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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What Tech Products Were Built To Last?

Quirkz Re:Alarm clock???? (674 comments)

That's a curious take. I'm not sure I'd trust myself to actually wake up, though I guess I could keep the sound-based alarm as a backup until I was sure. I've also got young kids and occasionally have a *really* short night of sleep, which again makes me think I might sleep though light on bad days.

It's certainly not quite as efficient on the power side of the spectrum, but I'd guess not bad if it's just a few minutes. How do you tell the alarm "okay, turn off now, I'm up"? Just set the timer for x minutes and assume it'll be enough?

2 days ago
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Criminals Using Drones To Find Cannabis Farms and Steal Crops

Quirkz Re:Left-Wing Propoganda (256 comments)

Don't be silly. Miscarriage isn't intentional. It would be prosecuted under involuntary manslaughter.

2 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Quirkz Re:It's easy (457 comments)

That there is the true secret to my success.

4 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Quirkz Re:It's easy (457 comments)

I've tried duct tape art, a web game, a book, and a dot-com startup, but no apps yet. I think that's next of my checklist of educational monetary failures, though. If they say you've got to try seven businesses before one becomes successful*, I've only got three more to go before I hit it big.

4 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Quirkz Re:401k (457 comments)

Would you like to elaborate on why you don't like them? Or what you using as an investment vehicle instead?

4 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Quirkz Re:Holy shit (457 comments)

He also neglected to include any sort of interest/growth in that calculation. You could easily get there in much less time at $25k/year with even 5% interest. Or some problems come up and it takes you 30 years instead of 25 - that's still shorter than most people work. Or get a few raises and work your way up to contributing $50k/year in a decade.

In other words, there are obstacles, but there's plenty of wiggle room in both directions. If you're paying even a little attention, it's not a hard goal to hit with a developer's salary, which is generally considerably above median income.

4 days ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

Quirkz Re:Holy shit (457 comments)

Really? I think most people would accept "net worth" as the proper metric.

Now there's probably some who don't think about that much and assume millionaires have tons of cash on hand and spend wildly, but generally you don't get to be (or stay) a millionaire doing that.

4 days ago
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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

Quirkz Re:most lego's are a rip off (353 comments)

If a wooden block can be a car and a stick can be a gun, I'm gonna call shenanigans on this. It's not a limitation of the specialty pieces, but of the imagination.

4 days ago
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Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

Quirkz Re:Rewarding the bullies... (793 comments)

Survival of the fittest is the only rule in life.

Don't be silly. Survival of the fittest applies to the wild. The entire *point* of culture/civilization is to blunt that harshest of rules. It doesn't always work so well, and it can easily be exploited, but the GP is entirely correct when he says that bullying should be treated as wrong and discouraged.

4 days ago
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Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

Quirkz Re:Financial pressure to exploit players (181 comments)

4. When their quota/sales target is not met, developers/publishers are under pressure to make up the difference.
5. One of the easiest ways to boost sales is to introduce items which will confer a greatly desired benefit on its purchasers. OTOH, non-buyers who cannot enjoy the greatly desired benefit will endure a comparatively degraded playing experience.

These two aren't necessarily true.

4. Smaller developers especially may not have things like quotas and sales targets which dictate their entire behavior. They're also more likely to be developing for fun as much as income such that $$ aren't the only consideration. And they're more likely to pick free to play as a model just because nobody will pay up front for a game/company they've never heard of.

5. There are plenty of ways around this. Many games don't even require direct player-to-player competition. You can also segregate players so that payers and non-payers can compete in different tiers, or allow modes of gameplay which exclude or dampen the benefits of "pay to win" items. You can even allow ways for non-playing players to gain the same benefits, but in ways that are inconvenient enough the really dedicated will do it, while some others will decide they'd rather pay than put in the effort.

about two weeks ago
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Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

Quirkz Re:Hearthstone is good. (181 comments)

Thanks for the discussion about Hearthstone. I hadn't heard about it, but it's been fun. I played a little Magic back in the 90's and miss that style of game. Free is an excellent price for a little dabbling.

about two weeks ago
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Do Free-To-Play Games Get a Fair Shake?

Quirkz Re:New? (181 comments)

Also, PvZ2 includes a lot of components that you cannot eventually earn, but can only buy. A handful of plants, a number of other bonuses. I added it all up at one point, and it was well over $50, just for the perpetual benefits, not even consumables. I resist paying that much for an AAA title. No way in hell will I pay it for a little iPhone distracter. I was late to the original and only paid $5, which I thought was fair. I'd pay $5 or even $10 for everything in #2. But not $50 or $60. Ridiculous.

about two weeks ago
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Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

Quirkz Re:Homeopathy Works (408 comments)

Sure, I understand the double-blind system. But it's not placebo vs. actual medicine, it's placebo vs (medicine + placebo.) Outside of the study, when your doctor gives you a pill, you're not only getting the full benefit of the medicine, but also the psychological benefits of the placebo effect. It's *not* a placebo, but your brain is still telling you that you feel better for the same reasons, and any treatment you get should automatically convey those benefits.

I acknowledge your point about side effects - there's a greater chance of negatives, which could balance out some positives.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

Quirkz Re:In other news ... (179 comments)

I thought it wasn't just lack of mastery, but actually poor controls, which contributed to the inability to master it. This isn't a sad movie making you sad, this is a skipping DVD during a crucial movie scene inducing rage when you can't get it to work.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

Quirkz Re:I lost a loved one to (179 comments)

ET was bad, but not even in the same league as Ghosts 'n' Goblins.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

Quirkz Re:Great! (179 comments)

I still remember the one and only time I beat the original Castlevania. Only time I made it past the Reaper, actually, with some kind of luck. From there the run to Dracula wasn't bad, but I had to retry that boss fight dozens of times. It took so many times I had to pause the game and leave it running overnight and keep trying after school the next day. Finally only beat him by accident, I think, which involved getting hit at a weird point and landing somewhere I didn't expect to be, but running with it. Perhaps the crowning achievement of my NES days.

about two weeks ago
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Australia Declares Homeopathy Nonsense, Urges Doctors to Inform Patients

Quirkz Re:Homeopathy Works (408 comments)

I have long maintained that if you could induce the placebo effect 50% of the time you'd be doing better than modern medicine.

Don't you think modern medicine should have just as much of a chance of tapping into the placebo effect as anything else?

about two weeks ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Quirkz Re:The world is changing. (224 comments)

I remember being assigned 40 pages of reading. Per class. Due in two days. With four classes, that'd be 160 hours of work every 48 hours. Perhaps my texts weren't as dense as Axler's?

about two weeks ago
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Online Skim Reading Is Taking Over the Human Brain

Quirkz Re:Moving from Ebooks to Paper (224 comments)

It helps, though I've also had moments where someone asks me about a word and I can say, "Well, I can give you three sentences that use it in ways I see a lot, but I'm a little fuzzy on the precise definition." Context gets you close, but not always all the way there.

about two weeks ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

Quirkz Re:Won't work (342 comments)

Personally, I think that it should be law that if you buy shares in any company (or fund or whatever), you have to hold on to them for a minimum of a week or a month. Shares represent actual physical companies which own factories and employ real people.

I get scolded if I make changes to my retirement account which result in moving in and out of a stock any time within a three-month window. I rebalanced once and then adjusted some holdings a few weeks later and got a letter about it. Of course I'm sure the fund manager isn't restricted like that, they just didn't want me to do it.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Running your own ghost investigation?

Quirkz Quirkz writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Quirkz (1206400) writes "I am a skeptic, but have friends and family who swear by their ghost stories. I have access to a supposedly haunted house and been tempted to run a proper scientific investigation. My first question is what sorts of tools or measurements would make for sensible metrics to test during a hunt? Temperature change seems to be a common one, but the other devices you'll see ghost hunters use seem pretty random. The second question is what kinds of results would it take to be "interesting"? Baseline readings at several presumably non-haunted locations seem to be obvious requirements for comparison. Once you have those, what kinds of results would it take to convince a skeptic there's something unusual going on, or demonstrate that there's not? I don't have much hope of changing the minds of those who believe, but it would be satisfying to at least be scientific about it."

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