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John Scalzi's Redshirts Wins Hugo Award for Best Novel

tofarr Re: There's no money. (112 comments)

There will always be scarcity - even in a star trek like fairyland where they say there is "no money". Ask any geek whether they would like the job of being captain of the enterprise, and they will probably say "Hell Yeah!!!" (What's not to like? - Bang alien chicks, be involved in something important, and have amazing adventures!) However, it ignores the important realities, such as "Who cleans the toilets on the enterprise?". Ask who wants that job, and you will get a lot less enthusiasm. Even without monetary scarcity, there will always be haves and have nots. For one person to be a Captain Kirk, hundreds of others have to be an Ensign Ricky.

about a year ago
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Bill Gates Seeking Patent To Make Shakespeare Less Boring

tofarr Is it April 1st Again Already? (338 comments)

Or did they actually file a patent for something they have no idea how to build (probably while high as balls).

Maybe this was done ironically to show what's wrong with the patent system?

Fat chance...

about a year ago
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Playing StarCraft Could Boost Your Cognitive Flexibility

tofarr Re:Fast-paced chess on steroids (124 comments)

I am not a high level chess or Starcraft player, but it has always been my impression that due to the fact that it is turn based, chess tends to be quite single threaded - You analyse the available moves, form a strategy, and updating your strategy as the situation requires. Starcraft is more like trying to keep multiple threads of execution in your head concurrently - no single one of them is overly complex, but the player who can more effectively multi task is usually the winner.

Both require adaptation to changing circumstances.
Both have a psychological aspect.

I should get back into playing both...

about a year ago
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Campaign To Kill CAPTCHA Kicks Off

tofarr Re:This is a very hard problem (558 comments)

But how many such questions could you create? In your example, it would be trivial to look for strings starting with "What color" and then search for known color strings in the rest of the text - Add that to the rules of your spam bot and hey presto - no such question will stop them anymore.

So you think up a new question, and the spammers break that just as easily. And a new one with the same result. And so on, and so on.

The only way this could possibly work is if few enough people are doing it so that the spammers don't expend effort on cracking your system - It is security through obscurity. If you are trying to create a general purpose anti spammer mechanism that can be widely used, then captchas although not perfect are the best current solution to a nasty problem.

about a year ago
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An Interesting Look At the Performance of JavaScript On Mobile Devices

tofarr Re:Not just console (157 comments)

No offense, but your use case seems more of a problem for the browser vendors than web page vendors to me. The browser on my phone seems to unload background tabs so that the page reloads when I view it if the total memory usage exceeds a certain point - This seems like a good strategy to me (tabs stay open, resources are diverted towards what I am actually using).

Expecting a web page creator to write for the situation where there are 1/200th of the resources available seems a tad absurd to me.

Disclaimer : I work with web based GIS applications which can consume a lot of memory / bandwidth / runtime if not optimised correctly, [and can still do so even if they are!]

1 year,13 days
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Lead Developer of Yum Killed In Hit-and-run

tofarr Re:When you ride at night, (413 comments)

As I cyclist, I can tell you that when riding at night, wearing white is not enough. Wear dark clothes, and you are invisible. Wear white clothes or a florescent top, and you are invisible under orange sodium lamps. Your best bet is reflectors (included with most hi visibility cycling clothing) which will make you glow like a beacon under direct headlights, florescent coloured fabrics (Which make you stand out when there is any ambient light), and strong working lights (Make sure to check/replace your batteries regularly) for when it is dark and you are not directly in the beam of a headlight. Source: Years cycling home in heavy traffic after dark and still alive!

1 year,18 days
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America's Second-largest Employer Is a Temp Agency

tofarr Re:lack of unions and workers rights (541 comments)

"robot cannot give you power."

I beg to differ - Imagine feudal style warlords controlling massive robotic armies slaughtering any of the starving masses that dare oppose them - That is a future I see as quite likely given the current direction of society.

1 year,19 days
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Bitcoins Seized In Drug Bust

tofarr Re: It was bound to happen (198 comments)

"you don't get a PD if you can't afford a lawyer." And you wont be able to afford a lawyer because your assets have all just been seized. I have no fondness for drug dealers but this seems like a very dangerous twist to have in the law.

1 year,20 days
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Attackers Tweet As They Assault UN Development Program Compound

tofarr Re:Given the UN's track record in Africa... (240 comments)

Seems to me that you are saying - "The problems of the middle East are all down to the dirty Westerners and their interference." Do you really believe that? The middle East has valuable resources (The Suez Canal and Oil to name a few.). Where there are valuable resources, it is human nature to try to control and benefit from them.
If it wasn't the Americans, it would be the British. If it wasn't the British, it would be the French. If not the French, then the Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Germans, etc, etc, etc.
And this does not even include the ability of the people in the area to be massive dicks to each other - something they have more than demonstrated both the ability and inclination to do.
With the culture of certain elements in the area, the level of entrenched hatred, and the prizes up for grabs, I suspect there would be violence even if it had been left alone for the past few centuries. (With the main difference being that had they been left alone for that long, some power would probably have risen to the top and would be extending their influence over the rest of the world rather than the other way around.) All in all, the area might look different, but the world would probably look remarkably similar...

about a year ago
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Canadian Couple Charged $5k For Finding 400-Year-Old Skeleton

tofarr Re:So the correct action is... (601 comments)

The poachers MAY kill the rhino out of spite, but they may not - If they do, they needlessly jeopardise their future revenue stream - Maybe the hornless rhino will have offspring that have horns which they can kill - Would they cut off their noses to spite their faces? Who knows. Another benefit is that they don't get paid. Sure, they MAY kill the current one, but maybe some of them don't go hunting rhino next time, as there is no profit in it. Despite the fact that people are jerks, Cutting the horns still may make sense - More data is required.

about a year ago
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Book Review: Core HTML5 Canvas

tofarr Re:Enough with the toy languages like C & C++ (72 comments)

This is being done every day (I have worked with GIS applications with that level of complexity, and many of the in browser games have that level of complexity too.). Granted, the environment has its flaws, but for the most part performance is good enough (it could be better - especially on older versions of IE.), and you generally have nowhere near the same amount of deployment problems as with C++ application or java applet. As always, choose the right tool for the right job - If you are part of a team creating a AAA title where you need cutting edge graphics an performance - then javascript is probably not what you should be using for your games engine. But with the right tools and discipline it can be used to very rapidly create UIs and logic for systems where this is not the primary concern

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do When Another Dev Steals Your Work and Adds Their Name?

tofarr Could you use the Wayback Machine? (480 comments)

Could you use the wayback machine to show that the original version of the site was in fact written by you? You could even diff new files against old ones to show that the new author simply stole credit for your work. It seems odd to pull you in for an interview only to spring that on you - most companies would not let you in the door. On a further note - could the site have been through a major rewrite? Maybe the code in question is not actually yours.

about a year ago
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Tests Show That Deadly New Flu Could Spread Among People

tofarr Re:More ridiculous sensationalism (185 comments)

None that I have ever been on seem to have this - the bus service where I live always felt dirty, crowded, and smell like wet dog when it rains. I would imagine the experience in most large cities is similar - HEPA filters wont help you if there is an infected person wedged up against you breathing on you.

about a year ago
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FiOS User Finds Limit of 'Unlimited' Data Plan: 77 TB/Month

tofarr Re:Sounds reasonable to me. (573 comments)

Why offer an all you can eat buffet and then complain when somebody tries to stay at a table for days on end?

Any sane individual realises "all you can eat" means "all you can eat within reason".

Same principal with unlimited data. (Unlimited within reason).

IMHO, the ISP acted well above and beyond the call of duty here, giving hum until July to find an alternative rather than simply saying "We don't want your business - as a customer you cost us more than we could possibly make from you in profit."

PS: I am loath to praise any ISP given that I hate mine with the fire of a thousand suns, but have no other choice. I am really surprised he got 72 terabytes out of them - I mean compared to mine they look like saints...

about a year ago
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Feds Drop CFAA Charges Against 'Hacker' Who Exploited Poker Machines

tofarr Re:Glitches (144 comments)

In real poker, if you see that your opponent has a 'tell' and use that against them, does that make you guilty of fraud? No. IMHO, mame thing applies here

about a year ago
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What's Actually Wrong With DRM In HTML5?

tofarr Re:What's Actually Wrong With DRM...? (447 comments)

Here's an example of a bad standard, as prescribed by the W3C - the original CSS box model - Specifically the fact that borders,padding and margin are considered additional to the width and height declarations for an element. Engineers at microsoft developing IE4 took a look at this and decided that it made no sense, and decided that the width and height should include borders, margin and padding. From a purely engineering perspective (absent of politics) the MS way actually made a lot more sense, since otherwise it is a lot harder to specify widths and heights as a percentage of available space. The was also one of the main reasons for the quirksmode was introduced in browsers. The W3C stuck to their guns even though MS had over 90% market share at the time, and the result was all those websites in the early 00's that only used 800 pixels of width no matter what the screen size. It was only in CSS3 that this glaring issue was finally cleared up.

about a year ago
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Changing the Ratio of Women In Tech: How Etsy Did It

tofarr Re:Anti sexist policies are almost always sexist (546 comments)

Could this also be to do with the general level of interest in gaming as an activity among the sexes? I would be willing to bet that as a percentage, less women play games, less still would be considered "hard core". As a child, I thought it would be cool to work as a game dev, because I love video games. As an adult, I see it as long hours and hard work, requiring a level of obsession with the games that most people don't have. (men or women)

about a year ago
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Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights

tofarr Re:Unix (207 comments)

Just like assassins are not evil - it's the people who hire them that are evil. I am not saying that all lawyers are "evil", but if a person does something morally bankrupt then "I was getting paid for it" is no excuse.

about a year ago

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