboost routine will place it at that date in the chronological order.

See! Simple. If you're a gearhead. Otherwise there's no way you made it here.

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Delta Boogie Newsletter-Gamerplus News - June 2024 - High Eyrie
Posted on 2024-06-04

Delta Boogie Newsletter-Gamerplus News - June 2024 - High Eyrie

First on the gaming front.

Walking Out Of An Enchanted Forest

In which Caper describes his technique to keep the party from walking in circles, entrapped and ensorceled, in a magic forest.

https://home.gamerplus.org/permalink.php?fname=Walking_Out_Of_An_Enchanted_Forest.txt

This post is at my new blog at

https://home.gamerplus.org

Next about the music.

Here's two recent jazz episodes from my Arkansas Roots podcast, From The Archives Of Something Blue.

DJ Hairy Larry Presents Giant Steps Playing Perdido
https://sbblues.com/2024/05/19/dj-hairy-larry-presents-giant-steps-playing-perdido/

DJ Hairy Larry Presents Joe Lee And Friends playing Kinda Tawny
https://sbblues.com/2024/06/02/dj-hairy-larry-presents-joe-lee-and-friends-playing-kinda-tawny/

And what do they have in common?

Craig Baker – Trumpet
Joy Sanford – Piano
Tom Mason – Bass
Mike Overall – Drums

I recorded "Perdido" at Jazz Thursday in 2013 and "Kinda Tawny" at Alley in 2001.

And now both, music and gaming.

Here's my song lyric, High Eyrie.
---
High Eyrie
by Larry Heyl

There once was a maid so fair
With bright blue eyes and flaxen hair
Who crept into a dragon's lair
And found an egg just laying there.

Now she rides between the wings
Of a giant red while she sings
Sail son, Sail on
To High Eyrie.
---

I have moved the Delta Boogie Network-Gamer+ social network to Mastodon. If you have been interested in Mastodon but you haven't tried it yet this is your invitation to join us at

https://gamerplus.org

And if you're already on Mastodon or any other federated service like Firefish, Friendica, Peertube, or Funkwhale you can follow me at

@hairylarry@gamerplus.org

Please forward this email to your music/gaming friends and share this link.

https://home.gamerplus.org/permalink.php?fname=Delta_Boogie_Newsletter-Gamerplus_News_-_June_2024_-_High_Eyrie.txt

Stay in touch. Let me know what you've been doing. New music? I want to hear it. New games? I want to play. I will post your links on Mastodon.

Thanks,
Hairy Larry
@hairylarry@gamerplus.org
hairylarry@deltaboogie.com

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Walking Out Of An Enchanted Forest
Posted on 2024-06-03

Walking Out Of An Enchanted Forest

When lost in an enchanted forest it can seem like you're going in circles. You can come across the same landmark, like a mossy treestump with an animal lair dug between the roots, repeatedly, until you're sure you're walking in circles.

And yet you are staying on the same path which is most likely going somewhere other than in circles. Sometimes you convince yourself that the forest is changing the paths while you walk on them, which is not impossible with extremely deep enchantment. But, the most likely thing that is happening is that you're walking along whistling a happy tune and the next step, instead of taking you a step forward, takes you a half mile backwards to where you were ten minutes ago.

Caper, the halfling bard, knows how to walk out of an enchanted forest. He uses intentional walking being very careful where he places each foot. If he is distracted, and he will be, because he is in an enchanted forest, he stops walking until he is refocused and ready to proceed.

Caper says, "I look at the ground immediately in front of me noticing the pattern of twigs, stones, and leaves. I move my left foot into that pattern carefully placing it next to a twig or a leaf. Then I look at the ground immediately in front of me, noticing the pattern of twigs, stones and leaves. I move my right foot into that pattern carefully placing it next to a twig or a leaf. Back and forth, carefully, carefully, left and right. If I am distracted by wildlife, another hiker, or a fey creature, I stop and stand in place until I can focus on my walking again. Then I proceed as before. Usually in less than a half hour I find myself walking right out of the enchanted forest, but I continue left and right, carefully, carefully, for several more minutes so I don't find myself right back in it."

Caper's intentional walking is a kind of anti magic through concentration. It's when you're walking along without paying attention to where you're going that you can end up somewhere that you don't want to be while walking through an enchanted forest.

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CC0, CC BY, And CC BY-SA Licenses
Posted on 2024-05-21

CC0, CC BY, and CC BY-SA Licenses

Hat tip to @LeviKornelsen@dice.camp and @darkade@dice.camp for inspiring this essay.

I prefer CC BY for my work because I want the fewest restrictions on reuse possible while retaining the chain of attribution. The chain of attribution is important because, for instance, if someone likes a song in a derivative work they should be able to easily find out who the songwriter is, so they can check out more of their work.

CC0 or public domain is less restrictive. It does not necessarily retain the chain of attribution. Attribution is not required with public domain works.

Now if I am using public domain work in one of my projects I still always include attribution for the reason listed above. But it is not required.

CC BY-SA or attribution sharealike is a viral license and is a completely different ball of worms. Someone wanting to include CC BY-SA work in their project will have to make at least that part of the project that includes that work CC BY-SA.

The idea here is that like the GPL if someone modifies or extends my work by, for example, using my song in their video, then I have the right to modify or extend their derivative work because it will also be licensed CC BY-SA.

If someone uses one of my songs licensed CC BY in a video then that video does not have to be CC BY. CC BY is not viral. CC BY-SA is viral.

Of course if someone else follows the chain of attribution and finds my song they can also use the song since it's licensed CC BY. But they can't use the video without permission unless the videomaker also licenses the video in some way. The videomaker is not required to do that when reusing work licensed CC BY.

All three of these licenses. CC0, CC BY, and CC BY-SA, are considered free culture licenses because they do not restrict the licensor in any way except requiring attribution for BY/BY-SA licenses and in how they license derivative works in the case of CC BY-SA.

So you can modify CC BY-SA material and sell the end result to make a direct profit. As long as you license the derivative product CC BY-SA.

Creative Commons also has NC or non commercial licenses. These are not considered free culture licenses because they restrict the use of the derivative work. Also non commercial is not well defined. Just about any use has some commercial aspect. The NC licenses try to define around this problem but nobody wants to go to court to find out.

If you want to restrict your work from commercial use the CC BY-SA is a much better choice. It is very well defined. You are using my CC BY-SA work, then your derivative work has to be licensed CC BY-SA.

But didn't I just say that someone can make a new project based on my CC BY-SA work and sell that derivative work. Yes I did. And yes they can.

But when you are talking about commercial projects, like movies, for instance, no investor in a movie is going to allow their investment to go to a work licensed CC BY-SA. Because anyone else could distribute that movie and charge for it and the business they are in is distributing movies and charging for them.

Another excellent use case for the CC BY-SA license is a free collaboration project where the artists all build off of each others work. By licensing everything CC BY-SA in a collaborative project like this no one can make off with the goods. Anyone involved in the project or, in fact, anyone anywhere, can carry the collaboration forward.

So, by licensing your Table Top RPG with the CC BY-SA license, you are encouraging others to modify and add to your game while insuring that their contributions will also be CC BY-SA and can also be modified.

As a final note I want to mention that in the United States copyright law is a federal law which means that copyright suits go to federal court. Now I don't know how much that runs now but twenty years ago when I started researching this stuff just to show up in federal court costs $50,000. So no one is going to copyright court over the licensing of an indie game.

Because of this, the clear intent of the license is very important. Hobbyists and small business creators rely on the good intentions of those sharing and modifying their work. There really is no other recourse.

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AIArt Program Trained Only On Public Domain Art
Posted on 2024-05-21

AIArt Program Trained Only On Public Domain Art
I think there is space in the free culture movement for an AIArt program that trained only on public domain art.

I think there is space in the free culture movement for an AIArt program that trained only on public domain art. Start with a huge database of public domain art. Build presets with artists like Arthur Rackham and Hokusai. Personally I would much rather create on something like that.
---
This is a page in progress. I am hoping to get feedback from more knowledgeable programmers about how this could be accomplished. I will work to make this dream come true.

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Bookmarks, Favorites, Boosts, And Replies
Posted on 2024-05-20

Bookmarks, Favorites, Boosts, and Replies
What they are and when to use them.

I've used Mastodon for years but I have only recently moved the G+DBN server to Mastodon so all things that are old are new again. So I had to do some studying.

When you read a post there is a set of four easy notations you can make, Bookmarks, Favorites, Boosts, and Replies. What's different about them and why would you choose one or the other?

Bookmarks are a private notation. Nobody else sees your Bookmarks. It's a way to make it easy for you to find the post later, maybe when you have more time or maybe you want to wait until you're sitting at a keyboard. Bookmarks are a menu choice in the Getting Started column so it's easy to locate your Bookmarks and scroll throught them.

Favorites are the equivalent of Likes. The poster gets a notification that you marked their post with the gold star. Some clients will list your handle as a person who marked the post as Favorite. Favorites are also easy to find as a menu choice on the Getting Started column.

Boosting a post activates the viral aspect of Mastodon by showing the post on your timeline for your followers to see and to make it easier for you to find. A Boost is the preferred way to show that you like a post. It actually helps the post reach more eyes. So, why do I sometimes Favorite or Bookmark instead of Boosting? My server has a focus, Music, Gaming, and Free Culture. So sometimes I want to Bookmark a post so I can find it later or even Favorite it to let the poster know that I like it without injecting an off topic post about politics, religion, etc, into my server's focus.

And finally Replies, the best possible of all responses. When you Reply to a post it shows the post and your reply on your timeline and you are engaging in a converstion with the poster. Sometimes this results in comment threads with several participants, the best thing about social networks. I don't always have something to say about everything but I often do and when I do I Reply.

These easy notifications are not exclusive. You can Bookmark a post to make it easier to find. When you read it later you can favorite it. If it links to an article or to art you can take the link and then come back to boost it into your timeline and/or Reply.

Each person will find their own way to make these notifications work for them. I'm still working on what works for me. Please comment on what works for you.

Thanks


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The Orc AxE
Posted on 2024-05-19

The Orc AxE
Answers and Explanations AKA FAQ

The Orc AxE (Answers and Explanations AKA FAQ)

https://www.chaosium.com/content/orclicense/ORC_AxE_FINAL.pdf

A viral license with attribution required.

Clearly places all game mechanics in the licensed content.

Allows creators to place other content under the license by specific declaration.

Good forever or as long as there is a copyright law.

---

So, like the OGL, it can be argued that the game mechanics are not copyrightable anyway. But, with this license you probably don't have to go to court to argue that. If the game creators include more content in the license it becomes more valuable. So how good the license is depends on each game using the license.

Still, it does seem to be a valid open source license managed by a non profit.

I, of course, prefer CC BY, and I have heard it argued that we do not need an ORC license now that CC BY is an option. (Which is true if you're writing for D&D.)

But not all companies can place there entire work under CC BY. They may be using licensed material where they do not own the copyright or they may own art or characters that they deem to be too valuable to license them CC BY.

---

I am not prejudiced against ORC. I can see it's uses. I will probably never use it and I will probably never develop from ORC content. But if your business is writing for Pathfinder ORC is good.

---

Here's a link to the comments thread for this post.

https://gamerplus.org/notes/9t2xzn6xa26gbu3a

#orc #ttrpgs

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Cover Your Friends Songs
Posted on 2024-05-15

Cover Your Friend's Songs
It will help them out and your audience will love it

Calling all musicians! Yes you!

Cover your friend's songs. Tell everyone how great they are.

I noticed when attending concerts that most bands play some originals and some covers. Some play all originals or all covers. This applies to you too.

I'm great with bands playing originals. Do your own thing. And I understand that musicians include cover songs because a) they like the songs and b) it's nice to play some music the audience already knows.

My guess is all these musicians have friends who write good songs. I know I do. Could be someone they played with before and they already know the song. Could be a friend who plays in another band and you have there CD with original songs on it. Could be someone you barely know on the internet who has a youtube video of a song they wrote that you really like.

So take the time to learn the song. Rehearse it a bit. And then be full of praise when you introduce the song.

Here's an example of me practicing what I preach. Tracks 8-11 are the ones that I'm talking about.

https://archive.org/details/hl2011-08-25/

Try it. Your audience will love it.

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Two Questions About AI
Posted on 2024-05-14

Two Questions About AI
Thinking about AI, CC BY, and CC0

Two questions.

Scraping CC BY work for large language models violates copyright and the copyright license unless the artist is attributed. Could we build a large language model of CC BY work, include attribution, and create CC BY AI works? Or even a step further since CC BY is not viral could we scrape CC BY work and create work that is not CC BY? Perhaps it's all CC0 if created by AI. So CC BY-SA cannot be legally scraped by large language models because the created work would have to be CC BY-SA which it cannot be because it's CC0. But CC BY can be and the results would be CC0.

Is it possible to have an ethical large language model scraping only CC0 (public domain) works?

---

Here's a link to the conversation thread for this post.

https://gamerplus.org/notes/9t2vgxgcf6beg0qg

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