The International 2018 in Vancouver FAQ (Updated!)
Hey there again, you punks. So with a tip coming from some of the moderators on the board, I've decided just to quickly update this FAQ that I wrote a few months back since TI is next week and I'm sure many of you still have a ton of questions. I've gotten some more information that I can pass down to you in regards to Vancouver but also now TI as well, including updated marijuana laws and beer recommendations. Two quick notes:
This summer has been an extremely hot season in Vancouver (at least in Vancouverite standards). Like anyone who attended in Seattle last year, there is noticeable smoke in the air in the city due to the fires all over the Pacific North West. If you have breathing issues or health related problems do to particles in the air, be advised that there is currently an Air Quality Advisory in effect so act accordingly. Wind/Rain will most likely clear up any issues going into next week, but just a heads up in case new fires flare up or we aren't blessed with some light rain. Forecast is looking to be sunny through midweek and the finals, with an average of about 23-25C.
Yes, but it's not exactly regulated by AirBnB. Feel free to stay at one through AirBnB but know that it might be a little tricky to deal with issues if they come up with your rental. Also while you're at it, check out VRBO.
How far away from Rogers Arena should I stay?
The general piece of advice you'll get from any local about where to stay for TI is going to be anywhere that's on the Skytrain Expo Line (the line in dark blue). The Expo Line will take you to Stadium-Chinatown station, which is where Rogers Arena is 30 seconds away. As in Seattle, the closer to downtown you are, the more expensive it is to stay.
Where are the cheaper hotels like Holiday Inn, Mediterranean Inn or Travelodge like in Seattle?
Unlike Seattle Center, there aren't very many budget hotels left, if at all in the Downtown core. The cheaper hostels are available, though fair warning, many of them are placed on Granville Street, which is a place that many Vancouverites will tell you to avoid while you're here (Though I have never stayed at a hostel on Granville, if anyone has an experience, feel free to share). Check out the Ramada Inn and the Days Inn near Waterfront for some cheaper-ish options.
Are there any areas in Vancouver that we should specifically avoid?
In my mind, there are two places that I would keep a look-out for avoiding while you visit Vancity.
Granville Street. During the day time it's normally fine, filled with some cool shops (Golden Age Collectibles, The Rock Shop, Movieland Arcade) but it's packed to the absolute max with dumbasses at night due to the amount of night clubs. There's police around every weeknight, but since you're in Vancouver for a good time, head towards Gastown, Chinatown or Main Street for places to party.
Downtown East Side. If you've researched anything about Vancouver, you'll know that this area as where a large portion of the cities homeless reside. There is rampant drug use, poverty and sex work in this neighborhood, focused mainly between 5-10 blocks in the area of Main/Hastings. That being said, the community is an especially strong one, with fantastic human beings supporting the less fortunate. Though there isn't too much danger in terms of being robbed, you might want to just avoid the area at night. Be respectful to the people of this community and you'll have no problems.
Is there UbeLyft?
Sadly, no there isn't. We know, it absolutely sucks and everyone in Vancouver is aware. Your options are public transit or a taxi.
What's the parking situation like around Rogers Arena?
Super shitty if you don't like paying for parking. If you can, park outside of the Downtown core near a Skytrain and then head over to the Arena. Commercial Drive is pretty good for this if you can find certain spots. Tinseltown as well if you buy a movie ticket on non-event days.
How does Transit work? What do I need?
If you've ever been to any major city, you'll notice that Vancouver shares the same load-up card/tap system that places like London share. It's called Compass Card and it's fairly easy to use. Just load up money onto the card, tap it when you enter and tap when you leave. It'll do all the calculations for you. Note that certain zones will cost more just due to how far you're traveling.
Does Vancouver have car-sharing?
Yes it does! Car2Go and Evo are two of Vancouver's most popular car share services. Hot tip would be to register before you head over to Vancouver and it'll help mitigate the fact that UbeLyft aren't in Vancouver just yet. Just drive safely.
How do I get from the Airport (YVR) to Downtown Vancouver?
The easiest way to get to downtown from YVR, if you aren't getting picked up/taking a taxi is to take the Canada Line. It will take you directly to Waterfront station, from there you can take multiple buses, the Expo Line (the main line that will take you to Rogers Arena) or the Seabus (going to North VancouveLonsdale).
What's the drinking age in Canada?
19 years old.
I'm new to Canadian beer culture, what would you recommend?
Vancouver has an exploding craft beer culture and you'll be happy to find that the variety of different beers/ciders to drink is absolutely massive, probably to the point of being intimidating. Here are some of my favorite breweries and the beers that you should look out for when you're at the liquor store/pub: Twin Sails Brewing Dat Juice Pale Ale Two Straws MilkShake IPA Short Pants Mosaic IPA Brassneck Brewing Changeling Sour Passive Aggressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Steel & Oak Changeling Sour Passive Agressive IPA Bjorn Again Farmhouse Ale Bomber Brewing Bomber Parklife Passionfruit Ale Bomber Pilsner Bomber Snow White IPA
Does Vancouver have any specific rules about drinking that I should know about?
Yes. First, there isn't any drinking in public if you already didn't know. Second, you must have TWO pieces of ID on you whenever you go to buy drinks in case you're asked for your ID. First piece must be photo ID, the second piece must be something with your name on it (in order for bartenders/servers to validate the first piece). I see a lot of tourists thrown off by this, so just know that Vancouver's liquor laws are much more strict than other places. I've heard from a few Vancouver residents that this isn't exactly enforced harshly, but just to note that it is an actual law. Piece of mind.
What's the legal drinking limit in Vancouver?
%.05. There will be a ton of pubcrawls and side events going on for people that are attending TI and I'm sure that you'll be blasted one night or another. Please don't drink and drive. If you need a cab, here are the numbers you can contact in order to grab a taxi from downtown. Yellow Cab: (604) 681-1111 Black Top Cab: (604) 731-1111 MacLure's Cabs: (604) 831-1111 Also, a note for people from outside of Vancouver: the cab drivers in this city are notorious for being hard to deal with at times. Broken debit machines, cash up front, not providing receipts. Use your common sense to get you through pushy cabbies. If they have a broken debit machine and they are still driving, kindly reject them and give your business to another cabbie that will. UbeLyft will be here soon and karma will bite them back. If at anytime you are in an emergency and don't know what to do, please DM me and I will provide my contact info.
This is not confirmed at the moment, but if the rules were anything like Seattle, you will be able to bring outside food into the arena. You are not permitted to bring liquids into the venue. You'll have to dump out your water bottle and refill it once inside. Rogers Arena might have different policies, but thankfully the venue has twice the amount of food stalls including a much more varied selection.
What's a secret you have from being a lifelong Canucks fan for eating in the area?
Everyone from Vancouver attending will hate me, but this is going to be one of the hottest tips I can give you: there is a Costco food court DIRECTLY across the street on the lower level of Rogers Arena that DOES NOT require a membership in order to buy food. It is the only Costco food court in Canada that doesn't need a membership to eat there. Hot dogs, poutine, pizza, soft drinks, ice cream and it's all lovingly Costco cheap. Enjoy!
What sort of credit card/tap options does Vancouver accept?
Visa/Mastercard are widely accepted everywhere. Cards such as American Express/Discover are also accepted most places, though a few places might reject them for whatever reason (higher charge rates, issues with their machines etc..) Best case would be to make sure you have a Visa/Mastercard with you at all times as a back-up in case you run into any issues. Most places in Vancouver also allow you to use Android/Apple Pay now as well. No bitcoin though.
How much money should I bring?
Well, that's entirely up to you. If you're staying the full week, a few hundred dollars in spare Canadian currency won't hurt you, especially if majority of your spending is going to be on plastic. There's going to be the Secret Shop, but that'll be done through online ordering and not cash payments. Just don't come with nothing. Worst case, always have at least $30-$40 cash on you just in case you run into a bind. It's really entirely up to you and how you plan on spending your time here. Do note that because of the low Canadian dollar, don't be surprised if the price of certain things is higher than usual.
Are there any huge cultural differences in Canada that I should know about?
Due to the amount of fires that have started in the Pacific North West the past month or so, please do not throw your cigarette/joint butts into the street, sidewalk, bushes or wherever that isn't a proper garbage. You'll get a ton of dirty looks by locals if you do otherwise. Canadians are known to be rather polite, we'll answer questions for you or guide you in the right direction (as long as we aren't in a huge rush). As long as you're respectful of the people around you, take care of your hygiene, don't spit on the ground, talk over people in conversation or just avoiding being a total dick, you'll be fine. Though Vancouver is a somewhat socially cold city, that's mainly in dating circles. Get some new Bumble photos up!
What's the tipping policy like in Vancouver?
Most places won't have the tip included in your bill. It's common courtesy to tip between %10-%15 of your final bill if you enjoyed your meal/drink/service. Feel free to go higher if you had a really excellent time. Some places do include the tip in the bill, but will have it noted usually at the bottom of the menu.
I'll be taking public transit while I'm here. Any tips?
A few. Remove your backpack when you're boarding a bus/SkyTrain in order to create more space for the people around you. Hygiene again is a big one. Remember to fill your Compass card and check your remaining balance at least once a day in case you're transiting a lot. If you see elderly/disabled/parents with strollers attempt to come on board, the polite thing to do would be to offer your seat etc..
My English isn't great and I need to ask a question, what should I do?
Don't worry at all! Vancouver is an extremely multicultural city and the residents here are used to hearing many different languages daily. Best bet is if you struggle communicating with anyone for any reason, download the Google Translate app and use it to answer questions you might have in a discussion.
I want to ask for a playetalents autograph and I'm standing right beside them. How should I ask?
Use common sense. Most players/talent would be more than willing to sign an autograph or pose for a photo with you. But also be aware that much of the on-screen talent (Slacks, Kaci, panel members) will often have to be running from segment to segment, taking in matches and so on. If they seem to have a minute, ask nicely, thank them for their time and cross one off of the bucket list.
I want to throw things at Slacks!
Don't throw things at Slacks.
Will there be an outdoor screen showing games?
No update on this. Rogers Arena is mainly a concrete concourse, surrounded by a viaduct and multiple lower roads. Unlike Seattle Center (which had multiple fields and smaller available venues), the only place large enough outside the Arena that could hold a large crowd with a big screen would most likely be the "main" entrance through Expo Blvd/Pat Quinn Way. There are a few other options in the area, but we're going to have to wait to see how creative Valve is with the space around the Arena. Perhaps they rent out the adjacent parking lots?
Will there be a beer garden?
No update on this also, but again, there's a lack of outdoor space beyond the concrete concourse. Sportsbar Live will be open, which also gives a view of inside the Arena while you're eating/drinking. But again, it's indoors.
Can I charge my phone inside of Rogers Arena?
From what I remember from Canucks games, yes, there are stations where you can plug your phone in to charge. But don't be surprised if a company like NVIDIA pops up a charging station outside much like in Seattle.
What is the capacity for Rogers Arena?
Where will I be able to see players? Will there be an open-area to ask for autographs?
One of the more obvious differences that most people will find from Key Arena to Rogers Arena, is that unlike Key Arena, Rogers doesn't have an open space concept between levels. Meaning, you won't be able to just look up to the third floor and see players hanging out like you normally would. This year, they most likely will be held in the boxes above or in the dressing rooms in the lower levels. Look for autograph times scheduled throughout the week to see your favorite players.
Is there anything being hosted at BC Place during TI?
The only thing right now is a Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS) game on August 18th and a BC Lions (CFL) on the 25th. So if you really feel inclined, now you know.
Where, how and when can we buy weed legally when we arrive in Vancouver?
When: On October 17th, weed will officially be legalized in British Columbia and most parts of Canada. How: Normally you need a medicinal prescription to purchase marijuana legally. Though, because of the soon to be legalization coming up in a few months, most dispensaries will most likely write you a prescription if you tell them a valid medical reason for the marijuana (Trouble sleeping, chronic joint pain, back pain, headaches, trouble eating etc.). My friends who smoke themselves told me that hot tip, so do with it what you will. Please DO NOT buy weed from a source that isn't verified by another trusted person or a licensed dispensary. You never know what your weed could be laced with. Where: Here are some dispensaries located close to Rogers Arena. Bloom Medical Dispensary The Dub Dispensary The Medical Cannibis Dispensary
Where can I smoke?
You can't smoke anywhere that frequents children, even if there aren't kids around. So no beaches, public parks, playgrounds etc.. So just, anywhere that's away from people that don't want to partake essentially.
Yo dude, thanks for that help, hit this shit real quick.
I wasn't able to buy any tickets. What should I do?
If you weren't able to buy tickets from Ticket Master, you have a few options. Post in the TI8 Vancouver Subreddit and ask if anyone has a spare ticket. Buying tickets from scalpers in front of Rogers Arena is fairly easy and shouldn't be difficult if you understand the basics of haggling.
Know what you're comfortable paying and stick to it. Always remember that number.
Be prepared to just walk away. The longer you stay negotiating, the more you show the scalper how important it is for you to buy the tickets. Play the long game.
The less you talk, the less information you give the scalper. If he says he's got a Midweek ticket for $300, shrug and say no thanks.
Have money in your hand/wallet when you're trying to buy tickets. When they see that the cash is right there, they'll be more inclined to just make the deal and move onto the next one.
You will most likely miss the opening ceremonies, but after that the prices for Midweek tickets will normalize and scalpers will want to just get rid of their tickets at a lesser price. The advantage you have in this instance is that Vancouver, outside of the LoL tournament at Pacific Colosseum, doesn't have much experience with esports tournaments. So scalpers themselves won't have the same level of patience. The longer you wait to buy your tickets from them, the cheaper you can get them for. Only downside is that you'll be missing games. The other thing you can do is literally just walk around the outside of the Arena and spot non-scalpers with extra tickets. There are always people who buy extra tickets and are just wanting to get their money back (friends flake on them, they couldn't flip them like they thought). DO NOT panic and end up buying an overpriced ticket from StubHub, Craigslist or wherever. Tickets will be available, you just have to keep your cool.
I'm picking up my tickets at the venue. Where do I go?
The box office at Rogers Arena is located at the bottom of the venue on Expo/Pat Quinn Way at the Toyota Ticket Center. You can pick up your tickets between these times: Mon, August 20th: 7AM - 9PM Tue, August 21th: 8AM - 9PM Wed, August 22nd: 8AM - 9PM Thu, August 23rd: 8AM - 9PM Fri, August 24th: 8AM - 9PM Not sure about the box office times for the Finals. Will update that when I know.
FIRST TIME ATTENDING TI
I'm coming to TI alone. What can I expect?
So first off, understand that EVERYONE there is going for the same reason you are, DOTA. Don't be afraid to go up to people, say hello and start conversations. If they shrug you off, fuck them, they don't deserve your brilliance. Enjoy yourself. Worst case, just create a thread on DOTA saying that you want to go shotgun a few beers. My first TI was pretty much by myself, but the combination of a beer + a garden really did wonders. Simply put, don't worry as much as your mind is telling you to worry. All the talent (casters/players) are incredibly friendly and are pretty much the same as us, just super stoked to be there. But do give them space if they're working or running around to the next thing.
What else do I need my Ticket/Badge for?
During TI, after every First Blood in a match, there are potential drops given to in arena attendee's who have registered their badge with their Steam ID. There will be a Steam Link kiosk/section OUTSIDE of Rogers Arena, so look out for it. You must have tapped into the Arena in order to be eligible for those drops. The link to register your badge to be eligible for these drops will be on the back of your badge when you receive it.
What sort of stuff should I be bringing with me on an average day?
Try to pack as lightly and efficiently as possible. My two main staples during the last two TI's were a water bottle (usually given out in a goody bag for midweek + finals ticket holders) and a portable battery pack for my phone. Also know that you might buy things from the Secret Shop, do some shopping downtown and the last thing you want to do is carry that stuff around with you all day. Though consider bringing a sweater for inside the Arena, as Rogers is a fairly cold one. HOT TIP Try checking with bell boys/concierge at any hotels if they can possibly check in some of your bags for you. I tried this at TI7 and was surprised how chill they were. I left them a $5 tip for taking my bags and was free for the rest of the day.
When should I go to the Secret Shop?
Avoid the Secret Shop on the first day or else you'll just spend the entire day waiting in line. Midweek the shop lines will be much more reasonable.
What else should I do in Vancouver beyond watching DOTA?
I have an emergency and I need help. Who do I call?
Depending on your situation, here are numbers for emergencies in British Columbia. Ambulance, fire, police: 911 Poison Control: Lower Mainland: 604-682-5050 Toll-free: 1-800-567-8911 Healthlink BC: 811 Deaf or Hearing Impaired: 711 Crisis Intervention & Suicide Prevention: Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) if you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be. Mental health support: Call 310-6789 (no need to dial area code) for emotional support, information and resources specific to mental health.
Who's the guy with the statue outside the Arena?
That is Roger Neilson, former Vancouver Canucks head coach and the inventor of towel power. Please treat it nicely!
Where does Arteezy live? Where did he go to school? Where does he hang out?
How sweet of you to ask! That would be Lush by Snail Mail. Please, if you feel like you need to ask any questions, or there should be things added to this FAQ, post here or DM me. There are obviously some things that no one knows right now in regards to potential additions or subtractions from moving the event from Key Arena to Rogers. But I'll try my best to keep this thing updated if people bookmark it for future use. Enjoy planning your trip to TI!
dcrd: Several steps towards multipeer downloads completed: an optimization to use in-memory block index and a new 1337 chain view. Maintenance: improved test coverage, upgrading dependency management system and preparing for the upcoming Go 1.11 release. dcrwallet: A big change introducing optional privacy-preserving SPV sync mode was merged. In this mode dcrwallet does not download the full blockchain but only gets the "filters", uses them to determine which blocks it needs and fetches them from random nodes on the network. This has on-disk footprint of 300-400 MB and sync time of minutes, compared to ~3.4 GB and sync time of hours for full sync (these are rough estimates).
jy-p: the server side of SPV (in dcrd) was deployed in v1.2.0, the client side of SPV (in dcrwallet) is in our next release, v1.3.0. Still some minor bugs in SPV that are being worked out. There will be an update to add the latest features from BIP 157/158 in the next few months. SPV will be optional in v1.3.0, but it will become the default after we get a proper header commitment for it (#general)
Decrediton: besides regular bugfixes and design improvements, several components are being developed in parallel like SPV mode, Politeia integration and Trezor support. Politeia: testing started on mainnet, thanks to everyone who is participating. A lot of testing, bugfixing and polishing is happening in preparation for full mainnet launch. There are also a few missing features to be added before launch, e.g. capacity to edit a proposal and versioning for that, discussion to remain open once voting starts. Decrediton integration is moving forward, check out this video for a demo and this meta issue for the full checklist. Trezor: Decrediton integration of initial Trezor support is in progress and there is a demo. Android: app design version 2.0 completed. dcrdata: development of several chart visualizations was completed and is awaiting deployment. Specifically, voting agendas and historic charts are merged while ticket pool visualization is in testing. atomicswap: @glendc is seeking reviews of his Ethereum support pull request. Dev activity stats for July: 252 active PRs, 220 master commits, 34,754 added and 12,847 deleted lines spread across 6 repositories. Contributions came from 6-10 developers per repository. (chart)
Hashrate: the month started at 40.5 and ended at 51.6 PH/s, with a low of 33.3 and a new all time high of 68.4 PH/s. F2Pool is leading with 40-45%, followed by the new BeePool at 15-25% and coinmine.pl at 18-23%. Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 92.6 DCR (-2.1). The price started the month at 94.6 and quickly retreated to month's low of 85 until 1,860 tickets were bought within a single period (versus target 720). This pushed the pool of tickets to 41,970 (2.5% above target), which in turn caused 10 price increases in a row to the month's high of 100.4. This was the highest ticket price seen on the new ticket price algorithm which has been in effect since Jul 2017. Second half of the month there was unusually low volatility between 92 and 94 DCR per ticket. Locked DCR held between 3.75 and 3.87 million or 46.6-48.0% of supply (+0.1% from previous peak). Nodes: there are 212 public listening and 216 normal nodes per dcred.eu. Version distribution: 67% on v1.2.0 (+10%), 24% on v1.1.2 (-1%), 7% on v1.1.0 (-7%). Node count data is not perfect but we can see the steady trend of upgrading to v1.2.0. This version of dcrd is notable for serving compact filters. The increased count of such full nodes allows the developers to test SPV client mode in preparations for the upcoming v1.3.0 release.
Obelisk posted three updates in July. For the most recent daily updates join their Discord. New miner from iBeLink: DSM7T hashes Blake256 at 7 TH/s or Blake2b at 3.5 TH/s, consumes 2,100 W and costs $3,800, shipping Aug 5-10. There were also speculations about the mysterious Pangolin Whatsminer DCR with the speed of 44 TH/s at 2,200 W and the cost of $3,888, shipping November. If you know more about it please share with us in #pow-mining channel.
emiliomann: stakebrasil is one of the pools with the lowest number of missed and expired tickets. It was one of the first and has a smaller percentage than the most recent ones who haven’t had the time to do so. (...) The Brazilian pool should be the one with the more servers spread around the world: 6 to decrease the latency. This is to explain to you why the [pool fee] rate of 5% (currently around 0.06 DCR) on the reward is also one of the highest. girino: 8 voting wallets now. I just finished setting up a new one yesterday. All of them in different datacenters, 3 in europe, 3 in north america, 1 in brazil and one in asia. We also have 3 more servers, 1 for the front end, one for "stats" and one for dcrdata. (#general)
On the mining side, Luxor started a new set of pool servers inside mainland China, while zpool has enabled Decred mining. StatX announced Decred integration into their live dashboard and public chat. Decred was added to Satowallet with BTC and ETH trading pairs. Caution: do your best to understand the security model before using any wallet software.
Marina Silva is the first presidential candidate in Brazil using blockchain to keep all their electoral donations transparent and traceable. VotoLegal uses Decred technology, awesome use case! (reddit)
We continue to see institutional interest in DCR. Large block buyers love the concept of staking as a way to earn additional income and appreciate the stakeholder rights it affords them. Likening a DCR investment to an activist shareholdebondholder gives these institutions some comfort while dipping their toes into a burgeoning new asset class.
Targeted advertising reports released for June and July. As usual, reach @timhebel for full versions.
Big news in June: Facebook reversed their policy on banning crypto ads. ICO ads are still banned, but we should be OK. My team filled out the appeal today, so we should hopefully hear something within a few days. (u/timhebel on reddit)
After couple weeks Facebook finally responded to the appeal and the next step is to verify the domain name via DNS. A pack of Stakey Telegram stickers is now available. Have fun!
Meetup in Berlin, Germany hosted by BlueYard Capital. @jz_bz and @lftherios discussed open source incentivization, the value of governance and their respective projects @decredproject and @oscoin. See @issedjur's feedback here. (photos: 1, 2, 3)
O'Reilly Open Source Convention in Portland, USA. @raedah's talk was "Decentralizing decision-making on the blockchain". Read his report here and see on the photos how the Big Stakey was entertaining the public. (photos: 1, 2, 3)
oregonisaac: many open source devs at OSCON were VERY interested in Politeia and it was probably the #1 hook that resulted in lots of long conversations about what makes Decred unique from the ground up. (#politeia)
Blockchain Meetup in Faro, Portugal. Marco Peereboom gave a talk "Decred 101" and answered questions.
Meetup in Lisbon, Portugal on Aug 2. @moo31337 and @mm will be presenting on Decred with talk "Decred 101 - Governance with skin in the game". Co-hosted by The Block Cafe. Free entrance.
Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan on Aug 5. @morphymore will give a short intro on Decred.
OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Aug 9. @joshuam will introduce Decred and on-chain governance and take part in a panel discussion.
Twitter: Ari Paul debates "There can be only one" aka "highlander argument". Reddit and Forum: how ticket pool size influences average vote time; roadmap concerns; why ticket price was volatile; ideas for using Reddit chat for dcrtrader and alternative chat systems; insette's write-up on Andrew Stone's GROUP proposal for miner-validated tokenization that is superior to current OP_RETURN-based schemes; James Liu's paper to extend atomic swaps to financial derivatives; what happens when all DCR are mined, tail emission and incentives for miners. Chats: why tickets don't have 100% chance to vote; ideas for more straightforward marketing; long-running chat about world economy and failure modes; @brandon's thoughts on tokenizing everything, ICOs, securities, sidechains and more; challenges of staking with Trezor; ideas how to use CryptoSteel wallet with Decred; why exchange can't stake your coins, how staking can increase security, why the function to export seed from wallet is bad idea and why dcrwallet doesn't ever store the seed; ticket voting math; discussion about how GitHub workflow forces to depend on modern web browser and possible alternatives; funding marketing and education in developing markets, vetting contractors based on deliverables, "Decred contractor clearance", continued in #governance. #dex channel continues to attract thinkers and host chats about influence of exchanges, regulation, HFT, lot sizes, liquidity, on-chain vs off-chain swaps, to name a few topics. #governance also keeps growing and hosting high quality conversations.
In July DCR was trading in USD 56-76 and BTC 0.0072-0.0109 range. A recovery started after a volume boost of up to $10.5 m on Fex around Jul 13, but once Bitcoin headed towards USD ~8,000 DCR declined along with most altcoins. WalletInvestor posted a prediction on dcrtrader. Decred was noticed in top 10 mineable coins on coinmarketcap.com.
One million PCs in China were infected via browser plugins to mine Decred, Siacoin and Digibyte. In a Unchained podcast episode David Vorick shared why ASICs are better than GPUs even if they tend toward mining centralization and also described Obelisk's new Launchpad service. (missed in June issue) Sia project moved to GitLab. The stated reasons are to avoid the risk of depending on centralized service, to avoid vendor lock-in, better continuous integration and testing, better access control and the general direction to support decentralized and open source projects. Luxor explained why PPS pools are better. @nic__carter published slides from his talk "An Overview of Governance in Blockchains" from Zcon0. This article arguing the importance of governance systems dates back to 2007. Bancor wallet was hacked. This reminds us about the fake feeling of decentralizaion, that custody of funds is dangerous and that smart contracts must have minimum complexity and be verifiable. Circle announced official Poloniex mobile apps for iOS and Android. On Jul 27 Circle announced delisting of 9 coins from Poloniex that led to a loss of 23-81% of their value same day. Sad reminder about how much a project can depend on a single centralized exchange. DCR supply and market cap is now correct on onchainfx.com and finally, on coinmarketcap.com. Thanks to @sumiflow, @jz and others doing the tedious work to reach out the various websites.
About This Issue
Hi, I got my new Stream Deck today and I'm collecting a user feedback for you guys, but I'm not sure the best place to send it. Should I just post it here? Here are my initial notes:
Stream Deck feedback
If I put a LNK file (Windows Shortcut) on a button, why not automatically copy the icon from that link?
a) Now I have to go to the link manually, open preferences, find the executable, copy the location, go back to Stream Desk, open the executable. b) Turns out this works fine if I drag-n-drop the shortcut, but doesn’t work if I give it the path to a shortcut. i) Strangely, this did not work for all of the Adobe CC shortcuts. Turns out it only works for shortcuts that point directly to an executable. If they point to a shell registry reference (such as Minesweeper’s shortcut) then Stream Deck doesn’t know what to do with it. ii) In fact, none of the Office 365 shortcuts worked, even though they pointed to executables. They showed a “can’t drop” cursor. c) Annoyingly Steam shortcuts can’t be dropped, or rather they can be dropped but they don’t work. Considering your history as a game-related company, I kinda expected this to work well. 2) When I drag-n-drop a shortcut onto a button, it doesn’t associate the button with the shortcut. Instead it copies the executable from the shortcut to the button, but it loses any of the command line arguments and other meta-data that is associated with the link (like whether to launch that application as administrator). It would be much better for it to store the link file path and use ShellExecute to launch the shortcut. For example: a) ShellExecute(hwnd, nullptr, "Minesweeper.lnk",nullptr, nullptr, SW_SHOWNORMAL); b) Note that this would also solve the problem mentioned above in 1.b.i. c) This would also allow the deck to point to shortcuts that are URLs, files, etc. 3) If I select an executable for the icon for a button, it doesn’t show me the icons in the executable to pick one. a) For example, I made a button launch Photoshop, so I pointed to the Photoshop.exe (which has literally dozens of icons in it) and it forces me to use the first one in the file’s resource fork. It should show me a dialog of the icons and allow me to pick one. 4) Giving Stream Deck a file name as a URL (an image URL such as https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c5/73/49/c57349d1de8e1834c3d93a2e8f9ef615.png) causes it to lock up and fails to load the image. a) Of course, if I download the image and then point Stream Deck at that image it works fine. But it would be easier to just give the URL as that’s where the images come from (especially for games). 5) Some of the actions in the list aren’t clear what they are for, but none of hovering, right-clicking, pressing F1, give me more information about what that action does. a) I would actually do a combination of both help on hover (show a tooltip) and pressing F1 and clicking links you to a page that gives detailed information about what the action does. 6) There is no undo. This is especially heinous if I accidentally drop a shortcut on top of a folder as it removed the whole folder and replaced it with the shortcut I dropped. I could find no way to recover the folder. At the very least it should ask me before destroying the folder. 7) It would be really nice if the Stream Deck went blank when the computer screen is locked (or soon thereafter). The buttons stop working when it’s locked, which is great, but it never goes dark. a) I discovered later (from a Reddit post) that I could set a sleep time, I haven't fully tested it though... I did notice that my bitcoin program kept updating the deck all night while the computer was locked. I assume Stream Deck simply ignores events when the computer is asleep? 8) OK, this is really annoying. I'm working on a profile, in this case I was pasting a duplicate button, and something else in the system happened which caused the Stream Deck to change profiles (I don't know what it was, but it switched to the Default profile). The paste that I just did overwrote a button on the switched profile! And no undo. a) So, first, the Stream Deck app shouldn't change profiles with the device. What really is the point of that? And, second, the app needs an undo.
Hey all! GoodShibe here! So, yesterday I started putting this thing together and WOW did you come out in droves to help! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and memories. And thank you kindly to the mods for stickying that post! In one day we reached 60% completion on a list of top 100 Memories and Achievements of Dogecoin! That's amazing! So many fantastic memories and accomplishments! Which leads me to share some developments. The title of this endeavor is now - unless someone comes up with something better: Such Memories: The First 100 Days of Dogecoin I'm going to be putting this together as a 100-ish paged commemorative book - for free in PDF, probably with some cost as a fancy, printed book (Sold as close to 'at cost' as I can get it -- slipstream- has recommended selling it at a small profit, with profits going toward charities or Dogecoin Foundation for charities, etc - thoughts?). Artists, if you've got Dogecoin-themed artwork you want to see in this, please, put forward some links to hi-res CMYK copies and I'll do my best to fit it in. Also! Let's find the funniest, best Dogecoin-related memes that we have put together so far and include them as well! :D) We're also going to need a cover. Any artists out there care to try their hand at designing a cover for this? We'll put it to the community to vote for the one they like the most, and we'll include the others in the book somewhere :D) If you're an artist who submits to the project, you'll get full credit and promotion for your site inside the book (probably in a credits section at the back). I also want to hear from the community - think up some interesting stories, maybe what got you into Dogecoin. What your fondest memories of Dogecoin are. These first 100 days have been an exciting rollercoaster of adventure... let's make that we never forget all the fun memories we've had together. If you have personal, fun pictures you'd like to share, fun, personal stories you want to see get into the book, then start working on them now, put them into the comments, keep them on hand!. Here's the list that I have right now - in no particular order: MOMENTS/ACHIEVEMENTS:
ummjackson's first 'joke' on Twitter about Dogecoin being 'the next big thing'
The original bitcointalk Dogecoin forum page
The first Dogecoin paperwallet design
Save Dogemas is put together by the community, to help out victims of the hack. (News articles?)
15 Million doge raised by the community to save dogemas
TOTAL: 100/100 Also: I was thinking we might have a pour-one-out for all the Orphans - a page dedicated to all the blocks we lost along the way... thoughts? What have I missed?! Let me know in the comments! It's 8:29AM EST and we're at 53.95% of DOGEs found. Our Global Hashrate is spiking from ~61 to ~98 Gigahashes per second and our Difficulty is down slightly from ~1024 to ~1014. Lots of fantastic things in store, let's keep this list growing! As always, I appreciate your support! GoodShibe TL;DR: 100/100!!!
There are a couple routes to getting started. My best advice is to join a group of experienced players first, for at least one game; you'll see how it's done and will get a chance to ask lots of questions. I've had good luck finding games online; look for local meetups or ask around on sites like Enworld or the various role-playing game subreddits. You might also go check out Wizard of the Coast's Encounters program, which sets up short games at local game and comic book stores.
If you can't find an existing game to get into, just buy yourself a Player's Handbook and Dungeon Masters Guide. Both books explain how to get started if you're totally new to the game. You could also download the free playtest materials for D&D Next. They won't be quite as clearly written, but the new rules are simple and an excellent place to start.
A lot. One thing sure to get the RPG partisans up in arms: TSR owner Lorraine Williams, the woman who booted Gary Gygax from the company, isn't the one-dimensional evil figure many gamers have made her out to be. I certainly don't agree with many of her decisions, but TSR did a lot of interesting work with her at the helm, and she had good intentions for the company.
Theoretically: I understand what WotC was trying to do when it moved to the simplified, video-game mechanics of 4.0, and while that wasn't a decision that served my tastes, I understand that a lot of new and younger players really responded to it. The transition to 5.0 is something different; while the rules are indeed simplified, the intention is to emphasize the "core" values of role-playing and adventuring, not to mimic a different kind of game altogether.
Pathfinder is a great game; the only reason my group didn't migrate is that we didn't want to have to buy a new batch of books. If someone is new to role-playing games and has tried and like "3.5-style" play, I'd heartily recommend that they get into Pathfinder as opposed to hunt down the 3.5 books.
I think like most stereotypes, they're mostly (but not entirely) nonsense. One of the reasons tabletop games have been so popular over the years is that the community is very welcoming to geeky people who feel outcast from other pastimes; that's a very good thing, but it's helped saddle the hobby with some of the negative stereotypes you're referencing.
Perceptions are changing quickly, though. One big factor has been the general explosion of gaming as a pastime; today nearly everyone from grandmas to toddlers plays some kind of video game, so tabletop gaming doesn't seem so alien and weird anymore. The emergence of celebrity gamers is a big help, too: When respected people like Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt and Aisha Tyler play games, it's hard to say that gamers are all sad, lonely neckbeards.
Edit: Forgot to answer your board game question. Catan and Carcassone are favorites, naturally. I'm also very fond of Ticket to Ride, Dungeon!, and Puerto Rico. And I just played Shadows over Camelot at Gen Con, and really enjoyed it.
D&D pioneered and popularized many game concepts and mechanics that are ubiquitous in modern tabletop and video games, from the basic idea of a character who persists and gains levels over time, to the idea of a dungeon crawl full of monsters and loot.
D&D gave birth to the modern video game industry; many of the earliest and most popular video games were essentially attempts to automate the D&D experience. And a huge percentage of today's most powerful and respected game designers say they got interested in making games because they played D&D as a kid.
D&D helped popularize the modern fantasy genre, and helped make fantasy films and tv a mainstream, marketable proposition.
D&D inspired a whole generation of writers, artists, and content creators. Just one example: Iron Man director John Favreau says he learned how to tell a story by playing D&D.
Flatter the wizard and get him to cast a Light spell; convince the fighter that there might be something to kill hiding under the skull; tell the thief that the chest definitely isn't trapped and is probably full of gold. Hang out in the entryway until everything goes wrong, then collect any treasure once it's over.
At the moment, the two long-term campaigns I'm involved in are both D&D (3.5 and Next). But I like changing genres and trying new systems. Typically, I'll try other games at a convention or as a short one-off adventure with friends. When we like something we might return to it again later.
How to survive in print journalism? Be Malcolm Gladwell.
Seriously, though; there's only a handful of people that can survive as exclusively print journalists. Today you have to be a master of print, online, video and social media in order to survive. I think that's a good thing. Specialization is limiting: It doesn't give you an advantage in the medium of your choice, it shackles you in all the others.
There are conventions all over the country, not just at Gen Con; not all of them will have Shadowrun games, but even if they don't you can try to set one up; I bet you'll find other people there who also want to try it.
Gary's a complicated figure. He unquestionably got screwed by the actions of other people, and was a victim of circumstance and fate. But he wasn't an innocent, either: He contributed to the financial mismanagement of TSR, and he threatened a lot of small game-makers the same way TSR later harassed him.
The sale of TSR to WotC and all the various legal and financial battles in the history of the game were indeed as ugly as you've heard. There's a reason why people are still so polarized and angry about those events, even decades later.
Peterson's book is great, and an impressive work of scholarship. I highly recommend it for passionate RPG fans, but it's not for everyone; it's 700 pages, very detailed, and goes to great depth on the history of role-playing games.
My intention with Of Dice and Men was to reach a mainstream audience, to explain D&D to people who have never played the game, or to share the basic history to casual players who like the hobby but don't know much about it. I believe that even the most hardcore fans will learn something from the book, but that it's also something you could give to a family member or friend who has never even picked up a 20-sided die.
I'd love to. I'm in the process of setting up a store on the book's web site to sell signed copies and a few bits of merchandise. If anyone has recommendations of a simple ecommerce solution that allows bitcoin transactions, please share it here!
One of the most interesting bits of reporting I did for this book involved reading every magazine and newspaper article that mentioned Dungeons & Dragons over the last forty years; some of the news reports from that period of hysteria in the 1980s are unbelievably sensationalistic and just plain stupid. Made me ashamed to even work in the same business as those people.
Considering how long I've been on Reddit, I can't believe I have never thought to make the players in the campaign I DM fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses. Our next session is going to be very interesting.
For the record: I'd choose one horse-sized duck. A hundred duck-sized horses just sounds exhausting.
I have mentioned the game in a few other answers, but I'm completely enamored with the totally dice-less system used in the role-playing game Dread.
It's an indy RPG focusing on horror stories, and every time your character tries to take an action that might require rolling dice, you pull a single piece from a Jenga tower. It sounds silly, but it works perfectly for the horror genre; as you get further into the game and the plot starts to get scary, there's a physical manifestation of that tension right there on the table. It's beautifully executed.
A Fitbit activity tracker clipped around $48 dollars in cash (two twenties, a five, and three ones). My phone, a Galaxy Note II. And a Pilot Varsity disposable fountain pen, which is one of my preferred writing implements.
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