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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

gstoddart Re:Send in the drones! (823 comments)

"Because, the yellow cake thing was a lie,"

Those gullible Canadians, buying 550 metric tons of non-existant yellow cake.

You should learn to fact check a little better:

Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam's nuclear efforts.

Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

Or, as the New York Times stated more plainly:

The yellowcake removed from Iraq was not the same yellowcake that President Bush claimed, in a now discredited section of his 2003 State of the Union address, that Mr. Hussein was trying to purchase in Africa.

The U.S. did manage to ameliorate a substantial security concern by secretly shipping stored yellowcake out of Iraq in mid-2008, but that act was not, as claimed above, proof that Iraq had been purchasing uranium and attempting to restart its nuclear program prior to the U.S. invasion.

Because you're full of shit.

3 days ago

Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

gstoddart Re:They won't (126 comments)

Aka "I pulled my initial claim out of my ass".

No, I pulled it from the Linux Mint VM I have which didn't give me any obvious mechanism to do something as trivial as setting my search provider to Google.

If it isn't in the drop down list, and I have to play hunt the wumpus to figure out WTF I need to be doing to add it, I'll stand by my initial assertion ... that, for whatever reason, they've made setting Google as a search provider less than easy or obvious.

Google is not in the default list, after spending a small amount of time trying to figure out how to do it, I gave up on the Distro entirely.

3 days ago

The American Workday, By Profession

gstoddart Bah ... (146 comments)

The hookers come out at night to screw their clients, the stock market guys get up early to screw all of us.

Everything in the middle depends on who your clients are, and type of industry you're in.

Educated people see daylight (or get paid a premium), less educated get shift work.

I don't even need to read TFA to know these things. ;-)

And, yes, I'm mostly kidding.

3 days ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

gstoddart Re:Send in the drones! (823 comments)

Some times non-invasive therapies are indicated, but quite often the best course is surgery. Sadly, what we have in the White House is a "herbal remedies" charlatan...

Right, as opposed to the previous guy, who went into Iraq to settle his daddy's score, and based on "intelligence" which was provably NOT true at the time? The overly simplistic moron who said "you're either with us or with the terrorists" when there was no connection between the war and what they said it was for? The one whose administration said they'd pay for that little jaunt with all the oil money you'd be getting? The one who started the sledge-hammer of an agency which is DHS?

Because, the yellow cake thing was a lie, there were no WMDs, they weren't sponsoring terrorism, and had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11.

You mean that kind of "surgery", where you blunder around with pointy objects in the dark making a lot of noise and hoping everyone swoons over your manliness?

Because, really the chimpanzee who was Bush the Second didn't exactly do anything with surgical precision. He wasn't even in the right country until far too late, and the country you did invade is falling into civil war.

So, tell us another story, please. But, we're still not buying it.

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

gstoddart Re:Dominion & Munchkin (377 comments)

Yup, a former co-worker introduced me to these kind of games.

Any my immediate response was "why the hell have I had to put up with these other shitty games for so long?"

For many of us, the games like Monopoly were no fun, and made themselves less fun when taken to their extremes.

I like the mechanics of the game play of the German style games, and the social nature of them -- we can all laugh that you had something happen, because nobody is ganging up on you, and the conditions for someone "winning" could be completely random. Because one player getting hammered on until they're eliminated means they'll probably never play with you again.

Playing with a super competitive "I must win at any cost" person sucks all the fun out of a game, and isn't conducive to bringing in new people, or having a quick game where the stakes don't ratchet up into someone's mania about winning.

Screw that, I want my leisure time to be about fun, not magnifying the antisocial tendencies of one of the players. :-P

Want a fun game? Try one where a 5 year old might beat you with a random turn of a card and absolutely no strategy, instead of one in which you can feel good about yourself by constantly beating a 5 year old.

3 days ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

gstoddart Re:Send in the drones! (823 comments)

So USA isn't a bully?

I said nothing of the sort.

I said that sometimes you call the bluff of the "bully", and discover it isn't a bluff, and that the bully is far more dangerous than anybody realized.

Everything else, that's all your baggage and not mine.

I'm no more convinced that the Ukrainian government is blameless than I am that the 'referendum' wasn't rigged, and carried out by people who are, historically speaking, relatively new to Ukraine, and not actually representative of the entire population.

So, if all the Chinese Americans in California decided they were forming their own country, how would you feel about that?

I have a fairly simple rule: there's at least one more side to any story than that are actors involved. Which makes this a complex and multi-faceted thing where anybody who says "all of these people say this" are being overly reductionist.

But, I also know other Ukrainian expats who feel this is something which is being brought about by what are essentially Russian people who have been in Ukraine for however long and have decide they want to separate and join Russia.

So, either I conclude you're wrong, they're wrong, or like all things like this ... it's much more complicated and attempt to distill it down to one point is hopeless.

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

gstoddart Re:old school ?? (377 comments)

#1 STOP USING 'old school', you aren't, and you sound like a douche bag.

OK, Grandpa, yes, we know it's all been downhill since the hoop and stick you used to play with ... but, really, the Atari 2600 came out in 1977, and really is considered "old school" by pretty much everybody as far as video games are concerned.

While you might be nostalgic for the old steam powered games of your youth, anybody up to the age of 50 considers the Atari 2600 as old school. Because prior to that was Pong, and actual mechanical pin-ball.

Now, do you need a blanket or a cup of tea? You're disturbing the children, and they're not actually on your lawn. ;-)

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

gstoddart Re:Dominion & Munchkin (377 comments)

I've actually played Pandemic a few times.

And it's in a class of games which are either best played cooperatively, or which completely make the game mechanics drive the play.

Some co-workers used to play games at lunch -- in fact, they probably still do.

And the appeal of these games isn't "ha ha, I beat you". It's more like "Doh, Bob got eaten by a weasel, causing Sally to fall down the stairs, and when the flower pot landed on Steve's head he won." The victory/conclusion conditions change the dynamic of the play a lot -- to the extent that sometimes it's hilarious to be the one who "loses" or triggers the end of the game.

For many of us, we prefer it when the game mechanics preclude personal scores, or when one person gets to play king maker.

The games are much more social that way, and for many of us, that is a very big plus in games.

In fact, for many of us, games like Monopoly suck, because it's all about beating your opponents into the ground, or other things which suck the fun out of the game. And games which eliminate players means for the remainder of the game everyone is just sort of going "well, that wasn't really fun, and it's over, but they'll be at it a while".

It's a completely different style of play, and it is much more focused on play and having fun, than winning at all costs. And it means one person doesn't always win the game, and everyone else decides they have better things to do.

3 days ago

Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

gstoddart Re:Send in the drones! (823 comments)

You know how you deal with a playground bully? You stand up to his crap, get people behind you, and call his bluff.

Which works really well right up until you discover the schoolyard bully is a little unhinged, and is playing out of his own book because he believes his own story.

And then you discover it's not a bluff, and then things get really hairy.

Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Hitler, not so much with the bluffing.

And I'm not so sure about Putin either.

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

gstoddart Hmmm .... (377 comments)

Old Skool: The Mario Bros and Donkey Kong games are where my heart lies. 2D side scrollers.

Tabletop: I've always loved the German style board/card games -- fun for the whole family, the outcome is pretty much random, and someone doesn't get ganged up on or eliminated early in play. The goofier the premise the better, it's the mechanics which makes them enjoyable to play in groups, and sometimes strategy is pointless or impossible.

New Skool: I'm afraid I'm pretty much eternally hooked on Skyrim. I like not being constrained to a linear plot or where I can go.

My wife and some of our friends are also huge fans of the Kinect games, because drunk people dancing is hilarious. Also good for a girls exercise night, while the guys play a golf video game.

I also miss my copies of Rock Band/Guitar Hero ... because I learned to appreciate a vast amount of music and greatly expanded my music collection as a result of it. The sheer amount of punk rock I now own is directly attributable to those games.

For those of us who are old and creaky, and grew up where video games took quarters, and had a joystick and two buttons ... many modern games left us in the dust years ago, and simply stopped being fun. I doubt I could beat a 6 year old at a first person shooter.

3 days ago

Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

gstoddart Re:They won't (126 comments)

From their own page, right now:

Linux Mint recommends the following search engines:
Engine Preserves your privacy Funds Linux Mint Description
        Yahoo The 2nd largest search engine on the Web, full of features.
        DuckDuckGo A safe and secure engine providing augmented Yahoo results.
        Ixquick A safe and secure engine gathering results from multiple search engines.
        Startpage A safe and secure engine providing augmented Google results.
        Amazon The largest online store.
        Wikipedia The largest online encyclopedia.

Why aren't some search engines included in Linux Mint?

Engines are included based on the following criteria:

        Funding: Whether using the engine funds Linux Mint
        Privacy: Whether the engine provides users with best-in-class privacy/security features
        Non-commercial: Whether the engine is popular and non-commercial

So, sorry, but for whatever reason in the version I had Google wasn't an option -- and figuring out what was required to change it wasn't worth it for me.

I was shopping for a distribution, not an ideology.

3 days ago

Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

gstoddart Re:X - 1500 = Y? (126 comments)

If the App store doesn't have Angry Birds a search for it may mean Disgruntled birds will show up.

I'm holding out for Mildly Irked in an Ironic Post-Modern-Sort-of-Way Birds.

That would be cool. ;-)

3 days ago

Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

gstoddart Re:They won't (126 comments)

I completely fail to comprehend why most Slashdotters seem to push everyone towards DRM'ed iPads and Chromebooks that put Palladium to shame instead of more open Windows PCs.

I guess it's more about Microsoft hate and the desire to bring them down than software freedom.

You know, it's as much about giving our friends and family a user experience which a) won't drive them insane, and b) won't make them come to us for tech support.

And, really, for many of us this whole "software freedom" thing is a little overplayed.

I've always found Stallman to be a bit of a crank, and the vast majority of people hear this stuff, and they think of teenagers spouting Marxist theory because the school cafeteria switched from Coke to Pepsi ... it becomes a little tired and melodramatic.

I'd wager that 99% of all people will never audit their IP stack, recompile their browser, or otherwise want any involvement in this stuff. They want the latest cool thing, and not some near approximation of it which comes in a kit.

What they want is a tool to get the stuff done they need/want to, and they want it with as little hair pulling as possible.

And, really, let's be honest here ... Windows is no more (or less) open than Apple, and in the places where they're more open, they're trying to be less, just like Apple. Everybody wants their own walled garden.

Hell, I installed a Linux Mint VM image a while back, and it wasn't even possible to set the search provider to Google, apparently because it's not ideologically pure enough or something.

So, if my Mom was looking for a tablet ... I'm going to find her one which suits her needs and will work for her, and I am never going to say "ZOMG, but this software is teh free".

Because my Mom already rolls her eyes at the rest of my loony rants, and doesn't give a damn about software freedom.

So, if you want to know why people aren't doing this, it's because when someone starts screaming "viva la revolucion" over software freedom, people roll their eyes and try to get distance from you.

Don't get me wrong, I likes me some Open Source software. But, have I built an entire ideology around it? Hell no.

3 days ago

Indiana University Researchers Get $1 Million Grant To Study Memes

gstoddart Re:Let me help them (126 comments)

Editors can't spell (or read), that gross poop eating guy, Time Cube guy, Cowboy Neil, dupes.

I'm sure there's plenty more.

4 days ago

Indiana University Researchers Get $1 Million Grant To Study Memes

gstoddart LOL .... (126 comments)

I, for one, welcome our new meme-studying overlords.

4 days ago

Scientists Craft Seamless 2D Semiconductor Junctions

gstoddart Re:Two dimensional? (49 comments)

Humor has nothing to do with the incorrect definition of the number of dimensions of an object.

Which is why I mentioned your pedantry.

Let me draw you a diagram _________________

That is a two dimensional non-solid object since is has a height, one pixel, and a width, more than one pixel.

In fact, since it's drawn with electrons, it's got depth too. Actually, since it's drawn as pixels on your screen, which by now are probably discrete LED components, it's much more than that.

It's a signal which causes a series of diodes to emit a color which your eyes perceive as a straight black line -- in reality, it's none of those things either.

Look, you can be as pedantic, reductionist, and anal retentive about this as you like .. it's not contributing anything to this.

For purpose of explaining this and discussing it, they defined a plane in terms of this sheet of atoms with this particular layout.

That's it. There's no mathematical chicanery going on, and everybody knows it's not, strictly speaking, either a plane or a 2D structure. But it's got some characteristics of a plane, and, for purposes of discussion, is being treated as a 2D structure.

Because, if they had to say this 3-atom thick sheet of interlocking atoms which demonstrates some characteristics of planarity, and allow us to connect them together while maintaining the same type of planarity it would get awfully tedious.

In reality, it's probably not much different than LEGO.

Seriously, get over it. It's almost impossible to discuss this kind of thing without it turning into a tongue twister unless you come up with some form of metaphor.

The rest of this ... it's purely bullshit and pedantry by anal retentive people who need to demonstrate they remember something from math class.

Yes, excellent, from a mathematical perspective it's not 2D. But, for purposes of discussion of these material properties, they're calling it a plane.

4 days ago

Scientists Craft Seamless 2D Semiconductor Junctions

gstoddart Re:Two dimensional? (49 comments)

You would think that scientists would be more accurate with their articulation of complex concepts.

Well, apparently they've defined a plane to be 3 atoms thick, and have grossly understimated the collective anal retentiveness of the people reading the article.

Dude, seriously, it's a dumbed down metaphor written for a press release.

From the parts of the paper which are available without subscription:

The junctions, grown by lateral heteroepitaxy using physical vapour transport7, are visible in an optical microscope and show enhanced photoluminescence. Atomically resolved transmission electron microscopy reveals that their structure is an undistorted honeycomb lattice in which substitution of one transition metal by another occurs across the interface.

I'm quite sure they're not idiots who really think this is a freakin' 2D plane.

TFA isn't the actual scientific paper, it's the press release intended for the public.

Now, unclench a little, you're gonna hurt yourself. :-P

4 days ago

Scientists Craft Seamless 2D Semiconductor Junctions

gstoddart Re:Two dimensional? (49 comments)

While your pedantry skills are excellent, and your mathematical skills are pretty good ... I think you need to have your humor unit recalibrated, you seem to be a little out of phase.

I am perfectly aware of the fact that it isn't really a line on a plane in a strict mathematical sense ... heck, I even referenced the thickness of the ink and the fact that the paper has a surface.

Let me draw you a diagram _________________ ;-)

Now, what is the depth (stated in microns / femptofortnight) of the above line?

4 days ago

Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

gstoddart Re:Flip the switch (247 comments)

After about 15 minutes of this I couldn't take it anymore and I looked at the girl and said "Go ahead and punch this guy in the nose, and then ask him whether he still wonders whether you're a figment of your imagination."

LOL ... how do you know it actually happened, and you didn't just imagine it?

Which is precisely the problem with these kinds of postulates, they're completely unknowable, and pretty much stand on their own absurdity.

Because, I could have just imagined typing this, for instance. In which case I'm imagining me imagining you imagining what you did on the bus with the guy I'm imagining you imagining, when I should be trying to imagine the college girl.

And then it just becomes stupid, or, at least, I imagine it does. :-P

Metaphysics has to stop somewhere, otherwise it becomes drivel, which as far as I recall, most metaphysics is.

4 days ago

Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

gstoddart Re:Is that so? (247 comments)

IF this is a simulated world, there is no reason to assume the rules in the simulation are the same as the ones of the world in which the simulation is running.

You know (and I mean no disrespect here), some of these topics become completely indistinguishable from college nights with way too many bong hits.

Sometimes these things become quite meta.

But what if the simulation is running inside of a simulation? You'd be all like "woah" and shit. And if that was inside of a simulation ... I think it would become Horton Hears a Who.

Yo, Dawg, I hear you like simulations ...

4 days ago


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