Steam's Most Popular Games
Yeah, I have a lot of those too. I even ended up with a duplicate copy of Civ IV and all its expansions, plus games like Sniper Elite and Red Faction: Armageddon that I definitely never purchased. Also, the multiplayer for a lot of games is a separate Steam title.
Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?
But let's talk hypotheticals: if there's a worldwide catastrophe in which civilization is interrupted, somebody specializing in gymel wouldn't provide much use to fellow survivors.
Are you kidding me? Without electronics and industry, all performance arts are live and local. There's no high-quality music on demand from iTunes or YouTube, no recorded music playing at restaurants, parties, or festivals, no constant background music in television and movies. Maybe you can get crappy records made out of wax if you're lucky.
During the day, when most people are doing grunt work, the gymel expert might not be anything special. (Or they might -- people are not solely defined by their profession.) But at night, when everyone's sitting around a fire relaxing? I bet someone who can make strange and beautiful music would be very popular indeed.
Oxford Internet Institute Creates Internet "Tube" Map
That map is so much better and more informative than the tube map that I don't know why the latter exists at all. I know it's supposed to be a simplification, but if you condense that many cables into one route you end up with a map of countries that border the sea, not network routes. For example, there's nothing on the tube map to indicate that the UK is only one or two hops from Japan, or that the Seychelles are at the end of a line, even though it's clearly visible in both your map and the tube map's questionably accurate source material.
Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO
At the state level yes... but was overturned later... what's your point?
Five years after it was passed, yes. And the Supreme Court case was resolved on a technicality about Article III standing.
If you bothered to do any research, you'd know that same sex couples who were already married prior to Prop 8 being passed were grandfathered in... so there was no legal limbo, they were married before it passed and married after it passed.
No, they most certainly were not. The full text of Prop 8 was:
Section I. Title
This measure shall be known and may be cited as the "California Marriage Protection Act."
Section 2. Article I. Section 7.5 is added to the California Constitution, to read:
Sec. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
There is no grandfather clause in there. The California Supreme Court did the grandfathering the year after Prop 8 passed. And the same sort of people Brendan Eich donated money to showed up to defend Prop 8 there, too.
This was not a small thing for the people affected by it, nor were the resulting court trials insignificant. If you'd like to understand this better, I recommend reading the transcripts of Perry v. Schwarzenegger.
An SSD for Your Current Computer May Save the Cost of a New One (Video)
Seconded. 2-4 GB is enough to turn off your page file in Windows, and that's where performance improvements for normal desktop apps ends for me. I have 16 GB for gaming, but I'm not sure I've ever used more than 8.
Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO
His $1000 donation did not deny anyone anything, it did however assist an organization which could be seen to try to 'deny rights'... that group and it's side lost.
You know Prop 8 passed, right? Plunging thousands of gay and lesbian couples who had already married into years of legal limbo? Which was part of an ongoing movement to continue denying gay and lesbian couples legal recognition forever? And you're aware that that movement springs directly from millennia of unjustified prejudice and violent persecution that still lingers today, right? And that all of this deeply affects the lives of many Mozilla employees and Firefox developers? There's a larger context here, and none of that disappears just because a federal court throws out a law.
Eich had every right to be CEO of the foundation
Nobody has a right to a specific job. Especially a job that makes them the public face of an organization that relies on a large and diverse group of outside developers. Eich chose to be an oppressive bigot, and chooses not to apologize for it. That's his choice, but he doesn't get to dodge the consequences just because he's a good coder or manager.
The Mozilla Foundation board should have known better. This isn't a new criticism.
OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights
Why is marriage a "basic human right?" It's never been a basic human right.
It's been a basic human right for probably longer than you've been alive.
And the concept of a gay marriage never existed in the 6,000 years of recorded history until about 15 years ago.
It goes back much farther than that. Even in the modern United States, gay marriage is an old idea -- again, probably older than you are.
OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights
When did marriage become a basic human right?
There are many possible answers to that:
1. It was always a basic human right.
2. Around the same time freedom of association became a basic human right.
3. Around the same time the idea of basic human rights developed.
As a matter of American law, it goes back at least as far as 1967 with the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia. The UN's 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights also mentions marriage:
(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.
Why is the government involved pro or con with it to begin with?
By law and custom, marriage is a special relationship. It involves things like formalized joint property ownership, inheritance rights, power of attorney, and responsibility for and authority over children. Historically, marriage sometimes involved a legal union of two people into one person, with the woman's identity disappearing. (This is a bad thing and is no longer done in the U.S., but it was there.)
Why is it only limited to two people?
It may be possible to create a form of marriage that works for three people, but it's not necessarily straightforward. One example is automatic power of attorney when one partner is in the hospital and unable to make decisions. With a bilateral marriage, their spouse has full decision-making power. With a multilateral marriage, what do you do if two spouses disagree about treatment? I don't know if that's showstopping problem, but it doesn't exist in the context of gay marriage, which is functionally identical to straight marriage.
UN Report: Climate Changes Overwhelming
People here tend to forget that the UN is filled to the brim with corruption.
Nobody forgets that, it's just that the scientists involved don't actually work for the UN. I don't think they even get paid for their (volunteer) work on the IPCC report. There are some UN-paid staffers, but I only see about a dozen listed on the IPCC site. They're all part of the World Meteorological Organization. If you want to call the WMO a hotbed of corruption, you can try, but I'm pretty sure you don't have any reason to do so.
That their human rights body is chaired by countries with the worst human rights records -- and worse, that this is allowed to continue -- demonstrates why everything that comes out of the UN should be looked at with the greatest scepticism.
Well, a worldwide council with maybe five nations in it wouldn't be much use... Joking aside, you're about eight years out of date on that one. Regardless, I don't see how it follows that one bad organization in the UN implies the whole thing is worthless. The UN is a forum where the nations of the world get together to talk. It works about as well as the participants do. There are few (if any) nations that consistently value human rights over convenience, safety, and prejudice. There are a lot more with an interest in accurate weather and climate forecasting.
Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?
But computers in 2004 may have had a 20GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM. Today they have 2TB hard drives and 16GB of RAM.
But again, what about the OS needs to change to accommodate that? WinXP can handle 2 TB hard drives just fine. And 16 GB of RAM is neither common nor a necessity for most users. Best Buy still sells plenty of computers with 4 GB of RAM.
Now what we do (and did) need is a good 64-bit operating system, and XP-64 never fit the bill. But what are the alternatives? Vista was a mess. Win7 is good on newer hardware, but only the OEM versions are sold anymore. Today there's a choice between sticking with XP, buying Win8, or taking a chance on an eBay copy of Win7. I did the latter for my wife's computer, but it's hard to recommend for the general public.
I'm not disagreeing that we need to move on. But Microsoft has spent most of the last decade screwing up their upgrade path. Maybe if they stopped wildly redesigning the UI every time they put out a new OS, more people would have upgraded by now.
Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?
Computers in 2004 weren't all that different from today's computers, though. The AMD64 instruction set was out and consumer-level 64-bit CPUs were available. PCI Express and Serial ATA were standardized the previous year. DDR2 was in use, and you can still buy that today! The biggest changes in PC hardware since 2004 have been multi-core CPUs (which XP handles just fine) and solid state disks, which aren't exactly a compatibility killer. There have been a lot of huge changes in the mobile space, but that has nothing to do with XP. Virtualization is a big deal for servers now, but there are plenty of applications where it's irrelevant.
As a gamer, I upgraded to Win7 for hardware support and newer versions of DirectX. Aside from that, I didn't see a compelling reason to do so. It's not like I could suddenly do anything new with my computer. I can understand why people wouldn't want to shell out tons of money to upgrade. And then there are embedded applications. Where I work we have a ~$20k oscilloscope that runs XP. We're certainly not going to throw *that* out.
Security for the 'Internet of Things' (Video)
Maybe checking the status of an oven (or oven timer?) over the net is useful, but there's no reason to allow the network to turn it on. Separate device control from device status at the hardware level, and you at least keep people's houses from burning down.
Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework
It's teaching a shortcut for doing arithmetic -- one that's easy to do in your head, in fact. The idea is to do the subtraction in pieces by getting to round numbers. So in the example, 15 - 7, you start by getting to 10 (15 - 5 = 10), then you have 2 more left from 7 so you subtract that too (10 - 2 = 8).
The end result gives you 15 - 5 - 2, but to write it that way you have to already know how to break up the 7. Doing it one equation at a time lets you apply the method to larger numbers.
Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture
When people buy Channel 5 perfume, or a Dior bag, they do not buy a perfume or a bag, they buy a marketing image.
Fluke isn't selling a style or a marketing image or any other form of consumer entertainment. They're selling high-quality multimeters. The style is to make their products look distinctive. The impounded products we're talking about here clone the style, but not the quality. It's the total opposite of media piracy or knock-off perfume, where the end product is identical.
$30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow
No, you don't understand, this thing looks *exactly* like a Fluke. It's not just that they used the color yellow, it's that the shape and coloring are similar enough to be misleading. Without a clear view of the label at the top, a lot of people would think it was a Fluke. I applaud SparkFun for wanting to sell cheap multimeters, but I've seen plenty of other $15-30 multimeters and none of them looked like a grey market clones of an existing product line.
Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road
Yet, [Houston doesn't] have the pollution problem of Paris, LA, Mexico City, or Beijing.
Are you sure we don't? I looked at some EPA data, and it seems like on our bad days (in August) we're up in the particulate range that Paris is in now. We also have a lot of trouble with ozone. I'm pretty sure LA's air quality is better than ours now, or at least was for several years.
I don't think comparing Houston to Mexico City or Beijing makes sense. They have a lot more people crammed into a smaller space with worse cars.
Big Bang's Smoking Gun Found
There is no center. The expansion happens everywhere at once. A mediocre but helpful analogy is to the surface of an expanding balloon. Imagine drawing a bunch of dots on the surface. As the balloon expands, every dot moves farther from every other dot. There is no center -- or rather, *every* point looks like a center.
(Note that in this analogy, the universe is the *surface* of the balloon only. The 3D expansion of the balloon has a center, but the 2D stretching of the surface does not. It's a bit confusing, which is why it's a mediocre analogy.)
Russian State TV Anchor: Russia Could Turn US To "Radioactive Ash"
What I'm saying is, I don't think that even if the missiles were headed this way, Obama still wouldn't have the guts to give the order for a counter-strike.
He doesn't have to actually do it. All he has to do is project enough uncertainty to stop Russia from launching a first strike. That's enough for MAD.
Personally, if the missiles were in the air, I wouldn't actually retaliate, at least not massively. If the U.S. is already doomed, what benefit is there from killing 140 million Russians, almost none of whom had any say in the launch decision? We couldn't even enjoy watching Russia burn, since their missiles will arrive first. Maybe I'd launch a couple missiles at Moscow to try to decapitate their government.
Silicon Valley Billionaire Takes Out $201 Million Life Insurance Policy
You pay property taxes on a yearly basis, and death taxes when you die.
Technically, *you* don't pay anything -- you're dead. The people receiving unearned income from your estate pay the taxes.
Measuring the Xbox One Against PCs With Titanfall
I have a strong gaming rig and I won't bother with Titanfall for one simple fact: The PC version requires Origin to play it.
I've been going back and forth on this. I keep hearing it's really good, but I hate having to reinstall Origin for one game. I wish EA would stop holding their games hostage. But wishing for EA to be less greedy is pretty hopeless.
AdamHaun hasn't submitted any stories.
The Museum of Slashdot Ignorance
This post will hold links to the most aggressively ignorant comments I run across. It's just a petty way of venting my frustration.
Comments may be modified for formatting or to include context, but all quoted text is from the original threads.
Peanut Allergy Treatment Trial In UK "A Success"
Correct. But I suspect the hurdle here was to isolate the allergenic factor and administering it correctly. It is not as simple as splitting a peanut in 70 parts: you have to find the right protein, isolate it and dose it. It can be a bitch to do. The results prove that the protein was the right one and that the doses were ok. Finally, the treatment does not work with any substance: there are things that will remain lethal whatever happens as our immune system just cannot catch them. So that is another good news.
No you don't. You could just use ground peanuts.
Physicists Discover Geometry Underlying Particle Physics
Nobody reads the classics (+2, Informative/Interesting)
"Physicists have discovered a jewel-like geometric object that dramatically simplifies calculations of particle interactions and challenges the notion that space and time are fundamental components of reality. 'This is completely new and very much simpler than anything that has been done before,' said Andrew Hodges, a mathematical physicist at Oxford University who has been following the work. The revelation that particle interactions, the most basic events in nature, may be consequences of geometry significantly advances a decades-long effort to reformulate quantum field theory, the body of laws describing elementary particles and their interactions. Interactions that were previously calculated with mathematical formulas thousands of terms long can now be described by computing the volume of the corresponding jewel-like "amplituhedron," which yields an equivalent one-term expression."
These things come up every so often and it always makes me facepalm in a RTFM moment. It is as if none of these advanced physics and mathematics people have ever read or understood why mathematics and physics was invented in the first place. The Greeks invented it to study forms, geometric at first, learning quickly that so much of our human perception is illusion based on these forms. Only later did abstraction of these forms come to be through a great many expressive number systems that have never stopped increasing in complexity to think that analytical quantitative thought has become bloated and inefficient compared to its forgotten origins.
Another excellent example is ignorance on Descartes. Mathematicians and physicists use Cartesian coordinate systems so frequently but have completely neglected the rest of the work by the man that invented it. Temporal relativity, the atomic idea of time later 'pioneered' by Planck, and time itself as merely a manifestation of the flow of consciousness within it can all be attributed to Descartes, but all that Oxford cares of him is his pretty graphs.
If people so high would have taken the time to learn why these thoughts and tools came to be instead merely how to use them, human understanding could be centuries more advanced. Instead we have to reinvent and rediscover ancient issues over and over with new tools designed to solve different problems in ways that require different efficiencies.
Researchers Develop the Most Detailed Map of Gravitational Variations Ever
Don't know their science (+2, Informative)
From the article: That means a 100kg person weighs 700g more near the North Pole, where gravity is 9.83ms-2, than at Peru's Nevado Huascaran summit, where gravity is 9.76ms-2.
They are implying that mass is a function of gravity. Everybody who has had the most basic fundamentals of physics knows that mass doesn't change, only weight(measured in newtons)
Ocean Plastics Host Surprising Microbial Array
"A surprising suite of microbial species colonizes plastic waste floating in the ocean, according to a new study. The bacteria appeared to burrow pits into the plastic. One possible explanation is that bacteria eat into the polymers, weakening the pieces enough to cause them to break down more quickly and eventually sink to the sea floor. While the microbes could speed the plastic's decay, they might also cause their own ecological problems, the researchers say."
And if anyone needed a reason that people don't take eco-nuts seriously, here it is. Here we have a nice sign that some crappy thing we're doing to the environment might be mitigated in some small way by Mother Nature, and the response is what? Not "great! let's spend time working on other problems!" it's "oh noes, we think there are just other problems we haven't discovered yet". Just be happy, once, that something is a good thing without always trying to find the lining of doom and gloom and people might not just treat you like the gloomy harbingers you are.
Another Study Confirms Hands-Free Texting While Driving Is Unsafe
All of the [automobile crash safety] technologies you mention would increase rather than decrease accident rates. Something like anti-lock brakes would decrease it.
What??? In what insane, backwards form of reality do you exist, where airbags and crash-testing cause accidents???
I live in actual reality. In actual reality people modify their behaviors based on risk. Airbags, seat belts, crumple zones, more resilient car frames, etc. do nothing to prevent accidents. They make accidents safer. When accidents are safer people are more willing to risk them. When people are more willing to risk them, they act in ways that cause more of them. It's likewise true for technologies like ABS that do help avoid accidents, but at least there the riskier behavior is offset by the technology.
Linus Torvalds Promises Profanity Over Linux 3.10-rc5
Everyone has to have a hobby, right? Seriously though, who the hell cares if the RC is bigger than the one before it, or whether the changes are scattered everywhere? If there were any number of concerns that needed to be addressed before the next release then it wasn't ready to go in the first place. Just test the hell out of everything, make sure nothing is broken, and make sure that each change was necessary and correct. In short calm your tits and keep coding.
India's ICBM Will Carry Multiple Nuclear Warheads
Oh boy, 4 nukes that you only have to shoot down one time because they're all on the same missile. What a great tactical advantage...for the enemy. Sounds like a cost-saving measure to me, not an amazing advanced weapon.
Scientists Recover Wooly Mammoth Blood
Half life of DNA is 521 years...
The half life of all DNA is 521 years [nature.com]. What kind of 2-bit "scientists" are these that think they can clone an animal that died 10,000 years ago?
[The Nature link doesn't even support his statement.]
Google and NASA Snap Up D-Wave Quantum Computer
Re:Awesome (+3, Insightful)
"Quantum computer", "Google, NASA", "Artificial Intelligence", "Lab" Man, there's nothing in this story that doesn't sound awesome.
Except what they obviously intend to use it for - large scale decryption of SSL traffic so the data can be mined by Google (for profit) and the Government (to oppress).
[Paranoia aside, the article is about an adiabatic quantum computer, which cannot be used to break encryption.]
Mystery Meteorite May Not Be From Mercury After All
How did they come to that anyhow?
Seriously, why would they think they have any idea at all where it came from? Space is massive. There are chucks of rocks flying all over the place left over from the formation of our solar system. Not to mention other systems. We are blasted every single day with tons of space rocks. I am sure that there is a pretty high chance that none of it is coming from a planet but is rather coming from the millions of asteroids flying about. What, do they say, hey! this planet is also kinda that color, it must be from there since nothing else could possibly be that color also?
Modelling Reveals Likely Spread of New H7N9 Avian Flu
What happened to the last pandemic?
With all the crying wolf lately it's a wonder we still see these articles. What happened to SARS, did all five victims of the "pandemic" die without passing it on? H1N1 caused some sniffles. Donald Rumsfeld made a killing with his quack medicine while GSK fleeced the Brits out of a healthy chunk of their health budget during the swine flu hoax. Every year there's a new fake pandemic. Almost makes you hope the promised pandemic finally arrives to take out the idiots who keep pump-and-dumping their antiviral stocks.
Global Warming Shifts the Earth's Poles
All Just a SWAG
This about like predicting the direction an elephant is walking by calculating the effect of the mass of it's tail swishing back and forth on the overall mass of its body. Really, any calculations they attempt would be swamped by the chaotic nature of the earth. Just imagine all the variables they would have to account for. Now, multiply that by a few billion and you would still be clueless. They can write down all the numbers and formulas they want but it's still all nothing but a Scientific Wild Ass Guess. A guess with a built in bias to boot.