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David Mead

I'm going to stop consuming "the web" for a while. Feel beaten from advertising and negativity

1 min read

Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have rampant ads and skewed toxicity that the companies can't (or won't) address.

Large swathes of "online news" sites are echo chambers from half-read tweets riding on anger and clickbait thumbnails & titles.

Even the community of how we build and publish on the web feels angry and combative.

So, I'm going to take a break. Log out from these places. Shutter this site (I may take it down) as I still can't get it working the way I want.

I have hope for the IndieWeb gaining more traction. I have hope that this is a dark valley social media can pull itself out from.

See you whenever. Have a better one.

David Mead

@TheDivisionGame - Another example of recalibration being confusing, frustrating, and useless

1 min read

I get a new chest piece (same brand & type that I already have) with better armor and health roles. So I want to move the 15% weapon from the old to the new - Nope. Gets capped at 12.5%.

So maybe I only have 12.5% of space on the new one to accept a red role - Nope. I can role 14.5% Critical Hit Damage onto it no problem.

screenshot showing red item being capped, while another is not, during recalibration

The whole "pie" analogy on this just doesn't hold up. Does the pie change size depending on the filling? Weapon damage takes up more space than Crit Hit Damage?

This is a huge part of why I don't try to update gear and end up trashing most of it. Whats the point? Does anyone have success at using the station to craft builds? Or is it just really relying on RNG?

Also posted on Reddit.

David Mead

In response to @TheDivisionGame's LOOT2.0 megathread on Reddit

5 min read

This is a copy of my response, to the Reddit megathread on Loot 2.0 in The Division 2 game...

  • How is the loot progression for you in World Tier 5?
  • How would you like to farm specific items or brands?
  • What would make heroic missions and raids rewarding for you that you tackle these sort of challenges?
  • How would you narrow down the loot pool that you eventually get the item that you are looking for?
  • Do you have good examples of how you would like to get the equipment for your character? (maybe how other games do it better)
  • How could the existing content of The Division 2 be used to have a targeted loot progression?

How is the loot progression for you in World Tier 5?

Not great at the moment. I still run with gear lower than 500 as I've yet to have a piece of the same brand, role with the same attribute types, I need to replace it. Same goes for weapons too. I have higher damage roles on lower gear score sometimes. The amount of 'purple' gear that turns up during hard or challenging missions is annoying.

How would you like to farm specific items or brands?

Align them to factions. The game has a great built-in method to distribute these too - Missions and bounties. This way the you can farm related items.

Example: Hyena's - Complete all bounties for Lvl500 Vector, and all Missions for Sokolov Concern pieces.

  • Can cycle through the different factions
  • Can change on a daily/weekly schedule
  • Can tie in with difficulty level of activity

What would make heroic missions and raids rewarding for you that you tackle these sort of challenges?

One of the few things I miss from The Division is that Exotic loot box at the end of the incursions. I understand there's something similar at the end of the raid. TBH, my first experience on launch day for the raid (Xbox) has soured me on trying it again.

  • Offer specific brand piece/weapon with the attribute assignment (not the values though) shown
  • Offer whole brand set (Gila Guard) for completing a mission
  • Offer one item with maxed-out values

How would you narrow down the loot pool that you eventually get the item that you are looking for?

I have no idea - There are so many variables at play I've pretty much given up getting any specific item I'm looking for.

  • Reduce the number of variables?
  • Allow me to reset calibrated items to the original setup and re-roll?
  • Separate the calibration of Attributes and Talents and let me change one of both
  • Ditch the "pie" method of allocating values on gear. It's confusing & frustrating (see my post)

Do you have good examples of how you would like to get the equipment for your character? (maybe how other games do it better)

Clan Vendor - Address vendors of lower level clans having better rolls on high-end gear. Again, ditching the "pie" allocating method may help with this. Should always have "better" gear that random open world finds and vendors. Gating the roles to certain value limits could help.

Crafting - Make it so crafting has a higher degree of certainty of a better roll. It doesn't fit with your story narrative (Ineya is a specialist but can't help create better gear?). I get worst rolls than loot from a level 1 control point sometimes.

Cassie - I like this introduction and the changes you've made with the gun runner. Keep it as is. I would like to see a commendation, or something, tied to the named weapons. All sit in my stash as roles are worst than open world counterparts for the most part. Could I re-calibrate two things on named weapons?

How could the existing content of The Division 2 be used to have a targeted loot progression?

I've laid out using Factions above, but a couple more I'd like to see is:

Hunters - I'd love to see the Hunters used more. Have a Hunter stalk you every other week. If you can kill them before the last day, it will drop a maxed out roll piece matching one in the build you used to kill them. No duplicates. If you kill 6 Hunters and have all 6 pieces maxed you get nothing else for that build. Complex to put in place I know.

Dark Zone - I'm not a big PvP fan, but I will go in for projects and loot sometimes. Having better, or unique, roles on gear in there would be more tantalizing. Again, what's laid out in the story narrative doesn't reflect what I get when I extract. It's very rare that I'll keep any of the 30 items I have in the mailbox after a good run.

I'm a huge fan of the game, with over 26 days of playtime, and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.

David Mead

Recalibration in #TheDivision2 is still frustrating, and confusing to me

1 min read

Even after changes to the game, the rules for recalibrating items within the game still confuses me. Take something as simple as moving a better damage role from one pair of gloves to another.

screenshot from game showing items unable to be re-calibrated

Moving 12% Rifle damage from a pair of level 497 gloves to a pair of level 500 gloves caps it to 10%. Why? Neither items have been calibrated before. But if I want to move that 12% to a lower level pair of gloves, that have already been calibrated, then I get the whole 12%.

That seems nonsensical. And I know it's all to do with "the weight of certain things taking up more of the pool", but that makes it no less frustrating.

It also means I won't make that change and I have yet another level 500 item sitting unused in my cache. This repeatedly is why none of my builds are level 500 - I don't find it worth having lower amount attributes on higher level gear.

I realise it is a complex system, but that makes it no less frustrating for me as a player.

David Mead

Even local reporting is AI driven now?

1 min read

Seeing this at the bottom of a rather innocuous post from my local news site is disheartening.

This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor. 

From, which was in my Google News feed, on my phone.


David Mead

Shed a tear as @silverbackapp has retired

1 min read

Yep. By far one of my favourite tools for user research, Silverback, is now retired. Big thanks to everyone who worked on it.

screenshot from website

As of 1 May 2019, Silverback is no longer available to download and purchase. We will continue providing support to Silverback customers for 6 months after that date, and release critical critical updates if necessary.

I'll keep running Silverback for as long as I can, but now I'm on the look out for an alternative.

David Mead

Updating Known to Version: 0.12.2

2 min read

With the IndieWeb Summit going on, I thought it a good time to update this blog to the latest version.


  • backed up the MySQL database for the site
  • copied the site, via FTP, to my local machine
  • downloaded latest zipped file from
  • unzipped and FTP’d new files over to server, apart from the Uploads and Configuration folders
  • refreshed in browser and voila! content is still there
  • revoked all IndiePub account access (not needed but wanted a fresh start on this build) and logged back in to:
  • added back in Food and Listen plugins from my local backup

Going forward

So far so good. OwnYourGram still doesn't want to work with my server for some reason. Nothing is being pulled in to Together so maybe that needs a little time.

The most notable changes are tidying up of the settings and configuration sections which looks great. There's also a new (updated?) editor which is cleaner and works well.

My existing Twitter plugin broke the site, so I pulled down a new version from GitHub.


David Mead

David Mead


1 min read

Today we had a 4.0 magnitude earthquake in Ohio. A weird feeling as everyone in the office looks around and without saying a word, we're all "you're feeling this right?"

The ODOT cameras made it look more terrifying (at the top of poles) than the slow woozy feeling in a building.


David Mead

Lost digital music

2 min read

As Warren Ellis searches out physical copies of his music collection, I got to thinking of the various digital music products that I can no longer access.

Loscil - Adrift

This first appeared for iOS and I waited to get the Android version. Turns out he couldn't get it through the regular app store, only Amazon's version (size limitations?). I had to install Amazon's store on my Nexus 7, then download it through there.  I liked it, but it never quite worked all the time and would shut off.

Since my Nexus 7 died, this has been lost to me as it won't download to the older Kindle I'm using.

A (non-endless) version of  'Bannockburn',  is on Bandcamp.

Brian Eno & Peter Chilvers - Bloom: 10 Worlds

Again, something released on iOS, Bloom was a great generative music app.  I used to play it on my wife's 1st Gen. iPad, but it never came to Android.  A decade later, 'Bloom: 10 Worlds' appeared in Google Play.

I would set this going then throw it to my Chromecast to have it playing through the TV. When my Nexus 7 died so dit it-unable to run on my newer Pixel 2 phone. Peter Chilvers himself replied when i ran into this...

"Unfortunately there’s an audio glitch that only occurs on the Google Pixel range, so we took the precaution of excluding it until that can be fixed. At time of writing, it seems to be beyond our control, but if we can find a way to work around it, we’ll make it available."

I live in hope.

MUJI - MUJI to Sleep

This was an app that would play nature sounds to help you sleep.  One of the extra cool things it did was...

"Use the smartphone's light and camera to measure your pulse. From countless sound combinations, the best relaxing music for you is created."

It's now branded 'MUJI to Relax', so that's a win.  MUJI has a good article on sleep too.


In the back of my mind I remember a Flash/SSEYO Koan thing too. It was an early generative music player, but I lost that late 90's.