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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

cfalcon Re:Another fat related story (153 comments)

Seriously, holy shit. I mean, lets science.

Facts: Suddenly, everyone is fat.
Conclusion: Everyone must be a lazy pussy suddenly.

How on earth do otherwise reasonable people do this?

about a week ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

cfalcon Re:What could possibly go wrong. (153 comments)

Is that what you think is going on? Everyone just wants to "scarf junk food with no consequences"?

You think the obesity epidemic is a fucking character flaw?

about a week ago
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"Fat-Burning Pill" Inches Closer To Reality

cfalcon Re:I already found a miracle weight loss cure! (153 comments)

Dude, if you lost weight over the LAST six months, then let me tell you, you haven't "kept it off". You're posting as AC so there's no way to check back on you in two years. "Kept it off" is five years. Six months is just willpower and starvation for most.

about a week ago
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Monochromatic Light As a Species-selective Insecticide

cfalcon Re:Applicable (44 comments)

I think there's enough Japan for blue lights AND humanoid robots...

...well, maybe I just hope that....

about a week ago
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French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

cfalcon Are they gonna sue Logitech too? (687 comments)

Because I use my mouse to close adverts, are mouse manufacturers vulnerable?

From a free speech perspective, this is an idiot joke- obviously the guy should be able to publish an add blocker.
From a property ownership perspective, this is an idiot joke- obviously, the property owner (me) should be able to control what my property fucking DOES, and what it doesn't do is show me dumb adverts.
From a moral perspective, this is an idiot joke- advertisements are objectively harmful to the recipients, and those who do not wish to be subject to harm should not be.

So if this DOES go through, what it means is that ad blocking software will be moved to places where these guys have no jurisdiction. Note that it's happening in France by French companies, so they are hoping for a home team advantage. But hopefully their courts aren't fans of idiot jokes.

about two weeks ago
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Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

cfalcon Re:Standard FBI followup (388 comments)

Moridineas: "I'm a big support of Snowden. Much less so of Manning. This guy deserves whatever he gets."

I think this is the big telling point. Snowden is very controversial. Manning, the controversy is mostly about the magnitude of the punishment. But no one is seriously in favor of people just handing out secrets to foreign governments. Wherever you stand on the Snowdometer, this is just not that.

about two weeks ago
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Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

cfalcon Re:Standard FBI followup (388 comments)

Most people with a clearance do NOT have a "number they would sell out for". That's the whole fucking point of that thing.

about two weeks ago
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Man Caught Trying To Sell Plans For New Aircraft Carrier

cfalcon Re: Standard FBI followup (388 comments)

If you don't have a clearance, you can't be "entrapped" by this, so worry not your pretty little head.

This is a bad seed getting weeded, nothing more.

about two weeks ago
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Google Hopes To One Day Replace Gmail With Inbox

cfalcon This is moderately insane (239 comments)

I've used gmail since it was a baby, but at least I always used redirected emails that point there. So I can, in theory, switch out. I wonder if they'll drop POP support before lowering the boom? I have so very much data in there.

I know they hinted at it being some far future change, but just being willing to say it at all is nuts. Gmail is a smashing success, that they would want to redefine email based on some user interface study is scary as shit.

about two weeks ago
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18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

cfalcon Re:Setting aside that old Constitution (446 comments)

25% of people having an irrational belief is absolutely fine. That's far away from a plurality or majority.

77% of Americans believe there's evidence for aliens, and while that's a sketchy study, it's a huge number.

about two weeks ago
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18th Century Law Dredged Up To Force Decryption of Devices

cfalcon Baity question (446 comments)

If the encryption is real (aka, a third party isn't holding the key,or a copy of YOUR key), then they may as well deliver the order to a donkey.

So there's no threat about Apple and Google "deliberately creating encryption that they themselves cannot break", because that just means they can't help the government when they ask, much as, for instance, my dog could not help them out.

But there's a lot wrong with that sentence. They aren't creating encryption, they are writing crypto code using existing crypto algos- arguably the same thing, but still. Also, YOU, the user, will be the one encrypting it, much like you can't sue a knife manufacturer for making a sharp knife. And encryption that is "breakable" isn't really encryption by any decent standard.

The real concern isn't some ancient law trying to force the hand of companies- this will only force them further along the path of making sure that it's not THEIR data, because they lack keys, it's the USER data, go bug him. That's the logical place for them to be anyway- no one spends hundreds of dollars for a phone and then encrypts it without expecting that the encryption is actually a thing- while it's wise to supposed that government level attackers have ways to get keys, it is obviously NOT WHAT YOU WANT WHEN YOU BOUGHT IT. I mean, so there's that.

Anyway, the real concern will be NEW laws that force the companies to do this. And they wouldn't have to be federal laws- if California made some law about how you can't blah blah offer real encryption unless X, and Washington was like no real encryption unless Y, and New York was like no real encryption unless Z, then you would be pushing the companies out of too many markets, and then all the federal courts have to do is drag their feet and the feds get another full decade of Total Access To Your Own Papers And Possessions.

about two weeks ago
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In UK Study, Girls Best Boys At Making Computer Games

cfalcon Give me a break (312 comments)

If the study found the opposite:

1)- Would it make slashdot?
2)- Would there be some social reason given?

So seriously, why? Choosing 12 years old for the study- instead of 9, say, when boys and girls are basically the same thing- is a very odd choice, given the later development of boys. Choosing 15 would also give very different results. Generalizing the one point of human development when girls are ahead of boys is very odd, but why doesn't the article spend a million words saying that we need to help the boys get on the same level as the girls?

Almost every sex article- and CERTAINLY every gender one- is so political it's fucking insane.

There was an anecdote in a recentish book (sorry, blanking on the book) where a teacher noticed that the girls were doing better in language, and the boys in math. This bothered her- after all, boys shouldn't do better in math. Bothered her a lot, because, after all, she "knew" that boys and girls have similar math skills. Her solution was to segregate the boys and the girls math studies, based on the assumption that the girls were being intimidated by the boys, who held up their hands faster, etc. Eventually after doing this, the scores evened out or something, and she was happy that the world was exactly as she thought it was (after a lot of manipulation on her part). But, of course...
1)- Were the classes taught the same? If you care enough to teach math twice because the girls being behind enrages you, you are unlikely to be the most impartial teacher, right?
2)- If the girls being ahead in language and the boys being ahead in math enrages you because the boys are ahead, what happened when they split the language classes? They didn't do this part, of course- it was fine that the boys were behind in language. Not even the author relaying the ancedote seemed to consider this point.
3)- If there really is a better way to teach girls, then it stands to reason that there's a better way to teach boys. There's some gender zealots searching for the first, but shouldn't we be all about the second?

Anyway, back on topic, the program in question has nothing to do with anything, or real games. This study was likely designed from the start to show this, or spun that way for attention, and the metric for what "better" is seems entirely related to the "types of triggers" used. But I'm sure the rest of slashdot will poke holes in that obvious attention grab metric, and likely point out some more details with the NWN engine.

What would be interesting would be to take the scripted things and have them rated blindly by another group of 12-13 year olds.

Anyway, gender politics are so fucking all over the internet, and every side so zealous, that it's ludicrous to see slashdot dip their toe in it. I come here to read about tech, not read about some loopy gender warrior finding a way to spin their point of view (which is one of: sex A is worse at X, and that's society's fault, OR, sex A is worse at X, and that's because gender B is shining and perfect and obviously superior at X).

about three weeks ago
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Ubisoft Apologizes For Assassin's Creed

cfalcon Bugs are DRM (171 comments)

The net effect of these ludic-buggy games is that the actual game disk itself is entirely worthless for playing the game. Pretend that while browsing for 8 bit NES games, you finally found a game you wanted- say The Guardian Legend, a truly top-tier title. You grab it for cheap, walk it home... and instead of instantly booting into Miria racing towards Naju, it instead needs an overnight update from a service that hasn't existed in a decade to work properly, or at all.

These bugs are a feature to companies like Ubisoft and EA. The apology is only issued because the launch was truly and shockingly ludicrous- enough to get mocked world wide, in articles such as Cracked's:

http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-...

That are well outside of the normal area of video game journalism / forums / reviews.

about three weeks ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

cfalcon Better when they sell themselves to EA? (473 comments)

If they had an offline mode, then the whole game would be in the hands of those to whom it is delivered- they would have a good (not just a service). If you want to say "We have X players, 40% of whom play in a persistent world and we profit from steadily, the others of whom might at some point in the future, but do not now" that is one thing, but if you can say "We have X players, 100% of whom depend on our servers to run", in the SECOND case, you are offering more stuff than can be monetized when EA buys you out- you represent more value to EA because you are holding your whole playerbase hostage to your servers.

about a month ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

cfalcon Re:Cheating in singleplayer doesn't matter (473 comments)

When I play MMOs, I generally gank and will absolutely grief when the mood strikes- but I play factional MMOs, not all-for-themselves types. I definitely respect the griefer playstyle in general though, I just dislike when it essentially becomes real world trickery and betrayal (as seen in Eve, with the most notable heists being social exploits).

So I definitely get how you would want to avoid ALL of this. I'm actually pretty surprised that they coded it like this- it appears that they must have known for MONTHS, if not a year or more, that they had no intention of supporting offline play.

I say this as someone with three active MMO subscriptions that I play in widely varying amounts over time: games that rely on a company running a server are services, and everyone who backed this backed a good. Without a concrete binary you can run locally to full effect, they haven't delivered anything at all, they haven't made a product. It's a service contingent on their continued profitability.
And I haven't given them anything yet, but I was (and still am) planning on buying this at launch. How much I play or avoid this entirely is based entirely on how the multiplayer looks and what the rest of my gaming crew drifts to. My X-55 is ready if it rocks hard, and the last thing I wanted was a single player experience out of this.

Which changes nothing- this is very much a bait and switch. So goddamned much.

about a month ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

cfalcon Re:enable trim on yosemite (327 comments)

Could we mod up parent, or similar posts at least? I came in here with righteous anger at Apple and find it's just a simple procedure to reenable this thing if you have one of those. This is Apple actually being more security conscious. My fucking iPhone has a goddamned gray bar overlay because my background is too pretty so it nerfs it, and I have to use buggy Fleksy for Dvorak (which works as of this week), so could we save shitting on Apple for the things it actually does wrong, and not for legit security boosts that are user bypassable without hackery?

The shenanigans that are possible to put in a driver, or in firmware, are hard to over emphasize. Any step towards being able to prevent a cleverly written hardware attack or up the cost of devel have merit, and while that's not worth losing user power over, this certainly isn't that.

about a month ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

cfalcon Re:On the other hand... (700 comments)

I'm actually shocked that any other opinion than yours has any traction at all.

about 2 months ago
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New Music Discovered In Donkey Kong For Arcade

cfalcon Re:Haiku is more interesting than the MIDI (74 comments)

By putting the caps like that, you make it look like they thought each of those was a sentence.

Here's direct from the binary (c_5k_b.bin). It uses byte aligned 8 bit ASCII, which is not super common back then, but it was the actual standard. (and still is!)
This is UNIQUE, however- the REST of the file uses binary 0x00 (null) to map to numeral zero, up to 0x09 for numeral 9, then 0x0A for A, 0x10 for G, etc. That means that unlike all the other text in the game, this was rendered in ASCII, in another language, and burned to the ROM just so that maybe some hacker, somewhere, would answer their call- or at least feel cool.

It is most properly rendered:

CONGRATULATION !IF YOU ANALYSE DIFFICULT THIS PROGRAM,WE WOULD TEACH YOU.*****TEL.TOKYO-JAPAN 044(244)2151 EXTENTION 304 SYSTEM DESIGN IKEGAMI CO. LIM.

The string begins with a null character. It has two spaces after "ANALYSE" and "THIS", and four spaces after the telephone 2141, and three spaces after the 304 and the "SYSTEM DESIGN". The entirety of it is exactly 160 bytes. There are no line feeds or other characters.

So, no, they did NOT type:

"If you analyse
Difficult this program,"

This represents around 1% of their total space on their final shipped product. 1% of their product to put this call in a foreign language to hackers across the world. Granted, Donkey Kong has a bit of spare space in the ROM, but... still.

about 2 months ago
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New Music Discovered In Donkey Kong For Arcade

cfalcon This made my week (74 comments)

Seriously, this is fucking metal. Aces link.

The Pauline scream is great, and the lost melodies are amazing. A lost section of Nintendo history? What a prize. A view into the hearts of those inspired to make an amazing game, a secret buried all these years. Impressive.

Though much older (and not part of this story), the long lost line hidden from Ikegami:

"CONGRATULATION !
IF YOU ANALYSE
DIFFICULT THIS
PROGRAM,WE WOULD
TEACH YOU."

Made chills go through my spine. Hacker ethos full charge, mothafuggas!

I had never seen it before, in any event.

I'd upvote the wiki and the story, but thankfully this website has none of that drek. In fact, I'm sure if this was a website with upvotes it would just be people saying the same thing over and over again and maybe occasionally linking a cat pick.

about 2 months ago

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