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Comments

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Which Is Better, Adblock Or Adblock Plus?

argStyopa Re:Chrome? (270 comments)

Privacy != blocking ads.

Personally, I use Chrome not because I have a hardon for Google, but because:
a) it's generally been the fastest smoothest browser out there. Sure, this or that may just nudge ahead of Chrome now and again, but I'd rather take "1st or 2nd fastest every time" over "was first once, then was never heard of for 7 months, then was first again".
b) I don't honestly care about "privacy" in the FUD context it's generally bandied about. Frankly, if the great "them" collecting data on me want to know that I'm a 46 year old hetero white male and serve me ads of stuff that I want (preferably draped in scantily clad, easily-objectifiable women) I'm al lfor it.

I use adblock not for privacy purposes, but as a filter against the obnoxious, aggressive, in-your-face ubiquitous advertising that gets in the way of my browsing. In fact, I watch carefully the number of blocked cookies, etc. For sites I've visited for a while and seen they're moderately low and not too obtrusive, I disable adblock because I want them to get the revenue for my visits, as small as it is. TANSTAAFL.

2 hours ago
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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

argStyopa this should honestly be called literary necroporn (123 comments)

I mean, what else do you call it when a director and studio execs repeatedly ass-hump JRR Tolkien's corpse until it's a tattered, torn remnant, not even recognizable as related to it's original form?

I'm not kidding.
This isn't The Hobbit...this is "fantasy action movie ver#3, including characters from The Hobbit".

And everyone knew it was coming. Do you know of a single person, anywhere who (when told The Hobbit would be 3 movies) didn't do a double take and say WTF?

I really loved the LOTR movies. I largely agreed with the editorial choices to remove parts that were non-germane to the plot. But this?

This is appalling. The trailer looks appalling, and the first two movies were appalling. Not only were they not The Hobbit, they weren't even GOOD 'generic fantasy movies'.

Fuck you, Peter Jackson, you weird, barefoot shitbird, for the future people your abortion will drive away from what's really a canon of fantasy literature. May your memory as a director rot in hell right next to Ralph Bakshi.

For those disappointed folks who haven't already seen them, CinemaSins has done an amusing job of reviewing the ample superficial flaws in the first two. Watch these, they're more entertaining than these films themselves:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... (the first movie)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?... (the second)

3 hours ago
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Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

argStyopa ob Caddyshack reference (68 comments)

In the immortal words of Judge Smayles: Well, the world needs ditch-diggers, too.

3 hours ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

argStyopa Another bloviation from Bennett (520 comments)

Who the hell is this guy sleeping with, that Slashdot has become his personal blog-pimp site? (Rhetorical question, it's clearly timothy, soulskill, and samzenpus....do you guys know about each other?)

Seriously? If his points were insightful, it might just BARELY be acceptable (but still, not really - did we want this to become the 21st century's Chaos Manor column?)...but I have to say, they aren't. I was going just refute as an example a few of his issues, but they're so fucking obvious, what's the point?

Bennett, I'm not going to educate you basic premises of business, marketing, anecdotal evidence, etc. Seriously, talking about the goddamn WEATHER?

What.
The.
Fuck,
Slashdot?

2 days ago
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Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

argStyopa I love the little mitigatory clause in there (490 comments)

"...illegal drug use (including abuse of prescription painkillers) among technology workers and executives in high-pay, high-stress Silicon Valley. ..."

I know a shit-ton of people whose lives/work is JUST as stressful working their 3 jobs to make ends meet, but since it's not "high pay" that would probably mean they're not worth talking about, right? Certainly, we're less interesting in the 'why' of their drug abuse issues, because they can only afford cheap mood-altering chemistry like booze and cigs.

Personally, I'd say the fact that Silicon Valley folks make stupid-large amounts of money means they have even LESS of an excuse to complain.

Lots of people have more stress for much less self-inflicted reasons than pursuing of giant piles of cash.

2 days ago
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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

argStyopa Re:Not news (319 comments)

You might want to revise your facts.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu...
Mice gengineered to be germ free were fed drinking water from public sources. Within the life span of the mice, they developed GI tract bacteria that were ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SPECIES.

Hell, Galapagos Finches evolved different heritable beak differences in http://www.plosgenetics.org/ar...
http://rspb.royalsocietypublis...

4 days ago
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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

argStyopa Re:Not news (319 comments)

To answer your points in order:

1) I could point to thousands of species that have, and are growing, adapting, and doing quite well thank you. Bacteria, virii, insects, lots of plants, fungus, etc. I'm sorry that they aren't the adorable big/furry mammals that excite your sympathy gland.
2) Even with the most sophisticated weapons and tools, have we exterminated every species of whale? Nope. Heck, even with the determined effort of CENTURIES, have we (or are we even close to) exterminated the common mosquito? Nope.
3) I wasn't really blaming them for anything. I was saying that no species cares about its environment, in that, humans are EXACTLY like the other animals...we're going to reproduce and poison our environment until it kills us. That's just the natural way of things.

You ENTIRELY missed the point of my comment, by the way. Righteous indignation makes it hard to read, I get it.

4 days ago
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Earth In the Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: the 'Anthropocene Defaunation'

argStyopa Re:Not news (319 comments)

Or perhaps the entire idea of 'peacefully coexisting with nature' is completely, utterly wrong and a romantic, emotionalized intellectualism first dreamed up by Thoreau and lately enfranchised by Greens because it thrums sympathetic heartstrings of the same naive urbanites that think you can hand-feed wild animals or coexist with bears (Grizzlyman!) because they're cute?

NO species "peacefully coexists with nature". Zero. Nature is a cold-hearted bitch, and to "win" against it, species have evolved their own ruthless strategies.
Every species from the single-celled protozoa to grey whales eats and reproduces heedless of the consequences to the environment. Ultimately, one of three things happen:
1) the species cannot reproduce fast enough to outrace environmental pressures and is wiped out (either slowly over time, or just a result of shitty luck like an asteroid strike - 'scale' is always the tricky question where environment is concerned).
2) the species comes to an equilibrium, where reproduction/expansion are roughly balanced against the environmental pressures, and a sort of stasis results (until the next environmental variation that exceeds the flexibility of the population to sustain)
3) the species overwhelms environmental pressures, expanding until they exhaust resources and are confronted with #1 again, or is able to move to another environment and "restart" the calculation.

That's it. Every species, ever. Three (really 2) possible results. But no matter how you decorate it, #2 isn't some delightful rainbows and unicorns happy time either - both 'sides' are voraciously, impersonally, automatically fighting both directions. Think of it as a bloody tug of war....just because the flag in the center isn't moving much, doesn't in ANY way imply that both sides aren't struggling mightily every single second, and wouldn't cheerfully win if given the opportunity.

Hell, even plants are selfish, arrogant assholes when you come right down to it and see how they fuck each other over. They just do it really slowly.

(To be clear, I'm not anthropomorphizing it either, it's simply useful for the point here to suggest the forces are 'contending'. In reality, they're both entirely insensate....which is kind of my point.)

I know it's futile, since it's such a pretty delusion (and so politically useful for so many...) but can we ever dispense with the bullshit notion that anything, ever, "peacefully coexists with nature"?

4 days ago
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Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

argStyopa Absolutely correct (165 comments)

That's an unfair assertion, and completely not supported by facts.

Don Rumsfeld has NOT been proven to be an alien, nor have I seen any evidence that he prefers Mexicans over any other nationality, much less the exclusivity implied by the wiki entry.

Glad they fixed it.

4 days ago
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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

argStyopa FUD alert (212 comments)

"Most people wouldn't even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps. "

Um, no.
First, the normal flush pressure comes from the water tank on the back...so EVERYONE would be able to flush at least once. (Actually, in a disaster, that tank isn't a bad source of freshwater, at least for a while.)

Most communities have water tanks above their population, either on a nearby height, or in water towers. This makes the system - at least in the short term, until that tank is drained - impervious to power outage. Even NYC has tens of thousands of rooftop tanks with the same function, but on a per-building level.
GRAVITY, not electricity, produces water pressure that refills that local toilet tank. So until the community tank is emptied, and electric pumps are required to fill that large tank, everyone would be able to flush just fine.

http://www.howstuffworks.com/w...

5 days ago
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One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

argStyopa Re:Real world consequences (190 comments)

FUD, now in "patronizing" flavor.

To suggest that critiquing a stupid unit of measure is somehow trivializing the problem is itself a strawman.

If I said that I'm 1,930,400,000,000 picometers tall, people SHOULD mock me for using a stupid unit of measure. When people are primed to overreact to an event like Fukushima and then confronted by a number in public reporting that uses just such an inappropriate unit of measure, one can either mock the report for being foolish, or condemn it for being deliberately inflammatory. Which would you prefer?

5 days ago
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Will Your Next Car Be Covered In Morphing Dimples?

argStyopa Why "morphing" (136 comments)

I mean, what is the advantage of a complex vacuum system and the flexible (ie fail-able) skin?

Just put dimples on the cars. In a single generation, it would go from "looking weird" to normal.

5 days ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

argStyopa Personally (541 comments)

I have minor strabismus, one eye points about 10-15 degrees offline.
I'm told it's barely noticeable with glasses on, but very evident when I have them off. Plus, I've lived all my life with glasses and I'm 46....so nah, not worth the bother/risk.
If I was 20 and didn't have this vanity thing? I'd do it in a heartbeat.

5 days ago
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Empathy For Virtual Characters Studied With FMRI Brain Imaging

argStyopa fMRI? (51 comments)

Didn't an animal study in 2009 or so show that fMRI was fundamentally flawed, as it showed brain activity in DEAD salmon?

Ah, here it is:
http://blogs.scientificamerica...

about a week ago
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How the Internet of Things Could Aid Disaster Response

argStyopa Am I just too old? (60 comments)

Am I the only one that finds the "Internet of Things" a catastrophically, pointlessly stupid idea?

I don't WANT my refrigerator, stove, blender, toaster, home climate control, garage door opener, office fan, or toilet connected to the internet. I cannot see how adding additional potential points of failure to everything makes them better, just so I can see when (and/or what) little Jimmy flushed this morning, or I can log in to my toaster's web page and change the settings remotely (why?).

I've been an 'early adopter' of lots of things - computers, the internet, dvds, digital tvs, etc - but perhaps at 46 I'm simply too old to "get" the IoT (like twitter or instagram, I don't really "get" those either).

about a week ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

argStyopa I don't think Socialism is the controlling factor (613 comments)

...if it is, it's more a symptom than cause.
I believe it's societies in which the economically optimal behavior is cheating.

In Socialist East Germany as many have posted here anecdotally, the system was so broken that cheating - going outside the formal rules of the system - was the only way to get many basic and preferred needs met.

This is endemic to CORRUPT societies, not just socialist ones.

For cheating to be optimal, you have to have two elements:
- a system that gives people motivation to break the rules AND (importantly)
- an alternative - a black market, corrupt officials, etc - that is workable.

I'd argue that *any* overbureaucratic society will eventually reach this point.
Capitalism - insofar as it mitigates the issue - allows people to DIRECTLY follow their self-interest, without having to 'cheat' around the system.
I'd argue that the conflicted desire of the US populace for ever-greater safety-nets and protection by the government (and thus control) will likewise ever-more incentivize cheating in precisely the same way.

about a week ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

argStyopa Re:Breaking news (613 comments)

Let's check America in about 5-10 years (give it time to settle in), and then we can confirm that it's independent of socialism.

about a week ago
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A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

argStyopa Re:Subject bait (379 comments)

He probably booted you from the project when you failed to spell his name right.

about a week ago
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Researchers Create Origami Wheels That Can Change Size

argStyopa Clever, but overly complex (52 comments)

First, the main factor in a wheel, above all, is durability. A wheel that fails cannot perform its basic function. I'm not convinced that this wheel structure - while certainly clever -

After all, couldn't you get the EXACT same effect with an even greater range of variation (as well as an inherently simpler, more fault-tolerant and easily repairable design, as well as a principle that scales up or down in sturdiness simply and intuitively?) from an umbrella mechanism?

about two weeks ago
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States That Raised Minimum Wage See No Slow-Down In Job Growth

argStyopa Re:10.10 per hour (778 comments)

If you are working a no talent job, at which you are completely replaceable, you shouldn't have any fucking disposable income.

Christ. If you want a better life, make some better goddamned choices.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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What use is a Math Major? What do they do?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  about 3 months ago

argStyopa (232550) writes "I have a college sophomore who has declared himself a Math major; what does that really mean for his future? I'm hoping Slashdotters can explain what they do in Real Life. With the rise of 'big data', and the growing importance of encryption, it appears to be a good, long-term career path. Is Math (alone) that valuable, or is it actually Math in conjunction with other fields? Math + CompSci, Math + Physics, or Math + Statistics, etc.? What sort of an internship would a not-yet-completed Math major even seek?"
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So what do I really own?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  about 5 months ago

argStyopa (232550) writes "I had an ample collection of DVDs, CDs, etc that all were destroyed in an apartment fire. Now, as I understand, according to the MPAA/RIAA I didn't actually own that media (and was not entitled to make digital copies) but merely a permission 'license' to view/listen to it.
Now that the physical media is destroyed, does that mean I am legally within my rights to download a copy from some online source? It would seem a double-standard to assert that the 'physical media is meaningless'...unless its destroyed, at which point it means you lose your rights to what you purchased.
IANAL (and I know most of you aren't either) but I'm curious if anyone knows about established precedent in this circumstance?"
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Target also lost personal data, emails, names, addresses

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  about 6 months ago

argStyopa (232550) writes "Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel just sent out a letter advising Target customers:

Late last week, as part of our ongoing investigation, we learned that additional information, including name, mailing address, phone number or email address, was also taken. I am writing to make you aware that your name, mailing address, phone number or email address may have been taken during the intrusion.

So not only are CC# and PINs 'in the wild' but personal data as well. As the letter goes on to note: "...Here are some tips that will help protect you: Never share information with anyone over the phone, email or text, even if they claim to be someone you know or do business with. Instead, ask for a call-back number...." "Anyone" apparently including Target. I wonder if this will encourage Mr. Steinhafel to have his cashiers stop asking for email addresses etc. at the point of sale as well?"

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MN town bans domestic drones for 2 years

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  about a year ago

argStyopa writes "Even small towns are beginning to resist government's creeping encroachment on its citizens: St. Bonifacius, a tiny 1-square-mile town of 2200 has taken the lead in MN, banning the use of drones for domestic information-gathering for 2 years, citing concerns to privacy and constitutional rights of US citizens. “We don’t want to exclude a lawful purpose (for use of drone technology), but we want to be aware when it happens.” Flying of a drone without a warrant will be considered a misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $5,000. (Charlotteville, Va., became the first city in the United States to pass anti-drone legislation on Jan. 28)"
Link to Original Source
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Harry Harrison dies at 87

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  about 2 years ago

argStyopa (232550) writes "Harry Harrison, famed Science Fiction author of such seminal genre series as the Deathworld Trilogy and the Stainless Steel Rat has passed away at the age of 87. He was also famed within the writing world for his friendliness and approachability, and was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Harrison's entertaining, engaging, and action-packed writing introduced many of us to a lifetime of science fiction reading. He will be missed."
Link to Original Source
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Valve's Gabe Newell slams Win8, "catastrophe"

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  about 2 years ago

argStyopa (232550) writes "Newell claims Win8 will force developers to migrate to Linux and argues that MS is intending to close the OS to outside vendors, much like the Xbox.. "I think that Windows 8 is kind of a catastrophe for everybody in the PC space." Of course, Newell's Steam profits primarily from selling games to PC owners, so the idea of MS turning Win 8 into a walled-garden directly threatens his revenue stream."
Link to Original Source
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Dutch firm plans Mars Colony by 2023

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

argStyopa writes "Dutch firm Mars One plans for ongoing habitation on the Martian Surface by 2023, including additional crews arriving every 2 years thereafter. Intro video at http://www.youtube.com/embed/6QoEEGySGm4 is flashy, almost suggesting a pending TV show. The fact that one of their stated suppliers is SpaceX — who recently announced their Red Dragon module as a Mars-destined vehicle — might suggest that they're totally serious."
Link to Original Source
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Where to start with a game idea if you don't want to program it yourself?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

(arg!)Styopa (232550) writes "I have a mobile/flash game idea, but my own programming skills are of little relevance anymore. It seems like there are already tons of extremely talented indy game studios out there that might be interested in a well-developed game idea that's not just a re-hash of Farmville. Even if I was going to freshen my code-fu and do this myself, the publishing part is ground that seems to already have been well-trod; I'd rather devote my efforts to building the game than the distribution/marketing, etc.
I'm unsure how to proceed, or even where to start? How does one pitch an idea to a developer in a serious, thorough, and convincing way yet protect ideas and IP from being Zynga'd?"
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Best Guides for a basic understanding of Practical Electricity?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

(arg!)Styopa (232550) writes "Watching the interesting video (at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2oSFpKh_Uw&feature=player_embedded#!) about using old ATX powersupplies for a lab-bench powersupply, I realized that for years I've had an interest in DIY electrical experiments, but never tried them mainly out of sheer ignorance of all things electrical. Sure, I know what amps and volts, but what's the difference between +5V and -5V? 2-phase vs 3? What's a resistor, and how does it put a 'load' on a current? Why is this important?
With all the DIY tinkerers on /., can anyone suggest good books or sites for a good "grounding" (sorry) in the sorts of electrical basics that might help prevent me getting killed experimenting?"

Link to Original Source
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What rights do I have to media I "buy"?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 2 years ago

(arg!)Styopa (232550) writes "I bought a video decades ago, and subsequently that video was corrupted/wrecked (but the original tape/box is available to provide proof of ownership, if needed). I recently got the DVD of this movie from Netflix and found that it's a direct-from-video transfer, no improvement in quality nor any 'special features' compared to the VHS tape. IANAML(bihwb) (I am not a media lawyer because I have warm blood), so could I legally burn a copy of that DVD? As I see it, if I actually owned the thing I bought, I'd be out of luck — as if I owned a book and it was destroyed. But I believe that the MPAA/RIAA asserts that buying media only allows the purchaser a right to view it, and grants no actual ownership. In this case (burning the DVD) I'm merely getting 'back' what I'd purchased...or no?"
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The world ends tomorrow?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 3 years ago

(arg!)Styopa (232550) writes "Patch 4.0.3a — the one that will radically and irreversibly change the face of Azeroth — is now expected to drop during the usual patch downtime 11/23. Massive changes to the game are already present in code since patch 4.0.1, this patch will simply activate many of them. What's in and what isn't: http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/2086-Patch-4.0.3a-on-live-realms-this-week
Note — many of the most-awaited features (new races, archaeology, guild levels, flying in the old world, and new zones) remain locked until the release of the Cataclysm expansion slated for 12/7/2010, but this will be the patch that is expected to actually implement the world-shattering Cataclysm."

Link to Original Source
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Passport RFID security

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Styopa (232550) writes "So I've gotten the shiny new RFID passport issued by the US gov't. The government insists it's secure. Hypothesizing that perhaps the government might not be right in this case, is there any homebuilt method of shielding it? Would carrying it wrapped in a layer of alu-foil do anything except make me look like a paranoid at the airport (not that I mind, but I don't want to do that if it's not really going to improve security significantly)? Would the gauge of foil matter? My understanding is that the passport books already include this in their covers/spine, and examining the edge, it DOES seem that there are front/back cover plates laminated in there, but I don't see anything at the spine. I'd rather not have to go buy a Faraday-case of dubious efficacy from a commercial source. Thanks for any advice /. can offer."
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Is more knowledge really a good thing?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

(arg!)Styopa (232550) writes "Seeing the recent Slashvertisment for twitter (How to supplement election coverage http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/11/01/2141228), that got me thinking — are we past the point of value in terms of information flow?

Understand, this would be a serious paradigm shift. Personally, I've lived my whole life with the concept that 'more information is better' — with admittedly a patronizing opinion of people who didn't have the same view. "You mean you DON'T know about (insert world event)?!?" "What do you mean, you don't care about (desperate current issue)?!?" The idea that we may have reached a point where more information is a negative thing, that's simply anathema to one of my core beliefs.

I'm even having trouble writing this, conceptualizing a world where there is some sort of limit on the knowledge I want to have. Does anyone else feel this way?

Reading a newspaper every day — what does that get me? Checking web news reports multiple times a day, 24-hour news feeds from TV, all of that devoted to burying the public under more and more news coverage...for what purpose? Aside from a general understanding of the world around us which one could get from a weekly newspaper, or even a monthly magazine, is there really a benefit? I'm not saying that I prefer my news edited, digested, and mashed into consumer-ready pap — not at all. But I can get by sufficiently for my daily life without the bombardment — an occasional, general summary is probably enough.

I certainly believe that having the information AVAILABLE is a good thing. If I had family members in some crisis area of the world, or ran a company whose interests were directly affected by some obscure events, I'd like to be able to delve into the data in as much detail as possible. But the firehose for the general public? Not so much. In the same sense that we all get by with a general weather forecast for the day, we'd be uselessly overwhelmed if we got new full reports with temperature, wind, barometer, and weather every 10 seconds.

I grew up in a rural Minnesota farm town, where most of the people followed world events but didn't care too much about them. A war? Sure, some boys would go off and wouldn't come back, and that would be tragic. Without a war, probably a similar number of teens would die in equally-tragic drunk-driving accidents. A big crash on Wall Street? Meh, interest rates will tighten, crop prices will continue to go up or down. Politics? Ha, no matter who wins, taxes will go up.

I don't WANT my election coverage supplemented. Why would I? I'll vote how I vote, I don't particularly care how my neighbors vote, and the result is whatever it's going to be. Why watch with bated breath to see people make meaningless prognostications JUST so they can get my eyeballs to sell more advertising?

For that matter, it's not just an academic question. Would the housing crisis have been as bad if people only heard about it once per week instead of a constant tocsin of impending, inevitable doom?

As a kid, I used to look at the farmers and adult townspeople in my town as irredeemable hicks, that they didn't care about politics, world events, or much outside their locality. Now, especially when I see the vitriol and energy people are putting into a political contest which will really have only a trivial impact on how this country actually runs either way, I'm starting to wonder if perhaps those irredeemable hicks had a good idea: pay attention only to what you need to, and don't waste energy on stuff that you really can't change anyway."
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DTV is coming...I'm not ready.

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

(arg!)Styopa (232550) writes "As an 'early adopter', I have an HDTV-ready set WITHOUT an integrated tuner. Now the airwaves are full of voiced proclaiming the end of analog television next February. My suspicion is that the $40 set-top box at Walmart is the minimum functional to get by — ie. simply a digital-to-analog converter, and NOT an HDTV receiver.

Something like 2-3 years ago, I plunked down the money for a nice UHF superantenna (I'm about 40 mi from the towers, so not-quite-but-almost fringe reception) and searched for a HDTV converter to pull down HDTV OTA broadcasts. They were EXTREMELY hard to find — none at Radio Shack, Best Buy, Ciruit City, or Ultimate Electronics (all the local bigboxen).

I ended up buying a SIRT150 from ebay which never showed receiving a signal, despite confirmed reception (on the set's normal tuner) of both VHF and UHF channels.

So, now — any advice from the brilliant crowd at /. on what to look for in a set top box? Are they easier than they were to find, with the upcoming signal switch? Is it going to cost me an arm and a leg, or is it somewhere near the $40 Walmart special. Will Uncle Sam's $40 coupons count towards it?

I'd like very much to be able to find a physical store where I could go see the signal, before I decide if the HD signal is worth the upcharge, if any, over simple DTV.
Thanks!"
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Paradox to offer Europa Engine....free ?

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

(arg!)Styopa (232550) writes "From their press release: "New York, USA (April 25, 2008) — Paradox Interactive today announced a unique agreement with leading PC download portal GamersGate to release its "Europa" engine to the gaming community worldwide. The "Europa" engine has been the basis of many award-winning games like the Hearts of Iron series and Europa Universalis II and has been the focus of significant financial investments over the years.

In an unprecedented deal, GamersGate will make room for these indie-developed products on the digital distribution platform and offer each team or individual the same financial deal given to established publishers on the platform.

"Through GamersGate, creative gamers worldwide will be given access to a development tool that will allow them to fulfill their game developer ambitions while getting access to a global distribution network without the costs and risks that are normally involved in game development and distribution, said CEO of Paradox Interactive Theodore Bergquist.

While Paradox Interactive plans to set a few minimum criteria, anyone interested will get a shot at using the technique to develop games and then sell them on GamersGate.

"This initiative is a way for us to give back to the gaming community by facilitating for game developers to turn their hobbies into lucrative projects, continued Mr Bergquist. "

The title of the press release is "Free engine for gamers released!" so presumably the code is available free, but commercial development of the products of the engine requires one to go through GG and probably some sort of license fee to Paradox if it sells."

Link to Original Source
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argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 7 years ago

(arg!)Styopa writes "I'm curious what the current conventional wisdom is from the /. crowd about wiring a home for phone/data/sound. A previous /. post had once suggested PVC conduit for cable runs, accepting that obsolesence is inevitable and subsequent cable pulling should be as easy as possible, and we're probably going to do that. However, as I can see it, essentially we're going to have phone, data, and speaker-wire networks essentially running all the same places — could we conceivably use a single cable (Cat 5e?) and pull pairs for each various use? Or would phone traffic (it has a small voltage) induce noise in the data/stereo lines? Could a single pair of ethernet wires serve as speaker wires? For now, we're going to have a simple stereo pumping sound, but I can obviously see convergence with a home media system eventually, serving music to various rooms. I'm a novice, but I have the help of an experienced phone tech, although neither of us knows much about installing data cables beyond attaching connectors. Any recommended resources? Thanks"

Journals

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Maundering

argStyopa argStyopa writes  |  more than 4 years ago

So, there really is a journal function?
It'd be more useful if this would dovetail with a blog like facebook. If someone is such a narcissist that they think people care about their opinions, might as well keep it to a minimum and focused?

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