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Ancient Krakens Making Self-Portraits?

srvivn21 Re:Science is Awesome (135 comments)

Or the stories of Homo erectus , who was the velociraptor of our human ancestors. She was a total badass, which is why I love this statue of her at the Smithsonian Hall of Human Origins carrying a rotting caribou carcass across the Serengeti.

Just to be nit-picky, that looks more like an ibex than a caribou. The description of location (Serengeti, vs. tundra) is further confirmation.

more than 3 years ago

Mirror's Edge Sequel On Hold

srvivn21 Re:Very disappointing (109 comments)

Profit also depends on income. Mirror's Edge dropped in price quickly after release and you could pick up a copy for about £5 now. Additionally it has been on sale on Steam and at other online retailers several times. Copies sold at a discount obviously provide less income.

While each copy sold at a discount provides less income, software has a very low cost of goods sold (especially with digital delivery) so it's possible (even likely) to make it up with volume.

From http://2dboy.com/2011/02/08/ipad-launch/ (emphasis mine):

It’s possible that $5 might have been a better price point to begin with. While $10 is less than most people pay for a movie ticket, or lunch, it’s still seen as a very high price for a game on the App Store and turns many people off. As you can see from the daily revenue chart below, World of Goo generates significantly more revenue at a $5 price point than it did at $10 (price was halved on January 14).

more than 3 years ago

Tron: Legacy — Too Much Imagination Required?

srvivn21 Re:Too Much Imagination Required? (429 comments)

Why have light cycles regressed over the last 25 years, so that they can no longer do instant 90-degree-angle turns, but instead have to turn gradually like motorcycles in the real world?

Regressed? Regressed?!?! That's anti-aliasing!

It's a technological wonder. No more jaggies.

more than 4 years ago

Judge Declares Mistrial Because of Wikipedia

srvivn21 Re:Would you prefer a completely clueless jury the (558 comments)

Having never actually served on a jury, how exactly would a juror go about learning what a phrase means if everyone was acting like it's supposed to be common knowledge? Do they just, like, raise their hand and ask?

David Morgan-Marr (creative force behind Irregular Webcomic and Darths & Droids) has an account of service on a jury in which the jury asks for clarification on a point. It's quite an interesting read in total, but the sections regarding jury confusion are found on page 12 (at the end of witness 26 and end of witness 29), page 19 (most of witness 50), page 20 (not much happened with the jury that day) and concluding at the top of page 22.

While this jury trial occurred in Austrailia, the basic tenets are the same.

more than 4 years ago

Why Money Doesn't Motivate File-Sharers

srvivn21 Re:Information wants to be free. (633 comments)

Consider these cases:

1. I post 1.4gb of credit card numbers online in the ideal that it will destroy the financial system and create world anarcho-socialism.

My bank sends me a new card with a new number and new expiration date. I am inconvenienced during the time I can't use that card.

2. You write a novel; it takes you two years. I post it online in Kindle, Nook and Sony reader formats.

Hard and soft cover sales are unlikely effected. The fans of the author shun the pirated copy.

3. You take out $20m in loans to make a movie or a video game, and you spend five years of your life on the project, hoping that you can leverage this into a career. I post your game or movie online before it is released.

This happens quite often. Hollywood and the gaming studios are posting record profits. As for how you manage to leverage a $20 million dollar loan on your debut, I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

We'll never know how sales are affected because we will never know if the people downloading would have bought it anyway,

From http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/7225-Experienced-Points-Piracy-Numbers:
How many people use the pirated version as an extended demo?

Assuming someone tries a game and then goes out and buys it, they are basically indistinguishable from the previous group who buys it and then "pirates" it. They're just doing it in a different order. In any case, these two groups combined simply can't account for more than one in nine downloads.

However, if you're willing to entertain an anecdote (which is the only thing we have to work with in a situation like this where nobody will show their cards to anyone else) then the story of iPhone game Tap-Fu is fairly instructive. The creators tracked both pirates and customers as they submitted high scores. They even kept track of how many people (as identified by their device) played as a pirate and then later as a legit customer. The result:

Not one. Ever.

Remember that the plural of "anecdote" is not "data". One case doesn't describe the industry in general. Also remember: None!

We may never know for sure, but there are indications.

...but what's really lost is the newness of the material. If your neighbor reads the newspaper, figures out which are the good stories, and then tells you about them while you're fishing, what incentive do you have to buy the newspaper?

The experience of not receiving the stories as remembered by my neighbor. His ideals on which are the "good stories" probably differ from mine.

We -- the hackers of today -- need to think long and hard about this. By destroying the ability of others to profit from their work,

Wait. What? Also from the Escapist article linked above:

How rampant is piracy?

In 2008, Reflexive looked at the people who submitted high scores for Ricochet Infinity and found that 92% of all players were using pirated copies of the game. Also that year 2DBoy reported 90% piracy on World of Goo. Last year developer Beautiful Game Studios' claimed that Championship Manager was the victim of a 90% piracy rate. During the week the Demigod was released, publisher Stardock found that 85% of all players looking for a game were pirates. All of these are PC titles.

It's very interesting how close all of these numbers are, despite the diversity of the games themselves. Casual and hardcore. Esoteric and mainstream. Indie and big-budget. DRM and DRM-free. Newly-launched titles and and games which have been been out for a year. All of them are from different companies. Yet the piracy numbers are within a few percentage points of each other. I think that, unless we're going to imagine that all of these disparate parties are somehow forming this conspiracy to over-hype the effects of piracy, we can be very confident that the 90% figure is a pretty reliable number.

90% piracy rate two years ago. I can't imagine it's gone down significantly. Yet there are still people profiting from their work.

we may be sabotaging the very people we sought to empower all those years ago.

Just $0.02, or probably worth a lot less in this recession.

I know I don't have all the answers. Most of the time, I'm not sure I am asking the right questions. But I am quite certain that the whole-scale piracy fest in the video game/music/movie industry is not having a significant effect on their profitability.

more than 4 years ago

Why Money Doesn't Motivate File-Sharers

srvivn21 Re:Bingo. (633 comments)


Likewise games. In the last 2 years I played Batman:Arkham Asylum which was horribly disappointing...

Out of curiosity, was Batman disappointing because you couldn't glide?

Even if I did pay for them, I would probably throw the game out, as the pirated versions are so much more convenient and bug free.

Perhaps not in this case.

more than 4 years ago

TSA Pats Down 3-Year-Old

srvivn21 Re:What's the deal with the rush of TSA stories re (1135 comments)

You're right. The whole thing is security theatre at its finest. That's been true for years. Does anybody really think that an old ladies sewing needles are a threat to the airplane?

No. Not even the TSA (as of this posting) thinks knitting needles are a threat. From http://blog.tsa.gov/2009/05/tsa-urban-legends-nail-clippers.html:

Knitting needles, carried by grandma, Mrs. Claus or Jeremy down the street are permitted. Plastic, metal, clay, titanium... Whatever... Permitted.

Kids, on the other hand, (and their subversive teddy bears) are a definate threat.

more than 4 years ago

President Obama To Appear On Mythbusters

srvivn21 Re:Incidentally (795 comments)

Why is math education important in public schools?

The vast majority of students will not be mathematicians or accountants, and will not have any opportunity to reinforce the information they learn, and hence will forget it all by the time they are 20.


Why is english education important in public schools?

The vast majority of students will not be writers, and will not have any opportunity to reinforce the information they learn, and hence will forget it all by the time they are 20.


Why is history education important in public schools?

The vast majority of students will not be historians, and will not have any opportunity to reinforce the information they learn, and hence will forget it all by the time they are 20.


Why is physical education important in public schools?

The vast majority of students will not be althletes, and will not have any opportunity to reinforce the information they learn, and hence will forget it all by the time they are 20.

You can apply this argument to pretty much every school subject - so your question is really "why do we send children to school"?

And the simple answer is "to keep them out of the job market".

more than 4 years ago

Microwave Map of Entire Moon Revealed

srvivn21 Re:Grain of Salt (82 comments)

So you're saying this whole thing might be A Ridiculous Liberal Myth?

Oh yea. The Liberals go to all the trouble of painting a moon up in the sky every night just to fuck with my head. They even moving it during the night and changing the shape nightly. /sarcasm

What I am saying is that Chinese universities have a tendency of fostering academic misconduct in an attempt ...

Grandparent's post was a oblique reference to a long running troll/joke. http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=site%3Aslashdot.org+The+moon+is+A+Ridiculous+Liberal+Myth

more than 4 years ago

Everything You Need To Know About USB 3.0

srvivn21 Re:theOnion (322 comments)

Which always reminds me of this.

more than 4 years ago

Everything You Need To Know About USB 3.0

srvivn21 Re:hard disk speed (322 comments)

The one major eSATA issue is power.

Yes, power and hot swapping because windoze doesn't recognize the drive as removeable.

While I understand you were going for humor, Windows (at least back to Win2k) will allow hot-swapping an eSATA drive, as long as the controller is using AHCI.

more than 4 years ago

Canonical Begins Tracking Ubuntu Installations

srvivn21 Re:Dear god I hope this stops the impending wave (548 comments)

Why should the details of the article negate the fact that this is a privacy issue, and there should be an outcry about it? Does the fact that its only happening against a subset of installs matter? Not really. Does the fact that there is an *opt-out* option? Again, not really, as its tracking usage - this should be opt-in for definite.

To my mind, it is opt-in. By choosing to use Ubuntu (in this case, an OEM install of Ubuntu) you are opting to take part in this usage survey. In the same manner, if you choose to surf the net, you opt to give out certain details of your setup (OS, IP address, resolution, etc.).

In either case, you can take special measures to not divulge the by-default requested information* (uninstall the census package for the Ubuntu install, use an anonomysing proxy for the web surfing).

*You can opt out of opting in, if you will.

more than 4 years ago

Why SSDs Won't Replace Hard Drives

srvivn21 Re:Just bought WD 64GB SSD (315 comments)

Then I saw her (circuit) trace...

And I'm a believer.

more than 4 years ago

MS Design Lets You Put Batteries In Any Way You Want

srvivn21 Re:One problem tho.. (453 comments)

I'm here to tell you, I think this is a good idea. I like the design. See, my wife is generally quite smart. She's got BAs in chemsitry and biology and a MS in forensic science and she still can't put batteries in the WiiMote correctly.

I can't help you with any other various battery operated devices, but for the Wiimote, you really can't beat an inductive charger/battery pack combination. They come with battery packs that only go in one way and are available in models that are compatible with both the silicone sleeve and the Wii Motion Plus. I have a four port set up (similar to this) and find it to be a valuable accessory.

more than 4 years ago

High Depreciation May Slow Electric Car Acceptance

srvivn21 Re:Wait, that makes no sense (354 comments)

The point of leasing isn't just distributing the cost, but it is also about remove the personal ownership of the battery. If you don't own your battery, but just have a contract for the electricity, it is possible to build a refill station that will just swap out the empty battery against a full one, allowing you to refill your EV in a minute, instead of recharge it for multiple hours. If you would own the battery, you simply couldn't do that that easily.

Batteries are very similar to propane tanks. They store potential energy in a portable, easy to access manner. There are any number of locations who are willing to trade me an empty tank for a full one. I own the old tank, I own the new tank. Refilling is cheaper, trading is quicker.

I'm sure if battery packs were a standard size, with a standard connection exchanges would exist, lease or no lease.

more than 4 years ago

AMD's Fusion Processor Combines CPU and GPU

srvivn21 Re:Enough with hyping eye candy (240 comments)

The biggest problem with discrete cards is pulling data off the cards because the PCIe bus is only fast in one direction (data into the card).

You must be thinking of AGP. PCIe is full duplex.

more than 4 years ago

Flash Destroyer Tests Limit of Solid State Storage

srvivn21 Re:Interesting! (229 comments)

Not the original AC, but I thought I would try to clear up a disconnect instead of downmodding...

So, I'm violating my usual rule of not responding to ACs, only because you're such an idiot (which conveniently explains why you are posting AC).

-1 Flamebait. As I'll show, the rest of your rant has insufficient content to balance this.

"perfect" in that they will distribute the writes 100% evenly across all available spare sectors

Emphasis mine.

See, that's the thing. Once a sector is written to, it won't be touched again, unless the data changes. You end up with some subset of sectors

The spare ones, as the AC pointed out.

which are frequently modified, while others never are. That is NOT an even distribution of writes across all sectors,

Not a claim made by the AC.

nor is it "perfect" in any sense of the word.

Strictly your opinion.

So, fill up 75% of your SSD with files which don't change, then beat up on the remaining sectors 4 times as much as truly evenly distributed writes would cause.

The AC actually posited a worse case scenario, in that the whole disk was filled, and only one "spot" was repeatedly changed.

It's not clear what you "MLC" comment was about, since I specifically mentioned that as an example of flash technology.

Sorry mate, your original comment made mention of SLC, not MLC. While it's not clear what the AC was harping about (as you didn't make a claim regarding the type of flash used by retail SSD's) calling the AC names without comprehending what was actually written is not conclusive to a rational discussion. I can only hope I'm not feeding a troll.

more than 4 years ago


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