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Video Game Playing Increases Food Intake In Teens

Ifni Entertainment = Increased consumption (99 comments)

It happens at amusement parks, during sporting events, etc. It may not be universal across all forms of entertainment, but it is across many. Sports bars are a more egregious contributor to obesity than computer gaming is ever likely to be.

more than 3 years ago

Dropbox Can't See Your Dat– Er, Never Mind

Ifni I doubt that it is encrypted at rest even (333 comments)

Unless they use the same key for every subscriber. Try this - grab a file off of Bit Torrent, most any file will do, but make sure it is at least a few hundred megs. Now, upload it to your Dropbox account. Notice how the sync process was near instant? Thats because DB has that file already - someone else already uploaded it and DB was able to match it by checksum, skipping the need to actually upload it. Now, take a file that is unique to you - maybe a zip containing your vacation photos. Make sure it is at least a few hundred megs in size. Now, upload that to Dropbox. Note that it takes quite a bit longer, more in line with what you would expect uploading a file from your computer to a remote server over the Internet. If your files on Dropbox were encrypted with a unique key, every file you uploaded would be unique, so from this it is obvious that Dropbox not only has the capability to decrypt your data, but it does so regularly, if it encrypts it at all. Their data de-duplication would not work optimally if they couldn't.

more than 3 years ago

RIAA Now Blames Journalists For Its Piracy Trouble

Ifni Re:Countersuit: (367 comments)

That, and the fact that by simply spamming the courts and the news channels with reports of their litigation, they have made far more people aware that tools actually exist for obtaining free music than would have otherwise been aware (i.e. Streisand Effect). I submit that while some of these newly informed might side with RIAA in condemning the users of these tools, the vast majority likely had a Eureka moment and began stocking up on their favorite tunes (or used the knowledge to better target their existing activities). Definitely a case of Pot v. Kettle.

more than 3 years ago

'The Laws Are Written By Lobbyists,' Says Google's Schmidt

Ifni Re:NO.. really? (484 comments)

Let me impart a little lesson on reading between the lines. You read that sentence and see "family values." Why shouldn't taking care of your home and raising your children be more important than taking an interest and participating in your government?

I read that sentence and I see the destruction of the nuclear family. Why is the parent picking up a child from daycare rather than caring for it at home? The reason, of course, is that most families are now dual income, with both parents working, which means that they do not have time to stay home and raise children. This was not true 50 years ago. It seems obvious to me that this is not progress - twice as much work must be done to achieve the same standard of living, though granted, with more cool gadgets. How did this come to pass? Politics. So, it seems obvious to me that taking an active interest in politics might be easily as important as many of the mundane things we do as part of our regular schedule.

It is less immediate, sure, but not less important.

more than 3 years ago

Senate Votes To Turn Down Volume On TV Commercials

Ifni Re:Smart Sound (625 comments)

Let me get this straight: I pay a cable bill sufficient to provide me access to every show I enjoy, and I have not been offered the opportunity to be a Nielson household, yet somehow my watching or not watching a TV show that I have paid for in a format of my choosing is both freeloading and magically detectable to the great and glorious content providers? It seems to me that if I'm not a Nielson household, my vote doesn't count to save the TV shows I like, but likewise I am not bound to watch the commercials I don't like, since my eyes aren't counted there either. In fact, by torrenting my favorite shows, my viewing habits can at least be counted

I will grant that if EVERYONE did it, or even just the Nielson households, then yes, we could end up in the Stygian world you imply. Or maybe, just maybe, the content distributors would wake up to the fact that we dislike loud commercials and like time-shifting. They might also be forced to place heavier consideration on online viewing numbers, and then start providing TV shows in the way the customer desires, while still generating revenue either by charging per episode, or by providing less obtrusive (or at least less numerous/obnoxiously loud) ads, perhaps by using TASTEFUL product placement rather than stand-alone ads.

Right now, we can be ignored, because we can't vote with our wallets. No one knows if we are watching their ads because we aren't in the magical .02% of US households that are measured. If EVERYBODY did it, then the industry would actually have to consider their customer's desires for once, and then we would have a voice. So you'll excuse me if I'm not exactly crying over your ideals.

more than 3 years ago

Family To Receive $1.5M+ In Vaccine-Autism Award

Ifni Re:Obligatory Penn&Teller (594 comments)

How old does a child need to be before they can get all of their vaccinations? Because to me, all of this anti-vax nonsense seems like a boon in disguise. Since only the stupid will be un-vaccinated, then when the epidemic caused by their failure to vaccinate comes about, they will be the only ones affected. It's like an epidemic that only affects stupid people - a win for society if you ask me. Except for that small window when newborns are too young to be properly vaccinated.

more than 3 years ago

Family To Receive $1.5M+ In Vaccine-Autism Award

Ifni Re:Previous condition (594 comments)

Actually, this means that fevers cause autism, in certain rare circumstances. Fevers, however, are fairly common and are practically guaranteed to happen sooner or later to a child (and certainly sooner when parents refuse vaccines and reduce herd immunity). As such, the vaccine simply had the misfortune to have caused it first (assuming that it was indeed a fever - or even a vaccine caused symptom - that triggered it). It's kind of like the parable of the man who was shot as he fell past a 10th story window. You could claim that it was the bullet that killed him and be technically correct, but the simple fact was that the sudden stop 10 stories below would have killed him in short order anyway. Either way, his death (or severe injury) was a certainty IN THE VERY NEAR TERM (for all those "everybody dies eventually" folks). Blaming the accidental shooter and holding them wholly responsible is ludicrous. This is in the same category as people suing McDonald's for making them fat.

more than 3 years ago

The Strange Case of Solar Flares and Radioactive Decay Rates

Ifni Re:No confirmation from Cassini (408 comments)

Not really. The thesis in the article from the summary is that the rotation of the sun causes the fluctuations - in other words, the side of the sun's core facing you impacts decay rate. The article cited in the GPP concerning measurements from Cassini ends indicating that orbital distance has no measurable effect, but suggests other options, one of which is orbital location, which I presume means which side of the sun you are on. In short, one of the possible explanations from the Cassini measurements has been given more support from the later research discussed in the summary.

more than 3 years ago

Rupert Murdoch Plans a Digital Newspaper For the US

Ifni Re:Great (237 comments)

And by "former member of the Chinese Communist Party" you mean that she was born in China, and has since become an American citizen, and is only a communist by right of birth, and not by any conscious political affiliation. The far right could learn a thing or two about sensationalizing the facts from you. I suppose I should start disclosing that I was once an honored guest of the Chinese Communist Party because I had a layover in Hong Kong once.

more than 3 years ago

US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign

Ifni Re:Wrong (1268 comments)

That is a good question. It seems logical that if one can't read, they also can't write, and so it stands to reason that one can graduate high school without learning how to write (if you take the statement you quoted as truth), which you seem to be implying is the case with the GPP. Of course, the statement allows that at least some high school graduates can read, and presumably write, so their ability to do (or not do) either tells us little about their graduation status. Without a knowledge of the educational distribution of Slashdot posters, any sort of educated guess would be unlikely. However, considering his familiarity and interest in the subject, I would imagine that the GPP is posting from a position of at least some experience with the subject, and therefore either has already graduated from high school, or is quite close to graduating.

My only source of confusion in the matter is why the answer to your question is important enough to undo your previous moderations, unless you had mis-modded and needed to post anyway to undue them.

more than 3 years ago

Senate Approves the ______Act Of____

Ifni Re:What is the Community Reinvestment Act? (571 comments)

Compliance is voluntary. Not complying will not bring penalties to existing bank business.

I'm not disagreeing (or agreeing) with your main point, but I simply wanted to point out the fallacy of this statement. Complying with CRA, from what I understand, provided huge competitive advantage in the form of increased license to merge, acquire, and otherwise grow as a business. This is like saying that adding a rule to soccer that allowed all team members to use their hands when handling the ball if they agreed to wear a Nike jersey is fair because it doesn't bring any penalties to those members who decline. While technically true in that they can continue to play exactly as they have before, they will inevitably be crushed as the competition gains immense advantage.

Now, if the CRA did assist in causing the crunch (and I'm not arguing either way as I don't know the full details), you could argue that those that suffered the disadvantage by not adopting it would win in the end, but the simple fact is that all of the banks knew full well that the government would save them, and so they could have their cake and eat it to by complying. Only the taxpayers lose.

more than 3 years ago

Survey Says Most iPhone Users Love AT&T

Ifni Car analogy (490 comments)

You go to get your car washed. You spot some attractive, scantily clad young ladies (or men, depending on your preference) offering car washes on the side of the road. You pull in and they wash your car. They charge you more than you would pay at a regular car wash, and they do a terrible job, but you were given a complimentary soft drink and a view of them for 15 minutes as they gyrated all around your car. How would you rate your car washing experience?

about 4 years ago

Survey Says Most iPhone Users Love AT&T

Ifni Re:Come on, parent is not a troll. (490 comments)

From the article, it is extremely likely that the main reason that the iPhone users rate AT&T so highly is because (*drum roll*) it has the iPhone. In short, they are fans of the iPhone, not really AT&T, but since AT&T is the exclusive carrier of the iPhone... The article links it to the supposed "Reality Distortion Field" that supposedly affects all users of Apple products (or at least the Apple Fanboys), but quite simply I think that it is that many of the iPhone users are extremely tolerant of network issues so long as they can have their iPhone and it works the majority of the time. When Verizon starts carrying the iPhone, you'll see the satisfaction level with AT&T drop like a stone.

Now, as for why the majority of these people *must* have an iPhone so badly, I refuse to speculate as it would probably result in some unfavorable comments about the Apple faithful.

As for why the Android repeat number is so low, I posit that if they limited the survey group to Android users that bought an Android phone that was equivalently priced with the iPhone, you'd see a dramatically higher percentage. Android's early (and still ongoing) market fragmentation resulted in many poor custom UIs and underpowered low-end devices, which negatively impacted its image. Not to mention, all Android users having to face iPhone envy because it was the "in" thing, and constantly making headlines thanks to Apple's image machine. Ask the Droid X or Evo or Nexus One users whether they'd buy another Android device, and I'd wager you'd see closer to a 75% (and quite probably higher) affirmative response.

about 4 years ago

Rough Justice For Terry Childs

Ifni Re:Before everybody gets their shorts all twisted (418 comments)

Really? Then why is it they consider my password and answering a personal question two-factor authentication? It's possible you work at one of the few banks that actually do authentication properly, but to generalize about the whole banking industry taking security seriously when they pull crap like that, and all but encourage identity theft is a little disingenuous.

more than 4 years ago

How Did Wikileaks Do It?

Ifni Re:They also left out a good deal of context (973 comments)

It's the second half of that video -- the part that seems to be ignored by that website of yours -- that baffles me. A van rides up to recover the last limping guy -- both the van and him showing no signs of hostility -- and the guys still beg their superiors for an OK to fire.

Wait, so once the bank robbers are running away, the police should stop chasing them? After all, they aren't showing any signs of hostility. Ok, that's a strawman because shooting is not the same as chasing, but you get the idea. Everybody's heard "run away and live to fight another day" (emphasis mine), but there is a flip side to that - if your enemy gets to run away, they also get to live to fight (and kill your friends) another day. While the attack may have been unwarranted in whole, preventing the enemy from escaping makes absolute sense.

more than 4 years ago

Puzzle In xkcd Book Finally Cracked

Ifni Re:The problem is that there's no article. (90 comments)

Anonymous Coward is jealous of someone 10+ years his junior being more talented and successful. Oh, and the humor is over his head, so it must be juvenile. He was also heard to exclaim "get off my lawn!"

more than 4 years ago

Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down

Ifni Pirated copy incomplete (634 comments)

From Ubisoft concerning the announcement of the crack:

Please know that this rumor is false and while a pirated version may seem to be complete at start up, any gamer who downloads and plays a cracked version will find that their version is not complete.

So, apparently, this inability to play is the feature that those who pirate the game are missing out on...

more than 4 years ago

Ars Technica Inveighs Against Ad Blocking

Ifni Re:How is this different than muting TV commercial (1051 comments)

No, but the revenue paid to the content providers based on advertising might diminish, thus impacting the quality of programming. If you thought the reduction of quality due to network greed was bad, just wait until they had to deal with genuine financial issues as well.

Currently, advertising rates are calculated based on the expectation that a certain percentage of viewers will make a snack or hit the head during the commercial break. They perform studies to fine tune the percentage rates used for such calculations and it varies based on time slot and programing type. Chances are, if they could suddenly get an accurate count of actual commercials viewed, the revenue wouldn't change too much.

more than 4 years ago

Ars Technica Inveighs Against Ad Blocking

Ifni Re:Block content and... (1051 comments)

This may be an option for larger sites, but for smaller sites the overhead would likely eat up any revenue that the ads themselves would provide. And I'm not just talking about bandwidth, but interfacing with the clients and vetting their ads to make sure that they meet your standards. The latter part is still required even if you use ads provided by some third party ad agency (you would likely just have some automated script downloading their ads to your server nightly). And even then, the unscrupulous advertiser will simply set up the ad to behave well when you view it, but behave obnoxiously when viewed by others, preventing you from properly vetting it. You can block all ads from that agency or company, but most of these are probably random fly by night organizations and a new one will just crop up, owned and operated by the same people, to continue their atrocious practices.

The point is, hosting the ads on your site only solves the problem of slow ad servers holding up the page loading. It provides additional overhead that is costly to the larger sites and unmanageable to the smaller ones without significantly improving ad quality. Disallowing Flash and JavaScript ads may work, and I can support such an initiative, but ads that are easy to ignore don't generate revenue, and thus become less attractive to advertisers, eventually cutting off the revenue streams of your favorite sites.

more than 4 years ago



The Times of London to charge for website

Ifni Ifni writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ifni (545998) writes "Making good on Rupert Murdoch's plan to charge for News Corp online content, the Times of London and The Sunday Times will begin charging readers for access starting in June. Customers will be charged £1 ($1.50, or 1.10 euros) for one day's access and £2 for a week's subscription. News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks also hinted that these two papers are merely "the first of our four titles in the UK to move to this new approach." News International, a division of Murdoch's News Corporation, also owns The Sun tabloid and Sunday tabloid, News of the World."
Link to Original Source

Vatican snubs Intelligent Design, Creationism

Ifni Ifni writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Ifni (545998) writes "The Vatican appears to be continuing inroads toward a peaceful coexistence of religion and reason, at least on the evolution debate. The Associated press reports that a recent conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University denied access to members of The Discovery Institute, the main organization backing ID. The Vatican still has many prominent supporters of Creationism and is thus still divided on the issue, despite any outcomes from this conference."


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