spells – How can a Psionic Manifester get full Bab reliably

I’m currently trying to make a Talshatora Monk/Erudite multiclass work, partially as a challenge and partially because I want to play a psionic Gish. The issue is that, under the constraints i’m operating under, getting a BaB high enough to function in melee will be difficult. So, I’ve looked into somehow persisting or otherwise gaining a at will or permanent Divine Power like effect.

My build goals are 9th level psionic powers with Divine Power, or barring that Transformation. These are the constraints and rules assumptions i’m working under for this game.

  • Prestige classes that advance manifesting are ruled psionic classes so having more levels in one of them than my Erudite level will cause issues, this is why Slayer is unfortunately off the table.
  • Spell to Power Erudite is in use however spells not normally available to arcane classes, such as Divine Power being gained by the Arcane Disiple feat, are not easily obtainable. They can be gained theoretically but aren’t reliable. So while Persist Power Divine Power is an option in theory it’s not something I can bank on.
  • Custom Item creation Rules, specifically Custom Wondrous Items of Divine Power or infinite use resetting traps of Divine Power, are off the table.
  • Permanent Runes of Divine Power are allowed, but the expense obviously makes it a less than ideal option.
  • All first party books, as well as dragon and dungeon magazine, are allowed. The game is also fairly high optimization with one other player using Astral Seed to transform into a dragon, this however doesn’t work on spells that don’t change your body. So I can use that strategy to make divine power permanent. (Unless I can find a convincing argument for why it would)
  • There is effectively no cap on how much of our WBL can be spent on a single item.

My current plans if I can’t find a better solution is to either get Divine Power as a psionic power somehow and persist it or get the extend and persist spell feats and apply persist spell to a wand of Divine Power using a schema of metamagic item.

unity – .isGrounded is not working reliably

New to Unity and C#, though, I got the code from the official doc page for Character Controller and thought that should work by default.

When pressing the Jump button here it doesn’t always work. When checking if the player is grounded the variable groundedPlayer not always provides true when idle/not moving. Instead the value is constantly changing between true and false.

Below is my current code which was modified a little:

public class PlayerController : MonoBehaviour
  private CharacterController controller;
  private Vector3 playerVelocity;
  private bool groundedPlayer;
  private float playerSpeed = 2.0f;
  private float jumpHeight = 1.0f;
  private float gravityValue = -9.81f;

  private void Start()
    controller = gameObject.AddComponent<CharacterController>();

  void Update()
    groundedPlayer = controller.isGrounded;
    if (groundedPlayer && playerVelocity.y < 0)
      playerVelocity.y = 0f;

    Vector3 move = new Vector3(Input.GetAxis("Horizontal"), 0, Input.GetAxis("Vertical"));
    controller.Move(move * Time.deltaTime * playerSpeed);

    if (move != Vector3.zero)
      gameObject.transform.forward = move;

    print(groundedPlayer); //this will constantly return both false and true while idle

    // jumping mechanic
    if (Input.GetButtonDown("Jump") && groundedPlayer)
      playerVelocity.y += Mathf.Sqrt(jumpHeight * -3.0f * gravityValue);

    playerVelocity.y += gravityValue * Time.deltaTime;
    controller.Move(playerVelocity * Time.deltaTime);


It’s just that I feel dumb since basic jumping is this difficult to implement for me. I feel like I’m missing something very obvious. I found 1 working solution for me which is implementing coyote time, but it looks like a workaround and might provide more glitches in future. I also could try working on creating my own character controller, though that’s a whole different field.

Anyone had this issue before? How did you fix it?

network – How to reliably check if your bitcoin onion node is reachable as advertised?

If getpeerinfo returns a good number of outbound onion peers but none show up as inbound:true, how do you check if your node is properly reachable as advertised?

Several guides and forum answers recommend checking with Bitnodes io but this service is unable to reach the majority of my undeniably reachable outbound onion peers. My node and others don’t show up as reachable on Bitnodes.

mail.app – Mail on Big Sur does not reliably find dollar values

As an online shopper, I regularly use Amazon to purchase lots of stuff. When I reconcile my credit card spending, I use Mail.app to search all mailboxes for specific dollar figures (e.g. command-option F, then type 24.95).

Prior to Big Sur, finding dollar figures in Mail.app worked perfectly, whether the email messages resided “On My Mac” or on iCloud. However, since Big Sur, doing a global Mail.app search for numeric strings, especially with a decimal point, doesn’t work reliably.

For example, I’ll do a global search in Mail.app for 65.88 and I’ll get one result from a locally archived message from years ago, however a very recent message in my InBox containing that figure is not found. When I do a single message search (command-F) looking for 65.88, the value IS found.

Unsurprisingly, using Spotlight delivers the exact same results.

Using mdutil, I’ve manually erased and rebuilt the Spotlight index, rebuilt my Mail.app mailboxes, deleted all ~/Library/Mail/V8/MailData/Envelope* files to force the Mail.app to re-import everything, and reinstalled Big Sur. Nothing worked.

Interestingly, I tried using the Spark email app, which DID successfully find dollar figures without any issue. I suspect that Spark is not relying on Spotlight to obtain search results, and that’s why it works. (I would use Spark, however it doesn’t support local mailboxes.)

I’ve already sent Apple a report using the Feedback Assistant, and I can only hope something will get fixed.

Can anyone else confirm this issue with Mail.app on Big Sur? Any ideas on what else I can do?

How do you reliably estimate mining fees?

I’m asking this question because sites seem to yield widely different estimates.

For instance, if I want a transaction to be accepted within 6 blocks, this is what I currently have to pay according to various calculators:

Why are the numbers so different? Who’s right?

For the record: at first, I was convinced that bitcoinfees.net had to be wrong, but then, someone sent me a transaction (4a129199006935cad810f99a41c14b2e2cdc4f8043732fde8f6db3f7aa899dfc) with a mining fee of 5 sat/vB… and it received its first confirmation within 20 minutes. It makes me even more confused because I see many transactions currently paying a much higher mining fee.

How is a locking script reliably detected as a P2PKH script?

I’ve taken this example from a p2pkh guide:


This is broken down into:

19 - byte length of the following unlocking script
76 - OP_DUP: Duplicates the top stack item.
a9 - OP_HASH160: The input is hashed twice: first with SHA-256 and then with RIPEMD-160.
14 - (20 bytes) length of the following public key hash
5fb0e9755a3424efd2ba0587d20b1e98ee29814a - public key hash of funds receiver
88 - OP_EQUALVERIFY: Returns 1 if the inputs are exactly equal, 0 otherwise. Then runs OP_VERIFY which fails and marks the transaction as invalid of the top stack value is false
ac - OP_CHECKSIG: The entire transaction's outputs, inputs, and script are hashed. The signature used by OP_CHECKSIG must be a valid signature for this hash and public key. If it is, 1 is returned, 0 otherwise

How does Bitcoin determine that 0x14 is the length of the following public key hash, rather than interpreting this byte as an opcode with the value 0x14 (20 decimal)? Is 0x14 special and will never be assigned to any opcode? I don’t see any special handling of this value in the CScript::HasValidOps() and GetScriptOp() routines here.

Is there a magic marker to detect P2PKH scripts?

encryption – Is AES statistically noise? Reliably so?

Suppose we want to store files in a way that has plausible deniability. Ie. we can deny the existance of those files.

The approach is this: We allocate (or just use) a chuck of disk an initialize it with static noise. Then we write our file in there encrypted. We take care to handle the beginning of the ciphertext properly, so we are interested if an attacker can find out the place to look for this file, can they tell it is not in fact pure noise, but ciphertext?

My current implementation also includes a randomized hopping pattern around the chunk derived from the same encryption key. The purpose of this is not only to obfuscate the ciphertext more, but also to distribute the data evenly (all bytes are written 3-9 times) so that subsequent storage operations do not overwrite previous data so easily. I was wondering if one uses a more deterministic and public storage pattern, could a ciphertext be distinguished from noise if correct sequence is discovered?

Does RLNC (Random Linear Network Coding) still need interaction from the other side to overcome packet loss reliably?

I’m looking into implementing RLNC as a project, and while I understand the concept of encoding the original data with random linear coefficients, resulting in a number of packets, sending those packets, and thus the client will be able to reconstruct the original data from some of the received packets, even if a few of the packets are lost, if enough encoded packets have arrived to create a solvable equation system.

However, I have not seen any mention of the fact that if there is a non zero percent of packet loss, there is a possibility that the receiver of the encoded packets will not receive enough packets to reconstruct the original data. The only solution I see to this is to implement some type of sequencing so that the receiver can verify he hasn’t missed some packets that would allow him to reconstruct the original data, in other words interaction. Am I missing some part of the algorithm or not? If someone has solved this problem already, can you please show me where it has been solved so I can read about it?

connection issues – Will a Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 (international version) work reliably in the United States (comparable to a domestic phone)?

I’m buying a new phone, upgrading from an LG Q7+, and so far the best phone I’ve seen is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9. The only con to this is that the Note 9 is only available in International version, and I live in the USA. I’ve heard that Metro by T-Mobile (my service provider) is good for international phones, but I don’t know if it will be comparable to buying a domestic phone. That is, I don’t want to get a really good phone but sacrifice all of my connection speed. If it’s a little slower, I’m fine with it, but if it will be a major difference, I’ll shop domestic.

One thing I’ve noticed is that, according to this site https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=9206&idPhone2=10192 , the Note 9 actually has more 4G connectivity than my current Q7+ (11 bands compared to 9). Does this mean that it will be more reliable than my current phone, or does this mean nothing since it’s international? (Note that I’m not very tech savvy. I know next to nothing about these complicated specs, so I don’t actually understand the numbers)

The bottom line is, I want to buy a new phone, but I want to be sure that the new model I’m considering will have comparable connectivity speed to a domestic phone. I know that T-Mobile will support international phones, but I want to be sure that the support is good compared to their domestic support. If anyone reading this owns a Xiaomi in the US, I’d love to hear from you, but anyone who knows about this sort of topic would be extremely useful to hear from. Thank you to anyone who has read this far. I appreciate the help!

EDIT: I’ve found this site https://www.kimovil.com/en/frequency-checker/US/xiaomi-redmi-note-9 which suggests that it will work on US networks, but I have no idea what the numbers and technical terms mean. I’d like to know what exactly this says about the network reliability in the US. Thanks for putting up with my lack of tech knowledge!