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How To Sneak In To a Security Conference

Ruke Re:Security is about what you're securing. (189 comments)

Absolutely. There's no reason to have a conference be that secure. Spending an extra five-to-ten seconds per attendee checking badges would be a major disruption in crowd flow. The primary benefit of security at this event was to make the attendees feel special, and the secondary benefit was preventing overwhelming crowds. There's basically no reason to keep out any one person who's not supposed to be there; the panels are advertisements, and the information is as good as public. Security is in place to keep out crowds of people who aren't supposed to be there, and they seemed to do well enough at that.

more than 2 years ago
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Huge Freshwater Bulge In Arctic Ocean

Ruke Re:Yeah, but. (382 comments)

Things fall apart. The center cannot hold. =(

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Candidates For Geek Issues?

Ruke Re:same old same old (792 comments)

2. "Many members feel that they have a moral imperative to attempt to push their moral agenda on people who have nothing to do with them" Democrats do this also with issues like affirmative action and gay marriage.

This is the example you chose? Prohibiting same-sex marriage is an attempt to push your own moral agenda onto someone else. Your grandmother's "Fw:Fw:Fw:B HUSSEIN Obama" email to the contrary, no one is going to force anyone to have a gay marriage. Allowing same-sex marriage won't affect heterosexuals in the slightest.

more than 2 years ago
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Blizzard Announces New WoW Expansion: Mists of Pandaria

Ruke Re:What's really going on here? (276 comments)

I remember hearing, back when Cata came out, that Blizzard was disappointed internally with the rate that content was coming out; either they were creating patches and hotfixes and general maintenance, and not making any progress on The Next Big Thing, or they were working on their expansion, and patch updates were suffering. Right around when Cata came out, Blizzard actually split the responsibility into two separate teams; one who was tasked, full time, on the next expansion, and another who was responsible for intermediate patch updates. This looks like the fruit of their labors.

more than 2 years ago
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Google+ To End Real Names Policy

Ruke Re:Finally.. (235 comments)

The "problem" is one of critical mass: there's no reason to use a social networking site unless your friends use the same social networking site. Hell, right now, my G+ pretty much acts as an RSS agregator, allowing me to read updates from nerd celebrities that they're also posting to their blogs, twitter, facebook, and probably two or three other places. My friends are on Facebook, so, if I want to talk to them, or organize an event, I have to be on facebook.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Mars Is Not the Best Place To Look For Life

Ruke Re:Mars might be the best place to put life, thoug (298 comments)

We're not looking to discover what early Earth life looked like; we have Earth for that. What we're looking for is life that evolved in a completely isolated environment. Life on earth pretty much all uses DNA and RNA - it was the "fittest" self-replicating pattern, and it's pretty much got a monopoly on Earth. But if we can find life out there that hasn't had to compete with any of the lifeforms on earth, and didn't evolve from any life forms on earth, that would be incredibly interesting. We'd get to see if our set of amino acids were just the solution that life on earth stumbled upon, or if they're so head-and-shoulders above the competition that they will form wherever they can form.

I can't figure out what you mean by "the conditions aren't right under the evolutionary paradigm." Honestly, the sentence parses as gibberish. The basic ideas behind evolution don't even require organic matter. As Dawkins points out in "The Blind Watchmaker," any pattern that is predisposed to create copies of itself will show up in an environment more often than a pattern which is not. If the copying process has the potential to introduce random transcription errors, the it has all it needs to perform a search of the local pattern-space for "best pattern at copying itself." And, with scarce resources, there is an external pressure for these self-replicating patterns to be best at self-replicating. Nothing in here demands a perfectly earth-like environment. Water certainly helps, because all sorts of interesting chemical reactions occur at an impressive rate in aqueous solutions, but if we're looking for life outside of Earth, we need to be prepared to look for life not-quite-as-we-know-it.

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon Re-Opens Affiliate Program In California

Ruke Re:Makes me want to burn my kindle (107 comments)

What possible reason is there to fund things any other way?

Because, as my next sentence clearly states, you can fund a project based on benefit provided, rather than use. Certain individuals or corporations stand to lose much more if there is inadequate infrastructure, and stand to gain much more from the maintenance of said infrastructure. It is reasonable for them to pay a larger portion of the construction and maintenance of said infrastructure.

Duh. Businesses don't pay tax. 'Tax on business' ends up being paid either by the employees or the customers; so all the class warriors demanding that 'companies should pay more tax!' are really demanding that 'wages should be lower and prices should be higher!'

Well, since we've got corporate personhood, businesses can pay taxes. If you still insist that people are paying those taxes, I supposed it'd be the shareholders, not the employees or customers, directly paying those costs. I'm okay with that.

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon Re-Opens Affiliate Program In California

Ruke Re:Makes me want to burn my kindle (107 comments)

I'm not concerned about me; I want to ensure that the millions of other Californians are paying their fare share, so that they're properly funding the government. Since it would be prohibitively expensive to audit each and every person who purchase anything off of the internet, it makes more sense to focus the responsibility in one place, much as we put the onus on brick-and-mortar stores to collect sales tax, instead of depending on each consumer to tally their own sales tax and submit it at the end of the year.

more than 2 years ago
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Amazon Re-Opens Affiliate Program In California

Ruke Re:Makes me want to burn my kindle (107 comments)

Which makes sense, if you think that everything should be funded by those who use it. If, on the other hand, you think that everything should be funded by those who benefit from it, it makes more sense to weigh the tax against the businesses who are able to pull in millions of dollars each year due to the public infrastructure provided for by tax dollars.

more than 2 years ago
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Conflict Between Occupy Wall Street Protestors and NYPD Escalating

Ruke Re:have fun protesting (961 comments)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

People can peaceably assemble, and it is as unconstitutional as it gets to make a law saying that they can't.

more than 2 years ago
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Neal Stephenson Says Video Games Are the Metaverse

Ruke Re:Did I Miss Something? (176 comments)

It was, but it was also about the evolution of financial systems. (Most of the stuff with Eliza was about the advent of the stock market, investing systems, and banks' roles in this.) It was also about religion. And pirates. And politics. The Baroque cycle was five or six stories, each with their own themes, all weaved into one universe.

more than 2 years ago
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Neal Stephenson Says Video Games Are the Metaverse

Ruke Re:Metaverse (176 comments)

It was, and, if you read the interview, Stephenson says, "No, I was wrong. WoW is where it's at." The problem with Second Life is, once you get over the novelty of having an avatar, it's really just a huge, elaborate chatroom. World of Warcraft, on the other hand, has all of the important social aspects: communities, chat, emotes, avatars and it gives you a reason for being there: playing the game. It being a game is really a critical distinction. It pulls all sorts of people in, not just those exclusively interested in forming some sort of online community. It justifies a payment mechanism, and funds servers, development, and advertising. It gives people a common goal that they can complete exclusively in the context of the metaverse.

Stephenson got the "online alternate reality" aspect of it right way before it actually happened; he just didn't see the correlation between "expensive 3D rendering engine" and "games," because, with the state of hardware, it was way, way too expensive to even consider doing at the time.

more than 2 years ago
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Star Rips Exoplanet To Shreds With X-Rays

Ruke Re:37 millon years (62 comments)

COROT-2b is much, much larger than earth. It has a mass of approximately 3.31 times that of Jupiter, which itself is 317.83 times that of earth. (COROT-2b) Your estimate is off by about three orders of magnitude, assuming a constant rate of decay.

more than 2 years ago
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Bejeweled Yields Cognitive Benefit In Older Adults

Ruke Re:placebo? (82 comments)

I imagine that the control would, in fact, be doing nothing for approximately the same amount of time that the other group played Bejeweled. You might want to throw in some other games or cognative activities (DOOM, crossword puzzles, Solitare, etc.) to see if the "action-puzzle" nature of Bejeweled is what causes the feelings of "sharpness," as well.

more than 2 years ago
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Thermal Imaging Lie Detector In Development

Ruke Re:YIKES!!! (183 comments)

I see no reason why these things wouldn't cause visible discomfort in your face, as opposed to whatever (skin conductivity/heart rate?) a traditional lie detector measures. The whole point is to mask truths and lies alike, so there is no way to tell them apart.

more than 2 years ago
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Defunct Satellite To Fall From the Sky

Ruke Re:Chance (168 comments)

Stand really close to someone else. The odds that falling satellite debris will hit two people are absolutely dismal.

more than 2 years ago
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Defunct Satellite To Fall From the Sky

Ruke Re:Chance (168 comments)

Yep. TFA puts the odds at about 1:3200, actually.

more than 2 years ago
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Algorithmic Trading Rapidly Replacing Need For Humans

Ruke Re:This is bullshit. (331 comments)

You assert that HFT does not help the market in any way. I'd be inclined to agree, but that's really just my gut feeling. Can anyone provide any kind of source, one way or the other, saying that HFT is necessary, or good, or terribly evil? I'd like to hear what actual economists think of it, rather than just laymen.

more than 2 years ago

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