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Birds Fled Area Before Tornadoes Appeared

Rakhar Re:So the question is... (97 comments)

I don't think flying ~500 miles away equates to a deer running scared from a sound in the woods. If this is the same story I saw yesterday, the birds in question had just settled in after a migration flight of 3000 miles or so total. After one or two days back they up and flew ~500 miles away, then came right back to the same spot. This is way more specific than most tales you hear of animals getting away from natural disasters. It's worth looking into for exactly the reason you said, "if someone actually predicted a natural disaster by using animal behaviour, that might be interesting." Thus why it's a news story at all.

2 days ago
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Ultrasound Used To Create Haptics That Can Be Touched and Felt

Rakhar Re:Proudly Presented By (41 comments)

When you're talking about a projected image, those things are not automatically linked. If you have an image up on your computer screen you can touch the screen, but you can't feel anything to let you know one image from another. You feel the screen, not the image. With 3d projections you can have the same problem, and that's where this comes in.

about two weeks ago
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Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Rakhar Re:Reparations for the Innocent (219 comments)

Any citizen of the Commonwealth that is accused of a major felony crime by way of an incitement or probable cause hearing by the State, and in which the state subsequently withdraws the complaint (or portion thereof) before trial, the case is dismissed by the court prior to trial OR the citizen is found not guilty of the major felony crime at trial shall be entitled to claim all costs and expenses related to or extending from the trial (including lost income) against the general fund of the commonwealth.

So the super rich are cemented as untouchables in law by the simple fact that any government short of federal isn't going near charges against them with a ten foot pole. And even federal would be up in the air depending on charges. I agree, for nearly all cases the above would be an improvement...but at the same time it would permanently close other doors when it comes to leveling the playing field of the legal system.

Every blanket solution has problems like this, which makes me lean towards case by case solutions. That leads to a "who watches the watchers" kind of argument. I don't think that there can be a real solution without trust, and that trust has been beaten and abused so much that nothing is left. At this point everyone is kind of looking around and thinking, "Yeah, this is screwed up" but has no one to put faith in to fix it. It's a broken system behind a broken system. You have to start at the root of the problem; the people's relation to their government. People need to become more involved and government needs reform. It's a huge system designed specifically to keep sudden change from sweeping through it, which becomes a double edged blade in this case. It's also hard for most people to even grasp the scope of our current government and all of the tangled webs between local, state, and federal.

If you back up even further the problem expands to encompass our entire society. People don't trust people. People fear people. People blame people. People hate people. You have negative reinforcement from all sides. You have cities divided into something akin to war zones. Police are seen as the bad guys more often than not when they step in. Ditto for government. A lot of people just don't care, or pretend not to. Of those that do care, very few make it to a place suitable to making change and of those even less make the trip unscathed.

I've lost my point in the downward spiral, so I'll just end it there.

about three weeks ago
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Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

Rakhar Talismans (194 comments)

How are there no references to the Jackie Chan cartoon show here? C'mon people...

about a month ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Rakhar Re:10 and 2 is for older cars (326 comments)

Car hit stopped car due to winter conditions.
Airbag hit me with enough force to cause me to black out for a split second. It felt longer but had to be nearly instant.
Gathered my wits. Noticed pool of blood forming in my lap. Felt blood on neck. Moment of panic thinking my neck was cut.
Got out of car, found my glasses, noticed bent earpiece.
Several people come over to help and tell me about my ear. I didn't even know where I was injured.
Put two and two together in time to stave off the paramedics worries that my head slammed the side window hard enough to do that.

It was a fairly surreal experience. Afterwards I was simply glad the earpiece had gotten my ear instead of say, my eye socket.

about 3 months ago
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Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential

Rakhar Re:And then watch all of them... (93 comments)

I had a subscription to PC Gaming Magazine in the late 90s. Even then the reviews were more like advertisements. I've not trusted them since. These days I just look for gameplay footage on YouTube if I'm iffy about a game. No amount of news articles or fancy CG trailers will convince me a game is worth buying. I rely on direct, face-to-face word of mouth and gameplay videos.

about 3 months ago
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Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential

Rakhar Re:"console shooter" (93 comments)

When Planetside 1 came out it was a utopia for the FPS fan + MMO fan crowd for the first month. Then the first subscription time hit and the population dropped like a rock. That first month was a wonderful thing though... Giant battles with firm lines (there might as well have been trenches) and the hotshots darting between the two. There was so much that was new to FPS games at the time. The array of vehicles, choosing your skills to spec in vehicles or weapons or body armor suits. Hacking to take over bases. So much to encourage team play among your faction.

I feel that if the free to play movement had been stronger back then and Planetside had gone with that it would have done so much better. No one wanted to pay a subscription for a shooter though. Planetside 2 can be fun, but it doesn't come close to the first game due to the sheer scale of battles during that release month.

On topic, I'm considering getting an XBox One just for Destiny. I'd probably get D3 on it as well just for convenience.

about 3 months ago
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Early Reviews of Destiny: Unfulfilled Potential

Rakhar Re:"console shooter" (93 comments)

And your proposed solution is....?

As a gamer that's played PC games long enough to remember when everything used the arrow keys...WASD was a considerable improvement over the horror that was using the arrow keys for games. If you're using a standard keyboard for input then WASD is about as good as it gets. If you aren't using a standard keyboard / mouse then the entire argument is invalid as you have more options available.

about 3 months ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Rakhar Re:A solution in search of a problem... (326 comments)

I've sprained my wrist using my hand to vault over the hood of a car that decided it didn't have to check for pedestrians before making a turn...or look up during the turn itself I guess. I was crossing on the same intersection side, from the far side of the road. In a crosswalk. With the go ahead. I have zero faith in anyone else's ability to not be a complete and total retard at any given time.

That said, there's not any way to get people to follow the no-texting-while-driving laws without invading privacy on a whole new level. I know people that will text while changing lanes. I know other people that will let the phone make all the noise it wants and ignore it till a red light. I don't agree with halting voice communications while driving either. With hands free setups it's no different than chatting with a passenger in the car. Yes, it statistically raises your chances of having a crash, but I'll be damned if you're going to get my approval to make it completely illegal.

If you made a Venn diagram of people willing to pay for this service and people so braindead that they need it, how much overlap are you really going to have? How did this fact not come to their attention while making this?

about 3 months ago
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Technological Solution For Texting While Driving Struggles For Traction

Rakhar Re:10 and 2 is for older cars (326 comments)

Have you been in a car crash where the airbag deployed? Your seatbelt is the most important thing, yes, but god damn that airbag is powerful. I can still taste the blood 8 years later. I can honestly say I've never been hit by anything as hard as that airbag, and that was a low speed crash. I almost lost half of an ear to it as well, since I wear glasses. My glasses flew forwards from the initial impact, then the airbag hit with enough force to push the earpiece through my ear and rip the top half nearly all the way off. A tiny piece of skin was the only thing holding it on. To this day I can't wear in-the-ear earbuds because the one on that side works itself out.

So yeah, as the poster above you said... Airbags are good in life or death situations. For any other crash, they're easily as much of a danger as the crash itself.

about 3 months ago
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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

Rakhar Re:What say the people on the inside? (207 comments)

Decentralization. It's not like the people supplying the data get to directly see how it's used. I'm sure plenty of them aren't even aware of just who they're supplying data to. And the people compiling the data don't necessarily know where it comes from or what the output will be used for.

You can guess an awful lot, but hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

about 4 months ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Rakhar Re:Flaws? (203 comments)

I play RPGs for the RP. I grew up freeform RPing on IRC. I'm one of the small margin of RPGers that actually loves rolling stats one at a time with do-overs only for min values. Nowadays everyone has to be equal, even in a fantasy world. That's boring to me.

When I read books I don't expect every character to be an in-your-face war hero, and I certainly don't look down on the characters that support them in things outside of combat. Remember the days when a rogue loaded with social skills and charisma could be just as pivotal to the adventure as some ninja assassin rogue? You can't even make that character under the newest editions; most of the skills were cut out to give more room for combat/trap skills so you didn't end up with "useless" rogues.

about 4 months ago
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Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook Released

Rakhar Re:Flaws? (203 comments)

I've played in several systems with perks/flaws and they're normally fun. It encourages people to take personality traits that they otherwise wouldn't bother with, and also gives it a solid spot on their sheet to remind them.

That said, I stopped buying D&D stuff after 3.5 was announced and I realized WotC was going to just keep changing the game every few years. 3.5 was still mostly compatible, but I saw the writing on the wall. Nowadays I just make my own systems for fun, keeping die rolls to a minimum and trying to avoid encouraging min/maxing.

about 4 months ago
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Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

Rakhar Not even remotely new news (180 comments)

Same species, same proposed solution...back when they first appeared in the US.

about 4 months ago
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Virtual Boss Keeps Workers On a Short Leash

Rakhar Re:Why? (664 comments)

My manager at work has actually had HR completely reverse a firing for someone that didn't come to work for three work days in a row with no notice whatsoever, while calling up at the end of each day and promising to be in the next. Reason? Not enough paperwork on said person.

Of course on the flip side, if you follow the policies at my workplace to the letter, each and every employee should be fired roughly once per week. It's not possible to follow every policy at once.

about a year ago
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Game Review: Path of Exile (Video)

Rakhar Re:Torchlight 2 (177 comments)

I have TL1 and 2, Titan Quest, D2 (and even that other abomination). PoE has a lot more variables in item stats, and you have a lot more influence on your items due to the "currency items". The game also seems to be a lot harder than most hack and slash games I've played before. High level monsters don't mess around, and there are bosses that will pretty much one-shot you. Reflect mobs remind me of the old iron maiden mobs in D2.

Overall the game feels very different than any of the other games listed. Whether the differences are good or bad is up to each individual. I do agree that the spin of the summary seems forced and comes off as pure marketing, but the game is worth trying.

about a year ago
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An Anonymous US Law Enforcement Officer Claims US Wouldn't Arrest Julian Assange

Rakhar Re:Sure... (399 comments)

"but there was no justice involved"

As a US veteran I actually got teary eyed when I saw the newspaper headlines after Osama was killed with the President saying that "Justice has been served". The President of the United States, calling that justice. The country we have now and the one I enlisted to defend are not the same country.

The older I get, the harder I find it to be truly patriotic.

about a year ago
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Smithsonian Releases 3D Models of Artifacts

Rakhar Re:people may hear about but rarely see or touch (47 comments)

The interesting bit is the possibility of schools being able to get their hands on cheap scale models of some of these things. Getting a child interested in science and history makes the learning process go a lot more smoothly than just cramming a bunch of facts down their throat. Even viewing the 3d models on the computer is actually fairly interesting. Rotating around the mold of Lincoln's face is very much different than just "looking at a picture". The same for things like the Wright brothers' plane, with all of its individual parts.

Just because you aren't interested doesn't mean that other people aren't.

about a year ago
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AMD Continues To Pressure NVIDIA With Lower Cost Radeon R9 270 and BF4 Bundle

Rakhar No problems here (142 comments)

Despite the massive amount of bashing going back and forth here, I feel compelled to point out that I've swapped back and forth between both AMD/ATI and NVidia over the years and I've run into problems with brand new games having glitches with one or the other on both sides. Even having said that, I'm talking two or three times in over a decade. Aside from that I've had fans go out on one card, and it still lasted long enough after that that I didn't feel bad when it came time to buy a new one.

For most people it really doesn't matter what card you get as long as it isn't ancient. For enthusiasts, compare specs and get what you need. If the specs look like they're in Klingon to you, take the time to learn what's what. If you can't be arsed to do that, then you aren't an enthusiast in the first place.

This isn't like rooting for your home sports team. There is no justifiable reason to give complete loyalty to any company when weighing your purchases.

about a year ago

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