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Comments

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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:god dammit. (411 comments)

Further research says 500-1000 meters, so 1km. So I was off a bit.

Radioisotopes with longer half-lives are less dangerous, tbh. Imagine 1 pound of Plutonium, but the Plutonium has a radioactive half-life of 200,000 years. You could sit next to it and, over 200,000 years, you'd be exposed to the radioactive output of 1/2 pound of plutonium detonated as a nuclear bomb. Background radiation is several orders of magnitude larger.

By contrast, supercritical uranium has a halflife of a few microseconds.

2 hours ago
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World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

bluefoxlucid Re:Huge? (81 comments)

A 2500sqft-ish house is staggeringly large to live in by yourself. On the other hand, it's distinctly not the Roivas mansion.

If I had a 2500 sqft house, I would make extreme use of it.

My bathroom squeezes a 5 foot bathtub against one wall, with the opposite housing a towel rack less than 3 feet away. In the back corner, there's a sink, and there's a toilet behind the bathtub. I'm going to convert to a corner vessel sink with a custom-cut counter top, which will give me a massive amount of counter space but open up the space rounding that corner--it will enlarge the openness and mobility through the bathroom. A Toto toilet with a $600 washlet (no toilet paper; heated toilet seat uses warm water and a forced warmed air blower to wash and dry your ass), double shower head, and 21-inch deep jet tub with inline heater (maintains temperature) will complete a $3000 upgrade. Another $1500 goes into tile floor/walls, double drywall (sound isolation), insulation, and lighting.

That tiny bathroom will be a decked-out luxury spa.

I'm repainting and insulating the house. I'll pop the cost up by about $500-$700 on a $1500 job adding sound isolation. That doesn't include the $1500 of windows--the total cost comes to about a 20% increase, as a DIY project with no labor costs. That's just one room, hardwood flooring and insulation, new drywall, new paint. 75% decrease in sound transfer into the room.

Kitchen got an upgrade. More open, easier to work in, more counter space, more appliance space, and provides a combination counter/table so as to free up the dining room entirely as living space.

You'd be surprised how much you can fit into small spaces. Turn things a bit, move this bit here, and suddenly it feels much more open and has more utility. A little sound isolation eliminates the cramped feeling.

2 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:god dammit. (411 comments)

No, this is separate from active volcanoes. If it were that simple, we would skip the digging part and dump everything around Hawaii.

I'm talking about the borders between earth's tectonic plates. The entire earth's crust floats on top, in a sense, and this gap between is subject to a lot more movement than anywhere else. You'll notice there isn't a huge river of constantly-bubbling magma and churning earth spewing out of the ground thousands of miles long between Europe and Asia; the churn moves largely downward, and so the overall movement is downward.

3 hours ago
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World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

bluefoxlucid Re:Call anything 3D printing (81 comments)

Funny, too, because it looks like it's a major pre-fab job building the printer on-site.

In pre-fab construction, housing modules (rooms, etc.) are built off-site, brought in, and assembled. This can range from full room- or floor-sized housing modules down to prefabricated walls and framing assembled into rooms. The most recent prefabricated construction element is the Insulated Concrete Form, a rigid foam form assembled as a concrete pour channel for a basement, producing an insulated foundation.

These 3D printing projects look to assemble prefabricated industrial machinery--the 3D printing platform itself--and then deliver materials to crudely construct a cementious form. It looks like they're using magnesium-based cements instead of Portland lime cement.

Given existing prefabricated concrete forms, I don't see the advantage. Using an ICF, you bring light-weight prefabricated concrete forms rather than heavy-weight prefabricated machinery. Using an ICF, you build up a permanent structural form rather than a temporary industrial complex that must be deconstructed and shipped post-job. Using an ICF, you pour the material directly into the form in one go, rather than layering it in a slow process. Using an ICF, the prefabricated form provides insulation, which a 3D printed form must have applied separately.

This is quite possibly the worst method in history for building simple, small-scale concrete forms. Large-scale forms (high-rises) are currently best built with insulated concrete forms, cranes, steel beams and pylons, and construction methods including driving pylon into the ground.

Looks like a fad to me. 3D printing is not a universal constructor.

3 hours ago
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World's First 3D Printed Estate Coming To New York

bluefoxlucid Re:Huge? (81 comments)

My house is 1300sqft plus a 680sqft basement. 2400 is a normal-sized house; I have a dinky town house. The town house is inefficient, too: the first floor is kitchen and a giant sprawl room; it was kitchen, dining, sitting, but I altered the kitchen to improve space utilization and decrease cramping, resulting in no need for a dedicated dining table.

If it were just 16 inches wider, I could fit a chamber-REST and floatation-REST isolation chamber inside (both!), instead of just floatation-REST. On the other hand, the master bedroom is greatly oversized.

4 hours ago
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

bluefoxlucid Re:Just doin' business (218 comments)

This is not good business.

This is institutionalized harassment. The training materials suggest squeezing the customer, selling them things they don't need, and convincing them they'll lose something of value--manufactured, if necessary--if they don't buy things. The employees have 1/5 of their job performance predicated on sales success. It's pressure on the employees to put pressure on the customer.

This is actually illegal. High-pressure sales tactics will get people taken out in handcuffs by the FTC OIG.

6 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:god dammit. (411 comments)

Oh it does not. There are fault lines in the earth's crust 50 meters down where geological activity causes anything buried so deep to sink to the earth's core. You could bury nuclear waste, and it would be permanently out of reach of the surface world within 10 years.

6 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:LOL (411 comments)

Your link sucks. What's so amazing about the grass? Does it move under its own power? Is it an azure blue?

7 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:Estimates (411 comments)

We shouldn't address lesser problems with resources more effectively targeted at worse problems. This is why I go rip-shit on people having pity-parties about whatever the cause-of-the-week is, showing up like "oh my grandfather has (MS|alz|als) it's so terrible" and everyone's like "we should fix this RIGHT NOW!" ... no, no we shouldn't. We should fix something more important. I don't care about your sob story; individuals are irrelevant.

By the same token, however, we shouldn't implement new, lesser problems unless they're both fixing a greater problem *and* impossible to reasonably mitigate. A solution which causes a new problem requires analysis; if the new problem can be controlled--reduced (mitigated) or eliminated (avoided)--you should modify your plan such that your solution imposes less bad consequences.

7 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:Hydroelectric Dams (411 comments)

I'm opening a restaurant called the Sea Kitten.

7 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:Chicken (411 comments)

Wot expression?

7 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:god dammit. The Numbers (411 comments)

Cats killing birds is not an issue. Those little ground finches? The sparrows? They're prolific. They climb into other birds's nests and destroy eggs. They kill small birds. They're vicious, hateful little bastards, and they're extincting the native species of the United States.

95% of birds I see are sparrows now. They're ground-foraging. We need more cats.

7 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:god dammit. (411 comments)

Bald eagles are the true symbol of liberty. They've been nigh on extinct since liberty died in America.

7 hours ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

bluefoxlucid Re:god dammit. (411 comments)

Because deserts are delicate ecosystems, and intrusion is severely disruptive.

7 hours ago
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

bluefoxlucid Re:laser levelling (128 comments)

We don't need to produce more food; we need to waste less than 63%.

yesterday
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

bluefoxlucid Re:GPS and laser guidance systems for centuries? (128 comments)

I read that as Texas A&M at first. Hilarious because we have potato scoopers, peanut harvesters, corn combines, and such here; while Arizona is using mexicans, and giving reports on the labor-intensive task of harvesting peanuts and potatoes.

Farms don't employ labor on the east coast.

yesterday
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FarmBot: an Open Source Automated Farming Machine

bluefoxlucid Re:not true at all (128 comments)

No, you're wrong. We have a Mexican labor SURPLUS, not an unlimited supply. It is, in fact, artificially limited.

yesterday
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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

bluefoxlucid Re:As long as... (370 comments)

I'd like to see this happen to them instead.

yesterday

Submissions

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US Currency Finally Achieves Universal Suffrage

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 5 months ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "On April 2, precisely one day later than expected, SCOTUS voted 5-4 to eliminate the cap on individual donors political campaign contributions, finally granting universal suffrage to US currency. "Now, at long last, all U.S. money has a voice in Washington—a strong, loud, clear voice that can no longer be suppressed or silenced by anyone.”"
Link to Original Source
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Retro-Bit's Retro Duo: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 5 months ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Retro-Bit is serious about conquering the living room: the American technology firm has launched Retro Duo, a gaming console that not only allows 16-bit game play, but also 8-bit. That 8-and-16-bit capability makes Retro-Bit a threat to Nintendo, which rumors suggest is hard at work on a software implementation capable of doing the same things. In addition, Retro Duo puts the screws to other gaming hardware, including Sony and Microsoft's PS3 and XBOne, as well as smaller game consoles such as Ouya (a $99, Android-based device). Much of Retro-Bit's competitive muscle comes from its willingness to sell hardware for cheap (the Retro-Duo retails for $35) on the expectation that owners will use it to enjoy time with and without their friends, ultimately garnering further sales. Those players who've grown a library of NES and SNES games have an advantage when it comes to migrating software to Retro-Bit's new platform. While Retro Duo could represent yet another opportunity for game developers looking to make a buck, it also raises a pressing question: with so many platforms out there (iOS, PC, etc.), how's an indie developer or smaller firm supposed to allocate time and resources to cartridge manufacture?"
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Speed reading apps for ebooks?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 5 months ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Speed reading has matured into technological solutions. Rapid Serial Visual Presentation, or RSVP, provides faster reading than the manual finger-following method, with retention on par with standard reading at 250 words per minute. Research shows most people can start at 400WPM, and reach 800WPM in an hour; and further advancements used in products such as Spritz and Sprint Reader claim 1000-1800 words per minute when practiced by offsetting and context pausing.

Thus far I have not found any software to read ebooks with these methods. Are there any open source applications, Nook or Kindle Fire applications, or otherwise to read ePub or Mobi or Kindle books via RSVP?"
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Should we research new kinds of nuclear bombs?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "The Orion Drive never got off the ground primarily because, essentially, blowing up a lot of nuclear material in atmosphere is a bad idea. That means a new kind of nuclear bomb--for example, clean-pumped fusion that uses a non-fissile source to initiate chain reaction hydrogen fusion into helium with only neutrino output and no ionizing radiation or fall-out--would provide a great enabler for space flight. Unfortunately, such an awesome bomb would also provide great opportunity for military uses--and associated politics. Infinitely scalable (notably smaller) nukes with no fall-out are just conventional bombs, right? Is the promise of effective launch and space flight worth the bitter in-fighting at the UN table that would occur just for implying new research into new nukes, as well as the moral implications of greater, more deadly warfare?"
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Why are there no open printers?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "With Printer Steganography, we can trace any document printed on a modern color laser printer back to its printer. This is because the serial number and time of printing are encoded into the document as a series of small, yellow dots scattered about. With all the concerns about privacy flying about, we must ask the question: why no open printers? These could have multiple, RepRapable adapters for various manufacturers' drums and cartridges, avoiding the need to become an ink or toner supplier. They could also run Linux, BSD, or Minix internally, with a replaceable, open source OS. The implications of adaptability to various toner and ink cartridges is also interesting, especially for inkjets: a color inkjet that could select for Lexmark or hp cartridges with a cheap carriage replacement would foster price competition."
Link to Original Source
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Why no 5.25 inch hard drives?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Back in the day when you kids weren't all up in my lawn, we had "Bigfoot" style hard drives--5.25" form factor hard drives. A 5.25" circular platter would be 2.25 times as big as a 3.25". The actual platters are smaller, making the difference less striking; but then there's a spindle in the middle too, cutting away at the space on a 3.25" but not diminishing the extra space added by widening the total diameter. With Seagate getting 1TB per platter and drives hanging in bays with plenty of space around them in all but the smallest form factors, why aren't we running 5.25" hard drives and doubling the disk size?"
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Account of LAPD protestor's arrest

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "There is now this account of Patrick Meighan's arrest in LA. The LAPD were brutal and abusive. Protestors were held without bail--bail was set, but not accepted, and there was no access given to legal council. Physical violence was used by police to provoke reflexive reactions to pain, which was then reacted to with more violence. I must be missing something here, because the police seem to find peaceful protesters more dangerous than rapists and murderers."
Link to Original Source
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JP Morgan Calls In a Bribe

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Well, it seems that JPMorgan threw $4.6M at the NYPD recently. In other news, the NYPD has arrested 700 people who were annoying JPMorgan. Just for the record, these people were blocking traffic and engaging in other dangerous stupidity on the Brooklyn Bridge; but also for the record, it seems the police guided them out there, then arrested them en masse. Most of these people got citations, so I guess $4.8M isn't a lot of money."
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OnStar to Track You No Matter What

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "From the article:

Navigation-and-emergency-services company OnStar is notifying its six million account holders that it will keep a complete accounting of the speed and location of OnStar-equipped vehicles, even for drivers who discontinue monthly service.

OnStar began e-mailing customers Monday about its update to the privacy policy, which grants OnStar the right to sell that GPS-derived data in an anonymized format.

Enjoy your Chevrolet."
Link to Original Source

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Incandescents use less energy, CFLs an elaborate c

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "From the article, "BANNING the humble 60-watt light bulb to make way for so-called energy-saving ones and 'help save the planet' was last night exposed as an elaborate EU con." What justification could the have for such accusations? "The carbon footprint of manufacturing, distribution and disposal of a compact fluorescent bulb is far greater than the energy usage of a standard bulb." Imagine that. Complex electronics and mercury tubes are harder to make than an evacuated glass bulb with a wire in it; and reclaiming hazardous waste takes more energy than just chucking a harmless glass bulb in the standard recycling bin."
Link to Original Source
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Cancer Cured by HIV

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Apparently cancer has been cured, by injecting people with HIV. From the article, "As the white cells killed the cancer cells, the patients experienced the fevers and aches and pains that one would expect when the body is fighting off an infection, but beyond that the side effects have been minimal." Nifty. Poorly edited run-on sentence, but nifty."
Link to Original Source
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Terrorism, Money, and Oil

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "A recent submission about the cost of terrorism to the economy brought a few things to mind. This article looks like a repeat of an article Bruce Schneier linked to on his blog in November, 2010 which, among other things, explains how terrorists spend $1 for every $1,000,000 of economic damage done. The Rolling Stones blames Goldman Sachs primarily for the oil and food price hikes due to speculation on futures, although I also tend to blame Monsanto for raising seed license fees while lobbying heavily for biofuels--and selling even more corn and soy seeds for ethanol and biodiesel. We also can't forget the news media, a modern circus designed to grab attention so the networks can get sponsorship money; they have a huge incentive to create panic, which only over-hypes the low risk posed by the terrorist "threat" (more of a "minor annoyance"), allowing politicians to pull the Politician's Syllogism and strip us of our rights while derailing our economy further. Does anyone work in our favor anymore?"
Link to Original Source
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Books and Audiobooks in Other Languages?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "I've been learning various languages and I want to get some deep exposure. Sans-$100k employment, multiple 2 week vacations every year to various countries is untenable; therefor I have found an excellent solution: audio books and dead tree books in German, Japanese, Urdu, Russian, and the like. The only problem: I can't find such a thing. Amazon doesn't sell audio books on Amazon.de that I can find; maybe this is because my German is poor and I just can't find it. Any idea where to get audio books in other languages?"
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Why does the new slashdot look like ass?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Is anyone else quickly getting sick of staring at this fuzzy, overly-cartoony iteration of the Slashdot UI? The last one was fine; this one is starting to cause nausea. Overly softened, looks like a kid's site. Digg's aesthetics look much better now."
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US to reduce fluoride in drinking water

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "The US is slated to reduce the amount of fluoride recommended for drinking water. According to WebMD, "The HHS is recommending that water supplies contain 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, replacing the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams. [...] The new HHS recommendation, Messina says, makes sense because in recent years the population has gotten more fluoride from other sources, such as toothpaste and mouthwashes. [...] Some data suggest that excess fluoride may also be linked with skeletal bone damage, she says, and possibly hormone disruption. It has also been deemed an emerging neurotoxin." Fluoride supplements are sourced directly from industrial toxic waste, which cannot safely be dumped into the environment and so instead goes into the water supply. Conspiracy theorists and crazy generals obsessed with commie plots to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids are, of course, rejoicing."
Link to Original Source
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9/11: Time to Forget

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "After almost a decade (it will be so in 9 months and some days), we still all remember 9/11. I can't for the life of me recall (or care about) the date for the Oklahoma City Bombing... in fact I can't recall anyone caring that much when it happened. Somebody blew stuff up, people died, it hit the news, there was a manhunt. It was time to demote 9/11 to this level of care back in 2005... beyond time. So why do we still remember it like a big important thing? Why do people still wave flags on September 11 of each year and claim it as a patriotic American holiday, a day of celebration, a day to applaud the stripping of our rights and the deaths of thousands? Is it time to move on? Must we actively antagonize people who make a big deal out of 9/11 until they feel foolish and give up on the whole thing?"
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UK to vote on Doubling, Tripling Tuition

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "As per Wikinews, "The new policy on tuition fees will allow universities to double the current tuition fees from £3,290 per year to around £6,000 per year, as well as allowing some universities to get special approval from the Office For Fair Access (OFFA) to raise their fees to £9,000 per year." Apparently teachers were encouraging high school students to walk right out of class for this, too; I guess when you can't hope to afford college it doesn't much matter. The economics here are, of course, non-trivial; but this is a huge fee hike all at once. This has got to be the only useful thing I've actually seen televised news cover in the US in a long long int time."
Link to Original Source
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Game review: Go

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Before Risk, before Axis and Allies, before Pentago and Polarity and Settlers of Catan, before Dungeons and Dragons, even before Chess, there was Weiqi. Weiqi appeared somewhere around 2200BC in China, and soon spread to Korea as Baduk and Japan as Go; over 4000 years later, the game is as well known in Asia as Chess is in the rest of the world. Played by taking turns placing single, non-moving stones on a grid of 19x19 lines, the rules of Go are extremely simple; the playing of Go, however, is uniquely complex and contemplative.

Breaking with traditions, an up-front listing of resources for Go would seem appropriate. First off, the absolute best way to learn Go is to find a Go teacher and study with him; this works about as well outside of Japan as ordering Haggis in a Denny's works outside Scotland. In the English speaking world, however, Janice Kim's book series, "Learn to Play Go," is widely considered the best resource for beginning students. Sensei's Library provides an online resource for Go players in the form of a Wiki. Finally, the Internet Go Server allows players to observe or play games against each other online and automatically calculates rank and handicaps.

With that out of the way, Go is a fantastically simple game. The aforementioned book or a YouTube tutorial would introduce the game more clearly than a wall of text; but the rules are brief. Two players elect to play either black or white; black plays first. Players play on a 19x19 grid, or for faster games on 13x13 or 9x9 grids, by placing stones on the intersections. Each open space on the four cardinal directions represents a liberty; if one player surrounds the other player's stone on all 4 sides, that stone is captured. Stones of the same color sitting on adjacent liberties become a connected group, and thus the whole group must be surrounded to be captured.

The final rule, as consequence of the above play, is the Ko rule. The Ko rule simply states that one play cannot put the board into the exact preceding position. The Ko rule results in "Ko Fighting," a phenomena where a player cannot play a stone to recapture a point immediately, and thus instead must play a stone in a position that produces disproportionate gains if not answered immediately. The opponent will either respond to this threat, allowing recapture of the taken point and capture of the attacking stone; or settle the Ko, ignoring the threat and losing something in exchange.

Based on these simple rules, players must move to make territory: controlled area surrounded by the borders of their own stones. Players can reduce each others' territory by taking control of areas inside the opponent's border. For example, if black controls a third of the board mainly around the lower right corner, white can reduce this territory by taking control of a fifth of the board including the lower right corner. White must do this by creating life in that area: a group of stones is alive if there is no possible way to capture it. At the end of the game, the rules of scoring give each player one point for each point of surrounded territory minus one point for each stone the opponent has captured.

Between all this, the simple game of Go gives rise to many, many concepts. The primary concept of Go is that of Life and Death. A group of stones that is impossible to capture by correct play is "Alive," while a group of stones that cannot avoid capture by any means is "Dead." Groups are otherwise "unsettled." Further, there exists the concept of seki or "Dual Life" by which two groups of stones are both alive only because whichever player plays first to kill the other group will instead kill his own group. The study of life and death greatly improves a player's skill at Go: players that recognize shape early and move to prevent life can more easily retain territory; players who recognize shape and move to create shape that leads more easily to life can more easily invade their opponent's territory. As a final consequence of Life and Death, by the way, dead stones are removed from the board and captured automatically during scoring; therefor there is no reason to waste moves capturing unless your opponent forces the issue.

Another concept in Go is Joseki, which indicates a "settled pattern" of moves that produces a balanced outcome. Joseki are usually played in the opening and represent optimal play by both players: the outcome is balanced because neither player has a sufficient advantage to overwhelm the other, and thus deviation from Joseki weakens the player who deviates. Proper joseki helps players avoid entering midgame at a disadvantage when hostilities break out during the opening.

Other studies in Go follow connections and basic moves to play. While groups are only formed with solid connections, players can eliminate the threat of cutting a connection by playing non-solid connections such as diagonals and bamboo joints, or even wider shapes that cannot be effectively cut. Often moves such as the Knight's Move, hane (Turn the Corner), or Monkey Jump represent complex play that turns what appears at a glance to be a somewhat scattered set of stones into a strong, solid shape during combat and capturing races. Thus the playing of Go relies on extremely distant abstract thinking in situations that can rapidly change and have many, many open options for play.

Go does not rely on fate (as in Backgammon and other dice games) or conflict (as with Chess). It can be said that Backgammon is a man versus fate game, where winning depends on pure chance; while Chess is a man versus man game, concentrating on the concrete goal of outmaneuvering your opponent to capture his king. One can consider Go, on the other hand, as a problem of man versus self: the playing of Go is only improved by judgment, balance, and understanding of play, and such conflict and capturing that arises between the players is often brief and only a minor part of play. Go is a matter of playing the position, not playing a calculated military strategy. This makes Go extremely challenging and enlightening, and very rewarding for players who spend a fair amount of time not only playing, but also studying."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon.com handles passwords really freaking bad

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "Got an Amazon.com account? When it asks for your password, you can tack on extra character at the end or mess with the case. If "password" works, then "PASSWORD" works, "PaSsWOrD" works, "password123" works, "PasswordOHMYGODMYEYES" works, and so on. Oops?"
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Is Low-Tech High-Tech?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  about 4 years ago

bluefoxlucid (723572) writes "I've been wrestling with questions of sustainability of our society for quite some time now. I'm not talking about global warming, or peak oil (or wood), or the imminent outgassing of the gulf when the sea floor cracks and spills doomsday quantities of methane into the atmosphere. I'm talking about actually being able to survive our own technology. In this vein, I've come to consider the merits of pursuing a more low-tech social structure, mainly starting from the education level. This includes everything from teaching students slide-rules, Suhnpan math, and a selection of generalized mental arithmetic strategies to encouraging the adoption of such simple things as home-baking bread and grooming with old-style razors (straight, double-edge, with brush and soap) and toothbrushes (boar bristle). My major worry is that the acceleration of a high-tech society will deteriorate when we completely distance ourselves from a low-tech world that requires--or allows--us to use things we understand, as simple as a toothbrush made of materials not produced in a lab or as complex as the baking of bread and how an egg affects the texture. After that, innovation becomes difficult and the general population atrophies due to inability to deal with the world with more than a caveman's level of understanding of anything we touch--who here knows how electric toothbrushes magically charge? Are there any philosophers or social scientists out there already considering the question of Peak Technology?"

Journals

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What really causes global warming?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 5 years ago In trying to solve the world's energy problems on the back of a napkin (see blog), I think I figured this global warming thing out. Mind you, I don't believe in human-caused global warming; but this one's a little more generalized. Basically, the sun and the earth are the same; the earth's a lot dimmer, but it radiates thermal energy out into the universe, and has struck an equilibrium with input (from the sun) versus output. Plants store thermal energy; bacteria and animals eat plants and release thermal energy. Well, every machine running on electricity also releases thermal energy. Whether we burn biofuels or throw up solar panels, we're absorbing energy from the sun that's normally reflected wholesale back to space and/or releasing it faster into the ambient environment than useful (i.e. burning plants in 30 seconds, rather than letting them decay in 3 months). With all the extra absorbed and wholesale-released heat, the equilibrium point shifts upwards, and the earth maintains a higher temperature-- it gets hotter! It gets hotter with every man, animal, and machine that walks the surface of this damn planet!

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Dynamic story rating?

bluefoxlucid bluefoxlucid writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Having a simple idea, I figured I'd write it into the journal as a first usage; and why not let them post it as a story too if they want? Anyway, the basic idea: users ranking stories, users accepting rankings. Why let armchair security experts and self-described IT experts rate your stories? Why not pick the users your think have a clue and only count their votes? Read on to see how this fleshes out in my mind.

The premise for this idea is that some Slashdot stories are good, some are bad, and some come from armchair experts who know nothing and can hype a good but inaccurate and relatively useless pile of FUD. The editors are not experts on everything either, and have let a few FUDs through in the past under the guise of breaking news. At the same time, we can't rely on armchair warriors to tell us whether or not stories are good.

The solution I've come up with is simple. Stories are rated by any user wishing to cast a rating. Users select other users they believe are knowledgeable, selecting which topics they believe the users are knowledgeable in. Each user then sees a story with a rating computed based on the opinions of users he's decided understand what they're talking about; other users are discarded.

At the simplest level, a user has other users he believes understand a topic. A more robust solution is also possible where users can go a certain depth into a web of trust. In order to accomplish this, the user sets whether or not he trusts those knowledgeable users to also recognize other knowledgeable users, and thus considers those users that the knowledgeable user considers knowledgeable as knowledgeable as well.

This trust model can be set to a specific depth, where this evaluation is followed down 1, 2, 5, or 10 steps deep. A full depth evaluation would also be possible; however it would require caching and triggering on modification of the full depth with loop detection, otherwise it would be very slow. Even with caching, a lack of loop detection will allow the system an easy route to an infinite loop. A mandatory maximum depth will prevent this, but will still bring the system to its knees for a short time.

Loop detection is important to avoid a DoS for anything more than even 1 step deep; 3000 users with all of each other trusted will otherwise cause the second step of evaluation to pass through 6,000,000 nodes, fully evaluating each node 3000 times. Simple loop detection will check if the node has been evaluated yet, and skip it if so.

Caching on changes may be the most CPU effective solution, where when any user changes his settings the changes are applied upwards through those users that depend on that setting, to avoid on-the-fly evaluation. On-the-fly evaluation may reach the 9000-node-evaluation problem at only a few steps, where users may trust 30 users who each trust 30 users, giving 9000 total users; building this list at each page view would be too expensive.

As a final measure, some users may just want to know what "the experts" think is hot. This is a low hanging fruit problem; users can simply allow the top 100 most popular, top 5%, or users accepted directly by over 1000 or 1% of Slashdot users in each topic. These selections would not be counted in these statistics; only users directly accepting individual users as knowledgeable would count. In this way, users can pull in ratings based on the users other users think are smart.

I believe this system would be useful in allowing users to weed out useless headlines and promote useful headlines because it would allow users control over who they are relying on to judge the articles. Those users not thought capable of making useful decisions are ignored in this system, giving every Slashdot user a personalized rating. Most appreciated Slashdot users are publicly known, allowing users to blanket accept the most knowledgeable users per topic. This should allow users to customize their Slashdot experience with high quality ratings of a personal value.

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