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Comments

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How To Contribute To Open Source Without Being a Programming Rock Star

jackpot777 Artists and musicians needed a lot too. (120 comments)

Many open-source projects need more than just programmers. If you have an artistic bent, whether it's musical or with actual artwork, look around and see if there are any open-source games that require input.

In my case, I contributed (as 'Pangloss') to an open-source remake and update of 'Elite' (the first open-ended 3D space trading and combat game) called Oolite. Once you learn a few things about the game, you start posting hints and tips for other people on the forum and before you know it you're getting involved in multi-participant submissions and developing planets like you're Slartibartfast...

more than 2 years ago
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Predicting Life 100 Years From Now

jackpot777 Re:California wants to split off (552 comments)

According to the libertarian (and Koch-funded) Tax Foundation, California has paid more into federal coffers than it has taken in federal spending since 1986 ( http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/22685.html page 5). And its share that it has given has grown in relation to the amount that it has taken.

There are eighteen states that actually pay their own way, or better, according to the latest data they have collected

( http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html they're in the process of collecting funds for an updated look at more recent numbers). Seventeen of those states went for Obama / Biden in 2008.

One does not have to be a conservative to pass judgment on states leeching government money, but it helps perhaps to be in one when 94.4% of the states that do pay their own way went Democratic in the last Presidential election.

The question is therefore not "why is California spending so much more?", but why are the Red States outstripping California's spending with nothing to back up THEIR leeching ways, playing bootstrappy cowboy at the expense of people in LA, New York, Chicago, etc.?

more than 2 years ago
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Arkansas Earthquakes Could Be Man-Made

jackpot777 Re:Oh Gasland (264 comments)

...and as the rebuttal, you post a link from a pro-oil-and-gas drilling industry front group formed by the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and dozens of additional industry organizations specifically set up for the purpose of denouncing legislation proposed by a representative from Colorado to regulate underground hydraulic fracturing fluids? A group funded by the El Paso Corporation, XTO Energy, Occidental Petroleum, BP, Anadarko, Marathon, EnCana, Chevron, Talisman, Shell, API, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Halliburton, Schlumberger and the Ohio Oil and Gas Association? A website registered by the PR firm Dittus Communications (now known as FD Americas Public Affairs) which boasts on its website that "energy clients have formed the backbone of FD Americas Public Affairs’ clientele for more than a decade."? With clients such as Alabama Power, American Energy Alliance, Center for Clean Air Policy, Consumer Energy Alliance, FutureGen, Georgia Power, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the Institute for Energy Research?

And the phone number they have, (202) 346-8825, is the same phone number as the number for the previously mentioned Institute for Energy Research, an organization whose President (Robert L. Bradley) was formerly Director of Public Relations Policy at Enron and a former speechwriter for their old CEO Kenneth Lay... you mean THAT website?

I wonder why you posted anonymously...

more than 3 years ago
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Geekiest Marriage Proposals Ever

jackpot777 Marriage? (96 comments)

No sex. Less space than a girlfriend. Lame.

I keed, I keed. Happy VD, all.

What?

more than 3 years ago
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Florida Man Sues WikiLeaks For Scaring Him

jackpot777 Re:Oprah (340 comments)

Winston Smith and his viewscreen without an Off switch, is that you?!?

more than 3 years ago
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Florida Man Sues WikiLeaks For Scaring Him

jackpot777 The right wing is more prone to fear. (340 comments)

Conservatives, scientifically, are more scared of loud noises and scary pictures, were described as being frightened and easily offended as three year olds, and have a larger 'fear' center and smaller 'anticipation and decision-making' center

This isn't spin, it's established science. So seeing fear, anti-government sentiment, and a parroting of the Glenn Beckesque rhetoric that's unfortunately a large part of the news here in the US right now doesn't surprise me one bit.

more than 3 years ago
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BendDesk Merges Computer, Monitor and Desk

jackpot777 Re:TRON? (152 comments)

New TRON movie? Dillinger had a combination computer / monitor / desk at ENCOM in 1982.

more than 3 years ago
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Digital Dashboard Device Detects Driver Drowsiness

jackpot777 I see Fark has copied this headline. (117 comments)

Word for word, that is.

Can timothy confirm if he's the same person that submitted this to Fark? Or is Fark stealing headlines (with the added advantage of making money from t-shirts of the headline, should anyone wish to buy one)?

more than 3 years ago
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Robots Taught to Deceive

jackpot777 Re:Exit Asimov (239 comments)

Asimov stories featuring robots and deceit: one short story has a candidate that people think is a robot, but this islaid to rest when the candidate punches out a loud-mouthed yob at a function. Only at the end of the story, it's revealed the yob was also a humaniform robot. The candidate did not harm a human, but was also not exactly being truthful in all regards concerning the situation. However, since nobody thought to take the conspiracy idea a step further and accuse both the candidate AND the protesting reprobate of being robots, the robot was able to run with no further questions concerning his humanity and was elected. Wish I could remember the story's name.

There was another story, can't remember its name (help with these story titles please, people) where the android sees that a woman left at home is emotionally harmed because her husband pays her no attention. So it romances the woman in an attempt to alleviate the First Law conflict.

There's also the "Zeroth Law", where the robot would not allow the whole of human civilization to come to harm through action or inaction. Because there are so many conflicting desires in groups of people, and making one decision that helps one group may emotionally hurt a second group, the robots elect to withdraw and watch mankind from a distance as they colonize the galaxy. I remember this happens at the end of the Foundation trilogy.

about 4 years ago
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Supernova Shrapnel Found In Meteorite

jackpot777 Re:Extreme sharpshooting (105 comments)

Sounds impressive, until you think of how many of these fragments were flying around in all directions.

Think of it as a More Dakka situation of stellar proportions.

about 4 years ago
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Retargeting Ads Stalk You For Weeks After You Shop

jackpot777 This happened to me. Twice. (344 comments)

And I don't just think it's products. The first time I noticed it was this spring. My wife and I had a long weekend in Boston, and for weeks afterwards I was receiving banner ads to buy Red Sox tickets (as a Yankees fan, ain't happening if they're not there). We didn't reserve the hotel room online, but we did do a lot of online tourism thanks to Google Maps StreetView. More recently, I was looking for a backup battery for my iPhone. An external portable charger that could top up the 'phone and then rechange itself either by wall socket or 12v in-car. My Google Desktop shows me I looked at TheNerds.net at a few, and I eventually bought the Griffin PowerJolt Reserve at Target. Every ad for TheNerds I've seen since has the PowerJolt on it. OK already, it's good, I just didn't buy it from you!

about 4 years ago
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Does the GOP Pay Friendly Bloggers?

jackpot777 Are they being funded by terrorists? (759 comments)

With the breaking news in the last 24 hours that the dangerous radical Saudi financing the 'Ground Zero' 'Mosque' through a series of charities was none other than the largest non-Murdoch shareholder of Fox News , is there a connection to any of these blogs and Alwaleed Bin Talal, the man Fox News itself says funds radical madrasses all over the world? Do any of these blogs have connections to members of think-tanks and PACs like The Heritage Foundation or FreedomWorks? Secretive organizations which appear often on a news channel funded by this same Saudi money that many on Fox News openly question may have financial ties to Iran?

about 4 years ago
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Lost Star Wars Scene In the Wild

jackpot777 Star Wars Revisited (294 comments)

Search YouTube for Star Wars revisited. A fan by the name of adywan has created his own Special Editions of the original trilogy ...including The Imperial March into the Battle of Yavin IV, as well as there actually being thirty Rebel ships to count (and a bucketload more in the dogfighting department) are included. Episode IV is available in its entirity in 13 parts.

As a teaser, here is the beginning of the battle (YouTube video) showing the DVD version and adywan's version. Notice the engines are now red instead of pink, the increase in ship numbers as mentioned above, and how the gas giant of Yavin is now viewable in cockpit scenes. The annoying discrepancy with the screen countdown (where '7 minutes' to the Rebel base was shown as 18 seconds, counting in 1/24ths of a second) has also been corrected.

more than 4 years ago
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Possible Room Temperature Superconductor Achieved

jackpot777 Re:Room Temperature in UK, maybe not in India? (264 comments)

It got that hot in The Bronx at the weekend. Especially inside the new Yankee Stadium (112 deg.F 44.5 deg.C). I was there. Oh and: "It doesn't matter what temperature a room is, it's always room temperature." -- Stephen Wright.

more than 4 years ago
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Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More

jackpot777 Re:Pride (961 comments)

Confirmation Bias.

more than 4 years ago
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Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More

jackpot777 Re:Well... (961 comments)

Isaac Asimov had a way, when talking about Robert Heinlein. "He always pictured himself a libertarian, which to my way of thinking means "I want the liberty to grow rich and you can have the liberty to starve". It's easy to believe that no one should depend on society for help when you yourself happen not to need such help."

Harry Browne, Presidential candidate of the United States Libertarian Party in 1996 and 2000, once said "we are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are Libertarians, who believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times". It's a shame so many of them fold on this philosophy when times get tough for them (see: businessman Lawrence Fink asking for regulation of the insurance industry during the recent banking collapse, whereas he previously stated repeatedly that government just gets in the way of long term profits).

more than 4 years ago
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Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More

jackpot777 Political opinion set by how timid a kid you were. (961 comments)

It would sound like the perfect troll: find out how timid a kid was at age 3, that tells you how conservative he'll be at 23.

As it goes, it's completely backed up by research. And the researchers weren't looking for that info, it just sat there in the data.

In 1969, Berkeley professors Jack and Jeanne Block embarked on a study of childhood personality, asking nursery school teachers to rate children's temperaments.

They weren't even thinking about political orientation. And why would they? They're psychology professors researching personality theory, personality development, research methodology, and stuff like that.

Twenty years later, they decided to compare the subjects' childhood personalities with their political preferences as adults. Why? Who knows. Maybe for craps and giggles. Maybe because they had a column blank on their spreadsheet and wanted to fill it with one more metric to see if there was a link between voting and eating the erasers on the tops of pencils.

What was interesting to them was the arresting patterns they found.

As kids, liberals had developed close relationships with peers and were rated by their teachers as self-reliant, energetic, impulsive, and resilient.

People who were conservative at age 23 had been described by their teachers as easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable at age 3.

Don't forget: the Blocks had NO IDEA what political affiliation any of the three year-olds would have when they did the survey in 1969. But go forward twenty years, and there it is. Everything that people say they want their kids to be: kids just like that became Libs. Everything that makes short-tempered parents scream and beat their kids: future applicants for a CPAC pass and an EIB golf shirt request on the Christmas list.

The reason for the difference, the Blocks hypothesized, was that insecure kids most needed the reassurance of tradition and authority, and they found it in conservative politics. The article doesn't say if Professor N.S.Sherlock lit his pipe and smiled knowingly to himself upon hearing the results, but I wouldn't die of surprise if it happened.

Pure science: sometimes, the truth just hurts. Especially if you've been easily victimized, easily offended, indecisive, fearful, rigid, inhibited, and vulnerable all your life.

more than 4 years ago
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Chinese Companies Rent White Foreigners

jackpot777 Re:So I'd like to know where (145 comments)

Western businessmen don't employ certain races to make themselves look multicultural. That's what stock photos in the Annual Report are for. And they don't use people from any particular continent to give the illusion of success, but that doesn't mean they don't do it. A Mercedes Benz with driver here, conspicuous use of the Amex Centurion Card there, and soon enough your Mister Big Shot to your prospective clients.

Everything counts in large amounts. It seems that some businessmen are easily impressed by a backpacker in a new suit and a fresh haircut.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Interpol unscrambles doctored photo in manhunt.

jackpot777 jackpot777 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jackpot777 (1159971) writes "From the AP story out of Paris, France:

The international police organization said German specialists had succeeded in producing identifiable images of the man, from the original pictures, where his face had been digitally blurred, but the man's identity and nationality remain unknown, prompting Interpol's public appeal.


Good for Interpol in this instance — the man in question is wanted in connection with an international investigation involving online videos and children. But it does show one interesting facet of internet privacy that has also been noted with topics ranging from reading blurred check numbers in images to Google's plan to blur out license plate and face data for Street View. And that is: blurring is not the same as completely obscuring. In the Interpol instance, the suspect would not have been identified if he had placed a single-colored shape over his head in the pictures.

Just something you might want to think about if you're planning to post photos of yourself online in the throes of embarrasing / illegal / politically noticable acts. As computers become more adept at extrapolating data of different types, your identity isn't safe unless you completely cover all those identifying features. Filter > Distort > Twirl is as good as nothing."

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