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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Suddenly_Dead Re:Slashdot BETA Sucks. (2219 comments)

It has. Maybe they should have looked for new ways to foster user-generated discussions. What else Slashdot have to offer, exactly? The stories are old, the summaries are often wrong, and the unique content is mediocre. Those three things can be changed without needing to change the layout, but the new management hasn't made any noticeable inroads at all.

about 2 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Suddenly_Dead Re:Is there a single thing arguably better in the (2219 comments)

If you want to become yet another mainstream gossip page, that is the way to go.

Maybe they do. Maybe they see that a lot of sites that make a lot of money are mainstream gossip sites. Of course, that would be missing the fact that thousands of other people saw those sites and are also trying to imitate them.

Anyways, I'll entertain that: how would Slashdot make that transition?

If they switch on the Beta, the ruination of the comments will cause the complete loss of their current user base, so they're off to a weak start. What's going to replace the comments? They've been trying recently to generate more unique content, and for the most part it's been okay-to-poor. That's not going to draw anyone in at all. How about as a Buzzfeed-like link farm? Well no, Slashdot is still just as slow and unreliable as always, there hasn't been any transition happening there either. Just what is their plan exactly and when are they going to actually start it? And how is ruining Slashdot going to accomplish that plan any better than just registering an altogether new domain and starting it off ruined?

about 2 months ago
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North Korea's Home-Grown Operating System Mimics OS X

Suddenly_Dead Re:Fuck BEta (252 comments)

Hate it. It's a big jumble. I don't like jumbles. The summaries are also much too short, and it suffers from the 'big, meaningless pictures' thing that Beta does.

That said, it's still one of the better sites out there. Every article isn't a gem, but it's much more consistently well-written than most any other major site.

about 2 months ago
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North Korea's Home-Grown Operating System Mimics OS X

Suddenly_Dead Re:Fuck BEta (252 comments)

I don't know. Ars' current layout is busy and nigh unreadable. Reddit is fucking Reddit. Hacker News has been brought up and is okay I guess, but glancing at it the front page layout is a pain, and I care about almost none of the news on it (while Slashdot's focus seems to gel with me). Any other frequent suggestions?

about 2 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Suddenly_Dead Re:You're all* fucking idiots. (767 comments)

I can barely discern the difference between my current CFLs and blackbody light (not sure if I can at all or if I'm imagining it), and in any case the difference doesn't bother me -- plus, I quite like that I can buy lights brighter than an incandescent, or with different perceived colors, as I see fit. The newer generation of LEDs and CFLs have even better white phosphors than the ones I already like.

about 3 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Suddenly_Dead Re:You're all* fucking idiots. (767 comments)

Looks as though they are. The reflective coating apparently increases the efficiency by reflecting the infrared, not for cosmetic reasons, but they are halogens inside.

Well, there's some sort of high efficiency incandescent out there according to several of the news articles. Like I said, I've never seen one. I use a combination of the halogen bulbs and CFLs myself, though I plan to gradually switch to LEDs as they're beginning to be competitive. There are some manufacturers who claim 90+ CRI LED lights.

about 3 months ago
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Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve

Suddenly_Dead Re:You're all* fucking idiots. (767 comments)

Although I haven't seen them in stores yet, there are also high effeciency incandescents that are souped-up "traditional" incandescents.

Both HE incandescents and halogen bulbs are "incandescent" light bulbs. They produce typical blackbody radiation. They don't contain mercury.

about 3 months ago
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The Quest To Build Xbox One and PS4 Emulators

Suddenly_Dead Re:The good, the bad, and the ugly... (227 comments)

Hard.

0) If a game is running on a multiplatform engine, chances are the studio is already selling a PC version, rendering this whole thing moot. Otherwise they're likely on an in-house or licensed single-platform engine.
1) "Popular game engines" are highly customized by the studios using them (with the large studios, often substantially). Though they may share commonalities, you'd nevertheless need to tailor your modifications to each and every game.
2) Even in a game engine that has bundled asset packages, scripting languages, etc., much of the core functionality that makes a game different from another game, including some of the gameplay code, will be in the C++ or other compiled code.
3) You don't have source code to the engines in question. Major console games aren't made on open source engines.
4) If you modify and redistribute engine code without permission, you're very much on the wrong side of the law. Your development will have to be in secrecy and you'll have to distribute anonymously, while very aware that someone will subpoena anyone you distribute through to find the source. Good luck finding recruits.
5) If instead you try to create your own black box recreation of the engine, well, uh, again, good luck. Modern game engines are beasts.

about 4 months ago
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U.S. Measles Cases Triple In 2013

Suddenly_Dead Re:Duh (462 comments)

"Credulity" is its own scale. The whole left/right thing is silly besides.

about 4 months ago
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Making Earbuds That Fit (Video)

Suddenly_Dead Re:satisfied with $10 earbuds? (104 comments)

Thanks for the tip, I just grabbed a couple of the HA-FX67 (and some Comply tips thanks to another poster). They, and their predecessors the HA-FX66 have pretty good reviews. I want something decent, but more portable and less precious than my headphones. This fits the bill :)

about a year ago
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Java Zero-Day Vulnerability Rolled Into Exploit Packs

Suddenly_Dead Re:Oh Java... (193 comments)

Are you responding to me? jQuery is a JavaScript library, and the Java plugin and JRE aren't bundled with every modern browser (or really any that I can think of).

about a year ago
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Java Zero-Day Vulnerability Rolled Into Exploit Packs

Suddenly_Dead Re:Oh Java... (193 comments)

We're talking about Java, not JavaScript.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

Suddenly_Dead Re:4GB memory vs. 32-bit apps... (313 comments)

However, a 32-bit process doesn't see more than 2 GB unless the "large address aware" flag is flipped in its executable header.

about a year and a half ago
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Color-Screen TI-84 Plus Calculator Leaked

Suddenly_Dead Re:Certified dumb for school use? (245 comments)

When I was in school, there were tools floating around that let one avoid a memory wipe on a TI-83; they provided a menu that looked like the system menu, complete with the reset function, but which did nothing. IIRC, the most sophisticated ones also replaced the menu with the memory / saved programs, hiding them after the "reset" so it looked like something actually happened.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft's Hidden Windows 8 Feature: Ads

Suddenly_Dead Re:Kind of sleezy (635 comments)

I've never seen ads in the music app for music on my own system. The music app also streams music from Microsoft's Xbox Music service; if you do a search within the music app, I think it looks for Xbox Music music by default instead of music in your own library. If you're playing that music, you get ads unless you subscribe, which I think is perfectly reasonable. I really like getting free music, by the way, and a good number of the albums I've tried searching for are on there, including some somewhat obscure ones. We don't get Spotify or Pandora in Canada, though.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Releases Windows 8

Suddenly_Dead Re:Why? (403 comments)

The Ars Technica reviews points to problems using multiple monitors: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/windows-reimagined-a-review-of-windows-8/5/

Where? That article discusses issues with Metro/Desktop integration, the store, and wishes that cloud support was better. The only thing it says about multi-monitor support it:

If you're a multimonitor user, I would think long and hard before upgrading; as welcome as the new taskbar is, the ease of use of the new interface is a severe problem with multiple monitors.

Which doesn't really clarify anything at all.

about a year and a half ago
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OpenOffice Is Now, Officially, Apache OpenOffice

Suddenly_Dead Re:Why choose OO over LO? (266 comments)

Which world seems like it would be a larger set of developers?

There are two different underlying questions here which could potentially have two completely different answers:

A) Which project will have the larger set of developers using its code in some manner
B) Which project will have the larger set of developers contributing back to it?

about a year and a half ago
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The Implications of Google Restricting Access To Anti-Islam Film

Suddenly_Dead Re:There is no credo for atheism. (727 comments)

As a logician I am interested in this distinction. My distinction is based on the negation. Take p as "God exists" (quantifier is not needed here). Then according to me:

(1) agnosticism: not(believe(p))
(2) atheism: believe(not(p))

Very simple. No need to talk about conclusions or certainty. In a correct 'logic for belief', (1) is compatible with not(believe(not(p))) and some would perhaps add this as a clause to (1), with which I would agree. Now you seem to suggest that famous atheists call (1) atheism. Perhaps some atheists like Dawkins have spinned it that way, but I still don't agree with this terminology. I do agree that my definition (1) probably doesn't capture how some agnostics would characterize their position, because the reference to gnosis indicates an epistemic notion. However, I still would like to know how you -- or Dawkin, or Huxly, for what it's worth -- call case (2) if atheism in your opinion covers case (1)?

No pun intended, just being curious.

Your (2) is called a number of different things. I think Dawkins calls it "strong" atheism. I've also seen "positive" and "hard" bandied about.

What about Huxley? Well, your definition of agnosticism definitely has nothing at all to do with his:

Where g is god, exists(x) is the premise stating that x exists, demonstrated(y) is where one takes as true that the evidence of the positive truth value of y exists, and where believe(not(p)) => not(believe(p)):

(1) agnosticism*: !demonstrated(x) => not(believe(x)) AND not(believe(not(x)))
(2) atheism: not(believe(p))
(3) "strong" or "positive" or "hard" atheism: believe(not(p))

Agnosticism, as Thomas Henry Huxley states it, is a system whereby one does not believe something to be certainly true/false unless they are actually demonstrably so. Following from this, the agnostic position would be not to believe in a god's existence or non-existence as neither is demonstrable, meaning that atheism follows from agnosticism. That is, unless you believe that a god's existence is demonstrated.

However, yes, the way you've used "agnostic" and the way Huxley used "agnostic" are not the same as the definitions of "agnostic" that many other self-identified agnostics and non-agnostics use today. You need to use epistemology and/or certainty of belief for most of the remaining ones. Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.

Perhaps some atheists like Dawkins have spinned it that way, but I still don't agree with this terminology

I'm also sorry that this is so, but it is. By-and-large, prominent atheists and atheist organizations use the definition of atheist that I've used. Substitute "atheism" of the "soft/negative/weak" variety with "agnosticism" in your mind if you want to. However, if you do, then what are you going to call the other definitions of agnosticism?

about a year and a half ago
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The Implications of Google Restricting Access To Anti-Islam Film

Suddenly_Dead Re:There is no credo for atheism. (727 comments)

What you describe is agnosticism, lack of belief in God. Atheism is the explicit belief that God doesn't exist.

Not if you ask Richard Dawkins (who declares himself both atheist and agnostic towards God), or just about any other prominent atheist. Not if you ask the guy who original coined the term "agnostic":

Positively the principle may be expressed: In matters of the intellect, follow your reason as far as it will take you, without regard to any other consideration. And negatively: In matters of the intellect do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable. -- Thomas Henry Huxley, describing agnosticism

Agnosticism is not being certain about conclusions when there's no reason to be certain about them; when used in the context of gods, it's about not having certainty about either conclusion (gods exist or gods don't exist). Atheism is not having a belief in a god, which says nothing in itself about the certainty about a god existing or not.

about a year and a half ago
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Rare Form of Autism Could Be Curable With Protein Supplements

Suddenly_Dead Re:Who is being inaccurate here? (163 comments)

Apologies for not responding to this yesterday; I was busy. But I'm here now! :)

Here is what Fuhrman stated in the part I quoted: "I have been utilizing a high antioxidant, acrlyamide-free diet for many years with marked success. ... Studies in the medical literature support this method of treatment.[ii] "

Here is that footnoted section with *three* studies cited (I added carriage returns to make it clearer there are three studies):

Yep, I knew I brainfarted somewhere. I shall now revise my summary of the veracity of Fuhrman's claim: it's a load of shit, he's irresponsible for making it, and he's unethical for abusing journal references to support a claim they cannot. That is, my position remains the same, and I assure you it's not merely out of quacking. Let's look at all three studies then:

Kaartinen K, Lammi K, Hypen M, et al. Vegan diet alleviates fibromyalgia symptoms. Scand J Rheumatol 2000;29(5):308-13.

This is the one I discussed. It cannot be used as evidence that a raw vegan diet is a valid treatment for fibromyalgia, and it certainly can't be used to support the specific claims made by Fuhrman that the reason such a diet would work is because it's "a high antioxidant, acrlyamide-free diet".

Donaldson MS; Speight N; Loomis Fibromyalgia syndrome improved using a mostly raw vegetarian diet: an observational study. BMC Complement Altern Med 2001;1(1):7.

Oooooh, full article! Yes! Unfortunately, this article is worse than the last one. There was no control group (and by extension, no blinding). Again, there was no comparison to other diets. Six of twenty-six patients (23% of the study) dropped out after two months and aren't included in the statistics. Not all of the patients studied actually met the diagnostic requirements of FMS. The study does not state how many did not.

So okay, this study can't be used either. Not even in conjunction with the previous study, as both are at best at the preliminary stages. They're the sort of study you use to demonstrate that something is worth studying further when you're making a grant proposal.

Hanninen, Kaartinen K, Rauma AL, et al. Antioxidants in vegan diet and rheumatic disorders. Toxicology 2000 Nov 30;155(1-3):45-53.

Woah, I can find this one on Google. Two full articles, cool. Okay, this one is larger than the last two, but has virtually all of the problems that the first study has. There's no blinding, no comparison to other diets, nothing.

I wouldn't doubt increased fruit and vegetable intake is helpful. Does that mean it has to be raw? That animal products have to be cut out? That the rest of Fuhrman's discussion about toxins and the evils of baking and all of that is confirmed? Nope.

about a year and a half ago

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