How to get rid of GitHub notifications

I don't like notifications. I've minimized the number of notifications I receive on my phone to basically: direct messages, and phone calls from my wife. I also don't like notifications on my desktop system. I've turned everything off on every system I use.

But there's one place that I visit constantly, every day, every hour, where I couldn't get rid of the tiny blue dot that indicates that something changed, someone commented, or something new has to be reviewed. And that's GitHub.

During my last vacation, I logged out of GitHub on all systems, just to avoid seeing that blue dot telling me that my colleagues at work are busy saving the world. I didn't do any programming during that time, but I still had to visit GitHub sometimes!

Anyways. The internet, of course, has a solution. Using uBlock Origin, I can remove only the tiny blue notifications indicator from my github.com. It's something like "right click >> block element >> select the blue dot".

In the uBlock settings under "My filters" there's now this entry:

! 1/15/2020 https://github.com

which solves all my problems. :D

Auf geht's Freiburg, kämpfen und siegen!

Gestern war ich das erste Mal seit 20 Jahren beim Eishockey. Nachdem ich damals einige Spiele der Providence Bruins miterleben durfte, war es diesmal ein DEL-Spiel zwischen den Adlern aus Mannheim und einer Brausetruppe aus München in der SAP-Arena hier um die Ecke.

Da ich weder die Regeln noch die Taktik dieses Spiels verstehe, habe ich mich auf die wichtigen Beobachtungen konzentriert.

Die Pausenshow

Die zwei Eispolierfahrzeuge brauchen zu zweit 5 Minuten, um die Eisfläche einmal abzufahren. Dabei hätten sie dafür bis zu 18 Minuten Zeit. Ich spüre deutliches Optimierungspotenzial.

Der Bierstand

Die Stadionwurst konnte ich mit Bargeld bezahlen. Das kenne ich aus den Fußballarenen der Neuzeit nicht mehr. Dafür ist das Bier genauso schlecht wie überall sonst auch.

Eben jener Bierstand ist zwischen den Halbzeitpausen übrigens wie leergefegt. Ideal, um die Toiletten zu besuchen und den Getränkevorrat aufzufüllen.

Die Fans

Die Fangesänge sind dieselben wie im Fußballstadion. Es werden allerdings nur die einfachen Songs gesungen, die die ich also auch noch mitsingen kann. Die individuellen Mannschafts- oder Städtenamen waren allerdings unverständlich, weshalb mein Gehirn überall immer "Freiburg" eingefügt hat. Sehr angenehm!

RaBa München bringt genauso viele Auswärtsfans mit wie RaBa Leipzig. Das war schon ziemlich lächerlich, denn Mannheim ist immer eine Reise wert.

Das Spiel

Neben 9 Toren fiel mir vom Spiel noch auf:

Da heult keiner, weil er mal unsanft zu Boden gebracht wird. Erfrischend anders. Andererseits war ich irritiert, dass es gar keine Faustkämpfe auf dem Eis gab. Das habe ich anders in Erinnerung.

Und der Videobeweis ist scheiße.

Anki vs. the RZL

Last week I went to our local hackspace, the RaumZeitLabor, and I talked to Cheatha about my recent adventures with Anki. There were a few other people there that listened to my ramblings as well, and their reactions were not at all what I had expected.

It wasn't a well-prepared talk or anything, but the ensuing discussion was eye-opening.

There were a few firmly held opinions:

I even confused Cheatha, which is hard to do. So my main takeaway from the evening is that there are many more ideas in what I'm working on than I realized, all of which I tried to put into one short talk. But that simply doesn't work. The ideas are:

  1. What is spaced-repetition learning? How and why does it work? What's it good for? (boring but necessary)
  2. How to leverage Anki's templating system to efficiently create effective flashcards. (fun for nerds like us, but…)
  3. How I captured and memorized vocabulary for learning Spanish when I lived in Mexico, and how I'm capturing and memorizing vocabulary while learning Ruby now. (my main focus right now)
  4. How I try to remember more of what I read: books, articles, documentation. (still a little fuzzy, also for me)
  5. tbc

I'll have to explore each of these ideas separately. And I will, because I still believe that it will benefit me. So I guess the very next question I have to answer is: what benefit do I hope to get from memorizing all this information? It's a valid question that until now got drowned by my excitement of learning the new tools and the perception of "making progress".

Better Anki Learning Steps

I've been playing around with Anki, the spaced repetition application, A LOT in the last few weeks. This will certainly not be the last post about Anki, but I'll start with a simple reference post for me to remember where I learned how Anki's learning steps work.

Check out this video:

It explains

  1. the different types of cards in Anki,
  2. how learning intervals are calculated,
  3. what the ease and interval modifiers are,
  4. what the ease factor is, and
  5. how answers modify the interval.

It also talks in depth about "Ease Hell", what it is, and how to avoid it.

Now I finally understand what Anki's Learning Phase is all about (12:34), and how to best use it. Money quote:

Answering a card incorrectly in the learning phase does not change its ease factor.

The proposed settings for the Learning Phase are:

These numbers are based on the SuperMemo 2 algorithm (18:34), which is what Anki is actually using, just not with sane default. Watch the whole video for more details. It's worth it!

What I've learned about the Irish

I spent the last few days in Dublin, Ireland, visiting a very good friend of mine. These are a few observations I made during my stay: