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How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

Shadowmist Re:When going into business with Friends (182 comments)

All in all a classic carpetbagger move by Williams that everyone except Gygax fell for.

Oh? Keep in mind that it was Gygax himself who brought her in. Much how like Steve Jobs brought in Sculley, who later led the move to oust Jobs from Apple.

2 days ago
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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

Shadowmist Re:Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (140 comments)

The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance. Another possibility is that the content providers the ISP's are throttling will eventually become ISP's themselves, especially Google.

Waiting for Google to save us is essentially waiting for something that's not going to happen. Most users are stuck between a choice of one ISP or perhaps two, both of which engaged in the same practices.

about two weeks ago
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Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

Shadowmist Re:My question was not answered (57 comments)

"And what good is FTL drive when you still need large rockets to get off of 1G gravity wells?" because once we get into orbit we can go to the stars? Seriously, that was a stupid question.

No, there are no practical models at this time for 'FTL'(I include warp like techs in that), but do you seriously think that if we did manage it, we wouldn't go to other planets of star becasue we need to lift it into orbit first?

So you don't see a problem with the fact that we still need the equivalent of a Saturn 1B rocket to get people off the ground? What good is a starship when you can't land and off the planets you discover?

about three weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

Shadowmist Re:Patentable? (468 comments)

Aside from digging up prior art on such a thing, how is this idea patentable in any way, other than a very specific implementation? I.e., using certain technologies for range finding to ground, picture display, and umm... reasons?

You have absolutely no idea on how patent law is applied.

about three weeks ago
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Airbus Patents Windowless Cockpit That Would Increase Pilots' Field of View

Shadowmist Re:Power? We dont need no stink'n power! (468 comments)

So what happens when the first plane has a power blip, or an engine failure? How can you land with no view?

Airline pilots have what is known as an Instrument Flight Rating for a reason. They don't depend on looking out the window to fly.

about three weeks ago
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Interview: Edward Stone Talks About JPL and Space Exploration

Shadowmist Re:My question was not answered (57 comments)

I wanted to know why we're wasting money on this type of thing now, when we should be investing in FTL research. Once we perfect that, it will make any money we've spent exploring in the conventional way wasted money. We would be able to go out and retrieve the Voyager probes and bring them back into a museum and say 'job well done, boys, but we don't need you anymore.' Ultimately all these conventional missions will turn out to be a waste of resources, pushing back the time until we can get the FTL drive operational.

Because when it comes to FTL, there is no practical science to throw money at. (quantum models which require the bulk of the universes matter converted to energy to test are a bit far from "practical engineering".) And what good is FTL drive when you still need large rockets to get off of 1G gravity wells? Which you'd realize if your scientific knowledge extended something beyond LeVar Burton would be reading off a Star Trek shooting script. We are still in the evolving stage of enabling humans to live in space for long durations without making cripples or cancer patients out of them. We still have a large solar system to explore that we've only started scratching the surface of. Let's not jump the gun of our expectations.

about three weeks ago
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A Tour of One of the World's Only Underwater Labs With Fabien Cousteau

Shadowmist Re:For becoming fish... (30 comments)

....they should remove bubbles.

His grandpa did that decades ago. How is that today we can't do it?

Cousteau's deep divers DID have exhalation bubbles. rebreathers simply will not function beyond very shallow dives. Because you must balance your own internal pressure against that of the sea, and the human lung wasn't evolved for doing much more than 1 bar. You may be thinking of Conshelf Three which was an extended habitat some 328 feet below the surface. There were no exhalation bubbles because it was necessary to tether the aquanauts to the habitat with hoses delivering fresh helix (an air mix of about 98 percent helium and 2 percent oxygen) and retrieving it from the user's lungs. As they were breathing over 10 x surface pressure this was necessary to prevent the habitat from losing it's air and consequently being flooded. The triple tank backpacks they wore were only for emergency use and would have provided at most about 10 minutes of breathing. For a shallow lab like this one, there is no need to tether the divers in this fashion.

about three weeks ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Science loves to dance... (686 comments)

Mars doesn't have internal dynamo because it it tiny, it cooled off already. Earth sized rocky planets with similar composition take billions of years to cool, and so will have magnetic field.

Why does Venus then, which is about the size of Earth and fairly similar in composition so lack a magnetic field?

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Huge planet = Huge gravity (686 comments)

17 x the mass does not mean 17x the gravity. But even if the gravity is only say 3x that of Earth, it'd be a bit much for the human spine to deal with.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Radio: the first assumption (686 comments)

While there are many creatures on Earth that have some of our particular things we consider a sign of intelligence, there is none that replicates the complete package. That's an important distinction.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:What alien would think to look here? (686 comments)

I currently subscribe to a variant of this climate change theory. (Natural, not anthropogenic.)

My variant is that all, or almost all the civilizations the aliens know about formed around red dwarf stars. It's nice and stable there for very long periods of time. We're only stable here by luck - and our big moon helps some.

It shows how little you know about red dwarfs. There are some big problems with life on a red dwarf. 1. The damm things are rather cold as stars go. So to get the kind of heat that's needed for liquid water, you've got to be pretty close to the parent star... and that has two major consequences. The first is tidal locking which means the same face is facing the start constantly. The more serious problem is proximity.... At that distance the solar wind is so dense it would overwhelm what would be a nearly non existent magnetic field. (because of the slow rotation from part 1). The planet's atmosphere would literally be blown away by the highly ionized solar wind.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Related to #2 (686 comments)

We are kinda in the middle of the sticks in our galaxy. We are a good bit out in one of the arms. .

Actually as life goes in the Galaxy, we're in prime real estate. We're far enough in for the metal density to be reasonably high enough to form nice rocky worlds. We are however not so close to be irradiated by the higher density of active stars in the Galactic Core. Gamma Ray Bursters and other nasty effects are far more common there. No to mention the occasional jet that would be emitted by the central black hole. I expect the Core to be pretty much a sterile place.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

There are 88 objects (known) in our solar system larger than 200 miles in diameter. We know one has life, we believe 3 others have a promising chance to have life (Enceladus, Titan. Europa), as well as the possibility of subterranean life on Mars (methane venting).

There's a world of difference between the promise of microbial life, (which seems the best that they're hoping for) and the star-spanning kind of life this thread is interested in. For a long time the dominant species on this planet, were trilobites whose nearest present descendant are sand crabs.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

...or how about that space faring races would tend to travel towards the center of the galaxy, instead of way out here in a spiral arm?

Because they enjoy higher levels of X Rays and radioactivity that much? The Center is a hostile place for living things.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Pilot carrier of UHF TV stations (686 comments)

- Finally, IIRC there's the matter of the Oort cloud to consider - I believe I heard somewhere that it is expected to cause attenuation and scattering of low-intensity radio signals. I suppose we'll know more about that if Voyager is still transmitting when it reaches it in a few (hundred?) centuries.

Voyager's plutonium battery is good for at most, another couple of decades.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

Or maybe the universe is so competitive that anyone who announces their presence eats the bad end of a relativistic weapon...

But why? That's the question you need to answer. Why would any civilization advanced enough for true interstellar travel even be slightly interested in smashing the Earth with a relativistic weapon, or any other kind of weapon?

Because the only motives we can ascribe to alien species are our own.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:Progenitors? (686 comments)

R is the one I understand the least so you could be right. In my view star formation on its own is not enough as it doesn't take the star lifecycle into account. In all there are 10 types of star, of which it might be reasonable to assume F/G/K can support planets with life, in which case it would be (R * 0.227 or R=1.589). (22.7% of main-sequence stars are F/G/K type)

F stars are comparatively short lived on the order of 100 million years or so... K stars are so dim that the theoretical "life belt" is so close that the solar winds would overwhelm the magnetosphere and blow away the planet's atmosphere.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:the joker in the formula (686 comments)

You are ignoring the fact that it seems like one highly intelligent and technology-developing species could probably not evolve in coexistence with another one on the same planet, at some point one would win and kill off the other one.

I'm sure it's been proposed/discussed many times before, but I don't know if this concept has an "official" name or not.

it does... It's called natural selection. A niche can only be occupied by one species at a time. If there is competition, the species that outbreeds the other will drive the loser to extinction.

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Shadowmist Re:the joker in the formula (686 comments)

Also, while you're taking the past into account you're not taking the future. In 4.6 billion years whether you want to say 1 to 12 species evolved depending on how you want to frame it. The Earth has an estimated 5 billion years remaining... so lets say in the next 100 years, even a million years, there's an extinction event and primates all die. That's 4.9 billion years for another intelligent species to develop.

Actually the window for Earth closes a lot earlier than that. In about one billion years, the Sun's steadily increasing luminosity will grow to the point that no amount of Gaian adjustment can compensate for, and Earth will join Venus in the Runaway Greenhouse club.

about a month ago
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America 'Has Become a War Zone'

Shadowmist Re:War of government against people? (875 comments)

Lastly, and more of a concern than the two previous is that a majority of police training today is geared toward attacking the public. There have been ample leaks from DHS training materials showing this to be true. Military and Law Enforcement agencies are using material claiming that "Patriots" and "Tea Party" type groups are potential terrorists.

This is not an unfounded concern. America has had periods where every now and then it became fashionable for whackos to gather in para-military groups put together frequently in reaction to progressive strides the country had made. In the post Civil War period it was the Klu Klux Klan drawn originally from Ex-Confederate troops. In more modern times there were Fascist and Nazi-Sympathizer BUNDS that would form for pretty much the same motivation only with anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism spiced with a good deal of anti-immigrant hatred. When you put this together that the largest recent surge in gun ownership was not driven by a reasonable fear of crime, but the unreasoned fear by the election of a Black President, lots of things tend to add up. These studies aren't targeting the Tea Party, they are a recognition that the Tea Party DOES draw in a lot of the extreme whacko type among it's members. Gun ownership and crime are harder things to track, but what we are seeing in a new wave of shootings is a rise of impulse shootings, which have no real clear end to them... not even the survival of the shooters. So when it comes to trying to correlate trends in gun ownership, the real question to be asked is who's now buying guns in greater quantities than before. If the rise is that of the impulse, especially fear or angst-driven buyer than the decrease in crime is DESPITE the increase in gun ownership, not because of it.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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World of Warcraft Players Need Not Apply

Shadowmist Shadowmist writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Shadowmist writes "From the New York Times BITS (Buisness Innovation Techology Society) blog:

In at least one known incidents employers have been telling recruiters "not to send them World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc."

On one hand, the recruiter may have a point: Massively multiplayer online games can require a high level of engagement — players must spend long hours playing to advance their characters and participate in game activities such as raids. It's not uncommon for subscribers to log as many as 30 hours per week."

Others argue that the management involved in leading guilds and raids serves as training in skills such as leadership and project managment.

But still this might be something you want to leave off your resume... or Facebook."

Link to Original Source

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