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NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times Per Year, Audit Finds

Bobtree Re:Brazil (312 comments)

Brazil is my favorite movie, and I will take your reference one step further to point out another scary thing that people tend miss on their first few viewings: there are no terrorists in the film, only routinely failing infrastructure, and the oblivious bureaucracy that places the blame on terrorism.

For completeness, I should say that Harry Tuttle does engineer one small disaster out of spite, but in general his M.O. is to go around fixing things without filing paperwork, and Sam Lowry sabotages the pneumatic tubes in his new office, but it's not suggested that everyone is as fed up as they are and therefor actively revolting against the system. The SWAT-style police entry and arrest of Buttle is also very destructive, as they fail to repair the damage, and then neglect it.

The real world does have actual terrorists, but they are similarly less threatening than our government and police and infrastructure.

about a year ago
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Can Valve's 'Bossless' Company Model Work Elsewhere?

Bobtree Yes, GE/Durham does something similar (522 comments)

Fast Company published this article about GE's Durham, NC jet engine factory: http://www.fastcompany.com/37815/engines-democracy

The plant opened in 1993 and is still running. The factory had 1 boss and 170 employees in 1999 when the article was written.

It predates Valve but tells the same basic story: doing a very hard thing in surprisingly smart ways with extraordinary people yields success. GE Durham also delivers on schedule, but they're engineering and manufacturing, not making creative entertainment on Valve time.

about a year and a half ago
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EA Building Microtransactions Into All of Its Future Games

Bobtree to paraphrase (303 comments)

EA: "We are making all our future games worse."

about a year and a half ago
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Valve's 'Steam Box' Console Is Real, Says Gabe Newell

Bobtree Re:Cartridges should make a comeback (298 comments)

> You want to get up and switch out the cartridge every time you wish to play another game?

I'd love to be able to plug in 10 cartridges and leave them there instead of swapping media.

about 2 years ago
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The Downside of Warp Drives: Annihilating Whole Star Systems When You Arrive

Bobtree so the old saying is true (235 comments)

You can't go home again.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Books Have Had a Significant Impact On Your Life?

Bobtree smart books (700 comments)

Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution, by Steven Levy.

The Invisible Gorilla: And Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us, by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons.

Blindsight, by Peter Watts.

about 2 years ago
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The History of 'Correlation Does Not Imply Causation'

Bobtree Re:Dating advice (223 comments)

I had the phrase "Desired: A woman who understands that correlation does not imply causality..." in my dating profile.

I married the woman who replied. Yes, I am surprised that worked as well.

But correlation does not imply causality, so you don't know for sure that it worked!

about 2 years ago
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US Military Designates Julian Assange an "Enemy of State"

Bobtree Re:So I suppose Obama (805 comments)

"Who the f*ck rated this garbage 'Insightful'?!?!"

Literal interpretation FAIL.

about 2 years ago
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Russia Builds World's Largest Nuclear Powered Ice-Breaker

Bobtree "depths" (153 comments)

If it ever navigates "the freezing depths of the Northern Sea" it will just be a very expensive nuclear powered shipwreck.

about 2 years ago
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Polish Researcher: Oracle Knew For Months About Java Zero-Day

Bobtree Re:Ditch Java entirely. (367 comments)

It goes more like this:

1) ???
2) Ditch Java
3) Profit!

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Place To Relocate?

Bobtree the secret ... (999 comments)

Those who live in a paradise don't want more people to move there.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

Bobtree Re:Neal Asher (1130 comments)

Asher is my favorite guilty pleasure. I would argue that he is on the hard end of the spectrum because it really is about the tech and aliens and AI ruled Polity and so on. These things are all central to the action rather than being backdrops or flavoring, and the space opera generally has some philosophical undercurrents.

Neal Asher writes a huge range of great monsters, action scenes with excellent pacing, firefights on seriously ridiculous scales, parasites with weird life-cycles, strange aliens and ecologies, and is just unreasonably fun to read. If he has a fault, it's underdeveloped villains with questionable motivations, but I'm happy to overlook them and get on with the good stuff.

Try Adaptogenic for an introductory Asher fix: http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/stories/adaptogenic.htm

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?

Bobtree Blindsight, by Peter Watts (1365 comments)

Blindsight, besides being the best thing I've ever read, has a rather stark outlook on the nature of consciousness and what that means for us as human beings. I don't consider it depressing, though some might, and Watts calls his portrayal of human nature "almost childishly optimistic."

From Watts' homepage: "Whenever I find my will to live becoming too strong, I read Peter Watts." —James Nicoll

more than 2 years ago
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Mitt Romney To Announce VP Decision Via Smartphone App

Bobtree Re:I think everyone has already made up their mind (461 comments)

> My prediction for the VP candidate is going to be a Cheney 2.0

I misread this and thought yes, a Cherry 2000 would make for a very interesting election.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over?

Bobtree Re:No (181 comments)

The headline is not the question asked by the submitter.

more than 2 years ago

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