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Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards

penguinoid Re:Let me be the first to say... (140 comments)

You mean "EMBRACE, EXTEND, and then EXTERMINATE"

That would be the Cybermen, although they tend to do those three simultaneously.

See also our Microsoft Borg icon.

about three weeks ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

penguinoid Re:Err on the side of warmth (367 comments)

You have only to look at the jungle compared to that arctic to realize that...

Unless you also compare the jungle to, say, the Sahara.

Incidentally, the arctic is classified as a desert. There's very little precipitation, just like with any other desert.

about three weeks ago
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What is your computer most often plugged into?

penguinoid Surge protector (236 comments)

I've been burned before, although as a kid and in a less developed country. You also need to protect your internet line.

about a month ago
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Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards

penguinoid Halloween (140 comments)

I bet I know what these robots will be dressed up like for Halloween! They're already the right shape.

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

penguinoid Re:Standing (203 comments)

Cut 'em some slack; it's not as though they're attending an Ivy League law school where they'd learn fancy schmancy legal concepts like standing.

Exactly. When you're sued by your own students, you're quite screwed. Turns out not only are Harvard's students incompetent, but they also hate Harvard enough to sue. Why would anyone want to go there?

about a month ago
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Does Being First Still Matter In America?

penguinoid Re:Booyah! (247 comments)

First post!

^ Proof that Americans still care about being first in some things.

I understand we also like being the "biggest fish in the pond", although I question the methods we use to achieve that status.

about a month ago
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US Intelligence Unit Launches $50k Speech Recognition Competition

penguinoid Re:How about this one? (62 comments)

"Go fuck yourself."

Better idea. Enter the competition, use already well-developed commercial software (or write a program to average the results of several commercial programs), and easily win the competition. It's not like anyone is going to create software worth millions and give it away for a tiny prize.

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

penguinoid Unfair gender stereotypes (561 comments)

I'm offended that boys are being stereotyped as too stupid to realize that Barbie is just using them! Wait, I bet I was supposed to be offended that Barbie using her natural talents and as a result achieving her objectives, was using the wrong talent. Cause she'd be smarter to do it all 100% by herself, so the book portrays her as stupid, right?

about a month ago
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Is a Moral Compass a Hindrance Or a Help For Startups?

penguinoid Re:Capitalism does not reward morality (197 comments)

With capitalism, you can use money to get more money, exponentially. It's hard to beat exponential.

about a month ago
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Electric Shock Study Suggests We'd Rather Hurt Ourselves Than Others

penguinoid Re:This study is... (123 comments)

The irony here is that penguinoid is empathically projecting a common human sense of empathy onto a group whose most defining characteristic is the lack of it.

Quite the opposite, I was pointing out that even people with no empathy at all could easily make the choice, in their own self-interest, which the study declares proof of altruism. Even if they remain anonymous to their victim, they may feel the loss of reputation in the eyes of the researchers is worth more than a few cents.

This is not entirely idle speculation, either. I took a game theory class, and everyone thumbed their noses at the "proper self-interested actions" recommended by game theory when their actions were public in favor of a reputation for cooperation. When the teacher made arrangements to make everything entirely anonymous, suddenly everyone turned vicious.

about a month ago
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Robots Put To Work On E-Waste

penguinoid Re:Let me guess (39 comments)

As a bonus, if the robots wear out, they can be easily disassembled.

about a month ago
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Group Tries To Open Source Seeds

penguinoid Re:Story I heard as a kid (100 comments)

And what does your economics theory says happens to profits for an inelastic good when production increases? Or in more specific terms, during a famine (low farm production) are farmers the first or the last to go broke?

about a month ago
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Electric Shock Study Suggests We'd Rather Hurt Ourselves Than Others

penguinoid Re:This study is... (123 comments)

Less shocking if you consider it as getting paid to attack someone, vs getting paid to do something painful. Even a sociopath wouldn't attack people for a few cents.

about a month ago
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Group Tries To Open Source Seeds

penguinoid Re:Story I heard as a kid (100 comments)

I think you may be overestimating your knowledge of both farming and economics.

about a month ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

penguinoid Re:Bennett!!!!!! (246 comments)

But why is Bennett's garbage being approved? I understand slashvertisements, because there is at least a monetary benefit to posting them. I also understand some pseudoscience occasionally slipping by, because the editor didn't read it carefully. But this crap? It is obvious shit from beginning to end. He has nothing to say. It is just completely pointless.

And yet there's always several comments on his material. Granted, most of them complaining about Bennett, but clicks nonetheless. My theory is that the editors are trolling you.

about a month ago
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Big Talk About Small Samples

penguinoid Re:Bennett!!!!!! (246 comments)

Who is Bennett, and why does he get to use /. as his blog?

Hey, this time he has a link!

about a month ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

penguinoid Re:Stupid, trucks cause the problem (554 comments)

The price of gas is only inelastic in the short term. Even if the price of gas goes up 10X for a week due to some fluke event, people will still buy about as much gas. However, if the price goes up 10X for the long term, everyone and their mothers will be adjusting some way or another to use less gas. Nothing is perfectly inelastic.

about a month ago
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The Downside to Low Gas Prices

penguinoid Re:Stupid, trucks cause the problem (554 comments)

There is no downside to lower gas prices. lower prices on anything is always a positive.

The downside of lower gas prices is that gas prices are too low (according to some people).

I can tell you as a fact that lower prices on some things are terrible. Specifically, low prices can cause something to be overused and then depleted, or it could have secondary bad effects, or it could impede the development or use of alternatives. I could believe this to be the case for gasoline, and could also believe a lower price would be better -- to be sure I'd have to integrate over the entire economy and resources and present and future technology.

Just to give some examples, the Tragedy of the Commons is an example of something being underpriced, and stupidly expensive monopolies are an example of something overpriced.

about a month ago
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Department of Justice Harvests Cell Phone Data Using Planes

penguinoid Re:4th Amendment ... (202 comments)

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's a "little birdie" on a plane!

about a month ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

penguinoid Re:Can't draw conclusions from this study (350 comments)

Can't draw conclusions from this study

You can always draw conclusions from a study. They just might not be very informative.

about a month ago

Submissions

penguinoid hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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10 evolutionary commandments

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  about 9 years ago

So, what are the 10 commandments as evolution would have them?
1) I am the gene your God, who brought you out of the land of non-existance
2) Thou shalt have no other gods besides me.
3) Thou shalt not swear falsely in my name. (root word for testify is testicle)
4) Remember that your genes run in many things, to keep them alive.
5) Honour thy father and thy mother (for they share half your genes) that thy days may be long upon the land which the gene thy God giveth thee.
6) Thou shalt not use birth control
7) Thou shalt not commit adultery, unless you can get away with it.
8) Thou shalt not steal, unless you can get away with it.
9) Thou shalt not not bear false witness, unless you are bribed or it is advantageous to do so
10) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbours stuff. See rules 7 and 8.

Anyone care to improve on this?

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Funny/Overrated murders karma

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

So I posted a joke to a story about estimating. Now it wasn't a particularly good joke, but evidentially quite a few people thought it was very funny, others didn't. Results:

* +11, Funny
* + 1, Insightful
* - 9, Overrated

* Karma:Exellent --> Karma:Good
* "Your IP has been temporarily blacklisted due to bad posting"

Now I have heard that +1, Funny and -1, Overrated will change karma by different amounts (specifically, funny will only add a little while overrated will take off a lot). If that is so, I really think that it should be changed in the following manner: Overrated should take off just as many points as the current positive attribute the post has. If the post is at or below the karma level it was posted at, remove a different amount of karma

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The scientific view of religion

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It seems my sig,
The scientific view of religion is not atheism. The scientific view is agnosticism and simplicity.
seems to have generated quite a bit of commentary. So I will explain, and feel free to post your views.

I regard atheism as the religious, totally unfounded belief that the set of all gods is { } (the empty set). This is not to be confused with agnosticism with leanings toward atheism, which starts with no preconceptions but tends to believe in atheism because of some rational reason. This might be based on science (especially Occam's Razor), or on the belief that several million scientists are probably right (which is not such a bad argument).

Likewise, I regard the term agnosticism to mean simply "no preconceptions as to the set of gods" and thus not a religion. I wouldn't require an agnostic to justify his views, because there aren't any to justify. (As opposed to the stronger version of agnosticism, who believe that the question of whether there is a god or not can never be answered, who could be asked to justify that belief.)

And yes, I pulled these definitions out of my ass.
And yes, I would have written my sig clearer if it did not have a 120 char limit.

And finally, I will mention that I am annoyed by people who think atheism does not count as religion and is therefore an acceptable point of view for schools/government without any further justification. Don't say atheism is not a religion. Call it a religion, or if you prefer, anti-religion. It is not neutral. It has its set of gods.

As for my own views, I am a confused person who grew up with a Bible in one hand, and an encyclopedia in the other. I see the Bible as a valuable guide on how to be a good person and as a history book (not necessarily completely accurate, but you can verify lots of the important events). Likewise, I try to figure out how the world works through the scientific method. However, I find the moral advice given by the theory of evolution to be disturbing.

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Broken surge protector

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I left my computer rurring during a thunderstorm recently, and I think that my surge protector got blasted. Now, the surge protector shuts off randomly (about once a day). Is it normal for broken surge protectors to do that? Is it bad for the computer/OS to be shut off like that frequently (I have EXT3 and Debian 2.4.18)? Or should I just get off my arse and buy myself a new surge protector? Thanks!

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Karma == Excellent

penguinoid penguinoid writes  |  about 11 years ago

I have achieved Excellent karma, on my 139th post. One of my posts was modded up +5, down to +3, now up to +4, changing my karma down to good and back to excellent.

PS: It's my first time using Slashdot. Also, I have not posted AC since I signed up.

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