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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

ninjagin Re:Not looking good (156 comments)

With your comment, sir, I agree completely. Well-said.

about 3 months ago
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The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

ninjagin Re:Such a Waste (156 comments)

Oh madn, noiw therrre's a missdt off cofFfee al ovcer m dissplaAy nd I haVe tooo sduimp ourt mny keqyboprd..

tThaznksd vwery mch fr thazt.

about 3 months ago
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Diablo 3 Expansion Reaper of Souls Launches

ninjagin Bigger Party Size is what I want! (166 comments)

It would be nice if they would support larger party sizes -- 6 people, maybe?
On our LAN gaming nights, we frequently have to divide up into 2 groups that can't play alongside each other.

about 7 months ago
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Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage

ninjagin Huh. Really? (144 comments)

A couple of times a year, I stay up all through the night and go to work the next day. I find that it's not too disruptive, and that I get a bit more contemplative during the second day. It's not something I do on any kind of regular or planned basis -- it just sort of happens ... I can't sleep, so I read a book or futz around on the computer or mess with musical instruments and before I know it, dawn comes and it's time to go back to work. It's almost like one really long workday, with a really long lunch break (overnight) in the middle of it. I have to wonder what nurses and doctors (who sometimes have to work very long shifts) think about this.

about 7 months ago
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Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math

ninjagin Re:Cultural bias biggest factor (384 comments)

You're already modded to 5, so it would not have any real effect if I were to mod another point to your score, but if I had such a point, I would give it to you.
My kingdom for mod points!

about 7 months ago
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Men And Women Think Women Are Bad At Basic Math

ninjagin Really? I must be an outlier, then. (384 comments)

I've always had the perception that women were better at math, in general. Maybe I've met a lot of brilliant women, though.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

ninjagin Re:games (669 comments)

Thank heavens I'm not the only one playing UT2K4. Love that game.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

ninjagin Re:Skyrim (669 comments)

I beg to differ. I have a sports car (an S2000) for real life driving, but I found that my proclivities for hooning were getting me in places where the law enforcement consequences would be very serious (see that speed limit? -- now double it -- that's where I used to push myself).

I picked up a copy of GTR-Evolution because of the various tracks and car selection, bought a good wheel, stick and pedals, picked up a couple extra 28in monitors for triple-headed goodness, and it's been pretty good. I found that I enjoy the 3rd person rally games -- Dirt3 is a real hoot. While I've not settled into it, I've been considering a move to iRacing, which is a lot more technically accurate when it comes to terrain and car adjustment.

So, I think that driving games can be very helpful in keeping me out of trouble and yet still very much into the technical driving mindset.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

ninjagin ... a mix ... (669 comments)

My LAN group is playing Borderlands2 (FPS) and StarCraft2 (RTS), occasionally Diablo3 (RPG).

At home, I tend to play Rise of Nations (Thrones & Patriots, an RTS) on the PC and augment that with Super Mario World 3D and Super Mario Brothers WiiU.

I still enjoy Wii Sports Resort, mainly for the bowling and archery and frisbee.

For mobile, it's Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Brothers on the 3DSXL.

Lots of games, but nothing especially unusual.

I'm kind of excited about Titanfall (almost out) and this kickstarter game called "Reset" (by Theory Interactive) that I think is due out late this year.

about 8 months ago
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Majority of Young American Adults Think Astrology Is a Science

ninjagin Re:More likely (625 comments)

Another point might be mutation.

about 8 months ago
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Majority of Young American Adults Think Astrology Is a Science

ninjagin Re:And in other news... (625 comments)

What you have identified as "political correctness riding a democratic ass" is a lot older than you assume, but it is, in fact democratic... old school. It's old name, back in the times of the Greeks and the Romans, was "decorum". It means "fit" in latin, having the meaning of "suitable". It's part of good rhetoric, as a device that brings an audience closer to you by not being rude or offensive. To flip that around the other way, you can include (or show that you welcome) a person or group of people in your reasoning or community by choosing your words carefully.

I think you may be conflating decorum with inappropriate recognition for achievement, but the two are separate things. The former is meant to show or develop alignment with shared goals or interests, and the other is meant (with good intent, perhaps, though with questionable results) to boost self-esteem.

I choose to observe rules of decorum (the people around you actually decide what they are) because I want to work more effectively with people around me and to perhaps have an easier time convincing those people to do things that I see as beneficial. By not declaring that the people around me are my hated opposition or labeling them in ways that might confine their ways of thinking to those that oppose my views, I keep them open to my persuasion.

Since I share your goal of not perpetuating inappropriate recognition of achievement, I'm happy to let you know that I was utterly unconvinced by your point of view and there is little chance that you will ever persuade me. I encourage you to keep floundering away in your rhetoric until everyone around us is as convinced as I am.

about 8 months ago
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Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

ninjagin Re:Pffft (723 comments)

To go a little further, You don't need a special truck to do plowing -- a sanitation truck with a blade mounted will suffice. Flatbed heavy trucks can be equipped with gravel/salt spreaders. The notion that one needs to keep a cityful of special equipment that's specialized for snow is a bit of a red herring. Most cities already have the trucks they might need -- they just need the ability to equip them for snow/ice remediation when the need crops up. Also, maintenance for snow/ice-fighting equipment is a little bit of occasional metalwork and a coat of paint -- not high-dollar, and already well-within what most cities already have to do for the equipment they use on a regular basis.

about 9 months ago
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HP Brings Back Windows 7 'By Popular Demand' As Buyers Shun Windows 8

ninjagin Re:New MS business plan (513 comments)

Pretty much agree. I managed to skip vista entirely, going from Win2000 to XP, and now onto Win7. So glad I did it that way. I've fiddled with 8 and it's no dice, so 7 is where I shall stay.

about 9 months ago
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The Quiet Fury of Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

ninjagin Re:in other words... (341 comments)

Gosh, if I had the points I'd mod you insightful.

about 9 months ago
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Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?

ninjagin Re:My manager Bill Brassky (249 comments)

I have no mod points to give, but thanks to you I now have a monitor that has just been cleaned with coffee spray. Your artistry has taken the raw edge off my morning, and I thank you.

about 10 months ago
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Interview: Ask Bruce Sterling What You Will

ninjagin Artificial Kid (60 comments)

Have you had (or received) any interest in bringing the Artificial Kid to film? Thanks.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: To Publish Change Logs Or Not?

ninjagin I've had experience with this, actually... (162 comments)

When I first started working in IT, back in my early software days (as a tech writer), we did assemble a release report out of the defect tracking system, but then groomed it so that the descriptions were meaningful, and they communicated what the customer would actually see a a change. So many software changes don't leave much of a trace or evidence of a change at all that at some point you need to focus on the things you fixed/enhanced that could be appreciated. Occasionally, when there was a meaningful grouping of individual changes around a particular feature or piece of functionality, we were better served by an umbrella description that spoke generally about a swath of modifications and the area of functionality they affected. Further, we would "sanitize" (ugh, I hate that word) the descriptions so that they did not speak explicitly about protected IP in a way that would permit a casual engineering user to write their own stuff using the description as a template. It was also necessary to moderate the tone of individual defect reports in the summary to ensure that they did not come off as alarmist or use hyperbolic language -- you don't want to send out a report that says "Bezier curve clippings, when extended outside sections of the layout area, cause catastrophic, random, immutable, artifacts to appear in layout prior to full system crash" when it's a problem that (while bad, and fixable) doesn't happen in most situations and is only reproduceable if you use the tool in nonsensical ways. We used to have a couple layers of editorial review by the development management and sometimes legal if there was a sticky topic, but this was more to check work than to artfully craft anything. I had to help write release notes thereafter as a developer and as a manager, and the spirit is the same. If there is a bug in your stuff, your user community has probably already shared it with the world anyway, so acknowledging faults and fixing things is part of the virtuous cycle. You can actually gain user trust by demonstrating that you can successfully identify and promptly fix issues as they come up. Sales can be helped, too, if you had to solve some specific problems (or add functionality) before a customer will make a purchasing decision... they can recognize that their voice is being heard and the product is being maintained in a way that is attentive to their needs. All the same, there's no reason to shoot yourself in the foot in addition to having to fix your problems or make your enhancements.

about 10 months ago
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Ford, University of Michigan Open Next-Generation EV Battery Research Lab

ninjagin Re:Fundamental Problem, and Alternatives (67 comments)

I found your comment very interesting. I like the flywheel concept in cars (sounds neat), and it was proposed by "Rosen Motors" (not a great writeup, I'll admit. I seem to recall seeing it in SciAm, but whatevs) in a turbine hybrid awhile back, but they had to figure out where to put it such that it could move gyroscopically, how to contain it in a safe way so that the charge & kinetic energy would not become a problem in a crash. One interesting part of that model was to use a small turbine engine for the operation of the electric vehicle, with the flywheel really there to capture the charge necessary to start the turbine and offer up faster acceleration on-demand until the turbine could supply enough sustaining energy. Anyhow, my point is that for all the great things flywheels can do, they don't have an easy mesh with moving vehicles and are still best-suited for well-anchored stationary implementations. I would prefer advancement in capacitors, frankly, where cars are concerned.

1 year,7 days
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Congress Reaches Agreement ... On Helium

ninjagin Re:Balloons (255 comments)

If I may, I'd like to sharpen your point a little bit.
Helium isn't extracted from natural gas, per se.
Helium comes out of the ground alongside the natural gas (mixed with it, at a low percentage), and is separated from it, where it can be captured in sufficient concentrations.
Technically, it's a leftover waste or by-product of the process, but not all helium is captured (it requires infrastructure to capture and transport it) and a lot of it is simply vented away. If I recall correctly, there's a fraction of a percent of helium in the output of almost all natural gas wells, but until you get somewhere around 1%, there is little incentive to create and maintain the support structure to capture and transport it.
Anyhow, my point is that you can't just take a bunch of natural gas and somehow squeeze or pull helium out of it. There is still a finite amount of helium in the planet no matter now much natural gas may be trapped in the crust of the planet.
To your point, we'll have to see what happens to prices as supplies dwindle. I'm not so optimistic that any reserves we have now will be sufficient to meet the demands of current industry or research. I am hoping that we can exercise alternative gases or cooling methods to reduce the amount of helium needed in the future.

1 year,21 days
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New Solar Cell Sets Record For Energy Efficiency

ninjagin Re:So what, nearly 4 watts per square metre? (165 comments)

The utility company in Colorado (XCel) is already doing this. Their argument is that the solar companies (there are 3-4 major players in the population centers, of which Namaste Solar is probably one of the biggest) are not paying for transmission into the local grid, and maintenance of the local grid, and that it's an unfair subsidy. We'll see how it gets sorted out. They've been kvetching about the existing real gov't subsidies for residential solar, anyway, for a long time now. Most people I know who have solar installs have made the decision based on the 25-year estimated lifespan of the equipment and the 10-year payoff agreement (this is pretty much the norm), and have been satisfied. What we're not seeing so much of is a kind of upgrade/replacement element to these contracts. I think there would be more of these installs if home owners had a way of buying some kind of replacement guarantee in 5 years, with the option to replace at 10 years at install cost without the continuation of the contract. The quality of the panels seems to be going up very rapidly and the cost is falling very rapidly. Unfortunately, this is keeping a lot of people (who might commit to panel installs) on the fence. They don't want to emerge from contract in 10 years with panels that are 25% the efficiency of what's being regularly installed by that time. I, personally, think that it would be better for XCel and other providers to link arms with rooftop solar companies, hash out an agreement on funding contributions for infrastructure, and then leverage their own money to reduce the up-front costs for home owners. I'm not sure exactly how that might work, but I think both groups are fighting a partnership arrangement because they each want all the control and all the spoils.

1 year,25 days

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