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Ho Yin Cheng
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Ho Yin Cheng

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Copy pasted from my comments to MinutePhysics and LinusTechTips.

On Vessel as a streaming platform:

1. Signup forces you to subscribe to categories and follow people to continue? I literally don't subscribed to anything outside of two types of videos so I had to just pick one randomly to continue. (ended up just removing everything after signup)
2. I don't have too many Firefox plugins installed, but usually all websites work. But Vessel is completely broken and tells me to upgrade my browser. Uhhh... sure. I'm actually on the latest version of Firefox, so what gives?
3. The website homepage is laggy as hell because they animate parts of the videos in some of the previews. Why do this? The previews are also so large that I can 100% see this being a pain in the ass to use to see what new content came out once you're subbed to more than a few people.
4. The video player is not responsive. It's hard to get the controls to appear without pausing and resuming (in fact, it seems impossible - try doing it in fullscreen).
5. Control menu has so many design quirks (looks and feels like default Bootstrap so badly that I wonder how many real UI designers they have on their team) that it simply feels clunky to use. They made so many UX mistakes that the website actually feels amateurish.

Overall, I'm glad to see all YouTube creators trying to break their dependence on YouTube. However, Vessel is very poorly designed for users. Especially for power users that already are comfortable paying for online streaming via subscription services or things like Patreon (and formerly Subbable). If you really will pass on comments for improvement to Vessel, here are some things they must implement to be a decent platform in my eyes:

1. Something similar to Channels or Subscription Collections. I setup my Subscription Collections so that similar content types are grouped together. That way I can choose to only look at the updates for what I feel like watching at a given moment.
2. A better front page. As mentioned above, the current implementation brings my browser to a crawl when scrolling. It's a terrible experience and the pain is multiplied when going to the site on a TV. Their UI/UX designers need to learn about media types and think about how their core audience consumes streaming media (compare to Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, and other paid streaming services).
3. Content discovery and subscribing/following. As an exercise, go try this on a new account: find MinutePhysics, MinuteEarth, and MinuteScience and sign up for each of them. Count the number of steps it takes (clicks and screen refreshes). Compare it to other streaming services. Vessel is one of the worst at doing this. Especially since you can't middle click to open links in other tabs after searching.
4. Don't show artists if they have no content. I was clicking through some of the musicians to see how it worked and for all of them, I just got the message, "Hmm, we couldn't find anything. Try something else?" Listing contentless artists just wastes my time.

I have a lot more complaints, but to be fair, I'll try out Vessel for a bit longer to see if I can get used to their UX before compaining more.
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Ho Yin Cheng

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Ok, so I bit and tried Vessel since it's free. A few things that already stand out as being terrible:

1. Signup forces you to subscribe to categories and follow people to continue? I literally don't subscribed to anything outside of two types of videos so I had to just pick one randomly to continue. (ended up just removing everything after signup)
2. I don't have too many Firefox plugins installed, but usually all websites work. But Vessel is completely broken and tells me to upgrade my browser. Uhhh... sure. I'm actually on the latest version of Firefox, so what gives?
3. The website homepage is laggy as hell because they animate parts of the videos in some of the previews. Why do this? The previews are also so large that I can 100% see this being a pain in the ass to use to see what new content came out once you're subbed to more than a few people.
4. The video player is not responsive. It's hard to get the controls to appear without pausing and resuming (in fact, it seems impossible - try doing it in fullscreen).
5. Control menu has so many design quirks (looks and feels like default Bootstrap so badly that I wonder how many real UI designers they have on their team) that it simply feels clunky to use. They made so many UX mistakes that the website actually feels amateurish.

Overall, I'm glad to see Linus and co. trying out a new platform to break their dependence on YouTube. However, I urge them to try seriously using the Vessel platform for a while if they really think the platform reflects well on their brand. As a heavy YouTube consumer (and online streaming service user in general), I have to say that Vessel is simply a shitty platform.
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Oh look. Firefox is finally catching up to IE, Chrome, Opera, and pretty much every other browser by making some progress on this 15 year old bug! Maybe it can become a usable browser for East Asia.

https://hacks.mozilla.org/2015/03/ruby-support-in-firefox-developer-edition-38/
https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=33339
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Ho Yin Cheng

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Swearing off Lenovo products. The company is at best run by complete idiots. Just google Lenovo+superfish+MITM to see what I mean.

http://news.lenovo.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1929
Lenovo Newsroom official site for press releases, photos, video, audio, pr contact information, presskits and more.
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Ho Yin Cheng

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Now I remember why I weened myself off Reddit discussions. It's because people are fucking idiots. So many people try to argue points they have no clue about (especially in technical subreddits like /r/linux) that are easily disproved using some searching and Wikipedia. Time to get myself off Reddit.
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Ho Yin Cheng

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One of my favorite distros is ending support - CrunchBang Linux. I moved on years ago but it was really good back when I did use it. Hopefully corenominal will move onto better things.

http://crunchbang.org/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=416493#p416493
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Ho Yin Cheng

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Take what happens when people Facebook Freeboot and combine it with the fines you see the MPAA (et al) levy on people who torrent movies, music, etc. Since Facebook Freebooting gives you concrete evidence of how many people have seen and thus stolen your content, it makes the fine calculation easy. Facebook would be fined out of existence if the IP laws were in any way equal when it comes to the "haves" vs the "have nots" (money for lobbyists and lawyers). Of course, the USA is extremely corrupt and there is no way reform will come fast enough to save the little guys. Yay for the country that boasts it's entrepreneurs and small businesses, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6A1Lt0kvMA
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Ho Yin Cheng

commented on a video on YouTube.
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Ok, so I had already signed up for Vessel yesterday (same year offer, but from LinusTechTips) and tried it out. Before I list my thoughts on the platform, I have a question:

Does early access on Vessel mean that videos come out slower on YouTube? If so, then why would I bother continuing to support you via Patreon (formerly, Subbable - yes I've been supporting since day 1)? The only reason I'd have left for supporting you is for the sciences, and while I'd love to do that, I'd probably much rather put those types of donations towards the education charities that I try to support.

Now for my thoughts on Vessel as a streaming platform (copy pasted from my comment to Linus):

1. Signup forces you to subscribe to categories and follow people to continue? I literally don't subscribed to anything outside of two types of videos so I had to just pick one randomly to continue. (ended up just removing everything after signup)
2. I don't have too many Firefox plugins installed, but usually all websites work. But Vessel is completely broken and tells me to upgrade my browser. Uhhh... sure. I'm actually on the latest version of Firefox, so what gives?
3. The website homepage is laggy as hell because they animate parts of the videos in some of the previews. Why do this? The previews are also so large that I can 100% see this being a pain in the ass to use to see what new content came out once you're subbed to more than a few people.
4. The video player is not responsive. It's hard to get the controls to appear without pausing and resuming (in fact, it seems impossible - try doing it in fullscreen).
5. Control menu has so many design quirks (looks and feels like default Bootstrap so badly that I wonder how many real UI designers they have on their team) that it simply feels clunky to use. They made so many UX mistakes that the website actually feels amateurish.

Overall, I'm glad to see all YouTube creators trying to break their dependence on YouTube. However, I think your usage of Vessel is not representative of common users. Especially those of us who are such heavy users of streaming services that we actually pay for them (as I do via Patreon). For us, Vessel is a pretty poor platform.

Thank you for reading this, and I hope you can pass along these comments, and similar ones, to the other YouTube creators who are also pushing to Vessel.
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Ho Yin Cheng

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Why I'm going back to running Linux in a VM on my desktop: http://xkcd.com/1495/
Figuring out why my home server keeps running out of swap space and crashing: one to ten hours Plugging it into a light timer so it reboots every 24 hours: five minutes. {{Title text: Googling inevitably reveals that my problem is caused by a known bug triggered by doing [the exact combination ...
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Ho Yin Cheng

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I want to go into the teaching profession, but this article perfectly sums of the reservations I have of it being a healthy career:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/03/03/389282733/where-have-all-the-teachers-gone

You'd think the USA would be trying to fix this, but their "research" seems to be done by people who had no teachers. I mean, it should be crazy obvious as to why this proposed solution wont work:

"An analysis just out from Georgetown's Edunomics Lab argues that boosting class size for great teachers would save money that could then be funneled into bonuses for those educators taking on a larger load. The savings would come largely from a reduction in the overall teaching force, angering teachers unions and their allies."
Source Study: http://edunomicslab.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/PayBestTeachersMore_FINAL.pdf

Do you see it?
more effective teachers >> smaller classrooms for sure
However, bigger classrooms --> teacher efficacy drops
The solution doesn't work for a very obvious reason that all teachers I've ever met would back up. At a certain class size, it's impossible to be as effective as you were with a smaller class because of time per student, time grading, planning lessons around more personalities, etc. It's like those higher ups that are trying to solve problems don't figure to just ask teachers.

Oh wait, I forgot. This is America we're talking about. Of course we don't ask the professionals. Look at the tech industry (SOPA, SIPA, Net Neutrality, slow lanes, patents, etc.). America is run by self-absorbed, arrogant knuckleheads.

I dunno. It seems to me that education as a career is dying in America and despite how much I want to help raise generations of children to come, it seems like a death row sentence to go that route.
Enrollment at teacher training programs is down in many parts of the country, raising fears of a looming teacher shortage.
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Ho Yin Cheng

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I've always wanted to use Apple but didn't like their closed ecosystem and certain parts of their philosophy. However, I can make similar complaints about Windows and Linux.

Windows being that they went insane during the Balmer era in just about every possible way. But I've loved Nadella's moves - open sourcing, hardware, etc. - and think they are on the right track back. Though I can't see myself going back simply because it's one of those "fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me" type situations.

Linux, oh god the community. It can be both good and bad at the same time. That and there isn't a single DE that is sane. All of them go bonkers at some point to the point where I actually wish to use Windows or OS X just for having sane interface decisions that don't change on the whim of a developer. That and their inability to have a unified package system. Without that, Linux will never be understandable enough for an every day user.

And that brings me back to Apple. Tim Cook has made a lot of public statements and pushed for certain ideologies that makes me very comfortable with using them as an ecosystem despite the drawbacks. That and a closed ecosystem doesn't seem so bad any more because even Linux is going in that direction (hello GNOME and Ubuntu). I try to avoid it by using KDE but at this point, I realized that I just don't have the time to fight against the closed ecosystem tide. And since the Linux ecosystem doesn't appear to want to move to a standard packaging system, having a closed ecosystem looks inevitable. And so, if I do make a move to upgrade my systems (I'm running pretty old hardware now), I think I'll be going Apple. If I get screwed by Apple, at least I know that I got screwed by a guy whose ethics I believe in.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/13/apple-ceo-tim-cook-challenges-obama-privacy
Highest-profile tech executive at cybersecurity summit calls privacy ‘life and death’ issue but hopes to work productively with government
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Ho Yin Cheng

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I've been following this story since the start and now that I've heard some back and forth between both sides (including real evidence and statements!), I can only think that Google has passed the Moral Event Horizon. They've gone from a company with good intents to one that is patently evil. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/29/oops_google_somebody_left_a_tape_running/
Cellist Zoë Keating strikes back with YouTube transcript
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