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Comments

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How Cochlear Implants Are Being Blamed For Killing Deaf Culture

twocows Re:Let it die (507 comments)

One of the problems I've heard for people who get them in late (heck, it's a problem for me and I have no hearing problems whatsoever) is that you can't really shut it off. That's constant stimulus that you have that you never had before, and that can lead to serious sleep problems.

The funny thing is, this seems like it has an easy enough solution: just research a way to let people turn them off at will. Maybe it's not that easy, though.

2 days ago
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Book Review: How I Discovered World War II's Greatest Spy

twocows Garbo (102 comments)

The most accomplished spy I know of was Garbo, a double-agent who successfully convinced Nazi Germany that D-Day was just a diversion, among many other things. His story is fascinating.

about two weeks ago
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Xbox One Reputation System Penalizes Gamers Who Behave Badly

twocows Buy a new console? (183 comments)

Yeah, I think I would have bought a new console, too. Not a Microsoft one, though.

about three weeks ago
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Getting Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia Out of Gaming

twocows Re:Representation != Political Correctness (704 comments)

For the purposes of this argument, there are two types of games: story/character-driven games, and gameplay-driven games. For gameplay-driven games, it really doesn't matter. The player character is not the important part of the game and whatever color he happens to be really isn't any sort of commentary, it's just arbitrary. So yeah, for that, go ahead and make a character creator and let people have choices. I don't really think the "sexuality" choices would really have much of an affect on appearance, though, so forgive me if I think that one can be left out.

For story/character-driven games... it depends. Above all else, you shouldn't shoehorn "diversity" in for the sake of diversity. When you're trying to tell a story, there are other things that are much more important. You want your story to make sense, you want it to fit, you want your characters to be believable and meaningful, and you want to create an experience that the player cares about. Sometimes, one or more of those goals are mutually exclusive with diversity. This is especially true with realistic fiction stories; it's just a fact of life that many interesting settings didn't really have a lot of diversity.

Now, for something more fantastical, like something set in the future or some kind of fantasy, there's more room for that kind of thing, but even then, you're not going to put a character in solely for the sake of "diversity." The statement you're making with that is that race is meaningful, that it's something that we need to "balance" in games. I would say that's racist in itself. The whole idea is supposed to be that it *doesn't* matter. So, to that end, I would say: bring your vision out. Make the characters you want to make, and don't worry about what all these neo-progressives tell you to write about. There are more important things you should be focusing on than what color skin your characters wear.

about three weeks ago
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Electric 'Thinking Cap' Controls Learning Speed

twocows Re:risk aversion (112 comments)

Listen, I'm all for advancing technology and taking risks, but this particular application has the potential to do very real harm to the test subjects. It's one thing if the researchers put themselves at risk, but putting others at risk because of our own ignorance is unacceptable. I would suggest we do such experiments on animal brains until we have a more thorough understanding of whether or not they'll have serious consequences for human brains.

about three weeks ago
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DirectX 12 Promises Lower-level Hardware Access On Multiple Platforms

twocows Re:A reaction? (107 comments)

GP didn't say it reached critical mass, merely that there are a lot of things happening right now. Valve is making a major push toward getting developers to do things on Linux. I think that has yet to finish playing out; the pieces are still moving.

about a month ago
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Gmail Goes HTTPS Only For All Connections

twocows What version? Also, Google Talk is pretty dead. (141 comments)

Are they using SSL, or are they using TLS? Which version of either are they using? Most modern browsers support TLS 1.1 and 1.2, but I can imagine Google falling back to 1.0 or even SSL for compatibility with fossils.

As much as I personally love Google Talk, it's about as dead as you can get. Most links have been redirected to Hangouts, and those that aren't, you have to access manually. If anyone cares, here's the only working link that I'm aware of for Google Talk: http://www.google.com/talk/ind...

about a month ago
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Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

twocows Should we stop working on curing cancer, too? (334 comments)

I see this get tossed around a lot and, somehow, it ended up +4 insightful this time. Why do you seem to think that we should only work on one single problem at a time? Should we put all medical research on hold to stop wars? Should we give up on finding new forms of efficient energy because people are fighting each other? The fact that people are "killing each other" (different people, by the way; the author's not really involved with that and probably isn't a specialist in that field, so his ideas wouldn't be helpful there) does not mean that we can't work on improving ourselves in other ways while continuing to work on that particular problem. The solutions and the pursuit of them are not mutually exclusive.

about 1 month ago
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UK Government Wants "Unsavory" Web Content To Be Removed

twocows Re:American giving up the internet (250 comments)

Considering the UK's absurdly overbearing libel laws, I find your suggestion (even with source) hard to believe.

about 1 month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

twocows Re:People need to realize... (747 comments)

I don't see how the rest of your post lends itself to support the supposition that "I don't understand statistics." Rather, it seems to support the supposition that "I don't understand the problem of how statistics is misused in the medical field." I'm willing to concede either (I'm not a statistician, I only have a cursory background in statistics to begin with), but if you saw something blatantly wrong with what I wrote, I'd be interested in knowing what it was.

As for not knowing about the problem of the misuse of statistics in the medical field, that's true. I wasn't aware it was a problem at all, and the post I was responding to seemed like he was just generalizing based on a misunderstanding of basic statistics and how it's applied to research. Considering the context of the comment (it's in re a story about anti-vaccination folk, people who are notorious for misunderstanding basic science and using that misunderstanding to condemn a large body of what is basically well-established fact), I felt it was appropriate to assume that my understanding of his comment was correct. But it seems that wasn't the case, and if so, I was in error; I apologize.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

twocows Re:Cut them off (747 comments)

I don't think forcing the children of stupid parents out of education (public schooling and libraries) is the solution to this problem.

about a month ago
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

twocows Re:People need to realize... (747 comments)

They aren't capable of precise theories so instead they disprove that treatment and control groups are exactly the same.

That's basic statistical science. You can't "prove" a hypothesis using statistical methodology, you can only say to some degree of certainty if you reject the null hypothesis (that there is no relation between x and y) or if you fail to reject the null hypothesis (meaning there might be a relation between x and y). This allows us to draw very specific conclusions, such as "we can say with a high degree of certainty that this drug does not have a statistically significant effect on its users" or "there is a statistically significant improvement with patients who took this drug, which supports our hypothesis that the drug helps these patients." The key point here is that we can't prove a theory, but we can support it with empirical evidence, which, with enough testing, can lead us to reasonably conclude that the theory is most likely true. This isn't much different than how the scientific method works in other fields: you make observations, you hypothesize, you test, and you draw conclusions about your tests. You never say "this hypothesis was proven by our experimental results," you say "our experimental results show evidence to support our hypothesis."

Your failure to understand what statistics does and does not allow people to do does not make it useless, nor does it make medical research "shoddy." It just makes you an ignorant fool who thinks his very non-expert opinion on a topic is worthwhile. I'll quote Asimov: "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"

about a month ago
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A Dispatch From Outside the Prison Holding Barrett Brown

twocows Re:A year and a half locked up (95 comments)

The trial hasn't commenced yet

I think that was exactly the problem he was referring to.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux For Grandma?

twocows Elementary (287 comments)

Of all the distributions I've seen, Elementary seems to be the best in terms of UI. They've got a sensible set of human interface guidelines that are very easy to find and pretty much everything on there by default seems to work exactly how you would expect it to. I'm a big fan and am looking forward to their next release.

about a month ago
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Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

twocows Re:Why are you such an asshole? (290 comments)

That sounds like PEBKAC to me. He probably had a poorly configured Apache setup. I don't really have the qualifications to give an informed opinion about the state of OpenBSD security, but pretty much everything I do know points to very good practices on their part. I'm sure it's not perfect, but it seems to be head and shoulders above a lot of other systems.

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

twocows Re:Raspberry Pi-class hardware - BeagleBone Black? (290 comments)

I actually asked a similar question on the #openbsd Freenode channel a while back and got a pretty good response. Basically, RPi is a crapshoot. It's very poorly documented and there's a lot of proprietary crud that's a pain in the neck to develop for. It's been brought up a lot on the mailing list and discussed there, so I recommend searching through it for those discussions.

I got recommended several alternatives, but the one that seemed to come up most often was Alix. I was also told they're coming out with a new model sometime early this year, so I'm waiting for that before I buy (if anyone has more info on that, I'd be happy to hear).

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Ask Theo de Raadt What You Will

twocows Re:Why are you such an asshole? (290 comments)

Assuming what you said is 100% true, then yeah, I agree that he was probably too quick to dismiss your proposal (then again, I'm no expert). That said, I think it's a bit overboard to dismiss the entire OS because of that. OpenBSD has a very strong focus on security and stability. There are a lot of people, myself included, who care very much about those things, even at the expense of, say, optimization.

I see a lot of people say Theo's a jackass. I don't know if that's true or not, and frankly, I don't care. OpenBSD has a clear philosophy and focus and the team behind it, however they may act, have done a fantastic job at maintaining that focus and working toward building a better product in that vein. Maybe they would benefit from a little humility, maybe they wouldn't, but as long as they keep pumping out a system that improves upon the goals they've established (goals that I value extremely highly), I'm willing to let attitude problems slide.

about a month and a half ago
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Water Filtration With a Tree Branch

twocows Re:Take That, Capitalists! (205 comments)

That's not true. In fact, it often takes a sufficiently large amount of any sort of harmful parasite to make you sick from oral ingestion, if only because your stomach acid is going to kill a large amount. So killing 99% of bacterial pathogens in a water source is actually pretty useful.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

twocows One that others might not have (531 comments)

Here's a personal favorite of mine. Metapad LE as a drop-in notepad.exe replacement. It's basically a more fully featured notepad that loads equally as fast. Differences on LE/full version here if you care.

about a month and a half ago
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Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

twocows Re:Surviving off the GPL (480 comments)

I guess I should finish reading the post before responding. I missed that you said that support is out. So I think in your case, I can recommend maybe trying crowdfunding for features additions and possibly some bugfixes.

(was going to post this one AC, but I'm still on cooldown)

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Gamers solve decade old HIV puzzle in ten days

twocows twocows writes  |  about 6 months ago

twocows (1216842) writes "From the article: "Scientists from Washington University have been struggling for the past decade to decipher the complex structure of a enzyme that exhibits AIDS-like behavior, and which might hold a critical role in building a cure for the disease. Gamers playing spatial game Foldit have managed to collectively determine the enzyme’s structure in ten days.""
Link to Original Source
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Age of Empire II (yes, II) to get new expansion

twocows twocows writes  |  about 8 months ago

twocows (1216842) writes "From Tom's Hardware:
AoE II HD is getting a new expansion pack on Steam sometime this fall. Quoting from the article, "Gamers who procure "The Forgotten" can look forward to a ton of new content, including five new civilizations, four new historical campaigns, a handful of new multiplayer maps and direct streaming to Twitch.tv. Players will also be able to control up to 500 units at a time instead of the current 200-unit limit."
I know what I'll be doing at my next LAN party."

Link to Original Source
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ARM Launches DRM-laden Processor

twocows twocows writes  |  about 10 months ago

twocows (1216842) writes "From TorrentFreak
It seems like ARM is launching their newest processor complete with DRM on-chip. Given the prevalence of ARM processors on mobile devices, this could be bad news for people who are pushing for more freedom on mobile devices."

Link to Original Source
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FOX to host new Cosmos

twocows twocows writes  |  more than 2 years ago

twocows (1216842) writes "FOX is set to make a new season of Carl Sagan's "Cosmos: A Personal Voyage," hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson and written by none other than Ann Druyam (Carl Sagan's widow). Let's hope they don't screw it up like every other good show they've aired in the past decade."
Link to Original Source
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GeForce 400 series releases to tepid reviews

twocows twocows writes  |  about 4 years ago

twocows (1216842) writes "Nearly half a year after the initial projected release date, Nvidia premiered its new GeForce 400 series of cards at PAX today. After a development period mired in controversy, Nvidia showed off the capabilities of the 400 series in a 3D presentation demoing gameplay footage from titles such as Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and World of Warcraft. Despite the polished presentation, critical reception has proved to be tepid at best. A number of sites have criticized the line's mediocre performance in benchmarks compared to rival ATI's line of Radeon cards, with some older cards even surpassing the new line in gameplay performance; some also cite the cards' extremely large power draw as another point of contention."
Link to Original Source

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