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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

blackraven14250 Re:...news for nerds.. (402 comments)

Darts is the weirdest thing to be honest. People will consider archery and shooting sports, but not darts. I think it's because it seems so random to a beginner, but when you get deeper into it, it becomes pretty clear that it's all about fine motor skill.

3 days ago
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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

blackraven14250 Re:...news for nerds.. (402 comments)

Played all of them, some in better-than-casual settings. Baseball is a piece of cake compared to golf. Basketball is a great combination of endurance, skill and strategy. Soccer I didn't pick up until much later, so I'm rather bad at the footwork aspect. I never played beyond touch football, so I'm not even going to go there.

3 days ago
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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

blackraven14250 Re:...news for nerds.. (402 comments)

Outright physical endurance isn't a requirement for an activity to be a sport. Motorsports are considered sports, and their primary attribute isn't physical exertion (besides the extremely long race forms), it's knowledge and skill. Equestrian is considered a sport, yet it's far less physically exerting than even golf - the horse is doing the majority of the work. Chess and Bridge are both considered sports by both the IOC and SportAccord (a group considered the de facto representative for sports internationally). If you want to debate the physical requirement, there's your line, between those sports - not golf, which absolutely is physical at its' core. Even if golf is not highly challenging in the physical endurance sense, it definitely has a huge dexterity component.

3 days ago
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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

blackraven14250 Re:Softball (402 comments)

I'm not saying "make it minigolf", I'm saying that a shorter drive is more accessible. A substantial portion of the difficulty of golf comes from the course layout, and beginner layouts just don't exist outside of minigolf and Pitch and Putt. On top of that, it's far cheaper to have a smaller course, which allows more people to play in the first place - golf is damned expensive, largely because of the fees, which are a result of the size of the course. When a sport has both a high entry cost and high degree of difficulty, it prevents people not "of the right character" (i.e. not rich) from playing it in the first place.

This kind of attitude is the kind of thing that can kill off golf in the long run. Hardcore players believe they're superior because the courses are hard, when in reality, having easier courses allows more people to play, and lets the sport thrive. It gets rid of the "this sport is for rich assholes" stigma. Take another sport with course layouts as an example - motorsports. Do you think every racetrack is Laguna Seca or the Nurburgring? Hell no! There's tracks all over the place that are more accessible, and the sport thrives because people who do not excel at racing can actually race on them. Having all those easier tracks doesn't take away value from the harder tracks, it adds value by bringing more people into the sport. NASCAR/F1/Rally/Drag/Drift professional racing wouldn't be nearly so popular if people were completely unable race around an easier local track due to a few highly involved people who have devoted massive amounts of time actively trying to keep them away from their tracks by using every tool available to design the course so that you needed $100,000 worth of tires/suspension/brakes to make it around and had to pay even more exorbitant fees to get on the racetrack in the first place.

3 days ago
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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

blackraven14250 Re:Softball (402 comments)

That's what I found, as well. Putting is relatively easy to learn compared to driving (at least at a reasonable distance), and if they want to reduce difficulty, they should be building smaller, easier courses instead of messing with the size of the hole.

3 days ago
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In a Hole, Golf Courses Experiment With 15-inch Holes

blackraven14250 Re:...news for nerds.. (402 comments)

A sport, by definition, is any form of physical activity that aims to use, maintain and improve physical ability or skills for the purpose of entertainment of participants and/or spectators. If you think walking even factors in to the experience of playing golf, I suggest you go out and try it yourself. It's one of the hardest sports to play well, requiring a mixture of concentration, extreme coordination and practice to even be decent. Walking, which isn't even a required aspect of the sport thanks to these things you may have heard of called "golf carts", isn't even tough - the difficulty is in hitting the ball at the proper trajectory, without slicing it, with the correct amount of power (taking into account which club you're using), most of which is dependent on the course layout. Complaining about walking and being out in the sun is just absurd when the walking part is entirely optional, and is like complaining about the fact that you need to stand on the sideline while playing football (you can sit, either on the grass or on the bench).

3 days ago
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Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

blackraven14250 Re:Myopic viewpoint (359 comments)

I believe in Tesla, but you just don't know the facts if you think Ford doesn't have a $31k Mustang at 420 HP. Dodge has slightly cheaper Charger, and I imagine the other American automakers have entries in that range as well. Also in fairness, they're not nearly as nice as the Model S.

about a week ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

blackraven14250 Re:Simple math (245 comments)

mod support,

That's a feature on consoles. Games should be able to stand on their own.

Skyrim stands on its' own. Mods make it even better, and it's one of the most actively and heavily modded games. That applies to any game with a highly active modding community. Hell, look at the games that NexusMods supports to get an idea - they include such shitty, unplayable titles that can't "stand on their own" as Fallout, Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Mount & Blade, Mass Effect, World of Tanks, Dark Souls, Starbound, The Witcher, Neverwinter Nights, XCom....

about a week ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

blackraven14250 Re:Graphics card in a laptop (245 comments)

It's rare to be able to upgrade laptops graphics that way - it's usually not possible at all without outright replacing the mobo.

about a week ago
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PC Gaming Alive and Dominant

blackraven14250 Re:Simple math (245 comments)

Fighting games are kind of baffling to me - the 360 controller is very well designed, durable, and is easy to use (100% plug and play on Windows) for the majority, and any 360-compatible arcade stick should work on PC just the same. I can only guess that they just think it's a bad move to release a game that almost requires a third party controller on PC since the joystick died off. Party games, on the other hand, are pretty obvious - it's that the sheer number of HTPC systems aren't there to support them. Steam Big Picture is among the first steps to mass adoption, and that's going to take a lot of time to penetrate the market. You are still using 360 controllers at that point, and to be honest, a lot of the Wii offerings with nunchuks were just better at being party games anyway.

about two weeks ago
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93 Harvard Faculty Members Call On the University To Divest From Fossil Fuels

blackraven14250 Re:I hope they do and watch costs go even higher (214 comments)

Harvard has a $32 billion endowment. They're not raising fees anytime soon from a half percent adjustment to their endowment's growth rate. In addition, endowments are specifically meant to be used to perpetually fund aspects of the school, not short term, and thus the professors have a solid point against investing it in an industry that will clearly be unsustainable over the life of the endowment.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

blackraven14250 Re:Here we go again (180 comments)

It's entirely possible there's an alternate explanation, which is why I described it as a "non-zero chance" instead of "the absolute reason why he does it". In his case specifically, I know your explanation is incorrect since it was one of the possibilities I prodded him about before getting to the XBox UI.

about two weeks ago
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How Riot's Social Scientists Fight League of Legends Trolling

blackraven14250 Re:Incentivising the good behaviour (116 comments)

That's not the behavior they want to disincentivize anyway. They don't care if you talk shit about your teammates constantly when you're with friends. They care about you and your friends flaming those randoms ingame. If anything, talking to friends about it on TS itself is a way to prevent users from flaming/trolling, since it's an outlet for frustration that would otherwise be directed at the randoms.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

blackraven14250 Re:Here we go again (180 comments)

Well, even though my example is a relatively small change in behavior, it's the fact that it displays as a compulsion for such a long period of time, and is transcribed to a large number of different services, that makes me think that investigating the ways we design our technology can affect behavior. I've given a lot of thought to efficiency and layout before, but never how X UI would change Y thought and cause Z behavior which is then transposed to A + B + C related platforms, and D + E unrelated services, and real life on top of it.

I'd imagine that examples of a momentary, highly intense frustration due to UI/mechanics (i.e. dying in CoD, sudden loss of many days of work) are more likely to be turned into violent outbursts, while longer term frustrations (i.e. a shitty friends list UI, low rare item drop rate) turn into long lasting behavioral shifts. That's all guessing though, we need a lot more science to understand the impact well.

about two weeks ago
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Study: Video Gamer Aggression Result of Game Experience, Not Violent Content

blackraven14250 Re:Here we go again (180 comments)

I think this article brings up something really interesting that I was actually prodding my friend about the other day regarding UI design. See, he was playing a game with a friends list, and he was telling me that he needed to delete friends. His list is far smaller than mine on this game, only around 40 people. I eventually dug down to his original experience with friend systems for video games - the original XBox. The XBox had an awful UI for sorting, displaying, and finding friends - you could only see 4 or 5 friends at a time, and it would never get a passing grade under today's UI standards. This was a system from nearly a decade ago, and there's a non-zero chance that his experience with the UI still affects his behavior a decade later, manifesting as a vague compulsion to keep his friends lists short.

So, how does this relate to the article? If a UI can train people into long-term compulsive behaviors, it's not unreasonable to research whether they can also nudge people's behavior in other directions on a shorter timescale.

about two weeks ago
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8.2 Earthquake Off the Coast of Chile, Tsunami Triggered

blackraven14250 Re:Chile worst dictatorship in South America? (86 comments)

No, he wasn't elected. He lost to von Hindenburg in the presidential elections, who later appointed him as chancellor. Meanwhile, the Reichstag switched to a largely Nazi composition due to success in elections, and passed a law (the Enabling Act) that gave Hitler the ability to pass laws without the Reichstag's approval. When von Hindenburg died, Hitler used the Enabling Act to merge von Hindenburg's former office with his own.

The only way you can claim Hitler was "elected" is by indirectly having his cronies get elected.

about three weeks ago
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An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

blackraven14250 Re:Different part, same number? (357 comments)

Except the pumps don't fail. It's just an annoying noise under fairly specific conditions.

about three weeks ago
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An Engineer's Eureka Moment With a GM Flaw

blackraven14250 Re:Different part, same number? (357 comments)

From what I understand, it's an extremely common practice. For example, in my Scion FR-S, there's the original fuel pump, and another newer model under the same number that doesn't make a chirping noise under certain conditions (not a serious problem at all, just a bit annoying during the summer, it's triggered by heat and a long engine run time without cooling down). The difference is that the newer pumps have a green dot on the box. I imagine they do it for inventory/systems reasons - instead of having a system to handle 4-5 different part numbers for what is effectively the same part (i.e. 2013 FR-S fuel pump) as they are upgraded or redesigned, they just use the single number, so they don't have to update their entire maintenance system constantly. Don't forget, a lot of these maintenance systems don't get updated often, so there could be a mechanic ordering part X when the upgraded part is X+1 if they were switching part numbers, and a company would have to ensure the entire supply chain gets those updates.

about three weeks ago
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

blackraven14250 Re:Ridiculous. (914 comments)

Part of what happens when something like this comes up is completely irrational, like using it for punishment against prisoners. However, there's other angles that should be seriously contemplated - what if we gave prisoners on a sentence that's not effectively-life, say ten years, the option to experience a week in prison without the drug, then a week with it. Then, we give them the choice whether they'd want to serve a reduced time sentence on it (with all the benefits and risks) or a full sentence without it (no benefit, no risk). So yes, while this philosophy professor is just being a "punish them all forever!" parrot with nothing useful to say, there's things to consider here from more legitimate angles if this drug truly acts as a dilation of the experience of time.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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China now halting shipments to rare earths to US

blackraven14250 blackraven14250 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

blackraven14250 (902843) writes "China is halting rare earth exports to the US now. They did this in retaliation for investigations into their green energy policies.

http://washingtonindependent.com/100834/obama-administration-says-it-will-investigate-chinas-green-tech-trade-policies

http://www.livescience.com/technology/etc/101019-china-halts-shipments-tech-crucial-minerals.html"
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Sen. Franken asks about Net Neutrality at Hearings

blackraven14250 blackraven14250 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

blackraven14250 (902843) writes "During supreme court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, newly-appointed Senator Al Franken asked her about her stand on Net Neutrality. He questioned whether there was an "overriding first amendment right" when it came to content providers not being able to speed up their own content when they are also service providers. Sotomayor dodged the question in the same manner as the day and a half of questions before it, but it's more about Sen. Franken at this point, as he hasn't had much time to make any sort of impression to the nation as a whole what his key fights are."

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