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HBO Says Game of Thrones Piracy Is "a Compliment"

Aphoxema Theft isn't the important part (447 comments)

I'll sit through something that's playing on TV that I don't really want to watch (often as a home care aid at a client's house), but I won't download a torrent of something I don't care to sit through. Even if I had the drive space for it, why would I put any additional effort into doing something entirely for myself that I don't want to do?

I suppose it says a lot more if I actually go out and buy the DVD for it, but my time is valuable to me and it should say a lot what I choose to do instead of what I'm essentially forced to settle for due to scheduling and what other people around me want.

Look less at the "we're not making a sale" part and more at the "what is someone getting out of this".

about a year ago
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Free Wi-Fi: the Movement To Give Away Your Internet For the Good of Humanity

Aphoxema Unfair to call it selfish (505 comments)

I don't mind sharing my bandwidth with strangers. I mind the **AA motherfuckers suing me for someone who doesn't know how to obfuscate downloading a movie or something and getting my broke ass in court. I'll be happy to open my access point when I can't be held accountable for what someone I don't know would do with it.

I'm not being selfish, I'm preserving myself in a world of sharks.

about a year and a half ago
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Quantum Key Exchange With an Airplane

Aphoxema Re:A little unclear on entanglement (44 comments)

The answer of if it's faster than light is "maybe", but it's reasonably certain that information can't be exchanged faster than light. All entanglement can be used for is to verify something that is already known and you only get on chance to test the condition. If you get it wrong, you waste the entanglement by adding new information to it. It's essentially a one-dial etch-a-sketch.

about 2 years ago
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Can Nintendo Court the Casuals Again?

Aphoxema Same old thing. (132 comments)

I'd like Nintendo a whole lot more if I didn't hate the Mario world so much, and it's all about the fucking, boring, racist and campy mascot everywhere on every title in every iteration. It's not funny. It's not sexy. It's not cute. As a pop culture icon, it's just as dull as it's always been and the only reason left to insist on it (in the US) is to pander to Generation Xs and Generation Ys who think they're Generation Xs.

about 2 years ago
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Genetically Engineering Babies a Moral Obligation, Says Ethicist

Aphoxema Re:Society not parents (840 comments)

The issue I see here is that the qualities we already screen for are "master" flaws, things that will definitely, objectively ruin a person's life or prevent them from surviving at all. Medical care can't keep up with these problems.

Lesser flaws, like alcoholism, psychopathy and a predisposition to violence are things that are held subjectively and have a a social stigma against them... however, none of these things make someone inherently a bad person. There's also a lot of therapeutic or medical options available for things like this that will only improve over time. Then there's the possibility that society must have assholes to function.

All this does is raise the line of "good enough" and that is undeniably in the direction of eugenics. Maybe that's a good thing, but I don't believe society really has the awareness, wherewithal or objectivity needed to improve itself in such a way. I'll be happy to come back to the question once religion is forgotten.

about 2 years ago
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CowboyNeal Weighs In On the Windows 8 "Metro" GUI

Aphoxema Re:Blah blah blah (671 comments)

Then you should get a Mac, because the Desktop part os not deprecated there. Going forward, you will struggle even more to get new apps on Windows than you do now.

Beside you ruining my joke... nonsense. I stopped using Macs because I was struggling with similar issues. With Windows I can find a dozen alternatives for anything as a binary. With Linux I can easily use .debs or other binaries or easily install libraries and compile source code. By "thinking differently" it's brutally difficult to make any changes I want, fix problems when Apple doesn't have a solution for me, find the software I want or good alternatives and the strict dependence on specific, overpriced hardware is madness.

If I need a computer for someone who knows nothing about computers and I suspect they lack the developmental capacity to learn anything more about them, then I'll recommend a Mac; The screensaver they include in OS X is fantastic.

about 2 years ago
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CowboyNeal Weighs In On the Windows 8 "Metro" GUI

Aphoxema Blah blah blah (671 comments)

I don't know what you guys are talking about, I use Metro all the time. Every time I start my computer it shows up, then the first things I do is click the Desktop application on the start page. I love this Desktop application, seems to do everything I need. I don't actually see myself needing any other Metro apps.

about 2 years ago
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NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming

Aphoxema Re:All This From 1 Degree C (605 comments)

The energy released by burning fossil fuels (and from nuclear reactions), commonly called waste heat, is so small compared to the energy the Sun radiates onto the Earth that it can be ignored for all practical purposes. The average insolation at the surface of the Earth is around 250 W/m^2. The average energy released by human activities is about 0.028 W/m^2 or about 1/9,000th as much energy as we get from the Sun. The forcing due to the greenhouse gases added by human activities in the past 250 years is currently about 2.9 W/m^2 or about 100 times as much as the waste heat. That puts waste heat near the bottom of the priority list.

That... is actually pretty helpful. I think I turn on the oven the kitchen turns straight into hell, I suppose there's a lot more kitchen outside and all out ovens together aren't so big in relation.

about 2 years ago
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NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming

Aphoxema Re:All This From 1 Degree C (605 comments)

The point was that the energy to raise global temps doesn't come from human activities, it comes from the sun. The difference is now in the process by which the sun's energy is radiated back into space.

We're releasing energy stored over the course of 150 million years, there's a lot of sunlight in that oil, coal and wood. The funny part is we're releasing this energy to do things that are believed to cause less energy to radiate back into space (for the time being).

about 2 years ago
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Windows 8 Is Ready

Aphoxema Re:Metro is a total pos (558 comments)

For those who don't have to write software Metro may seem nice. However, to those that do write software, if they haven't found out already they shortly will, Metro's sandboxing is just a total fuck up. Metro apps can't communicate with non-Metro apps.

I was excited about a Metro frame Chrome, until I noticed that when I'm playing YouTube videos and go to another application I can't hear it anymore.

I do like the "Start Page" though, I think it's going to be the only Metro application I'll use.

about 2 years ago
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Half of India Without Electricity As Power Grid Crisis Deepens

Aphoxema Re:Wind Electricity (413 comments)

I wonder if destroying specific buildings and replacing them with parks or bodies of water would help.

about 2 years ago
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Half of India Without Electricity As Power Grid Crisis Deepens

Aphoxema Re:Wind Electricity (413 comments)

Air conditioners don't "blow cool air", they remove heat from one system and move it to another.

The Earth is one big, fucking air conditioner and winds take heat from one place and move it to another. They very much "cool things down". This is especially nice when home air conditioners are relocating heat into the space around those homes, taking it a step further.

about 2 years ago
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Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe

Aphoxema Re:Trainwreck? Not by a long shot (880 comments)

I hated Windows 8 before I actually installed it.

The fears of "new thing" I had were eliminating the Start Menu and that Metro would be compulsory. It turns out it's all exactly what I've wanted in computers.

I've had Mac friends bitch at me, like "I can tell you're a Windows user!" because I maximize everything. Since Windows 3.1 the only state I've felt comfortable with is maximized with a taskbar. The only time I want to see more than one window is when I'm dragging something from one to another.

People say this is a matter of multitasking, but multitasking doesn't exist in any real way until there's independent processors. Computers don't "multitask", they shuffle short parts of a job together to give the appearance of multitasking. People are the same, and I'm just not built for it. I only want to see what I'm working on and something telling me when it's time to look at something else. I benefit highly from a non-overlapping user interface, which is what Metro offers.

Ubuntu's early netbook designs were very inspiring. A few applications worked together to clean things up, Maximus would maximize everything and take off the window frame and buttons. Window-picker-applet would replace the regular tasks applet in Gnome, cleanly fitting in with the frameless windows and offering a fixed close button at the end. What they had effectively done was turned the taskbar into browser tabs and I was thrilled.

The Start Page is an excellent replacement to the Start Menu; When I opened the Start Menu, I wanted to look at the Start Menu, and I just happened to have to kludge through a million things or pin a short list of things to the top of it that depended on my resolution. With the Start Page, you pin everything you want and ignore the rest until you need it. I will never have to think to myself again, "Well, I don't want this application on the Taskbar, but to put it in the Start Menu I'll have to remove something else..."

As far as the Windows Store goes, it's just another case where IE got the spotlight. You can use alternatives, the ethical question is whether Microsoft will let you choose them (they will) and if they're play dirty to hurt the competition (they probably won't, much, nothing that they won't be condemned for). I'm looking forward to Steam's Metro app, Chrome's Metro app is already fine.

Really, it's entirely possible to create a wrapper that will put any application into a maximized frame to pretend to be a Metro-native application. I just wish Metro didn't segregate from the Desktop so much and that it had a cleaner way to switch between Metro and Desktop applications.

Finally... I don't know what people mean about this nonsense with "only good if you don't use a keyboard or mouse". When you're like me and you always maximize everything, there's no damned difference. If you don't, don't use Metro because the rest of the Windows 8 is a hell of an improvement.

about 2 years ago
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Is Extraterrestrial Life More Whimsical Than Plausible?

Aphoxema Fewer variables improve probability. (344 comments)

We got where we are thanks to the dead animals time has gifted to us and buried beneath our feet. Going by the inevitable and grim prospect of running out of the good stuff, if our own fate is the likely outcome of sentience blessed with 150 millions years worth of sunlight compressed into goo, then intelligence life is going to be a whole lot harder than even the skeptics want to appreciate.

I think life is very likely. I think us seeing it won't happen. I certain us meeting other, intelligent life in the universe during the tiny window we'll get to survive as a species is simply impossible.

We don't deserve intergalactic travel. Maybe, though, we'll be lucky enough to be a part of the next fossil fuels that kickstarts the next dominant species' intellectual revolution. It would almost be the responsible thing to just decimate the human species now before we waste what fossil fuels are already there so that the next contender has a better chance of unraveling the mysteries of the universe.

more than 2 years ago
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US ISPs Become 'Copyright Cops' July 12th

Aphoxema goodbye internet (409 comments)

Better when it was a law, at least then you'll notice when they silence dissidents and have it on record.

more than 2 years ago
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New Research Shows Cognitive Decline Begins At 45

Aphoxema Re:Not so fast (295 comments)

This isn't really suggesting that all people begin to decline at 45, generally people become more knowledgeable and better able to understand abstract things as they keep adding on the years. Dementia disorders, particularly Alzheimer's, are what is being discussed her and being able to better preempt the diseases with more warning is the benefit of this study.

Really, anyone who throws the idiot blanket over seniors (like I used to) haven't had much experience with healthy and active seniors. There's just a lot of influences convincing most people that being old invariably means incontinence, dementia, sentimentalism, bigotry, an unwillingness to learn and a death-grip on nostalgia.

Even working in nursing homes, where the least functional people tend to find their way to, I've found the most common issue to be physical impairment. This often leads to incontinence because the person could not appropriately eliminate in time, and due to both they often face depression which causes every sort of problem that we perceive to be the norm in old age.

more than 2 years ago
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No, SETI Has Not Detected Alien Signals From Space

Aphoxema Re:"almost certainly" (160 comments)

SETI isn't necessarily looking for an intentional signal (though if one weren't intentional it would be unlikely to reach us), just anything that demonstrates artifice. It doesn't have to be something like an alien soap-opera perfectly displayed in NTSC format, but the kind of noise generated by that kind of broadcast is generally different than natural noise.

For one, since we can't test every signal for every kind of imaginable modulation, format, encryption or whatever, we have to look instead for a pattern between what could be real information. Every IP broadcast has plainly readable headers and part of them always begin a certain way, no matter how the information they help deliver is formatted. Every NTSC signal has within them the defining characteristics of the 60 Hertz frequency the information carries.

Whether digital or analog, there always has to be some kind of reliable pattern for the receiver to interpret, but all we can see is "Pattern-noise-pattern-noise". This is why SETI's problem is more of processing power than space to point telescopes at, they use Fourier transformations to attempt to find individual frequencies in a spectrum and then each of those frequencies need to be tested for potential data containers.

more than 2 years ago
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Iran Wants To Clone Downed US Drone

Aphoxema Re:Tough call (663 comments)

America may do some shitty things, but you've got to be a complete idiot to think the leaders of Iran being disposed off would not be a good idea.

I'm not sure. How does killing/imprisoning/banishing the current leaders help anyone?

more than 2 years ago
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Iran Wants To Clone Downed US Drone

Aphoxema Tough call (663 comments)

IANAL, but according to the precedent set by Keepers Vs. Weepers, I think the US will have a very hard time convincing the courts for the immediate return of their supposed property unless they can get their mommy and daddy involved.

Oh, this was in Iran? Well, we know where this is going. The US will just go over to Iran's house and shoot his parents in the face.

more than 2 years ago
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New Batch of Leaked Climate Emails

Aphoxema Just can't win... (585 comments)

The thinking just doesn't follow...
"Global warming may be a bad thing and would require us to take action."
"Global warming isn't happening because we can't absolutely prove it's totally the fault of human activity."

The results of global warming and the cause of global warming are two different arguments, but it's actually evidence that deniers already know global warming is a real threat by trying to suspend the one argument with another. The difference isn't belief that global warming is happening or not; nobody wants it to happen (assuming it will harm us and we're not including misanthropists), some people are just afraid to admit to themselves that the threat is real.

People are pendulums, you push them away and they'll come right back. You can't just show someone evidence and expect them to rationally use it, you have to let them talk long enough for them to hear themselves be wrong.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Journals

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Logic must become a regular part of public education

Aphoxema Aphoxema writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I have recently come to realize that something very important that is not being taught in grade schools is Logic.

We have and take for granted Mathematics, English, Physical Education, Biology, Science and other basic categories of classes. Even though Logic is highly mathematical and Science is a field that heavily depends on the use of Logic, Logic itself is a distinct set of information and is critical in every day reasoning.

Even the brightest minds can be tricked into accepting something illogical as true if it's patterned in a way they aren't familiar in being a fallacy. Perhaps, even, this assumption so many people have gained that most people are very dim stems from the lack of teaching in Logic.

Logic shouldn't be something people only start to realize in high school and particularly study in college, it should be a regular part of everyone's life as soon as they can grasp the concept of contradiction. I feel I took no great leaps in discovering contradiction in elementary. If i lied about something to get my way, it was amazingly effective even though it wasn't true.

To anyone who might possibly fall across this entry, I ask you; Have you studied Logic? What was the first time in your life you learned about it? Have you heard of dedicated classes for logical reasoning in anything below college? What about as part of another study?

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This is harrrrd work. *sigh*

Aphoxema Aphoxema writes  |  more than 5 years ago I'm pissed off so I'm writing in my journal thing. That's what you're supposed to do, right? Say things you might regret later in disorderly text that you will look back on and say, "I was such a loser, maybe I still am!"

I've been going to my community college for a year and a half, I'm starting my fourth semester now. Previously I was taking 'Electrical Technology', I thought it was what I really wanted to do. I changed my mind, I think, maybe it wasn't really what I wanted to do.

I didn't like my peers, the classes were too easy, it was the same stuff over and over again. I was finding citations in the NEC more than anything, answering True or False questions for God's sake. I felt insulted, this wasn't a serious program, and I was paying quite a bit for 'lab fees' that weren't buying anything! Sure, I bent a few pieces of conduit, wire nutted some conductors, but it was all just crap. The only classes I enjoyed was circuits and PLC's. Maybe I was hoping to work with the little stuff but fooled myself the big stuff was the same thing.

What's worse is my asthma has gotten worse over the last few years and I am just not cut out for construction, especially in dusty, remote sites where few people will likely know what to do if I have a really bad asthma attack.

Now, I'm in shock about how much harder my classes now are. I can handle them all, but it's taking time, and I'm working, and it's winter and my asthma is killing me. My father keeps going into the hospital, he has a pancreatic pseudocyst and I've barely known him for the last decade and now I finally get to talk to him once in a while and he's falling apart.

I have four classes right now, Elementary Algebra, Psychology, Biology, and Writing and Composition I. I'd thought this stuff would all be easy for me, but it's not what I imagined. Well, the psychology is pretty easy stuff, I can just soak up the trivial knowledge, and I find it very fascinating. And the biology is great, the teacher is incredible and I could listen to him forever.

Okay, I'm overreacting, things aren't so bad. That algebra is a bit hefty, I'm better at math than I'll ever admit to myself (98% on my GED), but there is so much about algebra I hadn't realized I didn't know. So many rules, I'm happy they all stay the same but this is going to be a pretty big helping for me.

It's Writ&Comp that's really worrying me. I mean, the real problem has already been solved, I just have to pay attention to the online thing and do the fucking work, but this teacher... she's so uncompromising, I'm already sure she won't make deals, she doesn't do extra credit, she's really hard on attendance which has always been a problem for me due to my asthma. It's much different than what I'm used to, but I love it.

I'm happy she'll nail me to the wall, I'm in bliss she'll never let my bullshit slide. The fact is, I have gotten away with a lot of giving up and screwing off, only one of my instructors yet have come even close to giving me a bad grade. It was very easy for me to be an 'over-achiever' before because either my teachers didn't care, I had prior knowledge in the subject, or just really liked me personally.

My English teacher, none of this will help me. I'm sure coming in already with perfect English could work against someone with her, she's not conceited, but she will make damned sure people will learn something. It's a little frightening for me, it makes me angry, I feel all sorts of emotions I'm not used to feeling while thinking of the challenge this class will give me. I know it's the best thing for me.

What frightens me most, though, isn't that I have to deal with her strict attitude, it's that she's a very lively and social person and she makes everyone else be lively and social. I'm coping well enough, but I learned a new term today, "introvert", and I'm starting to think I'm that most of the time. When I am prepared and when I can choose to be around people, I love it, I'm great at it, but it wears me out mentally. I start getting angry and confused, I have to step away from the college sometimes just to have a moment of peace. No matter how quiet people are, just their presence is frustrating when I'm not prepared for them.

I don't know if it's paranoia or what, I can't even sit with my back to a crowd, I have to be able to see everyone else to feel halfway comfortable. Sometimes going to Wal Mart is Hell, the mass of people, and they're not there to talk quietly, they're there to BUY BUY BUY! I am too, but it makes the experience easier when there's a lot fewer people around.

It's still hard to put what I feel and what I think together, but... I don't know. I don't know if there is a but.

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The Bird Is The Word

Aphoxema Aphoxema writes  |  more than 5 years ago

A-well-a everybody's heard about the bird B-b-b-bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word B-b-b-bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word B-b-b-bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word B-b-b-bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word B-b-b-bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word B-b-b-bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word B-b-b-bird, bird, bird, b-bird's the word A-well-a bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word! EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THE BIRDS IS THE WORD!

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Blah blah blah

Aphoxema Aphoxema writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I want to say something profound and witty that no one's ever said before, but everything's been said before and better than I can say it. I'm so uninteresting, I hardly ever have an original thought... that is, I've thought I've had original thoughts, dispositions, but I realize painfully over and over again that all I really do is put what other people say in different words.

Sometimes it feels impossible to make my own educated decision. I'm not entirely lacking in free will, I can make the more obvious choices, though to my point I can't even think of any good examples right now. It's where I have to choose things for myself is where I get hung up. Do I want the cheeseburger or the chicken sandwich? Soup or salad? The red one or the blue one? Have I had too much caffeine today? Should I care how I dress?

It's hard to care about myself. I feel like a machine and if someone isn't telling me what to do I can't get anything done.

I got an air mattress and I finally got some sleep last night, I feel refreshed and I can really keep up today, but I still feel blank. Maybe this is how people are supposed to feel, but I still feel like I don't have identity, like I used to have more and now I've forgotten it somewhere. It makes it hard to be happy when I'm alone.

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Blah Blah Slashdot

Aphoxema Aphoxema writes  |  about 6 years ago

I really like slashdot, it's just got this wonderful feel to it and I have no idea what it is. Almost all the stories are things I'm interested in and most of the reporting is very neutral or on the side I like.

I've looked at The Register once it a while and I still look at Threat Level often, but Slashdot is the only site I look at every day and actually feel a need to keep up with.

I'm also not afraid to talk on it, but I feel like someone will actually see what I say so I won't just be forgotten.

I'm gonna donate 5 dollars right now now that I think about it and I actually have the money. I think I'll try to do it every month even.

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Bored and stuff.

Aphoxema Aphoxema writes  |  about 6 years ago

Blah blah blah I'm saying stuff.

I'm typing this on a Qwerty keyboard, but I'm used to Dvorak. Ever since I switched to Dvorak like 6 years ago I've only gotten faster and better on it and I don't type it Qwerty that often, so whenever I do it's like trying to get a grip on a little handle meant for children or a big handle meant for those big, giant, muscle man high caliber guns. Maybe both at the same time.

Either way it throws off what I'm doing and I mess up what I'm saying more than usual. It's annoying.

I'm kind of bored, too. I'm at 'work' right now at the college, a temporary student employee. Next semester I'll have more responsibilities and stuff but right now I'm in the 'Community Technology Center', a public computer room where anyone can come into and go online and print stuff.

Occasionally someone actually needs my help, but most of the time out of the 5 to 7 people that come in here, either no one really needs my help or I just have to point at one thing and they suddenly know what to do.

I also have to keep the printer full of paper and toner and blah blah blah.

And I have to keep the room at 73 fahrenheit, and being that it's 94 degrees out I didn't think to bring a hoodie with me.

I'm just glad I didn't have to walk today, I can walk the four miles just fine but it's too hot lately.

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