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Android KitKat Released

Omestes Re:Galaxy Nexus (358 comments)

And I can't get a Nexus 4 or 5 thanks to being stuck on Verizon... Thanks Google.

Or rather, thanks Verizon!

Or rather... man I hate the cell phone ecosystem, I don't know who to hate more.

about 9 months ago
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Welcome to the Goodwill Computer Museum (Video)

Omestes Re:Very interesting (72 comments)

You quickly come to understand that Goodwill is a for profit business operating under a false tax documents by making a pittance of over publicized donations each year.

Awhile back one of my mom's friends said this when I was looking for a place to dumb left-over stuff from moving, so I did a bit of research. This is true, sometimes. Each region is run seperately and independently, so this might be true where you live, but not where I live. Some regions are horribly corrupt, with the executives basically getting rich off of the the mentally disabled and the court systems... While some regions are actually trying to help people.

I personally prefer the Mormon run Deseret Industries... Their stores are very clean, everything is washed, and they don't try to sell all the actually good items at online auctions, meaning you can still discover some good items. Once the one near me had a ton of awesome vintage camera gear, cheap; where Goodwill sells absolute crap since all the good stuff has been long-since syphoned off by staff, or stuck on their circa 1995 auction website.

about 9 months ago
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5-Year Mission Continues After 45-Year Hiatus

Omestes Re:45 years ago... (283 comments)

I grew up on TNG, though I watched a ton of TOS thanks to reruns as a kid.

Recently, when Netflix made them all streaming I rewatched both of them again in pretty much a marathon. TNG didn't age well, and get bit boring in the end. TOS was fun to watch. Even my girlfriend (not a nerd, no experience with ST) had a blast with TOS. TNG was a better show, and better written, but TOS is just plain fun. TNG didn't age well thanks to its special effects and long form plots. TOS has Kirk kirking things with his fist, awesome music, cool rubber costumes, and green chicks in go-go boots...

TOS goes with beer and chips better than TNG or anything subsequent.

I didn't couldn't really stomach rewatching DS9 or Voyager, I didn't like them when they were on the air, and like them a bit less now. DS9 would have been okay, except it starts so damn slow, and has far to much Warfling and Ciscoling to really be watchable. At least Wesley Crusher was so bad he was kind of amusing (at least 20 years later). And Voyager is just pants, and killed Trek for me for good.

about 9 months ago
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Physicist Unveils a 'Turing Test' For Free Will

Omestes Re:appearing to have free will (401 comments)

You seem to completely disregard that the actual configuration of matter has both an effect on the system it is considered to be part of and on the environment the system is said to be in.

I don't see away to carve out the possibility of individual choice from this though. No matter how many layers or systems you have, or how chaotic they are, allows for something "outside" out their own base rules. Even in a probabilistic system, like QM, there isn't room to get outside of its own base elements, you might obfuscate it, and make first causes irreducible from complexity, chaos, and random events, but it still wouldn't be "free". I phrased that very badly, but language gets annoying with concepts like this.

I might be missing your point (not enough coffee this morning)... If I did, I apologize. I always view these things as "abstraction layers", with them being increasingly removed from the innate human perception frame as we go "down" or "up", there really isn't a difference between quantum mechanics and humans, but we can't see it because of our evolutionary context shaping our perceptions.

about 9 months ago
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Physicist Unveils a 'Turing Test' For Free Will

Omestes Re:Sam Harris (401 comments)

You would essentially have to think your thoughts before you think them and then choose.

I don't see why this would be strictly necessary. If free-will was a emergent process it would exist in the act of thinking, and not necessarily prior to the action of thinking. The transitory act of thinking itself is being. Further, requiring the act of "pre-thinking" would be a bit odd, since it would imply that we must be psychic to have agency. The whole idea is set up to create a reductio, so someone can say "well, obviously".

That said, I rather doubt that free-will exists, as such. But I also don't think that it matters either way; there is no way to "act as if you had no free will" (the very statement is meaningless, as it implies a decision, which implies agency), making the whole argument a bit moot. A lack of agency would also be meaningless to society, because the mere knowledge of this lack doesn't lead to knowledge of why actions are taken. Prisons would exist, punishment would exist, there really isn't a reason they shouldn't since we can never actually trace the action back to first principles... Human behavior probably results from a hugely complex, and almost completely irreducible, chaotic systems. A murder might be the result of millions of factors, from genetics and upbringing, to global history and sociology, to quantum fluctuations at a cellular level and the current weather... Things are no less mysterious if we remove free-will from the equation... Or rather, things are generally as meaningless.

about 9 months ago
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Physicist Unveils a 'Turing Test' For Free Will

Omestes Re:appearing to have free will (401 comments)

... not having a basic understanding of modern philosophy?

Its been awhile since I was in school (for philosophy), or reading up on the current discussion, but as far as I know this is still a massive debate, with very little, if any, agreement between philosophers (or psychologists, or neurologists, or cognitive scientists, or programmers, or physicists, or whoever else's feild this topic touches).

That said, there is a large debate on whether there is a difference between agency as a thing, and the perception of agency. Go read up on Searle's Chinese Room, and the debate it has sparked (especially Dennett). Also read up on the whole thought-experiment of "p-zombies", which explores this very concept.

AFAICT there isn't a consensus on this topic at all.

I take a more existential stance on it; where it doesn't really matter since one can't live as if one doesn't have agency, so on a human level the debate doesn't matter either way, since agency is a necessary trait to existence.

    Ontically, though, I'm pretty sure agency is a dead horse unless we find something wrong with modern science. You can stretch things a bit (ala Dennett, again) by tying agency into the quantum realm, but you really just push the debate back a bit; is random, yet probabilistic, much better than classically deterministic? Neither leave room for an actual "you" driving you, barring theology and a Cartesian bag of worms. If humans are purely matter, and that matter follows the same laws as all other matter then agency is impossible. If we have something immune from the normal laws of physics, then how are we to ever prove this fact, and further how does this "spiritual matter" (or whatever) influence "actual matter"?

about 9 months ago
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Why iOS 7 Is Making Some Users Feel 'Sick'

Omestes Re:Can't you turn the effects off? (261 comments)

Well yes, but considering the crap that came later on, that made XP look good in comparison.

AND previously, don't forget.

Windows XP was awesome because it was better than pretty much everything before it (from MS, at least). XP, better than ME or 98 or 95, or 3.11.

about 10 months ago
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What Valve's Announcements Mean for Gaming

Omestes Re::Living Room? (182 comments)

Except that mobile gaming is a completely different beast from living room or PC gaming. Mobile gaming is about quick bites, simple controls, and shallow gameplay (this isn't a bad thing, per se). Mobile gaming is casual, by default. Its hard to get into an epic RPG while on the bus, or in the dentist's office. If I'm going to play something like Skyrim, I'm going to do it in a comfy chair, on a good screen, with mature controls.

Tethering a controller to your phone or tab is counterproductive, since you "un-mobiled" mobile gaming, by forcing someone to carry around a controller as well as their device.

Mobile isn't replacing anything, I wish that fallacy would die. Mobile is supplementing a certain part of traditional markets, but it isn't replacing the core of those markets. Looking at console and traditional game sales back this up, they aren't slowing down in relation to rise in mobile device sales. Nor will they, since they fill a very different niche than traditional consoles and PCs for gaming.

Same with the stupid trope that mobile will magically kill traditional PCs... This is said by people who never used their PC for anything more serious than email and light web browsing. There is very little in my daily computer tasks that can be moved to mobile, outside of light email and web duties. Sure, this is a gap MS is targeting (badly) with the Surface Pro, but suddenly we're not talking mobile anymore, but a traditional laptop with a floppy keyboard and optional touch controls. And still it isn't going to be as good as my large screen for most tasks.

The living room died so many decades ago

I'm now picturing a family of four huddled in their backyard streaming watching movies on a 10" tablet. I feel kind of bad for them, since they could be inside, sitting in their living room watching it on an increasingly affordable giant HDTV.

about 10 months ago
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Trove of NSA Documents and FISC Opinions Declassified Thanks to EFF Lawsuit

Omestes Re:So, when will heads roll? (110 comments)

That worked well for Abu Ghriab. The peons got the shaft, while everyone who was responsible and actually matters got off scot-free.

Thats pretty much how everything works, the people on the bottom take full responsibility, and basically shield everyone else with real power.

The Nuremberg defense is bull. If you're order to do something unconscionable/illegal, then both YOU and your superior who gave the order should be held equally responsible. This should follow all the way up, until we realize that this, being a democracy, is our fault as well. We voted for them, we condone their actions by not removing them, so we, the people, are fully guilty of all actions committed by our government.

about 10 months ago
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Intel's Haswell Chips Pushing Windows RT Into Oblivion

Omestes Re:Now.. (321 comments)

I'd have been better off getting an iPad and it wouldn't have cost much more then the damn N7 I bought.

Only nearly double, you mean.

The online issue isn't only a problem for Android... Apple really has the same issue, since pretty much every service is increasingly "in the cloud" for them as well.

That sort of is the point of mobile devices though... what good is a calendar that only resides on your tablet? The goal is to have it completely sync with everything, from your desktop PC to online services. I personally like the fact that everything is synced. On my N7, pretty much everything is automatically synced, from appointments, to bookmarks and contacts. I like this, since it makes management much easier than it used to be with my giant laptop.

about 10 months ago
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Intel's Haswell Chips Pushing Windows RT Into Oblivion

Omestes Re:Now.. (321 comments)

Don't be silly. Sales of pads are still lower than PC sales...

I never said that tablets will kill PCs (they won't, but they will make a decent impact someday). OP said that they find tablets useless, and that was the point I was addressing. A ton of people find them convenient, and more are doing so every day. As I stated, I hated the idea, until I got a good one (I had, and hated, a 10" ASUS Transformer).

The fallacy at work here is that tablets and PCs are somehow competing, or mutually exclusive. I still use my PC, a lot. For the foreseeable future I'm not scrapping my PC, since I need it for work (content production, if you will), gaming, and more serious tasks. On the other hand my Nexus 7 has trimmed a couple hours of PC time from my day as well, since I can leisurely check my email, run some searches, keep some notes, check the news, and watch videos without being tied down by my computer, or by a beastly laptop. There is room for both, and will be for a long time.

As someone said here... PCs = content creation. Tablets = content consumption. If you look at tablets as a PC replacement, your looking at it wrong.

about 10 months ago
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Is It Time to Replace Your First HDTV? (Video)

Omestes Re:Betteridge's law (418 comments)

Either that or someone channel-flipped an IR picture, which is what it looks like. Either from a camera with a more permissive filter, without a filter (doubtful, since you'd also be exposing near UV as well as near IR), or from a standard camera with an IR filter screwed on. It could be any of these, since pretty much all IR shots need a ton of processing.

I keep meaning to get the filter on my old Kx modified, but I don't really trust any of the people doing it. I do shoot, sometimes, with screw-on filters, (both 720nm, and 760nm), but they are an absolute pain in the ass. The exposure times, even in full sun, are so long as to introduce a ton of noise. Focusing is all manual, since most AF sensors will misjudge, and your focusing in a near black view finder. Its a bit better on my m4/3 system, since the EVF is boosted a bit, but most m4/3 lenses have IR hotspots.

Further, and amusingly enough, most lens hoods are IR reflective. After my first long outing with my IR setup I discovered that every picture I took had green or blue ghosting from IR reflection, even from my matte hoods.

Poking at the picture further, I think you're right though; unless it was a very, very, still day, or very, very, bright out. There isn't any blur, AFAICT, from long exposure times.

about 10 months ago
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Intel's Haswell Chips Pushing Windows RT Into Oblivion

Omestes Re:Now.. (321 comments)

just not going to find those for less than $700-800, even in a standard laptop. Yet you want it to cost the same an iPad?

It will come... perhaps not in the next couple years, but within a decade they will be cheap.

I agree, at the current price point it can make sense for some people, but I'm not one of them. While having a handheld x86 computer would be nice to have right now, most of the features it would add over my N7 are convenience features, not must-haves. If I was on the road more there would be a much stronger case for spending 700-800 for one.

about 10 months ago
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Intel's Haswell Chips Pushing Windows RT Into Oblivion

Omestes Re:Now.. (321 comments)

Do you use it for REPLYING to email?

For short missives; yes. For long correspondence; no. I mostly use it to sort my mail, flagging things for immediate actions, checking alerts, deleting junk, and such. Later, when time permits, I do the replying that needs more than a sentence or two on my desktop. This works fine, since my morning coffee time isn't for actual work. But it is nice to get the sorting out of the way before actually sitting down and being productive.

Consume on tablet. Produce on laptop.

Pretty much. I don't have a problem with this, though. I don't expect to be productive on my tablet(s). When people complain about this, I always wonder why they don't complain about not being able to author books on their Kindle, or produce video on their TV.

The Windows tablet, or a tablet capable of running regular programs, would be nice, since I could get a bit more serious about things. Being able to fire up Photoshop, or Lightroom, or a full office suite on the go would be nice... Not as nice as a heavier laptop, or on my desktop, but it wouldn't be a feature I'd complain about.

My one concern, though, is having another throw-away computer. In 4 years the Windows tablet will be useless, and then what? Go buy another one, and trash it? Sell it on Craigslist for $25?

about 10 months ago
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Intel's Haswell Chips Pushing Windows RT Into Oblivion

Omestes Re:Now.. (321 comments)

Like what? Personally, I think the form-factor of a tablet is next to useless, and I'll stick with laptops and desktops,

You might be the only one, these days. In the beginning of the tablet thing, I would have agreed with you... but now my Nexus 7 gets almost as much time as my beastly desktop. My desktop reigns supreme for actual work and gaming (Android/iOS games suck, as a rule), while my Nexus 7 is for sitting on the patio with a cup of coffee while checking my email/news. The Nexus also spends a fair amount of time in the kitchen for recipes, in the living room for quick Googling, etc... I'm not going to use it for editing photos, transcoding video, coding, or typing anything about 200 characters, though.

Now if my tablet could run full-blown Windows, at a good speed (better than a shitty unpowered Windows Starter-only netbook) it would be a very nice thing. Then, for instance, I could have done some basic Lightroom work on my recent trip (the screen would still suck compared to my large wide-gamut IPS panel). My girlfriends Netbook can barely run Picasa, so its flat out. My old 14" laptop could do it, but it is another fairly heavy thing to carry around... A 10" Windows tablet would be perfect.

Hell having a tablet/phone with an OS that doesn't feel like a damn toy would be nice... I'm not just talking about Windows, having full blown whatever distro you want would be awesome. Especially if they were cheaper than Windows 8. And Ubuntu x86 tablet would be perfect. Hell, better, since it could be tailored to hardware (Like iOS or tablet Windows), avoiding Linux driver hell.

But then again, I'd own the Windows 8 tablet (not RT) right now, but for the fact that it is horribly expensive. $1000 for a convenience item is stretching it, especially when it is hardly as convenient as anything else on the market... It weighs two pounds, and has some unimpressive battery life. Fix that, drop the price by half, and then we'll talk.

about 10 months ago
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How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

Omestes Re:Free market, LOL! (688 comments)

No, it is corporatism still. Who benefits? Private insurance companies. Well, and maybe the very bottom 5% of the population... If it was socialism (like single payer) everyone would benefit, except those who matter least (corporations).

about 10 months ago
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How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas

Omestes Re:Free market, LOL! (688 comments)

Lose your job, and see how well you do. Especially if you have kids, disabilities, or health problems.

Now come back and tell me how "socialist" we are.

about 10 months ago
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German Federal Police Helicopter Circles US Consulate

Omestes Re:But of course (239 comments)

It could be genuine. I had a friend, with a masters in PoliSci, who adhered to this position, as did her professors (at Georgetown). I also had a couple of friends who went through the Iraq wringer (Army) who left the service with this point of view. It must be somewhat common, since we do manage to start unprovoked wars all over the place without any political fallout to those who started them...

about 10 months ago
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German Federal Police Helicopter Circles US Consulate

Omestes Re:But of course (239 comments)

Trolling or genuine, who knows?

Seriously though, if we take your argument at face value, we're forced to ask; who gets to police us? Also, who made our judgements the so-called correct ones? And how can we actually claim authority over international morality when we're pretty much assholes, and do pretty much everything we condemn in others?

about 10 months ago
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Elon Musk Shows His Vision of Holographic Design Technology

Omestes Re:Color me surprised (109 comments)

This new thing may combine some traits of all three of those, but will it come in for under $150? (Which can easily be done by buying a fligh-sim joystick, a trackball, and a mouse.) At least it's showier for presentations and doesn't appear to clutter up the desk.

Why would it have to be under $150? If we're talking industrial CAD applications, money isn't that much of an object as long as it is more effective/efficient. We're not talking hobby work, or making video game models here, we're talking rocket engines. If you can afford to manufacture a working rocket, and launch it, I doubt you care if you break $150 for an input device.

I can do most of my stuff with a $200 point and shoot camera, yet I have a fairly pricey kit... Why? Versitility and increased effectiveness. I don't own the most expensive (or even close to it), because there is a point, for what I need to do, where diminishing returns set in. If I really needed it, and made enough to warrant it, I'd cough up more.

about a year ago

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Journals

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Profanity Blacklist is dumb.

Omestes Omestes writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Quickly running through my foes, just to see how much hatred I garner, and discovered that the Profanity Blacklist (UID 825460) still hates me, even though I haven't used any "foul" language in sometime. Well fine, I did mention the word "asshole" earlier, but I really don't see how offensive that term really is to anyone.

The key problem with the blacklist is that it is a one strike system, if some faceless user (who is completely anonymous) sees one little naughty work in a post, at some forgotten time in the past, then automatically everything you say has less merit than a troll who refrains from from interesting language. Snap judgments are for idiots, children. I try to keep most of my replies on an intellectual level (no matter how much some of you don't agree with me, it generally is a respectful disagreement), but because I once (probably to a poll, and probably at 3am) muttered something less than kosher to virgin ears, I am an eternal rogue with the mouth of an uneducated sailor.

There is no way to plea your case, or to be un-blacklisted, since there is no avenue of recourse. PB is an anonymous god, prayers will do you no good.

My essence is not defined by one action. No ones is.

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Rant against Dogma and Evangelicalism

Omestes Omestes writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I never write in this damn thing, how many damn "blog" things do I really need? But for once I think I have a rant that is fitting to post on /., well at least link to /., since I really don't feel like posting it again. I wrote a long rant on the Ethics of Evangelicalism on my blog, which was partly spurred by a conversation had here over evolution.

I've noticed that /. is inane advocacy central, we constantly pander our views, and irrelevant preferences as some holy objective standard that everyone should hold true, or be doomed to be an imbecile. Vi vs. Emacs; Mac vs. Linux vs. Windows; Libertarianism vs. Everyone Else; Right vs. Left; etc... It seems that on most of the issues discussed on /. there is no room for middle ground, and this is getting annoying.

What motivates someone to be an OS troll? Or to be a libertarian extremist (sure, they have points, but to take any doctrine as a literal truth is...), or one of those people who have to spam anti-war statistics and Noam Chomsky quotes in conversations about Microsoft's business practices. "Sure Steve Balmer throws chairs, but does he have GUANTAMAMO?!" Its like Slashdot is where logical fallacies go to have a nice night out on town.

Your opinion is your opinion, my opinion is mine. Thats it. You screaming that Apple pwns Windows, or visa versa, is like me starting a wholly war over the primacy of the color blue. Idiotic. Its a meaningless preference. Yes, there might be some cognitive dissonance going on, where you just plunked down a couple hundred or thousand dollars on your OS/hardware, and the years of experience becoming a self proclaimed expert, so you must justify this great expenditure of time and money. But really, step back, and ask yourself "who cares?" Windows is flawed, OS X is flawed, and Linux is flawed, and *BSD is dead. Fine. All of them also have some really good points too. In the end it boils down to a wasted fight over a silly and superficial topic. Its a damn string of 0's and 1's, nothing substantial or even that important, you should have something better to be doing (but then again the same can be said of even reading, participating on /.)

The libertarian extremists bother me more, along with the more preachy members on the left-right axis. Accepting a body of rhetoric whole heartedly is a more dangerous problem, than being an OS fundamentalist, since it can have real world effects. Please, people, stop and criticize your views, don't accept them dogmatically. If you can't find a single fault in your ideology, then there is a problem, since no ideology is perfect, or even close to it. Every position is right on some points, and wrong on far more.

I guess I'm writing this for the reason that I can't say this every time I run into the ubiquitous artificially polar dogmas that populate every discussion on /. No one reads these things, so I guess this is more catharsis than anything.

-AC

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Of Buddhist /.ing

Omestes Omestes writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I've decided to befriend all of my freaks. This seems to be the Buddhist thing to do. I shall also remove all of my foes.

Actually it isn't about the Buddhist thing, it just seems like a really silly thing to do. I'd reccomend that everyone does the same. Do we really need foes and freaks? Its not like I even have a +/- attatched to any of them, since I might want to see what they have to say.

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Journal?

Omestes Omestes writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Okay, I've never posted here. I don't even know what I would post here. What type of things do people say within there /journals?

My day was long. I am depressed. I will listen to goth music and cut myself. No. Thats LiveJournal.

My day was long. I played with terminal. I will listen to blues and vote libertarian. That seems more /.-y.

I just got my first pop-under in years, in Safari. Odd. Anyone know where I can find a decent list of pithhelmet rules?

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