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Seattle Bookstores Embrace Amazon.com

PPalmgren Re:Big company moves into town, sales soar... (83 comments)

This reminds me of another, somewhat offtopic issue that bothered me in Europe.

I found European stores very unwelcoming in Finland in part because of the lack of public restrooms. In downtown Helsinki, pretty much only Stockman's had a public restroom on ONE floor and it was a 15 minute wait if you wanted to use it. My girlfriend says this is fairly common around Europe. I found that during a day of travelling, I had to plan my day around my urge to pee, which was very annoying. In the US, you can go into pretty much any store and ask to use the restroom. Twice, something has caught my eye and landed a purchase, simply because I came in the store to use the restroom.

I'd think this would be a pretty straightforward thing for stores to adopt to increase impulse customers. Is there a specific reason for Europe's aversion to this? Is it because the staff is unwilling to take on that responsibility, culture, etc?

2 days ago
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How Riot's Social Scientists Fight League of Legends Trolling

PPalmgren Re:There is one, and only one, way to fight trolli (116 comments)

The consequences of their actions aren't there in these games. Free-to-play and reroll as many times as you like and a massive playerbase with only pros reaching the 'top floor.' The top floor of these games is like the Poker guys on ESPN, some do tournaments for a living and make significant amounts of money, so the guy playing 2-3 hours a day rarely has a shot (watch the Free-to-play documentary on Steam).

HoN at its inception had a lot less trolling due to tracking, kickability, and the $20 accounts, but the sheer nature of the game bred a ton of animosity. Imagine a game of football where one teammate constantly let you down, but without the physical activity to burn out that frustration and that you couldn't ever bench that player for the match. That's what these games are.

The solution is literally a million dollar question. So many have tried and failed. If someone figures it out, people will flock to it within the genre because new player attrition is awful in DotA 2, HoN, and LoL.

5 days ago
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Your Car Will Tell You How To Hit the Next Green Light

PPalmgren Re:Why bother? (364 comments)

In some cases, it can save time. For example, if I hit the main intersection on the way home when the crosswalk signal shows '15' or higher and people aren't going 15 under the speed limit, I can hit every green light until the turn into my neighborhood. If not, I hit every red light. It ends up being a time savings of 5 minutes. Also, there's a left turn I commonly have to take that has a 30 second green arrow because so many people take it. Getting ahead of 4 people during the regular traffic before the light can mean making it or not, and the light commonly has idiots not paying attention so the light can turn yellow after 3-4 cars. Time savings at this light can be 3-10 minutes depending on how many people turn at a reasonable speed before the ground sensor kicks in.

about two weeks ago
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Hacking Charisma

PPalmgren Re:Why is everyone being so negative in here? (242 comments)

Its a social coping mechanism. The first thing someone whose insecure about anything does is seek confirmation from others through voicing their opinion. The second thing they do is try to rationalize it away or dehumanize it. The behavior shows up everywhere.

STEM fields are inherently introverted, fields of the mind that require a person to be comfortable with working on hard problems for long periods of time. We cooperate to combine and organize results and requirements, not cooperate as a definition of the job. A person working on endeavors of the mind doesn't get practice with social interaction like someone in sales or politics would. If you don't work on it, you don't get better at it. Then we see those successful socialites without being able to quantify why they earned any of it because their skills don't have hard measurements for results, and try to devalue their work as 'mundane' or 'easy' simply so we feel better about our lack of those qualities.

Its a perpetual state of denial rooted in insecurity and a lack of humility to admit one's own deficiencies or faults.

about three weeks ago
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Gameover Malware Targets Job Seekers

PPalmgren Re:rushed target selection? (42 comments)

Its not about being rich, its about being desperate and gullible. Getting a little from 1 out of 20 is better than getting a lot from one out of 20,000.

about three weeks ago
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Xbox One Reputation System Penalizes Gamers Who Behave Badly

PPalmgren Re:OMG FAG LOL (183 comments)

While I haven't seen the reporting function work well in any environment, DotA 2 does a decent job with the reverse for positive reputation. They implemented commendations you give out at the end of a game, and you get a limited number for a set time period. The options are Teamwork, Forgiving, Leadership, and Friendly (I think). All of these are more focused on cooperation than skill. It serves as some incentive and gives some a positive reputation.

Of course, this doesn't counteract greifing/harassment and the dota 2 report system is useless given you can make a new steam account and its free to play, but at least it solves part of the problem.

about three weeks ago
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Jimmy Wales To 'Holistic Healers': Prove Your Claims the Old-Fashioned Way

PPalmgren Re:You know what they call alternative medicine... (517 comments)

Hmm, I'm not sure where you're going with this. Are you trying to say its good to continue because some discoveries come from it? Testing in a controlled environment, yes. What some of this stuff currently amounts to is selling poison in a bottle advertising in the natural remedy sections. One of the first mistakes corrected in modern medicine was testing on humans, which is what's being done with some supplements and remedies. Marketing and selling this stuff is unethical for that reason.

about three weeks ago
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Mathematician Gives Tips On How To Win $1 Billion On NCAA Basketball

PPalmgren I wonder if its even possible b/c of the media (76 comments)

The statistical probability is so tiny to get the perfect bracket that even if someone got close to it predicting every game up to the final four, the media frenzy around the 'perfect bracket' might be so insane that the very existence of the almost-perfect bracket could effect the outcome of the game. The players, coaches, announcers, and reporters would know, going into the game, that this team is 'winning' in the pefect bracket. There's the potential it could effect the audience's cheering and the player's mentality: the best way to get someone competitive to play harder is to tell them they can't do it. The effect would be amplified for the final game where the score has to be picked as well.

For time paradox fun, even if you had a future results bracket and brought it back to present, its existence would alter the results.

about three weeks ago
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AT&T Introduces "Sponsored Data" Allowing Services to Bypass 4G Data Caps

PPalmgren Oh? Bandwith caps due to frequencies what? (229 comments)

The issue with wireless data is entirely about last mile, the frequencies alotted and the limits of transfer within a cell at any given moment. Peering works on wired networks because throughput on the last mile outstrips deployment, the exact opposite issue of wireless networks.

Arguing that their obscene data caps are because of the wireless bandwith limits, then turning around and offering this without any true benefit to their bandwith issue other than their bottom line, is assinine.

about 3 months ago
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If UNIX Were a Religion

PPalmgren If you're gonna go, go all the way (392 comments)

I'm sure a lot of people will take the android thing as a slight being associated with Mormon, so I'm not sure why he avoided the analogy that the whole thing was begging: Apple as Islam. Someone else said Microsoft as Scientology which was a good one as well.

about 3 months ago
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SteamOS Will Be Available For Download On December 13

PPalmgren Re:I'm there!!! (211 comments)

Even top of the line video cards don't inflate a system that much. People who build $600 PCs for gaming tend to spend about a third of the price on the video card. Everything else is pretty cheap.

about 4 months ago
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Watch Out, Amazon: DHL Tests Drug-Delivery Drone

PPalmgren reduce pollution? HAH! (134 comments)

Assuming 3kg/package, and average truck net weight of 20,000kg (I work in shipping), that'd be 6,700 quadcopters per truck.

Its misses the point entirely though. The use of trucks is fuel economy, ease of transportation, and economies of scale. Aerial delivery will always be a niche product because its so inefficient.

Here's what I mean: http://www.nrdc.org/international/cleanbydesign/images/cbdtranspo_fig1.png

about 4 months ago
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World's Largest Ship Floated For the First Time

PPalmgren Re:Technically it is not a ship... (166 comments)

That's like hooking a horse up to a car without an engine and saying its intended for transportation. Container ships around 80% of that size need an order of magnitude more horsepower to function.

about 4 months ago
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How Heroin Addicts Helped Scientists Link Pesticides and Parkinson's

PPalmgren Re:Casualties of the War on Freedom (109 comments)

Prohibition was caused because China was imploding in on itself in a drug frenzy. Over 10% of the population was addicted to opioids, and the country was falling into ruin.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Review Sites Do You Consult For IT Equipment?

PPalmgren Re:My top sites (129 comments)

I like these sites too, and I'd like to give a special shout-out to Toms and Anandtech for their investigative approach. Anandtech was first to provide the reason the signal attenuation issue for the "you're holding it wrong" iPhone and I beleive Toms was the first to break the 'microstutter' issue on AMDs previous generation of graphics cards (correct me if I'm wrong on either of these). I think one of these sites was the first to address monitor input lag as well, and Anandtech addressing the recent benchmark cheaters.

They both have their black marks though. Anandtech used to be very hardware focused for the open builder, but now spend a lot more focus on mobile and especially Apple, so you can't use them as a go-to source for a total comparison of top performing products since they don't review enough competitors. Toms had some kind of bias scandal I think, but I still find them to be a good source of gaming information and their charts and 'of the month' are great tools to get the best bang for your buck when shopping for a new system.

about 5 months ago
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Psychologists Strike a Blow For Reproducibility

PPalmgren An apt analogy (138 comments)

Good post Woodhams, I'll use an analogy I formed when discussing Psychology with my girlfriend whose been in the field a while: Psychology today is like studying Chemistry in the bronze age. Back then, they didn't have the means to understand the why of this chemical working with this chemical, they just knew it worked and did Chemistry via trial and error and guessing. Today, psychology is classifying things based on relations and forming best practices, but we don't understand why things are the way they are because of our limited understanding of the brain.

Maybe things will change in 100 years, maybe not. I think the field is worth its weight in gold though, there's a lot of good that can be/is being done and a lot of progress still to be made.

about 5 months ago
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Xbox One Controller Cost Over $100 Million To Develop

PPalmgren The Wii made bank with a controller (206 comments)

A good area to put research into, in my opinion. Valve may have won the new controller research, but we'll have to wait and see.

The single most important factor in a console is the control scheme. If the control scheme sucks, it feels like PC console ports do.

about 5 months ago
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TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance

PPalmgren Re:Fuck the TSA (337 comments)

Since 2001, the bands used by cell phones have changed and the power requirements of the antennae have changed as well. Due to more concurrent users, you need more cell towers to re-use the frequencies, with the added benefit of a shorter transmission distance and less power required on the cell phone itself to do that transmission. In 2001, cell phones still had the analog bands that stretched city-wide.

You are a conspiracy nut.

about 5 months ago
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CIA Pays AT&T Millions To Voluntarily Provide Call Data

PPalmgren Chicken feed? (107 comments)

Set up some system to provide the call data, provide the relatively low cost infastructure to do it, and you're rolling in $10m/year?

Companies don't make money with billion dollar checks, its incremental. If their infastructure and support for this is $2m/year and you have to staff 8 people for it, that's still a massive profit margin.

about 5 months ago
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A Look at the Koch Brothers Dark-Money Network

PPalmgren Re:And how is this any different... (406 comments)

In theory, yes. But in practice, they tend to strangle the industry once they grow to an industry-wide monopoly. It becomes about bravado and 'getting more' because that's how the union leaders stay in power, so it creates a field of political waste. As an industry, it no longer becomes a race to progress and competing with your rivals, but who can slash costs enough to stay afloat when crushed with huge union costs. Yes, all the companies in the industry experience these, but it actually serves to cripple and centralize the industry, the exact opposite of what a union should theoretically do.

about 6 months ago

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