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Comment Re:We did this to ourselves. (Score 1) 80

I'm pretty sure that children or anyone less than 18 years old is legally considered to be too incompetent to make their own decisions, and for good reasons. That's why they can't vote, why they can't drink, why they can't gamble, or sign into a legally binding contract.

So again, I think valve is abusing their position in trying to attract kids into gambling. I think this is a bad thing and they should be punished for it. When I say it's a predatory practice, I really think it is because they're using their position as a game publisher and retailer, in order to obfuscate that they're also offering a gambling service, in a similar vein to the youtubers who used their 'celebrity' to endorse and promote a third party gambling service which they surreptitiously owned.

Comment Re:We did this to ourselves. (Score 1) 80

At the end of the day, I also believe that government shouldn't be trying to prevent everyone from doing stupid things. But I do think there needs to be some common sense protections against predatory practices. Those protections are already in place around the world. I think valve is purposely maneuvering in such a manner to skirt around the law in order to essentially provide gambling services and profit from people under age.

Comment Re:We did this to ourselves. (Score 1) 80

One difference I can think of is that no one goes into a casino and thinks that they're just in there to play games and have a fun time. They know that it's gambling, they know that it costs money to play. A lot of parents, kids or even adults, don't install steam, or buy CSGO because they want to gamble. They buy it because it's meant to be a first person shooter, or in steams case, an online game store and launcher. So it slips under the radar, and it doesn't get targeted for taxes, or regulation when they integrate gambling features.

Comment Re:What even is this (Score 1) 80

There's two components to it, one of which I think is being purposely glossed over because it's valve/steam.

To begin from the start, valve introduced weapon skins for CSGO which are normally obtained with drops or unlocked from crates/chests which are awarded at random to players. Unlocking a crate/chest requires the use of a key. All keys can only be bought for real money at something like $2.50. I believe they can be traded, but the origin of that key at some point, someone had to pay valve some money to buy it. Additionally, these skins can be traded amongst people, or put in the official market place for sale or obviously people can buy them for real money. Valve takes a cut of the sale when skins are sold for real money.

I play CSGO, but recognise the obvious cash grab with skins for what it is. So I've never spent any money on it at all. The difference is though that when you sell through the official channels, that money is left in your steam wallet, it can't be converted into real money easily at all. But since you can trade these skins, what can happen is that you trade for real money separately. I believe part of the problem is that these gambling sites allow you to log in through valve's API's and formalise, to some extent, the process so that the users don't entirely have to resort to trust.

The third party gambling sites, I have little idea what exactly they do (because I've never used them, never thought about using them, and care so little for it), but some I believe allow participants to put skins into a pool and then provide a chance to win the pool.

Now, it's clear that the owners of this one particular gambling site have been promoting it in a shady way, i.e. not disclosing their involvement and owning the company. That's one thing. I also think that valve has been profiting immensely, not from the third party gambling, but their first party gambling. The keys to unlock chests and a chance to win. It's all attracting gullible teens into the game who don't even play the game, rather spend money in an attempt to unlock skins.

I think this is a real scourge in a lot of electronic gaming now, the outright gouging with horse armour DLC, and in valve's case, chances to win items which realistically is gambling, is something which is exploiting games as a method to hide gambling and DLC platforms. Valve have thoroughly integrated this behaviour into many of their games, and into steam itself, by having 'trading cards' again, purchasable through their first party market place.

In my opinion, this is disgraceful behaviour from a company that has become really unethical now. Shame on valve!

Comment Re:How To Deconstruct Almost Anything (Score 1) 208

Now I think I understand why people keep quoting the most obtuse passages of Das Kapital. It's because it is so meaningless that the person can quite easily read whatever they want in it. At least now I know I'm not the only one around scratching my head when I hear meaningless collections of words.

Really appreciate the link! Thanks.

Comment Re:Misandry (Score 4, Insightful) 291

Ah, you see the (modern) feminists have already thought ahead of that. Because of patriarchy, males are the dominant gender, and therefore it is not possible to be sexist against them. Somehow, they managed to make females the minority, even though there's more females than males. This applies similarly to race and sexuality. So if you one the birth lottery by being born a white straight male, then they can criticise you for all those things and it's not racist or sexist, purely because the minorities are incapable of being so. By some strange (lack of) logic, they firmly believe that.

In my mind, the "logic" is similar to dehumanising ideologies and practices such as lebensraum and untermensch, the bourgeoisie, eugenics, all in order to justify to their minds why they can hate other people purely for aspects that they were born with and couldn't control. In other words, they have other motives, but need some sort of justifiable "reasons" which appear to stand to some scrutiny.

Comment Re:To what extent is this actually bad? (Score 1) 267

You wouldn't really need to maintain the entire production line. In this case, I would presume that the demand for the disks would be low, so you'd look at different production techniques which are going to be more labour intensive, but much more cost effective for low production volumes. After all, in a floppy disk, there's very few parts, most of which are incredibly simple to manufacture, and can be done in more ways than one. For instance, you wouldn't need the same machine that made jackets all those years ago, as that could easily be done on a small 2D CNC machine.

Comment Re:Microsoft, do this: (Score 1) 288

I can't really understand your comment because, while MS didn't exactly throw the developers under a bus, the change from WP7 to WP8 meant that WP7 apps were abandoned, due to changes to WP8 making them different. Now with the UWP, they've basically done it again. The WP8/8.1 apps are being abandoned now because abysmal market share of W10M means there's no point developing a new app, and for the old app, there's no point supporting it when it's on a dead platform.

Comment Re:Because they do it at all (Score 1) 280

That has an element of untruthiness to it, because it's noticed as a paradox that, as societies get more progressive and there's less gender 'inequality' in broader terms, women tend towards traditionally female occupations. Whereas, in countries that are deemed gender unequal, those places tend towards a lot more of a gender balance in traditionally male dominated fields, such as engineering.

The explanation is, that in societies where women can do what they want to do, well, they do, they're uninhibited to select occupations which they want, and do. In those countries which are deemed unequal, they tend to be poorer, and women tend to go towards careers that pay better.

There's a good documentary from Norway on this paradox;, and I think it goes a long way to explain this whole 'women in tech' issue and why it's such a beat up!

My suspicion is that what really is at play with a lot of these studies in gender equality is really socioeconomic differences. Poorer countries are generally deemed as having less gender equality, and part of the outcomes of poorer countries is that their education systems aren't going to be the best. Similarly, the countries which are deemed most equal also tend to be towards the top end of GDP per capita, so there's going to be a lot more funding for things like education.

Comment Re:Missed the main reason (Score 1) 183

But then there's the fact that apart from the integrated GPU, if you compare the 6700k to the 4790k, they're so close to each other, that it's probably within the noise. If anything, some of the benchmarks, when using a discrete GPU have given slightest of edges to the 4790k.

My observations is that from about sandy bridge, each iteration has been really weak. If you have a sandy bridge CPU, there's very little point upgrading. The only feature that has been useful for someone I know has been haswell going to AVX 2.0. That has sped up some calculation functions quite considerably, I'm led to believe.

Comment Re:And this (Score 1) 1092

Certainly where I am (Australia), graduates are finding it rather difficult to find a job in their field because currently industry has little interest in training and internally promoting staff. A lot of companies have a hire and fire mentality, and my perception of this is that they just want to get someone who has all the skills when they hire. I've seen plenty of job ads for junior positions with 5 years experience. Many of my colleagues have had to experience the senior staff being sacked, and the workload dumped on them, whilst still working in a junior capacity, obviously no promotion, no pay increase.

A university education may give you skills, but the employers now have basically shifted the goalposts where the university degree is a formality, and they largely look at different criteria. So the degree, while necessary, isn't really important as it won't differentiate you from the other candidates. I don't know how different it is in other countries, but it seems that things aren't going real well here. Graduate employment is at its worst ever, and from what I read, things aren't looking to great for many graduates in the USA either.

Comment Re:Energy in? (Score 1) 158

At the end of the article, they more or less admit that it's not viable. 5-10 years away means it's quite far from making economic sense. The big difference is hydrocarbons from crude oil are obviously really cheap to process, because all that we're doing is taking advantage of natural processes which produced those hydrocarbons. They wouldn't have been efficient either, in terms of thermodynamics, but since it happened naturally, and a long time ago, it's like as if they're free. The difference now is the research is going into finding out how to improve the chemical reactions to produce hydrocarbons. Obviously again, it's not going to be particularly successful until we run out of relatively cheap oil, which hasn't got the overhead of requiring us to expend significant energy to produce it, we just find it and pump it out.

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