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Canadian Couple Charged $5k For Finding 400-Year-Old Skeleton

dschl They got off lightly compared to others (601 comments)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/04/19/bc-diggingbill.html

One family on Vancouver Island got charged $35,000 for archeologists to check for arrowheads. I've heard of archeologists in BC (same firm as the $35k one) who registered a site near where I live onto the archeology registry without the owner's knowledge, because they thought they found arrowheads. Later on, when the local First Nations archeologist looked at them, she said "They're just rocks", and tossed them.

The adage for ranchers when it comes to endangered species used to be (and still may be) "shoot, shovel, and shut up". Same with artifacts in Canada, if you're smart.

about a year and a half ago
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Man Who Pointed Laser At Aircraft Gets 30-Month Sentence

dschl Re:Sentence is too long (761 comments)

You are an idiot for making the statement "over shining a light". Please don't breed.

Regardless of any problems with the prison system, or any debate on punishment versus rehabilitation, it was not "shining a light".

When you use a laser in that manner, you turn it into a weapon with the ability to blind people. Trying to blinding people at the controls of an airplane is attempted mass murder in my books.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Programming / IT Jobs For Older, Retrained Workers?

dschl Re:Robotics or AV (215 comments)

If he can do PLCs, I'd hire him tomorrow for water utility work. Wonder if he wants to move to Canada?

Small utilities and municipalities do not usually have in-house instrument technicians, and in some areas, the local instrument tech companies have a virtual monopoly. Every water, wastewater, and traffic light system is run with PLCs and SCADA, and it all requires constant maintenance, updating, and improvements. We probably spend 60-80k a year on our contracted instrument technicians, and we're a small utility with less than 15 staff.

As far as older workers, maybe I'm an aberration, but a 58 year old guy has a ton of experience to add, and isn't going to be job hopping. I'll get a solid 7 years, rather than a variable 1-10 years from an inexperienced 25 year old.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Camera For Getting Into Photography?

dschl It isn't the camera (569 comments)

It's the person behind the camera that matters. Get some training, read and learn the basics, and most importantly, practice.

photo.net is a good starting point.

about 3 years ago
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Flooding Takes Major Hard Drive Plant Offline; Shortages Predicted

dschl Re:Fascinating Risk Analysis Decision (203 comments)

In many places, you cannot legally build on floodplain.

In North America, 50 years is pretty short for design standards. Bridges will normally be built for flood events in excess of 100 years. Laws where I live restrict construction inside a 200 year floodplain.

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese Want To Capture an Asteroid

dschl Re:Its also a weapon system ... (481 comments)

Did it occur to you that any nation capable of doing in the future will have ballistic missiles and the ability to create nuclear weapons? And that any nation capable of doing this today has large stockpiles of both?

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese Want To Capture an Asteroid

dschl Re:China, don't get ahead of yourself. (481 comments)

Fearmonger much?

What they are proposing is pretty safe. They need to increase the velocity to reach earth. It will take months or years, allowing for plenty of time to make measurements and corrections. They are talking about pick asteroids with orbits such that an equipment failure will ensure that it doesn't quite catch up to earth - which means it won't hit us right away.

Backyard astronomers can find asteroids that have a chance of hitting earth and identify their orbits. There will be plenty of attention on any of these, and you can't really hide an asteroid.

As for the rest of your tirade, life is a risk sport. There is a risk associated with coal emissions from refining steel here on earth, and an environmental impact from the coal and steel mines, not to mention the production chains of the explosives and fuel.

Just because you are used to existing risks doesn't make them more safe. Our current mining methods likely pose a higher risk and greater environmental and social impact, but because they are familiar, you are not evaluating the risks consistently. Admittedly, appeals to fear and ignorance have worked very for the Fox network, so at least you're picking a winning formula.

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese Want To Capture an Asteroid

dschl Re:China, don't get ahead of yourself. (481 comments)

I guess slashdot is running out of nerds who post anymore. I don't post much or read many comments here anymore, but when I saw the direction this was heading, I had to log in for the first time in ages.

The first few comments I saw were like the parent comment above - a bunch of bleating from a group of pussies who are still cowering after Sept 11, 2001, waiting for the gubermint to protect them from any and all potential harm or risk.

I grew up on sci-fi, reading about the possibilities - things humanity can do if it sets out to accomplish something grand. Bike helmets didn't exist, I ate dirt, skinned my knees climbing trees, and broke bones on (unsafe by today's standards) playground equipment. I dreamed of the stars, and of people inhabiting the entire solar system one day.

Which is worse - mining the asteroid belt or open pit mines in sensitive areas? I fully recognize that sci-fi has as much fantasy as science, but I recall novels from the 1980s that included LEO refining of asteroids, followed by dropping the materials down to earth by shaping them into gliders or capsules similar to those used in the Mercury program. There should be enough silica waste to make some heat-resistant tiles up there, and the metal can be foamed or made hollow to drop the density.

If the first few comments are representative of today's /. audience, no wonder CmdrTaco bailed.

more than 3 years ago
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What Happened To Obama's Open Source Adviser?

dschl Re:Let's check the timeline (296 comments)

Gates applauds Indian rich guy for sharing wealth: 4.2010 - saying that the norm in the US is 20% and that US benefactors need to give more along the lines of 40% ~ 50% while not mentioning that he & Melinda give along the lines of 1% ~ 2%.

Please provide a reference for your claim.

According to Businessweek, Bill Gates has given $28 billion out of a net worth of $59 billion, placing him second on the list after Warren Buffett. That appears to be considerably higher than 1-2%.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:I was glad to hear this (57 comments)

Everyone makes mistakes. That apology was merely the first step in rebuilding trust. Turbine will have to tread carefully for a while to come, as many of their players will remain watchful, if not outright suspicious should anything similar arise in the future.

I'm taking it at face value, unless given evidence otherwise. It's not 100% for me either, but it got them into the 80's or 90's for now. When I compare Turbine's response to almost any other organization that has made a mistake that affected me, it was faster, and more complete.

They're trying. Hard. And I appreciate that. So while I criticised them for doing something stupid (and would do so again in the future if necessary), I will also make sure to applaud them for doing the right thing without much of a delay.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:Stupid Acronym Usage (57 comments)

Ever look at the UID range of most comments? It's pretty sad when the lowest UID of any commenter to this story is in the 50k range. I rarely comment anymore, and apart from stories that directly interest or affect me, and rarely read the comments either. Most of the time, I don't even log in, just scan the front page, and carry on with my day.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:I was glad to hear this (57 comments)

I think that management had a rosy picture in their minds, that was dispelled by the cruel, harsh light of reality. The original post appears to only live in Google's cache. Unclassy.

Here's the full link from the DDO forums front page (obtained from google cache):

Get More FREE Turbine Points with New Offer Wall!
April 12, 2010
Want to get your hands on more Turbine Points? Visit my.ddo.com/getpoints, log in, and check out the latest offers from our friends at SuperRewards. Simply complete a qualifying offer and SuperRewards will credit your account with Turbine Points* to use in the DDO Store! This new feature is just another way for players to get points in addition to earning them in-game or buying them directly. Unlike earning or buying points, however, players may complete offers right on the website and do not need to be logged into the game.

This new feature is an addition to our current DDO Store system and does not replace the existing ways you already get points. We will continue to add new offer providers and payment methods in the coming months - if you have a preferred payment method, we’ll probably support it. For now, the fastest and easiest way to get guaranteed points is still to buy them in the DDO Store directly from Turbine.

Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What is the offer wall?
A. The offer wall at my.ddo.com is a feature that allows players to earn Turbine Points for completing offers from various Offer Vendors.

Q. What’s an offer?
A. An offer is an advertisement for a product or service that typically requires you to perform an action. That may include registering for a newsletter, signing up for a subscription service, or buying a product. Offers may also include market research such as surveys, online focus groups, and more.

Q. Do I have to do this?
A. Of course not! This system is provided as a service to those who would like more Turbine points and who prefer not to pay for them in the traditional fashion.

Q. What about my personal information? Is it safe?
A. We do not share any personal information with the offer vendor other than an anonymous unique ID and an e-mail address for your receipt to be sent to. This information is not transmitted unless you participate in the offer wall system. You may be (and probably will be) asked to provide additional information to complete an offer. Turbine has no way to control what happens with that information or how it is handled. We recommend that you use your discretion when signing up for offers. As always, protecting your privacy requires vigilance.

Q. Where is SuperRewards’ Privacy Policy located?
A. Online at http://www.superrewards-offers.com/super/privacy

Q. I have a problem with X Offer or Y Offer Advertiser. What do I do?
A. Turbine provides no direct support for issues with our offer providers. If you have an issue with something related to the offer system please direct your inquiries to the Offer Vendor.

Q. Who is the Offer Vendor?
A. Our first partner in this program is SuperRewards. Their support information may be found at http://www.srpoints.com/help

Q. I have more questions. Who do I talk to?
A. The detailed service FAQ for the offer wall is in our public KB at http://na6.salesforce.com/_ui/selfservice/pkb/PublicKnowledgeSolution/d?orgId=00D80000000L4s5&id=50180000000QJka. For general questions, visit our offer wall forum at http://forums.ddo.com/. This forum is for general feedback and information only. Support issues must be resolved with the offer vendor directly.

*Players participating in this offer program do not earn points from Turbine directly. All points are granted by the offer vendor (e.g. SuperRewards) at the vendor’s sole discretion. Turbine does not provide any end-user support for this system. For questions about point rewards, offer content, or payment details please contact the Offer Vendor or advertising company (the company whose offer you complete). Turbine is not responsible for Super Rewards points or transactions. Turbine is not able to assist with Super Rewards purchases or interactions. For inquiries about Super Rewards or your purchase with them, please visit http://www.srpoints.com/help. If you believe that you have not received Turbine Points purchased or earned through Super Rewards, please contact Turbine. The Turbine Terms of Service apply to all Super Rewards transactions involving Turbine Points.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:Why did Turbine respond to this... (57 comments)

Because Turbine was weak, they didn't have the resources or knowledge to go with a quiet and subtle way of selling you out, so they fucked up and chose a crass and obvious one.

Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. I think someone screwed up in finance or marketing. An interview with the executive producer in March 2010 referenced this as follows:

Fernando also mentioned that Update 4 will include as-yet-unspecified "Character Bank Upgrades" and the ability to announce certain accomplishments in DDO to your Facebook feed. He also mentioned that Turbine will soon announce details of a deal with a third-party vendor to allow players to earn Turbine Points through some kind of "offer-based payment options", which means you'll do something like take a short survey for some commercial entity and earn Turbine Points in return (Netflix does something very similar to this.)

Turbine appear to have been looking at this as a good thing, another option for players. Perhaps with more careful implementation next time (if there is a next time), it could become what they hoped it would.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:Turbine Rep (57 comments)

I think it was pretty fast, and an appropriate response. The wall came down. They said the words "we apologize".

I hope they don't make the same mistake twice, or allow any other major goof-ups like this to take place. I want to keep playing this game for a long time to come, and more mistakes like that could be fatal to the game.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:Now... (57 comments)

Search is promised for this year. Finally. There have been bug fixes with the monthly updates - mass heal was just fixed last week.

They appear to be trying and making progress. I would expect to see more this year, since the extra revenue from going Free to Play has only started to appear in the past 6 months, and it takes time to ramp up development.

Ideally, Turbine's goal should be to extract as much money from premium players like me as they obtain from VIPs. There are two ways to do this, but only one keeps me in the game.

So far, the Turbine store contains mostly perks that are not necessary to enjoy the game. If that changes, and I need to spend real-life money to buy items to play the game, I'm gone. However, if they release compelling new content like the best of the existing packs (Desert, etc), I'll keep spending.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:Why did Turbine respond to this... (57 comments)

The DDO Forums damn-near literally exploded yesterday over this issue. Turbine got the message loud and clear, and saw that people were ready to vote with their wallets.

I don't expect altruism from a corporation, but I expect someone with my credit card information to be trustworthy, and to partner with trustworthy firms. This is a huge step in the right direction, and is helping restore my confidence in Turbine.

I would suggest that the typical Facebook user is quite different from a typical DDO player. Most of the people in my guild are in their 30's or older, many are very tech savvy. Compare that with Facebook, where the typical user wouldn't even understand how they are being compromised by those offers.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:Disappointed (57 comments)

Learn to read then. From the DDO site, emphasis added:

There were also technical issues that raised valid questions about security. Overall it was a poor user experience that was not up to our standards, and for this we apologize.

Sure, I would have phrased it differently, but you can bet that the corporate drone who approved this debacle in the first place died a little inside even thinking about those words.

While not a perfect apology, it is good enough for me.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl Re:I was glad to hear this (57 comments)

Other ways to pay? Certainly. But nothing should have been sent to the scammers just from viewing a page hosted on Turbine's site. That was a severely bad implementation problem. The other problem was Turbine associating with a company like SuperScamSpamRewards in the first place.

There are 3 type of account on DDO. VIP is a regular monthly subscription that gets access to all content and most account features, along with 500 Turbine Points each month. Free to Play pays nothing, can access a good subset of content up to around level 12 (level 20 is the cap). F2P players can grind and earn Turbine Points by playing (somewhere around 25 turbine points per hour I believe) with which they can also buy content packs. Premium players are F2P players who have bought Turbine Points, or VIPs who let their subscription lapse.

During PAX, there was a sale on DDO of almost 7000 Turbine Points for $50. Since most content packs range from around 250 to 1000 Turbine Points (the best ones come on sale for 500-750 points every few months), that is enough to keep a casual gamer like me busy for many many months. You can't find value like that on many other MMOs.

more than 4 years ago
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Turbine Responds To DDO Community Protest

dschl I was glad to hear this (57 comments)

Thank-you Turbine, for bringing down the Wall so quickly in response to customer concerns, and for apologizing to DDO players. That helps immensely.

Apologies are few and far between these days, and it is refreshing whenever a corporation actually says they are sorry.

I enjoy playing DDO, and I hope that the apology will help mitigate the harm to the game caused by this incident, and I also hope that the game population will continue to grow.

more than 4 years ago

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