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Lawyer Is Big Winner In Webcamgate Settlement

Etrias Re:Associated costs (475 comments)

bullshit.

Holy shit, who modded this informative? This guy isn't a lawyer, he "works with electricians and home owners".

Know what, my wife is a lawyer and I feel barely qualified to answer this post. What I do know is that my wife couldn't legally give advice to people unless she was a member of that state's bar association, even though she had been admitted into three other states and two federal jurisdictions. The law isn't the same from state to state and you can be held liable for your legal opinions.

more than 3 years ago
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Browser-Based Deep Space Nine MMO Coming In 2011

Etrias Re:Look on the bright side... (153 comments)

What? Did you read your own comment? Anyone who describes a game to me like you just did with STO, I know I'd take a pass on that game. I regret I even played a month of STO because it was so shit. Yeah, space combat was fun until you realized it was the same damn thing over and over and over again.

Plus, did you know there were people who hit level cap before the game officially launched, essentially getting there in the two day head start period for those who pre-ordered? STO is not a solid game, but I will agree with you that there are worse games out there.

more than 3 years ago
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Does the GOP Pay Friendly Bloggers?

Etrias Re:Of Course Not! (759 comments)

Actually, where I live, that might be considered a valid argument.

more than 3 years ago
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Co-op Neverwinter RPG Announced For 2011

Etrias Cryptic? (169 comments)

I see a lot of the comments are taking sides on which rules edition is best and that's fine and to be expected. Problem is, the biggest issue on this is not that they're using the 4e rule set, but that they handed yet another beloved property to Cryptic. Y'know, the guys who took the Star Trek MMO license and took a big steamy dump on it. The guys who took their Champions Online engine and skinned it Star Trek then called it a days work. The company who innovated on how to nickel and dime their player base and laughed from their pile of money conned from a bunch of Trek fans. The company that promised Atari that it could publish a new MMO every year so they could rake in the cash.

Yeah, this isn't Bioware doing Neverwinter Nights as an MMO, this is just Cryptic preparing to kick yet another nerd group right in the balls. My bet is that their precious "character customization" selling point, which they mention in every goddamn fluff piece from their marketing department is the same thing from when they were involved with City of Heroes/Villians which really amounts to your various options on a slider bar. Bah, I'm never giving Cryptic another damn dime. Gaming is better off if this company goes broke and folds.

more than 3 years ago
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Tensions Rise Between Gamers and Game Companies Over DRM

Etrias Re:Is he bloody stupid? (447 comments)

I have a hard time calling a game that's released to different platforms a port. In the case of Dragon Age, Bioshock and Fallout 3 were all released to multiple platforms on launch...so you didn't get any of that right. Mass Effect was a port, but ME2 had a multiple platform launch.

Just because a game comes out with controls that work on consoles and PCs does not mean that it's a port. Sure the controls are dumbed down a bit, but not enough to dent the fun factor in the game.

more than 3 years ago
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A Battle of Wits On the Net's Effect On the Mind

Etrias tl;dr (218 comments)

Next topic, please.

more than 4 years ago
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Pentagon Seeking Out Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Etrias Re:As they should be. (628 comments)

You've got that backwards. Who watches the watchmen? I see what you did there.

You've played this little switch to make it look like WikiLeaks is the custodian, the watchman...but your own logic proves otherwise. You even say that this is Pentagon information, that some secrets should be kept secret and that by just living in the US, we've agreed to that contract.

Wrong, sir. Simply wrong. I'm going to bypass most of what you said because it's simple double-speak. You frame this in a way that is cowardly. Unarmed civilians, collateral murder...both within quotes as if to say that killing unarmed people is okay, that it is a justification. I'm not going to wade into the situation of the battle, but I posit to you that we can and should do better.

The government makes mistakes and we have seen too many times that it tries to cover them up rather than owning up to them. As a country we should strive for that higher ideal. Then perhaps the need for secrets, especially of a botched military operation where civilians died, doesn't need to become a state secret.

more than 4 years ago
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US Changes How Air Travelers Are Screened

Etrias Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (260 comments)

My great-grandmother understood what a laptop was the first time she saw one and she was born in 1900. Do you think the Founding Fathers were stupider than her?

Where did I say this? I'm not saying that the Founders wouldn't be capable of understanding today's technology, but you seem to assume they would be able to immediately jump into our current society.

Your next ideas are all strawmen to the original thought. Personally, I don't care what your father was brought up with because you are demonstrating the ability to adapt with changes over time...same thing with your grandma. Pluck them out of time and then drop them into where we are now. My laptop might be considered witchcraft by the standards of a 1700's land owner because of the countless pieces that make it so--electricity, transistors, silicon, not to mention all of the abstract concepts that go into a program or operating system.

As far as your arguments about abstract concepts, I wish people would read them and other historical documents of the time. Of course, our soundbyte era has taken nearly all of these documents out of context and I find it hilarious when I find a Jefferson quote used to support unrestricted consumerism or people that consider that the constitution, a document that has worked into its fabric the ability to amend itself, is considered to be untouchable and unchanging.

more than 4 years ago
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US Changes How Air Travelers Are Screened

Etrias Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (260 comments)

No it's not. You know who I might trust? US Marshalls on board. Anything less and that's just fucking stupid. You cram in as many people aboard a tin can and expect people to be civil, it wouldn't take very much to watch air accidents go up exponentially. You are conveniently leaving out the human equation here. A US Marshall is on board, doing his/her job. You're willing to let any schmoe with a "permit", for whatever that's worth, carry a weapon on a plane. Could be that he's had a bad day and is not in the right frame of mind to make rational decisions and being armed might just give him reasons to act irrationally. No thank you. I'd rather risk the ridiculously rare event that a terrorist tries to take over a plane than have numerous armed strangers aboard every day.

And apparently you don't think that decompression aboard a plane is a serious enough event to want to prevent. Your concept of airline safety is much different than mine.

Dies(sic) that mean the "don't kill other people" argument also wears thin, or the "don't steal" one? There is no specific mention of an invading army, the intent was "defense of self and others, regardless of the source of the attack."

You forgot this then from your original post:

They had boats, those not-so-mythical things called pirates, terrorists, and invading armies back then, and they dealt with them as they encountered them.

To which I was responding. Ah, then in your second post, you talk about what "the intent" was... So in this enlightened time where you are trying to put together an argument, I might have misread your intent? Do you see where I'm going with this? What gives you special insight to what the Founders intended or that the introduction of new information may change that "intent".

Of course, silly me... Writing letters and sending them to people was a completely foreign concept to them... oh, wait, it wasn't. Oh, maybe the "talking to multiple people at once" part?

Don't be obtuse. You write a letter back in the 1700's, it would take days/weeks/months to get to it's destination. We have the possibility to converse in near real-time on a forum and in real time if we go to something like chat or IRC. Taking your argument to the logical extreme, which you seem so fond of doing, then we really don't have much different than our ancient ancestors from Persia, or even back further. You seem to assume that nothing is that much different from when we finally came out of our caves.

If you were to bring any of the founders to today they would be shocked at where we are and might struggle to understand many concepts we take for granted. This is still a time where they treated diseases with leaches for God's sake. If I showed even Thomas Jefferson my laptop, you think he could immediately get his brain around it? The more and more we progress, the more abstract our concepts become, but no...you seem to think that they'll understand everything and want to continue on just as they did back in 1770.

more than 4 years ago
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US Changes How Air Travelers Are Screened

Etrias Re:So, basically, Stop Brown People For Being Brow (260 comments)

Setting aside your interpretation of the 2nd amendment, there are few worse things that I can think of than allowing untrained armed citizens aboard a commercial airliner. You have heard of decompression, right?

Similarly, your thought that the "original intent" should be carried to the end of time argument wears thin. Pirates were often mercenaries of the state and terrorists were pirates. Any thought of an invading army of America makes me chuckle and think that someone's been watching Red Dawn once too often.

Also, if you think then is not so different from now, just try to imagine what the founders would have thought of what we're doing right now on Slashdot. The internet would have blown their mind...and that's pretty commonplace today.

more than 4 years ago
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University of Wyoming Studies Video Games

Etrias Re:Heh (81 comments)

Jason Thompson...Jack Thompson's smarter brother.

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.

more than 4 years ago
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NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

Etrias Depends on your education (314 comments)

Interesting. Funny though that I used to do all of my shopping through Pricewatch ages ago and got tired of having to order each separate part from a different company to get the lower price which was almost always compensated by outrageous shipping prices.

There's something to be said about paying a bit more (usually trivially more) for good customer service. Price is not the end all/be all for me as a consumer. You should notice that not once I mentioned price as a reason to shop from Newegg. As a company, they have my trust and that's difficult to do with people just slashing prices. And as another poster mentioned, if I order a part in stock, it is usually out the door that day. Also, I don't have to keep little pieces of paper everywhere from separate retailers to find out exactly what part I ordered as Newegg keeps a record of my purchases with my account that's easily accessible.

If price is your only yardstick for measuring, then you would be right. Fortunately for me, I educated myself on their other offerings and chose a company that delivers more than simple price breaks.

more than 4 years ago
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NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

Etrias Re:New Egg (314 comments)

I've bought a lot of stuff from Newegg and they've been really good. They often get good marks for their RMA policy and returns on DOA equipment. Looks like to me they took the right steps here including stopping the relationship with the supplier who gave them the phony i7s and working to replace the ones that went out. There's nothing here that would prevent me from shopping with them again.

more than 4 years ago
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NewEgg Confirms Shipping Fake Core i7s

Etrias Re:Caveat Emptor (314 comments)

I'm not sure quoting Yahoo Serious will get you +5 Funny. Maybe +5 What the Hell?

more than 4 years ago
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Triumph of the Cyborg Composer

Etrias Re:So what... (502 comments)

Plagiarized is really not the right word here. There was a time where composers actively used themes from other composers and composed variations around it. Doing so was often a great compliment to the initial composer. Times change, huh?

more than 4 years ago
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Triumph of the Cyborg Composer

Etrias Re:It's also not a case of so what if (502 comments)

I agree with 99% of your post. But I think you're missing an important point from the OP. Good musicians and composers have an intuitive feel of what makes good music. In Mozart's case, he very much learned the "music rules" (for lack of a better term) that everyone was using at the time, but what was special is what he could do with it and the subtle ways he would play with structure and tonality which were not only unique, but rarely repeated since.

And actually after listening to the music produced by this computer linked in the article...eh, I'm not all that impressed. Simple, contrapuntal music, the first sample highlighted by harmonic arpeggio under a simple moving melody and the second sample hinting at a fugue...but you only heard two voices until the clip ran out. I would need to hear more to be duly impressed, but even then I probably won't care about this music.

Here's why. This guy has essentially worked on this program for thirty years, plugging in scores from other composers. He worked out the pattern recognition with various composers and told the program to do exactly that. The program is really only doing what he told it to do, which is imitate and parrot. Thing is, it might be good or it might be bad, but who determines if it's good or not? Is it Cope himself? The beauty of the great composers is that you can listen to their music and recognize it by it's voice. Mozart has a certain sound, as does Beethoven, as does Stravinsky, and the list goes on and on. Hell, if you looked at most movie scores, you can tell who wrote the orchestral parts (I find Williams and Horner pretty easy to spot--especially their early stuff). What voice does this computer bring to composing or does it do nothing but imitate?

Also, this guy seems to contradict himself. Take this bit from the article:

“We are so damned biased, even those of us who spend all our lives attempting not to be biased. Just the mere fact that when we like the taste of something, we tend to eat it more than we should. We have our physical body telling us things, and we can’t intellectually govern it the way we’d like to,” he says. In other words, humans are more robotic than machines. “The question,” Cope says, “isn’t whether computers have a soul, but whether humans have a soul.”

Against the end of the article:

As a composer, Cope laments, he remains a “frustrated loser,” confused by the fact that he burned so much time on a project that stole him away from composing. He still just wants to create that one piece that changes someone’s life — it doesn’t matter whether it’s composed by one of his programs, or in collaboration with a machine, or with pencil on a sheet of paper. “I want that little boy or girl to have access to my music so they can play it and get the same thrill I got when I was a kid,” he says. “And if that isn’t gonna happen, then I’ve completely failed.”

So on one hand, he says humans are nothing more than robots with input/output commands and the next he wants to compose something that will change their life. On the one hand, he tries feigning modesty and then the next, he claims his work will eventually change how all composing is done. Aesthetically, I prefer the old human way. Just look at today's pop music to see what happens when you apply a set formula to something that is supposed to be subjective.

more than 4 years ago
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"Green" Ice Resurfacing Machines Fail In Vancouver

Etrias Re:Time to Move Winter Games OR Invent Warm-Wx Gam (356 comments)

The cabal exists, of that there is no doubt, certainly since the leaked emails.

Ridiculous. They had access to years of the CRU's communication and the mere shreds of emails they could come up with were bits and pieces of infighting and revealed them not as conspirators, but human beings. And what was the result of those emails passed within the CRU? Nothing, really. No FOIA request turned down (or evidence gone missing), no papers withheld from publication, no worldwide cabal. Again, I'll provide another link.

Two further points I want to make here. Among all the uproar of the CRU hack, where is the outrage that their server was compromised? Apparently thuggery is quite acceptable. Pity they couldn't find anything over a span of thirteen years that was more damning than bickering between scientists. Secondly, the timing of the emails is very curious considering the approaching summit in Copenhagen.

You said that you have dealt with scientists. That's good. It is too bad though that they aren't climate researchers as they could probably articulate climate change far better than I can.

more than 4 years ago
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"Green" Ice Resurfacing Machines Fail In Vancouver

Etrias Re:Time to Move Winter Games OR Invent Warm-Wx Gam (356 comments)

This is not handwaving away. If you cannot be bothered to read...

As for your last comment, why should the oil companies pay you anything as willful ignorance is so easy to cultivate?

And that's the one thing that continually puzzles me about Slashdot. You would think that a site that actually talks about science would be supportive of the science that's out there. But then there's loads of people like you who find it easier to believe that there's a cabal of scientists who are bending the numbers of their research in order to...what exactly? Fat science grants? Certainly then you've not been exposed to any scientists doing work.

Perhaps it would be better if you saw this which is a list of those who have come forward and said that climate change is real. You may be surprised by the list. I'm not kidding myself though as it is much, much easier to look out the window and make your decisions rather than looking at a bigger picture.

more than 4 years ago
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"Green" Ice Resurfacing Machines Fail In Vancouver

Etrias Re:Time to Move Winter Games OR Invent Warm-Wx Gam (356 comments)

The 1970's "global cooling" myth has been debunked quite soundly. It's basically a talking point for people who deny climate change by saying "we've been through all this before". The actual prevailing science through the 1970's is that the planet was actually experiencing global warming, but was carelessly misreported by some news outlets, which happened to catch because of the alarmist tone taken by the articles.

A single weather event does not make climate. That's as stupid as saying that tonight, when the sun goes down it will always be dark because there's no sun.

I don't wonder why there are so many skeptics. Many people can't be bothered to actually look into things that might be concerning to them because it is so much easier to find a website that supports their view. Your like my dad who doesn't believe in the whole climate change because he doesn't believe it. Nothing more. Have you talked to a scientist who works in climate research? I have. I'm betting that you haven't.

more than 4 years ago

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