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Comments

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FCC Approves Plan To Spend $5B Over Next Five Years On School Wi-Fi

RingDev Re:How about 5BN... (54 comments)

How to circumvent router level blocking of Facebook?

-Rick

about a month and a half ago
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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

RingDev Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (602 comments)

Uhm, I think you're misinterpreting that chart.

GDP dropped in 2007-2009. So there SHOULD be a spike right there. Not to mention that we were blowing hundreds of billions on foreign wars at the same time.

Cut off the war funding, watch the economy recover, and we will be right back down into the 30's.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

RingDev Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (602 comments)

Just because the taxes are paid based on regional and income data doesn't mean the programs they fund aren't socialist in nature.

Society pays to protect everyone in the society from fire, crime, and for eduction, healthcare, economic development, etc...

Like it or not, socialism is a cornerstone of the American way of life.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

RingDev Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (602 comments)

Excellently put! I am familiar with the etimology of Communism, and I did take a short cut to the modern English word Community, but I'm sure you are aware that Community shares those same roots.

And my appologies for my lack of clear message. I was trying to point out that no "communist" state has ever been true communism just as no "capitalist" state has ever been true capitalism. Both are failed experiements.

What is of value though, is elements of both. The free market is incredibly powerful, but it must be contained. Just as socialist programs bring a huge benefit to the people, but must be capped to prevent excessive consolidation of power.

So what we try to achieve is a set of social programs that ensure everyone in the country can live at a minimal acceptable standard of living and an open market that allows individuals to rise and fall based on their own merits.

Some people are just so rabbidly Mcarthy about things that the word "Socialism" is immediately associated with all things evil and anti-American. While it is one of the fundamental bedrocks of our society.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

RingDev Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (602 comments)

Just the opposite. The theory of COMMUNism is that everything is done by the community. There is no need for a central authority once the communities are set up.

And there-in lies the rub. The central authority will always see a need for more work from the central authority. So it never goes away. But part of its duties are to remove all other authorities, which leaves it as the sole authority. And once you have a singular authority you arrive at fascism.

It's not that communism is evil, just as capitalism is not evil. It's that they are theories that will never be implemented in reality as mankind as a whole is too imperfect to reach and maintain such a state.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

RingDev Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (602 comments)

Right! And all state/locally funded. Once the feds get involved, things tend to go downhill

So you're OK with Socialism, just not the US Federal governments involvement in socialism? If so, you should really make that more clear.

OK, but I could use N. Korea or the former Soviet Union as counter examples

Neither of which were ever true socialist states. They took a lot more socialist ideals, but the whole concept of socialism, or to the farthest reaches of true-communism, is that there is NO central authority. In reality, that never occurs. Someone will always take power, and typically the person most willing to do so is the person you least likely want to have it.

Power corrupts. When you make the government all powerful, which is necessary for true Socialism, corruption happens.

And the exact same thing can be said for the free markets. With out the stablising force of a strong government, a free market will eat itself and collapse. See the 1920's, 1980's, 2000's, and we'll probably see it again by the 2030's.

Some would say that's why we have the world's largest economy by far. We certainly have the most production per capita of any nation in history, and we are a lazy lot.

A rank that won't be ours for much longer. The BRIC countries are expanding at such a rate that by 2020 we will no longer hold either of those records.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Candidate Gingrich Pushes a Moon Base, Other Space Initiatives

RingDev Re:Going to the moon, with what money?? (602 comments)

ooh! Ohh! I'll play!!

Applied Socialism:
Public Schools
Public Roads
Public Police Force
Public Fire Departments

Applied unregulated freemarket Capitalism:
Ethiopia.

True Capitalism is just like true communism. Great in theory, horrible in practice. There is a healthy balance of taking elements from both theories. Taking the socialist approach to ensuring a safety net over which a capitalist driven system can opperate. Take out the safety net, and one mistake can have catostrophic results. Build too big of safety net, and the tightrope of capitalism will get tangled up in it.

And I think we can surmize, given the US's current level of social-capitalist involvement, as compared to the rest of the modern world (G7 and BRIC), that we are not anywhere remotely close to the excessively socialist side.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Astronomers Release Enormous Database of Variable-Luminosity Celestial Objects

RingDev Re:They used a universal sql injection attack... (54 comments)

Oh what I wouldn't give to discover an asteroid, just so I could name it:

';delete * from celestialobjects;

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Advancing a Programming Career?

RingDev How do you feel about Lumberjacks? (165 comments)

Every developer hits that point eventually. And your choices aren't necesarily limited. Assuming you're ok with a pay cut.

There are plenty of opportunities to move in the direction or Project/IT management. That's the direction I've gone. 15 years of seeing poorly run projects and trying to get them back on track has left me pretty well practiced for taking the reigns.

Switching over to the networking side of the house isn't a bad option either. There's some learning involved, and you're not going to start out as a senior architect, but you can get work with the ancilary skills you've developed.

All industries can benefit from exceptionally bright solution developers. Look into 6-Sigma training and advance your career into process improvement.

And if all else fails, get out of the office. Find yourself a lumbar jack gig, maybe come camp counciling in the summer, park maintenance in the Everglades, etc....

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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New CO2 Harvester Could Help Scrub the Air

RingDev Re:Massive farms of artificial trees... (368 comments)

You have to put it into rational terms though.

1 cubic foot of air weighs 0.0807 lbs. CO2 makes up about 0.039% of our atmosphere, so roughly 0.00315 lbs/qubic foot. 1 gram is about 0.0022 lbs.

Assuming your calculations are accurate. 1000 metric tons would be able to completely remove ALL of the CO2 in a cubic foot of atmosphere.

I am curious as to what the rate on that number is. But I think it's safe to say that in non-arid areas and places with out grey water issues, planting actual trees and grasses is a better option.

In the super dence areas, I could see this being used as a vertical solution where native plant life would be unsustainable. But I wouldn't count on it any time soon.

Time to water the spider plant.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Could a Dirty Rag Take Out a $2 Billion Satellite?

RingDev Re:The answer appears to be a yes. (297 comments)

Most starters aren't strong enough to bust up a wrench or socket. Take out a plug maybe, possibly bend a valve, but in all likelihood, the motor would turn the engine till contact and stop.

That is assuming you are hitting the engin with the starter before hooking up the fuel and plugs. Which is usually a good idea to get the oil pump primed and heads lubricated firing it up.

That said, I have a number of wrenches that could easily fit in a cylinder with the piston at BDC. A GM 350 for instance, has a 4" bore and 3.48" stroke. On the diagonal that gives you over 5 1/4" clearance at BDC, not including the combustion chamber in the head.

9-11mm wrenches and 1/4" wrenches are common tools under the hood. Wiring brackets, trim plates, grounding lines, battery terminals, oil pan bolts, valve cover bolts, etc... They all fall into that size range.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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How Stephen Hawking Has Defied the Odds For 50 Years

RingDev Re:Best care money can buy helps (495 comments)

21 year olds are still covered by their parent's insurance (Assuming the parents have insurance). 26 is the new cut off age. If you turn 27 and get diagnosed with cancer, you're likely not going to have great options.

New job means crap benefits, but too much income to qualify for state plans.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Apple Patents Power Adapter That Recovers Lost Passwords

RingDev Re:Reasonably stupid (210 comments)

I would admit that there are too many people who fail to acknowledge their responsibilities, but I would venture that there are even more people who make a living by convincing/tricking people into failing to acknowledge their responsibility.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?

RingDev Left??? (727 comments)

Silicon Valley is known to lean left--Google's Marissa Mayer had Obama as an invited guest at her home for a fundraiser, for crying out loud.

You say that as if you think Obama is some sort of left leaning political figure. I can see where you would get that impression, but it's pretty far from accurate. The left only likes him because he isn't as far right as the GOP.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Are Engineers Natural Libertarians Or Technocrats?

RingDev I don't think "left" means what you think it means (727 comments)

Silicon Valley is known to lean left--Google's Marissa Mayer had Obama as an invited guest at her home for a fundraiser, for crying out loud.

And how does that indicate a "left" leaning political ideology?

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA Creator In TV/Film/Music Industry's Pocket

RingDev Re:LOL (345 comments)

Heh, if I had an answer for that, I'd be working to implement it, not dinking around on /.! :P

You can't just throw money at it, but taking money away from public education sure isn't going to make it better. Where my wife went to school while living in Mississippi the school was so poorly funded they were using books that were decades old (and incorrect!), they didn't have enough for all the students so they had to share, had missing/broken windows, and the whole place was in a substantial state of disrepair.

If folks want to cut public education funding to the bone, fine, but don't be surprised when graduation rates drop to the 40% range.

I am a bit spoiled though, my highschool (in south central Wisconsin) had a 97% graduation rate. And the school my son is going to (about 15 miles away from my old school) has had a 100% graduation rate for the last 3 consecutive years. Sure, my property taxes are astronomical compared to Mississippi, but knowing that my son, and all of the kids in his generation, are growing up with the assumption that graduating highschool and persuing secondary education and a career is the "normal" thing to do is damn well worth it!

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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SOPA Creator In TV/Film/Music Industry's Pocket

RingDev Re:LOL (345 comments)

Do you also think that the quality of public schooling is equal to private schooling or home school?

YOU aren't thinking that all public schools are equal under the current system, do you?

Not all public/private/online/home schools are equal. Some public schools are really good, some public schools are really bad. Some private schools are really good, others are complete drivel. Some homeschoolers are really focused, others wind up with mal-adjusted brats that are totally indoctrinated in their parent's beliefs.

Point being, the focus on public schools shouldn't be destroying the good along with the bad, but improving the bad to perform as well as the good.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Transitioning From Developer To Executive?

RingDev Re:Micromanage or you will be disappointed (229 comments)

This is actually pretty common and any manager worth his spit aught to be able to tell the difference between "Effort" and "Duration" estimates and should have a rough idea of what percent of your time is targeted at the project.

For example, if you said it would take you 240 hours to complete the project (effort), and I know that you're only going to be able to put about 50% of your time towards the project, that the total duration is likly going to be around 12 weeks.

If I really need that project done in 8 weeks, it means I've got to find ways to get 50% of your non-project time removed from your plate. If that means getting someone else on the team to look at the network issue or finding ways to mitigate the impact of the move on you, so be it, but I, as a manager, need to find a way to get you up to 75% of your time as project time.

This is actually pretty challenging. By default, under best circumstances, assume that any average employee is only going to have 90% of their time available. The other 10% goes to checking email, answering phone calls, bathroom breaks, etc... Typically, I like to estimate 80%, especially for people who have to bounce between projects or are on user-centric projects as there will inevidibly be delays and thrashing.

Even with that 80%, you're going to lose some portion of it to meetings. Heck, most folks have atleast 2 hours of meetings a week for status updates, tech reviews, performance evals, planning, etc... Each two hours of meetings is another 6 1/4% off that 80% number.

So as another Sr Dev/Jr Manager individual, I'd say keep making sure that your manager is aware that your estimates are for Effort, not duration, and make sure he/she is knoledgable about your schedule and other responsibilities.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago
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Book Review: The Economics of Software Quality

RingDev Correlary (83 comments)

Everyong knows: Fast, Cheap, or Good - pick two.

But not everyone knows its correlary:

Slow, Expensive, or Wrong - pick one.

-Rick

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

Journals

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Nancy Pelosi to Democrats: "Be Republicans"

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I think I have finally figured out why Nancy Pelosi is working so hard to screw democrats. Her last statement about the FISA bill finally cleared up my confusion. One of her aids said, "For any Republican-leaning district this would have been a huge issue" and goes on to estimate that "as many as 10 competitive races could have been affected by it..."

  The implication is simple. Pelosi is pursuing the Republican agenda in order to gain Republican votes. By gaining Republican votes and likely some Republican leaning politicians with a 'D' on their titles, she can turn the Democratic party into the NEW Republican party!

  Personally, if I wanted my elected officials to vote Republican, I would have voted Republican.

  Nancy Pelosi has put political ambition above the will of the people, and above the will of her own constituents who elected and supported her.

-Rick

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A new law to make breaking the old law illegal?

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 6 years ago

This is a copy of a post I made in the discussion on the most recent attempt to get the new FISA bill, with Telco immunity, pushed through congress:

Okay, I like Obama's stance on a lot of the issues, but this is just retarded.

"Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance - making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people."

So Bush's wire taps were illegal, meaning they were/are in violation of existing laws. So we're going to make a NEW law that makes it illegal for Bush to break the existing law?

He already broke the law, why would he care about breaking the law that would prevent him from breaking the law?!!?

Laws are designed to govern people that follow them. People who place themselves beyond the law will not be effected no matter how many laws are created. More laws will not make them change their behavior.

Punishment is the answer. Even if the punishment can not change their behavior it can limit their ability to affect others.

We've already determined that Bush's wiretaps were illegal. He broke the law. The answer isn't to create more laws, the answer is to enforce the laws that we already have!

The whole situation reminds me of a .sig a friend of mine uses. It's not cited, so I don't know if it's his work, or something he gleamed elsewhere:

Laws are not created to stop criminals, laws are created to control the law abiding masses. A criminal is a person that breaks the law, and creating more laws will not stop criminals from being criminals -- it just puts more controls on the law-abiding citizens. Unfortunately the law abiding masses have not realized this basic truth. When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.

-Rick

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"Support the troops" really pisses me off.

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 7 years ago

There are 2 types of people who support the troops: Those who are veterans, and those who have bumper stickers. Guess which one actually makes a difference.

If you want to bitch and moan about supporting the troops, and the Democrat's time table, go fight the good fight. There are plenty of recruiters with stacks of signing bonuses just waiting for you to walk in. If you're not willing to put your own neck on the line:

Don't talk about sacrifice until you've lost a loved one.
Don't talk about the importance until you've killed a person.
Don't talk about bravery until you've sat with your wall against a wall while small arms fire was coming in.

There are great people of this nation fighting, dieing, and being physically and mentally maimed for life. And to see a draft-dodging deserter like Bush giving speeches about "winning" the war, about being brave and tough, and about the difficulty of the decisions he makes... it rips my guts out to hear him, of all people, utter that crap. No sane person has ever survived a war and thought that war was a good solution. Sometimes, it is necessary, but the cost is so high, so many lives are lost or shattered, the cost of not going to war has to be huge.

Sorry for the rant, I'm just a bit worked up today and someone posted some inane 'yeah-but I support the troops' crap.

-Rick

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Ringdev's Razor

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Ringdev's Razor: "When there are two possible explanations for a given situation, one that requires a large amount of knowledge, skill, and luck, and another that requires gross incompetence; go with the incompetence explanation."

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A Gem of a quote

RingDev RingDev writes  |  about 8 years ago

"Since the dawn of time, the x86 FPU has been organized as a stack

No no no, since the dawn of time, Man has yearned to destroy the Sun!

x86 came much later, right after the COBOL and the other dinosaurs."

Tumbleweed (3706)

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A possible MMO contender?

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 8 years ago I recently bumped into a game call "The Chronicle" That seems like it might be pretty close to what I was describing. A dynamic world where players build the cities and war with others. NPCs that react to events, and can actually be proactive. An active use skill learning system, no more arbitrary levels. An in depth fame/infamy system. And what looks like it may be a highly impressive crafting economic system (not sure on game play aspect of crafting yet). They also have a very interesting idea on a new way to play.

They have two kinds of characters, Regular, and Main. You get 1 main and 3 regs per server, your regular characters are limited to 70% max skill in any skill line, but they can re spawn when ever they die and work just like any other MMO's characters for the most part. Your Main on the other hand, can hit 100% max skill, can create guilds, and most importantly, is susceptible to Permadeath. Yes, your Main character can die for real. There are some catches to that. Mains have longer 'bleeding out' times. Mains also have the possibility of '2nd chances' where there is a slim possibility that your toon will be saved (whether by local NPCs who drag you to a healer, or by the Gnolls that are taking you back to their cave for a later meal). It also sounds like Mains will have the possibility to effect the world and story line more so then regulars.

This game has everything I was hoping for with one exception. The PvP aspect doesn't sound like it is RvR styled. It sounds much more anything goes shadowbane ish, where anyone can kill anyone. The developers had lots of tricks up their selves to make killing mains much more challenging (only a Main can kill another Main, and all Main avatars look just like regular avatars, and since there are no levels, there is no way to check the 'con' of another player). So it should be pretty intense.

Any ways, it looks like a fun one to keep an eye on.

-Rick

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Some MMO ideas...

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Everyone has ideas for games, and I'm no exception, so here are a few of mine.

I have a few primary goals:
1) A dynamic world. I want to play a game where my guild and I can change the face of the planet.
2) A non-violent option. I want to play a game where my master crafter can be just as renowned as the greatest goblin slayer or war lord
3) A real economy. No more endless camping of critters to get your 10 million gold piece just to see it disappear from the game when you buy a house.

Ideas on achieving this:
The Dynamic World would take a bit of work. First, every server would start with one or two NPC cities. These cities are safe points, no PvE or PvP in the cities. The city would have it's own NPC guards that would ensure the safety of the immediate area surrounding the wall. So if a PKer or a pack of Kobolds where at the gates, the guards would kill them. But the farther from the wall you get, the less protection they offer. But as players branch out from the city they can build houses and forts. These locations they must purchase the land, and have the option of paying 'taxes'. Taxes would go to NPC guards, or two a contracted guild (with NPC augmentation). Each time a new establishment is created, the evil critters are pushed back. But the critters aren't dumb. Goblin after goblin isn't going to grab their life savings and charge the front line, they are going to leave their valuables in safe places. Places for players to track down and raid. Of course that means charging into the center of the local goblin population. And raiding the local population's primary holding may push them back even further, or cause their numbers to join other goblin groups.

Obviously crafting would be extremely important, because the NPCs are all located at the center of the universe and the wars and exploration are happening as the far reaches. NPC items are also of limited use. So crafters become the tool for the front lines. In order for this to work though you need a new crafting system. With this much importance on crafting, a painfully repetitive system (ala: DAoC) will only lead to scripting. No, it would be much better to have a wider range of production with a lot more input from the player. Remember, a character may solely be a crafter, so making an item has to be just as entertaining as killing those goblins. Creating houses, forts, walls, etc... would all be crafting tasks. Sure, a player could pay a large fee for an NPC to do the work, or they could create a layout plan and pay a PC to do the work for less and with a likelihood of higher quality. Crafters will depend on materials though, so there will be another set of specialties for harvesters (lumber jacks, miners, farmers, etc). Balancing the tediousness of harvesting is going to be a challenge, but there are answers. When mining you can pull out different materials, maybe you can find a gold vein and can mine the whole thing, maybe you find a coal deposit, maybe iron. Searching out these different components can be part of it. The same for lumbar, cutting down that pine tree is fast, but it's wood is soft, going for the 200 year old oak will take a lot longer, but will get you a lot more hard wood.

Which reminds me, reputation is every thing. An in game reputation system is extremely important. Group performance, crafting skill, customer approval, etc...

So we know crafters and suppliers are important, what about the people who like hack and slash? I see a few options: Army duty, Adventuring/Exploring, Guard duty. Army duty is for professional soldiers. Eventually, two separate houses far enough away from the city will declare war on each other, or perhaps two cities will expand far enough to encounter each other, or even perhaps some evil entity will generate the numbers require to wage an all out war. In these cases the Lords of the town/house/group has the option of paying players for spending time in their military. You might be on patrol routes, or on a front line, but in any case you will likely be involved with a good number of battles either group vs group or mass vs mass. Adventurers and explorers are the ones who would blaze paths into the unknown. They may find the caves that the Ogres have been raiding from. They may find new resource deposits. They may perform recon for different factions. And finally, guard duty. A guild could elect to take guard duty for a house or fort. A house owner could offer to pay so much gold to a guild for protection. Now paying people to stand in front of a house is boring, so NPC's would be used for most of the time. The NPC's would warn the guild of suspicious activity, and of the money paid by the house owner, the guild would get a % that reflects the % of time they were on the property or in the immediate area. So your guild could perform guard duty for a house for 500g a month, but if you only have someone spend a few hours at the house a month, the pay out will be only a small percent. But if the property is a hot spot and you have guards their through out the day, you would earn much more of the monthly payment.

Additional adventuring locations could be instanced out. Small quests, unique exploration points, and much of the low level content. The act of leveling would be rather short as the fun stuff is out side the static city in the dynamic world. After clearing out the bakers rat infestation and a couple runs through the city's grave yard and catacombs, it's time to set out and make a mark on the world. The other thing I never liked about leveling is well, leveling. I'm a much larger fan of "do it-improve it". If you swing a battle axe for 10 days, you get better at it. If you cast nothing but lightning spells, you get better at lightning spells. My preference is for a maximum number of skill points, say 200. Any skill tops out at 100. So you can put 100 points into sword and 100 points into shield and have yourself a classic tank. Or you could put 100 points into battle axe and 100 points into armour smithing and have yourself a side business. Or you could put 75 in sword, 75 in shield and 50 in lightning element magic and be a slightly weaker tank with a decent ranged magic attack. Obviously there would be a ton of balancing that would have to go into such a system, but I think it would allow people to do what they enjoy and watch their character improve. And you wouldn't need to 'respec', if you want to switch weapons, just switch weapons and your points will start dropping in the old skill you aren't using and go up in the new skill you are using.

Well, that's my idea.

-Rick

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What we're doing in Iraq

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I have a theory. This theory was initially stated in late 2001/early 2002 while at a bar with some friends. At that point in time I had just got out of the Marine Corps and 9/11 was a fresh memory. My time line is a bit fuzzy because this was quite a while ago and many of the realization where made while drinking.

One thing I learned while in the military over seas is the drunk military guys f' things up all over the world. We have troops station in South Korea, Australia, Japan, and tons of other places too. And most of the time, everything is good. Then you get some jack ass who gets drunk and runs down the local magistrate's prom queen daughter and the whole region goes up in arms. So anyways, onto the theory.

After 9/11 the US revved up the war machine and laid the smack down on Afghanistan. Funny things about war time media coverage, other minor stories get pushed aside. Two of those stories though caught my eye. First was an announcement that Saudi Arabia was requesting that we remove all military presence from their soil. Not a big shocker, like I said before, drunk military guys do the damndest things, or so I thought at the time. And second, was a story about a Nigeria diplomat who sold documents to an Italian diplomat that showed Saddam trying to buy yellow cake uranium, that story was followed up by a denouncement (the work of Mr. Plane most likely). But it was rather quite and was nothing compared to the war in Afghanistan.

Any time you have large masses of US military stuck in someoneelse's country, the neighbors get nervous. Turkey was having debates on allowing the US troops to stage and using their air space, and Iran, well, they were moving in a radical direction and wound up electing a former hostage taker as their president (My former OIC was one of the Marines held hostage in Lebanon by that guy). The Pakistani board warlords were armed to the teeth. Saudi Arabia booted our troops.

Now the US is left in a rough spot, with a radical government in control of Iran, and no serious staging grounds on the western side of the country. The US needed to get a foot hold in the region to keep pressure on Iran.

Enter Iraq! A weak military, a dictator Americans would love to see brought down, a fortune in oil to socialize (worked in Kuwait!), and the perfect place to make our next permanent middle east forward outpost.

Scrounge up some iffy documentation on Saddam trying to get weapons grade nuclear material (even if it had already been refuted), and market the hell out of it. I felt bad for Collin Powel, he was trying to do the right thing, get into Iraq with the public behind him with out lying. Bush had no such qualms (or intelligence) and Rumsfeld is a war time chief, he's good at it, but even he can't paint a crap log pretty.

It was at about this point in time that I finally put 2 and 2 together. We were going to war. It would be over fast, 2 weeks top. There would be rejoicing. Then there would be death. Another thing I learned in the Marine Corps. Attacking a guerrilla force in an urban environment with current practices results in very heavy casualties. In field exercises a small skilled force could inflict up to 70% casualties before being overrun. And after being overrun skilled independents could still inflict casualties over and over again with minimum risk to themselves. Not only would there be deaths in the cities, but it would be long term. Remember, the whole reason for being there wasn't for oil, or nukes, or a democratic agenda, it was to put a serious military force with in striking distance of Iran.

And here we are, the war was over in a few days with a hand full of casualties. But we stayed, and slowly over time we are taking more and more hits. Bush refuses to set a deadline to bring troops home, because he doesn't intend to. Creating a permanent military installation is the goal. Sure, as things stabilize more and more our numbers will be reduced, but there will always be a solid presence inside Iraq. At least until the politicians boot us out ;)

And I can't say the plan was a bad one. Iran is a significantly larger threat and terrorist backer then Iraq ever was. And with Iran's leadership making rumblings of nuclear power and anti-Israeli sentiment, I have to agree that having a local launch pad is a good thing.

Unfortunately the execution of this plan was about worth bat shit. The war has been mismanaged, underestimated, and poorly handled since day one.

Things that could have been done better:
1) Don't disband the bath party and Iraqi military. The structure was there, use it. Take charge of it. And let the people replace it with a democracy on their own schedule.
2) Policing. The US should have stepped up and stopped the looting, this would have been much easier had the Iraqi army not been disbanded.
3) Get the infrastructure back up ASAP. During the war the first things we took out was power and communications. It's hard as hell to win a war with out them, and it's rough as hell to run a country with out them either.
4) Win the publicity war. I had friends who were building schools, creating new water cleansing plants, rebuilding bridges and playgrounds. But what do we hear? car bombs and casualties.
5) Lock down the boarders. Come hard and fast and with lots of cash. Use the Pakistani War Lords on the board as mercs. They know the terrain and can drastically cut down on the number of foreign combatants. Make it a simple choice, take the money and help, or we find someone who will to replace you.

That's my babble for the day. It is almost all conjecture, and I am no longer in the military or in any way associated or in contact with the government. So I could be completely wrong, but this explanation makes a lot more sense to me then the 'bad intelligence' theory the white house is spitting out, and much more sense then the 'blood for oil' crap from the Micheal Moore camp.

-Rick

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DRM-Soft

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 8 years ago After an interesting discussion on the Vista x64 signed drivers debate, BeBoxer convinced me to stop calling my DRM idea a DRM. And I understand where he is comming from. So from now on, I'm going to refer to my vision as 'DRM-Soft'. Hmmm, maybe I should patent this thing. ;)

-Rick

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My DRM Dream

RingDev RingDev writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Quite often the topic of DRM's come up, and I often take heat for having a pro-DRM solution. To clarify I would like to say that I think all current DRM solutions are horrendous. They are either intrusive on consumer rights/fair play, lock the user into one system (Apple), create security issues (Sony), or report activity back to a central tracking system (Music leasing systems). I find these options to all be unacceptable. But I also see the importance of DRM's to the digital market. It is for that reason that I figured I post this here, since I wind up posting about it decently often.

My solution would be a hardware integrated system, which means it would be best implemented with a new medium (ie: HD-DVD/Blu-ray, holo disks, what ever comes next). It would also have to be implemented in all new old media players also (so that a new CD player could play content with this DRM). The driver for the hardware would be closed source, but open standard, and the assemblies would have to be available on all industry standard processors (ie x86, arm, etc). The goal there is to make the 'black box' portion of the DRM as widely available and ubiquitous as possible. Proprietary systems from different vendors just screw users(like the Apple lock in). Since we are going for total solution that also means ensuring that the 'black box' MUST work with Linux, albeit as a closed source driver.

The key to me is loosely defining the boarder between legal activity, and illegal. I don't want the DRM to enforce the law, I just want the DRM to make it more cumbersome to break the law. To do this we need an identifier, likely for a person, family, or household. The DRM would allow you to bind your personal/family/household identifiers to the hardware. And by identifiers I just mean some easy to entry code, maybe like 5 digits 1-6 (so even basic car stereos can be easily set up). Now that you have all of your hardware entered with your keys, you can stick your DRM'd content into it. The content, if marked as being just sold, updates it's acceptable key's with those that are on the hardware. You now have a piece of DRM'd content that is associated with all of your gear. You can burn it to CD, copy it, put it on the internet, what ever, but it will have that association to your gear. (Notice that the 5 digit identifier is not going to be an absolute unique identifier, so no one can 'track back' from the internet who gave who what)

But then comes the question about loaning media to a friend? Sure, pop the media in to your player of choice, if the content's key is not listed on the hardware, it just prompts you for it. That way, you can borrow all of your friends music, but mass distribution is significantly less likely because everyone would have to keep lists of their downloaded content and what identifier goes with each piece.

There are a few things that I don't have figured out, like what if you want to resell a piece of content? Do you need to content the original copyright holder to get the key reset? and what's preventing every user in the world from using 55555 as their household key? But if those issues could be figured out, you would have a system that reduces (not prevents!) casual piracy, and doesn't effect the user's rights under fair use.

-Rick

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