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Sony and Toyota Bring Real-Life Racing Into the Game World

Ira Sponsible Other way around would be more fun. (42 comments)

Let me race the car in GT6, remotely operating the car on the real track. Why can't we have this instead?

about 9 months ago

Ostrich-Egg Globe Believed Oldest To Show New World

Ira Sponsible Re:that was (63 comments)

Yes indeed. This is yet more evidence of Intelligent Design. How else could such a marvellous thing get crapped out of an animal so clearly showing what man had not yet learned about the shape of our planet?

about a year ago

Archaeologists Discover Lost City In Cambodian Jungle

Ira Sponsible In other (related) news... (91 comments)

In other news, Archaeologists have recently deciphered the most ancient text ever written by man. It was a list of most fuckable animals that Adam wrote before God created Eve.

about a year and a half ago

DRM: How Book Publishers Failed To Learn From the Music Industry

Ira Sponsible Re:Don't blame the book industry... (212 comments)

Bullshit. Amazon does not require DRM. It is an option that the publisher chooses. I chose no DRM for my book, because I think DRM is stupid. (link) Once upon a time, long ago, Amazon may have put on DRM by default, but they've given publishers (big and small) the option to have it or not for a long time. Bitch at the publishers about DRM, and unnecessarily high prices for ebooks. They need to learn that both of these are turning off customers and depressing sales.

about a year and a half ago

How Mobile Devices Kill Your Creativity

Ira Sponsible I know I'm an edge case... (126 comments)

My mobile devices have actually contributed to my creativity. I'm a writer, and I've come to depend on my mobile devices quite a lot to, well, write. From my first palm Zire to my current Motorola Flipout, I've depended on my mobile devices to write and edit my various stories. The internet connected devices have also been tremendously handy to do quick research on the various subjects relevant to my writing. In each of the boredom cases listed in the article, I'm much more likely to be continuing whatever current story I'm working on or doing research directly related to it. Before my mobile devices, I had to use a notebook if I wanted to get some writing done away from the computer. Obviously, that was quite a lot less convenient than a handy gizmo that fits comfortably in my pocket and is easier to read than the nigh-indecipherable scribble of my handwriting. So you'll see me standing in line between the guy texting his girlfriend and the girl giggling at the latest grumpy cat picture while I'm actually doing something worthwhile, and creative.

If you're curious, my first completed, published novel, which was written entirely on mobile devices, is available here:
Amazon Trade Paperback (Createspace pays me better, but it's still Amazon),
Lulu epub, Kindle, Nook, and iBooks.
It's also free in its entirety on wattpad. I've actually gotten sales from people who started reading it here.

about a year and a half ago

Obama Administration To Allow All Spy Agencies To Scour Americans' Finances

Ira Sponsible Huh. (405 comments)

I just always assumed they were already doing this.

about 2 years ago

Death of Printed Books May Have Been Exaggerated

Ira Sponsible Re:DRM-free largely stops at 1922 (465 comments)

You could buy my book. No one has complained it's not "professional-quality." I specifically requested no DRM from Amazon. It can be done. It's easy. Amazon doesn't require it, it's up to the publisher, and since the publisher is me, and I think DRM is stupid, I made it DRM-free. Just because I'm not a big name yet doesn't mean I can't produce a worthwhile piece of entertainment that stands equal to the best of what's available. If I were a big name, writing for a big publisher, I would demand DRM-free, since it doesn't matter how big you are, DRM is always stupid. Of course it's also available in paper form, for those who prefer it that way.

Amazon Kindle version of Cerberon
Printed version from Amazon
And if you prefer it from someone other than Amazon:
Lulu totally device agnostic DRM-free epub from Lulu. Wil Wheaton told me to use them.
B&N Nook version (also DRM-free, as far as I'm aware).
Apple iTunes iBook version, despite the fact that iDespise iTunes.
Createspace printed version, which is also Amazon, but gives me a better commission if people buy it here.
Straight from me, half the book as a free preview. DRM-free epub, of course.

Apologies for the advertisement, but you asked.

about 2 years ago

China's Controversial Brain Surgery To Cure Drug Addiction

Ira Sponsible Re:I'll auto-Godwin myself (385 comments)

Explain the reelection of George W. Bush and Barack Obama then.

In the last few elections, it's been worse than just picking the lesser of two evils. It's more like having to choose between Satan and Cthulu. You know you're screwed either way. One will only corrupt you and steal your soul, the other one will drive you insane, turn you into a gibbering eldritch abomination and unravel the fabric of reality. I voted for the minor third party candidate Kodos. Who did you vote for?

about 2 years ago

Using Multiple Forms of Media At Once Correlates With Depression, Anxiety

Ira Sponsible Depression - Distraction (174 comments)

Add my anecdotal evidence to the pile. In my own case, I have been depressed on account of the amazing suckitude of my life, and have deliberately turned to the distraction of multiple forms of media (books, TV, music, interwebs, beer, etc.), often simultaneously. Recognizing the external factors of my life that make it suck are beyond my control, and thinking about these things leads directly to depression, it is only reasonable to prevent thinking about these things by occupying my mind with anything else at all.

about 2 years ago

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Affair

Ira Sponsible Tinfoil Hat: ON. (401 comments)

Now Petraeus won't be testifying before Congress about Benghazi. This "affair" is a perfect excuse for him to disappear. No one will wonder why he's not coming into work, or why he's not at home. Don't be surprised if his body is discovered in a few days, and it's called a suicide, complete with a handy explanatory suicide note. Just my suspicious opinion.

more than 2 years ago

For Obama, Jobs, and Zuckerberg, Boring Is Productive

Ira Sponsible Thinking wastes time. (398 comments)

Subject says it all. It's a maxim I've observed for a long time.
My dad also taught me that prejudice saves time.
He's right.
And before you get all upset and "that's racist!" over that statement, just remember that prejudice can apply to anything. I am prejudiced against Toyotas, Saturns, Microsoft, anything requiring the use of iTunes, DRM, CocaCola, Disney, cats, small dogs, assholes and liberal Democrats. Some of these prejudices are arbitrary and others are clearly deserving.
Thus, just as the people described in the article, I have more free mental space to think about things that are more important to me.

more than 2 years ago

If I had a time machine, I would first visit...

Ira Sponsible Re:Back to the Future (658 comments)

Yeah. Socrates tried that "introduce critical thinking and logic" thing a few thousand years ago. Didn't work out so well for him, and doesn't seem to have made much impact.

I just made myself sad.
Humans suck.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Patents Whacking Your Phone To Silence It

Ira Sponsible Re:That this is patenteable AT ALL (214 comments)

You're describing devices that were not specifically designed to perform (or stop performing, rather) in this manner, therefore these cannot be counted as actual implementations. However, the soft-bodied alarm clock I had about ten years ago was specifically designed to be turned off by throwing it across the room. (Whacking it also worked, of course). The unfortunate design flaw of this particular alarm clock was that not everything else in the room was designed to be struck by an alarm clock hurled at it.

more than 2 years ago

Hugo Awards Live Stream Cut By Copyright Enforcement Bot

Ira Sponsible Re:Fitting. (393 comments)

According to OO.o, there are 85 words in this post, all of which are DHS keywords. Some of these words are duplicated, so, if I were you, I'd expect a knock on the door pretty soon.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Introduce Someone To Star Trek?

Ira Sponsible Re:Next Gen Q (634 comments)

I wish I had mod points and you hadn't posted AC. Me and my SO both laughed at this.
And to answer the original question, start with DS9. It's absolutely the best series of the bunch. I started her watching earlier this year and we're already halfway through season seven (we skipped the Maquis episodes because the Maquis plotline was stupid). She insists on watching an episode or two of DS9 every night - she's a bigger fan of the show than I was. Then we mixed in a few TNG and TOS episodes for fun when DS9 had a few too many dark episodes in a row. Don't bother with Voyager; it rapidly becomes unwatchably retarded after the first few episodes. I couldn't even watch the whole first season when it first ran. I have no opinion on Enterprise, since I've never seen the show.

more than 2 years ago

Ridley Scott Loves Hugh Howey's Wool

Ira Sponsible Re:Who did editing and printing? (98 comments)

As a writer who is doing self-publishing, my answer is to do it myself. I have significant experience with both editing and design, so I felt completely comfortable doing the work myself. If you don't think you're up to the task, you can always pay someone else. I've published through lulu.com and createspace.com, and both offer editing and design services. It's not cheap, but not terribly expensive either, and if you're not confident in editing your own work or coming up with your own design, it can definitely be worth it. I've seen plenty of self-published books where the author clearly should have taken advantage of these services.

On a quick look at Hugh Howey's cover design, I can't tell whether it's professional work or he did it himself, and the preview amazon provides does not include any copyright notice or artwork credit indicating it's his own work or someone else's. I don't like the cover design, and from the snips I read, I don't care for the writing style. It just doesn't grab me. YMMV.

I did two different covers for my book, one for the ebook, and one for the printed book, due to odd licensing issues I won't describe here. I personally prefer the second design (print version) to the first (ebook). Interestingly, cover preference on my book seems to be split on gender lines. Women generally prefer the unicorn leaping through a portal version, while men prefer the staring eyeball version. See for yourself here: ebook (first design) and paperback (second design)

more than 2 years ago

What Book Publishers Should Learn From Harry Potter

Ira Sponsible Re:Only sort of DRM free? (196 comments)

Yeah, I would like the marketing effort a big publishing house can provide, but for first-time authors, they rarely risk much effort to promote them. It's a complete crapshoot, unless you have a friend on the inside (or a very good agent) with some influence, which I don't. In my situation, it's kind of a wash. For subsequent books, I can show sales figures and reader reviews for this one to support a pitch to a publisher. And who knows, if this one actually takes off (I have better chances winning the lottery, I know), I can ignore the big publishing houses altogether and keep a much bigger slice of the pie than they typically offer. I have a real job that pays pretty good, so I can afford to play it this way. Thank you for having a look at my book, if you do end up liking it, or you think of someone else you think will enjoy it, let them know.

One thing I wanted to mention in my previous post was that the eBook price for the HP books is higher than the print price. Really, WTF is up with that? Why do the big publishers think this is a good idea? It makes no sense. We already have all the HP books in either paperback or hardcover, and we also have multiple eBook capable devices, but we're not going to pay that much extra to get the eBook version, even though it's my preferred reading medium. Oh, well, I guess that's only one lost sale to them. There's probably plenty of other more avid fans of the series who are willing to pay up, but I'm seeing a lot of complaints about the high price they want. DRM free is win, but the high price is lose.

more than 2 years ago

What Book Publishers Should Learn From Harry Potter

Ira Sponsible Re:Only sort of DRM free? (196 comments)

That actually made me crack a smile. Thanks.

more than 2 years ago

What Book Publishers Should Learn From Harry Potter

Ira Sponsible Re:Only sort of DRM free? (196 comments)

If a book is not available without DRM, I do not purchase it.

This is exactly the reason I released my book without DRM. Also set the price at $2.99 because that seemed to be the most popular price point. Still isn't helping sales any, but I figure that's because few people know about it. I guess I could point people to it from slashdot: Cerberon on facebook click about for complete list of eBook availability.

Goodbye semi-anonymity for Ira Sponsible.

about 2 years ago


Ira Sponsible hasn't submitted any stories.



Is it finally time to wipe that Windows partition?

Ira Sponsible Ira Sponsible writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I've been running Ubuntu on this laptop for over two years now, maintaining a dual-boot with Windows Vista the entire time. (Vista came preinstalled on this PC.) After the first few weeks of using Ubuntu, it became my preferred OS/desktop environment (No small credit due to the utter sucktacularness of Vista in comparison to... just about anything else, ever.) I've maintained this HD hogging partition for these two years for only one reason - failure to be able to use Photoshop or iTunes in Ubuntu. I far prefer GIMP to Photoshop, because I feel GIMP has a better interface (especially when using multiple desktops, see my previous comments on this issue for more info, if you care), but for an occasional mask or channels effect that GIMP can't handle I have to switch over to Vista + Photoshop to get the work done. iTunes is barely functional, its interface apparently designed by halucinating blind monkeys on crack, but since I have an iPod touch (it was a gift) and an iPod Nano (gift), I don't have any other choice but to use this insane piece of crap to put music on them. Yes I know about WINE and iPod syncing utilities for Linux, but they're not working for me so don't mention it. The issue at hand is, I haven't had a need to use Photoshop in about a year and a half, and I've given up trying to add new songs to either of the iPods. iTunes wants to wipe them and replace all their content with whatever happens to be in my music folder right now which doesn't match with what's on the devices. I moved some shit around on my HD for space, so excuse the shit out of me if I don't want iTunes to erase my iPods for no good reason. (I love my cheap COBY mp3-player - it acts like a USB drive when I plug it into my computer and doesn't care what software I use to throw files onto it. The family loves the iPods, I don't know why.) That's why I haven't even bothered with iTunes for about a year. So, at last, my question is, except for the laborious task of updating Vista every month or so on the very slim chance that I *might* need or want to use it for these two programs (don't mention games. I don't do PC games), I haven't used Windows on this PC for so long, is it finally time to just give up on it and reclaim that 70GB of valuable hard drive space that's basically useless, and wipe it?


Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog DVD Cover

Ira Sponsible Ira Sponsible writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Just like every good geek should have, I caught Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Once all three acts where available, I transcoded them to DVD for the family to watch it with me, since we're not fans of cramming together in the closet to watch it on the computer screen. The quality of the recording is adequate to tide me over until Joss releases it to DVD and I can buy it. I tried iTunes, but it's not linux-friendly, and even when attempting to sign up on Vista, iTunes refused to accept my card. No error, no explanation, it just wouldn't let me do it. Anyway, I'm storing my backup DVD in a handy slim DVD case, and naturally, I had to mock up a good DVD cover to slip inside it for a label. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's burned this magnificent musical internet-TV miniseries to disc, so I thought I'd share my work:
Original GIMP image (flattened): DrHorribleDVDcover1.xcf
JPEG version if you can't handle the GIMP: DrHorribleDVDcover.jpg
300 dpi images, 10.5x7.25 inches print size, perfect for your snazzy photo printer, not so great on your crappy cheap ink jet, but it should tide you over until you can buy the real thing. And you will buy the real thing won't you? Only a real rat bastard would snatch a copy of Joss' hard work and not bother paying him and his crew for it. You know they deserve it, so pay up.

All images were either found on the web or screencaps from the show. Copyright for all the images belongs to Mutant Enemy (I assume). This project is a fan creation, and is not intended at all to promote inappropriate copying or distribution of Joss' original work. No, I will not share my ISO with you, so don't ask. Just get your legit downloads from iTunes (I'm pretty sure my experience was a fluke) and show proper support and respect for a job well done.

I'll keep these images available until the day the official Dr Horrible DVD is released. Once it's out, there's really no need to have them around anymore.


Chuck Norris Facts

Ira Sponsible Ira Sponsible writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I have one of those mind-numbingly easy jobs that requires nearly no mental effort at all to do. To keep myself sane, I have to keep my mind busy on things other than what I'm actually doing. After perusing the many Chuck Norris Facts online one night, I was annoyed that most of them weren't funny and many of them didn't respect Chuck Norris the Man. I thought the idea of these "facts" was to mock the Chuck Norris Legend, which, apparently, a lot of people are unable to separate from the man himself. I have a pretty deep respect for Chuck, he's a great guy, and has had a pretty damn cool career. I don't really care for any of his movies or his TV show, but that doesn't really matter to me much--It's obvious he had a great time doing it, and he knows how cheesy it is, and that's part of the fun. (Same reason to love Troma.) Anyway, over the course of about a week at work I devised my own list of

Chuck Norris Facts

1. The ongoing pirates vs. ninjas debate is moot because if a pirate and a ninja were to ever actually collide they would fuse into a Chuck Norris that would immediately annihilate all the remaining ninjas and pirates on the planet.

2. Chuck Norris can deliver a kick so fast that the pain will actually travel back in time and make your grandfather say "What the hell hit me?" forty years ago.

3. Scientists have calculated that there should be about 80% more mass in the universe than they're able to account for and have proposed a number of radical theories to resolve the discrepancy such as the existence of dark matter or the influence of parallel universes. The problem was finally solved when Chuck Norris admitted he kicked a hole in the universe and that's where all the missing matter went.

4. The butterfly effect is named after the oft-misquoted observation that Chuck Norris kicking a single butterfly in Asia could cause a whirlwind of pain in North America.

5. NASA's JPL has announced that they've synthesized a Liquefied Chuck Norris Round-House Kick (LCNRHK). While they admit it's not quite as powerful as the real thing, three gallons of LCNRHK would be sufficient to launch the Space Shuttle into orbit.

6. A Chuck Norris kick isn't always fatal. In fact, the Chuck Norris roundhouse kick is the world's leading cause of acute amnesia, which is why you don't remember the time he kicked you in the head.

7. Vultures were once on the verge of extinction and then Chuck Norris was born.

8. Chuck Norris rides a pale horse. But Hell doesn't follow with him; he keeps it in his fist.

9. It was recently discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls that the real reason Pharoah let the Israelites go was that Moses threatened to unleash the wrath of Chuck Norris.

10. Mysterious cattle mutilations are not caused by aliens, but by Chuck Norris having a midnight snack.

11. Sunspots are formed when Chuck Norris uses the Sun as a punching bag.

12. Galactus doesn't eat planets, Chuck Norris does. Just be glad he's still full from the one that used to be between Jupiter and Mars.

13. In 1987 Mr. T got tired of shaving his head to maintain his mohawk, so he asked Chuck Norris to kick the sides of his head. The hair has never grown back since.

14. Q- How many Chuck Norrises does it take to change a lightbulb? A- Just the threat of one is enough to make it change itself out of fear.

15. Chuck Norris doesn't need to have sex to reproduce. He can simply break himself in half to form two new Chuck Norrises.
This process is known as Chucklear Fission.

16. The Tungusta blast of 1908 happened when a Russian dared Chuck Norris to light one of his farts.

17. Chuck Norris once called Cthulu but Cthulu was too scared to show up.

18. In the movie Alien, no special effects were used to depict the xenomorph. Instead, Ridley Scott just borrowed Chuck Norris' lap dog.
Chuck Norris' other pets include the hellhound that devoured Robert Johnson's soul, two chupacabras, and a yeti.

19. God originally wanted to send the sinners to Chuck Norris, but Jesus told Him that was too cruel, so God created Hell instead.

20. The world really was scheduled to end in the year 2000 as many people believed, but the four horses of the Apocolypse are on Chuck Norris' ranch and the four horsemen are too scared to go get them.

21. Once upon a time there were three bears. Chuck Norris. The End.

22. Chuck Norris was originally cast in the title role in Rocky, but the producers were afraid someone who actually knew how to fight might injure the other actors, so they trained a shaved ape for the part instead.

23. Every cell in Chuck Norris' body is shaped like a fist.

24. Chuck Norris once accidentally frowned at a baby and it cried itself to death, almost making Chuck cry. Ever since then Chuck Norris always smiles at babies.

25. Chuck Norris keeps a black hole in his pocket as a handy place to store all the bodies of his victims.

26. The 1972 Miami Dolphins had a perfect season because someone started a rumor that Chuck Norris was on the team.

27. Chuck Norris once got beat up in a Bruce Lee movie, which just proves how good an actor Chuck is.

28. Chuck Norris dug up the Oak Island treasure with a runcible spoon.

29. Chuck Norris once kicked his own ass just to prove nothing is impossible.

30. To prevent heart disease, Chuck Norris ripped his own heart out of his chest and replaced it with a fist.

31. Chuck Norris donated his still-beating heart to the Make a Wish Foundation. To date, it has saved the lives of seventeen children.

32. Chuck Norris proved transubstantiation is real when he ate a communion wafer and crapped out baby Jesus in a manger, three wise men, Mary, and an angel.

33. In Soviet Russia ass kicks Chuck Norris.

Some of these might be similar to or inspired by other Chuck Norris Facts elsewhere on the web. If there happen to be any that are obvious copies that someone else invented first, go ahead and point it out to me.

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