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US Army Wants Weapon To Destroy Drone Swarms

tofarr Re:Altitudinally challenged? (208 comments)

Or what about the risk of some psycho deploying these near an airport to attack planes just before take off? It seems to me that an attack of this type presents a large credible threat.

about two weeks ago

Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

tofarr Re:Let's do the math (307 comments)

Technology is the evolution of evolution - OP may be more correct than you realize

about 2 months ago

Electric Shock Study Suggests We'd Rather Hurt Ourselves Than Others

tofarr I wonder what happens if you add anonymity? (123 comments)

So many Enlightening Experiments: * Get 10 people * Attach 5 of them up to electrodes. * Attach the other 5 up to electrodes, with 6 buttons - 5 will deliver shocks to each of the people without buttons, 1 will deliver a shock to themselves. * Apply financial incentives * Observe result. Variant 1: * Make sure participants have no way of knowing who shocked them - use some kind of automated system to pay them. * Observe Result Variant 2: * Use 10 people with 10 buttons * Observe Result Hypothesis: People are a lot less altruistic when they think they are not being watched / can get away with it!

about 2 months ago

Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

tofarr Re:Any suffiently advanced tech... (986 comments)

Except your ICE would be producing gasses and noise (outputs) which are measurable. Even if you were able to somehow hide these, a well designed experiment would run for long enough to mean that your ICE ran out of fuel. It is not necessary to look in the box to determine if it works - just make sure you control the inputs and monitor all the outputs for long enough to prevent trickery. The question here seems to be - Did those involved do this, or are they shills working with a con man.

about 4 months ago

Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

tofarr Re:Tesla is worth 60% of GM ! (267 comments)

You obviously do not understand the car market, because you left out the most important point : We are a lot less rational than we like to think, and for many people a car is a status symbol. People do not drop 70K on a car that can do speeds which are illegal / impractical in most situations - they pay it because they feel it will get them immediate respect, and possibly get them laid.

about 4 months ago

Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

tofarr Re: A fool and their money (266 comments)

I call bull on your story - finding water in Ireland is simply a matter of looking out the window (ie: Right now it is raining, and It seems like it is always raining). That's why the country is so green - the West gets even more rain than the East. I suspect that if you dig almost anywhere and you will hit water sooner or later - it's just a matter of how deep. Also, how far was he walking? Unless the distance was substantial, it probably didn't matter where you dig.

about 5 months ago

Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

tofarr Re:What lessons are the video games teaching? (1262 comments)

Most people don't play video games to learn lessons - they play for entertainment. In many cases, that entertainment takes the form of an empowerment fantasy - Be the muscle bound hero, deliver justice, save the day, get the girl (/guy), be adored and admired by the masses etc, etc. So long as those involved realise the difference between this and reality there is generally not a problem - aside from when some take the empowerment fantasy onto the internet and threaten strangers lives, or when others complain that the empowerment fantasies of others make them feel isolated. Both sides need to get over themselves. Threatening the lives of others is not acceptable. Conversely, not every piece of entertainment out there is going to be focused on you. Get over it.

about 5 months ago

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

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 and a half ago

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 and a half ago

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 and a half ago

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!]

about a year and a half ago

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!

about a year and a half ago

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.

about a year and a half ago

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.

about a year and a half ago

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 and a half ago

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 and a half ago

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 and a half ago

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 and a half ago


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