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Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds

FooAtWFU Re:Jackpot! (146 comments)

clearly it was a false-flag operation by the Secret Service themselves </tinfoilhat>

4 days ago
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Feds Operated Yet Another Secret Metadata Database Until 2013

FooAtWFU Re:I predict far less outrage (102 comments)

Nah, when a citizen gets murdered, there's supposed to be a trial.

Okay. You're alleging racist treatments of minorities based on prosecutors failing to indict cops who kill black people.

There's supposed to get a trial when a prosecutor thinks that he can convict the guy of some crime. "Police officer shoots random innocent in what appears to be a tragic accident possibly involving negligence" is apparently not one of those cases, for some reason or another -- probably the cozy relationship between prosecutors and the police, which is dubious enough.

But I want to contend that it's not really racist: they really wouldn't hold a trial in a similar case if the guy shot was white, and if you keep playing at it for racial reasons you will fail to effect meaningful policy changes that will address the issue, which would be more unfortunate for minorities than it would for me or most Slashdot readers (because we're demographically less likely to come into contact with law enforcement, in part because we're fancy computer programmer types who make a lot of money and can afford to live in neighborhoods which aren't riddled with crime).

about two weeks ago
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Cryptocurrency Based Basic Income Program Started In Finland

FooAtWFU Re:Sounds suspiciously like welfare. (109 comments)

I love the concept in theory, but a society rich enough to afford one is pretty unimaginable in today's world. Western societies are clearly incapable of even providing the current levels of welfare let alone a vastly larger level.

Well, to be fair to the basic-income schemes people propose, they're supposed to turn the current levels of overall welfare spending into more effective levels of welfare by disintermediating the funds from the millions of government employees who are paid to manage it (and paid reasonably well, at that).

about three weeks ago
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Little-Known Programming Languages That Actually Pay

FooAtWFU Re:Once you know ASN.1.. (242 comments)

What needs to die are the network equipment manufacturers who change the meaning of OIDs on minor firmware version updates (because they're autogenerated from some XML somewhere and someone deleted an element in the middle of a list).

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

FooAtWFU Re:Dupe (840 comments)

Oh really? Broken-window fallacy much? Think of what our economy could do if these people spent that laptop cash on something better...

about three weeks ago
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2015 Means EU Tax Increase On Cloud Storage, E-books and Smartphone Applications

FooAtWFU Re:$1B in new tax revenue! (164 comments)

It's particularly lovely in this case because you need to record not just the customer's location and the tax rate there, but also some corroborating evidence that the customer is in fact in that location, then register with the appropriate authority in that location. The reporting burden is going to mean fewer small sites capable of doing their own checkout process.

about a month ago
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War Tech the US, Russia, China and India All Want: Hypersonic Weapons

FooAtWFU Re:Credibility is subtle (290 comments)

If %G is good enough for Twitter, it's good enough for me!

about a month ago
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Early Bitcoin Adopters Facing Extortion Threats

FooAtWFU Re:Still can't believe (106 comments)

It's Capitalism 101.

While the general snark in this comment is evident, I have to protest about conflating private ownership of the means of production with government agencies wasting money doing useless tasks (to say nothing of the risks associated with it).

Perhaps the inability to differentiate these two is actually something that's common these days, though, which would explain a lot about modern discourse on the topic -- likewise the conflation of "jobs" and "wealth" (the former being a means to an end).

about 1 month ago
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First Airbus A350 XWB Delivered, Will Start Service in January

FooAtWFU Re:5% less leg room? (65 comments)

I have switched from air to train travel in Europe because flying has become too uncomfortable for tall people.

From my preliminary understanding of things, you wouldn't be using Qatar Airways for flights within Europe anyway. They're more of a long-haul hub-and-spoke model airline that could take you from Europe to Africa or east Asia with a one-stop trip. For intra-European air travel you'd use a different airline, and probably a different model of airplane, optimized for fuel efficiency on shorter-haul trips (and possibly a narrowbody plane, if the airports in question aren't so busy that they're trying to max out every landing slot).

about a month ago
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First Airbus A350 XWB Delivered, Will Start Service in January

FooAtWFU Re:Qatar? (65 comments)

Open up a map and check out where Qatar is. It's kind of smack dab in the middle of the Eastern Hemisphere's inhabited landmasses. This makes for a really nice hub-and-spoke model air service.

about a month ago
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Romanian Cybersecurity Law Will Allow Warrantless Access To Data

FooAtWFU Re:LOL fascists (62 comments)

You know, some day some group is going to rise up against a crony-infested system designed to funnel money to the wanton rapacious capitalist elites, and will replace it with a crony-resistant system -- instead of just replacing it with a differently awful crony-infested system using the leftism de jure.

about a month ago
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Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

FooAtWFU Re:Limit it to actual war fare games (232 comments)

the perennial favorite thermo-nuclear war. Though the last one would actually be pretty boring. The players would have to do nothing to compete.

The real problem with thermonuclear war as Olympic sport? The only way to win is not to play.

about a month ago
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Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

FooAtWFU Re:I never have understood (265 comments)

Every nation has a currency. The US economy is just as prone to stagnation, deficit, over, and under valuing as any other currency.

See, you used two words in that sentence. One of them is economy, the other is currency. They're related, but they're not the same. The thing that matters to most US residents is the economy -- specifically that it will be growing enough that it's possible to find a job in it which will secure a certain amount of output to secure one's well-being. (Residents saving for retirement benefit from both). The thing that matters to someone who borrow or lend or hold dollars isn't the economy per se, it's the fact that he can use that dollar in the future to buy a predictable amount of goods and services: price stability. (Stability is better than an increase in value of those dollars, because borrowing and lending need to balance each other out... besides, if you really wanted returns you'd find a real investment, not cash.)

The US has flirted with price stability issues in the past (look at the 1970s and early 1980s), but not to the extent that Russia is experiencing right now. Russia has issued additional rubles through the state-backed Rosneft bond offering (a bailout averting a bankruptcy for one of Putin's top cronies) which was the proximate cause of the ruble free-fall, and because of sanctions, falling oil prices, and general economic decline outside of the oil sector, the ability of a ruble to purchase valuable goods and services (like oil) in the future is in question. China, meanwhile, has its own set of currency controls (hence a thriving black market in RMB-USD) and central-bank interventions of a scope and magnitude which make QE and QE2 look small.

So what else are you going to use? Euros? No way, I thought you were worried about stagnation and deficits and stuff. Gold? Oh, yeah, obviously it's been an absolute MODEL of price stability lately, hahahahahahahahahaha... Bitcoin? Makes gold look good. Pounds sterling? Mmmaybe, in a pinch. Then most of the other currencies are on the small side, so it's harder to use them in high volumes.

about a month ago
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Google Suggests Separating Students With 'Some CS Knowledge' From Novices

FooAtWFU Re: In other words, ... (307 comments)

Perhaps there's something to the pervasive media narrative about Silicon Valley after all. Not only do they have no ability to relate to the non-asian and non-white crowd but they also have no ability to relate to whites that aren't rich enough for east coast boarding schools either.

Wait, boarding schools? I don't think that's Silicon Valley you're talking about, my friend. I could see Wall Street being accused of that, maybe...

about a month and a half ago
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French Cabbies Say They'll Block Paris Roads On Monday Over Uber

FooAtWFU Re:So basically.. (295 comments)

The taxi drivers feel like they own the customers. Not the whole customer, mind you (that'd be slavery). Just a little piece.

about a month and a half ago
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Canada Waives Own Rules, Helps Microsoft Avoid US Visa Problems

FooAtWFU Re:Fucking Hell, Harper needs to go! (122 comments)

"Canadian jobs"? Do Canadians own those jobs? Perhaps this should be better-codified, then! I mean, there are places in the world where people own jobs and are legally entitled to sell the job or pass it on to their children. Mexico teachers' unions come to mind. Of course, they're also a textbook case of dysfunction and an entitlement mentality trying to dignify itself with the trappings of leftism.

Anyway. Essentially what I'd like to get at is that this is a hideously ugly form of nationalism which doesn't really deserve any of the dignity of the idealized socialist struggle (CS workers as the proletariat, ha!) and miserable economic policy to boot. (no nation in history has ever become prosperous by isolating itself from trade.)

Of course, the real question is why the US needs to launder these workers through Canada and doesn't just let them in directly (we're clearly letting in plenty of unskilled workers, after all...)

about a month and a half ago
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How the Pentagon's Robots Would Automate War

FooAtWFU Re:So it's not Skynet vs humans (117 comments)

Why are people so quick to go to the sci-fi stories of the army of robots rising up to destroy humanity when there's still ample room for exploration of the robot's masters subjugating Earth to their will (a far likelier prospect, to boot?)

Weak. Cliché.

about 2 months ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

FooAtWFU Re:Oh, boy! (287 comments)

$10.69 in 2014 dollars, but it's worth noting that was at its peak and so a uniquely misleading selection if you're comparing the current minimum wage to historical norms.

about 2 months ago
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How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

FooAtWFU Re:Elections are Popularity Contests (72 comments)

Because different faces, or parties for that matter, tend to pursue similar policies?

Right! If we'd elected McCain instead of Obama in 2008, the Affordable Care Act as we know it today would still be more or less intact, we'd still have withdrawn American forces from Iraq on the same schedule, and we'd still be shaking hands with China over a miniature climate agreement. In smaller matters, the Keystone pipeline would still be in limbo (just because that's easier than killing it explicitly). Et cetera et cetera.

about 2 months ago
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Uber Threatens To Do 'Opposition Research' On Journalists

FooAtWFU Re:Uber is a Pump-n-Dump scheme (299 comments)

With all due disrespect to Uber's extant valuation projections, you've used airlines as an example. Besides the fact that people travel on the ground more than they travel through the air, airlines are notorious for having razor-thin margins, spotty track records of profitability and a tendency to go broke on short notice. Their capital stock is a double-edged sword. You may have heard a joke: "How do you become a millionaire in the airline industry? Well, you start out as a billionaire..."

The real questions about Uber are how big the new market they want to build actually is, and why some competitor won't grab substantial portions of that market from them.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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GitHub takes down parody 'C Plus Equality' programming language

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  about a year ago

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "Some clowns and jokers over at 4chan thought it would be a funny idea to put together a web page for a programming language named "C Plus Equality" as a parody of feminism, dismissing OOP as "objectifying" and inheritance as "a tool of the patriarchy". But this parody was apparently too hot to host at Github, which took down the original Github repository after receiving criticism on Twitter, prompting a backlash and inquiry into the role of free speech and censorship on Github's platform. The project has since found a new home on BitBucket, at least for the time being."
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Monte Cristo axes MMO servers for Cities XL

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  about 5 years ago

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "When Monte Cristo released Cities XL in October 2009, the spiffy new feature was the "Planet Offer", a massively-multiplayer world where you could visit other players' cities, trade for resources, and construct special landmarks. A neat idea — but now they're pulling the plug, citing a lack of interest and subscriptions. (Perhaps $9/mo was a trifle steep). Does Monte Cristo's experience mark a speed bump for publishers eager to jump on the MMO bandwagon for an easy stream of subscription revenue? The game was dinged by critics (and many users) for feeling rushed and incomplete at its release (you couldn't even build any public transit) but online features and incremental improvements were touted as its salvation."
Link to Original Source
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Review: Cities XL

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 5 years ago

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "Thursday I recieved a copy of a new computer game: Cities XL, by Monte Cristo. It's been a while since there's been a major new contender in the sim game genre. While SimCity 4 was solid, SimCity societies is widely regarded as an abomination, and Monte Cristo's earlier City Life's game has a class-warfare dynamic which puts it in a space outside your normal vanilla city simulation. So when the demos came out of Cities XL featuring things like big sprawling highway interchanges and massive bridges and skyscrapers and curved roads (it's 2009, about time) it was a breath of fresh air on the scene. The initial reviews were pretty positive, and the extra features like "megastructures" and a real economy and trade between players and everything were gravy. Thus Monte Cristo promised the world, and they might even deliver it... but it's going to be at least 6 months late.

For Cities XL not finished. In fact, it's not even close. The list of 'things that are not available' includes some you'd think would be pretty basic, like: oh, bus stops, railroads, really any transit systems. It's funny: you can see the user interface options for some of these (the "neighbor railroad link" for instance) — you could see them in the demo! — but they're just not there. They haven't been programmed. If not otherwise informed you might wait until your city has a million people in hopes of unlocking the buildings, but they just don't exist. There are other places with pretty slim pickings, too: there is exactly one "park" structure, and it doesn't actually do anything for your city. Moreover it's clear from the 150 megabytes of patches you had to download right out the door that Monte Cristo was shipping this game well before they were finished with it.

And then there's the "Planet Offer". They want you to pay another $80/yr or so in order to let you build 5 cities that connect to their online trade system. So that you can get additional maps to supplement the meager collection they provided to begin with. And so you can get a discount on the imminent ski-resort expansion pack. (Really?) I wasn't in a particularly grand mood after learning about the game's incomplete state, and this "offer" didn't do anything to make it better.

That said, Cities XL is still — somehow — an okay sort of little city building game. The zoning interface is pretty innovative. The roads are decently realistic. You can make some really pretty little city layouts. The online economy's a little clunky yet, with contracts being canceled too abruptly without enough explanation, but I successfully engaged in commodities market arbitrage (doing things like buying heavy industrial output in units of 1 and 2 and selling it to the computer player in lots of 5 at a 66% markup).

I can forgive a few rough edges in multiplayer for a new game, especially an MMO economy, and I can even overlook little things like a memory leak that somehow makes the Trade screen slower than the rest of the game put together, or the fact that over a dozen patches each wanted their own UAC prompt, or that the registration system was somewhat nightmarish. But the combination of these rough edges, multiple major unfinished features, and pushing a "pay us more money" tactic doesn't make the game feel like a good deal. It just makes it feel like you're being nickeled and dimed to death, and throwing good money after bad. Avoid this game until it's picked up a clearer sense of direction."

Link to Original Source
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Model's lawsuit forces Google to identify blogger

FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 5 years ago

FooAtWFU (699187) writes "Liskula Cohen, a model for Vogue, has successfully sued Google to force them to identify a blogger who called her mean names (such as "skank", "old hag" and "ho") so that she can file a defamation lawsuit. The case could set a dangerous precedent for anonymous speech online. Regrettably, the original blog postings have been taken down."
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FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Fennec writes "Jeremiah Paleck wasn't too excited about the Vista launch, so he decided to have some fun, creating a sheet of Windows error stickers for A4 sticker paper (informing us gravely, "Error: The operation completed successfully"). BoingBoing and Engadget report, with an image of the sticker neatly placed in a Windows Vista advertisement at a bus stop in Prague. It seems that perhaps Vista's advertising campaign has been infected with a little "viral marketing"..."
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FooAtWFU FooAtWFU writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Fennec writes "Amazon.com has launched a beta of a new service called Askville, yet another online answers service, flavored with "Experience Points, Levels, and Quest Coins." These coins will supposedly become useful some day on another Amazon service that's not actually open yet, Questville. If this virtual currency becomes useful, could Askville fill a place between strictly volunteer systems and pay-for-answer services like the now-defunct Google Answers? Or is it destined to fail in the already-saturated online Q&A market?"

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