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EU Plastic Bag Debate Highlights a Wider Global Problem

c9brown Late to the party (470 comments)

In Canada, if you aren't using a cloth/reusable bag, you're just that fucking dude who didn't bring a bag. Almost everywhere asks and charges before handing you one. The only exception, as others have pointed out, is if you just need garbage bags and want them cheap.

about 9 months ago
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Explorer Plans Hunt For Genghis Khan's Long-Lost Tomb

c9brown Global Warming? (243 comments)

Any particular reason this was tagged with 'global warming'?

about 9 months ago
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The Battle For the Game Industry's Soul

c9brown Re:Gaming as a whole... (272 comments)

What's a fake choice? Do you mean the outcomes are not different enough? Or that you don't care about the stories enough in the first place? Is your problem that you just don't like stories in general? What is your problem?

Maybe your problem is that you haven't played the Mass Effect series? Or maybe you are just curmudgeonly?

there have been a few 'pick your ending' movies before.... That's about the same level of interactivity as most games these days.

Really? What about, you know, the actual game part where you control a person, their actions and solve puzzles and perform tasks? What more do you want?

I hear people bitching without any constructive criticism.

about 10 months ago
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The Battle For the Game Industry's Soul

c9brown Re:Gaming as a whole... (272 comments)

In movies I can't choose if the main character will save the day as a paragon or a renegade, nor can I choose who the main character will pursue a romance with. In a movie I can't explore new places nor spend down time geeking out on stats. And I don't think that my options in these matters have been systematically curtailed since early games. If anything, game freedom and interactivity has progressed as quickly as graphics technology.

While I understand the argument that some AAA games are becoming Hollywoodized, we should all keep in mind that stories with characters are very fundamental to human art and entertainment. It is very natural that artists in a new medium would want to try to tell stories in it. Also, I think that in the last decade, there have been some monumental achievements on this front; games with great mechanics, stories too rich for a film and full of beautiful art, music and writing. Why are we complaining about this?

And, if someone has the next direction for video games in their back pocket, they aren't bitching here, they are making it.

about 10 months ago
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Elon Musk's 'Hyperloop': More Details Revealed

c9brown Re:He said "up to 4,000 MPH" (533 comments)

People like him are the reason the middle class no longer exists.

...They all got up and made successful internet startups or car companies or space companies? Is that where the middle class went?

Or do you mean they no longer exist because they all stopped working at North American factories like Tesla or SpaceX?

Or do you mean they went somewhere else because they were no longer were inspired to be entrepreneurial because no-one had the spirit anymore or could prove it was possible to grow a successful business?

1 year,20 days
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UK ISP Filter Will Censor More Than Porn

c9brown Re:I for one (329 comments)

Well I thought this was funny, AC.

about a year ago
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Microsoft Unveils Xbox One

c9brown Re:I look forward to hearing about why this will f (782 comments)

Actually, this is nothing new. Most consoles, at launch, would lose on paper to their counter-part mid-range PC at launch. So what?

1.) There's more to hardware than the listed specs. For instance, Xbox360 had lots of architectural features that made it a poor choice for general computing but excellent for a typical gaming load. One example was a cache architecture tuned for streaming data (i.e. reading of a disc or streaming in geometry and textures). Also, consoles typically require less overhead in terms of things like OS footprint, etc. than PCs. Thus, despite the numbers, consoles are typically able to keep up with PCs that out match them in terms of specs alone.

2.) Developers can focus their efforts on a single architecture when developing for consoles. This entails huge performance gains from various optimizations that would not be feasible when developing for the heterogeneous PC architecture landscape. (Certainly there are exceptions to this i.e. Game A gets optimized code for GPU B, but this is certainly not a guarantee when buying the game). Furthermore, developers have much longer to find particular optimizations for the hardware given that the console life-cycle is typically 5 - 10 years. Notice how much better the last titles in a console generation look compared to those at launch.

Finally, $300 to $400 doesn't buy you much in terms of a gaming rig. I know, I just tried to build one on that budget.

about a year ago
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California Lawmaker Wants 3-D Printers To Be Regulated

c9brown Re:Gun control however... (856 comments)

Mexican criminals have guns because they so easy to obtain in the US.

If it were more difficult to buy, sell and trade guns in the US you can be sure that there would be a lot less gun violence in Mexico.

If you instead had used European countries as examples of the effectiveness of gun control, your argument would be much harder to make.

about a year ago
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Facebook Knows If You're Gay, Use Drugs, Or Are a Republican

c9brown Re:Base rates (473 comments)

This is why prediction results are basically meaningless without sensitivity and specificity numbers...

about a year and a half ago
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Is the Era of Groundbreaking Science Over?

c9brown Re:stupid. (470 comments)

Is the era of headings written as questions over?
Unfortunately, also no.

about a year and a half ago
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Islamist Hackers Shut Down Egyptology Research Journal

c9brown Re:You start by acknowledging Islam as a threat (564 comments)

How do you define mainstream ideology? Views held by a majority of said population? How would you determine this? With polls? Where are the numbers to back this statement? What is the distribution among nations and other demographics? I can't believe that Slashdot, a community that champions science, would hold this statement up as insightful.

Everyone should be critical of your statement because it is generalizing, not supported with accompanying facts, and potentially damning to hundreds of millions of people. Bold statements require significant, scientifically sound evidence.

Furthermore, this argument is contrary to what I know from my daily life. All of the Muslims I know are very tolerant, peaceful people. Thus, I would need very compelling evidence to convince me that their world view was a threat. (A threat to who, by the way?)

about a year and a half ago
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Crowd Funding For Crank Physics

c9brown Minor second order effect? (379 comments)

If you read one of the papers, from Florida Atlantic University, referenced on the site, the author claims that the advantage comes from an 'intrinsic favorable flexure mode." Basically, he is saying that the flex at the joint of the Z shape creates a smoother ride and higher torque at specific angles (not peak torque however).

While I find it unlikely that the effect is as positive as stated in the article, it is plausible that there is a small second-order effect due to non-rigid behavior of the crank. It is claimed in the article that this effect was tested independently, however I can't see how a flex in the pedal would produce any other effect than to steal energy away from the peddler.

Besides, if you want more torque while biking, just use clip-ins.

about a year and a half ago
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Has 3D Film-Making Had Its Day?

c9brown Betteridge's law (436 comments)

I would just like to point out that the headline of this post is posed as a question.

about a year and a half ago
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Ticking Arctic Carbon Bomb May Be Bigger Than Expected

c9brown Re:I have no carbon footprint; I drive everywhere. (339 comments)

yet at the same time they're also flying around in private jets

Hah! What environmentalist flys around in a private jet? Environmentalists I know prefer not to fly, and when they do, many pay the carbon tax (by buying an offset):
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/resources/2009/purchasing-carbon-offsets/?gclid=CLuRyLjgi7QCFcN_Qgodi1QA_w

Besides, what sway should the behaviour of a rich "elite type" have on your choices? Why do you care what they do?

And actually, if families, communities, nations used less energy and were able to generate some of their own energy (roof mounted solar panels, personal wind generators) they would be more financially independent. Same goes for growing your own food in a garden, composting much of your own waste, etc.

Sure McDonalds is cheap but home grown food is cheaper. Sure, your old beater car is cheap, but the bus is cheaper. Sure, coal is cheap, but when global warming ends up turning all our crop lands into deserts, there are going to be a lot more hungry lower class people around.

btw, here's how true environmentalists live: http://noimpactproject.org/experiment/

about a year and a half ago
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Ticking Arctic Carbon Bomb May Be Bigger Than Expected

c9brown Re:HEADLINE: Scientists fear for their jobs, want (339 comments)

Trust me, "scientists" don't spend 8-10 years as a student (plus more as a post-doc usually), making no money to get rich. They are mostly just intelligent, curious people with a desire to know how the world works. Your typical "scientist" isn't hauling in the cash and most of them work at tenured jobs where they'd get paid regardless of what they publish. Besides, at this point you're not grabbing anyone's attention when you say that climate change is real and that humans are at least part of the cause. This is agreed upon. No one is "debating the issue".
You are correct on one point. We do need to get real about this. We need to convince the masses that science isn't out to get them. Science just measures the world and shares its results. (And not by looking out the window.)

about a year and a half ago
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In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

c9brown Three options: (707 comments)

1.) Vote for the candidate who you calculate might best influence the nation in the way you prefer, knowing that it can't possibly and wont ever be perfect. (Which is okay because you also have your own life outside of the goings on of the nation)

2.) Don't vote. By doing this you are stating that you are fine with the odds of each candidate winning staying as they are because you agree relatively with their positions by that weighting.
2.a) You can tell others not to vote. This is an act of anarchy because you do not know who they might have originally voted for nor your complete sphere of influence.

3.) Get involved in politics and see just how hard it is to 1) achieve and maintain power while holding to your principles and 2) convince everyone else that your ideals are good for them too.
3.a) Start your own party and stop bitching about the lack of options.

about 2 years ago
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Tesla Motors Getting $10 Million From California For Model X Production

c9brown Re:Why not hybrid? (191 comments)

10 million dollars is peanuts. Besides, why hold back progress, especially when that progress is actually innovative and tries to make things better for everyone?
North America was built on invention, innovation and beating everyone else to the punch. Without that drive, the economy sags and other parts of the world start to dominate (i.e. like right now).

about 2 years ago
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Is a Computer Science Degree Worth Getting Anymore?

c9brown Most don't know any theory... (630 comments)

...Then they didn't go to Waterloo, or they did but didn't pass. I have to wonder how low the bar is for your typical college CS degree is, if that statement can hold ANY water at all.

Data structures, algorithm theory and design fundamentals, run time analysis, software engineering paradigms, formal languages and parsing theory, complexity and computability, formal logic, operating system fundamentals, compiler fundamentals, matrix algebra and vector calculus are just some of the REQUIRED courses for a CS degree at Waterloo. Then you have to pass a bunch more courses of your choosing.

Don't other degrees require graduates to have studied similar topics? While you could learn these things on your own, its easier with a prof, TAs, peers, structured schedules, etc... (IMO expensive but worth it)

about 2 years ago
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Election Tech: In Canada, They Actually Count the Votes

c9brown Re:I'm Canadian (500 comments)

He shouldn't count his French what?
Did you mean to say "You don't count your French votes" or "You don't count your French fries" or something else?

Your comment certainly shouldn't count as it's not English.

about 2 years ago

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