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Colorado Sued By Neighboring States Over Legal Pot

guises Re:How about ignoring it? (473 comments)

The first part is true - marijuana has more carcinogens than tobacco does. The fact that a marijuana smoker smokes far less in quantity than a tobacco smoker makes a much bigger difference though. There's was also a suggestion, at one point, that THC might slow the growth of tumors.

So that's certainly something, but absolutely not 100% bullshit. "Mostly bullshit," perhaps.

2 days ago
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Peru Indignant After Greenpeace Damages Ancient Nazca Site

guises Re:To be entirely fair... (465 comments)

It's unlikely that Peru really cares about them. These sorts of situations are usually more about political posturing than about the actual people or event.

It's funny... there's one picture showing a huge amount of damage caused by their footprints, even deeper and more visible than the landmark lines in places, and in the rest of the pictures you can't see any damage at all.

about a week ago
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Facebook Founder Presents Vision For The New Republic, Many Resign In Protest

guises Re:Its own editors said so (346 comments)

I don't know anything about The New Republic, but I do know that the opposite of conservative is progressive, not liberal. A liberal conservative isn't an oxymoron, nor is such a person necessarily a moderate - some of the most strongly partisan conservatives are also liberals.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Target Stores Ban GTA V For Depictions of Violence Against Women

guises Re:Innaccurate (310 comments)

What you've described is sex (for which you gain health) followed by violence. I'm familiar with both of those things, they've been in previous GTA games, but the point is that they're unrelated. For the sake of the video the player has chosen to do one right after the other, but they could have just walked away after the sex or committed the violence without the sex.

Your suggestion that sex should render the NPC invulnerable is... odd. Before the sex she's an NPC just like any other, after the sex she's an NPC just like any other.

All right, lets look at this another way: in Halo players have the ability to crouch, this serves a functional purpose. There's a rather juvenile tradition in Halo of killing another player in a multiplayer match and then standing over their corpse and crouching. The existence of the corpse and the ability to crouch are entirely separate from one another, each there for a good reason, but when the player decides to combine them in this way they do so with the intent to suggest a humiliating sexual act. There are ways that Bungie could prevent this one particular act if they chose to do so - they could eliminate corpses, they could make the areas around corpses impossible to crouch in, they could remove the ability to crouch entirely - but the act exists because the players wanted it and created it themselves. So in other words: 1) The fact that people use the game as a medium for their expression, and that expression in undesirable, does not mean that there's anything wrong with the game. 2) Any attempt to censor this sort of thing is likely to get worked around. 3) Free expression isn't always nice, it doesn't always make you feel good about humanity, but it is always valuable.

So how does that relate to a single player game like GTA? Ultimately what I'm saying here is that the player makes the game what they want it to be.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Target Stores Ban GTA V For Depictions of Violence Against Women

guises Innaccurate (310 comments)

I haven't played GTA 5, but I've played all the others and this: "incentive is to commit sexual violence against women, then abuse or kill them to proceed or get 'health' points." is bullshit unless things have changed dramatically. Violence, yes. Plenty of violence, but the player never commits sexual violence. That would be thematically way out of line with the series. And you don't get 'health' points by abusing or killing women either. You can certainly rob them of their money... Is that supposed to be the same thing?

about two weeks ago
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What Canada Can Teach the US About Net Neutrality

guises Re:Nope (80 comments)

The only way you'd have a choice of 10 ISPs is with government regulation.

about two weeks ago
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Pizza Hut Tests New "Subconscious Menu" That Reads Your Mind

guises Re:Logic fail (186 comments)

If you've only ever lived in cities known for their pizza, Pizza Hut seems like cheap junk. If you've ever lived in one of the many many places where people don't even know what good pizza tastes like, you'll learn to appreciate Pizza Hut for being, at least, edible.

about three weeks ago
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Forbes Revisits the Surface Pro 3, Which May Face LG Competition

guises Re:Have't looked at one at all. (101 comments)

This is inevitably what goes through my head whenever I see a device with some clever hardware tchotchke - "That nice." I say, "But it'll only work as long as the device is using their software, which ties me to their OS and possibly configuration, limits my privacy options, etc." So a laptop with a second screen, like the Razer Blade Pro, or a phone like the Yota, is ultimately pretty useless.

about three weeks ago
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Intel Core M Notebooks Arrive, Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Tested

guises Re:Any AMD equivalents out there? (78 comments)

There isn't anything this thin and light, there aren't any AMD CPUs that can run at a decent speed at such low power, but on larger notebooks they're competitive at the low end if you factor in the GPU. An A10 is both faster and cheaper than Iris Pro.

Trouble is, most people who care about that want something discrete. But for a cheap notebook which is actually gaming-capable an A10 is a good choice.

about three weeks ago
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Debian Forked Over Systemd

guises All right, allow me to expose my ignorance (647 comments)

I used to be a sys admin, but that was years ago and currently I only use Linux on the desktop. I don't suppose that someone could explain to me (or just give me a link to an explanation): what is systemd exactly, what does it change, and why do people both love and hate it so much?

I've seen enough of these stories now to kind of get the feeling that it's mostly admins who hate this, and they mostly hate it because it's change and it screws up their configs. Is that right? Is there any other reason to hate it? I have no idea what the motivation is on the other side.

about three weeks ago
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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

guises Re:Gay Sex! Agenda 21. (186 comments)

Because that wouldn't actually reduce the number of babies, it would just make them poorer and less educated. We certainly do need to reduce the population, but there's no evidence to suggest that welfare programs, daycare, foodstamps, etc., are contributing to the birth rate. Even when the payouts of those programs are tied to the number of children that the recipients have. In fact there's some evidence for the opposite, that using welfare to alleviate some of the very worst effects of poverty can lower the birthrate.

Not enough though, clearly, welfare isn't the magic bullet that's going to bring the population down. Unfortunately, a lot of people use the fact that greater prosperity goes hand-in-hand with lower birth rates as an excuse to ignore the problem... I suspect that this is something that isn't going to be even widely acknowledged, let alone solved, until an awful lot of people have died violently.

about a month ago
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How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

guises Re:Why giving ? (92 comments)

There's some kind of cognitive disconnect here.

Question: "Why then the West wants to give out money to help those "poor" countries?"
Answer: "China didn't receive any fucking foreign aid from nobody" "Tens of millions of people perished"

Question: "they never got any "Western aid" at all, and still, they survived, right?"
Answer: "Tens of millions of people perished"

Look, the survival of the country doesn't mean shit. Countries are just organizational tools. The aid has the objective of improving the lives of the people, not the country, and it does work - it has been rigorously demonstrated to work when it's done a certain way under certain conditions. All that the article is trying to do is point out that those conditions are very idiosyncratic and that aid organizations need to take that under consideration.

about a month ago
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How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

guises Re:For those who found TFA to be TLDR (92 comments)

For anyone who makes the mistake of believing this AC, the actual TL;DR is: Ideas that work well, even ideas that have been demonstrated to work very well through rigorous study, oftentimes only apply to the specific area which was studied. For this reason charitable development needs to stop thinking big and start working incrementally, village by village. Nothing and nobody can pull an entire country or continent out of poverty in a timeframe that isn't counted in decades.

He gives examples - a rigorous four-year study found that giving deworming pills to children in a particular area in Kenya had a larger impact on school attendance than giving them textbooks, even though they were very short on textbooks. A deworming program has subsequently been rolled out to cover millions of children in Africa and India, with a hope for similar results, but they've stopped with the rigorous testing with the feeling that they've sufficiently demonstrated the program's usefulness. The author points out several reasons why, for some areas, textbooks might still be a better answer and makes the claim that grand programs like this one can be both ineffective at their goals and have pretty crazy unforeseen consequences. There's a funny example of unforeseen consequences with a group of teenage latina girls who went through a workshop intended to keep them out of gangs, a successful workshop: not one of them was arrested for violence within six months of the end of the program. However, within those six months every one of them had become pregnant. Apparently gang membership was fulfilling a need for them that found they had to satisfy in some other way.

about a month ago
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Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

guises Re:Sounds reasonable (243 comments)

That is indeed funny, since he repeatedly said that he would return to Sweden for trial in they promised not to extradite him. Given there are several items on that list which should, in principle, make extradition impossible, this should have been a dead easy promise to make. And yet they refused to make such a promise.

about 1 month ago
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Harvard Students Move Fossil Fuel Stock Fight To Court

guises Re:Owning stock (203 comments)

It's not like selling the stock is going to hurt the company or the stock value.

Not the stock value, but it can certainly hurt the company. Ending Apartheid is the usual example of a social goal which was aided by divestment. Here's a little blurb explaining how that works.

about a month ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (561 comments)

Actually, I think I got to wrapped up in finding something that we could agree over. I want to correct myself: I would not be right there with you, even over this far lessor "outrage." The furthest that I can go honestly is to say that among the excerpts that the blog author has chosen to show us, I don't see Barbie doing any engineering. I would never even consider protesting something like this when all I've got to go on are a few scans chosen by an obviously heavily slanted author.

Of course, I'm not going to protest "Barbie inaccurately portrays one of her multitudes of professions" anyway...

about a month ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (561 comments)

She's a freaking high school student, what are you expecting here? No one's going to hire her anyway, just for being too young.

Once again, the only thing that the book says Barbie can't do is complete the entire game by herself. It doesn't say that she can't code, it only says that she isn't coding right then, it doesn't say that she can't fix her computer, it only says that fixing her computer will go faster if she and her teammates work together. And even if it did, even if there existed a problem that Barbie couldn't solve, I submit that this wouldn't be the fucking end of the world. She's not some kind of wizard, I don't understand why it's weak to ask for help once in a while.

If the complaint was that this was an inaccurate portrayal of what it means to be a computer engineer then I'd be right there with you. Game designers are not necessarily engineers, and high school students aren't engineers anyway. So fine, I'll grant that this isn't a very good book since that is supposed to be the point. But that is not what people are up in arms over here.

about a month ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:*Spoiler alert* (561 comments)

This is definitely one of the better summaries of Gamergate that I've read. For the last thing though - in the grand scheme of things gaming journalism may be nothing but entertainment news. However, integrity is literally their entire product. An investigative journalist sells their research: what they've discovered about an important issue, or that hard-to-get interview. A gaming journalist sells their opinion, it has no value whatsoever if their integrity has been compromised.

about a month ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

guises Re:So close, so far (561 comments)

she states that she can't actually write the game, that's for the boys to do

This doesn't happen. Read the page scans in TFA, like I suggested, rather than regurgitating the commentary. She says that she's only creating the design ideas (at the time that Skipper asks this question) and that she'll need Steven and Brian's help to turn it into a real game. That's teamwork, not helplessness.

And of course "it's faster if we help." What do you want Barbie to be here, an anti-social loner? Living in her parents' basement and doing everything by herself is supposed to be better? She's working in a team and her teammates offered to help. At no point in any of the pages shown in TFA does Barbie just sit back and "lets the boys do it."

about a month ago

Submissions

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Orca recently identified as 103 years old

guises guises writes  |  about 7 months ago

guises (2423402) writes "The oldest known orca has recently been spotted off western Canada at an age of 103. A female nicknamed "granny," photos exist of her from the 1930s, where she can be identified by her distinctive saddle patch. The news has prompted calls for another evaluation of marine mammals in captivity — orcas in captivity usually don’t live beyond their 20s."
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What good print media is out there that hasn't already died?

guises guises writes  |  about 8 months ago

guises (2423402) writes "A recent story discussing the cover of Byte Magazine reminded me of just how much we've lost with the death of print media. The Internet isn't what took down Byte, but a lot of other really excellent publications have fallen by the wayside as a result of the shift away from the printed page. We're not quite there yet though, there seem to still be some holdouts, so I'm asking Slashdot: what magazines (or zines, or your newsletter) are still hanging around that are worth subscribing too while I still have the chance?"
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Lavabit shuts down citing legal interference

guises guises writes  |  about a year ago

guises (2423402) writes "Lavabit, originally envisioned as a privacy-conscious alternative to Gmail, has shuttered. Ladar Levison, the company owner, offers this explanation:

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on--the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise.

"
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Canonical launches highly ambitious smartphone crowdfunding campaign

guises guises writes  |  about a year ago

guises (2423402) writes "Canonical has launched an indiegogo campaign for the Ubuntu Edge — a proposed high-end smartphone that would dual-boot Ubuntu and Android by default. The campaign has a lofty goal of $32 million, which they hope to raise in only thirty days. An ambitious goal, given that the highest-funded campaign ever on Kickstarter, the Pebble watch, raised only $10.2 million in thirty eight days. Never the less, the project certainly has it's appeal and those who get in early (today only) can get the phone for as little as $600."
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Al Franken proposes an amendment to overturn Citizens United

guises guises writes  |  more than 2 years ago

guises (2423402) writes "Al Franken has started a petition for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Online petitions are perhaps of dubious efficacy, but hopefully one started by a sitting senator will have a little more impact."
Link to Original Source
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Ebay updates their user agreement, requires arbitration

guises guises writes  |  more than 2 years ago

guises (2423402) writes "Ebay has updated their privacy policy, effective October tenth. Joining many other prominent companies following the AT&T v. CONCEPCION decision last year, Ebay is requiring users to agree to arbitration and give up their ability to file for class action status. Ebay has humorously included an option to opt out of this provision, but only by submitting an opt-out notice in writing no later than November 9th, 2012. (eBay Inc., c/o National Registered Agents, Inc., 2778 W. Shady Bend Lane, Lehi, UT 84043) At the bottom of the email announcing this, they include the line, "If you choose not to accept the new terms, visit this help page for further direction.""
Link to Original Source
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Wasteland 2 adds Linux support

guises guises writes  |  more than 2 years ago

guises (2423402) writes "Wasteland 2, a Kickstarter project which has already met it's primary funding goal, has added Linux to the list of platforms which will be supported if funding reaches the $1.5 million mark. Currently, they're less than $50,000 from that secondary goal. For those unfamiliar, Wasteland was an acclaimed post-apocalyptic CRPG released in 1988. Fallout was the spiritual successor to Wasteland, being made by the same people who did not have the rights to the Wasteland name."

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