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12 Dead, 50 Injured at The Dark Knight Rises Showing In Colorado

spicate Re:The true enemy... (1706 comments)

Yes, and over 100 are killed every day in automobile accidents - many of those the result of other people's malice or neglect. And just for fun, tally up the strangulations, beatings, stabbings, blunt object killings, deaths-by-arson, and other non-firearm-weapon deaths and you'll get close to the number of handgun deaths. Do the same math in places where guns used to be available but no longer are, and the numbers jump shockingly. Do the math in places where people are allowed to carry, and the numbers go down significantly.

You conveniently fail to do any math or cite any sources, because you are wrong. I'm not advocating gun control, but it's a more complex issue than you want to seem to admit.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Bas Lansdorp About Going to Mars, One Way

spicate Foolishness, hoax, or scam? (540 comments)

I won't rehash all the posts here, but both Slashdot and Reddit have done a thorough job critiquing this project. My question for you is, do you honestly believe this is possible, or are you just planning to milk it for "sponsorships" and publicity as long as possible?

more than 2 years ago
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FunnyJunk v. the Oatmeal: Copyright Infringement Complaints As Defamation

spicate Re:For the two people who don't already know (286 comments)

Good point, but try reading his comment in the context of the conversation. I'm not condemning charity, but the implication behind his comment is that somehow socialism is unjust because it is supported by the threat of force.

more than 2 years ago
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NewEgg: Installing Linux Breaks Laptop

spicate Re:re-read your post (518 comments)

You're not helping your case, are you?

This Slashdot post moved NewEgg from Avoid to Hell-No on my rating sheet.

Huh? I've tried to cut corners sometimes and bought low-end hardware, and when/if it failed I sent it back. You don't seem to get that they aren't the manufacturer - no matter where you buy a given item from it will most likely have the same failure rate. You've got the same odds with Amazon or anywhere else. If you have evidence otherwise, show me.

more than 2 years ago
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FunnyJunk v. the Oatmeal: Copyright Infringement Complaints As Defamation

spicate Re:For the two people who don't already know (286 comments)

He's looking at outcomes. Planned Parenthood delivers health care; Susan J Komen delivers "awareness" and a declining percentage of money actually devoted to research ( 20% of expenditures in 2009 ).

more than 2 years ago
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FunnyJunk v. the Oatmeal: Copyright Infringement Complaints As Defamation

spicate Re:For the two people who don't already know (286 comments)

No. Socialism is force & operates based upon fear of the government (jail time). Charity is voluntary, and a reflection of a person's true character.

Wow, what a thought-free bit of propaganda.

Socialism is a way of distributing goods and services, maintained by the rule of law. Capitalism is a way of distributing goods and services, maintained by the rule of law. Break the rules of either, and you will (in theory) end up in jail.

In practice, people cheat, and sometimes they get away with it.

more than 2 years ago
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NewEgg: Installing Linux Breaks Laptop

spicate Re:Thank you. (518 comments)

Out of their millions of customers, one had a bad experience. You could find the same with any company. I've returned numerous products to NewEgg without a problem, and they typically have excellent prices and top-quality service. This may be a sign of things to come, but it's a little bit of an overreaction to write them off so quickly.

more than 2 years ago
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Arizona Attempts To Make Trolling Illegal

spicate Re:well.... (474 comments)

First, this was a tiny minority of students and possibly a handful of faculty. You are claiming that ALL of Mexican American studies was racist because a few vocal students were. Sounds kind of racist...

more than 2 years ago
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Arizona Attempts To Make Trolling Illegal

spicate Re:well.... (474 comments)

The reason they ended Mexican American studies is because of a state law and state threats. Not sure where you are getting your facts.

The top management of TUSD has mostly been replaced since 2009. The reason for school closures is plunging enrollment, much of which is due to SB1070 and the economic downturn.

I'm not saying TUSD is perfect, but they're not quite the entity you're claiming they are.

more than 2 years ago
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Arizona Attempts To Make Trolling Illegal

spicate completely wrong, not informative (474 comments)

Not to be pedantic: The State of Arizona had little to do with one school district canceling Mexican-American studies. That was a course taught at a few schools in Tucson, and the school district shut it down. There are reasonable arguments both ways on that call.

Huh? You are completely wrong. Maybe you are trolling and this is meant to be "meta", but here are the actual facts.

It was a popular Tucson program that was ruined by Republican state lawmakers from outside Tucson. There was a state law passed that specifically targeted Mexican-American studies at TUSD. You can read more here. There were 1400 kids in Mexican American studies in Tucson before the state started targeting it. The state threatened to withhold 10% of TUSD's budget - millions of dollars for a cash-strapped school district - unless they cancelled Mexican American studies. TUSD appealed the decision and lost a court case, and only then voted to end the program.

An audit the state commissioned found that the program was successful and not illegal, but the Republicans ignored their own audit and insisted the program was illegal.

more than 2 years ago
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US Asserts Super-Jurisdiction Over Dot-Com, Dot-Net, and Dot-Org Domains

spicate Online gambling "operated in the United States" (395 comments)

People are claiming that bodog.com was a Canadian site, but I'm confused. Here's a cache of the page from April 2011.

Less than a year ago the website said "Bodog Gaming is operated in the United States under License by Morris Mohawk Gaming Group." Could this be why the domain name was seized? It would see to fall inside US jurisdiction in that case.

more than 2 years ago
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The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

spicate Re:Shale is coming (1205 comments)

Which of my facts were incorrect?

Shale oil extraction is just now beginning; in about 10 years it will be a mature industry.

That document you linked to is from 2004. From your report, it says Shell is "currently" testing the technology. Where's the oil shale production you speak of?

The break-even price is $45/barrel. Some sources put it at $60.

Who is extracting it right now at $45 or $60 in the United States?

The water used in extraction ranges from several gallons to 1 barrel per barrel of oil. There are indeed valid concerns about groundwater contamination, but so far no connection has been established.

No one is doing large-scale extraction right now in any of the formations in this country, so how can there be a connection yet?

more than 2 years ago
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The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

spicate Re:Shale is coming (1205 comments)

Meanwhile, U.S. firms are busily building infrastructure to extract oil and gas from shale deposits estimated to hold 1.5 trillion barrels, or about 5 times the current Saudi reserves of 300 bbls.

Environmentalists like Treasury Sec. Chu obviously won't approve of this trend, but the hard reality is that fossil fuels are not going away soon, thanks to technological advances such as "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing using horizontally injected water).

The fact that this was modded insightful shows just how little Slashdotters know about this issue.

The oil boom the United States is experiencing will be short-lived.

Your facts are basically wrong. You make it sound like we'll obtain even close to 1.5 trillion barrels of oil from fracking, but that's just not true. There's two different kinds of "shale oil." The first is the kind that is actually small pockets of oil trapped in shale. That's the kind being recovered in the Bakken formation. You can access that oil with fracking and horizontal drilling, but the amount of economically viable oil we'll get from fracking in the United States is more like 20-50 billion barrels or less.

The 1.5 trillion figure you are quoting is probably including oil shale which is not oil. It's a type of rock that requires extensive processing (i.e., high temperatures for long periods of time) to create liquid oil. Turning it into usable oil is highly energy intensive, potentially incredibly environmentally destructive, and most importantly, essentially no one is doing it. People have been working on this process for 40 years and they still can't make it work economically. Ignoring the environmental problems, it would probably take more energy to produce on average than it would provide.

more than 2 years ago
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Hunters Shoot Down Drone of Animal Rights Group

spicate Re:Animal Rights? (1127 comments)

Animals do not have "rights", at least not in the sense humans do. A human has right to live. A pigeon does not have that right -- if one believes otherwise, one has to prevent pigeons from being killed by predators.

Sorry, but you haven't undercut the concept of animal rights.

First, that's not an argument that animals do not have rights. It is an argument that animals and humans do not have the same rights, which is a pretty trivial point to make. Very few people say that animals have the same rights as humans. I believe animals have the right not be tortured or killed for entertainment. That doesn't mean they have the unconditional right to live, or that they can vote, or own property.

Second, that is a simplistic way to look at rights in general. You say that we would have to "prevent pigeons from being killed by predators" if we believe in animal rights. That implies that there are no circumstances where rights can be superseded. You say "a human has (the) right to live" yet we routinely kill people in war or as punishment for crimes. Millions of people a year die as a result of environmental contamination. If you believe that we have the right to live, why do we allow that to happen? Those people are deprived of their lives for (supposedly) the common good, and also because we have to protect the rights of others. Similarly, the pigeon needs to die so the hawk can live. Both species have the right to continue their existence within a certain framework.

more than 2 years ago
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A Cognitive Teardown of Angry Birds

spicate Re:Well, that certainly makes it unique (220 comments)

I think this is over-complicating things frankly. More tools unlocked required as you proceed through harder levels of the game is as standard as it gets.

There is NOTHING new here.

I never meant to imply that it was new, or to defend the article. I meant to differentiate the approach Angry Birds took from a game like Tetris, or solitaire where you DON'T gain access to any additional tools.

Also, I agree that there is an element of chance and network effects in the way it became so popular. It does have a couple other things that you missed though:

- the physics of the game are appealing - watching the little objects slowly tip over, for example - and
- the high-quality animations make the tiny screen seem more lush and engaging than it would if things were more static

Once again, neither of these things is new to gaming, but it was done quite well for a mobile game at the time it came out.

more than 3 years ago
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A Cognitive Teardown of Angry Birds

spicate Re:How does this make the dev managers feel? (220 comments)

Seemingly trivial game that a self-described "gamer" would not even deign to take a second look at, and it is played by more people than the population of China!

The 50 million individuals who have downloaded 'Angry Birds'...

Population of China is about 1.3 billion. That's some serious software piracy...

more than 3 years ago
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A Cognitive Teardown of Angry Birds

spicate Re:Angry Birds a real killer (220 comments)

If a waking lifetime is around 450,000 hours then at 1,200,000,000 hours Angry Birds consumes nearly 2,700 lifetimes per year.

That brings up an important question: is it better to be dead or to live out a normal lifespan doing nothing but playing Angry Birds? I'm leaning toward the former.

more than 3 years ago
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A Cognitive Teardown of Angry Birds

spicate Re:Well, that certainly makes it unique (220 comments)

The birds are packed with clever behaviors that expand the user's mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased ...

Translation: The game gets harder as you go along.

I think a better translation is: The game offers you more tools for solving problems as it gets harder. Still not earth-shattering, since many games do this, but you oversimplified.

more than 3 years ago
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Doctors Recommend Against TV For Kids Under 2

spicate Re:TV has been great for our kids (210 comments)

And as long as it's not all they do, I think it's very important to their development.

You've shared a nice anecdote, but I have one too. My 2 year old daughter watches zero TV and is doing pretty well. She speaks in full sentences ("daddy, come join us for breakfast"), counts to 13, knows her ABCs, can identify almost every animal at the zoo... whenever we're out in public people comment on how articulate she is.

I'm not claiming she's exceptional or that her progress has anything to do with our avoidance of television. I think it's probably more about personal attention from her parents and caregivers, lots of time reading with her parents, and her own particular path of development. She's not missing out by avoiding kids' programming, and she is definitely being exposed to less advertising.

The whole point of the recommendations is that an hour of quality time with an adult is vastly superior to an hour of television in terms of learning and cognitive development. That's the conclusion most researchers have come to over the years. Sure, limited time watching TV probably doesn't hurt. Research has show that it doesn't benefit most children, and that large amounts of television watching are probably harmful.

more than 3 years ago
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Are We Seeing the End of Big Oil?

spicate Re:I feel so, so, much better. (230 comments)

The Bush tax cuts were to stimulate the economy after 9/11 (they failed to do so)

And yet, Federal tax revenues increased by 30% from 2000 to 2007 (and then began dropping in 2008 as the Housing Bubble burst).

And this in spite of the recession immediately post-9/11, which saw tax revenues drop 10% over a two year period.

Sorry, the Bush tax cuts are not a good example of the idea that tax cuts supposedly lead to greater revenues.

First, adjusted for inflation (2005 dollars), revenues were about $2.3 trillion in 2000 and $2.4 trillion in 2007. That's only 5% growth, less than 1% annually. If we hadn't cut taxes, revenues would have grown much more.

Second, most economists don't credit the Bush tax cuts with more than a small part of the growth in GDP. There's a lot more going on in the economy than tax rates. The total revenues collected over that time period would have been much greater without the tax cuts. And our national debt would be trillions of dollars less.

Finally, why stop in 2007? That's an arbitrary number that you picked because it fit your argument best. Inflation-adjusted tax revenues in 2009 were BELOW levels in every year since 1997. 2010 was only slightly better.

I'm all for reducing budget deficits, and for tax policy reform. Almost everyone should be paying higher taxes right now.

Source: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Wikileaks Cables Say Saudi Oil Supplies Overstated

spicate spicate writes  |  more than 3 years ago

spicate (667270) writes "Recently revealed cables released by Wikileaks suggest that Saudi Arabia may reach peak oil output much sooner than initially thought, possibly within 17 years. The U.S. diplomat who wrote them called his source, Sadad al-Husseini, "no doomsday theorist." The diplomat continues, "his pedigree, experience and outlook demand that his predictions be thoughtfully considered." With most of the rest of the world experiencing declining conventional crude oil production already, new discoveries and improved extraction techniques may not be sufficient to cover the deficits. Is there still time to move away from oil?"
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