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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?

pugugly Batman (669 comments)

*Just* finished the last of the side missions in Arkham City and Riddler items (Still have some of the combat 'use such in such five times in combat' but otherwise complete). In an oddly neat twist of fate, evidently the only character I can play that suddenly decides to whip through the Advanced AR missions was the 'Batman Beyond' batman - which explains what sadist *designed* those things - Bruce Wayne! THAT MY STORY AND I'M STICKING BY IT! Probably will go back to my dream of actually finishing Baldur's gate all the way through now (Never finished Throne of Bhaal).

Skyrim rocks of course - my mother is still playing, and is insisting I get Daggerfall installed so she can play all the way through, which I find hilarious.

Pug

about 8 months ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

pugugly Re:Sucks to be them. (1030 comments)

Also The Heritage Foundation, the Cato institute . . .

The Affordable Care Act wasn't a liberal compromise with conservatives. It was a conservative plan that liberals were willing to back.

Still wanted single payer though.

about a year ago
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Healthcare.gov and the Gulf Between Planning and Reality

pugugly Re: GWB knew that there were no WMDs (494 comments)

(Score:3, Informative)? <-- Seriously?
Ah . . . no. Try (Score:-1 Counterfactual)

New Undeclared WMD's were *reported* as found by Fox news, multiple times.

And then they did much quieter retractions, multiple times.

Only Chemical Weaponss were ever found, all of which were properly declared to the UN Weapons inspectors before the Iraq war.
No weapons, Nuclear Biological *or* Chemical dating from after the 1991 Iraq war have *ever* been recovered in Iraq.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

Anyone that says WMD's or evidence of ongoing programs for WMD's have been found in Iraq is lying to you.

Pug

about a year ago
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Healthcare.gov and the Gulf Between Planning and Reality

pugugly Re:guy at the top was in on the ruse too (494 comments)

You guys know that
A - the Federal website notwithstanding, the actual results of the law are pretty much as predicted by the laws designers and the CBO predicted, not the disaster the right wing kept claiming would happen, and
B - Websites . . . can be redesigned . . .

Because you're focusing on a short term issue here.

Pug

about a year ago
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Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece

pugugly Re:The Only Good Bug is a Dead Bug. (726 comments)

Okay - as a veteran, I read, enjoy, sympathize with, and utterly disagree with the theory of government Heinlein was expounding on in Starship troopers.

But it *is* a valid theory of government, that citizenship is distinguished via volunteering for government service. Notably - the *only* benefits given for this in the book are that you can
A) Vote
B) Run for Public Office
C) Teach Social Studies (And evidently hold certain other specific jobs not mentioned)
The theory being that, having been willing to put your life on the line for society, you are qualified to make decisions about people putting their lives on the line for society.

I disagree with it (I think it undervalues other contributions to Society), but the point is that agree or not Heinlein makes a valid argument and puts enough into it that you can disagree with it and still admit it's a valid argument. If you're going to satire it your satire needs to be as smart as the original book.

Bluntly, it's not. It answers the arguments of the original book by ignoring them and treating them as unworthy of argument - the term for that is not satire, it's contempt. It would be merely insulting if that contempt were in the venue of an original work that took the premise from a new angle - but they didn't do that. They actually bought the book, then pissed on it.

Now, let's be honest - it this were, say Anthem, I wouldn't care. You can logically prove that Anthem actually sucks as an argument, and you can treat it with contempt without actually being dumber than it is. But Starship Troopers doesn't actually meet that criteria. It has an argument you need to actually answer.

As Satire, it completely fails.

Pug

about a year ago
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Kepler-78b: The Earth-Like Planet That Shouldn't Exist

pugugly Re: Well it is far, far away (110 comments)

I'm pretty sure when we get there we get to meet Space Lincoln.

about a year ago
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A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

pugugly Read the *original* articles please (668 comments)

The, a 'Independent' Journal Review is not terribly independent - Pretty Right wing actually, and the article cited has a *lot* of context missing. It's not as bad as some I've read - the basic thesis is true, but statistically neither the Conservatives, the Liberals, or the Tea Party itself are *meaningfully* correlated with better or worse understanding of Science - very slight negatives in the main body of Conservatives, very slight positives in Liberals and Tea Party members, but the correlations are miniscule. The researcher has some choice words to say regarding the attempt to make the Tea part look like hyper-encephalic geniuses here, including a bit of snark along the lines of "Hey Suddenly Eastern Ivy League Studies are completely trustworthy among Tea Party Conservatives - Who Knew!"

Original Post: Some data on education, religiosity, ideology, and science comprehension

His Update with a review of responses: Congratulations, tea party members: You are just as vulnerable to politically biased misinterpretation of science as everyone else! Is fixing this threat to our Republic part of your program?

Pug

1 year,2 days
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Blizzard Wins Legal Battle Against WoW Bot Company

pugugly Re:Bad analogy is bad (285 comments)

Actually my problem with this is that it is impossible for a company that creates bot software to break *Blizzards* terms of service. Only the customer can break Blizzards TOS, because only the customer actually has a relationship with Blizzard.

Moreover - it doesn't even pass muster on that level because the TOS as they stand - are not actually legal. The Uniform Commercial Code is the only legal framework for interpreting a TOS agreement, and the UCC is quite clear - this kind of Boilerplate agreement is only acceptable as a contract between Merchants -
http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/2/2-104#2-104(1)
(1) "Merchant" means a person who deals in goods of the kind or otherwise by his occupation holds himself out as having knowledge or skill peculiar to the practices or goods involved in the transaction or to whom such knowledge or skill may be attributed by his employment of an agent or broker or other intermediary who by his occupation holds himself out as having such knowledge or skill.
(...)
(3) "Between Merchants" means in any transaction with respect to which both parties are chargeable with the knowledge or skill of merchants.

The default under UCC code is not that people are considered to be merchants, but consumers - and thus, under the law, this type of boilerplate agreement is not applicable. Unless there is a 'professionsal' WoW player, the TOS is unenforceable.

This is simply interference in a third parties right to contract.

1 year,5 days
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For Education, Why TI-83 > iPad

pugugly Programming language (340 comments)

I think the more important question to me - *is* there a good programming language for the iPad or (more importantly for me) the Android platform, preferably without jailbreaking it?

I believe you can run bash after jailbreaking, and that's not un-useful, but yeah, I hadn't realized how much it annoys me that there's no quick easy way to do programming (or frankly, scripting) on my tablet barring that.

Any contenders?

about a year ago
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For Education, Why TI-83 > iPad

pugugly Re:But neverletheless... (340 comments)

I confess my calculator of choice was a TI-35 Galaxy Solar, and I tended to work fine with that - anything more complex I could simplify in my head til the TI-35 was fine.

That said, the no calculator bias is a bit off in my opinion - it's all grand to know it well enough to scratchpad it, but in the real world you will be working problems that you *need* a calculator for. Statistics is particularly egregious about this but hardly the only contender for mathematics where habitually doing it by hand is actually a bad habit.

Now if someone could explain the attraction of reverse polish notation ... (No, don't, really.)

Pug

about a year ago
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Calibre Version 1.0 Released After 7 Years of Development

pugugly Re:pdf-epub (193 comments)

I confess I'm been really pleased with my PRS950. Works great.

about a year ago
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Why Internet Television Isn't Quite Ready To Save Us From Cable TV

pugugly Re:A moral battle (304 comments)

In my experience Hulu Plus is the same price as Netflix with the additional 'features' of . . .
A worse interface (As of the latest iteration, there's a 'view timeline' at the bottom of the interface that doesn't actually show you where you are in the episode, and if you click *anywhere* on it to, say, watch Kevin Spacey steal Colberts Emmy again, you go back to the beginning of the program again. Seriously.)
Less Content (and some of the actual *good* content is just web series you can view for free - I'm looking at you Kevin Pollack - {G}),
Shows expiring at random times,
Arbitrary licensing on how you can stream (I'm *paying* for the Simpsons, but can't actually watch it over Roku? You have my money, why do you even *care*?)
Commercials,
a tendency to crash/hang more often than Netflix on any given platform.

Netflix is far from perfect, but frankly if Netflix doubled their price, I'd pay it and drop Hulu - 90% of what I watch on Hulu is The Daily Show/Colbert Report anyway - heck if Netflix picked those two shows up I'd drop Hulu.
Heck, if Comedy Centrals internet streaming was half decent, I'd drop Hulu.
And they were asking for *how* much to sell Hulu last month? Gee, I can't imagine why no one jumped on that.

Hulu - there to make you really appreciate Netflix!
Pug

about a year ago
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Why Internet Television Isn't Quite Ready To Save Us From Cable TV

pugugly Re:Flamebait article (304 comments)

Who . . . the hell . . . watches ~40 hours a week of TV?

Well - checking the 2011 BLS American Time Use Survey that's wrong; Actually, his number almost exactly match my math for "Leisure and Sports" Daily *30, but the numbers for "watching Television" (a subcategory) come to 2.75 hours/day, or ~82 hours per month on average; even among people that watch some *every* day that only goes up to 105 hours a month on average. Then there's the assumption that that is all 'original programming', as opposed to movies, reruns,catching up on series you missed the first time around.

So the premise is based on flawed data from the getgo, exacerbated by bad logic.
(Chart won't go through here "Filter error: Please use less whitespace", but search for "Watching television" in the report; )

Pug

about a year ago
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"451" Error Will Tell Users When Governments Are Blocking Websites

pugugly Re:This may work........ (255 comments)

Error 451: This site is unavailable . . . despite the server running perfectly fine, the domain being properly paid for, and all content being legal under standard interpretations of fair use and fair dealing, yet is mysteriously not coming up for reasons we cannot tell people about . . .

You do the math.

about a year ago
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George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

pugugly Re:Think for a second, if you can (1737 comments)

Yes - the teenager acted irresponsibly. He *probably* thought he was being manly and heroic. One wonders where in our gun-toting, Stand your ground, Castle Doctrine culture a teenager could get get the message that it was somehow heroic and manly to intercept a creepy man following them before they got to their house where anything might happen, but who knows where kids come up with these ideas.

But you're right - It's almost as if I was holding the heavily armed adult neighborhood watch volunteer to some higher standard than the teenager, expecting him to have actively done something to avoid a confrontation that could rapidly escalate out of control. Terribly biased of me.

Pug

about a year ago
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What Medical Tests Should Teach Us About the NSA Surveillance Program

pugugly Bayes Theorem (107 comments)

I had the good fortune to run across Bayes Theorem (Not by name) in an article about misdiagnosing problems in Discover magazine back in the 80's, and for some reason filed the factoid away as 'Oh, this is *important* and is going to apply to a lot of things' and have never forgotten it.

The fundamental takeaway for me is "It doesn't *matter* how accurate your test is - what matters is how accurate it is compared to how rare the condition you're looking for is.". Random drug tests, random highway stops, the instant you are doing anything that force a 99% accurate test on a population that might only be 1% guilty, you should be fined for a violation of Bayesian logic.

It is one of those universally applicable truths, and we need to hammer it into the brain of every teenager before the get out of High school.

Pug

about a year ago
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George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

pugugly Re:Think for a second, if you can (1737 comments)

What an amazing set of rationalizing "What If's".

At some point if you decide to ignore the advice of a 911 operator and follow someone, you are taking responsibility for the consequences of those actions. Maybe Trayvon Martin did something anyone would have done at the time, and maybe he was stupid, and maybe both . . . but he didn't create these circumstances, Zimmerman did.

That you can follow someone on the street, kill them, and not even be found guilty of manslaughter beggars the imagination.

Pug

about a year ago
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George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

pugugly Re:I'm amazed... (1737 comments)

As a 6'2" 300 pound Man, I have the luxury of going "I will never draw a weapon unless I intend to kill someone".

Assuming that is true of everyone in every situation is the most amazing egotism.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Israel attempting to confiscate Kafka papers

pugugly pugugly writes  |  about 2 years ago

pugugly (152978) writes "In what seems to me to be missing the entire point, the granddaughter of a friend of Franz Kafka was endeavoring to sell a collection of documents rising form their collaboration.

The State of Israel disagree, and believes the estate was not bequeathed to her but merely held in trust, and wants to seize those assets as part of the cultural heritage of Israel.

Unsure if it's Ironic that Israel believes the state can simply seize private collections like that, or if the irony is completely nullified that it's seizing the collaborations of Franz Kafka."

Link to Original Source
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Mortgage Companys being held to the actual law

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 4 years ago

pugugly (152978) writes "That Mortgage that you originally got from Acme, which was bought by almalgamated mortgages, a subsidiary of Dewey Screwem and Howe, LLC, which went bankrupt in 2007 and was sold piecemeal to Super-Duper mortgages group, who says you're behind on your payments (And maybe you really are?)

Well, it turns out Super-Duper Mortgages may actually have to produce the paperwork showing they own your mortgage, rather than just saying "Trust us, we do", and if they can't the debt may be vacated entirely. Since they've actually been running the mortgage industry based on exactly those kind of honor-system claims, the industry is a bit concerns at being held to the actual letter of the law.

When asked for comment CEO Will E. K. Yote responded with a sign saying "Oh no . . . Not Again""

Link to Original Source
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Banks pass along low interest rates? No.

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 5 years ago

pugugly (152978) writes "I had actually noticed that the credit card offers were not coming in the mail like they had even a few months ago, but hadn't quite foreseen this happening.

Numerous stories just within the last day about Credit Card Companies raising interest rates — sometimes more than doubling the interest while simultaneously dropping credits limits. Issuers are adding Universal Default clauses (Late on one card, watch all your interest rates go up simultaneously) in those 'notice to cardholders' agreements, raising interest rates based on where you live rather than any actual mistake on your part, even on their best customers.

I'm so glad to have helped the banks out in this time of crisis — I can just *feel* the love."

Link to Original Source
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Waterbarding - not just for breakfast anymore!

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pugugly writes "I posted on this already, but it seems vaguely important to me so I'm submitting it too. It may be very good for Terry Childs that Mayor Newsom decided to talk to him personally about the network access, since for Scott McPherson whether or not this was bad Office Politics or Computer Tampering was evidently an important piece of information that certainly changes things, eh?

Oh — and in the meantime, the San Francisco DA disclosed 150 accounts and passwords in a court filing. One wonders why Mr. Childs would have any concerns regarding the competence of his management to simply walk in and start handling network security without consulting him. Obviously a paranoid man, we should probably lock him up.

Given Mr. McPherson's bona fides as a veteran of the Florida Department of Corrections, one wonders if he was as respectful of the concept of "Innocent until a confession can be obtained" working there as he was here, or if he has mellowed out in his old age. Perhaps we can soon get to a point when publicly advocating torture is considered at the same level of decency as holocaust denial and white supremacy — or will "I wasn't *serious*" always be allowed as a weaseling cop-out afterwords?"

Link to Original Source
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Christopher Hitchen submits to waterboarding.

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pugugly (152978) writes "In a Vanity Fair Article and accompanying video, Christopher Hitchens describes the physical and emotional reactions to waterboarding, as done under controlled conditions by former S.E.R.E. (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape) Instructors. From the Video — "They told me that when I activated the 'dead man's handle' — which is a simple process, you simply release something, let it go — I didn't do that. I practically, even though my hands were bound, I...as near as I could...I threw the thing out of my hand. I mean, I really wanted it to stop. I could swear I shouted the code word, but I hadn't.""
Link to Original Source
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The Platypus - Stranger than it looks?

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pugugly (152978) writes "The NYtimes and NPR are both covering the recent decoding of the Platypus genome. Among other topics of interest, at 150 million years, evidently the Platypus is an older mammal than I realized. Lesson Learned: Make sure they're strange when they're young, and they will be strange forever."
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Getting smarter in 50 reps.

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pugugly (152978) writes "Wired Magazine has a seven page review Wired of a program known as SuperMemo and it's creator Piotr Wozniak. The program is designed (as I understand it) to evaluate when the best time is to refresh ones memory to facilitate memorizing information. I'm still evaluating this in my own mind, but the principle doesn't seem to be inherently pseudo-scientific.

As someone that scores highly on every aspect of IQ tests *except* rote memorization, I am perhaps too hopeful of a cheap, easy way to support my weaknesses — has anyone had the chance to evaluate this themselves? Shall we become uber-geniuses together? What Would Luthor Do?"

Link to Original Source
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Assume FISA goes through. What now?

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 6 years ago

pugugly (152978) writes "Going by past history, it is safe to assume the the Democrats will fold, and all avenues for legally holding the U.S. Government accountable for illegally listening to calls and reading e-mail will be closed. I know how to use PGP, although I've never done so. I *use* truecrypt, basically on the theory that it's a simple prophylactic procedure that insures neither loss of my laptop nor seizure of it can result in the complete publication of everything I have. For one password — well worth it. But I have not, typically, bothered to be all that paranoid. What else. If I am the ex-wife/husband of an FBI agent who I don't trust not to peek on my internet connection in the name of 'national security', and my ISP has to pretty much assume he's telling the truth, how do I set up personal privacy, encrypted connections, and everything else to minimize the information he can compromise my privacy with."
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Computer Checkers Program Is Invincible

pugugly pugugly writes  |  more than 7 years ago

pugugly writes "While we humans are still (barely) on top at Chess, we appear to have lost at Checkers. Chinook the worlds most powerful Checkers (Draughts) programs has been proven to be invincible in it's current incarnation — at best it can be drawn, not beaten. It's previous version had lost to Checkers Champion Dr. Marion Tinsley with two wins, four losses, and 33 draws — the two wins brought Dr. Tinsleys total loss record since 1950 to 7. The article from the NY Times, registration and sacrifice of first born req'd."

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