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Student Uses Oculus Rift and Kinect To Create Body Swap Illusion

PPalmgren Antidepressants part of the problem? (88 comments)

"Fat? No, I'm efficient!"

Though I agree in sentiment, there's still the case that if you don't eat more than X weight of food, you can't put on more than X amount of weight.

The ones who are happy being fat, fine. The ones who are trying to lose weight and can't because of their "hunger"... that's the problem. Because it's hardly ever a celery that they pig out on, but chocolate and other high-fat foods.

It's still down, in the end, to a question of willpower. If you want to slim, you'll allow yourself to feel a little more hungry and - at the same time - find ways to cure the hunger that don't involve fat.

Your gut is just as adaptable as any other part of you - it can learn, given time. And though I don't want to trivialise the effort of losing weight, especially if you have medical conditions or even just suffer from the inherent medical conditions of being overweight (such as it being more difficult on your joints to exercise), there's still a willpower game at play here.

I'm sure there are people who struggle 24 hours a day against hunger and lose. And I'm sure there are a hundred times as many who win for as long as they want to and then give up. And I'm sure there are a hundred times as many again who say they are trying, and don't even bother.

There are weight-loss TV programs where they "stalk" the contestants. They know they could be watched. They know they have cameras in their house. They know they have to cut down. But still they have midnight snacks and go shopping for high-calorie food (if it's not in the house, at least you have to expend more effort than normal to go get it if you have a craving!).

Not everyone is a lard-ass. But equally not every overweight person struggles against an unbeatable desire to eat only high-calorie food.

I've found antidepressants have negatively impacted my ability to keep my body where I want it to be, as odd as that sounds.

I'm taking an antidepressant for OCD problems, and since I've been taking it, I've had a significant reduction in trichotillomania (hair pulling) as well as other OCD problems and face numbness from extreme anxiety. However, I find that the antidepressant has neutered the highs as well as balancing the lows. I find I'm more complacent with things that bother me about myself, muting the motivation to correct them, and also killing most of the endorphin rush from exercising. Its a vicious cycle, because as you gain weight you get upset about your weight/wardrobe, and thus the original reason you were taking the antidepressant is replaced by your new unhappiness about your weight. I've tried to ween off the antidepressant but the OCD came back with a vengance as well as crippling levels of anxiety because I'm no longer used to it.

Its like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Staying in shape was much easier without the antidepressant, but functioning and managing my OCD was much harder. I guess where I'm going from this anecdote is that the heavy use/overperscription of antidepressants may be causing others to get in this frustrating conundrum.

2 days ago
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Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM

PPalmgren 'First hit is free' model (232 comments)

Lets be real here, the only reason they're releasing this for free is because The Sims 4 is coming out in a few months. With EA, there's always another motive.

Someone should write a limerick that highlights all the good game companies EA has killed or corporatized, it wouldn't be hard but it'd sure be lengthy. Oh how I miss the old Maxis.

3 days ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

PPalmgren You can pry my Droid4 from my cold, dead hands (543 comments)

Best hardware keyboard I've ever used, fully QWERTY with a number row and very good tactile feedback/feel and spacing. My older brother mentioned that he thought he could type faster on his new touchscreen phone after about 6 months of having it, and I told him prove it. He grabbed a book and said type the back of it verbatim, so we did. I finished it when he was about 2/3rd done, and he uses that phone all the time for business emails where I use mine more casually.

I think the option most people are going now are case-keyboards, but they are only available for a limited subset of phones and aren't as seamlessly integrated as the slide-outs.

4 days ago
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eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

PPalmgren Re:Well, to be fair... (116 comments)

I liken it to motor sports. Its one level of abstraction from direct physical involvement like most of the major sports. Driver masters the skill of driving which is used to control a car for racing instead of racing themselves. Players control an avatar for competing instead of themselves directly. I find eSports intrigueing but driving to be insanely boring so your mileage may vary.

I'd argue that level of gaming definitely requires a type of physical skill, though it'd be closer to badminton or chess than that of driving. Its about reaction time, quick twitch reflexes, and teamwork/strategy.

I agree on the classification though, and think the term sport is the root of the issue. What makes these things exciting isn't usually the sport action itself, but the fact that the sport/league is set up in a way that enables competition. These are a competition, as is poker, diving, football, and hell even debate, and should be called competition. I think the use of sport in its place is simply because competition is a mouthful and most competitions are sports.

about a week ago
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New York State Proposes Sweeping Bitcoin Regulations

PPalmgren Re:Interstate Commerce Clause (121 comments)

Not really. North Carolina has a ton, Charlotte having the 2nd most financial HQ's in the company only behind NY, with San Fran as a distant third. Both of these locations, even including super-blue San Fran, aren't as meddlesome when it comes to this kind of stuff.

about two weeks ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

PPalmgren Re:user error (710 comments)

Later on in the paragraph I addressed that the quoted situation might not be him, but I also cited an example where making it to the red light first, especially in front of hypermilers, would save me substantial stops on my trip.

about two weeks ago
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People Who Claim To Worry About Climate Change Don't Cut Energy Use

PPalmgren Re:user error (710 comments)

"I also don't get people who get pissed off when I let off the gas early coming up to a red light."

I know in my case and some others, its the frustration of the self-fulfilling prophecy. You slow down coming to a stale light, and it changes, so you're satisfied with yourself because you didn't waste energy. Problem is, in some cases, if you had stayed with your speed or upped it a little you would have made the light. I'm not saying you do this, but its is quite common among people in my driving area, they'll slow to 5 under as they approach a light and it changes on them.

There are two routes I take where making that light by one second means you also make the next 4-5 lights. One is a straight-line on the way home from work, if I make the first light then I'll make the next 3 lights and get home without having to stop, and being that the road is slightly inclined, a lot of people like to drag ass 10-15mph under the speed limit. I've taken to using the ending lane (which I merged on from anyway) to mitigate this. The other place is a left turn coming home from my mother's house, where if I accelerate quickly when the left light turns green, I'll make the next light barely and the next 8 (yes, 8) lights all the way home. In these cases its advantageous for me to get at the front of the left turn lane to do this, so sometimes I will pass others just to make it to the red light first (which doesn't usually have too many cars) to save myself 8 minutes and some gas.

I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes people blowing past you aren't always angry, maybe they just have a route plan with light timings.

about two weeks ago
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Critical Vulnerabilities In Web-Based Password Managers Found

PPalmgren Re:For that reason... (114 comments)

Passwords all the way down

about three weeks ago
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The World's Best Living Programmers

PPalmgren They should also do an infamy list (285 comments)

I don't know names, but just as an example:

The guy who came up with and implemented the Blizzard always-on DRM for Starcraft II and Diablo
The lead designer for Sim City (2013)
The man behind Active Desktop for Windows 98
The innovator behind the wondrous idea of multi-page web ranking articles
The team behind stuxnet (debatable, pretty snazzy piece of work, could use Zeus or some other example)
Key PRISM database team
etc

about three weeks ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

PPalmgren Re:Car Insurance Companies Too! (353 comments)

I always found the commercial for that ad very fitting. She's in a dark shady street corner and its parodying a black market dealer. I wonder if the advertiser had a sense of humor.

That said, you should read TFS. "We've already seen the stories on using black boxes to monitor drivers" isn't an exact reference, but its the kind of behaviour they're referring to.

about three weeks ago
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Study: Global Warming Solvable If Fossil Fuel Subsidies Given To Clean Energy

PPalmgren Re:Wait until those lamers find out... (385 comments)

Residential solar is already subsidized via a tax credit. So are hybrids and electric cars.

Are you referring specifically to the business subsidies?

about three weeks ago
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Company Uses 3D Printing and Design To Change the Way We Look At Prosthetics

PPalmgren Modularization should solve it too right? (28 comments)

Make the medical device the prosthetic and the joint connection. The sleeve becomes a cosmetic device in this instance and can be switched out and whatnot without effecting the function of the medical device.

about a month ago
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China Starts Outsourcing From ... the US

PPalmgren Re:2000 jobs and 2 billion dollars (274 comments)

Is this for recycled paper?

The amount of wastepaper sent to China is absolutely staggering, on the order of several billion dollars a year from the US. In sheer volume and weight that's several thousand containers on a ship a week.

http://www.gltaac.org/us-china...

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: In What Other Occupations Are IT Skills and Background Useful?

PPalmgren Re:Finance (158 comments)

You're completely off the mark and are thinking of sales and contracts, not finance. Finance from a company that sells a product or offers a service usually has a few key parts: Billing, Accounts Receivables, Collections, Accounts Payables, Accounting, Treasury, and Payroll ( which is sometimes tied to HR) are the big ones with others in tow.

Ever wonder how your 401k and other deductions get credited every week and all those corresponding companies, including your taxes, get paid to various entities? Payroll and HR does that. Ever wonder who figured out those line items on your bills? Billing does that. Ever wonder how a company funds all of their rent/electricity/payroll/operations on time without sitting on a massive wad of wasted cash but not overdrafting? Treasury does that, AP pays it. Ever wonder how they keep track of all that shit and make sure the right stuff is getting done, nothing more or nothing less? Accounting does that. There's a lot of background stuff that has to get done to keep all this working in a big company.

In my case, I started as what would usually be considered AP, but we had to figure out our own bills based on operational data and pay them with the backup for said bills. Lots of data sources, lots of reporting requirements, lots of special nuances in reporting, so hard to automate but useful to understand how to work with data. Now I'm doing something similar, but with payroll data instead of operations data.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: In What Other Occupations Are IT Skills and Background Useful?

PPalmgren Finance (158 comments)

Not that is a major career switch because I only had two years in IT, but I have been working in Finance for 7 years now after going to school, but not finishing, for electrical engineering.

I actually landed the finance job by selling my technical aptitude. You'd be amazed at the kind of elementary mistakes people make in other fields just because they don't know how to properly operate a computer, and how they can get hung up on the most menial tasks because they are scared of the system in front of them. It took a while to learn the finance side of things, but once I got rolling, I was able to double or triple the productivity of others with lower error rates. Add on to this that someone from IT understands enough to automate menial tasks, and you have a recipe for efficiency and process improvement. A lot of finance is simply getting the data into custom forms or formats for transmittal to the next or from the previous step, with 1 or 2 points where human intervention or review is required. The career change has worked out well for me.

It also helps to be able to liason between departments. I noticed that in meetings between IT and Finance managers, sometimes there's a 'language barrier.' You get rewarded nicely to solve these miscommunication issues before they show up at the end of a development project.

about a month ago
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Watch Dogs Released, DRM Troubles

PPalmgren Got it with a new GFX card for free (123 comments)

I'll straighten out the details on this clickbait.

First, while uPlay is indeed a complete flaming piece of shit, it doesn't prevent you from playing the game once installed. When you launch it and press 'play', even if it wont sync with ubisoft's servers, it will still launch. It takes a good while (couple of minutes) for uplay and the sync to time out, but it works.

An actual gripe on uplay: what kind of game publisher doesn't institute predownloads for people who've already bought the game? It didn't show up in my games list until today so I couldn't even get the DL started. Their servers being crippled is partly due to not distributing downloads for pre-purchasers properly, forgivable 5 years ago but not in today's distribution systems.

Console port gripe: mouse acceleration is on by default and you must turn it off by actually going in and editing the xml settings file. If that doesn't scream lazy, I don't know what does. The menus and mouse control aren't bad overall, but that mouse acceleration makes the gameplay infuriating, felt like I had a joystick deadzone on my mouse. After googling and changing this setting, the game felt much better.

Overall though, I'm happy with the game, though I've not gotten far into it. I wouldn't have bought it straight up, partly due to bitterness about destroying the Thief franchise and partly due to their shitty company policies, but I've enjoyed it as a bundle purchase. Ubisoft is a frustrating company. Their policies and DRM money-grubbing aspects make them almost as unlikeable as EA, but they make the type of games I tend to enjoy. I prefer to stay away on principle but its hard.

about 2 months ago
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Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

PPalmgren Re:Unless it doesn't. (310 comments)

I had this problem growing up, it destroyed my interest in school and motivation to learn. In 5th, 6th, and 7th grade I learned algebra 3 years in a row. I even remember getting ahead of my class in elementary school in math, then having my progress 'reset' by the teachers every year as I advanced a grade.

A lack of individualized learning plans and forcing everyone into the same progress speed, caused by the grade-age system and lack of resources, destroys the enjoyment of school for the gifted. The ironic thing about this teacher's union gripe is that tech appears to be the best way to implement individualized learning. Hopefully someone figures out a good method to do so soon.

about 2 months ago
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AT&T Buying DirecTV for $48.5 Billion

PPalmgren $48.5 billion? (173 comments)

If you spent HALF that on your network you'd crush your competition! What a crock of shit.

about 2 months ago

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